• Member Since 13th Oct, 2013
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Jordan179


I'm a long time science fiction and animation fan who stumbled into My Little Pony fandom and got caught -- I guess I'm a Brony Forever now.

T

Ten years ago Falcon Lee Punch was one of the best Pegasi in the Day Guard. But then he met and married an Earth Pony, Strawberry Berry, retired from the Guard, and became the father of two fillies. Now he lives just northwest of Ponyville, on the ground, working as a courier to help support his family.

An old friend in the Guard hires him for a special assignment. Fly to Appleloosa, pick up a special package, and bring it to the Palace at Canterlot. There are rumors of hostile spies walking undetected among Ponies, so it's better to handle this privately. Not too dangerous, for an old Guardspony like Falcon Punch ...

But in a war that Equestria doesn't even know is being waged against them, there is bound to be some damage.

Takes place in the "Shadow Wars" continuity, in the summer of YOH 1481, almost 19 years before Luna's Return. Contains major elements of Phoenix_Dragon's fanon, most specifically one of his characters from the early part of Without a Hive, but is not canon to that universe.

Now with an emotionally-delicious TV Tropes page! Read it and fill the love pool -- the Changelings hunger!

Chapters (6)
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Comments ( 47 )

Falcon Punch?

Got it from a suggestion in the Lunaverse. I mentioned the adult use-names of his two daughters, so I think you know why one of those characters is being discussed in the Lunaverse ...

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Why thank you -- I'm glad you like it. The Ceymi-ish goodness (evilness? alienness?) is the creation of Phoenix_Dragon and you should really read Without a Hive -- which is mostly about another Changeling, but does have her as a major character in part of it.

I suppose Chryssi can't afford to have any of her changelings touched by Paradise.

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Especially not given what could happen if they -- or worse she -- listened to Its siren song of love.

It's not like we didn't know it was coming since the start. :ajsleepy:

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Ever seen Hot Shots? Cruelly enough, that was one of my inspirations.

(I am also proud of having done a Subverted No One Could Survive That).

He didn't.

She was difficult to

*Missing something at the end here. The sentence just cuts off.

The bold courier is off on a vital mission!.

*double punctuation

In the author's notes,

Phoenix_Dragon's excellent []Without A Hive.

*square brackets from nowhere

Dude, Thermal, for a guy who's certain that a race of dangerous shapeshifters is out to get you, you aren't nearly paranoid enough.

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Dude, Thermal, for a guy who's certain that a race of dangerous shapeshifters is out to get you, you aren't nearly paranoid enough

.

Indeed.

Well, as you may have noticed in the later chapters, Ceymi has actually been meeting, talking to and making love with Thermal on a regular basis over the last two decades, both to consume his love and -- though she herself is in fairly deep denial about this -- because she just plain likes him. Or even loves him. In every conceivable way, and she's conceived plenty of little Changelings by him too. Thermal just doesn't realize that Starry Eyes, the explorer mare who he perceives as his free-spirited friend-with-benefits, is the same being as Tootsie Pop, and the "buzzy" he saw close-up. She has deliberately avoided letting the Queen know about the fact that Thermal is the same fellow who found the Hive way back when in order to keep him free and happy. But she can't do this for him any more when he actually has hard evidence of the Changelings, and a map to their Hive. Ceymi is rebellious at this point in her life, but she isn't a traitor to her Hive.

Ironically, all the tragedy in this story springs from the fact that Ceymi lets herself love. That's why she's so determined to hammer the dangers of being seduced by Pony love into Nictis' young Changeling mind in Without A Hive. Because Ceymi has learned firsthand how very, very wrong this sort of thing can go.

Blackcherry -- lhis sweet ittle Cheerilee

*his

I wonder sometimes if the Queen remembers this?

*This sentence is a statement, not a question.

Orange Streak had said that ProfessorSoar was in his sixties

*Missing a space

but the life of a geological prospector must be a healthy one, for he looked to be a decade older.

*What? I think this is supposed to be "younger."

When Longnose did nothing, he said "The paperwork? To sign?"

