Change of plans [Anoncolt side chapter]

Oct 18th, 2017
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  1. >Protect the Queen.
  2. >Do not let any intruder pass by.
  3. >Organize and train the swarm.
  4. >Those were your three priorities. However, everything is now torn apart, and now, you're challenging yourself to the next level.
  5. >You are Pharynx, the only remaining sane changeling. Everypony else has turned against The Hive and are controlled by King Sombra; a new threat to Equestria whose powers are unknown for most of your kind.
  6. >The orders of your Queen were quite simple to follow; the crystal ponies army weren't coordinated like anypony in The Hive.
  7. >It is quite possible for The Hive to take control over an empire with a weak military unit.
  8. >The changeling army was hundreds against so few ponies in poorly armored suits, they were nothing compared to the hunger of the swarm for the lack of love.
  9. >But that King, that unicorn... He knew exactly what he was doing, as if he battled the Queen a long time before.
  10. >Reckless.
  11. >There was no other word to describe such a pony, the dark powers he wielded were limitless... King Sombra tossed us around with his powers, making us his guinea pigs for magic practice.
  12. >Was he even a pony to begin with? Or was he a trap that Discord set up to defeat The Hive?
  13. >You will get your answers, no matter how many enemies or changelings you have to beat up.
  14. >Someday.
  15. >As soon as your Queen was defeated and under the control of King Sombra, everypony started to follow the 'new' orders. Sombra had manipulated the Queen to institute these revised or even newly implemented laws.
  16. >Only a few of the Hive members fleed, refusing to follow through with anymore orders. Rumors from the remaining Hive members confirm that those new orders were given by King Sombra and not your Queen.
  17. >You are worried about your pushover little brother... Have a feeling he won’t follow the new orders. The wimp might actually run away from it all, like the other cowards.
  18. >You tried to find him, tracking anypony that wasn't under the spell of that false king.
  19. >Nopony was found.
  20. >But that was long ago. One hope you have is that your brother, wherever he is… That he’s safe. Thorax tends to be a wuss. If it’s one things those cowards can do, is take care of each other.
  21. >That’s if the Badlands doesn’t chew them up first.
  22. >Today, you are on the outskirts of the Crystal Empire, the place where the confrontation between your Queen and their King took place.
  23. >A battle to rival that between Nightmare Moon and Celestia thousands of years ago.
  24. >Soon, twilight will come in the distance and everything will be plain darkness, the perfect time to infiltrate an empire.
  25. >Other changelings in your situation hide and think for an alternative. Probably retreat and try asking for help or in the worst case scenario. Surrender to the hunger and be one with the dirt.
  26. >But you’re not a stupid wimp.
  27. >You are not only on your way to the center of the Crystal Empire, but you are going to defeat that King with your bare hooves.
  28. “Glory for the empire… GLORY TO THE QUEEN!”
  29. >You quickly hush yourself. Whoops, got a bit too excited there.
  30. >Where others failed... you will succeed. You will avenge your Queen, even if you lose in the attempt. But you won’t miserably fail. You will fail with honor! With the Queen’s honor!
  31. >You rather fall in battle than fleeing with the tail between your hooves, like your brother. If Thorax were here, you would drag him along. Or else you’d make sure you’d pummel him before the anypony else does.
  32. >As you approach the city, you don't see any patrol. The sight disgusts you to your changeling core that there is no vigilance in the city. Anypony can just waltz in and not be stopped! Well, perfect for your case, but it’d suck if you were on the receiving end.
  33. >You manage to enter the dark empire and land in the middle of what appeared to be the castle of the Crystal Empire.
  34. >You stare up at the balcony of the castle, up there you spot a silhouette. Looks like…
  35. >Hah! He’s pretending like he doesn’t notice you! All kings like him are cowards! You muster up enough air into your lungs, and shout with the might of the Swarm.
