• Published 26th Feb 2015
  • 7,331 Views, 351 Comments

[Archived] Scales and Carapaces - ProjectZerro

During Spike's travels throughout Equestria, he comes across a certain starving changling queen. Against his better judgement he decides to help her, this one act of kindness will put in motion a tale of loss and gain.

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Chapter 1: Dying Queen

10 months, 18 days, 5 hours and 20 minutes, that’s how long he had been away from home. Oh how he missed home, but his journey was necessary. He needed to be sure of what he wanted and who he was, or else he would regret it for the rest of his life.

Spike, the name given to him, pet-like it is, but he loves it all the same, his sister Twilight Sparkle, though not related by blood, named him that. He had hatched some 25 years ago and now was nothing like how he was when they arrived at Ponyville for the first time; he was much taller, smarter, stronger and more capable than ever before.

Being raised in a library with a pony who loves reading books and teaching, will do that to you, not to mention all the work he had done on AJ’s farm and all the running around he’s had to do to follow Twilight and the his other friends.

His wings were a sudden feature that appeared on his 16th birthday, he could remember the pain pretty clearly, but the payoff was worth it. He still breathes green fire as he did before, his tail is longer and his spines a longer. His body is now muscular, nowhere near Big Mac’s level, but just enough to look dangerous if he unfurled his wings and bared his sharpened fangs. During his travels, looking ferocious came in handy a few times, more times than he liked but he didn’t really have a choice, Equestria had a lot of dangerous places.

It was nearly a ten years ago, a friend of Princess Celestia, a dragon by the name of Altos, asked to speak with Spike, he wanted to know what a dragon raised by ponies was like. To Spike’s surprise Altos was a very kind and knowledgeable dragon, he was rather old but had plenty of energy. He told Spike of his youth and about his journeys to lands beyond Equestria, and how he found that he loved to travel and learn about the world. Spike then began to question what he would find if he went on a world-wide journey, and after a very long discussion with Twilight and his other friends he decided to stay in Equestria. He realized a few months into his journey that begin away from his friends was more difficult than he thought it would be, the odd letter from Twilight, Rarity and Pinkie helped him though.

It was now that he felt a burst of fire in his stomach, he knew the feeling well, he opened his mouth and released a burst of green fire. A not appeared from the flame and dropped into Spike’s hand, he took a seat against an arbitrary tree and opened the letter, from the writing he immediately knew who sent it to him.

Dear Spike,

I hope you’re eating well, of course you are, what am I taking about, of course you’re eating well, I asked you about this last time. And the time before, and the time before that, I’m rambling aren’t I?

Twilight Sparkle, Princess of Friendship and Queen of being worried.

Anyway Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash came by yesterday, they were worried about you and asked how you were doing after you said you ran into those thieves. Dash wants to know in detail how you kicked their um butts, she said something else but I’m not writing that down. AJ is working even harder than before, those seeds you sent really helped her, and Rarity loves the fabrics you bought from that merchant. And before you send me anything, all I need to know is that you’re okay. I know you chose to do this but you can’t blame me for always being worried.

Just tell me if anything happens, I’ll help you as much I can.

Your sister Twilight Sparkle.

Spike smiled and rolled up the letter and stood up, he put the letter in his pack and began making his wake down the road once more, he was a few days away from Ponyville but he wanted to surprise everyone, and he couldn’t wait to see the look on Twilight’s face. He snickered to himself but heard a commotion behind him. He turned and saw down another path that a group of what would look like travelers was being pestered by an odd looking pegasus. He had green eyes and black coat of fur, ripped clothes and he looked sick, very sick. The pegasus was begging the travelers to help him but they shoved him off and look like they were ready to hit the pegasus. Spike rushed in front of the strange colt and bared his fangs, scarring the travelers off, he stood up straight and look at the pegasus beneath him. Spike had come upon a strange ability to see past magic and another skill that let him sense certain things, and what he could tell was that this pegasus was a changeling, but that wasn’t important, what was important was that he was dying.

The changeling shook underneath Spike for a moment, but quickly regain his resolve and attempted to stand, only for his legs to give out and fall back down, Spike grabbed onto him before he fell however. “Don’t waste your energy, you don’t have to hide from me,” Spike said trying to get him to calm down. Dim green eyes met his and with a simple breathe of air, the changeling in his arms dropped his disguise, his eyes were slit and his skin now smooth and jet black, his wings now bug-like.

“P-please dragon…help her…” were the only words the steadily weakening changeling seemed to know as he repeated it over and over, Spike made his rise to his feet and nodded, “I’ll do what I can, lead me to her.” Spike said this but wondered what he might be getting himself into.

Spike followed close behind the changeling as he led him through a thick forest, every so often the changeling would lose his footing and topple over, Spike would catch him and they would continue. Spike regretted the sense that he had been gifted with, for every time he looked upon the bug-like creature in front of him, he saw nothing but a dying colt, changeling or not.

