Of Princesses and Changelings

by Vigilance

First published

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

Princess Celestia has returned from a diplomacy mission with the Changelings, and she has a big surprise. She and Queen Chrysalis have fallen for each other and are now a couple. Cadence, more than a little distraught over what has transpired, plans to separate the two and prove that Chrysalis is still the evil enemy she was at the Royal Wedding.

Sequel: To Cast the Doubt Away

Celestia's Return

View Online

Luna sat upon the royal throne of Canterlot Castle, royally bored. She wasn’t used to this, being on the throne at eleven fifty-three in the morning… it was unnatural. Still, not like she had a choice in the matter, it was this or anarchy. Celestia wasn’t in Canterlot at the moment, heck, she wasn’t even in Equestria.

The Changelings had, oddly, called the Sun Goddess to the badlands to work out a truce. The Changeling Collective and the Kingdom of Equestria had technically been at war since Queen Chrysalis attacked the capital what seemed like forever ago. Celestia, always the goody-horseshoes peacemaker, had accepted their offer and travelled to the Changeling lands to broker peace. It would certainly be a monumental pole-vault of peace if Celestia could pull it off.

Personally, Luna wanted to kick that Changeling Queen where the sun doesn’t shine. She had attacked Equestria and deserved to be reprimanded severely. Luna smiled to herself as she began to remember the good old days, when her Lunar Soldiers rained death upon Equestria’s enemies with glee and no remorse while her sister’s Solar Guard were an impassable wall that protected the innocents of Equestria with valor and immovability. Luna smiled to herself, lost in memory. Yes, what a beautiful, excessively violent, blood filled time…

“Uh, M’lady? M’lady, are you ok?”

Luna snapped back to reality and looked to her right. Sitting on his haunches beside the throne was a very tall, slender pegasus stallion (almost equal to Luna in height). For a moment, Luna shivered, seeing his bright turquoise eyes with darker turquoise replacing the whites of his eyeballs. It reminded Luna a lot of Nightmare Moon, but it wasn’t really her fault the armor chose those eyes for her captain. The Moon Princess turned to the stallion. “Hm? I’m sorry, what is it Fading? I was thinking of something… must have lost track of time.”

The stallion’s body was completely still as he saluted her, his armored boot hitting his bat-winged Captain’s helm. “Nothing M’lady, you just seemed out of it. I wanted to make sure everything was ok.”

“Oh, yes, yes Fading, I’m fine… Just thinking…”

“Of?” The stallion inquired.

“Nothing you need to concern yourself with my dearest captain.” Luna smiled and patted the stallion on the head, creating clanging sounds as her royal metal boot met his equally metal helmet. The stallion grouched, feeling like a well trained puppy, but nodded and silently went back to looking at the main double door entrance.

As if waiting for the stallion to turn towards it, the double doors of the throne room suddenly became encased in a cornflower blue aura. Opening up wide, the barriers parted in order to allow Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, Cadence, to walk through. The pink Alicorn strode causally through the royal throne room, upsetting some of the guards inside. Alicorn Princesses weren’t supposed to walk causally; they always required a royal swagger that was much less arrogant as it was respectful to those watching. This was nothing new though; Cadence's lack of traditional royal ways had always unnerved the guards. An untraditional royal was an unpredictable royal, and an unpredictable royal was a royal that was hard to effectively guard.

Princess Cadence reached the throne and bowed respectfully, smiling as she did. “Hello Princess Luna, how are you faring today?”

Luna looked at Cadence with what could be described as mild disgust. “Cadence,” She said coldly. “Cut it out, please, I’ve not the patience for it.”

Cadence held back falling over laughing, though her giggling was not so easily contained. The mare rose from her bow and smiled at her relative. “Sorry, Auntie Luna, I was just trying to annoy you during Aunt Celestia’s absence. Trying to keep things as normal as possible for you whilst your sister talks to those disgusting bug breaths.”

Luna cocked an eyebrow, ignoring the fact her niece had admitted to trying to annoy her. “Was that a spot of racism I heard Cadence?” Her tone reeked of disapproval.

“Can you blame me?” Cadence asked sourly. “I don’t exactly have fond memories of those hard shells during my imprisonment. In fact, I’m pretty sure they wanted to eat me…”

“First off, Changelings don’t eat other beings unless provoked very excessively. Secondly, racism is a terrible habit to hold onto. It helps nopony, and sickens the mind of those who wield it. Take care not to let negative feelings of the past retard the way for a future of coexistence.” Luna looked down upon her niece with the same sage-like look that Celestia usually wore.

Cadence grumbled to herself. “Yes Aunt Luna.”

The Princess of the Night smiled at her relative, stepping down from her throne and facing Cadence. “How about you and I get something to eat? I know I’m quite hungry.”

Cadence looked off to the side. “I don’t know Aunt Luna, I don’t really feel…” A rumbling sound came from the pink Alicorn’s stomach, prompting her cheeks to fade to a dark red. “Well, it wouldn’t hurt… But don’t you have to stay here and keep up with noonday court?”

Luna chuckled. “Nonsense. I am a Princess of Equestria! I do as I please, most of the time. Besides, what good are guards if they can’t cover for you? Fading!”

The Lunar Captain appeared next to the two Alicorns almost instantly, already saluting. “Yes M’lady?”

“Cover for me would you?”

“Do I have to do paperwork?”

“Uh… no.”

“Very well Princess, I will stand at the throne until you return!” Fading nodded his head and used his wings to jump onto the throne in one big leap. The stallion nestled himself in nicely and stood proper, waiting to be relieved from duty.

Luna turned back to Cadence. “Shall we?” She asked, motioning to the door with a hoof.

Cadence nodded happily and the two left the throne room, some guards trailing behind.


“So, any word from Sir Shining Armor?”

“Not yet, but I’m sure everything’s fine though. My Shining’s not only good at being a guard captain but he has a knack for government… to a limited extent.”

Cadence sipped some tea after finishing talking, smiling lightly at the herbal taste flowing into her mouth. Luna did the same (she wasn’t really one for tea but she could bear it for some social interaction). The two were in one of the many relaxation rooms that the castle held. It took a little to persuade their guards to wait outside in the hallway instead of staring them down in the room. The two immortal Alicorns didn’t want their guards eavesdropping.

“Well, not like there’s much to worry about, the Crystal Empire is a very stable region with Sombra long gone.” Luna remarked as she took a bite of some biscuit.

Cadence laughed. “Yeah, without the darkness of Sombra the Crystal Ponies have really become lively and joyful. It’s a really comforting sight to see.”

“Speaking of Sombra and life, what was with the whole, you know, blowing him up thing? A little extreme won’t you agree?” Luna took a napkin and wiped off some crumbs.

Cadence looked nervously at her aunt. “What?! Well, that wasn’t really my fault was it? I mean… I didn’t know he’d explode from the Crystal Heart's power! It was kinda unexpected…”

“Hmm… yeah, I suppose. I kind of want to know what Fate was thinking when it did that… not really all that family friendly for a stone called the Crystal Heart that's supposed to be about love and whatnot…” Luna kept a sagely demeanor but was secretly praising Creation the heart wasn’t around to be used on her. The Nighttime Princess didn’t think she could take coming back after a thousand years only to be blown up… that would suck.

Cadence poured herself another cup of tea and took a sip. “So…” She started, placing the cup down. “Changing the subject… is there any pony you have your eye on? I think that if anypony deserves a special somepony it be you Aunt Luna.” The Alicorn of Love smiled, squeeing in the process (she did love gossip).

“Me? Oh heavens no Cadence.” Luna said, smirking and waving a hoof at her niece. “I haven’t been with anypony in over… well, a long time. And even then, I’ve never… well, it’s not important!” Luna shook her head and placed her front legs on the table, resting her chin in her hooves. “How are you and Shining doing in your relationship? Thinking of foals yet?”

Cadence laughed, Luna’s attempts to avert answering her questions obvious. “Oh no you don’t! Come on! Give me some gossip Aunt Luna! What have you never done, hm? Should I start guessing?”

Luna stood up in shock. “NO! … I mean… It’s just… if anypony deserves a special somepony it’s my sister and your aunt, Celestia.”

Cadence’s eyes widened. “Really? Why do you say that?”

Luna repositioned herself on her soft cushion. “Celestia has done much for this country, many of her deeds go unnoticed by the general populace. Maker, there are some things she’s done that only she knows about. I’ve seen her work herself to near exhaustion. Once, she didn’t eat for a whole seven weeks while she wrote a speech for a peacekeeping conference in the North. She deserves the happiness a lover can bring, much more than I do.” Luna bobbed her head up and down, as if agreeing with the words she had just spoken like they had been from another mouth.

Cadence pondered her aunt’s words for a second. “Huh, I guess you’re right. Hmmm… if only there was somepony the Princess was interested in? I mean there’s that one mare in accounting, but everypony knows she wouldn’t have the nerve to go through with that one.” Cadence thought about possible matches for her aunt, literally pairing her with every being she could think of. Cadence’s head slumped in defeat after a minute or two. “Ugh, I can’t think of anypony…”

Luna chuckled. “Do not let it trouble you Cadence. If there is a pony that catches my sister’s eye she will not hesitate to try and court her, as long as it’s not that mare from accounting, she definitely doesn’t have the courage to pursue that unrequited love.”

Cadence looked up at the ceiling, it was a nice royal white with some golden frilly outlines that sprouted out from the corners to the hanging chandelier in the center of the room’s roof. “Yeah… I guess I should know that love comes naturally right? Still… if Aunt Celestia found a special somepony I’d give all the support I can give.”

Luna sipped her ‘tea’ (she had replaced it with coffee when Cadence wasn’t looking, Maker she loved coffee). “That’s all we can really do when love takes hold of a pony. Luckily, when my sister picks a lover, she always picks those of unparalleled character and…”

The door to the room burst open, some Lunar Stallions rushing in. The two saluted and the earth pony of the two stepped forward. Luna recognized the male as Fleet Hoof, one of her sergeants. “Hello guards, what brings you here?” The Night Princess asked causally, as she always did with her personal guard.

“Ma’am, Princess Celestia has returned from her diplomacy mission from the Changeling Collective.” Fleet Hoof saluted again.

Luna brightened up at the news. The dark Alicorn hopped up from her cushion. She threw her hooves up in jubilation. “Yes! Now I won’t have to watch over noonday court!” There was an awkward silence as the only ponies present stared at Luna, her fore legs in the air and her face carrying a joyous smile. The Princess’s eyes shifted back and forth comically from Cadence’s and the Lunar Stallion’s confused faces, her smiling not dropping. Luna finally let down her legs and coughed, chuckling nervously a bit. “And of course I’m so glad that my sister has returned, unharmed… yeah.”

“Well, let’s go see her!” Cadence pronounced, eager to see her elder aunt.

Luna nodded and turned to her guards. “Return to the barracks and tell the guards I will be along shortly to watch afternoon training.”

The two Lunar Stallions nodded and saluted, leaving the two Alicorns. After they left, Luna and Cadence made their way to the throne room.


Lunar Captain Fading Moonlight was cleaning off the royal throne, smiling nervously as Celestia looked at him, her expression one more of surprise than annoyance. Cleaning off the last of his presence from the throne, the captain bowed, saluted, and headed for the door without a word. Before he reached the double doors they opened with magic, revealing Luna and Cadence.

“Hello again Fading.” Luna remarked upon seeing her captain. The Captain, however, ignored her and walked right past them, a worried look on his muzzle. Luna cocked her head back and watched her captain leave. “Fading? Where are you going?”

“Just moving to avoid the S-storm M’lady.” The Captain called back, making sure to watch his language in the presence of royalty.

Cadence and Luna looked at each with cocked eyebrows. The pair turned to Celestia, who seemed to be talking to a column in the throne room. The confused Alicorns took cautious steps towards their relative. Luna was unsure of what was going on but Cadence couldn’t shake a growing twist in her stomach. She hadn’t felt a twist like this since…

“Sister? Tia, are you ok?” Luna started, stepping close to the white Alicorn.

Celestia turned quickly and smiled at her fellow Alicorns. Luna took a step back in shock; she couldn’t remember Celestia ever as looking as happy she did right now, at least in recent history. Celestia went up to Luna and nuzzled her. “Of course sister, in fact I’m feeling better than I have in a very long time.”

Cadence cocked an eyebrow. “Really? I suppose the diplomacy with the Changelings went well?”

Celestia deflated a little. “No, not really. It went as much as I expected really, but it wasn’t all for nothing.”

“Really?” Luna asked. “What was good about this mission then, if it failed?”

Celestia looked behind her at the column she had been talking to. “Let’s just say I found a ‘special’ friend during my time in the Collective's territories.” The Sun Goddess went over to the column, leaning her head in and conversing with it apparently. “It’s alright... There’s nothing to worry about… They’d find out eventually… Please? For me?”

With that, a figure walked out from the column. She was just as tall as Celestia and had black fur… wait… that wasn’t fur. And her greenish hair didn’t look normal. Not only that but her wings were glass-like and insectoid. Her horn was crooked and black. Eww… she had fangs!

Cadence took several steps back in horror as she felt those green, slit eyes staring back at her. “Queen Chrysalis!”

Cadence Voices Her Disdain

View Online

“Queen Chrysalis!”

Cadence stepped back in horror from her former captor, petrified to see those goo green eyes. The pink Alicorn looked as if she was about to hyperventilate, breathing deeply and her pupils smaller. “No, no, no, no… She’s not here. She’s not going to hurt me… I’m fine! Everything’s fine!” Cadence shook her head, five months of therapy melting away at this unpredicted meeting of her nemesis.

Luna, on the other hand, was not shaken in the least. The Lunar Princess’s face donned an angered look and she got into a defensive stance. “Foul wretch! How dare thee desecrate the harmony of our walls!” Her archaic dialect returning, Luna’s eyes flashed white as her ethereal mane suddenly became larger. The dark navy blue and lighter purplish outlined mane became as big as the Princess herself. The mane then began wrapping itself around Luna until she was completely enveloped in it, only her white glowing eye discernable in the swirling cloud of magical mane. Luna shouted; bursting the mane and reappearing, clad in dark silver and purple armor that covered her forehead, legs, front chest, and some at the top joints of her wings.

Luna flared her armored wings open and scowled at the beast next to her sister. “Thou shall regret ever stepping back into these halls degenerate hag! Prepare thy innards to be ripped from thy thorax and feed to thee from thine own anal cavity!” Luna jumped at Chrysalis, her horn flaring black and her face contorted into one of utter rage.

Before Luna could tackle Chrysalis and commit the acts she had promised, Celestia jumped in front of Chrysalis sitting on her haunches and spreading her fore legs out wide to protect the Changeling. “NO, LUNA, STOP!” She yelled as high as her voice could go without using the Royal Canterlot Voice (which actually wasn’t all that high believe or not).

Luna stopped in midair, only a meter away from Celestia and Chrysalis. She still had the all the rage and battle cry look on her face. The Solar Goddess and Changeling Queen both looked at her with cocked eyebrows, wondering how she could float there with no obvious assistant. Suddenly Luna came back to life (still in midair). “What? Why should We sister?! This creature is one of pain and cruelty, the very same that locked away our niece and try to take Equestria as her own love farm! For what sane reason could you have for protecting her now?!”

Celestia looked off to the side, embarrassed. “Because… well… she’s my marefriend.”

Luna continued to float in the air for another moment, blinking at Celestia while her mouth shaped itself into a little O. Finally, the Lunar Princess spoke. “Oh… I see.” She stated blandly.

Almost instantly Luna quickly fell to the ground, encasing herself in a dark blue flame that melted away her armor. She then bypassed Celestia and faced Chrysalis snout to snout. The Changeling Queen backed up a bit, nervous. Luna glared at the Queen and opened her mouth to speak, inhaling a lot of air. Chrysalis backed her head up, preparing for a verbal lashing that would no doubt scar her for the rest of her…

“Well hello there Queen Chrysalis, how do you do?” Luna took Chrysalis’s holey hoof and shook it adamantly, smiling. “As you may or may not know I’m Princess Luna, Tia’s little sister. It’s nice to finally meet you, I’ve heard quite a bit about you! Well, they weren’t really good things but whatever right? That’s all in the past and I’m glad to see Celestia reaching out to another being again and I just want to apologize about the whole disembowel thing I yelled earlier. Yeah, really sorry about that, won’t happen again, I hope we can move past it become good friends… Well, not as good friends as you have become with Celestia, wink wink, but still pretty good friends regardless!”

Chrysalis’s eyes were spinning; she couldn’t keep up with how fast Luna was talking to her. Eventually she processed it all and returned the hoof-shake Luna was giving her. “Umm… thank you, Princess Luna, I am humbled by your acceptance of me.”

Luna laughed. “Oh, think nothing of it! How could I, a being who has betrayed all she loved once before, think ill of one who wishes to change their ways in the name of love? I was reconciled back to the world, why not you? Besides, as a sister, I have to be supportive of anypony my sister decides to~…” Luna held onto the ‘to’ until she got a good look of the bits at the other end of Chrysalis’s undercarriage. Her head shot back up instantly. “To connect the lower caverns with!” Chrysalis’s eyes widened, Celestia faced-hoofed.

Regardless of her sister’s… uh… bluntness, Celestia exhaled deeply, relieved by her sister’s acceptance. Luna, ever since being redeemed by the Elements of Harmony, had been very accepting of any creature that had found fault in their wrongdoings and wished to atone. Just one more lesson she learned from her ordeal, Celestia thought. It was a bittersweet pill, how much more mature Luna had gotten from her lunar imprisonment. It was like teaching a child to fear fire by allowing them to get burned. Still, it was nice to see the two getting along, Luna already asking Chrysalis about her holey hooves and the Changeling answering with eagerness and pride.

Cadence, however, was much less enthusiast about Chrysalis in her home. The Alicorn had tried going through the stages of grief, her denial stage holding her for much of the time the others had been talking. Now, however, the mare was now stuck on anger, and currently boiling in it. Cadence felt her face contort with anger as her mouth deformed into an open mouth scowl, showing all her pearly whites. Her teeth clenched, as she couldn’t hold the rage she felt over that… that thing being in her home. Chrysalis had kidnapped her, thrown in a cavern to rot! She’d tried to destroy Equestria and now… now the Princesses were letting her here with open arms?! This would not do! Cadence took a few stomps towards the three mares. The Alicorn inhaled. “WHAT. THE…”



The grey earth pony stallion Pickpocket looked at his friend with a confused look. “Hat Trick, you screaming ‘BUCK!’ isn’t going to make me kick harder.”

The brown pegasus stallion Hat Trick rubbed the back of his neck. “Well you don’t know that! It could motivate you to do better.”

Pickpocket rolled his eyes at his friend. The stallion turned to the lock door in front of them. “How in the heck did you lose the key to the storage room? We got supplies in there that need to be sent out to the other charity locations pronto.”

Hat Trick shrugged. “I don’t know, if I knew how I lost it I’d have found it by now!”

Pickpocket face-hoofed. “How could this get any worse?”

Hat Trick’s eyes perked and he looked towards the castle. “Hey, Pickpocket, you hear that? Sounds like somepony’s screaming the F-word really loud.”

Pickpocket grunted. “Well, glad somepony’s voicing my anger right now, saves me the trouble…” The stallion returned his glance to the door, How are we gonna get this open?!

Cadence’s face was red and sweating, the mare panting heavily after her five minute long curse word shout. Celestia, Luna, and Chrysalis looked at her wide-eyed (Luna was personally impressed her niece held the word that long). Celestia shook her head of shock and walked up to Cadence, looking very alarmed.

“Cadence?” She started, placing a hoof on the mare’s shoulder. “What was that about? Are you ok?”

Cadence moved her shoulder to knock off Celestia’s hoof. The mare looked her Aunt in the face. “WHAT’S WRONG?! I TELL YOU WHAT’S WRONG! SHE’S HERE!” Cadence pointed an angered hoof at Chrysalis, who shrunk away from it behind Luna. Cadence returned to Celestia’s glance. “Auntie Celestia, how could you bring her here?! She’s evil and wants to destroy Equestria!”

Celestia stood straight, adopting a stern glare. “Why did I bring her here Cadence? I did it because I love her. She and I are together.”

“She found love in a Changeling’s place.” Luna said in a singsong manner, obviously parodying the song she was thinking about.

Celestia ignored her sister’s comment. “Yes, I love her and vice versa. She is also not evil Cadence. She has made mistakes and gone about her life in an ill manner, but she's not evil.”

“But…” Cadence protested.

“If you had to lead an entire colony of creatures that feed off only love what would you do Cadence? Love isn't exactly a crop you can grow or a beast you can hunt. I myself have had to do regrettable things as Equestria’s leader.”

Luna coughed. “One of its leaders.” She coughed again.

Celestia gave her a look. “All of what happened is in the past. Chrysalis has chosen a new path. One that involves me… luckily.” Celestia looked towards Chrysalis and smiled. The Changeling smiled back in response.

Cadence almost gagged. “You can’t be serious! She’s obviously using her Changeling magic to manipulate you! You’re just her puppet right now!”

Celestia sighed. “Luna…”

Luna dashed right to her sister’s side. “Tia?”

“Please magically scan me for hostile, mind altering magic.”

“But doesn’t doing that usually hurt?”

“If it proves Chrysalis’s innocence, so be it.”

Luna nodded, charging her magic. Celestia became encased in a dark aura as Luna scanned her body, rather invasively, for hostile magic. The Sun Goddess clenched her teeth and bit her lower lip as the pain from the procedure started to affect her. After five minutes Luna’s magic dissipated. “Yeah, she’s clean.” Celestia lost her regal posture and slumped a little from the soreness of the magical scan.

Cadence was unconvinced, seeing first hand the power of Changeling magic. “Are you sure? How do you know she’s not just hiding it well?” The mare sat on her haunches and crossed her fore legs together.

Luna gave Cadence a disappointed look. “Cadence… I am an Alicorn. I have…” Luna inhaled deeply, standing on her hind legs and raising her arms so they made a U shape. “PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWER!!!” A flash of lightning struck behind her, adding to the ambience. Luna returned to her normal stance. “I’d be able to sense any hostile magic in my sister’s body. I didn’t, so she’s clean. Got it?”


“GOT IT?!” Luna shouted, not enjoying the validness of her word being in question.

“Alright… Alright…” Cadence said, motioning her hooves for Luna to back down. “I get it, she’s not hexed… just crazy…”

Chrysalis stepped forward, deciding it was time to speak for herself. “Please Cadence, I know you don’t think much of me…”

“Understatement of the year…” Cadence grouched, crossing her fore legs.

Chrysalis looked off to the side. “Yes… well, I’m sorry for what I’ve done to you and Equestria. I only wanted what was best for my people… without thinking of others. But now that’s changed. It took awhile and a lot of thinking but, I’m ready to change my ways… especially for Celestia.” The two smiled at each other, each deciding to go in for a little muzzle nuzzle. Luna aww’d while Cadence gagged.

Celestia stepped next to Chrysalis and glared defiantly at Cadence. “Besides, I do not need your permission to court and romance anypony.”

Cadence would not let up, however. “What will the citizens think?! How open will your Equestria be about you dating a Changeling?!”

Celestia sighed. “It will be a challenge I’ll admit. But I will try, regardless of that.”

Luna leaned next to Cadence’s ear. “Yeah, she’s got the look on her. Sorry, Cadence, you aren’t winning this debate.”

“NO!” Cadence yelled. “I won’t accept that my Aunt is dating an ugly, black BUG!!!”

The other mares looked wide-eyed at Cadence. Luna’s eyelids slid down until her eyes were half closed in disappointment. “Oh great… we’ve just had an international incident. We’re definitely getting letters cause'a this one…”

“CADENCE!” Celestia shouted, the Canterlot Voice slipping through for emphasis. “How dare you insult not only a foreign leader, but she is also my lover! You need to calm down and think about leaving the past where it belongs. GUARDS!” Two Solar Guards rushed into the room and saluted. “Please take Princess Cadence to her room, so she may think about what she’s said.”

The guards nodded and turned to Cadence. “Princess. Please come with us.” Cadence stood defiant for a moment before slouching in defeat. The mare followed the guards out, a defeated look on her face.

Celestia, Luna, and Chrysalis watched her being escorted out. “I-I’m really sorry about this Celestia. It’s all my fault…” Chrysalis scratched the back of her neck, embarrassed.

“No.” Celestia replied. “Cadence is just being difficult. She’ll come around, I’m sure of it.”

Chrysalis sighed. “I don’t think difficult is the right word. I think reasonable is a more accurate one, considering all I’ve put her through.”

“Cadence is a loving mare, she’ll finally forgive you, it’s simply fresh in her mind right now. Come on, I’ll show you around.”

Chrysalis nodded and the two mares walked towards the exit of the throne room. Luna watched them leave, a blank stare on her face.

“Well, this isn’t going to end in an orderly fashion.”

Luna looked over to her right to see the newly reformed Discord standing next to her, giving the same blank stare Luna was giving. “How long have you been standing there?” The Night Princess asked.

“I’m always here.” Discord replied.

“Huh.” Luna said, looking to the floor. “Oddly enough I find myself more intrigued than disturbed… Weird.”

Cadence's Decision, Discord's Cup of Tea

View Online

“You shall be released upon Princess Celestia orders Princess. Until then, we shall be waiting outside if you need anything.”

Cadence nodded glumly. “I understand, you two may leave.”

The two guards saluted the Princess. The unicorn guard on the left grabbed the door with magic and shut it promptly to give the royal mare her privacy. Locking the door herself, Cadence turned and went to her bed, hopping onto it with a thump and a grunt. The Alicorn of Love lay on her bed on her stomach, sprawled out and sizzling with hidden anger.

“Can’t believe she picked that bug butt over me.” The mare grouched. “I’m her own flesh and blood! I don’t even think Chrysalis has flesh or blood, probably has mucus and toxic acid under that shell of hers.” Cadence rolled over onto her back, looking at the white ceiling. It certainly stood out and was different, considering the rest of the Alicorn’s room was pink. God, did Cadence love pink! Just a really great color any pony could love. Cadence really hoped her foals would be pink, when she had them. If she had them, Shining was a bit of prude and didn’t think it was the right time for them to have foals.

Cadence huffed and got up. The Alicorn readied herself to jump off her bed, with the graceful manner of a Princess. Jumping, the mare found one of her metal boots clinging to a taut bed sheet. The ensuing tug made the Princess lose her balance and yelp in shock, followed promptly by face planting into the ground (In her defense, it still looked amazing graceful).

“Ow, ow, ow, ow…” Cadence got up and released her boot from the villainous grasp of the bed sheet. Thinking this a good a time as any to remove her royal trappings (which could get really itchy at times), the Alicorn made her way to her vanity (which was pink).

Cadence looked at the contents of her personal vanity. It was much as one would expect a Princess’s vanity to look like: make-up and jewelry scattered about with more than one disappointing do-it-yourself pregnancy tests lying about. The only out of place thing was a bunch of books and magazines that had been thrown onto the vanity after months of use. Cadence eyed them with some curiosity, despite already knowing what they were. The titles read as follows:

Getting Over Being Ponynapped, A Guide.

So You’ve Been Taken Hostage By Changelings? Here’s Some Get Over It Tips.

How Not to Cope With Being Ponynapped.

Changelings: An F’ed Up History.

Is He Ready? How to Tell if Your Stallion’s Up for Stuffing it Where the Sun Don’t Shine.

Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Stallions! Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Stallions! Now Available at the Canterlot Market Place!

Cadence cocked her eyes at the last one; I didn’t buy that one… She thought. Shaking that feeling off, the Princess’s cornflower blue magic took hold of her small crown and gently lifted it off. Cadence proceeded to do the same with her other trappings and soon she was completely nude (SCANDALOUS!!!). The royal mare placed all her metal adornments in their proper places in her suitcase and let out another sigh, her thoughts moving towards Celestia’s decision once again.

“How can she pick her over me?! Chrysalis blasted her with magic, knocked her out, and then cocooned her in slime! SLIME!” Cadence walked to the entrance to her room’s balcony. Stepping out and looking over the city of Canterlot, Cadence could only feel her anger boil more. “And what of Equestria?! The ponies of Canterlot especially! Does she think they will simply accept her buggy bed-buddy? After she and her colony invaded the city? Doubtful! She’s making such a mistake!” Cadence leaned over the edge, looking down to the royal gardens below. The gardens were the same old same old. Servant ponies were shuffling about, trying keep it in superb condition while guards patrolled the grounds, looking for anyone trying to break into the castle. Suddenly, something caught the eye of the young Alicorn, and it made her gag. Leaning over her edge even more, Cadence used her magic to enhance her hearing so she could listen to the conversation below.

“I don’t know Celli, walking around without a disguise seems like a foolish thing to do.” Chrysalis looked around, seeing the many ponies eyeing her with either fear or suspicion.

“Really Chrysalis?” Celestia remarked. “I’ve accepted you for what you are, other ponies will follow.” The two mares walked along a head bush together, Celestia showing her mate the royal gardens in a their splendor.

“Do you really think it’ll be that simple?” Chrysalis asked. “I haven’t done anything truly endearing to your little ponies.”

Celestia stopped and waved a hoof at Chrysalis. “Pffh! My faithful student Twilight Sparkle forgave a mare named Trixie, despite the fact she humiliated her, threw out of her home, became the town’s dictator, and tortured Twilight’s friends. My little ponies are big on forgiveness Chrissie, trust me.”

Chrysalis huffed. “Very well, but the second one of them screams I’m transforming into something more socially acceptable.”

Celestia gave the Changeling a disappointed look, but let it go shortly afterward. “Ugh, alright Chrysalis, if that back up plan makes you feel more comfortable.”

Chrysalis smiled. “It does my love. Back in the Collective I was a female of such superior beauty that hundreds of Changelings from other hives would come to look at or mate with me.” Chrysalis looked around and closed her eyes, adopting a snobbish stature. “The ponies of Equestria have an annoyingly poor sense of what true beauty is. They are quite the foolish things.”

Celestia gave the Queen a look. “Chrissie, your arrogance is showing.”

The Changeling went wide-eyed and blushed… well, maybe she blushed; it’s hard to tell with Changelings. “Oh… sorry Celli… I didn’t mean it like that I just…”

Celestia laughed. “Yes, I’m well aware of what you meant, but others may not. It’s alright though, I plan on having you taught on Equestrian mannerisms as well as word work, just so you don’t make that mistake talking to a group of ponies with me not around.”

Chrysalis smiled seductively and rubbed her body up against Celestia’s. “Well, as long as you’re the one teaching me Celli. I’d be your student any day.” Celestia smiled back and the two moved their faces closer together and locked lips in a passionate smooch.


Celestia’s ears perked and she brought her head up, breaking the loving kiss. “Did you hear that?”

Far up on Cadence’s balcony, the pink Alicorn had magiced herself a bucket and was now hurling into it. It would be five whole minutes before she stopped. “Oh sweet Maker that’s disgusting!” The mare yelled, though it was hard to tell if she was talking about the kiss or her royal barf. Cadence groaned, looking at the mess in her bucket. “What the...? I haven’t eaten any corn today…”

Deciding not to ask, the mare went back inside her room, the bucket levitating next to her. After disposing the contents of the barf container into the toilet and flushing, Cadence returned to the balcony. Much to her disappointment, and yet relieving her a great deal, the pair of lovers had departed from her viewpoint. For a moment, Cadence had wondered where they had gone.

To do it…

Cadence suddenly found her mind filled with brutal images of Alicorn Princess on Changeling Queen. The mare screamed and held her head like a migraine had set in. “Oh Maker NO! No, no, no, no! Bad brain, BAD! Try thinking of nothing! Try thinking of nothing!”

“Ugh, you make it almost too easy…”

Cadence turned to see a creature that appeared as a mismatch of several different animals floating above her bed, sipping from a teacup. “Discord.” She said, rather darkly. “What do you want you Chaos loving psychotic bast—“

“Ah, ah, ah my dear Cadence language.” The chaotic Draconequus teleported instantly in front of Cadence, placing one of his claws over her mouth. “Let’s not push that teen rating shall we? After all, it’s only chapter three.” Discord took his claw off the Alicorn’s mouth. “Though I’m not surprised you ponies would just jump the gun like that, you’ve no sense of buildup.”

“What are you doing here Discord?”

Discord laughed, showing Cadence the teacup. “Why, drinking tea of course! Well, I think it’s tea…” The Draconequus moved the cup over Cadence’s head and turned it over to show the contents. There was some kind of blue liquid swishing around in the cup. Cadence would ask how the ‘tea’ was staying in the cup, but then she remembered who she was speaking to. Discord brought the tea back to himself, eyeing it up. “Tea usually isn’t bright blue right? I mean, unless you go to Prance, which makes sense, those ponies are crazier than me!”

“Why are you really here?” Cadence questioned. “Shouldn’t you be causing chaos right now?”

Discord sighed. “No. Staying on par with my contract of reform-ment…”

“That’s not even a real word.”

“Yes it is.”

“No it’s not.”

“Yes it is.

“Who said so?”


“You can’t just…”

“Yes I can.”

“How can you…”

“Because shut up.” Discord took a sip of tea, looking very refined. “Now, as I was saying: I am only allowed to cause significant chaos on weekends starting at twelve noon on Fridays. As I’m sure you’re aware, it is currently Thursday. I still have a little over day until I can get to work.”

Cadence huffed. “And since when do you play by the rules?”

“Since I found a friend I’m willing to behave for.” Discord replied. “It’s amazing what friendship can do.” The Spirit of Chaos gave Cadence a disappointed look. “You should try it sometime Cadence, you may like it.”

“Become friends with that big bug?! NEVER!!” Cadence threw her snout up in defiance.

Discord rubbed his temples. “Ugh, Celestia, why do you task me with things like this?” The Draconequus muttered under his breath. Must be because of that prank I played on her last week with the cake. Discord chuckled. Oh well, it was totally worth seeing the look on her face. “Alright, let’s try another approach.” Discord finally said.

“What was that?” Cadence asked.

“Oh nothing Cadence.” Discord replied. “I just wanted to tell you I approve of what’s going to happen next. Mostly because of how chaotic everything’s gonna get.”

“What do you mean ‘what’s going to happen next’? What are you talking about?!”

The Spirit of Chaos laughed. “Oh, Pinkie Pie simply gave me the story’s transcript. By the way, stay away from pies. Trust me on this one.” Suddenly, Discord’s head starting rattling and a ringing sound erupting from his ears. “Oh would you look at the time?” Discord slapped the top of his head, stopping the rattling and ringing. “Well, I’ve got to get going. A tea party at Fluttershy’s you see… hmmm, maybe she knows what kind of tea I’ve drinking.” Discord seemed to ponder this for a minute. “Hmmm, oh well. Tatty-Bye Cadence! But in all seriousness: Stay. Away. From pies.” With that Discord disappeared in a white flash, leaving Cadence alone with her thoughts.

Cadence huffed. “What does he know?! Does he think I’d listen to him, of all creatures?!” The pink Alicorn once again walked to her balcony and looked over the side. Celestia and Chrysalis were making another pass, leaning against one another and whispering things to each other. Cadence gritted her teeth. “For the love of…!” Cadence closed her eyes and held her head. “Ugh! If only… if only I could get her to see just how evil Chrysalis really is!”

Cadence’s eyes shot open, her face one of shocked revelation. “That’s it… That’s exactly what I’ll do! I break them up and show Aunt Celestia just how evil Chrysalis really is!” Cadence smirked evilly. “Yeah, right now Aunt Celestia is blinded by love. If I separate them then she’ll see just how monstrous her beloved Chrissie really is! This plan is perfect, foolproof!” Cadence began to laugh manically. Soon she would begin her plan, the very plan that would show Celestia that Chrysalis was nothing more than a worthless, evil pile of Changeling sh—



Cadence went to the door and, using her magic, unlocked it and opened both of the double doors. Cadence looked down at her visitor. The visitor looked back. Cadence blinked at the creature sitting in front of her, it blinked back. Cadence’s eye twitched a bit (this action her visitor did not repeat). Finally, Cadence inhaled and exhaled deeply and looked at the Changeling before her. “What do you want?”

The little bug-like equine widened its eyes and shifted around to reach into a bag resting at its side. After a minute of searching, the Changeling brought out a pad and erasable marker. Cadence watched with mixed feelings as the pony-sized creature scribbled something on the board and showed it to her.

Cadence squinted at the writing and read it aloud “MY NAME IS SHAPE SHIFT. QUEEN CHRYSALIS HAS INSTRUCTED ME TO CATER TO YOU WITHOUT QUESTION AS A SHOWING OF GOOD FAITH.” Cadence cocked an eyebrow at the message, wondering why it was in all caps.

Returning her gaze to the Changeling, Cadence gave it an angry glare. “What if I don’t want your help?”

Shape Shift pondered this for a moment. Finally reaching a decision, the Changeling erased his first message and wrote a new one. He, err it, umm… let’s just go with he, for sanity’s sake. He lifted up the board and it read: DOES THAT MEAN YOU WISH ME TO KILL MYSELF?

Cadence yelped at reading that. “WHAT?! No, no! Don’t do that!” Sure, Cadence hated Changelings, and sure she might tell one to go kill itself, but deep down she didn’t actually want to be the reason for a Changeling’s suicide. The Alicorn sighed and looked at the Changeling, its eyes wide and blinking. “Fine… you can serve me.”

The Changeling smiled, happy he could serve his Queen by serving Cadence. Shape Shift raced into Cadence’s room, heading to the center, sitting on his haunches, and saluting Cadence.

Cadence rolled her eyes and shut the door. She walked up to the Changeling. “Stay.” She uttered. The Changeling nodded adorably, yet sternly. Eyes rolling again, Cadence walked back to her balcony. Looking down, she saw Celestia introducing Chrysalis to some servants. Oddly enough, they were all smiling, some ponies other than Celestia that were warming up to Chrysalis.

Still, that didn’t matter to Cadence. Her motives were self-righteous, and nothing was going to stop her… not even pies. “Just wait Chrysalis, I’ll prove to everypony you’re still the evil bug you were back at my wedding.” Cadence began to chuckle. That chuckling soon evolved into full blown out evil laughter. Cadence threw her hooves in the air, like she just didn’t care, and laughed and laughed.

Her moment of villainous intent was cut short when she noticed a crackly, hissing laughter next to her own. Halting her own laughter, the Alicorn looked down to see Shape Shift laughing manically as well. It took the Changeling another moment, but he finally released that Cadence was watching him. He stopped and turned to her.

“Wow…” Cadence said, amazed the Changeling was so committed to his Queen’s orders to serve Cadence that he’d help Cadence break up his Queen’s relationship. “You really are in this for the duration aren’t you?” The Changeling shook his up and down happily.

Cadence looked at Shape Shift for another minute before going back to her evil laughter, this time she had no problem with the Changeling joining in.

Getting Ready to Get Ready to Start Planning the Plan About Starting the Plan

View Online

“Iz that everything? I would hate for ze Princess to have to send you down again.”


The earth pony chef Filet Mignon looked down at the Changeling in front of him, holding up a sign with erasable marker words drawn on it. The royal chef cocked an eyebrow at the little bug, wondering why Princess Cadence would keep such an odd servant. “Very well. Tell ze Princess that if she needs anything else, she should not hesitate to ask me.”

Shape Shift nodded happily, yet sternly, and took the waiter’s tray from Mignon, hoisting it onto his black back. Ensuring the plates’ security on his back, the Changeling rushed out of the kitchen. Darting passed this guard and that servant; Shape Shift turned corners and trotted up flights of stairs until he finally found himself in front of the royal bedchambers of Princess Mi Amore Cadenza. Knocking three times in the way that every single pony learns during preschool, Shape Shift stepped back and waited for his mistress to answer the door.

She wouldn’t keep him waiting for long. The pink Alicorn unlocked the door and popped her head out. Cadence looked at the Changeling with a critical eye. Seeing that he indeed retrieved the food she wanted, she nodded to him. “Come on in Shape Shift.” The Changeling nodded and raced inside, making sure not to spill any of his back tray’s contents.

Locking the door, Cadence returned to her vanity. Picking up a pink brush with magic, the Alicorn ran it’s bristles through her material mane. Letting that go on by itself, she decided to continue what she had been doing before Shape Shift’s return. “Shape Shift, please bring me the food.” The Changeling jumped nervously, realizing he still had the food on his back. Almost tripping over himself on Cadence’s hot pink rug, Shape Shift dashed next to Cadence and placed the tray onto her vanity.

LUNCH IS SERVED, read the Changeling’s sign.

Cadence nodded. “Thank you Shape Shift.” She turned to the food, a simple grilled cheese sandwich with some chips and a milkshake. Grabbing the grilled cheese in magic and taking a bite, Cadence used her magic to lift up the letter she had previously been reading. Skimming to where she was before being interrupted, Cadence started up again.

…and it’s right on the tip of it too! I tried to get rid of it, but every time I touch it puss spews out. Guard Lieutenant Stalwart thinks I should go to a doctor and get it checked out but… you know how that will probably turn out. I wish you were here dear, you’d know what to do.

Anyway, enough about me, how are you doing? I heard about Celestia and Chrysalis becoming a couple, nasty! It’s big news here in the Crystal Empire, all the crystal ponies are happy for their Solar Princess, but that’s probably because they weren’t around during the actual invasion (The fact Changelings can’t survive the harsh winters that surround the Empire probably helps).

I know that you probably don’t want to hear this but please don’t do anything extremely rash Cadence. I’m no fan of Chrysalis but that doesn’t mean you need to go gallivanting around doing Celestia knows what while she’s in the Castle. Give her a chance first before going psycho on her. If she deserves getting punished, our wedding notwithstanding, than give her the worst beating she’s ever had in her entire life. Go full on physical contact with her… in chocolate pudding… and whipped cream… and take pictures!

Anyway, I miss you, and I hope you’ll return to the Empire soon. The castle’s interior designer keeps asking me about what rooms should be which colors and you know I’m terrible at stuff like that!

Hope to see you soon.

Your husband forever in love,

Shining Armor

Cadence smiled as she finished the letter, reading messages from Shining Armor always cheered her up. It did annoy her that Shining was mentoring patience in regards to Chrysalis, but she understood his reasons. He’d been under Chrysalis’s spell for the whole time and after his release he barely remembered anything from his time under the bug’s control. Cadence used her magic to grab a piece of paper and a quill and began writing her response to her husband. As she was writing however, Shining’s calmness despite Chrysalis being in the Castle came back to her thoughts. She placed her quill down.

“Poor Shining…” Cadence sighed. “He just doesn’t get that every second I wait that bug breath gets closer and closer to her insidious final goal, whatever it may be.” Cadence rose from her seat, a righteous look in her eyes. “Yes, I must remain vigilant and steadfast! I must move quickly and without mercy as I bring her down! I cannot give her a moment to rest as I…”

A sarcastic chitter cut off Cadence’s epic speech of Chrysalis’s destruction. The Alicorn looked to her side and down to Shape Shift, who was giving her a rather adorable look of disappointment. Cadence cocked an eyebrow at the Changeling. “What? What’s that look for Shape Shift? Do you have to go out again?”

The Changeling took out his little board and scribbled furiously on it with his marker. Finishing his work, the Changeling switched the board over and showed Cadence what he wrote. IT’S BEEN A WHOLE WEEK AND YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE A PLAN TO BREAK UP CELESTIA’S AND THE QUEEN’S RELATIONSHIP.

“What?!” Cadence shouted. “I do too have a plan!”

Scribble, scribble, scribble went Shape Shift’s marker. THEN WHAT IS IT?

Cadence’s eyes went a little wider in shock. The mare pouted her lower lip in a thinking kind of way and she tapped her chin with her hoof. “Ummm… well, I… uh…” Cadence saw the Changeling cock its eyebrow, this angered Cadence slightly. “Well what do you want me to do!? We’re talking about breaking up a royal couple! I need to plan my plan out first before jumping into action!”

BUT IT’S BEEN A WEEK read Shape Shift’s board.

“These things take time Shape Shift!” Cadence shouted. “Besides, this whole week I’ve been slowly planning…”


“I have not!” Retorted Cadence.

Shape Shift’s eyes were half closed in disappointment. His right hoof shot up instantly as he pointed to the seven empty boxes of Bon Bon’s famous Ponyville Bon-Bons from Bon Bon’s Sweet Shop in Ponyville. Cadence blushed slightly, but gave Shape Shift a shooing motion with her hoof. “That doesn’t mean anything.”

The Changeling’s insectoid eyes rolled. He erased the current words on his boards and scribbled new ones. Shape Shift finished and showed his work to Cadence: DON’T YOU THINK IT’S BETTER TO START PLANNING NOW RATHER THAN LATER?

Cadence sighed. “Yeah, yeah, you’re right Shape Shift.” Cadence turned back to her vanity, sadness in her eyes. “The thing is… well… I don’t want to hurt Aunt Celestia too bad. Breaking up her relationship with Chrysalis is the best thing for her but I don’t want her to be completely heartbroken by it. I have to find a plan that does the job, but also let’s Celestia down easily.” Cadence thought for a minute. Suddenly, a thought came to mind. “Wait! That’s it! Shape Shift can you…”


Cadence eyed the singular word on the Changeling’s board. “What? You didn’t even let me finish what I was about to …”


“What? How could you possibly know…”


It was then that Cadence looked to her left to see the mentioned pink mare standing next to the Changeling. Cadence shook her head in wonder. “What the?! Pinkie Pie? What are you doing here?” And how did you get in my room for that matter?

The pink party mare laughed. “What am I doing here? That’s simple! You see Princess, the Cakes and me are delivering a giant pie here in Canterlot... well, we already delivered it but that's not the point! So we got the pie to the buyer and got everything all filled out and ready to hoof it off. So we got that done and began to leave to return to Ponyville. But then the Cakes saw the Pastries, some friends of their family from what I hear. So they all start talking and I see the Pastries triplets playing with a ball, so I join in cause playing with bouncy balls is super fun! So we’re playing and the Pastries’ youngest, how there can be a youngest when they're triplets is beyond me but what are ya gonna do right? So she goes to kick the ball. Now, let me tell you, she’s got a strong kick! She sent it flying and it hit a pointy statue and popped! So I raced here to get a new ball, because everypony knows I stash balls all over Equestria, in case of a ball emergency. It used to be just Ponyville but then I thought: ball emergencies could be anywhere! So now I stash balls all over Equestria!”

With her tale done, Pinkie Pie turned to Shape Shift. Stepping lightly on the Changeling’s hoof, the mare caused Shape Shift’s mouth to open like a trash can. Taking her hoof and reaching inside his mouth, Pinkie Pie felt around for a minute until her face illuminated with happiness. Tugging a bit to dislodge whatever she was grabbing at, Pinkie Pie tugged once more and out popped a bright red ball out from Shape Shift’s mouth.

Pinkie inspected the ball and, finding it undamaged, shook the Changeling’s hoof. “Thanks Shape Shift, I knew I could trust you to hold my ball for me.” The Changeling chittered happily, nodded its head adorably, yet sternly. Releasing Shape’s hoof, Pinkie Pie turned to Cadence. “Well, see ya Princess Cadence! Have fun with your deranged attempts to break up Princess Celestia and Queen Chrysalis’s relationship despite the advice of everypony else telling you not to do it and thereby only causing more pain and becoming the very thing you hate.” Pinkie suddenly became confused. “Oh wait… is that cliché plot twist number one or nine?” Pinkie suddenly pulled out a bunch of papers and read them over quickly. “Hmmm… that’s not right… or is it?” Pinkie shrugged and stuffed the papers back into whatever abyss she retrieved them from. “Anyway, see ya Cadence!” Pinkie Pie waved once more, then did a vault that took her all the way out the window, past the balcony and out of sight.

Cadence looked at Shape Shift with a wide-eyed, shocked look. The Changeling looked back at her and shrugged, taking his board and scribbling on the words: IT’S PINKIE PIE, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT?

“A little warning first.” Cadence admitted.


Cadence gave her Changeling servant a look. “Stop it.”


“I will too!” Cadence retorted. “Just need a little more time to plan.” With that, Cadence returned to facing her vanity, deciding to continue her letter to Shining Armor. As she wrote out each word, she tried very hard to ignore the scribbling of Shape Shift’s marker. The Changeling liked to draw mundane objects for some reason, and whenever he wasn’t serving Cadence he would draw the objects in her room. The sound continued for several minutes before Cadence couldn’t take it any longer. She turned to the Changeling. “Shape Shift! Please, can you not draw right… now… while I’m…” Cadence blinked.

In front of her was Shape Shift’s marker board; filled to the brim with plans Cadence could use to break up Celestia and Chrysalis. There had to be over five hundred plans on the little board (how he was able to get so many plans on his little board was anyone’s guess).

“Shape Shift…” Cadence started. “How did you…” The Changeling pulled out a book and showed it to Cadence. The title read, How to Break Up Anypony and a Changeling in three thousand, eight hundred, and fifty-one steps. Cadence cocked an eyebrow. “That’s a rather specific title.” Shape Shift shrugged.

Cadence smiled deviously as she read the book. “These plans will work, we won’t need all of them, but they’ll certainly work.” Cadence patted the Changeling’s head, he cooed at the soft touch. “Good work Shape Shift. With these we can begin our plans to end Celesalis… uh, Chrystia? Whatever, this will work! We can start right away!” Shape Shift nodded happily at his master’s newfound vigor and purpose. “Tomorrow.”

Shape Shift’s eyes shot out wide and he watched as Cadence went back to her vanity. She used her magic to grab another box of bon-bons and started back on her letter to Shining Armor.

Shape Shift face-hoofed.


Crystal Palace, Crystal Empire

In the grand Crystal Palace situated in the center of the capital city, as well as the only city presumably, of the Crystal Empire, Prince Regent Shining Armor looked between the clothes being presented to him. He was sweating terribly and clenched his teeth, unsure of what to do. It was safe to say he was scared beyond all belief.

“Well, your Highness?” The crystal pony interior designer asked. “Do you prefer the colors aquamarine or sky blue?”

Shining Armor began biting his hoof as he looked between the two pieces of cloth and the interior designer, who was giving quite the criticizing look. Finally, Shining fell to the ground and threw his hooves in the air. “I DON’T KNOW!!! THEY ALL LOOK THE SAME!!!”

Making Amends Over Breakfast

View Online

Celestia looked down with a critical eye, she was disappointed. Next to her sat a confused Chrysalis, unsure what to make of what she was seeing. The tapping of Celestia’s hoof could be heard in the deathly silence of the royal dining room. Finally, the sound of metal boot hitting carpeted marble had a partner: the moaning of one Princess Luna.

“UGH!!! Where’s the food Tia?! I am starving!”

Celestia’s glare of disapproval did not leave her as she looked at her lunar sister, sprawled out on the dining table like a person waiting for massage, or sex… whichever mental image assists you more dear reader. The white Alicorn sighed. “Luna, sister, please remove yourself from the dining table. It is… un-princess like.”

Luna stuck her tongue out at Celestia. “Stuff it Tia! I’m starving! I’ve had nothing to eat for hours!” The Nighttime Princess looked at Chrysalis, then back to her sister. “Not all of us can have a midnight snack of Changeling a la private bits.”

Celestia’s pale white face lit up with red and her cheeks were so hot Luna could feel the heat. “Luna!” The mare shouted. “Have some etiquette outside your private chambers!”

It was time for Luna to give Celestia a look of eyes half closed disappointment. “Oh please Tia, don’t try and flatter yourself. If your misadventure escapades were any louder I’d have expected to hear them from the moon. Truly I believe all the kingdom knows of your fun time.” A mischievous smile crept onto Luna’s face. “I wonder if I can recollect last night?” Luna concentrated. “Oh, oh! Chrysalis! You're so de-…!”

Luna made an ‘oomph’ sound as Celestia shoved her hoof into her sister’s mouth. Celestia, red faced to the point of being ridiculous, glared daggers at her younger sister. “Say another word and I shall personally cut out your tongue!”

“Wouldn’t be the first time…” Luna retorted, spitting out Celestia’s hoof. “I don’t see why you bother, I always grow them back… sort of like a lizard.” Celestia was about to say something more before the doors to the hallway opened.

“Dinner is served jour Majesties.” Fillet Mignon shouted regally as food was brought in.

Luna’s tongue lolled out of her mouth as she spied her breakfast. The lunar mare’s body dissolved into smoke as she moved and reformed herself in her seat, a moon design bib tied around her neck and eating utensils in her magic. “Praise Harmony! I was beginning to think we truly would starve!”

Celestia sat down as a servant placed oatmeal in front her, rolling her eyes. “We would not starve sister, you’re being overdramatic.”

Luna snorted. “You seem to forget who you are talking to sister. I am the Queen of Overdramatic-ness, if Nightmare Moon was any indication. Chrysalis being a close second… no offense.”

“None taken.” Chrysalis said, having finally decided to join the conversation after staying out of the previous one (she didn’t want to do anything to upset her lover or her lover’s sister, which was usually a bad idea).

Celestia sighed. “Glad to see you’re taking the fact you went insane and tried to cast the land in eternal night very well.”

“As I have learned from Pinkie Pie…” Luna stopped for a moment, expecting the pink mare to appear. When she didn’t, Luna continued. “We must laugh our mistakes away and strive to do better next time.”

Celestia blinked, a little shocked. “That’s… rather astute for Pinkie Pie.”


Miles away, in Ponyville’s Sugarcube Corner, Pinkie Pie suddenly stopped stacking sugary confections and closed her eyes, nodding sagely and smiling slightly. Mr. Cake stepped out from the kitchen and saw the nodding mare. The stallion cocked an eyebrow.

“Pinkie Pie?” Mr. Cake called. “What’s wrong? Why did you stop stacking?”

“Because.” Pinkie Pie started, looking at the ceiling. “Somepony somewhere has taken my teachings to heart and is better for it. I just had to stop for a moment and smile about it.”

Mr. Cake tilted his head. “How do you know somepony has taken what you said to heart?”

Pinkie Pie flicked daintily at the faintly glowing Element of Laughter pendent around her neck, smiling. “Call it a feeling.”


Back at the royal dining room, Fillet Mignon personally put a bowl of soup in front of Chrysalis. The chef took a step back and bowed nervously. “I am sorry my lady, I do not know what Changelings eat and you have not told me so I had to guess and I truly…”

“No… this is fine.” Chrysalis smiled at the chef (he jumped back a little at the sight of all her fanged teeth). “Changeling’s survive by draining love from living victims, but we can survive on solid food… though we have to eat about ten times more.”

Fillet clapped. “Very well my lady, I shall go to the kitchen once more and make more soup for you! Rest assured you, as the Princess’s esteemed guest and lover, I will make as much food as you need! Servants!” The other servant ponies jumped to Fillet’s side. “To the kitchen! Our Princess’s guest requires more food! We away!” With that the servants and chef left their Princesses and guest for them to dine in peace.

The door shut and Luna let out a sigh of relief. “Finally!” She proclaimed. The lunar mare tossed her cutlery aside and took her plate in her magic. Hovering the plate above her head, the princess turned her snout upward and opened her mouth wide, allowing the food to waterfall into her esophagus. Chewing happily, Luna looked around. “Hmmm…” She wondered, mouth full of food. “This breakfast is missing something. Something angry and pissed off…” Suddenly Cadence burst through the door, Shape Shift in hoof. “There is it.” Luna stated.

“Cadence.” Celestia said sagely, smiling. “There you are, we wondered if you would join us.”

“Yeah, I missed your sunny outlook on the world as of late.” Luna stated, still chewing.

Cadence cocked an eyebrow at her nighttime aunt, wondering how it took her over two years to learn modern speech but she was able to talk clearly with her mouth full of food in an instant. Cadence smiled in a sarcastic kind of way. “Oh, well, why wouldn’t I be here Auntie Celestia? I always come for breakfast together with the two of you… even if the table has a bug infestation.”

Chrysalis snorted, spitting out some soup. Cadence smiled for a moment, thinking she had finally insulted her nemesis. Her pleasure, however, was cut short by Chrysalis’s laughter. “Ok, I must admit, that was pretty clever and thought out…” The Changeling Queen’s chuckling continued as she wiped soup from her lips.

Cadence sat on the other end of the long table, opposite to Celestia. Looking down at the oatmeal in front of her, Cadence grimaced at the heat coming from it. She hated hot foods usually. Shape Shift saw her displeasure and instantly jumped in, buzzing his wings next to her food and cooling it near instantly. “Thank you Shape Shift.” The Alicorn said, nodding. The Changeling drifted back to the ground, saluting.

“So…” Celestia began as the four of them went back to eating (well, the three of them, Luna was more or less inhaling her food like a black hole). “Has anything interesting happened to any of you two lately?” Celestia motioned to Cadence and Luna.

Luna took on a magical smile, her eyes twinkling. “Yes! I finally was able to get my cherry popped!”

It was fortunate that no one was across from Chrysalis, for her mouth became a geyser of hot soup as she spat it out in a continuous stream. Celestia quickly leaned over to her lover, patting her on the back as she coughed and heaved. Getting over her fit, Chrysalis smiled at her lover’s sister. “That’s… that’s wonderful Princess Luna, I’m so glad for you.” The Changeling smiled, though inside she was gagging at Luna’s bluntness.

Celestia, having returned to her proper sitting position, smiled. “Agreed Luna, I am glad you finally found somepony to enjoy…”

“It was Pip, that little colt from Ponyville.”

Shape Shift threw himself in front of Cadence, as hot oatmeal from Celestia’s mouth was flung across the table and aiming to strike the love goddess. Celestia gagged and hit her chest hard with her metal covered hoof. “Luna…” More coughing. “What the F?! You can’t just do that! That is sick and wrong!”

“What wrong with intertwining my business with a small colt’s?” Luna gave her sister a stern glare.

Celestia’s mouth was a little agape, her eyes dilated and her pupils shrank. “Did you honestly just ask that?”

Luna huffed a piece of her mane out of her face. “Geez, the modern world is so odd. A Princess can’t even have a small colt pop the pit from her cherries so she may eat her little morsels without fear of choking.”

Celestia and Chrysalis stared at Luna, wide-eyed and mouths agape (Cadence was fussing over Shape Shift, making sure her Changeling servant was ok). Finally, Celestia coughed and went back to eating. “Oh…” She said calmly. “That’s what you meant. Right, well… I’m glad you enjoyed your cherries in peace.”

“Actually, it was just one big cherry.” Luna corrected. “Your student Twilight Sparkle gave it to me while I visited Ponyville last week. It was huge and I didn’t think I could pop the pit out myself. I had for until yesterday, when I visited again. I asked Pip if he could do it for me. The young colt agreed happily and had it out in… what did Rainbow Dash say? Ah yes! He had it out in ten seconds flat! I don’t think I’m far off saying that colt may have a future in the cherry popping business!”

“Sweet mother in heaven Luna, please, stop.” Celestia face-hoofed, shaking her head in disgrace of her sister’s lack of modern sexual phrases.

“What?” Luna protested. “What is it?”

Celestia held out the hoof that was she was not face-hoofing with in a stopping motion. “Luna please just… if you’re going to tell that story please do not use that phrase for it.”

“Why?” Luna asked.

“Just please… for me.” Celestia replied. Luna shrugged and nodded, showing her understanding.

With that awkward situation out of the way, Celestia turned to Cadence. The mare in question had finally assisted Shape Shift back up off the floor and was patting him off. Celestia could not help but smile at this show of affection for a Changeling. “So, Cadence, I see that you have been getting along well with your new Changeling friend.”

Cadence turned to her Aunt, smiling. “Yes, I suppose you could say that. Shape Shift has been very helpful for the past week.” Cadence turned to Chrysalis. “I’m so glad you lent him to me. Thank you… Chrysalis.”

Chrysalis, caught off guard by Cadence’s sudden kindness, smiled sheepishly. “Oh, think nothing of it. I want to show that I am no longer the monster that almost ruined your wedding. I’m willing to prove that in anyway.”

Cadence looked to the ground, losing her smile. “Yes, I’ve noticed that. Because of that I… I… I want to…” Cadence struggled with what to say next. The Alicorn gave up and walked up to Chrysalis. Cadence removed a small board from seemingly nowhere and threw it on the table. “I’m so sorry…”

Chrysalis and Celestia leaned to look at the board. On it, written in marker, was over five hundred plans to try and break up the loving royal couple. Celestia and Chrysalis’s mouths were agape. Luna looked unfazed, more or less wondering how the Changeling had fit five hundred plans on that tiny board. Chrysalis looked at Cadence. “What… What is this?”

Cadence didn’t meet her gaze. “I was planning on trying to break you and Celestia up… to try and show her how evil you are. But… but after having Shape Shift for a week, and thinking about what Celestia said, I’ve decided to abandon that madness.” Cadence sighed heavily. “I almost let anger and hatred guide my actions towards hurting both you and my aunt. But I just can’t do it. So… I want to apologize… for everything. Can you forgive me for how I acted?”

Chrysalis stood in shock. Entering Canterlot, the Changeling knew it would be tough and she, reasonably, was extremely scared of the reactions of Equestria’s inhabitants. Luna’s instant acceptance of her calmed her slightly but Cadence was still a heavily defining factor in her insecurities. Now though, Cadence said she accepted Chrysalis. Chrysalis smiled. “Cadence, I should be asking for your forgiveness, for my stupidity so long ago. I wronged you so terribly and… and it means the world to me that you forgive me.”

Cadence looked up, shocked. “Really? Then, umm… Friends?”

“Friends.” Chrysalis smiled. The two hugged it out.

“Awww… that’s nice.” Luna interjected.

Breaking the hug, Cadence smiled widely. “So, hey, I know you and Aunt Celestia are making appearances today after breakfast. I was wondering if I could join you, so we could talk more.”

Chrysalis looked to Celestia, who smiled happily. “Of course you can come, I’d… We’d be honored.”

“Indeed.” Celestia added. “And may I say I am overjoyed you have come to terms with this Cadence.”

Cadence nodded to her Aunt. “Yeah, well, you were right. We Alicorns live way to love to hold a grudge. Besides, I’m the Goddess of Love. It sort of breaks apart my mojo if I start hating other beings.”

The three mares looked between each other with happy and knowing faces (Luna was busy picking gunk from her hoof). Celestia got up from her seat and stretched. “Well, I believe that we all have had our full. Chrissie, dear, I think it’s time to show you to the ponies of Canterlot, so they may no longer fear you.”

The Changeling Queen smiled. “Of course Celli, let’s go.” Chrysalis stood up, turning to Cadence. “Shall we?”

Cadence smiled at her former nemesis. “Lead the way.”

The two went to the door and waited for Celestia to meet them. The Solar Goddess ensured she left nothing at the table then made her way to the door. As she passed Luna she nodded to her sister. “Luna, you’re in charge until we get back.”

“Yup.” The Nighttime Princess replied. Luna waited for the three to leave the room, then became very excited. “CAPTAIN!” She called. Instantly Lunar Guard Captain Fading Moonlight jumped from the shadows and saluted his Princess. Luna turned to him. “Go find Captain Valor’s Shield and tell him to gather his guards. While Celestia is away the guards will play. I’m thinking paintball this time.”

Fading Moonlight nodded and rushed off to find his solar counterpart, Valor’s Shield, whose name was mistaken for an actual shield more than you’d think. Luna sat back in her dining chair and smiled deviously. “Oh yeah, this is gonna be a good game day, I can feel it!”


Later that evening

Chrysalis and Cadence walked together down the darkened hall of Canterlot Castle. The two mares talked and laughed together. Finally, the found themselves at the front of Cadence’s room. The two turned to each other, face’s smiling wide.

“It’s been really fun today Cadence.” Chrysalis said, elated. “I’m glad we can out the past behind us.”

Cadence made a motion with her hoof. “Forget about it, it’s fine. I was just steamed by Celestia’s decision but I’ve cooled down and now I can see you for the good creature you are.”

Chrysalis sighed. “I wasn’t always like this…” The Changeling shock her head. “But that’s in the past! I have a new future now, a brighter one! Thank you Cadence. If you hadn’t stop me at the wedding… I’d hate to think where I’d be.”

“Probably still here.” Cadence replied. “Just not as pleasurable to be around.”

The two laughed together. Finally, Chrysalis came in and nuzzled Cadence in a sisterly way. Taken aback at first, Cadence soon accepted it and returned the nuzzle (after all, Chrysalis might be her Aunt-in-law soon) Chrysalis broke the contact. “Well, I’d better get back to Celestia. Good night Cadence.”

“Good night Chrysalis.” Replied Cadence. The pink Alicorn watched the Changeling leave and then went inside her own room for the night.


“Well? What did I tell you?”

“That she’d come around.”

“And she did.”

