• Published 6th Sep 2013
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Five Score: A New Hive - bossfight1

Chris, on his twenty-fifth birthday, begins going through some inhuman changes. Set in the Five Sco

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Chapter 26: Busted

Chapter 26: Busted

The following morning, Rainbow allowed Liz and I to borrow her car to drive out to grab supplies. The nearest town was a fair distance from the farm, so when we’d loaded the car with all the groceries it could handle we opted to up the tank, out of courtesy. We went to a Target for supplies, and got some odd looks over the vast quantities of food, but nothing more.

While we were there I spotted a newspaper detailing the sightings of ponies across the nation, all heading straight for Iowa. I felt a pang of worry; what exactly were the ponies seeking, besides safe haven? A way to become human again? The chance to be among fellow ‘converts’? Who would go back to Equestria when this was over, who would remain here? I’d pretty much decided for myself, but I hadn’t even thought of what everypony else would do. I thought about Trixie; she might stay with her human family, maybe get back into show business, traveling on Earth.

This wasn’t even touching the whole political side of things. If word about Equestria and the ponies got around, how would the Earth governments react? Would they seek diplomatic relations? If so, we might have been in a pickle; without Celestia and Cadence, and with Luna being god-knew-where, Twilight was the closest thing we had to a real leader, authority-wise. I knew I wouldn’t be considered for an instant.

That brought up another issue; if my people were considered separate from the ponies, that meant I was a leader regardless. For a moment I could feel the burden of responsibility building in my chest, but quickly remembered everything I’d learned as Queen, centuries ago. I hadn’t been a part of diplomatic relations, of course; back then we were firm followers of the “take what we want” means of negotiation, but I had generations of leading thousands under my metaphorical belt. Working out peace treaties and foreign policies wouldn’t be so hard… hopefully.

After a couple hours of driving, shopping, gaping at how much we’d spent on supplies, playing Grocery Tetris and driving back, we returned to the farm. I felt guilty using the emergency money Mom had given us, even if we’d used it for the exact purpose Mom had intended. Dash and AJ helped us unload the car and bring the supplies into the barn, which I appreciated; in my human form I couldn’t use my magic, which was a hard-hitting realization as I hefted several packages of bottled water into the barn. While we were unloading I noticed Shining staring at us through the living room window of the farmhouse. He clearly wasn’t impressed with our efforts, probably assuming I was trying to get in cozy with them before a monstrous betrayal down the line. I was starting to get more than annoyed with him, and not just after hearing him snap at Fluttershy the previous day. I’d hoped he’d clued into the fact that I’d had a human life as well; I doubted anypony had come out of it without even the slightest change.

Digit noticed him glaring at me as she helped us unload the supplies. “Mom, why’s Shining looking at you like that?” She whispered.

“He doesn’t trust me,” I said simply. “For good reason.”

“Because of what you did before?” Digit asked. I nodded. “Did you talk to him?”

I shook my head. “He doesn’t believe I’m here to help. He thinks I’m gonna screw them over at the worst possible moment.”

“...Now he’s glaring at me…” I glanced towards the window; sure enough, Shining’s gaze was focused on Digit as she walked towards the car, trying not to make eye contact.

I sighed. “Guess he’s figured out you’re with me…”

“Is that bad?” Digit asked quietly as she hefted a box of food from the trunk. “Has he figured out what I am?”

“Hopefully not?” I asked with a shrug.

“Glad to see you’re so sure…” Digit murmured, rolling her eyes.

Escalating tensions aside, it felt good to contribute to the community, and with my aching body attesting to have done more than enough for the day, I collapsed on the field some distance from the farmhouse and simply stared up at the sky. Dash did some stunts about fifty feet above, either to entertain (or show off to) everypony or as exercise; either way the display was impressive. Liz laid at my side, her arm draped over me, mine wrapped around her shoulder.

The sound of hooves landing some distance away drew our attention. “Hey, Dash,” I said.

