Molded to Love

by Radiant Dawn

Chapter 1: Fall of a Queen

Chapter 1: Fall of a Queen



These and other horrendous words were used to describe me. From the outskirts of Ponyville, all the way to Canterlot...all knew of who I was, what I was, and what I had done. Had I been decades younger, I might have complained that it wasn't fair, but that was nowhere near the case. All these words and more I deserved.

But I did not regret them...I reveled in them.

Who but I had infiltrated into the Celestial Palace itself, whose beloved princess was none the wiser? Who but I had overpowered her with sheer force of magic? Who but I could say that the mighty Celestia, Princess of the Sun, was helpless against my might? No pony, that's who. Being as radiant as she was, the loathsome princess had many enemies, but none that were as bold and powerful as I that could stand toe-to-toe with her...and win.

Twilight Sparkle.

I hadn't accounted for her. It was a grievous mistake on my part, and one that was my undoing. To think that such an unassuming young mare could see right through my tactics was frightening. I had grossly underestimated her and the power she represented. While she knew not who was impersonating her beloved foalsitter, she immediately saw that something was amiss.

From there, things fell apart.

After the failure of the attack on Canterlot, the Hive began to turn on me. First it was the soldiers, who would not heed orders, but then, even the lowly drones would no longer listen to my demands. Right under my nose, they had birthed and raised another queen...and they then left me stranded in the wilds of the Everfree Forest.

I was now a queen without a hive...useless.

Without the ability to feed off of the positive emotions of ponies, I was forced to embrace the food of my ancestors – meat. It was messy and vastly inefficient, but it was nourishment, and would sustain me for as long as I needed it to. Mighty manticores, hydra, and even ursa would fall before me, only to become my meals. With the amount of power I possessed, they were nothing to me.

And yet...

I was not satisfied. Merely surviving was not enough after a few years, and I began to grow restless. And so, I changed my form to that of a simple pony, and walked throughout Ponyville, sponging up whatever positive emotions I could come across. It was arduous and took months, but it was the only way to regain my power without arousing suspicion. After all, if there was one thing my race was good at, it was camouflage. For what I had planned, I couldn't afford to be recognized, and couldn't draw attention to myself.

My name was Chrysalis...but she is dead.

I would periodically change to one of three ponies, either an earth-pony, unicorn, or pegasus. As an earth-pony, I was known as Mosswalker, and lived in the Whitetail Wood. Mosswalker was simplistic in design, as she was my first attempt to blend in. A long dark green mane and tail matched against dark brown fur, giving me the appearance of a tree. The cutie mark was that of a river and her eyes were green as well.

Simple enough, and it would not draw attention.

As a unicorn, I expanded my horizons and became Starshine, a foreigner from Germaney. Her coat was of the brightest white, and a mane of both silver and gold. Not the most inconspicuous, but as a unicorn, style is everything apparently. Her cutie mark was that of a cluster of blue stars, more realistic than the laughable Twilight Sparkle's, with eyes of goldenrod.

Lastly was my favorite, the pegasus.

Flight has always been a simple pleasure of mine, as it was relaxing and much easier to do than walking, so as a flying pony, I went all out. I became Mist Ray, with a coat of mottled violet. The tail and mane were crystalline blue and violet, as she was from the Crystal Empire. The cutie mark was that of a cloud with rays of sunlight dancing through it. Her eyes were of bright cyan, and seemed to twinkle with specks of violet.

Three separate lives with one goal: retake the Hive.

This goal was nearly realized almost a year ago, only to fail miserably. So, we tried again, then a third time, then a fourth...a fifth...but nothing worked. No matter how much power I had gained, no matter how much I fought...the Hive simply did not want me anymore.

I began to question my purpose in the world.

As Mist Ray, I had come across employment at the weather factory of Cloudsdale – a city in the sky reserved for pegasi. At one point in my life, a job would have been beneath me, but now I had little choice. I had to have a place to live, and I had to keep up appearances. For what though, I did not know. After multiple failed attempts at retaking my rightful place as queen, I had given up. It just wasn't worth it anymore, and I was tired. I was tired of fighting for nothing to I began living a "normal" pony's life.

