• 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.13 "On Edge"

Chrysalis Wins

Ch. 13 “On Edge”

Chrysalis waited in the light of the setting sun, underneath the massive crystal structure of the royal palace. Hundreds of the changelings she brought with her had already gathered. Vivisect stood by neat rows of sentinels, all of whom wore flat expressions. Drones gathered near the queen, and the vanguard stood in their own section.

The hour that Shade was given drew to a close, and the rest of the swarm in the Crystal Empire gathered. The queen made a motion with a hoof to draw her two councilors close. Both the vanguard and sentinel did as they were prompted.

“Help me lower the sun the rest of the way.”

The three commanding changelings faced the red-orange orb, and activated the magic required to lower it below the horizon. They were a little more used to the technique, so it didn’t sting as much as the first time they had done it together. Once that was accomplished the queen took on a business like tone.

“Shade I want you and the vanguard to go ahead first, scout a good position for us to enter from If everything is truly anarchy when we get back, I’d like to appear where I’m most needed.”

The head vanguard nodded at the instruction given and crossed horns with the queen. Chrysalis imparted a mental signature spell that would help her track Shade more easily, even at a great distance. Shade’s eyes flashed purple, and there was a small ripple of energy going through the vanguard.

“Meanwhile, you Vivisect have one priority; make sure the throne room is secure. Hold it with everything at your disposal, we can’t allow the prisoners to escape under any circumstances, or everything we’ve worked for will be for nothing.”

“It will be done my queen.”

The large sentinel’s wings fluttered and her chitin rattled, her large eyes flashed with orange, and the rest of the sentinels bristled with anticipation. A general stomping of changeling hooves filled the grand and spacious city square, reminiscent of a call to battle

The noise reverberated off the crystal like glass, this drew several crystal ponies to look outside of their homes in curiosity. The sight of the swarm in this state of organized eagerness was, intimidating, to say the least. Thus the ponies were glad that these changelings were friends to the empire, otherwise it would look like a grim occupation. If only they knew.

Chrysalis silenced the clamor with one mental message, felt throughout the entire swarm.

“Quiet my subjects, let us be about our tasks.”

With that the vanguards were the first to leave. A few hundred miniature green portals flared to life over a fraction of the swarm. Each individual infiltrator had to summon their own means of transport, while the sentinels had to buddy up with the vanguard as their magic was weaker in that area.

The queen watched quietly as the best fighters in her swarm departed, and left her with the bulk of the drones. She expected to leave soon.

---

In Canterlot-

The sun had just set, and a large mob of angry ponies approached the castle doors, as the twilight gleamed off their coats. Only one thing kept them from bursting open the doors. Six sentinels stood ready with their battle magic activated. Threateningly lethal claws were brandished and large ethereal blades five times the length of their natural horns flared menacingly.

If the mob of riotous family members continued their charge forward they would be impaled on a plethora of sharp and grisly objects. So they halted, but only for a moment.

A single large stone was hurled high into the air. It’s arc went so high that the sentinels that guarded the door didn’t regard it. It was too late by the time they heard a whistle in the air, and decided to look up.

The grey boulder impacted right behind the sentinels, and in front of the door. From impact the grey stone evolved into a miniature mushroom cloud with a concussive force that blew back the changelings around it. In fact the reactive force was so strong it blew open the castle doors, shattered a good number of windows, and knocked back a good portion of the angry mob.

Everypony, and the drones that flew towards the castle to reinforce it, stopped what they were doing and gaped in awe.

The crowd cleared to leave space for one mare standing in the center. She was grey with a light lavender mane and plain frock, she wore a flat expression. She started to walked forward, and disregarded the amazed stares she received. In a dull monotone voice she said.

“I’m not really into ‘fighting’. I just want to my sister back.”

This caused more disbelieving jaws to drop.

“Dear, what did they teach you at that geology school?”

Mrs. Pie looked shocked at her own daughter. Even as a filly Maud was strong, she could out work most of the family. But Old Mother Pie hadn’t see her daughter put on a show like that before.

“They taught me about rocks.”

Maud’s tone was still flat. Most of the crowd was now getting over what they had just seen, and when they noticed the castle doors were open, they trotted forward.

Her father tried his best to shake of his own shock, “We’ll address with that matter later.”

The sentinels that stood there previously were now slumped in random places over the courtyard, behind the mob of family members. Those still conscious groaned in disoriented stupor.