Chrysalis giggled like a filly as Celestia cuddled her and rubbed her soft snout on the Changeling’s neck. “Yeah she did.”

The two large mares, currently cuddling in the massive circular bed in Celestia’s personal bedchambers. Celestia went in for a full kiss with Chrysalis and the two enjoyed each other’s mouth for a moment before breaking off. “Cadence was the one pony that held the most hate for you. Now that she’s finally come around, we can turn your reputation into a good one my beautiful Chrissie.”

Chrysalis smiled at the idea. “Yeah, I’ll be glad once that’s finally done.”

“Me too.” Celestia replied. She suddenly took on a sultrier look. “But that’s for later, right now you and I have some business to attend to. After all, I’m pretty sure you left me… unsatisfied last night.”

Chrysalis laughed. “I believe I did didn’t I? Well, let’s hope you’re quieter this time.” Celestia gave the Queen a look, but none the less got ready for a night of passion.

Finally, things would be easy for her precious lover. Finally, this story of anger and hatred was at an end.



“It’s almost too easy.”

Cadence looked over the darkened city of Canterlot once more, a devious smile stretched across her face, illuminated by the beautiful city lights. “Now that that stupid bug thinks I’m on her side, she’ll be that much easier to manipulate and nopony will suspect me when things go downhill for her.” Cadence looked over to Shape Shift, who was already cataloguing Celestia’s plans to endear Chrysalis to the Equestrian populace (sneakily acquired from the unsuspecting Alicorn herself).

Cadence turned back to the city and walked out onto her balcony, cooing slightly and closing her eyes as the soft night air blew through her mane. The mare opened her eyes quick and smiled evilly. “Oh yes, now is when the true plan begins!”

Cadence’s maniacal laughter filled the air as she relished in the victory she was certain was now hers to achieve.


Shape Shift is Bad Spy

View Online

Celestia blew on her hot tea, cooling it. The Solar Goddess, making sure the liquid wasn’t going turn her mouth into a hot sauna, took a deep sip of the herbal drink. Bringing the teacup away from her mouth sighing happily, the mare looked to her right to her sister Luna, enjoying some soda.

“Really Luna? Soda? That stuff rots your teeth.”

Luna took a big sip of soda in defiance and looked at her sister. “Says you. Besides, I am quite certain everything can rot your mouth, given time. I’m a big mare Tia, I know how to moderate.”

“Could have fooled me.” Celestia replied drolly, swirling her tea around in her cup.

“I do too!” Luna shouted.

“Yes… just like that time in the Anderfels.”

“Hey! That’s not fair!” Luna crossed her fore legs, pouting slightly. “Griffon ale is designed to get you drunk! I only had like three…”

“Luna,” Celestia interjected. “You had over a hundred, if you were mortal, you’d be dead.”

Luna turned her head away from her sister, instead taking in the quaintly royal decorum of the relaxation room the two were, big shock, relaxing in. “You make it sound like I committed some crime…” The mare grouched.

Celestia’s eyes rolled. “No, I wouldn’t call it a crime… still, it took over two hundred years to get back on the Griffon nation’s good side.”

“Those feather heads take everything so personally.” Luna huffed some mane from her face.

“I think it’s safe to say their anger was quite warranted, considering.”

Luna turned quick to her sister and opened her mouth to speak but was interrupted by the room’s door loud opening, revealing Cadence and Chrysalis, clad in tennis shirts, skirts, and headbands.

“And that’s how Shining and I met.” Cadence said happily, recalling the day she was introduced to the stallion that would become her husband.

“That’s quite the story.” Giggled Chrysalis. “Has he ever lived it down?”

Cadence flashed a mischievous smiled. “I haven’t let him.” The two mares burst out into laughter.

Celestia smiled, her heart warmed by the newly formed friendship of her niece and lover. “It looks like you two had a good time at the tennis courts.” The Goddess observed.

“Oh, yeah.” Cadence replied. “Chrysalis is better at tennis than I thought she was. I believed I had an easy win…” Cadence suddenly gulped hard. “I was… wrong, apparently.” Her voice was tinted with some strained anger; the other mares ignored it.

“It was still pretty close though.” Chrysalis said. “I had a really great time Cadence.”

Cadence turned and smiled at Chrysalis. “Me too. Well, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go get a shower.”

“Of course, goodbye Cadence.” Celestia said, nodding as the pink Alicorn left, shutting the door behind herself.

As soon as the door shut, Chrysalis ran over to Celestia and nuzzled her happily. “Oh Celli! I’m so glad Cadence has stopped holding a grudge against me! We had the best time together!”

“I'm glad about it as well.” Celestia replied. “Now we just have to do the same with the rest of Equestria’s populace. Luckily, Fancy Pants’ party will help with that a great deal. Till then there isn’t much more we can do but…”

Luna suddenly popped between the two snuggling mares, causing both to jolt back in shock. The lunar mare had a determined look in her eye. “Untrue my dear sister! There is much more we can do!”

“What?” Celestia blinked. “What else can we do?”

Luna’s horn sparked as a pair of sunglasses appeared. The mare twirled the glasses in her hoof before suavely throwing them over her eyes. The mare’s confident grin was enough to make the hopeless feel unshakable faith. “Hit the town of course! Have a mare’s day out! A field trip! Whatever the hell you wanna call it! All I know is that it means going out and partying and I’m all for that!”

“SAY WHA-?!” Celestia shouted as her mouth dropped to the floor.

Luna grinned at her solar counterpart. “It’s the only way to endear her to the common pony! They’re all afraid of her rough buggy exterior? Well then let’s disguise her, have her party with the populous, and then we can drop the guise and all the ponies will see how kickass she is! And as I already said, I want to go out too!” Luna nodded at her brilliant plan, sure of it’s foolproof awesomeness.

Celestia’s eye twitched at her younger sister. It angered her to admit it… but the plan was sound. Celestia bit her lower lip, jealously tainting her mood. Luna was a fast learner, and once she learned the basics of society she had adjusted so well that her prowess in such matters surpassed her older sister. Celestia would never admit it though. “Luna, I don’t think…”

“I think it’s an excellent idea.”

Celestia looked to Chrysalis, the Changeling smiling widely. “Chrissie, don’t you think that such things are rushing it?”

Chrysalis shook her head. “I don’t plan to do all of Luna’s idea in one day but I can at least learn about Equestrian society.”


Chrysalis looked at the white Alicorn sternly. “Celli…”

Celestia bit her lower lip again. She decided to concede. “Oh… very well, if that’s what you want. You and Luna can go out today and enjoy Canterlot.”

Luna pumped her fore leg in victory. “Yes! Alright Chrysalis, let’s go!” Luna grabbed her Changeling acquaintance and pulled her close. The Nighttime Princess looked at Celestia one more time and gave her a half closed eyes of disappointment stare. “You stay here and continue being a stick in the mud.”

Celestia snorted. “You mean actually lead the kingdom?”

“Yeah that.” With that, Luna dashed out of the room, Chrysalis in arm. Celestia watched the two leave and rolled her eyes, returning to her tea.

Outside in the hallway, Shape Shift stood by the open door staring at the floor. The Changeling got out his little board and scribbled on it. He showed his finished work to the floor: I TOLD YOU THAT YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE STOOD THAT CLOSE TO THE DOOR.

The floor responded by wrapping the board in blue magic and hitting Shape Shift over the head with it. “Shut up.” Cadence grumbled as she got up, rubbing her nose after being bashed with the door. Deciding her snout was unharmed; the mare suddenly took on a dark look, smiling evilly. “But this is good. Shape Shift, you follow Luna and Chrysalis and make their day out a disaster. We’ll rub Chrysalis the wrong way so hard…”


Cadence slapped the Changeling with his board again. “We’ll rub her the wrong way so hard she’ll freak out right in the middle of Canterlot. The ponies will flee in panic and make it that much harder for Equestria to accept her. Now, Shape Shift, Go!”




“Because shut up.” Cadence replied.

Shape Shift’s eyed rolled but the Changeling nonetheless buzzed away after Luna and his Queen.


Canterlot Market

“I have to say Luna, that is quite the disguise.”

“Thanks, I pride myself on being able to deceive ponies.”

“Oh… really?”


Chrysalis cocked an eyebrow at her white furred companion. Luna had, before leaving the castle, used a disguising spell that had hidden her wings, turned her coat white, made her mane pink and material, and made her eyes a magenta color. Chrysalis had taken on the guise of a light grey unicorn mare, changing her hair to match that of ponies but changing nothing else (though she did remove her fangs out of cautionary advice from Luna).

“You… look a lot like Celestia.” Chrysalis replied.

“That’s what I was going for.” Luna said happily. “Minus the wings, this is how she looked a thousand years ago, only younger and not as big.” Luna cocked her head in thought. “She has yet to tell me how her mane went from pink to the multicolor it is now. Every time I ask she tells me not to worry about it.” Luna shrugged.

“Maybe I can get an answer from her.” Chrysalis giggled. “So, what should we do first?”

“SHOPPING!” Luna sing-sang, rushing over to the main market plaza and diving towards the nearest store that struck her fancy.

Chrysalis followed behind, taking time to enjoy the majesty of Canterlot’s largest economic center. Trailing Luna, Chrysalis finally discovered the shop her companion had bolted to: a small greyish building with a dirt brown roof. Trotting inside, Chrysalis looked around at the many selves, packed with an odd assortment of objects. Chrysalis spotted Luna halfway in the store, her head stuffed (yes, stuffed) in a pile of old looking items. “I was unaware you were into shopping Luna.” The Changeling admitted, walking up to the Princess while shifting her head about.

“I’m not.” Luna replied happily. “I do however love finding old items from the past, mostly from after I went psycho crazy to now. I love it! I’m always surprised at what Celestia’s little ponies can build.” Luna smiled wide as she picked up a music box, flipping it open and giggling at the mechanical tune that came out and the dancing ponies inside.

Chrysalis cocked an eyebrow. “Celestia’s little ponies? Can’t they be yours as…?” The Changeling stopped herself as she thought about it. That issue was for an entirely different, probably more depressing, fan fiction altogether.

“You say something?” Luna asked as she snapped the box shut and gently placed it back in the pile.

“Nope.” Chrysalis replied, pulling her mouth in on itself.

Luna cocked an eyebrow, but returned quickly to her happy mood. “Ok then. Well come on! I only wanted to check this place out, now we shop for you! If you’re going to be Equestrian royalty you have got to have fine clothing.” Luna crossed her fore legs and grumbled. “That’s what Tia tells me anyway. Sometimes I really don’t get ponies in this day and age. In my time we wore ceremonial armor that was stylish and practical. Nowadays an assassin can just run right up and jab you in the chest and you’re pushing up daisies. It befuddles me.”

Chrysalis giggled. “I bet. Luckily for Changelings, our outward exoskeletons protect us from such things.”

“Lucky.” Luna grouched. “Still, if there’s anyway to make ponies feel comfortable around you it’s respecting cultural standards. Let’s get you a dress! Also some bedroom clothes.”

Chrysalis cocked an eyebrow. “Bedroom clothes? But most species sleep naked… heck, most usually are naked all the time.”

Luna took on a sultry look. “Bedroom clothes.” She said again in quite the seductive way.

“Oh…” Chrysalis replied.

The mares made their way out of the little shop and headed down the main road of the market district, looking for a fancy clothing store. Unbeknownst to the innocent two, a pale yellow pony trotted several meters behind them, watching their every move. Shape Shift had reservations about being out in Canterlot without his charge but he tried to stay strong. FOR MISTRESS CADENCE! He wrote out in his head (yes, wrote). The Changeling stealthily followed his royal prey.

“How about here?”

Luna looked at the store, eyeing it critically despite not knowing a thing about fashion (she was simply naturally fabulous). “Yeah, this’ll work. And if not, I’ll sell them out as traitors and destroy their lives.” Luna rubbed her hooves together in an evil genius like manner.

Chrysalis rolled her eyes. “Ha ha ha, very funny Luna.”

“Who’s joking?” Luna asked innocently.

Chrysalis’s eyes widened and she brought her head back in shock. Luna continued to smile at the Changeling. Deciding that talking about it would be a fundamentally bad idea; Chrysalis motioned to the store with her hoof and smiled nervously. Luna nodded in understanding and the two went inside.

Shape Shift grinned deviously in an adorable way. It would be child’s play to expose Chrysalis in the store and with most of the patrons being the wealthy, pee their pants at the first sign of danger kind of ponies, they would be easily frightened by a Changeling’s sudden appearance. Shape Shift started towards the door and opening it wide, readied for the chaos he was to bring.

Shape Shift rushed inside the store, formulating his plans for forcing Chrysalis to drop her guise and scaring the ponies in the store, and there were many. Alright, it was time for the Changeling to make his…


The Changeling did as he was told, so obedient. Turning, the disguised Changeling’s face was meet with a light powdery blue face, covered mostly by huge dark purple glasses with large frames. The Changeling cocked an eyebrow at the strange looking mare in front of him.

“Ugh! Look at zis!” Photo Finish stuck out her tongue in disgust, while motioning to Shape Shift. “Zis poor pony! Going around naked and lost from ze greatness of fashion! Take note!” Several ponies, some mares and some flamboyant looking males, look notes on some notepads. “Now you shall learn a good trait you must have for zis job: generosity!” The fashionista clapped her hooves together and two mares appeared behind Shape Shift and started pulling the Changeling towards the back of the store. “Now we shall take this poor pony and work ZE MAGIKS! All free of charge! It iz only ze right thing to do! True beauty, true fashion! It has no price!”

Shape Shift tried to argue against this turn of events (you can guess how well that went). The Changeling looked back once and saw his targets mulling over a very decorative skirt, before the fashionista and her assistants dragged him to Photo’s personal studio.


One Amazingly Fabulous Makeover Later...

Shape Shift huffed heavily, walking out of the fancy apparel store. To his credit, the Changeling looked extremely dapper. Now bearing a fashionable black suit that complimented his form’s now neatly trimmed and cared for black mane nicely. The makeover had taken over two hours but the results were quite nice. In that time, however, Shape Shift’s targets had left the store and continued shopping. The Changeling ran into an alleyway, sprouted pegasus wings, and took flight. Flying for all of five minutes, Shape Shift spotted Luna and Chrysalis (it wasn’t hard; they were about two heads taller than all the other ponies. Landing in another alleyway, Shape Shift grunted as he morphed his wings back into his body. The Changeling walked back into the street and trailed his targets yet again.

The two mares, for their part, seemed unalerted to the Changeling’s presence. They were standing outside of an ice cream parlor. Luna smiled at Chrysalis. “Cadence has told me that this ice cream store was one of the best in Canterlot.”

“I’ve never had ice cream.” Chrysalis replied.

“Never has there been a better time!” Luna remarked happily, walking inside. Chrysalis nodded to herself and Luna’s logic and went inside as well.

The parlor was like most, sterile white walls and ceilings with a black and white checkered floor and old timey red booths. The mares went up the counter and waited until a yellow stallion came to take their orders.

“Strawberry please.” Luna said.

“Umm… Vanilla?” Chrysalis said, her lack of knowledge about ice cream causing her sentence to come out like a question.

The counter attendant nodded happily, taking the required bits and leaving to get the mare’s frozen treats. The stallion smiled evilly as he got a tub of vanilla ice cream and poured a pink liquid into it. Shape Shift chuckled at his good plan: the liquid was a laxative, Chrysalis would need a bathroom quick or things would get messy. In doing so, she’d probably drop her disguise by accident, scaring all the ponies in the parlor. Shape Shift would then take a picture and send it to a tabloid, the likes of which would certainly bloat the story and give all the wrong information. Adding the last of the liquid into the tub, the Changeling turned to get the strawberry ice cream. He didn’t notice when another parlor worker grabbed the tub, sealed it, and took it outside, handing it off to the awaiting royal delivery mare. Coming back inside, the stallion made sure to replace the tub for Shape Shift.

Luna and Chrysalis smiled as their ice cream was finally brought for them. The mares sat in a booth and enjoyed their frozen treats. Shape Shift watched eagerly, waiting for the moment Chrysalis would go wide-eyed and Shape Shift’s plan would come together. As you can imagine, the Changeling’s jaw dropped as the mares ate their food and then got up and left without incident. Undeterred, Shape Shift left the store as well and continued his stalking (the fact he could just leave his ‘workplace’ like that answered a lot of questions about Equestrian economics… and yet only brought about more).

Shape Shift saw the mares turn into another store. This time the Changeling would complete his task. This time he would…


Shape Shift spun around to see a gruff looking stallion giving him a dark glare. The Changeling shifted his eyes about; trying to locate another pony the stallion could be referring to. When he was unable to spot one, Shape Shift brought his hoof to his chest and mouthed ‘me’, cocking an eyebrow as he did so.

“Yeah you.” The brown furred, black maned mass of muscle before the Changeling growled. “I’ve been watching you and I’ve seen you eyeing those mares ever since they came to the market district. I don’t like that.” The stallion took his hooves to his mouth and used them to whistle. Another six other gruff, scary looking stallions appeared from out of nowhere. They all looked like they could break Shape Shift into a million pieces or more. The Changeling wilted and turned his ears back in fear.

The seven stallions formed a semi-circle around Shape Shift. The original stepped forward and punched his hooves together. “Yeah, this is a good city, full of good ponies and whatnot. We ain’t gonna allow some random ne’er-do-well disturb the great peace of Canterlot.” All the stallions took a step towards Shape Shift. “We don’t appreciate criminals like you chasing mares and trying to have your way with ‘em. Prepare for a pounding of the non-sexual kind.” Shape Shift cocked an eyebrow at the odd specification. “If you’re wondering why I would add that, well, my wife believes I should be clearer with my explanations of how we plan on dealing with ponies like you ever since that one time. She right of course, she’s got a PhD in being smart.”

Shape Shift didn’t want to anger the stallion more by telling there is no such PhD or that the fact the stallion was stalking him because he was stalking two mares was a bit oxymoronic… he thought, Shape Shift didn’t know what oxymoron meant but it sounded cool. Shape Shift smiled nervously at the seven stallions and bolted, forgetting about his orders and running for his little life.

“Stop criminal scum!” The stallions rushed after Shape Shift, chasing after the Changeling down the main street of the market district.


After One Seriously Fabulous Shopping Trip...

“Looks like you too had a good time.” Celestia commented, looking at the two mares in front of her with bags of objects both large and small swung behind their backs.

“Oh yes, it was quite fun.” Chrysalis replied, back to her normal Changeling image.

“Yeah.” Said the once again Alicorn Luna, smiling. “We got Chrysalis clothes, we saw the sights, and got lunch and we were almost mugged by some griffons.”

“They hadn’t expected Luna to be the one they were jumping.” Chrysalis added. “Needless to say it was… not pretty.”

“Blood, death, and griffon chunks everywhere!” Luna cheered, throwing her hooves in the air.

“Sounds… messy.” Celestia remarked.

“It was…” Luna replied, smiling in a happily evil manner.

“Sister… your psycho is showing.”

Luna stopped her grinning and blinked. “Oh… sorry.” Luna turned to Chrysalis. “It was fun Chrysalis. We should do it again sometime. This time without our little stalker.”

Chrysalis laughed. “Indeed. Poor Shape Shift, Cadence must have given him the day off and he had no clue what to do with himself. Still, was asking those stallions to chase him off really necessary?”

“He’ll never learn otherwise.” Luna replied. “Well, I have to go and get some things done for Night Court. Sister, Chrysalis.” The two mentioned mares nodded and turned to talk to each other. Luna went for the throne room door. Opening it with magic she saw Shape Shift standing behind it. “Hello Shape Shift.” Luna said as she patted him on the head as she passed.

The Changeling stood there for a few minutes, unsure of how to respond to what had transpired. That’s when Cadence appeared, covered in bruises, cuts, and a nice black eye. The beaten pink Alicorn plopped right next to her servant. “I suppose that your little mission didn’t go well.” She grumbled, tilting her head towards him.

WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU? Shape Shift asked via his little marker board.

“I don’t want to talk about it.” Cadence replied.




“I will ground pound you.”


Cadence shot a glare at the Changeling, who responded by starting to scribble something on his board.

BOW CHICKA… WHACK!!! Shape Shift fell to the ground as Cadence took the board and hit his head with it.

While Shape Shift is Away...

View Online




“Because shut up.” Cadence replied.

Shape Shift’s eyes rolled but the Changeling nonetheless buzzed away after Luna and his Queen.

Cadence watched her Changeling servant leave and turned down the opposite hallway. With Chrysalis out of the castle there wasn’t much Cadence could do, so she would wash up and plan some more. Passing through the many corridors of the castle, Cadence finally found her way to her personal chambers. The pink Alicorn cocked her eyebrow at the royal guard next to her door. Cadence wasn’t used to guards taking any notice to her, Celestia and Luna were much more important.

Walking up the guard, who promptly saluted, Cadence smiled at the stallion. “Hello guardspony, is something wrong? Guards usually don’t sit outside my door.”

The brown-coated guard dropped his salute and bowed slightly before speaking. “Sorry ma’am, Princess Celestia’s orders… or wait, would it be Lady Chrysalis’s orders? Anyway, Chrysalis told Celestia how the Changelings infiltrated the castle before your wedding. We are relocating guards accordingly.”

“Oh,” Cadence replied dryly. “Very well. If my Aunt thinks it is best, I won’t object.” Cadence nodded to the guard and moved into her personal quarters. Once she shut the door the Alicorn of love took on a dark look. “Now Celestia’s letting that bug direct our guards?! In the name of the Maker, what the hell?!”

Cadence used her magic to remove her tennis clothing and placed them in a hamper. The Alicorn made for the bathroom. “Next thing you know she’s going to replace Valor’s Shield as guard captain.” The mare snorted at her joke of a statement, yeah like that ever happen.

Stepping into her royal shower (which is totally different from a normal shower… somehow), Cadence turned the knobs and the shower’s enchantments came online. Water flowed from the showerhead and soaked the royal mare. Cadence sighed in relief as the stress of exercise seemed to lift from her instantly. The Alicorn’s magic took hold of her shampoo and squirted into her mane. Using her hooves to lather the shampoo, Cadence suddenly snorted angrily as her thoughts returned to Chrysalis.

“Stupid bug… trying to take my Aunt and do Maker knows what to her. Probably wants to use her as some sickening brood mother and make a bunch of mutant Pony-Changelings.” Cadence, satisfied the shampoo was sudsy enough, dipped her head under the shower’s nozzle and washed the shampoo bubbles out. She then grabbed her coat shampoo (why she needed two different shampoo’s for such things is beyond this author, but I’m not a equine expert so such confusion is understandable). Cadence made sure to cover every nook and cranny with coat shampoo, and I mean every nook and/or cranny… take that as you will.

As the mare stood under the spray of water and got the shampoo out of her coat an idea came to mind. It had occurred to Cadence that if Chrysalis were in fact out to commit some evil plot, she’d probably keep a journal or have some type of way to keep notes. Normally, one would think that was stupid, but Cadence believed that most villains Equestria had faced lately were rather idiotic in some aspect. Cadence knew now that she’d just have to find that journal or whatever Chrysalis had and show it to Celestia and it would prove Chrysalis’s evil. Cadence even entertained the thought of faking a journal but Celestia would tell it was a fake and ignore it. Cadence gritted her teeth at that knowledge as she turned off the shower and readied to step out.

Now, dear reader, take notes. Prepare to learn a great moral lesson: why you should never hold anger against your Aunt’s pony-bug lover whilst stepping out of your shower soaking wet. So enraged about Celestia’s trust of Chrysalis was Cadence that she forgot to properly dry her hooves off before stepping out of the shower. The Alicorn took one step onto the marble floor of her bathroom and…


Cadence slipped almost instantly, sending her falling into the bathroom’s toilet. The mare’s head slammed into the porcelain throne, punching her right in the eye. Jolting back in pain and holding her eye, Cadence once again slipped, sending her back first into the ground. The mare grunted as she collided with the floor, the wind knocked out of her. Cadence rolled around slightly in pain, holding her eye but feeling pain everywhere. She would remain there for almost five whole minutes.

Getting up weakly, Cadence looked into the mirror positioned above her sink. The Alicorn of Love had quite the nice shiner of a left eye. The mare groaned in pain. Regardless of this annoyance, she would continue with her plan of finding anything that could incriminate Chrysalis. Cleaning herself up as best she could (leaving the black eye untampered with as trying to cover it only lead to the mare looking ridiculous), Cadence departed from her bathroom and out the door of her personal chambers.

“Hello Princess… WHOA! Princess Cadence! What happened to your eye?!” The guard at Cadence’s door looked fearfully at her. “Do you require me to fetch medical aid?”

“No, no. I’m fine.” Cadence said reassuringly. “Everything’s fine, I was just attacked by a toilet, but everything’s okay now.” Cadence walked off, leaving a very confused guard.


Cadence snuck along the hallways of the castle (actually she just walked but snuck sounds better). The mare’s destination was her Aunt Celestia’s room. She would raid Chrysalis’s personal effects and find anything incriminating.

It was easy enough to get in, she was a Princess, it’s not like they could tell her she couldn’t go in unless Celestia gave them specific orders (which she hadn’t). Walking into the royal bedchambers of her beloved aunt, Cadence looked around. Celestia’s room was magnificent, adorned in royal white and gold and Sol symbols everywhere… on everything.

“Geez…” Cadence said. “I think my Aunt has a sun fetish. I mean I know she’s the Alicorn of the Sun but the amount of sun symbols in this room is a little absurd. You don’t see me putting hearts on everything I own.” Cadence giggled. “Well, I do put heart-shaped hickies on Shining every time I get but that’s totally normal.” Cadence shook her head. “Alright, enough talking about when I make furious sexual intercourse with my husband. Must. Find. Evidence!”

The mare looked around. As far as she could tell, everything belonged to Celestia. There was nothing even remotely resembling something a Changeling would own. Moving to the bed, Cadence could sense the magical enchantment that had been placed upon it to make it grow larger to accommodate its new second occupant. Looking at the end table, Cadence saw a small journal. The mare used her magic to bring it to herself and opened it, reading a random entry.

…Luna’s getting anxious, she hates being cooped up in the castle. What’s worse is she has no social skills that are acceptable in this era. Honestly though, last estrous I caught her walking up to a maid and telling her to bend over! Maker, give me strength. She treats many ponies as minions and not the equal subjects they are.

Nightmare Night is coming up soon and she seems to be curious about it. This is the cure I need! I plan to explain the holiday to her and then, subtly, encourage her to go to Ponyville for the holiday so she can connect with the populace. I have an abundance of hope that my faithful student can show her the ways of friendship of this day and age. I thank the Maker for Twilight; I would not have my sister again if not for her. I am positive that if anypony can change my sister, it’s her.

Cadence shut the book; certain that it wasn’t the one she was after. Placing it back on the end table, Cadence looked around for any other object that could incriminate the termite infecting her home.

As if fate was on her side, and the mare certainly thought it was, Cadence saw a suitcase that wasn’t Celestia’s (no suns anywhere on it). Walking over to the rectangular container of personal objects, Cadence used her magic to open the suitcase and…


“Checkmate… again…”

Celestia had a disgruntled look on her face as she glared at the chessboard in front of her. The royal Alicorn was not used to losing at chess, it was the one game that she could honestly call herself a champion in. Still, the inability to move her King out of harm’s way from the opposing pieces meant that she was had to admit defeat.

The mare sighed heavily. “Ugh, I regret ever teaching you to play chess…” She said glumly to her chess companion.

Philomena the Phoenix cocked her head slightly at her sighing master. The magical bird had become quite good at playing the game her owner loved so much and it made the avian happy to know she could do something relaxing with Celestia, though the Alicorn didn’t look so relaxed right now.

“How you can beat me in six turns using only pawns will never cease to befuddle me…” Celestia remarked, her left eyebrow twitching angrily. The princess swallowed her pride and smiled at the Phoenix. “Oh well, good game as always Philomena. It’s good to see that you’re getting…”


Philomena’s head shot up and she looked towards the epicenter of the blast, her senses shifting to high alert. Her head bobbed left and right like a machine or puppet, trying to figure out what was happening.

“Another game?”

Philomena cocked her head towards her owner, who was staring at her with eyes half closed and a coy smile on her face. Philomena looked at Celestia with concerned look, as if she was crazy.

Celestia waved a hoof at Philomena. “Oh, please. Ever since Luna got back I’m quite accustomed to stuff randomly exploding. I just hope it was nothing too serious. So, another game?”


Smoke billowed from Celestia’s room. Her room’s side balcony was engulfed in black smoke. As for Cadence, she was flying through the air at moderate speeds. The mare’s coat and mane were blackened in several places and she had an angry look of disappointment.

“I don’t know no what to feel right now.” She said, crossing her fore legs. “Should I be mad at my aunt for booby trapping her room or laud her for such clever thinking?” Cadence thought back to mere moments ago, when she opened the suitcase and her aunt’s voice filled the room saying ‘Gotcha’! Cadence knew it was Celestia’s booby trap because of the fact she had been blast away with solar magic, something Chrysalis did not have access to. It was, unfortunately, something she could not blame on her nemesis. “Oh well.” Cadence finally remarked. “Better start flying before I land on the ground and hurt my… OOF!!”

Cadence, in her time of contemplation, had failed to realize she was hurtling towards a wall. The Alicorn impacted hard, leaving a sizable dent as well as severely cracking the pristine white surface. Pulling her head from the Alicorn shaped indentation, Cadence sighed heavily as her pupils spun and little Changelings of confusion buzzed around her head. “Ow… that hurt. I suppose I probably should have steadied myself before actually thinking about what happened.” Cadence began to pull her limbs from the hole. “Well, at least it can’t get any…”


Cadence’s eyes widened as she felt her piece of the wall breaking apart from the main structure. The mare whimpered. “Oh this isn’t going to be good…” Looking down, Cadence saw that she was right above the Castle’s rose garden. “And that’s going to hurt.”

The wall finally gave way and Cadence found herself plummeting into a very large rose bush. The wail of pain she let out was enough to catch even Celestia’s attention, enwrapped in her chess and mostly oblivious to the world. Despite catching her attention, it would take Philomena plucking at her hair to finally move the Alicorn to see what the problem was.


Five Hours Later

“So, mind telling me what you were doing a rose bush Cadence? Or should I ask why you were snooping around my room?”

Cadence looked up at her aunt scratched, bruised, and wide-eyed. It had taken four hours to remove the Alicorn from her position in the rose gardens (It wouldn’t have taken so long if they had just cut or magiced their way through but the royal gardeners would have none of it. They had worked too hard on those rose bushes to have them cut to ribbons or infected with foreign magic). The pink Alicorn sighed and looked away from her aunt, thinking.

“Well?” Celestia asked, tapping her hoof in an annoyed manner. “Why did you go into my private quarters Cadence? Don’t act as if I can not deduce such things, I’ve lived long enough to pick up on certain things.”

Clearly not all things… Cadence pondered as she looked back to her aunt, a sad expression on her face. “I’m sorry Aunt Celestia, I was trying to find something.”

“And what was that?” Celestia inquired.

“I, uh, lent something to Chrysalis and I needed it back today but she’s not here and I didn’t want to disturb you.” Cadence lied, it was actually quite easy, considering. “I saw the suitcase and reasoned that since it wasn’t yours it would be Chrysalis’s. I opened it to see if she had put the thing I lent her in there and it turned out to be a bomb…”

Celestia cocked at eyebrow at her niece. The fact she had not, in her explanation, told Celestia what the object she had lent Chrysalis was threw up several warning signs. The white Alicorn reasoned, however, that if Cadence was unwilling to talk about it and Chrysalis had not asked Celestia for the item it must have been something personal and private. Taking this as an explanation, Celestia did not inquire about the item and simply sighed. “I understand Cadence, but please, next time call me and ask for help and do not go sniffing around a Goddess’s bedroom like that. You’re just lucky it wasn’t Luna’s room.” The Alicorn shivered, a terrible memory rushing back to her. “Anyway, I’m returning to the throne room now, if you need anything don’t hesitate to ask.” With that, the Princess turned and left Cadence with her thoughts.

Alright, scratch finding incriminating evidence off the list of how to defeat Chrysalis in Celestia's room, too dangerous. Cadence sighed and got up. Shaking herself free of any remaining rose bush debris, the royal mare decided to go to the Castle’s post office, she was expecting a delivery today and now was as good a time as any to retrieve it.


Luna went for the throne room door, her shopping trip done and her presence in the Lunar Guard barracks required. Opening the throne room doors with magic she saw Shape Shift standing behind it. “Hello Shape Shift.” Luna said as she patted him on the head as she passed.

The Changeling stood there for a few minutes, unsure of how to respond to what had transpired. That’s when Cadence appeared, covered in bruises, cuts, and a nice black eye. The beaten pink Alicorn plopped right next to her servant. “I suppose that your little mission didn’t go well.” She grumbled, tilting her head towards him.

WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU? Shape Shift asked via his little marker board.

“I don’t want to talk about it.” Cadence replied.




“I will ground pound you.”


Cadence shot a glare at the Changeling, who responded by starting to scribble something on his board.

BOW CHICKA… WHACK!!! Shape Shift fell to the ground as Cadence took the board and hit his head with it.

“You’re an idiot.” She told the Changeling as he marveled at the stars around his head. Cadence sighed once more and then ignited her horn. “Well, this day might have been a bust, but at least I have comfort food.” The mare brought the ice cream tub out from seemingly nowhere with her magic. The pink Alicorn hugged the frozen treat from her favorite ice cream parlor. “Oh vanilla ice cream, you’re the only thing I can rely on right now.” With that said (And Shape Shift whimpering over being called less reliable then ice cream), Cadence popped the lid and took a scoop of ice cream in her magic. “Come to momma!”

It was then that Shape Shift recognized the tub of ice cream. Instead of trying to stop it, however, the Changeling simply allowed what was about to transpire to transpire (Karma’s a bitch like that).

Cadence smiled once more and plopped the chuck of ice cream into her mouth and happily gulped it down. Her eyes instantly widened.


Throne room of the Crystal Palace, Crystal Empire

“The line of succession is clear Prince Regent. You must produce an heir as soon as possible.”

Shining Armor cocked an eyebrow at the Crystal Pony Magistrate, Valued Traditions. “Right… you do know that Cadence is an Alicorn right? She’s gonna live forever or close to it, so there’s no rush to make foals yet.”

The magenta mare Valued Traditions huffed at her Prince Regent. “True, Prince Regent Armor, but you are not so immortal. Princess Cadenza cannot always be in the Crystal Empire and you will not last forever, so we need an appropriate amount of heirs to ensure we always have a legitimate ruler upon the throne, lest we have another travesty as ex-Lord Regent Sombra.”

Shining rolled his eyes. “Alright fine, how many heirs is an ‘appropriate’ amount?”

“At least seven.” Valued said rather matter-of-factly.

“WHAT?!” Shining yelled. “I need seven heirs to secure the throne?!”

“It is tradition, Prince Regent, that the Crystal Empire’s leaders have many foals.” Valued stated. “But to correct your statement: I do not mean you have to have exactly seven heirs.” Shining sighed in relief. “I mean that you and Cadence must procreate successfully at least seven times. That does not mean that one of those seven couldn’t be twins or even triplets.” Valued smiled at her knowledge of the Crystal Empire’s traditional way of ruling. “And that is why… um, Prince Armor? Are you alright? Why are you on the floor?”

Shining Armor twitched savagely on the floor, unsure how to proceed. The stallion groaned. “This is… I can’t even think right now. Off topic, I can totally sense that Cadence has just gotten a bad case of diarrhea… but it doesn’t matter…” The stallion covered his face. “It’s gonna be child’s play when compared to keeping up with this tradition!”

This Chapter Holds No Overall Plot Relevance

View Online

“I still can’t believe it, it just sounds so absurd. I mean really, Princess Celestia dating the Changeling Queen? It just sounds like one of Rainbow’s terrible fan fictions about Daring Do.”

“Hey!” Rainbow Dash shouted at her fashionista friend, hovering above her slightly.

Rarity looked at Rainbow Dash with a semi-confused stare. “What Rainbow? I meant nothing by it. You’re writings are rather good, if lacking proper grammar and spell checking. Still, not everypony can be as skill at writing as Fluttershy.”

Rainbow pouted and looked away. “Yeah, whatever.” Rarity was the Element of Generosity, and she was generous with many things, cold hard truth being one of them.

Fluttershy, walking close by Rarity, hid her face away from Rarity’s compliment. “Oh, well… I wouldn’t call my writings that good. I mean… I can’t write adventure as well as Rainbow can.”

“Not everything has to have explosions or epic battles or be heart-pounding to be good Fluttershy.” Rarity said reassuringly to her shy friend. “Though I bet Rainbow Dash would say otherwise…”

Rainbow shrugged in midair. “Meh, whatever floats your boat. After all, I’m still your friend even after I found all those dirty magazines under your bed about…” Rainbow never finished her sentence. Rarity’s blue magic wrapped itself around Rainbow’s mouth and closed it shut.

Rarity pulled Rainbow from her hovering position until both mares were eye to eye. The white unicorn gave the cyan pegasus a look of pure death. “We agreed to never speak of that ever again, correct?”

Rainbow’s frightened face spoke volumes of the pain that would befall her if she dared to speak. The pegasus gulped. “Yeah… we did, didn’t we?” Using her hoof, the mare made a zipping motion over her mouth, smiling nervously.

Rarity nodded, triumphant in her cover up attempts. Fluttershy cocked an eyebrow at the two while giving a frightened expression. “Umm… I don’t want to be rude but shouldn’t we keep going? We told Twilight that we would be at her house as soon as possible.”

“Indeed, you are quite right Fluttershy dear.” Rarity replied, flipping her hair back (It returned almost instantly to its previous position so it really did nothing). “Let’s us hurry up and get to Twilight’s before the poor thing has a panic attack over why we were late.”

“Then lets stop gabbing and get going!” Rainbow shouted, bolting off in the direction of the Ponyville Library, a rainbow streak left in her wake.

The other two mares promptly followed.



“Alright, alright, calm down, I’m coming.”

Spike the dragon opened the door of the Ponyville Library and looked out to see who it was. The poor thing almost fainted at the sight of Rarity standing before him. Luckily for the dragon, he had been bettering his constitution over the past few weeks and now had the strength to resist the urge to fall head over heels for the lovely mare in front of him (though that didn’t stop his tongue from lolling out at the sight of her… so damn sexy!).

“Hello Spike.” Rarity said, smiling happily at the purple reptile. “Twilight called us over to show us some new magic she’s been working on. Can we come in?”

“You can do whatever you want…” Spike replied in stupor-like manner.

Rarity cocked an eyebrow at the dragon. “Uh… Spike? Are you… ok?”

“Yeah…” Spike said dreamily. It wasn’t until Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash poked their head out from behind Rarity that the dragon came back to his senses. “Oh, right! Come in, come in!”

The trio of ponies walked into the large tree house library. The library was, as always, the same. Books lined all the walls of the main atrium with the large circular table in the center with the horse head on top. Spike shut the door and left for the stairs, his current chores residing on the tree house's second floor.

Twilight was, as usual, reading over a spell book and taking notes as she did. Unlike normal, however, the mare actually took notice of her friends coming into the library. Turning and packing the book away, the unicorn smiled widely. “Hello girls. Glad you could come to watch me try some new magic.”

Fluttershy shied away for a moment, covering her face with her mane. “Oh, we would never miss something you asked us to come to Twilight.”

“Unless a new Daring Do book came out…” Rainbow commented.

Rarity promptly elbowed her in the chest. “Rainbow is, of course, kidding. We’d never miss anything of yours Twilight dear.”

Twilight smiled. “Thanks girls, I can think of no better friends then you. It’s too bad the others couldn’t come.”

Rainbow shrugged. “Well, Applejack’s gotta get all the trees from her southern orchid bucked if they want to miss the storm tomorrow.”

Rarity’s eyes rolled. “And Maker only knows where Pinkie Pie is…”

Rainbow Dash, who was looking to see if any new Daring Do books had arrived at the library, turned to Rarity, shaking her head. “Knowing Pinkie Pie she’s probably helping the Cakes deliver their treats everywhere.” Rainbow turned back to her book search.

Rarity sighed. “True enough. She is quite devoted to them; you’d think she was their daughter.” Rarity turned to Twilight. “So Twilight, what sort of magic have you been working on?”

Twilight, who had been quietly watching the conversation between her two friends, smiled at Rarity’s question and motioned Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and Rarity to come closer. “Alright, I think I’ve been able to improve on some already existing magic, real powerful too!”

“Really?” Rarity asked, cocking an eyebrow. “And what magic is that?”

Twilight smiled widely and turned to the kitchen, whistling with one of her hooves (how that is possible is beyond explanation). The shuffling of movement could be heard from the kitchen as something made its way to the main library room. Much to the surprise of Rarity and Rainbow Dash (and the delight of Fluttershy), Discord, God of Chaos, Bringer of Disharmony, and the greatest foosball player ever, stepped through the entrance to Twilight’s kitchen.

The Draconequus had a distraught look on his face. “Twilight, you seem to be out of clam shells. How am I to make a sandwich without the improper ingredients? Ugh, this house is so orderly it’s sickening. I much prefer Fluttershy’s cottage, more my tastes.” The chaotic creature finally noticed the extra visitors. “Oh, hello girls. What are you doing here?”

Rainbow Dash and Rarity took defensive stances. “I don’t know Discord.” Rainbow said, her voice full of venom. “What are you doing here?”

“Helping Twilight of course.” Discord responded. He turned to the unicorn. “Speaking of which, when can I leave Twilight? My chaos shift has already started and I want to cause some chaos, it’s my thing.”

Twilight waved the Draconequus off. “Soon, soon. Just let me show the others the improved spell.” Discord rolled his eyes but nodded his head, motioning Twilight to proceed. Twilight smiled and turned to her friends. “Alright girls, time for my demonstration! Here’s exhibit A, Discord. Take note of how hideous and grotesque this disgusting creature looks.”


Twilight waved a hoof. “Discord, shh… You’re ruining the presentation.” Twilight returned her attention to her friends. “Now watch, as I turned this unsightly, gut-wrenching, nasty Draconequus creature into a presentable pony of society!”

Discord grunted. “Equestria, the only place in the world you’ll find polite racism…”

Twilight ignored his comment and charged her horn. The unicorn aimed her magic at Discord and fired, enveloping the Draconequus in a purple aura of arcane arts. Discord’s eyes widened and the God of Chaos writhed in… well; he just writhed, not really in anything. A blast and a blinding flash erupted in the library, causing all the ponies to turn their heads away. When the light settled, each one slowly turned and gasped in shock. Before them no longer stood a mismatched Draconequus, but a handsome looking stallion, just as tall as Celestia but lacking wings and a horn. Discord had kept his coat and mane colors.

The God of Chaos shook off some lingering shock and looked at himself in a nearby mirror. “Eww… gross, I’m deformed.” The ex-Draconequus looked between his legs. “Well, it’s not all that bad.” He commented, shaking his backside in hopes for a reaction.

Fluttershy, Rarity, and Rainbow Dash looked at Discord with agape mouths. Finally, Fluttershy shook off her shock and smiled. “Wow Twilight, that’s amazing! Is it some kind of illusion spell?”

Twilight smiled wide. “Nope! He’s now a pony in every physical aspect. It’s a Star Swirl the bearded spell that was created along time ago. Of course, Star Swirl was never able to work on such a disfigured creature as Discord and make it work!”

Discord grunted again. “Honestly, it’s like you ponies don’t even know how racist you sound. Every Draconequus looks like me or is very similar, so you’re saying my whole race is ugly… gee, thanks!”

“Oh shush up Discord.” Twilight said, lighting up her horn and blasting Discord with another spell and converting the chaotic creature back to his original state in a blinding flash. “Oh, and thanks again for being my test subject.”

“Oh, it was my pleasure…” Discord replied, sarcasm heavy in his voice (Twilight ignored it).

Twilight turned to the girls and smiled. “Okay, now that that’s over, we can head out for lunch now right?”

Rarity recomposed herself and slightly nodded at Twilight’s question. “Yes, now we can go for that lunch the six us planned. Even though two of us aren’t present.” The fashionista gritted her teeth at the two absent mares, whom shall not be named.

“Good.” Twilight said. “I worked up an appetite from casting that magic! It’s really complicated. Only Changeling disguise magic is more powerful.”

The mention of Changelings brought Rainbow Dash back to the world. The mare turned to Twilight. “Hey Twilight, speaking of Changelings, how have you been handling the whole thing about Celestia and Chrysalis becoming a couple? After all, didn’t that big bug ponynap Cadence and hold your brother in a mind control spell?”

Twilight smiled. “Oh that? Don’t worry Rainbow, everything’s ok. Celestia sent a letter to me before arriving back in Equestria. She explained everything to me and told me not to worry. I trust my mentor fully and completely believe in and support her choices.” The other ponies nodded at that, believing it to be a good explanation (Twilight always had been a teacher’s pet). Twilight smiled. “Yup, I believe in her completely… that and she sent me this prescription and a free sample of anti-anxiety medication! It really helps calm my nerves!” The mare smiled as she showed her friends the pill bottle. Her smile was a small, creepy one and her eyes widened while her pupils shrunk. The unicorn twitched hard every ten seconds.

The other ponies and Discord pulled their heads back, a creeped out look on their faces. Discord looked at the others and sniffed once. “Well, that’s certainly not a face I’d like to see in a dark alley.”

Twilight returned to normal, she seemed not to have noticed her little psycho stare five seconds ago. “Ok, let’s go! …Um… girls, is everything ok?”

Rarity smiled sheepishly. “Oh, yes, of course Twilight, everything’s fine! We all just remembered… a very scary story and it shocked us. Right?” The fashionista turned to the other beings in the room.

Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash nodded nervously. Discord put on a disappointed look. “Well… it’s about time for me to hit the old dusty trail. Have fun with the crazy unicorn girls, tatty-bye!” The Draconequus disappeared with a flick of his claw and a flash of white.

Twilight cocked an eyebrow. “What was that about?”

“Nothing! Nothing.” Rarity said, chuckling nervously. “Come on Twilight, let’s go have lunch!” The other unicorn nodded and the four of them shuffled out of the library. Rarity got close to Rainbow Dash and leaned towards her, whispering. “If she starts a collection of sharp objects we take her down, got it?”

Rainbow Dash looked at Rarity and nodded. “Right, don’t have to tell me twice. Last thing we need is a crazed Twilight.”

Rarity nodded. “Yes. And as planned, if she does go crazy, we send Pinkie Pie in to fight her. I’ll never understand how that mare got military grade close combat training.”


On the border of civilized land

Explosions! Bombs! Fire and hell! Bodies flying! Warriors crying! Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Stallions! It was pure chaos out there!

Pinkie Pie hit the dirt as an explosion ripped through the air and caught several of her allies in the blast. Pinkie could only watch as what had once been some of her friends were blown away in a flash of fire. The mare breathed heavily as she looked around, her back up against a broken and blackened wall. The burnt gravel was littered with the bodies of friend and fiend alike, a gruesome sight whose ambience was well complimented by the black and red sky up above.

“This madness has got to end!” The pink party mare shouted. She turned to look out at the battlefield before her, just as a flamethrower of hellish looking fire wiped out a squadron of fighters. “I can’t take this! I’m going out there!”

The mare got up onto the rubble and readied herself for the battle to come. That’s when she felt the claw grab her back hoof and pull her down. The mare prepared an angered face and a punch for the one who stopped her, until she saw who it was. Pinkie Pie looked with some sadness at the griffin in front of her.

The griffon know as Gilda looked at the pink mare. “Pinkie Pie, you can’t be serious! It’s too dangerous out there! You’ll be slaughtered!”

Pinkie Pie smiled defiantly. “Then I’ll die fighting! I’ll not stand by and watch this madness continue anymore.” She took the griffon’s head in both her hooves and gave her a full on kiss, with tongue.

Next to them the Capricorn Bladed Honor looked at them with a glare of disgust and disapproval. “Must you two parade your sloppy, perverse, cross-species love around like a carnival prize? It is disconcerting, and I think it may cause others watching to upheave their lunch.”

Ignoring the goatfish and breaking the kiss, Pinkie Pie jumped onto the rubble once more, her silver armor clanking as she did. Steadying herself on the broken wall, Pinkie looked out over the blackened and ashy plains. The mare smiled. Her quarry had landed and was now in range for her to end its tainted life. Pinkie took a step forward. “It’s time for one last party.” A determined look in her eye, Pinkie turned to her allies. “Now is the time to end this! For Equestria! For the Griffin Meritocracy! For the Capricorn States! And any others I forgot to mention! Charge!”

With that, the forces of the United Species Defense Force Against the Aggression of Hostile Dragons charged the draconic creatures and their attacking broods in the defense of all the free species of the world.

Fancy Pants' Party: Before the Festivities

View Online

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.”


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…


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.

Fancy Pants' Party: Fight! Fight! Fight!

View Online


“Holy crap!”

Cadence jumped to the side as the bladed fish tail slammed down on her previous position, cracking the concrete floor and causing the whole building to shake. Cadence skidded to a stop and looked back to her attacker. The Capricorn was pulling his tail out of the ground, waving it slightly to remove several pieces of rubble that had clung on. The goatfish turned to Cadence.

“I must admit you are quite fast. It is impressive, and refreshing, to know that at least one of the Alicorns of Equestria has not lost herself to the weakness and indulgence harmony has forced upon you.” He bowed respectfully to Cadence.

Cadence huffed. “Are you calling my Aunt Celestia and Aunt Luna fat?”

The Capricorn shook his head. “No... at least, not Luna. Celestia on the other hoof is no longer the warrior she used to be. Why do you think she has others fight her battles? I applaud her for her diplomatic and cognitive abilities, but to allow one’s body to wither in effectiveness, via the consumption of massive amounts of cake, is to assure one’s defeat.” The goatfish cracked his neck. “My feelings on that, however, are irrelevant. Shall we continue are scuffle?”

“Scuffle?!” Cadence shouted, insulted at her enemy's downplaying of their fight.

“Indeed.” The Capricorn replied. “You may be a Alicorn, which automatically endows you with a significant power boost, but you are no warrior. With no proper combat training or tactics, this fight will be over quickly.” The Capricorn readied himself to charge. “Prepare yourself.”

“Bring it on Cappy!” Cadence snorted, knowing it to be a popular insult to Capricorns from other species.

“My name is not Cappy.” The Capricorn stated rather matter-of-factly. “In your society, it would Steadied Precision.”

“And in your society?” Cadence asked, slightly curious.

“Unimportant, we are, after all, not in my society.” Precision responded dully. “I consider myself very adept in cultural relativism.”

“Ok, whatever you say.” Cadence responded.

“Then ready yourself.”

“Oh I’m more than- OH SWEET CELESTIA!” Cadence jumped out of the way as the Precision’s tail came down her once more and nearly took her out. “Crap he’s fast.”

“Thank you.”

Cadence turned to see the Capricorn behind her, readying his tail. Thinking quickly, Cadence charged her magic and teleported out of the way, but not before Precision’s tail was able to nick her in the side. Cadence returned from her teleport falling. Hitting the ground with a grunt, Cadence touched her side and felt a small gash. She could tell that a trickle of blood was coming out. Damn, he’s really, REALLY fast. How I am supposed to fight a trained soldier?

Looking up, Cadence noticed Shape Shift sitting some feet away, watching Cadence’s fight. “Shape Shift!” Cadence shouted. “A little support would be nice!”

Shape Shift nodded and brought out his drawing board. The Changeling then proceeded to write ‘GO CADENCE! CAPRICORNS STINK!’ on his board and showed it to the mare, waving it around like a fan at a sports game.

Cadence’s eye twitched in an angry fashion and she gritted her teeth. “You little Changeling smartass.” Shape Shift smiled sheepishly but continued his course of seemingly passive-aggressive support.

“Are you done talking to your servant?” The Capricorn asked after the two had been arguing for almost a whole minute.

Cadence got up onto her hooves and turned to the Capricorn, who was waiting patiently for her. Cadence snorted. “I’m surprised you didn’t attack me while my back was turned.”

“There is no honor in such things.” Precision remarked. “Besides, I much prefer to watch the life leave my enemy’s eyes as they die, that is harder to do with their backs turned.” The Capricorn closed his eyes, lost in thought. “You could call it quite the sick little fetish of-“ Precision made a grunting sound as cornflower blue magic struck him square in the chest and sent him back. Recomposing himself, the Capricorn looked down at his chest plate, darkened and melted into uselessness by Alicorn magic.

“I don’t really have such reservations.” Cadence smirked, her horn cooling down from being fired.

“So it would seem…” Precision remarked, unbuckling his chest plate and allowing it to drop the floor with a clang. “Back to it then.” The Capricorn charged Cadence.

Charging her horn in response, Cadence readied an attack. The Alicorn’s Capricorn opponent was all too prepared to dodge this attack, she wouldn’t have the element of surprise this time. Instead of engaging Precision, however, Cadence aimed her horn to the ground and fired a blast of magic at the solid concrete. Precision skidded to a stop as dust was sent everywhere and obscured his vision. The Capricorn’s head shifted all around, trying to locate his enemy.

Precision’s eye flexed as he saw a shadow move in he dust cloud and he swiped at with his tail, but the lack of blood geysers and no shriek of pain told him he’d missed. Suddenly, he heard the flap of wings and turned to see Cadence charge into him. The Capricorn grunted as the Alicorn slammed him to the ground, she was stronger than she looked.

Precision brought his tail up and with a whoosh went after Cadence’s back legs. A bright flash made the Capricorn turn away and he instantly knew he had once again missed his target. Getting up, Precision shook off the remnants of the flash. The dust was just settling and that would return him the advantage. A sparking sound from behind alerted him and he raised his armored tail, blocking the magical blast Cadence had sent at him. Blue magic fizzled and exploded outward from the epicenter of impact on Precision’s tail. The Capricorn bit his lower lip as he felt the intense heat from the magic slowly burn through his armor and reach his scaly skin underneath.

Knowing that continuing this would cost him his tail, Precision braced himself and then swiftly flicked his tail and ducked, the magic passing over him. Charging Cadence, Precision took a fore hoof and slammed it into Cadence’s face. Cadence yelped in pain and flew back from the brute force that had just been applied to her face. She was thrown into a pile of old crates with a loud crash.

Precision snorted at this small victory. Turning his attention to his tail, the Capricorn instantly knew it was a lost cause. Cadence’s magic had burned through the sharp metal plate, reaching the actual tail and fin and basically cutting them in two. Had it not been for the intense heat of the blast singeing his flesh closed, Precision would be bleeding heavily from his tail right now. He could also feel, or rather the lack of, that he couldn’t move his tail in the slightest, proving his theory that the Alicorn had either destroyed his nerves or incapacitated them.

Despite the circumstances, the Capricorn could help but smile and laugh. “Impressive, Alicorn, for one who does not have extensive combat training. I am, to say the least, impressed.”


Precision’s eyes widened as he turned to see Cadence coming from the opposite direction she had landed in. Before the Capricorn could react Cadence brought a punch to his face. While he wasn’t knocked down, the Capricorn still grunted in pain and reared his head back. Swiping at Cadence with his hoof, the Capricorn tried to recompose himself, to no avail. Another flash later and Precision could feel that Cadence was behind him charging her horn. The Capricorn ducked from the attack and spun around, using the momentum from the spinning to launch his broken fin plate (loosened by Cadence’s magic) right at the Alicorn. Cadence screamed as the plate impaled her shoulder, though she was able to prevent blood loss with a quick spell.

Casting the spell had distracted Cadence and she was not prepared for Precision running up to her and slamming a fore hoof into her chest. The royal mare coughed out some spittle. Thinking fast, Cadence charged up her horn and sent a magical shockwave out in all directions, ensuring the Alicorn’s foe was caught in the blast.

Steadied Precision went flying, hitting the ground a meter or two away and then skidding another three meters. The Capricorn came to a stop right in front of Shape Shift, though Precision had noted that the Changeling had moved positions since the last time he saw him. The two of them stared at each other for an awkward moment. Finally, Shape Shift brought his writing board up and whacked the Capricorn on the head.

“HEY!” Precision yelled in anger.

The creature would not be able retort any further as Shape Shift continued his assault on the Capricorn, whacking his head in quick, repetitive strikes with his board and never letting up. Precision, now angered by this humiliating display, aggressively swiped at Shape Shift with his hoof. The Changeling instinctively buzzed away, fearing the angered goatfish. The Capricorn got up, but soon learned this was a critical mistake. Cadence’s cornflower blue magic ripped into his left shoulder, tearing through the armor like butter and blowing the Capricorn’s shoulder to shreds (the magic’s intense heat once again sealed the wound shut before it could bleed). The Capricorn fell to the ground, pain rushing through his body.

“Damn it…” He muttered. Despite his being a Capricorn and wearing armor, it did little against an Alicorn. Alicorn magic made even the most basic of spells supercharged. His armor and tough skin would have deflected those magical attacks if they had just been from a regular unicorn. Fighting Cadence, however, made things complicated, and her sudden, out of nowhere tactical expertise didn’t help.

“Ready to give up?” Cadence asked, walking in front of the Capricorn (though she still kept her distance just in case). The Alicorn smirked. “Not so easy to beat me, was it?”

Precision chuckled. “No, I suppose it wasn’t. Then again, how could have known I would be fighting one so skilled in close quarters combat tactics?” Cadence’s eyes widened slightly, Precision smirked at this. “What? You think I wouldn’t eventually notice? It was hard not to after everything is said and done.” The Capricorn turned to Shape Shift. “Know that I shall never again underestimate your species combat tactics little one.”

Shape Shift simply grunted weakly at this, trying to act innocent.

The Capricorn chuckled again. “Don’t act as if you are oblivious to my words. I saw the tactics you employed with the Princess here. I am well aware, now at least, that your seemingly innocent exchange at the beginning of the fight was in fact a way for you to tell the Princess about your plan to fight me. Considering you don’t talk, it would make sense the two of you learned to communicate in different ways and would use that.”

Steadied Precision got up onto his hooves, seemingly crippled. “After relaying your plan it was a simple thing for Cadence to throw up a dust cloud, have you take her shape and then having both of you attack me at different times to maximize your damage to me. It had first struck me as odd that Cadence would not use both her physical and magical attacks against me, considering that could have been very effective. But that would have broken the illusion with your green magic when you struck at me, isn’t that right?" The Capricorn grunted at the pain in his shoulder. "Ugh, if I had known that both of you were attacking I could have defended myself accordingly. Clever little bug.”

Precision cracked his neck and flexed slightly. “Regardless, I will still beat you, and now that your little tricks will not impede me.”

Cadence charged up her horn. “We’ll see about that!”

Before Cadence could go through with her attack, however, the Capricorn charged her with maddening speed and used his still good right hoof to slam into the back of her neck. The sudden trauma to the back of her head caused a chain reaction that resulted in Cadence’s magic shutting down and fizzling to nothing. Precision bit down on Cadence’s mane and tossed her to Shape Shift. The Changeling, not desiring to be crushed by the larger equine, promptly stepped to the side and allowed Cadence to hit the hard ground with a grunt.

“This ends now!” The Capricorn shouted as he ran for the Alicorn and Changeling. Shape Shift grabbed on to Cadence, scared out of his wits.

Cadence turned to the Changeling. “Uh, Shape Shift. What’s the plan?!” Shape Shift thought for a moment before writing something on his board. He showed it to Cadence, the mare’s head went back in disgust. “What?! No! I am not soiling myself in the hopes he’ll be too disgusted to come near me!”

Their options depleted, Cadence and Shape Shift could only watch as the Capricorn was only a few meters from attacking them. Fate, however, was on their side as out of nowhere a tennis ball broke through the ceiling and impacted on Steadied Precision’s head with incredible might, forcing the goatfish downward with such power it created a half-foot crater.

Cadence and Shape Shift lay on the ground, their eyes wide and mouths agape as far as physically possible. Shaking her head to escape the stupor, Cadence looked at the crater only a few meters away. “W-Well, that was rather… convenient.”

AND ANTI-CLIMATIC, read Shape Shift’s board.

“Where in the world did that even come from?” Cadence asked, looking between the tennis ball and the hole in the ceiling.


Crystal Empire, The Palace Exercise Courts

The spectators and competitors’ necks were cocked back far, trying desperately to locate where the ball had been hit. Prince Regent Shining Armor and his Crystal Guard lieutenant Dazzling Amethyst had their mouths agape, unable to believe they had lost another ball. That was the thirtieth one today!

“Does this mean we receive a point?” Luna asked, her tennis racket swishing around in her magic.

The Lunar Guard Captain, Fading Moonlight, coughed to get his Princess’s attention. “Umm… no M’lady. I’m pretty sure that’s a strike against us.”

Luna looked at her Captain. “What?! How?! Did I not hit the small ball back to Prince Armor and his partner when it came over to our side?”

Shining Armor sighed heavily, turning to Luna. “Princess Luna, the point is to send the ball back to us in a way that makes it impossible to make a good return.”

Luna nodded. “Indeed! And have I not done that? Can you effectively return that ball?”

Shining’s eyes rolled. “No. But you have restrictions too. Your ball still has to be in the court for it to count. Needless to say, your ball was out.”

“I think it went into orbit.” Lieutenant Amethyst said; her head still cocked back searching for the MIA tennis ball. “Maker, I hope it doesn’t fall back down and hit somepony.”

“This game is stupid and in no way fun.” Luna pouted, turning her head up in disgust.

Shining face-hoof’d and sighed again. “You’re the one that wanted your guard to go up against my guard as soon as you got here. Maybe, if you had waited, you would be able to learn the rules of all the games we were playing.”

“Rule one:” Amethyst began as she looked towards Luna. “Don’t use your godlike strength to send the ball into low orbit.”

“Details.” Luna said in an unimpressed manner. The mare grabbed another tennis ball from off the court. “Now, let us continue from where we left off!” Luna threw the ball to Shining.

Shining shook his head. “Alright, fine. Let’s continue. Let's see... one hundred eighty three serving zero, Crystal Guard.”

Dazzling Amethyst sighed. “Maybe we shouldn’t have made this game to until Princess Luna scores…”

Fancy Pants' Party: Party Crashers

View Online

Cadence winced from the pain as her magic worked to seal the large gash on her chest. The sharp metal plate armor thrown into her chest was painful enough to remove, but healing the leftover wounds was a whole different pain all together. Finally, after almost a half-hour of slow, precise healing Cadence was all healed up and ready to move out. Turning, the mare gave a disgruntled look at the scene before her.

“Shape Shift, aren’t you done yet?” She asked, annoyance in her voice.


Shape Shift held his board in his mouth as he tried to shove the motionless body of the Capricorn Steadied Precision into a pile of boxes. The Capricorn, amazingly, was still alive and well except for the damage taken during the fight and a slight bump on the head, a testament to the species’ robustness. Cadence had tasked Shape Shift with hiding the body while she healed herself, but the Changeling had yet to complete his part of the duties.

Cadence huffed. “Do I have to do everything?” Shape Shift gave her a strained look; the Capricorn was at least five times his weight, and that was being generous. Cadence chuckled. “I’m just kidding Shape Shift, hold on.” The Alicorn lit her horn and enveloped the goatfish in her cornflower blue magic and set him into the pile of boxes, well hidden unless you knew where to look. With that done, Cadence turned to the entrance to the rest of the manor. “Let’s go Shape Shift.”

The two of them raced through the door and up a long spiraling staircase. The stairs ended at yet another open yellow and salmon striped atrium with several doors and one giant opening leading to the party. There wasn’t anyone around as far as the two could tell.

“Alright Shape Shift. We need to get into the party without being seen. Then, we’ll sabotage the whole event in a way that implicates Chrysalis.” Cadence chuckled evilly at her plan, that’s when hoof steps could be heard. Cadence’s eyes widened as she heard voices.

“So then the mare OD on magic stimulates, can you believe that?!”

“I really hate talking about my marefriend with you.”

The royal guard Impassioned Strength shrugged at his partner. “Well if she wasn’t a druggy that tried to rob a store we wouldn’t need to worry would we?”

His companion, Kindled Valor sighed, shaking her head as she walked. “Shut up.” She stated darkly.

Impassioned smiled. “Well calm down, that’s what they have rehabs for!” He took his head away from his partner and looked in the atrium that led to the manor warehouse. He saw just in time to see a door shut, but dismissed it as one of the servants and kept walking.

Cadence felt a bead of sweat run down her face as she listened to the guards pass. When their hoof steps finally disappeared into the distance, the Alicorn sighed in relief. “That was too close… There are so many guards. How in the world are we going to get past them?”