*This needs punctuation. Either "said, 'The" or "said: 'The"

One day, Falcon thought, threre'll be tpwns all along the rails

*there'll; towns

the lands pizened from whatever blew that huge crater.

*land's; "pizened" is a rather uncommon accent for "poisoned", and might throw people off

"Most Ponies don't ever have to face them up close," pointed out the Professor. I've faced things that wanted to eat me

*Missing quotation mark

at leat not in one's heart.

*least

"I'd hate to get paralyzed somewhere over the Everfree!"
HA HA HA oh don't be ridiculous, Falcon. What are the odds of that happening?

Should'a sent more than one guard.

Thank you -- I really typo'd the heck out of that chapter 2.

Nonsense, why do you envision the good former Guardspony plummeting to his death with one of those bolts in him? Why, as soon as he gets back home, he'll finally be able to go on that vacation he's always dreamed of, cure the common cold, and gain world peace! As soon as he gets back home! :raritywink:

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You know, I just realize that from Thermal's POV I've written a classic "fairy wife taboo" story, with a rather nasty -- well, I haven't done Chapter 5 yet. "I will keep thee company, as long as thou doth not do this one thing." The one thing Ceymi wanted of him was just to stay the heck away from the Hive. For his own good. And Starry Eyes probably told him, repeatedly, to go into other parts of the desert. He was just too stubborn.

but he wouldn't impress the with his speed

*them?

LIstening to Thermal Soar rant about the "buzzies,"

*Listening

You know, Captian Falcon still hasn't been announced for the new Super Smash Bros. game.

Coincidence? I think NO-
Okay yeah it's a coincidence.

Probably.

he realized in utter horriified surprise

*horrified

nothing too bad could even happen to me at the Hive.

In the words of Sweetie Belle: "Why does life have to be so ironic?"

My working title for Chapter 5 is "Betrayal In The Hive" -- so, yeah. Ceymi's happiness may be short-lived. That's incidentally why I put the "Dark" tag on it -- nopony and noling is going to win, really. Save for the Big Bad herself, and I don't mean Ceymi (who is more of a Noble Demon).

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Specifically, the Ceymi we see in Without a Hive is much more cynical and ruthless toward Ponies, even though she also obviously likes them and finds them fascinating. The events of this story are some of those which harden her in the ensuing decade.

Oh, sweet Celestia, writing Chapter 5 was depressing. I think I just wrote My Little Pony as if freakin Fyodor Dostoevsky was my muse, and didn't the whole Russian culture more or less commit suicide because of what he wrote?

had she been limited to the more active means of flight of her natural form.

*this sentence seems to be a fragment left over from the creation process, as it is unfinished and the next sentence rephrases it more completely.

unquestioned within the Hive as hrt right to rule

*her

only a tiny percentage of the victim's love, so llittle that given strong positive affect the prey could easily regenerate the energy in a single night's sleep

*little

[
b]***

*something happened here.

She is corroded by love, and thus useles for our purposes

*useless

Et tu, Ahtu? Then fall, great Ceasar!
Is his first name "Nosfer?"

Even the terrible underbeings of the netherform fear the might of Fluttershy Dragon-Stare.

Oh, and I would definitely vote for a mature tag on that. Not something for the kiddos to read.

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Hee hee -- Ahtu comes from David Drake's (few) Cthulhu Mythos stories. It is a manifestation of Nyarlathotep seen in Africa.

What I'm saying here is that The Stare is a Changeling ability -- specifically, an ability of the more powerful Changelings.

I'm conflicted on the Mature tag. If I do that then everyone will expect a clopfic, and the most explicit thing that happens sexually in this story (Thermal Soar's physical reaction to Chrysalis' mental command "Love me") is profoundly anti-erotic, as the horrified Ceymi notes. That happened because the intensity of the control needed to tear out the victim's energy like that is far beyond that of the normal Changeling Stare. Chrysalis never does this to anyone in A Canterlot Wedding (even off-camera) because she's not trying to tear out their energy like that, she's trying to Infiltrate, and later to fight.

