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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 15 · 9:26am Dec 10th, 2019

Also known as "The Great Apple Caper", based off of the episode "Applebuck Season". Actual discussion with spoilers after the page break, as always.

Well, this is an interesting chapter for me, for a few reasons.

I have mentioned before that I am breaking the sequence of episodes from season 1, and nowhere thus far is it more evident than in this episode. It was episode four of season one, and here it is at chapter 15 out of what will be I think 22 chapters covering up to the end of season 1. It's not going to be the biggest change in order. I believe there are two episodes to become chapters that are even further misplaced than this one. One I'll mention as being Ticket Master, mostly because I don't think people will be surprised in the slightest that it's going to be here. It's one of the few episodes that's part of the over arcing story for the season, what little there is of it (Suited For Success and Best Night Ever are also included in the remaining 7 chapters for the same reason). The other one is a secret, but it is far more misplaced than Ticket Master. Speculation is fine, but I will neither confirm nor deny any guesses made. Still, given that the next chapter is going to be Fall Weather Friends (as evidenced by the Ironpony challenge), that means of the seven chapters left, I've mentioned which episodes four of them will be.

Though this chapter is partly being used as a bridge to get to the next chapter, there are at least two things in this chapter that I plan to have less immediate consequences down the road. I don't think they're all that subtle or difficult to guess, but just in case I've misjudged, I shall not mention them directly here. Outside of the stampede near the start, it's a chapter relatively light on action. It's really more of a character development chapter. Nothing really crazy happens too terribly different from the original episode, outside of the radically different solution that prevents Applejack's realization of the moral and tying it to another episode.

Speaking of character development, this chapter was obviously meant to be a big step towards Chrysalis' friendship with Rainbow Dash. It feels like it's taken a lot of building up, Dash has worked hard over several chapters to get to this point and dragged Chryssi kicking and screaming to at least a begrudging respect. I think that Rainbow Dash rushing in to take the blame from Applejack for her was a good way to showcase her loyalty. As she says, she couldn't leave her friend hanging like that.

I'm probably more proud of bookending this chapter with "What are friends for" than I should be, first with Chrysalis saying it to Fluttershy in a very insincere manner, and then Chrysalis having the same words thrown back at her in the end in a very sincere manner, challenging her perception of that phrase in a way she hadn't previously been able to consider. It felt perhaps more poetic than I usually go, and I quite like it. And speaking of Fluttershy, you get to see a little bit of the previous chapter's influence as well. I thought it would be kind of funny for Chrysalis to refuse to accept that Fluttershy could possibly be as kind as she is and falling back on old habits of bribery to get what she wants. In my mind, she's mostly in denial here. It's not that she doesn't believe Fluttershy is kind enough to not need a bribe, it's that Chrysalis doesn't want to believe it because it so completely contradicts her views on ponies and the more cut throat life she's lived so far in relation to them. Having your world view change as drastically as is happening to her is scary, even if she's not quite aware of just how much she is changing. Even if she doesn't want to admit it, she's friends with at least some of the element bearers at this point and the cognitive dissonance from trying to reconcile those new feelings with her old ones is difficult to handle.

Applejack, perhaps the only element bearer we can clearly say is not approaching friendship status with Chrysalis yet. I could have described RD's road to friendship as somewhat sad. She had been misunderstood over and over, and had to overcome Chrysalis unjustly misjudging her. If I had to describe Applejack's road to friendship, it would be frustrating. Not for me, but for both AJ and Chrysalis. There are no major misunderstandings here, or misjudging. Both are very stubborn and set in their ways. AJ values honesty very highly, while Chrysalis is a creature of constant lies by necessity, choice and habit. AJ likes open friendliness and selflessly helping others at every turn. Chrysalis is a secretive loner that either pushes ponies away or manipulates them for her goals. With Rainbow Dash, it was a one way clash with Chryssi finding her unbearable but with RD actually admiring her. With Applejack, both sides clash hard. Applejack wants to like her. She recognizes the good she had done, and that there is good inside of her, but it's so hard for her to look past her more bristly nature.

AJ and Chryssi have a short shouting match at each other at the end of the chapter, thanks much to both sides being over tired and having legitimate grievances with the other. Things that frustrated her about Chrysalis were brought out into the open, as rude as it may have been, and Chrysalis returned fire. Chrysalis vents her frustrations about AJ's recent behaviour (not paying attention and hurting others because of her exhaustion) , and what she says is very true. AJ vents her frustrations over Chrysalis' character as a whole (pushing ponies away, not even trying to care about others) and it too is very true. I think perhaps the best line that encapsulates AJ's frustrations is "at least I try". As inflamed as it may have been, I think it is perhaps important that such feelings be brought up between them if ever they have a hope of moving forward for their relationship. It's almost sad that RD butted in to take the blame, cutting short the quite possibly necessary explosion. Good intentions, but perhaps not for the best when it comes to results.

Anyway, I've been at this for much too long, and it's awfully late at night. It's time to stop. I hope you enjoyed the chapter. The next one is based on "Fall Weather Friends".

Comments ( 9 )

I always look forward to the newest chapters of this story

I've said it once before, and I'll say it again: I absolutely *love* Chrysalis' character arc in this story. How's she's forced to face her own preconceptions and alter them due to circumstances. I'm glad she's reached the point were she might start considering RD as anything more than an annoyance. And yeah I see her and AJ butting heads a few more times before the season it's done, particularly with how stubborn she was early on. (I guess at this point Pinkie, Rarity and Fluttershy can be considered her friends? Or at least as close as she'd allow herself to feel about them.)

One thing that both Chrysalis' personality and what AJ said near the end reminded me of the "Hedgehog Dilemma".

I think I caught one of the "Chekhov's Guns" in this chapter, not too sure about the second one.

Can't wait for the next chapter, this is one of the stories I wait for with bated breath :heart:

The bookend was a nice touch, it's true. Chrysalis has been undergoing pretty steady character growth and it's been immensely enjoyable. Though, I kept expecting Luna to show up or write and ask what the devil was up with attacking a flight competition.

I think perhaps the best line that encapsulates AJ's frustrations is "at least I try"

Although, weirdly enough, Chrysalis has ended up trying to help people quite a bit during her time in Ponyville. Not just the Nightmare Moon thing, there was looking for kidnapped Pinkie, taking Fluttershy places and buying her stuff (though, admittedly, she thinks that was a bribe), etc.

For some reason I thought you were taking this to Discord, but I suppose if you've got a better ending in mind, then that's that.

Well, I feel like I have to at least get a resolution for the Canterlot invasion. It's such a big focus point in Chrysalis' mind and ambitions that I think I'd be doing a disservice to the story if I didn't.


Maybe, but then again Discord could really turn things on their heads and lead to a radically different resolution to situation with the current changelings. For what it's worth, I personally favor a major shift so long as it makes sense because we all know what happened in canon, so don't feel like you have to be tied to the invasion for the inevitable resolution with her past self.

Yes, there certainly will need to be some changes for me to figure out. I do not know how much of season 2 I wish to go through. Discord, certainly, as well as Chrysalis of course. The exact manner they are involved may not align with season 2 perfectly. As for the episodes between, and more original chapters, I'll have to think on it.
I don't feel any real compulsion to go all the way to Tirek, and while I'd be interested in Sombra (at least in part because of the Crystal Heart as a major source of love and all things positive in relation to the changelings), I don't feel I have enough of the overarching story of Chrysalis herself to stretch for enough episodes to reach it. Perhaps if I really want to, I could have major events like that as side stories or "what if" scenarios written after the story proper is finished. Though the latest I could realistically go for even that is the season 5 finale, since the changelings becoming changedlings is the arc for all of season 6, and it clearly doesn't fit with this story.

Oh man, I just realized that once I wrap this story up (and it just struck me that it's perhaps closer than I had realized), I'll need to move onto another. I've been writing this thing for years and hardly remember what it's like to focus on a different story. I have options to bring forth some stuff I've been working on in the background (or just contemplating and brainstorming), but which route to choose?


Yeah, I'd expect the changes to get much more drastic in season 2. Even if you don't do something extreme with Discord like my idea of shipping him with Celestia instead of stoning him, a number of season 2 episodes like Lesson Zero obviously aren't going to happen and Luna is going to get much more pushy as time goes on. Also, without Twilight's time spell shenanigans I don't think Tirek will be able to do anything because he will either never get out at all or be promptly hunted down and locked back up (or killed) because Chrysalis won't dismiss Cerberus's appearance the way Twilight did.

My best advice is to take a step back and ask yourself what stories Chrysalis can drive, especially once she gets comfortable enough with the others to tell them the truth about herself. Twilight's issues certainly drove a number of episodes, so you should definitely start mixing in new events driven by Chrysalis. In addition to using her future knowledge to preempt problems like Tirek, I'm sure there are a number of smaller collateral issues in Ponyville for her to take care of, possibly including background ponies and minor characters. Hell, if you really want to throw her for a loop, you can have Rarity talk her into going on a date with someone because that's definitely not something Chrysalis is comfortable with.

Depending on what butterflies happen the wedding invasion... Well, I was going to say might not happen, but then it pretty much has to because Chrysalis and Time Keeper remember it happening. Might go differently, let's say. Honestly, just getting through Season Two and then maybe adding a coda would probably be sufficient, provided people's character arcs wrapped up. It's not like it wouldn't be novel length at that point.

Like you said, if you really wanted to address any specific later episodes or events, you could always do a short sequel.

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