My Little Pony: Plague Rises
The pale-lit moon was high; nighttime had befallen upon the sparkling and beautiful northern kingdom of the Crystal Empire. Royal guards were on patrol in the streets, watching out for any sign of disorder. Of all the soldiers suited in crystal armor, one was wearing a suit of armor made of gold and purple metal plates: a unicorn stallion with a messy mane of blue hues, his eyes were blue, even his hooves were blue, albeit a darker shade. He was not only captain of the Empire’s royal guard, but the co-ruler as well. He was seen under the mighty arches that held the tall crystal castle (that he also lives in) where three alicorn princesses reside to discuss important matters. But at the moment, the white unicorn’s face looked slightly dazed. In fact, he didn’t take notice of a Pegasus guard approaching him.
“Captain Shining Armor,” The winged guard began, bowing before the prince. Before he could resume, he noticed his leader in his distracted state. He looks around him and taps the prince on the upper arm, “Sir?”
Shining Armor shakes his head out of his trance, “What…?” He pays his attention to the Pegasus guard.
“Are you feeling alright?” Asked the concerned guard.
Shining couldn’t tell what he was thinking (a personal matter), so he makes up, “Uh…just a little…migraine from practicing my protection spell.”
The Pegasus nods, “I see. Now, I come to inform you that the eastern side is clear so far.”
The white unicorn affirms with a nod, “Very good. Keep at it.”
“Yes, sir.” The Pegasus retorts and returns to his post.
Seeing the soldier hard at his duty brought a proud smile to Shining Armor, but it had faded at moment later. He sighs in annoyance at himself.
‘For pony’s sake… That’s the 10th time already that I’ve been caught dozing off! And by my own troops, too… Always thinking about that letter…’
Yes, a stallion like Shining Armor knew better than to let his mind wander off during his station hours as a captain of the royal guard; let alone a prince. However, his thoughts were on a matter that he couldn’t help but feel so concerned. A couple months before, his wife, Princess Cadence, had received a letter from his sister: a letter that talked about an idea that he’d never expect from her. Strangely, Shining Armor had remembered every word of that particular letter like the back of his head.
I just found myself in a problem that I never
came across before. For the past few weeks,
and by Princess Celestia’s request, I’ve been
tutoring a colt from the princess’s school. He’s
at the same age as I, 16, and during my time
to assist him, I became good friends with this
student. But just recently, I began to feel very
differently when I’m with him. My feel like I
have knots in my stomach, and a face gets warm.
I really don’t know how to deal with these
new feelings. I figured you could give me advice.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Before he could think any further, Shining Armor had scowled; he spotted a pair of guards whispering to each other, something he wouldn’t expect from such trained soldiers. He marches up to the slacking soldiers and commands, “Attention!”
Hearing the prince got the guards to stand about-faced.
Shining Armor continues, “I should point that you two can chat about on your own time, but during your posts you stand on patrol. Are we clear?”
The guards saluted their captain, “Yes, sir!”
Shining nods and marches away. As the prince leaves, the caught guards sneered and gave low growls at him behind his back.
“Rrrgh… two-bit pretty-boy…” Snarled one of the guards.
“The sooner the princesses are taken care of, the better…” Whispers the other sharply.
Within the chambers of the castle, all was content after a day of listening to discussions. A lovely pink alicorn mare with purple-tipped wings was walking through the quiet crystal-floored corridors, levitating a tray with a set of tea. She was Princess Mi Amore Cadenza (but prefers Cadence), who rules the Crystal Empire. She was smiling prettily as she knew today’s work was finished and she could relax with his aunts, and soon, her husband: Shining Armor. She walks past a guard standing at his post; he was a white unicorn with blue eyes with a mane in a bright shade of green. Little did the princess had known that as soon as she walked on passed the guard, he had moved his eyes onto her, glowering at her, and suddenly flashed green for a moment and then back to blue.
Cadence enters the next room, which was her bed chamber, and looks around for her aunts.
“Aunt Celestia? Luna? Are you here?” She calls.
Believing her relatives were present in the room, Cadence sets down her tea and scouts about. After a minute, she decides to look down and to her surprises she spots a tiny green puddle of slime.
“Wha…” She sounded, feeling confused. She sees several other small puddles and continue on into another room. Cadence raises an eyebrow, thinking of what she saw had meant, and follows the puddles into the next. In there, she sees two large shadows at the ground. The curious alicorn tilts her head up to the ceiling…
As he was on patrol, Shining Armor’s ears had rung from the urgent sound of a shriek. His face became that of total alarm and fear (from knowing who caused the cry). He looks up to the castle and could only think of one pony.
“Cadence…” he gasps.
The unicorn captain gallops off to the nearest door into the castle, bent on aiding his wife at post haste.
