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The sexiest man you've ever met.

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Prior to the events of "A Canterlot Wedding" Princess Celestia asks Cadance what ought to be done with the changelings that have been discovered living hidden in Equestria. Cadance's proposed plan of action is swift, brutal, and ruthless, but absolutely unnecessarily so. Celestia has never heard Cadance speak an ill word of anyone, and she cannot fathom why the young princess seems to so despise the uncovered changelings.

Cadance just can't fathom why the uncovered changelings have chosen to forsake their own kind to live among the ponies.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 62 )

I find that parting shot both chilling and hopeful.


It took me a bit to figure out when this was set, but otherwise... this is very, very good.

One of the best portrayals of this character I've ever seen, hands down. You really made this one special.

Hmmm, I had actually expected a sort of evil Cadence or queen of hearts deal from the short description, but I was surprised by where the story went. I liked it! Good work!

Very interesting and enjoyable story. Bravo

Though the thing that really makes me laugh is how there are no stories listed under the Also liked.

Very sinister at the end there...

This was marvelous! The portrayal of her character is amazing and the shot at the end was spine chilling!

But Celestia said they had families? That was absurd. Every changeling already had a family. The hive was a changeling’s family, and Cadance was their mother. In the hive, they had purpose and food and a place to rest. What could they get from a pony family that they couldn’t get in the hive? Why would they choose to live among ponies instead of their own kind?

-She has no qualms about letting captured changelings to be executed in a drop of a hat, even calling them useless baggage.
-Cannot believe they would abandone her and her hive.

Goddamn, that was a chilling ending...

I think it's safe to say you nailed this good.

i.imgur.com/EWZgp90.png

~Skeeter The Lurker

That was very well written. :pinkiehappy:
I quite enjoyed this story.

And they all lived happily ever after. :heart:

I find this story confusing.

Wow this is almost as bad as singing the "This Day Aria," walking down the aisle. Needs luna tag.

That was good. I really liked the device of only using the names "Raindrops" and "Cadance".

5376747 I am so confused that its hard to say. Maybe I need sleep.

Comment posted by Posted deleted Dec 14th, 2014

Making a villain into a sympathetic figure is a very common fandom cliche. I think this story works because it doesn't make "Cadance" sympathetic at all. It does a great job of exploring her character, of making the reader pity her, but it accomplishes that without making her likeable (a tricky thing to do). There's enough narrative touches to let us identify with her alien mindset and explain her behavior (especially the way it uses vocabulary), but she still comes off as appropriately vindictive and short-sighted.

The climax of the story emphasizes this perfectly, by contrasting her with a character who learned the lesson that she ignores.

This is one of those stories whose description and tags encapsulate it well. A Tragedy tag could have fit, but I can see why you didn't add one. It does a great job of making "Cadance" come very close to learning a lesson and ignoring it. It is tragic for the reader, because we can see the implications of everything. It isn't tragic for "Cadance", however, because she can't (or chooses not to) see those implications.

Also;

the events of "A Canterlot Wedding"

Event then

Luna towards the side of the room

Definitely a great read.

Nice storie, love it

Wow.

I am now using this as part of my headcannon. :rainbowkiss:

Mi Amore. Mi Amore. Mi Amore Cadenza. Princess Mi Amore Cadenza. The third alicorn. Princess of Love. Niece of Princess Celestia. Heir to the throne of the Crystal Empire.

38.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_maasdnseqj1re1td9o1_500.gif

Ah, this is when Chrysalis was disguised as Cadence. That explains EVERYTHING!

You know, I think it says a lot about Chrysalis that she doesn't consider peaceful coexistence an option, only self-imposed isolation or conquest.

5376780
You know, she never does state her own name. Maybe she doesn't even have one, only ever referring to herself by whomever she "is" at the moment. After all, when without a disguise she's presumably among peers and communicating in a manner that doesn't really need names.

Uhm... this rather ignores something rather very rather obvious... rather.

Celestia is VASTLY OLDER AND MORE EXPERIENCED than Cadance. Therefore, why the heck is she just dumbly sitting there with Cadance's SEVERELY ODDLY OUT-OF-CHARACTER ranting and doing nothing?

