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Magic Gear Lucid

By Xujints the Water Guardian

Adventure / Action

The Exam: Just three days.

A Library. A place of peace and solitude where ponies and many other species can go and study history, science, math, and many other subjects, it was also the location of my dead drop. My name is Pliskin, and I am a changeling infiltrator in my Queen’s service, or at least, I was going to be.

I always knew that I would be an infiltrator, but my resolve was bolstered when my father returned mortally wound after a mission. Deep in the hive, I still remember his final words. He just dropped a disguise when he said, “My son… You will be a great infiltrator someday even better than I was.”

I sent a company times he took me out of the hive secret to show me what life would be like. I was his son, both in disguise and otherwise. Normally, I wouldn’t get such attention, but the former queen decided that the offspring of one such is he couldn’t be afforded anything less. I didn’t question that, no one did. That didn’t mean I did not find it odd, especially after his death. Shortly after my dad’s death, Captain Tskari completely took me under his wing, just before the queen died and her daughter took over.

It was under Tskari that I met my brothers and Masquerade, the latter becoming a reliable training partner and friend. I contemplated in aiding him in this exam, but that would be frowned upon. I also knew he was more than capable of handling himself.

That took up the idea for my bag and examined it, making sure everything was in order. I was David Snakeinabox, former Royal guard freelance bodyguard. Find my identification to my liking; I looked at my birth certificate next. My father was John Snakeinabox and my mother was Eve Earlybloom. An odd name, but ponies usually have odd names, so it was fine.

I then turned my attention to ‘My’ mission files from my time in the Royal guard and began to memorize its contents. As an infiltrator, I have an eye for detail and near photographic memory, so this was relatively easy.

A small stack of books being placed beside me interrupted my focus. I looked over to them and then to their supposed it owner. She was a grey mare with large emerald green eyes. She wore armor that was similar to that of royal guard armor, yet it was strikingly different. The metals that were used in it gave it blue and purple hue. The armor was stylized with a hard lined, almost wavy design that heavily complemented her figure

Females in armor, my one weakness!

She smiled at me and asked, “Is this seat taken?”

I shook my head in the negative and she’s quickly took a seat beside me and started on the first book. The subject was of mixed unit tactics and combat strategies. She was definitely military, but her armor was too different to be a standard soldier, I guessed she was a member of some kind of Special Forces unit.

I felt her discomfort changed curiosity as she read a few lines. She then looked up at me and asked, “Are those mission reports declassified?”

I look down at my papers for a minute before looking back at her with a smile, “I certainly hope so, they are mine.”

By then she connected the dots and said, “You’re a guard aren’t you?”

I shrugged, ”Sort of. I was discharged a while back.”

I felt a hint of sadness coming from her, but it was swept under the rug fairly quickly, ”What did you do, moon your superiors?”

I grinned slightly as I shook my head  ”Nah… I’d rather not bother you with my troubles.”

I extended the hose to her and said, “Snakeinabox, David Snakeinabox.”

“Snake in a box? Your cousin wouldn’t happen to be Jack, right?”

I blinked in surprise, does she know? I smiled nervously and said, “Uh…. Yes?”

She gave me a cheeky green and said, “So, he’s a Jack-in-the-Box?”

I should’ve saw it coming... It took a few moments for the joke to sink in, and then I laughed, not out of comedy, but of relief.

Despite this, I felt a hint of gratitude radiate off of her. I guessed that most ponies don’t like her jokes. She then took the hoof that was left hanging moments ago and shook it briefly, ”Seven-oh-seven.”

And there was my confirmation; she wasn’t using her real name, but a codename. She is definitely in Special Forces. I begin to wonder if I could press any amount of information from her.

I smiled at her and ask, ”So, what kind of guard are you? That armor isn’t exactly standard.”

By now, she was actually facing me as we spoke, ”I’m a member of the Lunar Guard.”

She chuckled at the confused look on my face and said, ”If you keep making that face, eventually it will stay that way. In all seriousness, some consider us an elite among the guard.”

“Elite… Then how come I’ve never heard of you?”

