Queen Bee

by LightOfTriumph

Chapter 1: Queen Bee

Queen Bee

This was a terrible idea. It was honestly astounding how ill-advised this particular idea was, but it was the idea that Twilight was going with. She was prepared to face and recognize the consequences of this went awry. Which it most definitely would...

She was going to give Discord full control over a small colony island, off the coast of Equestria.

Saying that out loud made her brain nearly concave in on itself, but it has all been arranged. Princess Celestia had agreed, and Fluttershy had couched for Discord, so this was going to happen no matter what. The pretense behind this decision was to teach Discord a lesson in responsibility. When Twilight told him this, Discord seemed delighted. Which terrified her.

"Oh, Twilight, thank you!" Discord said gleefully. "I promise I won't let you down. I think I'll call my new town... 'Party City'..."

"Discord," Twilight said, pushing her hoof against her forehead. "That isn't the point. This isn't a gift I'm giving you. I'm putting ponies lives in your hands. I'm doing this to see if you've learned how to be responsible since you've reformed. This is to make sure if we can trust you to take charge of Equestria's magic if the Alicorns are indisposed. Don't treat this like a vacation."

Twilight looked up to see Discord was clad in a floral button shirt and sunglasses with palm trees in the frames. "Oh, I promise, Twilight!" Discord said, adjusting the inflatable duck around his middle. "I'll take this as seriously as I take every thing else!"

Twilight buried her face in her hooves. "This is going to be a disaster."

"Now what in Equestria would make you think such a thing?" Discord said, sipping on a tropical drink.

"Three things," Twilight said miserably. "One, the last time you were in charge of something, you were an evil tyrant."

"See! I have on-the-job experience!" Discord smiled. "How many other politicians will be able to say they've done what I did?"

"Two," Twilight continued. "You seem to treat everything in life as a joke."

" I don't know where you got that impression, " Discord said, now dressed as a clown.

"Three," Twilight finished. "You've spent an entire conversation that was supposed to be about you learning responsibility messing with me.

"Now that's not true, Twilight!" Discord said, indignantly. "If I wanted to mess with you I would have turned the palace to cheese, switched bodies with you, and only then dressed as a clown! Give me more credit than that!"

Twilight moved deeper into the palace to see if she could find some aspirin.

Discord laughed. "If you're so convinced I'm going to fail at this endeavor, why bother giving me the chance at all?" he asked frankly. "I'm sure there were other Ponies who wanted to be put in charge of Honey Island."

"Because I'm convinced that once you fail once you won't make the same mistakes again," Twilight said calmly. "You are able, and honestly willing to learn. We'll start there."

"I... See," Discord said with an odd tone. "And do the settlers on Honey Island know about this?"

"They do, and they have agreed," Twilight said. "So don't disappoint them. We're going to be watching you. If this gets too chaotic--"

"You used that word on purpose," Discord grumbled.

"Then we're going to step in," Twilight finished. "I mean it, Discord. You're going to have to learn about the responsibility that comes with having power."

"Am I?" Discord said, giving a little smile. "Well then. I suppose I should start packing... When do I leave?"

"One week," Twilight smiled. "And listen... I know I've been really stern with this talk, and I know I've been negative this whole time... But I really want you to succeed. Good luck."

Discord gave Twilight a kind grin. "Thank you," Discord said sincerely. "I'm very happy you're willing to give me a chance, even if you know how that chance will turn out."

" We don't know, " Twilight smiled back. "There's a fairly decent chance, but we don't know."

Discord and Twilight shared a laugh, and hugged each other. "Well," Discord said. "I'll try to control myself. In the meantime, however, If like to give you a little gift. Something that I feel has been sorely lacking in this castle."

Discord snapped his fingers, and Twilight heard the telltale whoosh of his magic going off.

"What did you just do?" Twilight asked, horrified.

"Well, I must be going!" Discord smiled, pulling a comically large picketers from nowhere and checking it. " I'm going to go pack. Remember, their more scared of you, than you are of them! "

"What?" Twilight demanded. "What are you talking about? What did you do? What's loose in my castle?"