Colony had also witnessed the scene unfold, and her mind raced to process it. A single pony just disabled half a dozen warrior changelings and broke the castle open, with a rock!

She waited for the mob to move into the castle in it’s entirety, and when the last pony entered she gave a command to hundreds of waiting drones. They were builders, not fighters, and Colony thought she might actually apply that skill set.

Drones, cover every last inch of the castle in slime…”

The mental message was clear as nearly two thousand drones flew to obey it. The air became a cacophonous roar with the buzz of countless wings coupled with the hacks and coughs of drones vomiting magical slime.

Doors, windows, and any form of escape was sealed off, as the castle became buried in the green sticky stuff. Even the walls and roof was coated in a thick layer of it.

The castle was now one giant changeling loogie.

Only magic could dissolve the slime, so the head drone was confident of its integrity. Whatever the unicorns in that mob could manage to dissolve, hundreds of waiting drones could replace in a moment. The thought of ponies getting their hooves stuck in the slime only to struggle helplessly, brought a smile to Colony’s muzzle.

“I don’t care what kind of punch you carry pony, you’re not getting out of this.”

The drone’s expression was smug; maybe she wouldn’t even need the queen’s help to stabilize the situation, she just managed to trap that emotionally charged mob in a large castle cage.

In the air next to the head drone a green portal burst into existence, and out came Shade with Vivisect. Colony rounded in surprise, but she quickly gave a relieved sigh, things looked even better now.

“It’s about time. What took so long in the first place?”

“The Queen’s encounter with the northern enemy demanded excessive energy.”

Vivisect grunted with nonchalance.

“More importantly, what requires the queen’s attention here so urgently?”

“A large mob of the prisoner's’ family members decided to show up and threatened us with violence. They’ve invaded the castle, but as you can see, I have them trapped there now. I believe things are under control.”

Colony hummed with satisfaction, and made a grand gesture to indicate the drones work. Shade viewed it skeptically with analytical eyes.

“Uh huh, did you have the underneath of the castle sealed off as well?”

Colony’s smug expression, promptly dropped like a piece of lead, “The underneath?”

“Yes, so they can’t simply dig underneath your slime barrier.”

“Oh, that… well, also the prisoners are still in there. So…”

To Colony’s chagrin that was an obvious flaw, but if she hadn’t noticed it, hopefully the ponies wouldn’t, for a little while at least.

“That is what I am here to secure.”

Vivisect asserted briskly, the head sentinel’s eyes glowed orange, and the plethora of other sentinels in the air rattled in acknowledgement. The largest changelings of the swarm advanced towards the castle and hovered over one of the higher points. Drones parted their scurried paths to make way.

Once she reached where she wanted, Vivisect activated her battle magic, claws and magical sword horn sprouted up. With ease she cut through the barricade of slime and reached the roof, which she then tore apart with her claws. Swiftly she burrowed down, and broke into the throne room. Dozens of sentinels followed down the hole their leader had made.

“I’ll move inside to disable them as quietly as I can. Just make sure they don’t escape from where you can see, Colony.”

Shade voiced with a little irritation.

“I was already on that. Don’t presume to give me orders.”

The indignant drone huffed.

“It was a suggestion, disappointing the queen would reflect poorly on us all.”

“Speaking of the queen, where is she?”

“She’s waiting to be summoned. I believe she would want to see the prisoners face to face, when I make sure the situation is civil, I’ll call her.”

“Very well.”

The two changelings parted ways, Colony still hovered around the outside of the castle, along with her two thousand drones. Shade advanced to the broken castle doors, and was followed by his group of more experienced vanguard. They dissolved some of the slime so they could gain entry, once they were in they sealed it shut again.

---

The inside of the castle was huge. Many of the ponies who rushed in had never been there before, and worried that they would get lost. One sensible pony decided to voice their concern.

“Where are monsters even keeping them?”

The crowd hushed as an answer was pondered. A light grey unicorn mare with white-purple striped mane and a triple star cutie mark called out to the crowd.

“Night Light and I stopped by the throne room before, we heard rumors, and when we tried to enter it earlier they turned us away. They must be hiding something there, I’m certain of it!”

“It’s true, follow us this way.”

A blue unicorn with blue mane confirmed what the mare said. Both of them took the lead as the crowd advanced through the castle. Loud splatter sounds echoed around from all sides, muffled by the castle walls. It became darker, and light from the windows was blotted out.