Cadence felt a tap on her shoulder and turned to see Shape Shift smiling at her, the little thing wearing a custom butler’s uniform made for the party, it was several sizes too big for him. Cadence cocked an eyebrow in confusion before Shape Shift’s horn lit up. Soon, a stylish looking butler stallion stood before the Alicorn (though the base skin was the same as the one used to stalk Luna and Chrysalis).

Cadence smiled. “That’s amazing Shape Shift! Good idea.” Cadence looked around. “So, where’s the maid’s outfit?” Shape Shift brought up his right fore leg and showed Cadence her disguise. The Alicorn’s eye twitched and she took on an annoyance frown. “Oh you have got to be kidding me…”


Fancy Pants’ Manor, Party Ballroom

“I swear I’m going to find out who designed this thing and I am going to murder them.”

Cadence grumbled mercilessly as she walked, annoyed beyond compare. While Shape Shift’s butler’s outfit was clean cut, stylish and pomp, the Alicorn’s attire… left little to the imagination. It was a bright red, skin fit one piece that wrapped around her entire body while leaving the top part of her chest uncovered. Add that to the black fishnet stockings on her back and front legs (the front only went up to her knees) as the final piece and the Alicorn of love looked… umm… seductive; let’s go with that. The only thing that wasn’t sexual was the serving tray harness attached to her back, hiding her wings. Shape Shift thought it looked a lot like the clothes mares wore (at first) in the dirty magazines he had caught a glimpse at while skulking around the royal barracks one night.


“Finish writing that and I’ll kill you!” Cadence scowled, Shape Shift promptly halted his writings.

Cadence sighed, regretting that. Shape Shift had done quite well on this mission of theirs. It was the Changeling that had applied the correct hair dye, make-up, hair styling, and other beauty arts that truly hid Cadence’s appearance. Now, Cadence was a light blue unicorn mare with a greenish blue mane (she had applied some magic to make herself shorter). The Alicorn was impressed by the Changeling’s expertise in beautification practices. This is when Shape Shift revealed he and Photo Finish had developed a friendship ever since she gave him the super makeover. From the fashionista Shape Shift had learned much and the two had formed a great friendship (Shape Shift could tell Photo wanted to be more, but he wasn’t sure he could support a relationship at the moment with his duty to Cadence, but maybe one day).

“Ok, so, we need to locate Celestia and Chrysalis and then cause an incident that will make it appear like it’s Chrysalis’ fault. Now, it may be hard to find them in this high-class crowd but…”


Cadence turned and sure enough was Celestia, surrounded by guards and nobles. Why in the world did I even think for a second it'd be hard? The mare thought. Cadence could see Chrysalis off in the shadows, waiting to be revealed. Celestia was smiling and talking with the nobility with her usual pleasant demeanor. Right now it seemed that her attention was focused on the Grand Poobah of the party himself, Fancy Pants.

“Princess,” The noble stallion began. “It is an honor to have you at my party, you’re radiance makes this event seem worthwhile.”

Celestia smiled sincerely, knowing that Fancy wasn't just talking for appearance's sake. “Thank you for inviting me Fancy Pants’. I am most honored. I am glad you’ll let me talk to the others about my… special guest.”

Fancy Pants waved her off. “Think nothing of it Princess. Love is a strange thing and if you believe Miss Chrysalis is a new self then I trust you with all my faith.”

Cadence, who had gotten closer to listen in, couldn’t help but smile. Fancy Pants was, truly, her favorite noble. Open-minded and fair, he stood out from all the rest of the Canterlot nobility. He understood that nobility had more than one definition. In fact, it was common knowledge that all uneaten food, and Maker would there be a lot of it (nobles and their dieting…), would be donated to charity and help feed the less fortunate in Canterlot. Fancy even oversaw the transaction himself. A god amongst stingy nobles, though the stallion would never think of it like that.

Cadence turned from the conversation and looked for some way to incriminate Chrysalis and destroy her already weak reputation. “Shape Shift, look around for some way to frame Chrysalis.” The Changeling nodded adorably, yet sternly, and ran off into the crowd. Preparing to go off on her own to find framing material, Cadence found herself stopped by some magic.

“Ah, ah, ah, no running away from me.”

Turning to get a look at who had decided to hold her back, Cadence was soon greeted to the sight of Fleur De Lis, Fancy Pants’ marefriend and super hot fashion model. The slightly tinted white unicorn mare smiled in a sultry manner at Cadence. The Alicorn in return gave her a cocked eyebrow of confusion.

“Zere you are servant, I require your assistance right now!” Before Cadence could object Fleur was pulling her away from the party and crowd. As soon as they were out of the crowd Fleur leaned next to Cadence’s ear. “I can’t wait for tonight love, I really need this.” Cadence promptly gulped.

As the two turned a corner a maid that looked almost exactly like the current Cadence arrived at the designated spot. Looking around, a look of confusion came on her face. Weird, Fleur is never late on our date nights…


Fleur De Lis’ Bedroom

The door of Fleur’s room opened and Cadence was tossed, lightly, in. The mare looked around, confused by all accounts. She had to nod at Fleur’s sense of style, the room looked very nice. That’s when she heard the door close. Twisting her neck, Cadence saw the model smiling at her as she locked the door with magic.

“Zere my lovey, now nopony will disturb us while we go about our love.”

“S-Say what?!” Cadence shouted, her logic thrown out the window by this point.

Fleur didn’t respond and instead used her magic to push Cadence on her back and jump on her. “Role play tonight I see? I love it when you decide to play kinky.” The high-class mare licked her lips.

Cadence laughed nervously. “Ok… um… I think there’s been a mistake. But I’m sure that we, as two rational beings, can work it… MMPH!!” Cadence’s eyes shot wide as Fleur closed the distance between their muzzles and gave the disguised princess a full mouth kiss (Cadence was able to fight back her tongue).

Undeterred by Cadence’s words or reluctance, Fleur took the mare up in her magic and tossed her onto the room’s five star bed (even in the heat of the moment Cadence could not deny the bed’s softness). Fleur jumped in next and tried to begin the act of mare on mare, the author is quite sure you can imagine this yourself so there will be no need to explain and it will certainly look more towards your own expectations if done in this way.

Cadence resisted, obviously, to all of Fleur’s advances, but she knew she couldn’t keep this up without blowing her cover. Cadence tried coming up with some way to get out of this unpredictable, unnecessary, and awkward situation. Oh crap what do I do?! Cadence wondered, dodging a tongue-filled kiss from Fleur. Shape Shift would know what to do… The Alicorn’s eyes widened. Cadence charged her magic into one blast of mental thought and focused on an image of her Changeling assistant. Grunting slightly, the mare released her magic in a barely noticeable burst and prayed it would reach its destination.

Back in the party, Shape Shift was conversing with one of the nobles (though ‘converse’ might be too strong a word).

“… And my mother never hugged me when I was a foal!” The stallion cried, his breath and cheeks already tinted with the telltale signs of drunkenness. The stallion grabbed hold of Shape Shift and cried big sobby tears into the Changeling’s shoulder. Shape Shift patted the stallion intimately on the back and cooed to him, showing his support for his new noble acquaintance.

Shape Shift’s eyes widened as magic passed over him, magic he knew was Cadence’s. It was a mental message: Shape Shift, help! I’m being assaulted! Shape Shift thought about it, Cadence could handle herself after all and he did like talking to his new friend... Sexually assaulted! The Changeling’s bestial instincts of protection took hold and he grabbed the crying stallion and moved out of his grasp. Shape Shift looked at the stallion with an eye of determination and nodded to him, turning and running off to find his charge.

The stallion stood there drunk, processing the information. Finally, he gained the look himself. “He’s right! I can’t be scared anymore!” He turned to the nearest mare. “Are you in a relationship?” He asked, the mare replied with a shake of her head. The stallion grabbed her and gave her the kiss of her life. “You are now.” He declared after breaking the kiss; the mare happily obliged.

Shape Shift karate kicked the door down. Looking into the room he could see his friend underneath the super model Fleur De Lis, this would not do! The Changeling took on a hostile karate stance and bade the mare come at him.

Fleur snorted. “You zink you can deny us our love-making?! Never!” The mare jumped off of Cadence and readied herself to fight her new opponent.

I DON’T UNDERSTAND, Shape Shift started on his board, YOU’RE FANCY PANTS’ MAREFRIEND, WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO CHEAT ON HIM WITH A MARE? Shape Shift wanted to know how this weirdness had come about.

Fleur snorted again. “Oh course you wouldn’t understand.” The model looked to the ceiling longingly. “I love Fancy Pants, Maker I want to marry him and bear his foals. Yes, I love him personally, but not physically.” She turned to Cadence. “Zat privilege iz for mares only.”

Shape Shift had a look of freaked out shock on his face. Reassessing, he scribbled a new message on his board. SO LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT, YOU LOVE STALLIONS IN A PERSONALITY SENSE, BUT YOU ONLY ENJOY HAVING INTERCOURSE WITH MARES?

Fleur nodded. “Yes, the mares body iz so perfect and serene, how could I not love it? But a stallion holds my love in the mental account, iz that so hard to understand?!”


Fleur gave Shape Shift a ‘humph’. “I should have known a whelp like you could never understand the love I feel. Love iz more than the foolish restrictions society has placed upon it and…” The mare became lost in ramblings and thought.

Shape Shift looked at Cadence for some kind of context. The mare shrugged. “I’ve been the Alicorn of love for a long time and I still don’t know all there is about love… usually I stay away from cases like this.”

Fleur snapped back to reality, not having heard the two’s conversation. “But you will not stop my love! I will not let you!” Fleur jumped at Shape Shift and the Changeling readied himself.


The rafters above the party

“So… that happened… for seemingly no reason.” Cadence said blandly, finally getting her footing on her rafter.

Shape Shift, balancing on the rafter next to Cadence's, shrugged. Taking out his board he scribbled down a message: MAYBE IT’S AN IMPORTANT PLOT POINT FOR FUTURE EVENTS.

“Or Fate could be screwing with me… It’s been doing that lately.”


Cadence shot the Changeling a look, catching the sarcasm in his sentence. She disregard in the end. “Anyway, good job with the frying pan…”

Shape Shift smiled to himself, the frying pan he had stolen from the kitchen before rescuing Cadence firmly on strapped to his back. FLEUR SHOULD LEARN NOT TO CHARGE ENEMIES WHEN SHE HAS NO IDEA WHAT THEY’RE CAPABLE OF.

“True enough.” Cadence said. The mare shivered, thinking back to that awkward moment with Fleur. She’d need to have tons of sex with Shining Armor to get that out of her system (she was ok with this as you can probably imagine).

“Alright. Now it’s time to frame Chrysalis. Shape Shift,” The Changeling jumped to attention. “I want you to use your magic to weaken the rafters and ceiling to the main ballroom.”

Shape Shift cocked his head at Cadence. HOW WILL THAT HELP? He asked.

Cadence smirked. “Because, all species that can perform magic each have a specific magical identification aura that distinguishes their magic from all others. Changeling magic will have a different underlying aura than a unicorn's or Alicorn's, so when the rafters fall and they investigate it, anypony knowledgeable in magic will able to tell a Changeling did it. With Chrysalis being the only Changeling for miles other than you, they’ll automatically blame her because you're with me back at the castle. It’ll ruin any good rep she has! It’s fool proof!”


Cadence waved him off. “Oh please, Shape Shift, I’m not that heartless. With Celestia down there she’ll be able to stop the rafters before they hurt anypony. Now get working.” Shape Shift sighed and nodded, igniting his horn up and singeing through the rafters and ceiling supports. Cadence took this time to look down at the party, it seemed like Celestia was about to speak.

“Noble ponies of Canterlot,” The Sun Goddess began. “I’m certain that you’ve heard the rumors of my relationship with the Changeling Queen Chrysalis. They are true and while I don’t expect you to accept her right away I know that we can move pass the events of my niece’s wedding day and show the world the love and tolerance Equestria is known for has not died.”

Cadence rolled her eyes. “Bug butts don’t deserve love and tolerance… no offense Shape Shift.” The Changeling shrugged and continued his work. Cadence leaned on a chandelier that was close to her rafter. So enraged was she that she didn’t hear the ceiling decoration creak from the extra weight. “Let’s see how Aunt Celestia pulls this one off…”

Celestia turned her head to Chrysalis and smiled. “However, I believe that Chrysalis herself can explain. If you’d please dear?”

Chrysalis nodded and took Celestia’s position. The nobles took a step back and looked at the Changeling with mixed glares. “Noble ponies, I asked for forgiveness. I know such a thing cannot be obtained so easily, but I shall try. It is because of your great Princess Celestia that I see this world in a new light.” Chrysalis smiled at the thought she was currently having, but continued. “She was there for me at my darkest point and from there she has changed me and made me into something better. Do I deserve a second chance? Do I deserve your acceptance and tolerance? I believe not, and I think I can never truly repay you for the fear and panic I have caused… but, but I’ll try and I hope I can at least get close…”

The crowd stared at Chrysalis, their faces radically changed. It wasn’t acceptance per say, but it was something. Standing in the middle of the crowd was the chaotic god Discord, who was bawling rather hard. He grabbed the nearest noble stallion he could get at and hugged him. “That… That was so beautiful… and it caused so much internal chaos. Oh Maker, my heart can’t take it…” The Draconequus sniffed and tried to pry the tears from his eyes.

The noble looked at the mishmash creature with a confused look, he was sure he had not seen the Draconequus until now. “When… When did you get here?”

“I’m always here.” Discord replied plainly through the tears.

Up in the rafters Cadence was gagging as she applied yet more pressure on the chandelier. “Ugh, how can they buy that bull? Maker, I’m doing them a favor by making them see how evil Chrysalis is.”

BY CAUSING EVIL YOURSELF… Thought Shape Shift as singed through the last support structure (the Changeling was well versed in irony). Finished with his task the Changeling nodded to Cadence to inform her. Cadence took the hint.

“Alright, let’s get out of here.” Cadence steadied herself on the rafter again pushing off the chandelier, the final straw for the old decoration. The support of the chandelier cracked and broke, only seconds from falling. Cadence didn’t notice this when she released her wings and scooped up Shape Shift and carried the Changeling to an inside balcony. “Ok, so the way that we disabled them they should fall in the next minute so we should get out of here right now before…”


The Alicorn looked at Shape Shift’s board and turned to see the chandelier she had been leaning on, right as its old supports gave way and sent the decoration falling to the ground. Instinctively, Cadence grabbed at the falling object with her magic but was unable to catch it in time. Cadence and Shape Shift watched as the chandelier fell to the floor… and right on top of Celestia.

Every noble in the room screamed as Celestia, who had walked next to Chrysalis to speak, was crushed by one of the ballroom’s large chandeliers. Chrysalis turned, a look of pure terror on her face, and rushed to Celestia’s side. “Celli? Celli? Celestia?!” The Changeling nudged the Solar Princess. Chrysalis exhaled as she saw Celestia’s chest rise and fall steadily. The Princess was still alive if not worse for the wear, if her numerous cuts and bleeding had anything to say about it. “We need doctors now-!” Chrysalis widened her eyes as she heard more cracking and creaking above them.

Despite what some might think, Changeling Queens are actually very good mothers. They care for every single one of their colony’s drones. In the tunneled hives of the Changelings, cave-ins were no rarity. As such, Chrysalis was quite familiar with the sounds of collapsing ceilings. Instincts taking hold, Chrysalis shot up and charged all her magic into her horn. The ceiling collapsed. All the ponies in the room screamed and instinctively closed their eyes as more than several tons of ceiling came down on them. Much to their surprise, they didn’t feel death's embrace nor did they hear squishing noises that accompanied getting crushed. Opening their eyes one by one, the nobles gasped in shock, as the debris was held above their heads in a green magical aura.

Chrysalis felt beads of sweat (maybe? It’s unknown if Changelings sweat) run down her face. Her horn was alight with magic, holding the rubble in place only half a foot from crushing the partygoers. Chrysalis grunted in pain, the exertion hard to bear. Usually, when a magic being lifts an object with a spell, half the weight of the object is exerted on their body. This can be lessened with practice and skill and Chrysalis only felt about an eighth of the weight but it was still over a ton (nobles liked heavy, secure building materials for whatever reason). Chrysalis tried to push the debris away but it was just too much. The Changeling felt herself shifting and even felt as weaker parts of her carapace contorted and snapped. She didn’t know how long she could hold this for.

“Well, this is a problem isn’t it?”

Chrysalis looked up to see Discord next to her, the Draconequus sipping some tea. He smiled at her. “Having fun?” Chrysalis shot a look at the mishmash creature. “Alright, alright, calm down… By the way, great reaction time.” Discord snapped his claw and all the heavy rubble shrunk to the size of a small pebble, falling harmlessly on the guests (except for one stallion, who had a chunk of rafter fall into his eye).

Chrysalis collapsed as the strain was released from her body. The Changeling looked at Discord, who was still smiling. “See,” He said. “I can be helpful…”

“Did you enchant the rubble?” Chrysalis asked, glaring at the Draconequus.

“Yeah, they’ll get a magical rash in a week or two.” Discord replied happily, unable to wait for the chaos that will be caused by his ‘little’ gag.

Cadence and Shape Shift were hanging over the balcony, watching the whole thing. “Shape Shift,” Cadence began, turning to the Changeling. “Time to leave… now!” Cadence grabbed the Changeling and teleported them out of the party in a flash of light blue.

Fancy Pants' Party: Post-Party

View Online

Celestia rubbed the back of her bandaged neck, wincing at the pain this simple action brought about. She heard one of the doctors ask her something, she wasn’t sure what. Regardless, she moved a part of her body and this seemed to please the slender stallion observing her. The ageless solar mare was, for the first time in many years, utterly confused about what was going on. She knew the words she wanted to ask, but her mouth didn’t. The oral body part could not get the words out, no matter how hard she tried.

Steady Beat looked at his solar leader intently, looking for any signs of extensive damage. The doctor could see the mare was trying to say something, but she seemed unable to make the words. “Please Princess.” He pleaded. “Do not stress yourself too much, you’re not in the best of conditions. Just try to relax while we look over you and ensure nothing is wrong.” The Princess seemed to stop her attempts at last, and Steady Beat continued.

“Is she ok?”

The doctor turned to see Chrysalis approaching, a worried look in her eye. Taking one last glance at Celestia and scanning her with yet another vitals spell, Steady Beat smiled. “Yes, she’ll be fine. A little banged up, but fine. Her voice should return before you get back to the castle.”

Chrysalis let out a relieved sigh. “Good, that’s a relief.” Her face suddenly got very serious as she readied her next statement. “Now we have to figure out what happened.”

“Indeed.” Fancy Pants replied as he walked up to the Changeling from another room. The noble stopped in front of the Princess, doctor, and Changeling and sighed. “I’ve already asked all the guards if they saw something, but…”

“Nothing?” Celestia breathed out, finding her voice.

“Princess, don’t speak.” Steady Beat pleaded.

“This matter… acquires my involvement as well… doctor.” It was easy to hear the strain in Celestia’s voice and she needed to take in large breaths (which she tried gracefully to hide) just to get part of a sentence out. Still, the doctor knew arguing would get him nowhere.

Fancy Pants took this as his moment to continue. “Right, well… I questioned all the guards, err… well, Captain Valor’s Shield did but I listened in. None of them reported anything out of the ordinary. They checked the entire upper manor and found nothing. I’m having the mercenaries I hired comb the warehouses.”

Chrysalis snorted. “Is it so wise to have ponies with such shaky loyalty search for anything out of the ordinary?”

Fancy Pants chuckled. “Oh my dear, there is nothing to worry about. Mercenaries are quite loyal to their paychecks, and I am paying them a great deal and I am sure they…”

“Fancy Pants, sir!”

The noble turned to see several guards approaching him, with a rather beat up Capricorn following them. One of the guards stopped and saluted. “We found him in a pile of boxes we were combing through. Seems like he was attacked and…”

“I can speak for myself, pony.” Steadied Precision growled.

Fancy Pants, Celestia, and Chrysalis turned their attention to the Capricorn. Celestia coughed and brought in a lot of air. “Well?” She asked simply.

“I was attacked by an intruder. They tried getting in through the lower warehouse entrance and I confronted them. As you can probably guess by my state of being as well as the disaster that occurred here that it didn’t end in my favor.”

“So who was it?” Fancy Pants asked. “Who attacked you? Whoever it was most certainly is the one responsible for this.”

Steadied Precision snorted. “You don’t pay me enough for the who, only the what.” The Capricorn was unaffected by the look given to him by not only Fancy Pants but Chrysalis as well. “Doesn’t really matter… whoever did it also gave my mind a detail wipe, I’ve no clue. Very clever I'll admit. Good to know, actually. I'd hate to find out I was beaten by a simpleton.”

“Damn…” Chrysalis cursed. “Now what do we do?”

“Have you tried checking the crime scene?” Precision asked, actually rather eager to find out who beat him (he'd like to congratulate them and swap tactics).

Royal Guard Captain Valor’s Shield returned from the other room and answered the question. “We already did. The supports of the rafters and ceiling were singed away with magic. Usually we could get a good reading about who did it, magic tracking and what not, but after being stopped by Lady Chrysalis and then shrunk by Discord the magic markings on the rubble is about as hard to locate as it is easy to give Princess Luna brain freeze.” The Earth pony sighed. “We aren’t getting any information from this crime scene.”

“Then there’s nothing to do but catch one’s breath and wait for the next time.” Steadied Precision remarked.

“Next time?” Chrysalis asked. “What do you mean?”

Precision flexed, trying to relieve some leftover soreness. “Crap like this rarely happens once if it fails the first time. I’d keep my guard if I were you.” With that, the Capricorn bowed respectfully to the higher standing ponies in front of him and left to receive proper medical attention.

Celestia watched the Capricorn leave, and then turned to Steady Beat. “I am well enough to return to the castle with no further hindrance?” The mare no longer sounded strained.

“Well,” Steady Beat started. “You seem to have your voice back already, so yeah, you’re free to return to the castle though I would suggest taking it easy while everything sets back into place.” Celestia nodded to the doctor and the stallion returned it, using this as his goodbye. The stallion then looked down to his clipboard notes to review them.

“I suppose we should get back to the castle now so you can rest.” Chrysalis said once the stallion had finished. She turned to Celestia and helped the solar mare up, the Changeling letting her lover lean against her own carapace. This is when Fancy Pants went to Chrysalis and bowed.

“Miss Chrysalis, I am well aware of the intentions of Celestia bringing you to my party. After all that has happened, I am pleased to be the one to tell you that your actions today will not go unnoticed. Every noble at this party owes you their lives and I, nor they, shall forget it.”

“And what am I, chopped suey?” Discord questioned, the Draconequus was off to the side playing strip poker with one of the maids (rather one sided considering).

Fancy Pants ignored him. “I thank you for your actions. I truly believe you are certainly one step closer to the goal you strive for.” Fancy Pants bowed and took off to the manor’s second floor (he wanted to check on Fleur).

Chrysalis turned, smiling, towards Celestia, only to see the solar goddess giving her own glad smirk. “Come on,” Celestia stated. “Let’s go home.” Chrysalis nodded and helped the Solar along out of the manor, trailed by several guards of course.

Doctor Steady Beat watched them leave until he noticed Discord standing next to him. “Yes?” He asked, repositioning his attention.

“I honestly thought your name had to do with music for the longest time.” The Draconequus answered.

Steady Beat chuckled. “Yeah, me too… It wasn’t until I was fifteen that I realized the beat in my name meant heartbeat. I tried to be a pop star for the longest time.”

Discord chuckled and shook his head. “If it makes you feel any better I never had a problem with knowing my destiny.”

Steady Beat rolled his eyes. “Yeah, that makes me feels sooooo much better.”


Canterlot Castle

“It’s ok Chrysalis, I’m ok.”

Chrysalis bit her lower lip as the two strolled down one of the Castle’s extravagant hallways towards the throne room. “You’re sure Celli? You can walk just fine? No need for help? The doctor told you to take it easy.”

Celestia chuckled and brushed Chrysalis off. “I’m fine, it barely even hurts and your help doesn’t change anything.”

The Changeling Queen sighed. “Alright, alright, I’ll stop. But if you feel even the least bit…”

“Chrissie…” Celestia scowled, her famous frown of depressing disapproval showing.

“Ok, ok…”

Celestia rolled her eyes playfully. “You’re too much sometimes.” The royal mare yawned. “Here we are.” The two mares stopped in front of the throne room door. “I hope Cadence hasn’t been too bored watching over the castle while we’ve been away.”

“I bet she’s crumbling to pieces with boredom.” Chrysalis joked. Using their magic the two leaders opened the large fancy doors of the throne room.

What met the two mares when they opened the door was not what they had expected, to say the least. Inside the throne room there had been a large work desk set up, and it was currently packed with stacked papers. Behind the overloaded desk sat none other than Prince Blueblood, working feverishly on some particular piece of paper. The Prince looked very enthralled with his work, what’s more is how the Prince looked physically. His mane was a mess and coat did not have its usual shine. His eyes had a seriousness that no living creature had ever seen on the prince as they darted precisely and with purpose over the form he was working on. It looked like Prince Blueblood had been working all night long on actual work (a sentence that no one had ever believed they would utter).

Chrysalis and Celestia looked at each other with confused looks. The two returned their gaze to Blueblood and began walking towards the Prince. “Ummm… Nephew?” Celestia asked.

“Relocate those funds to repairing the infrastructure of the southern areas… Raise taxes on imports by point seven percent to pay for any complications…” The Princes was muttering to himself, oblivious to the rest of the world.

“Nephew?” Celestia asked again, getting closer. “Nephew? Nephew. Prince Blueblood!”

“What, what?!” The Prince started, broken from his trance. “What’s happening? Is everything ok?”

“I wanted to ask you that nephew.” Celestia said, placing a reassuring hoof on the Prince’s shoulder. “What are you doing here? Where’s Cadence?”

Blueblood looked up at Celestia, his eyes a little frantic. Excessive caffeine consumption… Celestia guessed. “Oh… uh,” Blueblood shook his head, regaining his senses. “She, uh… she wasn’t feeling good tonight so she asked me to fill in for her.”

“She asked you?” Chrysalis asked, cocking an eyebrow.

“Uh… yeah.” Blueblood remarked blandly. The two mares could tell he wasn’t all there, most of his mind looked to still be mulling over numbers. “Yes, she asked me… Gave me responsibilities… Oh, wait… Responsibilities… Still gotta finish this finance report for Southern Equestria…” His head shot right back down to the desk and he grabbed a quill with his magic.

Celestia gave her nephew with a shocked expression. Blueblood had never done had an honest day’s work in his entire life. But here he was, not just working but trying to run the kingdom. Looking over his shoulder, Celestia gaped as she saw that he had completed over three days of the sun goddess’s work. “Nephew, please stop.” Celestia asked plainly.

“What?!” Blueblood exclaimed. “I-I can’t! I’ve got… responsibilities now! I’ve got to get them done!” The Prince was about to return to his work but Celestia put a hoof on his shoulder.

“Nephew, I understand. But if you overexert yourself then you won’t be able to complete your responsibilities. How about you get some sleep and tomorrow I’ll give you some paperwork that’s backed up? How’s that sound?”

Blueblood contemplated his Aunt’s offer for a moment. Eventually, the words clicked. “Yes… yes, that makes sense. Ok, Auntie Celestia, I’ll go to bed now. I can continue tomorrow.” The stallion got up and staggered away, out of the throne room. He mumbled to himself the whole way to his own bedroom.

Chrysalis waited until he was gone to turn to Celestia. “So… that was weird.”

“Indeed.” Celestia remarked. “Still, it is well know that having important duties can drastically change a pony. That does not make it any stranger to see Blueblood working, however.”

“How about Cadence? She never said anything about feeling under the weather.”

“Probably didn’t want us to worry about her while we were at the party.” Celestia guessed.

Chrysalis turned to look at the door. “Should I go and check on her? See if she’s ok or needs anything?”

“No,” Celestia replied. “If she needed anything she would have called for it. It’s probably best if we let her sleep off whatever aliment pains her.” The Solar mare flexed slightly, groaning. “Besides… I want to get a shower.” She started for the door.

“Mind if I join you?” Chrysalis asked in a sultry manner.

Celestia laughed. “I’d have it no other way. Just, nothing rough, I don’t feel like breaking anything else tonight.”

“I’ll be as gentle as you want.” Chrysalis responded with a seductive wink. The two mares laughed, gave each other a kiss, and then exited the throne room together.


Cadence was lying in her bed, staring at the ceiling. Fiddling with her hooves, the Alicorn of love was not the least bit happy. Shape Shift, balled up at the end of her bed like a dog, raised his head from its resting position and cocked his head and took out his board.


“We failed.” Cadence remarked darkly. “We failed miserably and now Chrysalis will be hailed as some kind of hero.” The pink mare punched one of the bed’s super-awesome-crazy-comfortable pillows.

Shape Shift looked away, not enjoying his mistress being so angry and depressed. The Changeling thought for the best thing to say next. He thought of something a moment later and began scribbling. He finished and showed his board to Cadence: THERE’S ALWAYS NEXT TIME.

Cadence read the board carefully and nodded slightly. “Yes…” She said, her face contorting into a glare of hatred. Her cornflower blue magic sparked, neither creature noticed the tiny sparks of black, green, and purple magic that had infected Cadence’s own.

“There’s always next time…”

Things Get Political

View Online

Crystal Empire, Grand Outer Courtyard of the Crystal Palace at Night

Prince Regent Shining Armor squinted his eyes angrily at his in-law. “This challenge seems a bit one sided…” He remarked, believing to have been cheated.

“What?!” Princess Luna exclaimed in shock. “How can this possibly be one sided, Prince Armor?! It is totally fair and just, like me.”

Shining’s face contorted into one of suspicion. “The challenge ‘who can move the moon better’ doesn’t seem a bit unfair to you?”

Luna laughed and waved her hoof at Shining. “Of course not! Why, it may be the fairest game out there… I just so happen to be the champion.”

Shining crossed his fore legs and pouted slightly, looking off to the side with an uncaring demeanor. “You know I always thought the movement of the moon was a lot smoother when Celestia was in control…”

Luna got up in Shining’s face, anger twisting her expression. “WHAT?! You take that back! I’m the best moon mover there has ever been and that’s never going to change!”

Shining butted his face into Luna’s. “So you admit that this game is one sided!”

Luna put pressure against Shining. “I admit nothing!!!”

Suddenly a pair of pitch-black hooves placed themselves between the two arguing ponies and pushed them aside. “Step aside bitches, I got this.” And with that, the naked ex-king Sombra strode forward, his horn lighting up as he took his own attempt at Luna’s game.

Luna watched the stallion confusedly as he tried to move her moon, then turned back to Shining. “Umm… Shining. While it is not my place to question your ways of leadership I must question why he is still alive, and how for that matter.”

Shining shrugged. “I think Sombra can regenerate if enough of him is left intact. As for why I haven’t tried to get rid him? He’s got amnesia and doesn’t remember a thing about being a tyrant, and I can’t bring myself to harm a pony who has no idea what’s going on. Besides, even if he did have his memory, it’s a terrible thing to hold and act on grudges. It’s best to just move on and leave the past where it belongs.”

Luna smiled. “A wise attitude Prince Armor. If more had your ideals this world would be a better place. I just hope the ponies of the Crystal Empire are feeling the same way.”

“So far they’ve been fine with it. He hasn’t really caused any trouble and…”


Shining and Luna brought their attention to Sombra, who had tried a little too hard to move the moon. “Son of a Parasprite!!!” Shining yelled. “He brought a meteor down on the palace!”

Luna examined the chunk of space rock intently. “Huh, it’s full of crystals… go figure…”

Sombra shifted his eyes back and forth, a ‘trying-to-hide-something’ look on his face. “Uhhhhh… I didn’t do it…”


Canterlot Castle, One Week After Fancy Pants’ Party

“I don’t think it suits me…” Chrysalis remarked while giving the white dress she was currently wearing a critical eye.

“Don’t be ridiculous.” Cadence retorted, smiling happily. “It looks great on you! Really brings out your… um… Irises?”

Chrysalis rolled her eyes. “Yeah, because I want to match all my clothing to my irises. I think green is more my color.”

“Indeed, indeed.” Photo Finish agreed, examining her latest project assigned to her by Princess Celestia. “Hmmm… zis dress iz only in ze experimental period anyway. I’ll have to write zat down in my notes.” The mare took out a small notebook and scribbled something down into it.

Shape Shift, sitting on his haunches off to the side, watched intently as Photo write down her notes. The Changeling had no clue if the mare would be able to recognize him, he did only see her when he was disguised. The fact she wasn’t giving him a sultry look or trying to flash him supported his personal theory of being incognito.

While Shape Shift stared thoughtfully at Photo Finish, Chrysalis, starting to feel bored with the dress fitting, began to look around. They were in Celestia’s bedchambers (Sun symbols… Sun symbols everywhere). Celestia had requested Photo Finish create a dress for Chrysalis to be used during royal events that required such things. Chrysalis would have been happy to skip this whole thing and go nude. She didn't though, even if it almost pained her. Nonetheless, she persevered… for Celestia.

In the Castle’s throne room, Princess Celestia was reviewing some reports on the financial situation of Southern Equestria. Ever since giving the region to Prince Blueblood to look after the southern region had seen a large spike in efficiency and affluence. “How in the world did he do it?” Celestia griped, gritting her teeth a little.

The throne room door opening brought the ruler from her reports and caused her to bring her head up. Not much to her surprise, a royal messenger ran in, though she was tired and ragged looking. The brownish-coated mare dropped into a bow for her Princess, Celestia could hear her intense breathing.

“Arise.” The Princess stated neutrally. “What news do you bring good pony?” It was at this time Celestia noted the mare was one of her messengers to and fro one of Equestria's foreign allies.

“Your Highness…” The mare started, leaving her bowing position and grabbing out a scroll. Celestia took it with her magic. Her mouth free, the messenger continued. “It appears that the Griffin Meritocracy wishes an audience with you. The Grand Magistrate wasn’t specific about why, however.”

Celestia unraveled the scroll and read it carefully, dissecting each word to find the issue under all the pretty wording and politic professionalism (something many lacked, but not the Grand Magistrate of the Griffins). It took Celestia two reads but she finally got the message. The Royal Alicorn sighed, closing her eyes and massaging her temples. “Well, I knew this time would come eventually. This is actually excellent timing. I’ll have better success if I can speak to Equestria’s allies one at a…”

“Umm… Princess Celestia?”

The mentioned mare’s eyes shot open and she felt her eye twitch involuntarily at what she saw. Standing at the open doorway to the throne room stood several other messengers, all of them Equestria’s errand ponies to foreign nations.

“Oh son of tail-lifter…”


The Next Day...

Celestia and Cadence, along with several dozen royal guards, stood in the Castle’s courtyard, awaiting the inevitable. Cadence shifted a bit, not liking having to stand out in the blazing sun one bit. The pink Alicorn could tell her Aunt was nervous; Celestia usually used her magic to always make the sun a good temperature. It was never too hot nor too cold. Today, however, the Sun had been shifting about, changing sporadically over the day.

Finally, Cadence found the strength to speak. “Aunt Celestia, what’s going on? Why do we have delegates from Equestria’s allied nations coming here? What do they want?”

Celestia looked down to the ground. “Somehow, despite my best efforts, our allies have discovered my relationship with Chrysalis.” The Sun Goddess turned to Cadence, a saddened look in her eye. “Cadence, Changelings have the worst reputation of any sapient species alive today. Most would risk allying with dragons before trusting a Changeling. They’ve no doubt come to voice their disdain.”

Cadence gritted her teeth. “What?! Who are they to tell you who you can and can’t love?! Your business should be yours alone!” Cadence found herself shaking slightly. Celestia gave her niece a shocked look (Even the scheming mare herself was secretly taken aback by her own outburst).

Celestia smiled weakly at her niece. “Thank you Cadence, that was quite thoughtful. They are simply looking after their allied nation, that’s all. Equestria’s size as a country alone scares off many who would seek ill against us and while it may seem distasteful to admit, many countries use their alliance with Equestria as a deterrent. I will simply have to convince them Chrysalis is no threat.” The Alicorn quickly got very serious. “And I shall convince them.”

Not if I can help it… Cadence mentally assured. “Oh, here they come!” She shouted, pointing off to the distance.

Sure enough, one could see several non-pony creatures strolling up to the castle, bodyguards in rhythmic step. Cadence took note of the species gather: Griffin, Zebra, Capricorn, and Diamond Dog (the western kingdom). These were the biggest players of the United Species Alliance; most of the smaller nations simply went along with the larger ones and didn’t bother attending meetings that did not concern them directly.

Celestia inhaled deeply. “Well, here we go.” Putting on a big smile, Celestia strode up to her guests (her own guards in step). “Welcome my friends and delegates, it is a pleasure to…”

“Save it Celestia.” The Capricorn diplomat grouched. “We shall get straight to business. So, where is the creature? Her sentence must be swift and…”

“Please silence yourself, Grizzled Policy.” The Griffin diplomat Septimus interjected. “We are here for a civilized discussion, not point and blame.”

“But we can’t deny what you’ve done, Princess.” The Western Kingdom Diamond Dog diplomat Onyx added. “You have mated with Changeling… bad, bad, bad.”

“I agree with Septimus.” The Zebra diplomat (and only female) Siasa remarked. “We must hear Celestia’s side before passing judgment, it is the only fair thing to do.”

Celestia coughed loudly, gaining the diplomat’s attention. “I am ready to answer any questions you have as well as…” The Alicorn shot a look at the Capricorn. “The proof to dispel any suspicions you may also have. Shall we begin?”

“Me rather tired…” Onyx stated, panting a little. “Would like rest.”

“Indeed.” Septimus agreed. “It was a rather long and rushed trip from all our homelands. A rest may help all a great deal,” The Griffin shot a look at the Capricorn. “As well as calm all down before the meeting. I suspect you have rooms ready?”

“I am always prepared.” Celestia replied, smiling slightly.

“Very good. We shall take our leaves to our own rooms and rest for the night. Until the meeting we will not be a disturbance. Will we?”

Grizzled Policy grumbled slightly. “No…”

“Good. Lead the way Princess Celestia.”

Celestia smiled. “My guards can show the way, Valor.”

The Guard Captain saluted. “Of course Princess. All right diplomats, follow my guards and I, we’ll lead you to the rooms that have been specially prepared for you. Let’s go.” The Captain bowed respectfully to the representatives and walked towards the castle.

The first three delegates walked past Celestia, the mare could feel the air get slightly colder when they did. Siasa stopped in front of Celestia and leaned in close to the Alicorn. “Whatever the others may say Princess, I trust your decisions and support you full heartedly. I know you wouldn’t risk your country’s security for a nice roll in the hay.”

Celestia smiled at the Zebra, she could hear the slight strain in the mare’s voice as she tried to talk like the rest of the delegates and not in her normal rhyming tongue. “Thank you Siasa, that means a lot. I knew you would stay with me and… wait, what do you mean a good roll in the hay?”

The Zebra smiled in a deviant manner. “Oh please Princess, a Changeling Queen that can take the form of anypony she wishes and probably sired her entire hive? I bet she is, as I heard a Griffin put it once, fire under the bed sheets.”

Celestia gulped and chuckled nervously. “Umm… Well, umm… I’m not telling you! I don’t have to.”

“You’re right.” The Zebra replied, smiling. “Because I already have my answer. Good day to you Princess Celestia.” With a bow, the Zebra departed for the castle, her guard in toe. “Princess Cadence.” She uttered as she pasted the pink Alicorn.

“Ambassador.” Cadence replied, bowing slightly to the pasting foreigner. The pink Alicorn walked up next to her beloved aunt and gave her a saddened expression. “Aunt Celestia? Is everything ok?”

Celestia turned to her niece, smiling. “Yes actually, everything is quite fine. It went better than I had expected truth be told. Though I wanted to eventually reach out to each nation’s leader one by one and explain the situation, this can work too.”

“Should we be frightened that the leaders of our allies didn’t come here personally?” Cadence asked.

“No.” Celestia replied plainly. “Ever since the Changeling invasion occurred the leaders of other lands have been… hesitant to have us all meet in Equestria. This is nothing new.”

“Well, if anypony can convince them that Chrysalis is good it’s you Aunt Celestia.” Cadence smiled warmly at her Aunt, an act that brought a good deal of hope to Celestia’s face.

“Thank you Cadence, I will certainly try.”

“Well… I think I’ll turn in for today,” Cadence yawned and sat on her haunches, stretching her fore legs. “I’ve got a letter to write to Shining and some other stuff too. Goodbye Aunt Celestia.”

“Cadence.” Celestia responded simply, bowing her head slightly in respect. The Solar Alicorn watched her niece leave and, when she was out of sight, let out a heavy sigh. “Creation give me strength… Maker knows I’ll need it.”


Cadence lay on her bed in her pretty pink room, looking at the ceiling with a devious smile. She had written her letter to her husband and completed all the tasked she had to do today. Now her mind moved to the next piece of business, one that she would take great enjoyment in. “This will certainly make up for last weeks blunder…” Sitting up, the mare stretched out some numbness in her body and looked around. “Hmmm… Where’s Shape Shift?”

As if on cue the little Changeling appeared, or more accurately: the disguised Shape Shift returned, he was still in his favorite skin set (the pale yellow stallion with a black mane). The Changeling slipped in rather suspiciously and closed the door quietly, as if trying to hide his presence. Cadence guessed he expected her to be asleep or gone.

“Hello Shape Shift…” Cadence uttered in the tone most use when they catch someone in the act. The Changeling jumped a little and spun around quickly, smiling awkwardly at his mistress. “Where have you been?” Cadence asked; that’s when the mare picked up a strong, musky scent. “And why do you smell like sweat and shame?” Cadence sniffed again. “Shame that you think was totally worth it?”

‘REASONS’ read the Changeling’s little board (Cadence took note that the marker was smudged, like he had wrote it beforehand and it had gotten damp and then started to run).

Cadence gave the Changeling a look. “Right, you know I don’t even care. Do you know why Shape Shift?” The Changeling shook his head no. Cadence grinned and hopped out of her bed. “Because I’m going to convince those diplomats that Chrysalis is still her evil self. They’ll yell at Celestia and give her an ultimatum to get rid of the bug butt, and Celestia, always looking out for her country, will cast aside Chrysalis from the political pressure.” Cadence giggled in way that was childish but evil. “Maybe they’ll even have her executed, oh Maker could I be that lucky?”

Shape Shift snorted slightly. THIS IS PROBABLY GONNA BACKFIRE, the Changeling mentally assumed.

Degrading Delegations

View Online

“We solve one problem, only for another to take its place.”

“Not once did I say it would be easy.”

“True… still, it’s frustrating.”

Celestia chuckled and strode from her bed to Chrysalis on the balcony, her long strides making the walk quickly. The white Alicorn positioned herself next to her Changeling lover and nuzzled her affectionately under her chin, rubbing her face into the softer neck carapace (she made sure to mind her horn). “You’re frustrated? You’re not the one who has to deal with the dignitaries.”

Chrysalis smiled softly, returning Celestia’s nuzzle. “Well, thank Creation for small mercies.” She stated with caring tone that still had an undertone of mockery.

Celestia’s eyes rolled. “You’re terrible sometimes.”

“You love it.”

“No wonder I have to deal with all this crap.”

Chrysalis suddenly broke the two’s nuzzling, much to the annoyance of Celestia. The Solar Goddess’ annoyed face vanished away instantly when she saw Chrysalis face. The Changeling looked dead serious. “Celli, do you really think you can convince the other nations of my… reforming?” Chrysalis looked away with a pained expression. “What if… What if you can’t? What will happen? Will they reprimand Equestria? You? I could never live with myself knowing I brought harm to you or your country. I just…”

Celestia, who advanced and caught her lover’s lips in her own, cut the Changeling short. The kiss was deep and loving, also very sexy. It was a full minute before they broke off their lip locking. The white Alicorn smiled at the black Changeling. “Everything will be fine Chrysalis, I promise. Siasa is already with me and Septimus is the most reasonable Griffin I’ve ever met. Onyx will be satisfied as long as our love doesn’t affect his kingdom.”

“And Grizzled Policy?”

“Will be difficult, I won’t lie. But I’ll appeal to him one way or the other. He is kinder, fairer, and more open-minded than he lets on. If I can put even the tiniest bit of doubt in his belief he will reconsider and eventually see the good in you.” Celestia nuzzled Chrysalis a little more.

Chrysalis giggled a little, the Alicorn rubbing her the right way. “Alright, alright. I trust you.”

“And if things go downward you can just hypnotize them.”

“Celestia…” Chrysalis stated angrily, not finding the joke funny.

“What? It was simply a joke.”

“A bad one.”

“True enough.” Celestia laughed, then stretched out. “Ugh. Well, I guess it’s time to raise the Sun.” The Alicorn walked a little far on the balcony and ignited her horn.

“Mind if I join you?” Chrysalis asked in content voice.

“The real question is why you even need to ask.”



Cadence rolled her eyes. “Shape Shift, you have bad feelings about everything, you had a bad feeling about the shower last night.”


Cadence shook her head and rolled her eyes yet again, confounded by her assistant’s fearful nature. The two were walking down one of the castle’s many corridors, the ones that led to the diplomatic suites. Cadence’s plan was simple: convince the delegates Chrysalis was still evil and simply using Celestia to further a Changeling plot. It shouldn’t be too hard to convince them, she just had to pluck at the right nerves. Unfortunately for Chrysalis, Cadence knew which nerves to strike.

“Halt! State your business, big pony.”

Cadence looked at the Diamond Dog guards standing in front of Ambassador Onyx’s door. The Diamond Dogs of the Western regions of their homeland had gotten their acts together. Instead of the usual clans, packs, and tribes of the anarchic Eastern Kingdom, the Western Kingdom could actually be called a country. Even Luna had been impressed at how far the Diamond Dogs of this region had evolved socially during her absence. Regardless, they were still just animals, like everyone else. And animals favored nothing higher than self-perseveration and Diamond Dogs were especially paranoid.

“I’m here to see Diplomat Onyx.” Cadence said plainly.

“Why?” The black furred guard asked, his armor clanking slightly as he leaned down to look at Cadence.

“It’s just a friendly chat.” The guard didn’t seem convinced, Cadence pouted at this. “What? Can’t the Princess of the Crystal Empire speak to a fellow diplomat? Geez, Eastern Dogs are kinder than this.” Cadence turned to leave.

“WAIT!” The guards shouted together. “You can go in.” The guards moved aside for the Alicorn, not wanting to be seen as worse than their barbaric Eastern brethren.

“Thank you very much.” Cadence said, bowing slightly before entering the room.

Ambassador Onyx was at the room’s table, nibbling on something that looked like the leg of a chicken (Cadence held back a gag). The Diamond Dog noticed the mare and lifted his head up, nodding to her as she approached. “Oh, Princess Cadence, nice to see. How you? Good, me hope.”

“With you here, how could I be anything but Ambassador?” Cadence smiled as she took a seat opposite to the Dog.

“Flattery. What you want?” Onyx cocked an eyebrow in suspicion.

Smart, as always… Cadence smiled past his question and took on a hurt look. “Why do I need a reason to be flattering? I am the Alicorn of love no? It’s simply a natural reaction for me.”

“Careful you not act that way around mate, might get wrong idea.”

Cadence laughed. “Trust me, I know. Anyway, enough about me, how are you doing? How’s the Western Kingdom?”

Onyx inhaled the rest of his chicken leg and threw the bone away. “Me am fine. As for Kingdom me serve? Worried, this business with Changeling… Bad juju.”

Cadence gave the Dog a confused look. “How so?”

“Changeling’s bad news.” The Ambassador replied. “Want only war, try to steal love. Ruthless, one hive tries to make deal with Western Kingdom. Would have been revolutionary, end hostilities with hive. Other hives destroy that one, kill Queen and drones for not doing things how Changelings always have. Scary. Chrysalis hive not participate in that, still scary.”

“So you’re afraid that Chrysalis is trying the same thing here?” Cadence wondered.

Onyx nodded. “If she not mastermind, she still pawn. If not game me thinks it is, probably some else. Won't lie, paranoid.”

“What?! That’s ridiculous!” Cadence waved a hoof at the Dog. “You shouldn't be scared at all! I mean it’s not like Chrysalis tried to attack your people personally. But then again, if what you say is true, then think of the army she could breed if she took over Equestria. Geez, what if she controlled Celestia’s mind, she could even have the Equestrian army at her command! She’d be unstoppable! She’d probably attack the other countries and rule everything.” Cadence put on her best pondering hypotheticals face, appearing as though her words were simply speculation.

As she had planned, the diplomat had not taken it in that way. “Me… Me not think of that… She could control Celestia… and if she Changeling thrall then she not thinking straight. She is, isn’t she?! She enthralled! She is!”

Cadence took interest in this sentence. “Is that what you think Ambassador? Without any doubt?”

Onyx nodded. “Yes! It true! You explain me truth! I was going give Chrysalis chance but this make sense! She controlling Celestia and making Changeling stronger! She try subtler approach to victory this time! You and me must stop her!” Now that Onyx's mind had become infected by paranoia, it was doubtful he would let up.

Cadence smiled evilly. “That’s all I needed to hear.” The Alicorn’s horn lit up and before Ambassador Onyx could react she blasted him with a spell. The Diamond Dog cringed and slumped to the ground, unconscious. Cadence’s smile lingered and she trotted out of the room. The Diamond Dog Guards caught a glimpse of her before their worlds become a flash and then nothing. Cadence walked past them without incident. “Excuse me boys.” The Alicorn moved quickly down the hall. Shape Shift looked out from his hiding place behind a corner and ran to catch up with his mistress.

Back in Onyx’s room, the Diamond Dog Ambassador brought himself up off the floor, shook the flash from his eyes, and looked around. He had been doing something, but he couldn’t remember what. One thing did stick his mind however: Chrysalis was evil and controlling Celestia in an attempt to gain the power needed to invade his nation. The Ambassador would not let that happen.


Siasa was organizing some papers when a knock came to her door. “Come in.” She shouted, coughing a little as she put her papers away so that she could adjust her voice to Equestrian speak. The zebra turned to see Princess Cadence walked into her room. The zebra smiled at her, and then turned to her guards. “Leave us.” She ordered politely. The guards complied with a nod and left.

“Still not big on letting others listen in huh?” Cadence’s eyes followed the guards as they left.

“Ignorance is bliss.” Siasa replied plainly, running her black hoof through her ponytailed striped mane. “It is better if they are not exposed to the sickening world of politics. I still wish I wasn’t.”

Cadence laughed. “We all have to make sacrifices right?”

“I’d rather sell my soul to the ancestors doomed to the Hollows than spend a hundred years in politics, leaves a bad taste in my mouth.”

“You enjoy it.” Cadence coyly replied.

“Only because it is a way to make a difference for my fellow zebras.” Siasa bowed respectfully as Cadence sat next to her. “So why have you come here Cadence, a social visit?”

“Half and half.” Cadence replied. “I wanted to know what your position on Chrysalis was.”

The zebra grabbed a teacup that had been sitting on her work desk; she took a deep whiff into it. “I support Celestia’s judgment, regardless of what the others may think. Celestia has never failed her country before, and I doubt she will anytime soon.” The Zebra took a sip of her drink.

“Oh, yeah I suppose so…” Cadence uttered, sounding as disbelieving and unconvinced as she could. This display caught the zebra’s interest, exactly what Cadence had planned.

“What? You think Celestia has not done her duties well?”

Cadence looked at Siasa with a shocked look, feigning the idea she had just realized what she had actually said. “What?! No, no!” Cadence waved her hooves in front of herself, smiling and looking quite embarrassed. “It was just a simple thought, nothing serious.”

Now Siasa’s interest was very piqued. “No, please Cadence, speak your mind.”

Cadence looked at the diplomat, a nervous look on her face. “Ok… Just uh, don’t tell my Aunt.” The zebra ambassador nodded in compliance. Cadence continued. “Well, it just that recently, Aunt Celestia’s been taking a lot of risks as of late, like with Aunt Luna while she was still Nightmare Moon.”

“That was to save her, Cadence, if you remember.”

Cadence easy felt the angry undertone of the zebra’s voice, a feigned embarrassment. The Alicorn thought out her next sentence, knowing a misplaced word would end this conversation. The Alicorn knew she would never turn Siasa against Celestia, zebras trusted other species greatly. This was, however, also their greatest weakness. They could easily be turned on an ally if they believed that friend was hurting themselves without thought of stopping. Cadence would exploit that. “It’s just that, well, she put the lives of all of Equestria into hooves of six little ponies, most of whom didn’t even know each other. There was a rather large margin for error, error that would have end with an eternal night.”

The zebra cocked her eyebrow and stared at her tea, taking in the words. “True… the move was rather risky. But in the end it worked, and isn’t that what truly matters?”

“Yeah, I suppose. But isn’t wrong to encourage such risky behavior? Sure it worked this time, but what about next time? What if the next Discord can’t be reformed, and the Elements are tricked into defeat? Then what?”

The zebra tensed up, her brain processing the information. True words could hurt, and Cadence made a good point. Celestia risked much by bringing the Changeling to her home, and letting her prance around where ever she saw fit. And then there was all the time Celestia and Chrysalis spent together, certainly enough time to for Chrysalis to work Changeling witchcraft. Exposing oneself to poison over time can build up immunity, but it can just as well kill you.

"We can not," The zebra began. "Judge one based on the few risk actions they have committed. Celestia..."

"Has done riskier things," Cadence interjected. "And has been know to act emotionally, like with Luna."

Siasa bit her lower lip, knowing it to be true. Though one could not blame Celestia for trying to protect her sister, the Solar Alicorn had still kept Nightmare Moon alive, an act that could have easily backfired on her.

"Let's not forget Sombra..."

The zebra swirled her tea around. It was true, Celestia had taken away a thousand years of the Crystal Ponies lives because she did not want to kill King Sombra, a thousand years. The diplomat could not help but contort her face into a contemplating expression. Celestia always acted different when her personal emotions became involved. She suppressed her emotions so much that when she finally did show have them she was a little overzealous. It was one of her few faults (that she knew about) and the zebra knew it was dangerous. If Chrysalis was influencing Celestia into loving her even slightly, then Celestia would automatically side with the Changeling.


The mentioned mare looked up at Cadence. “Yes?”

“What’s wrong?” Cadence asked, concerned. “Are you ok?”

“Yes, I’m fine.” Siasa replied. “I suppose you could say I simply feel a little doubt about Celestia’s actions, not much but… I will need to look into this more.”

Cadence smiled. “That’s all I wanted to hear.”

Siasa’s guards almost broke down the door when they heard the thud that they automatically assumed was their charge. True enough, the zebra ambassador was slumped down on the floor, her memory of the meeting wiped while leaving the doubt behind. The poor guards didn’t have a chance before Cadence did the same to them, her cornflower blue (and slightly corrupted) magic hitting them in the chests and causing them to fall with a slight thud.

“Too easy.” Cadence grinned.

Shape Shift came into the door, looking about. ARE WE GOING TO GRIZZLED POLICY NEXT? Read his little sign.

“No need.” Cadence said. “He doesn’t need convincing, not yet. I’ll wait till directly before the meeting to rile him up.” Cadence walked pasted the motionless bodies of the zebra guards. “Clean the three of them up and make it look like they fell asleep.”

Shape Shift nodded and complied.


Cadence gritted her teeth at the Griffin guard before her, unable to keep the anger from her expression. “What do you mean, I can’t go in?”

“Sorry Princess.” The Griffin responded stoically. “Ambassador Septimus wanted no one to disturb him before the meeting. He wanted a clear and steady mind and he said that talking to involved parties might skew his beliefs.”

“I just want to talk.” Cadence retorted angrily.

“That may be so, but the Ambassador told us no one gets in. He said that for no matter what reason you may come here for everything shall eventually lead to talking about the Changeling. Once again, sorry Ma’am.”

“This is ridiculous!”

“Orders are orders Princess, I’ll not disobey them.”

Cadence was about to verbally lash out at the guard for his stubbornness, but held herself back. The Alicorn smiled. “Very well, I’ll talk to him later.” With a bow, the pink mare turned and left, trying very hard not to grit her teeth into dust.

Shape Shift saw his mistress’s rejection and ran up to her when she was close enough. NOW WHAT?

Cadence sighed. “I suppose we just accept what we have. We have at least three diplomats that either mistrust Chrysalis directly or have their minds littered with doubt, that’ll have to do.”


Cadence grunted in annoyance. “It’ll work Shape Shift, I know it will.”


“Why are you doubting my plan?” Cadence asked in a dark tone.


“Because shut up.” Cadence replied blandly.


Cadence rolled her eyes. “Enough! Let’s go. I don’t want to be seen here.”

Shape Shift nodded at her words and the two left the castle’s diplomat wing, waiting with bated breath for the meeting to take place in a few hours.


Inside his closed room Septimus, resting on the carpeted floor, inhaled slightly as he heard Cadence outside. He heard the mare go from angry to surprisingly calm, apparently leaving. The dignitary squinted his eyes and turned his gaze to the outside world seen through his open window. He exhaled calmly as he thought of all the angles needed for the meeting.

"So why didn't you want to see her?"

Septimus looked behind him, to the female Griffin leaning on the wall. She was in full combat armor and looked ready to kill a potential assassin with anything available, though most likely she would go with the spear leaning next to her.

"Simple." Septimus mused. "She will try to convince me to hate Chrysalis, using past mistakes to cement her claims, I'll not have it."

The female Griffin cocked an eyebrow. "Convince you to hate Chrysalis? From what I've heard she and Chrysalis have made up and are friends now."

"Then you are a fool." Septimus said in admiration, as if he envied the Griffin's naivety. "When you have been a diplomat as long as I have, you will see that body language will speak volumes more than words. Princess Cadence's body spoke of frustration, of knowing her enemy is in her home and she can do nothing to end her." He sighed. "Poor Celestia, she is blinded by the ties of family, and can not see it as I can."

The female Griffin got up from her leaning position, a serious expression on her face. "If that's true then we need to warn Princess Celestia right away. Cadence might try and sabotage the meeting as well as the truth behind Chrysalis' reformation."

"She may." Septimus replied. "But we'll do nothing about it just yet."

"But... But sir."

Septimus stretched out some lingering soreness and got up, turning to his subordinate. "The greatest of lessons are learned through trial and fire. Words mean little without the pain to back them up."

The female Griffin almost responded, but silenced herself before any words came out. She simply nodded, accepting her superior's decision (even if she did not agree).

She did believe that the meeting would be interesting, if nothing else.

Debaters Gonna Debate

View Online

Shining Armor sat hunched over on the Palace throne, a less that thrilled look on his face. He hated this part of his job as Prince Regent, but he was usually able to persevere through it. Today however, it was getting rather annoying. The white stallion’s mind wandered to his faraway wife. Cadence was still in Canterlot, doing whatever it was she was doing. She was technically supposed to have returned a week ago, but she sent him a letter stating that there was still business to be done in Canterlot. Shining wished she was with him in the Empire, for more than one reason. The stallion let out an involuntary sigh.

“Am I boring you Prince Regent Armor?”

Shining’s mind snapped back to the throne room and he looked down on the Crystal Pony nobles staring up at him. The Prince shook his head a little to wave off any remaining daydream. “What? No, no… Sorry, I was simply thinking about something. Please, continue.”

The noble Valued Traditions gave the stallion a look. “I have a feeling you’re not paying attention sir.”

“I’m fine.” Shining replied. “Continue.”

Valued gave her Prince one more critical look, then finally returned to her notes. “Very well, back to the matter at hoof. The streets in the city’s middle district have become…”


The nobles gathered recoiled in shock as a wall exploded and from the smoke and rubble flew a fully armored Sombra. The dark stallion glided through the air and slammed into the opposite side, colliding with the crystal barrier and sliding down in a slow, comical way.

“What in the blazes?!” Valued Tradition screamed as she pressed her body to the floor in fear.

Sombra grunted in pain and shook away the stars in his eyes. Wiping a speck of blood from his mouth, the unicorn got up and smiled confidently. “HA! Is that all you got?! I’ve faced fillies with a better kick!”

As if on cue, Luna stepped out of the smoke, armored up as well. “Ha! I’m just getting started knave!” Luna’s eyes lit up and the Alicorn shot bolts of magic at the unicorn, who promptly countered with a shield.

Sombra broke the shield once Luna’s barrage was done and charged the mare, ramming into her and sending them both tumbling out the hole they came from.

Valued Traditions and all the other nobles lay pressed to the ground, eyes wide and mouths agape. Valued gathered the courage to stand and once she was on all fours again she turned to Shining. “What-What just happened?!”

Shining, who’s expression had not changed at all during the recent exchange, looked at the noble. “You mean that little scene? Sombra made an off comment about something or another and Luna’s trying to prove him wrong… they’ve been at it for a day or two.” All the nobles still found themselves gapping at their Prince. Shining simply smirked and leaned forward in his throne, his mood suddenly elated. “So… shall we get back to our politics?”


Canterlot, Diplomatic Wing of the Castle

A fully armored Grizzled Policy grumbled slightly as he marched down the hall to the meeting room, the words being spoken to him processing as mere noise. Finally, the Capricorn could not take it anymore. He turned to his unwanted follower and snarled. “Princess Cadence, for the last time, I don’t care! Take your sob story else where!”

Cadence stopped dead in her tracks to avoid a collision with the large goatfish she had been following. The Alicorn gave the Capricorn a stern look. “Sob story? It isn’t a sob story! Chrysalis has changed; she’s not the same monster that tried to ruin my wedding! Why won’t you believe me?”

“Because I know Changelings.” The Capricorn retorted. “I know for a fact all they care about is furthering their own sadistic goals and causing the other species trouble. I can say with certainty that Chrysalis is planning something and nothing you say will change my mind.”

Once again Cadence took on a stern look and glared down the much bigger creature in front of her. “I won’t back down, Chrysalis has changed, and you’re being a fool.”

Grizzled snorted. “We’ll see about that. The meeting will decide if Chrysalis has changed. And I assure you, by the end of it, nobody will believe that bug’s changed at all.” Grizzled nodded defiantly and marched off to the meeting room.

Cadence watched the Capricorn leave with an almost sadistic enjoyment. Capricorns were thick headed and had major anger problems, no matter what anybody said. Get them angry enough and they’ll go off, it’s also the best way to make them not agree with you, yelling only making them shut down and cling to their own beliefs. Cadence smiled triumphantly, enjoying her little victory in the fight against Chrysalis.


Cadence looked down to see Shape Shift next to her, his board tucked in his fanged mouth. The pink mare smiled at the Changeling and patted him on the head. “Now we go to the meeting and continue to subtly influence the diplomats to reject Chrysalis. It’ll be easy.”

SO YOU SAY, Shape Shift had a not so confident look on his face as he wrote his message.

Cadence chuckled a little. “It’ll be alright Shape Shift. Today Chrysalis is brought down!”


Cadence’s eyes widened as she read the board. She had not thought about what happens to Shape Shift after Chrysalis shown as to still be her evil self. Unsure how to answer the extremely relevant question, Cadence simply laughed cheerfully and smiled at the Changeling again. “Don’t worry about it, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. Now, let’s get cleaned up. I need to look presentable for the meeting right?”

Shape Shift nodded happily and the two started down the nearest hallway, hoping to make to Cadence’s room and back before the meeting started.


Canterlot Castle Diplomatic Meeting Room

The meeting room of Canterlot Castle was a rotundas, as perfectly circular as was possible and containing a large domed ceiling and very large, high reaching windows that always kept the room brightly lit during the day. In the center was a large round marble table. It was remarkably plain and unadorned, considering it was in a royal castle.

Celestia had been waiting in the room since sunrise, preparing and readying herself for the meeting. Wiggling a little in the cushion that acted as her seat, the Alicorn sighed deeply. “How am I to prepare for this? This is not some political debate that I can throw facts at and easily convince my opponents of the fault of their plans. This is a debate that will be supported with hatred so deep it’s practically inbred into the veins.”

“You do what you can with what you have, and pray it is enough.”

Celestia turned to see the Griffin Ambassador entering the room, his female bodyguard in toe. Celestia bowed her head respectfully. “Septimus, hello. You’re early.”

“Hardly,” The Griffin replied. “I believe I am right on time, the others appear to be late.”

Checking the clock, Celestia was alarmed to discover that it was in fact time for the meeting to commence. Did I truly lose track of time that much?

“I believe so.” Septimus replied, reading the Alicorn’s thoughts. “I do pray you are ready to defend yourself and your companion. Speaking of which, I hope she is not going to attend.”

Celestia nodded. “Yes, we decided against it. Chrysalis is currently in my room, probably having lunch.”