Her smile widened before she spoke, “Well, the answer is fairly simple. If I had to guess, you ‘retired’ before the return of Princess Luna. Before then, we were usually stationed on the outskirts of Equestria and many locations that now fall under the jurisdiction of the New Lunar Republic. Almost anywhere else, we did our shifts at night as most ponies were afraid of us.”

I gave another confuse look, but quickly returned to a straight face, ”Really? Kind of hard to imagine ponies being afraid of somepony as good-looking as you.”

I noticed a slight blush on her muzzle for a moment before she said, “Well, is not me necessarily. A lot of the guard consists of… Bat ponies.”

Bat ponies. That sounded pretty interesting, “I see.”

She nodded her before continuing, “Yeah, most ponies often associate bat ponies with Nightmare Moon, but that isn’t the case. Most were only able to get jobs in bat pony communities, or in the guard.”

I nodded. That was understandable, things that are perceived as strange is often associated with danger at a glance. She then gasps, “Oh! I’m sorry, I never even bothered to ask what you do.”

I waved away of concerned, saying, “I’m a bodyguard right now. I came here looking for work. Don’t have any yet, but it’ll happen soon. Besides I’ve been out of the loop for so long, so this information is refreshing. Please continue, I’d like to know more.”

I felt gratitude again, this time in a bit of a larger volume. She smiled as she put a hoof to her chin, “Well, I suppose I can tell you about some of the recently declassified things. You’ll probably understand some of it because your former guard.”

Gotcha…

She then added,” And… My current partners and I will be in town for the next few days and they’re too busy with errands to watch me while I work, perhaps I can convince them to hire you. It’ll be a win-win!”

Wait, what!

I was taken aback by her suggestion, it was crazy, but it made sense, depending on their jobs. She could be left alone for a time, but what is her job, and why would he be bad for a trained guard to be alone, other than the recommended buddy system of course.

But, it would be a great learning opportunity, not only about the world in general, her as well. Win-win is right, more than she knows.

“Well, what do you say?”

I grinned at her and asked, ”Sounds like a plan. When are we going to hold the neigh-gotiations?”

She giggled. A guard with a funny bone, even better! She stood up and put her books in her bag in motioned for the door, “Let’s exit stage left and move onto the next one. The faster we go, the sooner we can get to playing our roles.”

She is definitely the one. I put my papers back in my bag and followed her close behind. I couldn’t help but stare at her flank as we went. I really had a thing for females in armor.


I popped my neck as 707 and I walked through the busy streets of Baltimare, she was showing me around to some of her favorite hot spots that she had found during her brief stay here the past week. The first of which was a cheery Café. It was a little too bright for my taste, but the pastries were simply divine! They tasted just like love. I know that must sound odd coming from a Changeling, but there was nothing else I could compare it too. And the Macaroons… They were all right. 707 said she tasted better in Prance, but that couldn’t be helped, now could it?

As we walked to the next location on the list, I decided to ask, “So… How did you convince the guys to hire me?”

She gave a shrug and said, “I don’t know. I said your name and described what you did and they all of a sudden went as quiet as the library we met at.”

I stopped momentarily and asked, “Is that a good thing?”

She turned to me and smiled, “Meh… They get like that when they are thinking. Then they said it would be a good idea if I stayed close to you.”

That wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, but I simply shrugged and we continued about our way. I was certain I wouldn’t have any trouble, it’s wasn’t like my Father was that famous in the Pony world… Was he?

The second one we stopped at for quite a while once she noticed a particular Pony setting up shop for a show right in front of the fountain in the town square. I merely wanted to move on, but then I noticed the performer.

I muttered under my breath, “You crazy changeling… What are you up to Masquerade?”

707 looked back at me with a smile, “Hey David, why don’t we catch the show? It’s not everyday someone is bold enough to set up shop in such a public place.”

She then waved hoof in my face as I stared at him, “What’s the matter, is it the guy on stage? Hmmm… I don’t think he’s a thousand yards away, so…”

I blinked before looking at her, “I… I know him. His name is Façade.”

She grabbed my hoof and dragged me along, “If that is the case, why don’t we stick around for the show and say something to him afterward?”

I grinned nervously, trying to come up with a good way to down play the situation. I then smiled, emboldened, “I would say hello, but we aren’t exactly on the best of terms. We may be friends, but we had a disagreement with how we should use our talents.”