“Hey Chrys,” Dash said. I noted how well she and I had gotten along; in fics, Dash is usually a bit slow to gain trust, if only out of concern for her friends. It was nice to see her so mellowed out. If I was lucky, she could put in a good word for me with Shining and Twilight. “Listen, you guys have no idea how thankful we are; we didn’t have enough food to sustain everypony for a week.”

I waved a hand. “It’s no problem, we’re glad to help.”

Dash glanced towards the tents. “...You guys know those three humans? Teens, one guy, two girls, one of them’s like…” She scratched a foreleg awkwardly, with the kind of look one gets when trying their damnedest to be politically correct. “...Asian, I dunno if she’s Chinese or Japanese... The other girl and the guy have glasses...”

I nodded. “Yeah, they came here with us. They’re cool. The Japanese girl is Yoko, the other girl is Jenny and the guy is Adam.”

“Jenny and Sam are cousins of mine,” Liz chimed in. “They were in town on the 1st and they saw Chrys’ changeling form, so they… kinda got involved by default. Yoko is… uh…”

“An exchange student!” I blurted out. Liz shot a look at me. “She was staying with Jenny and Sam, she came with them!”

Dash nodded. “Okay… Wait, it’s still May, don’t those three still have school?”

I resisted the urge to bite my knuckle. “We… managed to get them on a… lengthy leave of absence. Told their school they had a big family emergency. Liz’s aunt and uncle know the truth about me, so they consented to letting them come with us; they refused to simply walk away, they felt they’d been, uh, part of this for too long, you know?”

It was at this point I realized that, even in disguise, I was perfectly capable of sweating; something I prayed to God, Jesus, Zeus and Miyamoto that Dash wouldn’t notice. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust Dash to some degree, but I didn’t know what she’d do if she found out about the grubs, or the ever growing clutch I’d stowed in the truck. If Shining found out, he’d chase me around the farm while Benny Hill blared in the background.

“Alright, cool,” Dash said; the pressure in my chest deflated like a balloon. “Well, see you guys around…”

“Hey, uh…” I said, raising a hand. “Just curious, how’s it going, finding a way… home, you know?”

Dash glanced between us and the farmhouse. She leaned down with an excited grin. “Twilight’s looking into it, it’s nothing definite, but… Well, remember Equestria Girls?”

I frowned. “Yeah, wasn’t quite the trainwreck we were expecting, but—OH.”

Liz sat up a bit. “You mean…?”

Dash nodded excitedly. “That could be our ticket back!”

“So where’s Canterlot High, or whatever it’s really called?” I asked.

Dash’s smile froze, then fell slightly. “...That’s where Twilight and her research comes in. She’s looking for schools in the 90’s that had weird occurrences, namely in ‘95. But it’s something, right?”

I nodded approvingly. “Certainly promising…”

“I’ll let you know if something turns up!” Dash said before taking off for another lap over the farm.

I watched her fly off for a moment. “...And now we’ve actually lied…” I said. “Great.”

“They’ll find out sooner or later,” Liz said. “When they do, I’m sure she’ll understand.”

“That’s not gonna be good enough for Shining…” I mumbled.

Liz sat up. “Hey. You don’t need Shining’s approval for everything.”

I raised an eyebrow. “Well, first off, he can, and probably will, kick us off the farm at the first sign of trouble, regardless of what I hope to do. Secondly, it’s not so much about getting his approval as…” My words trailed off.

“...What’s it about, then?” Liz asked.

“...It’s about earning his forgiveness…” I said. “You know what I did to him. Every dirty look, every suspicious glare, I’ve more than earned from him. I abducted his fiance. I brainwashed him and tried to use him for my own ends. I nearly destroyed his relationship with his sister. I nearly toppled his homeland. Thinking about it, I’m not sure if I even deserve his forgiveness.”

Liz leaned in and kissed me on the cheek. “Maybe you don’t… But the fact that you’re willing to try, should be more than enough.”

I hugged her tightly. “I’m not sure I even deserve you…

“Damn right, you don’t…” Liz said, poking me in the ribs and evoking a yelp from me.

“...such a dickhead…” I looked up to see Digit approaching, furious.

“Watch your language…” I said.

