• Published 14th Apr 2015
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Chrysalis Wins - Arkolo



Chrysalis's invasion is successful. The challenge of ruling begins...

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Ch.12 "Family Ties"

Chrysalis Wins

Ch.12 “Family Ties”

Amongst the bundle of towels on the floor the queen stirred. It was close to evening of the same day, and she would need to make sure the sun was pushed the rest of the way below the horizon.

It was difficult to force her eyelids open, but force them she would have to. They were her eyelids, and they would obey her, even if the rest of her body was screaming to keep sleeping! But the eyelids felt rebellious and put up a fight. After she struggled for a few moments with that particular piece of anatomy, she won. The defeated sheaths of skin retreated towards her forehead, and stayed where they were told. Hopefully this wouldn’t be a precedent for the rest of the day, or evening technically.

She hadn’t blinked more than once or twice when-

“QUEEEN, QUEEN, QUEEEEEN, QUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN!”

It was Colony, her mental message sounded more desperate than alert. The mood started to strike the queen with severe annoyance, and she growled. There were going to be a lot more ponies put in cocoons if it was as bad as Colony was making it out, though that was assuming she’d had the strength to actually put them in cocoons.

“Coming…”

Chrysalis replied, and she hoped that would stop the mental barrage. It wasn’t that she didn’t plan on returning as a soon as possible, she just needed to collect a little energy first. Changeling relations were established with the crystal ponies, and some vanguard would be here to collect any useful information.

“My queen, I believe something important has been discovered.”

Shade had popped his head in through the doorway, which Chrysalis had never bothered to close before she slept.

“So has Colony… What is it you’ve found Shade?”

The vanguard infiltrator wrinkled his snout, what could Colony have found? He decided to push forward his matter of business, the queen appeared to be in a sour mood.

“It’s the Crystal ponies, many of them have been, changing…”

“Changing?”

“Yes, they started to change after interacting with some parts of the empire. Things like, crystal berries, tiny ewes, and sets of jousting equipment among other things. Once the ponies interacted with these things they changed. It is quite a literal shift from their sullen, dull colors to bright and cheery ones. The smell of their happiness is littering the streets and has frankly become almost intoxicating, I’ve had my hoofs full trying to keep the swarm from feeding on them.”

“Well, that’s good. Tell the swarm that they can feed, so long as they do it lightly. Seems like this empire is full of strange magic indeed.”

The queen managed to raise herself to her hooves. This was the first good bit of news in a while, even helping shake some of her fatigue, maybe this empire would recover faster than she planned.

“Their happiness isn’t the only thing that has returned. Most of them started to remember things as well. Several have noted an important relic was missing, a Crystal Heart. Apparently Sombra hid it.”

“Well that’s all good and dandy, but we need to mobilize to Canterlot. We can chase lost relics later. Just leave a dozen vanguard here, tell the rest of the swarm to feed lightly and meet me in the central square. You have one hour.”

“Right away my queen.”

After a quick nod Shade left to carry out the order. Chrysalis moved out of the messy bathroom, and as she moved she noticed the puppy drool had dried out, which left an unpleasant residue. Her mane was stiff as a board, and her chitin had become dull and waxy. All she managed was to grunt at the inconvenience, Plain Thatch could prepare her another bath. As long as the royal chamber maid wasn’t among the reasons for Colony’s distress.

Chrysalis fed lightly from the crystal ponies that she passed in the hall. Not enough to warrant anything but a few strange looks. If they gave her a particularly uncomfortable glance, she would just say ‘Deep breathing helps me relax’. The ponies would nod their heads in understanding and go back about their business, one of the benefits of naivety

One familiar old mare with giant round glasses approached the queen, and was flanked by a drone, vanguard, and sentinel.

“Your highness, I believe I may have found something useful.”

Chrysalis had become a little more alert at this point, and addressed the older mare with the same unenthused tone she had the others.

“Yes, Ms. Maresbury?”

“This book has a general history of the Crystal Empire. Even as I read it, I started to remember many things. The Crystal Fair in particular, I remember those, and the Crystal Heart. Those were crucial parts to the nature of our empire’s magic. It’s what helped renew the Spirit of Love and unity among us, and protect us from harm.”

The changeling queen forced a smile towards the happy pony, and struggled to not roll her eyes. She was still perceived as their “savior”, and she would keep that image for as long as she could. She struggled not to be snappy as she replied to Amythest.

“One of my vanguard reported something similar, it appears you ponies just need to get familiar with this place again in order to regain your memories. Sadly I can’t help you much more on this matter, as I have important business in the south. However, your escorts will continue to help you as needed, thus feel free to ask them anything.”

“You’re not going to stay your highness?”

The disappointment that flooded from the pony blew past the changelings nearby like a foul breeze. The vanguard, sentinel, and drone wrinkled their snouts in dislike. Chrysalis answered the sad question hurriedly, as she wished the distasteful air to disappear.

“My business is urgent. I’ll return again when I have the time. Just enjoy your lives without Sombra. Go, make happiness, joy, friends, love, and all those good things. Like I said, the changelings are stronger the more positive you ponies are. Just look at us as a surrogate Crystal Heart, until you find the real one.”

“That is fair news, I’ll see what I can do.”

“Farewell Ms. Maresbury.”

“Your highness.”

Amethyst Maresbury left with her assistants, and the large history book was placed on the drone’s back. The drone was already carrying saddle bags full of text, and gave a strained grunt as last bit of weight was added on. It gave a stink eye to both the vanguard and sentinel, but the other two had insisted it was the drone’s job. They were too busy reading or keeping an eye out for danger. The drone rolled it’s eyes, though it was almost impossible to tell, with drone eyes being so blue and featureless.