She gave me a puzzled look before turning back to the small show stage, deciding to drop the subject when I gave her a glare.  As if on cue, the show started, with ‘Façade’ stepping out on stage, his red and gold mane tucked away in a top hat. He smiled as he looked out into the decent sized that had gathered and bowed, removing his hat, revealing that he had tamed his mane so it wouldn’t fall onto his face when he did so.

He looked back up at the crowd and said, “Welcome everyone to today’s show, brought to your by Masquerade entertainment. I hope you didn’t bring any drinks with you. Wouldn’t want you to spit up on your neighbors, now would we. And with that thought. Let’s get this show on the road. I am Façade, and I will be your guide.”

He reached into his hat and pulled out a candle on a small stand alit with a familiar green flame and held it out to the audience and said,  “For my first trick, I will need somepony from the audience.”

He appeared to survey the crowd when he stopped at me. I could almost guess what he was thinking when he pointed a hoof at me, not even bothering to ask him through the mental link between us, “You sir, next to the grey beauty. Come one down!”

707 snickered as the crowd turned slightly towards me as I stepped up to the stage. He was lucky no one else could hear our mental battle just then, ‘What are you thinking, calling me up here?’

‘Can’t I call upon my best friend for some assistance? I need your help, and two changelings would make this go wonderfully.’

‘You still didn’t explain yourself…”

‘Remember mission 96?’

‘… So that’s what you are doing… Fine, but I’m not helping you any further then this, you need to handle your own messes from here on, got it?’

‘Thank you, I need the money for what I have planned.’

‘Found someone, eh?’

‘Yep…’

‘Alright then.’

He smiled at me as I stepped onto the stage, holding out the candlestick to me and said, “Alright folks, give this Colt a round of applause!”

I wasn’t surprised when no one did, but I didn’t mind, this was his time to shine. I took the stick and examined it for a minute before he continued, “Alright kind sir, you will now count to three, and when reach three, I will blow the candle out.”

I nodded before I counted up from one, “One… Two… Three!”

He blow on the candle and the green flame engulfed my form, eliciting a gasp from the audience. When the flame dispersed, I was an exact replica of him. We both looked around in confusion before he said, “Well this just doesn’t seem right, right Façade?”

I smiled and said, “Indeed it does Façade. Here, take the candle and I’ll blow from this angle, perhaps that will get the desired effect.”

He took the candle mere moments before I blew and said, “How would changing where you blow effect-“

I blew on the candle and the flame likewise overtook his form, turning him into a copy of what I was. ‘I’ looked around in a panic, shouting, “What the buck just happened!”

The Crowd like wise gave a similar reaction as I patted him on the shoulder, “Don’t worry about it, I’m certain there won’t be any lasting effects. Just be sure to double check that you’re still a stallion.”

My comment caused the crowd to laugh at the confused look on ‘my’ face. I then gave the candle to one pony in the crowd and asked, “Would you kindly blow that out for us, it has caused enough trouble for one day.”

The Mare simply shrugged as I was heading back for the stage and blew it out, after which we both burst into flames, returning us to out disguised forms.  Façade bowed to the audience with a tip of the hat as I feigned confusion, “Thank you, thank you. Now give our Colt friend a round of applause as he returns to his spot.”

I returned to the giggling 707 who asked, “Still a guy?”

I frowned as I walked past her, “Shut up…”

She frowned as she rushed after me, getting in my path, “Where are you going?”

I shrugged, “Remember the disagreement I talked about? I’d rather not get upset at him again for this.”

She stood there in silence for a moment before nodding and allowed me to pass. After some time, she looked at me and asked, “So, want to talk about the real reason you wanted to leave?”

I glared at her, “I already told you… We had a disagreement. I didn’t even know he’d be here.”

She returned my glare with an even creepier one, “I don’t like it when people don’t tell me the whole truth.”

Well… Crud!

I sighed as I motioned for the library, “Fine, but can we talk about it there?”

She snorted, “Well, I did have more places to show you, but I guess we can go to the library early. I had some books I needed to return anyway.”

We made our way to the library and I took a seat as she went to return the books from the other day. Just how she read all of them in a single night, I’ll never know…

Whens she returned I pulled out my papers from yesterday and opened it to where I left off, “Do you mind if I talk as I read?”