"Ciao!" With a snap of his fingers, Discord was gone.

Twilight spent the next three hours cautiously looking around every corner of the castle. Waiting on terror for whatever Discord had left for her. Twilight wasn't the hugest fan of surprises at the best of times. This could have stemmed from the fact that the majority of surprises she received were hideous monsters, and the rest of them were Pinkie Pie parties. Both of were were definitely exhausting, both of which were likely to cause grievous bodily harm. The one exception in this case was when her brother told her he was getting married to her foalsitter only a few days before the wedding. A wedding which ended in hideous monsters. Twilight felt she had every right to be cautious. Especially coming from the friend who had set up the surprise.

And Discord was her friend. He was. But they hadn't started out exactly close. He arrived as another monster, and then was reformed. Even then, he fell to darkness again. Discord was a creature prone to insanity. He was the spirit of Chaos on Equis. So nothing he did made any sense... At least, not at first. Twilight had suspected there was a method to his madness. She had, however, been unable to pin that method down. So anything could be waiting for her. She didn't know what Discord had added.

Until, when turning a corner into a previously empty hallway, she'd found it.

The object was at least twice the size of the average pony. A huge rectangular structure colored yellow, orange, and gold. It was giving off light from it's front, and emitting a dull hum from the inside.

"Is this..." Twilight said, slowly recognizing the object. "A vending machine?"

Closer examination confirmed it. Down the right side of the box was a row of buttons leading up to a coin slot. Each of the buttons on it had a number that counted up from ten leading up to one hundred. And all this ended up costing was one bit.

Twilight tilted her head. "Why would Discord give me a vending machine?" she said carefully, trying to reason it out. "What on earth is he up to?"

The coin slot stared at her. It's gaze unbreaking. Do it, it seemed to be saying. You know you want to. You know that if you don't do it someone else is going to. You know whatever hideous prank this thing is going to pull will be too much for Spike. And let's face it, you're curious. You want to know what happens, just like everyone else. So come on, slip in a bit and-I

"All right!" Twilight said out loud. She took out a bit and held it over the coin slot. She didn't put it in right away. That last little shred of common sense was still telling her it was a terrible idea was becoming desperate. Another part of her brain was debating which button to push. Was ten the safe option, or one hundred? What scale was being used? What was being scaled in the first place?

After a few minutes of careful consideration, she said the bit in and pressed the button labelled "50." That way, she could be sure that she was getting the exact middle of whatever was going to happen.

She waited, and heard a faint buzzing coming from the output slot of the vending machine. One by one, fuzzy little honeybees came buzzing out of it. They each stopped, hovering in midair, not a foot away from Twilight's face. One after another they poured out and formed a triangle formation in front of the vending machine.

At first, Twilight didn't think. She couldn't think. She was obviously dreaming. There was simply no way that a vending machine has just dispensed fifty bees that were currently staring a hole through her forehead. That wasn't happening. It took her a few minutes to accept the reality of the situation. Once she did, she tilted her head to the left.

The bees followed. Each one of them tilting their heads along with Twilight.

Twilight tilted her head to the right, and once again, the bees mimicked her movement.

They're watching me, Twilight thought. They're Just sitting there watching me... This is more than a little creepy. I should move away. Twilight found herself unable to even begin to get her hooves moving. Huh... Can't move. I wonder why that is... She thought about it for a moment, and came to a conclusion. Oh right! I'm terrified! That's what's going on! I'm scared out of my mind. That's good. It's good that I know this.

The bees stared directly at her, their gaze unwavering. The buzzing sound permeating the entire hallway.

I'm scared because I'm in a hallway with fifty bees in it, Twilight thought, her mind catching up with reality. There are bees in the hallway. And I think that there may be even more bees inside the vending machine. I am having this problem because there is a vending machine in my house that dispenses bees. Twilight repeated that sentence in her mind a couple of dozen times. Of all of the problems I expected to have in my life, this one wasn't even close to the list.

The bees seemed to move in closer. Now eagerly awaiting for Twilight to something.

Maybe if I stand perfectly still, they'll think I'm a flower... Twilight took a moment to rethink that. Then they'd try to pollinate me, wouldn't they? That would mean all of the bees landing on me... Nope. Standing still isn't an option... Let's try to think of other options... Twilight tried. Not a thing. That was a waste of time...

The bees moved in closer together. Close enough to Twilight so she could discern the expression on one of their faces. For some reason, this bee was frustrated. Then kind of frustrated you get when you are waiting behind a confused old woman at the supermarket. whatever they were doing, they were mad at Twilight for wasting their time.

They just keep staring at me, Twilight thought, now beginning to shake. Are they waiting for one of us to blink? Bees don't even have eyelids. Look, bees, I don't know what you want, but trust me, I don't have it...

The bees continued to stare a hole through her, not taking their eyes off of Twilight for even a single moment.

"Do I have something in my teeth?!" Twilight demanded. "Is my face dirty?! Do I smell?!

The bees all shook their heads in perfect unison. It was slowly sinking into Twilight's head that she was now talking to bees. And that little shake of the head proved that they could understand her. This was an odd day.

"Then what in Equestria do you want from me?" Twilight was close to screaming now. "You staring at me for this long is creeping me out! It's like something out of a bad B Horror movie! If you're going to sting me, just get it over with!"

The frustrated bee suddenly became very happy, and turned to face th other bees. Soon all of the bees were huddled around each other, buzzing frantically. One raised one of its forelegs and buzzed out something, but was smacked upside the head by its comrade. Soon, every single be turned back to Twilight's direction, and pointed their stingers directly at her.

Twlight's eyes slowly widened. "Uh oh,"

Twilight managed to duck out of the way of the first volley, as the bees dove toward her. Before they could make another pass, Twilight took off screaming down the hallway.

The bees were following close behind, tracking her every movement with military accuracy. Twilight was only able to keep one jump ahead of them, and she was running at top speed. The buzzing from behind her was giving her enough adrenaline to keep running for as long as she needed to.

Twilight would often pride herself in never stating the clearly obvious, but she felt that the occasion called for it in this instance.

"BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!!!!" she shrieked. Hoping that everyone in Equestria would hear this vital information.

She made her way to a dead end hallway, where she almost panicked. Luckily, she remembered her magic at just the right time and teleported behind the bees, taking off in the opposite direction. This was enough to put some distance between her and the bees, which meant now was her only opportunity to hide.

Once she had managed to run far enough to turn a corner ahead of the bees, and took the time to look for a room she could hide in. She found a storage closet and ducked in to catch her breath. She was relieved when she heard the buzzing move past her down the hallway.

She was going to kill Discord. This was one sick idea for a joke. Was he trying to make some kind of point? Did he genuinely think that this was some sort of gift? In any case, what she needed to do now was get out of her castle. That way, she could run and get some help. She prepared to make her move out of the storage closet.

She quickly froze solid when she caught sight of the lone little bee that buzzed into the room.

The bee landed on a desk and wanted out a few short breaths. Twilight surmised that this one was the runt of the group, always struggling to catch up. It had stopped off in here for a little rest. Twilight thought it might have been kind of cute, if it wasn't a member of a swarm of stinging insects that wanted to turn her into a pin cushion.

The bee wiped off its forehead, and took out a small water bottle, filled with what Twilight could only assume to be honey, and took a swig. It shook itself off, and prepared to head back out. Twilight had been holding her breath for all of this time.

And then she felt her nose itch.

Oh, come on! Not now! she thought. This has got to be the most cliched way to get caught. I couldn't kick over a lot of something?

She tried desperately to hold it in, but to no avail. She sneezed loudly and alerted the Bee to her presence. The bee turned to her, clapped happily, and ran out to the hallway buzzing out a message. Soon the other 49 bees were converging on Twilight's position. They all buzzed cheerfully when they heard the news from the little bee. Soon they all faced Twilight and whirled their stingers around at her again.

Twilight teleported out of the room, and took off down the hallway once again. This time, however, she had a goal in mind. She couldn't get to the front door, the bees were leading her away from there, but she could get to the living quarters, and if she could get to the living quarters, there was someone that would help.

She'd have to pay him back for it later, but Spike could help. If she could get there without being stung to death.

She turned a corner, but the bees were getting smart. She ran into twenty -five of the fifty bees. The other twenty five were behind her. The bees had figured out how to flank Twilight. They charged at her from either direction, each ready to sting. Twilight, luckily, managed to teleport to the other side of the second group of bees.

As she was running down the hallway she noticed something. Namely that there were too many rooms in her castle. She only used three, but five or six had to be over several dozen, most of them meaningless, all of them practically unused. Normally this wouldn't be a problem. but as she whizzed past guest room, after guest room, after guest room, despertely trying to remember which room was her own before the bees closed in on her, she realize that her house being that large was doing her more harm than good.

Eventually, she found her own room. Twilight decided to cut out the middleman and teleport right to the door. The angry buzzing of the bees growing louder behind her as she fiddled with the handle. Soon she gave up and knocked on the door, figuring it was locked.

"Spike!" she called desperately. "You've got to let me in! Please tell me that you're in there..."

"What?! Huh?!" Spike said groggily. Twilight had woken him up. This was a bad sign. "Twilight? Just come in, the door is open."

Twilight frantically pulled at the doorknobs. "No it isn't!" she screamed. Spike must have forgotten that he had locked the door. This was it. She looked behind her and saw the bees closing in. Her pupils dilated. "Spike for the love of Celestia, open the door!"

"Alright, fine," Spike said carefully. "But before I do, i think it's only fair to remind you that the door opens into the room, not out into the hallway, right?"

Twilight blinked a few times, and then calmly opened the door. She slipped in to the hallway and shut the door behind her, turning to Spike, trying to catch her breath.

The teenage dragon was laying on his bed, eyes half open. He looked at Twilight with the exasperated look of someone who had been through this kind of thing before. "Dare I ask what's going on?" Spike asked incredulously.

"I don't know," Twilight said, honestly having trouble remembering how she got into the position she was currently in. "It involves bees."

"Okay," Spike said straightening up. "Take it from the top. Do we have a beehive in the Castle?"

"No," Twilight said, her brain finally catching up with her from out in the hall. "It's more complicated than that... You see Discord--"

"Oh, here we go," Spike said, rolling his eyes.

Twilight went on to explain the entire situation. About her and princess Celestia talking about Honey Island, and Celestia suggesting Discord should be given a chance to oversee it. The meeting with Discord, and him mentioning an unseen gift. Her coming across the vending machine and putting the coin in, which lead to fifty bees chasing her down the hallway into her bedroom. After laying this all out, Twilight thought that this might be the most insane day she had ever had.

"So let me see if I've got this right," Spike said calmly. "In order to thank you for giving him charge of an island, Discord repaid you with a vending machine filled with bees?"

"That's basically the gist of it, yeah," Twilight answered, not quite believing it herself.

Spike looked at her for at least a solid minute before looking at the ground and snorting. "Okay," Spike said through muffled laughter. "That's actually pretty funny."

"No it isn't!" Twilight insisted. "Nothing Discord does is funny! It's just abstract randomness. You can't just do crazy things and expect people to laugh! I never understand why people just find bizarre, random things so funny!"

"Because randomness is the nature of comedy," Spike smiled wisely. "All comedy is is a subversion of standard expectations. What makes something funny is that it's very subtly off from what's standard. That's not just philosophical, either, it's scientific. When presented with a situation, especially a situation that it's familiar with, like staring at a vending machine, it sets up neural pathways that lead to all of the expected conclusions. Once you introduce a conclusion that falls outside of those conclusions, it has to make up a whole new pathway for what reality is. The energy spent making those expected pathways is then rapidly regained all at once, and needs to be expelled. Now, in cases of shock or surprise it's often expelled as a scream or yelp. However, in most cases you aren't in any danger. So that excess energy is expelled as laughter. Randomness isn't just funny, randomness is the scientific basis of all comedy. The subversion of general expectations. Somepony doing something that's entirely out of character for them, thus causing the standard neural pathways to be rendered useless. Randomness is comedy. There's no escaping it.

Twilight stared slack jawed at her friend.

"Plus, aren't you friends with Pinkie Pie?" Spike asked. "If you don't find randomness funny, that is going to lead to some problems between you two, isn't it?"

"Oh spike," Twilight said, tearing up. "You've been reading the books I've been getting you on your birthday..."

"Of course I have!" Spike smiled. "Well, I try. Normally i don't get too invested in them, and I don't finish. I will say that I liked the one about neuroscience. I don't know whether or not it applies to dragons, but--"

Twilight held Spike tightly to her chest, now with tears of pride and joy streaming down her face. She had raised the little dragon right.

"Twilight?" Spike said cautiously. "I love you, too, and everything, but hallway full of bees?"

Twilight shook her head as the brief moment of sweetness came crashing down into cruel, cruel reality.. "Right, bees," she said, beginning to pace around the room. "We need to get out of here so we can contact someone, though I have no idea who can possibly help us with this..."

"Seriously?" Spike said dryly. "We're having an animal control problem, and you can't think of anyone who can help us out?"

Twilight must have been tired, because it took her a full two seconds to understand what Spike was driving at. "Fluttershy!" she gasped. "Of course! She already has experience with dealing with bees. Remember the incident with the Breezies? Maybe she could talk to them and ask them what they want."

"What they want?" Spike asked, confused. "They're bees, I think what they want is fairly obvious. Protect the hive, right?"

"I don't think so," Twilight said, putting her hoof to her chin. "They seem more intelligent than that. I know this is going to sound absolutely crazy, but I think for a while they were talking to me. At the very least, they were understanding what I was saying."

"So a vending machine filled with hostile, super intelligent, bees?" Spike said. He waited a minute and then snorted again.

Twilight shot him a look, and then began to pace around the room. "We need to find a way out of here so we can contact Fluttershy," she said sternly. "Any ideas?"

"Only the obvious," Spike said. "You wait here, I'll go get her."

"Spike, I can't let you do that," Twilight said, every motherly instinct she had kicking in all at once. "I don't want you to get stung..."

"I'm a Dragon, Twilight," Spike shrugged. "When I grow up, I'll be able to take a spear to the chest without flinching. I've literally been used as a pin cushion by Rarity on a couple of occasions. I won't feel a thing."

Twilight couldn't argue with that. It seemed logical, but she still didn't like it. "Please be careful," Twilight said as spike was heading to the door. "If they start to hurt you, come right back. No exceptions."

"I'll be fine," Spike said dismissively. "Wait here for me, and don't open the door until I've brought Fluttershy, alright?"

"Alright," Twilight said. "Be careful..."

"I'll be fine," Spike said calmly, though obviously exasperated. "I'll be back in a few minutes." Spike opened the door, zipped outside, and quickly shut the door behind him.

Oh please, Twilight hoped. "Please don't let him get stung."

It didn't take long for Spike to return with Fluttershy, who was, for some reason, dressed as a bee. Twilight blinked a few times at the costume, and then turned back to Spike. "Are you alright?"

"Yeah," said Spike, looking behind him at the door. "Yeah, we're fine..."

It was then that Twilight noticed the looks on their faces. It could have been confused for worry, but there was very little tension behind the look. The only thing this look could be described as was confusion. They both looked as if the rules that reality had set forward for the two of them had radically been rewritten right in front of their eyes.

"What's wrong?" Twilight asked. "Did you two get stung? Are you going to be alright? Did the bees..?"

"No, Twilight," Fluttershy spoke up for the first time. "The bees aren't behaving aggressively toward us..."

"Huh?" Twilight asked, now as confused as they seemed to be. She turned to Spike for some confirmation that Fluttershy had lost her tiny adorable mind.