The most actually erotic thing in the story -- and especially in the chapter -- is Ceymi's fond memories of Thermal Soar -- which aren't described that explicitly, for a number of reasons of which the most important is that Ceymi's attraction to Thermal was never primarily about the sex. To Ceymi sex doesn't mean what it would to Ponies, but she really, really likes intelligent conversation. Of which she gets little in the Hive. Ceymi is a genius of her kind, and often intellectually lonely. (Chrysalis is as smart as Ceymi, but Chrysalis isn't someling with whom one can have a relaxing conversation).

On the other hand, you're right that it's physically explicit. Though maybe more under Gore than Sex? The way that Thermal Soar dies is certainly Family-Unfriendly: it appalls the far-from-squeamish Ceymi, though mostly because it's somepony about whom she cares. Sends her first into Heroic BSOD and then Heroic Safe Mode, in fact. What Chrysalis did here was actually worse than what Ceymi ever did when learning the ability to deliberately kill by feeding, because Chrysalis maintained the drain past the point at which she'd emptied the victim of love, which Ceymi would never have done.

The reason why, mostly, is that Chrysalis is a sadist, while Ceymi is a pragmatist. To Chrysalis doing something like this was a demonstration of superiority over both Ponies and over Ceymi. To Ceymi, it's just useful to have the ability to use Feeding as a weapon, rather than merely as a way of recharging. I think you see why it's a fairly cumbersome and thus not all that useful a means of attack: first the Changeling has to Stare the victim into submission overriding its own instinct to live, and only then actually attack. But if the victim has been that thoroughly subdued, there are easier ways to kill it -- at that point one could simply administer a coup de grace with more conventional weapons. And if one simply wishes to feed, this technique is inefficient: a lot of the energy gets wasted, and since this technique is fatal, one can no longer drain that particular victim again. It does, however, look very impressive: I modeled it on the way the space vampires killed in the movie Lifeforce.

The lethal feeding technique is why I rated this "Gore."

Btw, do you think it should be Mature more for Sex or for Gore?

Anyway, this was an incredibly depressing chapter to write.

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Well, the sex part in itself is pretty short. The actual act is limited to pretty much a single event, which is almost accidental in its nature as a side-effect of the necessary coercion (although I'm sure Chrysalis doesn't mind getting to traumatize Ceymi even further), but it's also dwelled on for a paragraph or two in Ceymi's thoughts. And it's one hundred percent graphic.

The gore and mutilation is pretty horrifying, and longer too. Let your mind picture it, just soak it in for a few minutes, and I'm sure it could give you nightmares. And it's one hundred percent graphic.

Either one would justify a mature rating, from an objective standpoint. Personally speaking, the sex part made a more lasting impression, but that could stem from a combination of factors besides just how traumatizing it was, including, but not limited to: that it was the first "mature" part of the story. That I started tuning out the *badthink* as I skimmed ahead to the fallout, making the violence have less of an impact. And that both my personal and cultural tolerances are somewhat higher for violence than for sexual imagery, and the rules for violating those tolerances are more clear cut for sex than for gore.

What makes the whole thing worse is the fact that I'm pretty sure Chrysalis is getting a kick out of the whole power trip, and the two subjects blend together, violent sex and sexualized violence, in one grand display of overwhelming dominion over and disregard for another creature. And then, for bonus points, she throws in doing the whole thing in front of her underling, who just so happens to be in love with the poor fellow.

It's not sexy. It's depraved. But she's totally getting off on it, and it's sick.

It's a shame that the tag affects the whole story, since this is the only chapter that needs it, and only in a small part of that. But that part needs it, and that's what the tags are for.

Oh snap, freaking space vampires. Is no place safe from the plague of the undead?

the sex part in itself is pretty short. The actual act is limited to pretty much a single event, which is almost accidental in its nature as a side-effect of the necessary coercion

Yes. The thing is that Chrysalis is ramping up her power here well beyond the level required for control or even the degree of control needed to inflict the death-drain -- she's doing this to impress Ceymi with her own power level. She's doing this in part because one way Ceymi could fail the test would be to attack Chrysalis; and in part because she wants to dominate Ceymi (whose opinion matters since she -- unlike Thermal -- is probably going to be alive for some time afterward).

although I'm sure Chrysalis doesn't mind getting to traumatize Ceymi even further

She wants to both to hurt Ceymi and to impress upon her that any value she places on an emotional relationship with prey is worthless, that it is something Chrysalis can destroy whenever she wants. Also, she figures that one of two things will happen: either Ceymi will in retrospect consent to this, and afterward be perfectly compliant, nipping her little tendency toward anti-social independence in the bud -- or she'll rebel, and be destroyed.