She rolled her eyes and answered, “As long as you don’t start to read aloud. I won’t allow it…”

I snorted as I began reading. After a moment, I said, “As you know, Façade and I had a disagreement… You see, before I underwent military training, I had another Master, one who taught me how to use rare spells, such as Transformation. It was the only spells I was able to learn and Master. My foalhood friend Façade likewise learned the skill, but we always bumped head about it. I wanted to use it for combat, much like my father learned how to do, but he wanted to use it for entertainment. He even wanted me to join in his act, which, at the time, I was fine with. But as we grew up…”

“Your Career choices got in the way?”

I nodded, “Indeed. We’re still friends and talk on a regular basis, but it’s hard sometimes. We always wind up talking about the ‘glory’ days we shared and that lead to… My Father’s death... He died shortly after I began my advanced training.”

I felt a bit of Empathy come from her. Most ponies often confuse Sympathy for Empathy, but us Changelings can tell the difference. Empathy comes from experiencing the pain of others, while Sympathy does not. The both of them have a pleasant balance of Sweetness, Bitterness, and Sourness. It wasn’t much different in that regard, but I can tell all the same. I wanted to ask her whom she lost, but my eyes were drawn to a pale grey dragon eye pendant attached to one of the papers via copious amounts of tap.

I was surprised when she nearly pushed me off her seat to take a closer look, “Whoa… No way!”

I righted myself and asked, “What?”

She gently pulled it from the paper to take a closer look at it, “It’s an older model of the Special forces badge. It even has the numbers still on the dial… And the back!”

“Well, what does it do?”

She smiled as she pointed at the dial, “Well, each number on the dial corresponds with the number on the back of another badge, when a number is selected, the bearer can psychically call another bearer at any time.”

I blinked in surprise, “Really! Then why don’t you have one?”

She frowned, “Well… The magic fields they emit made the wearers nearly impossible to track, and there were only a couple hundred made… They were replaced quite a while ago. Now we can be tracked easier and messages can be sent to us just as quickly, no matter where we are.”

The idea of being monitored almost 24/7 seemed hard to deal with at first, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that a if a commander could tell where all his troops were, he could lead them more efficiently, much like how the Queen does with all the Changelings in the Badlands.

I nodded and held a hoof out to her, “May I see it. It used to belong to my dad.”

She gave it to me and I stared intensely at it, “So, your father was in Special Forces. That would explain why the others reacted to your name like that. Who ever he is, he must have been important.”

‘Right… He must have…’

Just then a crippling pain shot up through my fore leg that was holding the pendant and up into my head. It hurt, as if I had been hit in the head one to many times. I fell off the chair clutching my head as the world went dark. I heard 707 shouting, growing quieter as if she, “David? David? DAVID!”

I was no longer at the library… It was dark, and it was raining. I found myself clutching a dark teal pony to my chest as if my life depended on it. I looked around the stony surroundings I now found myself in, shouting, “Medic! Someone get a Medic!”

“S… Son…”

I looked down at the pony, my wet brown mane hanging off the side of my head, mimicking his as I stared into his darkening blue eyes, wiping away the blood that dripped from the side of his mouth, “Son… You will make… A Good Infiltrator someday… Even better then I was…”

His head went limp as I began to cry even harder, “Father? Father!”

I heard a voice behind me, “Come on David, we have to go…”

I shook my head before looking at the Pony. He had a white coat with long blonde hair and pair of sunglasses as a Cutie Mark. I shouted at him before looking back at the dead pony in my arms, “No! I won’t leave him, not now…”

I then felt a tug on one of my legs, as I was being dragged away, presumably by the pony I had just seen, “No No… NO!!!!”

My grip on the Pony I held faltered and he dropped to the dirt floor. I clutched onto a small pendant around his neck and held it close to me once it came loose. I closed my eyes, refusing to look back at the pony as he dragged me away.


I groaned as my eyes creaked open. I was alone, or at least I thought I was. I tried to sit up, but was swiftly pushed back down by familiar shape.

