• Published 1st Apr 2014
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Puppets of Tragedy - Iridescence T Wind

We all know the story, human from earth goes to Equestria from buying a mystical prop from a mysterious unnamed salesman to attend Comicon. But what you didn't expect was the prop to be a puppeteers crafting kit.

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...So Order May Come At Last.

Queen Chrysalis, was for the lack of a better term, an utter coward. While I hardly blamed her, for cowardice, when facing a numerically and magically speaking superior foe; it was irritating none the less. Her tactics had went from a straight up brawl to a constant retreat, tagged with pockets of taking hostages and forcing me to extricate them from her presence by use of increasing amounts of brute force. While I had managed to confine her to south most quarter of the main city, it was getting trickier to keep her there as the area emptied of civilians, city guards, and other forces. The small joys in this, was that her attention was currently occupied, as the rest of my mind slowly dragged in the net around her.

The way out of town had been cut off, liberally with a wall of puppets standing guard, waiting for anyone to fly overhead to take them down. While the south eastern portion of the city I had deemed the anvil, as it carried the densest portion of the fighting, and as the hammer came gradually down on the other side of the city, the natural flow of war had carried the majority of the fighting to it, as Aku, Bowser, and the Ice King settled themselves on blocading duty, with the former twos minions pulling the vast majority of the workload from them.

Acting as the hammer, was Nox and his famous giant clock, swarms of mechanical beetles and Razortime had taken to draining and silencing the threat outright. But much to my disappointment, the magic I drained from the changelings weren't filling unlike the rest of the villains I had done the deed to thus far. While they had a fair bit of magic spread evenly between each changeling, enough at least to subdue the average unicorn at least... It was a hollow strength. There was little to no capacity for magic to take, and it made me feel like I had plugged an AAA battery into a car battery, it wasn't an upgrade, just a slight momentary surge of strength, that once spent would be gone forever, never to recharge again. I'd likely gain more magic draining a tree than draining a hundred of these changelings. But still, I drained them anyway, as the reserves would help in the long term of this fight, providing me with more resources and deny Chrysalis the same.

I had stopped trying to combat her with weapons and explosions at this point, aiming to lock her down with final fantasy spells so that I could drain her proper. That had been what had gotten her frantic in the first place, but I wasn't one to let a little trouble spell the end of my patience. I was sore, however, of sitting still so long myself. So with Cass's help, and General Grevious watching my back, I had descended from the viewing platform, where Princess Cadence still waited with her hypnotized husband. She was trying to snap him out of it, and I dismissed it. Without Chrysalis here to give an idiotic speech about hopeless situations, to spark the paradoxical spell to repel them, I wasn't too worried. I still found it strange that they had been flung all the way to the bad lands in the first place, however... When a spell fueled by love hit a species that literally ate and thrived off of it. For a split second I thought of Discord having an involvement somehow, but dismissed it. He had been locked in stone at the time.

Time was on my side, and as the clock ticked, and the first hour of war ended... My smile grew wide, if somewhat creepy. The South western portion of Canterlot had now fallen silent, as well as the anvil. The only fighting left was the Queen, and she hadn't even realized it, between the high speed pursuits, and the residual explosions of now faked fights in the district she fought in. Changelings made toys, for cat and mouse. One straggler tried to make their way to her only to get buried in robotic beetles, as the clock stopped its slow steady march on Chrysalis. A doll confirmed the location of my trained soldiers, and with them the Elements of Harmony, and as the hour struck one Pm, time shuddered in southern Canterlot. The freeze caught Chrysalis off guard, as did the appearance of Nox, Aku, and Tanya. The black mass of Aku catching Chrysalis around the mid section and pulling her tight as my doppelgangers made contact and finally began their work proper on the Queen of the Changelings.

