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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8. Chapter 7

“Hidden Tale! Release that changeling at once!”

The spy looked from the head chef in his grasp to Princess Luna. “But, my Queen, I need to kill all witnesses. Just give me a second.”

“There’s about twenty changelings here!”

Hidden Tale hesitated. “Okay, one minute then…”

He was levitated by Luna’s magic and set down next to her. “You’re not killing any—” she stopped and frowned. "...ling,” she finished lamely. “Look at them.”

And he did, all the changelings in the room had knelt down before Rarity, who was still looking at them in horror, cooked fruitbat in hoof. It was clear that they were awestruck by her presence.

“My Queen!” the head chef gasped, rubbing his neck. “How can this be?”

“I-is that Pupa?” another changeling asked, setting another string of rumors through the kitchen.

“It can’t be!”

“She’s dead!”

“No, she clearly isn’t!”

“Who’s Pupa?”

“You don’t remember?!”

“I suffer from short-term memory loss!”

“Who are you, anyway?”

“I don’t remember!”

Rarity stared at the gathered changelings, eyes wide, and slowly inched the cooked delicacy towards her mouth, but Luna’s stern look made her hoof quiver in place. Finally, she put down the much-missed morsel and cleared her throat, immediately gaining the attention of everyone in the room.

“Ahem, yes,” she she looked around. “I’m indeed Princess Pupa,” she said, nodding to the changeling that had recognized her. “And I am still alive. I’ve come to help my sister, Queen Chrysalis who seems to be having some problems with my nieces.”

The gathered changelings exchanged uneasy glances.

Seeing this, Luna stepped forth. “Listen well, fellow changelings. We are not asking for you to step forth into battle, but we do need your assistance in moving around silently and without raising suspicion. You all know our princ-Queen, Pupa. All she’s asking of you is to remain vigilant and silent about our presence here. Can you do this for her?”

Still clad in her illusion spell, she see didn’t seem any different than the average female changeling, but the fact that she was part of Rarity’s entourage, and the authority in her tone granted her the immediate attention of all present changelings, who quickly nodded and announced their support.

“Good,” Rarity said, smiling charmingly at her subjects. She made her way to the table and, levitating a piece of chocolate, summoned them all to gather ‘round. “Now, tell me how things usually work in the Hive now.”

“Like what?” one of the chocolatiers asked.

“Like, when do the guards change shifts?” Hidden Tale spoke up. “For example.”

 

o.0.o

 

“Stand guard and don’t let anyone in,” Arachne ordered the guard at the entrance of the Pod Room. She went in, closing the organic gates behind her and turning to see her objective.

Arachne paced in front of the suspended Twilight, glaring at the unicorn. “This is all your fault! You’re going to ruin our plans and let mother and Thysa win!”

Twilight, of course, didn’t answer, which only made the princess grit her teeth in frustration. “First, you kick her flank, and that was all well and good! We thought we were rid of her, and then, then you decide to send her back, healed!”

She stopped and looked at the unconscious unicorn in disbelief. “What. The. Hay!? Why would you do that!?”

She paced around some more, stealing dirty glances at Twilight from time to time. “Maybe… maybe we can just drop you off in the forest, cover you in rum, leave the bottle next to you and have them put two-and-two together. If what I read about you is correct surely you must be an alcoholic by now.”

There was no response from Twilight, and Arachne finally threw herself under the pod, pounding the floor with her hooves. “Why! Why don’t you have any answers!?” she wailed.

“Your highness, is everything okay?” a voice asked from outside the room.

Gathering her wits as quickly as possible, Arachne cleared her throat and called out. “It’s all fine!”

She heard the guard shuffle away and sighed, looking up at Twilight. “And this is why I hate leadership positions,” she admitted, placing a hoof softly on the translucent surface of the pod. “I don’t have the stomach for it.”

“Why Thysa went to you for help I’ll never know.”

 

o.0.o

 

Phasmi laid in her bed, staring at the wall across the room. Her mind had been working non-stop since they had imprisoned their mother, wondering if perhaps, there could have been another way from the beginning.

She sighed. “It’s not like we could have just explained,” she muttered. “For all her power and understanding of changeling transformations, mother cannot simply change. And neither can Thysa.”

She remained silent for a moment. “But mother did change, didn’t she?” she wondered aloud once more. “What’s going on with that filly? There must be something I’m missing… something we’re all missing…” she frowned, hugging her pillow against her chest. “I bet Thysa knows.” She growled. “After all, she met with mother just before she summoned us…”

Something was bugging her. And it wasn’t just that the situation was spiraling out of control. She had the nagging feeling it had been out of control a lot longer than she had anticipated. Phasmi blinked. “Wait… I did notice something… but, it can’t be.”