“Good.” Septimus remarked. “While having her here would be a great boon for your side, I believe too much bad blood exists to take such risks. Hopefully, will reach a part of the debate where the others will allow her to speak, no creature should be unable to defend herself against accusations such as the ones being thrown about.”

“We can only hope.” Celestia replied gloomily, not really convinced the others will allow such a thing.

“Ambassador, the others are here.” The female Griffin bodyguard stated, seeing the doors open and the delegates walk in.

“So does Hell break loose and the dogs of war set free.” Septimus remarked, chuckling slightly to himself.

Siasa, Onyx, and Grizzled Policy bowed respectfully to the other Ambassadors, who promptly did the same. Making sure all delegates and their escorts where in the room, Septimus motioned at the door guards. Nodding, the multiracial guard force assembled closed the large double doors to the room and locked them tight. Once all knew Ambassadors were sure they were locked in they took their seats. Their seating orders matched a pentagon: Celestia sat at the top point; Septimus and Siasa took the top right and left spots respectively, and Onyx and Grizzled Policy took the bottom left and right, respectively.

“So,” Septimus (the moderator of this meeting) said. “Now we can begin. Time for the first order of business.” The Griffin turned to Grizzled Policy, an unsaid order being passed between them. “Grizzled.” Septimus said plainly.

The Capricorn looked at Septimus and snorted. “No.”

Septimus gave a glare. “There are no buts in this, do it or leave.”

The Capricorn rolled his eyes. Reaching into his armor he pulled out an axe and tossed it onto the table. “All of it.” Septimus growled. Rolling his eyes again, Grizzled reached in once more to pull out a crossbow, three spears, four swords, a mace, several combat knives, a great sword, five javelins, a hammer, and finally half a dozen magically created grenades.

“There, happy?” The Capricorn asked in a hostile manner.

“Yes, once you remove all of it.” Septimus responded.

The Capricorn sighed heavily and removed his armored chest piece to reveal an entire belt of explosives strapped to his chest. Onyx and Siasa backed away in horror and fear; Septimus and Celestia were unaffected. Unstrapping the belt of explosives from his chest and throwing on the pile the Capricorn snorted in a way that told the others he had no more. Grizzled promptly put his chest plate back on.

“W-Why?” Siasa asked, her grey zebra eyes darting back and forth over all the weapons.

“Ha, I’m never getting caught with my guard down at a political meeting.” Was the Capricorn’s response; he grumbled a little as he watched some unicorn guards and their magic take his weapons away.

“Alright, now the meeting can actually begin.” Celestia said. The Alicorn breathed out slightly, looked at the other diplomats, and smiled. “So from what I’ve been hearing you have grievances against my choice of mate?”

Grizzled slammed a hoof down on the table. “You’re damn right we do! You are intimately involved with a Changeling, A CHANGELING! Do I even need to remind you of the threats to security this is?”

“I am well aware of the threats.” Celestia countered darkly. “And I have taken all precautions to ensure my safety as well as the safety of my country.”

“But have you?” Onyx interjected, shifting a little in his cushion. “Changelings very deceptive, good at making mazes out of situations. Not implausible she tricking you.”

“I am quite sure I would know if Chrysalis was tricking me.” Celestia responded.

“She did before.” Siasa added coldly. Celestia’s head turned quick to look at the zebra, a little shock in her face. Needless to say, the Alicorn had not expected Siasa to say anything that would harm her cause.

“That is a fine point.” Septimus remarked. “As Cadence she was able to trick all but your personal student, Twilight Sparkle. She able to do this and wasn’t even targeting you, so how can you expect to keep aware when she is after you directly?”

“I…” Celestia stammered, thinking of a way to counter. “I… checked. Yes! I made sure to make the proper inspections for mind altering magic.”

The other diplomats exchanged glances. Celestia could tell by the look in Septimus’ eye that he had a question that could break the Alicorn’s defense. The Griffin nodded ever so slightly, confirming he would give her time to gather her thoughts. Unfortunately, Ambassador Onyx thought of the same question. “And how you know Changeling has not affected mind? Did you do a test yourself? If so, results skewed.”

Celestia held back a smirk. “I had Luna scan me for hostile, mind altering magic.” Onyx opened his mouth to speak, but Celestia cut him off. “The thorough kind, the kind that hurts.” This shut the Ambassador up.

“There is more than one kind of mind altering magic.” Siasa interjected. “Some are not truly spells, but small bits of magical suggestion that slowly twist one’s thought processes over time. Do you spend a lot of time with Chrysalis?”

“We… We share a room,” Celestia admitted. “And a bed.” The other diplomats muttered to themselves.

“Surely this is no shock to anyone?” Septimus asked. “My wife and I slept in the same bed when we lived together before getting married. As shocking as it may seem, couples usually sleep together.”

“Don’t treat us like fools Septimus!” Grizzled Policy shouted, growling.

The Griffin stared indifferently at the angry Capricorn. “I did no such thing my friend,” He answered in an innocent tone. “I am simply explaining a cultural norm, surely there is no harm in that?” The Capricorn’s response was a grunt.

“Remember you cannot take sides in this conflict Ambassador.” Siasa reminded the Griffin. “You are our moderator, you must have a clear head.”

Septimus sniffed, looking at the zebra plainly, not rising to her bait. “I am quite neutral in this my dear Ambassador. In fact, I may have the clearest mind here. That is for another time however.”

Celestia interrupted the exchange. “Still, these rumors of Chrysalis planning to take over Equestria again are foolish. Do I need to remind any of you the current situation of her hive?”

Onyx shook his head. “No. Scouts get good information. Still, called the Changeling Collective for reason. More Queens, more hives. She help them, they help her. Equestria great prize for Collective, even more so if they can subdue it quietly, avoid panic.”

Septimus nodded. “Yes, they could definitely drain a lot of love from Equestria over many generations if the ponies were unaware of the 'change' in government. But honestly, how long do you think that’ll last?”

“Long enough, considering Changeling abilities.” Siasa countered. “Do I have to mention East Reach to anyone?”

“That was a special case.” Septimus replied.

“It is still proof!”

“Perhaps, or it can prove that Eastern Kingdom Diamond Dogs are not the brightest bulbs in the bunch.”

“Me second Septimus’ claim.” Onyx interjected with glee at the prospect of the humiliation of his barbaric brethren.

“Enough!” Grizzled growled. “On to the next order of business against Chrysalis.”

“Subtle as always, eh Grizzled?” Septimus chuckled.


“What do you mean I can’t go in?!”

“You heard me ma’am, no entrance.”

Cadence gritted her teeth at the Griffin guard in front of her. She had gotten all gussied up for the meeting and to watch as the other diplomats destroyed any hope for Chrysalis’s innocence. On her arrival to the meeting room, however, things had not gone as plans. “I must get in there to help with the debating!”

“Sorry Princess, only diplomats and their escorts may be inside the meeting room.”

“I am Princess of the Crystal Empire, and I demand entrance!”

The Griffin made a grunting sound before shaking his head. “No. The Empire is an offshoot of Equestria. As such, Celestia is your country’s representative in this matter.” He dipped his head down and snarled at the Princess. “So please, Princess, leave.”

Cadence looked around, gauging her chances. The meeting room guard force was multiracial: Griffins held the door while zebras and ponies were off to the side (readying to pounce on any potential attackers). Out of the way, Cadence could see Diamond Dog guards with huge crossbows for fire support. Outside, there were most likely tons of Griffin and Pegasus guards with Diamond Dog crossbowman ready for support. Getting in would take an army, unless you were already invited.

The knowledge that she was not invited clear in her mind, Cadence smiled happily regardless. “I see. And who ordered such a thing?”

“Ambassador Septimus, moderator of the meeting. He said something about not wanting outside influences affecting the debating.”

Of course, who else? Cadence kept up her smile before bowing respectfully. “Very well, I’ll leave then. I guess I can only hope that justice prevails in this matter.” With that said, the pink Alicorn turned and left. She hoped the seeds she had planted earlier would be enough to see Chrysalis crash and burn.


Canterlot Castle Meeting Room, Three Hours into Discussion

Celestia bit her lower lip. “Will nothing convince you?”

The Capricorn Grizzled Policy snorted. “No. You are making a mistake, allowing this Changeling menace to skulk about your home. I will not let you put so many at risk because you to have a good time under the sheets!”

“How dare you!” Celestia shot back. “I love Chrysalis! She isn’t just some sex toy I pull out whenever I’m feeling frisky!”

“But do you truly love her?” Siasa questioned. “Or is this her doing? Is she manipulating you into love? Or maybe it is just you, and your blind desire for companionship is shielding you from her true self.”

Celestia looked around the room. “What? Do you believe I can’t manage my personal feelings without it clouding my judgment?”

“You are usually very distant Celestia.” Siasa replied. “You keep your feelings locked up for the most part. Such a course is not good for emotional health. It might make you… desperate.”

Celestia gritted her teeth calmly, trying hard not to break her composure. “Are you saying I’m with Chrysalis because I’m desperate for attention?”

Siasa nodded. “I believe that may be more of a half truth. You’re usually alone, separate from the rest of the world thanks to your immortality. As such, when you finally find a spark of emotional, you cling to it with all you have and never let go. We’ve seen it in the past.”

“When?” Celestia insisted.

“Your own sister for one.” Siasa retorted. “She attempted to shroud the world in darkness, eternal night. She was threat to all, and the longer she lived the darker things would get. You had her beaten, but instead of ending her and ensuring that she could never threaten anyone every again, you sealed her away; in a prison she could escape given time. Your emotions blinded you and potentially doomed the world to a future of eternal night, a future only narrowly avoided by highly favorable convenience…”

“And six little ponies with fancy, magical jewelry…” Siasa shot a glare at Septimus, who had interrupted her. The Griffin blink blinked at the zebra. “What? Only giving a little insight for those that don’t know.”

“Well stop it.” Siasa replied angrily. “Though it pains us Celestia…”

“Not me…”

“All of us except Grizzled.” Septimus added.

Siasa shot looks around, confirming she could continue. “Though it pains us, we must ask that you relinquish Chrysalis into the United Species Alliance for crimes against sapient species everywhere.”

“NEVER!” Celestia shouted.

“You can’t stop it.” Grizzled shot back. “A message must be sent to the Changelings, a message that shows we will not take their aggression lightly! Chrysalis will be tried, sentenced, and executed!”

“WHAT?!” Celestia and Septimus both said at once, jumping out of their seats and slamming their hooves/claws on the table.

“You heard me.”

Septimus recomposed himself quickly. “Grizzled, you honestly cannot be thinking of doing this. Executing Chrysalis? She’d become a martyr to the Changelings, if not cause outright war with both sides. It would be a foolish endeavor. I am all for justice, but…”


All the diplomats turned to Celestia, her royal composure gone and the beginning of angered tears in her eyes. “THEY DON’T GIVE A DAMN IF CHRYSALIS IS INNOCENT! ALL THEY WANT IS THEIR OWN PITIFUL REVENGE!!!” The Alicorn slumped down into her cushion, breathing in heavily and calming herself. “Have we really come so far as sapient species, only to not be able to throw off the most worthless of causes?”

“I’d hardly call revenge worthless.” Septimus replied kindly. “After all, what is a country’s justice system but society getting revenge on those who broke its ways?”

Celestia closed her eyes and sighed. “I know that… in great detail actually.”

“Good.” Grizzled Policy responded. “Then give us the Changeling bitch and let’s be done with this.”

“Grizzled.” Septimus interjected. “Chrysalis hasn’t even given her own testimony. I think we can at least have her defend herself, it is a fundamental right of all sapient species.”

The Capricorn growled. “She’s not sapient, she’s just a bug that learned a few coherent sentences. My parrot can do the same thing. Besides, if we listen to her we could easily be hypnotized or something.”

Septimus bit his lower lip, knowing Grizzled had a point. “But still, with the proper protective magic…”

“No.” The Capricorn interrupted. “It’s over. Changelings have left more destruction behind them then all the other races combined times three. Dragons are more peaceful. She is under arrest.”

The Alicorn took a deep breath. “I’m not giving her up.”

“What?” Grizzled asked in an angered tone (though that was an understatement).

Celestia, in response, opened her eyes and glared at the Capricorn blankly. “You heard me.”


Septimus sighed as he watched the slow sunset. “That was certainly an interesting meeting.” He turned to look at Celestia, her horn glowing as she lower the Sun. “So, trade sanctions and promises of inaction? Not bad… considering.”

“They won’t take her from me.” Celestia remarked coldly. “I won’t let them.”

Septimus put a claw on the Alicorn’s shoulder. “Give it time, I don’t think their heads where truly in the game. A darkness moves against your lover, Celestia, and it has tendrils of control everywhere.”

The Solar Alicorn turned to the Griffin Ambassador. “What does that mean? Septimus, do you have something to tell me?”

“I don’t really think it’s my place to say.” The Griffin responded. “Such things should be sorted out by the players on the board, not the spectators in the stand.”

“What is it Septimus?” Celestia asked again, sternly.

The Griffin grunted. “Put simply, yet metaphorically? Medicine can heal, assist, and improve wounds, but it’s up to us and us alone to heal the cuts and bruises we’ve suffered. Some neglect the healing and let things fester, and that is what threatens your Changeling companion.”

Celestia sighed, knowing she wouldn’t get much more out of the Griffin (they were an annoyingly stoic race sometimes). “Alright, fine. Thank you for moderating the meeting.”

Septimus nodded. “It was a pleasure, even if it didn’t end how each of us wanted.” The Ambassador began walking away from Celestia, towards his awaiting guards at the Castle’s front gate. He suddenly turned his head and looked at the Alicorn mare. “As discussed in private, trade between us will not cease and you can count on the Griffins to come in and save your pony butts should you be wrong.”

“I couldn’t ask for anymore.” Celestia replied smiling. The Griffin smiled back and waved, walking off. Celestia returned the wave happily to her old friend.

So distracted was the mare that she did not see Cadence watching from one of the Castle balconies. The Alicorn of Love had a glare of pure anger and she was biting her lower lip so hard that blood flowed freely, staining her muzzle and the ground below.

Changes in Tactics

View Online

It had been a day since the meeting between the delegates of the United Species Alliance had taken place, and all seemed to finally be settling down. The Castle quieted down from the minor buzz in activity it had seen less than forty-eight ago. In the blackness of the night that now engulfed this side of the world, one wouldn’t even be able to tell the level of deception and betrayal that was heavily entrenched. That was for later, however.

Chrysalis grunted, trying to jab the other creature poking voluptuously in the side. The Changeling wasn’t in the mood, but the other being didn’t seem to get the message. “Celestia… stop it.”

“What? Why?” The Alicorn asked, sticking her regal head out from under the covers of their bed. “You always love a bit of foreplay.”

“How can you think about sex right now?” Chrysalis asked in an annoyed manner. “You have the ire of most of the other nations and Maker only knows who else. I’d think you’d be a little more concerned.”

Celestia shrugged. “It wouldn’t be the first time. Besides, if it means protecting you I’d go to war with the other nations.”

Chrysalis shivered at the cold seriousness in Celestia’s last sentence. “Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.”

“Cause everybody knows we’d totally win.”

Chrysalis and Celestia looked to their left to see Discord on the other side of the bed, his hands behind his head and one leg propped up on the other.

“Why are you in our bed?” Celestia asked.

“The better question is why shouldn’t I be?”

Chrysalis frowned. “There are any number of reasons for that.”

Discord sat up, feigning offense. “Well, fine! If that’s how you’re gonna be, I’ll just halt this four-way and leave.”

Celestia cocked an eyebrow. “Four-way? What are you…?” That’s when the Alicorn noticed the shy, yellow pegasus Fluttershy gripped in Discord’s left arm, hunched up in a way that stayed quite true to her bashful nature. The mare recoiled in disgust. “Discord, what in the world?! Did you honestly think I’d have four-way intercourse with you, Chrysalis, and an Element of Harmony?!”

“Intercourse?” Discord asked. He looked at Fluttershy then at the couple. The Draconequus promptly gasped, pulled a white glove out of thin air and slapped Celestia with it. “I meant a four-way talk session you pervert! Creation, a guy can’t talk about his feelings anymore without some mare thinking he wants sex.” He squinted at Celestia. “You disgust me… and I’ve seen dragons getting it on so you know I’m not easily repulsed.” He suddenly extended his arms out and looked at Fluttershy. “Come on Flutters, let’s get you home. I don’t want you to be around such… sexual degenerates.” With that, the mishmash creature disappeared in a flash of white.

“There’s something wrong with that Draconequus.” Chrysalis remarked.

“You’re telling me.” Celestia replied. The Alicorn suddenly smiled in very sultry way. “Now that that’s over, back to our ‘discussion’.” The Alicorn began kissing the Changeling Queen’s neck in various places.

“Celestia…” Chrysalis growled.

“Oh come on.” Celestia pleaded. “I’ve had a very stressful past few days, I need some relief.”

Chrysalis rolled her eyes. “Alright… But I’m on top this time.”

Outside the Royal Bedchambers the unicorn guard Radiant Point looked at his partner with a disgruntled look. “Seriously?”

The other unicorn Loyal Spark had his ear pressed to the door, and his face was super elated. “Don’t judge me.” He told his friend.


The Next Day

“Do you expect any of the nations to act against you?” Cadence asked while she lifted her spoon with magic and stuck in her mouth, gulping down the oatmeal on it.

“It's very doubtful any will act.” Celestia replied, gnawing on a hash brown. “Most wouldn’t want a war with Equestria. We are a large country to begin with and have a diverse geography to boot. No single army could take us, and I’m positive their own personal goals would get in the way of an organized attack. They also wouldn’t want to risk an army for one creature, even a Changeling Queen.”

“Well that’s good news at the least.” Chrysalis added, drinking the last of the milk in her cereal bowl. “Seems like everything won’t get worse.”

“I’m still worried.” Cadence said sadly. “Having the other nations against us isn’t going to end well.”

Discord, currently chewing on an address book, swallowed his food and opened his mouth to speak. “Well I think…”

No.” All three other table occupants shouted to silence the Draconequus before he could continue.

With the chaotic god silenced, Celestia continued from Cadence’s statement. “Everything will be fine Cadence. The other nations will cool down and will return with clear heads, then we can truly work out this issue.”

“Maybe we should at least try and appeal to them before-hoof.” Cadence said. “Maybe if placed Chrysalis in lockdown, nothing serious, but just to show them we’re not unreasonable.”

“That makes sense.” Chrysalis replied. “Maybe if I was separated from Celestia for awhile they’d be more convinced of Celestia’s own free will.”

“No.” Celestia remarked in an angry undertone, and slamming a hoof to the table. “I’ll not play into their ways. I will rule as I always have for the past thousand years, with temperance and understanding. I’ll not imprison an innocent just to appeal to other nations.”

Chrysalis and Celestia were too distracted to see it, but Discord was able to catch a glance of Cadence, just as her facial expression darkened into a slight snarl. The Alicorn of Love quickly hid her contempt when the other mares refocused on her. The Draconequus chuckled, but the others ignored this.

Cadence plopped the last bit of oatmeal into her mouth, swallowed, and exhaled, pushing her seat out. “Alright, well I have some things to do and I want to get them done as soon as possible. If you’ll excuse me.” Cadence hopped out of her seat and started for the door.

“Of course Cadence.” Celestia smiled. “See you at dinner tonight.”

Cadence nodded at her Aunt and left, using her magic to open the door and close it as well.


Cadence’s room was under guard, as per the usual in the last few weeks. Personally, it annoyed the pink Alicorn of Love. Honestly though, how could one plan against their aunt’s lover when soldiers loyal to said aunt were around every corner? It was rather distressing but then Cadence was a master of keeping calm and cool… except for that one time during spring break in her last year of college (but nobody talks about that).

Trotting up to the two guards, female pegasi both, Cadence smiled and nodded. “Guards-mares.”

“Princess.” The pair replied in disciplined tones, saluting their beloved third Princess. Kindly, they opened the door for Cadence, who thanked them as she passed.

Once the mare had gotten inside her room and the door shut behind her she let out a tired, frustrated sigh. Igniting her horn, Cadence removed her royal trappings with her magic. If anyone had been watching Cadence do this without her knowledge, they would have been disgusted at the infection worming it’s way through Cadence’s magic. A sickening ichor-like mess of black, purple, and green had replaced over half of the Alicorn’s cornflower blue aura. When in the presence of others however, her magic involuntarily converted itself back to its cornflower appearance, allowing Cadence not to worry about being discovered.

Placing her royal effects in their proper holding places, she looked around her room, searching for a particular Changeling. Luckily, she didn’t have to look far. In the corner of her room, in a small nest the Changeling had made for himself out of stolen newspaper, sat the Changeling Shape Shift. Cadence could see he was gnawing on some moon pies, courtesy of Princess Luna.

“Shape Shift!” Cadence cried out. “Front and center!” The Changeling zipped from his cradle and to the Alicorn instantly, saluting her. Cadence nodded to him. “At ease Shape Shift, I need you to do something for me.”

WHAT IS IT? The Changeling wrote on his board. Cadence leaned in and whispered something in his ear. Shape Shift’s eyes widened and he stared at Cadence. ARE YOU SURE THAT’S WISE?

“I’m sure.” Cadence replied. “No more fooling around, Chrysalis will be brought down. Now go on.” The Changeling nodded at the order and buzzed off. Cadence turned to the work desk in her room and took out some pen and paper. The mare smiled deviously. “Time for exploitation.”

~4 Hours Later~

Fleur De Lis could not help but be awed. Sure she was a noble, but even her lavish lifestyle could not compare to the glory of Canterlot Castle. Still, the mare was more interested in why Princess Cadence, the Alicorn of Love herself, had called her to the Castle.

Fleur had been a little on edge since she found herself in her room during Fancy Pants’ party, apparently knocked unconscious. She couldn’t remember a thing from that night, for whatever reason. The fashion model blamed it on liquor.

Fleur dismissed such thoughts however; they weren’t proper to have while meeting a Princess. Following her two pegasus escorts down the Castle halls, Fleur glanced looks at the two, mares both. The unicorn smiled as she watched their backsides go up and down. Fleur took a note to hit these mares up sometime, maybe to see if they might be interested in a relationship. That would be for later though.

The fashion model really couldn’t explain her physical attraction to mares while still retaining an intimacy for stallions only in the mental department. With many things, the unicorn simply left the explanation as one of the great mysteries of love (the author personally thinks all her screws might not be bolted in tightly enough).

The guards stopped in front of an ornate door Fleur guessed was the Princess’. “Wait here.” One of the ordered sternly, going inside the room and shutting the door behind her. Fleur was left alone with the other guards-mare, who stared at her intently and with seemingly unblinking eyes, making Fleur a little nervous. Though the mare thought the guard looked very beautiful, she knew that making a move at current was not the best idea.

That’s when the other guard returned. “Princess Cadence will see you now.”

Fleur nodded and stepped inside the Alicorn’s room. It was absolutely regal inside, with pink being the main focus it seemed. The floor was brilliant marble with a circular pink rug with a large scarlet heart in the center. Everything else occupied the walls, leaving a surprising amount of walking room inside.

As Fleur admired the grand display of a room, she was completely oblivious to Cadence closing the door with her twisted magic and locking it with a secure click. “Hello Miss Fleur De Lis.” Cadence said cockily.

Fleur jumped at the words and spun around quickly to see the pink Alicorn. She dropped to the floor in a low bow the moment her eyes saw the slightest part of the Princess. “Oh Princess Cadence, it is an honor! To-To what do I owe the honor of this meeting?”

Cadence seemed fazed by Fleur’s display, taking to studying her own naked hoof instead. “Hmm… Did you rehearse that? I’ll bet. Well, no need to beat around the bushes I guess.” Cadence strode up to the bowed mare and frowned. “I’m blackmailing you, so please stop with the pleasantries.”

Fleur felt her mouth drop slightly, but she quickly tried to recompose herself. Exiting her bow and moving her stare to Cadence’s eyes (the two were about the same height) the high-class unicorn could tell there was no doubt her Princess wasn’t lying. This simply brought out more questions however. “I’m… I’m sorry Princess?”

Cadence’s eyes rolled. “I’m blackmailing you. I know you cheat on Fancy Pants with other mares. Simply put, do what I say or I let it slip, ruining your reputation. So what’ll it be Miss De Lis?”

Fleur’s eyes widened as she stared blankly at her Princess, unable to fully process what had just happened. A Princess rarely personally invited one to the Castle, and even rarer was then being blackmailed by said Princess. But Cadence knew exactly where to strike the noble, her reputation. With that on the line, as well as her relationship with her beloved Fancy Pants, the unicorn had very few options. She bit her lower lip. “What do you want?”

Cadence smiled ever so darkly, the knowledge that her plan was about to jumpstart giving her an overabundance of elation.


Crystal Empire, Train Station Outside Capital

“Private Adamant, hurry up! It’s time to get going!”

Adamant Aegis of the Lunar Guard turned her head towards the Guard Captain. “Yes sir! Just helping to get the last of our luggage on the train!”

The Captain rolled his eyes slightly. “This is why I tell you guys to pack lightly… whatever, hurry up and get it all onboard, Princess Luna wants to get going.”

Adamant nodded and propped more luggage onto her back with the help of some of her lunar brethren. Together, the group was able to load the baggage so quickly the other ponies at the train station looked on with a little awe. They had finished packing up just in time; Princess Luna, Shining Armor, and Sombra had just arrived at the station from the Crystal Capital. The Lunar Guard Captain could hear their conversation as they approached.

“This trip was one of the best I’ve ever had!” Luna said, smiling widely. “I’ll have to back every year.”

Shining and Sombra looked at each other, unsaid words transmitting between the two stallions. “Uh… Sure Princess… whenever you like.” Shining finally said, though his unsure and reluctant tone betrayed his words.

Luna smiled, not having noticed. “Yes indeed! And hopefully Cadence will be here next time.”

Lunar Guard Captain Fading came from the train, walking up to and saluting his Princess. “We’re all ready to leave M’lady. Just give the word.”

“Yes, I believe we’ve been away from Canterlot long enough.” The Nighttime Alicorn turned to Shining and Sombra, bowing respectfully. “Prince Shining, Sombra.” The black unicorn could tell there was a presumptuous tone in her voice (she was still uppity after defeating him in foal's card game).

The stallions bowed in return and watched as the Princess turned, leaving for the train. The locomotive’s whistle whined and smoke billowed from chimney at the front, signaling the train's exit. Several ponies ran frantically as to not miss it.

Sombra and Shining’s heads followed the train as it chugged off, disappearing into the distance. Sombra, now sure Luna was out of earshot, looked at Shining. “Damn, she’s got a fine flank.” Shining responded by simply given the black stallion a blank look of are-you-kidding-me? No other emotions played out on his white face.

“What?” Sombra asked, confused.

Shining shook his head, the stallion started to turn towards the city. “Nothing, let’s…”

“Uh… Shining. We may have a problem.”

The mentioned unicorn turned with the intention of berating his male compatriot. As the Prince Regent’s eyes shot towards the other stallion's direction he finally noticed of what the stallion was looking at. As a dark shadow began creeping towards the train station, Shining tried to think of the appropriate thing to say as his eyes shot up.

“Oh crap.” Was all he managed to blurt out.

When Being Nice Isn't Enough

View Online

The Canterlot Castle Gardens

A brisk wind wormed its way through the night in Canterlot. Normally, this wind may have been considered an inconvenient nip of cold, but tonight it was a nice offset to the current bout of heat that seemed to be hitting the city. This kind of cold was one Luna would have liked to have, instead of the personal one she was getting.

“Please… We can make this work.” The Lunar Princess said glumly, placing her fore hooves on the lightly ornate lawn table and shifting in her just-big-enough chair. “It doesn’t have to end this way.”

Discord, sitting directly across the table, sighed. “You know that’s not going to happen Luna.”

“And why not?!” Luna asked in panicked way. “Why can’t this work?! We make a good pairing!”

The chaotic god sighed. “Because Luna, all we’ve had is a physical relationship, full of hot and nasty Alicorn on Draconequus sex.” He looked up to the sky contemplatively. “I want more. A real relationship, a stable, secure, and consistent one based off of more than sexual desire.”

Luna, some tears in her eyes, held back a sob. “What? Why would you want that? That kind of relationship makes no sense for your kind of personality!”

Discord got up from his chair and turned to leave. “Exactly, it makes no sense for me to be in a consistent relationship, and that’s why it’s gotta be that way, because there's no fun in making sense.” The Draconequus began to walk off into the darkness, not once looking back at Luna. “Goodbye Luna… I’ll never forget the hot, nasty sex.” And with that, he was gone.

“DISCORD!!!” Luna shouted in the night, tears streaming down her face as she reached out with one hoof after the mishmash god, as if that would bring him back. “DISCORD!!!”

“HEY!!!” Blueblood (who had returned to the castle for a few days) opened the rafters and stuck his head out of his bedroom window; the stallion had on face cream and curlers were weaved into his blond mane. “Hey! Shut up! Ponies are trying to sleep! Oh boo hoo you got dumped! That doesn’t mean you get to go off on some wailing spree! There are others ponies in the castle! It’s not all about Luna! Do you see me crying every time I get rejected or dumped? No! Cause Maker knows if that were the case you’d never get a good night’s sleep! So shush!” The stallion grabbed the rafters and began closing them. “Geez, inconsiderate.” And with a silent shut he closed the rafters and returned to slumber.

Luna sniffed crestfallenly, wiping the tears from her eyes. “Blueblood’s… Blueblood’s right.” She inhaled deeply, calming herself slightly. “Still… Still gonna haunt his dreams though…”


Location: ???

Equestria was a well-explored country, always under the watchful eye of its benevolent rulers but that didn’t mean one couldn’t hide if they really wanted to. That is where Cadence found herself now, in one of the lowly places of the world that escaped the eyes of the powers-that-be for the moment (as well as the lover's quarrel recently had). The royal Alicorn, wrapped from head to hoof in a shabby and thoroughly pathetic looking cloak, had a brisk stride as she came up to the place she had come to. It was an inn, or brothel, or whorehouse, Cadence wasn’t sure. It’s wooden frame looked rotted and made it seem like a truly despicable dwelling.

Finally reaching the heavy bolted down at the front, Cadence looked around to ensure she hadn’t been followed (she was certain of her stealthy escape, but caution was wise). Seeing no one, Cadence gave the entryway three heavy whacks with her naked hoof. A moment passed before a previously closed slit on the door opened up, revealing a stallion’s hazel colored eye.

“Hullo? Who is it? What d’you want?”

“To be let in.” Cadence responded matter-of-factly, and with an undertone of mockery for added effect.

“What’s the password miss?”

Cadence grunted and looked away. “I don’t know any password…”

The stallion snorted. “Then you ain’t getting in. Good day.” The slit began to lessen in size.

“Wait!” Cadence shouted. The stallion halted his closing. Cadence took on a sultry visage. “Isn’t there another way I could get in?” She asked suggestively.

“What you have in mind?” The stallion asked, intrigued.

Cadence smiled, having edged her way towards the door closed enough to get her horn passed the obvious anti-magic enchantments. The mare kept her same suggestive look as her horn lit up, grabbing the door stallion’s neck and choking him. “How about you let me in, or I choke you until the air runs out. I wonder how long you’ll last before you croak?”

Cadence heard the sound of unlocking mechanisms and saw the door creak open. Releasing the stallion, the Alicorn could hear his body hit the floor and the loud gasp as he finally inhaled. Pushing open the door and walking inside, Cadence took in her surroundings. It was like any bottom floor of an inn: a bar on one side and an open space for tables and chairs on the other. A fire blazed in the open side’s hearth, warming the shady looking patrons of the ‘establishment’. Those ruffians, Cadence had no interest in. Instead, the disguised mare walked instead to the back wall, near a flight of stairs leading to the rented rooms, where booths were carved in the wooden wall.

Finding the booth she wanted, Cadence made her way for it, making sure to keep at least a hoof’s distant from any patrons (pickpockets and whatnot). Making it to her destination and nudging her way in, Cadence rested against the hard bench of the booth. Across from her sat a pony, obscured completely by shadows. Cadence waited for a moment, when no dialogue was exchanged, she decided to begin.

“I thank you for meeting me here.” The Alicorn started. “And I’m glad you are willing to assist me with my… ‘problem’.”

The pony looked at Cadence, its gamboge eyes showing malice. “What can I say? Your offer was rather alluring.”

Cadence analyzed the creature. It was a mare of athletic build; she could easily see that despite the shadows. The voice was a confident one, a lot like Rainbow Dash Cadence mentally commented. The difference was that this voice sounded as if the confidence had been kicked out of her, then returned brutally. Ignoring this, Cadence simply smiled at the mare. “Well, I need a lot of help dealing with this issue. I must admit though I’ve never dealt with mercenaries before… You’re positive that you’ll be able to help me get the job done?”

The mare slammed the mug she had been enjoying down on the table and scoffed, wiping the liquid mess from her snout. “Yeah, me and my boys will help you bring down this Changeling bitch of yours. Don’t know why you’re working with a Changeling… we almost killed him when he came close to our base of operations.”

Cadence chuckled. “Oh don’t worry he’s trustworthy. Also, you’d never have killed him” Cadence’s expression darkened. “I assure you of that.”

The mercenary seemed to take no offense from the implication that her group couldn’t handle one Changeling, but it was hard to tell. “Sure whatever. So, where’s the payment?”

Cadence nodded and reached into her cloak. Scrounging around a little, the Alicorn produce a large sack that looked full to bursting. The mare dropped it onto the table with a loud thump and the clank of metal. The mercenary looked at it and reached for it and opened the bag (Cadence noted her light opal coat).

Inside was gold, and lots of it. There was more gold than most ponies would know what to do with. Cadence smiled manipulatively as she watched the mare looked over the gold. Cadence knew she’d need help to bring down Chrysalis, and mercenaries would be a great help with their loose morals. Obviously, the Alicorn couldn’t use royal treasury gold because it could be easily tracked. This is where blackmailing Fleur De Lis came in. With all the gold that noble had Cadence could easily pay for all the extra help she needed. She had sent Shape Shift out to find some mercenaries for hire. The best of the best was already employed, but this would do.

“Well?” Cadence asked.

“It’s good.” The mercenary responded. “This, plus the royal boon you promised, and you got yourself a mercenary band’s loyalty.”

“Good.” Cadence replied. “Now about the boon…”

“That’s for me personally.” The merc replied. “I only want one thing: revenge.”

“That makes two of us.” Cadence admitted.

“Good, so it’s not out of the question.” The mare said. “I want revenge on the bitch who wronged me. Once, I was at the top, the best of the best. Until she came along. She took everything from me! And so all I want is revenge…” Lightning Dust brought her head from the shadows, hatred in her eyes gleaming like a sun. “I want Rainbow Dash to pay for having me kicked out of the Wonderbolts Academy.”

Cadence knew this mare; Twilight had spoken of her in a letter before. She was an arrogant, brash, and uncaring thing that had endangered others to achieve her frivolous goals. Twilight’s pegasus friend Rainbow Dash had shown her up and revealed to the Academy staff her inadequate behavior. Lightning had been kicked out of the Academy as a result, shamed and not able to hold a job most likely. Apparently, she’d found a new purpose: selling herself out as a mercenary. At least she didn’t become a whore lifting her tail for any stallion with bits, Cadence’s mind interjected to lessen the Princess’s already low opinion of the mare in front of her.

Cadence did not let the distaste show, and simply nodded. “Oh course, I can get you Rainbow Dash and you can do whatever you want to her, without fear of being reprimanded by the law.” Lightning smiled darkly at this. In truth, Cadence was going to betray Lightning in the end and terminate her existence. She was a pony Equestria would not miss, and the Alicorn would have no one going after one of her sister-in-law’s best friends. It was, of course, also to cover Cadence’s own tracks. But that oddly enough took a backseat in her priorities.

“So… Shall we catch ourselves a Changeling?” Cadence asked.

“Give me a when and where.” Lightning responded.

“Don’t worry, you’ll have that soon enough.” Cadence explained. “In three days, I’ll be taking a ‘vacation’ to the countryside to get some fresh air. After a day or so, I’ll invite Chrysalis to visit, only she won’t make it, will she?”

Lightning laughed out loud, gaining a few stares from others. “You’ve already got this down pat don’t you? Well good! Let’s do it!”

“To our new partnership.” Cadence remarked, using her magic to teleport a mug to her hoof.

Lightning grabbed her own mug and slammed it against Cadence’s. “To a horrible end to those we hate.”

A poor choice of words… Cadence thought as she brought the mug to her lips and chugged it as she watched the mare she had prejudiced disapproval for.


Four Days Later, Road Leading to South West Equestria

Chrysalis inhaled deeply, taking in the fresh air provided to her. The Changeling Queen was travelling down a well-used road leading to the vacation spot Cadence was at. She was being taken there in the traditional royal manner: a guard drawn carriage. Unlike Celestia’s, however, this one didn’t fly (Chrysalis wanted to travel on the ground for aesthetic reasons). Other than the four guards pulling the carriage, another four were stationed at the four corners of the one vehicle convoy with one sitting beside Chrysalis as well.

“We’ll be there in a short while Lady Chrysalis.” The guard next to Chrysalis said.

“Thank you, Lieutenant Breeze.” Chrysalis responded, nodding at the white furred, indigo mane pegasus mare Indigo Breeze. “It’ll be good to relax with Cadence for a time while Celestia catches up with her royal duties.”

“Of course ma’am.” Indigo agreed, readjusting her chest plate to hide the large scar that went down the mare’s chest. The guard could sense the Changeling watching her. “Hydra attack, if you’re wondering. Barely got out alive. Luckily, the thing lost interest after I lost consciousness.”

“Very luckily indeed.” Chrysalis nodded, returning to her view of the road.

Down the road, behind large rolling hills on the side of the road, sat Lightning Dust, Cadence, and Shape Shift along with over a dozen and a half of Dust’s mercenaries. Hiding in some bush dotting the top of their hill, Lightning and Cadence spied at the carriage coming their way.

“Alright, there they are. Are you mercs ready Lightning?” Cadence turned to the disgraced Wonderbolt hopeful.

To her credit, Dust could easily be seen formulating a plan of action, as she had been for several days. “Yeah, but we need your Changeling…”

“He’s not my Changeling.” Cadence snarled, disliking the thought of Shape Shift being a slave.

Lightning’s eyes rolled. “Whatever. Look, I need him to disguise himself as a pony and pretend to be run over. That’ll stop them for a minute and cause the distraction we need to jump them.”

Cadence nodded, calming down. “Alright. Shape Shift.” The Changeling zipped to Cadence side, saluting. “I need you to transform into a pony and pretend to be hit by Chrysalis’ carriage. Can you do that?”


“It doesn’t matter…”


“Bug’s got a point.”

“Shut it Lightning. Look Shape Shift, just pick something common alright?”


“It doesn’t… I don’t know, something cliché common…”

RIGHT! Shape Shift nodded and rushed from the bush, hiding behind a large rock close to the road. Just as the carriage neared the Changeling he jumped out, green magic enveloping him as he shape-shifted.


Chrysalis and Indigo had to ram their fore hooves into the front of the carriage to avoid being flown forward. “What… What just happened?!” Chrysalis asked, shaken slightly.

“Good question.” Indigo asked. “Stay here.” The mare motioned to the Changeling Queen and jumped out of the carriage, making quick strides to the front. “What’s going on? Why’d we stop?”

“We hit somepony.” One guard replied.

“WHAT?!” Indigo shouted fearfully. “How did that happen?! Weren’t you paying attention?!” The Lieutenant pushed passed the others, trying to get to the wounded pony.

“We didn’t even see her in time.” One guard chimed in. “She just appeared out of nowhere.”

Indigo finally got through her guards and looked down at the wounded mare. “What the…” Before the Lieutenant lay an Alicorn, with a black coat and fiery red mane.

One guard chewed his hoof nervously. “Oh crap… she’s an Alicorn! That means she’s a princess right? MAKER WE KILLED A PRINCESS!!!”

“She’s still breathing featherbrain.” Another guard chided.

“Check her vitals!” Indigo ordered. “Get her help! Let's move ponies, no time to waste!”

Back at the bush, Cadence was peering through the binoculars at her buggy assistant as he distracted the guard. “What in the hell did he transform into?”

“You asked for a common cliché.” Lightning Dust interjected as she looked through her own binoculars. “Obviously he is making a joke, though I think it’s in bad taste.” She turned to her allies. “Ok guys, let’s move, fast and quick, like Swift Pace.”

The mercenaries chuckled at the jab to their companion's sexual performance. Getting serious quickly, the mercs moved into position to attack the guards. Once positioned, they waited for Lightning’s orders. The mare lifted her hoof up and held it. A breathless moment passed until Lightning threw her hoof down, signaling the other mercs, who burst from their hiding spots and attacked the guards.

What happened next was a fast blur for Indigo Breeze. One second she was trying to awaken the downed Alicorn and the next she heard other ponies rushing her group. The mercs, however, had underestimated the guards. A pegasus stallion rushed Indigo, only for the mare to returned the favor and clothesline him, bring her hoof up into the bottom of his chin, and down him quickly. Numbers held with the mercs, however. Three guards were down in the first minute and that number was soon going to increase.

It took Chrysalis a few seconds to realize what was happening. Any of the Changeling Queen’s efforts to help were in vain as she felt a prick in her neck less than a minute into the attack. Her world became blurry and deafness began taking over. The last thing she heard was the muffled sentence: Sleep tight Princess Bug Breath.

Indigo gasped as she saw an opal-coated mare stick a needle in Chrysalis’ neck, causing the Changeling to slump. Indigo tossed the unconscious body of the fourth merc she’d downed into another attacker, with the obvious attempt to escape the fray and launch herself to save Chrysalis. The mare was stopped cold by a blast of magic in the back. The Lieutenant slumped to the floor. The pegasus was able to keep her eyes open a few seconds longer to watch her guards get downed. Finally however, darkness overtook her.


“Too damn easy.” Lightning remarked as she looked over the recent battlefield.

“True.” Cadence, who had stayed out of the fight, agreed. “But then again you only won thanks to the element of surprise. Even with your numbers, had the guards been ready, you’d have no chance.”

Lightning scoffed. “Yeah, well that’s why we didn’t attack them directly isn’t it?” Cadence simply grunted in response.

The battle had been extremely one-sided. The mercs had rushed the guards down a hill, having not only high ground but also increased momentum as they slammed into their opponents. If that wasn’t bad enough, the royal guards had been all pegasi or earth ponies, meaning the mercenary’s six unicorns easily rained spells upon the unsuspecting equines and took them down quick. The guards had still put up a good fight; twelve of the attacking mercs were on the ground unconscious or holding their beaten selves.

Luckily, there had been no causalities on either side. Cadence had specifically ordered this from Lightning, and she knew the royal guards would refrain from such acts unless truly necessary. All in all, it had been a very clean job.

Shape Shift, who had downed Lieutenant Breeze with a blast of magic in the back, had reverted to his normal self and was helping the mercenaries pile the unconscious guards onto a cart they had brought (they couldn’t have the guards running off after awakening and telling Celestia what had happened could they?).

Cadence stepped through the battlefield until she found herself at the royal carriage, Chrysalis’ body motionless save for the slowly rising and falling of breathing. The Alicorn stared at the Changeling for a good while as the mess of the fight was cleared out, loathing and disgust all over her face.

“I should kill you right here and now.” The Princess snarled. “I could just end it, it be so easy…” Cadence felt her sick looking magic flow from her horn; black, green, and purple magic streaming like an inferno from the pink bone.

“But…” The mare uttered, controlling her magic. “It would break Celestia’s heart. So no… you don’t die yet. No, I’m going to prove your depravity and when Celestia finally knows how evil you truly are then, and only then, will I slowly bring my strongest magic across your throat and watch your acid blood pour out like a leaky faucet.”

Lightning Dust handed a guard to one of her mercs, pretending not to hear Cadence’s words. “Damn… and I thought Nightmare Moon was the sadistic one.” Lightning looked around and noted her group’s completion of the ‘cleanup’. “Alright. That’s everypony here! Grizzled Hoof, Swift Pace, Steadied Step, Thorn Rose, strap yourselves up to the royal carriage and pull it to the base. We’ll dump it afterwards. Let’s go you slackers, move!”

The mercs moved as their leader commanded (even if most were still sore after the fight). Lightning motioned to Cadence to get moving and the mare nodded. She took one last glance at Chrysalis. The Alicorn gave the body a dark, sarcastic smile. “Until the moment when I’m the last thing you see while alive on this earth.”

With that, the Alicorn left to join her transitory, and most certainly brutish, allies.

The Rescue Is On

View Online

There were few moments that the immortal Alicorn Princess Celestia of Equestria could say she took true enjoyment from. A never-ending lifespan robbed many of life’s greatest moments away from one. After all, if you didn’t do something this century, there was always the next, or the one after that and so on.

Still, the enjoyment Celestia felt was a guilty one and she knew it. She was supposed to be completing backed up royal duties right now. But could anyone blame her? Despite the fact Celestia had foolishly backed herself onto a pedestal of perfection over the years (a fact she would forever hate herself for), she was still a living, breathing creature that had needs and desires; and right now she had forgone everything to pursue something she considered both a need and desire. She didn’t even care if others may think it silly of her, she needed what was happening, she needed it with all her…

“Uh, Princess? Is everything ok?”

Celestia snapped out of thought and looked down on the little body (relatively) huddled up next to hers. Celestia couldn’t help but smile at the pony cuddling with her; the Alicorn’s giant wing sprawled over her. “Yes Twilight, I’m fine. I was just… lost in the intoxicating grip of happiness.”

“Oh…” Twilight responded. “Should I call a doctor to check on you? Do you need to lie down? Do you…?”

The much larger mare laughed cheerfully. “No, no, it was but an expression, I’m not actually intoxicated Twilight.”

“Oh…” Twilight said again, tilting her head down in embarrassment at her lack of knowledge in this. “Sorry.”

Celestia chuckled, leaning down and nuzzling her student affectionately. “No harm done. Now, shall we get back to our studies?”

Twilight’s morose mood left her instantly as her face lit up. “Of course Princess!” The unicorn turned her head down to the history book (which as large as she was) and looked to find her place. “Okay, so I’m pretty sure we were on chapter eighty-three…”

Celestia smiled yet again. “Yes I believe so Twilight, let us pick up where we were.”

To many, the act of quietly studying with one’s student would not seem like the kind of thing the Princess would truly enjoy of above all else. But with a constant schedule of completing royal duties, making appearances, and other things a princess has do for her country she longer took interest in them. It was simple things like this, a nice study session with the mare she considered like a little daughter, that truly made the Princess of the Sun happy. Nothing could ruin this beloved moment…


Irony can be pretty funny and this is something mostly everybody knows. Whether someone found it funny or not that Equestria, arguably the most peaceful and pacifist nation in the world right now, had the most advanced war operations center in the entire United Species Alliance was completely up to opinion.

Regardless of how one felt, the EWOC was abuzz with activity as reports from all over Equestria’s borders flooded in. Most were the common all clear message, with some minor discrepancies plaguing the center every so often.

One report, however, was overdue and this irked Royal Guard Captain Valor’s Shield to no end. The stallion turned to of the many system operators. “Any report yet?”

“No sir.” The young, yellow-coated mare replied. “Indigo squad’s communications operator hasn't yet check in.”

“That’s an hour too many overdue.” Valor remarked. “Call up Princess Luna, tell her it’s priority: urgent.”

“Yes sir.”

Equestria’s check-in system wasn’t perfect and Valor knew that. Still it was one of the best out there and it only failed point zero zero zero one percent of the time. Essentially, it was a network of what the military called twin sibling crystals. If a certain magic pulse was sent through one crystal it would glow a certain color, and its sibling crystal would do the same no matter how far away they were. So it was a simple yet effective system: hourly check-ins with all squads who would energize the crystal and make it glow and the sister crystal in the ops center would do the same to inform Equestria High Command of a specific squads status.

Lieutenant Indigo Breeze's squad should have reported in five hours ago. The margin a squad is allowed to be late is two, so it was clear to the Guard Captain that something was amiss. Valor was thinking up possibilities when Princess Luna walked in.

“Yes Captain, what is it? I was currently in the process of mourning my lost relationship full of hot sex, but I know I had to respond to this. So what is the matter?”

Valor’s Shield saluted his Princess. “Ma’am, Lieutenant Indigo Breeze's squad, the one escorting Lady Chrysalis to her destination in the countryside, has failed to report in.”

“How long?” Luna asked, dropping all other problems and taking on the duties of a military commander, one who had just lost what could be considering an extremely important VIP.

“Five hours, three above the standard rate allowed.”

Luna thought for a moment, trying to think of reasons why the squad had not reported in. “Maybe the crystal is destroyed or damaged in some way.”

Valor shook his head. “Impossible ma’am. If the crystal had been destroyed, the one here would have as well, same with being damaged. These crystals mirror everything about their twin. The squad's crystal is perfectly fine.”

Luna’s face contorted into one of anger, this was a grave military blunder. “Inform my sister immediately, Chrysalis and her guards are missing.”

Valor nodded. “Yes ma’am!”


Celestia smiled to herself, looking down on the small body of Twilight Sparkle. The faithful student had tired herself out from studying and was now face down in a book. Even in this, Celestia found great joy as she nuzzled her little pony. The Alicorn chuckled quietly at the grunted sound Twilight made. Just like a little foal, Celestia said to herself. This brought up something however, and Celestia pondered if she and Chrysalis could have foals together or if that would be a foolish guilty dream to forever be in the back of Celestia’s mind. The Alicorn wondered this for a good five minutes before the door to her study slammed open.

The royal mare’s two unicorn door guards, Radiant Point and Loyal Spark, ran inside, startling Celestia and waking Twilight from her sleep. “Wha… What’s happening? Is something wrong?” Twilight looked around, still half asleep.

Celestia turned to her guards, more than a little peeved. “What is the meaning of this?! I asked not to be disturbed!” The mare’s displeasure was evident.

Celestia’s frown would have made the two guards piss themselves on a normal occasion, but they had the authority of Princess Luna behind them. “Sorry ma’am, but this is important. Lady Chrysalis’s escort has been attacked and…”

“WHAT?!” Celestia shouted, jolting up from her resting position and almost throwing Twilight in the process. “When di this happened? Chrysalis had royal guards at her side, how is such a thing possible?!”

Radiant Point frowned. “We’re not sure ma’am, they didn’t report in on time despite their crystal beacon being completely fine. We’re still very much in the dark.”

Celestia removed herself from the comfortable pillow she lay on and strode to her guards. “Is there a communicator at the vacation spot Cadence is at?”

Loyal Spark shook his head. “Not precisely ma’am, though there is a sizable guard outpost near there that could provide us with necessary communications.”

“Good.” Celestia stated plainly and walked past her guards. The Alicorn stopped and turned to Twilight. The mare had not been disturbed enough to fully wake her so she had returned to the pillow and was now snuggling it adamantly. “Stay here and protect Princess Sparkle.”

“Who?” Both guard asked.

Celestia stopped, having processed what she had just said. “I mean… Please protect my faithful student, Twilight Sparkle. I’m sorry for the confusion.” With that the Princess left, closing the doors behind her.

Radiant and Loyal looked at each other. “Should we, uh, follow her?” Loyal asked.

Radiant shook his head. “She gave us orders to protect Miss Sparkle, so that’s what will do.” The stallion looked at Twilight, then back to the door. “Wonder what that princess thing was about.”

Loyal chuckled. “Above our pay grade I’m sure.”


Celestia had a firm stare about her as she looked at the magically powered machine before her. A moment passed before it activated and thousands of small bluish particles condensed over a crystal pad to show a transparent, blue tinted Cadence hologram. Celestia couldn’t help but be amazed at this new invention that allowed two creatures miles away from each other to talk face to face with only seconds of lag. The royal Alicorn didn’t know who the Flim Flam brothers were, but she’d have to congratulate them on this achievement.

The Alicorn of Love smiled despite the reasons for being called, which she knew all too well. “Hello Aunt Celestia, what’s wrong? I was kinda enjoying my humble retreat out here.”

Celestia’s frown did not lessen as she looked at her niece. “Cadence, is Chrysalis with you?”

Cadence face tightened up, but she kept her composure. “Chrysalis? No she isn’t. I was actually wondering when she was going to get here, I found this little shop I think she’d really enjoy.”

Celestia cursed under her breath. “Cadence… Chrysalis is… missing.”

“WHAT?!” Cadence asked, concern plastering all over face. “How? What happened?”

“We don’t know.” Celestia admitted. “All we know is that Chrysalis and her guard escort never made it to you and haven’t reported back at all. We’re expecting the worse.”

“What should we do?” Cadence asked.

“I’ve already got ponies working on it. However, if you could help in any way…”

“I’ll take control of the forces down here.” Cadence replied. “I’ll coordinate them, we’ll find Chrysalis and rescue her Aunt Celestia. Don't worry.”

Celestia smiled at her niece’s enthusiasm. “Thank you Cadence. We should stay in touch and cooperate in order to discover what happened and find Chrysalis quickly.” Cadence nodded understandingly. “Good. Call me when you found anything significant.” With that, the machine was switched off. Cadence’s figure dispersed into thousands of particles once more, and those particles dissipated until they were nothing.

Celestia turned to Guard Captain Valor as he entered the room. “Captain, get me several squadrons of flyers to scan the southern areas as well as three Overseer units to search the towns.”

Valor nodded. “Yes ma’am.” The Captain turned to leave but saw his Princess’s look. “Don’t worry Princess, we’ll find her.”

Celestia looked to the Earth pony and smiled weakly. “Thank you Valor… I know you will.”

Cadence watched as her Aunt’s hologram exploded into thousands of points of bluish light and disappear. The mare sighed. “Great… Chrysalis is missing. How the hell did this happen?” The Alicorn turned to the guard behind her. “I want squads sent out, search the entire southern reaches. Find Chrysalis. Send me all squad positions as well as constantly updated reports of where they’ve searched.”

The guard saluted. “Yes Princess, right away.” The guard turned and left to do as he was told.

Cadence remained, looking at the communicator. Whatever she was thinking, it didn’t show on her face. She just stood there, staring with slightly furrowed eyebrows. Finally, she grunted. “This should be interesting. Well Aunt Celestia, let’s see who finds what their looking for first.”

The mare turned, leaving the small communications room. She didn’t have time to dawdle; there was much planning to be done on both sides of the conflict. Exiting the room, Cadence saw Shape Shift reading a fashion magazine (why? Magic, that's why). Cadence snorted, grabbing the Changeling's attention. "Send word to Lightning Dust, tell her she may have to worry about company crashing the party and proper steps should be taken to ensure that isn't the case."

Shape Shift nodded and saluted, placing his magazine in his pouch and buzzing off down the hall. Cadence's eyes followed the Changeling as he left. Acknowledging his departure, Cadence turned down the opposite way and prepared her way to the preparation grounds for the search parties.

The Alicorn was in charge of making up the patrols after all, and she had to make sure Lightning Dust's hideout was the last place they looked.


The yellow-coated mare from the EWOC yawned slightly, her job wasn't the most exciting after all. Still, it paid well and she needed the money. Actually, it was towards the end of her shift and she was getting ready to leave. Today had been, expect for Chrysalis missing, a pretty average day of getting all clears from the various parts of Equestria.

Getting up from her seat and gathering her things to leave for the day, the mare's ears became erect as she heard a faint beeping. Looking around, she spotted the source: it was the communication crystal for the Crystal Empire.

It was blinking a black color sporadically. Black was the code color for 'under attack by overwhelming hostile forces'.

Crystals and Critters

View Online

The homes and buildings of the Crystal Empire’s capital were indeed a wonder to behold. Made of an unknown type of crystal, it was still altogether unknown how it worked. Truth be told the Crystal Ponies really didn’t care to know. All they cared about was the fact that if you placed a tiny bit of crystal inside the mold of a house in about two weeks the crystal would grow around it and voila, you had a new house in place.

The house of the Crystal Pony Glittering Gemstone was indeed one of the more fancy homes. Standing tall and proud on the city’s grand main street, it was a testament to the magnificent unknown crystal the ponies of the Empire relied on. Its bluish-aquamarine hue complimented the garden it had, full of flowers of the same or other familiar colors. The house itself was so large it had taken a full month to grow. BOOM! And it only took seconds to explode… funny how that works.

The ex-king of the Crystal Empire, Sombra the unicorn, flew from the explosion smoking and in quite a lot of pain (he was also slightly on fire). The black unicorn hit the ground with a thud, bounced, hit the ground again, bounced once more, and finally stopped with a loud thud. The stallion groaned in pain, picking his armored self up and stomping out the fire on his tail.

Cracking his neck, the pony spit out a crystal that was lodged in his teeth. “Is that all you got bitches! Please! I take those kinds of hits for breakfast! I laugh at you and your pathetic attempts at…”

A huge slime green blast of magic exploded from the destroyed building and rammed Sombra right in the everywhere, causing a huge anime worthy explosion every Dragon Ball Z fan knows like the back of their hand. Throwing up bits of building and street, the smoke caused from the blast quickly cleared to reveal a huge crater where Sombra had been.

A moan could be heard as an armored hoof grabbed ahold of the edge of the crater and Sombra pulled himself out, clearly jumbled. “Is that… Is that all you bitches…”

Another magical blast cut him off, once again sending rubble into the sky as the stallion was assaulted with hostile magic. As with last time, however, Sombra would not die.

Sombra painfully crawled out of the crater. “I am… oh Maker… I am going to break off your damn horns and shove them down your…” A third blast of magic tore through the sky at the ex-king. This time, Sombra was prepared. Horn lighting up with black colored magic, Sombra easily deflected the spell. His shield, however, did not quell his rage. “That’s it! You all die!” He shouted as he shot off his own spells at the attackers in the ruins.

When the attacks went through and no retaliation came, Sombra assumed he had hit his foes or they had retreated back. Taking this time to catch his breath, Sombra looked around the broken city he was in.

The capital city of the Crystal Empire was in ruins; an effect of the intense fighting that had taken place recently. Streets were smashed and filled with rubble, houses were now large craters, and much of the city had been burned from the first onslaught. It was certainly a scene one would expect from a city in the middle of a warzone, despite the fact that as of now this had only been the third wave of attackers to try and take the city over the past two days (though in retrospect it could be assumed that only one wave of attackers could be needed to level a city).

Five days… that’s pretty good, considering. Sombra pondered this as he looked up at the sky, slightly blackened and marred from the smoke billowing through it. Five days, five days of the city’s unicorns holding up the defensive barrier that had kept the enemy from reaching the main foundations of the city. Magical barrier… why does that feel so familiar? The amnesia stricken tyrant pondered as well, though he decided to leave it be for more important matters.

After five days of constant attack, the barrier finally broke and the assaulting army cascaded like a deadly waterfall onto the city. Luckily, the five days had been spent preparing, and by the time the barrier fell all of the city’s occupants had been evacuated to the palace and defenses had been shored up. When the fighting had reached the city, the defenders easily pushed back the attacks, resulting in the current two-day long battle that was raging. Though Sombra and all other the Crystal Guards knew that the enemy’s tactic was attrition. That made things difficult, but not impossible.

At least they had been able to send off a distress signal to Equestria. The magical barrier had prevented them from doing so, blocking the magical signal. With the barrier down, a signal had been sent and now all they had to do was wait for reinforcements to arrive (easier said than done). Still, it gave them a goal to strive for and a glimmer of hope, and that was all it took to send morale soaring.

Sombra was so entranced in thought he did not notice as something skulked near him. The thing kept to the dark areas and shadows, sneaking up on its target in the hopes for a quick takedown. When it was finally close enough the thing bent its legs and readied to strike. It counted down in its head, 3… 2… 1… ATTACK!

Sombra jumped in shock as he heard the whack as one of his Changeling foes slammed into a rosy colored magical hexagon-shaped shield. The insectoid equine slid down in a comical way until it slumped to the ground, one leg twitching slightly as it lie unconscious where it fell.

Sombra exhaled heavily, turning his head to see his savior: Prince Regent Shining Armor. The white stallion trotted up to the black one, smiling confidently. “And that’s a hundred and ten for me.”

Sombra snorted. “I let you have that one.”

Shining laughed, nodded “Sure, and I’m dating a hydra.”

“Careful what you say, you never know how right you may be.”

“What’s that suppose to mean?”

“Cadence has a powerful slap…”

Shining shook his head at the stallion. “Could you possibly be any more of a sissy?”

Suddenly five Changelings jumped from the smoke of Glittering Gemstone’s destroyed house and attacked Shining. The stallion had only enough time to turn before they were on him. ZAP!!! The Changeling’s fell as black lightning coursed through their bodies and dropped them.

Shining turned to see a grinning Sombra, blowing the residue smoke from his horn. “I’m sorry, you were talking? Hundred and fourteen, by the way.”

Shining’s eyes rolled. “Lucky break.” An explosion tore through the sky and the resounding shockwaves shook the ground beneath the stallions. Shining’s eyes shot quickly from the ground to Sombra. “I think it’s a good time to leave.”

“Agreed.” Sombra nodded, turning and fleeing towards the Palace at an amazing pace for a pony wrapped in armor.

Shining took another look at his beaten and battered city before spinning around and following his ex-nemesis. It only took Shining, who was wearing lighter armor, a second or two to catch up with his compatriot.

As the two hurried to the Palace, Sombra took this moment to voice his opinion. “So, I guess your Aunt-in-law's bed bug really is a traitor, if this is any indication.”

Shining shook his head, panting even as he did so. “No, I don’t think so. If Chrysalis did want the Collective to invade the Crystal Empire she’d be here, not Canterlot. The Crystal Empire might be a part of Equestria, but we have autonomous militaries. Celestia has no idea how strong the Empire’s defenses are, likewise we have no clue how strong Equestria is. The only reason I have a clue was because I was Royal Guard Captain.”

“Strange way to govern.” Sombra commented.

“Security reasons. This way, if either territory fell and not the other, it wouldn’t affect the survivor, who could then supply a counterattack.” Shining inhaled deeply, needing a lot of air to talk and run at once.

“Hmm… Makes sense in that regard.” Sombra admitted.

“Yeah,” Shining agreed. “Now we just have to figure out why these Changelings are attacking, it’s got to be something big if their willing to brave the ice around the Empire.”

Sombra gasped. “What if their Queen thinks we kidnapped Chrysalis and now she’s brought her army here to hold the city hostage in an attempt to get Chrysalis back!”

“That’s stupid, Changeling Queens rarely give a second glance towards the mechanisms of other hives.” Shining inhaled deeply to keep up his stride. “She’s probably here to suck up all our love, like most Changelings do.”

Sombra was about to counter but the two arrived at the arched pavilion that held the Crystal Heart and its podium. The Heart had been unsure what to do, having never faced Changelings in such number and with the tactics this army had. It was well aware that if it blasted the current wave away another would take its place. With no other option, the Heart had erected the barrier and became exhausted holding it up. Now, it simply protected the Palace and the ponies (guards and citizens alike) inside.

Shining looked around at the courtyard that sat under the Palace; it was filled with guards, barriers both magical and physical, as well as supplies for when needed. The Prince Regent couldn’t help but smile at the fact that other than a few scrapes and bruises, his Crystal Guard was wholly uninjured. That was the diamond in the rough about fighting Changelings: they don’t kill their foes (hard to suck love from a corpse).


Shining turned to see his Lieutenant, Dazzling Amethyst, as she trotted up to him. The stallion could see the bloody bandages underneath the mare’s armor. “Amethyst, what’s the situation?”

“Other than getting our gemstone butts kicked?” The pony mocked calmly. “Well, all remaining guards have finally fallen back to the Palace. We lost no guards to Changeling capture, but a lot are out of the fight due to injuries. Not sure how long we can hold out. Things are looking grim sir.”

Shining smiled heartily. “Good, we’re at rock bottom. That means we can only go up from here.” The stallion looked at his guards, his words had brought all their wary eyes to him. “And I’m not sure if the Changelings know who their dealing with. Well, I’m ready to show them! They’re fighting the Crystal Guard of the Crystal Empire! The baddest sons of parasprites this side of the world! Do Changelings feel fear? I don’t know, but it’s a damn fine time to teach them! Buck up guards, we’ll kick these bug brains all the way back to their holes! TEN HUT MARES! We got bug butt to kick!”

The other guards gave their captain and prince a ‘HOORAH’ and readied themselves for the next Changeling attempt to break in. Sombra watched the guards move with renewed purpose, their spirits lifted from the hearty jargon. “Impressive.” He told Shining.

Shining chuckled. “Yeah, well, Cadence always said I was the shouter, I seem to be proving her right huh?”