One or two ponies screamed in fright.

“They’re going to bury the castle!”

The mob suddenly trembled at the possible indications.

“I ain’t turnin’ back, not til’ I get mah sister!”

A loud bellow came from the largest red stallion in the room. He stomped forward, and put a hoof up to the two leading unicorns. Both Twilight Velvet, and Night Light had paused when a few ponies started to scream. With a prod from the big earth pony stallion the two snapped to their senses.

“I don’t know ‘bout you, but mah family means everything’ to me. I don’t care what kind of mischief these changeling’s are cookin’ up. I’m gettin’ Applejack back, even if I have to fight them all myself.”

“Of course, they have our daughter and son too.”

The Sparkles’ and the Apples’ nodded to one another before the advance resumed, despite the bothersome noise that occurred outside. It didn’t take long before they were able to reach the entrance hall to the throne room.

There, waiting for them was a group of Sentinels, each of them sprouted their magical weapons when the mob of family members came into view. There was an intense stare down. Vivisect growled out to the group of ponies with menace.

“Not one hoof further. Not unless you want to see your own blood.”

For a few moments the suspense in the air became thick enough to cut with a butter knife. The mob wasn’t willing to back down, and neither were the sentinels. No amount of stares did any good to intimidate either group into submission. The locked eyes glared into each other and tried to evaluate what kind of mettle was there. They were disappointed to find that the convictions were equally unyielding. For changelings, it was survival for the swarm. For ponies, it was family.

The pregnant silence broke with the sound of grinding stone.

Maud Pie casually pulled a block of stone out of one of the walls, easily able to break away the cement in between. Her flat expressionless eyes turned toward the sentinels as she lifted the square stone, and threw it right at Vivisect. The head sentinel only had a moment to throw up a fiery barrier

Upon impact the reaction created a violent explosion of dust that blotted vision within the hall way. The very walls shook as a gust of turbulent air blasted through the hall. When the dust cleared only a few figures stood.

One sentinel stayed on her hooves, while the rest had fallen down, pot marked with dents from fragmented stone and cracks that lined their chitin. The pony mob itself was rather stunned, while they didn’t suffer from bits of stone hitting them, the concussive wave had thrown many a good distance off their hooves.

Big Mac and Maud managed to stay on their hooves. The red stallion cocked an eyebrow at the grey mare.

“In here?”

“Sorry.”

Needless to say the exchange between the two was quite short.

Several on the ponies on the ground grumbled of headaches and sore parts, but started to get up. The sentinels on the other side of the hall didn’t fare as well, since they were close to the epicenter of what was basically an artillery blast. They only survived due to their leader’s shield and their hearty constitutions.

The lead sentinel glared in defiant reproach. Was that pony possessed by some ungodly spirit of strength? The head sentinel had faced many monsters in her time. It was her responsibility before the invasion to make sure changelings safely passed through the likes of the Everfree forest, and Hayseed swamps. No meager challenge, yet despite all the monsters she battled, and crazy swamp witches she dealt with. This pony… this pony had a strike like an adult dragon and even she wasn’t crazy enough to take on a dragon

Vivisect smiled, it was time to prove why she was head sentinel.

Big Mac stepped forward and tilted his head. It was impressive that this one changeling still stood, despite the incapacitation of her fellows. However, most of the ponies were back on their hooves again, and the unicorns of the mob lit their horns up with magic. A few pegasi hovered up, and the rest of the ponies stomped their hooves.

Dozens of ponies faced the singular changeling. The large red earth stallion trotted forward, to look straight at the defiant creature’s face. She was an impressive specimen, and even Big Mac had to look up a little to meet her eyes. Her battle magic was down, apparently holding that barrier took a lot out of her.

“Now ah do believe you’re out numbered. If you would kindly step aside.”

He uttered in soft spoken words. The large sentinel smiled and she looked upwards.

“What makes you think I’m out numbered…”

Big Mac turned his head about and looked up. There, crawling silently on the ceiling like spiders, were dozens of vanguard changelings. They were barely visible in the dark, but the unicorns lighting the way reflected off them slightly. Unfortunately glowing unicorn horns also make great targets in dark places.

A short cough was all the warning the crowd of ponies got before a barrage of disabling slime rained down on them. The green stuff hit wings, legs, horns, and bound all kinds of important things down. Half the crowd was effectively disabled in that initial wave.

