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Changing Lanes 31

By AutoPony
Created: 18th December 2020 10:44:38 AM

  1. >You cannot recall how long you have been here.
  2. >No sunlight passes through these chambers, home to only the worst of criminals.
  3. >The door to your cell creaks open, letting dim torchlight cut through the inky black of the room.
  4. >The silhouette of a guard stands before you.
  5. >"It is time."
  6. >Slowly, you rise to your hooves, shuffling past the guard at the door to another waiting beyond in the narrow corridor.
  7. >The clanking of the heavy chains that bind you are the only sounds as your miniature caravan makes its way through the dungeon
  8. >The heft of the comically over-sized bindings cause you to strain more than a little as you transgress the winding staircase and into the main castle atrium.
  9. >The guard ahead of you stops at the door to the throne room, turning to face you.
  10. >"The Princess has requested us to wait outside, despite our reluctance. Do not try any tricks."
  11. >You say nothing to the gruff stallion as the doors open, and you slink through.
  12. >You have no desire to fight.
  13. >Once you are clear of them, the massive oak doors slam behind you.
  14. >Slowly, you make your way forward, keeping your head down.
  15. >This is it.
  16. >You struggle to keep your composure as you stop at the foot of the stairs and raise your head.
  17. >Princess Celestia solemnly looks down upon you.
  18. >The room is silent for what seems like hours.
  19. >"It hurts me to see you like this, sister."
  20. "I know, sister."
  21. >"It was noble of you to willingly give up all of your powers."
  22. >You turn your head to look at your flank.
  23. >Once graced by the mark of the moon, it is now barren.
  24. "It was right thing to do, under the circumstances."
  25. >Her ethereal mane billows in the sunlight straying through the stained glass windows.
  26. >Devoid of magic, yours remains still, lifeless.
  27. >"You understand I must still pass judgment upon you, despite your utmost compliance."
  28. "Yes. You must be fair and equal to everypony in the kingdom. Even your own sister."
  29. >Your eyes meet, both of you fighting to keep the tears at bay.
  30. >She suddenly clears her throat, raising her head in preparation to pass judgment.
  31. >You've seen this ritual thousands of times before.
  32. >You never expected to be on this end.
  33. >"Princess Luna, you have been found guilty of abuse of your magical abilities and endangerment of those you have sworn to protect. Not only have you afflicted the being named Anonymous with your past curse, but with his actions resulting in the Changeling Queen Chrysalis's death, Princess Twilight Sparkle remains trapped within her own mind for perhaps eternity. I have no choice but to banish you to Tartarus to spend your existence."
  34. >You bow your head in a sign of submission.
  35. >"I am sorry, sister."
  36. >Your ears perk up as an odd growling sound begins to get closer.
  37. >Celestia seems to notice it too, as she scans the room.
  38. "Sister, what is that noise?"
  39. >She looks at you, dumbfounded.
  40. >"I.... do not know."
  41. >Suddenly with a near deafening roar, the stained glass windows to your left shatter, spraying shards of glass throughout the room.
  42. >Various squeals and thumps echo throughout as a metallic purple missile flies into the room and lands with a roar.
  43. >The room echoes with a deep rumble.
  44. >A door opens up to the snarling mechanical beast as a familiar voice shouts.
  45. >"Luna, get in!"
  46. "A-Anonymous?!"
  47. >You do not move as Celestia leaps down to the floor near you.
  48. >"Anonymous, what are you doi-"
  49. >A bolt of blue energy knocks Celestia off her hooves, throwing her to the floor yards away.
  50. >You gasp as you can't help but stare in shock at your sister, who groggily rises up.
  51. >"Dammit Luna, we don't have time to gawk, come on!"
  52. >You turn to look at Anonymous seated in the Superbird, his right hand glowing intensely with a blue haze.
  53. >Why is he doing this?
  54. >How is he doing this?
  55. >With every ounce of strength you have left in your being, you leap into the passenger's side of the car, the door closing behind you.
  56. >The low bellow on the engine once again turns into a roar as you are thrown into the seat back.
  57. >Despite the weight of the oak doors, the car blasts through them with ease, as you tear out of the castle.