“I’m sure she’d be proud.”

“Yeah.” Shining agreed. “Now, we need a way to end this quickly. I’m positive we can hold out until reinforcements arrive, but I’d rather push these Changelings off my yard personally.”

“You have a plan?” Sombra asked, Shining’s tone hinting he had a one.

Shining nodded. “Another reason I doubt this is Chrysalis’s doing, she sent me a letter that told me a spell that can disrupt the drones motor skills. I couldn’t use it before-hoof due to the spread out formation of the Changelings.”

“How do we know it works?”

“I tried it out.”

“How’d you…” Sombra stopped himself. “Actually, I’d rather not know. Right, what do we need to do?”

“I hope you don’t mind getting pushed back.” Shining said plainly. “We’ve got to get all the Changelings close so it hits all of them.”

“Well crap, that’s easy as hell.” Sombra walked past Shining towards two Crystal Pony nurses tending to injured guards. “You two!” He shouted and the crystal mares turned to the stallion. Sombra made sure he had their attention. “Good. Now… make hot love!”

“SOMBRA!!!” Shining yelled in shock as he ran up to his comrade-in-arms. “Don’t say things like that!” Smiling nervously, the Prince Regent apologized to the nurses. “I’m so sorry, ignore that order.”

Sombra turned to Shining. “What are you doing? We need an irresistible amount of love to draw all the Changelings towards this location.”

“That doesn’t mean you go asking two mares to have sex.” Shining scolded quietly. “You don’t even know if their lesbians.”

Sombra nodded. “Good point.” He turned to the mares. “Hey, you two lesbians?”

“SOMBRA!” Shining shouted again. “You can’t just ask mares if their lesbians!”

“Oh don’t worry sir, we both are.” One of the nurses replied.

Sombra lifted a hoof towards the nurses. “See? It’s perfectly ok. They both like innies and not outies. ” Sombra flexed his eyebrows up and down, trying to reinforce his double entendre.

Shining gritted his teeth heavily. “That. Doesn’t. Make it. Okay!”

The black stallion snorted. “Prude.”

“I-I am not!”

“Really? Cause that’s the way it seems.”

“I AM NOT! You wouldn’t even believe the nasty stuff I’ve done with Cadence! Hell, one time there was this apple pie and Cadence stuffed it right in…”

“WHOA!” Sombra stuck out his tongue out in disgust. “Don’t tell me crap like that!”

Shining’s mouth was agape. “What?! You were just talking about how much of a prude I was!”

“Uh, yeah, but that doesn’t mean I want to hear your nasty sex stories. That’s disgusting Shining, keep that information in the bedroom.”

Shining’s mouth returned to being agape, a bird could perch inside and not need worry about consequence. “WHAT?!!!”

Sombra nodded. “You heard me, keep that stuff to yourself.”

Shining’s face contorted into anger and the stallion looked like his sister during that Pinkie Sense episode: ready to blow. “You… You are so insufferable sometimes! A complete fool! I can’t believe there’s a stallion so annoying as you! Maker… YOU. ARE. A CHILD!!!!”

Shining huffed heavily; trying to retrieve the precious air he had lost yelling at Sombra. That’s when the white stallion noticed a tear about to release itself from Sombra’s ducts. This melted away Shining’s anger and he sighed. “Sombra… I… I’m an idiot…”

“Yeah… you are.” Sombra nodded. “Hug it out?”

“Yeah.” Shining agreed. The two stallions embraced in a brotherly, totally not gay way (Sombra even made sure to call ‘no homo’ after they connected). “Feel better?”

Sombra nodded. “I do… I do.”


Dazzling Amethyst, who had decided to stay out of the whole ordeal, gasped in shock. “Sirs, look!”

The stallions turned and saw thousands of Changelings pawing at the barrier and trying to get to them. It was evident the Crystal Heart was struggling to hold the barrier against such an extensive (if unorganized) attack.

Sombra cocked an eyebrow. “What the…”

One of the nurses gasped. “Sirs! It must your borderline gay bromance! It attracted the Changelings!” Sombra and Shining promptly took a step away from each other.

Shaking off the awkward, Shining charged his horn. “This is perfect! We can stop the Changelings now!” Shining spun around and ran for the Crystal Heart.

Sombra stayed behind, looking at the floor in stressed contemplation. Finally, he turned to the nurse. “We do not have a bromance. I mean we have a close friendship, but I wouldn’t go that far…” He suddenly got annoyed. “And it’s certainly not borderline gay!”

Shining ignored the yelling stallion as he reached the Crystal Heart and charged magic through it. “Ok…” He started. “I know I’m not Cadence but I need to protect the Empire, and I need you to burst out this spell!”

The Crystal Heart glowed in response to Shining’s request, as if the heart-shaped crystalline object was speaking back to the stallion. Its glow had a red tint to it, so the assumption could be made that it might be disagreeing with the Prince Regent.

“Please.” Shining retorted. “It’ll work! Just charge the spell through your magic! Just like how you stopped King Sombra!” (Shining was glad the mentioned stallion was too busy proving his heterosexuality).

The Crystal Heart paused for a moment, its glow extinguished. Shining bit his lower lip, fearing the Heart was not going to assist him with his plan. The stallion’s fears vanished as the Heart glowed a bright white, readying to accept any foreign magic and meld it with its own.

“Thank you!” Shining shouted happily. The unicorn’s horn released its magic and sent it forth, enveloping the Heart and giving it a pale yellow color. The Heart focused the magic and shrunk its size until the yellow glow was nothing but a small dot in the center of the crystal.


Shining felt himself be pushed back by the sheer might of the magical blast the Heart sent out. Skidding a foot or so, the stallion found his footing again and looked around, the spell had worked! The huge Changeling presence banging against the protective barrier was electrocuted, yellow electricity coursing through them. Shining was a little unsure of what the spell actually did but Chrysalis had explained in her letter that it interrupted the Changeling’s pheromone receptors. Without those receptors, the Changeling horde couldn’t get constant updated orders from their Queen or commanding officer. They were alone in thought now, and therefore disorganized and confused.

Shining smiled as the Changelings fell to the ground, still conscious but wholly confused about what was happening and how to deal with it. Personally, the ex-royal guard captain would have liked a spell that finished off the Changelings, but he knew Chrysalis would never give him such a spell and he accepted that. This worked just as well.

“CHARGE!!!” The Prince Regent shouted to his guards. “DRIVE THEM OUT OF OUR HOME!!!”

The uplifted and readied Crystal Guard rushed their enemies and rammed into them hard. The affected Changelings had no clue what to do as they were run over by the guards. Many simply fled, not wishing to face such ready opponents without the advantage of the hive mind.

Some decided otherwise, and turned to face their attackers. Shining’s horn ignited as he ran through the battlefield and formed a magical kite shield on his right fore leg. The Prince halted, brought his shield arm across his chest, and thrust forward in a swooping arc, shield bashing an attacking Changeling and sending it flying. The stallion could see Sombra and Amethyst across the ruined street, leading the other charge.

Amethyst dodged an attacked and struck back at her Changeling attacker. The Crystal Lieutenant fell back as more Changelings rammed at her, trying to take her down. She had to fall back and join a group of guards to repel them.

Sombra, a veteran unicorn warrior, had no such problems. He head-butted a Changeling drone and punched another with his left hoof. One jumped onto his back and he bucked wildly to remove it. When the equine bug wouldn’t dislodge he grabbed it with black magic and flung it into a group of its fellows.

This caused the stallion to barely have enough to leap out of the way of a chunk of rubble that was thrown at him. Recomposing himself as he got back up, Sombra’s eyes widened as another chunk flew at him. Igniting his magic, the stallion caught the rubble piece and tossed it high into the air, it went so high all lost sight of it. Without that out of the way, Sombra charged the Changeling mages that were tossing chunks of building at him.

Shining smiled confidently: the Crystal Guard was winning! It wouldn’t be too long before the Changelings were pushed back completely from the city. Changeling after Changeling turned and ran, with less and less gaining the courage to counterattack. Shining felt elated as the adrenaline and a high outlook filled his being. They were going to win! They were going to beat the Changelings back and save the city! They were…!


Shining spat out some spittle as he felt the telekinetic wave smash into him, sending him flying back. The stallion slammed into the ground, slid, went airborne a little, hit the ground again, airborne again, and finally hit and skid. The Prince Regent curled into a little ball; the pain was intense!

“SHINING!” Sombra and Amethyst shouted together as they watched the stallion cringe. This was a mistake: another wave of magic hit them and all the other guards, resulting in the same reaction as Shining had.

Sombra face-planted into a rock. The stallion yelped and shot up, his face red from impact. “OUCH! Who the hell did that?!”

“I’m glad you asked, equine.”

Sombra and the guards, as well as a recovering Shining Armor, turned to the voice and found themselves met with an extremely tall and slender Changeling: a Queen. She looked like Chrysalis, though a few differences facial features could be seen that would separate the two. The most obvious was her hair and eyes: they were a dark orange instead of green. The new Queen took a step towards the defeated guards, smiling darkly. Got the same fanged teeth, all non-Changelings mentally commented.

“A clever thing you did.” The Queen replied, her voice of a deeper kind but still feminine enough. “But still not enough, once I decided to join the… party.” Her sick smile dripped with greenish saliva goo, disgusting most of the guards. “Now, you will surrender to me, Queen…”

“Let me guess, Pupa?” Sombra interjected mockingly.

The Queen grimaced, clearly annoyed. “No, Pupa is an arrogant prick. I am Queen Carapace! Leader of the seventh grand hive of the Collective!”

Sombra became sarcastically elated. “Oh, really? Well, nice to meet you! My name’s Imabitch!”

“I’m a bitch?” Queen Carapace questioned slowly.

Sombra fell down laughing, rolling and holding his sides. “Holy crap it worked! It actually worked! Oh geez, you’re stupid.”

The Queen gave a blank look of disgust and lit up her horn, enveloping Sombra in a magical aura and sending him flying upward. The stallion came barreling down, smashing into the street with a loud crash. “Worth it…” He said weakly.

By this time, Shining had gotten back up and was now facing down the Queen. “There’s no way I’m going to let you take this Kingdom!”

The Queen laughed. “HA! How do you plan to stop me, little stallion? I actually wish to hear it!”

Shining inhaled deeply. “The safe way…” He said calmly. The stallion ignited his horn and shot a blast forward at the Changeling, who promptly raised her own protection shield. She soon discovered, however, that Shining’s magic was not an attack. The Prince’s magic wrapped the Queen in a magical bubble, sealed tightly.

Shining huffed from exertion. “I’m going to suffocate you until you fall! It’ll be hard to be a problem while knocked out on the ground!”

“YOU THINK THIS WILL HOLD ME?!” The Queen shouted. She dropped her shield and began blasting away at the shield, to no avail. Shining’s bubble held strong and didn’t even faze as the Changeling beat against it.

Shining chuckled. “I’ve got the best shield spell in the history of Equestria, Discord himself couldn’t break that shield as long as I stay focused. And considering your Changelings are still running around clueless, there isn’t anything to stop me from…”

And then a chunk of rubble fell on Shining, knocking him unconscious. Sombra, who had recovered from being slammed on the ground, instantly recognized the rubble and slunk some feet away, eyes wide.

The magical bubble dissipated and the Queen was free. She smiled sadistically. “Well, isn’t that stroke of good karma?”


Shining groaned as he opened his eyes. Sombra and Amethyst were staring down at him, concerned looks in their eyes. The stallion sat up and shook off some groggy feeling.

“Ugh, what happened?”

“Rubble fell on you.” Sombra stated plainly. “Knocked you out. Could have killed you, seems like the spell you were casting lessened the impact though.”

“What about the Changeling Queen?”

A chuckle came from some feet away. “Oh, I’m still here equine, and I’m in control now.”

Shining’s eyes corrected themselves and he looked around, the Changelings had regrouped and now held the city hostage. Shining cursed under his breath and turned to the Queen. “Alright, now what?”

“Simple equine.” The Queen replied. “You and your kind will return was has been taken from the Collective.” She paced around. “You had no right, and yet you did anyway. It sickens me, you foolish, chaotic things.” She trotted towards Shining. “Now, you return what has been lost, what you took.” She leaned into Shining’s face, frowning at him adamantly. “You WILL return Chrysalis.”

Sombra sniffed once and leaned in next to Shining. "In case you’re wondering, yes, sometimes it can be hard to always be right. However, it is a burden I bear with diligence and enthusiasm."

“Maker damn you Sombra.” Shining grumbled.

Four Different Players, Same Game

View Online

Shining Armor couldn’t help but grumble slightly, the chains around his hooves chafing as they were. Note to self; invest in new dungeon equipment after this is done. The white stallion pulled his mind from his own thoughts to look around: the scene had changed little from how he remembered it five minutes ago. Changelings were still in the palace, still holding every single denizen of the Crystal Empire hostage, and Sombra was still his… unusually talkative self.

“I wanna see my lawyer!” The mentioned stallion shouted; shifting in his own spot next to Shining and the other crystal guards huddled up in a group on the floor. “You hear me dirt for brains?! Where’s my lawyer! I have been wrongfully imprisoned!”

The nearest Changeling couldn’t take Sombra’s outbursts and transformed into a slender looking light blue stallion. “Aaaahh! You shut up now! No lawyer! No anything! You prisoner! You no have rights!” Even transformed the Changeling’s voice was a shriveled and strained thing, high pitched and scratchy.

Sombra scoffed. “I beg to differ! As clearly stated in the United Species Alliance Jesaben Fortress Convention eighty-three: All prisoners of war are to be cared for and respected as any other living creature!”

The transformed Changeling spat. “HA! We no follow rules of your Alliance! We are hive! We have own rules!”

“One of them is apparently not using correct grammar.” Sombra stated mockingly.

The Changeling screeched at Sombra and reverted to normal, walking away and leaving the group. Sombra stuck his tongue out at the thing and turned away, just in time to see the nearby door open wide. Queen Carapace stepped through in a regal manner, snout up, eyes mostly closed, all the royal works. The Changeling walked about, checking up on the imprisonment of her defeated foes. She had just pasted Shining and Sombra’s group when the latter leaned next to Shining’s ear.

“So, you think she and Chrysalis are related? You know, like sisters or direct cousins or something?”

Shining looked over to the orange-mane Changeling. “I don’t know, maybe. It’s a possibility, considering she actually wants Chrysalis back. Though I can’t be certain.” Shining then realized who he was talking to and cocked an eyebrow at Sombra. “Wait… Why do you want to know?”

Sombra smiled innocently. “Oh, well, one of the guards wanted my help you see. He’s an writer and whatnot and he wanted to write a rather risqué story about Chrysalis and Carapace, but not if their related. You see Shining, there’s not as large a fanbase for that tunnel of love.”

Shining looked at Sombra with shock, then anger. “We are in a life or death situation and all you’re thinking about is writing a sexually explicit fanfiction?! This isn’t the time!”

It was Sombra’s turn to gasp and look on in shock. “Shining! It is always a good time to think about whom you can ship together explicitly! It’s like… it’s like a fundamental part of life! And if you don’t think that way, well… I just don’t know how you’re breathing right now.”

Shining face-hoofed hard, hoping any stupid he may have contracted was punched out. He shook his head and kept his face buried in his hooves. “You are… you’re just… ugh.”

“Well, somepony’s being very prudish today.” The black unicorn responded.

“Just please, stop.” Shining replied.

“Excuse me equine?”

Shining looked up to see Queen Carapace frowning at him, he promptly frowned back, not wanting to deal with her right now. “Yeah, well sorry if I seem rude, it’s just I have this policy about impolite to bug butts that attack my home.”

Carapace snorted. “Well, it is a rather annoying policy to take on, horn-head.”

Sombra made an O shape with his mouth. “Ooooooooo, sick counter burn!”

Shining ignored his compatriot and continued to stare at Carapace. “What do you want Carapace?”

The Changeling brought up her head regally and looked down on the stallions as if they were lowly peasants. “Simple, I want Chrysalis back. I remember already explaining that, are you ponies so stupid you can not recollect such things?”

“Well, he did get hit over the head with a chunk of rubble, so that probably didn’t help.” Sombra noticed the look Shining gave he and retracted a little. “What?”

The Prince Regent returned to Carapace. “That can’t be the only reason. Changeling Queens never give a damn what the others are doing. The only time you ever do anything together is when the Collective is attacked.”

Queen Carapace rolled her eyes; annoyed that Shining had answered his own question and not noticed it. “Yes, only if the Collective is attacked. It’s not like Chrysalis was a Changeling Queen who had detailed knowledge of the locations of Changeling Hives, or our battle strategy, or any defenses we may have, etc…” Sarcasm dripped in her voice like venom.

The answer hit Shining like a ton of bricks: Carapace wanted Chrysalis back because she was a security risk for the Changeling Collective! The stallion bit his lower lip. That most likely meant that Carapace would do whatever it took to get Chrysalis back. Shining was about to ask another question before he felt himself get tugged by magic.

“Now come along.” Carapace hissed. “I need evidence.” Shining tried to protest, but you can probably guess how that went.

The room Carapace literally dragged Shining to had once been an empty room for decoration storage. Now however it was the base for the Crystal Empire’s magical Flim Flam brothers’ communicator. Shining felt himself thrown to the floor; the stallion hit it with a loud ‘oomph’. Opening up his eyes and looking up, Shining was met with a familiar face: Princess Celestia of Equestria, his aunt-in-law, and formerly his boss.

The holographic Alicorn’s eye twitched only a hair, but other than that she made no facial expression besides her stern glare. Her eyes shifted from Shining to the Changeling, speaking volumes her mouth dare not say.

“Here he is!” Carapace started. “Just as I said. Now do you believe my claims Celestia?”

“Not once did I refute your claims.” The regal white mare shot back calmly. “In fact, I believe you were the only one who insisted you show me Shining Armor.” Celestia chuckled mockingly. “A little egotistical if I am any judge.”

Carapace growled and stomped her hoof to the ground. “How dare you insult me you pony pros-…!”

“And how dare you attack a land under my protection, Carapace.” Celestia stated calmly, with an almost nonexistent undertone of anger.

“If you don’t like it then return Chrysalis to me Celestia! You kidnapped her from her Hive and now plan to use her to gain an advantage on the Collective!”

“I am doing no such thing for no such reason.”

“Then where is she?!” Carapace asked, more like ordered really. Celestia looked away at that order, thinking very hard how to phrase her next words. Carapace was obviously not one for patience. “WHERE IS CHRYSALIS?!


Lieutenant Indigo Breeze of the Canterlot Royal Guard moaned heavily as she opened her eyes and tried to pick herself up. “Ugh, well… I can still move and that’s… that’s a good sign.” Shaking off the last bits of groggy feeling from her head, Indigo looked around at the dank, dark cell she and her guards currently occupied.

It looked like she was the fourth one up; three others sat huddled in a corner or near a still unconscious friend. The cell they were in, despite the 'lovely' wall decorations of mold, seemed well kept, and there was enough room for all of them at least.

Indigo glanced around at her fallen friends, silently taking roll call. That’s when it hit her, “Wait, where’s Lady Chrysalis?!”

Cadence frowned at herself in the mirror, black wasn’t her color. Now that she thought about it: being a unicorn wasn’t really to her liking either. “Do I really have to be like this?” She asked Lightning Dust, as the now completely black pegasus walked over to look over the final preparations.

“I’m sorry, are you the professional mercenary here?” The pegasus snorted and picked something out of large box. It was pendant with a big blue gemstone in as the hanging feature. “Wear this, don’t take it off.” Lightning tossed the neck wear over to Cadence.

“And what is it?” Cadence asked.

“Basically it screws with your vocal cords.” Lightning explained. “Turns your voice deeply and masculine. It goes with the black disguise spell, this way Chrysalis can’t distinguish our voices and can’t recognize our faces from memory.”

“Huh, good plan.” Cadence admitted.

“You spent your money well Princess.” Lightning Dust responded. “So, how are we torturing this bug breath?”

“We aren’t.” Cadence replied.

“And why not?”

“Because I’m not her.” Cadence hissed.

“Really?” Lightning asked mockingly. “Well, let’s see. You're making dastardly plans, you kidnapped somepony, helped attack Royal Guards, are using deceit to your advantage, not only that but…”

Lightning Dust almost pissed herself when Cadence warped to her, eyes red with hatred and mane up in black, purple, and green magical ethereal flames. “I AM NOTHING LIKE THAT MONSTER! DO YOU HEAR ME?!

Lightning cowered. “Y-Yes… yes! Just calm down dammit!”

The flames subsided and Cadence exhaled deeply. The mare wobbled a bit and placed her hoof on her head. “I’m… I’m sorry, that was…”

Lightning Dust put her hooves in the air. “Hey, I get it, you don’t like her. I think I wouldn’t either, if she locked me in a cave and tried to ruin my life. It’s ok, I get it.” The pegasus looked off to the side contemplatively. “We’ve all got that one pony…”

Cadence sighed. “Let’s just get this over with.”

Cadence applied the pendant and followed Lightning down a dimly lit hallway. After walking for what felt like five minutes, the pair arrived at an iron bolted door, only slightly rusted. Lightning motioned to Cadence and the Alicorn-disguised-as-a-unicorn of Love opened the door with magic and stepped through.

Inside was a medium sized room, devoid of furniture save for an iron post in the middle. Tied to the post was the mare Cadence so utterly despised: Chrysalis the Changeling Queen. The mare was blindfolded and bound at the legs and with her legs bent unceremoniously back to tie around the post. A magical inhibitor had been placed on her horn. She was completely helpless like this.

Lightning motioned to one of the four other mercenaries in the cell. The stallion nodded and walked up to Chrysalis, removing a large cloth that had been used to gag her mouth shut.

Free of all obstructions, Chrysalis breathed freely, gasping in large amounts of air. When she had had her fill, Chrysalis looked around despite still being blinded. “Who’s there? Why are you doing this? What do you want?!”

“We want…” Cadence began but stopped, startled by the deep baritone voice that came out. Shaking off the awkward feeling, Cadence continued. “We want answers.”

“To what?!” Chrysalis asked nervously.

“Tell us the location of the rebel base.” Lightning Dust interjected with her own now deep voice.


Lightning Dust looked down at a small stack of index cards, reading through them. “Dammit Swift Pace! You gave the wrong interrogation cards!” The mentioned stallion hurriedly ran up to his superior, checked the cards, and panicked. The two started whispering to each other. “How could you have messed up… they were right there! … I don’t care! … No, no, do not go and get new ones! … No! No, we’re winging this one.” Lightning turned back to the prisoner.

“Smooth.” Cadence mocked.

“Shut it.” Replied Lightning.

Cadence’s eyes rolled. “Anyway, tell us your plans Changeling!”

“W-What plans?” Chrysalis fearfully asked.

Cadence slammed her horn into the post and got extremely close to Chrysalis. “Your plans to conquer Equestria you bug breathed bitch!”

“Conquer Equest-…? I’m not planning to conquer Equestria!”

“OF COURSE YOU ARE!” Cadence spat. “Because that’s all Changelings do: is conquer and attack and ruin the lives of every other living being in the world!”

“But… But not me! I-I didn’t come here to conquer or ruin, I came here to be with the mare I love!”

“Changelings don’t love!” Cadence retorted. “They just…” Cadence fought back a tear. “They just take love! They take it and turn it perverse and heinous! Your species is a… a blight!”

"Damn, a little harsh don't ya think?" Lightning asked before being met with a dark gaze from Cadence, which shut her up.

Chrysalis didn’t respond and simply sat there, mostly likely holding back her own tears. Cadence huffed a little, her outburst having exhausted her somewhat. The mare inhaled deeply. “Well?!”

Chrysalis kept a cool demeanor as she spoke, not wanting to give her deep voiced captors (whoever they may be) any satisfaction. “Once again, I have no plans to conquer Equestria. If you believe you will torture me in order to get a false confession, well I’m afraid you’re out of luck. I just have to wait.”

“Until what?” Cadence asked involuntarily.

“Until I am found by Princess Celestia.”

“Fat chance of that happening.” Cadence replied, turning away from the Changeling and going for the door.

“WAIT!” Chrysalis shouted as Cadence opened the door. “I know I don’t deserve forgiveness for the crimes I’ve done, and I can understand how you feel. I know you’re doing this for revenge and I understand. But please, Maker please, don’t give in to this sick desire for revenge, it will only destroy you from the inside out!”

“I will take that under advisement once you’re in a ditch bug butt.” Cadence snarled darkly before exiting and slamming the door.

Lightning Dust looked at her fellow mercenaries and simply scoffed, getting a tranquilizer ready so they could move Chrysalis back to her cell.

Out in the still dimly lit hallway, Cadence huffed heavily, slammed against the wall with a loud bang, and grabbed her chest. “Damn… Damn Changeling.” She growled. “She’s getting me so stressed out that I’ve gotten chest pains.” The Alicorn shook it off as best she could before walking away, unaware at how close her mane and tail had come to becoming permanently ethereal and dark.


Jesaben Fortress:

Headquarters of United Species Alliance Parliament

Septimus the Griffin sat in his chair apprehensively, not really liking the new pillow that had been bought for it. He was twiddling his claws about, making the tips of each one hit the knuckles of the other.

Quickly becoming bored with this, he turned his chair around to look out of the window; it was a beautiful sight to most. Septimus wasn't too partial to it, views of the ocean never really were to his liking. Still, watching the ocean waves hit the high fortress walls and then slink back into the water was comforting in some way.

The click indicating his front door was being opened involuntarily sent the Griffin swerving around to face the front of his desk and more importantly the door.

The barrier gave way and in stepped a large figure, one that Septimus noted might like the view of the ocean behind them a bit more. The creature had hooves, and a tail, though that was of the fishy variety. Septimus barely made any gesture when Grizzled Policy, the Diplomat of the Capricorns, stepped in (it was much too late for such things).

The goatfish yawned heavily. “What is it Septimus? I just had to moderate an enormous land rights dispute and I’m rather tired. I was actually off to bed when you summoned me.”

“They asked you to moderate?” Septimus questioned, raising a brow. “Who was it between?”

Grizzled scratched one of his fore-hooves. “It was between an independent Zebra nation and some Changelings, of all things. Zebra thought having me moderate would help them win.”

“Did it?”

“Hell no, I don’t like Changelings, but the Zebra were clearly in Collective territory. I made ‘em pack up immediately.” The Capricorn snorted. “I am not having my people fight to protect a bunch stupid Zebra who didn’t check their boundary lines before staking claims.” The diplomat cracked his neck, sighing in relief from the release of some soreness. “So, why you’d call me here?”

Septimus inhaled deeply but let out only a slight sigh. “There’s been an… incident.”

A Tale of a Princess and a Changeling

View Online

Carapace grumbled as she looked at the clock, the Alicorn wench was late. The room that held the Communications device wasn’t necessarily big, but it didn’t stop the Changeling Queen from pacing around in anger. After another eight grueling minutes of enraged speedy back and forth strides, the device flickered.

Thousands of tiny bluish particles fizzed into existence, circled around each other, collided and melded together until a hologram of Celestia formed to its fullest. The Changeling snorted darkly at the Alicorn, hinting at her displeasure.

“You seem annoyed.” Celestia said calmly, though mockery could be felt underneath it.

“You’re late.” Carapace shot back.

“I do recall you never setting an exact meeting time, so technically I’m not late, I may even be early.”

“Enough!” Carapace growled. “It’s been five days, have you found Chrysalis?!”

“No, we haven’t.” Celestia replied.

Carapace’s eye twitched slightly. “Is that so? Well, you know what I think? I think you’re stalling! You’re actually holding her captive so you can get the information out of her!”

“I would never hold Chrysalis captive.” Celestia countered. “I love her!”

“Doubtful.” Carapace remarked.

“It’s true.”

“Changeling Queen’s love no one but themselves and their Hive.” Carapace shot back. “How could she fall in love with you?!”

“I feel a story coming on!”

Celestia’s neck twisted and her head spun around to see Discord floating in the air, a bag of popcorn in one claw. She gave the Draconequus a look and turned back to the Changeling Queen. Her face quickly became enlightened as an idea sprung to mind. “That’s actually a good idea Discord. You need convincing? Fine. A story will convince you…”


Three Months Ago

I had already told Luna that my little envoy to the Collective would take a long time. Had I known it would take two months, I might have commissioned some help for her, if only I had known Blueblood could be competent at government. I digress, however, and what happened in Equestria has no consequence on this.

Anyway, the trip to the Collective (or more specifically: Chrysalis’ Hive, the Alliance Parliament had dealt with the overall Collective backlash) was about as boring as any long distant trip. We past through several towns and cities in Equestria to get to the border and once we finally reached the political lines of our lands we could see the outlying wastes of the badlands, that is when things became strange.

Our trip didn’t change from the border to Chrysalis’s hive, and that made me rather apprehensive. As far deep as we were in Collective territory we should have met dozens of Changeling patrols, but not we saw nothing.

Finally reaching the Hive in about two days, I called out with the Royal Canterlot Voice to get the Hive’s attention. It took me several tries to get the Voice right though; I haven’t used it in so long. After calling out to Chrysalis seventeen times, the Queen herself came to great us. I was, to say the least, confused. Never had a Changeling Queen come to greet her ‘guests’ like Chrysalis had. It also disturbed me that other than herself, there was only one other Changeling with her, a small thing with a little writing board.

Chrysalis greeted us with the most expected reaction: anger. She shouted, insulted, and was all around a poor host, and I told her so personally, as I was equally angered at her inhospitality. I knew, however, that for this diplomatic mission to work I had to stay calm, so I took a deep breath and explained the situation.

At first, Chrysalis seemed perturbed, as if my presence meant her destruction. She quickly retreated to her hive, saying she had to think about it. She left us out in the cold, metaphorically speaking since the badlands have a very warm climate. It would be two whole days before Chrysalis returned, her demeanor regal once more, and her face smiling widely. (I’ll admit, the first time I saw that smile it disgusted me, seeing all those fangs and knowing exactly what they were for).

Chrysalis led my guards and I into the large structure that was her Hive. Considering you are Changeling yourself and most Changeling architecture is almost identical in appearance I don’t think I need to describe what the interior looked like…

Oooo, Oooo, I’d like to know what it looked like!

No Discord.

I think it would add to the story.


No fun…

Anyway, the first thing I noticed was… how empty the Hive was. Changeling Hives are like tightly packed cities, with basically every square inch being used for the betterment of the Hive. But Chrysalis’s hive, it was completely empty. No other Changelings except for Chrysalis and the little drone. I asked her about it, she scoffed and blatantly lied to me saying, “They’re out scouting for new sources of food, not all of us have the benefit of a bountiful country.”

I knew it was a lie, Changeling scout groups are three to six in size and the rest are always at work in the Hive. It was clear they had gone somewhere; the lingering question was where? I didn’t learn that day.

The next few days were taken up with back and forth bickering between us. I would ask for Chrysalis’s ear, and she’d blow me off with a regal snort and a turn of her neck in the opposite direction. Needless to say, she was being difficult. But I persevered; I wanted my country and my little ponies to be safe from any attacks from Chrysalis.

I found it odd that she had put up with us for so long, we were at her hive for nearly two weeks when she finally opened up… with an offer of sex. I turned it down obviously; I knew she was trying to steal love from me. The next time we spoke she was subtler, friendly. I have no doubt she was still trying to drain me of my love, but I took precautions. Still, I couldn’t past this opportunity up. If I could turn the manipulation around, I thought, then I could make her more susceptible to my beliefs and thereby getting one step closer to my own goal.

So yes, Queen Carapace, our first date we ever had was fake, mired with some subtle and not so subtle attempted manipulation of each other. I think back and realize just how absurd we acted on the first half of that date. Chrysalis took me to an oasis deep in the badlands; it was a beautiful sight in the middle of all that no-ponies-land surrounding it. It was basically a picnic, with all the works. I was impressed at how much normal food Chrysalis had, I confess I did not know before-hoof that Changelings could eat material food for sustenance. There’s always something new to learn, right? Anyway, the date was a lot of talking (with attempted manipulation practically dripping from between our words) and looking at the sights. She offered sex again but I turned it down, she was persistent.

I will admit that I had a good time on the date. It was… nice. I’ve not had a lover in… well, not since Luna became Nightmare Moon. There just wasn’t any time really, I had a country to run by myself and personal wants had fallen by the wayside in that time. It felt good to experience such actions again, even if it was an act.

Those feelings, however, weren’t the climax of our little fake date. We had just eaten and decided to lie down near the edge of the lake that was in the center of the oasis. I had gotten Chrysalis talking about the Changelings, a topic she was more than happy to speak about. She talked about their supposed origins, their culture, way of life, as well as their beliefs on why they feed off love. I listened intently; it was truly an interesting talk. Oddly enough, I thought of my student, Twilight Sparkle, during much of this part. I kept thinking of how much she’d love to hear this, studious as she is.

But as Chrysalis talked, I noticed the change in her demeanor. In the beginning it had been proud and smug, but it slowly disintegrated away. She… she began to cry, tears falling freely as she wept for whatever it was that pained her. I haven’t met many Changeling Queens in my life, but the ones I did meet were proud and confident. Crying was a foreign thing to them, and I assumed this was true for all Queens of the Collective. It was pathetic in a pitiable way and… and I couldn’t help myself. I had always been the benevolent Princess that never wished to see her ponies cry. Even then, deep in the badlands of unfriendly territory, my instincts would not leave me. I… I put my arm and wing around her and pulled her close, comforting her softly. At first I thought she would steal my love at that moment, like it had been all an act to drop my defenses. But she didn’t, and she hugged me back. She was truly sad.

Humph, a testament to her weakness.

Excuse me Carapace?

As you said, Changeling Queens are meant to be proud and confident. To do what she did is a sign of pure weakness. It is no wonder your niece and Shining Armor defeated her.

I will ignore that you said that, be glad for that Carapace.

We sat there for a long time, just me patting Chrysalis on the back as she bawled her eyes out. She told me why she grieved: her Changelings had deserted her. The attack on Equestria had drained most of the Hive’s resources, and there simply wasn’t enough food to go around. The Changelings knew this and… abandoned Chrysalis. The low food reserves and failed attacked made them doubt Chrysalis, so they left to find a more profitable hive. Chrysalis told me how loyal Changelings were to their Queen, that they’d die a thousand deaths for her. For her hive to desert her, it was the ultimate sign of disrespect and disgrace. By the end, the drone she had met us with was the only one that remained loyal, I have never discovered why.

I was moved, and I continued to comfort her, she was grateful. We returned to the Hive that night with… a better opinion of each other. She saw me as a comforting presence in her despair, and I saw that she was more than a heartless monster. Now she seemed like me, almost. A leader trying to do the best for her people despite everything being thrown at her. It was alluring, finally realizing that there was emotion in her and she did feel.

It played on my mind the next few days at the Hive. I didn’t see her those few days afterword, she had locked herself away in some room. I saw her last drone quite often however. The little thing had taken a liking to my guards, and they often hung out together do all sorts of activities to pass the time. His name was Shape Shift from what I gathered. It was odd for a simple Changeling drone to have a name, but because he was the last one Chrysalis had humored him with the honor. He never spoke any kind of words, even when transformed. Chrysalis said it was a birth defect; his egg had been damaged during a raid from an opposing hive and the loss of his voice was the side effect.

But I’m getting off track, aren’t I? After those few days of waiting around Chrysalis returned and said she was open to talks. I believe her exact words were: “I’m ready to begin negotiations but, considering it’s only me and Shape Shift, the threat of my Hive has greatly diminished.”

This is where, I’ll admit, it gets somewhat saucy. I had decided during Chrysalis’s absence that I had feelings for her. I won’t lie, it’s probably because I hadn’t had a lover in over a thousand years and I was feeling desperate since that date of ours. This when I, in the truly cliché adult fiction manner, asked Chrysalis. “Well, I have another thing we could discuss.” I then proceeded to give her my most sultry look I could make and rubbed up against her seductively. Don’t laugh, I know it’s stupid to hear and I personally feel stupid looking back. It wasn’t my fault; I hadn’t had any sort of romantic relationship for generations, I didn’t know what to do! Chrysalis still teases me about it.

Regardless of how I feel, it… worked, kind of. Chrysalis asked what I meant (though she understood my tone) by that. So, in true unromantic fashion, I bluntly told her I was interested. Chrysalis blinked at me, unsure of what to say at first. Eventually, she shook it off and smiled at me. It seemed like my comfort to her in the greatest time of despair she'd ever had was enough to peak her interests as well.

Was it desperation? Were we really interested in one another or was it just a cry for the attention of another that we could look to? Did we just want somepony to cling to for emotional stability? Perhaps, I wouldn’t put it past debate. Whatever the reason, it happened. And after Chrysalis agreed we went on a couple more dates, talked some more. It was an amazing feeling, finally having a special somepony again. We were still wary the first week, for legitimate reasons. It would be a week and a half before we slept in the same bed…

And then they had sex.


Right, sorry. They had voluptuous foreplay, then they sex.


Chrysalis explored Celestia’s caverns…

Stop it.

They connected their foal tunnels with fake rods of pleasure…


They tasted the volcanic eruptions that were their clim…



Discord snorted, turning his snout away. “What? I was simply trying to improve the story’s appeal with some extra details, naughty ones.”

Celestia, red in the face, gritted her teeth. “I don’t need your extra information to tell my story. Chrysalis and I didn’t have sex in her hive. It wasn’t until after I returned to Equestria that we… well, you know.”

Discord put his claw on Celestia’s shoulder. “I do, oh Maker I do. And I thank you, Celestia, because you caused so much chaos with your love of Chrysalis that I am literally bathing in it.” The Draconequus sniffed. “It’s so… beautiful.” Discord sighed. “Whelp, I gotta go, Fluttershy and I are going camping for the weekend, toodles.” The Draconequus disappeared in a white flash.

Celestia shook her head and turned to the hologram of Queen Carapace (looking on in what could be described as an expression of horror, disgust, and confusion). “Consider yourself lucky, I have to live with him most of the time.”

“A shame for you.” Carapace stated.

“Indeed.” Celestia replied. The white Alicorn sighed. “And that’s how it happened, basically. After a few more days we returned to Equestria together, the ride back is when we truly decided we wanted it to be a more lasting partnership. That being said, do you require anymore convincing?”

Carapace snorted objectively. “No, I believe you, if only because I know Chrysalis would be weak enough to let such emotions get the better of her.” The Changeling Queen looked away angrily, growling slightly. “And… because it’s love that Chrysalis is with you, I will not take her away and will allow her to stay with you.”

Celestia’s face lit up with joy and she was about to thank Carapace before the Changeling cut her off. “However, I still require her back! I have to make her give an oath that she will never tell Collective secrets to non-Changelings. If this is done, I will return the Crystal Empire to you, completely unharmed.”

Celestia smiled and nodded. “Of course Queen Carapace, this is very doable. I’m glad we can come to an agreement, and I hope that this can be seen as our two species improving in our currently shaky relationship.”

The Changeling snorted. “Maybe, but anything like that is for the Collective Council to decide. I alone cannot…” A lone Changeling drone interrupted the Queen, buzzing up to Carapace’s ear and whispered something in the Changeling tongue. “WHAT?! How is that possible?! Gather the rest of the Hive, now!” The Changeling drone saluted and buzzed off.

“What’s wrong?” Celestia asked, concerned. “What’s happened?”

“It’s none of your concern Princess.” Carapace shot back. “Find Chrysalis, focus only on that!” The Queen flicked off the communicator and her hologram exploded out of existence.

Celestia stood there, dumbfounded.

Contemplating Escape

View Online

The heavy metal slot positioned at the bottom of the door opened with a loud clanking sound. Bowls of pale gruel rushed inside, pushed by magic. Lieutenant Indigo Breeze watched the half spheres glide across the floor until one found itself in front of one of captured guards they were meant for. Indigo herself was at the back of the large, moldy cell and so her bowl was the last to reach its target.

The pegasus mare looked down at the bowl with no discernable emotion. She simply took up in her hooves, chugged it, and placed on the floor next to her, in a large pile of bowls she had collected. After this action was complete and the guard looked content with it, she huddled back into the corner she had designated for herself.

“Dammit… another one gone.” One of the mercenaries grumbled, collecting the other bowls that had been handed back to him by the other captured guards.

“If you’re so mad about it, go in and get it.” The Earth pony mare next to him goaded.

The stallion snorted. “Ha-ha, funny. You see, Kindled Glow, unlike your parents the night you were conceived, I know when not to do something stupid.” The stallion shut the metal slot.

“The last guy to go in there and try to get those bowls back ended up with a broken neck,” He continued. “Made worse by the fact he lived, he’s still in the infirmary with a neck brace.”

“Chicken.” Kindled Glow chuckled playfully as she trotted down the hall.

“I am not!” The stallion cried out as he ran down the hall to chase the mare down.

Inside the cell, Indigo had listened intently to the guards before they had left. The mare huffed in slightly uncaring way. Looking about her cell, the pegasus examined the box-shaped prison and took in the fact is it was unchanged from yesterday, and the day before that, and so on.

She was quite familiar with the cell, much to her contempt. No windows, lit by bolted in magical ceiling lamps, heavy metal door the only way out, single slot for food distribution, floor was damp and could be easily slipped on. She knew every inch of the cell, down to the slight dripping leak in the far left corner from the door.

Indigo turned her attention to the rest of her guards, huddled about doing whatever pleased them. Still alive, Indigo pondered, every last one of us… The mare shifted, going to her stack of bowls and organizing them the way she liked. They clearly don’t need us, yet we’re still alive. There’s something higher up behind this. It isn’t just a bunch random mercenary group looking for a quick ransom. Indigo smiled slightly at her neatly stacked bowl pile, it was a small comfort during this trying time.


Indigo turned to see one of her guards looking at her. She remembered his name as Precision Shot. “Yes guard?” She asked plainly.

“You have any idea why this blockheads are keeping us here?”

Indigo stood up, stretching her limbs. “Because we’re an inconvenience. Their real target is Lady Chrysalis, seeing as she’s not here. Why they want her, I’ve no clue.”

“Shouldn’t we try to get out of here and help her?” Precision Shot asked.

“Before you can jump the fence you must first know how you’re getting off the ground.” Indigo replied, turning around to check up on her bowls again as well as some blankets the mercs had given to them. Hmmm… fifteen bowls, and eight blankets between the lot of us… Good, good. That should be enough.

Precision Shot cocked his head to the side, furrowing an eyebrow. “But ma’am, we can’t just…”

“Fortune favors the bold, but survival rewards the smart.”

The stallion sighed. “Ok, I get it ma’am. Still… any idea when we’re getting out of here?”

Indigo turned to the guard. “I dunno know, when’s dinner again?”


Cadence scoffed the image in the mirror; she hated the way she looked while in disguise. Black wasn’t her color and the deep monotone voice the pendant gave her didn’t match the outward appearance. Regardless, the Alicorn dealt with it if it meant Chrysalis would be taken down.

She reached for the voice-altering pendant on her makeshift vanity. After placing the pendant on, she looked at the wooden boards and broken mirror that made up her vanity. She missed her vanity at the Palace, but that didn’t deter her really. What she truly missed was the letters from her beloved husband, Shining Armor. She hadn’t gotten a letter from him in quite awhile and it bothered her, Shining was always on time with writing to her.

Cadence was contemplating this when the door of her room opened and Lightning Dust stepped in. “Chrysalis is all tied up again, we can begin the interrogation anytime you like.”

“Good.” Cadence replied. “I’ll be there in a minute.”

Lightning nodded and left, shutting the door behind her. Cadence returned her gaze to the mirror, looking back at eyes she didn’t recognize. They were a scarlet purple color and were noticeably dark, brooding, and full of hate.

Cadence looked at this image of herself for a minute before chuckling. “Heh, this magical disguise Lightning employs really works well, I can’t tell it’s me at all.” Getting up and going to her door, Cadence readied herself for the interrogation.

The mare was fully unaware that the spell that made up Lightning Dust’s magical disguise had no effect on one’s eyes.


Once again Chrysalis found herself bound and gagged, being dragged down some hallway by unknown ponies. The Changeling Queen felt quite the annoying pang of pain as her body bumped along the ground. That was one of the few feelings Chrysalis had at this point, all others stomped out from repetition of such actions and from the still brightly burning hope of rescue.

Chrysalis made no noticeable expressions as she was thrown against the same old pole in the same old interrogation room. She didn’t care as they bound her to the giant metal rivet and stood at attention, waiting for their leaders to appear. It was, of course, a very intricate ploy. The mare believed that acting tough in front of her brutish captives would give the appearance as if she was unbreakable, thus dampening their efforts. She also didn’t want to give them the pleasure of seeing her squirm. Besides, their torture methods were subpar at best. Chrysalis knew of, and had seen, much worse done to prisoners of the more… violent Queens of the Collective.

The clanging sound made by an opening metal door prompted Chrysalis to smirk. “Back again?” She asked coyly. “Geez, with how much you’re visiting me I’d say you might have a thing…”

Chrysalis’s head jerked to the side as she felt magic slap her hard. It would certainly bruise her carapace. “I have no feeling towards you but hate bug breath.” The abnormally deep voice (owned by Cadence) replied. “And when I get what I want you’ll pay.”

Chrysalis spun here head towards the source of the voice and smirk again. “Did you come up with that by yourself or did you read it in a fairy tale book?”

“Insolent bug!”

Chrysalis jerked in pain as another slap of magic hit her hard. Even behind the pitch black of her blindfold, Chrysalis could tell her vision blurred considerably. The Changeling huffed in pain. “Newly hatched Changeling larva hit harder than you.”

Cadence gritted her teeth, igniting her horn for another blow. “You bi-.”

Lightning Dust grabbed at Cadence’s arm and tugged at it. “Stop it! Do you want a repeat of last time? It’s not much of an interrogation if the prisoner is knocked out before we’re even five minutes in!”

Cadence pulled her arm away from Lightning’s grasp and nodded. “You’re right… sorry.”

“Well, I’m glad that lover’s quarrel was settled quickly.” Chrysalis mocked openly, trying to make her captor lose it.

“Nice try bug, but you’ll not make a fool of me twice.”

“You don’t need me to make a fool of yourself.” Chrysalis replied mockingly. “And you’ll feel like an even bigger fool when I get out of here.”

Cadence snorted. “Is that so? And what makes you think you’re getting out hmm? Celestia is all the way in Canterlot, who do you think will save you?”

“Princess Cadence will.” Chrysalis replied defiantly.

Cadence laughed openly. “HA! That fool? You think that pink slut could find us? She couldn’t find her way out of a paper bag.” The pink Alicorn felt weird talking about herself like this, but it was necessary to keep up the façade. “Well, that is if she stopped lifting her tail to every stallion who wants a f-.”

“Don’t you dare talk about her like that, scum!” Chrysalis shouted angrily. “She’s got more greatness in one strand of hair than you do in your entire body!”

“It’s not nice to lie.” Cadence growled. To be complemented by Chrysalis was an insult to the Alicorn and she wasn’t about to be insulted.

Chrysalis was about to retort when Lightning Dust stepped in again. “Can we please get back to the task at hoof? We need to find out Chrysalis’s plan for Celestia so we can stop it.”

“THERE IS NO PLAN!” Chrysalis shouted. “I love her and I just want to be happy! IS THAT A CRIME?!”

Cadence was about to respond yes, but stopped herself. All her life she was taught that all living things deserve happiness; it was a fundamental part of life itself. No matter the womb, no matter the gender or creed, all deserved some bright light in their world. Was it any different for Changelings? They breathed, they thought, they had ambitions (if few in number).

Cadence looked at her hoof. What am I doing? She asked. She was the Princess of Love and this… this wasn’t her. She spread love; she didn’t take it away. She always fostered any love she found, so why not the love between Celestia and Chrysalis? Was she wrong?


Cadence looked up to see Lightning Dust looking at her, motioning to her. Cadence nodded and walked to her, away from Chrysalis. “What is it?”

“You don’t look so good. We could end it for today, if you're not up to it. We can start up again tomorrow.”

Cadence nodded. “Yeah… yeah, let’s do that. I… need to think.” Without waiting for a reply, Cadence left gloomily, her mind a spiraling vortex of doubt and uncertainty.


Back inside Cadence’s room, the mare sat at a makeshift table, swirling the soup in the bowl in front of her. The cloud of gloom had not left her, and she sat in silent contemplation. Finally, she sighed, and resigned to speak her thoughts to herself.

“Am I really in the wrong? Have I had an error in judgment?”

The mare didn’t know how to respond to those questions, she just kept swirling her soup. It now occurred to Cadence that she had never given Chrysalis a chance. She had automatically written her off as a danger and an evil, without even waiting to see if such things were truth.

It was a bitter pill, but one Cadence swallowed. “I… I’ve been a fool. I can’t condemn a pony, even a Changeling, for past mistakes. I’ve got to… I’ve got to give Chrysalis a chance. I may not like it… but I have to, it's what any Princess worth her crown would do.”

Cadence seemed to calm down as she inhaled deeply and sighed. Finding some comfort finally, the mare looked to her soup (she was actually rather hungry). She took her spoon with magic and brought it up to her mouth, she didn’t even notice how much of the ethereal aura surrounding the spoon was once again cornflower blue. Cadence blew on the hot soup and was about to take a sip.

The door to Cadence’s room burst open to reveal one of Lightning Dust’s mercs. “Cadence! We need you right now!”

Cadence shot her eyes up from her food. “Why? What's happened?”


“Dinner time guards-ponies!”

The unicorn merc in charge of delivering food opened the slot of the heavy metal door and slid some gruel bowls in. That’s when he was met with pleas of help.

“We need your help!”

“She needs medical care!”

“She’s going to die!”

“The hell’s that racket?!” The guard shouted.

“Indigo Breeze is sick!” One of the guards responded. “She needs help!”

The merc snorted. “You think I’m gonna fall for one of the oldest tricks in the book?”

“No. That was just to distract you while we dug ourselves out.”

The merc gasped. “Wait what?!” The unicorn’s horn quickly ignited and he opened the door, spending in a magical wave of energy that locked the guard’s magical shackles.

Opening the door, the merc looked inside the cell and sure enough there was a large hole in one corner of the cell. “Oi! What the hell is this!” Sticking his head in the cell, he was able to see all the guards were magically stuck to the wall.

“What’s going on Bracer?”

The mentioned stallion turned to see other mercs down the hall. “They tried to dig themselves out!”

“WHAT?!” The mercs shouted as they galloped down to the cell.

The mercs gathered together and marched into the cell to secure it, eyeing the stuck guards carefully. Bracer saw Indigo Breeze at the back of the cell. He stomped up to her. “Did you honestly think that this little scheme a yours would work?!”

“Sorta, yeah.” Indigo said plainly.

“Well it didn’t!” Bracer growled. “So what you got to say about that?!”

Indigo smiled. “I’d have to say: thank you ever so much for going along with part two of my escape attempt so elegantly.”

The stallion cocked an eyebrow in confusion. His confusion however, would be resolved less than second later.


View Online

The pegasus mare Indigo Breeze smiled triumphantly at the mercenary in front of her. She may have been pinned to the wall by her magical shackles with the rest of her guards, but that didn’t mean she was helpless. A royal guard of Canterlot was never helpless.

The captured guard pulled her left wing taut, tugging a wire thin thread. The thread connected with the greyish blanket it had been ripped from, along with the rest of the blankets and bowls collected. The guards had piled the bowls collected into three blankets and using the other blankets they tied them to the ceiling into a falling booby-trap.

The mercenary unicorn yelled out as a blanket and several bowls fell on him. It was nowhere near enough to actually harm the stallion in any way, but it still did its job: knocking him off balance and breaking his concentration. The magic spilled from Indigo’s shackles and the mare dropped to the ground.

Following this up, Indigo charged the stallion, ramming her head into his chest and knocking the wind out of him. The heavy merc was about to recover and counterattack but Indigo slammed her hoof into his chin. The stallion’s head jerked up just in time for Indigo to bring her other hoof down onto the top of his head, stealing consciousness from him.

Indigo checked to make sure he was out cold and turned to the other mercenaries. One, an Earth pony, was already knocked out. The other, also an Earth pony, was wrestling on the ground with one of Indigo’s pegasi guards. The pegasus had finally gotten on top of the Earth pony and took his head in his hooves, slamming on the ground several times to incapacitate the pony. The merc had almost lost consciousness when the guard grasped one hoof in the other and brought them over his head and swung them downward.

“STOP!” Indigo shouted, grabbing the other pegasi’s foreleg and halting what would have been a fatal blow. “No, stop. They could have killed us anytime they wanted, but they didn't. Mercy for mercy, we owe them that much.”

The guard looked down on the bloodied mercenary and sighed, getting off the stallion, the merc lost consciousness soon after. The pegasus mare looked at her Lieutenant. “Yes ma’am. So, what’s the next phase of the plan?”

Indigo cracked her neck. “We find Chrysalis, rescue her, then get the hell out of here.” She turned to the other six guards. “Tie up the mercenaries and get ready to move! Salvage any weapons they have that we could use!” Indigo walked up to the door and stuck her head out. As far as she could tell, there weren’t any more ponies down this hallway.

“Ma’am! They don’t have any weapons on them, but one has a map of the facility.”

Indigo cocked her head around and furrowed her eyebrows. “What? That can’t be true. What idiot would keep a map of their building while visiting the prison… and oh my god they brought a map down here.” The highly trained guard in Indigo cringed as one of her guard showed her a detailed map of the mercenary’s base.

“Looks like there’s an armory not too far off. If we could get to it, we’d be set.”

Indigo nodded. “Agreed. Ok parasprites, let’s move!”

The guards checked to make sure the hallway was clear and then bolted, head left down the cell littered wall towards the armory. Stopping at a four-way intersection, the ponies checked their corners and moved on. They met no opposition until they made it to their destination. Two guards stood outside the entrance, conversing with each other.

“Everypony else gets to sleep and we have to be on guard duty, what kinda bull is that?!” Asked the one on the left, a unicorn mare.

“Most of the company’s been working overtime since we kidnapped Chrysalis, they deserve a little rest.” Responded the pegasus stallion on the right.

“It’s still a stupid idea to leave the base unoccupied like this.” The mare pouted back.

The stallion’s eyes rolled. “Less of the sass.”

Back at the guard’s hiding spot, Indigo turned to strategize with her fellows. “Alright, how do we take them down without alerting them and waking up the rest of the mercs? Suggestions?”

An Earth pony stallion stuck his head out to survey the situation and then pulled back in. “I don’t see how, there’s no cover and they could easily bolt if they saw us.”

“Yeah.” A pegasus mare agreed. “We’re in a tight spot here.”

Indigo shook her head. “I know that, but we’ve got to try something! We can’t just sit here and wait… Hold on…” The lieutenant scanned her guards. “Where’s Valorous Honor?”

A loud thumping sound filled the air twice, followed by two loud thuds to the ground. Indigo and the guards popped their heads out to see the Earth pony Valorous Honor, dusting off his hooves after knocking out the two mercs. “Done.” He said plainly.

“Valorous!” Indigo whispered loudly. “What are you doing?! You could have alerted the whole base we’re here!”

“But I didn’t.” The stallion replied.

“But you could have!”

“But. I. Didn’t.” The Earth pony said sternly, opening the door to the armory and stepping inside.

Indigo face-hoofed. “Gonna give me a heart attack.”

“More than being smack-dab in the middle of an enemy’s base with no armor, no weapons, and no real escape plan?” Asked the same pegasus mare guard.

“Much more.” Indigo replied.

A fully armored Valorous returned from the armory, several pounds of heavy mining explosives packed onto his back. “Don’t mind me, just steppin’ through…”

Indigo’s mouth almost fell to the floor. “What are you going to do with those?!”

“Spring cleaning ma’am.” Valorous replied, walking off down a hall and out of sight.

Indigo shook her head. “Whatever, we need to get some armor and weapons and then get Chrysalis out of here. Let’s move guards-ponies! Find what you need and meet back up here!”

It took several minutes for the guards to find fitting armor and acceptable weapons. Armoring up in what they believed to be mass-produced leather armor, studded to provide a more secure fit, the guards filed back out into the hallway. Each one checked their equipment again before nodding to show they were ready.

Indigo sheathed two wing-held blades to her sides and rallied her guards. “Alright, so on this map there’s a section of the map called VIP prison block. Chrysalis has got to be there! Let’s move before more mercs show up.”

Valorous Honor skidded from out of the corner he had originally left from. The stallion huffed as he ran back to his Lieutenant and fellows. “Reporting for duty ma’am!” He said, saluting and panting.

Indigo cocked an eyebrow, noticing Valorous didn’t have the volatile payload he left with. “Uh, Valorous? Where are the explosives?”

“Places.” The stallion replied.

Indigo squinted at him. “Should I even ask, or am I about to be cut off by a loud boom?”

Valorous shook his head. “Uh, nope, we still have like three minutes.”

An Earth pony guard stepped forward. “Then let’s find Chrysalis before the explosives go off, we can use them as a cover.”

Indigo nodded. “Agreed. Let’s move!”


Chrysalis jumped up from her fitful sleep by a series of loud explosions. Walking up to the door of her pitch-black cell, she leaned in to listen while staying out of sight. Two mercs talked nervously to each other.

“The hell was that?!” One asked.

“You think I know?! Maybe the guards found our hideout!” Shouted the other.

“Well… it doesn’t matter! We’ve got to stay here and guard the prisoner!”

Another series of explosions sounded through the base, startling the mercs even more. Chrysalis took this opportunity and started ramming herself against the door, over and over.

“HEY! Stop that!” A merc cried.

Chrysalis didn’t heed him and kept ramming against the door in an increasingly hard manner. The Changeling Queen was tired from the past week of torture and interrogation, but the thought that her lover’s guards had finally come gave her a second wind. Finally, she rammed the door and made it visibly move.

The merc from before had had enough. “That’s it! I’m putting a stop to you!” The mercenary opened the door and readied a baton to beat Chrysalis into submission. Once he stepped into the cell, however, he got a nasty shock.

Chrysalis had laid in wait, and the moment the guard was in range she attacked. The Changeling went for the neck and bit down hard. No blood spill from the wound, but a greenish aura enveloped the stallion and flowed out of his wound and into Chrysalis. The Changeling’s eyes glowed bright green. Her horn’s magical inhibitor cracked and strained, until finally snapping in two. Chrysalis’s shackles fell into pieces as well as love filled the Changeling and refueled her power, as well as healing her wounds.

The drained stallion fell to the ground unconscious, and Chrysalis wiped her lips. “Bleh, I hate getting love like that, so barbaric.” The Changeling turned to the other merc, visibly shaking and eyes wide in terror at seeing a Changeling feed. Chrysalis chuckled. “I’d leave if I were you.”

The stallion nodded, grabbed his fallen fellow, and bolted down a hallway. Chrysalis stepped out of her cell and cracked her neck. The sound of hooves hitting the base’s stone floor coming from the opposite hallway caught her attention, and she turned to ready herself for conflict. Instead, she was met by Indigo Breeze and her guards.

“Lieutenant Breeze?”

“Lady Chrysalis?!”

Chrysalis sighed with relief. “Oh, it is good to see you! I heard the explosions, were those your doings?”

Indigo nodded. “Yeah, sort of.”

Chrysalis made a face. “I see… good.” The Changeling had hoped that Celestia had found her, but this was the next best thing. “Do you have an escape plan?”

Indigo smiled. “Actually we do. We have a map of the base. It shows us exactly where the exit is. Luckily, the mercenaries are still worried about saving their burning base.”

“Where did you plant the bombs?” Chrysalis asked curiously.

“In empty hallways mostly.” Valorous replied. “Indigo didn’t want us to kill any of the mercenaries, so I stuck them in hallways to make travel around the base difficult.”

“Merciful.” Chrysalis said. “Not many would do so.”

“Petty vengeance solves nothing ma’am.” Indigo replied.

Valorous Honor stepped up next to his Lieutenant. “Great moral lesson Lt. but can we please leave before our gracious hosts recompose themselves?”

Chrysalis nodded at that. “He’s right, let’s get to the entrance and leave this awful place.”

With their charge safely in hoof, the guards exited the VIP prisoner block with Chrysalis, running desperately towards the exit.


The entrance to the mercenary’s base was more or less a gigantic cave; the base had been built inside the hollowed caverns deep within. A large metal wall had been used to cover the gaping mouth of the cave, but it was easy to see a equally large gate cut out from the makeshift wall, which had holes in it that allowed tiny rays of sunshine to escape inward.

The guard’s desperate run for the exit had not gone off without a hitch, however. A well-built unicorn mare stood at the exit to greet them, along with a large number of her mercenaries. Every single one of them had on the magical disguise.

The unicorn smiled confidently. “I’m our Captain’s top lieutenant and I’ve got to say I’ve never seen a sadder sight. You honestly thought you could escape through the front door? I commend you for your brilliant distraction but this? This is just insulting to your own intelligence.”

“Why are you holding us?!” Chrysalis asked intently, stepping in front of her guards. “Who paid you to kidnap us?!”

“We were paid to kidnap you Chrissie.” The unicorn’s artificially deep voice responded. “The guards were just an inconvenience.” The mare smiled. “As for who paid us? Well, not all in Equestria are about love and tolerance Changeling. There are those that won’t forgive you for what you’ve done.”

“We’ll pay you triple what your employers paid to let us go! Let’s us talk to your Captain and…” Indigo suddenly blurted out, trying to avoid a conflict she knew they’d lose.

The pony laughed again, cutting Indigo off. “Sorry guards-mare, but our Captain’s getting more from this deal than just money. Besides, a mercenary group with a reputation for betraying their employers doesn’t see much work.” The mare lit up her horn and teleported to a rocky balcony higher up in the cave. “I’m going to find the Captain, you lot deal with them. Keep them all alive if possible. Chrysalis must survive, understood?”

The mercs nodded and cheered at their Captain’s lieutenant, who smiled. “Good to hear.” With that, the mare left to find Lightning Dust.

Back on the cave floor, Chrysalis and the guards found themselves surrounded by big, bulky mercenary scum with no way to escape. Even the most optimistic guards would know there was no way they could defeat this many enemies in this particular situation.

“Really can’t wait for that dues ex machina to come gallivanting in to save our hides!” Valorous Honor blurted out.

“What?” Indigo asked.

The guard turned to her. “Well, if this were a story, right about now some out of nowhere plot device would come in and save us from this! Really hoping it comes soon, I bruise easily.”

Indigo gritted her teeth. “Valorous, that isn’t going to happen! You need to stop reading so many fairy tales!”

The guard snorted. “But then what will I do with my Saturday nights? Go out and socialize? Screw that!”

Several mercs stepped forward, dark grins on their faces. A dark red one drew his sword with magic. “Alright Changeling, how about you just stand down and nopony gets hurt?”

“How about you bite me.” Chrysalis responded, venom in her words.

“Sorry I’m not into love sucking whores.” The merc responded.

“Of course you’re not.” Chrysalis mocked. “I can tell you and that stallion over there are avid butt-buddies.”

The merc frowned heavily. He lunged at Chrysalis. “I’ll cut out your tongue you…!”

A bolt of magic surged through the makeshift metal wall and struck the attacking merc right in the back of the head. The scumbag fell to the ground with a thud, unconscious. Silence enveloped the cavern as mercenary and guard alike looked on in shock and confusion.

Valorous nodded slightly to himself. “Well that was really convenient.”

As if on cue, the makeshift wall exploded, sending shrapnel and dust everywhere and forcing everyone to the ground. No one was caught in the blast but as soon as the wall was gone magical bolts flew into the cavern and struck down mercenary after mercenary.

“We’re under attack! Return fire! Return fire!”

It was soon chaos, with magic flying in all directions and mercenaries running about madly as none other than Elite Canterlot Royal Guards poured into the cave. Mercenary and guard forces collided in a mess of bodies and magic as each side tried to push forward in opposing directions. It was clear very quickly that the guards were going to win, and they easily beat back their mercenary opponents.

Chrysalis and her captured guards had rolled up into balls and covered their heads to avoid injury. Closing her eyes tightly, Chrysalis could only hear the intense battle happening all around her. Her ears perked up into an erect position as she heard hoof steps approaching her. The steps ended right in front of her. Chrysalis dared to open an eye and look to see an armored boot. The changeling lifted up her head and blinked at the Alicorn before her.

Cadence smiled warmly, though she looked quite intimidating in her battle armor. “Hey there, long time no see huh?” She said casually.

“C-Cadence?” Chrysalis asked, unbelieving.

“Were you expecting Discord?” The pink Alicorn jested.

Before Cadence could react Chrysalis jumped up and hugged her. “Oh thank the Maker you’ve come! I thought we were doomed!”