Before Big Mac turned around to face Vivisect properly, she had already jumped forward and close-lined him in the jaw with one of her large hooves. It was enough to make the strong stallion stumble backwards in surprise. The head sentinel wasted no time and followed up with several precise strikes.

Big Mac felt heavy hoof falls land about his neck, chest, and joints with uncanny authority. His nerves were attacked in suppressive ways, and the large Apple stallion’s front legs buckled, and he fell forward on his face. Vivisect lowered her fanged mouth and snarled close to Macintosh’s ear.

“What do you expect fruit pony! Fight a warrior only if you want your flank hoofed to you!”

She raised her hoof to finish off the paralyzed farm pony when a pair of light purple hooves connected with her head. The sentinel’s thickly armored skull was thrown backward and her body followed. A blur of rainbow colored wind landed next to Big Mac. It was a middle aged pegasus, and he extended a hoof to the earth pony as he struggled to get up.

“Rainbow Blaze, don’t believe we’ve met before.”

“Macintosh.”

“Right well, I still need to find my daughter. I heard you still have a sister to grab?”

“Eeyup, tell the others to get who they can. This is gonna go south if we stay much longer.”

Rainbow Blaze nodded solemnly. They may very well end up having more ponies captured than freed at this rate. More slime rained down from the ceiling mounted vanguard, and the free ponies had a hard time avoiding all of it.

“Come on, let’s get what we can everypony!”

The light purple pegasus jumped into the air and indicated the others to follow. Those that could still move and were willing ran into the throne room. Most of the pies and a good number of Apples surged forward, Twilight Velvet was still among the mobile.

Several vanguards leapt down from the ceiling to make sure their immobile targets were secure, before they too went into the throne room.

Orange eyes opened up in the midst of other fallen sentinels, with an angry roar Vivisect got back on her hooves. When she looked around Big Mac was no longer there, and she caught a glimpse of a few ponies that ran into the throne room.

“Oh no you don’t you snots!”

Her wings hummed and she shot into the prisoner’s keep.

---

The array of cocoons on the ceiling made many a pony flinch in disgust. The green viscous containers held their dear relatives, and they wouldn’t stop at this point. Rainbow blaze was the first was the first to spot what he wanted.

“Dash! Just hold on a moment! I got ya!”

He grabbed the cocoon holding the rainbow maned mare, and pulled with everything he had. The green sinews of slime holding the pod in place were unyielding. After Blaze managed to stretch them several feet they snapped back into place, he flew backward under his own moment and sailed into the opposite wall. Blaze recovered quickly and grit his teeth.

“I can’t pull her down! That’s stuff won’t break!”

Twilight Velvet tried a little blast of magic, and the sinews holding up Rainbow Dash’s pod were cut. Pleased with the success she moved to the next, which was Pinkie Pie. Once Rarity was down Velvet looked about for another unicorn.

“Night Light? Are you here?”

No response came to the middle aged unicorn mare and she was hit with a fresh wave of panic. She bit her lower lip and turned back to releasing prisoners, things were going horribly wrong, but they needed to salvage something. Apparently the rest of the unicorns were taken down back in that hallway.

Twilight Velvet grew more desperate with each new released prisoner. There were several guards, but they hadn’t found either of her children yet. When she was about to lose hope, the next cocoon revealed Twilight Sparkle.

“Just a moment deary, Mom is here.”

Her horned charged to prepare another magical cut, but was interrupted by a gob of green slime. She flinched at the sudden blockage and an unpleasant sensation as it seeped down her head.

“Sorry.”

Was the single word uttered by vanguard changeling that approached Velvet. His bluish eyes flashed purple and the room filled with the buzz of many more vanguards. Now without her magic, the middle aged mare backed away from the tall changeling’s approach.

“I wouldn’t have it this way, but I’m not the one who makes orders.”

One hack of slime later and Twilight Velvet found one of her hooves stuck to the floor. Her eyes filled with fear and she trembled, though the sight of her daughter reminded her why she was there.

“What do you monsters even want?”

“Love, to put it most simply.”

This baffled the light grey unicorn. She heard the brief explanation about changeling’s feeding on emotions or the like, but if it involved keeping her daughter strung up like that… She couldn’t agree with it.

“There must be another way to go about this!”

She adopted a begging tone in her powerless predicament. The vanguards eye’s betrayed some compassion. He closed his eyes and sighed.