Chrysalis went to the palace balcony, and readied her wings. No stairs this time, just a simple glide down to the square, where she could patiently wait for the rest of the swarm to gather. She had acquired a decent breakfast from the palace attendants, but not a real power boost. In order to make a portal back, all of the changelings would need to add a little energy to it, rather than just rely on the queen’s magic.

As the queen looked around she saw the evidence of Shade’s and Amethyst’s reports. Several of the crystal ponies had gained a significant amount of color. There were a few food stands, and small sheep running around. Other various pleasantries and cheer making items had been discovered and shared. One good sniff revealed a great deal of change within them.

The crystal ponies witnessed the terror of their old king’s return, only to see him flee, and many had found courage and hope. The queen grinned in approval, this may be a profitable venture yet.

---

Meanwhile, a littler earlier in Canterlot…

If a changeling could sweat through their chitin, Colony would. Instead she merely hyperventilated. Her blue eyes flashed frequently as she gave sporadic mental commands to the drones in the city. Almost all of the sentinels and vanguard had left with the queen, which left Colony with a force that consisted mostly of drones to keep things orderly.

Almost immediately after the queen left with the militant section of the swarm, a number of ponies acted suspiciously. Colony cursed under her breath now.

“Festering cod flies, why did the queen have to be so public with her exit!”

The head of the drones stood in front of the palace gates, along with a few vanguards, and a large bundle of drones, which flew about. On the other side of the occupied street was a large crowd of ponies. All of the furry equines had scowls of anger written deep on their faces. A number of them stomped their hooves brashly.

“We want Applejack back!”

Cried the cantankerous voice of Granny Smith, the rest of the apple family riled up in agreement. Along with Apple Bloom and Big Mac, most of the extended family had come, including the Oranges. All of them were, understandably fired up, given that one of their own had been unjustly imprisoned. Apples stick together, no matter the weather.

“You also took one of the Pies, and we want her back”

Pie family and relatives had also shown up in large numbers. Unicorns from Twilight’s and Rarity's families approached the gates and all voiced their discontent. An older rainbow maned stallion pegasus hovered in the air and threateningly beat his hooves together, actually creating small sparks of electricity between them.

Many more ponies voiced that a member of their family was a part of the guard, and they wanted to see them.

Dozens of upset family members slowly advanced, closer and closer to the gates. Colony gulped, she was a task manager, not a changeling that dealt with riots and other potentially violent situations. That’s what the vanguard and sentinels were for.

The ponies were only a few strides away now, and Colony could almost feel the heat of their breath. She had to do something to get them to back off, after drawing several blanks; she went with the first idea that popped in her head.

Colony flew behind the wall, so she would be obscured from the angry mob’s line of sight.

Green fire swirled around the head drone and her form grew in height. Her transparent insect wings gained feathers, a long flowing mane and tail replaced the fin-like appendages. On the other side of the wall stood a great white alicorn, and mock Celestia wore a stern face.

She rounded the wall, and opened the gates. Her eyes flashed blue towards the other changelings before she addressed the crowd. It felt quite different, to look at equines at this height. Colony almost felt powerful, despite the bluff.

“Order! My little ponies!”

When Celestia’s form had opened the gates there was a ragged gasp through the crowd. Some of the ponies immediately stopped their protest and dove into a bow, many followed suit. Others were caught off guard, but stared suspiciously. A few were not buying it at all.

“Be calm ponies, and do not worry. The new queen is organizing things as I speak. Your family members are in no danger.”

Mock Celestia’s voice had sounded flawless, just like the real thing, but a few other details were lacking. First off she didn’t have any of the royal regalia on, no crown or hoof shoes. The hair was right, but Colony had forgotten one obvious detail while conjuring the form, the cutie mark…

“Celestia’s not a blank flank! It’s a changeling in disguise!”

“Oh molt flakes…”

The crowd boiled over, and rushed forward. Colony and the changelings in front of the gates soon found themselves trampled upon. The flood of angry equines bowled over the insectile guards with their sheer mass, and ran through the open gates.

The light purple pegasus stallion with rainbow mane dashed through the air, and outmaneuvered the drones that tried to block him. He easily nailed a few of them with a good quick hoof here and there, which dropped them from the sky.

A mob of angry ponies successfully entered the castle grounds, where many more drones appeared to oppose them. But the crowd wouldn’t be stopped.

Mock Celestia lay on the ground and groaned. Dirty hoof prints left impressions up and down the tall body. Several feathers lay in a scattered mess around the not-so-regal form. Green fire melted the disguise away and the smaller Colony struggled to get up.

“Queen, queen, queeeeen, queeeeeeeeeeeeen!”

She shot the mental message to the queen. Things had really gotten out of hoof. Before the drone in charge could fully raise her head from the ground, a small set of hooves shoved her face back into the dust and cobble stone.

“That’s for mah sister!”

Apple Bloom yipped, and she jumped off of Colony’s head. The drone growled and lifted her head again, only for it to be shoved down again.

“That’s for my sister!”

Squeaked Sweetie Belle, and she jumped off Colony’s head. The drone hesitated to lift her head, and wondered whether it would be worth it. Maybe she should just stay down, but these were fillies, she could handle fillies. Colony strained her neck for the third time to-

“Cutie Mark Crusader Rebel Rousers YAY!”

Scootaloo repeatedly jumped up and down on Colony’s head. The task manager, turned riot manager found her snout buried deeply between two cobble stones.

“Rainbow Dash isn’t technically my sister, but she’s close enough….Also I want to feel included so, EAT DIRT CHANGELING!”

She did not attempt to get up again…

Author's Note:

For fun :ajsmug:

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