Cadence chuckled. “Well, yeah, of course I came. I promised Aunt Celestia that I’d find you and meant it.” Cadence gingerly pushed Chrysalis off of her. “Would have gotten here sooner, but we had to stop and ask for directions.” Chrysalis chuckled at the joking despite herself.

A bulky guard stallion trotted up to the two mares and saluted. “Ma’am, we’ve pushed the mercenaries farther into the base. We should have it secured by the end of the hour.”

Cadence nodded. “Good work Tested Tactics, keep pushing these scum back into their hole. I’m going to escort Lady Chrysalis back to Canterlot, understood?”

Tactics nodded. “Yes ma’am, we can handle the clean up.” The stallion dropped his salute and trotted off the way he came.

"Always so efficient and formal." Cadence said under her breath as the guard left. The Alicorn returned her gaze to Chrysalis, smiling wider still. “So Chrysalis, ready to go home?”

Chrysalis felt tears in her eyes, this horrible ordeal was over and she was getting out of this hellhole. It was like a dream come true!

Cadence's Ploy

View Online

“How can you love him?! He is of lower class and nothing but a street rat! And don’t even get me started on the fact you’re in love with a pony of the same sex!”

“But mother…”

“Your mother’s right son, it’s not only beneath you, but it’s unnatural. Can’t you see that?”

“It’s not unnatural! I love him and I just want to be happy! Is that a crime?!”

The words and scene flashed in Cadence’s mind as she looked down at the Changeling Queen before her, tied up, blindfolded and at her mercy. Only seconds ago she had been ready to tear off the creatures’ head, but now…

Why? Spoke Cadence’s inner voice. Why did she have to say it like that?

Lightning Dust looked over at her employer, she could tell the Alicorn-disguised-as-a-unicorn was waning in her judgment. Lightning wasn’t sure what had just triggered Cadence to be suddenly stricken with silence, but she knew it couldn’t be good.

The Alicorn of love was still deep in some personal conflict when Lightning took a step towards her. “Hey.” The pegasus mare said sympathetically. Cadence’s head jolted back to look at the pegasus. Lightning motioned for the Alicorn to speak with her, away from the prisoner.

Cadence left her position and walked up to her mercenary, she seemed extremely apprehensive. “What is it?” The Alicorn asked with a weakening tone.

Lightning delayed for a moment as she thought of the right wording. “You don’t look so good. We could end it for today, if you're not up to it. We can start up again tomorrow.”

Cadence nodded weakly at that. “Yeah… yeah, let’s do that. I… need to think.” Without waiting for a reply, Cadence left gloomily, her mind a spiraling vortex of doubt and uncertainty.

Lightning and the other mercenaries watched the Alicorn leave. “The hell was that about Captain?” One asked.

“Hell if I know,” Lightning replied. “You can never tell with crazies like that.”


It had been almost four hours since Cadence had faltered in resolve inside Chrysalis’s cell. The mare had been contemplating the entire time, even after dinner had arrived. Chrysalis’s words rang through her head, if only for familiarity’s sake.

“I love her and I just want to be happy! IS THAT A CRIME?!”

Normally, Cadence wouldn’t have been affected by Chrysalis’s words; she had been talkative about deserving happiness during their interrogations. But never before has she used those words in that order, which had triggered Cadence’s shock as memories flowed through her head. Even now, so many years later she dared not count them, she remembered that day and scene.

During her foal-hood Cadence had befriended a much older Canterlot noble-stallion. He was probably… ten, twelve years older (relatively) then the filly? Cadence had forgotten. She loved that stallion like a brother and he saw her as a precious sister. They played often and were sometimes inseparable at times. Theses were times before Shining Armor, or Twilight. Her husband and sister-in-law weren’t even born yet (Alicorn childhood was exceptionally long). He had taught Cadence a lot during their friendship, before he died of old age. But one lesson stuck with her the most.

Her noble friend was homosexual. Cadence had actually met his colt-friend many times, he was extremely nice and always bought Cadence chocolate. Their relationship was in the closet, however. It was, until the stallion’s parents found out by some sick twist of fate.

Equestria has long since accepted same-sex couples, but a cruel double standard remained. It was most ponies’ belief that the ratio gap of stallions to mares is extremely high, with mares greatly outnumbering the other sex. This wasn’t true, and one trip to Equestria’s census bureau would show you that across the entire country the ratio was nearly fifty-fifty (old stereotypes die hard however). This misconception has lead to same-sex stallion relations being less popular. It was thought that stallions had to find a nice mare and contribute to the population.

Cadence’s friend’s parents did not take the news well, and berated him harshly. Cadence had the unfortunate luck to be there when it happened. That’s when her friend uttered that line: “I love him and I just want to be happy! Is that a crime?!”

That one line had impacted Cadence greatly as a foal, and she took to it like a moth to a flame. From that line Cadence based her views on love and happiness: that they were things every single creature was entitled to. Not too long after, Cadence finally got her Cutie Mark.

And so, after four hours of thought, Cadence had decided to give Chrysalis a chance at the very least. It wasn’t because she liked Chrysalis; it wasn’t because she thought Chrysalis deserved love or happiness. It was because she knew the stallion would want her to give Chrysalis a chance, and she was would do it for that reason only. She owed her friend that much.

“Am I really in the wrong? Have I had an error in judgment?” Cadence sighed heavily. “I… I’ve been a fool. I can’t condemn a pony, even a Changeling, for past mistakes. I’ve got to… I’ve got to give Chrysalis a chance. I may not like it… but I have to, it's what any Princess worth her crown would do.” And it’s for him, Cadence thought.

Hunger finally got the better of the Alicorn and she decided that the discolored soup sitting on her table would have to do. She took into her now mostly cornflower blue magic and readied to take a sip.

The door to Cadence’s room burst open to reveal one of Lightning Dust’s mercs. “Cadence! We need you right now!”

Cadence shot her eyes up from her food. “Why? What's happened?”

The merc inhaled deeply to regain lost breath. “Chrysalis and her escort have escaped! They blew up some of our tunnels as a distraction after they got out of their cells! We don’t know where they are now but Lightning Dust is…”

“Hold on, hold on…” Cadence motioned the guard to stop. “Explosions? What explosions? I’ve heard nothing.”

The merc scratched the back of his neck. “Um, ma’am, you soundproofed this room, remember?”

Cadence’s eyes widened, and she felt her cheeks redden in embarrassment. “Oh… Right.” Cadence had forgotten she had enchanted her room to keep sounds from entering or leaving, for privacy’s sake. The only sound that could get in was a knock on the door or certain phrases Cadence had picked out personally.

The pink Alicorn shook off the awkwardness and hardened her look. “It doesn’t matter! We need to stop them! Where’s Lightning Dust?!”

“Coordinating the efforts to put out the fires.”

Cadence got up from her chair and grabbed her magical pendent from the vanity. “Take me to her, now.”


“Over there! By that storage closet! More flames! Throw water on that now!”

“I need more hooves over here!”

“Crap! The fire is spreading into the meeting area!”


Lightning Dust cursed under her breath as she took three buckets in her wings and mouth and tossed the water inside onto the flaming rubble in front of her. Lightning didn’t even falter in her fluid movements as she ran and gathered more water from a near by drinking fountain that had been broken so it would gush out water. Gathering more liquid, Lightning and several mercs ran back to the flames, desperately trying to save their burning base.

Cadence arrived just as Lightning tossed her newest batch of water onto the flames. The Alicorn skidded to a stop, covering her face from the intense heat and light of the fire. “Lightning!”

The mercenary captain turned to the sound of her name. Seeing Cadence, she threw her buckets to another merc and ran over to her employer. “Cadence! The situation’s gone so far in the fire we're getting extra crispy!”

“Can you fix this?!” Cadence asked, enveloping a chunk of the fire with her magic and cutting it off from oxygen and snuffing it out.

“Can you fly?” Lightning asked sarcastically.

“It’s more like falling with style.” Cadence jested.

“I’ll take it!” Lightning shouted, turning and yelling orders to her mercs.

Cadence snuffed out a large amount of flames and returned her gaze to Lightning. “Where’s Chrysalis? Do you have captured again yet?”

Lightning shook her head. “No, but I have my best lieutenant protecting the only plausible exit along with a large portion of my merc group.” The pegasus mare frowned heavily. “I sacrificed a lot of able-bodied mercs to guard that door instead of helping to put out the flames, they won’t disappoint.”

Cadence smiled and nodded. “Good, we can’t let Chrysalis escape now, not till I say so!” The Alicorn gathered a huge chunk of her magic and suffocated much of the flames.

The mercs were gaining the upper hand on the fire. Lightning sighed in relief. “We should be good, as long as there aren’t any more surprises.”

Cadence and Lightning’s ears twitched and stood erect as they heard a buzzing sound, like insect wings flapping. Cadence turned her down one of the undamaged hallways and into the darkness beyond. It took a few seconds but soon a little Changeling came flying out of the darkness. “Shape Shift?!” Cadence yelled before the insectoid rammed her and sent her to the ground.

The Alicorn and Changeling wrestled on the ground slightly as the little bug tried to get Cadence to listen to him. Cadence finally got a foothold and pushed the Changeling away. “Dammit Shape Shift, what was that about?!” Realization hit Cadence. “Shape Shift? WHY ARE YOU HERE?!”

The little Changeling had taken Cadence’s place in the lower countryside (an irony in retrospect). While the real Cadence helped the mercs interrogate Chrysalis, Shape Shift organized the search for his Queen. As Cadence, he sent the guards in all the wrong directions to buy the real deal time. To avoid the problem with Shape Shift’s muteness, Cadence had faked strep throat so no one tried to get her assistant to speak.

Cadence knew Shape Shift’s appearance here at the base was not a good sign. “Why are you here Shape Shift? You should be back sabotaging the search efforts.”

Lightning Dust squinted at the Changeling angrily. “I want to know how he got in my base undetected…”

Shape Shift grabbed out his tiny board and scribbled on it furiously. Finishing in record timing, the Changeling showed his mistress the board: WE HAVE BIG PROBLEM! CELESTIA SENT EXTRA GUARDS TO HELP SEARCH, BUT THEY DIDN’T REPORT TO ME! THEY FOUND THIS HIDEOUT AND TOLD CELESTIA! NOW A CONTINGENT OF ELITE CANTERLOT GUARDS IS ON THE WAY! I COULDN’T STOP THEM CADENCE!

Cadence’s wide eyes betrayed any sign of calm she tried to put forth. Celestia had sent her own guards to find Chrysalis and, undeterred by Cadence, had found the mercs’ hideout easily. They’d be on them any minute! It was over! This base was a lost cause; it was time to cut their losses.

Lightning thought the same. “If this true, then things are going to get fubar pretty soon. We need to leave immediately.” The pegasus looked at Cadence. “You should get out of here first. If your cover’s blown…”

“I have a better plan.” Cadence stated confidently.

Lightning Dust blinked at the Alicorn confusedly. “Wha-What? What do you mean?”

The Alicorn smirked. “There’s never anything wrong with earning good will right? Just make sure to explain what happened to your mercs. I’m trying to fool Chrysalis with a smile, not betray them.” Cadence turned to Shape Shift. “Did you use a backdoor?” The Changeling nodded. “Show me.” Cadence’s eye turned from her Changeling to Lightning. “I’ll contact you when I’m able.”

The two then took off down a hallway. Lightning watched them leave and sighed, her pay grade wasn’t high enough for this confusion.


By the time Shape Shift and Cadence had escaped the base, the elite guards were already in position. The Guard commander, an Earth pony stallion named Tested Tactics, was about to give the attack order when Cadence arrived.

The stallion blinked at the pink Alicorn. “Princess Cadence? What are you doing here? We had just sent a messenger to inform you of our find.”

Cadence smiled. “I am always aware of the situation, commander. I’ve come to retrieve Chrysalis personally.”

“That’s not…”

“It is commander.” Cadence frowned sternly. “Chrysalis was captured while coming to visit me. I feel obligated to bring her back to Canterlot.” The stallion was about to speak again, but Cadence stopped him. “And no need to worry about protection,” Cadence’s eyes glowed a dark red and her mane burst into scarlet flames before engulfing her whole body. When the flames subsided, Cadence was in full battle attire. “I am already covered.”

The stallion nodded. “Very well Princess, welcome aboard.” The Commander turned to his guards. “Alright! Fire off a warning shot! It wouldn’t be right to not let them know we’re attacking.”

“A little cocky aren’t we?” Asked Cadence as a bolt of magic was shot through the makeshift metal wall leading to the mercs’ base.

“Princess, with all due respect,” Tactics started, lifting his hoof into the air. The stallion brought it down and all the unicorns in the contingent fired on the wall, tearing it to shreds. “We aren’t cocky just for show.” The stallion smiled as he shouted ‘charge!’ and the elite guards rushed the opening.

Cadence chuckled at the commander, but quickly went to the task at hand. Walking past the destroyed barrier and into the base’s cavern entrance, the Alicorn looked around for her target. She spotted her only a few meters away. How close she was to escaping… Cadence thought, annoyed.

Walking calmly and coolly through the fighting, Cadence seemed unaware as bolts of magic flew past and around her. She reached Chrysalis easily. The Changeling hesitated for a few seconds but finally looked at the Alicorn’s boot, then up to her face.

Cadence smiled warmly, though she looked quite intimidating in her battle armor. “Hey there, long time no see huh?” She said casually.


Canterlot, Many Hours Since Attack on Merc Base

The Sun had just been risen and a new day had begun in Equestria. Celestia was waiting at the front gates of Canterlot Castle. Her normally calm demeanor had faltered, and she was visibly anxious. She bit her lower lip in anticipation, but tried to remain patient as she had for the past few hours. Her patience was rewarded when, trotting up to the front gates, Cadence and Chrysalis arrived at the Castle.

“Aunt Celestia!” Cadence shouted happily. “Look who I found!”

Celestia couldn’t contain herself and she ran at Chrysalis, tackling her to the ground and showering her with kisses. Cadence laughed slightly at the gesture. Chrysalis laughed gleefully, trying to push the Alicorn off. “Ok, ok, ok Celli! Come on! Have some dignity!”

Celestia nuzzled the Changeling. “Dignity be damned.” Celestia grabbed the Changeling’s face and gave her a deep kiss, a kiss Chrysalis happily returned.

Cadence coughed, indicating that the two should stop before they ‘got dirty’ right at the Castle gates. The two large mares caught the gesture and agreed, picking themselves up.

“Oh Chrysalis, it’s… well no words describe how good it is to have you back.” Celestia nuzzled her lover once more.

“It’s certainly good to not be a prisoner anymore.” Chrysalis remarked. “I’ll enjoy a good night’s sleep in a proper bed.”

“You’ve earned it.” Cadence happily agreed.

Chrysalis smiled and jumped at the pink Alicorn, hugging her. “Thank you Cadence, you freed me from that hellhole.”

Cadence laughed sheepishly and gently nudged Chrysalis off of her. “Me? No, I just escorted you to Canterlot. Celestia’s guards are the ones who found you.”

“Then I’ll have to thank each one personally.” Chrysalis happily replied.

“That’s for later.” Celestia interjected. “For now you need to rest up and heal. After that, I’ll need your help with something.”

Chrysalis’s happy expression dropped and she cocked an eyebrow. “What? Why do you need my help?”

“I’ll explain in private, I don’t want…”

“Sister! I called Queen Carapace again! She didn’t answer, foolish bug!” Princess Luna came from nowhere and landed next to her sister. “I swear, that Changeling is a major thorn in our sides, and not just because she’s taken everypony in the Crystal Empire hostage.”

Celestia face-hoofed. “Dammit Luna…”

Luna cocked an eyebrow. “What? Why are you…?” That’s when the Princess of the Night noticed Cadence, the pink Alicorn’s eyes wide and her mouth gaping. “Oh…”

Cadence’s right eye twitched, but other than that the mare’s expression was stuck into one of shock. She was beginning to breathe heavily. Celestia took a step towards her. “Cadence? Cadence, I need you to just calm down for a second while I…”

“I think I need a doctor.” The pink Alicorn said weakly as she swayed back and forth, looking woozy. “Medic…” The mare collapsed.

“CADENCE!” Celestia, Chrysalis, and Luna shouted as they ran to the young Alicorn.

Chapter 25

View Online

The Luna Memorial Hospital in Upper Canterlot was the best of the best in medical care in the mountainside city. Cadence had been taken to it as soon as she had collapsed from the news about the Crystal Empire’s fall to Queen Carapace. The pink Alicorn of the Love had been there the entirety of the day and the whole of the night.

Celestia and Luna had, reluctantly, left her and Chrysalis at the hospital for care as the sisters had to attend to their royal duties. Leaving Blueblood in charge (an action that made Luna shiver), the Alicorn sisters now trotted briskly to the hospital where their niece now resided.

“Why is it that everything named after me is either dark and scary, or a place where they keep the dead and dying?” Luna looked to her sister as she asked her question when the hospital carrying her namesake came into view.

Celestia rolled her eyes. “For the millionth time Luna, the medical care for the common ponies is much more effective than it was a thousand years ago. Going to the hospital doesn’t mean you’re going to die.”

“It’s the principle of it sister.” Luna replied.

“Why do I bother?” Celestia asked, shaking her head.

Several royal guards met the sisters at the front doors. After being saluted and cleared through, the Alicorns entered the hospital and made a straight path to Cadence’s room on the third of four floors. Nurses, doctors, and all other manner of hospital occupants move out of the way of their country’s rulers. Using prior knowledge, the sisters made it to Cadence’s room quickly. A short, portly white stallion in a doctor’s gown was there to meet them.

The grey-mane, balding stallion adjusted his glasses and looked at a clipboard placed carefully in his hoof. “Ah! Princess Celestia and Lady Luna, a pleasure!”

“I am a Princess as well.” The darker Alicorn scoffed, not enjoying the challenge in her status.

The doctor quickly checked himself. “Oh yes, yes… Of course, forgive me. Not used to dealing with royalty, yet along two at one time. Anyhow, Princess Cadence has been stabilized and given appropriate care. It was somewhat difficult, though, considering her condition.”

“And what is that, doctor…?” Celestia asked, adding the prompt for introduction at the end.

“Oh? Oh! I’m Doctor Healthy Pulse. As for Cadence’s condition, it was an emotionally traumatic feedback shock that brought about a heart attack like response.”

“Emotionally traumatic feedback shock?” Luna asked. “So… she was scared into a seizure? That’s a stupid notion!”

“It wasn’t a seizure, it was a heart attack, there is a difference Princess.” Pulse replied. “And it is completely plausible. It is often downplayed because there are usually no seeable side-effects, but emotional stress can do a lot of harm.”

“So you say…” Luna remarked. “But if you start telling us she’s lost the will to live…”

“Nothing so serious.” The doctor assured.

“Good…” Luna said, squinting angrily. “I’d have to slap you if you did.”

“LUNA!” Celestia scowled. “I’m sorry doctor she’s still a little archaic in some categories…”

“Hit you so hard I’d take off your head…” Luna mumbled and Celestia promptly stomped on her sister’s hoof. Luna held in a shout and the doctor seemed to not notice.

“Oh, it’s quite alright Princess. I’ve had far worst told to me. Ponies always seem to think doctors have all the answers, even when it is not so.” Healthy Pulse looked through his clipboard notes once more.

“You can go see her.” He continued. “But that’s for later, she has a guest right now anyway. I just need to ask you some questions about her past health.”

Celestia bowed her head slightly. “Of course doctor. Come on Luna.” The nighttime princess nodded and followed her sister and the doctor down the hall.


Inside Cadence’s room, the Alicorn slept soundly on a plush and above-average hospital bed. Her sheets were pulled over most of her body for warm. The visitor that Healthy Pulse had spoken about looked down at her, thinking.

“Well… um,” Discord the Draconequus began. “So Fluttershy thought it would be a good idea if I came and visited you cause, you know, you went and had a heart attack or something…” The mishmash creature rubbed the back of his neck. “Umm… Oh! I got you a present! Here, got you some swag.” The Draconequus took out a large festoon of several flowers and budding fruits aligned into a nice flowery design and placed it on the table at the end of Cadence’s bed.

“Here ya go, enjoy that swag.” Discord said as he sat back into his seat. “I stole that by the way, blamed it on someone else… oh the chaos that caused.” The chaotic god sighed in happiness at joyful memories of bedlam. “Anyway… So Cadence, we both are well acquainted with the authenticity of I not possessing the articulate vocabularium required of one’s person in order to respectfully convey contemplations and doctrines in a civilized and systematic procedure. So… get well soon.”

Discord wiped some sweat from his brow and exhale heavily. “Whoo! Glad that’s over with. Alright, I said my sappy, time to go.” He patted Cadence on the head. “Alright Caddy, get better, try not to go on a crazy genocidal rampage ‘kay?” The Draconequus snapped his fingers and disappeared into a flash of white light.

The sleeping Alicorn flinched slightly from the bright light, but made no other movements other than the steady up and down of the chest indicating breathing.


“Why all these questions doctor?!” Luna demanded as she slammed her hoof down onto Healthy Pulse’s desk. “Isn't Cadence only emotionally shocked? Why must you ask about her recent behavior? Why ask about her magic? Hmm?! What game do you play?”

“Luna.” Celestia said, giving her sister a dirty look.

“We have a right to know sister!” Luna shot back.

“It’s alright.” Healthy finally said. “It’s just that as we cared for her recent condition, we noticed anomalies with her magic. Her magic has spiked greatly and in odd manners, ways we’ve never seen normally with her.”

That shut up Luna’s demands quick. She gave a look of concern. “What? What anomalies? Is… Is she ok?”

Healthy shrugged. “We don’t know honestly, we couldn’t examine her close enough. Every time we did her magic would flare up and knock us away.” The stallion inhaled deeply, a saddened look on his face. “I think Cadence might have been using ENEC…”

The stallion jumped slightly when Luna slammed her hoof on the desk again. “WHAT?! NEVER! Our niece would never do something so foolish! She is a smart mare that would never stoop so low!” Luna kept her angered glare for several seconds before it finally degraded into an expression of confusion. "Umm... What's ENEC again?"

The doctor blinked at Luna. "You don't know? It's a very serious emotional condition for any user of magic."

Luna bit her lower lip. "The field of medicine one thousand years ago was not as advance as today, obviously. We didn't not have many terms for emotional distress... it was all labeled under the crazy tag."

Celestia coughed. "ENEC, sister, is an abbreviation for Extreme Negative Emotion Channeling. As we are both well aware, emotions can have a big impact on a mage creature's magic. ENEC is when a creature's magic is feed with negative emotions in order to become stronger and erratic."

Luna was still confused. "But, such funneling happens on a daily basis, every magic user in existence has experienced such an accident periodically in their life."

"Yes Luna, that's RNEC, a common and harmless accident. ENEC is intentional and dangerous. While it does increase magic output, it also increases the natural levels of whatever emotion is being used in the mage's body by a significantly large amount."

"So that means...?" Luna sounded.

"The jealous would become more jealous, the lustful more risqué, the angry livid with hate." Healthy Pulse added as an example.

"Oh..." Luna said knowingly. The Alicorn thought about it for a few more seconds before slamming her hoof on the desk angrily. "Cadence would never do something so foolish!" Luna's inner self smiled to itself, it knew about what was being said!

The stallion took off his glasses. “I’m sorry Princess Luna, it’s just my professional opinion. I honestly have nothing to back it up with, but we have to be prepared.”

“I’m sure Cadence would know if she’s doing such a thing.” Celestia said confidently.

“Most of the times those that use ENEC don’t even know they’re doing it.” Healthy Pulse admitted. “It’s like an addiction to any drug, and it can be very dangerous.”

The sisters looked between each other, worry plastered both of their faces. “Can anything be done?” Celestia asked.

Healthy shrugged. “First, we need to find out if she is actually using ENEC. If she is, calming her down and letting her rest with no magic for a little while along with therapy will do the trick . As I just stated, we have to know if she is using ENEC in the first place. Right now it’s best if nopony sees her, especially if it’s related to the cause of her use.”

Celestia scratched her chin. “Well, from what I could tell, her magic was fine until she heard about the Changeling’s attack on the Crystal Empire. So we just have to keep her away from anything Changeling related.”

The door to Healthy Pulse’s office opened slightly and a nurse stuck her head in. The mare smiled. “Doctor Pulse? I just wanted to tell you I approved Lady Chrysalis to see Cadence. She’s in there right now with her in case you needed either of them.”

The two Alicorns and one doctor looked at the nurse, wide-eyed and mouths gaping slightly. “Well crap.” Luna finally said.


Chrysalis nestled herself into a hospital chair. The sound reached the ears of the Alicorn in bed and Cadence stirred. Fluttering her eyes open, the mare saw the Changeling sitting next to her bed. Cadence cocked her eyebrow, confused more than angry. “Chrysalis?”

Chrysalis smiled warmly. “Hey Cadence, how do you feel?”

“Like I got hit by a train.”

Chrysalis chuckled. “An emotional train maybe, let’s hope you never have to experience an impact from a real train.”

Cadence chuckled slightly. “Yeah, that would suck.” The mare turned her gaze from the Changeling Queen to her window. Cadence looked out onto the horizon. “Shining Armor.” She said weakly.

Chrysalis’s slight smile fled and she looked down to the floor. “Cadence, I’m… I’m sorry about the Crystal Empire…”

Cadence turned and smiled weakly. “It’s not your fault Chrysalis, don’t worry about it.” She said sincerely (a fact she was shocked to realize).

Chrysalis bit her lower lip. “I… well, that’s not as true as you might think.”

Cadence lifted her head up slightly. “What?”

“I… Celestia told me why Carapace had attacked the Empire. She thought Celestia had kidnapped me and was holding me hostage to get information out of me about the Collective.” Chrysalis turned away to look at the festoon of flowers left by Discord.

“That’s hardly your fault.” Cadence replied, unsure whether or not she was sincere or playing Chrysalis.

“But it is.” Chrysalis admitted. “I didn’t tell them I was leaving. If I had… If I had gotten their leave in the first place… The Empire wouldn’t be taken hostage right now.” Cadence looked at Chrysalis with a dumbfounded look, processing the information slowly.

“It was because you…” The Alicorn said feebly.

“But I’ll make this right, Cadence. I will! Because it’s your land, I just hope you can…”

Chrysalis gagged as something wrapped around her neck, lifted her out of the chair, and choked her. Looking down the Changeling saw her neck enveloped in a cornflower blue magic aura. That wasn’t the case for very long as the cornflower blue magic began to break away and crumble, replaced by a sickening mishmash of black, purple, and green. Following the magic to its source, Chrysalis’s eyes widened as Cadence got out of bed. The same sick magic fizzed around her like lightning and her eyes were alight with anger. Gagged to the point of being unable to speak, the Changeling mouthed Cadence, what are you doing?

“IT’S YOUR FAULT?! YOU’RE THE REASON MY HOME, MY HUSBAND, MY SUBJECTS, ARE IN DANGER?!” The pink Alicorn gritted her teeth as she glared at Chrysalis with pure anger. It had always personal, Cadence’s hate. Chrysalis had endangered Cadence, Shining Armor, Twilight, and everyone else once before, at the wedding. Now she had done it again! Fool me once right?

“YOUR ENTIRE SPECIES IS A BLIGHT!” Cadence brought her head up and then threw it down hard, triggering her magic to throw Chrysalis against the hard wall. The Alicorn inhaled slowly and sighed deeply.

She looked at Chrysalis one last time. “I’ll deal with you last.” She said darkly as her horn lit up.


“It should be right over here.”

“Lead the way Ambassador.” The female Griffon guard remarked, nodding to her charge.

Ambassador Septimus of the Griffon Meritocracy walked the streets of Upper Canterlot, catching more than a few glances from intrigued ponies. The Griffon turned his white-feathered head this way and that. “Huh, the Luna Memorial Hospital should be right here.” He looked down at the map he carried in his wings.

“Umm… Sir?” The female guard asked. “I think the map is the wrong way.”

Septimus looked to her and then back to the map. He coughed as he flipped the map around. “So it is…” He looked at the map once more. “Ah, it’s on the right.” The Griffon looked up and saw the hospital. “There we go, come on.”

“Yes sir!” The guard responded and walked after her Ambassador. Looking at the buildings around them, a question popped in the guard’s mind. “So, why are we here again sir? I wasn’t briefed.”

“We are here,” Septimus began. “To inform Princess Celestia of the operation. The Empire is in her dominion, it’d be wrong not to inform her.”

“Shouldn’t we inform Princess Cadence too?” The Griffon asked, glancing at a cloud as she did.

“Two birds with one stone.” Septimus replied. “Cadence didn’t take the news of the attack well. She’s here at this hospital.”

“Huh, I see. I wonder how she’s been since we last saw her, this incident notwithstanding.”

“Hopefully much better.” Septimus remarked. “She’s probably gotten over her childish issue with Chrysalis by now.”

“You really think those two worked things out sir?” The guard inquired.

Septimus smiled. “Of course. It was just a childish dislike. I’m sure she’s already called out Chrysalis, looked foolish doing so, and in that embarrassment allowed herself open to acceptance.”

An explosion ripped through the air as Septimus finished. The Griffon’s heads shot up and watched as dark magic blasted into the sky. A second later a black streak jettisoned from the now rising smoke and flew off into the distance.

“That came from the hospital!”

Septimus shook the shock from his body. “Then again, I could be wrong. Come on!” The Griffons bolted, opening their wings and flying towards the smoking hospital.


Septimus and his guard got past the royal guards easily, and ran down now deserted hallways littered with dropped items towards the upper levels. Reaching the third, they exited the staircase and were instantly met with a scene of devastation. Most of it was harmless blast shockwave damage; the explosion spell was precise and only included the one room. Ignoring everything else, the Griffons rushed down the hallway and to the outside of Cadence’s room, where several ponies were gathered.

“What’s happened?!” Septimus asked haggardly, out of breath.

Celestia looked at the Griffon. “Septimus? What are you-? It doesn’t matter; Cadence just went berserk and attacked Chrysalis!”

“What?!” Septimus shouted. The Griffon then noticed the bloody Changeling Queen on the floor, receiving heavy medical attention from emergency EMTs. “She… She just attacked her?”

“Chrysalis is unconscious, so we can’t ask her.” Luna interjected. “But it appears Cadence attacked her, then blew a hole in the wall. She flew off into the distance after that.”

“We saw.” Septimus’s guard offered.

Celestia bit her lower lip. “This has to be because of Cadence’s ENEC.”

“Cadence has been using ENEC?!” Septimus asked.

“That’s what the doctor believes. She must have been using it and it made her go out of control!”

Septimus shook his head. “No, ENEC is never a cause, only a means to an end. Even if Cadence wasn’t using ENEC, she would have attacked Chrysalis.”

Celestia cocked an eyebrow. “What? Why?”

“Because…” Septimus paused, thinking.

“Septimus? Why?!”

The Griffon sighed; real leaders take responsibility for their mistakes he resolved. “Because Cadence has hated Chrysalis since the beginning. I saw it during the meeting about the Queen's innocence and reform. I thought… I thought it was a childish hatred, one she’d grow out of. I was, am, a fool! I didn’t see it as more!”

Celestia shook her head. “That can’t be! It’s been weeks and except for the first encounter Cadence has been friendly with Chrysalis!”

“Was it friendship, or a ruse to move freely without suspicion?” Septimus offered.

“Maker…” Celestia said, dumbstruck with realization. “I’m a fool.”

Luna growled under her breath and shook her head. “So Cadence has gone nuts with hate for Changelings? So, she must have gone to the Crystal Empire to face Carapace.” Luna’s face grew pale. “She’ll slaughter them, using her ENEC. And then we’ll have an international incident on our hoofs. One that could spark war.”

“We have to counter her immediately!” Celestia said, returning from her moment of pause. “We can’t let her kill Carapace and her hive!”

“Already on it.” Septimus interjected. “I came here to tell you the Alliance is ready to kick the Collective out of our territory. A task force of soldiers is ready to retake the Empire.”

Luna nodded. “They can take out Carapace without any Changeling causalities before Cadence arrives, then they can focus on subduing her.”

“Septimus.” Celestia looked knowingly at the Griffon. “Give the order now!”

“Just get me to your communications center and it’s done.”

“I’ll stay here with Chrysalis.” Luna offered. “Just in case Cadence changes targets.” The nighttime Alicorn turned and went to check on the Changeling.

“Good.” Celestia nodded. “Septimus, I can teleport us to the Castle.”

“Then let’s not waste a minute.” The Griffon replied, stepping close to Celestia. “By the way, I’m impressed how well you’re dealing with this, considering. You've also acted quite quickly. I would have believed you'd be in shock longer.”

“Cadence isn’t lost yet.” Celestia replied. “She can still be brought back. As for my quickness.” Celestia turned to look at Luna. “I lost my sister because of my negligence, I’ll not lose my niece to it too.”

Septimus nodded at that and readied for teleportation. Celestia’s horn lit up with a golden aura and her eyes filled with light. In a bright golden flash the two were gone from the hospital.

The Moments Before the Storm

View Online

Frozen Outskirts of the Crystal Empire

Grizzled Policy inhaled deeply, allowing the noxious fumes of the cigarette placed in his mouth inside before exhaling heavily. The Capricorn rubbed his hooves together and then held them in front of a nearby fire to generate as much warmth as possible. He flexed a little in his armor, the inside lined with cozy fur to keep out the frigid winter surrounding the camp the Ambassador and his troops occupied. The Capricorn hated the areas that bordered the Crystal Empire, too damn cold.

The Ambassador wrapped his lips around the cigarette’s butt and spitting loudly sent the toxic stick of carcinogens flying into the nearby snow. “Bleh, I hate tobacco.” The goatfish snapped and flexed his neck, seeing an approaching zebra in the process. “Yes?”

The zebra saluted. “Sir, a message came from the Griffon Ambassador. He wants the Changelings to control the Empire no more.”

Grizzled nodded understandingly. “Right then, the party begins.” He got up and stretched to remove some numbness. Yawning blandly, the Capricorn regarded the Zebra again. “Go and get the rest of the troops ready. We’ll move in quickly as stated in the battle plans and neutralize Queen Carapace and her forces with no blood on either side.”

“Sir, there is more.” The zebra said, causing the Capricorn to cock an eyebrow. “It seems Cadence flies to the Empire quite sore. She is shown to hate Changelings with a passion, and will end them in the traditional fashion.”

Grizzled rolled his eyes. “Well we can’t have that. I suppose Septimus ordered us to take out the Changelings quickly and then focus on Cadence?” The zebra nodded. “Alright, stop the bugs, then save them from psycho Cadence. All in a day’s work.”

“Cadence is also using ENEC.” The zebra added.

The Capricorn Ambassador snorted. “What a child she is. It matters not, she can’t hold out against all of us. Go and get everyone ready, we move at dawn.” The zebra nodded and ran off into the newly forming blizzard.

Grizzled Policy didn’t watch the striped equine leave. He turned instead towards the direction of the Empire; the bright city could easily be seen on the darkened canvas of the horizon. It was actually a very appealing sight, one the Capricorn could appreciate.

The Ambassador snorted again. “Well, this ought to be very interesting.” He suddenly smiled grimly. “I get to fight a Changeling Queen and an Alicorn Princess? Maker, I may not celebrate the holiday, but is today Hearth’s Warming Eve?”


Changeling Drone Twenty-three marched around the outskirts of the Crystal Empire, where the lush green grass met the harsh white snow. The drone stopped and looked around, scanning the freezing tundra beyond with its blue insectoid eyes. Nothing, it noted.

The Changeling sighed; it hated guard duty out here in the ass end of nowhere. It rather be back at the city watching the captives and ensuring they weren’t trying anything. Twenty-three thought its services to the Queen would be better there then here. Well, on the bright side, at least nothing bad ever happened out here.


The Changeling’s ears perked at a slight cracking sound. Twenty-three looked around, trying to locate the source of the sound. When no discernable epicenter was located, the Changeling simply shrugged. Must’ve been nothing… It chimed in its mind. That’s when the ground gave out underneath the tiny thing and swallowed it whole. Everything was silent for more than a minute.

Grizzled Policy popped his head out from the now gaping maw. “Ha! See? I told you it would work!”

A Griffon’s head shot out from the hole. “It was a stroke of luck, nothing more. I’d like you to try and pull it off again.”

The Capricorn snorted. “Watch me.” With that, the goatfish dove back into the hole and started digging towards the city with his pickaxe.

“How are these pickaxes even effectively digging up this dirt?” The Griffon thought out loud.

“Magic!” Grizzled called back. The Griffon sighed at the vague explanation and went back into the hole to dig.


Canterlot Castle, Equestrian War Operations Center

Princess Luna paced back and forth, waiting for the data to come in. Her mood was agitated and she had a very visible frown on her face. This was a stark contrast to Princess Celestia and Griffon Ambassador Septimus, the two opting to sit in comfortable seats rather than stand. They watched as the nighttime Alicorn as she paced and allowed her annoyance to fester.

Finally, Luna couldn’t take it. “UGH! Where is that blasted data! Can’t it get here any faster?!”

The mare handling the complex, magical equipment whimpered pathetically at the shout of her Princess. “S-sorry m-my Princess… But these things take time and-and…”

“How hard can it be to track Cadence?!” Luna asked. “She is a fuming vessel of uncontained Alicorn magic out for the blood of an entire species! A blind, deaf pony could notice her a mile away!”

The mare whimpered more, oh why had she come into work today? “Alicorn magic is different from all other forms of magic, we need to calibrate it to track Princess Cadence. Maker, we’ve never even needed to track Alicorn magic before!”

“Well hurry!” Luna shouted, returning to her steady pace.

“Luna, please, calm yourself.” Celestia bade, giving her sister a slight smile. “We will find Cadence, you needn’t worry.”

Her sister’s words only angered Luna more. She halted and turned to Celestia. “Needn’t worry?! I am shocked you do not worry! An Alicorn with dangerously boosted magic is out there planning to do Maker knows what to an entire species!”

“Cadence is stronger than you believe, sister.” Celestia countered. “She will come to reason.”

“How do we know this?!” Luna shot back. “After all, Septimus has proved how long she’s been depraved! Maker, I bet everything bad that’s happened to Chrysalis since she arrived has been Cadence's doing!” The younger Alicorn gritted her teeth. “She’s been playing us… all of us, this entire time!”

“And we will deal with it.” Septimus added, joining the conversation. “But right now we need to pinpoint her magical signature so we can track her wherever she may go.”

“And how,” Luna asked. “How will we stop her just sitting here?!” The mare’s expression darkened into one of hate and frustration. “I will not let her become another Nightmare Moon…” She said half-sobbingly/half-angrily. “I will never let that happen again!” (Celestia could see her sister hold back a pained tear).

Septimus nodded to Luna’s concern. “I assure you, Princess Luna, that will not happen. In fact, this whole ghastly ordeal will mostly likely meet its predictable end. After all, I doubt our renegade Princess can stand up to an Alliance task force.” The Griffon exhaled heavily. “Especially if that task force is headed by Grizzled Policy…”


“What do you mean we’ve lost contact with ALL our border patrols?! How is that possible?!”

The little Changeling drone shivered and shook violently inside the aura of green magic. Queen Carapace glared angrily at the thing, baring all her teeth. All contact with the patrols around the Crystal Empire’s boundaries had been lost and the Queen was none too happy about it. Unsure how to answer his Queen’s question, the Changeling shrugged adorably.

“Useless!” Carapace yelled as she tossed the Changeling across the room. “What use are you fools if you cannot guard a simple border?!” Carapace sat down onto the throne of the Crystal Palace, rubbing her temples vigorously. “Ugh, this operation is getting worse and worse!”

Shining Armor, who was sitting chained at the knees to the throne, huffed at the Queen. “Well, whose fault is that? You’re the one that attacked us!”

Carapace chuckled. “True, true. But it was a necessity. I need to ensure Chrysalis gives away no information about the Collective.”

“So you attack us?” Shining huffed defiantly.

“Yeah.” Carapace responded blandly. “We’re a species with a mostly one-track mind if you haven’t noticed already.”

“Oh, I’ve noticed.” Shining grumbled angrily.

A Changeling drone burst through the throne room doors and ran to Carapace, screeching something in native Changeling tongue. Carapace listened intently at the drone’s sounds. After it had finished Carapace growled. “What do you mean we lost contact with entire parts of the city?! Are we under attack?!” The Changeling drone shrugged. “USELESS!” Carapace shouted again and tossed the drone away.

“It looks like you don’t have much time left.” Shining Armor gloated smugly.

“I have all the time in the world!” Carapace shouted. “I will defeat whatever has attacked my hive forces and I will beat it back to the hole in came from.”

And so did irony take over, as the floor exploded in front of Carapace and Grizzled Policy jumped out from the hole. The Changeling Queen had time to yelp in surprise before the large Capricorn rammed his armored hoof into her chest and activated the stunner on the end of it. Carapace convulsed sporadically as the extremely powerful electric pulse coursed through her body. After almost an entire minute of being electrocuted, the Queen became unconscious and fell to the floor with a thud.

“Well that was anticlimactic.” Remarked Sombra as he returned from the little colt’s room and stood next to Shining. “Kinda was expecting an awesome, totally epic battle there... I feel jipped.”

Grizzled Policy laugh/snorted. “Unlike you ponies who wait for everything to get screwed up before waiting for six pieces of magic jewelry to save your butts…”

“Hey!” Shining interjected. “We don’t always use the Elements of Harmony.”

“Four outta five times Shining.” Grizzled reminded him. “Unlike you, my species solves its problems quickly and effectively, then goes home and fornicates vigorously with its females.”

“Did I really have to be told that last part?”

“Yes, yes you did.”

“Ugh… Uh…” Carapace placed a hoof on her head and moaned heavily, a splitting headache leftover from the shock. “What happened?”

Grizzled looked down at the Changeling. “You’re awake, so soon… didn’t expect that.” The Capricorn stomped over to her and shackled her legs together. A magic disrupter was the final touch to immobilize Carapace from escaping. “You’re under arrest for attacking a territory of the Alliance. You have the right to shut up and wait patiently as we ship you back to your Collective, ok?”

Carapace looked at the Capricorn lopsidedly. “I demand peanuts!” She shouted.

“She’s insane!” Sombra yelled, the stallion then chuckled. "It's actually kinda funny."

“Makes my job easier.” Grizzled remarked. “Come on Queenie, let’s get you home so you don’t start an international incident.”

"I am the prettiest mare at the harvest ball!"

"Of course you are."

Shining had finally tugged free of the chains holding him thanks to the help of some Alliance soldiers that leapt from the hole made by Grizzled. Walking up to the Capricorn, Shining cocked an eyebrow. “What’s the rush? I mean, I want her gone but you seem rather obsessed with it.”

“No time to explain.” Grizzled said as he hoisted the Changeling onto his back.

“Why not?” Shining inquired. “What’s so terrible that you have to rush so much?”

Sombra gasped. "Is she the chosen one?!"

Grizzled cocked a confused eyebrow. "What? No!"

Shining hardened his expression. "Why do you need to take her so quickly?"

“Put. The Changeling. Down.”

All eyes in the room turned to the door, where none other than Princess Cadence stood. The mare looked completely fine, if a little bleak. Her bright colors had darkened and had become duller. Her normal cornflower blue colored magic had been almost completely replaced by the sickening black, purple, and green aura. And her eyes, they had only hatred in them.

The mare frowned heavily. “I’ll repeat myself: Put the Changeling down. She’s mine.”

Grizzled sighed deeply and looked to Shining. “Ok, there’s time now. Shining Armor, hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your wife’s gone bat shit crazy and wants to probably kill all the Changelings everywhere… huh, that actually didn’t take as long as I thought it would.”

Cadence disliked this stalling tactic. “Leave the Changeling Grizzled Policy, she deserves to die, along with the rest of them.”

Grizzled Policy stomped his hooves to the ground, hardening his position and readying for an attack. “Sorry Princess Cadence, that isn’t going to happen.”

Cadence growled audibly. “How can you defend them and her?! You hate Changelings! You hate them with all your being!”

The Capricorn snorted. “Wrong, dear Princess. I do not hate them with all my being; that would leave absolutely no room for my hatred of other species. As for protecting her? I have my orders, and I am loyal to the Alliance.”

“That’s madness!” Cadence screamed. “Don’t you see?! She’s controlling you! The Changeling’s are trying to control everything!”

“I think you’ve had one too many coffees and have stayed up too many nights reading conspiracy stories.” Grizzled countered.

“You’re blind.” Cadence said as she shook her head and sighed. The Alicorn looked directly at the Capricorn. “But I will make you see.” Cadence’s horn lit up with magic.

“Shining.” Grizzled said as he turned to the stallion. “Take care of this.” The goatfish bucked and sent the Changeling on his back flying at Shining. The stallion fell with a yelp under the weight. Grizzled turned back to Cadence. “I’ve got some crazy to beat out of our dear little Princess.”

Shining dug himself out from under the befuddled mass of organic that was Queen Carapace. “Grizzled! That’s my wife!”

The Capricorn smiled. “And I promise I return her in slightly mint condition.” Grizzled charged Cadence with unthinkable speed. “This ends before it begins!”

Between a Capricorn and an Alicorn

View Online

“This ends before it begins!”

Cadence wasn’t able to react fast enough to avoid the rushing Capricorn before he rammed into her full force, knocking the wind out of her. The physically weaker Alicorn had no chance to hold her ground against the assault and pushed back by her opponent. Unfurling her wings and flapping forward, Cadence broke contact with Capricorn Ambassador Grizzled Policy.

Cadence distanced herself and fluttered down to the ground, coughing. “Dammit…”

Grizzled Policy cracked his neck and chuckled darkly. “What’s wrong Cadence? Not expecting to get hit right off the bat?”

The mentioned mare bit her lip. She huffed as she began breathing normally. “This fight is one-sided in the physical aspect Grizzled.” The Alicorn smiled grimly. “However, I still have the advantage.” Cadence’s horn lit up with magic and with a motion of the head she shot magic tendrils straight at her Capricorn foe.

“Foolish.” Grizzled explained with a snort. The tendrils lashed out towards him, but never hit. Instead the snakes of magic struck against some invisible barrier around the Capricorn and fizzled into nothing.

Cadence took a step back, eyes wide. “WHAT!?”

“I made sure to pick up an anti-magical rune before coming here.” Grizzled explained confidently. “You want to hit me? Gonna have to get up close and personal.”

“Dammit.” Cadence growled.

“Well isn’t this a sad little sight?” The Capricorn asked. “An Alicorn without her magic, it’s almost cruel.” The Ambassador readied himself again. “Almost.”

Cadence gritted her teeth. Crap… I can’t touch him with my magic, and a physical confrontation is out of the question. The Alicorn rummaged through her mind for some plan to counter this predicament. Cadence couldn’t think of anything. Have to stall him and think of a better strategy, she finally reasoned.

Grizzled saw the doubt in her face and smiled. “Come on Cadence, step down, this doesn’t have to go any farther than this.” He took a step forward. “Just stand down and we can talk about this…”

Cadence charged, closing the distance between them quickly and thrusting her horn into Grizzled shoulder plate and by consequence his shoulder blade underneath the armor. The Capricorn grunted in pain as the Alicorn horn dug into his shoulder. Recovery quickly, Grizzled pulled his body back and thrust forward, knocking Cadence away.

The Capricorn visibly frowned. “Very well.” Grizzled expression shifted to glee. “We do this the fun way!”

Cadence was still stumbling back when she saw a pair of Capricorn hind-hooves come flying at her, colliding with her and sending her back into the wall. The wall cracked and broke at the force of an Alicorn smashing into it. Cadence went numb.

Grizzled recomposed himself and took off towards Cadence’s limp body. The Alicorn’s eyes fluttered open to see Grizzled Policy was rushing towards her. Cadence knew that if she got hit one more time like this it was over. The Alicorn would not allow that!

Thinking quickly, Cadence ignited her horn and shot a blast of overcharged magic towards her Capricorn foe. Grizzled smirked at the foolish gesture, but he underestimated her. The magic blast struck right in front of the Capricorn and exploded. Grizzled might have been protected from the magic blast, but not from the concussive force created from the explosion. Grizzled tried to hold on, but it was to no avail. He skidded several inches before the blast was too much and sent him flying towards the end of the hallway outside the throne room.

Cadence didn’t get away Scot-free however. The blast pushed her deeper into the wall and rammed her back with hard crystal rock. Biting her lower lip, Cadence held on and eventually wiggled out of her hole in the wall. The Alicorn dropped to the floor and remained there on bent knees, huffing.

Grizzled, however, had recovered. The Capricorn shook the daze from his eyes and looked around to assess. Cadence was on the ground panting, but Grizzled held back. He had no idea what Cadence had in store for him if he charged headstrong into her again. The Ambassador wouldn’t be able to finalize a strategy however.

Sickening magic flowed through Cadence, giving the Alicorn the kick-start she needed to stand again. Seeing her Capricorn opponent in contemplation, Cadence saw this as the perfect time to strike back. Her corrupted magic focused in her horn and the Princess shot a blast at the Ambassador. Just like last time, Cadence aimed for the floor and allowed the force of the rush of air from the blast to hurt Grizzled. Cadence put a bit too much in her attack, however. The blast ripped through the Crystal Palace’s walls, crushing them and sending them along with the Capricorn Ambassador flying into the surrounding city. Cadence smirked deviously despite the destruction of her home.

Being prudent, Cadence opened her wingspan and took flight, flying down to the broken city and landing near the rubble, eager to find her opponent. The Alicorn looked around for the Ambassador. “Oh Grizzled~!” Cadence called out in a singsong manner. “Where are you? Come out and play!” Only silence greeted the mare and this irked her. Turning her head this way and that, Cadence looked around impatiently for her enemy. The Alicorn stopped and stomped her foot. “Where are you!?”

The angered mare shouted in pain as a crossbow bolt slammed into her shoulder. Turning, Cadence espied several Alliance soldiers of varying species standing on some rubble, all armed with ranged weapons or magic.

“Stand down Princess Cadence, by order of Ambassador Grizzled Policy and the Alliance Parliament!” The soldiers shouted. Cadence simply grunted and paid them no mind.

“Listen to them Cadence.” The mentioned Alicorn’s ears perked and she turned to see Grizzled off to the side walking up to her, his armor dented and broken from his fall. “The battle here is won and there is no need to continue. The violence you bring here is unneeded and unwanted. You’re being irrational.”

“Irrational?!” Cadence shouted at the goatfish. “I am protecting my lands from the Changelings that infect it!”

“But they are all defeated or being defeating.” Grizzled replied calmly. “The fight is won.”

“They still live!” The Alicorn shot back. “The battle is never won with Changelings until every single bug is dead!”

“Calm yourself!” Grizzled replied in an annoyed tone. “This path is folly.”

“It’s folly to protect one’s lands from monsters?!” Her sick magic engulfed Cadence’s horn. “You’re all blind! I’ll shed away these Changeling lies and free you all from their madness! I’ll stop them! I’ll…” An arrow lodged itself in Cadence’s neck.

“You’ll do nothing of the sort.” Grizzled said grimly, an undertone of pity in his voice. He watched as Cadence fell, wide-eyed, to the ground. The Capricorn shook his head and sighed, walking up to Cadence’s limp body. “That Basilisk venom will keep you down till we can get you back to Equestria and proscribe you some therapy.”

Grizzled’s gaze fell on his soldiers; the one zebra was reloading his crossbow. “Get her out of here, gently. She needs help, most Alicorns don’t possess this kind of madness unless they are horribly sick in the head.” The Capricorn cracked his neck to relieve some pain. “Once she’s calmed down we’ll…”


Grizzled looked down in time to watch as Cadence thrust her horn, covered in magical fire, into his chest. The Ambassador spit out blood as shock overtook his body from the strike. He bit his lip to try to handle the pain.

Cadence huffed, her eyes a dark blood red. “I… will not… be… defeated!”

“Crazy bitch…” Grizzled muttered.

Well passed Grizzled’s anti-magical barrier, Cadence fired off the fire spell stored in her horn. Already passed Grizzled’s armor, the spell easily shot through Grizzled’s body and out his back. The Capricorn spit more blood out, but didn’t have time to bite lips this time as Cadence used a force spell and sent him flying across the street. He landed on some rubble, crashing into it with great force and splattering blood in all directions.

Cadence got up from her position on the ground, laughing manically. “Hahaha! Did you honestly think I wouldn’t prepare for some dirty trick like that?! You stupid, arrogant fool!”

The Alliance soldiers aimed their crossbows and spells at Cadence, readying to defend their leader. The Alicorn in question snorted, lashing out with a dark wave of energy. The soldiers jumped from their high perch to avoid it, narrowly missing being blown to shreds from the sick looking magic.

With that taken care of, Cadence began to stomp over to Grizzled Policy. The Alicorn’s dark smirk betrayed any notion of what she once was. The arrows still in her neck and shoulder, the Alicorn reached her Capricorn foe and stood over him. “So… we’ve come to the obvious outcome of this little encounter.”

Grizzled’s eye twitched as the beaten and bloody face looked up at Cadence. He swished the blood around in his mouth and spit at Cadence’s face. The Alicorn retracted in disgust. “Ugh… this what I get for fighting an Alicorn… An Ambassador to my people and I don’t know crap. Shoulda known it turn out like this. But still, you call me arrogant? HA! You believe you are strong enough to face any foe, is that it? It will sweet to watch you fall from your blackened pillar of hate.”

“HA right back!” Cadence retorted after wiping off the blood. “A Capricorn telling me about hate being my downfall?! Irony is truly alive and well!”

“At least I was born as I am… You’ve fallen from the path you are supposed to take… Thank the Maker Celestia’s plans for Twilight Sparkle have not yet come to pass, lest history’s sad treatment of Equestrian sisters repeat itself!”

“Twilight? Plans?” Cadence looked from side to side. “My aunt has plans for Twilight? And she is under Chrysalis’s thrall as of late…” Cadence became fearful. “Twilight’s in danger! How could I not see it?! This… All this! This Chrysalis’s attempt for revenge on Twilight for being the instrument to her defeat at the Wedding!”

“Bloody fool!” Grizzled shouted. “You make up foolishness to suit your own petty want of wanton hatred and violence! Dammit, have you fallen so far?! Can you even see the top of the hole you fell down into?!”

Cadence was not listening to Grizzled, her own mind already concocting its own reasonings and conspiracies. “I’ll defeat the Changelings here, then fly to Ponyville to protect Twilight. And they have the Elements of Harmony there since Discord’s freedom, so I can get their help banishing Chrysalis! Finally this will all come to an end!”

“Like hell it will! I’ll not let your madness continue!” Grizzled mustered what strength he had and jumped on Cadence. The Alicorn screamed and shook and bucked wildly to remove him, but it was to no avail. Grizzled, already losing consciousness, reached for his chest plate’s strap. “Hey Cadence, guess what?”

“Get off of me Grizzled! I’ve no time for it!” Cadence increased her wild movements but still the Ambassador held on.

“I’ll not let you cause an international incident that starts a war between the Alliance and the Collective!”

Cadence shot off magic to scare her foe off, but Grizzled Policy was persistent. “Why do you care for Changelings?! Why defend their sick, evil race?!”

“I don’t give a damn for Changelings.” Grizzled retorted. “But unlike you I’m willing to put aside my pride for the path of peace and harmony!”

“Like you did at the meeting all those weeks ago?!”

“I really hate being a stubborn bastard sometimes.” Grizzled said pitifully. “Had I kept a cooler head and not been so stubborn… I’ve wronged Chrysalis harshly; I admit it that I was a stupid fool! I wronged her, but I will make it up to her! That’s a lot more than you can say!”

“Dammit! Get off!” Cadence shouted.

The Capricorn grinned weakly. “You know Capricorns are very warlike most of the time right? Hell, we consider war, fights, and whatnot as political meetings!”

“So?!” Cadence shot back.

“So…” Grizzled responded. “I never leave my guard down at political meetings!” The Capricorn released his chest plate’s strap and the hunk of metal fell to the ground, revealing the vest of high explosives strapped to the Capricorn. Cadence stopped bucking and looked at the explosives in wide-eyed terror. “Arrivederci bitch!” Grizzled pulled the pin from his belt.

At least I won’t have to write up a report for this one… Grizzled smiled as that last thought crossed his mind. The explosion ripped through the air, tearing apart and shredding everything in a ten-meter radius.


Ten minutes later…

Ringing. Ringing was the only sound to accompany the downed equine. Cadence’s eyes fluttered opened, damn everything hurt! Her vision blurred and flustered heavily, the Alicorn tried to move a hoof forward. She succeeded, but this only caused confusion. Cadence saw a hoof, a leg, but they weren’t hers. No, this hoof and leg was covered in scarlet red fur, certainly not Cadence’s regular bright pink.

The young Alicorn struggled, but she managed to get up. Her black, sick magic swirled around her, healing her she guessed. This theory was confirmed as Cadence saw a chunk of her right leg missing. The magic covered the wound and soon flesh, muscle, nerves and fur regrew. The fur was scarlet.

“That’s odd…” Cadence remarked, though she didn’t regard it much. Her magic was working on its own; she could not expect it to get everything right. That was the thought until Cadence saw a broken mirror on the ground.

The mare that stared back at Cadence was not Cadence, yet she had to be. In place of the pink Alicorn stood a rich scarlet one. Her blue eyes now a dark blood red, her mane black with red highlights. It was still Cadence, simply with a darker color scheme to go along with the darkened thoughts.

Cadence did not dwell on it long, as she turned to look at the battlefield. It was torn apart and blackened from the blast. Bits of rubble and crystal lay about. Oddly, Cadence could not see any pieces of Grizzled Policy’s body.

“He… He must have disintegrated from the blast.” Cadence said unbelievingly, knowing her magic was the only thinking that had kept her alive. The mare clenched her teeth in anger. “Dammit… Damn Changelings!” Cadence drove her hoof into the ground. “He died… Protecting them…” A tear let loose from the Alicorn’s eyes. “Why? Why didn’t you listen Grizzled? Why sacrifice yourself… for them?”

Cadence wouldn’t have her answer, as a sound entered her ears. She disregarded it at first, stuck in grief. But when the sound ended with a stomp of a hard landing, she couldn’t help but look towards the sound. The Alicorn’s now blood red eyes widened.

Queen Carapace smiled sadistically. “Hello Princess Cadence… I need to have a word with you…”


View Online

The floor rumbled under the hooves of Prince Regent Shining Armor and ex-tyrant Sombra. The stallions were currently in the Crystal Palace’s still mostly intact throne room (the giant hole from Grizzled really ruined the decor though). Looking towards the sound of the blast and out a window, the two saw the explosion that was Cadence and Grizzled Policy.

“What in the world is that?!” Shining gasped.

“An explosion…” Sombra said dully, sitting on the still unconscious form of the Changeling Queen Carapace and twiddling with his hooves.

Shining sent his compatriot a glowering look. “I know that, I mean what caused it?”

“Something exploding…” Sombra answered.

“I hate you so much…” Shining grumbled.

The dark unicorn shrugged. “It’s not like I know, you and I have been in this room for the past few minutes, watching meanie shell mcmeaners here.” Sombra knocked on the hard carapace of the Changeling Queen he sat upon.

“It has to been Cadence and Grizzled.” Shining remarked. “They must still be fighting…”

“Or one of them is dead.” Sombra recoiled at the glare Shining shot him. “What? Explosions are a number one way to take out bad guys.”

“That’s my wife Sombra!”

The stallion nodded. “Yeah… this must be really trying for you, huh?”

“Shut up…” Shining shot back.

“Ouch, touchy subject.”

Shining gritted his teeth. “Once again: my wife!”

The two bickering stallions were too caught up in their squabble to notice the air becoming filled with white sparks of magic. Oblivious, the two jumped in fear when a white flash tore through the throne room. Fear gave way to confusion as the Capricorn Ambassador Grizzled Policy was thrown from the blast to the floor, moaning in pain at the fall.

“What the…?” Shining started.

“Woo! That was close!” Discord the Draconequus remarked as he appeared from the dissipating white flash. “We were only milliseconds from being caught in that explosion… you could say that it was…” The chaotic spirit pulled some sunglasses from nowhere and put them on. “A close shave, YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAHHHH!”

“That pun meme made no sense for this particular situation…” Shining remarked.

“That is, as they say in Prance, the point dear Shining.” Discord replied. “Geez, I thought you would have come to know me by now.”

“And what are you doing here?” Sombra interjected.

“I was in the neighborhood.” Discord answered. “Watching the delightful chaos raining down on you ponies like chocolate rain and I decided to help the Capricorn when he concluded to blow himself up like a party popper.”

“Well that was nice of you…” Sombra added in.

Discord nodded. “Well of course, I mean honestly… Can imagine just how dark this story would be if someone actually died?” The Draconequus suddenly leaned away from the stallions and placed his claw to the left side of his mouth. “Possible foreshadowing, take a note readers, wink wink nudge nudge.”

“Who are you talking to?” Shining asked, the mishmash creature seemingly talking to no one.

Discord quickly leaned back towards the stallions, smiling shadily. “Oh nothing, don’t worry about it!”

Shining cocked an eyebrow. “Ok… Anyway, that was rather nice of you to save the Ambassador.”

Discord snapped his claws. “That reminds me.” The Draconequus teleported with another white flash to Grizzled and leaned in close to him. “Hey, sup? If you’d be kind enough to sign this…” A piece of paper and a pen magically appeared and floated in front of Grizzled’s unconscious face. Discord waited for a moment, and when nothing happened he grasped pen in his magic. “Let me just help you with that…” The mishmash creature signed Grizzled’s name to the paper and once it was done the paper rolled up and disappeared. “Thank you very much!”

“What was that?” Shining asked cautiously.

“A certificate of nice-doing.” Discord replied. “It’s a lot like a rewards system, Cappy here is just lucky saving someone from suicide is three points.” The paper reappeared in front of Discord and he examined it. “Ooooo! I have enough points to get free refills at the royal snack bar! Delightful. Soon, I’ll have enough points to get that whole day of unrestrained chaos! Oooo I’m giddy with excitement!”

“What happened to Cadence?!” Shining blurted out, deciding to get to the task at hand.

“I dunno.” Discord shrugged.

“How can you not know?!” Shining shot back.

“Crap was exploding!” Discord retorted. “I really didn’t have the time to look around and smell the flowers… though they were particularly fragrant this year.”

“Is she still alive?!”


“Is she still crazy evil?” Sombra interjected.

“It’s almost cliché honestly…” Discord replied.

Shining stomped his hoof on the ground. “Guys! That’s my wife!”

Discord waved the stallion off. “Oh Shining, it’s all good! All marriages have their ups and downs… By the way she’ll be waking up in like three minutes and she is gonna be PO’d.”

“Well we got to do something!” Sombra insisted.

Discord shrugged. “I’m staying neutral in the whole fighting thing, mostly cuz it’s fun to watch and because I’m too pretty to fight.” Discord magiced up a mirror and checked himself out with it.

Shining bit his lower lip. “Sombra and I aren’t strong enough to face down an angry Alicorn…”

“Well there is one pony…” Discord said, twitching his head towards the unconscious body of Queen Carapace while still looking in his mirror.

Shining took notice. “Oh no! We are not doing that! There is no way in hell we are doing…”


“That… That’s impossible!” Cadence shouted. “You were out cold when I saw you last!”

The Alicorn was staring down her new Changeling opponent, Queen Carapace. The insectoid equine simply chuckled at the mare’s confusion. After giving her presence a moment to sink in, Carapace inhaled calmly.

The Changeling looked darkly into Cadence’s eyes, showing a heartless desire to end her. “Yes, well, let’s just say I’ve had a bit of a booster shot for that…”

Back in the throne room, Shining was holding a befuddled Sombra. “Sombra, are you ok? You want something? How about a crystal?” The white stallion showed a crystal to his companion.

Sombra looked away. “Nah, I’m not in the mood for crystals…”

Shining threw back his head in shock. “I don’t even know you anymore!”

Back on the Crystal Capital streets, Cadence and Carapace stared back at each other with the intent of darkness upon the other in each eye. It should be noted that the Changeling was much more calmer than her pony counterpart, whether this was from a lack of fear or a sense of superiority no one could tell. The stare down lasted for several minutes before Carapace huffed.

“So, I hear you don’t like Changelings very much. Why’s that Princess Cadence?”

Cadence bit her lower lip, but did not shy from the question. “Because your species is evil, and deserve to be stopped for your crimes.”

“Is that so?”

Cadence hardened her gaze, smirking slightly. “Yes, and though you may have blinded everypony else from your malice, I’ll stop you and bring back true Harmony!”

Carapace rolled her eyes. “Oh great, you’re a self-righteous fanatic… Just lovely, like I’ve never had any shortage of them.”

