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Onyx and Agate

By Clarissa
Created: 18th December 2020 08:24:27 PM

  1. >Day homelessness in...Earth?
  2. >God fucking dammit, looks like that dream of being in the colourful, warm, safe land of ponies wasn't real after all
  3. >Maybe it was all a delusion brought on by sleeping on the floor of a factory in minus twenty degree (Centigrade) weather
  4. >That, or the mold on the food you had pulled out of the dumpster yesterday
  5. >Either way, you wake up pissed off and cold
  6. >And lonely
  7. >Even among the homeless, you're an outcast
  8. >Fortunately, you weren't afraid to go to jail for trespassing, unlike many of the other vagrants in the area
  9. >So when you had needed a place to stay, you broke into an abandoned Molson factory
  10. >Sure there had been a security camera on the exterior, but the building hadn't been on the grid for over a decade
  11. >Besides, worst case scenario was you spent some time in a warm jail cell
  12. >But your musing is interupted by a loud crack and the sound of shattering glass
  13. >You're mind instantly goes full adrenaline, ready to beat the everloving shit out of whoever decided to deface your home
  14. >Sure it was a shitty, rundown factory but home is home!
  15. >So you dash out from the administration office where your "bed" was located (some pilfered sheets and waterproofed cardboard and onto the main floor
  16. >With a quick scan of it, you take in the fact that every single window has been broken
  17. >The floor is littered with glass shards, which would normally make it dangerous to walk on, but your boots would protect you
  18. >At least the army let you keep them
  19. >But among the debris of broken glass, you can see a lumpy, dark sillouhette on the ground
  20. >You realize it's a body of some kind and rush down the stairs to find out more
  21. >It was either your morbid curiousity, or your training as a medic in the military
  22. >Maybe a little of both, but either way you flew down those steps like nobody's business
  23. >When you reached the body you stopped, too shocked to move at the sight of what it was
  24. >Before you was utterly unbelievable, and without a doubt a concotion of your addled mind to ease the pain of your existence
  25. >But the more you stared, the weaker your denial of what, or rather who, was laying in front of you
  26. >Looking ever regal, even battered, burned, and bloody, lay Chrysalis, queen of the changeling swarm
  27. --------------------------------------------------------------
  28. >The spaghetti just pours from your pockets as you drop to you knees, cutting them on some glass in the process, and start cradling the injured changeling in your arms
  29. >But it makes you think for a second
  30. >Wasn't there a thread on /mlp/ about this kinda shit happening?
  31. >Ponies coming to earth on firey chariots or whatever and getting stuck with human companions
  32. >Only, in those stories, no one was allowed to know that the pony existed, otherwise they be returned to Equestria
  33. >While it was almost certainly bullshit, there WAS a changeling laying in your arms so a little exercise of caution wouldn't hurt
  34. >The queen is still out cold, so you bring her up to your humble abode
  35. >After cleaning her injuries as best you can with the few alcohol swabs you had left after you nicked them from the doctor, you wrapped her in all the blankets you had
  36. >But wait, she was a bug wasn't she, or something like one at least
  37. >And bugs body temperatures too often relied on the evironment they were in
  38. >With that thought in mind, you sprinted down the rusty steps and out the access door you had broken off its hinges when you started living here
  39. >There was a Sears not too far from the factory so, after wrapping up your face, you ran flat out down to it
  40. >The sun was setting in sky as you ran, and you knew the factory would only be getting colder the longer you were away
  41. >The Sears was hardly crowded, and there were no associates in the bedding area of the store
  42. >So you did the kinda thing that gives the homeless a bad name, besides being smelly and dirty
  43. >You grabbed one of those neat little plastic packages that holds an entire set of bedclothes, undersheet, sheet, and duvet
  44. >Then you took a pillow from the nearest bed you saw
  45. >And after you had accomplished all that, you sprinted down the escalator and out the doors
  46. >After another fifteen or so blocks of outright sprinting, finally convinced no one is coming after you, you slow your pace to a jog
  47. >Fast enough to be way better than walking, but not so fast as to exhaust yourself or draw undue attention
  48. >Within minutes, you reach the factory
  49. >Slipping through the hole in the barbed wire topped fence, you make your way back into the factory and through the maze of corridors to your living space
  50. >Chrysalis is still asleep, but shivering under the thin blankets that barely managed to stave off hypothermia from your body when you were fully dressed
  51. >You immediately pull the old, dirty blankets off her, then you tear open the package of fresh bedclothes
  52. >First on her goes the thin sheet, then the undersheet which looks to be quilted, and on top of it all, the heavy duvet
  53. >For the last touch, you lift her head above the flat, dirt cardboard and slide the new pillow under it
  54. >The bug-like pony smiles a bit and snuggles deeper into her new nest
  55. >Even though you had just woken up, it wasn't like you had anything to do on any given day
  56. >Plus there was no way you could leave her alone, god only knew how many stupid kids broke into this place on dares or whatever
  57. >So you pull the thin, dirty blankets over yourself and lay beside the sleeping queen of changelings
  58. >You decide, before falling asleep, to do something really stupid
  59. >Moving your face in line with hers, you give her a hurried peck on the cheek
  60. >Her skin is more leathery than a humans, and not fuzzy like you'd expect on a pony
  61. >But for you, it's the most lovely sensation in the world
  62. >With the adrenaline receding in your brain, dopamine came to replace it
  63. >So you fell asleep happy
  64. ----------------------------------------------------
  65. >A viscious kick you your belly yanks you out of unfitful rest and you curl around the sharp pain in your belly
  66. >There was nothing in your stomach to be vomited up, but the kick still makes you heave
  67. >Your eyes open and turn upwards to see Chrysalis standing over you, hooves poised for another kick
  68. >You scramble away in spite of the pain and the kick lands on the blankets where you had just been
  69. >Having been prepared to meet soft, yielding flesh, the queen is put off balance when her hooves slam into the concrete floor
  70. >She's clearly still hurting from whatever injuries had been inflicted on her, and the shock from the unexpected resistance brings her to her knees
  71. >You rise slowly, holding both hands palms outward to show you mean no harm to her
  72. >But her only reaction is to bow her head and close her eyes
  73. >It seems she's accepted whatever judgement you decide to pass on her
  74. >So you strike up a conversation
  75. "Queen Chrysalis. What brings you to my humble...home?"
  76. >The bug queen scoffs at your attempt at pleasentries
  77. >"Oh do what you will to me and be damned, ape. But don't waste my time by pretending you care."
  78. >Confusion draws up your face into a scrunch
  79. "Uh, what do you mean, Chrysalis? What did you expect me to do?"
  80. >She gives you a cold look, though inside of it you could see a glimmer of confusion as well
  81. >"Are you not simian? All those creatures ever wanted from me was gratification, and I was starving. Lust isn't as good as true love, but it's a meal anyway."
  82. >She seemed to be more making excuses to herself than to you
  83. >But you knew just how that felt, rummaging through dumpsters for your next meal, begging change and scraps on the curb during a whiteout blizzard
  84. >So you felt nothing but pity and an almost paternal protectiveness for the changeling before you
  85. "Well, I'm a simian yeah, human actually, but I don't want anything from you. Well, except a couple answers to some questions. Namely, how in the nine hells did you get here and what happened to you before you arrived?"
  86. >The queen looked up at you, suspicion evident in her gaze, but then she looked back down and to the side before answering you
  87. >"One of my...meals was a very violent creature. Usually it was only a couple slaps, and maybe a bruise, but this time he brought friends with him."
  88. >She shudders at the all too recent memory, but continues anyway
  89. >"When I came in, one put me in a chokehold while the other two took turns using me as a punching bag. They beat me until I was barely conscious, and with that last shred of my mind, I cast a teleportation spell with all the strength I could garner from my body. I suppose it was powerful enough to deposit me in another world."
  90. >You shrug, not understanding the mechanics behind the magic that ponies used
  91. "Well, whatever it was broke every window in the building, and probably a few more besides. You're lucky it was me that found you, and not some other fellow that would take you to the government, or a sex dungeon or something."
  92. >She bristled, either at the mention of sex or the mention of a dungeon
  93. >Whichever, it would probably be best to avoid any topics involving either of those subjects
  94. >You took her silence as a cue to continue your tale
  95. "So yeah, I cleaned up the cuts I could see with alcohol, ran down to the store and stole some blankets and a pillow for you and then wrapped you up so you wouldn't freeze to death. I was hoping for a thank you instead of a brusing, but it's better than killing me. I think I'd have taken great exception to that."
  96. >For the first time since she came to your home, the queen of the changelings smiled
  97. >"How would you know, you'd be dead."
  98. >You're stunned
  99. >Chrysalis was...telling jokes?
  100. >The absurdity of it makes you burst out laughing
  101. >She chuckles as well, clearly enjoying the pure emotions that must have been leaking out of you like reek from a dirty diaper
  102. "Well, if you don't mind Chrysalis, I'm going to sleep off this nasty feeling in my guts."
  103. >She nods to you and lays down in the nest of blankets, which you notice she had modified to be more like an actual nest
  104. >"I had best sleep as well. The faster I recover, the faster I can return to my children. I only hope they survive."
  105. >Now, you fall asleep with a guilty feeling
  106. >Guilty because you wanted her to stay with you forever, even though it would mean that her children would be destroyed
  107. >Oh the duality of man, no foe more terrifying than oneself
  108. >With that thought so deep you'd need a multipass to fully understand it, you close your eyes once again
  109. >Before you fall asleep though, you can feel Chrysalis move herself closer, so that she's pressed against you
  110. >Albiet with plenty of layers separating you two
  111. >But it didn't matter
  112. >You had gained a new friend
  113. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  114. >You awoke before Chrysalis when the sun rose over the horizon
  115. >You felt surprisingly well rested, compared to how you usually were
  116. >And you were pleased to find Chrysalis still bundled up in her little nest, breathing evenly and slowly
  117. >Your stomach moans in hunger, a sudden pain that brings you fully awake
  118. >Right...food
  119. >You take your right boot from its resting place that had been where you laid your head, your boots doubled as a pillow, and pulled out the insole
  120. >Underneath the orthapedic insert lay your remaining savings
  121. >Forty-eight dollars, all gained from stealing things, mugging people or begging
  122. >Well, what was left of those ill-gotten gains anyway
  123. >You decide Chrysalis still needs her rest, to recover from the injuries and the shock of being cast into another world
  124. >But you need to eat, and you would guess she does too
  125. >You figure love doesn't exactly come with a calorie count or nutritional value
  126. >She had fangs, right? So maybe some meat would be good
  127. >Your stomach groaned at the prospect of meat, real meat not the stuff they tried to pass off as meat at McDonalds
  128. >So you take a trip to the grocery store across from the abandoned brewing plant
  129. >You hit up the deli and buy a small package of sausages, they were precooked so you could eat them raw if need be
  130. >But you decide, what with a guest around, to splurge a bit
  131. >You buy a small package of steak, the smallest they have but steak nonetheless
  132. >You have a small sheet of metal that you can cook it on, if you can get a fire started
  133. >The clerk gives you a sad look, she had seen you in here before and knew your story
  134. >She takes a small bag of canned goods from under the counter, a favour she sometimes did for you
  135. >She would save up all the bent or dented cans that the store couldn't sell and saved them up for whenever you came in
  136. >Julie was her name, and she knew some of what you were going through, the hunger, the cold
  137. >You thought of her as an angel in a human skin, but she'd always laugh when you said so and respond with 'I'm just a stupid human.'
  138. >It was a good relationship, and if she ever needed anything, she knew that you could be counted on to help in any way you could
  139. >Noticing the steak in your purchase, she smiles and strike up a conversation
  140. >"Fancy stuff there. Special occasion or something?"
  141. >You smile at her, a genuine smile instead of the usual forced one you showed most people
  142. "That'd be the or something, mate."
  143. >She continues the banter, to the annoyance of the customers in line
  144. >"Feeling cryptic tonight, are you then?"
  145. >You shrug and pick up the bags of your groceries
  146. "I just wanted a good meal for once, you know? Besides, some guy gave me a twenty today so I can afford to celebrate."
  147. >She shrugs at you, respecting your privacy
  148. >You give her the usual kiss on the cheek and walk out, carrying your supplies
  149. >You may have been a homeless horsefucker, but you were still smoother than Charles Berkley
  150. >After all, you didn't even need to slam nor even jam to get a chick to like you
  151. >So you walked out with a smile on your face, a song in your heart, and a weeks worth of food
  152. >Well, a weeks for one, who knew how much time it would last with you and a magical bug pony eating it
  153. >The musing carries you all the way back to the factory and up the stairs to your place
  154. >Chrysalis is still sleeping, although it really only had been about twenty minutes
  155. >Unpacking the food and stashing it where most salavagers wouldn't bother looking, you decide to go and get some wood for a fire
  156. >It was simple enough, it was the dead of winter and there was a residential street nearby with dozens of those tree that they all seem to have
  157. >A fifteen minute trip and several bad falls later, you've collected about twenty good bits of timber, which you spend the next ten minutes breaking into pieces to make a fire that won't burn down the building
  158. >Using an old lighter and some discarded newspaper, you get a small fire going then you take out the sheet metal you used as a pan
  159. >It had some holes punched in it so to not smother the fire is was put on
  160. >Once the flames have died down enough, you place the metal plate on top of them
  161. >While the 'pan' heats up, you take the meat from the package and slip the knife you carry with you everywhere from its sheath
  162. >Philly steak style, that was always good, and it cooked fast
  163. >The thought of Philidelphia style steak made you think of the steak sandwiches your mum had always made you for your birthday
  164. >It was the only time of year that she would buy proper steak, but damn wasn't it good
  165. >Lost in your memories of better days, you slip with the knife and cut yourself
  166. >You curse under your breath, but simply breathe and let it go
  167. >With the steak finished cutting and the plate heated up, you drop the slices onto the cooker
  168. >They sizzle and spit when they hit the preheated plate and immediately begin cooking
  169. >The smell they produce is enough to set your stomach rumbling
  170. >And it brings Chrysalis immediately out of her slumber
  171. >Must be some predatory instinct or something
  172. "Good morning, queen Chrysalis. Did you sleep well?"
  173. >She's put off balance by your question, but recovers quickly enough
  174. >"I slept well, thank you. What is it that wonderful smell?"
  175. >You smile and gesture to the plate of frying steak strips
  176. "We call it Philly style steak. It's strips of cow meat cooked in a pan usually, but I'm making do with a fire and metal plate."
  177. >She licks her lips and you notice she's salivating heavily
  178. >"Meat...I didn't know that apes could eat meat."
  179. >Your smile takes on a more sardonic look as you look down the bridge of your nose at her
  180. "We can eat damn near anything, but meat's pretty expensive. What about you, you look like a pony. Can you even eat meat?"
  181. >She snarls at you, baring the fangs that had made her stick out in your mind when you first saw her in "The Canterlot Wedding"
  182. >Well, it was a combination of that and the swiss cheese legs and voice of Roodaka as well, but whatever
  183. "I'll take that as a yes. Don't worry, there's plenty here for both of us. I figure love doesn't have much nutrition, so this'll do you good."
  184. >An awkward ten minutes of silence elapses while the steak cooks
  185. >Finally, the changeling speaks up
  186. >"Why are you so kind to me, human? I trespassed on your home, beat you, and now I'll be eating your food. Why do you treat me so well, when every other being I've encountered, besdes my own children, has disdained me and hurt me?"
  187. >You poke at the steak, checking its status
  188. "Well, I've been treated much the same, except I never had kids. But there's a couple reasons I treat you well. One is that, no matter how you arrive, you're my guest. So I share with you what I have, simply because that is what's expected."
  189. >Her eyes soften at the explaination of what you believed to be common courtesy, but pressed the matter
  190. >"What's the other reason?"
  191. >You smile, and start to speak before your brain can catch your mouth
  192. "Simple. You're best po--"
  193. >Your brain finally gets a leg up on your mouth and puts it in a stranglehold before you can blurt out how you know everything about her
  194. >She hadn't inquired, but then she'd only been awake with you for perhaps twenty minutes before now
  195. >She arches her brow at your choked off statement
  196. >"I'm WHAT, human?"
  197. >You cough, throat and mouth suddenly dry from anticipation
  198. "Eh...you remind me of someone, that's all."
  199. >She seems skeptical, but drops the subject
  200. >Thank god, spaghetti levels were so far into the red zone already that they'd be going around again if it got any worse
  201. "Steak's ready!"
  202. >You spear several chunks and set them down on a napkin you had taken from a McDonalds
  203. "Eat up. You need it more than I do."
  204. >Evidently she agrees and gulps down the meat practically without chewing
  205. >It reminded you a bit of that movie, How To Train Your Dragon
  206. >Only Chrysalis was, if anything, more dangerous than any dragon
  207. >She licks her fangs clean and, for the first time, you notice her tongue is oddly serpentine
  208. >Long and forked, but not as thin or flimsy as a normal snake or lizard has
  209. >"Is something the matter, human?"
  210. >You realize you've been staring at her the whole time, it must be unnerving for her
  211. "Nah, sorry. Just haven't seen a changeling eat before. And please, call me Anonymous, or Anon. 'Human' just sounds dumb after a while."
  212. >She inclines her head
  213. >"Very well, Anonymous. I don't want to impose on you any more than I have to, so I'll be leaving as soon as I can."
  214. >The shock makes you bite down on the piece of steak in your mouth harder than you wanted to
  215. >Your teeth cut clean through the rare bit of meat and right into your tongue
  216. "God damn, mother fucker!"
  217. >You cover your mouth and taste copper, and Chrysalis looks on with a well concealed concern
  218. >"What was that, Anonymous?"
  219. >You spit out a glob of blood onto the concrete floor
  220. "Bit my god damn tongue. That fucking hurt."
  221. >She moves closer to you and brings her face closer to yours, well inside a bubble that bordered on intimacy
  222. >"Let me see, perhaps I may do something to help."
  223. >You're surprised by her concern, but do as you're told
  224. >You stick out your bleeding tongue, a pair of small holes matching your incisors shape in the middle were pouring out blood in a steady stream
  225. >She looked more closely at the wounds and tutted under her breath
  226. >The her horn glowed an unearthy green and you feel your tongue start to burn
  227. -----------------------------------------------------------------
  228. >Your hands instinctively move to the burning on your tongue, but the feeling quickly goes away
  229. >She moves your hands away with magic and examines your tongue again
  230. >"Hm, that was easier than I anticipated. I suppose it's not so difference from a laceration."
  231. >You clear your throat
  232. "Uh, speaking of..."
  233. >You hold up the hand you had cut and show her the laceration
  234. "I cut myself when I was cutting the steak up. It's nothing too bad, just a little painful."
  235. >Without any warning, you feel the burning sensation again
  236. >You look down at the cut and watch an eldritch, emerald fire creep along the bloody line and sealing it
  237. >In its wake only a faint line remained, a small and permanent reminder to be careful with a knife
  238. >You raise your hand to admire her handiwork
  239. "Wow. I wish I could have done that back when I was a soldier. I wouldn't have lost a single patient."
  240. >Her ears fold back on themselves and she bares her teeth
  241. >"You were a soldier?"
  242. >You look into her eyes and see a seething cauldron of anger
  243. >Well, this was no time to pussy out
  244. >You look straight into her eyes, without any malice or contempt
  245. "Yes, I was. But as you can clearly see by my clothing and...home, that is no longer the case."
  246. >Her snarl remains and, without any warning, your clothes are torn from your body
  247. >You do your best to cover your nudity, reacting to the sudden nakedness immediately
  248. "Oi, what the hell are you doing?!"
  249. >She pulls your arms away from your body and spreads your legs, looking over you with a critical eye
  250. >Your body shivers in the cold of the environment and the examination
  251. >You've got many tattoos, as most soldiers do, but when Chrysalis saw the one on the back of your neck, you heard an audible growl
  252. >You knew what it was immediately, a tour tattoo
  253. >Your platoon had all got them done before heading to the sandbox, in the rather likely event of an IED strike, so they could identify your bodies
  254. >It had a service number, blood type, name, and Roto number
  255. >She obviously didn't understand most of the information, but it was clearly military information
  256. >"No longer a soldier, then what is this on your skin?"
  257. >You sigh
  258. >Trying to explain a tattoo like that would be only slightly more fun that being sat on by Oprah Winfrey
  259. >But at least there wouldn't be any niggers
  260. "I got that before me and my platoon were deployed to fight a war. It was so they could identify our bodies if we were killed. But it doesn't come off the skin, so even though I'm not a soldier it's still there."
  261. >She moves back around to your front, throwing a blanket at you with her magic
  262. >"Cover yourself up, I don't want you freezing to death."
  263. >That confuses you
  264. "Wait, you were just snarling at me and stripped me naked, now you're concerned about me dying? What the hell?"
  265. >She gives you a contemptuous look
  266. >"You're my only source of food, and you've treated me well enough so far. But I needed to be sure you weren't a part of one of HER plots."
  267. >Heh...plots
  268. >Wait, her? Oh, she means Celestia
  269. "You know, that would make sense if I was, you know, a pony."
  270. >She blushes and looks away from you
  271. >It occurs to you how odd it is you can see it on such a dark skin, but you decide it would be unwise to point it out
  272. "Hey, don't worry. You're just being cautious. In this world, not to mention the way I live, that's admirable but..."
  273. >You reach under her pillow and take out a knife, still in the sheath
  274. "You've got to learn where to look."
  275. >You toss the knife to the side and sit next to her on her bed, still wearing the blankets as clothing
  276. >You notice her eyes glistening, then see a wet streak appear on her cheek
  277. >Oh, she's crying
  278. >Shit, you were never too good with the emotional stuff
  279. >Your best buddy, while overseas, had received a "Dear John" letter of his fiance breaking up with him
  280. >You'd sat next to him while he read it and cried
  281. >They had been together for four years, and she decided to break up while he was overseas
  282. >She'd also described, explicitely, her having affairs with other men whenever he was in the field
  283. >I gave him a brohug, told him 'We'd get the bitch when we're outta this shit hole' and had gone about my business
  284. >Two days later, he'd taken his sidearm and shot himself
  285. >The newspapers back home had said he was 'heroically trying to restrain an escaped person of interest when his sidearm was wrestled from him and he was shot'
  286. >Only you and your platoon knew what really happened
  287. >But shit like that did happen
  288. >"What are you staring at, human?"
  289. >Chrysalis' shout snaps you back to the present
  290. >You had been far gone in your memories again, dammit
  291. "Sorry, I'm just not good with emotional stuff. What's the matter, why are you crying?"