Today was an unremarkable day, even with working aside Rainbow Dash, the Element of Loyalty. She was part of the reason I lost the Hive, but I could no longer be angry at her. To harbor that much hate and resentment all the time was tiring and frankly, degrading. Though a changeling I may be, negative emotions are not the way of me.

"Mist!" shouted the familiar raspy voice beside me.

I looked up in time to plow into a darkened cloud, and it jolted me with lightning. I sighed and smoothed my spiky mane and tail down before exiting the thundercloud and looking to the weather manager. "Sorry about that, Rainbow Dash. I spaced."

The cyan pegasus chuckled and nodded. "I'll say. Something on your mind?"

I shook my head and smiled forcibly. "Nah, I'll be alright. Just personal know, boring."

"Well don't let it distract you. You're the best lightning-wrangler we've got, and I can't afford to lose you." she responded with a pat on my side.

I smiled and pushed her away playfully. "Pssh, I'll be fine. A little jolt of lightning is nowhere near enough to take me down."

The mare nodded as she took to the sky again. "That's what I like to hear. Now come on, let's finish setting up the storm for Ponyville and we can call it a day. Sound good?"

"Sounds great. Let's do this." I responded jovially.

I was far from considering other ponies friends – especially the Elements of Harmony – but over the years, I had learned to tolerate them well enough. I could work with them, be around them, and even make small talk with them easily if need be, though I did try and avoid it if possible. Because of this, my job as a pegasus was easy enough to do. Rainbow Dash preferred to leave me to my own devices most of the time, only making herself known when she had new orders for me or I was doing a job that required more than just one pony.

The day finished as normal and I waved goodbye to the cyan pegasus before heading home – a small cloud house I'd built using my own hooves. It was infinitely easier than designing a changeling soldier from the ground up, so it didn't take too long once I learned to manipulate clouds. It was a simple, unassuming abode – classy enough to fit Mist Ray's style, but not so extravagant as to arouse suspicion. As I entered the cloud home, I tossed the saddlebags on the table in the center of the room and sat down on a the cloud sofa, enjoying the feeling of the soft cloud caressing my weary hooves. Nowadays, I rarely used my "true" form, except to hunt and feed, so more often than not I looked just like any other pony. This was so as to blend in as much as possible, but also because most times I just didn't care anymore. The only advantages a changeling had over ponies was strength, stamina, and endurance. I wouldn't need any of those in the day-to-day life as Mist Ray or the others, so I rarely was Chrysalis anymore.

Starshine was to meet with Rarity, the Element of Generosity, in order to help set up a birthday party for a certain violet unicorn, so I showered before flying down to the ground. I then hid behind a tree and changed to the Starshine before stepping out from behind it, and trotting towards the town.

Starshine had met Rarity a little over a month ago, and the two were very much alike. Rarity's style was unique, as was her speech, and Starshine could not help but find herself interested about the mare. We spoke over some tea of a great many things, ranging from simple small talk, to her dreams of the future. We even spoke of...that day - the day she and her friends defeated my Hive and banished us from Equestria...again. I found it strange that instead of hatred or even nervousness...I just didn't care. I had let go of who I once was, and had moved on completely...which was why I had no problem throwing a birthday party for who was once my greatest enemy.

I arrived at the Carousel Boutique a little over ten minutes later to find that the door was closed and the sign was changed to, "Sorry, we're closed." I rapped three times on the door and waited, and not a second later, the door was yanked open and I was pulled into the house as it shut behind me.

Gathered around the main room of what was both the white unicorn's workplace and home, I saw four more element bearers gathered – the only one not there being the Element of Magic.

"Uh, Rarity? Who's this?" the orange earth-pony asked suspiciously.

The fashionista smiled and motioned to me. "This, my dear, is Starshine. She's from Germaney and is an acquaintance of mine."

"And y'all trust her enough to set up Twi's party?" the same earth-pony asked.

Rarity nodded with a smile. "I do. I promise, she will not disappoint. Now, let us get to business. We have a little over three hours before Twilight Sparkle gets back from Canterlot, so let us get started." She pointed to a pink earth-pony. "Pinkie Pie, I need you to handle the cake and other food."

"You can count on me, Rarity!" the pink mare said with a bright smile.

The white unicorn nodded and turned to Rainbow Dash. "Rainbow Dash, I need you to handle the décor. You have an eye for colors, so we need your expertise in blending different hues together in a way that will work. Take into account Twilight's coat, eye, and mane colors."

