Life in Equestria is changing, and nopony knows this more than Lyra Heartstrings. While on vacation in Appleloosa to forget her past trauma with changelings, the struggling musician ironically stumbles upon Queen Chrysalis. In her starving death throes, the Matriarch of the Hive latches onto Lyra. When the unicorn awakens, she is no longer her usual self, but rather a super-powered pony with all the gifts and talents of the changeling queen who has merged with her, forming a shared consciousness in Lyra's head.

Together, the two will be forced to work out a symbiotic relationship, performing acts of heroism against a shifting tide of questionable politics, dangerous personalities, unpredictable technologies, and the runaway denizens of Tartarus. Neither Chrysalis nor Lyra exclusively, they must both settle for an identity that sparks fear in the minds of evil... and instills hope in the hearts of the innocent.

This is not the story of Queen Chrysalis. Nor is this the story of Ponyville's silly Lyra Heartstrings. This is the day-to-day saga of the pony known only as the Shell, the heroes and villains attached to her, and the adventurous legacy that she will ultimately leave behind.

Cover Art by Rangelost

Chapters (116)
Comments ( 1727 )

Oh this is going to be good.

God this does not feel like 1.5k words. The way you weave the words makes me want to slow down and absorb every single one of it, taking in the imagery. Wish I could write like this.

Pony in the shell starring not scarlet johansson :derpytongue2:

And I now question whether or not I am reading a crackfic...

Never would i have expected the Austraeoh fans to drive SS&E to satirically ascend Shell!

Also, from now on, none of you are allowed to ever smile.

No strings attached...

Shell still alive confirmed.

I cannot fathom the AU behind this setting.

7338707 So far none of it is necessarily AU... I mean, SMILE is from one of the chapter books. I guess the changeling origin story doesn't exactly match the comics, but that's sort of the rule with fanfic really.

So... this guy will be the head of the super secret SMILE. Well you've certainly taken advantage of the few qualities he had in the show. Although you owe me my sides now

Yes! I knew we didn't see the last of Shell!

Oh, skirts is back. What fun we shall have.
That was sarcasm.

This is an awesome imagining of Chrysalis' origin story.

Haze glanced over. "Need another zaponator, huh?"

"Who doesn't?"


  "I will need you at your to game


This is awesome.

I'm reading some slightly familiar names, here and there. Always fun!

Damn. This story holds nothing back. It's just as intense as some of your best stuff. I'm super happy that this is going to be a daily!

Flash Sentry, AND Bon Bon's name in one chapter? You spoil us.

I was like "damn, this chapter looks comparatively long" but then once I reached the end I was like "damn, please just shovel me tens of thousands of words of these fucking goofballs being fucking goofballs because I can't help but squee forever".

she'd might as well write a two hundred thousand word novel about her spelunking adventures

Been there, read that.

Also, might want to skim for typos, they're around in this chapter.

Hell yes. This is a worthy entry into the one-a-day multivitamin that is the Austraeoh/Appledashery/Other daily fic that I've so come to enjoy. Good luck with this one, it looks like it's going to be an intense ride.

Huh, okay, an interesting start.

Interesting set up so far.

What is this, the founding of Canterlot? Or the start of it?

Either way, I'm sure as shit sold on it.

~Skeeter The Lurker

So, the entrance to Tartarus was built into the mountain? Makes sense, actually.

Also, you keep mentioning a chancellor... Chancellor Puddingpop? Or a descendant of such?

~Skeeter The Lurker

That was downright creepy.

I am so very loving this, dude.

~Skeeter The Lurker

"Rip and tear!"

Until it is done?

~Skeeter The Lurker

This is like a comic book in written form.

I am ok with this.

~Skeeter The Lurker


Oh you beautiful man...

~Skeeter The Lurker

Haze...? Sharp Quill? Horizons?

...Naaaaaah. I'm over thinking this.

~Skeeter The Lurker

Talk about your action packed chapters...

But the biggest threat to them is the Bug Bear and not the ancient twisted-by-super-dark-magic queen?

Yeah alright I'll go with it.

~Skeeter The Lurker


Oh you bastard...

~Skeeter The Lurker

"Even when our founding chief went batshit insane and enslaved the crystal ponies of the north, there was at least a sizable force to oppose him!"

Oh wow, that was legit. I like it.

And jeeze... You laid on the sap thick in this chapter. I approve, it's keeping the whole "written comic" thing strong.

~Skeeter The Lurker

D'awwwww. What a touching meeting.

~Skeeter The Lurker

"Mrmmmmf!" The agent landed roughly on a soft bed of petunias. Her foe, however—

Oh no, not again. :pinkiecrazy:

Its Heavens To Betsy.

In that case, who is Murgotroyd?

And what happened to Agent Kenwood?:eeyup:

Snapshots so fast you could swear to hear the Polaroid taking them.

~Skeeter The Lurker

Awwwww hell, boiiiiiii!

I cannot wait for the fun to begin!

~Skeeter The Lurker

'Lyra Homeless!' That's what they'll call me... hrmmff... assuming I'm not somehow magically invisible by then," she slurred, producing air quotes with her fetlocks.

If you cant plagiarise yourself, who Can you plagiarise. Arthur C Clarke. :moustache:

Yoda Clover the Clever was quite the badass! :trollestia:

Isn't this supposed to be about Lyra and Chrysalis?

...not that I'm complaining...

Ermigherd, everything is connected in this story.

Also, hard to be serious with THAT as an organisation name.

It's like OWCA, only OWCA sounds cool, unless you say it. Organisation Without a Cool Acronym.

assuming I'm not somehow magically invisible by then

OK, now you're just stubbing the wound. And it hurts.

"Secret Agent Haze? Sharp Quill?"

Ooooooo... I've been an elk, a pegasus... I wonder what I'll be this time?

"Your aim is starting to suck, Haze," rattled Sharp Quill through her metallic beak.

Eh, I was hoping for platypus, but I could live with being a griffon. I'm a "her" this time, too, I see.

Twenty Minutes of Mindless Carnage Later

How untypical of you to tell instead of show mindless carnage.

For whatever reason, when I saw the word shell, I instantly thought of something like this:

But your idea was so much better.

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