Starlight was so thoroughly done.
Every attempt to get to know Chrysalis, to perhaps befriend her, or at least convince her to stop being so antagonistic, had been stonewalled. She had nearly lost her temper and done something regrettable had Spike not entered the room Chrysalis was being kept in (free of chains of course, though a magic dampener was secured on her horn). Honestly, the cookies and milk had been a welcome recharge and distraction.
She had consulted with Twilight and each of their friends each time an approach failed. Nothing had aided her in breaking the callous queen’s unwavering contempt. Twilight had practically needed to order her to take some time away to recharge. Trixie was back in town after one of her show tours, and provided an excellent opportunity to decompress. At least… as much as any pony could decompress around the bombastic showmare.
Hesperos and Te’kan had, generally, been kept away from Chrysalis. Twilight had felt their particular talents would be less than helpful at this stage of reformation. After Starlight had tried and failed, and Twilight’s attempts met a similarly disheartening reception, Hesperos decided it was time to step in.
The guards posted by Chrysalis’s room stiffened and questioned his presence, though they did so with a certain air of comradely respect, and he expressed the simple wish to talk and share with the queen. He even made a point to leave his weapons with the guards, though they had no doubt he would not need them to inflict fatal harm. They nonetheless understood the weight of the gesture, and tentatively allowed him entry, though one trotted away to inform the princess.
Hesperos dipped his helm to afford entry into the room as he did with many in the castle, and beheld the queen of the changelings.
Chrysalis’s… mane, or whatever it was, seemed more bedraggled than normal. Her chitin seemed more worn, and her defiant eyes were dimmer than when he had captured her. He noted everything with his perfect recall, expanding his study on such a singular specimen. Then he changed mental track from warrior-scholar to the being he had become serving the Princess of Friendship.
He knelt before the queen who stood with her back to the wall, a dangerous and desperate gaze locked on the rubricae. He offered a placating palm, gently pressing his thoughts out to her.
++Peace, Chrysalis, queen of changelings. I have come to learn, and perhaps to teach.++ Chrysalis snarled. Hesperos was impassive. This endured for some time, before the queen relented, shakily taking a seat. The rubricae simply observed. She was exhausted, seemingly drained. Her frame was perhaps even more meager that it had once been.
The queen appeared to be starving.
Hesperos understood the changelings fed on love, but he had precious little of that to give. It was simply… not something he was attuned to. So he opted for a shortcut.
Chrysalis tensed as she sensed the air around her change. The floor around the rubricae gained a thin sheen of hoarfrost as the warrior tapped into the tranquil currents of the Great Ocean around Equestria.
Hesperos had little love to give, but Equestria teemed with the stuff and inked the tides of the warp in it. His mental grasp dripped with the saccharine emotions as he pooled a measure together. Then, with a push, he directed it to Chrysalis.
The changeling gasped as she was flooded with a pure, undiluted love cast off from countless creatures. As it suffused her, she began to recover, if only slightly. The clearest giveaway was her eyes, clear and sharp and alert as they had not been for a long time, perhaps not since she had fed upon Shining Armor.
“What… are you?” she asked in cautious awe.
Though he had no physical features to change, Chrysalis simply knew the arrogant pile of metal was smirking faintly at her.