  36. "King Sombra! You destroyed our Hive and made every living changeling look like a weakling! I, Pharynx, head of the patrol of The Hive-“
  37. >You channel your horn and focus your changeling magic into transforming in a giant spider, bending your long spider legs to do a jump towards the balcony of the castle.
  38. "-will put an end to you!" You roar moments before jumping towards the balcony of the castle to show who’s the mightiest.
  39. >You’re prepared for this battle, you shall show no mercy to the enemy and show no weakness. But, as you arrive in the balcony, you spot another shadow that flees from the area.
  40. "Come back here you wuss!” You land on the balcony, cracking and shattering the surface of the floor with the impact of your giant arachnid body.
  41. >Close… Call… Let’s change back to normal for now.
  42. >There’s nothing that shone inside the castle. Not a crack of light from anywhere. Even the light from the balcony wasn’t strong enough to illuminate the room. You light up your horn to make a light spell and see in the darkness.
  43. "You can't hide all the time, you know? Eventually, you'll have to fight me! Victory or defeat, I shall go down with honor! FOR THE HIVE!"
  44. >You keep walking and being aware of your senses, nothing could escape from your hearing and you would attack anything that moves. Anything that makes a peep, squeak, or groan, you’ll destroy it!
  45. >Suddenly from the dark, candles start to light up with purple flames. A deep laugh in the darkness creeps through the cold, still air.
  46. >"Out of all the changelings that have fallen to me, you’re one of the bravest…”
  47. >A road of candles light up until they were near the throne of the castle. There he was… King Sombra, sitting there with a stupid, snarky grin all over his face. You’ll change that to a tear soaked frown in just a moment.
  48. "King Sombra!" You shoot a green bolt of magic energy towards the fraud.
  49. >Suddenly, the spell was reflected back by kind of magic barrier around him.
  50. >Magic won’t work, huh? Well, you always liked getting physical when it came to beating up wimps.
  51. >"A feeble attempt, but a valiant effort indeed…” He chuckled under his breath.
  52. "I've come in the name of my brothers and sisters to put an end to you! I don't care if both of us go down in the fight! This ends here and now!" Filled with the fury, the anguish, the suffering of your entire Hive, you transform again into the giant spider, cornering the king of the crystal empire.
  53. "Cowards never go down in history."
  54. >King Sombra stands up from his throne, keeping that smile filled with self-confidence.
  55. >”An excellent statement for your fate. Anypony that fights with anger is running away from themselves.”
  56. “Shut up, fraud! Fight me with your hooves and not your mouth! But I’ll gladly shut it up if that’s what it’ll take.”
  57. >He smirks. “…Afraid of letting your brothers and sisters down, yes? But you’ve already failed… You ignorant fool. Blinded by the anguish, the hatred, the suffering of your own kind. The behavior of somepony so…”
  58. >You grit and grind your teeth, narrow your eyes with a hiss from your snake like tongue. And that’s when he mutters one word. One you’ll remember if you survive this ordeal.
  59. >”Reckless…”
  61. >"I wish to reward you with the defeat you so much desire, but alas, I won't be the unicorn giving you a lesson here."
  62. >You don't listen to his nonsense and prepare to strike first, throwing your giant spider leg towards him.
  63. >You roar as you attack the King, your courage not worrying about any consequence that might happen.
  64. >As your leg trespasses his magic barrier, you see how his shadow suddenly disappears from behind him and transforms into something else.
  65. >Your spider leg hits, the sound of something metallic could be heard in the whole throne room along with smoke that was created by the impact.
  66. >Soon there was mist covering the entire throne room and you couldn't have a clear sight if your hit connected.
  67. >The mist was clearing little by little, showing up a golden sword that was countering your spider leg.
  68. >A golden sword?
  69. >Was something or someone protecting him? ...No, somepony was holding the sword.
  70. >As the mist clears, you spot a pony that was holding the weapon with its golden aura from its magic, it clearly wasn't King Sombra.
  71. >It was... a filly?