Why is she not deeply questioning WTF is going on with Cadance? Why did she agree to let 'Cadance' know where the changelings were WHEN SHE WANTED TO EXECUTE THEM?! Celestia never once thinks anything might be seriously wrong, even though Cadance is sending off warning signals left and right that any remotely experienced leader would pick up in a heartbeat. The first guess would be to ask her if she'd been abused in some way by changelings... the second would be that she IS a changeling.

Why did Celestia not, for one little moment, think to herself, "Say, I know all about those changelings... and Cadance is acting rather suspicious... saaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy, what if, just on the off chance, Cadance has been replaced by an aggressive changeling, maybe one sent to assassinate the ones who broke with the hive! Gee, better take a blood sample to be sure!"

Frankly, this Chrysalis is a worse actress than in "Canterlot Wedding", because at least she only broke down when Twilight was nosing about and confronting her.

I know people like to paint Celestia as an idiot, but even inbred rednecks couldn't miss the signals 'Cadance' is giving off that something ain't kosher!

5379742 Precisely my issue with the story... thought Chrysalis's characterization was excellent, Celestia and Luna were force fed a gigantic case of idiot ball

Apart from that though, an interesting foray into Chrysalis's reaction to changelings living among ponies. I just wish the execution didn't have that major flaw in it.

5380193 Actually, this doesn't make Chrysalis look all that intelligent. Despite her 'cleverness', she breaks character multiple times with the slightest unintentional provocation, something any half-decent human spy knows not to do.

Also, it's implicit that, despite now knowing the Princesses have knowledge of their kind and apparently some way of detecting them which she has not yet ascertained, she STILL plans to go ahead with the goofy wedding scheme... which to this day I cannot fathom why she would... other than the story required it for wedding toy playsets.

If Chrysalis was remotely skilled as an infiltrator, she'd have known Cadance would give the changelings the benefit of the doubt and claim she would use her power of love to tell if they meant any harm.

Then, once she had all the names, she'd have them marked for death by her assassins the moment of the invasion.

She'd also mentally prepare to deal with both Celestia and Luna since they know about her... with this level of foreknowledge in her enemies' hooves, she certainly wouldn't have gone into the wedding with the chance of having to face Celestia (and possibly Luna too) by herself.

5379742

Therefore, why the heck is she just dumbly sitting there with Cadance's SEVERELY ODDLY OUT-OF-CHARACTER ranting and doing nothing?

Unfortunately, Cadance really doesn't have a lot of established character in canon. She's pink and generally nice and... that's about it. To say that she's acting all caps severely out of character is a stretch when she has so little character to act out of. She's acting strangely, yes. But enough that Celestia is going to immediately throw her down on the ground and accuse her of being a spy? A single short outburst is hardly enough justification for clobbering family members, and Cadance's reaction to the changelings here could easily fall in line with the general view of them. If changelings have a history of acting violently towards ponies, that's all the justification anyone needs for wanting the discovered changelings gotten rid of, and it would hardly be strange for a ruler to want her subjects kept safe from changelings that have infiltrated with possible mal-intentions.

Celestia can have suspicions and not act on them and the real Cadance can act strangely without being a changeling. That doesn't make Celestia dumb, it makes her cautious and slow to act. She's not the kind of character who spontaneously accuses or attacks others without first having all the evidence, and certainly not just because someone has a different response to a problem than she expects them to.

Actually, this doesn't make Chrysalis look all that intelligent.

She's not supposed to look intelligent. A character believing themselves to be clever and a character actually being clever are two different things.

5380250


Chrysalis's planning was genius! First off, you say she breaks character, but look closer. None of the mane 6 besides Twilight KNOW her personality, so the others chock it up as stress. And of course, she has a busy husband and a wedding to fall back on. The others would be in doubt of Twilight, even though she KNOW'S this is out of character, so they wouldn't believe her and be on the side of the princess, along with the others, because of course Twilight makes accusations that seem to make no sense and chock her up as possessive. GENIUS. And of course she went to the wedding. The changelings were already chipping away at the forcefield, so chrysalis would be able to take out Celestia and possibly Luna with backup from other changelings easy. Talking it out was just to distract the other ponies, as one group of changelings went to secure the elements, knowing that's the only obstacle in there plan. Another group went to distract Twilight and friends to buy the other group time. Once again, GENIUS. I don't know why I wrote this, just get annoyed when people think Chrysalis is stupid.