It partially works -- it does convince Ceymi to split her emotions-as-herself and emotions-in-Mask a bit more completely, and that she was foolish to like somepony whose knowledge endangered the Hive. If you read Phoenix_Dragon's Without a Hive, Ceymi warns Nictis against exactly the sort of identification with the prey that got Ceymi in this situation in the first place.

It also drives Ceymi temporarily insane -- and emotionally scars her for life.

The gore and mutilation is pretty horrifying, and longer too. Let your mind picture it, just soak it in for a few minutes, and I'm sure it could give you nightmares. And it's one hundred percent graphic.

I had to write it. The interesting thing is that -- I like to write and I like writing the choreography of a scene (figuring out where the characters are) and the physics of a scene (you probably noticed this in the air battle and in Ceymi's dive through the stormclouds in Chapter 4), it comes from my background in wargaming and pen-and-paper RPG's -- as I wrote that scene I was simultaeously fascinated by the physics of boiling someone from the inside out like that, and utterly horrified and revolted by the way it would look. And I tried to write this down from Ceymi's POV. And in the process I horrified and revolted myself.

This chapter was maybe the most upsetting thing I've ever written. It also made me hate Chrysalis a lot more than I did when I started writing the story. Is that odd?

What makes the whole thing worse is the fact that I'm pretty sure Chrysalis is getting a kick out of the whole power trip, and the two subjects blend together, violent sex and sexualized violence, in one grand display of overwhelming dominion over and disregard for another creature.

Yes. Chrysalis is a complete sadist. And she has no love or loyalty for any other being, not even the members of her Hive, though they are biologically her descendants. She actually impresses Nyarlathotep with her treachery and "consummate evil."

Noling in the Hive really gets that, not even Ceymi. Namely, that if she didn't need them as her minions, she would happily do the same thing to her own Hive. Most of the Changelings aren't smart or independent-minded enough to think such thoughts, and Ceymi is too honorable. She can't comprehend Chrysalis' evil -- she makes excuses for it in her own mind, later in the story.

And then, for bonus points, she throws in doing the whole thing in front of her underling, who just so happens to be in love with the poor fellow.

Ah, but that was the whole point of the exercise. Did you notice that she waited until Ceymi got back home? She could have done this at any point during the previous evening, night and morning.

The really horrible thing is that Ceymi didn't grasp the depth of her own feelings for Thermal until she actually saw him die. And couldn't admit it to herself after she realized it. That broke her, and breaking her was the deeper point of the scene.

It's not sexy. It's depraved. But she's totally getting off on it, and it's sick.

That's exactly the point of it, yes. I thought it was in a good idea to show Chrysalis' own attitude (and I see that the l conveyed it well) to support her as someone evil enough to do what she's doing after the scene. From our own POV, it's obvious that she's a depraved sadist: Ceymi however is still (mostly) loyal to her and hence must accept the lesson being taught. This is also horrible because, from a human or pony POV, Ceymi is clearly the more admirable of the two Changelings, and from a pragmatic POV would make a far better Queen (for one thing, Ceymi would never have been mad enough to make deliberate and overt war on Equestria).

As you can probably see, I'm not a big fan of Chrysalis as anything but a very evil villain. I firmly base this on canon: in A Canterlot Wedding she is not just happy that she's winning, she's happy that she is hurting ponies who have never done anything to harm her save existing and being happy. This is not the attitude of a good or even pragmatic ruler who finds herself forced to do something evil in order to survive or help her Swarm survive.

