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Queen and Rook takes King

By nobody
Created: 19th November 2020 09:36:24 PM

  1. >”There isn't a punishment worthy of all you've done!”
  2. >You are Chrysalis, queen of the changelings
  3. >And you refused to leave yourself at the mercy of the pitiful ponies and their pet creatures
  4. >As the two celestial princesses and the manipulative rat discord discuss your fate you know that they do not have reformation in their hearts
  5. >their emotions is comprised of red-hot anger and green disgust
  6. >despite the massive weight of the giant cupcake bearing down on you your horn is still functional
  7. >They have drained you of the excess magic that had ascended your form and power, but you still have a small reservoir of love previously stored away
  8. >it will have to make do
  9. >looking at your companions you can see their emotions on their face
  10. >cozy is worried and even the self-proclaimed mighty lord Tirek is fearful
  11. >activating your horn you prepare a teleportation spell for yourself and the weakened filly
  12. >she might still prove useful, but the enfeebled Tirek is more liable to drain both of you of your magic
  13. >The purple menace noticed your horn charging as she points at it, loudly informing them all
  14. >It matters not, as the spell takes hold mere moments before their spell hits
  15. >The distance of the spell is a drain on your magic but it sucessfully lands you and a mildly charred filly in the middle of the nearby woods
  16. >The whelp is heavily disoriented but she isn’t too damaged
  17. >”W-what happened?”
  18. >I saved our lives, now be quiet,” you hissed
  19. >no doubt those ponies and their cabal are going to hunt you down like dogs
  20. >You transform yourself into a diamond dog and immediately put the dazed cozy on your back
  21. >”hold on tight now, I won’t dig back”
  22. >feeling tiny hooves tighten you immediately dig quickly straight down
  23. >using the innate senses of diamond dogs you can feel a tunnel nearby
  24. >you aim yourself directly at it, and soon find yourself in the dark underground
  25. >this tunnel has already been abandoned
  26. >”Chrysalis I can’t see anything here”
  27. >You can feel the smallest hint of fear in cozy’s voice
  28. >normally you would capitalize on this and take pleasure in frightening her further but this is not the time
  29. “It’s fine, we are in a empty tunnel. There is nothing nearby”
  30. >you then transform back into your true form, the child riding on your back
  31. >Immediately you are hit with the sight of the tunnel, your night vision coming back into effect
  32. >sure enough the walls are riddled with holes, no doubt where the dogs gathered gems from
  33. >It seems they had moved on once they cleared the area of all things shiny
  34. >”What happened to Mr. Tirek?”
  35. “He was left behind, and if you keep distracting me I will do the same with you.”
  36. >After saying that you began trotting down the tunnel, further from the zone the ponies are no doubt meticulously looking for you.
  37. however the filly opens her mouth once more
  38. >”did we lose?”
  39. >this question has plagued you as well
  40. >but you know the answer to it
  41. “Not at all. We are still free, and as long as we are free and uninfected by /friendship/,” you say with disgust,”we have not been defeated yet.”
  42. >You can feel the tiniest hint of happiness from her
  43. >”Okie dokie. Thank you for saving me chrysalis...”
  44. >sleep claims her, no doubt from the stress of today
  45. >while you desire to rest as well you cannot
  46. >every second must be spent intelligently, and that means putting as much distance as you can
  47. >As you keep moving along at a brisk pace you think on what can be done now
  48. >The bell was your trump card, but it is most likely sealed away or destroyed by now
  49. >perhaps you can do something similar to what you did in canterlot to sow distrust among ponies and the creatures they claimed to befriend
  50. >you could also go search for a new artifact, the ponies can’t have them all
  51. >you can also simply lay low. let enough time pass and the ponies will forget you exist
  52. >however cozy would not live long enough to see that happen
  53. >Moving along, you sense something from behind
  54. >without hesitation you turn you turn your head and let loose a bolt of magic at it
  55. >it manages to let out a squeak before it takes it
  56. >once you get a good look at it it reveals to simply be a large mole
  57. >’but is it really?’
  58. >you use a reveal spell on it, which reveals that it is in fact a mole
  59. >better safe then sorry
  60. >you continue down the tunnel
  61. >you are certain your traitorous spawn has joined in the hunt for you and your charge
  62. >one of them could have easily turned into a mole to check underground
  63. >never in your life would you have expected your own children to turn on you, something that will no doubt haunt you for the rest of your life
  64. >If anything it shows how perverse ponies and their friendship is, turning your changelings into colorful abominations
  65. >The only saving grace is that you never laid a second queen. With the hive in dire straits it was unreasonable to.
  66. >If you are captured by the ponies they will demand you lay one, so thorax and his ilk can poison her as well
  67. >you will not allow any more changelings to be infected, including yourself
  68. >The child is still sound asleep, which is good because you are not eager to hear her false sugary sweet voice
  69. >Its fascinating to you that there are no strings on her
  70. >most ponies who share love have a string connecting them to their loved ones
  71. >Cozy is the first pony you have met with none
  72. >not even Sombra, with all his bluster, still had a frayed string, which signified that his loved one had passed away, presumably a millennium ago
  73. >Tirek as well had a few frayed strings connected
  74. >It makes you curious of the filly
  75. >it also makes you wary
  76. >The whelp will lie if you inquired about it so it’s pointless to be direct
  77. >However, without her horn she is no threat to you as well
  78. >As you continue down the tunnel it connects to a chamber of multiple branching tunnels
  79. >You decide to enter to enter one at random
  80. >this reveals that it is not a tunnel but a bedchamber, at least by diamond dog standards
  81. >fortunately the smell of wet dog does not permeate here, a good sign that no dogs have decided to continue living here
  82. >this should be a good resting point
  83. >You have already overexerted your body as it is
  84. >You cast a simple alert ward at the entrance on the off chance you are discovered sleeping here
  85. >It will be uncomfortable but you have slept in worse places
  86. >you gently lift cozy off your back and lay her down on the dusty stone floor
  87. >she lets out a quiet mumble but does not wake up
  88. >then you get into a good resting position, making sure to keep cozy close
  89. >The last thing you need is for her to panic in the darkness and run off blindly
  90. >finally you rest your head down close to her head
  91. >immediately the fatigue you have been ignoring overwhelms you
  92. >Hopefully you can have a peaceful rest before she inevitably wakes you up
  93. >the added warmth helps you, and you can feel cozy unconsciously move closer into you
  94. >under normal circumstances you would never allow it, but these are not normal circumstances
  95. >questions still plague your mind, about what you will do, and how you will do it
  96. >You push those down, they can wait until tomorrow
  97. >or is it tonight? the encompassing darkness gives no hint of time
  98. >’just go to sleep already’
  99. >you close your eyes and sleep quickly overtakes you
  100. >”chrysalis are you awake?”
