Molded to Love

by Radiant Dawn

Chapter 3: Scars of the Past

Chapter 3: Scars of the Past

“Mommy, I don’t want to go!” cried the small filly, tears streaming down her face.

A unicorn mare was also crying as well as she barricaded the door with her body, but she shook her head sadly. “Do as mommy says! Take your brother and run as fast and as far as you can!” She noticed that the filly and colt had not fled, so she stamped her hoof as hard as she could and bellowed, “GO NOW!”

Reluctantly, the two young ponies fled as they sobbed, and not a moment too soon.

In an explosion of splinters, the door shattered, impaling the mare in multiple places as she fell. It was shortly thereafter that she heard the clopping of hooves, and she looked up to see a horribly disfigured creature with a black insectoid body, a gnarled horn, and legs that were filled with holes, as if they were swiss cheese.

The tall creature laughed haughtily and grinned maniacally down at her prey for a moment before lowering her head to gaze at the lime-green eyes of that which she had hunted for so long.

“Well well, it appears you finally slipped up, my dear.” the being said in a multi-layered voice. It looked around for a few moments before gazing back at the downed pony and asking, “Where are those succulent little foals of yours?”

Even as the life-giving blood oozed out of her, she growled out, “You will never find them, monster!”

“Monster?” the creature responded with mock offense. “My dear, you wound me. I wish to make a deal with you: you tell me where the children are, and I will make your death quick and painless. Refuse, and things are going to get quite a bit more agonizing before the end.”

“You’ll get nothing out of me, Queen.” the mare spat, even as her vision began to dim.

The tall insectoid creature grinned and nodded. “Very well, have it your way.”

That day for many hours, all that could be heard from that lonely cottage was the sound of screaming the likes of which would make a banshee seem like an improvement...and two young ponies were forced to listen to the cries of agony until after what felt like an eternity, they stopped.

The two small ponies cautiously began to crawl away towards the forest, only to be stopped by a very unnerving giggle from behind them.

Against all rational thought, both turned around to see the “Queen” before them, covered in what could only be blood.

“Well now, I knew I would find you sooner or later.” the creature remarked. “I must give your late mother praise, as she refused until the end to give your location away.” She then crouched low in preparation to pounce. “It really is too bad it will have been in vain.”

With that she lunged...

I awoke in a cold sweat, and with my heart threatening to leap out of my chest as I had yet again been forced to relieve the sins of my past...and with this having been week number four of this specific incident, I fear this is going to be the norm for me.

I needed help in order to keep my sanity, and there was only one I could turn to.

With this in mind, I threw the covers off of myself and achingly stepped away from my cloud bed before heading directly to the hallway as nausea began to overcome me. As the bile continued to rise in my throat, I quickly escalated to a full gallop to the washroom, just in time to lift up the seat to the toilet bowl and empty the contents of my stomach into it. For what felt like centuries the muscles of my stomach contracted, intent on spewing every bit of what was within me out, until I was dry-heaving as convulsions nearly overtook me. Somehow, I fought them back and instead curled up on the floor of the washroom and sobbing openly.

My how the mighty have fallen.

When these buried guilts of mine first began to surface, my mentality was that of one seeking redemption. I deserved it, and I bore every memory with the pride that I was getting exactly what I deserved for what I had done in the past, but now...

“It’s not worth it...” I sputtered as the sobbing finally tapered off.

After cleaning myself up and sipping some water in an attempt to calm my stomach, I made sure my form was in order before taking flight towards a specific library, to speak with a specific unicorn. At this point I didn’t care that we technically weren’t “friends” at the moment...all that mattered was that she knew me for what I really was, and had saw fit to allow me to live peacefully anyway.

It had to be her...only she might understand.

And so, as I rushed as fast and as discreetly as I could towards the home of Twilight Sparkle, I began trying to think of how to approach the situation...if she would even agree to help me. If I was honest with myself, I was not entirely sure what I expected her to do exactly...

But a shattered mind is not a good breeding ground for rational thought.