Ceymi is pragmatic, and actually rather good toward her fellows of the Hive, or indeed anyone who has befriended her and whom she has no particular reason to hurt. You don't see her exulting in harming others: if she has to kill or harm, she will (she's by human standards ruthless) but it's an unfortunate necessity in pursuit of her goals, not the point of the game. She's in fact nicer than she gives herself credit (or debit) for, which is really what makes her a "Noble Demon."

I don't know what I'll do with this story. It horrifies me but I rather like it as a work of writing craft. If I put the "Mature" tag on it, everyone who comes to it will be expecting clop, and it's not about that -- there's two major characters who are part of couples in love, and it's hardly feel-good romantic because both of those couples are broken by death, but there's no explicit sex between them even though it is explicitly mentioned that both of them have had sex and liked it a lot. The most explicit part of the story is the violence -- and I noticed that nobody complains about the part in which Ceymi kills Falcon, probably because Ceymi just does it, she doesn't joy in it.

Ah well. I'll think on it. Thanks tremendously for the editing assistance, as always. You greatly improve my finished product by doing so, and in at least one case you caught a fragmentary sentence in the first paragraph which must have been extremely jarring to readers.:twilightsmile:

"I've got to get these three little angels home. Two of the little angels clustered around his legs

*missing quotation mark

You may or may not have intended this, but I find it worth noting that Ceymi was pondering the idea of illusions just before bumping into Trixie's family, considering who Trixie turns out to be in your stories.

On a less serious note...

"Dinner and good dinner conversation, all in the same encounter. Life didn't get any better than that."

Miss Ceymi, I am intrigued. How does one manage to have a dinner conversation without also having a dinner?

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You may or may not have intended this, but I find it worth noting that Ceymi was pondering the idea of illusions just before bumping into Trixie's family, considering who Trixie turns out to be in your stories.

That's an extremely good point! My original idea was just that, since Trixie had actually already been born, it was just too funny to imagine a toddler-age Trixie bumping into Ceymi not to do the scene, given that the Lulamoons live in Hoofington according to the version of Trixie's family I'm showing here. I thought she was adorably obonoxious, and I tried to keep her two older sisters in character for the Pony POVerse too, keeping in mind their immaturity at his point. . :raritywink:

Well, let's just say that if you enjoy your conversation with Ceymi enough, you are her dinner. And Ceymi knows exactly how to be likeable to Ponies.

Though that doesn't mean she's going to really hurt you. She's also competent enough to feed without damaging.

That was interesting read. Sometimes very strange, especially with that cthulhu crossovering. I liked overall that little references like that one with manticores.

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I'm glad you liked it. :twilightsmile: The Mythos got folded by Alex Warlorn into his Cosmic lore and I happily used it, as I'm a long-standing Mythos fan.

The manticore reference ... heh ... have you read Phoenix_Dragon's Without a Hive, from which I expanded upon the character of Princess Ceymi for this story? You really should, both because Ceymi's reaction is retrospectively ironic, and because it's a great story. Really great, maybe the best thing anyone's ever written about a Changeling.

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Yeah I actually pointed that one because its ironic.
But I wouldn't say without a hive is best thing with changeling as main character, its interesting because of plot and idea but sometimes lack of that kind of addictive writing style. Its good piece of fanfic artwork though.

But anyway say do Gray Oak was reference to Gary Oak or it just coincidence?

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The name comes straight from Phoenix_Dragon's story. Ceymi, her identity as Starry Eyes, and her identity's parents are Phoenix_Dragon's creation, not my own.

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I'm really happy to hear you like my writing style. Though Phoenix_Dragon has a good style too, extremely lucid and logical. He also does excellent characterization, and even more to the point character development. This story I wrote is about, in part, Ceymi developing in the opposite direction than her son Nictis would -- under the malign influence of Chrysalis.

As you can probably see, I'm not a big fan of Chrysalis as anything but a very evil villain. I firmly base this on canon: in A Canterlot Wedding she is not just happy that she's winning, she's happy that she is hurting ponies who have never done anything to harm her save existing and being happy. This is not the attitude of a good or even pragmatic ruler who finds herself forced to do something evil in order to survive or help her Swarm survive.