  101. “I am now you insufferable brat”
  102. >”sorry, I was just getting bored of the darkness. Any chance you can light up in here? preeeeetty please?”
  103. “hmmph. I do not appreciate being woken up”
  104. >”I’m really really sorry. I been awake for a while and its really wierd not being able to see anything.”
  105. >She’ll just keep asking, so you decide you will light up the bare minimum
  106. >the filly’s eyes start blinking getting adjusted to the sudden light
  107. >”gee thanks chryssy, its so much better now”
  108. “do not push your luck foal. You know what my name is”
  109. >”golly. Alrighty then your highness. I thought since you saved me you would had lightened up a bit”
  110. “You thought wrong. If anything things are much worse, but even you are aware of that aren’t you”
  111. >”yeah I know... it really is bad how we got beaten by the ponies and their stupid lackeys. I was so sure we had it in the bag.”
  112. >”buuuuuuut, I been doing a lot of thinking about why we lost, and what we can do next. I have a pretty good idea. If you want to hear it of course.”
  113. >She gives you the biggest smile you seen on her yet
  114. “I’ll listen, but first lets get moving.”
  115. >you get back on your hooves, doing your best to dust yourself off
  116. >looking over at cozy she tries her best to fix her mussed up hair, with little success
  117. “lets get moving”
  118. >as you start trotting you feel cozy glow on your back
  119. >you stop immediately
  120. “who said you can climb onto me”
  121. >you say with a growl
  122. >”oh sorry”
  123. >she begins flying at your side instead
  124. “Now, tell me about your thoughts.”
  125. >”Which one?”
  126. “why we lost, then your idea.”
  127. >”okie dokie. I think we lost because we didn’t crush those ponies right away. We were all so eager to have a long torturous revenge on them. Then if that wasn’t bad enough, they were able to get us mad, giving them the chance to escape! So once we manage to beat them again we should probably maybe... /destroy/ them!”
  128. >her face becomes crazed for a moment before returning to her regular smile
  129. >She is not wrong though
  130. “I agree. next time, I will entomb them into cocoons before they have a chance to speak. and then we can move them into the darkest, deepest, and desolate dungeon we can find”
  131. >”Good idea! Anywhoooo. Talking about beating them again, I have a pretty good idea on how we can do that.”
  132. “well go on then.”
  133. >”Ooh so eager. So before going to ponyville and planning to take over twilight’s friendship school I actually had another plan. It never hurts to have a back-up after all.
  134. >”You see, I always put intelligence, control, and power as some as my best traits. And you know what type of ponies has a lot of that?”
  135. “enlighten me.”
  136. >”Rich businessponies. When I was at the friendship school rarity would bring up ponies like fancypants, hoity toity, and photo finish. Applejack would sometimes bring up her family’s deal with filthy rich as a example of honesty”
  137. >”heck theres even rich pegasus ponies as well, like quick bit who is in charge of the biggest casino in all of las pegasus”
  138. “Are you saying we should become a rich businesspony”
  139. >”yup. Think about it, these rich ponies are all pretty average ponies. They aren’t powerful unicorns, strong earth ponies, or fast fliers. But despite how weak they are they are very important to Equestria.”
  140. >”I even have the perfect target in mind. A very rich and very important businesspony.”
  141. “who and where”
  142. >King Pin. He is in charge of the biggest trading corporations in Manehattan. The best part is he has no remaining family, no wife, and no kids. A lot of ponies don’t like him either, but put up with him because he is so powerful. If you replace him no one will be suspicious.”
  143. >”Even better is that twilight and all her loser /friends/ will never suspect that we will target a Manehattanite businesspony. They will be searching the Everfree, Ponyville, and Canterlot for us”
  144. “Makes sense. Whats the next step of your master plan?”
  145. >”Destroying Equestria from within of course”
  146. “And how exactly do you plan to do that”
  147. >”as much as I would love to tell you I think we should wait until we’ve taken over Mr. King’s office, then we can plan it out.”
  148. >her stomach growls loudly
  149. >”hehehe... plus I am pretty hungry right now”
  150. >she lets out a small squee, her face red with embarrassment
  151. “We should leave these tunnels then. The ponies won’t scour this far from canterlot for us”
  152. >you don your diamond dog form again, and cozy automatically holds on to you
  153. >”ready when you are!”
  154. >You begin the dig at the side of the tunnel, then start the climb upwards
  155. >eventually you break out of the ground, deep in the forest.
  156. >”golly it is dark in here”
  157. >You revert to your changeling form
  158. “quite. lets fly above the trees to see if we can spot any landmarks”
  159. >you then buzz above the trees, the filly along with you
  160. >it looks like the dawn of a new day
  161. >”hey look, train tracks!”
  162. >she enthusiastically points her hoof in a direction
  163. >looking over there are tracks leading in multiple directions
  164. >” I’m sure those tracks lead to Vanhoover. Then from there we can hitch a ride straight to Manehattan”
  165. >her stomach growls intensified
  166. >”After we find food of course”
  167. “Its always funny to me how much you ponies need constant feeding to stay alive,” you say tauntingly.