“Don’t be so cocky Carapace!” Cadence shot back. “My Alicorn magic is stronger than you can even guess at! I can defeat you easi…”

Cadence shouted out in pain as she felt her head being driven into the ground. Blood flowed from her mouth slightly as she tried to get up, to no avail. It was hard to move with a Changeling Queen standing on top of one’s skull. The orange eyes of Carapace looked down on the Alicorn with no regret as she twisted and dug her hooves deeper into Cadence.

“There’s something you have to realize Cadence…”

Neon green magic wrapped around Cadence and Carapace jumped off the Alicorn, hauling her into the air then slamming her into a nearby house. Carapace sprinted down the street, taking Cadence with her. The Alicorn was engulfed in pain as she was dragged through buildings, showering the street with dust and crystal debris.

Carapace huffed slightly as she ran. “You’ve only faced Changelings like Chrysalis, who is no where near the strongest Queen in the Collective.” Carapace dug Cadence deeper into the buildings as she ran. “I am much more of a challenge, the only reason your friend Grizzled Policy took me out was from surprise and the fact I’ve not eaten in a week or so…”

The pair had reached the end of the row of house and Carapace threw Cadence into a circular public courtyard. The scarlet Alicorn twitched painfully, everything hurt. She was too much in pain to hear the cracking and sundering going on around her, but when the world darkened she opened her eyes to see two large buildings floating above her.

Carapace grinned, her horn a beacon of magic. “But now I’ve got a full stomach and my magic is at its capacity.” The Changelings lifted her head up and then tossed it down hard, causing the buildings in her magic to throw themselves at Cadence. “And I am not in the mood to screw around!”

Carapace waited for the flowing cloud of dust and crystal fragments to clear before confirming her beliefs. The buildings lay where Cadence once did, and the Changeling was sure she had crushed and incapacitated the Princess.

The Changeling shook her head and turned. “Fool… to think one so weak is a Princess… I suppose they just don’t make them like they used to.” Carapace began her trek back to the Crystal Palace. The Changeling sighed in annoyance. “Well this has been one big mess… I’m going to have to kiss so much ass for this whole thing.” The Queen paused as she noticed the area around her had darkened. “Really? Is staying down that hard?”

Carapace swung around and sliced through the incoming building in one fluid, almost beautiful motion. The two pieces of house crashed to the left and right of her and sent up clouds of dust. “You’ll have to do better than that!” The Changeling goaded. The glowing light on darkened magic to her right caught her attention. “Well, I misjudged your intelligence.”

Cadence let loose a magic blast that hit Carapace and pushed her through several buildings and collapsing more than a few. The Changeling skidded along a street before hit a lamppost with a grunt.

The Queen rubbed the back of neck and moaned at the pain in her body. She wouldn’t have another moment of rest as Cadence flew from the smoke of the building Carapace had flown through and readied another attack. Carapace was prepared this time and grasped Cadence in her magic and whiplashed her into a lamppost.

Cadence recovered quickly and pulsed magic into her front hooves. Slamming them down onto the street, Cadence sent forth a magical shockwave of black lightning that coursed towards Carapace. The Changeling grunted at the attacked and countered with her own wave. The opposing magics met at the middle of the street and intertwined into a brilliant array of black and green lightning. Both mares had to shield their eyes from the bright conflict between the tow magics as each tried to gain ground over the other.

Unable to maintain their current battle, however, the magics exploded outward and collided with many of the buildings, creating gashing holes in them. Carapace sighed, she was thankful all of her Changelings and the Alliance soldiers had cleared from this area, she wanted none of them hurt (Though the reasons where more selfish than concern based).

Picking herself up, Carapace charged magic and lashed out at Cadence. It was a weak blast and easily countered by a shield from Cadence, but it allowed Carapace to take up several chunks of rubble and fling them at Cadence.

Cadence’s horn ignited as she shot down all the incoming debris like they were nothing. The Alicorn smirked at her victory, but it had been a ploy. Carapace rushed from the debris cloud and struck at Cadence with a Changeling blade. Cadence wasn’t quick enough and got a slash in the right shoulder blade.

Landing and quickly recovering, Carapace thrust her blade at Cadence for another hit but the Alicorn had took a large toothpick shaped piece of crystal in her magic and used it as a shield for the Changeling’s next blow.

Undeterred, Carapace focused her magic through her body into the blade and then into the crystal, making it unstable. Cadence yelped as the crystal exploded and sliced her legs to bloody bits. The wound was a mute point though, as Cadence’s sporadic magic quickly healed the lacerations. All healed up, Cadence horn ignited and she sent a shockwave of mental might that picked up Carapace and sent her hurtling through the air and landing on her back in a pile of rubble. Carapace shouted out in pain as a crystal impaled her left shoulder.

Cadence took note of the Changeling’s pain and her struggling to free herself from the impaling crystal. The Alicorn laughed and walked limply towards Carapace. “HA! I thought you said you were stronger than Chrysalis! Well I don’t see it! Where are you in the hierarchy of Queens huh? How strong are you out of the rest of your sick kind?”

Carapace looked at Cadence, pained annoyance in her eyes. “Out of the forty-two Changeling Queens of the Collective…?”

Cadence winced in shock as she was forced down into the ground by three huge rocks. The Alicorn struggled to free herself when she saw the rocks glow with magic.

“I’m the thirteenth strongest.”

The explosion ripped through the Crystal Capital’s airspace, tearing though buildings and solid rock. The entire city shook, the heavens themselves parted for the sheer force of the blast, and both Changeling and Alliance soldier alike clung to their fellows in fear of the sheer might of the blast.

Carapace teleported with a green flash to the top of a still standing building, only a little bit charred from the explosion. The Changeling huffed and smirked. “Didn’t even break a sweat.” (Please note that Changelings cannot sweat)

A scarlet flash behind the Queen signaled the arrival of Cadence. The insectoid had only moments to turn around to see Cadence drive an ethereal blade into her, earning a geyser of green blood from the Changeling’s back.

“DIE BITCH!” Cadence shouted, a maddened glare in her eyes.

Carapace felt herself being pushed off the building as Cadence stabbed her, and so gave one final effort as she fired a strong magical fire blast pointblank in Cadence’s face. The Alicorn shouted in pain and fell back, her entire body set aflame.

Carapace fell off the building, but caught herself with magic before hitting the ground. Gently inching herself down with magic. Grunting as she hit the ground with a soft thump, the Changeling took deeps breathes as she listened to Cadence writhe in pain on the building’s roof. Deciding it was probably not smart to stay where she was, Carapace (now considered bleeding out) began to crawl inch by inch as she tried to retreat from the scene of her battle.

“Dammit… Dammit! Creators… Everything hurts. Dammit Celestia, you’re lucky your reward was too good to pass up, or I’d have killed that stupid Alicorn right from the start!” Carapace moaned as a great pain overtook and she stopped crawling to roll into a ball. “Dammit.”

To add to the Changeling’s misery, Cadence had recovered and teleported herself into Carapace’s path of escape. The Queen’s magic had done a number on the Princess; her mane had been completely burnt off. Instead of regrowing the hair however, her magic had instead grown an ethereal wave of black with red highlights. Color scheme and size aside, it was an eerie resemblance to Nightmare Moon.

“Where do you think you’re going?!” Cadence asked, her patience at an end.

“I have to use the little ling’s room.” Carapace joked, knowing it was probably her last minute alive.

“You claimed to be so powerful!” Cadence shot back, truly annoyed. “But it was all a farce wasn’t it?”

“Nope.” Carapace replied. “I am, however, very limited in my actions when I want someone taken alive.” The Changeling chuckled. “If I had wanted you dead? Oh Creators you’d be twelve feet under right now!”

Cadence cocked an eyebrow. “Taken alive? Why do you want me alive?”

Carapace smiled. “I don’t know, why don’t you ask your aunts?”

The scarlet Alicorn’s eyes widened as realization came to her. Using her magic, Cadence scanned for magical essences, the biomarkers of any magical beings. Sure enough, plain as day was the undeniable signature of her Aunts Celestia and Luna, only a minute or so out from the city. “Dammit!” Cadence cursed. Carapace was only a distraction, meant to lure her attention away from everything else so the elder Alicorns could come undeterred.

“So, what are you going to do little Princess, before your Aunts come and hoof you your backside?”

Cadence bit her lower lip. “I…” Cadence furrowed her eyebrows. “I’m going to kill you first!” She dove at Carapace with a magical blade.

The Changeling had other ideas however. Her horn ignited and easily sent Cadence flying with a magical shockwave. The Alicorn fell to the ground a few meters away from the Changeling. Cadence was about to retaliate, but stopped as she felt the presence of her aunts in the city.

Knowing she could not take them both, Cadence decided to flee. Her horn ignited and the fallen Princess vanished with a flash of scarlet.

Carapace watched the Princess disappear, no true desire to stop her. With her opponent gone and help on the way, Carapace laid her head down on the hard ground, looking up at the sky. The Changeling sighed in pain. “Ugh, that’s it… That’s the last time I ever take a deal from a shady Draconequus…”

“HEY!” Discord whined to the Changeling as he nestled onto a rock next to her. “I’m not shady…”

Lick Your Wounds

View Online

Carapace cringed and bit her lower lip, quietly snarling bitterly as the pain flowed through her body. The Changeling Queen cursed under her breath, annoyed at her treatment and of the situation she was currently in. Regardless she was powering through it, like any proud Queen of the Collective would do in this case…

“AHH! Watch it equine!” The mare yelped as a particularly painful jolt shot through her body.

“I apologize Lady Carapace,” The purple unicorn stallion replied with chipper empathy. “Your injuries are extensive and I’m trying my best. Healing magic isn’t painless.” The unicorn returned to his craft.

The Changeling Queen sat on a large chunk of crystal rubble while the unicorn stallion pulsed healing magic through her body. The two were seated on the main street of the Crystal Capital, only a meter or two away from the Palace’s covered courtyard that held the Crystal Heart.

The Changeling stomped her hoof on the ground and forced herself not to yell out in pain. “Ah! I’ve had newborn larva heal better than you! To think you call yourself a doctor!”

The pony cocked his eyebrow at the Changeling. “Well actually I’m a combat medic. We don’t really heal ponies, we just make them feel better as they die.” The stallion didn’t lose his gleeful tone as he spoke.

Carapace eyed him with a disturbed look of shock, but turned away and towards the ground and began to glower again. “Wonderful.”

“You’re lucky we have allowed you to live at all.”

The Queen black ears perked at the voice and she eyes shot up to locate the source. Much to her dismay, it was Princess Luna, the royal pain of the pair. Despite her contempt for the younger Alicorn, the Changeling smiled for the sake of decency. “Hello Princess Luna, you’re looking particularly menacing today.”

“Silence insect.” Luna shot back. “If you believe us on the grounds of pleasantries you are quite wrong. I don’t like you at all.”

Carapace snorted. “How blunt. Is there any noteworthy reason for this dislike?”

Luna was now in front of the Changeling, and disapproval flowed off her like a waterfall. “You think I can forgive you for your actions here? You have attacked the lands of my species, had the ponies of this land held hostage, and Maker knows what else! You and your Hive should be reprimanded severely for such actions! They would have been in my time.”

The Changeling Queen threw her head up and laughed, even if it hurt a bit. Bringing her eyes down to stare at Luna’s, the Queen smirked. “Yes, but things have changed. It is now the age of appeasement, where everyone is scared of attacking each other due to the fear of loss of varying levels. How painful it must be Princess, having such outdated ideals of how the world should work.”

Luna’s horn flared black and dark blue magic as she rushed up close to the Changeling; eyes alight with hated of the being in front of her. “Say that again bug, I dare thee!”

Carapace inched back and lifted her hooves up in a surrendering manner, smirking confidently. “Whoa now Princess, don’t go Nightmare Moon on me.”

A pang hit in Luna’s heart and her expression faded into chagrin. The Alicorn back away in shame, her greatest folly spoken before her. The topic was still, even now, a fresh burn in the Princess’s mind. Chances were that it would always haunt her. The nighttime Alicorn shifted back, ashamed that anger (no matter how justly felt) had taken her.

The Changeling Queen gave a snorting laugh, her eyes shifting beyond the fool in front of her. “Ah, here’s the more agreeable of the two.” Carapace bowed slightly, albeit mockingly, to Princess Celestia. “Good day Princess, how fare you?”

“Rather well considering.” Celestia returned, ever the calm and collected. “Other than my niece going insane and trying to kill an entire race it’s been a normal day.”

“Glad to hear,” Carapace smiled. “I’d hate for you to have any more stress on your shoulders.”

“Your concern is much appreciated Carapace, as is your cooperation in releasing the Crystal Empire and stopping Cadence.”

“Think nothing of it dear Celestia, always happy to help out.”

Luna looked back and forth between the two leaders. Their conversation was civil, courteous and befitting of those with high respect for each other. The younger Alicorn saw through it as clearly as a newly washed window. This interaction could be summed very basically: Celestia telling Carapace that if she ever tries anything like this attack again she’ll break the Changeling into a million pieces. Carapace on the other hand was retorting with her own threats, what specifically Luna could not tell. The nighttime Princess groaned under her breath, she hated cross-species politics.

“Alright Lady Carapace, you’re all healed.” The unicorn doctor stepped away from the Changeling as she got up and stretched. “Just don’t do any strenuous activity and you should make a full recovery.”

“Thank you doctor.” Carapace riposted with uncharacteristic sincerity. “I’ll try not to fight to the death with any insane Princesses for a few days.” The unicorn nodded at the joke and left to tend to any others that were wounded.

“Now that you are healed, what is our next course of action?” Celestia inquired to the Changeling. “We must stop Cadence before she does something extremely irrational.”

“Straight to business then?” Carapace asked. “I’m surprised.”

“The situation is over, nopony was hurt to the point of death, and the Empire is once again in Equestrian hooves.” Celestia stated. “It is done, why dwell upon it?”

The Changeling smiled darkly. “Good to know I get off Scot-free, mostly.” The Changeling looked away from the Princesses, contemplating. She turned back to them. “Our deal still stands, and I will fulfill it faithfully… even if it is at a great cost to my Hive.”

“It could have been much more.” Luna noted.

“True.” Carapace remarked. “Now then, what’s next?”

Celestia turned away from her sister and Carapace and gazed out into the open sky. “We find Cadence and stop her. I want her unharmed, we can still save her from herself.”

“She looked full on Nightmare Moon to me.” Carapace added in. “Mane and everything, albeit shorter and a different color scheme.”

“But her minds not completely corrupted yet.” Luna interjected. “I can change my appearance to Nightmare Moon any time I desire. It’s the negative feeling taking over one’s mind that makes the transformation truly happen. Right now Cadence believes her actions are for the greater good and that she’s fighting for others. As long as she believes that she won’t fall into evil beyond saving.”

Celestia nodded at this. “Yes, precisely.” The Solar Alicorn spun her head to the two mares. “That is Cadence’s one saving grace. That is the only thing that keeps her bound to salvation. We must reach her before it gives out.”

Luna and Carapace nodded. The three leaders now knew what they had to do: stop Cadence before she fell to her hatred. If they could do that, redemption was still possible. All around them Changeling, Crystal pony, and Alliance soldier alike was skittering about trying to help with repairs and first aid, unawares of the leader’s plans.

Celestia exhaled deeply. “Grizzled’s returned to the Alliance Parliament at Jesaben Fortress to give his superiors a debrief.” The Alicorn walked up to the others. “We must secure Cadence before they decide she is a threat and want immediate, and probably dire, action taken.”

“Shining can oversee repairs here at the Empire.” Luna remarked.

“My Changelings are yours to use to bring down that crazy bitch.” Carapace added.

Celestia smiled slightly, confident at this tale’s outcome. “Excellent. Then let us begin.”


Somewhere far from the Crystal Empire

Cadence gasped heavily as she popped back into the material plane, falling to her knees and heaving tiresomely. Despite her best efforts, her body couldn’t take it and she released the few contents of her stomach onto the hard rock she resided on.

The Alicorn had been madly teleporting all around Equestria at a rapid pace, throwing off any attempt at magical detection. So much random magic use had, however, exhausted her beyond measure and she could no longer take it. The Alicorn heaved one more time before collapsing, only being conscious enough to avoid landing in her own sick spew. Cadence cursed slightly as her world darkened and went black.



Voices? Yes, definitely voices.

Cadence’s eyes fluttered open and she brought her head up slightly. She was in a bed, a really soft one actually. Taking in more surroundings, Cadence deduced she was in a small room, seemingly Spartan in nature and with no windows to speak of. A dresser adorned one side and a work desk with a closet next to it occupied the other.

Finding the strength to get up, Cadence roused herself. Splitting pain shot up the mare’s body, but she ignored it mostly. She had to discover where she was. Fate decided it was ok for her to do so, as the door to her room opened and in stepped two ponies.

“Look who’s finally awake.” Lightning Dust commented. “I sorta thought you’d be out for good but I guess not.”

“Miraculous.” Remarked the other pony, a yellow coated unicorn mare, in awe. “Such healing power! Maker I wish we all had such abilities.”

“Keep dreaming doc.” Lightning replied.

“Lightning Dust?” Cadence asked, her voice found. “What? What happened?”

The ex-Wonderbolt came to the side of the Princess’s bed and sat down on it. “You were passed out apparently. Your little Changeling buddy found you somehow, brought you to us. We nursed you back to health, though I don’t think you needed the help. You’ve been here for what, twenty-four hours?”

Cadence took in the information and processed it quickly. “So… Shape Shift brought me in huh?” The Alicorn was surprised the Changeling had found her; she had sent him off on some reconnaissance before she and Chrysalis had made it back to Canterlot after the raid on the Merc’s hideout.

“Yeah, resourceful little bug, if nothing else.” Lightning cracked her neck. “He’s gone and left again though, for whatever reason befits him I guess.”

“Where are we?” Cadence asked, wondering just where she had been taken.

“Another one of my group’s hideouts.” Lightning Dust responded. “This one is near impossible to find, considering how remote it is.” The pegasus suddenly became angrily distraught. “I don’t know how that little pal of yours knew where to find us, this place is a well kept secret.”

“He’s doing his job.” Cadence told the merc. “Very well considering. But that doesn’t matter right now, I know our next target.”

“More kidnapping?” Lightning questioned.

“No protection.” Cadence replied. “From what I know Chrysalis has some plan for Twilight Sparkle, probably revenge for helping to defeat her.” Cadence looked at Lightning, a determined glare in her eye. “We have to go to Ponyville and secure her and all the other Elements so Chrysalis can’t get them.”

“And where did you hear this, pray tell?” Lightning asked, curious.

“While I was fighting back at the Crystal Empire.” Cadence explained. “One of Carapace’s thralls said so.” This claim was clearly false, but Cadence had long since decided on making her own reality to justify herself.

“Alright.” Lightning responded. “We’ll get the soldiers ready to take Ponyville and get the Elements.” The pegasus suddenly smirked darkly, satisfaction entering her amber-y eyes. “That’s where Rainbow Dash lives as well, so I can finally get my boon too.”

You’ll get a deserved knife in the back you cretin… Cadence told herself. The Alicorn smiled however. “Yeah, exactly Lightning Dust. You’ll get everything you deserve.”

The pegasus did not catch the tone of her employer’s words, only thinking about revenge. “Alright. I’ll get the ponies ready. You rest up and recover, doc thinks it may be a day or two before you’re all good again.”

Cadence nodded. “Very well. I’ll relax and take it easy until the time comes to move out.” She motioned to look out a window, but stopped herself when the realization that there were none to speak of. “Keep me posted. I want full status reports on all of our forces.”

Lightning Dust snorted. Forces? They were a mercenary band of about five-dozen, not exactly a size number that warranted the use of the word (which Lightning had always associated with groups with numbers in the three digits at least).

Regardless, the mare nodded. “Of course Cadence.”

“And if Shape Shift returns, send him to me immediately.” Cadence added. “I want to see him as soon as possible.”

Lightning Dust nodded at her employer’s request. Motioning to the unicorn doctor, the two left the room, shutting the door behind them. Cadence looked down to her hooves, one of the only things to look at in the room. She was still a little taken aback by the change in her coat color, but she believed it was a temporary mistake.

Yawning, Cadence felt as her eyes drooped. “Ugh, I just realized how tired I really am.” The mare yawned again and decided to lay back down in her soft bed, ideas and plans shifting through her mind as each second past.

All the plans focused on the same thing, saving her sister-in-law Twilight from whatever malice Chrysalis planned for her. Cadence would save her beloved friend, no matter the cost.

Bear in Mind This is Chapter 30

View Online

Jesaben Fortress,

Home to the United Species Alliance Parliament

Grizzled Policy the Ambassador of the Capricorn Confederacy stood at attention as he watched his oldest friend and greatest ally pace back and forth in heavy melancholy. He’d been doing this for the better part of an hour, and Grizzled’s patience was faltering. “Septimus?” No answer. “Septimus!”

The Griffon Meritocracy Ambassador jerked his head up and looked to the Capricorn. “Hmm? Yes? What is it Akadios?”

The Capricorn shuffled a bit, not used to hearing his birth name in non-Capricorn lands. Grizzled coughed to clear his throat. “Septimus, what is your plan for Cadence? She’s clearly lost it and we can’t spare her doing something stupid that causes a war we can’t afford.”

“What would you have me do my friend? Sally forth with an army and try my claw at killing a Goddess, albeit a young goddess?” The Griffon sighed heavily and looked out his window, a nice view of the sea greeting him. “No. We must allow the Equestrians to solve this riddle themselves. We can only continue on as we have, and keep Collective backlash away from them.”

“If only it were that easy.” Grizzled remarked.

Septimus laughed heartily. “If it was, then we’d all be living in blissful, ignorant harmony and peace. But it is not, and where there is peace, there are those willing to give everything to defend it.”

“Let us hope Celestia has the will to do so.”

“To kill requires no great will.” Septimus shot back. “Killing’s easy, true strength is putting down the blade. So worry not for Celestia, she’s killed those important to her before. Instead, worry for Cadence, who might be too weak to quell her rage…”



Cadence flexed a bit, getting some soreness out of her neck and shoulders. From a ledge outside her room the Alicorn surveyed Lightning Dust’s mercenary band as they readied themselves to move out and take Ponyville by any mean necessary. Cadence thought over her plan, a simple blitzkrieg into the town to capture it quickly and without harm. After that, they’ll focus on reinforcing the town to protect it from Chrysalis. It was a cut and dry operation to say the least.

“Um, Cadence, ma’am?”

The Alicorn turned to see a buttercup yellow mercenary mare in studded leather saluting her. Cadence turned away from her. “Yes?”

The mare gulped, the coldness in Cadence’s voice frightening. “I… Well, Lightning Dust wanted to tell you that we’re all ready to move out. Just give the order ma’am.”

The skittish merc jumped slightly at the humph Cadence gave her. “About time, we’ve delayed two extra days, and that’s irked me.”

“Sorry ma’am.” The merc responded pathetically.

Cadence felt the pang in her heart hit like a punch in the gut. The Alicorn sighed, turning to the mare. “I apologize, I know you are all doing your best. It was unfair of me to be so rude… especially considering you’re the only allies I have right now.”

“I’m sorry about your Aunt, Princess, if it makes any difference.” The merc replied. “It must be hard knowing she’s under the thrall of a Changeling.”

“I’ll save her.” Cadence said with determination. “I’ll save them all from her darkness.” Cadence looked at the mare again, smiling this time. “Tell Lightning Dust I’m ready to get moving. We’ll leave soon.”

“Yes ma’am. We have magical transportation, so it should take us five hours to get to the outskirts of Ponyville. I will inform Lightning Dust of your order.” The mare nodded and shot off down the hall to relay the orders.

Cadence looked down from her ledge again and inhaled deeply. “This is it, it’s time to save Twilight…” The mare’s gaze left to her side, an involuntary gesture she had gained since acquiring Shape Shift. The Changeling wasn’t there, in fact the insectoid had not been seen since he had dropped Cadence off.

Another sigh left the Alicorn. “Where are you Shape Shift? I need you for this now more than ever…”


Ponyville, Twilight Sparkle’s Library

The bag was lifted off of his head and light flooded his field of vision. Shaking off any lingering feelings of the stun spell, the Changeling Drone Shape Shift decided to take in his surroundings.

He was in what the ponies would call a library; he’d seen pictures about such things. Books lined the shelves in and the walls were barely visible as a consequence. A table was in the center and resting upon was a wooden unicorn head. That wasn’t the unicorn head Shape Shift was worried about though. The one that belonged to the purple mare in front of him held much more importance.

“So, you’re finally waking up.” Twilight Sparkle the unicorn, Celestia’s faithful student, and the Element of Magic, stared at the Changeling with furrowed brows.

“Geez… he’s got one ugly mug.” Remarked a cyan pegasus Shape Shift identified as Rainbow Dash, hovering above the ground slightly.

“Rainbow Dash!” The mare named Rarity scrutinized. “Don’t say such things, it’s not polite or ladylike to call somepony ugly, even a Changeling.”

“Yeah…” The pale yellow pegasus mare Fluttershy added quietly.

“Ah have a feelin' y’all are missin’ the point here.” An orange farmpony interjected.

“Yeah!” The pink party pony Pinkie Pie shouted. “We got to find out what he knows about the treasure of the stubborn monkey fish king!”

The other mares looked at Pinkie Pie, all expressions confused. The five decided to ignore her, noting that it was Pinkie Pie. Shape Shift looked around at the six mares, thoroughly frightened for his little life.

The Changeling thought about how he got in this situation. He had thought that it would be a good idea to steal the Elements from their Bearers. They couldn’t be used against Cadence that way. Good plan, bad execution. Poor Shape Shift hadn’t been expecting Twilight’s excellent defense magic to be placed all around her tree house. Long story short, he’d been captured. Now he had to get himself out of this annoying mess.

“Hey! Are you listening?”

Shape Shift shot back from his thoughts; the mares had been talking to him. The Changeling shrugged, both to be difficult and because he hadn’t actually been listening.

“Think you’re funny huh?” Rainbow Dash asked, getting close to the Changeling and shaking her hoof violently.

“Rainbow please.” Twilight said, placing a hoof on her friend’s shoulder. “Let me handle this.” Twilight gently moved Rainbow out of the way and stepped in front of the Changeling, smiling slightly. This stopped instantly, as the mare’s expression became angered and she slammed her hooves onto the armrests of the chair Shape Shift was tied to. “OK bug, tell what you’re doing here! I may be hopped up on anti-anxiety drugs right now, but I’ll rip you in half like a twig if you don’t tell me why you tried to break into my house!”

Shape Shift looked at the mare, mouth gaping wide and fear in his eyes. However, he couldn’t respond, literally. So he was stuck there, unable to respond.

“Well?!” Twilight asked harshly.

“Uh, Twi.” Applejack placed a hoof on the unicorn’s shoulder. “How about we handle this why you calm down from your drug-induced anger or whatever it’s called.”

Twilight wanted to protest but eventually nodded and left, sitting in a nearby corner. The mare grumbled the entire time, however.

“Sorry about that.” Applejack said. “She’s been a little on edge ever since Celestia prescribed her medicine ta deal with her anxiety over the Princess bein’ with a Changelin’.” The farmer smiled. “So, why are you here Changelin’?”

Shape Shift opened his mouth and motioned words with it, and then shook his head. Most of the Elements looked at him confusedly, except for Fluttershy. “OH!” She exclaimed. “He can’t talk. I don’t think he’s able to.”

“Then how do we interrogate him?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“Interrogate is such a brutish word.” Rarity interjected. “Can we not call it by something more eloquent? How about we call it information gathering, I think that’s a much better wording.”

Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes. “It doesn’t matter what we call it! The question is how are we going to do it if he can’t talk?!”

Shape Shift nudged his head towards his bag, lying slackly on the floor. Fluttershy understood right away and trotted over to it, picking out Shape Shift’s little board. “Here! He can use this.”

“But we’d have to untie him to let him write.” Pinkie Pie remarked.

“Ain’t no way Ah’m lettin’ that happen!” Applejack responded.

Fluttershy shook her head. “I think the six of us can handle one Changeling drone. Besides, we aren’t learning anything from him without it.”

The other mares grudgingly nodded and Applejack walked behind the Changeling and undid his bonds. Stretching his legs around to get rid of some soreness. Grabbing his board from Fluttershy, the Changeling wrote vigorously. After a few seconds, he showed his work.


Rainbow Dash looked at the Changeling with bored disappointment. “That’s it, I’m gonna punch him.”

Shape Shift yelped like a filly as Rainbow Dash bolted for him. Jumping from his chair, the insectoid buzzed around the room, the speedster in toe and shouting insults at him. The other mares watched as this happened, too dumbstruck to act. After almost five minutes of rapid maneuvering through the library, Shape Shift took a look back to check on his pursuer. He promptly slammed into a rafter, not looking where he was flying. The Changeling fell to the ground with a loud thump, and slinked into unconsciousness.

~~Four Hours Later~~

Shape Shift woke up in a strange place for the second time that day. Happily, the insectoid reasoned that this time he was in a cozy bed instead of tied to a chair. Lifting himself up he looked around and found him in a bedroom, probably Twilight Sparkle’s he wagered. And once again the six mares stared at him, a little angrier than last time.

“You bumped your head and got knocked out.” Fluttershy explained, she was probably the only one not looking at the Changeling with a dark glare. “I helped fix you up and you should be fine, there wasn’t any lasting damage.”

“Don’t try that again.” Twilight scowled. “Or I will turn you into an orange.” The Changeling gulped at that.

The questions that fell upon Shape Shift like an avalanche all held the same overall theme: why was he here and who sent him. The Changeling looked back and forth between the mares questioning him on his appearance in Ponyville. Shape Shift, unable to answer, just sat and listened to their questions. Eventually, however, Twilight dropped a bombshell the Changeling could not allow to be unanswered.

“Did Chrysalis send you?!” Asked the unicorn. “Is she trying to steal me? Or the Elements?! Is she still evil? It is that isn’t it?!”

Shape Shift could not allow his Queen’s name to be slandered as such when she had done nothing wrong. The Changeling struggled with inner loyalties. Should he stay true to Cadence or Chrysalis? Cadence was a good friend and had been very kind to him and it was his Queen’s orders that he follow her. But Chrysalis was his Queen, his mother, and reason for being! It was a tough choice, and Shape Shift struggled deeply with his inner self. His mind finally decided, and he wrote on his board, showing to the mares after he was done.


The six mares’ mouths dropped as they read the board. They couldn’t believe it, Cadence evil? It wasn’t possible. Twilight shook off her stupor first and furrowed her brows at the Changeling. “That can’t be true! Cadence is a good mare! How can you say that?!” The young unicorn quickly snapped to the defense of her old foal-sitter. “You have no proof to any of this!”

YES I DO, read Shape Shift’s board, SHE COMING HERE RIGHT NOW.

Twilight took a step back. “W-What?”


The small town of Ponyville lie downward from the medium sized hill. It was a quaint little town, though full of life and adventure. It was also home to the six Bearers of the Elements of Harmony. But more importantly, it was where Cadence was going to begin her stand against Chrysalis’s evil.

The Alicorn looked down on the town, ready for what was about to come. The mercenary band was behind her and ready to get the job done. All it would take was one order, and the die would be cast.

“Cadence?” Lightning Dust asked. “Are you ready to move?”

The scarlet Alicorn nodded. “Begin the operation.”

Assault and Battery

View Online

Roseluck hummed peacefully to herself as she attended to one of the many flowerbeds that were scattered around the peaceful little town of Ponyville. This was the last one of the day, so the pale yellow Earth pony mare was giddy with the free time she’d soon possess. Tossing her streaked scarlet mane out of her face, the pony took the water pail into her mouth and skillfully drenched a bed of tulips with liquid. She studied carefully so each flower would get its fill without getting drowned out. Like the skilled gardener she was, Roseluck easily got every flower the adequate amount of water it needed without any hassle and in a ridiculously fast pace.

The mare set the pail down and looked at her work with a big smile, more than just a little hubris slinking into her mind. While she’d be happy with the free time, Roseluck had to admit today was a perfect day for gardening. Princess Celestia had outdone herself with the Sun today. The skies were clear and pristine in their bluish hues. Birds sung merry tunes and animals happily skittered this way and that. And everything was starting to get blurry… Wait, what?

Roseluck looked confusedly at the darkness and blur that had overtaken her vision. Her mind rapidly processed the situation and finally decided on a solution to the question in her mind. Like any surprised victim, the mare’s head shifted downward to look at the singed fur on her chest, right where the stunner spell had hit her. She grunted a bewildered ‘huh’ before falling over unconscious.

The rest of the town faired no better. Lightning Dust’s mercenaries had gone over the plan a hundred times over. To them, this was a simple as trotting down the street. They pushed up from the south, throwing stunner spells and swinging blunted objects against any who stood in their way. Two teams held back and instead spilt off to the left and right and struck Ponyville from the east and west, effectively offering no real way for the town militia to properly defend their home (which hadn’t been built to be defensible anyway).

This plan was flawlessly executed; it had to be done so. Cadence had spent her days recovering by studying maps of Ponyville and the surrounding areas, planning out the best route from which to take the town. Now the moment had arrived, and the scarlet Alicorn was very pleased with how it was going. Already the southern half of the town was in her grasp and the rest would fall quick enough. It hurt Cadence to have to attack the small town, but they’d never understand her reasons and she didn’t have time to explain.

The ponies would just need to accept what was happening, they’d thank her later when she freed Celestia of Chrysalis’s thrall. Until then, the Alicorn walked along the path towards the town, rather nonchalantly considering it was now a battlefield. Cadence really didn’t have to worry though; she was an Alicorn after all. There was only one being in the town that might hold against her, but by now Cadence’s soldiers already caught that mare, she being completely unaware of the attack.

“Cadence! Ma’am!”

The Alicorn’s ears perked and she left her dazed thoughts to see a mercenary running towards her, his face and mane frazzled and dirty. Cadence cocked an eyebrow and tilted her head a little. “Yes? What is it?”

The merc saluted, though his heavy breathing made it look pathetic. “Ma’am… We… ugh… We’ve encountered a…. a problem!”

Cadence gritted her teeth and frowned, eyes squinting in anger at the merc. “What problem? My plan is flawless! What could have possibly gone wrong?!”


The mercenary didn’t know what hit her, well she did but she wasn’t really expecting it. The blue magic she had tried to dodge was only a decoy for the lavender magic, which punched the merc mare straight in the face and sent her flying into a wagon, shattering the wooden object into many pieces.

The merc’s compatriots faired no better. One pegasus stallion’s jaw was dislocated by strong orange hind-hooves. Another mare got a face full of confetti and other party confections. A poor beige unicorn stallion got a hoof to the top of the head at super fast speeds. Despite their training, these mercs couldn’t hope stand up against the Elements of Harmony in a fair fight.

Thanks to Shape Shift, the six mares were ready to take down their attackers. He had warned them about Cadence’s advanced teams that would secure the Elements before the actual fighting began and so they had prepared an adequate welcoming for each group sent to their places of residence.

The mercs had gotten wise, however, and regrouped together to face the Elements… this did not work either. The six mares had fought enemies that would make most pee themselves; a bunch of mercs with orders to take them alive was child’s play.

Twilight Sparkle watched as the last merc fell unconscious to Applejack’s strong kick. Huffing, the mare checked on all her friends. They too were heavily breathing, but were no worse for wear considering their merc enemies were on the ground out cold.

“Everypony ok?” Twilight asked instinctively. “Nothing seriously hurt?”

“Well ma back legs feel right darned bruised up.” Applejack joked, stretching her legs about. “But Ah reckon Ah can’t complain none, geez RD, a little harsh on that there unicorn don’t ya figure?”

The speedster pegasus laughed. “Ha! That’s what they get for facing down Cloudsdale’s greatest flyer ever!”

“I just hope they’re all ok.” Fluttershy remarked, standing over the merc with the dislocated jaw and rubbing his head gently. “After all, they’re just doing their jobs and it’d be terrible to hurt or kill them for it.”

Rarity nodded as she straightened her hair, which had become messy during the fighting. “Oh indeed darling, I would never wish for anypony to be hurt as such, it’s terribly unladylike.”

Pinkie Pie remained oddly silent, apparently reloading her party cannon for use in the next battle. The mare did nod whenever she agreed with something however, mostly to indicate she wasn’t being a meanie and was still listening to her friends.

“Well now we have to help take down the rest of them.” Twilight said, walking back to her library. “We’ve got to hold out long enough for Princess Celestia to arrive with reinforcements.” The purple unicorn trotted inside her home, remaining for several minutes. When she finally came back, her mane was wet and she had familiar Changeling behind her.

Applejack snorted a little at the insectoid. “What in tarnation is he doin’ with ya Twi?”

“He’s going to help us.” Twilight replied. “Aren’t you?” She gave Shape Shift the I’m-a-mage-and-could-turn-you-into-a-frog-so-you’d-better-do-as-I-say look. The Changeling shook his head up and down violently, showing he understood where their new partnership was going.

Twilight nodded and smiled happily. “Good. And now that I plunged my head in freezing water and got rid of my drug high, we can go save the town!”

“B-but Twilight…” Fluttershy stuttered, unsure how to word her question. “I, um… what happens if we find Cadence and she really is how Shape Shift described?”

The purple unicorn paused for a moment, scanning literally hundreds of variables in her head. With a depressed and thoroughly melancholy filled sigh, Twilight steeled herself. “If it is that is the case we’ll have to take her down. Nothing fatal obviously, just enough to keep her still so we can use the Elements on her, you all have your Elements right?”

“Darn tooting!” Applejack exclaimed as she took off her Stetson, revealing her Element underneath.

“Never leave home without!” Pinkie said, pulling it out of her party cannon.

“How could I not have it?” Rarity questioned as she motioned to the Element pendent around her neck. “It is such a fashionable thing!”

Fluttershy simply nodded, the pendent around her neck but previously hidden due to the color schemes being almost identical.

“You wouldn’t let me handle mine…” Rainbow Dash mumbled angrily.

“Right then!” Twilight reached into a bag and brought out hers and Rainbow’s Elements. The mare placed the diadem on her head while tossing the Element of Loyalty to Rainbow Dash. “Let’s go and save our town from… well… average, pretty normal ponies who are just following orders. Huh, for once it’s not some ancient dark evil trying to envelop the world in some negative state of emotion or being.”

“Feels… kinda weird.” Rainbow Dash commented.

Twilight nodded. “Yeah…” The mares and Changeling looked between each other. “Well, let’s get going.” All nodded and sped off as fast as they could, galloping to the city’s center where the militia was making its stand.


“The town had better get reimbursed for this!” Mayor Mare shouted at the top of her lungs as a stunner spell glided over her head into a nearby tree, leaving a noticeable singe mark. The older mare yelped at the sight and ran inside the town hall building.

The town militia captain, a slender golden pegasus mare by the name of Sunset Radiance, rolled her eyes and shook her head. “Politicians…” The mare found herself cut short as she ducked to avoid more stunner spells bolting towards her and her militia. “Crap! Get down! Unicorns! Throw up defense barriers as well as intercept spells! Keep those stuns off of us!”

Ponyville’s militia was in a tight spot; Lightning Dust’s mercenaries had pushed them back to the center of the town, the rough circle that held the town center square and government building. They wouldn’t lose easily, however. They had dug in, put up makeshift barriers, and readied for the attacking mercs.

Now it was a real game of king of the hill, with the militia desperately trying to hold the center while the mercs advanced from three sides. The unconscious bodies of mercs and militia littered the square as stunner spells and ponies from both sides collided against one another, with the mercs slowly pushing the militia back.

Sunset Radiance jerked to the left to dodge a hoof flying straight at her from one of the pegasus mercs, a blue stallion with a jet-black mane. Radiance grunted as the merc sent one of his back knees into her gut. The golden mare pushed herself away using the stallion and did a flip in the air before steadying her body. Her opponent did not relent and charged straight at her. Radiance removed the green bandana that signified her as a Ponyville militia-mare and rushed her attacker. Like a skilled matador, Radiance pulled the piece of cloth over the stallion’s head and wrapped it around him. Radiance pulled the bandana taut and held on as the stallion became crazed, unable to see his path. Radiance pulled herself onto his back and pushed down and led the stallion straight into a building.

The pegasus captain jumped off her swerving transport and landed quickly enough to turn around and see the merc crash into a house through the window. Radiance made a long ‘Ooo’ sound, just watching the impact causing some physical pain for her. Shaking over some pins and needles from her fall the mare stood up to regroup with the rest of her fellows.

“Not one more step.”

“Well crap…” Sunset Radiance said as she turned to the merc unicorn stallion, his horn lit up and ready to fire.

“Stand down, now! I’ll give you one chance.”

Radiance snorted. “Shove your chance where the Sun don’t shine, I hope it gives you constipation.”

“You arrogant whore!” The unicorn charged more magic into his horn and fired.

The twang that was created from the shield spell deflecting the stun spell was quite loud, but in all honesty Sunset Radiance was glad she was not out cold on the ground. The lavender shield shimmered all around her, seemingly more powerful than usual.

The merc unicorn stepped back in befuddlement. “The hell?!” He never saw Radiance’s savior, as a full set of hooves descended on him and stole consciousness from him.

“How dramatic and flashy.” Radiance commented. “How are you not in the Wonderbolts Rainbow Dash?”

The rainbow mane Pegasus stepped off the unicorn, smiling confidently. “Well, if I left how would you guys survive? You’d get your butts kicked like twice a day. Nah, I couldn’t let that happen!”

Radiance simply chuckled and nodded, the shield dissipating around her. The pegasus looked down a street to see Twilight Sparkle and the other Elements racing towards her. “Miss Sparkle, it’s a pleasure to see you. Thanks for the shield by the way.”

Twilight nodded. “You’re welcome Militia Captain. What’s the situation? We’re here to help so we’ll need to know everything.”

Sunset Radiance’s smile faded and she gave the Elements a critical eye. “Apologies ma’am, but I’m not letting civilians get involved, it’s too dangerous.”

Rainbow Dash puffed her chest out and stood defiant. “Civilians?! We’re the Elements of Harmony! We took down Nightmare Moon, Discord, and a whole bunch of Changelings! I think we can handle some average mercs!”

“I’m not taking chances.” Radiance barked. “I’m not explaining why civvies were hurt in combat, especially six civvies Celestia herself holds very dear. The answer is…”

“Yes.” Twilight Sparkle growled. “I am Celestia’s private protégé, that means I can take command when she is not around. So, as the only high-level official around, I’m ordering you to allow us to help.”

“I… I… Well… You can’t…” Radiance tried to think of an excuse but it was to no avail. The pegasus cursed under her breath and nodded. “Alright then, ma’am, welcome to the Ponyville militia. The area is still under our control, but we’re being pushed back ever so slightly. It be a real boon if you could help support the militia with pushing the enemy back.”

Twilight gave a slight nod and understanding eyes. “Ok then, we’ll do that. Go on ahead, we’ll be right behind you.” Radiance saluted the purple unicorn and took off to the sky and towards the battle.

“Wow Twilight,” Rarity began. “I didn’t know you could do that.”

The Solar Princess’s Faithful Student smiled. “I can’t, but I’m not staying on the sidelines while my home is attacked, especially if Cadence is involved.”

The other five mares (and Changeling who had hid to avoid a scene with the Captain) nodded in agreement at that and raced into the town square to help their town’s militia.

The mares were in the thick of battle near instantly, the mercenaries having overrun the barricades and rushing into the square. Twilight’s horn ignited with raw arcane energy that she formed into ethereal tendrils that swiped at any foolish enough to come near.

Applejack had brought excessive amounts of rope, and now the mercs either found themselves tied up tight or roped right into the orange mare’s powerful hind-legs to receive a subsequent buck to the face.

Rarity’s magic wasn’t as powerful as Twilight’s, but her precision was that of a master’s. The white unicorn sent thin stripes of magic at her opponents or created bright flashes to distract mercs and leave them open for the militia to beat them senseless.

Rainbow Dash was as blunt and aggressive as a Minotaur in a china shop. The cyan Pegasus raced about, dodging attacks and following up with a punch to the face or a kick to the tender areas. A good portion of mercs only saw a rainbow blur before losing consciousness.

Before this operation, not a single merc would say that party confections could cause any pain to one’s person. Pinkie Pie’s party cannon changed their minds quickly. Whether it was confetti and colorful pieces of paper or a banana cream pie, the mercs had little defense against cannon launched party projectiles. Afterwards, one mercenary mare would never again eat pie as long as she lived.

Fluttershy, not one to fight, trotted about the battlefield quickly, checking on the wounded for both sides. Skilled in herbalism due to her animal friends’ needs, Fluttershy was easily able to make salves to help lessen any pain. One mercenary was foolish enough to attack her, however. He got a face full of butterscotch yellow hoof before he even knew what had happened. Fluttershy looked at the yellow stallion in front of her. It was Shape Shift, who had taken Fluttershy’s color scheme and added it to a stallion’s form (He didn’t want the mercs to know he was helping the Elements).

“Thank you Shape Shift.” Fluttershy remarked as she helped up a wounded militia-stallion. Shape Shift bowed politely to her. The Changeling readied himself to follow her wherever she went, a self-induced need to repay her kindness driving his resolve.

With the Elements by their side, the town militia began to push back the mercs. Mercenary after mercenary fell to superior magic or strength. The discipline of the invading army fell apart quickly, the initial inertia of the attack fading and being replaced by confusion as their forces where decimated… by six mares! Despite the wounds from the battle (and the fact it was the Elements of Harmony), many of the mercenaries would go on to say their pride was hurt a lot more than their backsides.

From atop a house, hidden from the ground but allowing a view of the fighting, Lightning Dust bit her lower lip in anger at seeing her forces routed. She hated even more that one of the main reasons for the routing was Rainbow Dash. Again that mare showed up Lightning Dust… she would pay!

A pale red pegasus stallion was next to Lightning, watching Rainbow Dash plow through some of his fellows. “Um, Ma’am? Why don’t we go down there right now and take Rainbow Dash out? In all this confusion it’d be easy.”

The light opal mare nodded. “You’re right, it would… But Cadence told me to hold back. Rainbow Dash will be instrumental in freeing Celestia from Chrysalis’s thrall apparently, being the Element of Harmony and all.” Lightning inhaled deeply, smiling wickedly as she did. “But after that’s done, Rainbow Dash is mine to end.”

The pegasus merc nodded. “Of course ma’am.”

Lightning Dust transfixed her gaze back on the fighting. “Though it seems like this plan is falling apart. I wonder if Cadence made backup plans for this.” The mare’s eyes perked and became erect. Turning, she looked down a street and snorted. “Speak of Nightmare Moon, and she will appear.”

Twilight had just finished off one of the last remaining mercs in the town square when the whole area shook with magic. Wobbling about and trying to keep her balance, Twilight steadied herself and looked towards the source of such power. To the unicorn’s dismay, standing in the entrance to one of Ponyville’s main streets, there was Cadence. Only the mare was not as Twilight had seen her last. This Alicorn was a bloody scarlet, and her mane was ethereal and black with red highlights. Her darkened eyes scared Twilight; they looked as though all the mare knew was twisted hatred. The Alicorn stepped into the square.

Rainbow Dash leaned in next to Applejack. “We might want to revise that isn’t an ancient evil thing Twilight talked about earlier.”

Applejack nodded. “Ah hafta agree with ya there, RD.”

“Hello Twilight.” She said, her voice seductive but with a good hint of anger.

The mentioned unicorn shook her head. “No… No it can’t be… You’re… You’re not Cadence!”

“Sunshine, sunshine, ladybugs awake. Clap your hooves...”

Twilight felt a tear run down her face. “And do a little shake…” Twilight gritted her teeth. “Why Cadence?”

The corrupted Princess smiled at Twilight. “Because Twilight, Celestia is under the control of Chrysalis. And most likely, all of you are as well. It’s not your fault if you don’t understand; I know that and I’ll never hold it against you. I’m going to save you though, I’m going to stop Chrysalis…” Cadence smiled transitioned into a frown of hate. “Then I’m going to make all Changelings pay for their crimes.”

“And what about Shape Shift?” Twilight asked. “Is he just a pawn you’ll dispose of later?”

Cadence was caught off-guard by Twilight’s knowledge of her Changeling assistant, but it didn’t matter. “He is different, and will be spared despite his species’ evils.”

Twilight shook her head and looked down to the ground with tears streaming from her eyes. “So it’s true, you’ve lost it… You’ve run into your own personal fantasy world where only you are right…”

“That is not true!” Cadence shouted. “You are simply blind to their control! I will make you see!”

“No Cadence…” Twilight said, bringing her head up and stifling her tears. The unicorn’s horn became a pillar of raw, burning magic. “I will make YOU see!”

The Beginning of the Endgame

View Online

Few alive have ever seen the Equestrian military mobilize to face down a threat to their nation. Though technically they still wouldn’t see such a spectacle today, the bustling in the Castle made the denizens of Canterlot believe war was on the horizon. Soldiers ran this way and that trying to get to their battalions and squadrons. Commanders shouted out orders loudly and with no discretion. Stocks of armor and weapons were emptied and equipped, already shined and sharpened to peak condition. It was chaotic by all means (and Discord chuckled in delight of it all). Despite the turmoil, Celestia’s face was still very much the epitome of calm and collected. The Solar Alicorn remained silent as she listened to her sister converse loudly as they walked down the hall.

“Are you positive she is in Ponyville?” The Changeling Queen Carapace asked, flipping her head slightly to get some of her raggedy orange mane out of her face. “The town has no strategic significance.”

“True.” Luna remarked. “No army would take the town for its strategic value… Its morale value, however, is paramount.” Carapace cocked an eyebrow, confused. “If Equestria lost its Elements of Harmony, the blow to the nation’s spirit would cut deeper than any blade could hope to.”

Chrysalis, walking next to Carapace, tilted her. “But Cadence desires the death of Changelings, not the destruction of Equestria’s morale.”

“The Elements are a threat to her.” Luna interjected. “She is ensuring that they cannot be used against her.” The darker Alicorn chuckled to herself. “Such a clever child, for being so young by Alicorn standards. I’d applaud her, if I didn’t wish to, as the commoners say, curb stomp her face into the ground for her deceit.”

The two Changeling Queens shot looks of confusing glances at each other; neither of them ever hearing an Equestrian say that. Celestia remained quiet through out the other mares’ conversation. The Monarch was apprehensive, her mind stuck on Cadence and the horrors she could commit in Ponyville in her current state. Celestia cursed herself in anger. Self-loathing trickled into her mind and poisoned her thoughts. She should have seen what Cadence was becoming; she should have seen everything that was happening! But she didn’t, and now the whole of Ponyville, an innocent town in all of this, was under siege from her deranged niece.

Luna looked to her left to see her sister’s head down, deep in thought. “Sister? Sister!” Celestia’s neck snapped straight and she turned to her sister. “Tia, what is the matter? Are you contriving some plan to bring down Cadence?”

“You speak of her as if she is as great a threat to Equestria as Discord.” Celestia bemoaned.

“She may very well be.” Luna replied. “She’ll spark a war with the Changeling Collective, and we’ll lose a lot of good ponies… too many. I’ll not let her madness cause a mass genocide, I’ll die first.”

Celestia was about to respond but a pegasus stopped her short, speedily flying up to the four tall mares and saluting whilst still in the air. “Your Majesties, our forces are ready to move. All pegasi air units are armored up and ready to move on Ponyville while the Earth ponies and unicorns consolidate here in Canterlot.”

Celestia nodded. “Good. Tell the Commanders we’re are also ready and will leave shortly.”

The pegasus nodded. “Of course ma’am… Though, if you do not think it rude, I must ask why you decided to have a disaster exercise today. Seems a bit odd.”

Celestia smiled her signature smile and patted the stallion on the head. “As Equestria’s defenders we must always be ready to take up arms and protect the country we love, even at the strangest of times.”

The pony nodded. “I see. Yeah, I get that. Alright ma’am, I’ll go relay the message to the Commanders and we’ll move out when you’re ready.” Another salute later and the pegasus was down the hallway.

A disaster exercise, what a brilliant cover-up. Celestia disliked lying to her little ponies, but at the same time she would not allow anyone to know the truth of what was really happening, for Cadence’s sake. She had yet to do anything unredeemable and Celestia was positive Cadence could be brought back. The older Alicorn did not want this situation to mire Cadence's image towards the commoners.

Luna’s ears suddenly perked, as did Celestia’s. “Sister, you felt that no? The Elements are being used, the Bearers must be combating Cadence’s invasion.”

The Solar Alicorn nodded. “Then let us make haste before it is too late.”


Cadence cried out in pain as she felt the bone underneath her flesh contort and finally give way, shattering into several pieces. The Alicorn backed away instantly from Twilight and backpedaled to a safe distance. The two had traded small sparks of magic, nothing serious. But Cadence wanted a quick end, so she could fortify the town into her own little fortress. She went at Twilight head on, only to catch a bone-shattering spell to the left leg.

Cadence felt her magic slowly repair the beaten bone, weaving its sinews back into proper placement. When that was finished, she looked again to Twilight. The purple mare looked ready to continue the fight. Her horn flared purple with intense magic, most likely helped along by the pony’s Element. Cadence would need to end this decisively if she wanted any chance of victory, unsure of how prolonged combat might affect Twilight’s magic.

“Contemplating something Cadence?” Twilight asked, her soft tone much different from her hardened face. “I really hope it’s surrender, I don’t want this fight to escalate any more.”

“I will not surrender Twilight, I have to fight to save you all from Chrysalis.” The Alicorn straightened herself, her leg fixed. “I’ll save you all!”

“How self-righteous…” Discord hymned, the Draconequus resting upon a nearby rooftop.

Ignoring the mishmash creature, Twilight lit her horn up brighter. “Fine, we do this your way.”

“Ooo… dark.”

“Shut up Discord!” Shouted Rainbow Dash.

“No fun…”

Twilight shot a strong bolt of magic at Cadence, which was easily countered by a shield from the Alicorn. Cadence lowered the shield and fired off a streak of lightning. Twilight jumped out of the way while firing three bolts at Cadence. The mare’s Alicorn opponent unfurled her wings at shot upward, dodging the bolts and gaining some high ground.

“Twilight, please, just stop! This doesn’t have to be hard!”

“I’m not going to surrender to you, not when you’re attacking my home and trying to hurt ponies!”

The purple unicorn was not soldier and she knew it well enough. Twilight knew no combat magic except for the simple spirit bolt attack, something every unicorn knew. Sure, Twilight had faced a lot of violent challenges, like the Changelings, and the hydra, and Nightmare Moon, and the Diamond Dogs, and that one manticore, and Trixie, and that one mare from accounting... Wow, Twilight pondered, I really do lots of violent stuff don’t I? It’s actually kinda disturbing really... Regardless, fighting wasn’t Twilight’s plan. She just needed to exhaust Cadence so the Elements could fix whatever was wrong with her. That shouldn’t be too hard right? After all, it’s not like Cadence wanted to kill her…


Twilight fell with a thud as a stunner spell hit her in the shoulder. Luckily, a quick counter spell prevented Twilight from becoming unconscious. Hopping to her hooves quickly, Twilight looked around for Cadence. The mare was nowhere to be found.

“Twilight behind you!” Yelled Pinkie Pie.

Twilight turned too little too late and felt Cadence backhand her with a magically charged hoof. Twilight hit the ground hard and skidded painfully for a meter or two. The mare fired off more magical bolts to deter Cadence, but it was to no avail. None hit, and a spell countered any that were close. Twilight was about to get back up when a hoof rammed into her breast and pinned her down. Looking up, the purple mare saw Cadence’s haunting eyes staring back at her.

“Twilight honestly, I’m a goddess. You have no combat training and no spells that cause real harm. Any endeavor to stop me is fruitless, so just stop.” Cadence remarked as she pressed harder when she felt Twilight try to break free. Truthfully, Cadence didn’t want to see how powerful Twilight could be if she put her mind to it.

Twilight grunted, trying to unwedge herself from Cadence’s hold. “I’m not giving up Cadence! In fact…” The mare’s eyes suddenly changed, degrading into two circles of pure white light. Her horn lit up and a pillar of purple fire shot straight up, hitting Cadence square in the face. The Alicorn screamed and backed away, flailing her head about maddeningly to try and disperse the flames.

Twilight returned to her hooves. “Girls! Now! While she’s distracted!”

The other Bearers up ran next to Twilight. Reaching into themselves, they pulled forth the traits that represented their Elements. Soon, all of the little gems were glowing brightly in a rainbow of orange, pink, light and dark blue, purple, and red. The six mares lifted off the ground as magic swirled around them and saturated the air. Cadence widened her eyes in shock as her attention returned to Twilight, already she could see sparks of rainbow around the six. Twilight’s eyes opened to reveal themselves still pure white and glowing. Magic filled her diadem and readied itself to fire off.

“Don’t worry Cadence, this’ll help save you!”

“Not if I have anything to say about it!” Lightning Dust shouted as she rushed downward, slamming into Rainbow Dash with her back legs and ramming the mare into the ground. Dash yelled out in pain as she felt several bones crack. The opal mare on top of her smiled and chuckled darkly. “What’s wrong Dashie? Not feeling all that good?”

With one Element suddenly inactive, the magic present merely seconds ago faded and the mares fell to the ground with a loud thud. Unable to react quickly enough, mercs ran at the Elements and pinned them down, stealing their Elements gems. Bringing forth hoof-cuffs, Twilight and the others found themselves captured and at the mercy of the mercenaries.

Cadence picked herself off the ground and nodded at her troops. “Good work. Now take the Elements and lock them away in the town hall once we’ve secured it.”

Lightning Dust took her eyes off Rainbow Dash for a second to focus on Cadence. “What about the rest of Ponyville’s militia? They’ve fallen back and are probably regrouping now.”

Cadence frowned at the merc captain. “Do I honestly have to tell you what to do? Find them and capture them! It isn’t that hard!”

Lightning gave the slightest look of contempt to Cadence before motioning to her soldiers. “You heard her, go find the militia and take them out… gently.” A large amount of the mercs nodded and ran off to fight their enemies. Lightning shoved her hoof harder into Rainbow Dash’s back, rewarding her with a whimper from the mare. “We’ll talk soon enough, you and I. Then, I can make you pay for what you did to me.” Once last kick and Lightning Dust left the speedster lying on the ground in pain while two mercs moved in to cuff her.

Ignoring Lightning’s rough treatment of Rainbow, Cadence turned to Twilight with a saddened look. “I’m sorry it has to be like this Twilight, but I have to stop Chrysalis.”

Twilight huffed at her old foal-sitter. “You keep saying that, and it just sounds more ridiculous each time. There is no plot Cadence, no great plan! Chrysalis isn’t trying anything; she just loves Celestia and is trying to be happy with her! That’s it! You’ve lost yourself in some crazy revenge scheme!”

“That’s not true!” Cadence yelled defiantly, though her voice faltered slightly. “I’m… I’m doing what is right! Changelings are evil! Their only goal in life is to cause pain! I’m going to make sure they can’t!”

“Do you even hear yourself?” Discord added in. “Sounds like somebody’s trying to convince herself…”

Cadence let loose a magical bolt at the Draconequus, which he promptly dodged by flashing away in a white light. “Shut up! You’re just as bad if not worse then the Changelings!”

“Oh great… I’m next on her list of stuff she wants to kill, lovely.” The chaotic spirit rolled his eyes as he reappeared elsewhere.

Cadence gritted her teeth. She looked again to Twilight, who returned her gaze with a look of defiance. “Just… take her away and lock her up somewhere. I’m done trying to convince her for now. She’ll see the truth sooner or later.” The mercs holding Twilight nodded and hauled her off to be locked up.

Cadence sat down and rubbed her temples. “Stupid mare… I’m doing what’s best for her… what’s for the country! Once Chrysalis is defeated, then she’ll see… they’ll all see.”

Discord chuckled from his new resting place in a nearby tree. “That you’re insane? I concur on that. It must be so hard for you to see your resolve to melt away like that.”

“Why can’t you just die?” Cadence shot at the Draconequus.

“Cause that plot device isn’t until season six or a major motion picture.” Discord commented, summoning an apple into his claw and then eating the core but nothing else.

Cadence grumbled at Discord’s ramblings and shook her head. “This whole thing is getting out of hoof! Now even Twilight is deep in the thrall of that damnable bug! I need to stop Chrysalis soon before it’s too late.”

“Oh I assure you Cadence, it’s much too late.”

Cadence’s eyes widened at the familiar voice and her head jolted to spin around and look behind her. Queen Carapace stood alone on a rooftop, smiling confidently. Cadence growled in anger. “Carapace, what are you doing here?!”

“To stop you obviously.” The Queen replied.

“Is that so?!” Cadence shot back, noting the fact Carapace completely alone. “You and what army?!”

Discord instantly slapped his paw to his face and made a depressed groan. “Why? Why would you say that? That is literally asking to be proven wrong!”

As if on cue, dozens of Royal Pegasi Guards swooped down onto the rooftops of Ponyville’s buildings. Pulling out crossbows, they aimed at Cadence and any mercs they could get a spot on. Celestia, Luna, and Chrysalis flew in and landed next to Carapace.

“It is over Cadence.” Luna snarled. “Stand down or you’ll regret it.”

“Please Cadence,” Celestia begged. “We just want to help.”

“I actually kind of want to kill her.” Carapace interjected.

“You’re not helping.” Chrysalis remarked.

Cadence looked out in fear as she and her forces where completely surrounded. The mare gulped but stood her ground, readying herself. Deep down the Alicorn knew, one way or the other, this was the beginning of the end.

This Fight Aria

View Online

Are you sure this is going to work? It seems like a bit of a long shot…

Calm down Celli, I’m sure it’ll all turn out completely fine.

I simply wish that there could be another way, one that didn’t involve you in the line of fire.

Anything worth doing has risks.

But we can choose what risks to take. And I’d rather you not take this one.

Sorry, why mind’s made up.

Then let us pray that our planning works the way it is suppose to.

I know it will Celli!

Knowing my luck she’ll summon Nightmare Moon from the grave...


Cadence hardened her stance on the ground, eyes darting wildly about at the soldiers encircling her with crossbows drawn and bowstrings taut. The Alicorn’s mind was racing, thinking of some way she’d be able to get out of this jam. Celestia’s trap was quite secure however. The Equestrian soldiers’ crossbows targeted Cadence and her mercs. Any sudden moments would result in a bolt in the head.

“Cadence, do not do anything rash.” Celestia implored sadly. “This does not need to end in bloodshed.”

The scarlet Alicorn snorted. “Is that so? You come here with two Changeling Queens and say this won’t end in violence? Hypocritical Aunt Celestia.”

“The irony is of course that Changelings are usually very empathic.” Carapace interjected. “It’s only when our bellies are empty that we get rowdy, which isn’t as heinous considering that’s every species basically.”

“Did I ask for your comment?” Cadence shot back at the Changeling.

“You didn’t. But I suspect that I wouldn’t get my two cents in otherwise.”

“Go to hell!”

“Not unless I take you with me…”

ENOUGH!” Luna shouted in the Royal Canterlot Voice. The mare huffed slightly and shifted her eyes left to right so ensure she had everyone’s attention. “Good. Now Cadence, please surrender. Your position is hopeless. You’re out-ponied, outgunned, and lack superior positioning. In short, you’re finished. So please, let’s not do this the hard way.”

Cadence gritted her teeth together so hard there was a fear she’d reduce them to dust. “You can’t intimidate me Aunt Luna!”

The Nighttime Princess glared down on her niece with cool detachment. “I assure you Cadence, I can easily intimidate you. I simply choose not to, for fear you may soil yourself in public.”

The maddened Alicorn didn’t reply, but simply readied herself more for the fight she knew was about to come. This action only served to get a rise out of Luna, who snorted aggressively and ground at the rooftop angrily. Celestia looked to her sister to try and calm her but it did nothing, Luna was ready to beat Cadence into a bloody pulp.

The younger Alicorn sister finally huffed at Cadence. “Fine then foolish child. You want a fight? Then prepare to be beaten until your own swollen eyelids are all you can see!” Luna ignited her horn and unfurled her wings, ready to charge her niece.

Before the Alicorn could take off Chrysalis placed a hoof in front of her and shook her head. “No Luna, I’ll handle Cadence.”

Luna cocked an angry eyebrow at Chrysalis. “What? That is unnecessary Chrysalis; I will deal with this fool myself. There is no need for you to put yourself in…”

“I insist.” Chrysalis sternly replied. “She wants to fight me? So be it. It’s time this game ended, and no one else is getting harmed because of her hatred for me.” Chrysalis turned her head to Cadence and frowned. “So, how are those terms Cadence? You and I fight, just us and no one else. The loser is at the mercy of the victor.”

