[Disclaimer: The characters, settings, and themes described in this story is the sole property of Hasbro and all affiliated parties and is in no way owned by myself. It's just a fan written story for no other purpose than to be enjoyed (Or hated. ;P) by other fans. Thanks for reading and I hope y'all enjoy.]
As the dusk slowly slid into the night over Equestria, a party carried on in the royal courtyard of Canterlot Castle. Princess Cadence, a distant niece of the Princesses Celestia and Luna had just married the new Prince Shining Armor. The musical styling of DJ-P0N3 fueled the celebration as ponies danced and talked the night away. Celestia was glad they were able to enjoy themselves after so much had gone so wrong, this was their victory after all...
"Sister… May I speak to thee in private?" said Luna from behind Celestia. Her grave tone weighed heavily on the Sun Princess's heart as she knew what had to be discussed, but she had hoped they could enjoy the celebration a while longer.
"Of course, Luna. Come, my chambers should be private enough," Celestia gave Luna a wan smile before turning to a pair of her personal guards. "No one is to enter this courtyard till I return; anyone wishing to leave the party is to be escorted safely to their homes."
"Yes, your majesty!" they replied.
The two sisters flew in silence up to the top of the tallest spire, locking the doors and windows with their own brand of powerful magic. Celestia fell gracefully upon her favorite cushion by the fire while Luna stood near by.
"Shall I send for anything, sister? Tea, cider, cake…?"
"No, that's quite alright," Celestia said, closing her eyes softly. Celestia was always ever calm and serene before their subjects even if her heart was greatly troubled. Since Luna had been gone for so long she had to find the fortitude to maintain control, and after a thousand years of internalizing her problems it wasn't easy to talk about them freely. Yet Luna, who was loud and forthcoming, stamped the floor in frustration after the silence dragged on and stepped into the fire's light.
"How? How did we not see this? Canterlot besieged, thine niece imprisoned, and you assaulted!" Luna practically shrieked with rage, making the windows rattle, but almost as quickly as her temper flared did she deflate with disappointment. "I failed thee, dear sister. There is no excuse why I was not by thine side today..."
"Luna, the fault isn't yours; if anything I'm the one to blame. We had received an anonymous threat not long ago but since we could not determine its source, I thought simply increasing the security would prevent whatever was coming, I never imagined we would be facing the Changelings and their queen," Celestia got back up and walked over to her window, looking down into the courtyard where Twilight could be seen dancing with her brother. "Twilight tried to warn me about the false Cadence, but I wouldn't hear it. I should have trusted my student and listened to her concerns..."
"Nay, we rule this land equally, so I share some measure of the responsibility. Yet we must not lose sight of what is important; Chrysalis is still free..." Luna paused for a moment, but Celestia continued to look out the window with her eyes on the party in the yard. "Celestia, thou only needs to give thine word, and I wouldst make certain those insects and their foul sovereign never return to make good on their threat."
Celestia bowed her head. War…? She had done everything in her power to protect Equestria from such horror ever since she and Luna had cast down Discord. Most ponies alive today only knew of war like they did old mare's-tales; something that used to happen a long time ago on the fringes of the world. And as well-trained as her soldiers were, many had never dealt with anything worse than a few rowdy stallions who had indulged in too much homemade cider, how could she ask them to-
"Sister!" Luna exclaimed, rushing to Celestia's side just as her knees gave way and sank to the ground.
Celestia hadn't noticed the tears that rolled down her face at first, or that the punishment she endured at Chrysalis's hands coupled with the stress of the situation had caused her to come over faint. She was having trouble breathing and felt like all she had done to keep her country safe was rapidly falling away, the more she thought about it, the more she began to panic. Luna hushed Celestia, folding a dark wing over Celestia's back, and used a bit of her magic to help calm the despairing princess. "Steady thyself, Celestia… I realize the past thousand years have been difficult for you, and I am most sorry for being the cause of that. But I am here now, and you needn't do this alone."
"Luna, I can't- War? No, anything but this," Celestia rambled, still trying to catch her breath.
"Thou art good and noble as you have always been, kind sister... But I know thou art aware that our country's safety is our gravest concern. We must keep it and our people safe, no matter the cost, is that not what we pledged?"
Celestia looked up into Luna's spirited gaze from under the latter's midnight wing, and after a few deep breaths, rose to her hooves and walked over to her writing desk. Though her stomach was as lead as she put quill to parchment, Luna had reminded her of their duty and found the resolve to do what had to be done. "Luna, you hereby have my permission to take a Legion of our best trained soldiers after the Changelings," Celestia said rigidly, rolling up the scroll and stamping it with her seal. "I want you to take care of this as quietly and quickly as possible. Tell the men that they are to break the back of the Changeling force and no more, those who flee are not to be pursued and non-combatants are not to be harmed."
"What of their queen?" Luna asked.
