Tactful Negotiations

Mar 25th, 2016
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  1. >"Absolutely not."
  2. >"Don't you fucking give me that!"
  3. >"I know you mean well but I know how you are, honey. If you're in there with her you'll lose your temper."
  4. >"Of course I'll lose my fucking temper! The second that I SEE that fucking bug I'm gonna rip her head off!"
  5. >"Which is exactly why I can't let you in the same room as her."
  7. >Be Stalwart Shield
  8. >Also be sweating VERY loudly
  9. >It seemed that today was a very important, but absolutely nerve-wracking, day for ponykind
  10. >Just a few days ago Queen Chrysalis, the Leader of the Changelings, had sent a diplomat saying that she wanted to speak to the Equestrian leaders
  11. >The ponies and the changelings had been at war for far too long, she had said, and now she wanted to do what was best for her people and try to see if peace could be found
  12. >It was a load of horse apples; you knew it, the entire guard knew it, you were pretty sure that even the princesses knew it
  13. >The changeling queen was scheming and she probably just wanted another go at Canterlot
  14. >But even still Princess Celestia, in her infinite wisdom and kindness, had decided to allow her to come to Canterlot for talks
  15. >Many didn't like this, but none were as loud as Prince Anonymous
  16. >The prince and princess hadn't known each other when the wedding "incident" had happened, but the prince knew enough about it to know that his wife had nearly died at the changeling's hooves
  17. >And while most husband's would have disproved inviting a hated enemy into their house out of fear the prince was another matter entirely
  18. >He wanted to tear Queen Chrysalis to pieces for hurting his wife
  19. >Like literally pick her up and rip her apart with his bear hands
  20. >And he had gone into excruciating detail about how he would do it
  21. >But Princess Celestia was the kind of mare that believed that there was good in everypony
  23. >Though it was a long shot, the longest long shot in the history of long shots, she wanted to at least give Chrysalis a chance
  24. >And if she was going to give her a chance she had to keep her super strong, murderous husband away from her while the talks were happening
  25. >Hence the arguing that had been going on for the past hour and a half
  26. >Now
  27. >You had always liked to think of yourself as a pretty brave mare
  28. >But even you couldn't help but feel just a teensy bit nervous being in the same room with the VERY angry prince
  29. >But Princess Celestia was made out of sterner stuff it seemed
  30. >As the prince bellowed and threatened and tossed heavy things around the room like they were made out of paper she had stood firm
  31. >Momma wasn't takin' her man's bitching
  32. >"I need you to promise that you won't leave this room, Anonymous."
  33. >There was a vein bulging out of the prince's forehead as he paced the room like an angry cat
  34. >"I am NOT leaving you in the same room as her, Celestia," he growled
  35. >"Chrysalis has agreed to wear a magic nullifier and we'll have guards stationed around the room, dear," Princess Celestia assured. "Nothing will happen. We'll talk, Chrysalis will probably make some ridiculous demands that I'll be forced to decline and we'll go back to hating each other. It will just be another day."
  36. >The prince's eyes traveled down to his wife's incredibly swollen belly
  37. >The Princess of the Sun was coming close to term, and like many of you he was concerned that the only reason why Chrysalis was here was to harm the royal child
  38. >But even when many of the guard had voiced their concerns Celestia had brushed them off
  39. >With a smile on her face the princess walked over and grabbed her husband by the arm with a wing, gently leading him over to one of the few chairs in the room that weren't broken
  41. >"I know that you're scared for me, hon, but I need you to trust me," she said, sitting him down. "Despite what you and even I may think peace between the changelings and ponies would end a feud that has been going on for centuries."
  42. >"If it's so important then let Luna and the others handle it."
  43. >Still smiling, Celestia brushed a bit of hair out of her husband's face with her wing
  44. >"Chrysalis has insisted that I be there to aid in the negotiations."
  45. >Prince Anonymous opened his mouth, no doubt to argue, but the princess cut him off
  46. >"And I know what you're going to say, dear. But please have faith in your wife. Even with a swollen belly I am far from helpless if anything WERE to happen."
  47. >She gestured around the room with a hoof
  48. >"And you'll be a wall's length away from me, listening to everything being said."
  49. >The princess's horn glowed, illuminating a second of wall in a golden glow
  50. >The wall shimmered before a sort of window was created into the other room
  51. >What the princess used was the looking-in spell, something that the guard used to peer through walls while prisoners and the like were being interrogated
  52. >Though you had never seen it done on an ENTIRE section of a wall before...