She screamed and fought it, even trying I could tell to pull on reserves. That moment she realized there was no reserves left, that every changeling in the city had been drained dry of magic, or were too knocked out to respond was delicious. Nox swatted aside the blade she tried to make, shattering it like panes of glass before it faded away. As the last empty drops of magic fled from her, I released it into the custody of my puppets, and sent them back to their posts. There would likely still be stragglers, or those who had captured ponies and were now regaining their strength, sure, but this was my victory truly. I sent a card forward, and caught Chrysalis inside it, as my doppelgangers faded away mask and puppet both.

I strode to beneath Celestia and debated what to do with her. The charade dictated that I'd free her of her Cocoon... But how would I do so? Should I do so? A more perfect opportunity for a coup wouldn't come, but that came at severe costs. Equestria itself would likely rebel such an upstart ruler taking charge, and I neither knew how to raise the sun or lower it. But speaking of celestial bodies, I knew that Luna would hate me for it, and that... gave me pause. Chrysalis, in card, was glaring at me, as I brought it to where she had so errantly stood, celebrating her end game before it had come apart on her.

"You suck at this." I commented, after a few minutes of silence. It'd be another two before the element Bearers arrived, fighting was mostly around the Lunar tower, and the fringes of the castle itself now. Remnants desperate to get their own ruler back now that the tables had been turned.

The glare intensified, as if lost for words to describe how she felt about this situation. I rolled my eyes, it wouldn't do perhaps, if Chrysalis was completely helpless when the Element bearers came in, they wouldn't see the point of blasting her then, and my curiosity of seeing it work first hand wouldn't be sated. I dumped her out of the card, expecting minimal resistance. To my surprise, she came out swinging with a lot more force than I had expected.

Where? Her magic reserves were replenishing. Ah, below the castle. Clever girl, perhaps it need naught be an act after all. My shield blocked the first three blows of her saber, catching her off guard momentarily, as the real deal was better than the offbrand duplicates. "So this is where the real you was hiding, Hmm? Now you face the wrath of me! Queen Chrysalis!"

Her mouth stayed open after her proclamation, and I saw another mild concern. She was draining energy from Celestia as well, while hollow in nature, it wasn't a inconsiderable flow. I forced her to shut her mouth and make do with a chain of explosions, sending her back and into a defensive stance. Her eyes darting to her surroundings as to try and catch any other minions coming for her. There were none, so I pointed at her, "The hell were you expecting, invading this place anyway? You would of had an easier time invading quite literally anywhere else, wouldn't you?"

"An Easier time? Canterlot was supposed to be the easiest one on the continent!" The Queen hissed back at me, enraged, "The Griffons and dragons with their endless wanton greed! The Neighponese and their damned naval powers! I could go on and on, but the only reason why this place is difficult is thanks to you!" She shouted back at me, point her saber accusingly at me, "Those trained soldiers are due to you, aren't they?!"

I shrugged, keeping my shield between her and me as I did so, "Fair counter point. Here's mine, what do you think would happen if you keep the Princess of the god damn Sun locked up in there, and by some gods forsake piece of luck, also get the Lunar one?"

"I'd win." She snorted, as I noted her magic was now a quarter of where it had been when she was fighting me just before being drained.

"Short term maybe, but long term? The sun not moving, nor the moon? you'd turn the day side to a blighted sunny wasteland, and the side without it into an eternal heatless winter."

"I'd force them to serve me. If not I'd make the civilians suffer until they did what I wanted." Chrysalis seemed so confident with that.

"You'd gamble the fate of the world and your kingdom on that? Hurting other ponies? You do realize they are over a thousand years old, and hold the power of the Sun and Moon respectively in their grasp, right?"

"I beat Celestia!"

My genuine laugh startled her.

"I did! Everyone here, including you I bet, saw it."

"You won against a veritable god, who was holding back in order to not slaughter everyone in the room in the back blast." I responded coldly, mirth gone from my voice, "I don't have that issue."

