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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5. Chapter 5

Sweetie Belle hid behind Chrysalis’ hind legs and peered at the three changelings standing outside. The only thing separating all of them was a thin, translucent wall. It seemed almost easy to break, but Chrysalis didn’t even seem to want to try.

“I suppose,” Phasmi drawled out with a look of annoyance. “That you would not simply tell us what mission you gave to Thysa.”

Chrysalis snorted. “Of course not. If you three little usurpers want to take my throne, you’ll have to be more inventive than simply asking.”

“We know she was heading for Ponyville, old ghoul!” Arachne snapped. “I beat her there and took Celestia’s apprentice away before they could contact their queen.”

“Princess,” Sweetie Belle corrected automatically.

“Whatever,” Arachne snorted.

“Yes, and a bold move that was,” Chrysalis laughed. “Not only did you bring one of the most magically gifted unicorns in Equestria to our Hive; she’s under Celestia’s direct protection and she’s also one of the Elements of Harmony.” Her eyes shone with mirth. “Truly a move worthy of a Queen!” She bowed mockingly. “A queen of idiots!”

“Say all you want, old ghoul!” Arachne shouted, pressing her face against the translucent wall. “It’s not like your plans went perfectly!”

Chrysalis chuckled and shook her head. “I am well aware of my own mishaps, dear. But I will remind you I beat Celestia and the elements. My plan was executed to perfection, and it was a small oversight that brought my dreams of conquest down.” Her eyes flashed with malice. “A small oversight. In contrast to the ticking bomb the size of the Sun you have up there. I wonder, what will that do once it finalizes its count-down?”

For a moment it seemed as if Arachne was about to try and burst through the wall, but the calming hoof of Acari on her shoulder stopped her. “That’s enough, Arachne. We will deal with it on our own.”

“For now, we have come for the small unicorn,” Phasmi said after a moment. “Hoof her over.”

“Um,” Chrysalis pretended to think about it. “No.”

Acari rolled her eyes and looked straight at Sweetie Belle. “Come over, little one, I’m sure you don’t want to stay with this monster.”

Sweetie Belle hid behind Chrysalis again, but spoke up. “N-no, I think I’m f-fine.”

Acari blinked. “Come on, I’m sure she threatened you, but in there she can only perform very simple tricks. Once you come out, she cannot hurt you.”

“This is taking too long,” Arachne spat. “Come out here, brat! We’ll give you some toys, some food and once we figure out what the hell Thysa is doing, and we put an end to this old hag, we’ll get some drones to take you home.”

Sweetie shook her head and hugged Chrysalis’ hind leg, making the trio blink in confusion and Chrysalis to smile. “I’m thinking I will officially adopt her as my little sister,” Chrysalis grinned, showing off her fangs and teeth.

Acari leveled a deadpan look at Chrysalis. “Sister? Why not daughter?”

Chrysalis shrugged. “They tend to disappoint.”

All three younger changelings went quiet for a moment, until Phasmi turned around. “I don’t think there’s much of a point in talking to you more, mother.”

“I think not,” Chrysalis said. “I have little to say to betrayers.”

Arachne turned away, fuming. “Well the old ghoul has said her part, let’s get going. It’s not like her little pet unicorn and Thysa can do much for her.”

Acari and Phasmi shared a look and nodded.

They turned their backs to them as the wall started to become thicker again.

“Goodbye for now,” Phasmi hesitated. “Mother.”

 

o.0.o

 

“How long must we still wait, Princess?” Rarity asked.

Luna sighed. “Rarity, as a member of royalty yourself, you should learn patience.”

Rarity huffed and sat down, looking morosely at the forest. Luna had brought her to the northern skirts of the Everfree to meet with their would-be-teammate. From there, it was a short flight to the immediacy of the Hive, but if this ‘Hidden Tale’ was really coming, he was taking his time.