  72. >She returned your hit with ease as if it was nothing, you were stunned for a moment from the unexpected tiny guard that the king had hidden.
  73. >The entire throne room started to light up thanks to a chandelier turning up and showing every corner of the throne of the castle, giving you a view of the filly holding the sword with the help of her magic.
  74. >She was a unicorn whose coat was white, white as the snow with a bicolor pinkish mane; She was wearing a purple dress with a dark cloak and a pointy crown while covering her eyes with a white blindfold.
  75. >This filly... wasn't when your Queen attacked the Crystal Empire.
  76. "What is the meaning of this? A filly? What kind of king makes children fight for him?!"
  77. >"Only if you're able to scratch my daughter, will I leave this throne to defeat you." King Sombra sits back on his throne, watching with a hoof on his chin to entertain himself. "I ran out of ponies to train her with, anyways… A changeling foe will be a refreshing change.”
  78. >Oh, so that's it? Do you need to defeat one of his minions in order to face him? So be it!
  79. "Don't blame me if I hurt her too much."
  80. >With your spider legs, you start preparing yourself to fight the filly that blocked your attack.
  81. >"Don't worry.”
  82. >You send various attacks trying to slash the filly, but she was quick enough to react and connect hits with her sword. It was so odd since she had a blindfold.
  83. >”You won’t.”
  84. >That can only mean she can hear where your attacks are coming from.
  85. >The throne room was filled with the sound of the blocked attacks, she wouldn't give up that easily and neither would you.
  86. >Not only that, but she was dodging as if she knew where your leg would go. You are not sure if it was for her listening or mere luck.
  87. >Maybe if you attack near her? Would that trick her to think you're hitting somewhere else so you could knock her out?
  88. >You hit the ground near her and she jumps to the side, evading it with ease.
  89. >You've never dealt with a tiny target before... neither one that knows where everything will hit.
  90. >Finally, she decided to attack while using her sword in an offensive way. Blocking one of your attacks, the filly disappeared from your sight as if she vanished from thin air.
  91. "What? Where did she go? Of course… Only minions of Sombra would run away like a-"
  92. >You look around but can't find any track of the filly, no matter how illuminated the throne room was you couldn't find her.
  93. >King Sombra chuckled while watching the battle.
  94. >Soon, you had your answer of her whereabouts as you felt one of your eight spider legs stagger from a sudden harm.
  95. “-Filly?!”
  96. >You look back, only to spot the filly swinging her sword through one of your back spider legs. It looked like the sword suddenly turned to smoke as it reached through your leg! What sorcery was this? And where was she hiding?
  97. >You jumped away from her attack and looked at the damage done.
  98. >One of the legs she hit was covered in black crystals!
  99. "Tch!"
  100. >You saw this in the battle of your Queen and King Sombra, a trick to undo the powers of the enemy.
  101. >The filly smiles while yielding the sword to deliver another attack.
  102. >You couldn't move your leg covered in black crystals, but you had seven legs left!
  103. >Before hitting you with her sword the filly once again disappeared from your sight, this time you have seen her using her horn to teleport away.
  104. >So a teleportation spell, uh? So that's how she managed to hit you from behind.
  105. >Maybe she is using that blindfold for decoration, you can't just use a teleportation spell without knowing where you want to go.
  106. "The same trick won't work two times in a row!" You turn behind you and smash without the knowledge of the filly being there or not.
  107. >You miss your attack.
  108. "Ack!" You yell in pain.
  109. >This time you felt three of your legs being staggered at the same time!
  110. >Somehow the filly managed to get... under you? But those attacks were so fast and clean... it wouldn't give time for something that quick!
  111. >Unless...
  112. >She shares the same powers as the shadow king?
  113. >You couldn't move your giant spider legs because they were covered in black crystals, there was only one way to confront her and get rid of her.
  114. >You transform back to your changeling form, the black crystals that were in your spider legs fell to the ground and were no longer attached to you.