Shining Armor wasn’t the only pony to hear Cadence’s cry; the green-haired guard charged into the room and sees the distressed princess with her own hoof covering her mouth.
“Your highness! Is something wrong?” The guard asks. But he looks up and sees what had caused Princess Cadence so much alarm.
“We must do something!” Cadence commanded.
The guard assures his superior, “Worry not, your highness. I have the solution!”
Cadence turns to the unicorn guard, thinking that hope was near, “You do?”
The guard takes a step back, “I do…” He controls his strength to unleash a red aura from his horn and points it up to the ceiling. Believing how oblivious the princess was, the guard grows a wicked grin and quickly turns his aim to Cadence and fires!
Shining Armor was raced through the corridors to get to his lover’s side. And hearing Cadence let out another shriek, even worse than the last, made the prince feel all the more worried. He galloped faster. There was one place the unicorn stallion would first check: the bedroom he shares with his wife.
“Cadence!” Shining calls out, hoping to hear his wife answer. He hurries into the other room and eyes the ground in horror; he had found his wife on the floor, immobile. The stallion shakes his head and springs to his wife’s side. He takes off his helmet, kneels and takes Cadence into his bark blue hooves. He puts his ear to her chest only to feel her heart miraculously beating. Shining Armor heaves out a shaky, but heavy sigh, knowing that his beloved was still alive, but his relief halted to notice that the point of Cadence’s horn was stained in dark green. The prince couldn’t understand what was happening. Just when he chose to look up, Shining’s blue eyes widened from shock.
“What in the world?!” He gasps.
The prince had saw Princess Celestia (ruler of Equestria and bringer of the sun) and her younger sister and raiser of the moon, Princess Luna, trapped in slimy green cocoons, not budging and inch! Shining Armor’s ears soon heard a light sip and turns around to see a familiar soldier.
“Your wife makes a fine pot of tea, sire.” Says the green-haired guard.
“You?” The surprised prince utters, but he then looks at him with firm eyes, “What are you doing?” While he still held his wife, Shining points out to the other victims, “Don’t you see anything?!”
The guard, with uncaring eyes, looks up at the trapped princesses of the sun and moon, down to unconscious Cadence, and back to his captain, who was impatient for an answer.
At last, the guard grins grimly, “Eh… I see what the problem is…”
Seeing a window nearby, the guard approaches it and brings his head out. Down below, he sees royal guards assembling at once, answering the cries of the Crystal Princess. His grin grows nastier and nods at the sight of the gathering soldiers.
A quick breath was inhaled and the guard roars, “THE PRINCESSES ARE SUBDUED! TAKE THE EMPIRE, MY FOLLOWERS!!”
“What?!” Shining cried. He races to the window and to his surprise, nearly every guard assembled was covered in wicked green aura, and their gnarly, pitch-black, bug-winged bodies were revealed: changelings, creatures that have attempted to ruin his wedding to Cadence. Shining Armor was more surprised to see a good bunch of the shape-shifting creatures bearing arms from sword to spears. In moments, a skirmish of the changelings and true guards unfolded while others started to spread across the empire. The treacherous sight brought a scowl to Shining Armor’s face and he turned back to guard.
“What’s going on here?” the captain demanded.
“What’s going on here, captain, is that the changelings are one step closer to being the dominant creature of Equestria, reducing your kind into cold shackles…”
Shining Armor stood firm, “That will never come to be! And how can you betray your kingdom and align with the changelings?”
The guard’s eyes widen, “I? Betray the Crystal Empire?” He lets out a low chuckle, “Oh… silly stallion…” Suddenly, his blue eyes changed and glowed wicked green, and he continues, “I’m not an accomplice of the changelings…”
Red aura appeared atop of his horn and soon flowed around the guard and engulfed him whole, while the evil light shrouded the nice blue crystal walls into a vile red hue. Shining Armor, witnessing the event with his own eyes, could tell that this imposter was a changeling also. As soon as the red aura fades away, the prince soon sees a four-legged creature, nearly as tall as he, his horn so jagged, his wings in the shade of pinkeye, his mane was slick back and was red as blood, his tail was like blades of a deathly scythe, and his eyes were of the same wicked green and grew more hateful. He grins, flashing his white fangs, “…I’m the prince!”
Shining Armor refused to stand aside and let the empire be taken by those who attempted to ruin his wedding, so he stood his ground.
“You trapped Celestia and Luna and brought harm to my wife, but I still stand and will defend my family and kingdom from you!”