She slid out of bed, immediately missing the softness and comfort it provided, but valiantly fighting the urge to return to it. She trotted out of her room, and fixed her eyes on two guards. “You, both of you, come with me,” she ordered.

The pair didn’t even hesitate and matched her pace as she took them in the direction of her objective. ‘I just hope I’m wrong…’ she thought as she turned around the corner. ‘I really do hope I’m wrong.’

 

o.0.o

 

Acari studied her notes and grumbled. “This is just… stupid.” She shook her head and pushed away from her desk, rolling off of her seat and onto all fours, stretching her green gossamer wings and groaning while she worked the kinks on her shoulders.

She glanced at the desk again and all the notes, books and journals on it. “Phasmi’s calculations are flawless… except for the very basic factor that she assumed that little traitor would be on our side!”

She summoned a brand new roll of parchment big enough to cover the wall and began drawing diagrams and connections, her mind entering a familiar state of perfect memory of past interactions with her sisters and mother.

“This is all… there’s something wrong with this,” she muttered, levitating several notes and holding them up. She frowned. “Wait, there’s some missing!” Her eyes narrowed. “Didn’t one of the guards say that they saw Thysa burning something?” Her eyes widened when she remember her sister giggling and simply saying that ‘the flames were pretty’.

She smacked her face with her hoof, wincing at the sudden pain. “What is missing?” She babbled, eyes scanning each note as fast as she could. “Oh, no…”

A knock on the doors to her chamber interrupted her. “Is there something wrong, princess?” a changeling guard asked, peeking in.

Acari forced a smile. “N-nothing at all! Please, continue your guard, I’ll… remain studying!”

The guard frowned, but nodded, returning to his place.

Acari paced the room, casting a quick silencing spell. She liked talking to herself to solve riddles, and she didn’t want anyone listening in.

“She must have known we would catch on at some point… but how did she do this? What did she plan? Was it her, or mother?”

She stopped and looked at her mirror. “That’s the question… that’s the key to solving this. How much does mother know? How much of these are her orders?”

She took a deep breath and closed her eyes, resolving in her mind to match wits with both Queen and princess. “If it's one, we can live to tell the tale… the other…” She let her thoughts fade for a second and shook her head. “I’d better alert Arachne and Phasmi.”

Her gaze turned to the door. “But how…”

 

o.0.o

 

Sweetie Belle’s ear twitched. She yawned and opened her eyes, trying to make sense of what was happening. There were two rows of changelings, all bowing before her. She blinked again and looked around, noticing that she was sitting on a stone throne.

“All hail the new Queen!” The changelings chanted.

“N-no! I can’t be your queen! I’m not a changeling!” Sweetie squeaked in horror, looking down at her now-chitinous hoof.

A bark of laughter made her stop and turn to stare at Chrysalis, who walked out from behind the throne. “That,” she wheezed between guffaws, “...was priceless!”

“Whaa…” Sweetie blinked as the world blurred and she snorted awake, still in prison with Chrysalis, who was rolling on the floor, laughing her lungs out of air. “A-a dream?!”

Chrysalis giggled. “All I needed to do was link to you and tweak a couple of fears and you made it all into one sweet moment of complete paranoia! Including the ‘I’ve discovered I’m not a pony anymore!’ classic!”

“That was mean!” Sweetie growled, rolling to her hooves and huffing away.

“Awww, come on, sis. Don’t be like that!” Chrysalis chuckled. “You have to admit it was funny.”

Sweetie gave her a considering look over her shoulder, then turned away again. “Uh-huh.”

Chrysalis chuckled and shook her head. “Fine, be a spoilsport. I think it’s about time we acted.”

Sweetie rolled her eyes and let out a long sigh. “At last! Why did we have to stay here so long?”

Chrysalis shrugged. “It’s roughly bed-time. My daughters feel secure that we’re trapped… they’re tired, stressed and most likely paranoid… the perfect time to act.”

“So… you planned all of this?”

“To an extent,” Chrysalis grinned. “Everything else was what they did on their own.”

Sweetie shook her head. “I don’t even know if you’re really that smart, or just going with the flow.”

Chrysalis shrugged, horn igniting and watching with barely suppressed smugness how the walls separated to allow them to step out. She glanced at Sweetie. “Well, are you coming?”

Sweetie looked from the damp prison to the relatively dry outside. “Yes. Yes, I am.”

“Good!” Chrysalis clapped her hooves together. “Let’s make sure this is a family reunion to remember!”

 
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