Thank you! I get so tired of Chrysalis redemption stories for that exact reason, she's unrepentant (and kinda dumb).

Anyway, I was hoping if you wrote a changeling story it would be different. A speculative fiction debate between two ponies arguing back and forth about if and how ponies and changelings could be reconciled. One side of the debate would be a cynic pointing out examples from changeling history and making the case that changelings could never fit in because of their fundamentally alien attitude towards other sapients and maybe point out a few writings of long past changelings to prove his point while the other is an idealist with ideas about how to reconcile ponies and changelings.

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Paradise, through Goldie (aka, later, as "Granny") Pie -- Pinkie's grandmother -- tries to persuade Ceymi of just this point. Ceymi is terrified by it -- not because Paradise is hostile, but because its message is so seductive toward her. Proof of its seductiveness is this thought she has right before the end of the story

Sometimes she wished that she could always live like this, maybe not with them forever, because that would be strange for a full-grown mare -- but with somepony or someponies who could love her like that, so that she could be safe and fed forever. She'd entertained fantasies about it -- she was smart and strong, she could easily enhance their own lives as well, so that they would give to one another and nopony need suffer. There would only be love and friendship, mutual happiness, benefit to all ...

but then she thinks this

If only that were possible. But there was no way the thousands of hungry lings in the Hive -- not one in a hundred possessing the mental capacity for real Infiltration rather than mere Shifting -- could live like that. It was all the Hive could do to get enough surplus love to keep the pool sufficiently full for mere survival, and slow reproductive expansion. There was no way that everyling could be as talented as herself, and it was unthinkable to let the less talented lings simply perish.

Ceymi could not live like this forever. She could never really be free. She had too many responsibilities.

She was loyal to her Hive. She could not be other. It was who she was.

In other words, she can see how she could live like this -- with her cunning she could probably even hide from her Queen -- but she can't see how her whole Hive could live like this. And she won't abandon her own people.

In the end the Changelings are reconciled with and accepted into the other Three Kinds of Equestria. But it doesn't happen in Ceymi's time.

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I'm not sure I understand.
I wanted a story exploring how alien the changelings are to the ponies and whether that would allow true peace.
I don't get where the benevolent Eldritch abomination comes in or how it only relates to a single queen.

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Ceymi's loyalty to Chrysalis and even more so to the Hive, coupled with her upbringing, prevent her from grasping that true symbiosis is possible. It's not easy, though -- and in Ceymi's case it would require rebelling against Chrysalis, as Chrysalis is not willing to contemplate any course save conquest.

Ironically, in the future, one of the forces which drives the other Changelings to seek peaceful symbiosis with Equestria is Chrysalis -- or to be precise, her megalomaniacal desire to first become High Queen of the Changelings, and then of the whole Earth. This gives the other Hives the choice of subjugation by Chrysalis, or alliance with Equestria.

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Ceymi fears Paradise because it tempts her with her own happiest fantasy -- being able to live at peace and unafraid with the Ponies. Ceymi is certain that this is not possible because she assumes that the Changelings must remain secret and (correctly) assumes that most Changelings are incapable of long-term Infiltration.

The seduction of Paradise for the Changelings should be obvious when one considers that I got the idea for the Daughters of Paradise from Ask Fluffle Puff. Paradise offers a world of love, and the Changelings would make ideal symbionts with the Ponies of Paradise, if the World That Was Lost could be restored.

This would mean, however, accepting the predominance of Paradise. And Queen Chrysalis is not about to accept the predominance of anyone, anypony or anything save for herself. Even the other Changeling Queens, if they knew of Paradise, would suspect its motivations, and Chrysalis is a psychopath, by both Changeling and Pony standards.

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Definitely it would be great that you made a sequel of this story (a sequel occurring many years later I assume). I'm assuming that the attempt to overthrow Equestrian is the one when Shinning Armour & Princess Cadence were getting married. And who is this "daughter" ( don't know why I think it might be Princess Cadence because her magic is love). Would Princess Ceymi join with this wayward "daughter" to overthrow Queen Chrysalis, basically saving the Changeling and the rest of Equestria from this mad psychopath queen? Resulting of bringing the "5th kind" to reconcile and join with the rest of the pony kind?