At once, his horn glows a magenta aura and casts a beam at the enemy ringleader, who only grins and casts a dark red torrent from his own horn to push away Shining magic. With all their strength, the unicorn and changeling strived to defeat the other. The black creature grits his fangs and concentrates his dark powers; the last thing Shining Armor could see was a blast of red light striking him hard, sending him flying across the room and striking the wall. He wasn’t weak, so he gathers what remains of his strength and rises to his hooves
The changeling prince sighs and shakes his head at Shining Armor’s refusal to admit defeat.
“Witless stallion… Don’t try and fight back. The princesses, including your wife, are neutralized of their magic, your troops are imprisoned, and my changelings now roam the empire.”
Shining Armor looks out the window once more, seeing the ravaging of the empire continue; from citizens being cornered to his soldiers stuck in slime. He didn’t want to admit so, but he couldn’t defend his kingdom on his own, especially when everypony was taken prisoner, except himself and his wife. Another moment has passed, and he springs down to his wife. As soon as he takes Cadence’s hoof, Shining Armor focuses his magic while his horn glows a magenta hue, and a bright flash sparks out, blinding the enemy. And when the light faded, the prince looks out in shock, seeing nopony before him. “What…?!” The disappearance of his prisoners disturbed the changeling tyrant. He scowls, grits his fangs, and desired to roar out his frustration, but he only smiles.
“Of course;” He sighs calmly, “I never bestowed my magic-neutralizing spell on him and he used his teleportation spell to escape.” In one swift move, the prince violently bucked the table that held the tea.
“BLAST IT ALL TO TARTARUS!” He roars out. He wished to unleash more of his rage, but he soon calms down. He inhales through his teeth, and exhales just as bitterly.
By the unwanted sound of a nearby crash, the prince sighs in slight annoyance.
“Brilliant…” He says.
“Prince Plague!” called a changeling squeals as he gallops into the room, “Prince Plague!” With his piercing green eyes, the crimson-haired changeling eyes at one of his underlings: he was much shorter than an average changeling, his horn was tiny, and his eyes, jagged mane, and wings were in an unruly shade of dark yellow. He turns his direction to the prince and views the fallen and captured nobles. He smiles widely at what had happened and gallops to his master, cheering, “Your majest-” but he suddenly trips over and slides across the floor, coming to a halt at his leader’s hooves. He chuckles nervously while he looks up to the prince, hoping he won’t do anything rash to him.
Prince Plague eyes his underling very scornfully, “Well? Say something!” He demands to his low accomplice.
The minion hurries to his hooves and salutes, “The Crystal Empire is ours, your majesty! Every crystal pony’s in chains and the guards in slime.”
The prince’s ear picked something that he had anticipated: the cries and scream of ponies in nightmarish terror. The prince’s grin widened from hearing the music of fear, “Good…good…” he walks over to the window and witnesses the empire’s citizens screaming and cowering in despair from the attacking changelings.
“That, Gnat…” Plagues tells to his lackey, “…is the sight and sound of delightful desolation.”
“Yeah!” Gnat cheers, “Say it like it is, sire! No way, no how anypony will take you down!”
“You’d be right, Gnat…” Plagues retorts, but soon growls, “…but Captain Armor escaped with his wife; right before I could counter his magic!” Plague wasn’t going to let the escapees flee so easily. So he summons a squad and gives them direct orders to retrieve Shining Armor and Cadence.
Just as soon as he gave his orders, Plague goes to the balcony where he could looked down at the kingdom.
“Are you going somewhere, sire?” Gnat asked curiously.
Plague eyes his accomplice without turning his head, “I am. It will be probable for Shining Armor and Cadence to seek help before they’re captured, and I just know who they’ll summon. So I must take, from them, they treasures that shield equestrian from such powers as my own: the Elements of Harmony.” He suddenly licks his lips, smiling at what can do than just thievery.
“While I’m at it, I will have the one pony, who exposed the Queen, to be at my side…”
Plague spreads out his gnarly red wings and springs into the sky, bent on committing his evil deeds and tolerate nopony to stand in his way.
Unknown to the changeling prince, who soared above, he was being watched from below. Out ,from the shadow of a column of crystal, came Shining Armor, looking up to see the princes flying off with disgruntled eyes. He looks back and the hard look in his blue softens as he sees Cadence resting on her back. At that moment, the prince felt ashamed for coming to his wife’s side too late and abandoning the Crystal Empire with all his dear subjects under the dark hooves of the changelings, but he had to for a good reason.
Shining Armor sighs. ‘I’m so sorry, Cadence. But with everypony captured, we had to escape so we can contact Twilight and her friends. I promise: we’ll get the Empire back before the rest of Equestria is taken.’
Knowing he had a far way to go to reach the nearest establishment, the prince was willing to travel any distance by hoof with his harmed wife mounted on his back. Shining Armor sets off into the night; head high, to begin the first step to saving Equestria from the evil threat of the changelings.