  292. >She sniffles and wipes her face
  293. >"What few children I have left will be dead soon, I'm far from anything that I've ever known, and I'll never be able to go home."
  294. >You place a hand on her withers
  295. >She looks at you, with teary eyes, wondering what you're doing
  296. >You start stroking her back, and do your best to console her
  297. "Well, I've not got any kids, so I can't say anything for that. But my home is across the country from here and I'm an outcast here. My family disowned me, so I can never go back. And the best friend I ever had killed himself over a girl while I was in a warzone."
  298. >You sigh and scoot a bit closer to her, unconsciously
  299. "I can't understand exactly what you're going through, but I can say that shitty things always happen. We just have to be good enough to keep living to spite them. And you know what? I'm going to do my best to get you back to Equestria, is that cool?"
  300. >She's taken aback by your willingness to help
  301. >Clearly she was more used to being shunned and spit on, rather than accepted and helped by anyone
  302. >"Why would you do that for me? You don't know me or even have a reason to care for me, and yet you do. What's wrong with you?"
  303. >You shrug, simply because you really don't know
  304. "A lot of things. But none of them have to do with me helping out somebody in need. That I do because I know that it's a bitch when you find yourself in a bad way with no one to help. I wouldn't inflict that on anyone."
  305. >Your words just seem to make the tears come faster
  306. >It's a confusing thing, until her head is suddenly buried in your chest and she's sobbing so heavily
  307. >The blanket is soaking up the tears as they fall, but that won't last at the rate she's crying
  308. >You hug her tight and continue to stroke her
  309. >The choked sobs eventually slow, then stop entirely
  310. >You turn your gaze downward to look at her, though her face is still buried in your chest
  311. "Feel a bit better, Chrysalis?"
  312. >She sniffles then looks up at you, her eyes bloodshot from the outpouring that she'd just gone through
  313. >But you couldn't help feeling a tender love towards her, unmatched by any love you'd had before
  314. >"Yes, I-I feel better. Thank you, Anonymous."
  315. >You grin at her
  316. "Good, do you want anything? Some more food, a drink, anything at all?"
  317. >She thinks for a moment, then blushes and looks away
  318. >"Can we get some sleep? It's a little late..."
  319. >As she trails off, you turn your gaze to the shattered windows
  320. >Holy shit, the sun's going down
  321. >Even for winter, that seemed remarkably fast
  322. >She must have been crying for longer than you'd thought, or you'd lost track of time in your memories
  323. >Again
  324. >Either way, you let her go and she moves over to her nest
  325. >When she reaches it, she stops and turns back to you, to your confusion
  326. >"Well, aren't you going to sleep?"
  327. >You look down at the blanket, the only thing covering your otherwise naked body
  328. "Uh, like with you?"
  329. >Her face could not be more condescending if she had tried to be
  330. >"Don't ask questions, just do it."
  331. >You roll your eyes at her
  332. "Yeah, yeah, just give me a minute."
  333. >You walk over to a pile of cardboard scraps and dig out your old, military backpack
  334. >You may or may not have stolen a ton of kit when you left the army behind
  335. >Digging around inside of it, you find a clean pair of underwear, a thermal shirt, and thermal long johns
  336. >Within twenty seconds, you're dressed once again
  337. >You walk over to Chrysalis, who clearly watched you change without a bit of remorse
  338. >It didn't matter to you, you'd changed in front of female officers before with less nervousness
  339. >The blankets rise with the influence of her magic and you crawl under them
  340. >She follows shortly and then covers you both back up
  341. >You take your usual position of sleeping on your back, though this time you've got an actual pillow instead of your boots
  342. >Damn, why the hell didn't you steal this stuff a long time ago?
  343. >Your thoughts are interupted by Chrysalis laying her head down on your chest
  344. >Thankfully, she's curled in such a way so that her crooked, sharp horn is not pointing at your neck and endangering your life
  345. >Almost unconsciously, you wrap and arm around her
  346. >She somehow manages to snuggle up even closer to you
  347. >You'd forgotten how good it felt to sleep with another being
  348. >JUST sleep, you quickly remind yourself
  349. >As much as you'd identified as a horsefucker in ages past, you had never actually fucked a horse
  350. >You'd always pussied out, you little bitch
  351. >Even when Devin had invited you out to his farm when you were in town, and you two got sloshed
  352. >He'd passed out and you'd wandered out to the barn with a bottle of vodka in your hand and intent in your mind
  353. >But then the rational part of your mind fought through the drunken haze and kicked you in the balls with a reminder that you could go to jail for it
  354. >Fucking Canada
  355. >So you'd pussied out and gone back to pass out on his couch
  356. >You shake your head, brining you back to the present once again
  357. >Chrysalis is sound asleep on your chest, so it's not like you've got anything else to do now
  358. >Well, except one thing before you sleep
  359. >You lean down and kiss her forehead
  360. >She smiles in her sleep and her breathing deepens
  361. >The wave of weariness finally washes over you, so you lay back on the pillow and finally, peacefully, fall asleep
  362. -------------------------------------------------
  363. >Once more, the sun is what wakes you
  364. >But the light doesn't hold your attention for long
  365. >No, a sharp, piercing pain in your chest draws your eyes downward
  366. >But before you can even blink, the pain fades and is replaced with a subtle itching
  367. >The sleepiness that addled your mind cleared when you saw what had caused the pain and subsequent discomforting itch
  368. >Chrysalis was biting you
  369. >Or rather, one of her fangs had punctured the skin on your chest
  370. >There was only a slight trickle of blood, the wound must have not  been too deep
  371. >Which was good, you didn't really have the medical supplies to fix abdominal punture trauma
  372. >Your shifting must have woken Chrysalis, because you hear a gasp that isn't yours
  373. >The changeling quickly lifts her head, accidentaly turning the hole into a laceration
  374. >Well, that fucking hurt
  375. >You slap your hand over it and swear, loudly and colourfully
  376. "God damn, shit snacking, motherfucking, piece of shit, cunt licking, tabarnak, callise, perkele!"
  377. >It's not too bad, but god damn does it hurt
  378. >Whatever anethstesia had gone into the small injury evidently hadn't made it to the rest of the wound
  379. >Chrysalis looks halfway between mortified and terrified
  380. >But you have bigger concerns
  381. >Digging into the small pack you had left out the night before, you find a sterile gauze pad
  382. >Well, the label said sterile but, with all the shit it had been though, you doubted it
  383. >You unfold it and press it down on the line torn in your flesh
  384. >You glance over at Chrysalis
  385. >She has her hooves over her mouth and tears forming in her eyes
  386. >You apply some medical tape to keep the gauze from falling off and go over to comfort her
  387. >You take her hooves in your hands and look into those tearful, alien eyes
  388. "Hey, hey, what's wrong?"
  389. >Her breath turns to heaving and the tears start pouring from her eyes
  390. >"I'm sorry Anonymous, I'm so sorry!"
  391. >You take one hand from her hooves and stroke her mane
  392. >It doesn't feel like seaweed, as you thought it would, more like a very fine silk
  393. "Hey, I've lived through worse than this. This is just a scratch. Don't worry, I'll live. I can barely feel it."
  394. >That last part was a lie, you felt it burning like someone was dragging a hot iron across your chest
  395. >But it was better she didn't know that
  396. >As long as she thought you were fine, it would be fine
  397. >But she was older than you, far older
  398. >She knew you were faking, and your lies made it worse
  399. >"Anonymous, please I didn't mean to do that! Sometimes when I'm hungry...and in my sleep I just..."
  400. >She trails off, breaking into sobs once again
  401. >You move your hand holding her one hoof behind her back and pull her against you
  402. >You start stroking her back and rubbing her head under her mane
  403. >You didn't know what would make her feel better, so you just tried comforting her as you would a child
  404. >You begin to sing a lullaby, the only one you remembered from back in your time when you fucked around on the net more than doing schoolwork, or actual work
  405. >You're on Luna's part when she finally stops crying
  406. >But she doesn't move away from you
  407. >If anything, she pulls herself closer than before
  408. >But you keep singing, regardless of what she was doing
  409. >And, finally, you realize you're not singing it for her
  410. >You feel a warm trickle run down your cheeks, your breath hitches in your throat and the lyrics, once mediocrely sung are now being strained out in between hiccuping sobs
  411. >You never even finish the song, you bury your head in her mane and sob softly, embracing the changeling you had brought to this hell of a world with your selfishness
  412. >People had bled out in your arms because you didn't know an artery had been hit by stray shrapnel
  413. >Your friend had killed himself because you couldn't help him through his pain
  414. >Your sins had built a mountain over your feelings, your emotions
  415. >Before homelessness, before the war, there had been 4chan
  416. >An outlet for all the bullshit in your life
  417. >Through that, you had discovered /mlp/, and there the feels threads had tunnled into that mountain to let some of it out
  418. >But the last one you had seen was three years ago
  419. >But now, with a pony crying into your chest, and you singing, the mountain was tumbling down
  420. >So, through sobs, you confess everything to Chrysalis
  421. >How you had brought her here just by desiring it, how you knew about here and here failed takeover of the kingdom, but you also confessed the more mundane things, killing in the desert, fighting in the streets
  422. >Your first kill, a junkie that had attacked you, you turned the knife and had stabbed it into his guts and twisted it
  423. >Even now, after all the training, even after a war, it was still the most visceral memory of any in your mind
  424. >And, in some small part at the back of your mind, you were amazed she didn't push you away
  425. >No she, instead, took on the role you had been playing minues ago, that of the comforter, the rock in a raging river of pain
  426. >And you clung to her, because she was the only thing that could save your life, right here and now
  427. >Eventually, you ran out of tears to shed but still you clung to her like a dying man
  428. >And even after you had stopped crying she kept comforting you
  429. >A loud growl tore into the silence that had fallen over your breakdown
  430. >You knew it was your stomach, and she knew it too
  431. >The absurdity of the interuption started both of you laughing
  432. >Just a couple little giggle from her, a chuckle from you but then then you both started laughing like hyenas
  433. >It would have been an odd scene for anyone that had come into the building at that moment
  434. >A filthy, dishevled human hugging a bug/equine creature and laughing about your stomach growling
  435. >Finally, the laughter died down an you let each other go
  436. >Without a word, you started up the fire again, placed the metal pan over it, and placed the sausages you had bought yesterday on top of it
  437. >As they cook, you look up at your newfound companion
  438. >She's staring into the fire, here eyes filled with a mix of trepidation and wonder
  439. >And even without magical powers of your own, you could deduce what she was thinking about
  440. >You could tell the first signs of attatchment, and she had them clearly worn
  441. >But it wasn't sexual in nature, more of a companionship
  442. >And that was okay
  443. >You didn't need any sexual gratification, what you needed was someone to be with
  444. >Someone you could talk to, without fear of being judged
  445. >And there she was, staring into the fire, her eyes catching the light
  446. >They glowed and flickered with the firelight, a reflection of the flames dancing in her irises
  447. >You lost yourself in the glimmering eyes of your companion
  448. >And then you were, once more, lost to your memories
  449. >The first love of your life
  450. >You were only 18 at the time, and she was even younger
  451. >You'd just got out of basic training and she had waited for you
  452. >Your relationship grew and prospered, and eventually you'd asked for her to marry you
  453. >She's been shocked, excited and had accepted with tears of happiness in her amber eyes
  454. >You thought it would last forever
  455. >How wrong you'd been
  456. >You were on your third course, your trade course, eight months away from home and from your fiance
  457. >You texted and called whenever you could, but it was rare that you ever got a response
  458. >So you finished your course, not the best but far from the worst on it
  459. >And then you came home
  460. >She was waiting there for you, sitting at the table with a frown on her face
  461. >She looked up at you, and without a glimmer of remorse told you about how she cheated on you
  462. >She blamed you for suicidal thoughts, for her not having any friends, for not having a job
  463. >As though you'd been the one stopping her at every turn
  464. >Then her new boyfriend walked in
  465. >She greeted you with a smile on his face and offered a hand to shake
  466. >You took it with your left and attempted a firm shake, but his hand was limp
  467. >Your, now ex, fiance had taken his hand, and had told you ever so tearfully how much better this man was than you
  468. >At that point, you snapped
  469. >You vaguely remember the crunching of bone under your fist and the dull thud of a boot kicking in someones groin
  470. >The police said you were lucky you'd not killed him
  471. >Your ex-girlfriends nose was broken, but her boyfriend had been beaten far worse
  472. >The military charged you with conduct unbecoming, a fine and disciplinary action, and the civilian courts tried you with aggravated assault
  473. >The severity was mitigated when it was revealed what had taken place, but you still had to do three months of jail time
  474. >You were out in four weeks
  475. >It was all a downward spiral from there
  476. >A meaty smack on your cheek zaps you back to the present
  477. >Chrysalis is holding a cooked sausage in front of your face
  478. >"You were gone again."
  479. >You shake your head and take a bite of the proffered sausage, smiling and speaking around a mouthful of the cheap food
  480. "Yeah, that happens sometimes, sorry about that."
  481. >As you take another bite, she uses the oppotunity to speak again
  482. >"When you get like that, you're visiting the past aren't you?"
  483. >You simply nod as a response, finishing the last bit of sausage
  484. >"Some of my children, the ones that had to fight against another hive, had that same look when they came back from the war. They couldn't deal with the idea that they'd killed their kin in a war for reasons they didn't understand."
  485. >She shakes her head at the thought and levitates a sausage to her mouth, eating the entire thing in one bite
  486. "Some of my mates, back in the hellhole of the desert, they had that look whenever we got back from a mission. Killing is a weight you carry with you forever. Not everyone is made to deal with that kind of thing."
  487. >She looks from the fire to you
  488. >"Are you, Anonymous?"
  489. >That makes you chuckle
  490. "It doesn't really matter, made to or not I'm all kinds of fucked up now."
  491. >She offers you a smile, and another sausage
  492. >You eagerly accept the food, eating the entire thing in two bites
  493. >"You know, I know how you feel about me. And, now, I know why."
  494. >You look into her eyes, waiting for the words that would either damn you, or save you
  495. >"I don't care about how I came to be here, or how you know of me. But it is fact that I am here now. I cannot help my children from here, but you have said you will help me return to them. So I will not judge you, Anonymous. And.."
  496. >She looks back into the fire, her next words a whisper you can barely hear over the crackling flames
  497. >"...Thank you."
  498. >You smile at her and place a hand on her hoof nearest to you
  499. >She blushes in the most adorable way
  500. "Thank you too, Chrysalis."
  501. >You both stare out the broken frames of the windows, into the sun that is rapidly setting
  502. >Another day, gone by feeling like nothing at all
  503. >Time flew when you had fun, you figure, or when you were in emotional crisis apparently
  504. >Without another word exchanged, you finish off the food and douse the fire
  505. >And then, you crawl into the nest that you had made for your unexpected guest the first night she had crossed over
  506. >She follows you in and curls up next to you
  507. >She keeps well clear of your chest, instead opting to have you spoon her instead
  508. >You do so, without even a guilty boner
  509. >You're warm, safe, and happy and so is Chrysalis
  510. >And right now, that's all that matters
  511. ----------------------------------------------------------------
  512. >Good morning world!
  513. >Good morning sun!
  514. >Good morning warm friend that I am embracing!
  515. >...And good morning wood
  516. >Well, at least you didn't have it last night, when she was still awake
  517. >Sure, she was amiable enough but you figure, what with the comparison to simians that beat and raped her, a monkey dick would hardly make her happy
  518. >So you slip away from her and go down to the supervisor office on a floor below to take care of the issue
  519. >Ah, that felt nice
  520. >You come back up the stairs and find Chrysalis sitting at the office door, waiting for you
  521. >"What was that all about, Anonymous?"
  522. >Oh shit
  523. "It was a...perimeter sweep. Old habits and all that. Kids sometimes still break in here, and sometimes you just got to give them a couple lumps so they don't come back."
  524. >She nods, apparently accepting your explaination
  525. >"Very well. Please just let me know before you do such things. When I awoke and found you, or rather didn't, I began to worry."
  526. >You crouch down and run a hand through her silky mane
  527. "Hey, don't worry about me. Seriously, if I was going to die or get beaten or something, it's not like there's anything either of us could do to stop it."
  528. >She squints at you, not entirely getting the logic
  529. >"So...whatever happens is going to happen and we're powerless to stop it?"
  530. >You shrug and nod
  531. >She had the gist of it pretty well understood
  532. >A sudden impact on your face sends you flying across the room and into the wall
  533. >"Well now I understand why you live like this! You take your life as it comes instead of bringing yourself to it. You must take life and make it yours, direct it to however you want it to go."
  534. >She sighs and leans her head against a wall
  535. >"Even when you fail, you need to just try again. And if you fail then, go again. Again, and again until you finally succeed. It may take years, decades even. You may fail a hundred times, a thousand even. But so long as you succeed once, then you've won."
  536. >She trots over to where you're slumped against the wall
  537. >Your cheek split with the force of the blow and it was bleeding pretty badly
  538. >You look up from your position and see her towering over you, beautiful, wonderful, and hellish all in the same instant
  539. >Then you look back down
  540. >She was right, living the way you were was shameful
  541. >You resolved then and there to turn your life around for the better
  542. >You rise to your feet and look down at Chrysalis, your eyes hardened with determination
  543. "You're right. It's time to make my life for me."
  544. >You run your fingers through her mane
  545. "Thank you, Chrysalis."
  546. >She rubs her head against the hand now laying there on top of it
  547. >"I don't want to see you become what I am. No one deserves that fate."
  548. >You cup her cheek in your hand and force her to look into your eyes
  549. >But at the same time, you crouch so you're on her level, showing no arrogance or superiority
  550. "Then you come along with me for the journey. We'll become better, together."
  551. >Her eyes shimmer in the morning light and she lowers her head in submission
  552. >"Very well, we will become better. Together."
  553. >Well this is it Anonymous
  554. >Time to grow the fuck up and be a man
  555. "Chrysalis, I need to explain something about this spell or whatever that brought you here, or the magic that infected your own to make you come here."
  556. >She looks up at you, trust blazing in her eyes
  557. >"What is it, Anonymous?"
  558. >You take a deep breath
  559. >This wasn't going to be an easy thing to explain to a creature like Chrysalis, a ruler and conqueror
  560. "You can't be seen by others of my kind as a pony. If you do well...if the other ones are right, you will be taken away. I don't know to where, it doesn't say, but you won't be here."
  561. >Her body stiffens at this revelation
  562. >Apparently, even though she had gathered you had brought her here somehow, that she could walk around as proud as she'd ever been
  563. "I'm sorry, but I don't want you to be in danger. And even if you weren't to be whisked away by some unseen force, you'd still have people after you. They'd want to know the secrets behind your magic and shapeshifting powers, which nothing on this earth has."
  564. >She starts shuddering, the revelations coming faster than she can fully take in
  565. >But you have to say this, all of it
  566. "All you have to do is change into a human when you go outside, that's all. When we get a place, you can be in your natural form all you want. I'm sorry it has to be like this..."
  567. >She takes a shuddering breath and squares herself up
  568. >"I understand. Adversity is bad, but at least I'll be helping. I'll do it Anonymous, but your plan had better work."
  569. >You give her a cheeky grin
  570. "Well you know, even if it doesn't a thousand times, it'll work once."
  571. >She smiles at your recycling of what she'd just told you and nods
  572. >You take her hoof as she concentrates on the transformation to a form she's barely seen
  573. >The green flames start licking around her hooves, including the one you're holding
  574. >But you stick out the burning pain, it was only temporary after all
  575. >As the flames move up her body, the burns on your skin fade away
  576. >And you're no longer holding a hoof, but a human hand
  577. >The nails are black, but as though from a polish instead of grime like yours
  578. >The transformation consumes her entire body, and the changeling that stood before you is gone
  579. >In her place is a young looking human girl
  580. >A naked girl at that
  581. >You reach over with your spare hand and put a blanket over her nudity
  582. >She smiles and kisses your cheek
  583. >"That's sweet of you, Anonymous. Thank you."
  584. >You blush and grin, letting go of her hand and going to search for some clothes for her to wear
  585. >"So, do you humans always feel this soft and this...cold?"
  586. >You shrug at the question
  587. "I suppose when we don't wear clothes, yeah. Don't worry though, you'll be back to your normal form in no time."
  588. >She puts on the clothes you throw to her and puts a jacket over top and a spare pair of boots on her feet
  589. >You grab your pack, your food supplies, and anything else of actual value to you and take Chrysalis with you down to the access door
  590. >A light snow is falling over the world, making a beautiful sight
  591. >She gasps, it's the first time she's seen the outside the close up
  592. >You take her hand and look into her eyes
  593. "Once we step over this threshold, it's going to be a new life. Probably not an easy one, but better nonetheless. Are you ready?"
  594. >She smiles at you, showing the fangs she had kept behind, either by design or by accident
  595. >"Anonymous, as long as I'm with you, I'm ready for anything."