5380351 Nooooo, but anyone with a brain would wonder why Cadance is suddenly "RAR KILL ALL DA CHERNGELERNGS!!!" considering she'd hardly know all that much about them, and even says she only knows stories about them... hardly facts to execute someone by... and hardly the justification Celestia would expect from the loving and caring Princess of Love...

It rather begs the question from Celestia, "Say Cadance, did you get raped by a changeling or something?"

It also makes no sense at all for Celestia to then give this clearly unstable and hostile alicorn the addresses of the creatures she clearly would like to murder...

And yes, it DOES give Celestia an excuse to watch Cadance much more carefully, if not ask for a blood test... under the pretense that, "My word, Cadance, you're acting very hostile...(Must come up with a clever lie only a real alicorn would know is a lie... ooo, that's a good one!)...that could be the sign you're catching the illness which turned Luna into NMM! I shall have the doctors perform a blood test at once! If you're coming down with it, we can give you a dose of Harmony vaccine! (heh heh heh, prepare to taste the Rainbow, to the Mooooooon beeyatch!)."

Celestia can have suspicions and not act on them and the real Cadance can act strangely without being a changeling. That doesn't make Celestia dumb, it makes her cautious and slow to act. She's not the kind of character who spontaneously accuses or attacks others without first having all the evidence, and certainly not just because someone has a different response to a problem than she expects them to.

But this is not a case of Celestia being 'slow to act', this is a case of Celestia doing absolutely nothing. She doesn't find Cadance's behavior or outbursts any concern whatsoever (not does Luna for that matter, since they clearly never follow up on anything). No, both Sisters hand off responsibility to this immature, emotionally unhinged alicorn... kinda forgetting what happened the last time an alicorn showed some uncontrolled anger and wanted to, oh you know, bring about eternal night and kill her sister.

And since it's assumed the wedding goes forward as in the episode, this means neither Celestia nor Luna EVER followed up on Cadance at all. Certainly, with these suspicions already in her mind... wouldn't Twilight's own suspicions have been given a little more credence in that case? By then, Celestia and Luna would have an outside perspective, another pony who finds Cadance's behavior off... something they would expect if a changeling had replaced her... given that they already know about changelings and how they act in this story.

You see, the latter events after the end of this story no longer make sense if this story was actually what occurred.

Celestia would have had changelings in mind when the mysterious threat was made. She'd have been actively seeking them, given that she knew a number already lived hidden in the populace. Certainly she'd have had a detection spell to screen for them made up by this time, and likely scan everypony in the castle to be on the safe side.

These are just simple, basic precautions anyone in Celestia's place would do, given the information we're told she possesses.

At the very least, I do think Celly and Loony would have someone watching Cadance for a while. And would certainly NOT show her where the changelings were living. One does not give the addresses of people to those who declare an intent to kill those people.

5376907
Yep, know that feeling all to well.

5380507

Nooooo, but anyone with a brain would wonder why Cadance is suddenly "RAR KILL ALL DA CHERNGELERNGS!!!"

That's not what she does. She assumes that they're in custody and suggests they should be executed. When she finds out that they haven't been in placed in custody she suggests they be taken into custody and questioned. Considering how dangerous the changelings turn out to be, those are both perfectly reasonable suggestions. But at no point does she say "RAR KILL ALL DA CHANGELERNGS!!!" or anything similar.

considering she'd hardly know all that much about them

We don't know what the ponies' level of knowledge of changelings are in the show, but in the context of this fic, Celestia makes it clear that ponies and changelings have had confrontations in the past, and that those confrontations resulted in violence. It's hardly impossible that Cadance might know about those confrontations and have a general dislike of changelings as a result.

and hardly the justification Celestia would expect from the loving and caring Princess of Love...