“Glass houses…” Liz said, giving me another poke. Digit sat beside us and folded her arms; her eyes gave off the occasional green spark of anger. “What’s wrong, honey?” Liz asked.

“Shining’s being a jerk,” Digit said. “I was just playing with Berry Punch’s daughter, right? Playing tag, and all that; I was it, and I was chasing her around, she was screaming and laughing, but apparently all Shining heard was the screaming. He just runs up to me, his horn lit up like he’s gonna set me on fire, and demands to know what I’m doing. I told him, ‘we’re just playing tag!’, but he just glares at me and takes her away!”

I sighed. “Okay, that can be classified as a ‘dickhead’ move.”

“Can I get him back?” Digit asked. “I already have a bunch of ideas…”

“Ah ah ah!” I said, sitting up. “Besides the whole ‘two wrongs don’t make a right’ thing, I don’t think vengeance would help him see we’re here to help. Look, just shrug it off, maybe after a while he’ll get bored.”

Digit sighed. “Fine… I’ll do my best.”

I smiled, sat up and hugged her. “Just remember that, whatever he suspects about us, he’s wrong. And it’ll feel so much more satisfying when he finally realizes it.”

- - - - -

“Yes, you’re loooooove-ly… With your smile so warm…
And your cheeks so soft… There is nothing for me…
But to loooooove you… And the way you look, toooo-niiiiight..”

It was about 9pm that night. Liz, Trixie and the grubs were with the ponies, who were swapping story after story of their experiences since the 1st. I barely had time to listen to Daring Do’s exploits before I felt the telltale stomach cramps and had to sprint for the truck. I was lying in the truck bed, singing to myself while casually flipping through Tides of War, its pages illuminated by the flashlight in my iPod; my little moment of leisure was periodically interrupted by me having to lay another egg, the whole ‘miracle of birth’ thing very quickly losing its splendor.

I shook my head at the events of the novel. “Sure, Thrall, don’t come back when one of your oldest friends might be fuckin’ dead.” I shook my head. “Egh, what would Warcraft be without its’ ‘shoulda-coulda-woulda’s…”

I heard a knock at the door. Lowering the book, I raised an eyebrow; usually Liz, Trixie and the grubs didn’t knock. Maybe their hands (or magic) were full? I reached out with my magic and lifted the door open, the light of a glowing unicorn horn pouring into the bed. “Yeah?” I called, shining my flashlight towards the entrance.

The unicorn standing outside the truck was not Trixie.

It was Rarity.

She tilted her head to the side in confusion at the sight of me, but her gaze quickly fell towards the mass of eggs behind me.

Her eyes widened in horror, a shuddered gasp escaped her lips. My expression was stuck somewhere between shock and nervousness; the kind you get when your parents walk into your room to see you doing anything but studying with the girl from next door.

“...Hey?” I said.

Rarity began screaming. She turned tail and sprinted away from the truck, towards the farmhouse.

“...’kay, bye!!” I called after her before slowly, carefully closing the door.

I was left alone in the darkness, with only the not-at-all-distant future laid before me.

“...Loooove-ly… Never, never cha-ange…

- - - - -

It was ten minutes later, and I wasn’t even reading the book I held before me. I didn’t even notice the eggs I was laying until I heard the usual wet ‘splat’ behind me.

That’s it. I thought. Might as well text Liz now and tell her we should leave.

Let’s keep calm… Chrysalis replied. This might not be the trainwreck we’re expecting.

Shining’s gonna come in here with the bluntest objects he has to hoof. I thought bitterly. We’ll be lucky if the first thing he takes it to isn’t our head.

Come now, you’re overreacting. Chrysalis said.

BANG BANG BANG. I jumped at the noise at the door. “...Yes?” I called out.

“OPEN UP!!” Came Shining’s voice through the door.

...Yeah, don’t open that door! Chrysalis laughed.

“...Nah, I’m good!!” I called back, lifting the book to completely obscure my terrified face.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THERE?!” Shining demanded.