  168. >”well gee its not my fault I can’t feed off emotions,” Her face turning grumpy
  169. “What a shame. I’m sure we can find some wild carrots here for you to eat little bunny”
  170. >the two of you begin trekking in the forest, keeping an eye out for wild roots
  171. >You keep your sense open
  172. >can’t be too relaxed yet
  173. >”hey queen chryssy look over there”
  174. “what is it”
  175. >”bunnies!”
  176. >looking through the trees you can see some of the animals hopping about a pond in a small clearing
  177. >”aren’t they just adorable. just like me”
  178. “Neither of you are adorable.”
  179. >heading towards the bunnies they hear you
  180. >a single hiss is all it takes to scare them away
  181. >near the pond there are some wild carrots, the bunnies were trying to dig them out it seems
  182. >using your magic you easily pluck them out and levitate them over to the filly
  183. “bon appetite”
  184. >”golly thanks a lot,” she says appreciatively
  185. >she then goes to the pond to get a drink and wash the carrots
  186. >you take a seat next to the pond, staring at your reflection for a bit
  187. >You still look majestic, but nowhere near as majestic when you were empowered by the bell’s magic
  188. >You can hear cozy loudly devour the carrots you gave her
  189. >You look over
  190. >She still holds one carrot, looking at it despondently
  191. >she traces her hoof up to the tip of the carrot
  192. “Are you done eating or do you plan to play with that carrot?”
  193. >”oh golly sorry chrysalis. It’s just... I really miss my horn”
  194. >she gives you a sad look, and you can actually feel the sadness from her
  195. >”I had it for less then a day, but it felt like a natural part of me.”
  196. >She touches her forehead.
  197. >“Now its all gone, and I don’t know if I’ll ever get it back.”
  198. >”This is the first time I have ever felt like this and I don’t know what to do”
  199. >she looks at the pond reflection again
  200. >You can’t have her moping like this
  201. >moving closer to her you put a hoof under her chin and make her face you
  202. “We can find a way to restore your horn. There are plenty of secrets hidden in Equestria. So chin up, you will be whole again”
  203. >you say all this looking her straight in her eyes
  204. >”You really mean it?”
  205. “Of course. A queen does not lie to her own”
  206. >at this a smile spreads across her face
  207. >”You really think of me as one of your own? really really?”
  208. >you let out a small sigh
  209. “really really.”
  210. >just when you thought she couldn’t smile wider she proves you wrong
  211. >And you taste the smallest burst of happiness from her
  212. >”well gee Chrysalis thanks for cheering me up but we should probably get moving, the sooner we get started the sooner we can take over all of Equestria”
  213. “Yes. We will make them pay for all they’ve done. Together.”
  214. >She lets out a childish giggle at that, before flittering her wings and taking flight
  215. >The two of you start making your way directly to the train tracks
  216. >You may have lost the battle, but you will not lose the war
  217. >They will pay for thinking they could bring you, Chrysalis, down to your knees
  218. >And it will all be done with the help of a pony
  219. >What sweeter irony can exist, then the downfall of ponies brought upon them because of a estranged pegasus filly and a queen denied her changelings
  220. >the trek ahead is long but simple.
  221. >the two of you reach the mountains in a couple hours
  222. >in the distance you can see the towering buildings
  223. >You put on your shutterbug disguise, being this close to pony civilization without it would be foolhardy
  224. “cozy, come here”
  225. >”whatcha need chrysalis?”
  226. “I am going to place a glamour on you. it will make your colors change temporarily. The last thing we need is someone recognizing the most infamous filly in Equestria”
  227. >”Oh you can do that? I was going to see if I could steal a cloak or dress but that works too”
  228. “Its useful when transforming is too obvious. It takes less energy as well”
  229. >”Golly, that sounds super useful. Maybe you can teach me when I get my horn back”
  230. “Sure. I have plenty of spells I can teach you. Now hold still”
  231. >she lands on the ground in front of you
  232. >”ready!”
  233. >You concentrate, thinking of the new colors you want to appear
  234. >you release the spell at cozy
  235. >once it connects her colors gradually change from the point it hit
  236. >Pink fur becomes sky blue, and the darker shade of blue in her hair becomes white
  237. >Scarlet eyes turn sapphire blue and cutie mark rook turns light blue, nearly blending into the fur
  238. imagine that cozy had a palette swap with snowdrop
  239. “I cannot change your cutie mark, but hopefully the color change will make it less noticeable”
  240. >”golly!”
  241. >cozy inspects herself, seemingly pleased with the new look
  242. “As for your temporary name we should go with Snowflake”
  243. >”Isn’t it a bit generic?”
  244. “exactly. We do not want attention. As far as ponies are concerned I am your Aunt Shutterbug, and I took you out camping in the nearby woods to appreciate nature.”
  245. “However we ran into trouble with an angered bear and were forced to leave our items behind”
  246. “We are completely unaware of the battle that took place, and simply thought a freak storm had occurred”
  247. >”Nice cover story, but how are we going to get onto the train?”
  248. “We buy the tickets. As for the bits it should be easy to find a pony willing to help out a poor mare and her niece get back to Manehattan.”
  249. >”wow you really thought this through huh?”
  250. “Of course. I have deceived thousands of ponies. It isn’t very difficult. You know that too.”
  251. >”Heeheehee I sure do. All it takes is a cute crying face to get them to hop to my tune.”
  252. >You let out your signature cackle at that.
  253. >the two of you start making your way to the road leading to Vanhoover
  254. “If theres one thing that has stayed constant in my life, its how easy it is to fool a pony”
  255. >”golly don’t I know it. It was sooo easy it was to turn the ponies against each other that even the windigoes came back”
  256. “Ancient evils that were only heard of in mythology, and yet all it takes is friendship to remove them. How pathetic.”
  257. >”Its gonna take more then friendship to get rid of us!”
  258. “Indeed. We will keep at it no matter how hard they try to spread their friendship.”
  259. >you say with disgust
  260. >Time passes and you reach the outskirts of the pony city in silence
  261. >Its now afternoon, the light of the sun glaring down on both of you
  262. >”Finally! We are almost there, I was getting tired”
  263. >The filly wipes the sweat off her face
  264. >Soon enough you make it into the city proper, buildings towering around you and ponies making their way on the sidewalks
  265. >yellow carriages are pulled by ponies quickly through the streets carrying ponies too lazy to move on their own four hooves
  266. >None of that matters to you. Your focus is solely on the tracks leading to the train station
  267. >You feel a weight settle on your back
  268. >you look back and glare at the filly
  269. >”you don’t mind right auntie, I’m so so tired after all.”
  270. >She bats her eyes at you cutely
  271. “Of course I don’t mind, my dear niece”
  272. >you can’t withhold the sneer on your face
  273. >”Golly why are you looking at me like that then”
  274. >You turn your sneer into a smile
  275. >”Now thats much better”
  276. “I will not forget this,” you say in a false happy tone
  277. >You are pulled from thoughts of revenge once you hear the distinct horn of a train
  278. >Turning your head you can see a train coming into the station
  279. >Perfect
  280. >Now all you have to do is find your mark
  281. >looking around you see stuffy looking ponies in suits checking the clock or reading newspapers
  282. >You need to find somepony soft looking
  283. >There, that pony will do
  284. >you turn back to the filly
  285. “Remember, don’t bring too much attention to yourself. Act shy.”
  286. >”gotcha”
  287. >she buried her face into your mane like a scared filly
  288. >You approach the mare sitting at the bench humming to herself
  289. “Excuse me miss, can you help us?”
  290. >”Oh? whats the matter miss?
  291. “Oh my names Shutterbug and this little one is snowflake, nice to meet you.”
  292. >’snowflake’ lets out a small hello
  293. >”I’m Coco Pommel, but you can call me Coco. Now whats the matter?”
  294. >her face exudes concern
  295. >Well me and my niece ran into some trouble earlier in the day. We were out camping for the past few days in the woods by the galloping gorge and then for no reason an enraged bear was rampaging through our campsite!”
  296. >”Oh my that does sound awful. I’m glad you’re both ok. But does this mean you haven’t heard what happened?
  297. “Hmm? What do you mean?”
  298. >”Somehow Tirek broke out of tartarus and got his hands on a powerful magical artifact and destroyed Canterlot. Not only that but the Windigoes came back too!”
  299. >Interesting, she isn’t mentioning either you or Cozy Glow
  300. ”Oh. Well seeing as everything is fine now that must mean that Princess Twilight and her friends saved the day right?”
  301. >”Yep! They even caught Tirek as well.”
  302. “Thats good. Did they send him back to Tartarus?”
  303. >her face becomes a bit uncomfortable
  304. >”The princesses decided that he had enough chances. So they used their magic and turned him to stone,” she said softly
  305. >you hear a minuscule gasp from your mane
  306. >You knew they were going to do something serious, but you didn’t expect them to have the gall to go that far
  307. “Well thats a good thing right? Now he can’t escape and wreak havoc on Equestria again”
  308. >”I guess. It just seems a bit much to me...”
  309. >You can feel the sympathy from her
  310. “Well lets change the topic and talk about the problem at hoof then,” you offer.
  311. >”Oh right! I’m sorry I got off track there. What did you need?”
  312. “As I said, we ended up having to abandon our possessions in the woods thanks to an irate bear, so I’m hoping that you are willing to help us make our way back to Manehattan. We had tickets but they are all the way back there”
  313. >”Oh my. Are you sure you want to abandon all the things you left behind at the campsite?”
  314. >you wave your hoof at that
  315. “Its not too much of an issue to replace the camping gear, and I rather keep little snowflake safe,” you say gesturing at the filly
  316. >she nods at that
  317. >”That makes sense. Well you came to the right mare for help, I know the importance of generosity after all,” she said with a little giggle.
  318. >”I see. does this mean you can buy us a couple of one-way tickets then?”
  319. >”Actually I was here on business with a director for a play on costume designs. When he asked me to come here he provided me with a train cabin ticket to myself, full-trip.”
  320. >she pulls out the ticket from her saddlebag
  321. >” I didn’t bring anypony with me but I’m sure the train attendant will be fine if I let you two come back with me.”
  322. >How utterly convenient
  323. “Thanks you very much. I didn’t want to have to drag one of my friends from Manehattan all the way over here.”
  324. >you turn your head towards the little one on your back
  325. “Now snowflake what do we say to the nice mare?”
  326. >”thank you,” she says in a whispery voice
  327. >Coco beams at that
  328. >”It’s my pleasure”
  329. >At this point you settle yourself onto the bench next to the Mare, laying on the bench to avoid forcing cozy off your back
  330. >You still are unsure whether you want her to bring attention to herself even with the mare claiming that only tirek mattered in the latest event
  331. >A part of you wants to grill the mare for more information but for the most part you are ready to sit in relative silence
  332. >No need to complicate matters for yourselves as you rest your head on your hooves
  333. >”So besides the whole incident with the bear, was the camping trip fun?”
  334. >looks like silence isn’t an option
  335. >it would look bad to be rude to your generous ‘friend’ after all
  336. “It was actually. We were near a small pond, where bunnies frolicked out in the open”
  337. >you nod over to cozy
  338. ”Little snow was so taken with them, she absolutely loves cute little things.”
  339. >her only response was to bury her face in your mane deeper, making a small embarrassed whine
  340. >what a good actor
  341. >”she is really shy isn’t she?”
  342. “Yes she is. It’s hard to get her to spend time outside, she’s a very indoor filly. Thats why I suggested the trip to her, just the two of us.”
  343. >”I won’t lie, it is kinda funny how you two managed to camp through one of the roughest events to happen since Nightmare Moon’s return”
  344. >is she suspicious of you? a quick probe of her emotions say otherwise but still
  345. >You give a small shrug
  346. “The trees give a lot of cover from the weather. The biggest issue was the cold but we had a nice bundle of warm blankets to hide under.”
  347. >”That’s good. I’m just glad everything was safe with you two. I heard that there was a lot of damage near the battle.”
  348. >she is genuinely glad too
  349. >it would be best to get the attention off yourselves
  350. “Well enough about us, I’m curious about you too. You said something about a director and play costumes right?”
  351. >”Yep! I normally work in Manehattan I was staying at a hotel nearby for the past week actually. Throughout the week I had personal meetings with Summer Song, who is in charge of directing the latest play to hit the theatre here.”
  352. >You put on a interested look
  353. ”I see I see. What play would that be exactly? I don’t normally watch plays.”
  354. >”Well you should consider seeing this one. It’s called Nefarious, and its a prequel to the old story, The Unicorn of Oz...”
  355. >She ends up relaying the main characters and the beginning of the plot of the story
  356. >You keep up an interested facade, nodding occasionally
  357. >”And thats the main plot of the story. Theres a bunch of subplots too but I don’t want to spoil anything for you.”
  358. “Well if I have the chance I will go see it. You make it sound so amazing after all.”
  359. >”Because it is!” she exclaims with resolution.
  360. >”Actually, I can show you some of the designs I brought. If you want.”
  361. >She asks you but its obvious what answer she wants
  362. “Of course! I’d be delighted to see it.”
  363. >She lets out that squeaking noise ponies manage to do before digging out a sketchbook from her bags
  364. >She opens it to a page and places it facing towards you
  365. >”So theres the Friendly Witch costume”
  366. >She points her hoof at a glittery looking pink dress, along with wand and crown
  367. >”And theres the Nefarious Witch costume”
  368. >Now this one looks better to you, a pitch black dress and hat
  369. >after that she starts point out each and every design and the character who wears it enthusiastically
  370. >While you could care less, you admit that theres obvious effort put into the designs
  371. >fortunately this eats up time quickly, and before you know it the train attendant comes out
  372. >”All Aboard! The train will be leaving in 10 minutes! Have tickets ready!”
  373. >Coco lets out a surprised gasp
  374. >”Oh I really talked your ears off, I didn’t realize I went on for so long.”
  375. “Its fine, I could feel how much you loved talking about it. I couldn’t bring myself to stop you.”
  376. >You get yourself off the bench
  377. “Anywhoo, we should get inside,” you say turning towards the train
  378. “Oh yes we should. Let me pull out the ticket.”
  379. >She rummages in her bag until she pulls out a ticket
  380. >”Here we go.”
  381. >The three of you head towards the attendant
  382. >”Tickets?”
  383. >”Here.”
  384. >The attendant examines the ticket before nodding and giving it back
  385. >”Cabin 7 it is. We hope you enjoy your trip”
  386. >The three of you make your way into the train, passing ponies sitting their bench seats
  387. >You reach the private cabins, passing through until you see one with a gilded 7 attached to the top of the door
  388. >Coco opens the door, revealing a rather spacious area
  389. >A plush red bench lines each side of the cabin along with soft looking pillows at each end
  390. >Underneath the window is a fold-out table for dining inside
  391. >Lamps are mounted to the wall over the benches, unpowered
  392. >Having studied it enough you head in, Coco already making herself comfortable on the left bench
  393. >You climb up onto the bench and immediately feel relaxed
  394. >before you know it you stretch out your limbs and roll onto your side
  395. >You close your eyes enjoying the pleasant feeling of resting on a surface that isn’t rough rock or soft dirt
  396. >The filly makes herself known, snuggling into the gap between you and the cabin wall
  397. >You let out contented sigh
  398. >its been too long since you felt this good
  399. >however a small giggle breaks you out of your serene state
  400. >Coco lies on the opposite side, a hoof held to her mouth to stifle her giggles
  401. >you only stare at her flatly
  402. >”I’m sorry, its just you looked a lot like a cat getting comfy on a bed. It must feel really good after camping outside huh?”
  403. >you decide to give her a smile
  404. “It really does. I never sat in one of these cabins before. Much too expensive.”
  405. >”Well at least you can enjoy it for the rest of the day. The train won’t make it to Manehattan until tomorrow.”
  406. >looking out the window you see the sun is about to set
  407. >You feel a poke at the back of your neck
  408. >”Hey shutterbug ask her about food. I’m hungry again,” she whispers to your ear
  409. >her stomach lets out a small growl
  410. “It seems little flake is hungry, does this trip come with food?”
  411. >”It does actually. I’ll just ring the bell and we can order dinner.”
  412. >She straightens up and pulls at a cord attached to the wall
  413. >In a few moments you hear a knock at the door
  414. >Coco gets up to open the cabin door, revealing the train attendant from before
  415. >”Hello guests, everything is ok here I hope?”
  416. >”Oh yes, I was just wondering if we could order dinner, we are feeling a bit hungry now.”
  417. >”Of course ma’m.”
  418. >The stallion reaches into his saddlebags and pulls out two menus
  419. >He passes one to the mare and another to you
  420. >”We have an assortment of freshly made gourmet sandwiches, salads, and pastries stored on board. We also offer a variety of bottled drinks, which is all listed on the menu. However please note that some items have an additional charge.”
  421. >Coco’s eyes skim over the menu
  422. >You give it a quick look. You aren’t all that hungry, at least not for something tangible
  423. >You then pass it to the filly behind you
  424. >looking over you can see her searching the menu thoroughly
  425. >”I want this,” she says pointing her hoof at a image of a decadent fruit salad paired with fresh apple juice
  426. >Fortunately it doesn’t have the additional cost the stallion spoke of
  427. >You don’t want to push your luck with this mare’s generosity
  428. >You turn to face Coco
  429. “We are ready to order if you are.”
  430. >”I’m ready too.”
  431. >The stallion already has a notepad in hoof, a pen held in mouth
  432. >”I’ll take your orders then,” he manages to speak around the pen
  433. >”I’ll have the Prench carrot salad with iced tea.”
  434. >The stallion turns to face you
  435. “I’ll have the daisy sandwich with spring water. My niece will have the tropical fruit salad with apple juice.”