They finally reached a rock wall and the changeling leaned against it, Spike surveyed the wall and noticed a large portion of the wall the changeling was leaning next to would fade in and out every so often. A magic barrier was Spike conclusion but before his thoughts could wander the changeling put his hand on the barrier. He pounded it lightly and the barrier dissipated immediately showing another changeling, this one taller and in armor, a guard it seemed.

The moment he saw Spike a look of shock took over his face and he reached for his weapon but the changeling that led Spike to the cave called out, “This traveler…said he…has…come to help…there… are no lies in his voice….” The guard looked at the changeling and his shock was immediately replaced by a look of hope. Spike took a low breathe.

“I’m not sure what I can do, but I’ll help anyway I can.” Those words placed a large smile on the guard’s face. Spike could tell they were desperate, even if he wasn’t too threatening, he still registered as dragon to everyone, but to see the look of hope on the guard’s face told Spike he was the best chance they got.

The guard turned to the other changeling, most likely to sing praises at him, but that didn’t happen, instead the look of hope died and was replace by a more steeled and resolved look. The guard turned around simply said, “Follow me dragon.” But only just loud enough to hear.

Spike couldn’t hold his curiosity, the sudden shift in the guard’s face left him puzzled. He turned to his side, expecting to see the changeling, but he found nothing. With a deep dread building in his gullet he gazed down slowly to find the changeling that had led him here, sitting down leaned against the wall outside the cave, eyes closed and a peaceful smile across his face. It didn’t take any time for Spike to understand, he kneeled down and patted the shoulder of the eternally resting changeling, and quickly followed the guard inside the cave.

Further into the cave Spike was expecting to meet the gazed of hundreds of suspicious changelings, all ready to bite at him or try and claw him to death.

Instead he was greeted with nothing but bodies left and right. The bodies that did moved gave him a look that he had been given once already. They all looked upon him with hope, they had no clue what he would do, or if he could help, but finally someone had come to help. Spike’s doubt shattered to pieces, he would do something, he didn’t know what yet, but he had to do something.

“Dragon…” the guard’s voice pulled him from looking around the dimly lit cave and to the back of the guard, “I…no we thank you, we have tried for what seemed like millennia to ask for any kind of assistance, only to be met with fear and distain, I do not know who you are, but you have my eternal-“

“Spike.” The guard paused and looked at Spike.

“What did you…”

“My name is Spike.”

The guard took a long look at him, “…the hatchling dragon...from the assault?” Spike blinked but nodded and the changeling guard dropped onto his a knee in front of him in a moment, “…please, no matter what you feel, please help her.”

Spike raised the guard up and shook his head, “Now is not the time, take me to her, your queen that is.”

It wasn’t until now that Spike realized it, but the changelings he had seen were exactly like the ones from years ago, when he was much younger, the wedding that was halted, the changeling invasion the defeat of a certain queen. And he had put all the pieces into place, the ‘she’ or ‘her’ that they kept referring began to come into view as he followed the guard. Laying on the ground, tired and seemingly barely conscious, surrounded by changelings that were tending to her, was Queen Chrysalis, the same queen that nearly took over Equestria using Shining Armor’s love for his wife, Princess Mi Amore Cadenza. But she looked absolutely weak now, her eyes had a glaze to them, he couldn’t tell if she was dying or if that was there natural hue. She was dress in a black and green dress, which was surprisingly clean. He stopped just in front of her and looked down at her tired form, she could only meet his eyes, and she seemed to not have the energy to move or even speak. The guard took his place next to his queen and took a deep breathe, prepared to lay everything bare.

“After our defeat to the Elements of Harmony and Princess Cadence we were forced to return to our hive empty handed and in smaller numbers. Upon our return the other hive queens looked down upon our queen.”

“There are other hive queens?” Spike asked, Twilight had come to a conclusion that Chrysalis was only one queen of many, but it was just a hunch.

“Yes and they are far crueler than our queen, if any one of the other queens had seen fit to take the charge on, Canterlot I believe.” After a nod of conformation from Spike he continued. “The battle would not have been so short and your friends would not have escaped with their lives…”

Spike shuddered to think what kind of pony could be worse than Chrysalis at that moment, before he would have been terrified but now was a different story.

“Regardless our queen failed to take control and thus, she and our hive were banished.”

Spike glanced at the guard in shock, “For one failed invasion?”

“Yes Sir Spike.” That was a new title. “The other queens are ruthless, they have no compassion within them.”

Though Spike thought this rude it needed to be said, “And she does?” He asked looked down and Chrysalis who shot her gaze elsewhere.

The guard grinded his fangs, “Our queen…indeed has had her moments of selfishness and cruelty but she cares for us, her hive, more than her own life. That being the reason for the state she is in now.” The guard removed his helmet and held it at his side, he looked into Spike’s eyes with the resolve from before, but stronger. “She gave all of her energy to ensure that we did not starve, we live off the emotions of other beings, and in drastic cases meat, but after being banished it became clear that without sacrificing ourselves we would not come into a steady food supply. The odd traveler we would take for their emotions could give us nothing, fear will not feed us and so we began to starve.”