I sighed in irritation and lowered the book. “Oh, you damn-well know what I’m doing! Rarity’s probably screamed it loud enough for the whole farm to hear! And I can’t stop it! Comes with the territory, you know? I didn’t wanna tell you guys, I figured it’d cause some unnecessary rumblings.”

Shining banged on the door again. “YOU THINK I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING?!”

I frowned in confusion. “...Is that a trick question? Cause… I just told you what I’m doing… Sorta…” A pause. “...Just so we’re on the same page, you know I’m laying eggs in here, right?”

“YOU’RE BUILDING AN ARMY!!” Shining roared.

I ran that over in my head. “...Oh. OOOOOOOOOoooohh, I see your concern. Right, mmm…” I bit my lip. “Yeah, I should’ve expected that conclusion… Look, this happens randomly, alright? In bigger quantities depending on how well I’ve fed. I can’t stop it, and I needed somewhere to put ‘em. Don’t worry, I’m not gonna hatch them…” I glanced back at them and muttered under my breath. “Not yet, anyway…”

I heard Shining grunt in frustration and heard another bang, this one sounding like an agitated kick. The silence that followed told me he’d left. I sighed in relief and laughed. “Thank Christ he didn’t think to try and open the door…”

- - - - -

“So, yeah, we might be a tad screwed,” I concluded, half an hour later. I was leaning against the outside of the truck, in human form, explaining the situation to Liz. Trixie and the grubs had gone to sleep in the bed. I was twitching anxiously, constantly glancing at the farm expecting Shining to come out with a chainsaw in his magic.

“Well, we knew this would happen eventually…” Liz said. “We’ll just explain, I’m sure they’ll understand…”

“I tried…” I said. “Shining just thinks I’m raising an army in his backyard…” I noticed a lone pony leaving the farmhouse and heading towards us. Too small to be Shining…

I made out the faint silhouette of a stetson in the darkness. “Hey, AJ…” I said warily.

“Hey…” she said, stopping some distance away. “So… Whatcha been up to?”

I sighed. “Experiencing the joy of motherhood. Look, it’s not a big deal, alright? Like I told Shining, I started laying eggs a few days in. They really started piling up a few days back, that’s why we came here in this truck. I’m not planning on hatching them,” (Yet.) “They’re gonna stay in the truck for the foreseeable future.”

Jack tilted her head to the side. “Why didn’t you tell us?”

“I figured it’d cause some unneeded drama,” I said. “I thought if you guys knew, it might complicate things more than they already were…”

AJ looked towards the truck. “Still, though… Sounds like you’re not wantin’ for them eggs…”

I dragged my foot along the ground. “Well, it was either horde ‘em or… abort ‘em. And I… don’t think I can handle that, at least not yet.” I sighed. “Look, I know this looks bad, and I probably should have told you, but I assure you, this is my problem. I’ll think of something down the line… probably.”

AJ gave me a wary look before turning towards the farmhouse. “Alright… Shining ain’t happy, though…”

“Is he ever happy when I’m involved?” I asked.

AJ laughed. “Nah, I guess not… I’ll let ‘em know, I guess, but you might wanna keep yer head down for a while. Yer on thin ice with Shining as it is.” She headed back towards the house. A sigh of relief escaped me.

“Maybe we should lock the truck tonight,” I said, rubbing my temples. “Before Shining or somepony else decides to take matters into their own hooves.” I glanced up at the night sky. “Seems nice enough out… We’ll sleep under the stars.”

Liz looked up. “You think Luna’s been working up there?” She asked.

I shrugged. “Maybe.” I yawned. “Let’s get ‘em out of the bed and lock it up.”

Trixie and the grubs were initially irate at being woken up, but quickly understood the situation and agreed that the night was nice enough to sleep outside. We locked the truck bed and all lined up some distance from it, facing towards the gorgeous stars.

Before long, it sounded like everyone else had fallen asleep, leaving me alone to stargaze with Liz’s arm laying across my chest. It was times like this I sort of regretted spending so much time indoors, not looking out the window and seeing things like this. I didn’t do this as Queen, either; I was too busy leading the Hive to even take a night off to just… relax.

I gave a contented sigh and closed my eyes, ready to sleep.

