Carapace grumbled as she looked at the clock, the Alicorn wench was late. The room that held the Communications device wasn’t necessarily big, but it didn’t stop the Changeling Queen from pacing around in anger. After another eight grueling minutes of enraged speedy back and forth strides, the device flickered.
Thousands of tiny bluish particles fizzed into existence, circled around each other, collided and melded together until a hologram of Celestia formed to its fullest. The Changeling snorted darkly at the Alicorn, hinting at her displeasure.
“You seem annoyed.” Celestia said calmly, though mockery could be felt underneath it.
“You’re late.” Carapace shot back.
“I do recall you never setting an exact meeting time, so technically I’m not late, I may even be early.”
“Enough!” Carapace growled. “It’s been five days, have you found Chrysalis?!”
“No, we haven’t.” Celestia replied.
Carapace’s eye twitched slightly. “Is that so? Well, you know what I think? I think you’re stalling! You’re actually holding her captive so you can get the information out of her!”
“I would never hold Chrysalis captive.” Celestia countered. “I love her!”
“Doubtful.” Carapace remarked.
“Changeling Queen’s love no one but themselves and their Hive.” Carapace shot back. “How could she fall in love with you?!”
“I feel a story coming on!”
Celestia’s neck twisted and her head spun around to see Discord floating in the air, a bag of popcorn in one claw. She gave the Draconequus a look and turned back to the Changeling Queen. Her face quickly became enlightened as an idea sprung to mind. “That’s actually a good idea Discord. You need convincing? Fine. A story will convince you…”
Three Months Ago
I had already told Luna that my little envoy to the Collective would take a long time. Had I known it would take two months, I might have commissioned some help for her, if only I had known Blueblood could be competent at government. I digress, however, and what happened in Equestria has no consequence on this.
Anyway, the trip to the Collective (or more specifically: Chrysalis’ Hive, the Alliance Parliament had dealt with the overall Collective backlash) was about as boring as any long distant trip. We past through several towns and cities in Equestria to get to the border and once we finally reached the political lines of our lands we could see the outlying wastes of the badlands, that is when things became strange.
Our trip didn’t change from the border to Chrysalis’s hive, and that made me rather apprehensive. As far deep as we were in Collective territory we should have met dozens of Changeling patrols, but not we saw nothing.
Finally reaching the Hive in about two days, I called out with the Royal Canterlot Voice to get the Hive’s attention. It took me several tries to get the Voice right though; I haven’t used it in so long. After calling out to Chrysalis seventeen times, the Queen herself came to great us. I was, to say the least, confused. Never had a Changeling Queen come to greet her ‘guests’ like Chrysalis had. It also disturbed me that other than herself, there was only one other Changeling with her, a small thing with a little writing board.
Chrysalis greeted us with the most expected reaction: anger. She shouted, insulted, and was all around a poor host, and I told her so personally, as I was equally angered at her inhospitality. I knew, however, that for this diplomatic mission to work I had to stay calm, so I took a deep breath and explained the situation.
At first, Chrysalis seemed perturbed, as if my presence meant her destruction. She quickly retreated to her hive, saying she had to think about it. She left us out in the cold, metaphorically speaking since the badlands have a very warm climate. It would be two whole days before Chrysalis returned, her demeanor regal once more, and her face smiling widely. (I’ll admit, the first time I saw that smile it disgusted me, seeing all those fangs and knowing exactly what they were for).
Chrysalis led my guards and I into the large structure that was her Hive. Considering you are Changeling yourself and most Changeling architecture is almost identical in appearance I don’t think I need to describe what the interior looked like…
Oooo, Oooo, I’d like to know what it looked like!
I think it would add to the story.
Anyway, the first thing I noticed was… how empty the Hive was. Changeling Hives are like tightly packed cities, with basically every square inch being used for the betterment of the Hive. But Chrysalis’s hive, it was completely empty. No other Changelings except for Chrysalis and the little drone. I asked her about it, she scoffed and blatantly lied to me saying, “They’re out scouting for new sources of food, not all of us have the benefit of a bountiful country.”
I knew it was a lie, Changeling scout groups are three to six in size and the rest are always at work in the Hive. It was clear they had gone somewhere; the lingering question was where? I didn’t learn that day.
The next few days were taken up with back and forth bickering between us. I would ask for Chrysalis’s ear, and she’d blow me off with a regal snort and a turn of her neck in the opposite direction. Needless to say, she was being difficult. But I persevered; I wanted my country and my little ponies to be safe from any attacks from Chrysalis.