"They parted to let me pass when I left the room," Spike confirmed. "And then they did the same thing for me when I got back. It was super weird."

"How is that even possible?" Twilight asked. "Aren't bees incredibly territorial?"

"Normally, they are," Fluttershy responded. "I'm sorry, but I don't know why they're acting like this... I also don't know why they're so sad."

"Sad?" Twilight asked.

"You can't tell?" Fluttershy asked. "The poor little things' hearts are breaking! I've never seen bees so depressed..."

Twilight and Spike looked at each other. "Fluttershy, I need you to find out what I did to upset them," Twilight said. "Tell them that I apologize, but I would really like not to get stung. If I've done anything to offend them, I'm sure we can work something out..."

Fluttershy nodded, and walked outside, shutting the door What followed was a long string of Fluttershy talking, interrupted by frantic buzzing. "Alright, buzzy, fuzzy little ones. Just tell me what the problem is, and Fluttershy will make it all better.... Well, I'm sure she's very proud of you. You're all very good bees... Come again?... Well what makes you think that?... Oh... Oh, I think I understand now... Well where are you getting the idea that she...? Really...? No, I don't think you've made a very good first impression... No, no, no, there's no need for that!... Certainly not!... I'm sure she wouldn't want you to... No... No honor has been lost... I swear... All of this is just a big misunderstanding... Well, I'm sure if you came in talked to her... No, she is a very nice pony, once we've explained everything she won't be mad anymore... Alright... Alright, I'll talk to her.... Just wait here..."

Fluttershy walked back into the room, and shut the door behind her.

"Well?" Twilight asked. "What's going on? What do they want?"

"They're very nervous," Fluttershy explained. "It seems like they're very scared about disappointing their queen. "

"So do we need to talk to her?" Twilight asked. "Ask her why she wants me stung so badly?'

"No, Twilight, you don't understand," Fluttershy explained. "According to them, you're the queen."

"I'm... I... What?!" was the most intelligent thing Twilight could say. "Fluttershy, that's impossible."

"It's what they say," Fluttershy reiterated. "They think you're very upset with them because they haven't been following you commands efficiently enough."

"I didn't command them to sting me!" Twilight said indignantly.

"They admit the orders weren't exactly clear," Fluttershy continued. "You were apparently in quite an emotional state when you were giving them. You seemed to be very unsure of your new position. They didn't want to put any excess pressure on you, so they let you work it out for yourself."

"If you're going to sting me, will you just get it over with, " Twilight remembered saying as she pushed one of her hooves into her forehead. "Okay, it should be made clear that I didn't understand the situation, and that I am most definitely not their queen. I'm not even a bee at all."

"It's not that simple, Twilight," Fluttershy said nervously. "Bees are a attracted to pheromones. That's who they decide who their going to follow, and which bee is the queen. For some reason, they chose you."

Twilight slowly began to realize the trick that was being played on her. "When I think of all the hideous things I'm going to do to Discord--"

"Don't!" Fluttershy warned. "Not unless you want the bees to carry out that order."

"What are you talking about?" Twilight asked.

"The bees respond to your mental commands," Fluttershy explained. "They have to, it's the only way that their behavior makes any sense."

Spike snorted. "Bee-havior."

"Spike," Twilight scolded. "Fluttershy,how could you possibly have figured that out? I actively told them to sting me."

"But you didn't actively tell them not to sting you," Fluttershy said. "Or not to sting Spike, or to read. You thought those things."

"I didn't think about the bees reading!" Twilight said. "Why would I think that?"

"Twilight, you always think more people should be reading," Spike said earnestly. "My guess is that came up when I went on my lecture about comedy."

Twilight paused. It made sense... All the pieces seemed to line up. Then Twilight went over the conversation again, and realized something. "Wait a minute, Fluttershy," she looked up at her friend. "Are they not trying to sting me anymore?"

"No, they aren't," Fluttershy said. "But that's only confused them, that was the one thing you directly told them to do, as opposed not to do. They think that you're very angry with them, and many of them were considering self exile for failing you."

Twilight was beginning to feel a little guilty. "Well, I don't want them to do that," Twilight said sheepishly. "I mean, its hardly their fault. I just didn't understand what was happening." Twilight paused. She had gotten to the point where she was trying to keep a large swarm of bees in her house. This had been a very strange day.

"Well, I think the best thing that you can do is talk this whole thing out," Fluttershy nodded with the confidence she only had when she was talking about animals. "I'm going to bring them in, now, and the two of you can sort all of your issues. Would you like me to leave the room?"

"I'd honestly prefer you to stay," Twilight said nervously. "Just in case you're wrong about this whole thing. You probably aren't, but I don't want to take any chance."

Fluttershy nodded, then turned around and opened the door. One by one, incredibly guilty looking little bees buzzed sadly into the room. They lined up horizontally, single file, in front of Twilight, as if preparing for inspection, then looked down at the ground. Twilight was convinced she could hear one of them give a sharp little sniff.

Twilight frowned, but she had learned that the best way to handle these kinds of things was to be honest. "I'm very flattered that you think so highly of me," she started cautiously. "And I'm sure you're very nice little bees. But you have to understand, I'm not your queen. I mean, I'm not even a bee!"

The bee in the middle looked very confused by this, and then buzzed close to Twilight. The little bee pulled on Twilights wings, then landed on her horn. It rejoined the line of bees, and buzzed out a question. "She says that you have wings and a stinger, just like them," Fluttershy translated. "What makes you think you aren't a bee?"

"Well look at me," Twilight said, hoping in vain that logic could pull her out of this. "Don't I look different? I'm big, and purple. My stinger is on my forehead, and I only have four legs. Do I really look anything like you?"

The little bee gave a frank little buzz, which Fluttershy quickly translated. "Of course you don't, you're the queen."

"No," Twilight started, she then smacked her hoof to her face and slid it down. "Look, I'm sorry. I'm just not the queen, and I can't be the queen right now. Don't you want to be free? Make your own decisions? You're very smart little bees. Maybe you can decide amongst yourselves who the new queen is. I, however, am going to have to abdicate. I'm sorry, but this is not something I can do for you."

The little bee buzzed out an explanation. "We can't just choose a new queen," Fluttershy translated. "One of us is going to have to be fed royal jelly for almost six months in order for a new queen to be born. The problem is that only the queen can produce royal jelly."

"But I can't produce royal jelly!" Twilight protested. "Due to the fact that I'm not a bee."

The little bee buzzed out another thought happily. "Any creature can be a bee if they believe in themselves," Fluttershy translated.

That sentence made its way through Twilight's head slowly and malevolently. As if it were a centipede, eating a straight line through her brain, leaving her dumber as it went. Behind it leaving a slimy residue that would never leave, no matter how hard she scrubbed. She quickly recovered as much as she could before going back to negotiating with the bees. She stopped again, and realized that she was attempting to negotiate with bees. Another slimy centipede crawled across her brain. She straightened out again. "I'll see what I can do about the royal jelly issue," she said miserably. "Once that's done, you pick a new queen, and head off to pastures new. Understood."

The bees all huddled and buzzed out a little discussion. Eventually they all turned back to Twilight and buzzed out their answer. "They say that they'll do that," Fluttershy said. "In the meantime, however, they still need to serve their queen, so is there anything else they could be doing to help you while you're figuring out how to make royal jelly?"

"Oh, I don't know," Twilight said. "Honey. I think better most times when there's honey on my toast... And my library could use some reorganization, I haven't given the thing a real sorting in hours... Oh, and somepony should polish the equipment in the lab. Dusty test tubes can screw with data... And..." Twilight realized where she was headed with this. She had to focus. She had to not get lost in the idea of tiny little servants willing to do anything for her. She had to realize that she needed to find the royal jelly as soon as possible and get these little bees doing little bee things.

She was better than this.

It took her until late afternoon to realize that no, she was nowhere close to better than this.