  596. >With that bold statement said, you both take your first step forward into a new life
  597. >Now, it's all about forging it for yourselves
  598. -------------------------------------------------------
  599. >The next several months flew by like none before them
  600. >Your job was good, but the position it put you in was even better
  601. >One of your co-workers had been working at the oils sands before he got hurt and had to leave
  602. >But he had been making six digits a year
  603. >That's insane pay
  604. >So you told him that you wanted to go up north to the sands
  605. >He laughed, until he realized that you were serious
  606. >He'd made a few calls on your behalf, put a good word in, and then you were in
  607. >The day of your departure for a four month term in the sands, Chrysalis cried for hours in your arms
  608. >You'd managed to secure a tiny house for you two, really cheap
  609. >It was practically a single room claiming to be a home, but it was a shelter, and that was all you needed
  610. >Of course, you'd never told Chrysalis how you'd got the money for the house in the first place
  611. >With your first paycheque, well before you two had been in any shelter but broken into garages, you'd bought a pistol and silencer with two magazines of ammunition
  612. >Then you'd memorized the rounds of the armoured cars that filled ATMs and the lot
  613. >Only two guards, easy shit
  614. >You'd been the third best pistol shot in your platoon, after all
  615. >So when they made a stop at a fairly empty parking lot, around 2 in the morning and on only their second stop, you'd made your move
  616. >You burst from the cover of a nearby alcove and had shot the first one in the chest
  617. >Neither bullet penetrated, but the guard was down for the count
  618. >The soft thwip of the pistol had attracted the attention of the other guard
  619. >So you ducked around the side of the van, waiting for him to come to the aid of his partner
  620. >And of course, he did
  621. >So predictable
  622. >At the guard was checking over his buddy for any other injuries, you shot him in the head
  623. >At five yards, it was impossible to miss
  624. >The aider dropped on top of his friend, who made a whoof sound at the air was thrust from his lungs
  625. >And you stepped closer to check your handiwork
  626. >The still living guard stared at you, his face contorted with hatred
  627. >As he opened his mouth to say something, you had opened fire
  628. >Thwip
  629. >Both guards dead
  630. >As you had dug through the bodies for the keys to unlock the back, your stomach had begun to churn
  631. >No, not now
  632. >You couldn't afford to be sick now
  633. >But the gorge rose no further, so you were okay for the time being
  634. >Finally, you had dug out the keys
  635. >You opened the truck, and had hit the motherload
  636. >It wasn't overflowing with money bags, like the movies thought, but there were plenty of lockboxes
  637. >You started jamming keys in locks, unlocking them left, right, and center
  638. >Some took a few tries, but it didn't matter
  639. >Gold, diamonds, jewelry, even plain old cash
  640. >These lockboxes held hundreds of thousands in wealth
  641. >Fucking greedy rich people
  642. >You'd taken out the thin blanket you'd brought along and lay it out on the floor of the truck
  643. >You dumped the contents of several lock boxes into it and wrap up the corners to make a sack of loot
  644. >It's hefty, at least a good fifty pounds
  645. >You tossed it out the back and delivered the final gift to the truck
  646. >A few flasks of gasoline and it was ready
  647. >You struck a match and had thrown it onto the growing pool of gasoline
  648. >It had gone up in flames in an instant
  649. >With that lovely image behind you, you'd walked away from the scene calmly, with your trusty swag sack hanging over your shoulder
  650. >You'd stuck to the back roads, until you got to the seedy bit of town
  651. >118th, notorious as the neighborhood for crime
  652. >There, you had pawned all the jewels and gold for ridiculous prices
  653. >But it didn't matter
  654. >The next day, with all the new money, you'd bought a tiny house right nearby where you worked
  655. >It was on 'The Docks', the industrial sector so named because it resembled a landlocked shipyard
  656. >No one cared about what the neighbors did, because they had their own dirty secrets to hide too
  657. >And when Chrysalis had asked where you got the money, you shrugged and said you got lucky in the lottery
  658. >She didn't ask further
  659. >So you went straight after that, you just needed the one score to get enough for shelter
  660. >With the shelter bought, you could finally focus on going north to the sands and making honest money
  661. >So you'd held Chrysalis as she cried about you going, you were the only one that loved her in this world after all
  662. >But you smiled and told her you'd be back soon enough, that your love was strong enough to feed her over the distance
  663. >She nuzzled against your neck that night, and neither of you slept
  664. >But nor did you do anything to compromise the rather precarious relationship you had
  665. >Cuddles were fine, even kissing was acceptable
  666. >But she couldn't have sex with you, and you wouldn't force yourself on her
  667. >The next day rolled around and you had grabbed your bags, kissed your changeling companion goodbye, and had taken the bus to the oil sands of Alberta
  668. >The work had been hard, dirty, brutal
  669. >You lost count of how many times you'd almost lost your fingers to the unforgiving drills and biting cold temperatures
  670. >But you made it out of there with all your digits and a five digit lump sum in your bank, with the lowest taxes in Canada
  671. >So on the bus back to Edmonton and the changeling you loved, you considered what to do with it
  672. >And then it had come to you in a flash
  673. >You knew exactly what you were going to do
  674. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  675. >Finally the hours long bus ride was over
  676. >It had been crowded with filthy oil drillers, just like you
  677. >Running water had been a rare luxury, and it had been a week since any of you had bathed
  678. >But to Chrysalis, it didn't seem to matter
  679. >She was there at the bus terminal, in her human form of course
  680. >She ran up and hugged you as soon as you had come in the door
  681. >You do something completely unexpected at that point
  682. >You push her away from you
  683. >She looks up at you, shocked and tearful at your rejection of her
  684. "Go back to the house. I'll meet you there later."
  685. >It's clear the shock has set her off in a bad way
  686. >She stumbles back to the outside where a cab is waiting for her
  687. >You pass the driver a hundred before you leave her
  688. >Getting right up to his ear, you whisper so the broken changeling in the back seat can't hear you
  689. "Drive her around until about midnight, then take her back to the house, okay?"
  690. >He arches a brow, but the money in his hand isn't lying to him
  691. >It didn't matter to you, it was part of the armoured car heist from months ago
  692. >Better to not hang onto it
  693. >The cab pulls away from the curb as soon as you're out, and you watch it shrink into the distance
  694. >Now, it was time to do some shopping of your own
  695. >You flag down another taxi, who immediately pulls over
  696. >A man with a thick Russian accent speaks up from the interior
  697. >"Where you need go, my friend?"
  698. >You grin at him and respond in fluent Russian
  699. "I need to go to the flashiest jewelry store in the city."
  700. >His jaw drops and you open the door and sit down inside the cabin
  701. "Can you do this for me, friend?"
  702. >This time the driver manages to stammer out a response, also in Russian
  703. >"Of course! Anything for a countryman!"
  704. >You smile at his assumption that you were a Russian, just because you spoke the language
  705. >But you see no reason to switch back to English as the cabbie peels away from the curb and heads downtown
  706. >"So, where are you from in country? Myself, I am from Vladivostok. It is nice this time of year."
  707. >You shrug and stare out the window as the crumbling buildings of the industrial quarter turn to the glass and steel of the business area
  708. "They come from Transnistria, a small village by the Amur River. The valley is very beautiful."
  709. >You had no trouble lying to an absolute stranger
  710. >You'd never meet him again anyway
  711. >"I know of Transnistria, my battalion retook it when the Moldovans tried to invade. I am sorry for the atrocities my comrades commited there. If it is any consolation, I burned no villages."
  712. >You place a hand on his shoulder
  713. "Of course, my friend. I would not take you for a murderer."
  714. >The cab comes to a screeching halt in front of a tall building made of a bleached stone
  715. >"Here we are, friend. Fanciest jewel shop in whole city."
  716. >It did indeed look rather fancy
  717. "How much do I owe you?"
  718. >He smiles and waves away the proffered money
  719. >"For a countryman, this ride is free. Consider it a hello from mother, eh?"
  720. >You smile and put two hundred dollar bills on the seat and close the door before he can protest
  721. >Without looking back, you walk into the door of the swanky bulding
  722. >Fuck, that hurt!
  723. >Rubbing your nose, you notice the 'Pull' sign below the handle
  724. >Oh of course
  725. >The guy dressed in a fancy tuxedo snickers at your failure, but is bro enough to open the door for you
  726. >Maybe he wasn't such an uncool dude after all
  727. >"Pardon me, sir, do you need anything?"
  728. >Clearly catching the smell of your workers overalls and seeing the grime coating your face, he gives you a sneer
  729. >"Perhaps a bath is needed, sir?"
  730. >You snarl at the butler, and it seems he finally notice you tower over him by about a half-foot
  731. "I just got back from the oil sands, and I don't need your shit. What I do need, it the biggest stone you have, preferably onyx or ruby."
  732. >He clears his throat and gestures you inside, understanding the wad of money you would be able to spend
  733. >You shoulder past him and enter the lobby of the shop
  734. >Another guy in a suit gave you most fake smile you've ever seen
  735. >"Good evening sir, how might I help you?"
  736. >You sigh and run a grimy hand through your unkempt hair
  737. "Like I said to the dude outside, biggest gem of onxy or ruby you can get me."
  738. >He coughs at your bluntness, but reaches under the counter for something anyway
  739. >He reveals a rack of pendants, some onyx some ruby
  740. >"This is the finest pieces we have of those varieties. But, judging by how you look, I think I can do you one better."
  741. >Even as he's reaching under the counter, you start to argue
  742. "How the hell would you know what I like better than me?"
  743. >He stops what he's groping for under the counter and looks over the counter at you
  744. >"You're from the sands. Don't try and bullshit me. That's how I made my fortune, back in the 80s."
  745. >He offers you a kind smile
  746. >"You're looking for something for your woman, yeah? No...You're looking for something to MAKE her yours, that's it."
  747. >You smile sheepishly
  748. >But the jeweller continues after chuckling at your grin
  749. >"I was young once too. She had the most dazzling green eyes. But you didn't come here to listen to an old man reminisce. I have just the thing for you, son."
  750. >He takes out a white-gold and yellow-gold pendant, the two metals twisting around each other like twin helixes
  751. >And at the center of the precious ore is the strangest, most beautiful stone you've ever seen
  752. >It was onyx, blacker than a moonless night but there was something off about it..
  753. >Looking closer you realize there's small pockmarks strewn across its surface, and inside of them is a green stone, jade or agate
  754. >Looking closer, you realize how much resemblence it bears to Chrysalis' colour scheme
  755. >And the pockmarks...
  756. >The jeweller was right, it was perfect
  757. "How much?"
  758. >The old mans smile became more genuine
  759. >"It will cost you thirteen thousand, young man."
  760. >You wince at the price, nearly a fifth of your pay
  761. >But Chrysalis was entirely worth it
  762. >You nod
  763. >"I'll do it, you old shill you."
  764. >The old man laughs and you reach into your wallet and take out thirteen thousand dollar bills
  765. >He chokes on the laugh at the sight of the money
  766. "That's enough, yeah?"
  767. >He reaches out and takes the money and promptly drops it and shakes your hand
  768. >"Best of luck with your woman, son. You deserve it."
  769. >Tears begin to glisten in his eyes
  770. >"You know, I promised my wife I wouldn't sell that. That's why I set the price so high, so that no one would buy it. But...I think that Chrysandra would be proud that such a good young man inherited it."
  771. >A good young man...
  772. >If only he knew where you'd got the money from
  773. >Oh well, what the old man didn't know couldn't hurt him
  774. >You pick up the pendant with a gentleness that belied your horrible stench and months old scruff of a beard
  775. >You rub a greasy thumb over it, but it holds its same shine as before
  776. >What an incredible stone...
  777. >Without another word, you turn and walk out
  778. >So distracted you are by the stone that you don't even notice the door being opened
  779. >You look up at the moon
  780. >It's almost midnight
  781. >Oh shit
  782. >You flag down the nearest taxi
  783. >A familiar voice calls out to you in Russian
  784. >"You need a ride, comrade?"
  785. >You can't stop the smile that comes to your face
  786. >You shout back just as loud
  787. "Always, my friend!"
  788. >You hop in the seat next to the Russian driver and he starts driving down the road
  789. "I need to get to The Docks, how fast can you get me there?"
  790. >The Russian grins and shifts into a higher gear
  791. >The needle on the speedometer jumps over a hundred in an instant
  792. >The acceleration slams you against your seat as the driver blows through stop signs and red lights as though they're not even there
  793. >Before you know it, you're at the docks
  794. >You check the watch on your wrist, an old affair from your grandfather before he'd died
  795. >The only thing you had to remind you of your family
  796. >23:42
  797. >Just enough time to shower and change before Chrysalis got back from her 'little' taxi ride
  798. >You drop a thousand on the seat of the cab and sprint out
  799. >You spend a good thirty seconds fumbling with the key
  800. >You're too excited
  801. >Finally, the lock clicks open and you burst inside the hovel you lived in
  802. >Stripping as you ran, you jumped into the shower and turned it on full blast
  803. >The gout of freezing water that erupted from it only enticed you to move faster
  804. >You scrub yourself free of the muck, grime, and sweat that clung to you
  805. >The shampoo that Chrysalis loves the smell of pours into your greasy hair and pulls the filthiness out of it
  806. >The little stall is stained the colour of dirt by the time you finish, but there's no time to worry about that
  807. >You scramble out of the shower and grab a towel, drying yourself as you tear about the house
  808. >You rip open the wardrobe doors and select a nice pair of slacks and a collared shirt
  809. >You pull them on with reckless abandon
  810. >Finally, you're clean and dressed nice
  811. >You're ready now
  812. >Holy shit!
  813. >Where's the necklace?
  814. >You hear a taxi pull up outside the door
  815. >You run into the bathroom
  816. >Oh thank whatever god was watching over you
  817. >It was right there on the counter
  818. >You hear the door open and hurriedly stuff it into your pocket
  819. >The door closes and a familiar crackle sounds in the peaceful home
  820. >"Anonymous, I'm back from my little adventure. We need to talk."
  821. >You step out of the bathroom, a frown on your face
  822. "Damn right we do, Chrysalis."
  823. >She takes an involuntary step back
  824. >All your months in the sands had made you gain a great deal of muscle mass
  825. >You weren't the toothpick that you had been when you were a kid anymore
  826. >You take a step closer to her, and she takes another step away
  827. >Good
  828. >You manoeuver her towards the couch, subtley
  829. >Eventually, she hits it and falls onto it, looking up at you fearfully
  830. >"Wh-what is it, Anonymous? What's wrong? Please talk to me!"
  831. >She's nearly shrieking at this point
  832. >You tower over her and, with a deft and subtle movement, palm the necklace in your hand
  833. >You move both your hands around her throat, as though to choke her
  834. >"Please, Anonymous, don't do this! Please, please, please!"
  835. >Wrapping your hands fully around her throat, you tighten them so the clasps on the chain can connect behind her neck
  836. >But she's too hysterical to notice the new bit of jewellry
  837. >You take your hands away and gently run your fingers through her mane
  838. "Come on, Chrysi, you know I wouldn't hurt you. Just look down."
  839. >She opens her eyes and does as she's told
  840. >When she sees the necklace, her jaw drops
  841. >Tears begin pouring from her eyes again, not in terror but in amazement
  842. "Hey Chrysi? I love you, will you stay will me?"
  843. >She looks out at The Docks, her heart tearing itself between you and her children
  844. >"But, my children...no they'll have starved by now if anything. I haven't been able to care for them. I am a failure."
  845. >The pain in her voice breaks your heart, but then she turns to you with a look of painful joy in her eyes
  846. >"But you...you have fed me, cared for me, treated me better than any other being in history. And...I think I love you too, Anonymous."
  847. >You cup her cheeks in your hands and pull her face up to yours
  848. "I will never betray you Chrysalis. And I will never hurt you."
  849. >Her eyes brim with fresh tears
  850. >"I know, Anonymous."
  851. >Your lips meet for the first time
  852. >It was the most passionate kiss you had ever shared with anyone, human or otherwise
  853. >You feel Chrysalis' body warm, her wings standing on end and flicking slightly
  854. >Still kissing her, you stroke the silken membranes
  855. >She moans into your mouth, and the heat ratchets up noticeably
  856. >So the wings are erotic...
  857. >Your thoughts are interupted by your body suddenly being pinned to the couch with magic
  858. >The ex-queen smiles down at you from her lofty position above your body, purring out her words
  859. >"You think that you, a lowly plebian, would be worthy to dominate a queen? Oh, you have much to learn, my little Anonymous."
  860. >And learn you did
  861. >For three hours, you learned over and over
  862. >The changeling brought you to the edge, then right back down again, only to edge you once more
  863. >Your mind was absolute mush while your queen had her way with you
  864. >Your queen? That was an odd thought
  865. >No matter HO GOD
  866. >And suddenly, release from the ceaseless torment of arousal
  867. >Chrysalis finally brought you over the edge, and herself in time with you
  868. >As her feminine walls contracted and relaxed, you pulled the panting changeling fully onto your chest
  869. >She nibbles at your neck in the afterglow, which feels amazing to your oversensitive body
  870. >Her breathing finally steadies and she rests her head on your chest
  871. >"Did you like that, Anonymous?"
  872. >You know that cannot qualitate what you felt tonight, but you tried anyway
  873. "Chrysalis, it wasn't just the sex that was amazing. I could feel a...link between us that ran deeper than that. I felt how you felt while still being stimulated, I can't explain it."
  874. >You run your fingers through her mane as you continue
  875. "I love you, Chrysalis. I always have, even before the sex. All that this has done is made us closer. I can only hope you feel the same way."
  876. >She presses her head deeper into your chest before responding
  877. >"Anonymous, what you have given me tonight is more than security. You have given me your life, I had to return you the favour."
  878. >You think about what she said, and how just a year before, long before she had come to Earth and just after you were homeless, anyone saying such a thing would have had you running
  879. >But now, the words brought you comfort, even peace
  880. >How you had changed
  881. >You feel that Chrysalis has drifted off to sleep
  882. >Moving your body as little as possible, you lean down and kiss the tip of her horn
  883. >Her response is to curl up tighter to you
  884. >And you think, one last time before sleep takes you
  885. >How indeed you have changed
  886. --------------------------------------------------------------------
  887. >You waken to the sound of gunfire
  888. >It wasn't an out of place noise in this part of town, usually blending into the back ground well enough
  889. >But this was close
  890. >The glass on your picture window in the kitchen suddenly shatters and you can hear rounds ricochetting off studs in the walls
  891. >Chrysalis is awakened and screams at the threat, but you clamp a hand over her muzzle to shush her quickly
  892. >The gunfire continues, an occasional stray burst tearing into your walls
  893. >You take your pistol, a S&W .40 M&P with a threaded barrel for the suppressor you had bought along with it
  894. >You slowly let go of your companions mouth, and this time she stays silent, but for a slight whimper whenever bullets fly through the walls
  895. >You both stay low as you load the weapon and attatch the silencer
  896. >With that done, you take a shattered shard of glass and poke it up, keeping your hand slightly under cover, but exposed enough to catch the reflection of who the hell was shooting
  897. >There was an armoured police van outside, and several SWAT types crouching beside it
  898. >You could hear some squawking from the loudspeaker on the van, but it had clearly taken some damage in the firefight
  899. >They must have been after the neighbors
  900. >Then, without warning, the armoured car bursts into flame, fragments flying in every direction
  901. >The body of one of the cops lands in the kitchen where you and Chrysalis are hunkered in cover
  902. >Your first movement is to hide her from his sight, even while she's screaming, and point the gun at his forehead
  903. >But he's just a corpse, nothing to be worried about anymore
  904. >You risk taking a peek out the window
  905. >The wreckage that was once a well armoured truck was still burning away
  906. >You could see the still bodies of dead officers scattered about, but a couple were moving
  907. >One especially valient fellow wearing what looked like a small demon suit was actively pulling himself away from the twisted remains of his transport
  908. >The trail of blood behind him left little doubt for his survival odds
  909. >But you see figures moving among the smoke, they're holding rifles
  910. >You duck down right away
  911. >You weren't dying over a fight between cops and gangsters
  912. >You'd managed to stay out of the sights of either this whole time, but it seemed that trouble had come knocking
  913. >"Hey you in the house! Get the fuck out here with your hands up!"
  914. >You gesture for Chrysalis to stay down and stand, hands above your head
  915. >"Hey, you ain't a cop. You're that guy that moved him and his girlfriend in here a while back, right?"
  916. >You nod
  917. "Yeah, we don't want any trouble mate. Just leave us the fuck outta this and we'll be good eh? I don't like cops any more than you do, but I don't want to fight either of ya!"
  918. >You feel a warmth spreading on your leg, but won't dare look away from the threat in front of you
  919. >"Look man, I'm real fuckin' sorry, but that shit don't fly with us. We're gonna have to get you outta there. Just do it nice and quiet and we won't hurt ya."
  920. >Well shit
  921. >This certainly wasn't going to according to plan
  922. >The wind is finally blowing the smoke away from the wreck, and you can see four other guys with guns pointed at you
  923. >This was far from ideal
  924. "Alright, we'll do it. Just don't fucking shoot us, eh?"
  925. >As you twist your shoulders and start turning around, you hear a pained screech
  926. >It wasn't the same as a man getting stabbed or shot, or even having his kneecaps broken, or being forced to cut of his own finger
  927. >It was a high pitched keening that went on for far too long, and it was accompanied by a hissing sizzle and the smell of burning fat and meat
  928. >You can hear the gangsters reacting to what could only be one of their number set alight
  929. >"What the fucking fuck man!"
  930. >Jesus Fucking Christ, what the fuck did you do?"
  931. >You hear the telltale sounds of one of the trying valiantly to not be sick
  932. >Then the sound of several torches being lit at once drowns it out, which itself is drowned out by several more screams at the same volume and intensity as the first
  933. >You can feel the heat you'd felt earlier on your leg increasing
  934. >Finally you spare a look down to see what it is
  935. >And there's Chrysalis, her eyes screwed shut with concentration and horn aglow with eldritch light
  936. >You look back out at the gangsters engulfed in fire
  937. >GREEN fire
  938. >The last one falls over, his motions devolving into slight twitches as his tendons cook inside his skin
  939. >Chrysalis peeks her head above the sill of the window
  940. >"Anon...is it over yet?"
  941. >Wait, did she just call you Anon?
  942. >She never referred to you by the shortened form of your name, she said it sounded too childish
  943. >But when look look over to her, you can see that she looks scared by what she's managed to do with her magic
  944. >You place a comforting hand on her head, ignoring the heat radiating from her twisted horn
  945. "It's done, Chrysi. We're safe, and I have to thank you for that. I didn't know you had that much power."
  946. >Her ears quickly lay flat on her head and she looks down
  947. >She's...ashamed?
  948. >"My mom, my mother, told me to never use that spell unless my life depended on it. I didn't...I didn't know..."
  949. >You catch her as she falls to the floor, wracked with sobs
  950. >She hugs you, her sobs muffling themselves against your chest
  951. >With one hand you stroke her mane,  it was the best thing that could calm her down, you had figured out
  952. >The other recovered the firearm you had dropped
  953. >There was no shame in being ready
  954. >And no sooner did you have the piece in your hand, than was the door kicked in
  955. >Chrysalis instinctively changed into a human, not wanting to discover the consequences of being caught as a pony
  956. >She was at a disadvantage, not being able to use magic at all in this form, but you would protect her
  957. >With your pistol at the ready, you let her go and pushed her behind you
  958. >And then the masked figure in body armour rounded the corner aggressively, a submachine gun pointing above you, for now
  959. >He must have seen you in the corner of his eye, because he was quick to focus on you
  960. >But still too slow to stop what was put in motion the second he had rounded that corner
  961. >Your pistol spat lead and fire, the slug tearing through the kneecap of the armoured man
  962. >He dropped on his side, screaming bloody murder
  963. >The next ones were smarter
  964. >They came around at the same time, immediately jumping so that your shots missed
  965. >Their boots came down on your hands, crushing at least two fingers in your weapon hand, and all in your left
  966. >Your scream of pain was drowned out by theirs as they turned into emerald blazes
  967. >Chrysalis must have changed back to her normal form for an instant, before reverting back since, when you looked, she was human
  968. >These two had cooked from the inside, however, so did not last near as long as the five outside
  969. >She crawled out from the corner you had put her in and too your head in her hands, stroking your cheek that was taught with agony
  970. >"Hey, hey, are you okay? You'll be okay, right Anon?"