  436. >He finishes penning your order before putting the pen in the pad’s coil and placing it in his front vest pocket
  437. >”I’ll be back soon with your meals. Please return the menus.”
  438. >both you and coco pass over the menus
  439. >”Thanks, I’ll be back.”
  440. >He takes his exit out the cabin, closing the door behind him
  441. >Coco sets up the folded table
  442. >She then returns to sitting on the bench facing you
  443. >”I talked so much about my job and passion that I forgot to ask you about yours. What do you enjoy doing?”
  444. “I do photography work for anypony who needs pictures taken quickly. I’m quite good at what I do.”
  445. >”Oooh. That sounds like fun, what pictures have you taken?”
  446. “All kinds of photos. Ponies, Creatures, wildlife, city life, landscapes, and much more.”
  447. >”I guess that means you traveled all over Equestria then?”
  448. “All over and then some. I would show you some but my photo albums are all back home.”
  449. >”Maybe you could show them to me someday after we reach Manehattan. If you don’t mind of course.”
  450. >you will most likely disappear before then
  451. “Definitely! I love sharing my work with others.”
  452. >Coco’s smile rivals the pink menace
  453. >Too bad for her its all a lie
  454. >”I’m so glad. It’s always nice to make new friends.”
  455. >you manage to keep the distaste for the word of your face
  456. “I feel the same exact way,” you say with a false smile
  457. >fortunately for you theres a knock at the door
  458. >”Come in!”
  459. >Its a different attendant this time around. A pegasus mare pushes a small cart through the door
  460. >”Got ya dinner right here. Daisy sandwich with spring water?”
  461. “That is mine.”
  462. >She sets the tray onto the table in front of you with a wing
  463. >”Prench carrot salad with iced tea?
  464. >”Thats me”
  465. >Another tray is set, this one on Coco’s side
  466. >”And a tropical fruit salad with apple juice for the little one!”
  467. >She places this one by yours
  468. >The filly finally gets out from behind you, seating herself in front of the tray
  469. >She is ready to bite in but you stop her with a hoof
  470. “Now now, what do we say?”
  471. >for a split second a bitter look crosses her face before returning to her shy smile
  472. >”Thank you for the food miss”
  473. >”You are very welcome little one. Now if any of ya need anything else just give us a ring. Enjoy your meals!”
  474. >Thankfully dinner is a silent affair
  475. >The two ponies eagerly dig into their meals but you only take small bites out the sandwich
  476. >The spring water is very refreshing, much better then the pond water you had to subject yourself to
  477. >in time you all had your fill of the food
  478. >”That was delicious”
  479. “It was. Did you enjoy your meal snowflake?”
  480. >”yeah”
  481. >She goes back to leaning against you
  482. >Coco smiles at the cute display
  483. >”For a shy filly she really likes to cuddle up to you.”
  484. “What can I say, I’m amazing with foals.”
  485. >you emphasize this by putting a hoof around the filly and pulling her closer
  486. >She giggles at that before getting up
  487. >”I’m take these plates out, I don’t want to keep bothering the attendants.”
  488. >you are pretty sure thats their purpose but you hold your tongue
  489. >”How sweet of you. We got lucky finding such a nice mare as yourself for help.”
  490. >a small blush overtakes her
  491. >”I’m sure anypony else would had done the same”
  492. >doubtful
  493. “You shouldn’t sell yourself so short.”
  494. >she smiles and picks up the plates
  495. >”I won’t then. I’ll be quick”
  496. >she leaves the cabin, closing the door behind herself
  497. >”Golly Shutterbug I didn’t know you could be so nice”
  498. >you scoff at that
  499. “We have to spend the entire trip with this mare, might as well keep her happy.”
  500. >”That is very true. My auntie shutter is so clever,” she croons
  501. >You only pull her tighter against you
  502. “Don’t push it. I can find ways to get you back easily.”
  503. >she pushes against you and you let up a bit
  504. >”Yeah yeah yeah, I got it.”
  505. “Good, because she is coming back already”
  506. >On cue the door opens once more showing the mare herself
  507. >’snowflake’ once again cuddles up to you and you simply smile at the mare
  508. >she smiles back
  509. >”You two are too cute like that you know.”
  510. >You laugh at that
  511. “We try our best. Looks like its working for us.”
  512. >looking out the cabin window the sun sets fully, the moon coming out to take it’s place
  513. >It will never stop bothering you how ponies are capable of manipulating them at a whim
  514. >Then that flying snake only made it worse
  515. >You are taken from your thoughts when you hear a small yawn from beside you
  516. “I think its time for us to sleep. It has been a very long day”
  517. >”I bet. I’m ready to rest too.”
  518. >using your magic you fold the table back up
  519. >You follow it up by getting comfortable once more, filly held in your forehooves
  520. “Are there any blankets here?”
  521. >”Yep, they are in these compartments at the foot of the bench”
  522. >She pulls it out to demonstrate, showing you a plush blue blanket
  523. >You pull yours’ open, revealing a green blanket
  524. >You pull it out and lay it over yourselves
  525. “Much better. Good night Coco. Good night snowflake.”
  526. >”Sweet dreams everypony.”
  527. >”night.”