No, it isn't one she would expect, and Celestia is clearly surprised. But it being unexpected and it meaning that she must absolutely and certainly be a changeling are not the same. If anything, that Cadance wants the changelings executed makes it much less likely that she is a changeling. As for the 'loving and caring' part, that's you pushing your interpretation of a character who has little actual canon characterization. Nothing about Cadance's very brief portrayals in the show suggests how she might respond to a foreign invader threatening her subjects. She might be 'caring and loving' towards ponies, but that doesn't make her caring and loving towards those who wish to do ponies harm, which the changelings do. She's the Princess of Love because she spreads love among ponies, not because she unequivocally loves everyone.

It also makes no sense at all for Celestia to then give this clearly unstable and hostile alicorn the addresses of the creatures she clearly would like to murder...

She's not clearly unstable and hostile. She's clearly a young woman dealing with the stress/pressure of both an engagement and trying to live up to Celestia's expectations after being asked to help administer an entire kingdom with biases against and fear of a past enemy of Equestria that has been discovered to have infiltrated the kingdom, but who then apologizes for her outburst and begins to act normally again.

It might be strange for her character, but it's not unjustifiable, either.

And yes, it DOES give Celestia an excuse to watch Cadance much more carefully, if not ask for a blood test... under the pretense that, "My word, Cadance, you're acting very hostile...(Must come up with a clever lie only a real alicorn would know is a lie... ooo, that's a good one!)...that could be the sign you're catching the illness which turned Luna into NMM! I shall have the doctors perform a blood test at once! If you're coming down with it, we can give you a dose of Harmony vaccine! (heh heh heh, prepare to taste the Rainbow, to the Mooooooon beeyatch!)."

That's insane. Do you immediately insist on performing a blood test on your family members anytime they ever do or say anything strange or unexpected?

A single outburst is simply not grounds for such a dramatic breach of trust, and I cannot comprehend why you think that would be acceptable. It is, however, definitely grounds for Celestia to suspect something strange is going on with Cadance, and strange things are going on with Cadance, such as an engagement and an invitation into Celestia's private council. 'She is a changeling' is only one of many possible explanations, and it's not a particularly likely one.

But this is not a case of Celestia being 'slow to act', this is a case of Celestia doing absolutely nothing. She doesn't find Cadance's behavior or outbursts any concern whatsoever (not does Luna for that matter, since they clearly never follow up on anything).

This is not a fic told from Celestia's perspective. Neither you nor I know what Celestia did outside of that single discussion or how much she suspects about Cadance's true identity. You can't say 'She did nothing' or 'she suspects nothing' because this is a fic focused on Chrysalis's perspective and Chrysalis doesn't know Celestia's inner thoughts or what Celestia does when Chrysalis isn't around, and therefore neither can you. This sounds like a case of you wanting this fic to be something it was never meant to be. This is a fic about Chrysalis and her motivations for invading Equestria. This is not a fic about Celestia's suspicions or actions in response to that.

No, both Sisters hand off responsibility to this immature, emotionally unhinged alicorn... kinda forgetting what happened the last time an alicorn showed some uncontrolled anger and wanted to, oh you know, bring about eternal night and kill her sister.

A single, short outburst does not equal emotionally unhinged. It takes an incredible leap of logic to go from 'Oh, she got upset a single time' to 'oh, jeez, she's definitely going to try and destroy the entire world.' Again, that is just an insane line of reasoning.

And since it's assumed the wedding goes forward as in the episode, this means neither Celestia nor Luna EVER followed up on Cadance at all.

Followed her up about what? Cadance visits the changelings, decides to let them be, and then after a brief discussion about the subject with Celestia, goes back to acting normally. What is there to follow up on?

By then, Celestia and Luna would have an outside perspective, another pony who finds Cadance's behavior off... something they would expect if a changeling had replaced her... given that they already know about changelings and how they act in this story.

Her behavior was off, and she could still use the exact same excuse: she's a bride-to-be. That's a situation that brings with it a lot of stress, and stress makes people do things they normally wouldn't. 'She got upset that one time for a little while before apologizing about it and going back to normal and now she's acting a little odd on the day before her wedding day' are still not nearly enough justification for them to do whatever action you seem to expect them to do.

