A Cry For Help

by Regal Shadow

Chapter 2: Behind the Crown

Chapter 2: Behind the Crown

{P.O.V. Randy}

I was stuck there, in that bed, for nearly a month. It. Was. Torture! I couldn't move at all because they chained my hands and feet to the bed! Apparently some of the nurses assigned to me were too scared to even walk in the damn room because I might be "dangerous". I would've facepalmed, but all that did was rattle my chains and give me a sore wrist.

As I've said, I've got ADHD. I need to move. Birds need to fly, grass needs to grow, and I need to fidget. If I can't fidget, I start to go bonkers. I'm serious. When I was in 4th Grade, our teacher put the dick in dictator. He'd yell at you if you breathed wrong, let alone squirm a little. One day, I snapped. Screaming my head off, I ran out of the room, down the hall and out the front of the school. He caught me. I had to stay inside at recess, writing lines for the rest of the year. I can still feel the hand cramps... Come to think of it, these chains might not have been such a bad idea. Why, you ask? Because I wanted to choke the life out of the next Changeling that walked through that door.

I immediately regretted those thoughts when, of all Changelings, Chrysalis, their Queen, trotted into the room, followed by a nurse and several guards. Alright, screw that plan. I may be crazy, but I'm not THAT crazy. Might as well play nice for now and see what the hell's up.

The nurse trotted over to me. I could see that it was terrified by the look in its eyes. It really didn't want to be there. I soon learned why. She began to remove the bandages covering my mouth, and backed away. I mean sure, they took them off to feed me and such, but they always put it right back on afterwards. By the way, mushroom and oat stew is now my least favorite food of all time. Whoever created it gets my vote for top contestant for the "Go to Hell" award guaranteed.

Chrysalis stared at me, an air of curiosity about her. Normally, I would've acted like a total smart ass and said something along the lines of "You like what you see?" But I wisely kept my trap shut, knowing full well that if I said one wrong word, I'd be Changeling chow.


{P.O.V. Chrysalis, Five Minutes Earlier}

Chrysalis stood outside the creature's room, mentally preparing herself. It had been a month since they found him half dead outside the hive, and she needed answers. She needed to know what he was, where he came from, and what his intentions were. For all she knew, he could be a deranged lunatic prisoner from the Griffon Kingdom, determined to finish what the ponies had started.

She trembled as she recalled her trip to the Griffon Kingdom all those years ago, begging the king to allow her subjects to feed on the local populace...


{P.O.V. Chrysalis, Several Year Prior}

As she flew outside the capital of the Griffons, Chrysalis ran through her plan one last time. She had requested an audience with the Griffon King, keeping the details vague. Experience had taught her that revealing the reason for her request often resulted in denial, followed by banishment from their kingdom. But even after all this time, she could not understand why.

The process is harmless, she thought to herself. I'm the only Changeling that could ever take enough love from someone to cause any damage, and I'd never do such a thing. Why do they always hate us so much? We've never done anything wrong to them... She felt a tear run down her cheek, and pushed the thoughts out of her head. She refused to look weak in front of her future allies.

A few minutes later the palace was in sight. Chrysalis landed in front of the gates, only to be stopped by two guards posted on either side.

"Halt!" The first griffon shouted. She appeared to be of the Golden Eagle variety, based on the fact that the feathers covering her head were brown instead of white. She had piercing yellow eyes, the left having a scar running over it. The griffon practically oozed anger at the sight of Queen of Changelings. "What business do you have here?"

Chrysalis wondered why this Griffon had a particular hatred for her, as she had never met her before. Shrugging it off, she replied. "I have arranged to meet with your king this day. He knew I was coming."

The Griffon narrowed her eyes, analyzing Chrysalis' body, looking for any sign that she was lying. A flattened ear, averted eyes, shaky legs, anything. She found none of these, and turned to her partner. "Go check." Saluting, the other guard flew off, returning soon after, confirming Chrysalis' claims. Satisfied, the Griffon opened the gates, and allowed Chrysalis inside. The guard on the right walked ahead of Chrysalis, explaining that she would show her where the throne room was.

Thanking them, the Queen of Changelings followed the Griffon into the castle.