I arrived some time later and knocked loudly on the door, just barely keeping myself in control enough not to cause a scene in broad daylight...but to any pony that paid attention, it was clear I was very stressed out.

I consider myself lucky then that I was alone as the door opened.

A young dragon stood in the doorway with a smile as he greeted, “Oh hey, Mist Ray! What are-”

“I need to see Twilight right away.” I interrupted him.

Spike eyed me curiously before shrugging. “Alright then. I’ll go get her for you.”

As he jogged away and up the stairs, I couldn’t help but feel glad that he had not noticed my turmoil, as it was embarrassing enough that I was going to speak to one pony about this...I did not need more than that.

My sharpened hearing picked up on whispering from upstairs, though I knew not of what, but a second later, the unicorn and her assistant descended the upstairs rooms.

The young dragon waved goodbye before stepping out the front door, which left me alone with Twilight.

“I know something’s bothering you, because if you came to me looking like you do, it must be pretty important.” the unicorn started as she made her way to me.

I sighed and looked down at the oaken wood floor in shame. “Is it truly that obvious?”

“To the average pony,’re pretty good at keeping yourself composed.” Twilight responded gently. A hoof then pulled my face up to meet her eyes and she continued with, “But you have to remember, I’ve had to learn to read Princess Celestia’s face, and in case you don’t know, she’s probably the most stoic pony alive. Even her younger sister Luna is easier to read.”

I couldn’t help as a small smile tugged at my cheeks, and I nodded before following Twilight deeper into her home until we came across a small study. As we stepped in, I heard the door shut before my companion hopped up on a small lounge chair and patted the spot next to her.

“Sit.” she ordered, though gently and with concern.

I meekly followed and planted my rump on the soft cushions beside her, and I couldn’t help but feel nervous suddenly. Under that scrutinizing gaze, I felt like shrinking and just disappearing. I am unsure as to why, but whenever I was under the analysis of Twilight’s eyes, I felt less powerful for some reason, and afraid. It was one of the many things about my life that I had come to accept as “the way things are”.

For the longest time, the two of us sat in silence before that silence was broken when Twilight said, “Come can talk to me. What’s bothering you?”

For a moment I was silent again before responding with a simple, “I’ve had dreams lately...”

“Oh?” the unicorn beside me replied in surprise. “Well with how they’re making you feel, I’m sure I can assume they’re not good dreams, correct?” I nodded, and she moved just a little closer to me, causing me to look directly at her again. Yet again I met with her eyes, but instead of scrutiny, I saw only concern...and that made me feel better for some reason. She placed a hoof on my shoulder and asked, “What kind of dreams are they?”

“Horrible ones...” I responded meekly - a very recent change in demeanor for me since the onset of my nightmares.

For a few moments those violet eyes analyzed me again, but as soon as she started, she stopped at a sudden realization. Her own eyes looked away and she whispered, “It’s about your past, isn’t it?”

I flinched a bit at her statement, with her having been completely accurate. While I was sure at this point that she needed no acknowledgement, I still offered as soft, “Yes.”

“What about?” she asked curiously.

I sighed and closed my eyes as the visions came back to me, and I shuddered at the very thought. Where once these memories had been something for me to be proud of, they now sickened me...quite literally. Still, I was practically pleading for help from the pony beside me, so she had to know the truth.

I raised my eyes to look at her again and said, “I saw all the ponies that have died by my hoof.” I looked away in shame and continued with, “Mothers, fathers, foals...none were safe from Chrysalis.”

“You mean you...” Twilight corrected blandly.

I looked up at her in shock. Why would she say that? What would be the point?

Against my wishes, tears began to fall down my cheeks as I asked, “W-why?”

Twilight sighed and closed her eyes. “Because the only way you’re going to get over this is if you come to terms with it. You have to make it real, and you have to face it.” Her eyes opened and she looked back at me. “You are Chrysalis. You did those things, and that’s why you feel so terribly about it...and you should.”

Tears broke free with renewed vigor at this as I whimpered out, “How is this helping?”

“You want to know what kind of pony doesn’t feel bad about doing the kinds of things you did?” she asked incredulously. I didn’t give any response, so she continued with, “A monster.”