Mist Ray's manager nodded with a smile. "Consider it done!"

"Good." the unicorn responded before turning to the stetson-wearing pony. "Applejack dear, would you be so kind as to handle the drinks?"

"Ah gotcha, Rare." the mentioned pony responded with a smile.

"Lastly, Fluttershy." the diamond-flanked pony said. This caused a timid yellow-coated mare to poke her head out from behind Rainbow Dash. "Dear, we need you to handle the flowers for decoration, and the muffins. Oh, they are just to die for!" The mentioned pegasus nodded mutely, causing Rarity to smile and nod in return. "Very good. I will oversee everything to make sure it all comes together properly. Now I wish to stress that we have plenty of time, so take your time, and let us get this done correctly for our friend."

I raised my hoof and asked, "Miss Belle? What would you have me do?"

The glamorous unicorn turned to me with a warm grin. "You are going to help me, dear. As I'm checking things, you're going to assist me in adding support wherever it's needed. If we all do our part, this party will be lovely." She then turned to all her friends. "Alright, all of you know what to do. Let us begin!"

The setup went fairly smoothly with only a few hiccups here or there, but Rarity and Starshine were more than ready to handle it. Finally, after a little under two hours, the party was fully prepared. All that needed to be done now was to wait for the guest of honor to arrive, so the six of us relaxed. Some spoke or joked, but I simply enjoyed the peace that ensued. Peace was still not something I was accustomed to, but I understood now why the solar princess took such measures to keep it in place.

Peace was wonderful.

It was part of the reason why Chrysalis had to remain in the past. She was an agent that would seek to dismantle that peace, at the cost of the happiness of innocent ponies. She was selfish, and deceitful, and so angry.

I hated her.

"Dear, what's on your mind?" asked a very elegant voice from beside me.

I looked up from my place on the soft grass to see the unicorn's blue eyes looking at me with concern. "N-nothing...I will be fine."

The alabaster unicorn shook her head with a smile. "There will be none of that nonsense, Starshine. I am your friend and-"

"What did you just say?" I asked in disbelief.

"That you are my friend and-" she explained...but I didn't catch the rest of it.

The Element of Generosity just referred to me as her friend – a term I had never thought would ever be associated between her and I...or any pony for that matter. After all, the queen of the changelings doesn't have "friends"...

But Starshine can.

Friendship was not something I had hoped for in my wildest dreams. After all, the ruler of the changelings has underlings and advisers, not friends...but then, I no longer had to be that being. I could be any one of three ponies I chose, and all had the ability and freedom to befriend, and live a different life than I was originally given. It was at this moment I realized just how lonely I felt and had been all these years.

But now I had the opportunity to change that.

"Dear, are you listening?" asked Rarity's silky voice.

I shook my head to clear my mind and nodded slowly. "I-I am mind was elsewhere." I then sighed and lowered my head a bit in shame. "I-it is just that, I have never had friends before."

It was the truth...the utter, unedited truth, and it took all gathered by surprise.

The pink one was the first to find her voice, although her statement started with a fierce gasp. "You've never had any friends? Ever?"

I crouched on the ground in embarrassment and shook my head softly. "Never..."

"Well shoot sugarcube, that ain't right. But we can fix that." the orange one stated with a grin.

The usually timid yellow pegasus stepped forward with her eyes full of both concern and kindness. "Um, w-we'll be your friends. That is, if you want us to be."

For some reason, the gentle pegasus' words touched me in a way I'd never felt before, and I suddenly felt like crying. I didn't actually weep, but I nearly did. It was rather foalish in itself to feel such a way...but like many other things lately, I didn't care. I had seen the rise and fall of kingdoms, and had been there when Canterlot was first built all those years ago...yet this was the very first time I could call somepony "friend". I could no longer hold the tears in at this point.

"Darling, are you crying?" I heard Rarity's soft voice ask.

I sniffled through tears and looked the group over as sobs threatened to break free. "I-I am sorry, everypony...I just..."

I was interrupted by five pairs of hooves as they surrounded me in a group hug. Such an embrace was one of the things changelings and ponies shared, but for different reasons. For changelings, it was to conserve body heat and pass messages along. For ponies, it was a sign of affection and care...and I could feel it.