I found it odd that she had put up with us for so long, we were at her hive for nearly two weeks when she finally opened up… with an offer of sex. I turned it down obviously; I knew she was trying to steal love from me. The next time we spoke she was subtler, friendly. I have no doubt she was still trying to drain me of my love, but I took precautions. Still, I couldn’t past this opportunity up. If I could turn the manipulation around, I thought, then I could make her more susceptible to my beliefs and thereby getting one step closer to my own goal.
So yes, Queen Carapace, our first date we ever had was fake, mired with some subtle and not so subtle attempted manipulation of each other. I think back and realize just how absurd we acted on the first half of that date. Chrysalis took me to an oasis deep in the badlands; it was a beautiful sight in the middle of all that no-ponies-land surrounding it. It was basically a picnic, with all the works. I was impressed at how much normal food Chrysalis had, I confess I did not know before-hoof that Changelings could eat material food for sustenance. There’s always something new to learn, right? Anyway, the date was a lot of talking (with attempted manipulation practically dripping from between our words) and looking at the sights. She offered sex again but I turned it down, she was persistent.
I will admit that I had a good time on the date. It was… nice. I’ve not had a lover in… well, not since Luna became Nightmare Moon. There just wasn’t any time really, I had a country to run by myself and personal wants had fallen by the wayside in that time. It felt good to experience such actions again, even if it was an act.
Those feelings, however, weren’t the climax of our little fake date. We had just eaten and decided to lie down near the edge of the lake that was in the center of the oasis. I had gotten Chrysalis talking about the Changelings, a topic she was more than happy to speak about. She talked about their supposed origins, their culture, way of life, as well as their beliefs on why they feed off love. I listened intently; it was truly an interesting talk. Oddly enough, I thought of my student, Twilight Sparkle, during much of this part. I kept thinking of how much she’d love to hear this, studious as she is.
But as Chrysalis talked, I noticed the change in her demeanor. In the beginning it had been proud and smug, but it slowly disintegrated away. She… she began to cry, tears falling freely as she wept for whatever it was that pained her. I haven’t met many Changeling Queens in my life, but the ones I did meet were proud and confident. Crying was a foreign thing to them, and I assumed this was true for all Queens of the Collective. It was pathetic in a pitiable way and… and I couldn’t help myself. I had always been the benevolent Princess that never wished to see her ponies cry. Even then, deep in the badlands of unfriendly territory, my instincts would not leave me. I… I put my arm and wing around her and pulled her close, comforting her softly. At first I thought she would steal my love at that moment, like it had been all an act to drop my defenses. But she didn’t, and she hugged me back. She was truly sad.
Humph, a testament to her weakness.
Excuse me Carapace?
As you said, Changeling Queens are meant to be proud and confident. To do what she did is a sign of pure weakness. It is no wonder your niece and Shining Armor defeated her.
I will ignore that you said that, be glad for that Carapace.
We sat there for a long time, just me patting Chrysalis on the back as she bawled her eyes out. She told me why she grieved: her Changelings had deserted her. The attack on Equestria had drained most of the Hive’s resources, and there simply wasn’t enough food to go around. The Changelings knew this and… abandoned Chrysalis. The low food reserves and failed attacked made them doubt Chrysalis, so they left to find a more profitable hive. Chrysalis told me how loyal Changelings were to their Queen, that they’d die a thousand deaths for her. For her hive to desert her, it was the ultimate sign of disrespect and disgrace. By the end, the drone she had met us with was the only one that remained loyal, I have never discovered why.
I was moved, and I continued to comfort her, she was grateful. We returned to the Hive that night with… a better opinion of each other. She saw me as a comforting presence in her despair, and I saw that she was more than a heartless monster. Now she seemed like me, almost. A leader trying to do the best for her people despite everything being thrown at her. It was alluring, finally realizing that there was emotion in her and she did feel.
It played on my mind the next few days at the Hive. I didn’t see her those few days afterword, she had locked herself away in some room. I saw her last drone quite often however. The little thing had taken a liking to my guards, and they often hung out together do all sorts of activities to pass the time. His name was Shape Shift from what I gathered. It was odd for a simple Changeling drone to have a name, but because he was the last one Chrysalis had humored him with the honor. He never spoke any kind of words, even when transformed. Chrysalis said it was a birth defect; his egg had been damaged during a raid from an opposing hive and the loss of his voice was the side effect.