~ ~ ~

Soon they arrived at the throne room. The doors were made of solid oak, riddled with carvings telling of ancient battles won countless years ago. It was beautiful, in its own way, although the image of a pony head mounted on a spear made Chrysalis cringe slightly. "I thought the Griffons and Ponies were in good relations?"

"We are," the guard replied. "That carving is from thousands of years ago, put there by our ancestors. It does make visits from their Princess really awkward, I'll admit." The guard laughed, followed by Chrysalis, the latter more to be polite than actually finding something like that humorous.

"Here, I'll open it for you." Grabbing one of the large brass handles on the door, the Griffon pulled with all her might, causing the doors to swing open with a loud creak, most likely from the lack of lubricant on the hinges.

"Enter!" The king called out to them, resting on his throne. Not wishing to displease him, Chrysalis trotted inside, making sure her wings were flared and her head facing the ground. Just like her mother had taught her. Once she was at the proper distance, she stopped, kneeling before the king. She could sense that the king was pleased by Chrysalis' performance, both from the happiness he emitted and his voice. "Rise." He commanded, his voice much more friendly.

Obeying the command, Chrysalis rose back to her full height, and folded her wings. The king eyed her, trying to figure out what she was. Her form reminded him of a pony, yet she looked nothing like one. Instead of fur, her exterior was plated with thick chitin. Her eyes were draconic in appearance, and her hooves, horn, wings, mane, and tail were all riddled with holes. But what the king noticed more than anything was that this creature lacked a Cutie Mark, as the Princess had told him all ponies possessed one.

"If I may ask," the king began, "what are you?" Chrysalis, having anticipated the question, readily replied "I am what is known as a Changeling. We are shape shifters." The king's eyes widened at this. Shape shifters? This could either be very good or very bad for his kingdom. They could have replaced his entire staff, and he'd be none the wiser!

Despite all these thoughts running through his head, the Griffon maintained his composure, and continued. "I see." He pulls out the letter Chrysalis sent him prior to the visit, and reads it over. "You were rather vague while explaining the reason for your visit. Could you tell me what it is that you want from us?"

The Queen of Changelings steeled herself, fearing what the next few seconds would bring. This is it, she thought. The moment of truth. Taking a deep breath, Chrysalis began. "My subjects and I need food, your majesty. We cannot produce our food ourselves, and we are running out quickly."

The king pondered this, relieved that this new species did not wish to take anything valuable from him. It was just food, right? "Alright," he replied, "I see no problem with this. But uh, what is it exactly that you eat?"

She froze for a moment, terror filling her body. This could end two ways, with banishment or tolerance. Chrysalis preyed it would be the latter for once. "Love, your majesty." The king, caught off guard by such a bizarre answer, thought the Changeling was mocking his intelligence for a moment. His anger was about to surface when Chrysalis continued. "I know it sound bizarre, your majesty, but that's really what we eat! My subjects and I feed off of the emotions of others. We use our magic and our shapeshifting abilities to accomplish this. But we tire of deceiving everyone, we wish to become a part of the world, to be able to visit the other nations in our true forms as friends!" Her eyes focused on her hooves. "But that's just it, your majesty. I have tried to negotiate with the other tribes, and every time, they banished myself and my subjects from their lands. We regret our past way of life, and we wish to change for the better! But we need a source of love to feed on, or we'll die out! Please, help us, your majesty!"

The Queen of Changelings, strong, composed, and graceful, was now at the foot of the Griffon King's throne, begging for his help. The Griffon King considered what she had told him. Her tale was indeed sad. Everyone had turned her away, and perhaps he was their last hope. However, if everyone else turned her away, they must have had good reason. Perhaps when a Changeling fed off another, there were side affects that she was refused to tell him? The king was angered by this, uphauled that this parasite dared to enter his kingdom and ask to feed off of his Griffons! He would not stand for it!

"Guards!" he barked. Several Griffons flew to his side, having been hiding in the balconies built into the walls of the throne room. "Get this... This monster out of my sight!" The guards saluted, grabbing Chrysalis and dragging her out of the throne room.

Her eyes widened, having heard what the king had ordered. No, she though, her eyes brimming with tears. I can't fail them agian! "Please!" She begged, fighting against the guards. "My subjects will starve if you don't help us! Have you no compassion, no sympathy for those in need?!" The king had heard enough. He sprang from his throne, eyes blazing with fury. "Do not speak to me, parasite! he roared. "You tried to deceive me with your twisted lies, but I know better! As you get stronger, we'll become weak! Then you'll attack us, talking over these lands and claiming them for yourself! I am the King of Griffons! I have slain Hydras and Manticores to keep my kingdom safe, and I will do the same to you if any of your kind ever show yourselves around my kingdom again!"

Breathing heavily, he sat back down, having said his piece. His fiery rage sated, the burning in his chest was replaced by a soothing calm. He was done speaking to this creature. "If you ever try to return," he began, "I will cut off your head and mount your skull on the head of my throne to serve as a reminder to your subjects." Chrysalis, defeated, no longer caring for her appearance, kept silent as she let herself be led out of the palace, tears rolling down her cheeks...


{P.O.V. Chrysalis, Present}

"My Queen?" One of the guards asked, having grown concerned for his ruler's well being. "Are you alright?" She had been standing in front of the door for several minutes now, staring off into the distance. The guard wondered what it was that seemed to be upsetting their all powerful ruler so deeply. Surely nothing in existence could shake her this terribly, right?

Chrysalis, having been startled out of her flashback, shook her head. That had been the worst of all her visits to the other kingdoms. She was always polite to their leaders, always letting them say their piece before even thinking of saying a word. Yet in the end the result was always the same. They banished her, along with her subjects, from their lands, refusing to show even an ounce of pity for the poor queen.

The flashback had been extremely vivid. She almost forgot where she was for a moment. Taking a shaky breath, the Queen of Changelings turned to face her guard, giving him a warm smile and a nod. "I am fine. I was just lost in my thoughts for a moment." The guard raised an eyebrow at this, not quite sure what to make of the situation. He knew his queen wasn't telling him something, but what? Shrugging it off, he nodded.

Thankful that her guard had decided to let it go, she turned back to the nurse. "Whenever you're ready." The nurse nodded, steeling herself. The creature inside that room frightened her, but she couldn't let the Queen know! What would she think of a cowardly Changeling like herself? Not highly, that's for sure. Mustering up all the courage she could, she willed her magic to come to her horn, grasped the handle with it, and opened the door, revealing the creature that haunted her nightmares.

She had never seen anything like it before. This is what frightened her. She was a Changeling! She knew of every kind of creature in existence, yet she had no idea what this thing was! This is what scared her; the unknown... Still, she had a job to do. Trotting over to the creature, she removed the bandages on its mouth, and trotted back over to the the group.

The creature eyed them curiously, as if it were trying to understand why they had done that. But Chrysalis knew better. She could tell the creature was sentient, and knew what they were going to do. Perhaps he had never seen a Changeling prior to coming here?

Chrysalis cleared her throat, ready to begin the interrogation. "Hello? Can you understand me?"


{P.O.V. Randy}

Well, I'm proud to say that I shat not a brick when Chrissy started speaking English. To be honest, I thought that their language would turn out to be some high pitched chatter or something. But no, they actually spoke English. This is great! I thought to myself. They speak English! Now I don't have to worry about translation issues and I can get myself out of here faster! I nearly squeed in joy, but then the rational part broke the surface and bitch slapped me back into reality. They were expecting an answer, and I was going to give them one.

"Yes," I replied, "I can." Great fucking job Brain. Couldn't you think of something, I don't know, THAT'S NOT OVERDONE?! Lucky for me, Chrysalis doesn't seem to care. Probably too busy thinking about how a malnourished, hairless Orangutang could actually talk. Or at least what she probably thought was a malnourished, hairless Orangutang.

"Well," she said. "That's good. Then we can get this over with quickly." She pulled out a notepad and a quill, levitating both in her magic. My jaw dropped at the sight. I mean sure, I knew the Changelings could use magic. But that didn't make it any less surprising when all of a sudden two radiation green thingamabobbers were floating in the air right in front of her!

