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Robo Bro

A Canadian brony who enjoys writing stories. On rare occasions I even post those stories here.

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Chrysalis: Saviour of Time Chapter 12 · 10:27pm Dec 22nd, 2018

Merry Christmas, everyone! Happy holidays, if you'd prefer, or if even that puts you off, just a general merry hello. Here's the next chapter of the story: Double, Double, Tea and Trouble. Actual discussion with spoilers and such for the chapter after the page break.

Well, this took longer than I wanted it to. That was partly due to me moving in November, and partly due to how gosh danged freakin' long this chapter is. Over 15 000 words! I hadn't even realized just how long it was until I was typing it up (since I wrote it by hand in a notebook first) and I reached 5k and realized that I wasn't even at the half way point.

Anyway...let's start by talking about the title of this chapter. There is the obvious reference to the witches of Shakespeare's Macbeth, the original being of course "Double, double, toil and trouble". Tea is a simple substitution because Celestia came to speak with Twilight and have some tea. However, there is one more coincidental and only half working layer here, specifically the "double, double" part. There's a Canadian restaurant known as Tim Horton's, and a double-double is what people call a coffee with two sugars and two creams. Or it's something like that, I don't drink coffee, so I don't have personal experience with that. Anyway, it doesn't work very well for the obvious reason, it's a reference to coffee and not to tea. Moving on!

Clearly enough, this chapter begins right where we left off in the previous one. To imagine, I had at some point thought about having these chapters combined, that would have been insane. As is, I was tempted to split this one up into two simultaneously released chapters. Speaking of things that I had initially intended but changed, this chapter was originally going to be an adaptation of "A Bird in the Hoof", based on a fan theory that the visit that Celestia was supposed to have at the end of Swarm of the Century was rescheduled to that episode at a later date. I couldn't really figure out why Celestia would have brought her pet given the motivations I know she had, though, and other circumstances just kind of wormed its way into the story, subsuming the chapter for itself. You can see a little bit of that influence on the chapter, the set up of having Celestia at Sugarcube Corner for Tea with Twilight and her friends is there, pets (or friends, as Fluttershy has) are prominent, Fluttershy is a major focus of the chapter, and Philomena is referenced. Celestia mentions she has a pet, and Chrysalis says the name and species of said pet, thinking that Celestia was trying to trick her into revealing she didn't know something Twilight would have. Naturally, those who remember the episode are aware that Twilight had no idea about Philomena or her nature as a phoenix, so by trying to avoid a trap she trapped herself. Oops.

Now, as people undoubtedly noticed, this chapter, while influenced by an episode, is very much its own thing. Things happen that definitely didn't happen in the show. Before anyone thinks that I'm just making stuff up willy nilly for the sake of having original stuff, I set out with the intent of having the differences be based purely on the actions of Chrysalis and Time Keeper. Something at least one of them did resulted in these events. What caused them is something I shall not divulge, but I'm guessing at least some of you guys will have a theory lined up. Maybe it's obvious, maybe it's not. I've never been too good at judging that sort of thing with my writing.

Fluttershy chapter. So. Let's talk about PInkie! It's been pretty well established that Chrysalis is friends with Pinkie Pie at this point, whether she is willing to admit it or not. Well, it's cemented even further of course by her dedication and/or desperation to save Pinkie from her captor. That is one good friend clearly down, more to go. Fluttershy is obviously having the beginnings going on here, what with her showing that she's more than just a useless, shy mare to Chrysalis. While she doesn't show it very well, Chrysalis is actually thankful for the help in saving Pinkie and will definitely remember it going forward. Rainbow Dash on the other hand...the two characters just don't seem to get along, at all. However, even with her the seeds are being sown for the future...at least a little. Chrysalis believes that Dash is lying about why she keeps on hanging out with her, not really happy with the idea that it's because she's being a good friend to the other element bearers. Is that Chrysalis being too skeptical, or is Dash perhaps truly not telling the truth? Minor other stuff...Rarity doesn't have much going on this chapter, and Applejack is continuing to be frustrated by Chrysalis and her complete disregard of her. Those two otherwise are clearly taking a back seat this chapter.

And of course, we can't really talk about the major characters of the chapter without mentioning Luna and Celestia. First, let's talk Luna. She's still around, though I had initially thought of having her run off at the start so that she could avoid her sister. I'm glad I did not. She continues being that stalker with a crush that freaks Chrysalis out so much, though there is perhaps some warming up to her on Chrysalis' part. Luna is confronted with the reality that she burned Chrysalis' pet to a crisp right in front of her eyes, I'm sure that she enjoyed that tremendously and won't add that to the mountain of guilt she likely feels over her past actions. Perhaps most interesting, at least for me, is the dissatisfaction she clearly feels. The ponies of this day and age are not warming up to her yet at all, and she even had the gut punch of having ponies believe that she eats foals. She doesn't really have a way to blame the ones who are truly responsible for such rumours (likely the ones who started it are long dead, and everybody is likely propagating them through the years since), so instead she lashes out at Celestia for letting such terrible stories run rampant without trying to quash them. It's kinda sad, actually. Luna's new life isn't going too well.