“Princess,” Rarity sighed. “I’m not much of a member of royalty, I abandoned the Hive to its fate to live a pony life like the part of me that has always been Rarity wanted. What member of royalty that still has a claim to the throne can do that?”

Luna was about to reply, but cut herself short as a phoenix flew up to them and landed between the pair.

“Philomena?” Luna asked, looking at the bird in confusion.

Rarity blinked when the phoenix erupted in green flames and turned into an unassuming brown-coated earth pony with emerald eyes. His cutie mark was a closed book.

“Greetings, your High-” he stopped his salutation to the princess and regarded Rarity in silence for a moment. “Princess Luna, I must inform you that  the Element of Generosity has been replaced by a changeling queen.” Although he did not change his position at all, he suddenly seemed tense... and dangerous.

Rarity blinked. “Wait, how did you know? I’ve held this disguise perfectly for a long time!”

Luna face-hoofed. “Of course my sister would not inform you of this little detail,” she sighed. “Hidden Tale, may I present to you Rarity, Element of Generosity; also known against her will as Queen Pupa.”

This drew a surprised blink and half-step back from the changeling. “But- how? I thought you died!”

Rarity raised an eyebrow. “You know about Pupa?”

Hidden Tale glanced at Princess Luna before nodding. “I had been assigned to keep an eye on the next probable successor of the Hive,” he explained. “And I successfully infiltrated it. The queen and princesses don’t pay much attention to drones, so it was easy for me to pretend.” He considered Rarity for a moment before bowing. “If you really are Queen Pupa... I am in your debt.”

Luna and Rarity exchanged looks of confusion. “Wait, what?” Rarity stammered. “Hold on, I think I must have heard wrong, how could you owe me anything?”

Hidden Tale chuckled. “You were probably too young to remember now, but on the last day of your life in the Hive, I was following you and your sisters and to keep an eye on you, I joined a crew of drones in re-building a section of the Hive which you three frequented. It didn’t take long for the three of you to walk past, but... I- I got careless,”  he admitted with a cringe. “I faltered in my position and the weight of the rocks and uneven ground were my downfall. You... distracted everyling by arguing about healing me enough for me to cast a simple mending spell Queen Celestia had taught me.”

Luna covered her mouth as she coughed, “Princess.”

Hidden Tale gave no indication of having heard her. “ I was still injured, but my exoskeleton looked fine. Since there was no order to dispose of me, and my injury seemed minor, I was left to rest and recover.”

Rarity’s eyes went wide. “That was you?! I remember that! I was so worried, I am so glad to know you are fine!”

“As I said, Queen Pupa,” he bowed. “I am in your debt.” He rose and turned to face them both. “Q-Princess Celestia only told me to meet you both here and that I would be briefed and given the choice to take the mission or not... I think, given the circumstances it is a definitive yes, regardless of what it might be.”

Rarity couldn’t help herself, taking a step forward, she drew Hidden Tale into an embrace. “Thank you, Hidden Tale, but there is no debt owed. I said what I felt and know is right.”

Hidden Tale did not return the embrace, but when Rarity stepped back he nodded. “Then consider it a gift, your highness, from a lucky changeling.”

“Well then,” Luna spoke up. “Now that that’s decided, we should discuss the best way to infiltrate the Hive.”

“I think it’s pretty clear,” Hidden Tale spoke up, not even blinking at the mention of their objective. “We disguise ourselves as drones. We go in through the kitchen.”

“Wait,” Rarity said, raising hoof and blinking in surprise. “Drones cook!?”

Hidden Tale took a deep breath. “Your highness, with all due respect, royalty has no idea of what it is like outside of the Queen’s Wing.”

“Well,” Rarity said softly. “I do believe it’s time I found out but...” she looked up at Hidden Tale with a tinge of fear in her eyes. “I’m not going to have to put one of those dreadful maid outfits, am I? They are positively drab.”

 

o.0.o

 

Spike paced in the library in a circle, keeping a wary eye on his pony friends.

“You look worried,” Thysa said, suddenly appearing right next to him. “I’m sure Twilight will be fine.”

