• Member Since 23rd Mar, 2012
  • offline last seen Mar 13th, 2022

Xain Russell


Chrysalis and her swarm have suffered through much in the last few years. Starving to the point of desperation has pushed them to the brink. But now something far worse than hunger has begun to fester in their caves. A mysterious fungus that infests her subjects brains and drives them mad, is now destroying the already crippled race. With few options remaining, Chrysalis must decide if her pride is worth the lives of her children. She can only hope her enemies would be merciful to them.

((Inspired by the video game "The Last of Us." This is NOT a crossover however.))

Chapters (8)
Comments ( 89 )

This has the possibility of being one of my favorite fanfictions ever! The premise is great and I would personally love it if other races were involved, especially Diamond Dogs, since many of them live in caves and have caves running through Equestria. An epedemic like this might be unavoidable.

yes, keep it up, i love this story.

Fun fact: There actually are fungi that do this. I know I won't be sleeping tonight.
Ophiocordyceps unilateralis

4917727 I heard it only affects insects. Ants specifically.

Oh, that's horrifying. And it makes so much sense. I see you've done your research - I remember a parasite that affects ants as such. Can't wait to see where this goes.

4917942 I think that's what the game was based off of

I "lobe" it! (xD punpunpun) I look forward to more!

4917903 there are about 500 different types of Cordyceps that can effect other bugs like this spider in this pic upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2d/Cordyceps_ignota.JPG

Hmm, a few things to point out:

They were also slightly more intelligent then the others as well,

Should be than.

she attempted to wonder off in a completely different direction,

Should be wander.

A tendril of some fowl abomination grew out of the hole,

I think you mean foul in this case. Fowl is a type of bird.

Minor typos aside, this story has a very interesting premise. The cover art implies that it's possible to survive the part when the fungus sporangia ruptures the skull. Damn, Larvus is in for a really rough ride if that's what you have in store for him. :fluttercry:
Looking forward to seeing where you go with this! :pinkiehappy:

4920524 What is that man doing!? GET IT OFF YOUR HAND! :twilightoops:

BTW: Well, you learn something new everyday... :applejackunsure:

Oh dear god... I just hope that this doesn't end in an apocalypse...


Well it said that the infected fungus is by the small ant name Ophiocordyceps unilateralis or call it Zombie Ant

Here's a video


this was beautifull

:pinkiegasp: This is NOT going to be pretty...

Ants were the first type of insect discovered to be preyed on by it, but there are a bunch of different types of Cordyceps fungus that affect a variety of prey. Each type only affects one species of arthropod, but there's hundreds of types of the fungus.

Images fill your head of twitching bug-ponies with funguses bursting out the side of their heads, with eggs on their back as they moan, "Mother....
You fall to your knees screaming.

So far it's pretty great! I love this idea and kept me on my toes when the decision to leave had to be made.

you are not gonna suddenly have them infect ponies, are you? cause that would make no sense. both because of how cordeceps function, and mostly cause there is a good reason why they can do what they do. an insect is little more than action and reaction and is easy to reprogram. more complex animal is less easy to modify in behavior. changelings likely operate on something of a hive mind and would, of course, be more vulnerable to something reprogramming them.


thats an assumption based on fan cannon, nothing concrete from the creators. its also possible they use potent pheromones to communicate as well.

5004057 in this story that is kinda how it functions. the fungus is taking advantage of their instincts.


did the same thing in "the last of us"

5004102 that was a bit of an exagerration of what it could do, but even then it only affected humans and no other species. true monkeys could carry it but it did not cause them to go crazy.

And now we wait for the spores to mutate to be able to cross species in...say, a few weeks. I think about 1 or 2 should do it.

I would rather have them infect ponies.
Because then the story can have a large infection that Celestia now has to deal with, alongside the uninfected changelings.
That would be more interesting to read (in my opinion).

Not knowing if ponies, or buffalo, can become infected is going to drive me nuts.

Plus, it may not necessarily affect ponies in the same way as changelings. Could have an entirely different effect, such as cutting off their magic -- and that would be hell for Equestria, worse than a mere contagion.

Plus, it may not necessarily affect ponies in the same way as changelings. Could have an entirely different effect, such as cutting off their magic -- and THAT would be hell for Equestrian, worse than a mere contagion.

Normal Cordyceps, sure. But this isn't the normal stuff. It's not infecting insects but insectile shape-changing monsters that feed on love. And this isn't a world where plant life restricts itself to normal abilities anymore than the animal life does, you have things like Timberwolves and Poison Joke. Let's face it, being unnaturally adaptive would not be an unreasonable feature for magic mind-control fungus to have.

I'm not saying I want or expect it to spread, I'm just saying I wouldn't be surprised (If it didn't spread it would make Chrysalis' position weaker but explain her need to rely on ponies, who can't be infected, for help but if it did spread, the ponies would find themselves in the same boat as the changelings and have a shared enemy).

5013130 it is when it is clear the fungus here would have no benefits spreading to ponies. it is tapping into the msot base changeling instincts to ensure it gets close to more changelings to infect. crossing over to ponies is needless.

Hardly needless. It's extremely useful when (for example) you have an isolated infected changeling surrounded by ponies with no other ponies around. As just happened in the last chapter.

But like I said, I'm not advocating that the story go either way, simply saying it can go either way.

hmm, at least you are not yet causing them to jump to ponies for no reason.

it is intersting what is going on here though.

Hey, do you know what would be savory? If this never happened, and Celestia, in her infinite "kindness" and "non-violence", helped out the infected changeling and spread the fungus to half of Equestria, then refuse to kill the infected until it was too late. Oh, how delicious the irony would be...the look on her face...the resignation, the self-hatred...DAMN that's good!

This is heading for the feature box, I'm sure. :twistnerd:

And when this does and it also gets the attention of the whole fandom. I'm sure a lot of bronies will be crying out for a movie. Because I CERTAINLY AM. :twilightangry2:

Now if only I was a master in animation. :raritydespair:

Trully terrific fic. I didn't read that good dark story in long time, if I readed it before going to sleep I'm not sure if I could sleep at all. Seriously horror and desperation vibe is strong in this.

Keep going because its one of stories that when I will see updated I will read instantly.

You know, maybe this is just me, but I feel like sending changelings to kill the infected who are highly contagious to other changelings is a bad idea. I'd ask if there were no mercenaries of other races they could hire, but I suppose the changelings would never consider that someone else could be as well suited to espionage as they (with some justification) but this feels like it's just asking for your assassin to come back infected.
In a pony prison is effectively quarantined from the hive.... Well, unless Luna or someone decides to let it out.

Why do I get the oddest feeling that not only will they fail to kill the infected (I'll bet a kidney that it'll be Celestia's fault), but they'll spread the infection and make it worse?

Oh right. It's because if they succeeded, the story would pretty much be over.

5132697 There were multiple infected that followed Chrysalis, not just the one

5130049 Unless the one to kill the infected also destroys themself afterwards to prevent further contamination

5152557 But it would be so much shorter. Imagine how many ponies there are in Canterlot. Now imagine how useless they would be. One infected there does more damage than 100 in the Badlands.

Only a thousand living in the hive? I was thinking 30 000 members.

wow this is a pretty intense but amazing story. I don't think I've ever read one with Luna and Cadance at one another throats like this

5517759 Yeah, pretty much because the plot requires her to.

Less to say, I'm not a fan of our favourite Night Princess being turned into a giddy, genocidal madmare, basically for the sake of having somepony on the arbitrary 'Genocide! Genocide!' side that these kind of 'survival changeling stories' seem to always require for some reason.

So things get interesting, keep up the great work. ^^

Login or register to comment