  58. >The hall is plenty wide enough for the Superbird, but you still shy away from your door and window.
  59. "What in Equestria are you doing here?!"
  60. >You cringe and avoid looking out the window, hearing various bangs and yelps as you encounter several guards trying to stop you.
  61. >Anon turns, looking at you incredulously.
  62. >"Rescuing you. What does it look like?"
  63. >You look in the sideview mirror, spotting a while alicorn trailing you in the air.
  64. "I would say you have lost your mind! You will not outrun our sister!"
  65. >The two of you bust out of the last door, the guards outside scattering in all directions rather than hold their ground.
  66. >Slinging the car sideways, Anonymous finally gets you out of the castle.
  67. >He says nothing as he rows through the gears, following a straight past out of Canterlot Castle.
  68. >Celestia gains ever closer to the two of you.
  69. >The look of pure rage on her face rattles you to your core.
  70. >Her horn lights up, shooting a beam of energy towards you.
  71. >Shards of glass fly up from behind you, the back window shattering.
  72. >You duck down reflexively, while Anon seems to be ignorant of the airborne danger.
  73. "Just stop! It is fruitless!"
  74. >Anonymous reaches to his left, pressing a button on the dashboard.
  75. >You suddenly feel as if the whole car is moving in opposite directions.
  76. >The windshield in front of you suddenly slants back while the roof lowers, causing you to scrunch down in your seat.
  77. >At the same time, an odd contraption rises from the hood, and a low whine can be heard over the roar of the engine.
  78. >The car suddenly finds an extra burst of speed, pressing you into the back of the seat as the low whine begins to increase in pitch.
  79. >Anonymous grabs another gear out of nowhere, and as you strain to look, his speedometer has given up keeping track.
  80. >Forcing yourself to look at the mirror again, Celestia's form is rapidly getting smaller.
  81. >"You need to tell him."
  82. >Anon's voice snaps you out of your trance.
  83. "Pardon?"
  84. >Abruptly, all feeling of forward motion stops.
  85. >You turn your head back to Anonymous, confused.
  86. >Except Anonymous is no longer next to you.
  87. >Instead, a tall black mare sits, staring back at you.
  88. >"You need to tell him the truth."
  89. "Gah!"
  90. >You jump back against the passenger door.
  91. >But rather than stop you, it gives way.
  92. >The sensation of freefall grips your every sense.
  93. >The backdrop of rural Equestria slowly dims, until you are surrounded by a pitch black void.
  94. >Once again, the sensation of movement halts.
  95. >You feel absolutely sick to your stomach by this point.
  96. >Despite feeling you are laying on solid ground, you don't try to get up.
  97. >"You need to tell Anonymous."
  98. >It seems as if the darkness itself is speaking to you, echoing from every direction.
  99. "What? Tell him what?!"
  100. >Two massive orbs suddenly manifest in front of you, easily three times your height.
  101. >They fade into a turquoise hue, as black slitted pupils appear as well.
  102. >Focusing on your comparatively diminutive size, Nightmare Moon's voice rings out again.
  103. >"Tell him the truth, or repeat the past."
  104. >Your head spins as you try to make sense of any of this.
  105. >Closing your eyes, you take several deep breaths.
  106. >The truth.
  107. >What you did to him.
  108. >Passing part of you to his body.
  109. >Your stomach knots itself as you understand the message.
  110. >"You must learn from your past mistakes Luna. Just as you try to help others in their dreams, I am here to guide you."
  111. >A dream?
  112. >Opening your eyes, Nightmare Moon sits before you, albeit at a normal size.
  113. "You.... here to guide..... me?"
  114. >She nods her head slowly, as if to emphasize.
  115. >"Luna, do you understand why you - nay, we - reached the tipping point long ago?"
  116. >You look down at the featureless blackness that the two of you rest on, as if it may hold the answer.stare at
  117. >"Our fear of letting others know what our true feelings are have led to desperate decisions. Irrational, even delusional conclusions which to base our actions upon. First with our revolt, the lash out against our own sister, and then-"
  118. "What I did to Anonymous. He was so kind to us, befriended us quickly, I just wanted to be with him."
  119. >"And instead of telling him, you decide to pass part of yourself onto him. Which leads us to where we are now."
  120. >Raising your head, you lock eyes with Nightmare Moon.
  121. "Why?"
  122. >She raises an eyebrow.
  123. >"Why? Why what?"
  124. "Why are you helping me? After all these years, after all the wrong accusations, the delusions to help myself believe I was not at fault, why do you feel the need to help me? Why not let me fail again?"
  125. >"I have my reasons. Perhaps being attached to Anonymous has rubbed off on me a little bit."
  126. >She pauses a moment, then smiles.
  127. >"Of course, talking to you here gives me a chance to spread my wings, so to speak. I have not had this kind of freedom in a long while."
  128. >You snort in disapproval, causing Nightmare Moon to refocus.
  129. >"You as well as I know, until you solve your troubles, the nightmares will continue. Learn from your past, Luna."
  130.  
  131. >You jolt upright, heart racing.
  132. >"Hey, I gotcha, you're alright."
  133. >You turn your head to see Anonymous on your bed as he reaches out and holds onto you.
  134. >You scan your surroundings, trying to get a bearing of where you are.
  135. >As you calm down, you find yourself in your room, in bed.
  136. >The curtains to your balcony are drawn, allowing filtered sunlight through.
  137. >Taking a breath, you focus back on Anonymous.
  138. "I.... was having a nightmare."
  139. >He seems unsure, as if you are joking.
  140. >"You can have those?"
  141. >Stretching a bit, you sigh.
  142. "It is rare, but yes, Anonymous. Dreamweaving does not make a pony impervious to what the mind can conjure up during rest."
  143. >"I figured something was up. You've been tossing and turning every which way, you woke me up."
  144. "You stayed here this whole time?"
  145. >Another look of disbelief greets you.
  146. >"Well, yeah. I was worried. Celestia and I talked for a while after you fell asleep, filling her in on the past month or so. Then I decided to catch some sleep myself."
  147. >An overwhelming sense of shame creeps up on you.
  148. >You didn't sit with him in the hospital.
  149. >Even worse, you confronted him in his sleep.
  150. >Playing the blame game.
  151. >Just like...
  152. >'Tell him the truth, or repeat the past.'
  153. >Anon seems to sense something is up.
  154. >"What's wrong?"
  155. "What?"
  156. >"You had a whole thousand-yard stare thing going. You sure you're alright?"
  157. >He squeezes you tighter in response.
  158. >Your stomach knots itself ever tighter as you gather up courage to face him.
  159. "Anon, I did this to you. Not by accident."
  160. >"Did what?"
  161. "I left a piece of me with you on purpose when we switched bodies. I cast the spell knowing that we would share a bond, because I wanted to be closer to you. I just didn't think it would lead to all of, well, this."
  162. >He is silent for a moment.
  163. >"So, why didn't you just tell me you liked me?"
  164. "I... I don't know. I was afraid of the answer, I suppose. Of course, all I've caused by my actions is a big mess. One I blamed on you."
  165. >You hang your head in shame.
  166. >A sigh from Anonymous startles you.
  167. >"Well, I'm not exactly thrilled to hear you did this to me on purpose. But honestly, I don't really care."
  168. "What?"
  169. You look over at him, perplexed.
  170. >"Whether it was an accident or on purpose, what's done is done. It didn't change anything between us, it won't change anything between us."
  171. "So, you're not mad?"
  172. >He smiles.
  173. >"Let's just say you owe me a big favor, if that makes you feel better."
  174. >Your fear lifts, feeling relieved.
  175. >"But, maybe you need to works on talking out how you feel instead of making rash decisions. Like that. But what about last night?"
  176. "Last night?"
  177. >"Uh, yeah. You know, the breakdown you suffered?"
  178. >You cringe.
  179. "It will take some time to make sense of it all. I remember everything now. The way it really happened."
  180. >"And you're sure you're okay?"
  181. >You lean against him, as he reaches up and scratches an ear.
  182. "I have you, don't I?"
  183. >Suddenly, Cadence appears in your doorway, panting for breath.
  184. >Why didn't she just teleport?
  185. >"Chrysalis... awake!"
  186. >You and Anon exchange glances.
  187. >Without a word, you concentrate your magical energy, enveloping the three of you as you teleport down to the dungeon.
  188. >"I'm not sure why I didn't just teleport, now that I think of it."
  189. >For a princess, Cadence has always been rather airheaded.
  190. >Kinder than any pony you've ever met, but not exactly sharp-witted.
  191. >You only need to take a few steps before Celestia's magical barrier comes into view.
  192. >From past experiences, changelings have exceptionally strong chitinous hides.
  193. >But if it is somehow cracked or penetrated, they are highly susceptible to infection.
  194. >Once you and Celestia got her back to the castle, your sister used her magic to seal up her cell, hoping to create as sterile and secure secure of an environment as possible.
  195. >When Anonymous had his altercation with Chrysalis, his adrenaline unlocked magic that didn't crack Chrysalis's hide.
  196. >It went though it like it was nothing.
  197. >You stop in front of the glowing cell, Anonymous and Cadence standing on either side of you.
  198. >The changeling queen lays in the center of her cell, groggily mumbling to herself something you cannot quite make out.
  199. >It seems to take her a moment to realize she has visitors.
  200. >"What? It's not enough you lock me up, now you want to watch me as if I'm some carnival freak?"
  201. >Her voice comes out very raspy, likely due to the injury to her neck and throat.
  202. >"You know why we're here, Chrysalis!"
  203. >Cadence is the first to speak up, her ears pinned back in anger.
  204. >Chrysalis sneers in response.
  205. >"Oh good, you again. By the way, how is Shining Armor doing?"
  206. >You were fortunate enough to sleep through Cadence's wedding debacle.
  207. >Being night princess did have its perks.
  208. "Do not toy with us. We are in no mood for games."
  209. >Her smile fades away.
  210. >"Oh, I'm sorry, this is about what you want. I forgot. I suppose you want Equestria's newest princess  back to her normal nerdy self."
  211. >Everypony nods.
  212. >"Well, I honestly don't see much incentive to reverse my spell. Sorry."
  213. >"What do you mean by that?"
  214. >Anonymous finally breaks his silence, surprising you with the calmness of his tone.
  215. >All of Chrysalis's focus turns to Anon.
  216. >"You. Before I answer any more questions, I demand to know exactly what you are!"
  217. "Anonymous is a human, he is not from our wo-"
  218. >"Spare me the details, I know all of the background. I have eyes all over Equestria. But my scouts assured me he had absolutely no magical abilities, that his world was devoid of magic. Clearly something has changed."
  219. >She points a hoof towards her neck wound, covered in bandages.
  220. >A silent standoff ensues.
  221. >Judging by her face, Chrysalis is serious about not continuing until her curiosity is satiated.
  222. >You sigh, preparing for a long story.
  223. >"The key I had in my pocket was imbued with magic, just in case I were ever.... in trouble."
  224. >You look up at Anonymous, smiling.
  225. [Quick thinking, Anonymous.]
  226. >[I try.]
  227. >Chrysalis eyes the two of you.
  228. >She seems to believe Anon's lie.
  229. >"Very well then. I still do not see any point in reversing the spell. I am already locked up."
  230. "We saved your life, Chrysalis! You could have died on the floor of the Golden Oaks Library had Celestia and I not moved quickly to have our best doctors tend to you."
  231. >"Be honest, you didn't exactly do that out of the goodness of your heart. You needed me."
  232. >Cadence growls, taking a step towards the cell.
  233. >"You tried ruining my wedding, taking my Shining Armor away from me, and now you are keeping my sister-in-law hostage?! How dare you!"
  234. "Cadence!"
  235. >She snaps out of her blind rage to look over at you, ashamed.
  236. >"Sorry."
  237. >Your focus returns to the prisoner, who is smirking.
  238. >She is having way too much fun.
  239. "What is it that you want, Chrysalis?"
  240. >Her smile returns, showing off her hideous fangs.
  241. >"Isn't it obvious? I want my freedom. My freedom in exchange for your purple pal's freedom. I'd say that's fair."
  242. >Horseapples.
  243.  
  244.  
  245.  
  246.  
  247. [Originally posted 11 April 2015]
Anonymous Princess Luna Nightmare Moon romance drama AIE

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