  53. >"There, I've even made it so that you can look into the room. Is that enough to keep you from starting a war?"
  54. >You watched as a dozen different emotions flashes across the prince's face
  55. >Outrage, anger, fear, irritation, more outrage, until it finally settled on reluctance
  56. >"...Alright," he finally said, sinking back into the chair. "But I swear that if she tries anything funny I'm coming into that room."
  57. >Leaning her husband down a bit Celestia kissed his cheek
  58. >"Thank you my sunshine," she murmured, nuzzling him before stepping away and turning toward you
  59. >"Private, please keep the prince entertained while the negotiations are happening
  60. >The prince snorted
  61. >"You know you can just say make sure he doesn't leave the room right?"
  63. >The princess smiled, patting him on the shoulder with her wing, before she started to make her way toward the door
  64. >"I will see you in a few hours, my sunshine," she promised. "But until then please try not to worry yourself too much."
  65. >"Make sure that you don't sit near the wall I'm looking through," Prince Anonymous called as the princess left the room, leaving just the two of you alone
  66. >...Where nopony would be able to help you if the prince lost it...
  67. >You nervously fidgeted as the prince let out a sigh, one of his massive hands covering his face
  68. >Not a thing was said until he slowly lifted his head up and looked over at you
  69. >"Private, get your furry little behind over here... PLEASE."
  70. >The fur on the back of your neck stood on end at the prince's tone, but still you quickly did as he asked
  71. >No point in doing anything to set him off
  72. >You'd prefer walking out of this room like you had entered it thank you very much
  73. "Sir, did you need anything, sir?" you asked, saluting smartly
  74. >The prince looked over you slowly, those green eyes of his burrowing into your very soul, before his gaze rested on your helmet
  75. >"Might I see your headgear?"
  76. >Without hesitation you pulled off your helmet and presented it to him
  77. >The prince didn't say a word as he took it out of your hooves
  78. >...And crumpled it up like it was a bucking piece of paper
  79. >...
  80. >You were sweating now weren't you?
  81. >...
  82. >Yep, you were sweating all over the place
  83. >"Thank you very much," the prince said, the ball of metal making a metallic squeak as he gave it a squeeze. "If your CO tries to give you any shit just tell'em that the prince lost his temper. They'll go ahead and get you a new helmet without any fuss."
  84. "S-Sir yes S-Sir," you squeaked, saluting harder than you had ever saluted in your entire life
  85. >SweetCelestiayoudon'twanttodiepleasepleasepleasedon'tkillme!!!
  86. >The two of you watched as ponies began to pour into the negotiation room
  88. >It wouldn't be long now before the changelings found themselves in there as well
  89. >HiveLords, Champions, and the Queen herself
  90. >You loudly gulped as the prince crushed the metal ball in his hands a little more
  91. >This was going to be a looooooooong day
  93. >Be Princess Celestia
  94. >This was it
  95. >The moment of truth
  96. >You were all seated around a round table
  97. >At one end were you, your fellow princess, and a few of your high ranking generals and nobles
  98. >At the other end were Chrysalis and her... subjects
  99. >After hearing everypony in the room's titles being yelled at by your official title yeller the room had become deathly quiet
  100. >The air was tense
  101. >Both sides were waiting for the other to begin all of this nonsense
  102. >Though you have a feeling that you'll have to be the first to begin this little dance that you and your little ponies found yourselves in
  103. >Chrysalis was sitting on her side of the table with a smile on her face
  104. >And it wasn't a very nice smile either
  105. >No, this smile had a distinctly evil-y feeling to it...
  106. >But no matter!
  107. >Evil smile or no Chrysalis had extended the olive branch
  108. >The least you could do was try to see if she was serious with all of this
  109. >And if she wasn't the very least you could do was TRY to make her and her people consider friendship a possibilty
  110. >Because friendship was your thing yo
  111. "It is... wonderful to see you here, Chrysalis," you began, inclining your head at the changeling queen.
  112. >Chrysalis's smile widened, and you had to force yourself to swallow the bile in your throat
  113. >"It is wonderful to see you as well, Celestia my dear," she purred, resting her head on a hoof
  114. >She deeply inhaled, smelling the air
  115. >"Wonderful indeed."
  116. >From your left you could see Twilight shifting nervously in her seat
  117. >On the other side of her Cadence was looking around the room nervously
  118. >Even Luna, who was sitting to your right, seemed to be on edge
  119. >It wasn't because of Chrysalis
  120. >Heavens no!