“But I am a-” I attempted to say, only to be interrupted.

“’re not. I don’t think you are anymore, because a real monster feels no remorse, and they don’t think they’re a monster.” she responded sternly. Again, silence prevailed for a few tense moments, but she continued with, “Perhaps at one time you were a monster...but you’re not anymore.” She sighed and looked out the window towards the town the two of us lived in. “I know now why you decided to become those three different ponies. Besides the obvious fact that a changeling queen would have caused an uproar, I think you did it to give yourself a fresh be somepony completely different.” Her gaze once again found itself on me and she said, “But Chrysalis can be a new pony too. That’s the great thing about can always change.”

“I am not sure Chry-...I am not sure I can change.” I replied sadly, a few more tears slipping down my face.

“No matter how much you may look like another pony, who you are inside never changed from being Chrysalis.” Twilight responded gently, while slowly stroking my mane. “The fact that you feel so terrible about what you’ve done means that you - Chrysalis - have already changed. The Queen Chrysalis I remember from the attack on Canterlot was mean, and wanted power over all else.” I then attempted to look away in shame, but two hooves grabbed my face and forced me to look back at a pair of violet eyes, burning with intensity. “But who I see now is a pony that realizes what she did was wrong, and she’s trying to live a better life now. If that’s not change, I don’t know what is.” The mare released my face and smiled gently. “The pony I’m looking at now is the kind of pony I would be privileged to call my friend.”

Her last statement caught me completely by surprise, and I felt both my eyes widen and my heart rate quicken as I struggled to keep from...doing something. I wasn’t sure exactly how to react, but one side of me wanted to let out a joyful cheer, while another part wanted to fly away as fast as my wings can carry me...while yet another side wished to simply cry.

My need to respond was dashed as I felt two comforting forelegs wrap around me, as I was pulled into an embrace with the pony sitting beside me.

My decision was made...I cried.

Emotions were still fairly new to me. As a changeling, it is true we feed off emotions, but we rarely actually feel them. For me, that meant a lot of social awkwardness, and plenty of moments like this, when the emotional strain became too much, and I just wept. It was embarrassing to say the least, but at the same time, liberating. It felt that with each tear that fell, I was being cleansed. It was an odd sensation to be sure, but one I relished as it happened...

And I especially relished the embrace of Twilight.

This would make the first time that I’d stayed at Twilight’s for more than an hour. As the late afternoon arrived, I was again surprised by her as she asked a simple question that yet again completely changed my expectations of her.

“Would you like to stay for dinner, Chrysalis?”

Not only had Twilight invited me to have an evening meal with her, but she had also used my real name. I couldn’t help but mentally giggle at the fact that she likely never thought that sentence would come out of her mouth...but here we were.

As she masterfully prepared a meal, I didn’t really have the heart to tell her that I had fed off her positive emotions towards me, and so I was in fact satisfied.

I changed my mind when I smelled a sweet aroma in the air.

A few moments later, a large steaming tray was levitated to a large round table...and upon it was the most wonderful-smelling pie I had ever imagined.

I was openly salivating now in a very unbecoming manner, which simply caused Twilight to giggle at me. “Well now, I kinda figured you’d like this.”

“Did you...?” I questioned, pointing to the steaming pastry.

Again she giggled, but shook her head. “I may be better at cooking than I used to be, but no way in Equestria could I ever make something this good. This is Applejack’s specialty. I buy these two or three at a time and freeze them so that I can bake one whenever I’m missing the taste.”

“It’s addicting.” I stated, my gaze not breaking with the pie.

“That’s definitely one word I’d use.” Twilight responded as she sat down and passed a plate to me from across the table. She then levitated a pie server and cut two pieces out, placing one on my plate and the other on hers. Afterwards she looked to me with a warm grin. “Well go on and dig in, I know you’re practically dying to.”

Her assumption was not far off. From the moment the wonderful baked good was set on the table, I had to restrain myself from practically inhaling it.

And so, with great care, I only got some of the pie all over me...instead of all of it.