A long-since dormant force awoke within me – the need to feed on these positive emotions. Unlike normal however, I did not have to steal it. These emotions were given to me willingly...they were for me, and so they did not have to be taken forcefully.

It is the first time I've ever been completely satisfied feeding off of emotions.

After the group embrace was over, none of them knew anything had happened. It wasn't forced, and I hadn't attacked them...their care and friendship was given willingly to me. Even with the new lives I had assumed, it was an entirely new concept for me...and one I would have to assimilate into the Mosswalker and Mist Ray's life in order to avoid suspicion. Neither one of them could afford to break down as Starshine had, or it would destroy my cover.
After a few more moments of talking, we all headed to what was to be the birthday party, and as per Pinkie Pie's instructions, hid to yell "surprise" when the violet unicorn entered Sugarcube Corner.

We didn't have to wait long, as the door was opened to reveal the birthday mare and her assistant dragon. As planned, they entered the darkened room and all of us jumped up yelling, "Surprise!"

The mare nearly jumped out of her pelt in fright and screamed, and I couldn't help but let loose a small laugh. After she had calmed down, the pink party pony grabbed her and began introducing her to all the guests, so I simply made my way to the punch bowl to get a drink. Even with me having to feed as I did, I would be dishonest to say that I didn't enjoy sweets. It was a racial weakness of changelings...we loved sweet things. It was something not very useful for us, and something I had tried to breed out in subsequent generations after my own, but to no avail.

Still, that just meant I was more than capable of enjoying the many sweet treats prepared.

"And this, is Starshine! She's new in town, and she's from Germaney." I heard a voice say to my side, and I turned to see Pinkie Pie and Twilight Sparkle standing before me.

I bowed my head softly and smiled. "It is a pleasure, Miss Sparkle."

I was now under the intense scrutiny of those violet eyes, and I felt myself shrink as they stared at me. Finally, Twilight Sparkle said, "Pinkie Pie, would you mind excusing us? I want to get to know Starshine a little better. You go have fun."

"Okie Dokie Lokie!" the earth pony mare exclaimed before bouncing away into the crowd.

Twilight Sparkle then inclined her head towards the stairs. "Do you mind if I speak to you in private? There's something I want to ask you."

I was a little nervous, but nodded with a smile. "Of course."

"Good. Follow me, please." she said as she ascended the stairs.

The two of us arrived in a quiet room, which looked to be a bedroom. It was bright pink with a pink bed, pink carpet, and even a pink dresser. 'This must be Pinkie Pie's room.'

"Now that we're alone..." I heard the other mare start just before a powerful magical force pinned me against a wall, my legs outstretched and my underbelly vulnerable. I looked in shock to see the unicorn's horn glowing with power and a fierce glare on her face. "Why are you here?"

I looked in confusion at her and responded, "I was asked by Rarity to help plan-"

"I know why you said you're here." she spat aggressively. "I want to know why you're really here, Queen Chrysalis."

My eyes widened in shock and I felt as if my heart were about to leap out of my chest as fear overtook me. Still, I attempted one last time to save myself. "Chrysalis? What are you talking about?"

The mare placed her hooves on either side of me and looked at me eye-to-eye. She then pointed to her own eyes. "Look at my eyes. See anything out of the ordinary?" I was still afraid, but did as she ordered and scanned her eyes with my own. It only took a second to see a nearly imperceptible band of golden energy rimming the iris – so faint, a pony would have to be as close as I was at that moment and looking for it to see it. She must have seen my expression change again, because she continued. "Yes...those bands are all that shows of the power I've gained from Celestia herself. Part of my newfound power is the ability to see through any illusion, no matter how powerful. To every other pony, you look like a normal unicorn, but I can see the truth."

My mouth dropped open in utter shock. To think, the most powerful unicorn alive now had the ability to see me for what I really was, no matter where I may hide. With my illusion useless, I simply hung my head in defeat. " caught me. Do what you will with me, I don't have reason to fight back." Even though my eyes were closed, I felt her hesitate. My unfathomably small amount of patience ran out, and I glared at the unicorn. "Kill me or set me free. I don't want to fight."

Her confusion was replaced with arrogance, and she held a smug grin as she responded, "What makes you think you can fight me?"