  122. >Your fellow princess, along with you on the pony side in some aspect, were nervous for the sole reason that you all knew that Anonymous was watching and could hear everything being said
  123. >And while you loved your husband with all of your heart he was known for having a temper
  124. >A very big temper
  125. >Especially when it came to those who had hurt ponies that he loved
  126. >So Chrysalis, though she didn't know it, was walking on VERY thin ice with every word that she said
  127. >One wrong phrase, one misplaced threat you knew that your husband was coming through that wall
  128. >No amount of guards or magic would help that
  129. >So, since you wanted a peaceful solution to all of this you were going to have to make sure that Chrysalis--
  130. >"Might I ask where your husband is at the moment?" Chrysalis asked, that smile of hers not leaving her face for a moment
  131. >Your fellow princess, along with the guards you had stationed around the room, stiffened ever so slightly
  132. >You couldn't help but find yourself frowning
  133. "And may I ask why you would what to know the whereabouts of my husband?" you asked, trying to keep your voice as neutral as possible
  134. >Remember, hitting her would be a bad idea
  135. >It might make you feel a little bit better but it would be bad for everypony in the long run
  136. >Remember: you want to make peace with this mare
  137. >"Oh I mean no harm to your delicate stallion, my DEAR Celestia," Chrysalis said with a dismissive wave of the hoof. "I had simply heard a great deal about your prince and I wished to see him for myself."
  138. >Her gaze drifted down to your partially exposed belly
  139. >"It's not everyday that one manages to win the heart of an alicorn and sire a child with them after all."
  140. "My husband was feeling under the weather today and decided to leave the diplomacy with me I'm afraid," you lied with a thin smile. "Though I assure you that he sends his warmest regards."
  141. >Chrysalis raised an eyebrow
  143. >"Oh? Then I shall pray that he makes a speedy recovery," she said, eyeing the wall behind you
  144. >The very same wall that your husband was looking through
  145. >Your wings ruffle but you mostly managed to keep a straight face
  146. "I will make sure to tell him that he is in your thoughts."
  147. >Chrysalis's smile widens even more, giving you a full view of her razor sharp fangs
  148. >Please don't say anything stupid, you dumb bug
  149. >Please don't make Anonymous upset
  150. >Please don't make him come through that wall
  151. >Pleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease!
  152. >"You do that. Now, that all of the... pleasantries are out of the way why don't we begin with the negotiations."
  153. >Your ears perked up when a thumping came from the other side of the three foot thick stone wall behind you but you didn't react
  154. >Hopefully Anonymous didn't hurt whoever the queen had sent into that room too badly...
  155. >You imagine it'd be in poor taste to sign a treaty with this mare in front of you and then turn around and give her body bags...
  157. >Be Anonymous
  158. >Stifling a yawn you turned away from the negotiations and looked around the little room that you wife had insisted that you stay in
  159. >...Or at least what was left of it
  160. >If the room had been a wreck before it looked like a battle zone now
  161. >There were scorch marks on the walls and the ceiling
  162. >The carpet was all torn up
  163. >And the only thing that even kind of resembled furniture was that chair that you were sitting in
  164. >You had one changeling drone under one of your feet and you had your hand wrapped around the throat of another
  165. >Right next to the broken window was your little guard, a little burnt and worn but relatively alright, keeping an eye out to make sure more of the little buggers didn't just up and fly in and try to bother you
  166. >These two had been sent to kidnap you so that you could be used as leverage in the negotiations
  167. >You knew that it was coming, your wife had known that it was coming, half the castle and most of Canterlot had known it was coming
  169. >Changelings were a raced that excelled in using their natural abilities to get a head up on their opponents, so of course they's try something like this
  170. >Ponies might not have been the smartest bunch of cookies in the bakery but you liked to think that after the ass kicking that they had gotten during Shining's wedding they'd know to come better prepared
  171. >That and they had you, so this was more annoying than anything really
  172. >The changeling in your hand let out a hiss, its jaws snapping at you
  173. >Its hissing immediately turned into a whimper as you gave its neck a little squeeze, the insect-like armor around it's neck cracking ever so slightly
  174. >Exoskeleton you think it was called?...
  175. >Whatever it was it sure cracked real easy
  176. "Shush, I'm trying to listen to what's going on," you told the drone, turning back to the negotiations
  177. >You were a little irritated that you wife had decided to sit with her back to you, no doubt hoping that this would keep you from smashing through the wall
  178. >It wouldn't, you'd go through that wall in a heartbeat if that queen did anything funny, but at least you'd be able to get to Celestia faster if the bug tried anything
  179. >Out of the corner of your eye you could see the changeling's eyes darting around frantically
  180. >If you had to guess, and from the look of irritation on the changeling queen's face, you'd say that by now these two guards needed to report back in to their majesty
  181. >Which meant that, after all of this was over, there was a good chance that these two would probably get punished for failing their mission
  182. >What did that entail for one of these bugs exactly?