Cadence pondered this for a moment. They were terms she could accept, but she had some of her own to offer. “And what about my mercenaries?”

“Full amnesty, if you abandon your attack on Ponyville and release all the hostages.” Celestia added in.

Cadence nodded. “Alright, fine. I accept this little duel of yours Chrysalis.” The Alicorn looked to her mercs. “Stand down, release any captured ponies as well as the Elements of Harmony.”

The mercs nodded at Cadence’s orders and surrendered (though if it was loyalty to Cadence or them not wanting to die was anyone’s guess). The two mercs that were trying to haul away Rainbow Dash, finding it very hard due to the mare’s violent thrashing, removed her cuffs and backed away from her. She gave them angered looks and they scurried away to their fellows.

“WHAT?!” Lightning Dust shouted. “No! That wasn’t part of the deal!”

“Stand down Lightning Dust.” Cadence ordered. “This only between Chrysalis and I now.”

“N-NO!” Lightning Dust screamed, a hot tear flowing down her face. “NO! You promised! You promised me my revenge on Rainbow Dash for what she did!” The mare shook, anger overflowing as she realized she’d been cheated out of her boon.

“I don’t care.” Cadence stated flatly. “In fact, I wasn’t even going to let you hurt Rainbow Dash at all. So just shut up and accept it.”

Lightning felt more tears trickle down her face. Everything had been a sham, a trick by Cadence. It was a massive blow, to know that she would be tricked out of her desire no matter what happened. The mare clenched her teeth and shook in hatred. “No… No… NO!” Lightning twisted around in place and shot forth towards Rainbow Dash. “I WILL NOT BE SCREWED OVER! RAINBOW DASH IS MINE!”

Cadence made a ‘humph’ sound and shook her head, horn igniting in magic. “Well, you were losing your usefulness anyway.” The scarlet mare aimed her head down and targeted Lightning Dust. Firing off a bolt of nasty magic, Cadence watched uncaring as it soared towards the Mercenary Captain with the intent to kill.

Blood erupted into the air in a geyser of red. Celestia, Luna, Chrysalis, the guards, and all the present mercs stared wide-eyed at what had just happened. No one, however, was more wide-eyed than Lightning Dust. The mare twitched slightly as she processed what had just happened. She landed on the ground with a loud thud and grunted a little bit from the impact. Her eyes instantly locked on to the blood staining her coat crimson. Despite that however, it wasn’t the thing she was most focused on. Her mouth quivered a bit as she formed the word.


Rainbow Dash slowly brought her head up, a cocky grin on it despite the gashing wound now inflicting her entire right side. She chuckled slightly before answering. “Cause… Cause we were teammates right? And teammates always look after each other.”

Lightning Dust stared wide-eyed into Rainbow Dash’s eyes, lost for words. Rainbow Dash had taken the blow for her, a blow that while only wounding Rainbow Dash would have killed Lightning. The opal mare had wanted Dash dead for what she saw as ruining her chance to become a Wonderbolt as well as her life. But despite that she still, still saved her from death. The mare didn’t know if what Rainbow Dash had said about being teammates was truthful or mocking, but it really didn’t matter. Lightning Dust was still unable to form any more words as Dash slipped into unconsciousness from blood loss.

Chrysalis stared blankly with mouth agape at the two mares intertwined in the bloody mass only meters away. Her shock turned into anger and she glared at Cadence. “NOT. ONE. MORE!” The Changeling Queen charged the Alicorn.

Cadence quickly snapped back into reality as the Changeling charged her. Panicked by the unforeseen attack, Cadence ignited her horn to escape. Her mind cycled through several possible locations but seeing the Changeling lunge at her brought one specific memory to mind. And so the Alicorn teleported, taking with her Chrysalis… as well as a buttercup yellow stallion with a pink mane, who was able to jump in just in time.



Chrysalis wrestled with Cadence as the two mares were flung across the ethereal plane towards whatever destination Cadence had picked before teleporting. Chrysalis was more or less just trying to hold on, knowing full well what would happen should she get blown about while teleporting. She could end up anywhere, in anything. She wasn’t too keen on that idea.

The Changeling Queen felt a tug on her and before she knew it the world left the erratic and pulsating bluish tint of teleportation into a flash, and then complete and total darkness. Chrysalis fell away from Cadence and hit the ground with a hard thud. Instinctively lighting up her horn, Chrysalis looked around at her surroundings.

She was in a vast expanse of caverns, so wide and large she couldn’t see far away down the cavern. Crystals of a pink-purplish lined the walls, reflecting a very clear image of Chrysalis from varying angles. Chrysalis gulped as she realized where she was. The site of one of her greatest crimes against the mare she now had to face in deadly combat.

“Fitting, isn’t it?” Chrysalis’s head shot forward as she saw Cadence walking towards her, horn ignited and a cruel smile across her face. “This is where you left me to rot while you tried to destroy my life… but now? Now it’ll be your tomb.”

Chrysalis stood up as Cadence fired her magic off into the air and into the crystals lining the walls, causing them to light up with magic so the two had a clear sight of the cave and each other. Chrysalis looked around, trying to formulate a strategy for fighting Cadence in this cavernous environment. It was then that she saw a shape in the cavern, unlike the others. It was small and completely black with an insectoid form, and was currently getting itself up.

Chrysalis became slightly elated. “Shape Shift? Is that you?”

The little Changeling finally righted himself and looked to his Queen, nodding happily at her to confirm him as him.

Chrysalis wanted to run over and hug her last drone, but the presence of Cadence halted such a desire. Instead, the Queen simply smiled back. “I’m glad you’re ok. I’ve been worried about you ever since Cadence attacked me at the hospital. Thank Creation she hasn’t harmed you.”

“And why would I?” Cadence asked angrily. “He is the one bright spot in the otherwise black pit of tar that is your species. I would never hurt him.”

“And yet you would condemn the rest of us…” Chrysalis hissed. “Shape Shift is no more kinder or more gentler than any other Changeling who has sworn to protect one they care for.”

“I highly doubt that.” Cadence replied. “Shape Shift is different. He helped me when I knew nopony else would and is one of the greatest reasons I’m standing up to you instead of wallowing in my room in controlled anger. I doubt any Changeling would help me as he has!”

Chrysalis stared at Cadence, mouth slightly agape as she processed the information. Slowly, the Queen started chuckling and shaking her head. She looked to Shape Shift. “You drones always do take your work much too seriously. You never know when to stop do you? Oh Shape Shift, I would have been perfectly fine if you didn’t help Cadence try to kill me, but I understand your reasons. Still, you could have convinced her to calm down, instead of fueling the fire…”

Shape Shift frowned, turning his head down in shame and kicking his black hoof against the hard floor. He chittered mournfully, trying hard to apologize to his Queen.

“It’s ok Shape Shift.” Chrysalis said. “I understand that Cadence is your friend and you wanted to help her any way you could. Regardless, my little drone, I release you from your bonds of servitude to the Equestrian Princess Mi Amore Cadenza. Return to the Hive, young one, and serve your people with distinction once more.”

Shape Shift bowed to Chrysalis briefly before buzzing his wings rapidly and in sort bursts. Despite a lack of the Changeling ways, Cadence was certain the drone was communicating with his Queen.

Chrysalis nodded after his buzzing was complete. “Of course little one, I don’t expect you to stand against her now. I allow you to stay neutral in this fight, no matter how much either of us wants you to participate. And Shape Shift, when this battle is done, I’d like you to stand by the victor, whoever that may be.” Shape Shift buzzed a little in acknowledgment, and then flew off to hide away from the battle.

Chrysalis returned her glare to Cadence. “Now, are you ready to end this?”

Cadence’s eyes followed Shape Shift as he fled, relieved he wouldn’t be a part of this. She didn’t want him to be hurt during her victory. Staring down Chrysalis, Cadence nodded. “More than ready…” The Alicorn lit up her horn.

Green and black auras collided in an explosion of magic as the two mare fired off pulsating magic at one another. Each gritted their teeth as they pushed harder and harder, trying to pump out as much magic as possible into their respective blasts. The magic began to become uncontrollable and bounced off or shoot out randomly, blowing apart pieces of the caverns and sending gravel and stone into the air. The sheer power of the impacting blasts shoved Chrysalis and Cadence backward somewhat.

Cadence huffed heavily as she took slow steps towards Chrysalis, pouring copious amounts of magic into her attack. “Y… You can’t defeat me! I survived against Carapace… A Queen that is a lot stronger than you are!”

Chrysalis felt herself getting pushed back, stray magic falling from the epicenter of hers and Cadence’s magic and almost killing her in an explosion. The Changeling looked to her opponent with a look a steadfast defiance. “Yeah… You’re right. Carapace has always been stronger than me… even when we where larvae.” Chrysalis fell to one knee as pain shot around her body from maintaining her attack. “You know Cadence… Changelings try not to steal love. We like freely given love… It’s so much better and feeds us longer.”

“SO?!” Cadence shouted as she pressed her power on Chrysalis.

Chrysalis inhaled deeply and closed her eyes. “So… I’ve had months of freely given love from Celestia.” The Changeling reopened her eyes; now empty portals of goo green magic. “And I’ve gotten a supercharge!”

Cadence’s eyes widened. “Wha…” She wouldn’t finish her sentence as Chrysalis’s magic overpowered hers in seconds, taking over the attack and throwing straight at her. The Alicorn broke the attack and unfurling her wings took to flight, but before the attack singed her lower back legs and causing her to scream out in pain.

Queen Chrysalis watched Cadence land on a nearby outcropping, nursing her burnt leg. “I give you one chance Cadence!”

The scarlet Alicorn snarled at the Changeling. “Go to hell! I’ll not be outclassed by you!” Cadence’s eyes soon faded as well, replaced by black wells of dark magic. “I’ll kill you here once and for all!”

Discord watched from another outcropping, a smile on his face and a popcorn in his claw. “Oh man, this is gonna be good! I think this is what we all waited for, wouldn’t you agree dear readers?” The Draconequus pondered for a second. “You know… this needs mood music… I’ve got the perfect song to, it’ll be so ironic!”

The chaotic spirit took out a record player from nowhere and set a large round, black disk on it. Grabbing the player’s needle and dipping it onto the record, the Draconequus awaited the song to start playing.

“Ok, um, hello. I’m Discord and I think I should be on the next Equestrian Idol because, well, my voice is simply divine! Just listen, and be amazed! Ah-hem. AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH, AIN’T NO VALLEY LOW ENOUGH! AIN’T NO RIVER WIDE ENOUGH, TO KEEP ME FROM GETTING TO YOU BABY!!!!”

Discord slammed onto the record player and stopped it abruptly. The spirit blushed and chuckled slightly. “Ooo… How’d that get in there? Haha… Ignore that… That’s uh… That’s nothing.” He flipped the record over. “Alright, here we go!” The slow beat of piano began to play…

Cadence began firing off bolts of intensified magic at Chrysalis, who whirled around left and right to try and avoid them as best she could.

♫This plan was going to be perfect,
A daring plan of which I've made with so much care!
But now it has all gone askew,
And it is all because of you!
More a reason for me to hate you damned bugs!♫

Chrysalis sidestepped against a particularly large blast and shielded herself from several more. The Changeling lit up her horn and blasted away at Cadence’s outcropping. The scarlet Alicorn flew up just as the ledge was incinerated by magic. Before she could act again however, Cadence was caught by tendrils of green magic and promptly thrown around. Chrysalis flung the Alicorn into rocks and crystals, tearing her coat to shreds and drawing large amounts of blood. Despite this, when she spoke there was only sadness in her voice…

♫All this was going to be perfect,
I had a Princess I cared for with so much love…
Oh but it seems I am cursed…
Now Cadence wants me in a hearse,
And now all of my beautiful dreams may have died!♫

Cadence sent her magic out in a wave of magic and shot towards Chrysalis, closing the gap between them in milliseconds. The mare charged magic into her body and slammed her hooves into Chrysalis, each one exploding into a burst of fiery magic that singed Chrysalis’s insectoid carapace. The Changeling was unable to defend herself as Cadence threw punches at her at super speeds that her eye couldn’t even track. Cadence enjoyed the screams released by the Changeling as she repeated to ram attacks into her.

♫I could care less about your love,
I won't partake in this sham!
Friends? HA! I'd be lying if I said!
I hate you without much reason,
And I’d risk committing treason,
If it meant I could truly kill you all!♫

Cadence focused all the magic in her body to her horn and let out a torrent of scarlet flames, scorching her Changeling foe. If Chrysalis wasn’t charged up with Celestia’s love, she’d have died right there.

♫Yes I hate you with passion,
In my heart there is but rage!
That’s why victory will be all mine!♫

Chrysalis felt her consciousness slipping away from her, but she held on. Grasping hold of a large well of magic, her horn was engulfed in a liquid-like goo green aura. Yelling at the top of her lungs, the Changeling fired a rapid of green magic water that doused Cadence’s fire and sent the mare rushing backward. Cadence hit a wall and was crushed by the flowing rapids of water. Chrysalis sent spikes into her water that stabbed Cadence and drew blood that stained the green water. Cadence’s eyes glowed a bright black and her magic dispersed the magic water. Huffing only once, she fire electricity at Chrysalis. The Queen was back on the defensive…

♫Must win this before it's too late,
Find a way to save the day!
Hope, I'll be lying if I say!
I don’t fear for myself at all,
I want to protect them,
Those that gave me a chance for a recall!
For I have seen my error,
I wish to right my cruel sins…
Oh, my precious love, this’ll be done very soon!♫

Cadence sent out a whiplash of magic that caught Chrysalis the leg and wounded her heavily. The Changeling was in pain as she fell to the ground and gritting her teeth harshly. Cadence jumped on top of her and smiled darkly. She charged her horn with magic and lunged it at Chrysalis. The Queen helplessly dodged each one and sent out her own attacks. Frighteningly, they all hit Cadence and spilled a considerable amount of blood, but the Alicorn paid no heed. All that mattered was piercing through Chrysalis’s skull.

♫Finally the moment has arrived
For you to have finally died!♫

Chrysalis made one last attempt to subdue Cadence by charging huge amounts of magic into one of her fore-hooves. Bringing up with terrible strength, it hit Cadence square in the face. The Alicorn’s head jerked back as the punch collided with her. Chrysalis heard the sick sound of bones cracking. Cadence didn’t flinch however and simply smiled satanically at her enemy. Chrysalis froze, wide-eyed.

♫Oh, this can’t be how it ends!
Now can’t be the time that I bend!
This victory must be…♫

Cadence plunged her horn into Chrysalis’s shoulder blade, prompting a scream from the Changeling as green blood spilled out.

♫…Mine, all mine.♫

Cadence laughed darkly as Chrysalis screamed from the pain. The Alicorn dug her horn deeper into the Changeling’s shoulder, forcing more blood out of her in excruciating agony. “See Chrysalis?! I’m still stronger than you! I can’t be beat! Today is the day you die!”

Chrysalis breathed heavily as she looked at Cadence. “No… Not today…” Her horn once more became ignited.

“HA! You think that any spell you have will work on me?! STUPID BUG!” Cadence laughed as she ignited her own horn, preparing to blast apart Chrysalis’s enter left side.

Even as her spell became fully charged and started flowing up her horn to be fired, Chrysalis lost herself in memory…

Try to subdue her first; it’ll be a lot easier for all of us if you do.

And if she’s too strong and I can’t knock her out? Should I still use the spell?

I do not recommend it. It uses a lot of magic and gives quite the strain on your physical aspects as well. Maker knows I want you to use it as a final resort.

Celestia I’ll be fine. It’s not like…

It could kill you if you put too much into it…

Oh… Well, I guess I should be care then.

This is no joke Chrysalis! This is not only Cadence’s life we’re talking about, yours will also be in danger.

I’ll be fine Celli. Besides, I need to do this.

No you don’t! Luna or I would be much better suited for…

For what? Attacking Cadence and possibly killing her if you can’t subdue her? It’s me she wants, so it’s me she’ll get! I’ll have no one else get hurt for the hatred she bears for me.

Sometimes I wish you were still selfish, and not so persuasive.

But that’s why you love me right?

Cadence couldn’t even feel it when the spell hit her straight in the chest and sent her flying backward to the other side of the cavern floor they occupied. But as she hit the ground, pain cycled through the Alicorn’s body. The mare writhed in agony as she felt harsh stings of magic ripple through her body.

When the pain finally subsided, Cadence was twitching wildly with the aftertaste of a riot control stunner spell, a nasty perversion of the regular thing that hurt like mad. Still she managed to get herself up. It was probably pure luck that she was able to get a counter spell up before it took her out. Oddly though, it felt as if Chrysalis didn't put all her buck into the spell. As if held back for something else.

An impossibly bright flash of green filled the entire cavern, blinding Cadence. The mare covered her eyes but even then the light was unbearable. Almost an entire minute had passed before the light began to dim once more and Cadence could see properly. When she opened her eyes to seek out the source of the light, however, Cadence was met with surprise as she saw what spell Chrysalis had conjured up.

“What’s the matter Cadence?” Chrysalis said confidently as she got up. “Seeing double?” The Changeling asked again, only it wasn’t the same Chrysalis that had asked first. Cadence felt her eye twitch as she looked upon not one, not two, but six Chrysalises, Chrysalides? There were more than one, that’s the point.

Cadence took a step back in shock for a moment, unable to believe what she was seeing. Suddenly, a realization came upon her, and the scarlet Alicorn began laughing hysterically. She sat down and clapped her hooves together. “Well, well, well, very nice Chrysalis. Good to know that you can do proper illusion magic.” Cadence lit up her horn and shot a magical shockwave towards Chrysalis and her doubles. “But I don’t have time for cheap tricks!”

The Chrysalises lit up their horns and erected a shield that deflected Cadence's attack. Cadence could see the shield shimmer and the Chrysalises wane slightly. She knew enough of shield magic to know that they were having some difficulty holding up the spell. Regardless of the obvious strain, the Changelings were able to keep up the shield. The head Chrysalis smiled. “Oh Cadence, I assure you, I didn’t just conjure up some cheap trick. Now, where were we? Oh right! Crazy Cadence beat down time!” All six Chrysalises smiled. Alright, according to Celestia, my current physical strength and magic reserves given that I made five copies of substantial power means I got seven minutes to discharge this spell before it either renders me unconscious, or kills me. No pressure, right?

Chrysalis and her copies readied themselves to charge. “It’s time to end this thing now Cadence!”

While Adversaries Battle

View Online

Luna and Carapace stared wide-eyed at the spot where Cadence had been. Chrysalis had shouted and rammed the scarlet Alicorn after she had injured Rainbow Dash. The younger Alicorn sister and Changeling were wordless, but Celestia had already begun yelling out orders to her troops.

“All soldiers! Move in! Secure the town! Assess all civilians and treat all injuries!” Celestia’s meticulous eyes darted around as she watched her soldiers comply with their orders. She turned to a specific group of them; they were some of the fastest she had. “You! Go and take Rainbow Dash to the field hospital for care for her injuries! Then, find all of Ponyville’s medical personnel and bring them to the same hospital to assist!”

The pegasi in question saluted and dove down to help Rainbow Dash. Hauling the wounded mare onto the largest of them, a rigid looking brown stallion, they took off towards the area that held the Princess’s forward operations base.

Celestia turned to Luna and Carapace. “Sister, Carapace, let us go. We must ensure the other Elements are unharmed and that no mercenaries are resisting.”

Carapace nodded and buzzed to the ground to help some of the soldiers. Luna, however, remained. The Nighttime Alicorn was still staring at the spot Cadence was. Her eyes left the area only to gaze upon Celestia. “Sister, what of Chrysalis? With her current state of magical intensity, Cadence will crush her.”

Celestia looked away, pondering something. “Perhaps. But we must have faith she can defeat our niece. I for one am certain that victory will be ours in this matter.”

“That isn’t comforting Sister.” Luna shot back. “How can you be sure that Chrysalis is strong enough to defeat Cadence?”

“I just do.”


“Luna, please, it’ll be alright.”

“You’re keeping things from me again.”

Celestia looked at her younger sister and sighed. “Chrysalis and I have already talked about what will happen. I do not want you to…”

“Tia…” Luna pouted sadly.

The Solar Monarch rolled her eyes. “Very well Luna, we can go and discuss it, if it’ll make you feel any better.”

“It will.” Luna nodded happily.

Celestia looked to Carapace. “Queen Carapace, my sister and I have some battle strategy to discuss. Can you handle everything here?”

Carapace snorted in an arrogant manner. “Depends. Are your soldiers going to listen to me or just piss themselves at the sight of me?”

Celestia looked to her Commander. The white Pegasus stallion locked eyes with his Princess and unspoken orders passed between them. A quick nod and the two understood there would be no problems with Carapace. Celestia smiled at the guard and turned to her sister. “Alright Luna, let’s go and talk.”

Luna nodded. “Excellent sister. Let’s go for a walk, you and I.”

Celestia frowned. “I have the feeling I’m going to be yelled at…”

“Only if you provoke as much sister.” Luna responded.

The two Alicorn sisters began to walk down one of the many now deserted streets of Ponyville, the sounds of Carapace shouting orders and soldiers moving this way and that soon faded into a somewhat quiet serenity. But for a time, the sisters just walked. No conversation passed between them. They enjoyed what seemed like ten minutes of just walking, the two rarely got to do the simple things anymore. Finally, Luna took a deep breath.

Luna looked around at the peaceful buildings as the two sisters passed them by. The dark Alicorn tried to find something to say. “So… sucks about Cadence huh?” The Alicorn gave her sister a reassuring smile, though in her mind Luna was shouting up a storm. ‘Sucks about Cadence’?! What the hell kind of conversation starter is that?! Damn it Luna, could you get any more stupid?!

“I should have seen it.” Celestia responded without looking to her sister.

Luna relaxed from her inner self-loathing and looked at her sister. The younger mare frowned. “Don’t beat yourself up.” Luna said. “After all, you don’t have the best track record when it comes to noticing family members going psycho…” Oh sweet Maker I’m terrible at this!!!!

Once again, Celestia seemed to ignore the comment. “But it’s my fault. I’m an Alicorn! I move the goddamn Sun for Equestria’s sake! Yet I can’t see when my niece is going crazy with rage?” Celestia sighed, distraught.

“I just think you’ve been blaming yourself for what Cadence has done, despite none of it being your fault.” Luna locked eyes with her sister. “And it’s not your fault, Cadence is just being a spoiled brat.”

“Perhaps. But I am the one who brought Chrysalis to the castle. I am the catalyst of this disaster, no matter what you say. I need to stop it.”

“And yet it is Chrysalis who is fighting Cadence right now.”

Celestia stopped, lowering her head to look at the ground. “Yes… she is.”

Luna stopped and looked over to Celestia. “So why sister? Why is Chrysalis doing our dirty work? You and I can stop her no problem… Probably.”

“Chrysalis told me she wanted to face Cadence because she didn’t want anyone else to get hurt. That’s why I let her fight.”

Luna cocked an eyebrow. “What? Just cause she asks you to go straight into danger you let her? Why in the world would… you…” The Nighttime Alicorn could see Celestia biting her lip rather hard. A realization came to Luna. “Let me guess, she asked you while doing that thing to your hooves and wings that you really, really like didn’t she?”

Celestia didn’t look at her sister. She simply nodded in an ashamed manner. “Yeah…”

Luna looked down to the ground, stifling a laugh. “Oh wow… that’s… that’s terrible. That’s just cruel. Maker knows you’ll agree to almost anything if a pony is messing with your hooves and wings the way you like.” Luna smirked deviously. “It’s so terrible, you could consider it mind control honestly…”

Celestia looked at her sister with hate. “Don’t make me slap you Luna…”

The Nighttime Alicorn shrugged, her smirk still playing out on her lips. “For what reason? Just cause you got a kinky wing and hoof fetish doesn’t mean you should physically abuse your little sister.”

Celestia face-hoofed. “Why the hell do I put up with you?”

“Fanservice, obviously.” Luna replied confidently. “Cause let’s face it, when a stallion has wet dreams about his royalty they’re all dreaming of me!”

“Eww.” Celestia stuck out her tongue.” Too much information sister…”

Luna chuckled. “You’re just jealous. Anyway, we’re getting off topic. Now, I know that Chrysalis is supercharged with your love.” Luna took on a sarcastic tone. “Ha ha, funny, I get the irony of the fallen Princess of Love being defeated by a love-stealing Changeling who’s finally found true love. Great plot twist. But I still think that Cadence is too strong for Chrysalis. So what’s your ace in the hole sister?”

Celestia smiled sheepishly. “Oh you know… stuff…”

Luna cocked an eyebrow and pouted her lips. “Is that so? What kind of stuff sister?”

A bead of sweat fell down Celestia’s brow. “Umm… spells and stuff.”

“Any spell in particular?” Luna asked.

Celestia gulped. “Yeah… I gave her the…” The Solar Alicorn mumbled the next part.

“You gave her the what?” Luna asked. Celestia mumbled again. “Sister, what spell did you give Chrysalis?!”

Celestia sighed. “I gave her the soul-splitter spell…”

Everything suddenly got eerily quiet. A strong wind billowed through, moaning heavily and pulling a tumbleweed along with it. Luna stood there, eyes unblinking and face in a frozen state of no emotion as she stared at her sister. The Solar mare gulped. “Umm… Luna? Luna?” She waved a hoof in front of Luna’s face. “Sister? Are you in there?”

Celestia yelped a little a dark sphere of magic enveloped the two Alicorns. Celestia’s eyes darted around as she watched the view of Ponyville degrade into nothing but black. Instinctively, the older sister tapped on the magic. The familiar sound of tapping on large glass filled the sphere. Celestia looked to her sister again.

“This is soundproof isn’t?” Luna nodded, Celestia sighed. “And me without my earplugs, wonderful…”


Caverns Beneath Canterlot

Discord had watched with mild amusement as Cadence and Chrysalis went at with each other. But now things had gotten interesting as Chrysalis had just performed a soul-splitter spell and now had five other copies of herself attacking Cadence.

The Draconequus smiled. “A soul-splitter spell? Now I’ve seen everything. I was almost certain the white bubble-butt had outlawed that spell. Seems like I was wrong.”

The chaotic spirit giggled in delight as four of the Chrysalises rammed Cadence, forcing the mare to the ground. Before the other two could move in to finish the job, however, the scarlet Alicorn had used a chunk of magic to fire off a powerful magical shockwave.

“My, my… How interesting.” Discord mused. “Chrysalis is almost completely out of magic while Cadence seems to be just bursting with it. On the flipside, Cadence physical strength is crap while Chrysalis could win half the events in the Equestrian Games.” The mishmash creature chuckled. “This is turning out so deliciously chaotic isn’t it?”

The cavern shook as Cadence supercharged her hoof and slammed it down on the floor, causing the ground to crack and fall away. The Changelings Queens quickly opened their wings and flew off, avoiding the pitfall into complete blackness. Cadence began firing off bolts of magic at them, trying to get in a hit. The Chrysalises were able to keep a fair distance away from the attacks however.

“I wonder who’ll come out on top? I’m itching with anticipation!” Discord began to scratch himself wildly. As he did so, little black dots fell from his fur and down until they were no longer in sight. “Oh… never mind, it was just fleas.”

The cavern ceiling exploded in smoke and dust as Chrysalis punched Cadence’s head upwards as she fired off a powerful attack. The whole place shook and Discord was positive the ponies of Canterlot were soiling themselves at that moment, fearful of the shaking.

“Hmmm… Still, this is starting to get old. I sure probably do something like… I don’t know… pick a side or whatever.” Discord stroked his goatee. “But I’m not sure getting involved is the right choice. I’ll need a second opinion about this.”

Discord rummaged into his fur and poked around for a bit. Finally finding something, the Draconequus pulled it out, hoping he’d found what he was looking for. He hadn’t, and instead pulled out Shining Armor. The stallion was wet, holding a brush covered in soapsuds, and had a shower cap on.

Instantly, he screeched like a mare. “AAAAAHHH! Discord?! What in the world are you doing?!”

“What am I doing? What are you doing taking a shower in my fur?! That’s very unsanitary!”

“What are you talking about?! I was in the Crystal Palace, taking a shower when suddenly your claw came out of my shower nozzle and dragged me here!”

“Huh… So that’s where that hole goes… Interesting.” The creature pondered this new discovery as he stuffed Shining Armor, yelling because of the rough treatment, back into his fur. Feeling around once more, Discord finally found what he was looking for.

“AH! Here we go!” The Draconequus pulled out a magic eight ball. Discord held the ball close to him. “Oh magic eight ball of power… tell me: what should I do in this current situation between Chrysalis and Cadence?” Discord shook the ball had and waited. Eventually, a bluish triangle appeared in the little circular window at the bottom. It read ‘nothing’.

Discord squinted at the toy. “Your wisdom is great, magic ball… But another opinion must be acquired. One greater than your own.” Discord instantly brought out a plastic conch shell of pale pinkish, maybe purplish, color. Discord inhaled deeply. “Oh Magic Conch! What should I do about this battle between Cadence and Chrysalis?” Discord pulled the string attached to the conch and placed it close to his ear.


Discord floated there in the air for a minute, face plain and unmoving. “THE CONCH HAS SPOKEN!!!!”

The Draconequus instantly sat down on the ceiling upside down, the same blank stare plastered on his face


Ponyville, Outside Luna’s Black Sphere

Radiant Point the unicorn cocked his eyes at the half sphere in front of him. He wanted to know what it was but he didn’t want to touch it.

“So what do you think it is?” Asked his partner, some Pegasus guard he had been paired with.

“I don’t know.” The unicorn guard responded. “I think it’s Princess Luna’s.”

The Pegasus tilted his head. “Is it… Is it vibrating?”


Celestia’s ears rang. Being shouted at with the Royal Canterlot Voice was one thing. Getting yelled at in an airtight, soundproofed environment was a whole new hell in itself. Luna had been shouting like this for a long time, Celestia had lost track. She’d really wished she had brought her earplugs.

“Luna, please calm down, it’s not that bad.”

The Nighttime Alicorn frowned at her sister, red in the face. “Not that bad, not that bad?! Do you remember the last time that spell was allowed to be used?! That was pure madness! I though we disposed of it after that one stupid unicorn enchanted that nearby pond with a modified version of it!”

Celestia smiled sheepishly. “Luna, please, it is alright. Chrysalis knows her limits and will not overuse the spell.”

Luna was not convinced. “I can not believe you kept that spell!”

Celestia waved a hoof at Luna. “Oh please Luna, it’s not like that’s the worst forbidden knowledge that I stored away in my private study…” The Solar Alicorn stopped herself in realization. “Oops…”


Celestia rolled her eyes up and started laughing. “Ahahaha! Right, well, you see Luna, I was gonna tell you but I forgot about it. See, I have a whole treasure trove of forbidden knowledge in my private study that I’ve been collecting ever since you and I took the throne. Isn’t that just hilarious? Ahaha…”

Luna’s eye twitched, her anger vanished due to unbearable amounts of befuddlement. “Why?” She asked pathetically, all her anger transformed into sheer bewilderment. “Why would you have that?”

“For research purposes of course.” Celestia rolled her eyes as if her sister’s concern was foolish. “And just in case we need some forbidden knowledge to use against our enemies. You berate me now, but when we need forbidden knowledge to save the world guess who’ll be laughing? Not you, that’s who!”

“You’re gonna be the death of us…” Luna bemoaned, face-hoofing. “I just know it.”

Celestia patted Luna on the head. “No I won’t. Most of my forbidden knowledge can’t even hurt you or I… well, except for that Alicorn-eating slime potion…”


“For research purposes Luna.” Celestia reminded, folding her front legs together and nodding her head.

“What research purposes?! That thing has only one purpose: to eat Alicorns! What could you possibly gain from that?!”

Celestia rolled her eyes. “That’s exactly why I kept it, to see what I could get out of it.”

“I can’t believe I’m hearing this…”

“Let’s just agree to disagree shall we?”

“Have I ever told you I hate you sometimes?”

“Every Monday morning sister.” Celestia responded, wrapping her sister into a hug and gently stroking her mane. “Every Monday morning.”


Ponyville, FOB Medical Tent

Lightning Dust watched with no emotion whatsoever as the white Earth Pony mare gave Rainbow Dash some weird, yellowish liquid in a small cup. Rainbow Dash, lying in bed with several layers of bandages running down her chest, took the liquid and gulped it down quick. The speedster made a quick look of disgust before handing the cup back to the nurse.

“Bleh, tastes awful! Still… I think I already feel some of the pain going away. Thanks Nurse Redheart.”

The Ponyville nurse with the cutie mark of a red cross with a pink heart in each corner smiled. “Oh course Rainbow Dash, think nothing of it. It’s my job after all.” That’s when a soldier entered the tent and motioned to Redheart. “Oh… my apologies, but I have to go and help some other patients.” A quick bow later and the nurse was gone.

“So…” Rainbow Dash started. “That was quite some crazy realistic military exercise huh?”

“What are you…?” Lightning Dust caught herself. She remembered what the Changeling Queen with the orange mane had told her: tell nopony the truth about the attack or face dire consequences. The mare sighed. “Yeah… it was.”

“Geez, I never knew Cadence could pack a punch like that! Still, it wasn’t actually a fight so I’m not worried or anything. And then there’s you Lightning! I never thought I’d see you again!”

Lightning frowned and leaned in. “Look Rainbow, we are not friends, we are not buddies or anything like that. I hate you!” It felt really good to say that to Rainbow's face.

Rainbow blinked at Lightning, tilting her head slightly. “Hate me? Why?”

“You can’t be that dense! You’re the reason I was kicked out of the Wonderbolt Academy! You’re the reason my life is ruined!”

Rainbow Dash hardened her look at Lightning. “No. It’s your fault.”

That sudden statement took Lightning aback. “How dare you accuse me of…”

“No, Lightning, I’m not accusing you, I’m telling you the truth!” Rainbow Dash looked on with defiance, quickly defending herself from this mare’s accusation of her. “I don’t know how your life’s been ruined, but if it is than it’s your fault for not picking yourself back up again after you fell!”

“You think it’s just that easy to…”

“No. I get it. Not everypony can get back up again, for various reasons. But Lightning, you could have! I know you could have, you’re a great flyer! Ponies look for talent like yours! You could have easily picked yourself back up and succeeded like a champ!”

Lightning gritted her teeth. “I wouldn’t need to if you hadn’t…”

“Stopped you from being reckless and potentially hurting somepony?” Rainbow Dash shot back. “Lightning, what if you being a daredevil got somepony killed? Could you have lived with yourself after that?”

Lightning couldn’t answer that… she really couldn’t. As a mercenary, one would expect to do a lot of horrible things for coin. It was different in Equestria, with its overall peace and harmony. The most Lightning Dust and her group had ever done was beat the snot out of opposing noble families in Trottingham as contracts. She’d never actually taken a life.

Lightning Dust wanted to retort, but she couldn’t find a good way to do so. Instead she simply turned away from the mare lying in the bed before her. “Whatever… I don’t have to look at you or be your friend. Just know that… you’ll have no more trouble from me. A life for a life, plain and simple…”

“And it’s not cause of the guard standing right over there?”

Lightning’s eyes shot up to look at the brown Pegasus guard that had escorted her to the tent. He stood erect by the door, though one leg was leaning on his massive crossbow like a crutch. His hoof pawed innocently at the button that replaced the trigger to make it easier for hoofed creatures to use (crossbows being a Griffon invention).

The mercenary snorted. “Maybe… I don’t know.” With those last words, Lightning left the tent, the guard trailing behind. As she left, Lightning felt distraught. Once again, Rainbow Dash had stolen her purpose from her. The merc sighed heavily; she hoped her next driving goal wouldn’t be as fallible as the last.


Carapace shouted orders to the many assembled ponies, trying to get ahold on the situation. Ugh, it’s never this hard with my Changelings… Her leadership of the ponies would come to an end, however, as Celestia and Luna returned from their talks. Geez, took your damn time, it’s been over three hours…

Carapace nodded to the two Alicorns. “Have a nice talk you two?”

Celestia instantly headed for the Changeling. “Oh yes, it was quite nice actually, right Luna?”

The smaller Alicorn looked downtrodden, and her face was in a slightly comedic frown. “Oh yeah… it was great.”

Celestia turned to her Changeling Queen ally. “Carapace, what’s the situation?”

“We’ve rounded up all the mercs and are treating the injured. All in all, I’d say this little incident is over.”

Celestia nodded. “Good. Please escort the mercenaries back to Canterlot for questioning. Gently if you’d be so kind.”

Carapace made a ‘humph’ sound. “No fun… but if you insist.”

Celestia smiled. “Excellent. Now we just need word from Chrysalis and…”

“Princess!” A sky blue Pegasus mare flew right up to the three tall mares. Huffing slightly to catch her breath, the mare saluted. “Ma’am, some of our guards patrolling the caverns underneath Canterlot have found Lady Chrysalis and Princess Cadence!”

Luna nodded. “Good, then let’s see how this thing ends… And so I can forget my conversation with my dear sister.”

The Very Anticlimactic Ending of a Rather Climactic Fight in This Somewhat Comedic Story

View Online

Cadence skidded backward due to the sheer force of the punch. When she finally caught her footing, the scarlet Alicorn readied another spell for use against her attackers. The six Chrysalises that had been assailing the Alicorn for the past five minutes were tiring and Cadence could see it. Unfortunately, the out of control Alicorn was tiring much the same. Her magic was almost all used up and she knew that she wouldn’t be able to win physically.

Huffing, she let loose a spark of magic at one of the copies that was charging at her. It hit the Chrysalis and sent her rolling backward like a tumbleweed into a stalagmite with an audible crack. The Chrysalis yelped as the wind was knocked out of her and she rolled up slightly as pain enveloped her.

The original Chrysalis watched her copy ram the stalagmite and bit her lower lip. Cadence was keeping her at bay and the Changeling only had two minutes until she’d have to stop the spell so she wouldn’t hurt herself. She was afraid this was going to end with her defeat, and Chrysalis didn’t want to think what would happen if Cadence won. She needed a plan and quickly.

“Care to give up and die?!” Cadence shouted to the Changeling. “It would make my job easier!”

“Shut it!” Chrysalis huffed back. “I’m not going down without a fight!” One minute, thirty seconds. Chrysalis was running out of time. She needed to do something.

Cadence used the distraction to fire off more shots at the Changeling, firing haphazardly into the cavern and setting the whole thing ablaze with magic. Chrysalis could somewhat feel the sting as one of her copies was engulfed in the attack and was badly injured. Cadence stopped firing and grinned at her handy work, though she was breathing heavily now.

One minute…

Chrysalis was out of options. For the past six minutes she had been attacking Cadence with her copies, trying to whittle her down until she would be too tired to continue fighting. Chrysalis had misjudged just how much the mad Alicorn had in her however, and now it was the Changeling who was at the breaking point.

Things had not gone according to plan, not since the moment Cadence had teleported the two of them to the caverns. This fight was suppose to have been in Ponyville, under the watchful eyes of Celestia and Luna so they could intervene at any moment to stop either fighter from getting killed. Chrysalis snorted sarcastically, thinking about how Celestia probably looked so cool and collected on the outside. Inside, the mare was most likely tearing her ethereal mane out. Another volley of magical bolts from Cadence, another haphazard dodging performance by the Chrysalises.

Thirty seconds…

It was now or never, Chrysalis needed something. She needed… wait! Chrysalis knew what to do; a bit of old Changeling magic would have to do the trick. It was a cruel spell, Chrysalis knew that, but the moral regrets fell mute considering the victims would be simple clones that would need to disappear in the next twenty-five seconds anyway. Channeling her remaining magic into the clones, Chrysalis filled them with entropic magic.

Cadence noticed that Chrysalis was trying something and lit up her own magic, ready to strike back any attack. Instead of a magical blast streaming at her, however, the five Chrysalis clones ran straight at her. Eyes going wide, Cadence began to wildly shoot off magic at the attacking clones. Sparks and bolts of magic rammed into them, cutting them and gashing away carapace, but they kept charging relentlessly.

Ten seconds…

The clones were right on top of the scarlet Alicorn now. Unsure what to do, Cadence ignited her horn to prepare a shield. Before she could cast the protective spell however, a green shot of magic plucked her straight in the face and cancelled out her spell casting. The mare yelped in pain, but soon realized that was the least of her worries. The Chrysalis clones, now right next to Cadence, began to up with magic. Cadence gulped once.

The original Chrysalis covered her eyes as her clones erupted into a magical explosion. The caverns lit up from the intensity of the blast and the concussive force upturned gravel and rocks and even made Chrysalis hold fast to the ground. The blast was still going on even as the Changeling felt the pieces of her soul used to create the clones returned to their vessel, giving Chrysalis a warm sense of happiness for some reason.

Up on the ceiling, Discord watched the explosion behind unnecessarily large pink-rimmed sunglasses. “Meh, I’ve seen bigger.”

Chrysalis got herself up as the explosion died down. A thin cloud of falling dust filled the cavern and the gravel was settling, but other than that it was quiet. Cautiously, the Changeling walked towards the crater that she knew Cadence was in. Reaching the crater’s edge, Chrysalis tilted her head over to look inside. She could barely see through the dust cloud and couldn’t hear any movement. “I… I did…” She uttered. “I beat her…”

“Nope…” Muttered Discord.

Chrysalis almost wet herself as Cadence erupted from the dust cloud and rammed into the Changeling, hatred marked all over her bloodied face. The two mares wrestled on the ground. Cadence punched at Chrysalis’s face while the Changeling tried to knee the Alicorn in the stomach. The two struggled with each other, rolling dangerously close to their cavern floor’s edge. Cadence threw a strong punch at Chrysalis and missed, giving the Changeling the opportune moment to grab her leg and hold her in place long enough for Chrysalis to head butt the Alicorn hard. Cadence flinched and yelped in pain. Chrysalis plowed her two back legs into Cadence’s stomach and pushed back, sending the Alicorn tumbling backward.

Cadence quickly righted herself and charged at Chrysalis. The Changeling was still reorienting herself when Cadence lunged at her to attack again. Instinct took over and Chrysalis closed her eyes and lifted up her back legs and caught Cadence in the stomach. Without thinking, Chrysalis brought her back legs forward and sent Cadence with them, right over the edge of the cavern floor into the darkness. Chrysalis’s eyes were still closed when she heard a sickening fleshy sound that she recognized as a spike going through meat.

Turning onto her belly, Chrysalis crawled to the edge of the floor and looked down. Cadence had fallen into a field of stalagmites, and had become impaled on one right through the heart. Blood rushed through the enormous wound onto the Alicorn. Cadence was watching with wide eyes at the spike as it jutted out of her stomach. Chrysalis’s eyes met Cadence’s for a second as the life began to leave them. Within a minute of impalement, Princess Cadenza Mi Amore was dead, and her plans were finally ended…


The Draconequus looked up from his typewriter. “Yes Luna?”

“That’s not what happened…” The Nighttime Alicorn grumbled.

“Hmm… Was I typing aloud again?”

“Yes,” Luna nodded. “And you are not doing your job.”

The Spirit of Chaos smiled. “But I am, I just thought I’d add my own artistic flare to this little project you’ve given me.”

Luna shook her head. “This is not a game Discord. Celestia told you to record the incident with Cadence, not write whatever pleases you.”

“But this is so much better!” Discord argued. “It gives a good lesson: don’t let revenge take over your life or you’ll end up regretting it! If Cadence lived the point would be a little mute. Not only that, but what really happened is rather anticlimactic.”

Luna stomped her hoof. “Celestia wants you to write what happened; the truth you imbecile!”

Discord huffed. “The truth isn’t fun…”

“I don’t care if the truth isn’t fun! This is a historical record, and since you have opposable grasping appendages you’re the best palace resident for the job!” Luna gave the Draconequus a dark look. “So I’ll tell you again, write the truth, not your fabrications or your smut!”

Discord rolled his eyes. “Well there goes the Twilight/Cadence angry make-up sex chapter. Ugh, you’re stunting my creative juices Luna dear.”

Luna frowned, showing barred teeth. “I. Care. NOT! Get back to work.” Luna turned to leave but quickly twisted her head to look at Discord again. “And record it right.” With that, the dark navy blue Alicorn left.

Discord watched her leave with furrowed eyebrows of disappointment. “And I thought Bubble Butt was bossy, geez.” Discord looked at his typewriter. “The readers don’t want truth, they want excitement, heartbreak, character development, just the right level of sexual situation, and the bad guy to get their comeuppance! Those are what makes a story great!” Discord’s arms were in the air, lifted towards the ceiling. “This is what is needed! Do you not agree my companion?”

The Draconequus looked across the table at his writing buddy: Shape Shift. The little Changeling was sitting in a chair, looking at Discord wide-eyed and chewing on a donut nestled in his hooves. Blinking at the Draconequus’s question, the Changeling made no indication at all as he stared.

“Precisely! You my friend know what a good story needs!” Discord waited for the Changeling’s response. The chaotic mishmash creature sighed after a minute. “Yes… you’re right. I guess we need to do it right, if only to get the bossy butt Alicorns to stop breathing down our necks.

Discord turned to his typewriter and snapped his claws. The last paragraph he had written disappeared. “Alright, time for… ugh… the truth. Bleh, even saying it feels wrong.” Discord chuckled and shrugged. “Oh well, at least the truth has me in it.” He began to once again type.

Chrysalis almost wet herself as Cadence erupted from the dust cloud and rammed into the Changeling, hatred marked all over her bloodied face. The two mares wrestled on the ground. Cadence punched at Chrysalis’s face while the Changeling tried to knee the Alicorn in the stomach. The two struggled with each other, rolling dangerously close to their cavern floor’s edge. Cadence threw a strong punch at Chrysalis and missed, giving the Changeling the opportune moment to grab her leg and hold her in place long enough for Chrysalis to head butt the Alicorn hard. Cadence flinched and yelped in pain. Chrysalis plowed her two back legs into Cadence’s stomach and pushed back, sending the Alicorn tumbling backward.

Chrysalis righted herself instantly; breathing heavily and not really certain she could fight Cadence anymore. The scarlet Alicorn was also getting up, though she wasn’t in the best shape either. Her purely scarlet coat was breaking up, revealing the pink underneath. The blackish-red ethereal mane was almost completely physical again, with only a few strands still waving. Her eyes too were back to their original purplish color. Her wells of magic were spent, and therefore could no longer fuel her anger or her darker form. Chrysalis formulated a plan around this fact. If her anger was no longer the dominant emotion, maybe she could play on Cadence’s natural caring nature. It was the Changeling’s last, best hope for survival.

Cadence shook off some wariness and began to walk towards Chrysalis. Her stride was weak and sluggish, a sure sign she had reached her limit as well. “It’s over Chrysalis, you’re spent and there’s no way you can beat me!”

The Changeling Queen inhaled deeply and looked at Cadence, her expression sad. “You’re right, Cadence, I can’t win. You’re the victor.”

The Alicorn of Love stopped for a moment, confused. “W-What?”

“You win. I’m done and I can’t go on anymore. I admit defeat and I am yours to do with as you please.”

Discord was leaning in closer from his ceiling spot, his hair frazzled and his claw and paw twiddling a microphone close to his mouth. “She’s surrendering. It’s a bold strategy readers, let’s see if it works out for her…”

Cadence took a few more cautious steps until she standing right in front of Chrysalis, who sat down and slumped into a submissive position. The Alicorn looked around to try and figure this out. “What’s your game? Why are you surrendering?”

Chrysalis sighed. “Because I can’t win. I’d just get myself killed if I kept fighting…”

“You’ll die no matter what.”

Chrysalis looked Cadence in the eyes, there was hate in them but it looked like it was faltering. “I was doomed no matter what, so I might as well give you what you want and surrender.” The Changeling cocked her head up, presenting her neck to Cadence. “You want to kill me? Here, make it quick.”

Discord watched intently, until a thought came to his mind. “Wait… A game-changer has arrived, for I just remembered Chrysalis owes me five bits. If she’s dead, she cannot pay me back. This might very well affect the outcome of the story, maybe.”

Cadence looked at the exposed neck of her defenseless Changeling foe. It would be easy to grab a nearby sharp rock and thrust into her neck, killing her. But the more Cadence watched this display, the more her will faltered. Her anger was no longer magically amplified, and now other emotions started ripping at her mind. Not only that, but the Alicorn felt old morals returning, and not for the better of her revenge.

Now Cadence, remember what I taught you?

Never strike an unarmed opponent.

And why is that?

Because an Equestrian Princess is below such things. It is a heinous crime to kill opponents who cannot defend themselves. To do so is to show how little honor one the attacker has, and Princesses of Equestria have a lot honor.

Very good Cadence, you’re learning fast.

Thanks Aunt Celestia!

Cadence returned from one of the brief memories when Celestia had taught her about self-defense. Looking back to Chrysalis, she found it difficult to strike. She wanted to but found it hard to. If she struck down a defenseless opponent who’d already surrendered, she’d prove that she was the monster. The mare began thinking of all she had done in order to get to this point and began to feel sick. She had done terrible things, things that no Equestrian Princess should have done. She took a step back from Chrysalis.

The Changeling noticed Cadence’s hesitation. “Well? Why aren’t you taking your revenge? Why aren’t you protecting Equestria from the Changeling threat?”

Cadence shook her head. “I… I can’t… I can’t do…” The mare was cut short when a plastic, purplish pink conch rammed into the side of her face. Cadence fell to the floor, unconscious. Chrysalis looked down at the knocked out Alicorn, mouth gapping wide as she could not believe that had just happened.


Chrysalis turned to see the Draconequus sitting on the ceiling upside down. “Discord?! Why the hell did you do that?!”

“You owe me five bits!” Discord yelled down. “With that being the case, I decided to save your life!”

“She was finally seeing the error of her ways! She was going to stop herself!”

“We don’t know that! Unlike the Alicorn sissies, I am not taking any chances with a crazed up Alicorn with anger management problems!”

“You might have just undone everything!”

“Geez, you’re welcome. No appreciation these days…”

Chrysalis’s ears perked as she heard some movement. Spinning around quickly she discovered Cadence was still unconscious. The Changeling cocked an eyebrow. “What? Who made that…”

“Hey Lady Chrysalis!” The mentioned Changeling looked up towards a ledge with a tunnel at its back. On the ledge stood some royal guards. The white Pegasus mare that had called out smiled. “Been awhile hasn’t it ma’am? Haven’t seen you since the hospital.”

“Lieutenant Breeze?” Chrysalis called out.

Indigo Breeze bowed. “In the flesh ma’am. Though I’m a little surprised to see you here. Weren’t you going to Ponyville with the Princesses?”

“Plans change, apparently.” Chrysalis exhaled the breath she was holding in. “My question is what are you doing here?”

Indigo glided down to the Changeling and bowed before continuing. “Ever since the Royal Wedding the Princess has had guards patrol the caverns to make sure nopony uses them to attack Canterlot. It’s usually very quiet, didn’t expect to find a battlefield.”

Chrysalis nodded. “Yes, well, coming here wasn’t the plan. Still it worked out well enough, though it was close. Do you have an inhibitor ring?” Indigo nodded. “Then please place it on Princess Cadence, she needs to be detained.” Indigo looked suspicious for a second, but nodded and placed the magic inhibitor ring on Cadence and ordered some of her guards to get ready to carry her out. Chrysalis sighed deeply.

Shape Shift watched the scene from afar; glad it didn’t end with one mare killing the other. Discord floated down next to the Changeling. “Pretty crazy huh? Cadence I mean, not the fight.”

The Changeling scribbled on his board: IT WAS A LITTLE ANTICLIMACTIC.

Discord patted the Changeling on the head. “Well this story is mostly a poorly written comedy, so it makes complete sense that Cadence was defeated by a plastic conch. In fact, considering everything that’s happened, we all should have expected this.”


“Shhhhh…” Discord placed one finger over Shape Shift’s mouth. “It’s ok, I don’t blame you for not realizing this was going to happen.”

Shape Shift was about to retort, but decided against it. To be honest, if Cadence had slipped on a pie and had become unconscious that way he couldn’t have cared less. As long as Chrysalis and Cadence weren’t hurt permanently he was happy.

Discord nodded knowingly as Cadence was carried off and Chrysalis’s wounds were cared for. “So ends a crazy’s crazy dream of unnecessary revenge. Alright Shape Shift, with that crap over, we need a way to end this chapter.”

Shape Shift cocked an eyebrow and looked confusedly at Discord. ‘END THIS CHAPTER’? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?

Discord thought for a moment, stroking his goatee. “Ummm… Yeah I can’t think of anything. Just end the chapter…”


“Shape Shift, that’s ingenious!”

In the Aftermath of Insanity

View Online

One Week Since Chrysalis/Cadence Fight

Celestia was doing a brisk trot down one of the many grand hallways of Canterlot Castle, deep in contemplation over the last few months’ events. She still wondered what could have been done differently so that the madness that had ensued would have been avoided. Unfortunately for her, the knowledge she had procured over the many, many, many years she had been in power offered her more solutions than you could count. It only made the wound burn more, knowing she could have easily stopped this had she had any sense to her. She sighed heavily to herself, rather distraught over the whole thing.

“Princess Celestia? Is something the matter?”

The ivory Princess turned to see her Guard Captain Lieutenant, Morning Radiance, looking at her in that concerned expression the mare got whenever her charge was upset. Celestia smiled weakly. “Of course Radiance, just a little tired from all the work that I’ve been doing.”

“You mean for Princess Cadence?” The Captain asked.

Celestia nodded. Cadence had been subdued, barely, and was even now in high security therapy in Canterlot. The young Alicorn was no longer offering any resistance to the therapy and instead had fallen into a deep melancholy. Her doctors were unsure if her sadness was due to regret over her actions or anger over her failed plans. Celestia hoped, prayed, it was the former. She wanted her niece back, and she wanted this all behind them.

Discord had uncharacteristically offered up some rather sound ideas to the Princess. Most suggestions were precision mind magic, memory erase spells and such. Celestia had told him no, not while other options existed. The Draconequus had shrugged at her and sighed, telling her if she wanted to do things the hard way than that was her business. Though she refused, the suggestions did not fall on deaf ears. But that was only if all else failed.

A buzzing sound drew the attention of the Princess and her guard and they were met with the little Changeling Shape Shift. The insectoid equine bowed to the Solar Diarch and offered her two letters, which she promptly took with her magic. Thanking him, the Changeling bowed to Celestia once more and sped off, most likely to return to Cadence’s side.

“Are those from Cadence?” Radiance asked.

“No.” Celestia replied, shaking her head slightly. “They’re from Carapace and Chrysalis.” Opening the letters carefully, Celestia read the one from Carapace first. “Hmm… It seems that the reconstruction effort in the Crystal Empire is nearing completion.”

“So quickly?” Radiance questioned. “It hasn’t even been a month, and the Empire was heavily damaged from both the Changeling assault and Cadence’s outburst.”

Celestia chuckled. “Leave it to Changelings to be busy little bees and get things done quick and without complaint.” Celestia read through more of the letter. “And it appears that Carapace will take up my offer of better Changeling/Alliance diplomatic relations. She’ll vouch for it next time it comes up in the Collective Council’s meetings.”

“Why would she do that?” The guard lieutenant asked.

“Politics.” Celestia replied plainly. “It’s always politics unfortunately.” Rounding a corner, the Princess and her guard stopped at the front double door of the throne. It was time for Celestia to hold court and despite the craziness of the last week; the Solar Alicorn would not slack in her duty to the nation. Taking a look at the letter from Chrysalis, still unopened, Celestia resolved to read it later and so stuffed it into her golden necklace.

“Ready Princess?”

“Of course.”

Morning Radiance nodded and opened the double doors for her Princess. Celestia placed her expression in her default motherly smile and walked regally into the throne room to hold court.


“That still doesn’t answer the question Cadence. I need you to answer to the best of your ability in order to help you.”

Cadence looked away from the row of bookcases to her therapist, sitting across from her large couch in a regular pony sized chair. “I am answering to the best of my ability.” The Alicorn offered weakly.

The therapist, a young yellow stallion called Two Sense, removed his half moon glasses and rubbed his eyes with a hoof. Placing the spectacles on once more and stroking a hoof through his orange mane, the Pegasus smiled to the Alicorn in a fatherly manner. “Cadence, I may be young, but I’m not new to therapy. I can tell when a pony, even an Alicorn, isn’t telling me everything. Now I’ll ask again, why?”

Such a simple question, Cadence thought. Why was always a simple question, and yet it proved to be history’s most difficult question to answer. Last week, a month ago, the answer seemed so simple. She hated Changelings; they had tried to ruin everything for her and for Equestria. But now, the act of hating somepony didn’t really justify the things she had done. Looking around the office she and the therapist (along with Shape Shift) resided in, Cadence snorted.

“I hate Changelings… so I wanted to get rid of them.” Cadence chuckled to herself. She hated them, so that totally justified the crimes she did and the genocide she was most likely going to commit if allowed to continue. So childish, the Alicorn reasoned.

Two Sense ignored her chuckling and continued with his examination. “But you have a Changeling companion, one that I am quite confident is very close to you. Why is Shape Shift the exception to your hatred?” The stallion gestured to the Changeling in particular.

“I don’t know…” Cadence admitted. “He was different, he wasn’t like the others…”

“Did you know that he participated in the attack on Canterlot?” Two Sense asked. “He was right there with the other Changelings attacking the capital. Had Chrysalis succeeded, he’d be with the other Changelings sucking you and I dry of love.” Giving a look to Shape Shift, the Changeling nodded at the therapist to confirm his words.

“I know…” Cadence replied. “I just, he seemed the one exception…”

Two Sense sighed. “Well Cadence, when one is surrounded by only plain rocks then even the simplest quartz looks like gold.” Cadence looked at the stallion with a confused eye. “What I mean is that if when you judge a species by only the bad examples you’ve experienced then the good ones you find seem like a one in a million chance. You believe Shape Shift is the exception because he is the only Changeling you’ve come into continued contact with that is nice to you.”

Cadence mulled over the therapist’s words. Two Sense could see it in her eyes, she really wanted to change… or at least try to. The stallion still couldn’t pin down the reason for her sift from murderous to pacified. Cadence avoided questioning on that and the detailed reports offered hundreds of reasons. The therapist was willing to let it go though; he’d rather have Cadence healed then know how she started to heal. Didn’t mean he’d stop trying though…

“Doctor Two Sense…” Cadence began. “What should I do? I… I want all this to be over.”

The stallion leaned back into his chair, sighing. “You’ve many options I suppose. One is just to take a long vacation and mull over yourself and find inner peace and all that mumbo jumbo. Two is medication, which I don’t recommend due to the simple fact that one should only take drugs when truly necessary. I could go on, but I might just write them down and let you look at them later.”

Cadence nodded. “Yeah… I’d like that. I want help. I want to fix whatever’s wrong with me.”

Two Sense nodded, though he bit his lip. He so very much disliked it when ponies thought they were broken. Sure it made them more receptive to treatment, but still he hated the thought. Problems like this were a common part of the psyche, especially Cadence’s issue. Anger and hatred were normal emotions that everypony felt, not some bacteria to be killed. In fact, if someone didn’t feel anger or hate at all, then Two Sense would be worried.

Regardless of his personal beliefs, Two Sense went to his desk and dipping the tip of his wing into an inkbottle, began writing down options for Cadence. The Alicorn watched the Pegasus with interest; she’d never in all her life seen a Pegasus write with its wing before.

It took about ten whole minutes to write down the options Two Sense believed could help Cadence. He double checked his work and handed it off to her. The Alicorn thanked him and left, her Changeling companion quickly in toe. Two Sense followed them to the door and waved goodbye as they traveled down the hallway. Once they were gone and well out of earshot he turned to the nearest guard.

“Please get Princess Celestia for me, we should talk.”


Two Sense would have to wait an entire six hours before Celestia could meet him. When the Alicorn arrived he bowed and shook her regal hoof. Offering up his Alicorn sized couch to her, he asked if she would live anything to eat or drink.

Celestia politely declined and instead went straight to business. “How is she Doctor Two Sense? Cooperative I hope, because despite allowing Cadence to heal herself I do have other methods in which to pull her from the dark place she currently resides in.”

“She is very cooperative.” Two Sense admitted. “She’s just in a state of melancholy is all. I believe she truly wants to get over her bigotry… or she really, really hates losing.”

“You can chalk that up to her nature, Doctor. She is the Alicorn of love… and truthfully she has always been a loving pony, even before earning that title. Asking her to hate outright is like asking The Bearer of Laughter to become a misanthrope.” Celestia chuckled at her own comparison, Pinkie Pie in a misanthrope? Not even if pigs fly. “But I digress, what is her status?”

“We’re getting places.” Two Sense said. “And I just gave her a bunch of options for to look over. Until she picks one and rolls with it we’ll have to just wait and hold our breaths.” The Pegasus poured himself some coffee and began taking a large gulp.

Celestia rubbed her chin with her wing. “Hmm… I see, well she’ll certainly have all the time in the world to think it over. After all, I stripped her of her Princess title until further notice and disallowed her from owning any lands with the authority as a member of the royal family. I even had to send Prince Blueblood to the Crystal Empire to make control there, considering Shining Armor has no steadfast claim to the throne.”

At the mere mention of Blueblood commanding the Crystal Empire Two Sense spit out his coffee and near choked to death. Luckily for him, Celestia was deep in explanation and didn’t see his mouth become a log flume. The stallion righted himself immediately and nodded at his Princess. “Oh I see… I see. Well, that’s my report. Uh… that’s it, so if there’s nothing else you need to hear then I bid you farewell Princess.”

“Oh, one last thing Doctor.” Celestia bade. The stallion smiled and nodded, announcing he was all ears. Celestia smiled sheepishly, her turned down and her cheeks flushed with embarrassment. “I was simply wondering if… Well, if I could get a session with you, sometime. After all this I feel as if I could use a professional to talk to, about some things.”

Two Sense blinked at his Princess for a couple of seconds before registering her request. Finally understanding, the stallion made an innocent ‘o’ shape with his mouth. Smiling, he nodded. “Of course Princess! I’d be happy to listen, though I might suggest you do this with your lover, Lady Chrysalis. She…”

Celestia placed a hoof up. “There are some things I wish to speak of that… I would not wish for her to hear. Things I would be ashamed of her to know…”

Two Sense cocked his head at his Princess, but offered up no words. Even Princesses had secrets they wanted left alone. He simply nodded and asked what time the Princess would like to meet.


Cadence lay on her back on her bed, staring at the ceiling. Her life in shambles, her plans of revenge gone, the Alicorn was beside herself. A clear head (and an inhibitor ring) had allowed her to see her magic was driving her paranoia and hate for Changelings beyond obsessive. She surrendered to her aunt without any defiance and readied for whatever punishment was coming for her.

As of yet, her punishment had amounted to house arrest under constant guard, the use of an inhibitor ring at all times, required therapy, and the stripping of her Princess status and all her lands. She wasn’t dead or in a dungeon though so she couldn’t complain.

Looking around her room she spied Shape Shift sleeping in a Changeling sized basket, much like a dog. The Changeling had made it for himself and had taken it as his main residence while following Cadence. The Alicorn smiled at her little Changeling. It felt both good and bad to call him that. She loved the little bug (in a platonic way of course). But it reminded her a lot of her own blind bigotry to his species, and that stung a bit to remember.

Sighing to herself, Cadence rolled over to reach for a bedside table. Grabbing the contents, Cadence looked over the suggestions given to her by Doctor Two Sense. She read down the list meticulously, reading then rereading every option. Some seemed doable, others looked like they would cost Cadence a wing and a leg. Two Sense had placed his own personal thoughts on the paper, and counseled Cadence against such options.

Finally reaching towards the bottom, one option caught Cadence’s eye. She read it, reread it, contemplated it, and then read it again. The Alicorn of Love sighed and nodded to herself, this was the best option. She knew what she had to do; she had to treat this situation like one those new bandages with the adhesive edges. What were they called? Aid-Bands? Well it didn’t matter, she knew what she had to do. She had to rip this problem off quick. It might hurt a lot in the short term, but it would be over soon enough.

“Oh Shape Shift.” Cadence sing-sung to the Changeling, who instantly shot up and dashed over to her. “Go find Aunt Celestia and Doctor Two Sense. Tell them I want to take one of Two Sense’s suggestions.”

Shape Shift nodded and sped out the door, intent on finding the two named ponies and delivering Cadence’s message. The Changeling twitched a bit though. He felt like this wasn't finished. In fact, he feared it was just the beginning.

The End of This, the Start of That

View Online

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.