Considering exactly how arrogant I'd been in the past, I found it strange that her arrogance caused me to go into a rage. In one deft movement, I shattered the magical bonds that held me and forced her against the wall, covering her with my own form of immobilization: changeling glandular secretions. To help build the hive, all changelings have the ability to secrete a powerful glue-like substance. It is stickier than honey, and holds better than any adhesive known to ponykind.

Simply put, she could not break it, no matter how hard she tried.

I took a sort of sick pleasure in spitting on the mare, even if it was only to immobilize her, but I quickly found my center again and looked at her sternly. I discarded my disguise and placed my face directly in front of hers, which was a grave expression of terror. "You still have much to learn, Twilight Sparkle. Never underestimate your opponent." I then sat back with a sigh and looked upon her again, this time with sadness. "I do not expect you to believe this, but I don't want to cause harm to anypony."

Her anger returned, the mare glared at me. "You're right, I don't believe that. You're just looking for a way in like last time so that your Hive can take over. Well I'm not going to let that happen. The princess trusted me with this new power, and I'm going to use it to protect Ponyville." She began to struggle as her horn glowed, its power attempting to rip at the adhesive that held her to the wall.

I sighed and lowered my head. "No matter how strong you are or how powerful your magic is, you can't break it. I'm the only one that can release you."

Her eyes shot to me and her horn glowed again, this time with malicious intent. "Then release me or I'll destroy you."

The threat to destroy me hurt a little, even though I expected it. To think that this young mare would go through such an action to ensure Ponyville's safety was startling. Then again, this was me we were talking about. I looked up at her again and shook my head. "If you destroy me, you'll never be that idea of yours out. And if you attempt to inflict pain on me, I'll never release you." Her horn stopped glowing at this declaration, and she waited. I frowned as I looked down at the floor. "I have no hive any longer, Twilight Sparkle. After the failed attempt on Canterlot, they abandoned me." The expression of the mare changed from fury to confusion, so I continued. "The queen is only ruler so long as she has the best interests of the Hive in mind. If the Hive believes this is no longer the case, a new queen is chosen and the previous is left to die."

"That last part I knew." the violet pony answered. She then looked at me in confusion. "Your hive abandoned you?"

I nodded. "I am alone, Twilight Sparkle."

Internal conflict washed over her, and I could see the inner turmoil in her facial expression. For a long time, she was silent before finally saying, "How can you expect me to believe that you aren't here for some new attack? How could I ever trust you?"

I smiled, showing my horrendously sharp fangs. "Because at the moment, I have you completely helpless and I am not moving to attack you in any way." Faster than lightning, I rushed towards her from across the room, and rested my fangs on her throat. I felt her freeze up in fear, and even whimper as she prepared herself for death...but I did not bite. I backed away and sat down again. "I could have easily torn your throat out for all the trouble you caused me in Canterlot...but I didn't. Now ask the most obvious question, Twilight Sparkle."

Once she had composed herself and stopped shaking, the violet mare looked into my eyes with concern. "Why?"

I smiled at her predictability. "Because...I do not want to fight. I don't want to take over, I don't want to hurt anypony...I just want to live as a normal pony, or three. For quite some time now, I have been living my life in silence. As Starshine, I am Miss Rarity's good friend from Germaney. As Mist Ray, I am the best lightning-wrangler Rainbow Dash knows, and I work with her. As Mosswalker, I live quietly in the Whitetail Wood. You are the only one that was not fooled, so believe me when I say that had I actually wanted to, I could have easily overtaken the entire town before you knew anything had happened." I then sighed as I leaned back against the footboard of the bed. "But therein lies the point...I don't want to. I am tired of being the one that everypony hates, I am tired of being the monster...but most of all, I am tired of being alone." I then stood and strode up to the mare before exhaling warm breath on her four trapped limbs, causing the adhesive to melt away and her to fall to the floor. I then turned away from her and sighed. "So my future is now in your hooves. You can destroy me, contact your princess and imprison me, or tell the truth to all of your friends and, once again, ruin me. Please make it quick so I can figure out what to do next." I mentally prepared myself, and was now at peace. I had no regrets if this was the end, as I would do everything again...

Especially my new lives in Ponyville.

For moment upon agonizing moment, there was complete silence. She did not move, she did not speak, and I could swear she was even holding her breath. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, she responded with one simple word that stopped my thoughts completely.