“I know she will,” Spike sighed, looking forlornly at the group. “I mean, she’s pretty powerful and all and, yeah I am worried about her but...” he looked down. “That’s not what bothers me the most.”

Thysa blinked. “What is it, then?”

Spike glanced at the group as Pinkie Pie said something that set the others laughing. “I... I just feel left out.”

“I’m sure if you just walked up to them, they would include you,” Thysa said.

“Well, yeah, but... well, everypony seemed to know that Rarity was a changeling... except me.” Spike sat down on the floor, still looking at them. “I feel like they don’t trust me enough to tell me some things.” He turned to look at Thysa. “What if Rarity is not the only changeling? What if they all are?”

Thysa blinked slowly and raised an eyebrow. “All of them? Changelings.”

Spike nodded.

“Not a chance,” Thysa shrugged. “There are very few changelings that can survive outside the hive  for a long time. And my auntie is probably the only one in Ponyville. There are too few ponies around here and a change in demeanor would be quickly noticed.”

“Okay, maybe not changelings, but... what if one of them is a vampony?! Or a ghost? What if they all know but won’t tell me?”

“Spike, they are sitting under the sunlight and all of them have cups of tea. Vamponies would be dust by now and ghosts cannot pick up stuff.”

Spike sighed in relief, then gave Thysa an impressed look. “Wow, you’re more observant than I would have thought from earlier.”

Thysa’s eyes flashed a little with an undecipherable emotion, before she turned to look at the ponies. “Yes well, I’m often underestimated.”

“It’s okay,” Spike patted her shoulder. “Sometimes you just have to prove to everypony how much you can do before they will take you seriously.”

Thysa looked down at Spike for a moment. “Yeah... yes, you’re right. I guess one day I’ll show them.”

Spike smiled. “That’s the spirit!”

 

o.0.o

 

“Okay, you should attempt to look like me, my Queens.” Hidden Tale said, releasing his disguise and revealing an average-looking drone.

“Do you have to call me that?” Rarity sighed as she was enveloped in green flames to reveal a feminine drone.

“Or you could be a female,” Hidden Tale shrugged.

“Wait,” Princess Luna asked after a second. “Are you saying that there are female drones? I was under the impression that you were all male.”

Rarity giggled and covered her mouth, while Hidden Tale smiled a bit.

“Well?” Luna asked again, glaring at the pair.

“Oh, I’m sorry for laughing, Princess,” Rarity chuckled. “I’m afraid most ponies do believe that Queens are the only females, but that is not so. Queens are just... different. We are able to perform much more magic naturally than drones, who take a long time to master simple spells. We also share a vague mental-link with the drones, enabling us to be able to communicate orders to them, something that they cannot do on their own. A queen amplifies the power of the emotions she absorbs, distributing the energy to the drones as well in even portions.”

“They are also more aggressive, and their empathic abilities have molded the Hive into what it is today,” Hidden Tale elaborated as Luna rolled her eyes and cast an illusory spell that made her look like drone-Rarity’s twin. “They are the natural leaders of our species, but through the ages, they have become more... they took it upon themselves to make a real distinction and divorced themselves from most interaction other than to give orders. Thus, it’s no surprise that Queen Pupa here, who left the Hive so early, has no idea of the sort of civilization we actually have.”

Luna nodded. “I see. I have no idea how your civilization actually works.”

Hidden Tale shrugged. “It does, for now.”

The trio looked at the entrance to the Hive’s kitchens, which was little more than a hole in the ground, from where steam emanated.

Rarity made a face. “Ugh, at least in this form I don’t have to worry about my mane.”

Luna shook her head. “It will be fine. Now, forward! I do intend to find out something that has been bugging my mind.”

Hidden Tale and Rarity exchanged amused glances.

“And what is that, your highness?” Rarity asked.

“What exactly does a species that feeds on emotions cook?”

 

o.0.o End Chapter 5 o.0.o  

 

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