"...Bring her back to Canterlot alive if at all possible; if however you feel this to be impractical, then I leave her ultimate fate in your hooves. But she must not escape, Luna," Celestia said, her tone gravely and miserable as she gave Luna the document legitimizing the mobilization of troops.
"Worry thyself no more, for my men and I are prepared to do what must be done... And it willbe done, I shalt not fail thee a second time," Luna replied, bowing deeply.
"No Luna, let us not fail our people..."
The thousand years had not dulled the Moon Princess's warrior soul, but preserved it within her rather than in Celestia, who had grown comfortable in the long periods of prosperity. She vividly remembered the eras when the two of them had to scrap and contend against multitudes for their right to rule, hay, just to survive. Now there was peace, for Celestia's wise and generous rule in Luna's absence tamed this once wild kingdom into a free and thriving haven. Anger and purpose burned in Luna's heart as her attendants snapped ebony and silver barding in place upon her so that she glistened like the vast night sky. The party had ended some hours ago, and now hundreds of Equestria's mightiest and most cunning soldiers stood in perfect rows around the courtyard, clad in barding of bronze or blued steel. Banners of the sun and moon flapped quietly in the breeze that had begun to pick up as Luna stepped onto her waiting chariot. They had all been briefed in secret, so each stallion knew his role, there would be no moving speeches before the fight, nor fanfare if they returned victorious. This wasn't a battle for glory, honor, or even justice, simply a matter of sovereignty and security. Dark rain clouds moved in to obscure the sky, manipulated by Luna's power and provided the legion with cover so that they would not be seen moving out. Her dark chariot lead the way and moved north based on a bit of last minute Intel from the border guards reporting a dark swarm heading out into the deep wildernesses beyond the great mountains that encircled Canterlot. Luna signaled the legion to move at full-speed once they had cleared the craggy peaks, beyond which a vast wilderness that separated the Griffin Kingdom and Equestria was. The forest below was dense and wild; a perfect place for the Changelings to hide since they wouldn't be able to out-fly Equestrian pegasi.
"Take to the ground!" Luna roared. Like thunder in the distance, the hoof-falls of the legion touching down surely announced to every living thing in the surrounding area that they were there. "Be mindful of thine princess's orders, but do not hesitate to run down any who stand in your path! Be vigilant and watch thy fellows' backs!"
Spears came down as the pegasi spread out in tight formations of ten; if they were suffering their nerves, they didn't show it. All was still and quiet as they proceeded and for a moment it looked as though they had landed prematurely, but just as relief was setting in the forest around them came alive with flashing green eyes and the buzzing of insectoid wings.
"Soldiers, full attack!" roared Luna, prompting the charge. Spears plunged forward and hit only air as the Changelings went skyward, but Luna's pegasi didn't miss a beat in flying after them. "This is thy only chance thou impudent bugs! Flee and thou shalt not be harmed, stand, and face thine own destruction!"
Emboldened perhaps by Celestia's prior defeat, the Changelings sneered at Luna and assumed the forms of her legion. Luna's heart sank a little at first since this meant she would not be able to let these cretins leave with their lives like Celestia had wanted, but when she thought about the smoldering ruins back home and the injured congesting the Canterlot hospital…
"…Very well," Luna whispered to herself. Her horn burned with a pale blue light, forcing the Changelings to resume their true forms. "Men, they've rejected Celestia's mercy for MY wrath, let not a one escape you!" The Changeling's attitudes changed from defiant over-confidence to panic the instant they realized their shape-shifting ability was no longer working; they couldn't use the confusion they often relied on and where little match for the spears and strength of the legion in an up-front confrontation. Luna didn't pay much attention to the slaughter happening around her and instead scanned the skies for any sign of Chrysalis and after what felt like hours, she saw something take flight from the trees. So, she thought she could escape under the cover of the melee did she? Luna flew like lightning after Chrysalis, leaving her chariot and guards behind much to their dismay. As fast as Luna was, the Changeling Queen was able to keep some distance between them, not landing until she had lead Luna far from the battle and to a flat barren plain of dust and rock.
"Princess Luna, what an honor to have you come all the way out here just to see me. The last thousand years have not been kind to you," Chrysalis smirked, turning around to face Luna.
"Cease thine crooked words thou simpering hag! Afore We're through with thee, a thousand years willst seem as fleeting as the morn," Luna rumbled as the two of them circled each other on the ground.
"Ooh, do I detect bitterness? Did I cause you to miss your niece's wedding with my little diversion, is that why you're so upset? Or could it be that your own blood entombed you in the moon and left you there to fade into obscurity?" Chrysalis said maliciously, trying to gain the advantage by twisting Luna's emotions.