  183. >Did they get whipped?
  184. >Did they get eaten by their fellow bugs?
  185. >Did the queen spray some pheromone into the air that killed or hurt them?
  186. >...Bug spray?
  187. >...That might be an interesting question to ask after this whole nonsense was over and done with...
  188. >And who knows, maybe you'd even ask the queen herself
  189. >If she didn't fuck up and earn herself a squashing of course
  191. >Without having you as an ace in the whole, the changeling queen found herself struggling to keep up with your wife in the negotiations
  192. >Every demand she had was counter-proposed
  193. >Every threat was ignored
  194. >And, with your wife at the lead, it actually looked like some good was actually going to come out of this
  195. >Which kind of surprised you really
  196. >You had half expected the queen to proclaim that she had her entire changeling army hidden underneath Canterlot or something
  197. >There wasn't, every tunnel that led to the city streets and the castle had been destroyed months ago, but it would have been nice to at least hear her try something like that
  198. >The changeling under your boot, who had wisely decided to not move an inch since you had stomped it where it was laying, finally picked its head up
  199. "Now don't you go getting cute with me," you told the bug, a slightly bored tone in your voice. "I have no problem putting you through this floor."
  200. >The bug let out this grasshopper-like chirp
  201. >The changeling in your hand let out a similar chirp
  202. >Your personal guard horse looked at the two nervously as they continued to chirp at each other
  203. >"What are they doing?" she asked
  204. >Both of the changeling's eyes darted toward you and their chirping increased
  205. "It looks like they're talking to me," you say with a yawn
  206. >As one both of the changelings horns sparked to life
  207. >Before any spells could be fired you lifted up your foot and gave the neck in her hand a little squeeze
  208. >The whole room shook, cracks splintering outward on stone floor as the changeling below you is slammed into the ground
  209. >The other bug's eyes bulge out of it's head, the armor around its neck completely cracking so that you could see its soft, fleshy interior
  210. >In less than a second the two of them went still and their eyes closed, the only evidence that they were alive the gentle rising and falling of their chest
  211. >...Well, at least they tried
  212. >You'll give them a C- for the effort
  214. >Clicking your tongue you tossed away the one changeling and kicked away the other, leaning forward and resting your elbows on your knees and putting your head in your hands
  215. >Hmmm...
  216. >Maybe you could go and get your wife some pizza or something after this...
  217. >You bet that she'd like that...
  219. >Be Chrysalis, the Undisputed Leader of the Everlasting Changeling Horde
  220. >"--And while I agree that Trottingham could do with some cultural diversity I do not believe that putting a hive in the middle of that city would be good for anypony. But, even so, there can be--"
  221. >Where were drone #213 and #435?
  222. >Why hadn't they reported that they had captured the human yet?
  223. >You had sent those two an HOUR ago!
  224. >You let out a very quiet growl, resting your hoof on your head as you looked around the room
  225. >Each and every one of your HiveLords were leaning forward in their chairs listening to that ACCURSED princess speaking about PEACE and LOVE and TRUST!
  226. >Blah!
  227. >You didn't come all the way to this pitiful little capital to work out a deal where both changelings and ponies lived together in harmony!
  228. >You wanted land, you wanted resources, you wanted love-filled bodies in your hives!
  229. >And you wanted all of this with as little effort on your part as possible
  230. >The predator did not BARGAIN with her prey
  231. >No!
  232. >She hunted it and she took what she wished from the weaker, more delicate creature!
  233. >It was the natural order of things
  234. >"--And as you can see here, if we move a small cluster of changelings in this section of the city with the thought of honey in mind--"
  235. >Yet here you are BARGAINING with an alicorn so bloated that she could barely stay in her seat
  236. >Ohh...
  237. >#213 and #435 were GOING to be punished for making you suffer through this...
  238. >SEVERELY
  239. >"--And, though it might take a few weeks to get everypony settled, I think that the ponies of Trottingham would welcome Cluster two-one-six with open hooves!"
  243. >Celestia smiled as she leaned back into her chair like the bloated carcass that she was
  244. >You let out another growl, one that was louder this time, as the pitiful pony princesses and the pony lords began to clap
  245. >You could feel your chitin start to crawl when your own brood started to as well
  246. >Things were getting out of hoof!