But I’m getting off track, aren’t I? After those few days of waiting around Chrysalis returned and said she was open to talks. I believe her exact words were: “I’m ready to begin negotiations but, considering it’s only me and Shape Shift, the threat of my Hive has greatly diminished.”
This is where, I’ll admit, it gets somewhat saucy. I had decided during Chrysalis’s absence that I had feelings for her. I won’t lie, it’s probably because I hadn’t had a lover in over a thousand years and I was feeling desperate since that date of ours. This when I, in the truly cliché adult fiction manner, asked Chrysalis. “Well, I have another thing we could discuss.” I then proceeded to give her my most sultry look I could make and rubbed up against her seductively. Don’t laugh, I know it’s stupid to hear and I personally feel stupid looking back. It wasn’t my fault; I hadn’t had any sort of romantic relationship for generations, I didn’t know what to do! Chrysalis still teases me about it.
Regardless of how I feel, it… worked, kind of. Chrysalis asked what I meant (though she understood my tone) by that. So, in true unromantic fashion, I bluntly told her I was interested. Chrysalis blinked at me, unsure of what to say at first. Eventually, she shook it off and smiled at me. It seemed like my comfort to her in the greatest time of despair she'd ever had was enough to peak her interests as well.
Was it desperation? Were we really interested in one another or was it just a cry for the attention of another that we could look to? Did we just want somepony to cling to for emotional stability? Perhaps, I wouldn’t put it past debate. Whatever the reason, it happened. And after Chrysalis agreed we went on a couple more dates, talked some more. It was an amazing feeling, finally having a special somepony again. We were still wary the first week, for legitimate reasons. It would be a week and a half before we slept in the same bed…
And then they had sex.
WE DID NOT DISCORD!
Right, sorry. They had voluptuous foreplay, then they sex.
WE DID NOT!
Chrysalis explored Celestia’s caverns…
They connected their foal tunnels with fake rods of pleasure…
They tasted the volcanic eruptions that were their clim…
I WILL TURN YOU BACK INTO A STATUE YOU SICK MISHMASH!
Discord snorted, turning his snout away. “What? I was simply trying to improve the story’s appeal with some extra details, naughty ones.”
Celestia, red in the face, gritted her teeth. “I don’t need your extra information to tell my story. Chrysalis and I didn’t have sex in her hive. It wasn’t until after I returned to Equestria that we… well, you know.”
Discord put his claw on Celestia’s shoulder. “I do, oh Maker I do. And I thank you, Celestia, because you caused so much chaos with your love of Chrysalis that I am literally bathing in it.” The Draconequus sniffed. “It’s so… beautiful.” Discord sighed. “Whelp, I gotta go, Fluttershy and I are going camping for the weekend, toodles.” The Draconequus disappeared in a white flash.
Celestia shook her head and turned to the hologram of Queen Carapace (looking on in what could be described as an expression of horror, disgust, and confusion). “Consider yourself lucky, I have to live with him most of the time.”
“A shame for you.” Carapace stated.
“Indeed.” Celestia replied. The white Alicorn sighed. “And that’s how it happened, basically. After a few more days we returned to Equestria together, the ride back is when we truly decided we wanted it to be a more lasting partnership. That being said, do you require anymore convincing?”
Carapace snorted objectively. “No, I believe you, if only because I know Chrysalis would be weak enough to let such emotions get the better of her.” The Changeling Queen looked away angrily, growling slightly. “And… because it’s love that Chrysalis is with you, I will not take her away and will allow her to stay with you.”
Celestia’s face lit up with joy and she was about to thank Carapace before the Changeling cut her off. “However, I still require her back! I have to make her give an oath that she will never tell Collective secrets to non-Changelings. If this is done, I will return the Crystal Empire to you, completely unharmed.”
Celestia smiled and nodded. “Of course Queen Carapace, this is very doable. I’m glad we can come to an agreement, and I hope that this can be seen as our two species improving in our currently shaky relationship.”
The Changeling snorted. “Maybe, but anything like that is for the Collective Council to decide. I alone cannot…” A lone Changeling drone interrupted the Queen, buzzing up to Carapace’s ear and whispered something in the Changeling tongue. “WHAT?! How is that possible?! Gather the rest of the Hive, now!” The Changeling drone saluted and buzzed off.
“What’s wrong?” Celestia asked, concerned. “What’s happened?”
“It’s none of your concern Princess.” Carapace shot back. “Find Chrysalis, focus only on that!” The Queen flicked off the communicator and her hologram exploded out of existence.
Celestia stood there, dumbfounded.