The Three Sisters: Extended Family

This story is a sequel to What if: Rarity from The Three Sisters met with Chrysalis

Choosing whether or not to visit Chrysalis has been bugging Rarity for a week since receiving an invitation to do so. But there seems to be trouble brewing in the Hive and Rarity now has little time to act. Either way, her family's future rests in her hooves.

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4. Chapter 4

“Mother is planning something,” Arachne stated, pacing around the chamber she was sharing with her sisters. “I know it. I can feel it. If I could erase that smug look off her face–”

“You’ll do nothing of the sort,” Phasmi interrupted. “We still need to find out what Thysa is planning herself; I’m willing to bet mother is relying on her to act.”

“Expecting Thysa to achieve something is completely idiotic, Phasmi, you know that,” Acari stated. “And mother is not an idiot.”

Arachne glared at Acari. “Well then, since this whole thing was your idea, I hope you have a plan!”

Acari rolled her eyes, but with a sigh acknowledged her elder sister had a point. “We are all taking great risks right now, Arachne. The Hive is unaware of our mother’s imprisonment, and they have to remain like that until we have sorted out a way to deal with her.”

“She should just have died when she attempted to invade Canterlot,” Arachne growled, sitting down and pouting. “Would have saved us all the trouble. But no, she had to return strong enough to prove to everychangeling that she has more strength and power than we all thought.”

“Thinking about that is not going to get us anywhere,” Phasmi said, shrugging. “We have to figure out what her plan is. Why involve the princess of Canterlot? It’s not as if they were friends. And the student? Wasn’t she the one who found out mother’s plans just about the moment they met?”

“I am sure there was more to it than a simple glance,” Arachne said. “For all her magical prowess this unicorn is pretty easy to fool. She’s not dangerous.”

“Famous last words,” Phasmi intoned.

“You asking for a fight, sis?”

“Sisters,” Acari growled. “Let’s attend the matter at hoof. Mother clearly has a plan. And it somehow involves the Princess’ apprentice.”

“Thysa is probably with them right now,” Phasmi said. “If mother has allies amongst them, she’ll be sure to add them to her own cause, and by extension mother’s.”

“That’s not a problem,” Arachne waved a hoof. “I’ve taken steps to ensure the apprentice of Celestia doesn’t pose a threat.”

Phasmi blinked, then frowned. “Earlier you said that this Twilight Sparkle, was easy to fool...”

Acari raised an eyebrow. “What did you do?”

Arachne grinned evilly. “Remember that you two are not the only ones who can plan ahead. Let me show you my genius.”

 

o.0.o

 

“This is bad,” Phasmi stated, eyes wide as she stared at the upside-down, cocooned form of Twilight Sparkle, who still slumbered under the effects of a spell. “This is very bad.”

“Of all the idiotic things you could have done,” Acari shook her head. “This ranks up with the behem–”

“You said we would never speak of it again!” Arachne interrupted.

“That was you?!” Phasmi gasped. “By the ancestor queens. We’re doomed.”

“Will you stop whining?!” Arachne snapped. “I captured her link to the princess!”

“No, you simpleton!” Acari snapped back. “You captured Princess Celestia’s favored student!

“So what?” Arachne blinked.

“You captured Twilight Sparkle, the Princess’ personal protege, and you brought her here,” Phasmi said slowly, looking at Arachne in the eye. “Does that statement not worry you the tiniest bit?”

Arachne frowned. “Oh.”

“‘Oh’ indeed,” Acari sighed.

“Well, it’s not like they know where we are...” Arachne said after a moment, before facehoofing. “Except that Thysa does.”

“Well done,” Phasmi said, nodding. Then she warned, “be careful of so many epiphanies, sister, or your brain might fry.”

“Shut up!”

“Well, this unexpected surprise does put us in a bit of a bind,” Acari said. “But there is nothing we can do about it right now. What we need are new plans.”

“And for somechangeling to follow them,” Phasmi added.

“It’s too bad we can’t turn Twilight Sparkle into a changeling. She would see our side as her best bet and join us.” Arachne muttered.

Acari smacked the back of Arachne’s head. “I’ve told you before, that’s impossible. Let it go.”

Arachne gritted her teeth. “Remind me why I haven’t killed either of you yet.”

“Because we’re family,” Acari said.

 

o.0.o

 

“So wait, I’m an aunt?!” Sweetie Belle gasped. “But, I haven’t even gotten my cutie mark yet!”

“Well, that’s too bad,” Chrysalis snorted. “Maybe it’s because the universe hasn’t figured how to represent ‘obnoxious’ in a drawing on your flank.”

Sweetie Belle pouted. “I just haven’t figured out what it is, that’s all.”

“Well, it sure as hay isn’t singing,” Chrysalis snorted. “Your voice is too nice for a proper rendition of the changeling anthem.”