“We’ll have to see what the queen says.”

---

The rest of the vanguard had filled the room and worked to disable the rest of the mob of relatives. Rainbow Blaze tried to crash through a window to make an opening, but found himself stuck on a giant wall of slime. He disconcertingly resembled a fly stuck on a web. He warned the others to stay away.

“It’s no good, this stuff is stickier than glue!”

Several ponies cried out in dismay, it appeared they were trapped. The cries died to the sound of a loud jack-hammer like pounds. Right in the middle of the royal throne room Maud had decided to start digging. Bits of stone were flung this way and that, as the stone grey mare burrowed through the polished marble faster than power equipment could hope to.

“Follow her, and take the others with you!”

Twilight Velvet shouted for her last effort. The remaining ponies quickly obeyed, and the released cocoons were shoved down the hole Maud Pie had made, the other ponies quickly followed down the exit.

The vanguards moved to cut off the band of relatives from their retreat, but were body blocked by Big Macintosh. One changeling was foolish enough to try and get past him. That one got bucked straight through a nearby wall.. Though he tried to ignore it, Macintosh’s front legs were still shaky from the paralytic hits.

This bought enough time for the mobile ponies to escape, along with Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Rarity, and a few of the imprisoned guards.

A large sentinel changeling pushed aside the vanguard in her way as she moved to the center of the action. Two more vanguard tried to get past the large red earth stallion, and had their snouts kicked to inversion.

“Back off, he’s mine!”

Vivisect growled and advanced on the farm pony. She fainted a jump forward to bait a kick from Macintosh. As the red earth pony flung his hind legs at her she dodged, and returned the action by with a smack to his ankles.

It hurt, but Macintosh was still standing. The sentinel tried to bait out another attack, which Big Mac didn’t take, so he could avoid getting his ankles hit again. As punishment for the inaction, Vivisect slammed a hoof at the base of his tail, and broke it.

He yelped at the sharp pain, and lashed out with another kick. One of his hooves caught her in the under belly, which was her least armored spot. This knocked the air out of Vivisect and she stumbled back, and protectively moved a hoof over her gut. After she regained her breath, the large changeling muttered a few words.

“You could make a fine warrior pony; you have more than enough strength. Pity your pleasant little life never taught you to wield it properly.”

Vivisect flapped her wings to gain a little height, she motioned to jump on the stallion one more time. Bic Mac kicked out one more time, and for one more time, she dodged and kicked his ankle. There was a light crack, and when Macintosh’s hooves returned to the ground, the abused joint gave out. His front legs trembled uncontrollably, and with one good leg left, the stallion simply couldn’t stand.

With a loud obnoxious cough, that leg was pinned to the floor with slime, and Vivisect turned to see how many they had lost, and captured.

---

Shade saw that the main action was over. The hole that Maud had made was blocked in to deter pursuit. Some of the ponies had escaped, but a good deal of them were stuck back in the hall, and right here in the throne room. The vanguard glanced over to where Twilight Velvet was stuck.

The trapped unicorn mare had a hoof over her mouth, which covered part of her shocked expression. To witness the big red stallion get beaten down was hardly a pleasant sight.

Shade shook his head; this event would do little to solidify the changeling relations with the ponies. Hopefully the queen could pull off something salvageable towards peace keeping. Otherwise this kind of thing would only become more common.

Worst of all however, is that they lost several of the element bearers and guards, meaning the other parts of Equestria would have parties to rally behind, should they decide to rebel. This did not bode well.

Light shown softly from Shade’s horn as he sent a message to the queen, they were ready for her to come.

A fiery green portal erupted in the throne room and the queen of the changelings stepped out. Her tall figure was a head or more above all in the room. The green double iris eyes peered around at the mess.

“I must confess, this puts me rather on edge.”

Author's Note:

OH NOES!!!!!

:raritydespair: "How ungenerous of me to escape without all of my friends!"

:fluttershbad: "It would have been kinder to let the others go. Canon never even hinted at me having family"

:rainbowdetermined2: "I'll be back to get em, don't you worry"

-----

:twilightangry2: "Can't even read books here, only dream about them. What an unpleasant tease"

:pinkiecrazy: "Still a party of one in here..."

:ajsleepy: "Looks like vacation is goin' to last a lil' longer than planned."

---

:moustache: "Betcha still wonder were i am, hehehe."

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