  528. >You turn off the lamps and the cabin goes dark, with only a sliver of pale moonlight bleeding through
  529. >Today went well, very well all things considered
  530. >Another step closer to your eventual success
  531. >You will need to find a source of love soon, but you can handle that once your off this train
  532. >You are tempted to feed off the mare next to you but it would be too risky
  533. >Then of course theres still Cozy’s plan
  534. >You are curious on how she plans to use this Kingpin’s wealth and influence
  535. >However, it shouldn’t be too hard to replace him
  536. >After all you succeeded in infiltrating Canterlot and replacing the elements
  537. >If it weren’t for your traitorous spawn and glimmer you would had already won
  538. >You can feel your anger returning
  539. >you calm yourself down, dwelling on the past won’t do anything for you
  540. >You look at the filly resting in your grasp
  541. >While Tirek is significantly more powerful and somewhat clever, he was ultimately a dumb brute
  542. >This child however relies on nothing but her wit and charm
  543. >Much like a changeling
  544. >your tiredness overwhelms you and you fall asleep
  545. >What a lovely dream you had
  546. >it’s a shame you woke up before the end
  547. >opening your eyes you see your companions still resting
  548. >Looking out the window the sun peeks out from the horizon
  549. >It’s feels like it has been ages since you had a comfortable rest
  550. >Your caution and sleeping on harsh surfaces kept you from resting longer then a few hours at a time
  551. >It did you no favors but you couldn’t risk complacency, not after all that was taken from you
  552. >Even your own magical constructs conspired against you after all
  553. >Hunger gnaws on you
  554. >It will have to wait until you are off this train
  555. >The filly in your hooves starts mumbling to herself
  556. >”ngh... this can’t be happening”
  557. >you can sense her discomfort and fear and decide to shake her awake
  558. >”wh-what’s happening?”
  559. >she rubs at her eyes before opening them to face you
  560. “I should be asking you. You were having a nightmare”
  561. >”oh. so it was all a bad dream after all...”
  562. >While you are curious you have a good idea of what it was. You have not forgotten what the mare told you of Tirek’s fate
  563. >As the filly composes herself you get up and start stretching your limbs
  564. IWTCIQC
  565. >You get a few kinks out and feel ready to face today
  566. >”Are we there yet?”
  567. “No”
  568. >the filly splays herself lazily on the bench
  569. >”Golly I forgot these trains take forever.”
  570. >You take a seat next to the brat
  571. “At least we didn’t have to travel by hoof. It would had taken days.”
  572. >”you are absolutely right,” she says as she cuddles up to the cushion, “it would had been unbearable.”
  573. >You take a look at Coco resting on the opposite side
  574. >She is still sound asleep, completely at peace
  575. >You wonder how she would react knowing she was in a cabin with two notorious villains
  576. >Would she scream in fear or beg for mercy?
  577. >You only feed on love but fear directed at you is intoxicating
  578. >The look in their eyes as they realize what you truly are
  579. >it’s exhilarating
  580. >a small tap to your side knocks you out of those thoughts
  581. “What is it,” you hiss out
  582. >She gives you a worried look
  583. >”You had that look.”
  584. “What look?”
  585. >”THAT look. The one you would get sometimes when you talked to the purple log...”
  586. >immediately your memories of those moments come to mind
  587. >Looking back at it only reminds you how you were slowly going mad
  588. >Not your proudest moment
  589. “Oh.”
  590. >The child responds by hugging your side
  591. “get off of me.”
  592. >She just grins at you
  593. >”It’s fine I’m just hugging my auntie right?”
  594. “Yes.”
  595. >You squeeze the little gremlin in retaliation
  596. >before you can say anything you are alerted by mumbling coming from the slumbering mare
  597. >”mmmm what time is it.”
  598. >She rubs at her eyes
  599. “The sun is just about to rise.”
  600. >”really?”
  601. >she blinks a couple times and takes a look out the window
  602. >”Well that means we should be close to Manehattan now.”
  603. >”Perfect. I have to take snowflake back home, I’m sure her parents miss her.”
  604. >you rub the filly’s back but she doesn’t respond
  605. “Also do they provide breakfast on board?”
  606. >”No but I know this nice little diner near the train station. They make the best pancakes. My treat.”
  607. >You can feel the sweetness flowing off her
  608. “That sounds lovely. So all there is to do now is wait then?”
  609. >Coco nods
  610. >”I have another sketchbook full of costume designs I made. Its just sketches for other plays I seen. We could look over those if you are interested”
  611. >She gives you that smile again
  612. “Sure, why not?”
  613. >You scooch yourself and snowflake over to make room as Coco eagerly sits at your side
  614. >She talks animatedly about each costume design and her inspiration for it
  615. >A lot of it goes over you but you make sure to let her know you are listening
  616. >time passes and there is a knock at the door, cutting her off
  617. >She gets up to the door
  618. >”Hello?”
  619. >”Hello miss. I am just here to let you and your guests know that we will be arriving shortly.”
  620. >”Thank you very much for letting us know, I was wondering how much longer it would take.”
  621. >The attendant tips his hat
  622. >”Just doing my job miss. Have a nice day.”
  623. >He takes his leave as Coco softly closes the door
  624. >”Well we better get all our things put away, don’t want to leave anything”
  625. >You only shrug
  626. “I can’t really say the same,” you say in a joking tone.
  627. >”Oh yeah hehe, my bad. Let me just put these away”
  628. >she starts collecting her notebooks and puts on her saddlebags
  629. >Looking out the window you see the scenery has changed drastically
  630. >The ocean surrounds the bridge where the tracks run through
  631. “Looks like we’re almost there”
  632. >she takes a look out the window
  633. >”Mmhmm. The Celestial Sea always looks so beautiful when the sun shines off it”
  634. “It sure does. If only I had my camera with me. Snowflake come take a look”
  635. >The filly takes the cue and flies up to the window to get a better look
  636. >”woah”
  637. “Its pretty isn’t it?”
  638. >”yeah”
  639. >For the moment all 3 of you watch the sea as you approach the city
  640. >you spots boats floating about and get a view of the statue of liberty in the distance
  641. >eventually the train reaches the city proper and the train whistle is set off to let the ponies in the streets know the train is approaching
  642. >The train steadily slows down until it pulls into the station
  643. “Well we should get going now”
  644. >You get off the bench and stretch your limbs one more time
  645. >The filly meanwhile takes her spot on your back and Coco does one last check of her saddlebags
  646. >”All ready here! I can’t wait to show you the diner.”