That would be some story....

Cheers!

Cheers!

4615750

Well, all my stories so far are strongly connected (the weakest connections probably being with An Epistolary Legal Consultation Between Princesses which is explicit AU though based on Shadow Wars continuity, as should be obvious from the fact that Luna's flirting with Twilight during the whole thing) and Substitute Mentor (which is mostly set in two alternate Equestria Girls universes, though the frame with the Pony versions of Celestia, Luna and Twilight is Shadow Wars continuity). But yes, I've been thinking about writing stories set in between Collateral Damage and Nightmares Are Tragic (Luna's Return from Exile). I've also been thinking about doing stories about Ceymi set both before and after this one.

Here's the thing. Ceymi's not actually my OC. She's Phoenix_Dragon's, from Without a Hive. I wrote Collateral Damage in part because it seemed obvious to me that Ceymi had once had a very, very bad experience involving her seduction by Pony culture. It also seemed obvious to me that Ceymi was the Noble Top Enforcer to Chrysalis' Big Bad, and that this created a certain tension between the two characters. Chrysalis, essentially, cuts Ceymi these orders because she's trying to avert what she perceives as Ceymi's possible future Heel-Face Turn.

What makes the situation even more tragic is that Ceymi wasn't actually contemplating such a turn. If she had been left to her own devices she would have continued simply wandering Equestria, collecting love for the Hive, and enjoying her little vacations with Starry Eyes' Hoofington family and with Thermal Soar in Appleloosa. Ceymi is actually more loyal to the Hive than is Chrysalis, something Chrysalis cannot grasp.

Which means that all the suffering in this story was, essentially, pointless.

Anyhow, unless I made this very incompatible with Without a Hive, Ceymi's future is constrained. In a very bad way. Her past isn't so constrained, though, nor is her future between now and her fate in Without a Hive. Though note: while Starry Eyes is an explorer, she's not a swashbuckling adventurer -- Ceymi is an extremely pragmatic sort of ling who doesn't take pointless risks for their own sake. (The irony of her Starry Eyes Mask is that Ceymi really is an explorer, but the territory she's exploring for real is Equestria -- her real home is deep in the Palomino, where it shades into the Badlands).

I know exactly who is Chrysalis' wayward daughter, and what's going to happen to her.

The other obvious source of stories originating from this is canon-filling the 19 years between this story and Nightmares Are Tragic, in Ponyville. I set up the basic situations for several important characters who are minor in the show, but very important to themselves and each other: in particular, for Strawberry, Cheerilee, Berryshine and Big Mac. By the end of Collaterla DamageStrawberry's going mad. Cheerilee is subbing for her as effective "parent". Cheerilee's also met and befriended two characters who are going to be important in her life: Ivory Scroll and Big Mac. Berryshine is going to have to grow up with her elder sister as her main positive role model

Now we know some things from a combination of canon and fanon. Though I'm obviously Toy Shipping them, Big Mac and Cheerilee do not succeed in getting together; on the other hand they remember one another fondly in adulthood, as is obvious from "Hearts and Hooves Day." Strawberry's nowhere to be seen two decades later, but Pina Colada (who is much younger than her two half-sisters) must have come from somewhere. Berryshine becomes both an alcoholic and a single mother from a very early age (neither of which sound good).

I'm actually working on a story set six years later, in which Big Mac and Cheerilee are the main teenaged characters, supported by Ivory Scroll, Apple Fritter and Greenshoot (Golden Harvest's eldest brother, around Ivory Scroll's age) in which among other thing the teenagers are watching a group of children -- Applejack, Berryshine, and Landscape and Golden Harvest Carrot, who are the ones who originally used that old clubhouse AJ later gave to the Cutie Mark Crusaders. If you've followed my stories, I've referenced Landscape once or twice -- he's somepony very important to Applejack's backstory.

I may wind up writing and publishing this fic too. I think it has some interesting character possibilities.