“Stay down, you still need to rest…”

I looked up at the figure and smiled as my eyes adjusted to the dim lighting. It was Seven-oh-seven. I felt her concern, but was unsure why she was like that, it didn’t see natural or at least she was trying to hide it.  I asked her, “Why, did something happen?”

Her concern intensified, “You don’t remember? You touched your dad’s pendant and… It really messed you up, you’re sleep the whole day yesterday. I had Cain scan you, and he said your stats were really low…”

Scanned… Wait! Wouldn’t that mean they would see the real me. Unless… I looked at my hooves and was quite relieved; somehow I was still disguised.

She mistook my surprise as if I couldn’t remember more then just what happened and said, “You remember Cain right? He’s one of the Guards that I’m working with while I’m in Baltimare. Along with Dante but… He’s more of a joker. The only time he’s serious is when he’s in a fight…”

I looked up at her and asked, “I was out for a day, and only a day, right?”

She nodded, “Dante and I went to find you a doctor, but none would help you without proof of insurance and we didn’t have the money to pay him in cash. Went to the bank to see if you at any money we could, ‘Borrow’, and they said they would only accept the ID of a mister John Snakeinabox.”

We then heard the door shut. Somepony had just arrived, “Yeah you should have seen the look on her face; She was really worried. She must really like you.”

 Seven-oh-seven picked up a spare pillow as the white maned Dante sauntered through the door. She threw it at him, shouting, “Shut up Dante!”

Dante ducked under the pillow, causing it to hit Cain who was following him close behind. He wasn’t amused…  Dante stuck his tongue out at her and said, “Seems that it’s true.”

Cain slapped Dante on the back of the head at before walking over to me, “As Seven-oh-seven was saying. We weren’t able to request aid, so instead we were forced to return to our mission. Unable to find any leads, we came right back here. Dante noted that your condition started to improve as she drew near, so we had her stand by you all night.”

I looked up at her and smiled genuinely, that was dedication to the job; wasn’t I the one hired to watch her? Oh well, “Thanks seven. Can I get up? I think I can walk now?”

“No-“

Cain interrupted her, making Dante snort, “Actually, that would be a great idea, it would help if I get a better scan of him and laying down certainly didn’t help.”

My smile widened as Seven-oh-seven helped me to my hooves.  Cain stared at me intently for a few moments before saying, “He’s clean. Whatever was sapping his strength is gone now. I took liberty of examining the pendant at the library, it appeared to have some kind of seal breaker on it.”

Seven-oh-seven put a hoof on her chin as Cain tossed the pendant to me, “A Seal breaker, what kind?”

He shrugged, “I don’t know. I never saw anything like it, but it appears to be inert now. Can you remember anything David?”

I look at the pendant moment before looking up at the purple clad grey stallion, “Well… I… I think that I had some kind of vision, but it felt more like a nightmare.”

He frowned, “Perhaps it triggered a memory, a repressed one, something so painful that you would beg to have it hidden.”

His words left me thinking about it for the rest of the day.  Hoping to take my mind off of the problem, I asked Seven-oh-seven to take me to the bank.  Perhaps I could find some answers there, along with picking up a few bits that my father might’ve left me. It was strange really the thought that my father and might have left me something at Equestrian Mutual, but then again, my father wasn’t exactly normal changeling standards. Perhaps she was saving it for a rainy day, or maybe he was saving it for me, but for what purpose?

I had every intention to find out…

We waited for what felt like hours as the line leading up to the reception desk moved on in front of us. Eventually we were able to make it to the front of the line, but that was when things went south. Suddenly the air was filled with unease as the emotions of the patrons around us turned from boredom and sadness to a mix of fear and dread. Something was very wrong…

After a few moments I try talking to the receptionist at the front desk, but was swiftly shoved aside by a male Unicorn. He then put a bag on the desk and said, “Put the money in the bag, and don’t try anything funny.”

I glanced at him, he was wearing a black jacket with some kind of strange heart like symbol emblazoned on the back. It was green… I looked around the rest of the establishment swiftly taking note of five other ponies’ brandishing knives, staring down the other occupants waiting to be served.