  971. >You manage to grin up at her tear-steaked face
  972. "Yeah, I'll be fine. It's just a break, it'll heal."
  973. >She keeps stroking your cheek, even when five more SWAT officers come around the corner with their weapons ready
  974. >She ignores their shouts for her to put her hands up and move away from you
  975. >And you do too
  976. >You couldn't fight back, so it didn't matter what they did to you
  977. >But then three of them tore her away from you
  978. >And then it got ugly
  979. >The two officers guiding your shattered hands into a pair of cuffs were blown off you by a hurricane force gale
  980. >You looked up to see Chrysalis with a look of abject hatred on her face, only ashes remaining of the three that had tried to restrain her
  981. >A tornado of emerald fire swirled about her form and she looked down at you, a small broken human
  982. >The hate faded and was replaced by sorrow and she knelt beside you
  983. >You reach up your arms and hug her at the base of her neck
  984. >You kiss the smooth flesh you had felt next to yours and had loved
  985. >You felt the pendant you had bought her to declare your undying love to her bump against your chest
  986. >Glancing around, you see that the burning wind had turned the home to wreckage
  987. >And outside, there were three more police vans
  988. >All of the troopers they had carried were outside, all weapons pointing at you two
  989. >But it wasn't the seeminly cavernous barrels pointed at you that scared you
  990. >It was the look that Chrysalis gave you when you looked up at her
  991. >It was the look of someone who knew that their time had come but had lived a full life and was satisfied
  992. >And then, without warning, her body turned to an ashen grey
  993. >The material that had taken the place of your beloved quickly started crumbling under the harsh wind blowing that day
  994. >You managed to get say up and reach out towards her crumbling form with your half-crippled hand
  995. >The sandy substance that she had become slipped through your fingers leaving no traces behind
  996. >Except for the pendant
  997. >You can feel tears trickling down your burned, bloody cheeks
  998. >They splash off the still glistening surface of the necklace, running down and filling the pockmarks as they slide over them
  999. >A noose begins to tighten around you and your loved ones remains
  1000. >You look into the soot streaked sky and watch the last of her ashes disappear into the heavens
  1001. >She was gone, but were still here
  1002. >You laugh in short, pained barks, tears leaving trails in the grime streaking your face
  1003. >A boot connects with your head and you pitch forward face down into the burned foundation of your home
  1004. >You barely feel your cheekbone shatter, and your nose crumble under the assault
  1005. >The laughter continues as your arms are nearly dislocated as the police roughly place you in irons
  1006. >It doesn't stop when you are thrown into the back of the wagon that is taking you to your future home
  1007. >No, the laughter only stops when the metal door slams shut behind you and you stare out into the night sky
  1008. >The pain of the broken hands, the shattered nose and destroyed cheekbone, finally overwhelm your exhausted frame and you sink softly into the once more cold embrace of slumber
  1009. --------------------------------------------------------------
  1010. >The prison cell is cold, dank, lonely
  1011. >It smells like shit, old blood, and pain
  1012. >It sounds empty, bleak, and hopeless
  1013. >Two days
  1014. >It's been two gruesome, lonely days since the horrific incident that brought you to be here
  1015. >They haven't even brought in someone to fix up your hands yet
  1016. >You've done the best you could, tearing bits from your prison outfit, that they'd thrown at you when you arrived, and tying the fingers together to keep them straight
  1017. >You tried to avoid moving them much
  1018. >When you had first awoken, you'd tried to push yourself up and the grinding of bone on bone, and the blistering pain it brought with it, had sent you straight back into the void of unconsciousness
  1019. >Two days
  1020. >You still can't stop thinking about Chrysalis after all that time
  1021. >You had been the one to choose the neighborhood where you two had lived
  1022. >You'd been the one that decided to poke your nose into the gun battle that had raged outside your house
  1023. >It was you who had shot the cop in the knee when he'd come around the corner with his gun up, instead of surrendering like the innocent man you were
  1024. >So it was your fault, by logical conclusion, that Chrysalis was dead
  1025. >You don't really care about the place they've thrown you into
  1026. >You'd always thought you'd end up in jail for something
  1027. >But not for something you didn't do
  1028. >Well, you'd shot the cop...
  1029. >No matter anymore, he was apparently slated to recover just fine, tech had come far enough recently that the damaged nerves and shattered bone could be replaced easily enough
  1030. >And he had full compensation from the government no less
  1031. >But not you
  1032. >Not the anonymous ex-soldier who'd shot him
  1033. >The one who'd torn your favourite character, from what you thought was just a TV show, away from her children
  1034. >The one who had killed her
  1035. >A comotion sounds outside the room
  1036. >You perk up at the noise
  1037. >Your stomach wasn't telling you it was time to eat, so something must be happening
  1038. >The solid door bursts open, letting in a torrent of stinging light
  1039. >You had been placed in a solitary confinement cell, away from any interaction with anything but the shit food they gave you every five hours
  1040. >A fellow in a familiar uniform walks through the open door, blocking the burning light from your overtaxed eyes
  1041. >And then the uniform speaks, a sound that is absolutely heavenly to you simply because you recognize the speaker
  1042. >"You've really gone and done a number on yourself this time, shit for brains."
  1043. >The black humour pulls you from the depths of rock bottom, and you find yourself laughing at the joke
  1044. "Yeah, Corporal, I guess I did."
  1045. >The shadow gently punches you in the shoulder, not even enough force to rock you backwards
  1046. >"It's 'Staff Sergeant' now, asswipe. Now show me those hands."
  1047. >You smile and hold up your broken appendages, with digits tied together with scraps of Day-Glo orange cloth
  1048. >A light comes on on the shadows head, and finally reveals who you were talking to
  1049. >You were right
  1050. >It was Corporal, now Staff Sergeant apparently, Donahughe from your old regiment
  1051. >When you'd held the position of Section Commander, he'd been your go-to fellow for a great deal of important tasks
  1052. >He had a good head on his shoulders, and the kind of bedside manner that would make a civilian doctor look like a douchebag
  1053. >You two had served in the same platoon in the sandbox on two separate tours
  1054. >You knew that, one day when you were gone, he'd take over your job
  1055. >When you were in, he'd also done volunteer work for the local police service, as a medic of course, usually patching up injured officers or convicts they'd had a little bit of a field day on
  1056. >And even now, years and three promotions later, he still did it
  1057. "So what the hell took you so long, mate?"
  1058. >He looks up at your face before going back to fixing your hands
  1059. >"I just found out about it today, my friend. A good guy in here told me they had a prisoner that hadn't seen medical attention since they'd brought him in. I gave him a hundred bucks as a reward, then beat the everliving shit out of the guy in charge of the arrest."
  1060. >He smiled, an act that accented his cheekbones in such a way that he looked like a skeleton
  1061. >"And now, an hour later, here I am. Fixing up a guy I thought I'd never see again."
  1062. >You flex your newely splinted right hand, the better off of the two
  1063. >The fingers that weren't broken bent just fine, and the other two stayed as they were
  1064. "Yeah, well it's not like I wanted to see your ugly mug around me anyway. Any word on what's going on on the legal side of things?"
  1065. >His face becomes a mask of calculated indifference, which you knew all to well was a cover for anger
  1066. >"They're throwing the book at you, sarge. The newspapers are saying that the cops '...want to make and example of those people that think they're above the law.'"
  1067. >You wince at the statement, the courts had been saying they wanted to do that for years now, but maybe they'd finally been bit in the arse too many times to sit by anymore
  1068. >"Look man, I know it's none of my business, but what the fuck happened that day? I read the report and they're saying you blew up a police van and set a bunch of people on fire! Seriously, are you some kinda voodoo wizard shit or are the cops just high?"
  1069. >You sigh and shake your head
  1070. "If I told you what happened that day, you'd think I was insane. I can't tell you Don. Besides, it'd put you in more trouble than you'd think."
  1071. >He frowns, but nods in aquiescence, tightening the last of the splints on your hand
  1072. >He rises and, gripping you by the forearm, pulls you up as well
  1073. >He takes your hand in both of his and gives it a firm shake, but not enough to rattle the bones
  1074. >You feel something small slip from his palm to yours, and immediately hide it between a couple of fingers
  1075. >"You take care of yourself, alright sarge?"
  1076. >You smile at the man, perhaps the last man on earth who considered you a friend
  1077. >He's older than you by a decade, but he had always been the guy with a joke or witty remark to brighten a gloomy day
  1078. "And you make sure that my lads don't get themselves butchered, alright? I hear there's another war in the works."
  1079. >He nods and smiles at you
  1080. >"You know the fucking sandbox, eh? Can't stay outta each others beards long enough for a cup of tea."
  1081. >Nodding in farewell to him, he exits the room and the door slams shut behind him
  1082. >You sit down and feel at the object he'd given you
  1083. >No...
  1084. >It couldn't be, there was no way even Donahughe had that fast of hands to filch this
  1085. >And yet...
  1086. >You scramble over to the tiny bit of light coming from a small grate in the door and hold the item up to the beam
  1087. >It glints in the light, showing off a glossy, black outer shell
  1088. >But several smaller, green glints show off as well
  1089. >The tears pour unbidden from your eyes
  1090. >God damn that man, and God save him all the same
  1091. >You grip the object in as tight a fist as you can manage and bring it up to your heart, curling in a foetal ball around it
  1092. >Your sobs eventually drop off into small snores as you fall asleep, curled in a ball around the pendant you had given the being that your love had killed
  1093. >That night, you dream of Chrysalis
  1094. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1095. >A nightstick rattling against the bars of your cage brings you out of the uncomfortable sleep
  1096. >"Hey, asshole. Word from your old company. Seems like half of them got wiped out in some op overseas."
  1097. >You give the guard a blank stare
  1098. >Of course you don't belive him, guards fucked with inmates all the time
  1099. "Oh really? Seems weird that a bunch of towel-heads could wipe out a hundred guys and get off scot free."
  1100. >The guard chuckled, low and quiet
  1101. >"Scot free? Nah, they must have spent a battalion on those mongrels. Apparently they were down to bayonets and fists when the fuckers finally had mortar fire blast their base to a crater."
  1102. >The guard shook his head slowly
  1103. >"Took their air support another five minutes to wipe out the enemy artillery. By that time, a hundred and twenty-two men were killed, forty wounded."
  1104. >You rise up and walk over to the bars, staring at the guard telling you all this with cold eyes
  1105. "I'll call bullshit."
  1106. >He grins and passes a note through the bars
  1107. >No, not a note
  1108. >A letter, with the paper bordered in black
  1109. >"Call bullshit all you want, it won't bring your friend back."
  1110. >The words of this 'man' in front of you, once no more effective than an autumn breeze, now knocked you onto your cot
  1111. >No, there was no way he was dead
  1112. >It was just an elaborate joke, that was all
  1113. >Yeah, the guards were just fucking with you, taking bets on how long it would take to crack you
  1114. >With shaking hands, you open the letter
  1115. >'To whom it may concern...'
  1116. >Blah blah blah, 'our condolences'
  1117. >Blah blah blah 'in Hajji, Dogfuckistan'
  1118. >'Service will be held November 21st, for family, friends, and comrades.'
  1119. >You read on, and on, it was just more of the same
  1120. >Well, until you flipped the page
  1121. >'Dear Maddy, Jim, Lily, and of course, Anon. First off, looks like I won't be able to bust you out like I wanted mate, sorry about that. I just want to say that, if those bastards ever let you get mail, that I don't believe you did anything wrong. You're a good man, Anon, never forget that.'
  1122. >The rest of the two paged letter was addressed to his family
  1123. >But the significance of being the first one addressed in such a letter was not lost on you
  1124. >And you knew, with what felt like a gutful of mercury, that your friend was indeed dead
  1125. >Your cheeks were warm and wet, your head was cloudy, and your arms leaden
  1126. >But in an instant, you looked at the calendar on your wall
  1127. >November, 13th
  1128. >Shit
  1129. >You dropped the letter and ran up to the bars
  1130. "Hey, guard! Get me some paper and a pen, like yesterday!"
  1131. >The guard, an older fellow on the force and actually a pretty cool guy overall, takes out three leaves of paper and a ballpoint pen
  1132. >"I thought you may want these, son. As much as I hate you for killing those officers, I respect you for your service."
  1133. >You grab his arm as it enters your cell and pull him roughly against the bars
  1134. >The poor fellow is too shocked to move
  1135. >But, after the scare, you simply grasp his hand and forearm tightly, and give it one shake
  1136. "Thank you."
  1137. >With that you let him go, pick up the utensils he gave you, heading back to your bunk and writing what was going to be the most important memo of your life
  1138. >'To Warden Abritch...'
  1139. >An hour later, you passed the sheaf of paper to the guard that had given it to you, along with the pen
  1140. >His smile brightens your day just a little bit, and as he walks off whistling, you find yourself overcome with a tiredness like none other
  1141. >You make your way back to your bunk and lay down, falling asleep as soon as your head touches the thin pillow
  1142. >The next morning, you're clapped in manacles and shackles to be brought before the warden
  1143. >The door to his office opens and you're ushered inside the small room
  1144. >At six feet tall, the office feels more cramped than it really is to you
  1145. >The warden, an average looking man, but one with, as you know, enough strength to beat a bear into submission, stands behind his desk
  1146. >"You know, when your letter arrived on my desk I was in an interview with the local newspaper about the security of this facility, and responding to queries about the mistreatment of prisoners."
  1147. >He sighs and turns to the wired window overlooking the general population section of the prison
  1148. >"You know, boy, when you came to my little slice of hell I wanted you dead. You'd killed eight of the finest officers this city has to offer, two of who I knew very well. Hell, I even bribed one of the crews down there to try and shank you, or I tried to bribe them."
  1149. >His forehead hits the glass with a muffled thump
  1150. >"You're a bad guy and you're guilty, everyone here knows it even if you say you aren't. And now, with this note? I don't have a choice but to let you go to this service. So you're going, four guards are going to escort you. Hell, I'm even going to give you armspan chain. And if you do anything, anything, to make me or my men look bad, your short life is going to be very uncomfortable."
  1151. >Not a word more is spoken, none more need to be said
  1152. >You were going to this service because your friend had died, not to get loose
  1153. >The week went by quickly, and soon enough you were in a wagon in your best clothes on your way to the service
  1154. >You exit the wagon and find yourself face to face with Mrs. Donahughe and her children
  1155. >She immediately pull you into a hug, and her children cling to your legs
  1156. >"Thank you for coming."
  1157. >You kiss the top of her head, not romantically but comfortingly
  1158. "I'd have broken out to come to this. I would never let him down."
  1159. >The service begins, and you sit next to the family, your guards standing immediately behind you and the family
  1160. >It's a pretty normal ceremony, and you hold your friends wife as she cries and stand or sit when you're told
  1161. >But then the coffin carrying Donahughe is walked down the aisle, and his young son, Jim, ran out into the way of the soldiers carrying the coffin and started tugging on their pant legs
  1162. >"No, don't take my daddy away! Daddy!"
  1163. >His mother takes him by the shoulders and guides him away, back to the seats
  1164. >But the child won't stop sobbing and shouting at the soldiers
  1165. >Then a stupid idea comes to your mind
  1166. >It's cliche, spaghetti dumping, and could end up with you getting shot
  1167. >So you choose it
  1168. >You walk over to where the band is playing a mournful march for the coffin travelling down the aisle
  1169. >There's the instrument
  1170. >It's a four-stringed that's similar to a guitar, but had more oriental sound to it
  1171. >You know only one tune on it, and only because you loved what it was from
  1172. >You begin playing it and walking back to the stands
  1173. >The guards had been struck still, not knowing what to do since you weren't really escaping or causing a disturbance
  1174. >You sing along with the song and crouch down to the young boys level, still playing and singing
  1175. >He doesn't stop crying, but he turns and hugs you, which stops you from playing the song simply because you're hugging him back
  1176. >You pick him up in one arm and carry the instrument in the other
  1177. >A short walk back over to the band and a return of the instrument before returning to your seat and giving the child back to his mother
  1178. >The rest of the ceremony was uneventful, and you were even called up to say a few words for your friend
  1179. >Though you were dumbfounded by the honour, you respectfully declined
  1180. >He didn't need a criminal marring his name, since he wasn't around to defend it anymore
  1181. >At the end of the ceremony, you stayed behind, along with the family and guards
  1182. >You walked with the Donahughes to the foot of the grave and knelt with them as they paid their respects
  1183. >"You know, Don always thought the world of you. When he heard you'd been arrested in that fight downtown, he was livid. He started making up plans to go and break you out, plans involving no one but you and him, and some involving the entire company. And I think they all would have followed him and got you out."
  1184. >She smiles, tears pouring from her eyes and breath hitching in her throat
  1185. >"Oh gods...he was such a good man. I can't believe he's just...gone! Why did this happen, why him?"
  1186. >You put a hand on her shoulder and offer her the only comforting thing you can think of, even though it sounded dreary in your head
  1187. "Because, Maddy, evil exists in the world. Your husband understood that and took up arms against it. Just think of how much evil he prevented while he still lived. Just because he's dead, doesn't mean he's gone. You know the saying, eh?"
  1188. >She looks up at you and nods, resting her forehead on your chest
  1189. >The weight made Chrysalis' necklace dig into the flesh of your breast
  1190. >It was too much for you to handle
  1191. >The tears poured from your eyes and the sobs tore the quiet air around the grave
  1192. >When you sank to your knees, Maddy fell with you, embracing your sobbing, shuddering form
  1193. >By the time you had finally quieted yourself, then sun had set and the air was chilly
  1194. >You rise with the family and make one last bow to the grave
  1195. >Before stepping back into the van, you hug each member of the devestated family in turn
  1196. "And don't you guys worry. I'll be out in no time."
  1197. >With no idea if the last statement was true, the door slams shut and you sit on the bench
  1198. >And with a sinking feeling, somehow you knew that would be the last free air you had on this planet
  1199. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1200. >A year ago the judge had pronounced your sentence
  1201. >On one count of assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of murder, and one of theft over five thousand dollars, you were sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for twenty-five years
  1202. >The only reason you weren't being charged with the deaths of the officers that had burned to death was because they couldn't prove you had set them alight
  1203. >Though, almost as a counterbalance, they tied you into the armoured car robbery you had commited a long time past
  1204. >So here you were, a maximum security facility in Edmonton
  1205. >For some reason known only to whatever gods looked down at you, they had kept you in the city
  1206. >It really didn't matter where you were, people found reasons to pick on you anyway
  1207. >"Hey, fucker. You'd better be giving me a good chunk o' yer food there."
  1208. >Speak of the devil...
  1209. >Fish was an ugly bastard from Newfoundland
  1210. >He'd been caught illegally fishing lobsters and, instead of giving in to a misdemeanor, killed four fisheries officials
  1211. >He was ugly, he was stupid, but he was strong
  1212. >He always went after the smaller fellows, or the new ones
  1213. >You fell neatly into the latter group, even though you were a good deal taller than him
  1214. >It didn't matter to you anyway, the food was shit
  1215. >But not today
  1216. >A year ago today was when Chrysalis had been killed, or stripped away to an unknown place
  1217. >So when you didn't give up your food, or even respond, the squat, fat piece of shit grabbed you by the only personal belonging you owned, her necklace
  1218. >Well, that was something you just couldn't abide
  1219. >Before either of you could blink, you had sent a devestating punch into your attackers throat
  1220. >The convicts eyes bulged and his cheeks ballooned, making him look even more like his namesake
  1221. >The food line froze in place, besides Fish who was gasping and clawing at his crushed trachea
  1222. >And the guards immediately decended on you
  1223. >Well, now was as good a time as any
  1224. "RIOT!"
  1225. >Your shout carried across the cafeteria with the volume that even a carreer drill sergeant would be proud of
  1226. >And the cafeteria exploded
  1227. >The guards were the first targets for most inmates, the men who tormented them and kept them from doing whatever they wanted to
  1228. >You were certain that some died, but most were likely just horrifically injured
  1229. >It didn't take long for the convicts to turn on each other though
  1230. >Butter knives were picked up and discarded, usually into somebodys kidney or throat
  1231. >You escaped much of the violence though, weaving your way through the worst of the fighting to reach your destination
  1232. >A grate in the wall that was just big enough for you to squeeze into
  1233. >You knew where it went, and you knew that it was now or never
  1234. >You jump up and tear it from the flimsy, rusted screws holding it in place, discarding it carelessly into the brawl behind you
  1235. >Just as you get your shoulders into the hole, your feet are grabbed
  1236. >You fly out of the vent and slam into a wall, head first
  1237. >Crack
  1238. >Several teeth break, your skull is fractured, and you're sure that something stabbed you
  1239. >Then again, maybe you just had your ribs broken
  1240. >Either way, you had no time to contemplate as a figure loomed over you
  1241. >Oh hell
  1242. >It was Fish's girlfriend, the enormous, and improperly named, Needle
  1243. >He was named for how he supposedly killed his first victim, a red hot needle into the eye and back into the brain
  1244. >Brutal
  1245. >But he had no needle in his hand, just an ugly, steel shank
  1246. >A shank that looked suspiciously like a piece of the grille from the grate you had thrown into the crowd moments ago
  1247. >You have plenty of time to look at it as it stabs into your gut
  1248. >The murderer leaves you there an wades back into the brawl
  1249. >Kidney, liver, diaphram, maybe the pancreas
  1250. >Those were what you knew would be broken and bleeding inside from the stabbing
  1251. >You had about three minutes left at the best
  1252. >As you look into the brawl, which was strangely hypnotizing to your pain-addled mind, the figures seem to move slower
  1253. >And they looked like they were becoming monochromatic
  1254. >You narrow your eyes and turn them downwards
  1255. >No, you were still wearing Day-Glo, bleeding vibrant crimson, and had those ugly brown sneakers from the prison
  1256. >So what was going on
  1257. >In a split second of thought, the entire fight freezes
  1258. >You notice, off in the corners, guards with rubber bullet equiped shotguns, and tear gas canisters
  1259. >But none of them are moving, and all are black, white, and shades in between
  1260. >Then you hear it
  1261. >Tick, tick, tick
  1262. >You had mistaken it as a clock at first, but it clearly wasn't
  1263. >Tick, tick, tick
  1264. >The origin of the noise was getting closer with every passing second, and you struggle to turn your head towards it
  1265. >Tick, tick, tick
  1266. >Finally you rotate your neck enough, and what you see would scare the piss out of you, if you weren't already dying
  1267. >It was a fedora clad, trench coat wearing giant
  1268. >What you could see of his face was covered in a disgusting, tangled mess of a beard that extended over what appeared to be multiple chins
  1269. >The apparent fat continued into a suede trench coat that seemed to be bursting with rolls unseen by any person before
  1270. >More disturbing were the stains on it, and the reek coming from this disgusting beast
  1271. >Tick, tick, tock
  1272. >The hideous thing stopped in front of you and looked down, as though noticing you for the first time
  1273. >"Well, hello there little man."
  1274. >His voice was thin, reedy, and very nasaly, which stood contrary to his expansive figure
  1275. >"You look a bit hurt. Perhaps I can help, eh?"
  1276. >You try to choke out a coherent sentence
  1277. "Hhhnnn...help...lungs...help."
  1278. >The beast leans closer and examines the rod of metal protruding from your abdomen
  1279. >"Well actually, it's the diaphram, along with a kidney and your liver."
  1280. >Heh, you called it
  1281. >If only Donahughe were around, you'd have made a bet on it
  1282. >Snap
  1283. >A blessed warmth poured through your belly and your breathing issues disappeared along with the pain
  1284. >You look down at your stomach
  1285. >No, the chunk of iron is still there, and you're still bleeding
  1286. >But you feel just fine
  1287. >"No, I didn't fix you, but you should be able to respond just fine to me. Now, would you like my help?"
  1288. >Another glance down at the wound, then a look at the hambeast leaning over you
  1289. "Yeah, I could use a hand here..."
  1290. >The man claps his hands together and a smile marres his already hideous visage
  1291. >"Wonderful! Please, call me 'OP'. Everyone else seems to these days anyway."
  1292. >OP?
  1293. >As in, original poster, like an image board?
  1294. >Fucking weird name, though the world was frozen while you bled out so anything was possible it seemed
  1295. "So, uh, OP was it? How can you help me?"
  1296. >He rubs his hands together like a greedy merchant
  1297. >"Well you see, I'm in the business of interdimensional trade. I take beings from one universe and plop them in another one at my leisure. There are terms, of course, but I only let a few people know them. It's more fun that way!"
  1298. >You cough, and a gout of blood comes out, along with what appeared to be a chunk of flesh
  1299. >Well you weren't technically a doctor, but there was no way that was good
  1300. >"Well, anyway. I've come to offer you a deal, Anonymous. I will rescue you from this, from death. I'll bring you over to Equestria, the land of your dreams. I'll fix you up, good as new, and even deliver you to the doorstep of your waifu."
  1301. >It sounds too good to be true, there's no way that's it
  1302. "And what terms are there for this...offer?"
  1303. >His horrific grin stretches inhumanely wide
  1304. >"Well it's very simple. You'll not be allowed to have sex, ever, at all. You'll still have your dick and balls, and all the desires they come with, but no sex allowed. Should you break these terms, I'll pluck you away and put you right back here, bleeding and dying."
  1305. >Well it seemed easy enough
  1306. >Maybe that was just the blood rapidly leaving your body saying that though
  1307. >Time for one more question though
  1308. "Were you the one that brought Chrysalis here?"
  1309. >His once tight-lipped grin breaks into a smile, showing terribly decayed teeth, rotting in place
  1310. >"I was indeed, just as I took her away when the terms were broken."
  1311. >So, he had kidnapped her, then taken her away just because someone saw her?
  1312. >Well, no matter the terms, you needed to repay Chrysalis for what she had done, had sacrificed, for you
  1313. >You stretch out an arm to the fedora topped monster
  1314. "Done. Bring me home, OP."
  1315. >He giggles like a giddly schoolgirl from one of those weird, Chinese cartoons
  1316. >"Oh I was hoping for a yes. So few people choose option one. Come on then!"
  1317. >His trench coat opens with a flutter, a horrible stench leaking from the now open garment
  1318. >But, it was empty
  1319. >There was nothing but a foul smelling void
  1320. >And before you could scream, it had wrapped around you like a funeral shroud, and you could feel yourself tear away from the earth
  1321. >The trauma was just too much for you, and you black right out with a last prayer uttered into the void you were suspended in that you'd wake up again
  1322. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1323. >You float through a world without form, without purpose, meaning, or name
  1324. >A dull, pulsing light grows on the horizon, beating in time with your nonexistent heart
  1325. >More than seeing it, you feel it
  1326. >A warm, wet thud that reverberates through the space inbetween reality and dream
  1327. >You are drawn towards the light
  1328. >It speaks to you without a voice, it whispers in your ear without making a noise
  1329. >It tells you that everything is going to be okay
  1330. >It tells you that it will always be there for you
  1331. >It offers you sanctuary in its residence
  1332. >And if gives you love
  1333. >Now I know, you think as your soul frays and is pulled deeper into the cast off gloom about the light, how Chrysalis felt
  1334. >And with that final thought, the warm light engulfs you, feeding heat through your limbs and form to your soul
  1335. >You snap awake screaming, your body reacting to how your soul felt at being violated in such a fundamental way
  1336. >Wait, your body
  1337. >You have a body again
  1338. >The realization is only half as impacting as the pressure you feel around your chest
  1339. >Something is restraining you
  1340. >With a sudden strike, you tear the offending appendages away from your chest
  1341. >You flip yourself over and pin your gaoler to the bed that it held you in
  1342. >"Anonymous, wait!"
  1343. >Your captor shouted in the same instant that you had frozen at seeing its face
  1344. >Rather, her face
  1345. >Chrysalis
  1346. >Alive and well, and holding you
  1347. >You scoop her into a hug and lift her off the bed, twirling about the room until your head cracks against a low hanging stalactite
  1348. >That promptly drops you on your ass, with Chrysalis landing on top of you and giggling at your antics
  1349. >"Oh, Anon. I thought I'd never see you again! How did you get here? Why did you come? What happened to make you scream like that?"
  1350. >You hold up your hands in mock surrender
  1351. "Well, I think it was the same guy that brought you here. See, I kinda got stabbed while I was in jail, and he may have offered to bring me over to your neck of the woods."
  1352. >She cuts of the explaination that you were going to continue
  1353. >"What? You were in prison? Why did they put you there, you were innocent! And the being that brought me to you brought you here? Why would he do such a thing? None of this makes se--!"
  1354. >You cut her off by putting a hand on her muzzle and giving a gentle squeeze
  1355. "Just let me get to that part, in due time. Don't interupt, okay?"
  1356. >She nods, blushing from the gentle rebuke
  1357. "Now. I was in prison because they blamed me for killing all those cops, along with a few other things that I actually did. I don't know why the thing that brought you to me brought me here. Maybe he just gets off to this kinda stuff. But none of that matters."
  1358. >You stroke her cheeks with your hand and smile
  1359. "I'm here with you now, and that's all that matters."
  1360. >The changeling queen tears up at your statement and flings herself onto your chest, sobbing at the overwhelming idea that you're here
  1361. >And you hold her there, comforting her until the sun breaks over the Eastern sky, and then until you both fall asleep
  1362. -------------------------------------------------------
  1363. >Chrysalis is standing above you with a look of lust in her eyes
  1364. >You're laying back on the couch you were sharing tonight
  1365. >You had been showing her "Avatar: The Last Airbender" over the past couple nights
  1366. >Tonight, you had just finished watching "The Cave of Two Lovers" and she had thought it was the sappiest thing she'd ever seen
  1367. >And it had got her in just the right mood
  1368. >You felt her magic pull your pants down to your ankles, along with the underpants your wore
  1369. >You felt the warmth of her marehood engulf your rapidly swelling member
  1370. >She always made short work of you, her muscle control was unbelievable
  1371. >You felt her tongue wrap itself around your shaft, stroking it in all the right places
  1372. >Wait tongue?
  1373. >You snap back to reality
  1374. >Or rather, wakefulness
  1375. >The groginess that usually came with a quick awakening, especially from a dream like that, was hurridly dispelled when you see the reason for it
  1376. >Chrysalis' head bobs up and down on your crotch, a steady rhythm that feels too damn good for you to stop her
  1377. >But you at least manage to form a coherent sentence in spite of the stimuli
  1378. "Chrysi...hey, stop a second would you?"
  1379. >She does as she's bid and looks up at you, though she keeps her mouth around your dick
  1380. >~What is it, Anonymous?~
  1381. >You feel the words, less than hearing them
  1382. >Oh...she was using telepathy
  1383. >Too bad you don't know how to respond with it
  1384. "The guy that brought me here, he said if I do anything sexual with ponies then...I'll be sent back right to where I was, dying on the floor."
  1385. >She removes herself from her actions and stares at you with a look, of what could be contempt, on her face
  1386. >"You think this is about pleasure, Anonymous? This is about survival! All of my children are dead, I'm the only changeling left in Equestria! You think that I'm doing this because I want to PLEASURE you?"
  1387. >You shrink back from her
  1388. >She was right, why would you immediately assume such a thing
  1389. >Well, because of humans inherent nature to have sex for pleasure, not so much procreating
  1390. "Look, I'm sorry. I just don't want to lose you again."
  1391. >She nuzzles your bare leg and looks up at you
  1392. >"I don't want to lose you either, but I don't want to be the only one left of my entire race. Please..."
  1393. >You smile, lean down, and stroke her horn, eliciting a moan from her
  1394. >She takes her cue and goes back to what she was doing while you were sleeping
  1395. >It doesn't take her long
  1396. >Who knew that changeling tongues were prehensile?
  1397. >As you moan in ecstasy, she deepthroats you quickly and swallows your load
  1398. >With what little strength of will you have left, you take her horn and pull her, gently, towards you
  1399. >She follows the little force you put behind the action and nuzzles up to your neck
  1400. >Well, no OP around, so you figure that this at least was okay to do
  1401. >But then something occurs to you
  1402. "Hold on. I'm a human, you're a changeling. How will our genetics be compatible enough to produce kids?"
  1403. >She purrs into your neck before explaining
  1404. >"When I swallowed your semen, it was directed to a certain gland in my body. There, its genetic material will be absorbed and used to fertilize eggs, after a complex process involving magic to make it compatible. It'll all be done automatically though, so we can do whatever in the mean time."
  1405. >That only raised further questions
  1406. "Wait, then why would you need me? I've been gone for over a year, why not just use the material from any other species around here?"
  1407. >She pulls away from you with a look of shock in her eyes
  1408. >Shock that is accented by the formation of tears
  1409. >"Anon...you're the only thing besides my own children that I've ever loved. How could I use another being after the bond I formed with you? There was no other option but to wait for you, or die alone."
  1410. >That was an incredible testament to her will
  1411. >And reminded you of the weight that hung about your neck
  1412. >You remove the necklace from your person and wrap it around her, once more giving her the only physical object that would ever express your love for her
  1413. >In return, she nips your neck in what you had come to interpret at a sign of her affection
  1414. >You knew that this was a relationship that would last as long as you two were with each other
  1415. >The months passed by rather quickly
  1416. >Especially with a new concern mounting for yourself and Chrysalis
  1417. >Parenthood
  1418. >It seemed that, though your 'material' had been modified to be compatible, the act had also repurposed her reproductive system somewhat
  1419. >She now gestated and gave live birth, instead of laying a clutch of fertilized eggs
  1420. >She was shocked when, in three months, she had given birth to what had looked like a little, human girl
  1421. >Except had a physical structure like her mother from the waist down, and large eyes, entirely robin's egg blue, without a visible pupil
  1422. >Proud tears had come to your eyes when you held the baby in your arms
  1423. >Well, after Chrysalis had nearly bitten your arm off for trying to take her away
  1424. >Once you'd calmed her down, you held the child and softly sang the same lullaby you had sung to your long gone, long vanished girlfriend
  1425. >You never had found out what happened to her
  1426. >You'd cried the entire time you held your little bundle of joy
  1427. >Over the next while, Chrysalis began to birth them in groups of three or more at a time
  1428. >It seemed that her organs were adapting to the stange act of gestation the more they experienced it
  1429. >Or something
  1430. >You weren't a biologist to decide such things
  1431. >You were just a father that enjoyed the company of the being that could best be called hs wife, and his children
  1432. >All near two hundred of them
  1433. >After that many, she seemed to stop producing eggs entirely
  1434. >Maybe her body was just exhausted, her body knew that she'd not be able to produce any more and stay healthy
  1435. >Whatever it was, two years had passed since your coming to the pony world, and you only rarely ventured outside the two or so acres that your family had taken as their own
  1436. >Turns out, they didn't need much food with you around
  1437. >Apparently humans were a better source of love than ponies because something something deeper meaning
  1438. >You didn't care for the explaination, you cared for what it ultimately meant
  1439. >Which in this case, was that you provided for your family simply by hugging them, playing with them, or letting them share your and Chrysi's bed when they had bad dreams
  1440. >But you knew that the peace you enjoyed could only last so long
  1441. >Such was the life you lived
  1442. >Your oldest daughter came running over the hill that crested above the Everfree Forest
  1443. >Your little abode was on the Southern end of the dangerous place, the opposite side that Ponyville was on
  1444. >You had figured if you didn't bother the ponies, they wouldn't bother you
  1445. >You could see tears brimming in her solid blue eyes
  1446. >Even though she was just two years old, her body had matured to the point of a nine or ten year old
  1447. >It seemed that the little satyrs grew faster than normal children, that was good for you
  1448. >The second you saw her crest the hill, you had already been running towards her
  1449. >Normally, you'd walk calmly out, so as to not alarm the rest of your kids, but this was clearly something important, possibly and emergency
  1450. >When she got within ten feet of you, she flung herself into the air and propelled herself on barely visible wings into a tackling hug
  1451. >You hold the hug for a few seconds before pushing her back and holding onto her shoulders while you looked her in the eyes
  1452. "Mistake, what's wrong, why are you crying?"
  1453. >The poor girl sniffled and wiped her eyes
  1454. >Mistake, it sounded like a horrible name to give a child, especially one like her
  1455. >But it hadn't been entirely your fault
  1456. >Neither you nor Chrysalis could think of  name for her as she grew, and by the time she was walking, you both still didn't think of anything
  1457. >One time, when you were sitting in bed with your child and wife, stroking the former and holding the latter, Chrysalis had asked you a question that horrified you
  1458. >"Anonymous...did we make a mistake?"
  1459. >You were shocked at the question, and responded in a sharper way than you intended to
  1460. "What the fuck are you talking about? Our child is not a mistake!"
  1461. >Chrysalis began to cry when you raised your voice
  1462. >"It's my fault, my body must have screwed up somewhere. I know that it made a mistake somewhere!"
  1463. >You grabbed her muzzle forcefully as the last syllable had left her mouth
  1464. >Then you had quieted your voice, conscious of the stirring child clinging to your chest
  1465. "Listen to me Chrysi. We didn't make a mistake. But we do have a responsibility to raise this child, okay? No matter what she is, human, changeling, or something in between. Even if she is a mistake, he's our mistake, okay?"
  1466. >Chrysalis had nodded and laid her head down on your chest, sharing the space with her daughter, and fell asleep
  1467. >After a time, you fell asleep as well
  1468. >The next morning, as you were cooking breakfast for yourself on the stove you had made, your daughter had bounded into the room, excitedly shouting her first word
  1469. >Though the nature of the word stopped it from being a magical moment for you
  1470. >"Mistake! Mistake! Mistake!"
  1471. >It took you a second to realize she was pointing at herself every time she said it
  1472. >You picked the child up in your arms and tried to get her to stop
  1473. >But every time you shushed her, she said it again with a bigger grin
  1474. >Finally, you just gave in
  1475. >Chrysalis was actually relieved by the event
  1476. >"It means that even if she is called a mistake, she'll never take it as an insult. Maybe it's for the best."
  1477. >That was what she had said
  1478. >And you had known, deep down, it was the truth
  1479. >So, in the present and not your memories, Mistake explained what had happened
  1480. >"I was in the forest, deeper than you said to go. I'm sorry daddy!"
  1481. >You shushed her cries and stroked her back
  1482. "Hey, princess, it's okay. What happened to make you cry though?"
  1483. >She looked into your eyes and continued the story
  1484. >"Well, I went pretty far in and found some buildings. There were creatures that looked like mommy but were all colourful. I went to go say hi and they screamed and ran away. I went after them to find out what was wrong, but they ran into a big building with a bell on top."
  1485. >Her sobs have mostly stopped, though the tears are still running down her face
  1486. >"I went in and there was a bigger one that the little ones were all huddled behind, I think it was their mommy. But she started screaming at me to go away because I was bad and I would hurt the children. But I would never hurt them, daddy! Never!"
  1487. >You lift her chin up gently so she looks into your eyes
  1488. "Hey, I know that. Maybe she just made a mistake, eh? You looked different than her, so she got scared. Don't worry, I'll go with you next time, okay?"
  1489. >She smiles up at you and sniffs away the last of the tears
  1490. >"Okay daddy!"
  1491. >You give her another hug, kiss her on the forehead, and send her to go play with her siblings
  1492. >You had to talk to Chrysalis about this
  1493. >Making your way through the throngs of your kids, who were sprawling all over the area, wrestling or playing other games with each other, you headed for the cave you called home
  1494. >When you made it inside, you immediately went to where you knew Chrysalis would be
  1495. >She was there, as expected, reading a story to about eight childlings
  1496. >When you came in, she smiled and closed the book after marking the page
  1497. >"Okay kids, time to go out and play. Mommy and Daddy need to talk?"
  1498. >They moaned and groaned, but did as they were told and left
  1499. >You sat next to her and kissed her cheek
  1500. >"What's the matter?"
  1501. >You smile at the matronly changeling
  1502. "You know me too well, hon. Mistake was walking through the Everfree and...well she made it all the way to Ponyville."
  1503. >Chrysalis gasped and, in the same instant, snarled
  1504. >"Did they do anything to her? I swear if they touched one hair of my daughters head I'll--"
  1505. >You cut her off before she can go on about what horrible things she'd do to the ponies
  1506. "She's fine. They just yelled and scared her off. But we can't avoid it any longer, we need to go and meet with the ponies. The last thing we need is open warfare, okay?"
  1507. >Chrysalis sighs and nods her head
  1508. >"Very well. Tomorrow we will--"
  1509. >For the second time in as many minutes, the queen-mother is cut off
  1510. >This time though, it's by a screaming, crying, scared stampede of her children
  1511. >You immediately thought danger and took the long knife you kept hidden under your bed from its place
  1512. >Chrysalis stood beside you, blocking any access to your kin, protectively
  1513. >And ever so slowly, you two advanced down the tunnel to the entrance
  1514. >Finally, you stepped into the daylight
  1515. >Only to be ordered to halt by an officious looking stallion in fancy armour, flanked by perhaps forty troops also armoured and armed
  1516. >"Come no further, changeling and...consort? We will not tolerate your presence on these sovreign lands of Equestria!"
  1517. >You glance at his cutie mark
  1518. >It had been so long since you'd seen the show, but somehow that mark clicked just so
  1519. "Captain Shining Armour, of the Royal Equestrian Guard. Queen Chrysalis and I, her mate, mean none of you any harm. However, we will do what is necessary to protect our children, even if it means resorting to violence."
  1520. >The captain, who was indeed Shining Armour, brother of the element of magic took a step back wards
  1521. >Clearly he was shocked that you knew about him at all
  1522. >"I..uh that is, the princess' recognize the changeling threat as it is. We witnessed the results of their previous attempt to conquer Canterlot, which was stopped by Princess Cadence!"
  1523. >Chrysalis muttered under her breath at the mention of Cadence
  1524. >"Little whore."
  1525. >You stifle a laugh, remembering making fun of her for being the princess of 'love' of all sorts
  1526. >But the high and mighty captain was on a roll and didn't even notice
  1527. >"Vacate these lands now, or you will be vacated by force. I have a platoon of the finest guardsponies available to me, and we will not hesitate to protect out home."
  1528. >You glance over at Chrysalis, who was breathing heavy with anticipation
  1529. "That sounds like a challenge, my queen. What would you say to that?"
  1530. >She rears up to her full height and laughs before shouting down at Shining
  1531. >"This is my home, little pony. I gave birth to my children here, and I have raised them here. Not even ten thousand guards could stop me from living in this land. So go tell your princess' to come in person if they want to negotiate, not to send belligerent underlings!"
  1532. >One of the unicorns in the troop, a young one with a coat the colour of gamboge, and a mane like a raw sapphire
  1533. >"Don't you dare speak to the captain that way!"
  1534. >A bolt of magic flew from his horn, one that Chrysalis couldn't deflect from being distracted by the captain in question
  1535. >So you react, with speeds far faster than you could have even managed normally, and deflected it from the flat of the blade back to its source
  1536. >The bolt scorched the stupid guards horn and knocked him out cold
  1537. >Unfortunately the rest of the platoon, deciding that was the opening of hostilities, opened fire
  1538. >You grab Chrysalis and throw yourself on top of her, slamming hard into the dirt
  1539. >Your vision flashes red for a second, and you manage to growl an order to Chrysalis before you inexplicably lose control of yourself
  1540. "Stay down!"
  1541. >With that, you throw yourself at the group of ponies, burning out their ley-lines trying to hit you
  1542. >Many go wide because of your erratic movement, but some scorch the jacket you wear over your clothing
  1543. >Then you reach the first guard in the line up, or the closest one to you at least
  1544. >You grab him, by his horn, and throw him into the ranks of his fellows
  1545. >The resulting magical feedback triggers three seizures in other unicorns around him, and gives you a splitting migrane
  1546. >But you had to ignore all that for now
  1547. >You let your hind brain take over the fight, only thinking conscousely in order to make sure no blow was lethal
  1548. >No point in being seen as an animal, it certainly wouldn't help your case
  1549. >It was clear the ponies were out of touch with hand to hoof combat, and you only had a few lucky hits on your ribs
  1550. >Within minutes, the guards were all on the ground, besides their captain
  1551. >As you stalked up on him, knife held low, you felt the corners of your mouth twist up in a grin
  1552. >But he didn't become captain of the guard by being stupid
  1553. >He casts a barrier in front of himself, but it isn't an ordinary barrier
  1554. >You see yourself in it
  1555. >And it frightens you
  1556. >Your face is twisted in a maniac grin, your eyes glowing green and appearing to leak some kind of smoke from the sides
  1557. >Blood covers half of your head from a glancing hit from a bolt of magic
  1558. >And your hands are aglow with some kind of mystic energy
  1559. >With a great force of will, you force yourself to become calm
  1560. >The monster in the barrier fades away and is replaced by a scared, injured human with a knife
  1561. >But you maintain a blank face and look Shining Armour right in his eyes
  1562. "The princess' can come themselves if they want to try and make us leave. Until then, do not dare come back. Next time, I won't hold myself back from killing you all."