I guess my jaw had dropped a little lower than I thought. Chrysalis was giving me the dreaded "Dafuq are you doin?" look. I shut my trap, embarrassed. "Sorry," I said. "We don't have magic where I come from. I was just... Surprised, is all..." Oh God, it's getting worse! I screamed in my head. And indeed it was. The tell tale characteristics of my least favorite face became more and more defined as my words took Chrysalis' brain and beat the everlovin' crap out of it.

She shook her head. I had obviously confused her, or she thought I was crazy. Probably the last one. She looked at me again, obviously confused about something. Alright, good. For now I'm labeled as sane. "Wait," she asked, "let me get this straight. You don't have magic where you're from?"

"No," I replied. "As you can probably guess, I'm not from anywhere around here. Back where I'm from, magic is a fantasy, something that only little children believe in, a myth. We have technology, which does many of the things your magic can probably do, and more." And why the hell am I telling them all of this? I thought to myself. Oh yeah, because I don't have much of a choice. They can probably read my mind or some shit, but Chrysalis probably wants to be polite or something and interrogate me the old fashioned way.

Chrysalis seemed intrigued by this. Sadly, she had to be all boring and official, writing it down to save for another session. "Alright, what are you exactly? I've never seen anything quite like you before." Of course you haven't... I thought, mentally facepalming. "I'm a human. I'm pretty sure that I'm the only one in existence on this planet, or in this universe, either or," I explain, shrugging.

"So you're not from this world at all then?"

"That would be correct."

"Then how did you get here?" Well, let's think about this for a moment, shall we? I got sent to the world of a little kid's show during the night, and inter-dimensional travel is impossible right now in my world, and the Multiverse Theory is just that: A theory. So yeah, I did the impossible by getting in bed last night, and was sent to a world that shouldn't even exist.

I answered as truthfully and respectfully as I could. "The hell if I know." Chrysalis seemed a little surprised at my crude language, but I didn't give a fuck. Why should I care what she thinks? It's not like she ever did anything for me, right?

It is at that exact moment that I look down at the bandages and began to think. I've been here for about a month, woke up sore as hell on the first day, and I'm covered in bandages... "Uh, sorry, that was uncalled for..." I apologized again. I say sorry automatically these days. Bump into someone at the store, I apologize without a second thought. It comes in handy quite a bit, to be honest. People think I'm a "Nice, respectful, polite young man." Gag me with a spoon...

"So," I continue, "what kind of shape was I in when you, uh, found me?" Chrysalis winced at this. Shit, bad question. ABORT, ABORT! "I-I-" She interrupts me.

"It's quite alright." She began, her voice calm and soothing. "You deserve to know." She takes a deep breath, before explaining all the events prior to this. How they found me lying in a crater, half dead, bones poking out of my skin, which was cooked to a lovely golden brown. She said that I lost a lot of blood, and that the air outside should've killed me because of how much sulfur and dust was in it. And yet, my lungs were perfectly fine.

A million questions raced through my head as I processed what Chrysalis had just said. I should be dead? Then why am I still alive?! Why is everything so complicated now?! I groan in frustration, not caring what the however many effin Changelings in the room thought of me. This is too much, I thought. I've been abducted by whatever and got plopped down in Equestria, or whatever country these assbags lived in, and I'm supposed to be dead. What else could possibly go wrong?!

She seemed to sense how pissed off I was. Her gaze became sympathetic, and she waved the others out of the room before turning back to me. "Do you want some time alone?" she asked. I nodded, refusing to speak in case I lashed out at her for this. "Alright. I'll send someone to check on you in a few hours." She closed the door, and left me to my thoughts.

I waited until the sounds of her hoofsteps were long gone, and I screamed. Out of frustration, sorrow, or whatever other emotions I might've been feeling, I'll never know. I just screamed, and kept screaming until I was hoarse. I felt drained, and I knew I couldn't continue even if my voice had still worked. Sighing, I closed my eyes, and tried to get some sleep.


{P.O.V. Chrysalis}

A few minutes after she left the "human" to his thoughts, Chrysalis received a notice from the infirmary. Apparently after she left, the human had started screaming at the top of his lungs, and wouldn't stop until they cast a sleep spell on him. Sighing, she wadded up the paper into a ball, and tossed it in the corner before burying her face in her hooves.