I then felt anger rise up beside me, it belonged to Seven-oh-seven. She was staring at the unicorn between us, it looks could kill he’d be dead a thousand times over, but I could tell she was holding herself back.  Is almost as if she knew she couldn’t handle this on her own, not without innocence getting hurt, but she wasn’t alone… I was there and I wanted to make sure she knew that. I gave her curt nod, which she returned in-kind when she realized I was staring at her.

As if on instinct, we each took hold of the unicorn and use our combined strength to flip him off of his hooves. His sudden gasp alerted his comrades to danger, but we were not worried. I disarmed the unicorn at our hooves; taking away the weapon he held in its magic and threw it at the nearest enemy, knocking his knife away as Seven-oh-seven lunged for him, taking down and the swift motion. These ponies were a bunch of amateurs, dropping like flies.  It only took us about a minute to end the fighting, but then we heard the cry of the small foal.

We turned our attention for him the earth pony he that we had just defeated to another unicorn standing at the door clutching is Fulton self with the knife in her neck. It was then that we noticed the local guards standing by the door; they were looking away as if ashamed of how things have just turned out. I pondered a moment what it meant but then I felt Seven-oh-seven’s anger explode as the Unicorn said, “Alright, no one move, and this kid walks away unharmed.”

It was obvious he had just struck a nerve. I had to keep her from doing something she’s regret later, so before she could do anything, I held her back in headlock whispering calming thoughts in her ear, “Nothing is going to happen… Everything will be all right… I’m here.”

It took a little bit of time, but she eventually calmed down, and that was when I released her. I then turned my attention to the Unicorn, who was laughing at the scene, “That’s right pretty boy, put a leash on her. Wouldn’t want the little one to get hurt would we? Boys, get up and finish robbing the place, I’ll handle this.”

It was my turn to laugh, “Stay down boys, this guy’s a joke… The next pony to move see’s what my friend here would have done to the Unicorn had I not stopped her.”

They all stopped in their tracks, they knew I was beyond serious, but the Unicorn however was not amused, “Get up, do you really think they’d let the innocent get harmed.”

“Who says I wouldn’t?”

My comment left the world silent as I took a step closer to him, “If your plan hinges on the idea that no one would touch you because of a single hostage, you have another thing coming.”

He held the knife closer to her neck, “Stay back, I’m warning you!”

“Are you? Huh! If you are serious, do it! I dare you, because that would just give me an excuse to blast you into oblivion, and no one would bat an eye. No, that hostage is the only thing keeping you alive right now, and if you think that would stop me from hurting you, then you are dead wrong.”

I continued to get closer to him, “You see, you pose a grave threat to my client, and as stated in my contract, I have a license to kill to keep her safe, and if that means shooting you through a hostage, then so be it.”

I was bluffing, sure, but form the look on his face, it was worth it. By now I was only a few feet away from him. He panicked, making the worst mistake he could have ever done; he pointed the knife at me, and away from his hostage, “Stay back!”

I smiled and closed the distance between us, taking the handle of the knife in my mouth and severing his magical ties to it with my own. I struck quickly, hitting him repeatedly on the arm holding his hostage, taking care not to hit her. His arm went limp and the foal plopped into an outstretched hoof as I went for the knock out blow. He fell in one strike.

Satisfied, I looked around to find this foal’s mother, who ran up to me and embraced her child. She was terrified, but the child simply was elated to be back in her mother’s embrace.

I turned my attention to the guards and barked and order, “Tie them up… Now…”

They scrambled to follow my command as I went back to the desk and asked, “Now… About that savings account…”

She hesitantly asked for my ID before handing me a large bag of bits. I gave her a few for her trouble and headed for the door, a confused and angry Seven-oh-seven following me close behind. Once we were far enough away from the bank, she said, “What in Tartarus were you thinking?”

I didn’t look back at her as I said, “I simply did what I thought would resolve the conflict without innocent lives lost.”

She ran ahead of me and stood in my path, “I know that, but how did you possibly think that could work? The Guards have procedures for this sort of thing, or have you forgotten?”

I snorted, “I’m not a guard anymore… Besides, didn’t you see the Guards back there? I bet those thugs had them paid off, they just stood by as we did all the work. In fact, I could tell you were troubled the moment it all started, but as soon as the hostage situation happened, you nearly went ballistic. Why? Had you attacked him in your blind rage, no doubt procedure wouldn’t have helped anyone.”