  1563. >The guardpony gulped and backed away
  1564. >"I...I will pass on the message to the princesses."
  1565. >To his credit, he didn't look away until he was across the hill
  1566. >You sat down, hard, when he was finally out of sight
  1567. >Chrysalis was immediately  by your side, nuzzling at your neck and licking your wounds
  1568. >"Anon, do you think they'll be back?"
  1569. >You run a hand through your matted hair, dropping the knife at your side
  1570. "I have no doubt. But don't worry, I'd bring the princess' themselves low to keep you and our children safe."
  1571. >You wrap an arm around her withers and she rests her head on your chest
  1572. >And there you sit as your children come out and gather around you, Mistake pushing her way to the front and curling up in your lap
  1573. >So your family spend the night under the moon, sleeping the warm summer night away
  1574. >None of you knew what you'd need to face in the coming weeks and months, but it was certain you would face it as a family
  1575. -------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1576. >Three days passed
  1577. >Nothing happened, so the children relaxed and went back to playing outside after the second day
  1578. >You spent more time with them, as a result of the fear of an attack
  1579. >Chrysalis, as well, was spending much more time outside among the children, but always beside you
  1580. >It was fine by you, you quite enjoyed spending so much time with her
  1581. >It was quite often that you two would simply sit at the top of the hill, basking in the last days of summer, while your children roughed about the area, never straying out of sight
  1582. >But you could feel it, and so could she
  1583. >Something was in the air, a tension that came before something broke
  1584. >So when it did finally break, you were prepared
  1585. >The sun rose on the fourth day, and the sound of trumpets heralded the end of the peace that had consumed the past few days
  1586. >You rose with Chrysalis, the childlings sleeping all around the area getting up more slowly than you two
  1587. >With Mistake, the oldest of her siblings, in tow you make your way outside to greet whatever was here to bother you this time
  1588. >The sight was rather shocking
  1589. >Six gold carriages drawn by, if their uniforms were anything to go by, elite pegasi warriors landed about forty meters from the cave entrance
  1590. >When their passengers disembark Chrysalis immediately hisses, sending a backwash through the limited hive mind shared with her children and with you
  1591. >It warned them to stay inside the cave
  1592. >But the one who was already outside clung to you leg even tighter, too scared to do anything else
  1593. >It was no matter of course
  1594. >You would protect her, you'd protect the entire hive
  1595. >The Bearers of Harmony stepped daintily from their transports, each carrying the embodiment of the element they represented in life
  1596. >Neither you, nor Chrysalis, made any move towards them
  1597. >They weren't guests to be treated with manners; it was clear they had come with intent to get rid of you and your family
  1598. >Eventually, they found their way over to you two and Chrysalis engaged in a staredown with Twilight Sparkle, who was at the head of the pack of friends
  1599. >After a time, Chrysalis smiled
  1600. >You knew that smile, she was going to taunt the shit out of Twilight
  1601. >"So the rumours of your being a princess were true. I'm not sure if congratulations or lamentations are in order. I suppose you'll know once you watch all your friends whither and die in age, while you stay aside of the ravages of time."
  1602. >Twilight huffed, but came back with a barbed retort quickly
  1603. >"And the rumours of your demise, it seems, were greatly exagerated. But it seems that the same can not be said for your brood. Why I personally saw the last one expire in the Canterlot dungeons."
  1604. >You didn't need the mental link with the hive queen to know that Twilight had hit a dangerously raw nerve
  1605. >Oh Twilight, such a smart little mare, but so damn stupid when it came to interacting with anything but her friends
  1606. >Without a sound, Chrysalis engulfed the young princess in a cocoon of magic and threw her against one of the chariots
  1607. >"Do not dare speak of my children with such disdain! I don't care if you're a regular pony, stupid princess, or the embodiment of chaos entirely, I will not tolerate such things!"
  1608. >Rainbow Dash flew in from what appeared to be nowhere and tackled the brood mother
  1609. >"What the hay are you doing you monster? We came here to offer you a chance, and you attack us?"
  1610. >This time, you step in from the sidelines, slightly encumbered by the frightened childling clining to your shin
  1611. >You grab Dash by the throat, with only a little less force than required to crush her trachea, and pull her away from Chrysalis
  1612. "Don't you dare touch her again, pegasus. We live here with our children in peace, but you bring armoured and armed platoons of uncorns to push us out. Now you come, bearing the Elements no less, to do the same. All we want is peace, but it is clear that we cannot have it so long as you believe us so weak that a few guards can remove us."
  1613. >You throw her back to her friends, who are crowded around Twilight
  1614. >The purple alicorn clambers to her hooves unsteadily, but when she looks back at you her gaze is of iron
  1615. >"Formation girls."
  1616. >You know what they're doing the second it starts, but you're powerless to stop
  1617. >Some kind of hypnotic property of the activation of the Elements held you in place
  1618. >And so, you could only watch the events unfold as they did
  1619. >Chrysalis, it seemed, too was struck by the elements, and froze in a stupor just watching her demise come on
  1620. >But as the prismatic beam tore up through the sky, one soul broke the curse through sheer force of will
  1621. >Chrysalis was thrown a few meters away from where the beam of the elements struck
  1622. >But the place she had occupied wasn't empty when she left it
  1623. >A piercing scream echoes through the valley, as though rising from Tartarus itself
  1624. >It breaks the spell over you, and you sprint over to where the still smouldering crater that the Elements had made was
  1625. >Without regard for your own safety, you jump into the hole
  1626. >Patches of the ground have turned to liquid glass from the heat, and they melt the soles of your boots something awful
  1627. >But when you reach the epicenter of the attack, what you find drops you to your knees in spite of the extreme conditions
  1628. >You grab your firstborn child, Mistake, and cradle her next to your chest
  1629. >Her small frame is burned and bloodied, her huma skin cracking in the heat, and her chitinous legs twisted at odd angles
  1630. >She looks at you with tearful eyes, clouded with a milky precipitate
  1631. >"Daddy...what happened? Why is it so hot?"
  1632. >Her voice is barely loud enough to be heard over the spitting, cooling earth around you
  1633. "Don't worry princess, you're going to be just fine. You've just got a few owies on you. When we get back to the cave, we'll patch you up, okay?"
  1634. >She smiles at you, chapped lips cracking and bleeding
  1635. >"Okay, daddy. Thank you for turning down the heat."
  1636. >Turning down the...? Oh no
  1637. >The child closes her eyes and slumps in your arms
  1638. >With a dreadful certainty, you know that the first casualty of what could be a horrific war has fallen
  1639. >Tears fall down your cheeks, streaking through the soot and ash marring them, as you make your way out of the crater
  1640. >You ignore the attempted apologies of of the shocked ponies, making a beeline for the paralyzed queen just aside the crater
  1641. >Without a word passed between you two, you place the body of your firstborn on her back
  1642. >Chrysalis removes the lifeless child with magic and sinks to the ground, cradling it and sobbing as any mother who has lost her child would
  1643. >But the the mournful wails, the atmosphere is still
  1644. >You decide to break that stillness
  1645. "Twilight Sparkle."
  1646. >Your voice carries no authority, no excessive volume, not even emotion
  1647. >And it carried the point across perfectly
  1648. >The young alicorn, ears flat against her skull with fear, approaches you
  1649. >"I-I'm sorry, we didn't want to kill anypony. Much less a little girl like--"
  1650. >You cut her off with a gesture and step up closer to her
  1651. >Once you're within inches of her, you kneel down so you can look her in the eyes
  1652. "None of us here, but for you, are ponies. And none of us here want anything to do with you, we just wanted to raise our family in peace. But you just couldn't abide that, could you? Creatures living in peace outside your domain."
  1653. >Twilight is locked into staring at you, though tears pour freely down her cheeks
  1654. >It doesn't stop you from reach back and stroking her mane
  1655. "And so you brought a fight to us, thinking we would just keel over at the first sign of a threat and surrender. But you found us to be tougher than you expected, so you sent the most powerful magic items in the universe to bring us low. And with them, you ended the life of a child, my firstborn daughter."
  1656. >Your hand reaches the base of her wings and she shudders
  1657. >Clearly they were indeed quite sensitive, though you had no intention to pleasure her, if they were indeed erotic
  1658. "Do you know the difference between a mistake and a failure, Ms. Sparkle?"
  1659. >Though wracked with sobs, she manages to shake her head slowly
  1660. >Her friends, as you noticed, are too shocked by the scene to do anything, likely because you appear to be comforting her
  1661. "A mistake is a mistake. It only becomes a failure when you refuse to correct it."
  1662. >With that said, you grasp the base of her one with with the hand already there and reach forward and take the second one in your other hand
  1663. >And with one, mighty wrench, fueled by the righteous anger of a father devestated by loss, you snap the hollow bones of her wings
  1664. >She collapses to the ground, screaming and writhing in utter agony
  1665. >But you just stand above her, without any sort of emotion contorting your features
  1666. >Emotion doesn't even taint your voice when you speak down to the screeching mare
  1667. "The mistake has been corrected, Twilight Sparkle. Let us hope you are not foolish enough to attempt something like this again
  1668. >Her friends and the guards, clearly more concerned with her wellbeing than fighting you, carry her back to the chariots and then take off at a breakneck pace
  1669. >But you sink down next to your wife, holding her along with the body of your child, while your children slowly crawl out of the cave to be around you
  1670. >As a family you cry and wail at the death of Mistake, as a family you hold each other in comfort
  1671. >And eventually, as a family, you sleep under the stars unwilling to leave each other, even for a second
  1672. --------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1673. >The beating of wings and crunch of gravel wake you from a fine slumber
  1674. >You open your eyes, the moon is bright and full
  1675. >You had decided to sleep under it while Chrysalis was out with the older children
  1676. >The younger ones had stayed behind, however, and were in various positions around your, now awake, form
  1677. >You stand and turn towards the source of the sound, fully prepared to rid yourself of any threat to the still slumbering babes about your feet
  1678. >The figure before you is cloaked and hooded, but the gait, size, and general air of superiority give away its identity
  1679. "Luna, princess of the night, sister of the Sun, and the Lucifer of Equestria. What brings you to my humble home this night?"
  1680. >You speak in hushed tones, so as not to wake any of your kids
  1681. >Fortunately, she has enough courtesy to do the same
  1682. >"What is that last title you placed upon me? What is this 'Lucifer' you speak of?"
  1683. >You chuckle and gaze up at the foreign constellations you had grown used to in your years under them
  1684. "He's a mythological figure. At one time, he was the greatest of all beings under God, the almighty creator of everything. But he saw how great he was and became prideful. He rebelled against his father, God, and brought war in the heavens. And then he was struck down and banished for his hubris. Sound familiar, princess?"
  1685. >She bristles and you can practically see the anger radiating from her, and yet there was none in her voice
  1686. >"Perhaps I was once like that, but no longer. I have been forgiven and pardoned for the foolishness of my youth."
  1687. >You laugh quietly again and turn your gaze back to her
  1688. "Look at me, barely pushing thirty and I'm able to vex a being that's several thousand years old.  Now, why is it you have come?"
  1689. >She composes herself and meets you gaze evenly
  1690. >"I came to speak to the queen, not her lowly consort. Where is she that we might speak?"
  1691. >You put on a bored gaze and let your eyes wander
  1692. "She took the older children and went on a hunting trip. And I'd watch your tongue, this 'lowly consort' still has enough clout to box your ears."
  1693. >You both know the bravado is empty, but it makes you feel a bit better about confronting what basically amounted to a god among ponies
  1694. >Luna's ears flick and she sits down in the clear patch she had landed in
  1695. >"Then pass on a message to her. Tell her to run, for my sister is on her way."
  1696. >A chill runs up your spine at the implication of her words
  1697. "When? How many are coming with her?"
  1698. >Luna just shakes her head and looks down
  1699. >"Two, maybe three companies of her elite guards, a platoon of sappers, and the Elements. If you stay, it will be a slaughter."
  1700. >You run a hand through your rather long hair, it had been a while since you'd visited a barber
  1701. "Why...why are you telling me this? You're the sister of the princess behind these plans, it just doesn't make sense."
  1702. >Now it's Luna's turn to look up at the night, her night, and drift into memories
  1703. >"Over a thousand years ago, before I had become Nightmare Moon, but after her spirit had been whispering suggestions in my head long enough for me to listen, I sought the aid of Queen Auraxima of Hive Gander. I asked her for the secret ways underneath Canterlot that her changelings had dug out over centuries, before we had pushed them out previously."
  1704. >She closes her eyes, and hangs her head low
  1705. >"The hive queen was skeptical at first, and asked me why I would want such a thing. I fabricated a tale of Celestia as a tyrant, crushing those beneath her. I said that I wished for such things to end, but I needed the help of others. With some reluctance, she gave me a map of the tunnels, along with a warning. She had told me that 'your path is foolish. Be careful where you step, lest the rock beneath your feet crumble and you fall without end.'"
  1706. >She opens her eyes and turns to stare into yours
  1707. >"The queen was right, though at the time I though it to be simply the ramblings of a mad creature. As I was leaving, a smaller, different coloured changeling that looked like the queen stepped in front of me. She told me that she was happy I'd be pushing out Celestia, because my sister had killed many of her broodmates. I just nodded and pushed past her. That was Chrysalis, I know now. I bring her this information so that she may escape and live in peace, I owed her mother for the guidance but never repaid her. So now I repay the daughter."
  1708. >You nod, it seems like a plausible happening and Celestia was probably a bitch when it came to anyone harming Twilight
  1709. >Which you had, of course, done with reckless abandon
  1710. "When will they arrive?"
  1711. >Luna shakes her head again
  1712. >"They march as soon as the troops are assembled. It will take them at least two days to cross the Everfree with that many though, so you have at least that long."
  1713. >You nod and hold out a hand to her, fingers spread and palm exposed
  1714. >Luna hesitates, but extends her hoof and lets it meet your hand
  1715. >You bow and kiss just below the fetlock before speaking
  1716. "I thank you, princess. I'm certain that your information will save many lives. Now I am in your debt."
  1717. >She moves her hoof and puts it on your shoulder, giving you a sad smile
  1718. >"You don't need to repay it, human. Just keep your family safe. I'll do what I can to talk my sister out of this action, and the knowledge that only you and Chrysalis are adults may help stay her hammer. But I can make no promises, my sister has a temper that burns as hot as the sun she controls. Good luck."
  1719. >With that, she flaps her mighty wings and flies into her night
  1720. >You feel a tug on your pantleg and look down, finding one of your children
  1721. >It was Noumena, of the most recent and final brood
  1722. >She was the smallest of the three, her brothers  Axim and Oberon were taller than most of the others that were older
  1723. >Her shapeshifting was far better though, probably some kind of natural adaptation
  1724. >You lean down and pick her up, giving a quick kiss on the cheek
  1725. >She giggles as your scruffy beard you'd been growing tickles her cheek
  1726. "Hey princess, what are you doing up?"
  1727. >She blinks, as though suddenly remembering why she was awake
  1728. >"Who was that you were talking to, daddy?"
  1729. >You ruffle her hair before responding
  1730. "That was Princess Luna, she's a very nice princess. Her sister, Celestia, isn't though. She just came to talk, that's all."
  1731. >"What did she talk about?"
  1732. >Oh hell, how would you explain this to a little girl, barely three months old though with the mind and body of a four year old?
  1733. >Well, you could always lie
  1734. "She just came to apologize for what happened to Mistake. I accepted it and thanked her, then apologized for what I did to Twilight."
  1735. >She nods, accepting the explaination
  1736. >"They did something mean to Mistake. But you did something mean to Twilight, so it's all okay right?"
  1737. >You grin at the inquisitive statement
  1738. "That's right, sweetie. Remember our motto: 'No one strikes me with impunity.' Say it now."
  1739. >"No one strikes me with impu- impuni-...and gets away with it!"
  1740. >You chuckle softly at her struggle with the word and give her another kiss
  1741. "Close enough. Ready for bed, kiddo?"
  1742. >She nods and rests her head on your shoulder, falling off to sleep almost right away
  1743. >You knew that the closer you were to your kids at any given time, the better fed they were. Hugs and kisses were like a meal, and sleeping right next to either you or Chrysalis was like a feast
  1744. >Your parents had been right about something though, you never could have favourites with kids
  1745. >With that last thought weighing heavily, you lay down on the soft grass and fall asleep with little Noumena resting on you, hugging your neck
  1746. -------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1747. >You wake up again, this time with the sun high in the sky
  1748. >Chrysalis must have returned some time after Luna had left, because the number of childlings in the clearing had doubled
  1749. >And she was curled up next to you, breathing steadily
  1750. >You look about and take in the sight of your children basking in the late morning sunlight
  1751. >Noumena shifts on your chest as you rise, making a noise that sounded half-way between a purr and a whimper
  1752. >You stroke her ponytail and set her down next to Chrysalis
  1753. >The little childling immediately curls up against her mothers chest and wraps her arms around it as best she can
  1754. >You look out and scan the morning horizon, squinting in the low sun
  1755. >As you seach, something catches your eye and you snap on it
  1756. >A dust cloud, coming from the West
  1757. >Canterlot and Ponyville lay to the North, and going around the Everfree would have taken longer than going through, so it wasn't ponies
  1758. >Still, it paid to be cautious
  1759. >You turn back to your sleeping mate and shake her gently
  1760. >She blinks her green eyes and looks up at you tiredly
  1761. >"Anon, what is it?"
  1762. >Noumena, disturbed by her mothers movement,  begins to wake up as well
  1763. >So you put on a casual air, but keep your face serious so Chrysalis knows that you are as such
  1764. "Just a little dust cloud to the West. Let's get the kids inside, okay?"
  1765. >She immediately takes the hint and nods, rising from her place in the grass and nuzzling Noumena awake
  1766. >The little satyr, encouraged by her mothers actions as well as a mental signal, gets up and follows her about, poking her brothers and sisters into wakefulness
  1767. >You do the same on your end, waking the children and telling them to get to the cave
  1768. >There's no panic, no rush, and no fear, it's just mommy and daddy telling them to go inside
  1769. >Sure it was boring in there, but they could still play in the tunnel system
  1770. >An evergrowing crowd of them start moving into the cave, to safety from whatever was coming your way
  1771. >With the children safely secluded, you and Chrysalis go outside and wait for the growing cloud of dust, and whatever hid inside, to arrive
  1772. >It finally arrives when the sun is at its zenith, baking the land in the late summer heat
  1773. >As the dust settles around you, silhouettes begin to appear through it
  1774. >Massive, hulking forms with two horns jutting from the sides of their heads
  1775. >Falmboyant, yet somehow intimidating, headdresses with feathers and beads
  1776. >Buffalo, dammit
  1777. >The largest one approaches you, and your hand automatically moves down to the haft of your axe
  1778. >You'd found it embedded in one of the largest trees in the Everfree, when you had been looking for loose sticks for firewood
  1779. >Weird to find a hand axe in Equestria, but you weren't questioning the providence of whatever counted as god here
  1780. >You had brought it back to the cave and cleaned the rust from it, and sharpened it
  1781. >It was useful for brining in firewood, and for cutting up the carcassas of whatever creatures you caught in your traps
  1782. >Hey, you had to eat a balanced diet
  1783. >The bison finally deems to notice you and stops in his tracks
  1784. >"You are the consort of the changeling queen?"
  1785. >You gulp, but thrust your chest forward and sidestep to be in front of your lover
  1786. "I am Anonymous, yes. Just who in the nine hells are you?"
  1787. >The buffalo snorts and paws the ground, appearing to try and intimidate you
  1788. >"I am Chief Thunderhooves, leader of this tribe of my people. We come at the request of the princess of the sun. We have heard tell of what you did to the princess' apprentice. You must be punished, you understand?"
  1789. >You can feel your temper rise, thought it's quickly replaced
  1790. >An idea rises in your mind
  1791. >Well, if the bison were at all like actual natives on Earth...
  1792. "Chieftan, before you decide on my punishment, please come and join us for dinner. We would be glad to host such an honoured being as yourself. I must insist that you be our guests of honour."
  1793. >The chieftan seems taken aback by the hospitality, as you had desired him to be
  1794. >Perhaps, if he was convinced that your actions were vindicated, this savage beast could stop Celestia's force, or at least repel it
  1795. >But that would all be decided on the outcome of this gamble
  1796. >After a moments discussion the chieftan bows his head
  1797. >"In the face of such favour, it would be rude to say no. We accept your offer."
  1798. >You smile, not one of a man who has just got his way but one of a wolf that has just seen the way to the next meal
  1799. >Now came the strike
  1800. >Much later, dinner is finally ready to serve
  1801. >You and Chrysalis had raided the store in order to feed the chieftan and his small council
  1802. >That 'small' council made up of eight of his advisors and his own daughter
  1803. >But no matter, if you could turn him away it would all be worth it
  1804. >It's a feast, by your standards
  1805. >A hundred pounds of greens, fruits, and seeds gathered over the long summer you had enjoyed
  1806. >Half of your winter reserves gone for a single evening and a gamble
  1807. >The buffalo were surprisingly polite, for their savage appearence
  1808. >They made good conversation about their customs, which practically mirrored the natives' from Earth
  1809. >Finally they finish, so you send Chrysalis to tend to the children so you can talk, alone, to the chieftan
  1810. >She knew what you had planned, she could read your mind after all, so she left without another word but 'I love you'
  1811. >You turn to the bison leader and put on a serious face
  1812. "Chieftan, as you can see, both myself and my kin are gentle and kind. We would not do terrible things unless they were merrited. Perhaps the good princess didn't bother to mention that her 'faithful student' killed my firstborn daughter?"
  1813. >Thunderhooves flinches, a minor but clear look at his own daughter, who appeared sufficiently disgusted
  1814. >"I was indeed not informed of such a thing. However it does not excuse your actions on that day."