Celestia would have had changelings in mind when the mysterious threat was made. She'd have been actively seeking them, given that she knew a number already lived hidden in the populace. Certainly she'd have had a detection spell to screen for them made up by this time, and likely scan everypony in the castle to be on the safe side.

She very well may have, and any number of a million different scenarios still could have played out in which Chrysalis wasn't caught. Maybe Chrysalis found a way to get around the scan. Maybe Celestia didn't bother to scan Cadance or Luna because she didn't have any good reason to suspect her own family. The events of this story don't make the events of A Canterlot Wedding impossible, or even unlikely, because Celestia isn't given any really compelling reason to suspect Cadance of being anything other than stressed or misinformed.

These are just simple, basic precautions anyone in Celestia's place would do

No, these are the things a paranoid schizophrenic would do.

One does not give the addresses of people to those who declare an intent to kill those people.

And Cadance never gave any such intent. 'I believe they should be executed' is not the same as 'I am going to go kill all of them right now.' Cadance did however clearly give her intent of going to see the changelings so she could evaluate the threat for herself, which was a perfectly reasonable thing to want to do given the context.

You're basing your entire argument on the assumption that Celestia and Luna would be greatly suspicious of Cadance's identity after her outburst. But they simply have no reason to be. Her actions were strange, I don't deny that at all, but they were also very justifiable, and Celestia would have no reason to strongly suspect that Cadance had been replaced by a changeling ( she probably had an inkling, but hardly any evidence strong enough to begin demanding blood tests), only that something, such as stress, was causing her to act strangely. Again, 'one single outburst' does not equal 'absolutely must be a changeling spy.'

This is such a good fic, loved the way it helps you to empathize with Chrysalis but it keeps her in-character :pinkiesmile: it was kinda sad the way she can't understand love

5380682

hat's insane. Do you immediately insist on performing a blood test on your family members anytime they ever do or say anything strange or unexpected?

No, but then again... we don't exactly have to deal with magical shape-shifting love-eating pony bug monsters either, do we? That's a horribly invalid comparison.

A better comparison would be Deep Space 9... where they DID perform blood tests to look for changelings when they were at war!

When you have an enemy that can instantly take people's forms, it makes perfect sense to be extraordinarily cautious!

This is not a fic told from Celestia's perspective. Neither you nor I know what Celestia did outside of that single discussion or how much she suspects about Cadance's true identity. You can't say 'She did nothing' or 'she suspects nothing' because this is a fic focused on Chrysalis's perspective and Chrysalis doesn't know Celestia's inner thoughts or what Celestia does when Chrysalis isn't around, and therefore neither can you.

Uhm, this story is supposedly set just before the Canterlot Wedding... considering the Celestia in canon DIDN'T have any preparations for changeling infiltrators, I CAN conclude that after this Celestia did absolutely nothing.

5380366

It has gotten kinda over the top. The whole 'Chrysalis is the definition of incompetence' or 'Celestia is the definition of competence' has gotten downright insane.

And the worst is the ones who claim Lesson Zero should have prepared them for this.

Twilight in Lesson Zero was not acting like a self righteous jackass.

5383184

That didn't work out so well for Starfleet security.

5379742 On the other hand, in the events of the show, Celestia doesn't question Cadance's OOC-ness, attributing it to pre-wedding nervousness. So, while you are correct that Celestia is carrying the idiot ball, she also was carrying it in the show itself. Being experienced does not make her infallible.

5385187 But they did it.

So yes, people have done this when in a similar situation.

5385843 But in the show, we don't see if Cadance has been acting this way the whole time Celestia has seen her or only now that Twilight's poking around so close to her wedding day.

Also, we don't know if canon Celestia knew about changelings.

If she DID in the canon, that only makes her more impossibly idiot-balled in the episode, which was over-loaded with plot holes as it was.

I wrote a review of this story here.

If changelings WERE executed, cadence would no longer be my favorite princess. Seriously.