  115. >It's a luck that you didn't have any crystal on your hooves, or else it would be all over.
  116. >But this isn't over yet.
  117. >The filly prepares her sword to attack, only this time she doesn't teleport but rather charges her attack at you.
  118. >You can't predict her moves anymore and her advantage with the sword as a weapon was something that was putting you on the edge of the battle.
  119. >You shoot various magic missiles towards her direction, which she evades by teleporting... this time to the side instead of some blind point; using your magic you transform into a gryphon and fly with your claws ready to grab her by the neck.
  120. >But she once again disappeared and re-appeared where you knew she would be.
  121. >You react quickly and tackle below you, hitting and pinning down the filly that appeared on your shadow.
  122. >With a grunt she stares at you.
  123. >"Took you long to figure it out, uh? You changelings are less wise without your queen telling you when to bark!"
  124. "Why you little... ack!"
  125. >You left your guard down due to the taunt, the filly took the opportunity and slashed you with her sword through your body. This time her sword didn't turn anything in crystal, but it made you turn back to your changeling form.
  126. >Y-You are weak already? Impossible!
  127. >"Seems like I was right!"
  128. >The filly headbutts you, making you lose your grip on her and setting her free.
  129. >You grit your teeth and smash the ground. This filly is too slippery and annoying!
  130. >You tried changing into a minotaur this time, but your magic wasn't allowing you to do so. Must be her sword's doing.
  131. >So... no changes and no defense? You need to make a plan.
  132. >You use your senses to see any advantage in the throne room.
  133. >The only thing you can think of is using the stained glasses and... take her with you.
  134. >You got no energy left to fight King Sombra and the battle is pretty much over with that filly using your shadow as an easy way to hit below you.
  135. >If you're going down… So is she!
  136. >You make yourself look cornered and bump with the big stained window behind you as the filly approaches.
  137. "If you think you can beat the head of the patrol that easily, think again!" You adopt a defensive pose. "I'm not running... and when I finish you... I'm going to absorb the everlasting love from you!"
  138. >Somehow you startled the filly as she didn't think twice and went for the attack, turning into a shadow she was going straight for you.
  139. >This time you could see how her shadow was moving on the floor of the throne room getting close to you.
  140. >It's your chance.
  141. "You might be using dark magic to get the edge on me…"
  142. >The filly reveals before attacking in front of you this time, you could tell by her expression filled with hate that she wanted to defeat you more than before.
  143. "But you're still a kid!"
  144. >She swings her weapon, which you ignore and directly grab the filly with your hooves.
  145. >"Wha?"
  146. *Crash*
  147. >You manage to jump back while grabbing the filly with the remaining strength you had, crashing the glass of the stained window with the weight of both your bodies.
  148. >"Agh!" She screamed while struggling.
  149. >You smirk as you know what the future events will occur.
  150. >You two fall from the top of the castle into the ground of the Crystal Empire.
  151. >You have no remorse if you hurt a kid, you're here to finish your so long journey anyway.
  152. >There is nothing that you need to continue, nopony to follow around.
  153. >The filly struggles, but the weight of the black crystals that were on your wings from her previous attack was there. You couldn't fly away, so... let this be your final moment.
  154. >You close your eyes as you feel your body impact the ground.
  155. >For the glory of The Hive.
  156. >For the Queen.
  157. >It's over.
  158. "Long live the queen!"
  159. >...
  160. >Or so you thought.
  161. >As you recovered from the fall from the castle of the Crystal Empire you see the filly holding her sword near your neck as you were lying on the ground without any energy left.
  162. >She was stronger than you, a simple filly... It's so laughable. If the Queen was here you'd be the laughing stock for the next generation.
  163. >She removes her blindfold revealing her yellow eyes, judging you by your acts before delivering the last blow.
  164. >You never thought it would end like this.
  165. "Do it."
  166. >The filly shakes her head.
  167. >"It’s not my call."
  168. >Not her... call?