  1815. >You can feel your temper rising again
  1816. "And why not? She took my daughters life! All I did was break her wings."
  1817. >The chieftan slowly shakes his head
  1818. >"You crippled her for life. Celestia said that the wings will never heal."
  1819. >Well then, Celestia is a liar
  1820. >You know she could easily magic the wings back to better, and probably already had
  1821. >And this stupid beast believed her
  1822. "You think that they have any remorse over what they did to my child? Well I don't for what I did to that alicorn, I hope her wings fall off!"
  1823. >An odd thought passes through your mind at that statement
  1824. >~Wouldn't /mlp/ just love that~
  1825. >You find yourself nearly butting heads with the massive bison as you try to make your statement more clear
  1826. "My actions were fully justified. Maybe you'd get it if someone killed YOUR daughter, eh? Would that make my poiny any clearer?"
  1827. >The bison presses his own forehead against yours, clearly agitated by the thinly veiled threat
  1828. >"You will not harm my daughter. If you even try and lay a limb on her feathers, I will destroy your entire family."
  1829. >You give an animalistic growl, in no mood for this garbage
  1830. "I won't let this insult to my courtesy go unchallenged."
  1831. >The buffalo leader beats you to the punch, smiling the whole time
  1832. >"Then I challenge you, ape, to a contest of strength. Your head against my own. You lose, and you will be exiled from pony and bison lands for as long as your clan lives. You win, I will turn Celestia's army away."
  1833. >Ah shit
  1834. >It wasn't like you could refuse, not with a cost like that on the line
  1835. "So be it, but I will keep my axe to compensate for my lack of horns."
  1836. >He nods, your physical shortcomings quite obvious, and makes his way outside
  1837. >You, meanwhile, go deeper into the caverns to find Chrysalis
  1838. >Eventually you do, and pull her aside to speak
  1839. "I need you to cast a spell to make the bone in my forehead denser. Do you think it's possible to do that?"
  1840. >She frowns, and then nods
  1841. >"Yes, it should be similar to the magic I use to change form since it often entails changing physical properties like that. But why?"
  1842. >Now it's your turn to frown
  1843. "That buffalo challenged me to a headbutting contest. If we win, he'll stop Celestia. If not, we leave. I want the best chance to win, of course."
  1844. >Too exasperated by your stupidity at accepting, but knowing that it was too late to withdraw, she casts the spell
  1845. >Your forehead itches and burns as the bone becomes denser beneath the skin
  1846. >But it subsides after a time, and she's done
  1847. >"There, it should be even denser than the chieftan's. Good luck."
  1848. >You kiss her cheek and stand, grinning
  1849. "I won't need it."
  1850. >With that, you head outside to face down the toughest challenge of your life, with nothing but your skull, thicker than normal, and your trusty axe
  1851. >This was going to be a doozy
  1852. >The hot sun glares down at you and Chief Thunderhooves, as though Celestia herself is watching the fight
  1853. >Chrysalis nuzzles your neck and kisses your cheek, before moving away from the direct area
  1854. >You see the chief hug his own daughter, before she too moves away
  1855. >With that, the two of you square off
  1856. >No words, no empty exchanges of worthless bravado, foul the tension in the air
  1857. >He's the first to make a move, huffing once and then charging full out at you
  1858. >Well, time to see how well Chrysalis' spell worked
  1859. >You dig your heels into the ground and brace yourself for the impact, lowering your head to bear your forehead
  1860. >The impact makes a noise that defies any kind of sound that should be heard by mortal ears
  1861. >Your forehead peals like an eldritch bell, shaking your body to the core
  1862. >You are launched by the hit and fly into a nearby tree, making a body sized impact crater in the trunk
  1863. >Chrysalis runs over, but you pull yourself out before she gets there
  1864. >You rub her head and smile, your joviality concealing the pain you're in
  1865. >The impact hadn't broken your  spine or any other bones, but it still felt about as good as being run over by a car
  1866. >You shake your head to clear away an increasing pressure pressing down on your mind
  1867. >It was buzzing like an angry hive of hornets, and hurt only slightly less
  1868. >The annoyance reduces, but remains at the back of your head almost like a reminder
  1869. >You lower your head and charge at Thunderhooves, who was seemingly locked in place shaking his head
  1870. >You briefly wonder why he was so adversely affected, but stop caring as soon as he braces himself to meet your charge
  1871. >The impact sends the chief to his knees, head locked onto yours, struggling for superiority
  1872. >The same clang echoes through the clearing, splitting the day with its haunting noise
  1873. >You grin, amazed that Chrysalis' magic was this powerful
  1874. >But your grin turns to a frown when the buffalo twists his powerful neck and throws you away from him
  1875. >You somehow manage to land on your feet, and notice that the buzzing has returned and is more powerful and before
  1876. >There's an underlying hiss, like static on a broken radio
  1877. >But under even that, it sounds almost like some kind of voice
  1878. >Or at least, it sounded like there were words, a subtle, subverting chant that your mind was weighed down by
  1879. >You shake your head, but it doesn't go away this time
  1880. >If anything, it only increased in volume and clarity
  1881. >But you had no time to concentrate on its words, Thunderhooves was taking advantage of your paralysis and bearing down on you like a freight train
  1882. >You notice, a split second before the impact, that his horns are glowing with a dull, gunmetal sheen
  1883. >The effect when he hits is instantaneous
  1884. >Your vision of the world flies away, only to stop when it appears several meters away, as though stopped on a chain
  1885. >But you're distracted from the sight of viewing the world as though it's on a movie screen by a grey shape that seems to swim around you
  1886. >"Hello, Anonymous. What an interesting place to meet, don't you think?"
  1887. >The voice makes a noise like gravel ground up in an avalanche
  1888. >You try to respond, but find yourself unable to speak
  1889. >The shape, once merely a cloud, forms into an androgynous blur in front of you
  1890. >It points to the screen of reality in the background, where Thunderhooves is standing over you with a sneer on his face
  1891. >"I can stop him, I can make you win. All you have to do is accept me."
  1892. >Still unable to speak, you make an attempt to nod
  1893. >You don't know if you even have a body anymore, but the being seems to understand anyway
  1894. >You get the distinct feeling of glee before it turns into a mist again and surrounds the screen
  1895. >You find yourself moved closer, and you watch your body rise to face the chief down
  1896. >The bison looks shocked as your body rises from its place on the ground and backs away
  1897. >A roar reverberates through your mind and the picture moves suddenly, a fist coming from nowhere and striking the bisons jaw
  1898. >You can hear the snap of bone as either your knuckles or his jaw breaks
  1899. >But his warriors are around their fallen chieftain in an instant, dragging him away from you
  1900. >His daughter steps between your body and her father
  1901. >And then she speaks, sounding halfway between terrified and enraged
  1902. >"You do not win this battle, ape. Celestia will come and cleane the land of your wretched hive."
  1903. >A gravely, sonorous voice comes from your mouth and echoes in the empty space you inhabit
  1904. >"Let her then, though I hope this world can survive without its sun."
  1905. >You see yourself turn to Chrysalis and stick out a hand to pet her
  1906. >The hive queen, unknowing of what has happened to you, eagerly rubs herself against the offered appendage
  1907. >You try screaming and thrashing about inside your little prison, but to no avail
  1908. >You know you are trapped, and you had a feeling in your nonexistent guts that things would only become worse from here
  1909. ----------------------------------------------------------------
  1910. >Much later, well past when the sun had gone down and 'you' and Chrysalis had retreated to the cave, the grey cloud revisits you
  1911. >"Take it back. I'll rise again when there's killing to be done."
  1912. >You put all your willpower into holding the thing still, and somehow manage to actually pull it off
  1913. >The beast growls and takes on its androgynous form in front of you
  1914. >Its look unnerves you, to say the least
  1915. >It appears as a thick cloud of smoke in the shape of a human, with random whorls and such things flowing like water through its 'body'
  1916. >You work up the confidence to say what you had been wondering all day
  1917. "What are you?"
  1918. >A grin inexplicably appears on its face before it begins its explaination
  1919. >"I am your unconscious given form and wakefulness. I am all those repressed desires you have bottled up since arriving in this land and well before. That savage beast gave me the power to finally become a being, but trapped me within your body. I have no wish for the mundane, boring part of your life that you seem to enjoy so very much, I only wish to be killing. So I will awaken when the terror of conflict arises and push you away for they joy of a fight."
  1920. >The answer shakes you to the core, but not half as much as its next words
  1921. >"I was the spirit of Nightmare Moon. I inhabit all aberations of this world, the alicorn royalty, even little Twilight Sparkle, the Emperor in the North, not even the god of chaos is free of my touch. I manifest early as naught but a slight suggestion in the mind that sounds oh so sweet, then a small voice telling you what to do, and finally I become what I inhabit. Luna was lucky enough to have the Elements to suppress me, her sister spent so long in their hated presence that I could only be a mere whisper. Twilight embodies and element herself, and is hardly affected by me. But you..."
  1922. >The voice trails off and you can feel something that you can only describe as a shiver of pleasure run through the air
  1923. >"You have no such protection, you are open to the full influence of my power. But I will allow you to be in control when we are not in battle, for anything but the adrenaline rush of fighting for our life is tedious and worthless. Now go, I am done with you."
  1924. >With that final statement, you're thrust back into your own body and find yourself staring a concerned Chrysalis in the eyes
  1925. >You smile and give her a quick peck on the lips
  1926. "Hey there, Chrysi."
  1927. >She hugs you with a force that surprises you
  1928. >"You weren't answering me, I was so worried."
  1929. >You hug her back and stroke her mane to comfort her
  1930. "Hey, you know me. I'll always come back eh?"
  1931. >She pulls away from you and gives you a solid smack in the face with her hoof
  1932. >You wince and rub the reddening welt on your cheek and glare at her
  1933. "What the hell was that for?"
  1934. >You see tears gathering in the corners of her eyes as she responds, practically screaming
  1935. >"You idiot! You go toe to toe with a buffalo just to prove a point that proves utterly useless, get smashed into a tree across a field, and now keep going in and out on me? Don't you dare tell me to not worry, because if you continue like this, one day, you won't come back! Anonymous, I love you, and I don't ever want to lose you...I can't lose any more people I love."
  1936. >She breaks down sobbing, and you hold her in a tight embrace
  1937. >Eventually, her sobs slow into heavy, deep breaths
  1938. >She's fallen asleep, you realize, crying in your arms
  1939. >You carry her back to your shared chambers, deep inside the cave system
  1940. >Behind you, you can hear the hoofsteps of your children, many of whom are sad in sympathy with their mother and wish nothing more that to cheer her up
  1941. >By the time you've reached the large chamber that made up your sleeping area, your entire brood is following close behind you, silent but for their hooves hitting the stone floor
  1942. >You lay Chrysalis down on the bed and lay down next to her, covering her with the blanket
  1943. >Before you can pull the blanket over yourself, Noumena comes over and lays on your chest
  1944. >Her brothers quick join her, huddling around your shoulders
  1945. >More join them, many clinging to whatever skin they can reach, others just content to be near your warmth
  1946. >You look over, and the same thing is happening to Chrysalis, childlings are piling over each other to be near you
  1947. >You struggle and lift your arm to hold Noumena, scratching the head of Mistake's first sister, Misery, with your other
  1948. >Another story for that name, but one you can't quite recall at the moment, smothered as you are
  1949. >No need for blankets anymore, at least
  1950. >You're well insulated by the breathing coating your children had made
  1951. >Uncomfortable as it was, you enjoy every second that you're close to your offspring
  1952. >And as you drift off to sleep in the presence of your family entire, a disconcerting feeling crosses over
  1953. >It was the though that, just maybe, you wouldn't be spending too much time with them soon enough
  1954. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1955. >Blaring trumpets tear you from the comfortable sleep you were in
  1956. >Your children all pull themselves off you, bleary eyed and yawning
  1957. >They don't understand what is wrong, but you do all too well
  1958. >Chrysalis stands beside you, looking up into your eyes as you look back
  1959. >The time has come
  1960. >You sling your axe on your belt and walk towards the entry way, leaving Chrysalis as the last line of defence for your children
  1961. >She follows you to the cave entrance though, as does the horde of childlings
  1962. >You kiss her forehead, just below the horn and smile at her
  1963. "Chrysi, we both know I might not make it back. And if I don't--"
  1964. >She cuts you off with a kiss, breaking it a few seconds later
  1965. >"Let's not talk about that, Anon. You'll come back and we'll be left in peace. Then we can raise our children together and simply live life."
  1966. >With that, she touches the tip of her horn to your forehead, hardening the bone underneath as extra protection
  1967. >Finally, you stride out of the cave into the glaring sunlight
  1968. >What you first take to just be the sun blinding you is actually the light reflected from dozens of ponies in armour
  1969. >Luna hadn't been exagerating the numbers, there were over a hundred soldiers there, along with the Element bearers
  1970. >And there, in the middle of it all and staring you down, was the godess of the sun herself, Princess Celestia
  1971. >She looked profoundly enraged by your very existance
  1972. >You feel an almost slithering sensation inside your head, and then a chilling whisper sounds in your ear
  1973. >~Now, it's my turn~
  1974. >In an instant you're thrown from control of your body, into an observer role once more
  1975. >All you can do is watch the horror that ensues
  1976. >'You' issue the challenge to Celestia before she can speak
  1977. >"Princess, welcome to my humble home. I fear that I don't have enough room to entertain all your...friends though."
  1978. >The princess' frown deepens as she responds
  1979. >"So you are the creature known as Anonymous. You have been deemed a threat to Equestria and her inhabitants. And you have personally injured not only the soldiers under my command, but my personal protege as well. As such, I must take it on myself to end your menace to our society, permanently."
  1980. >Jesus Ponyfucker Christ, that was the most melodramatic thing you'd even heard
  1981. >At least it was on a serious subject, not something ridiculous
  1982. >However, your own response would have made you choke, were you able to breathe
  1983. >"Oh princess, it's so terrible that you immediately assume I am Anonymous. I am not that pitiful excuse for human. No, I am so far beyond him that you cannot even imagine. Just as your sister was the Nightmare in the Moon, just as Sombra became the King in the North, so too have I become more than what I was. I am Lucifer."
  1984. >A whisper echoes inside your head
  1985. >~Do you like the name? I took if from the title you gave to Luna.~
  1986. "Of course you did. It's not like you have any sort of imagination to make up your own names. I mean really, 'Nightmare Moon', 'King in the North'? Terrible."
  1987. >'Lucifer' snarls and turns his attention back towards Celestia, as do you
  1988. >"No matter what you call yourself, you will be defeated. You MUST be defeated."
  1989. >You can't see your face, but you just know that you have the biggest grin splitting it
  1990. >"Then let us fight."
  1991. >The axe slips from its sheath and slides into your hand
  1992. >The guard ponies, unicorn and pegasus alike, ready themselves for battle, the unicorns horns glowing with eldritch light and the pegasi spreading their wings and baring their teeth
  1993. >But as they dig in, you're already charging down the hillside
  1994. >A bolt of magic slams into your belly, impacting like a punch to the gut
  1995. >In spite of the lack of control over your body, you can still feel the pain from the blow
  1996. >But Lucifer doesn't miss a step
  1997. >The blow makes him tumble, but he recovers immediately before he reaches the battle line
  1998. >The first unicorn falls with a broken horn as the possessor moves your arm back for a strike
  1999. >The pegasus he had targeted loses a wing as the axe comes down with the force of a wrathful god behind it
  2000. >Both soldiers go down screaming, the first casualty causing more damage as the energy in his horn feeds back along his leylines and discharges
  2001. >But your gaze is yanked away from the carnage by the motion of your body
  2002. >A charging pegasus is thrown into his comrades by a backhanded blow, and a swift boot breaks the jaw of another soldier
  2003. >Soon enough, the fighting becomes too chaotic, too insane, for you to follow
  2004. >But the shouts and screams of injured and dying ponies still filter through
  2005. >Through sheer will, you manage to block out the vision of the violence before you, but still can't stop the sound from reaching you
  2006. >The screaming is replaced with the bark of order, the clash of iron with the chatter of automatic weapons, and the thud of fleshy impacts with the crack of explosives
  2007. >You 'open' your eyes and find yourself crouched behind a sandbag looking at the smiling face of  corporal in your platoon
  2008. >"Looks like Terry finally decided to play, eh sergeant?"
  2009. >You find yourself smiling back and shout to be heard over the zings and cracks of rounds passing overhead
  2010. "Too bad we play a little rough for their liking."
  2011. >You look down into the courtyard and see the mortar team hunkering down in their pit
  2012. "Hey, assholes! Get that fucking mortar firing, I'll get you coordinates and distances while you set your slow asses up!"
  2013. >They shout what you assume to be an affirmative and grab a rangefinder, poking your head just above the sandbag
  2014. >The rounds keep zipping around your head, and your comrades fire back with all the firepower they can muster
  2015. >You hear the whoosh of a rocket engine and see the puff of dust in the distance as the warhead hits its target
  2016. >Still looking for the enemy, you spot the flare of a muzzle flash and immediately trigger the laser rangefinder and get the distance
  2017. >You look down on the map, get the proper grid and reference, and shout out where the bad guys are to the mortar team who has finally set up their gun
  2018. >Another two minutes of updating the coordinates of the guys who were shooting at you
  2019. >You hear the earthshaking thud of the mortar and keep your binoculars on target
  2020. >A plume of dust and smoke rises from the position, and you hear a cheer go up from the corners of the base as the fire drops off
  2021. >Abruptly, one of the watch towers disintergates in a massive explosion
  2022. >Everyone drops to the ground and covers their heads, waiting for the debris to finish falling
  2023. >Your fellow medic is already sprinting to the fallen tower, and the mortar team was spinning up their gun again
  2024. >You pass the rangefinder to the corporal in the tower, grab your weapon, and jump onto the battlements of the FOB, sprinting for all you were worth to the site of the demolished tower
  2025. >You spot a silhouette moving out of the dust cloud and run over to it
  2026. >It's Donahughe, the other medic and your aide in the platoon
  2027. >He's dragging a soldier with half a leg missing from the pile of debris that's still settling
  2028. >"There's another guy down there, sergeant! We've gotta get him out of there!"
  2029. >You slap him on the shoulder and jump into the pile of wreckage and dig through it for the other body
  2030. >You hear a moan over the sound of shifting debris and sporadic gunfire and your hand hits something soft
  2031. >It's the only other sergeant on the base, Williams
  2032. >He was an infatier from PPCLI in Edmonton, with a wife and twins on the way
  2033. >He was a good friend of yours, being the only one that you could talk to completely openly
  2034. >And his arm was missing from mid bicep down
  2035. >You tear the tourniquet from the its pack and immediately apply it
  2036. >Williams was moaning something about his arm as you worked, completely out of it from shock
  2037. >You can't risk the morphine on him, not when he's like this
  2038. >You scream for the radioman to get over to you, and go back to tending to your patient
  2039. >The signaller arrives and hands the radio to you
  2040. >You immediately break into the standard 9 liner for casualties
  2041. >Twenty minutes for a Blackhawk helicopter to finally reach the base, the longest third of an hour of your life
  2042. >The other wounded soldier, a signalman also from Edmonton, hadn't lived to get on the helicopter
  2043. >But Williams was still alive, if in critical condition
  2044. >You pull Donahughe aside, who was still distraught from losing a patient
  2045. "Hey, Don. Listen up, what kind of injury did that guy have?"
  2046. >He looks up at you, jittery and pale
  2047. >"I-it was a torn femoral artery and a kn-knee down amputation, alongside burns and b-blast trauma."
  2048. >You nod and take a hold of his chin, forcing him to look you in the eyes
  2049. "And how did you treat him?"
  2050. >He blinks rapidly, recalling the memory though he clearly didn't want to
  2051. >"I th-threw some QuikClot on the amputation a-and put a tourniquet on him. Then I did what I c-could to keep him awake, but he kept saying he was so tired."
  2052. >You nod at his explaination
  2053. "You did everything right, corporal. Remember that. You did everything in your power to save his life, and that's all you can ever do, alright? Losing patients is inevitable in this place, there's too much wrong with it. What matters is that you kept your cool under pressure and did exatly what you were trained to."
  2054. >He nods and you slap him on the shoulder, gesturing him to go to the little lounge that your platoon had set up
  2055. >He needed the rest
  2056. >As you turn around to look at the sunset, you frown
  2057. >An odd pressure builds in your head, and it feels like your skin is being stabbed by a thousand needles
  2058. >You start slapping at yourself, but the feeling only gets worse
  2059. >A horrific shade appears before you, a twisted visage of hatred and pain
  2060. >It screams once, louder than the blast of an IED
  2061. >And then, in a second, it is replaced by the soothing black of unconsciousness, which swallows you entire in but an instant
  2062. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2063. >You awaken to the sound of chittering and the feeling of being nearly smothered
  2064. >You attempt to struggle, but give up when you focus on what is pinning you
  2065. >Chrysalis is laying on top of you, her glowing horn pressed against your forehead, muzzle pressed against your cheek
  2066. >You're surrounded by your children, the source of the noise you had woken to
  2067. >You arch your neck back to move Chrysalis' horn from your forehead
  2068. >With it where you want it, you give it a long, slow lick
  2069. >She shoots upright instantly and drags you up with her
  2070. >She crushes you in a hug, which you eagerly return
  2071. >Until you notice Celestia and the Mane 6 standing beyond your little horde
  2072. >The childlings closest to the ponies, you notice, are not only the oldest, but also the biggest
  2073. >And they're all bristling for a fight
  2074. >The ponies though, to their credit, stand their ground, moving neither closer nor back off
  2075. >You release Chrysalis, as she does you, and walk towards the group of ponies
  2076. >Your children part before you, like waves over land, and you move unhindered
  2077. >Your body protests, though Chrysalis had clearly healed you as you were laid out
  2078. >It was still stiff with lactic acid and your mind hung heavy with the after effects of adrenaline
  2079. >Finally, you reach the princess and stare down into her eyes
  2080. >For a long time, neither of you move
  2081. >Then, you lean forward into a deep bow, in respect for her lofty position as ruler of Equestria
  2082. >It was only polite, after all
  2083. >She returns the bow, though does not bend near as low
  2084. "Princess Celestia. It seems that not even you are willing to murder children in order to take an enemy. That bodes well for the future of this land."
  2085. >She bristles at the implications behind your words, but her tone is even as she responds, though cold
  2086. >"I would not murder children at all. Even if they are not ponies, it is still wrong to end the life of a being with such promise as a child."