  647. >She gets out the cabin first and you follow behind her
  648. >All the ponies are departing in a mostly orderly manner, with a few shoving past each other in a rush to get out
  649. >This will be your first time in Manehattan, you never had a reason to be here before
  650. >As the three of you exit the scale of the buildings surrounding you hits you
  651. >While there were sizable buildings in Vanhoover the ones in Manehattan put those to shame
  652. >”The diner is right over here around the corner”
  653. >You follow her as she makes her way through the busy street
  654. >Ponies move quickly here lest they get shoved out of the way
  655. >Pegasi have the advantage as they fly overhead
  656. >Once you round the corner you see Coco heading towards a small building
  657. >The Pearl Diner
  658. >”Here it is, my favorite diner in Manehattan!”
  659. >She sounds giddy as she makes her way to a booth
  660. >You seat yourself and snowflake across her
  661. >Theres quite a few ponies eating here or simply drinking a cup of coffee as a pegasus waitress makes the rounds with a full pot held by her wing
  662. >In a short moment a unicorn waitress approaches your booth
  663. >”hello and welcome to the Pe-,”
  664. >a look of recognition crosses her face
  665. >”oh Coco it’s you! I see you brought some friends around to our little diner”
  666. >”I met them on the trip back from Vanhoover. I wanted to show them my favorite diner.”
  667. >”Well I hope we don’t disappoint.”
  668. >She places a couple menus and a foal’s menu onto the table before pulling out a pad and pen
  669. >”Now what drinks can we start you off with”
  670. >”I’ll have the freshly squeezed orange juice”
  671. >”Sounds about right for you Coco. Now how about you miss...?”
  672. “Shutterbug, and this little filly is Snowflake.”
  673. >”Got it. Now what would you two like to drink?”
  674. “I’ll be fine with water. What would you like snowflake?”
  675. >”Do you have hot chocolate?”
  676. >”We sure do. We even got little marshmallows if you want em.”
  677. >The filly smiles at that
  678. >”Yes please”
  679. >”kay. I’ll be back in a jiffy”
  680. >You take a look at the menu to find the usual fare
  681. >She did say the pancakes were the best here. It would make sense to order those.
  682. >”What do you feel like eating?” you ask the foal
  683. >She looks over the menu before facing you and pointing at a picture on the menu
  684. >”chocolate pancakes please.”
  685. >You face your generous benefactor
  686. >”Which pancakes do you recommend Coco?”
  687. >She looks up from her menu
  688. >”Well it depends on what flavors you like. I really like the blueberry pancakes here. The banana nut pancakes are pretty good too. If you can’t decide the classic pancakes are always good no matter what.”
  689. >”Classic it is then,” you say as you close the menu
  690. >As if sensing you are done deciding the unicorn shows up with a tray of drinks floating aside her
  691. >”I’m back. Now then heres your drinks.”
  692. >She floats over each drink to its respective orderer
  693. >”Now be careful with that hot chocolate, don’t want to burn your tongue.”
  694. >She pulls out the pad again
  695. >”Now are we ready to order?”
  696. “I believe so. Coco?”
  697. >”I would like the blueberry pancakes.”
  698. >”kay, and how about you two,” she says as she faces your side of the booth
  699. “I will have the classic pancakes and she will have the chocolate pancakes.”
  700. >She jots it down
  701. >”Alright! Your pancakes will be ready shortly.”
  702. >She leaves
  703. >The three of you make idle chitchat and take sips of your drinks
  704. >Its mostly Coco talking about other places she frequents around here
  705. >The waitress eventually returns with a tray of food and bottles of syrup
  706. >”Hope your ready for these babies.”
  707. >She places sets it all on the table
  708. >”Enjoy! If you need anything else just wave.”
  709. >The two ponies eagerly dig into their meals
  710. >You pour a generous amount of syrup onto yours before cutting into it
  711. >While not a proper substitute for love it is not half bad
  712. >It doesn’t take long until they finish, yours only partially eaten
  713. “These pancakes were very filling, I cannot take another bite.”
  714. >The filly lets out a small groan, no doubt feeling the ache of overeating
  715. >”I know that feeling. The first time I came here I couldn’t resist ordering more.”
  716. >Coco waves at the waitress and she notices, heading to your booth
  717. >”Well looks like you’re all done. Would you like a togo box?”
  718. “Yes please.”
  719. >”Check please”
  720. >”kay. I’ll be back with both.”
  721. >In little time she returns
  722. >”Now heres your total, and heres your box. Come back soon!”
  723. >She heads back to serve other patrons
  724. >You store away the remaining pancakes, although you doubt you will eat them
  725. >Meanwhile coco places the bits for the meal
  726. >”So were these pancakes the best or were they the best?”
  727. “Definitely the best I had”
  728. >another groan in affirmation from the foal
  729. >You slide out the booth and snowflake eagerly takes her resting spot on your back
  730. >You and Coco head outside before standing besides the entrance
  731. “Well I think this is where we part. I have to take this one back after all.”
  732. >”Oh. Well before you go take this.”
  733. >She digs out a business card from her saddlebag and gives it to you
  734. >”This is where I work. If you want to meet up again I’m usually here during the day.”
  735. >You take a look at the card.
  736. >’Rarity for you on Saddle Row’
  737. >Theres a familiar mark on the card
  738. >Then it hits you
  739. >that is Generosity’s mark
  740. >One of the elements of harmony
  741. >Of course it would be your luck to ‘befriend’ a pony associated with one of them
  742. >You put on a false smile
  743. “Certainly. I’ll even bring some of my albums. Now I guess this is good-bye”
  744. >hopefully for good
  745. >”For now it is. Good-bye!”
  746. >She starts trotting away after giving you a little wave of her hoof
  747. >You and the filly both wave back before you start heading in the opposite direction
  748. “Well this could had gone better”
  749. >”I thought it went well?”
  750. “Think again”
  751. >You pass the card to her
  752. >”well golly gee what are the odds of that”
  753. “No matter. Snowflake and Shutterbug will simply have to disappear.”
  754. >”Geez can’t things go perfectly for once?”
  755. “I have been asking myself that for a long time.”
  756. >”Well we should head to upper east Manehatten.”
  757. “And why’s that?”
  758. >”Because that is where our newest friend Kingpin lives.”
Cozy Glow Chrysalis

Queen and Rook takes King

by nobody