Celestia...well, what to say about her? She's clearly annoyed with her sister, though I don't think quite to the same extent as the other way around. She's frustrated by her attitude, and her willingness to blame her for things she didn't really have much control over. I will reveal that behind the scenes she is trying to make things as easy as possible for Luna with her return, it's just not working and both of them are suffering because of it. As for her in relation to Chrysalis, well, I think it's not surprising that she suspects her. If Luna outright saying that she suspects Chrysalis wasn't enough, I think there is a plethora of evidence this chapter to suggest it. Celestia even tells Chrysalis to stay away from Luna, what an overprotective sister.
Regardless, she is still trying to guide "Twilight" along the path of friendship, that much can be seen.

How about that mysterious changeling that wreaked so much havoc? Who the heck was that? Spoilers. Why the heck did they do that? Spoilers. You just let them get away without any actual explanations! That's because it will be relevant down the line, or, if you'd rather...spoilers. In all seriousness, I have a mild concern that people might feel a little cheated by having that major plot thread not resolved at all. Hopefully people won't be too upset at having to wait awhile to find the answers.

The timberwolf attack that acts as a sort of climax for the chapter...part of me wonders if it would have been better to not include it at all, a timber wolf attack is so cliche at this point. Not that I'm above using cliches, it's awfully difficult to write anything these days without trampling over half a dozen of them. Still, it does have some relevance to the story at large. First, I wanted all the animals that Fluttershy brought to have some relevance, even if it was small. The birds acted as an early warning system, and naturally the bear got to play hero in helping save Flutters, Dash and Chrysalis. Arguably, they may have been able to get out of it without the bear, but they would have definitely been in much worse shape. The dog's use was obvious as a tracker, and the beaver got to be of help at searching the lake later. Now I wanted to have them all be useful as a way to improve Chrysalis' view of Fluttershy. If her animals are useful, then that makes Fluttershy useful. Also, Chrysalis is indebted to Fluttershy for multiple reasons now. The attack also allowed for Dash to show her own heroism in immediately tackling the one that pounced on Chrysalis, acting as potentially a seed for developing some respect as well. In another, somewhat less important sense, I don't really want the Everfree to become completely blase. It's supposed to be dangerous, to have them waltzing about as if there was nothing threatening doesn't really feel right.

Random bit of little importance coming up next. I don't know why, but I love the part where I had Snips and Snails argue over whether or not Snips can play the triangle. It amuses me.

I'm growing tired and running low on time before I must head to work, so I'll move onto the end of the chapter before ending this blog. Owlowiscious, or however that name is spelled, has shown up as Chrysalis' pet, though now named the far easier to spell Sage. This, despite seeming small, was something I had planned on for quite some time. I can't recall which chapter it was, but an early one had Chrysalis hear the "hoo" of an owl outside her window, and I had the plan for him to become her pet as far back as then. Before then, even. The whole Flitter parasprite pet thing was intended as a prelude to Chrysalis getting him. She's sad, alone, and even frightened, and it's all been building ever since the beginning. She's been run emotionally ragged and desperately needs companionship. She's unwilling to let herself be a proper friend with the element bearers, but a pet? A pet is a compromise she can live with. it's purpose is to throw her a bone, and to indicate that she is beginning to be willing to open up. Maybe not much, at least to ponies, but it's a start.

Well, that's it. Enough. I'm done blogging. Hope you enjoyed the chapter.

Comments ( 1 )

I waited until now to read this, so as to avoid spoilers and mull things over on my own first. It looks like your thoughts have a lot of overlap with mine. And I did enjoy the chapter.

Celestia even tells Chrysalis to stay away from Luna, what an overprotective sister.

Well, that's how Chrysalis interpreted it, but if Celestia thinks Chrysalis is Twilight, it may be Twilight she's protecting. Hard to say, really. Clearly, Celestia is not happy about the actions of 'Twilight' but it's open ended from what the audience sees whether that's because she really thinks she's dealing with an imposter [or a Twilight that's being mind-controlled or whatever] or because she thinks she's dealing with a second student having Sunset Shimmer tendencies. And that adds to the suspense. Even if she suspects, the readers don't know how much weight she gives her suspicions-- suspicion and confidence are different things, otherwise Chrysalis would probably be locked up. Maybe it's a minor niggling doubt or maybe she's nearly convinced.

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