Twilight’s young assistant Spike arrived sometime during the meal, but only offered a short wave and smile before grabbing his bag and leaving again.

We had finished our meal some time ago, so I couldn’t help but notice when Twilight sighed sadly, and with her being my new friend, I felt compelled to assist.

And so, I couldn’t help but gently ask, “What is the matter, Twilight?”

She stood up and walked to her kitchen, levitating the soiled dishes over with her before returning a few seconds later with two bottles of apple juice, one of which I took gratefully. She returned to her spot at the table, boring her gaze into the intricate woodwork as she took a drink of the sweet juice.

“I miss him.” she replied with a soft whisper. When her eyes next locked onto me, I could see both loneliness and pride within them. She then added, “I barely see him anymore. Where once he was by my side most of the day every day, now I might not see him for days at a time...and when I do, it’s only for a few minutes.” A sad sigh escaped her lips. “I’m so proud of him for what he’s become and what an amazing friend he’s been to me, but it’s also because of those that I miss him. He’s like a son to me...”

It was times like this I wish I had something insightful and comforting to say.

Unlike ponies, my offspring worked for the Hive since coming into their own. There was no personal connection between myself and my ilk, other than the drive to survive together. I had nursery-worker drones for that.

With the fact that I had no words to speak, I instead followed my newfound instincts with social etiquette. I stood up from my place across from Twilight and quickly made my way over to her before placing a hoof on her shoulder comfortingly. She seemed to relax just a bit at the touch, so I chanced it, and embraced her in a soft hug.

It was then that the floodgates opened.

The normally strong and stoic Twilight Sparkle began openly weeping as she leaned against me, her tears running down my coat. My instincts wished me to hold her closer, and so I did...and in turn she wrapped her own hooves around me and wept even more intensely.

For a few minutes, this was my place. I was for the first time a comforting presence to a pony that was broken...and it felt good to be of use again, if only for this.

After another ten or so minutes, Twilight finally stopped sobbing and looked up at me in shame. “I-I’m sorry, don’t need this. You have issues of your own to deal with and-”

I cut her off as I gently, yet firmly spoke, “As Rainbow Dash would say, ‘I’ll never leave my friends hanging.’ You were comforting to me when I needed it, because that’s what friends do...well now you need me, and I’m not going to abandon you.” I sighed as I pulled away from the mare and added, “I will admit it’s new to be doing this, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing.” I looked up at the violet eyes of the pony in front of me and smiled. “You offered your friendship to me because you saw more than just a failed changeling queen...and it is only right that I offer you the same gesture of friendship.”

A small smile tugged at the lips of Twilight before she replied, “Thank you, Chrysalis...I really do appreciate it.” She then let out a short laugh. “You know, if you had told me that one day I’d be crying on the shoulder of the changeling queen, I’d call you crazy.”

“I never thought I would be doing much of anything that I am now...but here I am. Life has a funny way of working things out.” I responded with a grin.

Twilight nodded before quickly downing the rest of her drink and standing, noticing that night was in full-swing by now. “It’s getting late, so I should be getting to bed.” She then looked at me with...pleading? “Can I see you tomorrow?”

I couldn’t help as an unfettered smile was plastered on my face, and I responded, “I’ll come by after I finish work with Rainbow Dash. Expect me at around noon.”

The unicorn wiped the remnants of her tears away and answered, “I’ll hold you to that.” She then shuffled nervously as she gazed down at her hooves. “For what it’s worth...I want to thank you. I know some of today was uncomfortable and awkward for you, but you were a good friend all the same, and I just wanted to thank you for that.”

I felt myself smile brightly and I nodded happily. “It was my pleasure, Twilight.” And I meant it more than anything.

As I lay in my plush cloud bed that night, I couldn’t help but have my mind wander to the amazing unicorn I’d befriended.

We were enemies once, and now we were friends.

Having her care and friendship felt better than the sweetest positive emotions, and it warmed me better than a roaring fire.

That night, as sleep overtook me, I dreamt of the unicorn that changed my life.