She became silent. I could feel her apprehension, so instead I continued, “It was that kind of thinking that got my team killed so long ago. I promised myself that no one would die on my watch, that I’d sacrifice my own life, my own morals, to get the job done. One cannot destroy evil without running the risk of becoming it… Remember that and hold on to your friends closely.”

I wasn’t sure where that sudden speech came from, nor did I care. I had nothing else to say. As I walked away, I heard her mutter, “Evershine…”

I stopped, “Her name was Evershine… She was killed in a robbery and there wasn’t anything I could do. I’ve started counseling for it, but… It’s hard… Letting go, I mean… I thought I could keep myself in check, but… I guess old habits die hard.”

I turned back to her now; she had her head hung low as tears fell to the ground. It hit me hard, just how badly this had affected her. I didn’t think that I’d ever see someone like her in this position, weak… Pitiful… It was unbecoming of her image. I hated it, and yet… I could understand her. I couldn’t explain it, but it felt like I truly knew her pain. Why? I never did lose anyone… Except… My father…

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath before hugging her. I heard that Ponies thought that hugs could help mend broken spirits. I didn’t understand it at the time, but after a few moments, I felt her return it. Her sadness didn’t melt away like I thought it would, but gratitude began to grow in her. Perhaps that was what it meant… The hugs…

“Hey!”

We looked up to see Cain and Dante rushing over to us. They stopped just in front of us and asked, “Did you hear, there was a robbery at the bank. Are you both alright?”

Seven-oh-seven pulled me closer before saying, “I think I am now…”

Her gratitude was higher now, but I felt something a bit more, something beginning to bloom. I knew that feeling. It was something that all Infiltrators aimed for when they go out on missions. Love…

Queen Chrysalis lay in her royal bedchambers, half asleep she stared at the stone ceiling above her. Her gaze is drawn to the door after light tapping was heard.

“Enter…”

At her command, the lone changeling entered, harboring a nervous expression on his face. The queen smiled at him, “Ah, Lieutenant, Glad you can return to the Hive a take a break from your busy schedule to grace me with your presence. Please, shut the door.”

The Lieutenant Shut the door behind him and step closer to her before kneeling, “You summoned me, my queen?”

With the flashing green magic from her horn, the constant buzzing noise that could be heard throughout the Hive grew silent, “Indeed, speak freely Tskari.”

Tskari nodded as he stood up, “Thank you my queen. I assume you desire an update on the status of operation ‘Wing Eater’?”

She shook her head slightly before stating, “Sort of... While John is the subject, it is more about his posterity.”

He frowned, “I assure you, David is unaware of his heritage. In fact, he thinks that he’s normal.”

She shook her head, “Not him… Only one survived, I assume you know what I speak?”

Tskari looked visibly shocked, “How…  How will I tell him? Almost losing David nearly crushed him.”

“You can’t….”

He gave her a confused look, “My Queen?”

She motioned for him to have a seat on the bed before continuing, “As you know my life shall soon reach attend, and I have no heir…”

He gulped, “Is that why you called me?”

“So what if it is, John is away, you are his second. Besides as a queen, I can’t afford to play favorites, he had his time.”

He stammered, "But I… I can’t… He…”

Tskari reluctantly sat on the bed next to her as she draped a wing around him, “Relax ‘Harmonia’, you’re not betraying his trust and neither am I. He knows what must be done; it is for the good to the Hive.  I am certain he would understand.”

He looked at her with a broken smile, “My queen, what shall we tell John and David, surely they will find out eventually.”

She smiled at him, saying with a wink, “True, but we shall discuss this at another time. This is all about you now, Captain…”

“I thought you said you don’t play favorites.”

She kissed him tenderly before breaking it off, “I lied, but enough to talk… Now is not the time for such pleasantries.”

“But…”

She groaned as she tugged on his shoulder, “Come on… You infiltrators always change when you’re away from Hive for too long… What ever happened to my loyal servant?”

Tskari took that as his cue to kiss her, “I know where are my loyalties lie, I never left you…”

She growled before pouncing on him, eliciting a surprise gasp from Tskari as the natural illumination in the room dimmed.


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