"Our sister acted as a noble sovereign is obliged to... Unlike thou, throwing away the lives of thine subjects to draw us out here alone, bringing war and ruin upon thine people, upon ours!Well, We will stop thee here and now," Luna said evenly, focusing on her mission and struggling not to rise to Chrysalis's bait.
"Hahaha… How precious. I cast down your "all-powerful" sister with a single spell and you think you stand a chance against me alone. To be honest, I can scarcely believe how well this has worked out for me. I'll dispose of you, then return to Canterlot with your identity to finish what I started," Chrysalis hissed.
"Thou dares to presume our good sister's clemency for WEAKNESS?" Luna screeched, unable to contain herself anymore. Her eyes flashed white as wrathful black clouds swirled above them. "PREPARE THYSELF, DOOMED QUEEN!"
Chrysalis yawned wide and exhaled a massive plume of dense green fog towards Luna which moved swiftly across the barren field leaving rocks partially melted and the ground soft in its wake. For a moment, it seemed like Luna had been over-come by the poisonous cloud, but a second later she came charging through, her hooves pounding the ground like hammers upon an anvil and her coat gleaming like steel. Chrysalis teleported out of the way just before Luna could reach her, reappearing as she passed. The spell made Luna's body as hard as iron, but it also made her too heavy to fly or turn sharply.
"I appreciate the struggle you're putting up, your majesty-" Chrysalis laughed, her mane coming alive like tentacles and wrapping around Luna's legs. "-it wouldn't be worth destroying you if you simply rolled over!" She whipped her mane back and forth before throwing Luna like a whip into a pile of large rocks.
"WE AGREE!" Luna's thundering voice rang from the crater created from her impact. Chrysalis felt her mane lose its hold on Luna; it was cut as if the very air around Luna had become like whirling swords. A blast of ice and chilled wind issued from Luna's horn like a great wave of pulverized diamond, coating the area with a two inch thick shell of frozen glass. The spell was stopped short by a towering wall of emerald flames, resulting in a dense haze that obscured both combatants' vision.
Chrysalis flew up above the heavy mist, trying to spot Luna from the air. Chrysalis was starting to second guess herself, the Moon Brat was proving herself to be far more powerful than originally appraised, she would have to stop this game now and finish Luna quickly as possible. No sooner had Chrysalis finished planning her next move than did flying chunks of rock and a column of electricity erupt directly beneath her. She reacted in time with a ray of blazing green light from her horn, reducing the rock into the finest of dust and plowing through the lightning all the way to the ground. With her eyes searching for Luna below she didn't notice that Luna had positioned herself above Chrysalis, using the fog and attack as a diversion.
Luna didn't waste the advantage she had gained, because she knew that Chrysalis's magic was a shade stronger than hers, even on its own. She aimed her horn down at her target with care and put everything she had left into a truly mighty bolt of lightning. Chrysalis's only warning was a faint crackling sound and a whiff of ozone before her world was nothing but blinding light, deafening noise and searing pain. The power of the spell drove Chrysalis into the earth like a falling star where she lay broken and stunned with her mane and tail smoldering profusely. Luna descended slowly and touched down a few feet away from Chrysalis, looking down at her vanquished enemy with an odd mixture of pity and rage.
"…With thine extraordinary might, thou could have ruled a respected and powerful kingdom, but ye squandered the opportunity attempting to take ours. Thine biggest mistake however, was threatening our subjects," Luna said coldly as Chrysalis could only gasp and moan. It was clear her injuries would soon be the end of her. "Nay… Thou shalt not perish here, thou willst forever remain a reminder to us that poor queenship results in naught but destruction and shame." Luna touched her horn to Chrysalis's head, their eyes locking as she turned Chrysalis's body to marble.
The dark storm clouds dispersed as the very last of Luna's magic was exhausted, revealing the dawn just as the sun peeked over the horizon.
"I hope thou cherished my sister's radiant day, for thou shalt not see the countless others that will pass before thee," Luna said fighting back bitter tears. It was easy to be angry about what Chrysalis had done, but she couldn't help reminding herself that this was very nearly her own fate. Maybe she could have changed… But that wasn't Luna's concern now; Equestria was safe from the twisted machinations of another monster and that for now, was all that truly mattered.
"Your majesty!" cried one of the guards who pulled her chariot as he and another sped toward her.
"Nox, Rain…" Luna said softly, not turning her eyes away from Chrysalis. "Thine arrival is timely like always, how does the battle fare?"
"It ended some time ago, princess," Nox said, taking a knee. "We saw your battle from the distance and arrived as fast our wings could carry us."
"The Changelings have been wiped out as you commanded. There have been some serious injuries but none of our men are in mortal peril," Rain added. "Are you alright, m'lady…?" He asked upon seeing the devastated landscape.
"Yea, I am unharmed, but I need rest," Luna replied, her eyes still fixed on Chrysalis's stony visage. "Bring me the chariot and two more strong fliers, my cargo is not light…"