She had pressed the "100" button on the vending machine several times, and now there were bees everywhere. Several dozen organizing and reorganizing the library. A couple hundred tending to the grounds outside. Many more happily dusting. It was around the time that she looked at the thirty braiding her hair, and the one peeling her a grape with the other feeding it to her that she realized that she may have been going a bit to far. She shrugged it off, however. The bees were happy. So there was no need to feel guilty. She wasn't even mad at Discord for giving her the vending machine in the first place.

At least she thought she wasn't until Discord reappeared in the room with a blinding flash.

"Having fun?" Discord said dryly.

"You..." Twilight sprung from her couch, all of the anger filling up inside of her again. Several of the bees stopped what they were doing in order to surround Discord.

"Hold your applause, please," Discord said smugly.

"What the heck were you even thinking?!" Twilight demanded. "Why did you give me a vending machine filled with bees? What's the logic?!"

"Normally there isn't logic behind my decisions," Discord admitted. "I just do things."

"I nearly got killed," Twilight scoffed.

"No you didn't," Discord said. "One hundred bees isn't enough to sting an Alicorn to death. And besides, the stings wouldn't have worked on you regardless. You are the Queen Bee after all."

"Why Discord?" Twilight was looking right into Discord's eyes now. "Just why?"

Discord sat up a little straighter. "Do you know all of the things I can do merely by snapping my fingers?" Discord asked.

"Yes," Twilight answered through gritted teeth.

"Really? Because I don't..." Discord held up his fingers, ready to snap them at a moments notice. "I have never tested the limits of my powers, so I'm not even sure I have them. It's possible that I could, by snapping my fingers right now, make the whole of Equestria cease to exist. I'll admit, I've been tempted to try. Just to see what would happen..."

Twilight looked in horror at Discord's hand.

"But..." Discord slowly separated his fingers. "I don't. I don't because I've had these powers for a very long time, and I know how to be responsible with them. You don't need to tell me how to be."

"That's what this was about?" Twilight said. "My lecture on responsibility?"

"Nothing I have ever done with any power I've had has been unintentional," Discord said. "Ill-advised? Maybe. Stupid? Almost certainly. But never without intent. Everything I do, I do on purpose. And while I used to do things only for myself, I'm a different Draconequus now. You and Fluttershy have seen to that. The opportunity I've been given with Honey Island is more likely to succeed than you may think."

Twilight would need to think about that for a bit. "Alright then," she started. "Why the bees?"

"You've never been in charge of more than ten living beings at a time," Discord smiled. "I figured this experience would give your next condescending lecture a little more bite."

"Alright..." Twilight took a deep breath, and paced around the room. Calming herself down. "Alright... You've made your point. Even if it was the wrong kind of experience, you've had more experience leading a large population than I had. I should have had Celestia talk to you if I was concerned."

"That would have been wiser, yes," Discord said smugly. "I'm not the kind of pony who would take advantage of the people I'm supposed to be leading. At least, I'm not anymore. Are you?"

The situation became awkward as a bee tried to hand her another peeled grape. "Again, point taken," Twilight said sheepishly. "I'll get to work on the royal jelly."

"Don't bother..." Discord snapped his fingers and several jars of white gel appeared in front of him. "Put this in the back of the vending machine, and it will take care of the problem. Once there's a new queen, they should all disperse."

Twilight was about to protest, saying she could take care of it herself, but she decided to accept the kindness of her friend. Besides, she just wanted this confusing and infuriating part of her life over with. "Thank you," she said. "Just one question... Why put the bees in vending machine?"

"Ah, yes," Discord turned to Twilight. "What you have to understand about the Vending Machine is-- Bye now!"

Discord snapped his fingers and vanished. Leaving a stunned Twilight alone in the room with the royal jelly, and the bees.

Author's Note

This was the longest single chapter I've ever written. Hopefully, it's not an overly padded mess!

bloons3 commissioned this one from me. I hope he enjoys it.

As of right now, this story is raw. Unproofread. The fully proofread version will be up soon, but I wanted to get it to my client as soon as possible. And my proofreader was ill. Thank you for your patience.

Please rate and comment.

Return to Story Description


Login with