  247. >You had let this facade go on for long enough!
  248. >Slamming your hooves against the table you launched yourself into the air
  249. >With a graceful flip you landed onto the wooden table, your wings extended and your fangs bared
  250. >Since plan A didn't seem to be working out it was time to go to plan B
  251. >MURDER ever single pony in this room before making your escape
  252. >You could come back with an army to conquer this kingdom as it mourned the lost of its leaders
  253. >But before that it was time to monologue
  254. "You were a FOOL to think that we had come here for peace princ--"
  255. >Princess Luna, who looked half asleep, suddenly perked up
  256. >"Excuse me, before you continue I just need to do something," she interrupted. "I will be but a moment."
  257. >You, along with most of your brood, watched as the Princess of the Night's horn glowed, encasing both her and Celestia's chairs on her magic
  258. >You assumed that the wrench was trying to teleport out of the room but all she did was move the two over slightly
  259. >"Alright," she said, waving a hoof. "You may continue while you can."
  260. >Your eyes narrowed, but never the less you cleared your throat
  261. "...As I was SAYING, you were a foo--"
  262. BOOM!
  263. >You let out a yelp of surprise as a section of the wall near the princesses side exploded from the wall and flew toward you at a blinding speed
  264. >You managed to duck just in time, covering your head with your hooves as the block of stone smashed into the wall behind you with a thunderous smack before hitting the ground with a thud
  265. >Your brood, too shocked to do more than stare at you, slowly turned their attention to the hole in the wall
  266. > After a moment you did as well
  268. >Anger, thicker than you had ever tasted, flooded into the room all at once, its sour flavor making your already tense body even tenser
  269. >From the other side of the wall, with his fist still poking through the hole that he had made, was Prince Anonymous
  270. >While you had seen anger and hatred on the faces of many that you had met the look that he was giving you sent a chill down your spine
  271. >"Are you children going to be good? Or am I going to have to come in there and teach you some manners?" he asked, deadly calm
  272. >Looking over your shoulder you peered down at the slab of stone
  273. >It mist have been two feet wide, two feet tall, and three foot long
  274. >All-in-all it must have weight a ton at the very LEAST
  275. >And he had just punched it so hard that it was going as fast as a cannonball...
  276. >...
  277. >...
  278. >...
  279. >You looked at your HiveLords
  280. >They looked back at you
  281. >Standing up you hopped off the table, gingerly picked your chair back up, and sat in it
  282. >Grabbing the papers that Princess Twilight had given you all at the beginning of these negotiations you turned toward the current page
  283. >Those lings that hadn't been paying attention did as well
  284. "...I'd like to get back to negotiations please," you say with a nervous smile, doing your best to ignore your squeaky voice. "If that's alright with you..."
  285. >Celestia let out a quiet snort
  286. >This turned her husband's attention toward her
  287. >"And you. I KNOW you haven't had your shake yet, missy."
  288. >Poking his head into the room, Prince Anonymous looked toward a pair of guards
  289. >"You two go and get my wife her drink or so help me someone's getting pinched."
  290. >The guards saluted, hurriedly leaving the room
  291. >"And who the FUCK is smoking in the the same room as my pregnant wife?!" the prince snarled. "If I see a fucking cigar someone's eating it."
  292. >Now everypony in the room looked nervous, many mares crouching down in their seats
  293. >Horns glowed and the many cigars and cigarettes in the room quickly disappeared
  295. >Anonymous stared at you all with narrowed eyes before disappearing back into his room
  296. >"Alright, now that all of THAT nonsense is settled I'm going to go and get some pizza."
  297. >You were about to finally let out the breath you were holding when he poked his head back into the room
  298. >"If I come back in this castle and everyone isn't playing nice..."
  299. >Every single pony and ling in the room jumped as the prince hit the wall again
  300. >Though no slabs of stone came flying toward you, thank the thousand-eyed god, the wall shook
  301. >"Do you get me?"
  302. >With no hesitation everypony in the room, Celestia included nodded frantically, many even muttering "yes sir"
  303. >You weren't too proud to say that you were among their number
  304. >Nodding the prince once again disappeared into his room
  305. >You all waited for him to poke his head back in but luckily he didn't
  306. >As one you all sighed in relief
  307. >Whoo...
  308. >Celestia's husband is a battleaxe if you've ever seen one...
  309. >You don't even HAVE teats and you can feel a pinching sensation on your lower tummy
  310. >...
  311. >Sweet love above you were not expecting your day to turn out like this...
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