“Hey! I thought it sounded really nice!” Sweetie growled. “Let’s hear you sing it then!”

Chrysalis sang.

“That was–”

“Amazing, wasn’t it?” Chrysalis tossed her mane cockily. “I have true talent.”

“It sounded as if you had thrown pebbles into a pasta roller and forced them through while you dunked a cat into the river repeatedly and used your magic to drag diamond dog claws down a blackboard.” Sweetie said. “I couldn’t recognize any of the words because they were destroyed immediately.”

“And that, filly is how you sing like a changeling,” Chrysalis grinned.

They stared at each other until Sweetie Belle spoke. “You’re lying.”

“I’m not!” Chrysalis raised a hoof to her chest. “Do I look like somechangeling who would lie?”

“Yes,” Sweetie Belle stated. “And changing your face to look like Applejack’s while leaving the rest of your body normal is really, really creepy.”

In a flash of green Chrysalis was back to normal. “Well fine, how did you know?”

“Just before you started singing you shape-shifted your ears away,” Sweetie Belle said. “And even then, I’m sure I saw you wince when you dislocated your jaw while attempting the third verse.”

Chrysalis cringed. That had been painful.

Sweetie Belle sighed. “So, when are we going to do something? I don’t want to just wait here!”

“Wait just a little bit longer, cousin,” Chrysalis said, ruffling Sweetie’s mane. The changeling queen’s eyes shone with green energy as her smile became predatory. “Soon enough Arachne is going to either confess what she did to her sisters, or it’s going to dawn on her.”

Sweetie raised an eyebrow. “And then?”

“And then, they’ll start worrying,” Chrysalis’ smile didn’t fade as she stood up and cantered around their cell, looking about as if she expected something to happen.

“And then?” Sweetie prompted.

“And then...” Chrysalis’ fangs seemed to glint in the greenish light as she stared at an area of the cell where the wall was starting to make squishing noises. “They come to see me to find out what I know and try to learn how Princess Celestia will act.”

Sweetie watched in fascination as the wall turned into mismatched bars and three changeling princesses glared at Chrysalis.

“Hello, daughters,” Chrysalis waved her hoof dismissively. “How is your coup going?”

One of them opened her mouth, but another’s eyes widened when she saw Sweetie Belle. She turned around and poked another of the changelings in the chest. “You brought another pony?!”

 

o.0.o

 

“I’m going to go to the Hive to save Sweetie Belle and Twilight,” Rarity said, looking at the others. “Thysa will stay here.”

The young changeling princess blinked in surprise.

“But, you can’t go alone!” Rainbow Dash brought her hoof down, hard. “We should all go.”

Rarity shook her head. “If we show up in force it’ll just incite the drones in the Hive to attack. We would be overwhelmed.”

“But you can't expect us to just let y’all go by yourself,” Applejack argued. “It’s too dangerous!”

“You can’t take a whole changeling hive on your own, you silly filly!” Pinkie said, grinning widely. “You need a party cannon!”

Fluttershy smiled sheepishly.

Rarity closed her eyes, smiling as the love and support of her friends filled her with power. She sighed. “Girls, I love you all and I would love to have you with me–”

“Yay! We’re going to the Hivpmph!” Pinkie Pie cheered until Rarity’s hoof in her mouth interrupted her.

“-but I cannot take you with me. I want to, but we are risking the lives of my sister and Twilight. I would never endanger them so. Chrysalis would not hurt Sweetie; and she might hold her hoof when it comes to Twilight on my account, but I cannot speak for Arachne or Acari. From what I hear Phasmi might choose to not hurt either of them, but I cannot be sure of how she would react to a threat.”

Rainbow Dash bucked the wall. “Dammit!”

“I’m sorry, darling,” Rarity said, her eyes glistening with gratitude. “But I really can’t risk it.”

“But, what about me?” Thysa asked.

“I need you to stay here in case I fail,” Rarity explained. “Thysa, dear, we’re family, and although I’ve just met you, I like you. I don’t want you to get hurt either, and with you here, I can count on my friends being able to find the Hive if anything goes wrong...” she hesitated, then looked at the gathered ponies and princesses. “If- if worse comes to worse, and something happens to me... make sure to save Sweetie, Twilight and Chrysy.”

Celestia raised an eyebrow. “You want us to save Chrysalis.”

Cringing a bit at the tone of the statement, Rarity nodded, forcing a pleading smile into her muzzle. “Please?”

Celestia sighed. “I will try. Are you sure direct intervention isn’t the best option?”

“Not unless your faithful student is free as well as Sweetie Belle,” Luna spoke up. “I think, sister, that we would benefit from your secret agent's help.”

Celestia’s eyes widened. “Luna!”

Luna looked at the gathered elements of harmony. “I would speak to Rarity. Alone.” She glanced at her sister. “Well, mostly alone.”