  2087. >Your response is quick, and bitter
  2088. "No, I suppose you have people to do that for you, right?"
  2089. >You can practically hear the ponies' jaws drop to the floor at your words
  2090. >You dared to suggest that the actions of the Elements had been on purpose?
  2091. >Clearly you had struck a nerve, as Celestia's face twisted into a mask of righteous fury
  2092. >"Walk with me, human."
  2093. >You don't question her, instead opting to not anger the god-like being further and just follow her
  2094. >She leads you about a hundred meters away, to the guard encampment
  2095. >You saw, off to one side, a collection of body bags, perhaps seven in total
  2096. >That was where she led you, into the makeshift graveyard
  2097. >You stop at the foot of one, and she opens the bag to reveal a young, unicorn stallion with sapphiric hair and a tawny coat
  2098. >"He was a young lieutenant, recently promoted for heroism in the line of duty. He saved his former commanding officer from a group of Diamond Dog mercenaries, becoming injured while doing so."
  2099. >Her telekinesis pulls the bag down further to show the belly of the corpse
  2100. >The pony had been torn open by an axe stroke, his guts that had been spilled on the ground had been hurridly stuffed back inside
  2101. >The stench was nigh unbearable, but you didn't flinch from the sight
  2102. "Death is simply a part of war. I know you would have informed these ponies of how dangerous this mission would have been. Death in unavoidable sometimes, though I would prefer it to not be."
  2103. >Her frown deepens and you two move out of the grave site
  2104. >Walking though the camp, you pass a great deal of soldiers that gave you looks suggesting they would love nothing more than you kill you
  2105. >You couldn't blame them, after whatever had taken over your body had done to their friends
  2106. >Your thoughts inadvertently drift back to your time in the sandbox and how you'd felt towards the Taliban
  2107. >You feel a shudder travel up your spine and wrench your thoughts away
  2108. >You couldn't break down in front of the princess, no weakness could be shown
  2109. >But she is practically a god and recognizes the sign of discomfort
  2110. >You find yourself being directed, slowly but surely, to the medical tent
  2111. >A sense of hopelessness grows inside you, there's no avoiding it now
  2112. >Celestia pulls aside the tent flap when you arrive and you step inside the gloomy structure
  2113. >The smell of solvents and sickness hits you like a car, instantly bringing up terrible memories
  2114. >But worse than the smell is the sights of the injured ponies
  2115. >Many have broken bones, are missing teeth, or other such relatively minor damages
  2116. >But too many have amputations, and not always clean ones
  2117. >Axes were meant for felling trees, after all, not cutting through meat and bone in the heat of battle
  2118. >Then, while walking up the center, you came upon the worst sight
  2119. >A pegasus missing half a lower leg, breathing only in shallow and sporadic fits
  2120. >And beside him, a unicorn missing a foreleg from just about the knee
  2121. >It's too much and you find yourself on your knees, vomitting, before you can even think
  2122. >You're too distracted to resist when the guards clap iron shackles about your wrists
  2123. >You're pulled up from your hunched position with a rough burst of magic, and the princess yanks up your chin to stare you in the eye
  2124. >"Human, for your crimes against ponydom and her people, you are under arrest. While whether you were responsible for your actions against my guards is of debate, we know that you were in control of your faculties when you assauled a guard platoon and crippled Princess Twilight Sparkle. You will linger in the dungeons of Canterlot while await trial. If the bug queen or your children wish to see you, they may visit."
  2125. >With that, you're led out the back to a waiting chariot
  2126. >She had been planning this all along, it seemed
  2127. >And you could do nothing but be led to the chariot, like a lamb to the slaughter
  2128. >When you reach the back of a cart, the rear of your head is violently struck, and you hurtle forward, smashing your face on the front
  2129. >As you lapse from consciousness, you hear the princess gloating over you
  2130. >"None may strike me with impunity, human. Do well to remember that whilst you live."
  2131. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2132. >You wake up in a cold, musty cell, covered in a thin, woolen blanket
  2133. >The combination of the cold and damp chills you to your core and you curl up into a ball on the floor
  2134. >The blanket barely insulates you from the air around, but you manage to fall asleep
  2135. >The ratling of a key in the lock wakes you once more
  2136. >Your eyes snap open, and you're on your feet in an instant, fists raised
  2137. >The visitor, rather visitors, however clearly mean you no harm
  2138. >One, to your pleased surprise, is your wife, Queen Chrysalis, in a heavy cloak that you had made for her from the hide of a manticore
  2139. >The other, to your displeasure, was the pony you had crippled barely a week prior, Twilight Sparkle
  2140. >To see the two together was an absolute shock, but it didn't stop you from embracing your monarch
  2141. >After a span of contact that would make all but the most intimate of beings cringe
  2142. >Twilight clears her throat, rather loudly, and you two break contact
  2143. >You look down at the purple alicorn with a look of annoyance on your face
  2144. "So, what is the great princess Twilight doing in the company of the reviled Queen Chrysalis and the hated Anonymous? Don't you have some great evil to banish with your Element of Macguffin, or an inane lesson that everyone learned when they're children to emphasize?"
  2145. >Twilight looks aside, her ears flattening and lower lip trembling
  2146. >Chrysalis gently pulls your chin so you look into her eyes, and speaks in a calm, kind voice
  2147. >"Twilight has made it clear that she meant no harm in using the Elements against me, certainly not wishing the death of Mistake. I cannot forgive her, or excuse her actions, but I am trying to stay on good terms. Anonymous, these ponies are just like you and me, they have families, lovers, children. And for once, I finally see them as more than just a food source. So please, be polite, even if you don't like them, for me."
  2148. >She punctuates the speech with a warm smile, to which you can hardly disagree
  2149. "Well, if you can put that behind you, I can too. Twilight, I apologize for crippling you. I reacted poorly to my daughters death and I saw you as the cause."
  2150. >Twilight looks up at you, regret shining through tears in her eyes
  2151. >"Anonymous, I'm sorry about your daughter. Chrysalis told me all about her, about how you were living. I'm so sorry that I disrupted you life. I...I've given up my title as princess, I told Celestia I was not prepared for that responsibility until I could learn better self-control."
  2152. >You nod and lay and hand on the top of her head, to which she flinches, but stands tall
  2153. >It garners a smile from you, and your pet her mane gently
  2154. "I accept your apology, Twilight. Like Chrysalis, I can't forgive you for the death of my child, but I can put it in the past. So, what is the princess of the sun planning on doing to me?"
  2155. >Twilight looks down again, either ashamed to say or to fearful to say it
  2156. >Chrysalis doesn't share those qualms though
  2157. >"She wants your blood, Anon. She said it's to make an example, that no beings may make war on harmony and get away with it. I think we all know that she just  wants revenge, though. Even Luna, her own sister, objected to it, but Celestia wouldn't waver. The trial will likely be a sham, but don't worry, we'll figure something out."
  2158. >You kiss the changeling queen on her cheek and smile at her warmly
  2159. "I know you will, Chrysi."
  2160. >You spread your blanket over the cobblestone floor and invite them to sit with you
  2161. >They both accept, Chrysalis sitting next to you, enjoying your warmth, and Twilight sitting across from you with a beatific look on her face
  2162. >The three of you while away the hours, conversing about various subjects
  2163. >It turns out Twilight was actually quite knowledgeable about the kind of magic that brought you to Equestria
  2164. >Not that you'd have wanted to leave for anything, even now
  2165. >Eventually, a guard approaches the cell and orders them out
  2166. >Twilight promptly obeys, but Chrysalis hesitates for a minute, lingering to hug you and kiss you
  2167. >It was just because she missed you, you know
  2168. >After all she and your children needed food to eat, and humans were the most potent sources of love around
  2169. >As soon as they're out of earshot, the guard kicks you in the belly and slams the cage door shut
  2170. >He turns and grins malisciously down at your gasping form, before speaking in a voice more appropriate for people in the same bed
  2171. >"You killed my brother in that stunt of yours, ape. I can't wait to see what they do to you."
  2172. >With that, the guard marches off, leaving you to retch on the floor
  2173. >The pain eventually fades into aching, and your mind quiets into uneasy slumber on the floor of your stony cell
  2174. >The scraping of metal on metal wakes you up from your uncomfortable rest
  2175. >You look up and see the shadow of an armoured pony entering your cell, and another outlined in the moonlight streaming from the window across from your cell
  2176. >Your foot lashes out and sweeps the first ones legs, and it goes down with a muffled clunk
  2177. >The other spreads its bat-like wings and pounces on you, placing  a hoof over your mouth
  2178. >You struggle against this threat until your brain catches up with what you were seeing
  2179. >Bat wings? Those were Luna's guards weren't they?
  2180. >You cease struggling, and the black mass of the pony takes its hoof from your mouth and gets off of you
  2181. >It speaks in a voice, clearly male, that is fearful and tense, and very quiet
  2182. >"Anonymous, we have risked much for this audience. But there is one who wishes to speak with the one that defied the sun."
  2183. >You stay silent at the pair move aside, completely silent, to make way for another being
  2184. >This on is much taller, and has a silhouette that you can't quite place
  2185. >Until it speaks however
  2186. >"Anonymous, these conditions are abhorrent. What did you do to offend my sister so?"
  2187. >You almost smile when Luna speaks, clearly there were still ponies that were on your side, in spite of what you had done
  2188. "Apparently crippling her student and killing some of her elite soldiers was enough to make her hold a grudge."
  2189. >You speak while kneeling before the princess of the night and bowing your head
  2190. >She makes a gesture for you to rise, scoffing quietly
  2191. >"You need not bother with such formalities, in the court of changelings you are still a noble."
  2192. >You crouch slightly, so as not to dwarf the princess and look in her eyes while asking
  2193. "How did you get past the guard so late at night, and more importantly, why would you risk your sisters wrath visiting the most reviled being next to Discord himself?"
  2194. >You see her teeth glint in the light of her moon
  2195. >"Because any being willing to stand for his family against all adversity deserves respect and dignity. Because I know exactly why those guards were killed, and that you did not do it. And most importantly, because I must make you an offer."
  2196. >You scratch the back of your head
  2197. >Sure, standing for your family was noble, and yeah that spirit had taken over your body, but you certainly didn't feel that you deserved any respect
  2198. >After all, even if you hadn't been in direct control, what had happened to those guards...
  2199. >You shake your head and force yourself back to the present
  2200. "And what might that be, Luna?"
  2201. >The goddess of the moon seems to gather herself before answering you
  2202. >"We came to offer you freedom. If you accept, we will get you out of this prison, along with Chrysalis and all your kin. We are well prepared to ensure you escape to somewhere that my sister cannot get to you, that you may live out your days in peace."
  2203. >The offer is a shock, to say the least, not to mention tempting
  2204. >You, Chrysalis, Noumena, all of you, could live free and in peace
  2205. >You would be free to live out the rest of your life with your wife and children, without interference from the outside world
  2206. >You'd be living out the dream of the vast majority of beings in existence, not to mention what everyone on /mlp/ considered to be heaven
  2207. >Maybe, just maybe, you could makeit work
  2208. >Or maybe...
  2209. "Luna, I do appreciate your offer. It is tempting to say the least, to live out my life free of interference, and in the presence of my family. And I'm certain that most would accept, myself included."
  2210. >You take a deep breath and run your fingers through your hair
  2211. "But, possessed or no, provoked or no, I did commit to unspeakable actions. And for that, I have to face justice, even if it isn't fair. It may not make sense to you, and it may seem like the stupid thing to do. But it is the right thing to do. I haven't been a honourable man, or even a good man, for most my life, but I'll be damned if I don't at least try to do the right thing, one time."
  2212. >Luna nods and takes a step back from you
  2213. >"Chrysalis said the offer would be rejected. I had to offer anyway. Anonymous, neither myself nor my guard would think less of you were you to take the offer. We understand the true bonds of family better than my sister or any other pony of this age. I ask you one more time, for the sake of you wife, for the sake of your children, come away this night and escape from the injustice of your sentence."
  2214. >You place a hand on her head, and move your own slowly back and forth
  2215. "Sorry to waste your time, princess. Please let Chrysalis know that I still love her."
  2216. >You swear that, for a second, there are tears in Luna's eyes, but she blinks and they disappear
  2217. >She speaks her last in a voice that barely disguises an underlying sorrow
  2218. >"Very well, we shall honour your choice, even if we don't agree with it. I wish for peace on your soul, Anonymous. Good night."
  2219. >You feel a sad grin come over your face as you retreat to your makeshift bed, that composed simply of a blanket on the floor
  2220. "Good night, princess Luna. And thank you."
  2221. >Before you fall back asleep, you feel something warm and soft rest over your body
  2222. >It's so pleasant and familiar, bringing up memories of your first nights with Chrysalis
  2223. >You drift into slumber with happy memories to keep the horridity of life at bay, at least for one night
  2224. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2225. >The next week passes in a frightful blur
  2226. >You are dragged before a kangaroo court and tried, with the sun goddess herself acting as the judge, and families of the injured guards as jury
  2227. >Perhaps only you noticed the corruption, or perhaps the ponies in the courtroom simply didn't care
  2228. >The trial lasted six hours before the jury reached a sentece
  2229. >A unanimous guilty verdict was passed over you
  2230. >Celestia almost smiled when she read your sentence aloud to the court
  2231. >Death
  2232. >You didn't flinch, stoicly taking your punishment as it came, you had been prepared for such a sentence anyhow
  2233. >But from the front of the court, you hear a mournful wail
  2234. >Without warning, you had been tackled from behind
  2235. >It was Chrysalis, she held you and wept into your chest, begging anypony present to let you free
  2236. >When the guards came to drag her away, you shoved them off and shielded her with your body
  2237. >You pulled her face free of your torso and gazed steadily into her eyes, and you had spoken for the first time since Luna had visited you
  2238. "Chrysalis, please. We both knew this would be the result. Do not mourn me, just remember the time we shared. Make sure our children know that I die with thoughts of them in my mind, and without malice towards my executioner. I want you to continue living, raising the kids as best you can, okay? Don't forget me, but don't dwell on my death. I love you, Chrysalis."
  2239. >With that, you carry her back to the benches of the room and seat her where she had been, between Luna and Twilight
  2240. >They immediatly began to comfort her as you were led back to your cell
  2241. >That nights you didn't sleep, you couldn't
  2242. >Your execution was the next day, and there was too much to think about
  2243. >But the night passed swifter than if you had slept anyway, and before long after the dawn, a guard comes to you
  2244. >"Come on, time to face justice."
  2245. >You stand, pulling off the cloak that Luna had given you on the night she had visited
  2246. >You wouldn't wear the garment today, for fear of tarnishing her name
  2247. >She had shown kindness and mercy, and deserved all the respect that ponies gave her sister, perhaps moreso
  2248. >The guard steps back as you rear up to your full height of 6'3"
  2249. >It was something you didn't think of much, being surrounded by Chrysalis who reached your shoulder and the children, but you dwarfed the average pony
  2250. >You allow him to put the manacles on your wrists and follow him down the corridor
  2251. >Eventually, you emerge into sunlight and blink at the sudden transition for dim corridor to bright courtyard
  2252. >The roar of a crowd greets your emergence, and you're struck by the number that had shown up, just to watch you die
  2253. >It seemed harmony was well and good between ponies, but put a different species up there and they were as bloodthirsty as anything
  2254. >On what could only be described as a stage, stand Celestia, Luna, and Twilight
  2255. >You suppose that Cadance couldn't make it from the Crystal Empire in time, otherwise the entire royal line may be here
  2256. >Celestia has the smile of a satisfied cat, Luna the frown of a concerned caretaker, and Twilight wearing a look of disconcertion
  2257. >The guard halts you, gesturing for you to face the crowd
  2258. >You do so, and Celestia steps forward, just in front of you
  2259. >"Citizens of Equestria, today is a good day. Today we extinguish what may be the most existential threat to ponydom since Discord!"
  2260. >From the back of the crowd, a faint but familiar voice calls out
  2261. >"I resent that!"
  2262. >Celestia ignores the interuption and continues her speech
  2263. >"This ape killed a score of guard ponies and crippled the youngest princess, Twilight Sparkle, who can no longer fly. What's more, he is the consort of Queen Chrysalis, the changeling who tried to stage a coup not one decade past! Such crimes and obvious danger, I cannot allow to go uncurbed. As such, the simian known as 'Anonymous' shall be executed on this day so that we might live in peace and harmony once more!"
  2264. >The response was a deafening wave of cheering
  2265. >You think back to your days on /mlp/ and the comparisons of Celestia to Adolf Hitler
  2266. >It seemed that they were quite accurate
  2267. >The cheering dies down and a cruel smile appears on Celestia's face as she looks at you, as though she were addressing no one else
  2268. >"Ape, I have decided that I should not bear the honour of ending your murderous life, that privilege should go to someone that deserves closure for your actions. As such..."
  2269. >She turns to the other two ponies standing on the stage with you and her
  2270. >"Princess Twilight Sparkle, who was crippled by this monster, shall be the one to end his threat to us!"
  2271. >The crowd yells their support for Celestia's decision
  2272. >Luna looks positively furious at what her sister dared to suggest
  2273. >And Twilight...
  2274. >She looked positively ill
  2275. >At the beckon of her teacher, she steps forward a few steps and stands in front of you
  2276. >You're forced to your knees, to about head height with Twilight
  2277. >You look up and see her staring at you, eyes wide in shock and fear
  2278. >With that look, you know what it's time to do
  2279. >You slip your hand out of the too loose manacles without much issue
  2280. >They had been made for hooves after all
  2281. >The crowd gasps and the guards shout at you to stop what you're doing
  2282. >You do no such thing of course instead laying a hand on Twilight's head and scratching behind her ear
  2283. >You lean forward and speak in a soothing, gentle voice that holds no sort of malice
  2284. "Twilight, I forgive you."
  2285. >You lean back, place your hands on your lap, close your eyes, and smile
  2286. >You would die today, but you would die with a clean conscience
  2287. >"No!"
  2288. >The piercing shout, amplified by magic, creates a silence of its own, a void where there had just been shouting and applauding
  2289. >But it hadn't been Chrysalis, who was in the front row of the crowd, crying with your children
  2290. >"No, I will not kill him!"
  2291. >It was...Twilight?
  2292. >You open your eyes to the sight of Twilight's rump, since her face is towards Celestia
  2293. >Even in the current state of affairs, you can't help but rate her
  2294. >7/10 more cardio required
  2295. >Twilight's shouting snaps you out of the surreal thoughts you are having
  2296. >"This isn't justice, princess. This is outright murder. If we kill him, then we are even worse than he was on the battlefield! Anonymous is a good creature, under all his oddities. He has a wife, children, beings that will miss him sorely and who may never forgive us of this action. And in spite of him crippling me, I...I forgive him!"
  2297. >The crowd gasps and she turns to face you, still speaking loud enough for the crowd to hear
  2298. >"Anonymous, husband of Chrysalis, father of a new generation. I absolve you of all crimes that have been presented to me. You are innocent in my eyes."
  2299. >You're blown away by her words, but they quickly turn to joy in your heart
  2300. >Maybe you'd get out of this after all
  2301. >Celestia steps forward and calms the muttering crowd of confused ponies, such dissent among the royalty was unheard of
  2302. >"Loyal ponies, it is clear that my young student has been deceived by this wretched being, bewitched by some dark magic! You have my word that I shall right whatever wrongs done to her. But this is just another example of his danger to us! Luna, beloved sister. Please do us the service of destroying this monstrous beast."
  2303. >Luna grins and steps forward, facing you, and winks
  2304. >You blink back in surprise, what was she planning?
  2305. >"Anonymous, you stand accused of the murder of a dozen guard ponies in the line of duty, of the attempted destruction of a further score, and the crippling of an alicorn princess. Such crimes are as abhorrent as they are destructive, and such behaviour must be punished."
  2306. >She turns to face the crowd, and her smiling face turns stony in a second
  2307. >"You, ponies, are no better than he! You cheer at the posibillity of death for a being with a wife and children while claiming to uphold harmony. You bay for his blood when he has only done actions in defence of his family. This is no justice, this is simply murder."
  2308. >She turns and looks at her sister, and you catch the glimmer of defiance in her eyes
  2309. >"Sister, I will not kill this being that sits before us! To do so would make me fully worthy of another millenia on the lightforsaken moon. I stand with Twilight Sparkle, her wisdom has broken through her age and laid bare the evil that lays before us. You would do well to remember why we agreed to rule in the first place, 'dear' sister, for therein shall you see your error."
  2310. >With that, she turns her back on the flabbergasted princess of the sun and hops off the stage, which Twilight had already left, and takes her place beside Chrysalis
  2311. >You can practically see the fury boiling beneath Celestia's skin as her regal face contorts to one that would not be out of place on a rabid dog
  2312. >"You are so cowardly as to shirk your royal duties, sister? So be it, I will take it upon myself to rid us of this threat to Equestria entire!"
  2313. >She approaches you, and you can practically feel the heat of her rage blistering from her skin and into the air around her
  2314. >"Anonymous! You have been found guilty of murder, causing of injury, and unrepentant mutilation. For these crimes, only death can be a worthy punishment. Have you anything you wish to say before I end your life?"
  2315. >You clear your throat and look around Celestia, your eyes locking on Chrysalis
  2316. "I have one thing to say. I love you."
  2317. >You see your queen begin sobbing, but her eyes stay locked on the scene before her
  2318. >Celestia closes her eyes and her horn begins to glow
  2319. >For a moment, you could swear that the world dims and takes on a more ruddy hue, but then a blinding flash lights up the courtyard, searing into your eyes
  2320. >It clears in less than a second, and you don't feel too different--
  2321. >Wait, your limbs are heavy, leaden almost, and your breathing doesn't satisfy your desire for breath
  2322. >As you topple sideways, unable to hold yourself up any longer, you realize what she had done
  2323. >Your heart had been stopped by a spell
  2324. >The crowd cheers in silence before you, Chrysalis shrieks without making a noise, Celestia cackles in a void of sound
  2325. >You feel, or rather unfeel, your limbs as they begin to slip away from your senses
  2326. >Your last thought, before you close your eyes and embrace the quietude, is a prayer for your wife and children to be safe
  2327. >And then, there is nothing
  2328. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
chyrsalis storytime anon nsfw

Anon von Bismarck: The War Within

by Clarissa

Will of Steel

by Clarissa

Adeptus Anonymous

by Clarissa

Klutz Anon

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Anon von Bismarck: The War Without

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