I heard hoofsteps approaching from behind me. “Hello,” came a female voice.

Frowning, I tilted my head backwards until I got an upside-down view of behind me. My eyes widened. “I don’t believe it…”

Princess Celestia stood some distance away. The fact that it was night did nothing to her natural radiance, the almost hypnotic beauty of her constantly flowing mane. She was looking at me with a calculating look in her eyes, but otherwise showed no signs of hostility. “We need to talk, Chrysalis.”

I blinked. “Been watching me too, huh?” I sighed. “Yeah, sure, gimme a sec…” I tenderly lifted Liz’s arm from my chest and slowly climbed out of the sleeping bag. I pulled it over Liz’s shoulders gingerly before turning to address Celestia.

“Walk with me,” she said calmly. I nodded and strode beside her as we walked past the truck and along the edge of the forest. “You’ve no need to ‘dress up’ on my account…” she said, smiling softly.

I nodded and assumed my true form. “I figured this form would… make memories of our past sting a bit more, you know?”

Celestia nodded. “Understandable. But we’re not here as enemies; just two mares on a walk.”

As we walked I felt my blood growing hot and muscles tensing up, not unlike the times I was escorted to the principal’s office back in grade school. My mind kept replaying the memory of me overpowering Celestia at the wedding; the fear that I might not win, the surprise when I began to push back, the sense of pride and rush of adrenaline that came with seeing her sprawled across the floor. And now here we were, walking side by side.

“Luna has told me what she saw when you spoke in your dream,” Celestia said. “That you are remorseful, that you seek not only redemption, but… peace.”

I nodded quickly. “Yes. Even more than I want Discord to pay for his atrocities. I… don’t want to be feared by your people anymore, Princess. I earned the distrusting looks, the suspicions, the accusations that I’m up to no good, but…”

“You want things to change,” Celestia said. “For the better.”

“...I want something good to come from this mess, you know?” I said.

“I’d think something already had…” Celestia said, glancing back towards where she’d found me.

“Yes, but that’s good for me,” I said. “I’m thinking more for the good of our peoples. My human life taught me something every leader needs to know: there are two types of decisions you make; one for the sake of your people, and one for the sake of your world.”

Celestia smiled. “You’ve certainly come a long way.” Her gaze trailed towards the farmhouse. “I noticed you’ve been doing your best to… smooth things over with Shining, Twilight and the others.”

I looked to the farmhouse sadly. “Yes.”

“If you’d like, I might…” Celestia began.

No,” I said, stopping and turning to her. “Thank you, but… no. It may be a matter of pride, but I’d rather really earn their trust. I know your good word would carry a lot of weight, but…”

“I understand,” Celestia said. “You plan on aiding them against Discord?”

Oh, yes…” I said. “And I will strike down upon him, with great vengeance and furious anger.”

“You’ve truly no love for him…” Celestia said.

“His uprising led to the starvation of my people…” I said. “...Yet the fault lies with me as well. It was my stubbornness that made us remain in Equestria, trying and failing to find any ponies that had escaped Discord’s notice… And he didn’t care. He shrugged off the near extinction of my race…” I faced Celestia. “So, yes, I’ve plenty reason to see him defeated, crushed, destroyed… But this isn’t about me. This is about our home, Princess. This is about bringing an end to the chaos he so adores.”

Celestia stared at me for a few moments.

Then she smiled. “Then I look forward to seeing you at our side, in the end.” She held out a hoof.

I bumped it in response. “Me as well, Princess.”

Celestia laughed. “I am ‘Celestia’ among friends.”

My eyes widened in shock, but I quickly smiled. “Alright then… Celestia.”

Celestia turned towards the forest. “I’m afraid I must leave. I have matters I must attend to.”

I giggled. “Your human life isn’t so easy to shrug off, is it?”

Celestia smiled. “You imply it was something worth losing.”

There was a brief flash of light, then she was gone. I stared at the spot she’d been moments ago, an affectionate smile on my face, before turning and heading back to the truck.

Author's Note:



(I'm having too much fun with Wowhead's new sound database :derpytongue2: )