“Will Twilight and Sweetie Belle have a better chance at coming back home in one piece if we let y’all talk in private?” Applejack asked after a moment of uncomfortable silence.

“I believe so, yes,” Luna replied.

“Come on, y’all,” Applejack said, herding the rest of her friends and Thysa out the door. “Y’all heard th’ princess!”

“But- but I wanna know what’s going on!” Rainbow Dash complained just before the door shut behind them.

“I hate to sound like a broken record and repeat Rainbow Dash’s words, your highness, but I’m afraid I would like to know what you're thinking,” Rarity said, facing both princesses.

“I would like to form a team, led this time by Rarity and myself, which can concentrate on infiltrating the Hive and rescuing Twilight Sparkle and Sweetie Belle,” Luna explained.

Celestia gave her a considering look. “Have you been role-playing military games, Luna?”

“No!” Luna growled, blushing slightly. “As you might recall, sister, I am quite proficient in illusory magic. Hidden Tale would have no problem blending in, either. We would need maybe one or two more members to make the team the most efficient, but for now... we three should be enough.”

Celestia frowned. “While I applaud your offer of support for our friends, Luna... you must understand that Hidden Tale would be in terrible danger if caught.”

Luna shrugged. “So would we.”

Celestia grumbled. “Fine, we will ask him, but I won’t force him into this mission.”

“Excuse me, your highness, I know this all makes sense to you, but...” Rarity looked from one princess to the other. “Who is Hidden Tale?”

 

o.0.o

 

“I don’t like it,” Rainbow Dash muttered. “How come Rarity needs to go alone?”

“I know, right?!” Pinkie Pie grinned. “She needs all of her bestest friends with her! How else can she have a party!?”

“Weren’t y’all paying attention?” Applejack sighed. “We don’t know how the changelings will act if we all go together. What they need is to go in unnoticed... and Ah can’t rightly say any of us here, other than Fluttershy, can even approach ‘subtle’.”

“Oh, AJ!” Pinkie giggled. “I’m super-duper-ultra-really-quiet and subtle!”

“Excuse me,” Thysa raised a hoof. “Is wearing a bright yellow cape, a party hat with a propeller and bands with rows of bells on them traditional wear for Earth Ponies? It’s really pretty.”

“No,” Applejack deadpanned. “That there's Pinkie Pie being subtle."

“Oh,” Thysa said nodding her head slowly. “Well, it looks pretty...”

“But not subtle,” Rainbow Dash stated.

“I um... I wonder why they are taking so long...” Fluttershy said, lowering her head a bit when everypony turned to look at her. “I mean, um- they’ve been in there for about fifteen minutes already.”

“Yeah, and Spike hasn’t come back with our sandwiches!” Rainbow Dash grumbled. “I’m hungry!”

“Is this really the best time for you t’ complain about yer stomach?” Applejack asked.

“Look, I’m just–” Rainbow Dash stopped when the door to the library opened.

Rarity walked out, followed by Princess Luna and Princess Celestia.

“What happened?” Pinkie Pie asked, pushing her face uncomfortably close to Rarity’s. “Did you figure out what to do!? Did ya?! Did ya!?”

“I um,” Rarity forced a smile. “Y-yes darling, but please step back a little.”

“Okie-dokie!” Pinkie Pie’s smile grew as she took one step back.

“I’m going to get going,” Rarity said. “But I will not be alone.”

“So...” Rainbow Dash gave her an inquisitive look. “Who’s going with you?”

“I- I can’t say.” Rarity cringed at the look her friends gave her. “But I promise you all, we can trust this pony.”

“Come now,” Luna said, stepping past them. “I’ll take you to the rendezvous point.”

Rarity looked at her friends and pulled them all into a hug. “I wish you all could come with me,” she whispered.

“We’ll be with you, and you with us,” Applejack assured her. “In your thoughts, and ours.”

“Make sure you bring Twilight and Sweetie back safely,” Rainbow Dash said, leaning in to the hug. “And kick some changeling flank for me!”

Rarity smiled. “I will.”

“Um... be careful,” Fluttershy said.

“Please take care of Thysa,” Rarity asked her friends as she pulled back a bit. “She might get into trouble.”

“Will do, sugarcube,” Applejack assured her.

“Oh, oh! And say ‘hi’ to Hidden Tale!” Pinkie Pie grinned.

“I will,” Rarity promised as she turned around to face the princesses. She took a couple of steps before she stopped once more, frowning. “Wait, did you just say–”

“Rarity!” Luna called. “We shouldn’t make him wait!”

“Coming!” Rarity called, trotting up to Luna and putting Pinkie Pie out of her mind. For the moment.

The group of friends watched as Luna enveloped Rarity in magic and took off.

“So...” Pinkie Pie spoke up, drawing everypony’s attention to her. “Who wants to play twister!?”

 

o.0.o End Chapter 4 o.0.o  

 

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