Every mind is different...
Chrysalis flowed through her connection, pouring on the surface of the drone's mind. Her thoughtform bubbled into one nearly identical to her realform, stepping through a sparkling mist as she looked about. "Dear heart, I know you haven't had much experience, but would you kindly give me a setting?"
A vague impression of a question wifted from the writhing mass of half-formed thoughts.
"A memory will do. Your home, perhaps?"
The wafting whispers began to bind, rising through the glittering mists to form a vague impression. Far below Chrysalis was a town, but she herself stood on a white cloud.
"Yes, that's it, dear heart." Chrysalis smiled indulgently. "Now, where are you?"
"But of course you are. I simply mean, where are you in this memory? Let me see what you see yourself as." She settled on the cloud, waiting patiently. "I think we should start there, if I am to help you."
There was a moment of nervousness. Then, slowly, something stepped forward. Cyan, of course, and the outline of a pegasus... but the tips of the feathers wisped randomly, and the rainbow blazed from the head, down the back, and into an explosive corona of a tail.
Chrysalis noted the empty eye sockets, and nodded at the holes in the hooves. "I see you are confused, dear heart. I suppose you would be, after these revelations."
yeah, I gu"ess I am a bit." The figure shook her head, flickering black for a moment.
"I can grant you less... confusion." Chrysalis leaned toward the apparition. "I am in your parlor now, so to speak. Your front room. If you want me to help, I will have to go deeper."
The half formed image of Rainbow glanced at the mist below her, watching a few twinkles drift by.
After a moment, she sighed. "Al... alright. In for a bit, in for the bridle I guess..."
Chrysalis smiled. "Splendid. I forewarn you, this will feel a tad unusual."
Threads of consciousness whispered down, shifting through the glinting azure fog and down into the channels of the drone's mind. Chrysalis could tell that it had been forged in loneliness, all the pathways weaving on their own and glimmering as the half formed thoughts were processed and pondered by a thousand minor committees. She had to smile as she saw an overt connection between flight and the etchings of permanence; truly, the soul of this one was held by the skies alone.
She dipped a thread into the glimmering fog... and paused. The fog flowed separate from the rest of the drone's thought. It was almost as if...
"Ah." There it was, a tunnel. Unguarded on this side, obviously, the poor drone had no idea how to work her own mind... but no doubt, no doubt the traitor was on the other, preparing some sort of foolish ambush.
With a small, quiet smirk, Chrysalis spiraled in.
Every mind is different...
Chrysalis sprung wide, her thoughtform clinging like a net around a projection. This one, unlike Rainbow, was firm and solid: a changeling drone with full mane and tail, wearing a startled earth pony mask.
The memory of the house she was in suddenly ruptured as half rotted dragons burst through the wall. With a scoff, the queen coalesced into a single black tentacle, batting them back into the glittering blue mist before springing on the central projection. Only then did she let her thoughtform here shift into its recognized self.
"Well, well well. What have we here?" She let a burst of smoke out and the mask dissolved, revealing the cringing changeling beneath. "A power mongering traitor, I take it. Let's find out more about you..."
This time, Chrysalis didn't seep down gently. She lanced deep into the mind, tearing the memories up and ignoring the cries of pain from the projection under her hooves. "802802. Scout, oh of course. Replaced Rainbow Dash... hmm, yes. Faked. Your. Own. Death." The queen gave the drone a condescending look as one of the house's walls fell. "What an insult to your whole family."
"Like... any of you would mourn me," spat the drone.
"Oh we did. Oh we truly did." Chrysalis sighed. "I suppose you don't really care, though, what with us being 'monsters' and all--what's this?" She frowned, fleshing out a particular memory.
"Don't you dare go after her!"
The queen ignored her, staring at the smiling green unicorn that had appeared in the middle of the room. "This... I know this pony... she was..."
Her eyes narrowed.
A sudden force slamed out in all directions, demolishing what little was left of the house. Chrysalis snapped her gaze to the drone, pushing her into the glittering blue mist as the moonlight shone in the black sky. "YOU! YOU'RE THE ONE THAT WARNED CELESTIA!"
"What? No, that was--"
The drone's words were cut off as the queen pushed a hoof into her throat. "I thought you were merely a traitor, seeking to take my hive and remake it in your own image. I would have been lenient, but now I see the truth! You are a depraved BEAST!" She pointed at the smiling image behind her. "You consort with PREY! You lust after ANIMALS!"
"Lyra is not an animrk!"
Chrysalis ground her hoof down. "I would have reconnected you to the Hive, you know, if I thought you were foe. I would have torn you apart, yes, but your memory would live on. But now I see that you are sick, truly and irredeemably sick." She snarled. "Do you know what that means? YOU WILL DIE ALONE. And I, your queen, your mother..."
Her head lowered. "I will be the one that has to kill you." She sighed. "I will have to live with that guilt."
The drone scoffed.
Chrysalis gave her a look. "At least answer me this; how would you like her to die? I'll have to kill her, if she could so affect a drone she is dangerous, but I'll let you decide her fate. Her head chopped off, swiftly? A body for incubation? Drowned? Merely put to sleep? I will remember your request when the ponies are mine."
She pulled her hoof back, slightly. Just slightly.
After a moment, the queen tilted her head. "Well? Have you nothing to say?"
"...actually," the drone mused, "There is one thing I need to tell you."
She gave Chrysalis a very smug smile as the glittering blue mist flowed around her. "Look up."
Chrysalis blinked, uncomprehending for a moment. Her gaze tilted slowly, registering the dark and skyless sky...
...and the all too large, all too pale moon.
She looked down at the glittering blue mist. The star filled blue mist.
The blue mist flowing down the link into the brain of a drone just connected to the hive mind.
Every mind is different....
Chrysalis ran from the laughter of the traitor, diving down the tunnel. Chrysalis swam up through the channels of a loose mind, ignoring the cocky grin of a half formed image. Chrysalis leapt back up the connection and into her home, a home already half lost thanks to her ignorance.
"INTERLOPER! HOW DARE YOU ATTACK THE SANCTITY OF CHANGELINGS!"
The starry mist pulsed, and Luna stared down coldly at Chrysalis. "Thou had plans to enslave Us and Ours. We choose to free thine kin from thy's grip."
"They are not slaves!" Chrysalis protested, tearing a portion of the mists away from the strands of the Hive. "They are children, and I am their mother! This is our home!"
"Then explain these chains!" Luna brought forth a Pure mind. "Explain why these drones have no thoughts of their own!"
Chrysalis snarled, snatching the mind away. "It was their choice! The greatest honor and duty the swarm can have! They live forever in the Hive!"
Luna raised a brow as the starry miasma crawled further. "Some would say that the hive steals their souls."
"Stolen?" Chrysalis snorted. "And would you consider a foal stolen if their parents willingly gave them to the community?"
"Foals need parents!" Luna argued. "They need to be raised!"
"Then a stallion, stolen by the guard, if he walked in willingly." Chrysalis hugged the blank mind tightly. "This is not thievery. This is the acceptance of the greatest gift!"
Luna narrowed her eyes. "Being gutted willingly is still being gutted."
"Bah! You animals will never understand!" Chrysalis sneered at Luna, lashing out at the stars around her. "Why am I even speaking to you? I will force you from the hive, or crush you underneath it!"
"Thou assumes we want to take the hive," Luna replied simply. "We have already stated our intent to free it."
Chrysalis gave the night princess a look filled with rage. "And how would you do that, beast?"
"Quite simply, in fact." The stars snapped together as Luna's eyes shone with bright light. "We shall remove you from it."
Every mind is different...
Chrysalis's eyes snapped open, gaze sweeping wildly as she tried to stand--
A black hoof pushed her down, holding her against the forest floor. With a rush of green fire, Rainbow returned to her preferred form. "Nuh-uh, queeny, you stay where you are."
"The hive..." Her ears flicked, and she pushed up. "The hive!"
"Whoa!" Both the now blue hooves pushed into her shoulder. "I told you to stay put!"
"She's after the hive!" Chrysalis flicked her ear again, standing. "She's pushed me out!"
"Hey! Get back here, you stupid--!"
"I HAVE TO SAVE THEM!" The queen bolted through the trees, heading for the resting pods. Hopefully they would be safe from--
A black form slammed to the ground. "Stand down and surrender." Chrysalis's eyes widened in horror at the twinkling aura extending from the changeling's fin.
"You monster!" The changeling queen turned around and ran right into Rainbow Dash. "No, dear heart, retreat!"
The pegasus snorted. "I was never your dear heart. Now just give up and--hey!"
The queen sprinted through the treeline, desperately trying to formulate a new plan. She'd have to make a small nest somewhere in, in a place where ponies never came, use her own silk and watch the eggs every hour of every day, and build up an army to free her hive from--
A golden-armored guard landed in front of her. "Queen Chrysalis, you are under arrest for the assault of--"
She lobbed a ball of spit at his eyes, blinding him. "YOU HAVE NO LAW, CREATURE!"
She buzzed off the ground, flying into the dense branches. Her ears tilted left and right as hoofsteps sounded everywhere, everywhere, everywhere, she had to run somewhere, she had to hid somewhere, she had to SQUIRRELS SQUIRRELS TREES BRANCHES NO NO NO NO NO!
"Um..." Somepony cleared her throat. "It's okay now, little friends. I don't think she'll be escaping now."
Chrysalis looked up, seeing a yellow pegasus... and behind her, wearing thick and ancient armor, the princess of the sun.
"...beasts. Animals. All monsters..."
Celestia sighed. "Go to your friends, Fluttershy. I can take it from here." A spell built up on her horn... and then Chrysalis's world went black.