Spike bit back a bit of rage that came up when he heard they had kidnapped travelers, but he knew that this was no time for rage. “So Chrysalis gave all of you any energy she could spare?”

The changeling guard shook his head, “She gave us all the energy and emotions she had built up over the years…”

Spike looked at Chrysalis and now understood the queen a bit better, “She didn’t want to be alone…no…she didn’t want her people, her hive to die…”

The guard nodded and looked at his queen with a tiny smile, “She gave herself up to keep us alive…but she can do so no longer.”

The guard looked at Spike and dropped his helmet, he walked over to him, stopping just in front of him and opened his mouth, “Please…do not let our queen die dragon.”

Spike thought of what he had to do, he knew he could help, but he knew he could only help Chrysalis. He had been paying close attention to all the changelings he passed by, all of them, the guard included were on the edge of death, Chrysalis being right on the tipping point. Even if his plan worked, it would only work as long as he had the energy and magic to spare, and he didn’t. Spike’s resolve took a hit when he thought of this. He clenched his fist, his claws digging into his hand. A smooth jet-black hand was placed on his shoulder, he looked up and the guard gave him a warm smile, one he did not think a changeling could give. “Take the queen…we will remain here, many of us have loved ones that cannot be moved further back in the cave and none of us will last much longer.” Spike opened his mouth to protest before he closed it shut, to say anything now, to say ‘There must be another way,’ would be too painful. He forced himself to walk past the guard and kneeled in front of Chrysalis, the changelings tending to her looked at Spike with sorrowful smiles, and he gave them a soft smile in return and turned to face Chrysalis. She was looking at him, her eyes were begging him to let her stay, he could feel it, he had no idea how, but he could, Spike closed his eyes and took a deep breathe.

“I’m sorry…but it is their final wish…” Chrysalis’s eyes began to water, a huge clump of tears built while Spike worked his arms under her dress, he gently put one arm under her legs and the other on her back, carefully considering her wings.

Spike stood up, and Chrysalis came with him, she was being held carefully in Spike’s toned arms, Chrysalis looked like she’d weigh something, he could tell that she was slightly taller than him but she weighed next to nothing. He took one last look at the guard that had led him into the cave, “Can I at least know your-”

A hand stopped Spike, the guard shook his head, “Please Sir Spike.” There it is again. “I am not long for this world…I want you to focus on the queen, you have the air of a noble dragon, I know you will do all you can to help our queen.” Spike wanted to speak again but instead nodded and began walking to the cave entrance, Chrysalis shivered in his arms as she cried into his chest, he could only think of one thing to say.

“I will never leave your side…I will do everything I can to help you, I swear.”

Spike finally was outside the cave, he put Chrysalis down for a moment and walked to the entrance, the changeling guard stood smiling at him at the entrance. Without any words between them the guard turned to the changeling that had brought Spike to the cave and brought his body back into the cave and walked deeper until out of sight. Spike then with a roar of might that sounded as if a dragon had lost its kin, punched the side of the cave wall, punch after punch forced rocks to fall down covering the entrance until the cave entrance was completely sealed.

Spike fell to his knees as tears began to fall, he felt the sadness coming from the covered entrance and it was tearing his heart to pieces. After a long moment of silence Spike stood up and walked over to Chrysalis and his bag, which he had left next her so that she could rest on it. He put his bag on and picked up Chrysalis, her eyes were red from crying and she could only look up at Spike, who now held her life in his hands. He began walking out of the forest and before he made it back to the road he set Chrysalis down, she gave a strange look with her eyes and he smiled, “Just setting up camp, it’s getting late.”

A few moments later Spike had laid out a mat that he used as his bedding and sat on it Chrysalis in his lap, curled up against him. It was time to see if his theory worked. He put a comforting arm around Chrysalis getting a light blush out of her, he closed his eyes and thought back to Ponyville, to all his friends. He pulled back up all the happiest moments in his life and he felt himself warm up just thinking about it.

Chrysalis had been silent ever since he had seen her, but a sudden jolt and gasp of air told Spike what he was doing, was working. He knew she fed off love, so he figured, that if he could bring all the love he had felt throughout his life forward, she could absorb something at the very least. Chrysalis’s body twitched every so often and just before Spike could think of something else a soft, smooth and shaking hand was placed on his cheek. His eyes shot open as he looked upon the once dying queen, who had once had a glaze to her eyes, but now they were much more vibrant and their green hue was mesmerizing. Then Chrysalis opened her mouth, she bit back her tears and cleared her throat, and looked Spike deep in his eyes.

“…thank you…thank you for helping me…I promise…to never blame you…just please…” She began to shake, “Do not leave me alone…”

Spike thought of something to say but then gave her a sweet and warm smile. “You’re stuck with me.”

To be continued…

Author's Note:

This is my very first attempt at writing a fanfiction, I hope you guys like it, I'll be working on the next chapter soon! :twilightsheepish:

And a big thanks to The Descendant for all the help you gave me :yay: