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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 16 · 5:10am Feb 21st, 2020

Title "Cheating Heart". Discussion after the page break.

This chapter had a couple of different ways it could have gone that I went back and forth between in the planning process. One was that Chrysalis would actually have been part of the Iron Pony competition, losing match after match until she got frustrated enough from said losses to cheat in the hopes of soothing her wounded pride. This idea was tossed out easily enough by the time I had finished writing the previous chapter and likely a bit before I even reached that point. Chrysalis taking part directly in that just wasn't in the cards. Instead, she cheated for Rainbow Dash to pay her back for taking the blame in the previous chapter.

The next part I went back and forth on was whether or not Chrysalis would cheat in the Running of the Leaves. I thought that perhaps she would be determined enough to make up for her past mistakes to not cheat at all, even though the other two were cheating profusely in the race. I ultimately decided that seemed unlikely, and Chrysalis wasn't really the type to take the high road when presented with that scenario. So, Chrysalis cheats throughout the entire chapter

Regardless of whether or not Chrysalis was going to be part of the Iron Pony competition, Chrysalis feeling guilt over how things turned out there was one of those anchor point scenes in my mind, one that I had envisioned far ahead of time. Difficulty sleeping, leading to irritability on top of the guilt in the morning, mixed with her preconceptions of how Time Keeper would react and you have one morning explosion that leads to awkward embarrassment and the realization that the Running of the Leaves could be used to help fix the situation. I did reach a slight problem at this point when I realized that the others probably wouldn't have been so willing to meet up with Chrysalis to discuss, but it was easily fixed by mixing Pinkie into the equation.

Some of the methods for cheating that Chrysalis employs were meant as callbacks to things she has done before. Extending her legs as a general shape shifting ability and could be linked to the way she had made herself look significantly larger when fighting Nightmare Moon, the pain relief spell was first used on Spike when they arrived in Ponyville to help relieve him of his headache, and the bear illusion was a reference to when she created an illusion as a distraction during the Best Young Flyers Competition when she had tried to lure Rainbow Dash away from Celestia long enough for her to attack the princess. That she just used the same trick twice against Rainbow Dash may not have been the best idea she had, but there it is. Additionally, the bands of magic used to bind RD's wings had also been used in the same chapter before against Celestia herself.

A minor note, because of Chrysalis doing the cheating, Rainbow Dash didn't actually do anything wrong during the Ironpony competition. Sure, she would have cheated under different circumstances, but it just didn't happen that way. Consequently, there was no stipulation for Dash to have tied up her wings during the Running of the Leaves, and as such she ended up using said wings much earlier.

As in the original episode, Celestia shows up at the end. Differently from the show, Luna is there, too. You get to see there's still tensions brewing between the two, as well as continued difficulties with reintegrating her with society. Also more flirtation, the suggestion of going public with their relationship, and a bit of a jab at her sister, questioning the value of friendship from one who so willingly banished her sister to the moon.

Overall, this chapter was much like the previous two in that there wasn't much in the way of action or really large stakes going on. It was very much a character development focused chapter again, focusing on a friendship problem with modifications.

With this chapter complete, there's only six chapters remaining before we are past the first season. Next up is actually a wholly original chapter, completely unrelated to any episode. I haven't done one of those in awhile. The last one would have been chapter 12: "Double, Double, Tea and Trouble", but even that was loosely based off an episode, and it was a direct followup to a chapter definitely based on an episode. The upcoming chapter was intended to fill a hole in the first season: specifically a winter based episode. The only one I can really recall from the first season was really more of a spring episode with Winter Wrap Up, and I didn't want to just skip over the entire season. My story here is a little more chronological than the show tried to be early on.

Anyway, that's enough for now. I hope you enjoyed the chapter.

Comments ( 3 )

a bit of a jab at her sister, questioning the value of friendship from one who so willingly banished her sister to the moon.

When I first read that part in the chapter, it actually made me alarm and think that something weird was going on with Luna here this timeline. :twilightoops:

Thinking that Chrysalis was unsuccessful purging all Nightmare Moon's influence on Luna ( Or Chrysalis from this timeline was disguised as Luna, instead Cadance ),
but this actually make sense when think about it from Luna's perspective, who was still bitter on her older sister.
( Not magically change her attitude when hit the Elements of Harmony. )
Attitude hadn't changed since banishment and being still little jealous on her sister, except this time she is more casual with her actions, rather than "going full-Nightmare Moon transformation and hostile takeover" -mode.


The next part I went back and forth on was whether or not Chrysalis would cheat in the Running of the Leaves.

Actually, this could have gone either way, but not for the reasons you were looking at. Simply put, Chrysalis had no real reason to care and was mostly just going through with it to appease the others, so I can very easily see her playing fair because she doesn't see a reason to bother cheating. Her goals are still accomplished if she finishes dead last and there's really no pride on the line since physical performance isn't her thing (especially when she's not in her own body), so I can absolutely see her casually going through the motions.

...Well, at least until she gets caught as collateral damage in their cheating. Then we're back into line with what you wrote. :derpytongue2:

Rainbow Dash didn't actually do anything wrong during the Ironpony competition. Sure, she would have cheated under different circumstances, but it just didn't happen that way.

Actually, there's a very good argument to be made that Rainbow did nothing wrong in the canon competition. It's very well laid out in the excellent story Justice Itself, but the short version is that she won because she used her wings and intelligence to overcome AJ's legs within the stated rules which is exactly the spirit of the competition since it's all about finding out who is superior overall. AJ certainly has advantages of her own which let her win several of the individual contests, but she is ultimately bested by Rainbow and only complains about "cheating" because she refuses to accept that she lost the competition as laid out by the rules they both agreed to (and she seems to have at least partially written as you noted).

I'm excited to see what we get for an all original chapter. Somehow I'd forgotten that Hearth's Warming wasn't until Season Two.

I wonder if Dash not cheating earlier will have any effect on how Applejack sees her. Probably not, since she ended up cheating later and they made up afterwards in both timelines.
I disagree. You can argue some of the events, but Rainbow used her wings to get extra lift in a Long Jump competition at one point. And not just gliding, actual flapping and lift. That's pretty clearly no longer a test of your jumping ability, regardless of whether or not someone takes the time to say "no flying in the event called the Long Jump" out loud. That it's about jumping is in the title.

Certainly, Applejack's pride might leave her interpreting Dash as cheating in more cases than she actually did, but Rainbow definitely deliberately went against the spirit of the competition in some events. That Rainbow Dash sometimes lets her competitiveness get the better of her is just one of the flaws that makes her character well-rounded.

EDIT: Of course, Applejack wasn't playing entirely fair, either. Unless Equestria is different from the real world, rope tricks are not a standard athletic competition and usually only seen at more specialized venues like rodeos. So you've got Applejack stacking the deck by picking events she's good at instead of general fitness tests and Rainbow Dash cheating (instead of just arguing the event selection is unfair, because she's too proud to admit Applejack is better at anything). It's an episode where there are faults to be found in both.

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