You be a good little Cheerilee and take care of your sister until I get back home!"

Well. How about dem apple. Or berries as the case may be.

As long as she had her Falcon, she would never need any inebriation but that which she felt in his strong embrace.

Yeah, He's not makeing it out of this alive.

the barest touch of her Stare.

Interesting.
But not quite as much as the member of the Pie family. Pinkie's Granny Pie I presume. That was weird. In the best possible way.

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Yep. That was Goldie ("Granny") Pie. Channeling Paradise.

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The nickname came from her father. She loved her father -- that's why she's gone by that name her whole subsequent life.

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Why nonsense! And as soon as he gets back from this mission alive, he's got a cure for cancer to share with everypony! :raritywink:

Maybe I should wait until I finished the last chapter, but I wanted to say that I love the way you described the Changeling hive and throne room, and what happened Thermal is one of the most repulsive things I've ever read.

Which was what you were going for so...congratulations? If anyone thpught Chrysalis was a sympathetic, redeemable villain, I cant see then thinking that now.

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Part of my reason for writing the story was to show off my Chrysalis. She's flat-out evil, for precisely the same reason that the Night Shadows are evil: she believes that the increased security which comes from domination is better than the increased payoff of cooperating in indefinitely-iterated positive-sum games. (This is how Fluttershy would put it in the future, and Fluttershy's analysis here would be quite relevant if at this point she understood Chrysalis, which she doesn't because at this point Fluttershy is a year-old foal).

Chrysalis fought her way to leadership among the Changelings of the Hive she was forced to join (it's a long story) at a time when they were cowering in terror before the outside world, and assumes that the solution is to make the outside world cower in terror before them. And, to implement this policy, the Changelings themselves have to cower in terror before herself. She considers the notion of leadership through felt-love or cooperation

She's actually a very non-traditional Changeling. To begin with, like Fluttershy, she's only half-Changeling, but in her case the Changeling attributes manifested earlier. Her base form, unlike Fluttershy's, is clearly Changeling (though she spent most of her early life apparently a Zebra). She has the aggressiveness of her Zebra genes and upbringing, which is part of the problem: the traditional Changeling solution of hiding in the shadows and scavenging up what food-love happens to be available is far too passive for her. She wants to conquer.

Chrysalis is a classic example of the outsider who joins a nation and becomes a revolutionary dictator. Some examples of the same sort of person in Human history include Napoleon Buonaparte (Corsican who became the Emperor of France), Iosif ("Stalin") Dzhugashvili (Georgian who became the dictator of Russia) and Adolf Hitler (Austrian who became the dictator of Germany). Such outsiders are not bound by the traditions of their adopted home, and hence often rule in a very extreme fashion. Where their new home's traditions stand in their way, they may kick them aside or trample them beneath.

Although some of the events of her origin were not under her control and damaged her sense of morality, others were under her control, and given different choices she might have become a very different Changeling. Indeed, she might have become the Mirror-Chrysalis, whose concept of eusociality embraces all sapient life, and whose innovation was to become the source of rather than the obstacle to the Reconciliation in her world. (That world's Chrysalis is the Element of Love, while that world's Cadance is Lust or Destructive Love).

My Chrysalis doesn't (at this point) hate her own Changelings, though she is utterly ruthless in doing what she feels she must to retain control of them and keep their loyalty. The whole exercise with Thermal Soar was about keeping her dominance over Ceymi as much as it was about keeping the secret of the Hive's existence: indeed, the way Chrysalis went about it (as Ceymi realizes) was unnecessarily risky and violent. Chrysalis was rationalizing: she wanted to harm Equestria and used this as an excuse to do so. This is the same sort of thinking that, two decades from now, will lead to the attack on Canterlot.

The scene where Chrysalis kills Thermal is very much anti-erotic, even though there's a certain degree of sexual explicitness. Some people have said that I should rate the story "M" for this. I think "Teen-Sex-Gore" works just fine.

Hmmmm.
Answer is Necromancy.
Necromancy everything.

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And of course this symbiosis event DOESN'T EXIST YET. :fluttershysad:

Bloody hell, this is dark.

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