  169. >"Precisely." You hear King Sombra's voice near you.
  170. >Your sight was blurry but you could spot him stepping closer.
  171. >"Impressive tactic, though… Pretty selfish to take the life of yourself in order to take the life of a child."
  172. >This stallion is no king. He’s no pony. You spit sticky green goo in his face. Only a small amount comes out, sticking to his cheek.
  173. “You’re a monster…”
  174. >Those soulless eyes. You can see nothing but darkness within them. For the first time, you actually feel… Weak. Like nothing you can do will stop him, no matter how you try, no matter what you say…
  175. >…But you won’t give up… For the Hive…
  176. >Even with your stoic determination, your courage dwindled.
  177. “S-So? Finish me o-off. What are y-you waiting for?”
  178. >"You think to simply, Pharynx.” He steps closer to you, leaning his face ever so close, but far enough where you can’t lash out and bite him.
  179. >“We are in the climax of the war between the God of chaos, a God... that tricked us all to begin with."
  180. "Discord? Of course, I know he tricked everypony. Our Queen wouldn't attack out of the blue! She was challenged by him, who accepted without thinking it twice..."
  181. >The filly retreats her sword and you were able to stand, although she wasn't taking her eyes out from you.
  182. >"Your kind was fooled by Discord, clearly, he was trying to make the two sides just one."
  183. "Wait... you're saying that Discord didn't plan this so we could fight and destroy each other? He wanted us to..."
  184. >"To gather the changelings and crystal empire army to fight him."
  185. >King Sombra nods.
  186. >What kind of mad God is Discord? Why would he want such a thing? That's ridiculous of him wanting that, there must be something else in his mind games.
  187. "But that is impossible, it just... doesn't-"
  188. >"Make sense." Another voice establishes, a voice that you were very familiar with.
  189. >You try to stand and look up where the voice came from, as your sight was coming back you couldn't believe it.
  190. >"Long time no see, Commander Pharynx." It was your Queen, Queen Chrysalis... safe and sound. "Discord is nothing but a conniving amalgamation of madness, who cannot be trusted, or predicted . Time later after our defeat I realized how our forces would be stronger together, united."
  191. >Queen Chrysalis turned to see King Sombra.
  192. >"King Sombra will lead us as a whole army against the mad God of Chaos, as I lead my children for revenge and control of his lands! Together, nothing will stop us."
  193. >How the tables turn.
  194. >Or is this just a spectacle for Discord to enjoy?
  195. >No matter what, you will continue fighting on your queen's until it's victory on our side!
  196. >But... if the crystal army with the help of the changelings win... who is having everything?
  197. >Maybe this is why Discord did it, he wants chaos no matter the cost. You can believe he would fake his loss just to see the results that would come.
  198. >Truly a fate that a God has decided for everypony.
  199. >You only have one question left that the filly can only answer.
  200. "Who are you, filly? And why are you the daughter of the king? Your coat doesn't match his."
  201. >The filly turns around and puts on her blindfold, clearly doesn't want to reply to you as she walks away.
  202. >"Her name is Penumbra, inheritor of my throne." King Sombra says. "She is the descendant of a long-ago witch that I had the luck to meet once. Her powers are alike and I know she will awake every power in due time."
  203. >A witch... uh. You heard legends of the long-ago unicorns with unlimited sorcery but you thought they were just myths.
  204. >You look up to your queen and salute her.
  205. "My Queen, I will begin patrolling the area, in case the spirit of Chaos decides to invade."
  206. >She nods.
  207. >"We will later decide your patrolling squad, for now... Stay diligent, my child."
  208. >You bow to your Queen before flying into the sky.
  209. >...
  210. >"Aside from the traitors that fled from my commands, you have every changeling at your disposal. Do we attack now or...?"
  211. >"Not yet, that jester will come to us." King Sombra turns to see Penumbra, who was staring at the slow sunset from the distance. "We have something his son is interested in."
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