The look of growing alarm on her face was hopefully something I'd remember fondly. As we clashed again, forcing my shield into her saber, and pushing it up and away from me as the shield spikes on the shield threatened to gore the Changeling Queen. She backed off, but I followed, chasing and pushing her down as I used the cards expanding beneath my feet to counter her attempts to take to the air, I managed to pin her to the wall for a few moments as the grand ballroom doors swung open. Prince Blueblood, Ditzy Do, their retinue of unicorns and pegasai falling in from behind them. The Elements of harmony, only looking a little worse for wear but confident of themselves. Unlike the time before, where they had been captured.

"Queen Chrysalis! Surrender yourself!" Twilight Sparkle demanded, as if this victory was all her doing. In the moment I wanted to snap that ego, but a deep breathe as I kept my eyes on the real danger in the room calmed the impulse.

"Surrender? Me? Oh, dear Twilight, I'm merely getting started!" The Changeling Queen turned her gaze back towards Celestia, and I recognized that look. As did everyone else in the room. She wanted to make a battery out of Celestia, and blast us all away. While I was confident in my abilities, everyone else wasn't. Cass was edging for a blind spot behind Chrysalis, forgotten about in the rush of combat. Blueblood and Ditzy looked like they had just went through several hours worth of training, and were about to drop at any moment, it was likely the adrenaline thus far had kept them going at this point. Constant exertion had a way of doing that, but Chrysalis wasn't much better off body wise.

My own body was still fresh, but not nearly trained enough to last through an endurance slog like that, and my Mana reserves were running high after draining the army worth of small time batteries that were the Changelings. I opened my mouth to retort, but Twilight beat me to it, "Then by the power invested in us by the Elements of Harmony! We shall change your vile ways!"

Witnessing it in person was strange, now that I could see the magic. It was a damned shame that Celestia was in the room, as all the hanging chains ruined my ability to see it clearly. I sent Grievous marching out of the way to the far side of the room off to their back left as the Mane Six floated up into the air as one, forming a circle of energy. His view helping contextualize the windup of the spell. Each of the major shackles were connecting each member of the Mane Six to their other five, and it didn't stop there, as the spell the elements of Harmony used, seemed to pull on many smaller shackles, pulling in the chains bit by bit as the glow intensified, a white aura spilling out from around them. The Power inside each Element of Harmony itself was immense, each one about on par with my own reserves I noted, somewhat in awe considering how many major villains I had stolen from.

Twilight faced her crown towards Chrysalis, and the element bearers followed her lead, as six points of light formed a death-star esque meeting of the beams, and a rainbow sprung to life. I braced for the moment, to see what would happen to Chrysalis, curiosity at its peak. The Rainbow leapt forth as Chrysalis brought up a barrier spell of her own to try and defend her, but our expressions mirrored each other seconds later, as the Rainbow, mid charge towards the Changeling Queen, suddenly changed its course.

I barely had the time to gasp as the world went white, and pain filled every fiber of my being.

Author's Note:

A short chapter, I know, in comparison to the last few. I wanted to make this one a bit longer, but eventually gave up with trying to write witty banter for Queen Chrysalis. I can't stop writing her as stereotypically cringe evil as possible, whenever I start adding details I end up feeling like I'm writing a fan fic about the wicked witch of the west from the wizard of oz movie, than writing about a Queen of the Changelings. I spent a good portion of three months on rough drafts for this bit alone, and I'd rather rewrite this later when a good idea comes along than continue to bash my head into the wall that is Chrysalis's massive ego. Any attempts to change her personality, subtly, just makes her feel like a carbon copy of Prince Blueblood, and I'd rather let him stay unique in this story, than deal with her taking up screen time in much the same fashion he will be in the future. I don't plan to abandon her completely after the arc, but I do plan on slapping some much needed depth and development into the villain who had about as much personality as Sombra did before the final few seasons occurred.

Aside from that, I would love your opinions on this cliff hanger. :twilightsmile:

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