Great story. It's nice to see a Chrysalis who is definitely still a villain, but also genuinely cares about her changelings.

I find it poetic, or romantic, or something, that Dry's love for his marefriend saved his life. Cause Raindrops was about to torture him to death or something pretty much on general principle, until Dry's marefriend came on the scene. True, his contentment was confusing to Raindrops, but she wasn't about to let her stop her from rewarding him as a traitor deserves. She might have even let slide the love that Dry's marefriend had for him, explaining it away as just him being good at deep cover. But it looks like it was Dry's love for his marefriend in return that completely threw her off her game, with her being unable to process that notion. And I find it romantic (or something) that those feelings saved his life. :heart:

An interesting story and a pretty good portrayal of Chrysalis, for the most part. I definitely like it.

This was a interesting look at Chrysalis in her days before the attack on Canterlot. I truly did enjoyour this story.

Very well done my friend :ajsmug:

Have you ever considered submitting this story to Equestria Daily? You can find out how to do so here.

A note to begin, during the thoughts about playing hide and seek with Dry Autumn, you slip and refer to "Chrysalis."

That said, I have some mixed feelings, but ultimately liked it. I liked the depth given to Chrysalis while still making her villainous. She truly cares for her children and is outraged at the thought of a changeling betraying her when she sees them as her children and remembers all the times she cared for them. It was interesting seeing her betrayal and confusion over this, and it made sense.

Where my mixed feelings come from is that a lot of Chrysalis' thoughts hinge on her inability to comprehend how a changeling that has left the hive can find love and happiness, and that it could bloom between a changeling and a pony. The changelings understand emotions, they have to, they take on the form of ponies to get closed to their loved ones and feed off of them. I would think Chrysalis more interested than confused, that life among ponies could be preferable to life in the hive. Okay, definitely be angry, but I find more interest in her examining why they would choose to leave and how they cope, rather than focusing on her rage and betrayal. Though, that would shift the story's focus more to the changelings as a whole instead of Chrysalis, so that's up to you as the author and is fine either way.

The story raises a lot of questions on the individuality of changelings, on how their hive mind and their individual minds co-exist. Doesn't Chrysalis sense the discontent of her subjects that are considering betraying her? Does she see their thoughts and thus understand their decisions, or does it confuse her more? What if one of the traitors actually talked to Chrysalis and made her think about some things?

I like theorycrafting, so please don't mind me spitballing some ideas here, I think it would be interesting if like, her nature as the hive's queen meant Chrysalis didn't have to feed on love, as long as her subjects were fed she was sustained via the hive mind, or some such. Thus she has never had to do the type of infiltration and faking emotions as her subjects have, and her inability to understand their treachery would be justified. I am also curious how the rest of the hive feels about the traitors. Are some of them curious, considering treachery themselves, angry because a broodmate was among the traitors? That would be a great ending scene, Chrysalis has to shut herself off from the hive to hide her confused thoughts from them and she gets to feel what it's like to be alone, as the traitors are now. Maybe Celestia or Shining Armor, makes her feel better, and she's like "so is this how my traitorous children fill the void? ... no, this is not enough. They're wrong. The hive cannot be replaced by this."

Also, just a note, as early as the second paragraph you make it very obvious it's Chrysalis in this story, not Cadance. That's your choice as an author and a story like this could not sustain the pretence very long, but I think it would be better if you strung us along a bit longer making us question why Cadance is acting this way, then the hints build up and we clue in.

Overall, a good story. I think you could have gone an extra step or two with regards to the idea of a changeling leaving the hive and what that means, but again, that would draw focus on Chrysalis specifically, so it's really just my personal opinion on that.

That was rather well done. A very powerful voice, and one of the more convincing Chrysalis portrayals I've read. Also, using Cadance's and Raindrops' names instead of outright using Chrysalis', even when it was wholly obvious that it was her, was a nice touch. You did slip once, though:

Chrysalis played hide and seek with him once when he was a larvae, and she had let him win.

Dunno if maybe that was intentional given the context, but it does stand out as the only instance her name actually appears. Either way, good job all around!

I had a hunch that was really Chrysalis in disguise...

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