"No." she barely whispered.

No? What did she mean? For the first time in a long time, there was a question I needed answers to...and only one who could give those answers to me. I turned around to the pony and asked, "No? What do you mean 'no'? No what?"

"I'm not going to destroy what you have...not this time." she answered firmly.

I gasped in shock, nearly falling over from the amount of surprise I received from that statement. "Why?"

Seeming unconcerned about me now, Twilight Sparkle simply walked by me and hopped up onto the bed, laying down comfortably as she looked directly at me. "Because it's not right...and the princess taught me better than that. She taught me that we have to look for the goodness in ponies, because a lot of times it's covered up and hidden." A sad sigh escaped her lips as she lowered her gaze to the floor in shame. "For a long time I believed that like Discord, there just wasn't any good left in you." The unicorn mare then looked up at me with a sad smile. "Maybe I'm being an immature foal...but I don't want to believe that about you anymore. All of what you've said makes sense. You could have done all kinds of terrible things, because until just a few minutes ago, I had no idea you were even in Ponyville...and so I wouldn't have been able to stop you. But the point is that you didn't do anything bad." She then let a genuine smile shine through. "Besides, Princess Celestia always told me that a good princess always does what's right...even if it's dangerous." She hopped off of the bed now and stood in front of me. "I'm not stupid though, so I will be keeping an eye on you...but I'm not going to ruin your life so long as you aren't going to hurt anypony or Ponyville. I never thought I'd say this, but you deserve a chance to live peacefully and with friends." I was so overcome with my own emotions of thanks that I moved to embrace the mare, but I was stopped by an outstretched hoof. "I said I wouldn't ruin your life, I never said we were friends. You're going to have to earn my trust for that to ever happen."

I got a hold of myself and nodded. "Yes, I understand. Sorry about that, I'm not sure what came over me."

The mare lowered her hoof and smiled. "It's called gratitude, and you're allowed to feel that...just without hugging me."

I smiled sheepishly and nodded. "Thank you, Twilight Sparkle."

I watched as the door opened and she walked towards it. "Have a nice day...Starshine."

The rest of the day was fairly normal, whatever that is. I felt more comfortable with speaking to my new friends, and was completely at peace now. It was a new feeling, and one I liked quite a bit.

As the day began to wane, however, it was time to head to my cloud abode and rest for Mist Ray's work tomorrow. After I changed to Mist Ray and prepared to fly away however, a voice stopped me.

"Mist! Hey Mist, wait up!" shouted a familiarly raspy female voice.

I looked over my shoulder to see a certain rainbow-maned pegasus approaching, so I smiled as I turned around to greet her. "Hiya Rainbow Dash!"

She landed in front of me and frowned. "Why didn't you come to Twilight's birthday?"

The realization struck me that Mist Ray had said she was coming as well, and I slapped my forehead with a hoof in frustration. "Ugh...that was today? Rainbow Dash, I'm so sorry, I totally spaced."

She sighed and shook her head. "It's okay, Mist. It's not like she was expecting you to be there or anything, I just wanted you to meet her." The mare then tapped her chin with a hoof before asking, "What are you doing after work tomorrow?"

I shrugged and answered, "Nothing that I can think of."

"Great! Well I want you to come by the library tomorrow so you can meet Twi." she replied with excitement.

I quirked an eyebrow. "Not that I don't want to meet her, but why is it so important that I do?"

"Because," the cyan pegasus answered, her wings flapping in joy, "you're my friend and I want you to meet her! The last cool friend I had ended up making a fool of herself in front of my friends, but I don't think you'd embarrass me like that. I just want my two friends to meet each other is all."

I shrugged again and smiled. "Sounds cool. I'm there if you just tell me the time."

"Noon. I'll let her know you're coming, okay?" she said, but didn't give me a chance to answer as she flew off. "Don't be late!"

So I'd be meeting Twilight Sparkle, again, as a separate pony...great.

I just sighed and floated away towards my home, ready to call it a day and rest my weary body.

When I finally made it to my soft bed, I allowed myself a sigh of relief. Like most days, I opted to stay in the form of a pegasus, and just smiled as I lay my head upon my bed made of cloud. Today was the best day of my life so far. I had made friends, and what was once my enemy had offered me the chance to redeem myself.

I was not going to let her – or myself – down.