Why was she so concerned about this creature?! She just didn't get it. For all she knew, he was just like the others. Afraid of her because of what she needed to do to survive. But... Then again, maybe he was like her, an outcast? It was too good to be true. There was no way... And yet, the more she thought about it, the more she felt the human wouldn't hate her once he knew their secret. Perhaps he'd even help them!

She smiled at the idea, but brushed it off. There was no time for silly fantasies about acceptance in this world. She had a kingdom to run, after all. Feeling much better, she lifted her quill, and set to work.

~ ~ ~

A knock was heard from the door of the Changeling Queen's study. Chrysalis, having succumbed to exhaustion gained from running her kingdom, awoke with a start, looking around. Recalling where she was, she sighed, opening the door of her study to reveal Razor Wing. "My Queen," he began, bowing, "it is time for you to hold your court." With a heavy sigh, his queen arose from behind her desk, and trotted over.

"Very well, Razor." She replied, her voice dripping with reluctance. Razor nodded, before walking off, expecting Chrysalis to follow. She did, of course, but only because she knew they would find her if she ran. Court was usually something she looked forward to, back before she and her subjects had attacked Canterlot. Now though, it was just a reminder of how truly powerless she was to help her little Changelings.

She glanced out one of the windows of her underground palace, which was fashioned after the Castle of the Royal Pony Sisters. In the streets below, she could see a few of her soldiers, wounded from the love shield Cadence and her husband had used on them all. He was missing a wing, and one of his once bright, blue eyes had turned to a lifeless grey. It was not that they did not have enough medicine, or that "human" required too much maintenance. Rather, it was the fact that all of the hive's resources had gone towards that final assault. The soldiers had nothing left to pay the doctors with, leaving them to become worthless beggars on the streets.

Sighing, Chrysalis forced herself to look away from the heart-wrenching scene outside. She had a job to do, after all.

~ ~ ~

In this next part, I recommend listening to this song while reading. In my opinion, it sets the mood marvelously. Song.

A few minutes later, Razor and Chrysalis had reached the throne room. It was nothing glamorous, save for a few green banners sporting the emblem of her kingdom, and the gleaming obsidian throne, which rose high above the floor. Flying over, the Queen of Changelings took her rightful place on the throne, and court began. Unlike the days of old, her Changelings came not to seek power and wealth, but simple things, such as medicine, clothing, or a simple meal. None of these things Chrysalis could grant, however. Just like every day prior, she turned them away.

After a few hours of this, court was over for the day. Sighing heavily, the Changeling Queen rose, stretched, her muscles having done stiff from resting on her throne for so long, and prepared to leave the throne room. However, she halted at the sound of a large commotion coming from outside. Why would anyone wish to fight at a time like this? Her question was soon answered, however, as the doors of the throne room burst open, revealing three Changelings. The first one was a male, strongly built and clearly had at one point been very handsome. However, the struggles of war had aged him considerably, leaving him with a crippled leg and wing, and the face of an old stallion. The second was a beautiful lady, her eyes shining with tears as she held the third, a small child, crying.

"Your majesty!" The first said, bowing. "Please, you must help us! Our child has not eaten in weeks! We have no food left for her, or ourselves even!"

"We've sold everything we have!" The second continued, rocking the child as it continued to cry. "But it's not enough! No one has any food for our child! Please, just a small bite! It will keep her alive long enough for us to find her some more on our own!" Chrysalis was shell-shocked. A child was suffering because of her actions now? What kind of monster was she?

The child cringed, wrapping her forehooves around her stomach. "Mommy!" she cried out, tears flowing down her face. "It hurts! Make it stop!" The mother, not knowing what else to do, set her daughter down, hugging her as she whispered sweet nothings, hoping to calm her child.

The father knelt down next to them, hugging his wife. "Please..." he asked, turning his eyes towards Chrysalis. "Don't you have anything for her?" She shook her head, unable to speak with his eyes, pools of unending despair, locked with her own.

The mother began to weep, clutching the child. Its breathing had become labored, and blood leaked from the corner of her mouth, a sign that her parents claims were true. She had not been able to get any love for weeks, and her body had given up. The child smiled, her brain having lost enough power to register the pain in her stomach, and closed her eyes, sighing in content. She was gone...