• 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.26 "The Great and Powerful" part 3

Chrysalis Wins

Ch.26 “The Great and Powerful” part 3

POP!

A little trash can icon appeared in the air, and some unseen force caused it’s lid to pop off. Once the cap was removed, the small metal can tipped sideways,spilling its contents all over the ground. One pink pony muzzle fell out, and quickly flew towards a target like a speeding missile.

Smack! … GASP!

The disembodied muzzle collided with it’s owner, and once reconnected, it held fast. Pinky Pie’s first reaction was to take a deep resonant breath. Both of her hooves immediately shot to her face to make sure her muzzle was indeed back. After a few sniffs, and other faculty testing motions, she was satisfied. An explosive grin stretched over her recently recovered mouth.

“IT’S BACK!, it’s back, it’s back! I feel it coming on… Time for a pa-”

“Quiet pony!”

The large figure of Carve still circled the four pony mares. Other sentinels stood close by, but they were less aggressive in their postures, and many even looked off somewhere else. The pretty green explosion in the background had grabbed their collective attention, but Carve eyed his subjects mercilessly.

“I was gonna say pastry.”

Pinky whispered to her friends, she reached a hoof into her mane, and pulled a cupcake from somewhere. She gobbled down the blue-green creamy treat as subtly as she could, which meant not really all that subtle. The pink mare couldn’t help but give a very satisfied and relieved sigh. Crumbs and frosting were appreciatively smothered over her returned muzzle.

“Oh it’s been too long. Dream cupcakes don’t hit your tummy the same way…”

“I said quiet!”

Carve all but roared to the huddled ponies when he heard one of them whisper.

“Oh bug off Carve, what are they going to do?”

Another sentinel piped up, the gruff voice had a female distinction to it, and Carve turned his zealous attention on this new voice. The other sentinel shared some similar characteristics with the rest of her kind, thick chitin, tall proud neck fin, large stature, but her distinguishing mark came in the form of yellow rimmed eyes, and the short sprout of golden hair about her neck fin. She was also slightly shorter than Carve.

“Don’t tell me how to follow the queen’s orders Gnarla, I’ll be the new head soon, and I’ll expect you to follow my orders without question.”

“Ha! If I could eat your arrogance I’d be fed for centuries. Last time I checked, you weren’t the top contender in the spar arena…”

Both of the large sentinels bristled and hissed loudly. The slightly frightening tone of the two argumentative changelings garnered the attention of those nearby. The rest of the sentinels turned away from the flash of lights in the distance to the local action. A few mutters escaped black changeling lips as the tension between Carve and Gnarla grew in their stares.

The four element mares also watched slightly nervous. They were uncomfortably close to two very large, very contentious changelings.

“The spar arena doesn’t matter now, not without Vivisect in the picture. She went a little stupid in the head didn’t she… All the talent in her blood is now wasted, and unfortunately her sibling didn’t get a share of that…”

There was a slight gasp amongst the sentinels that watched, and a violent twitch broke into one of Gnarla’s golden eyes, and her fanged muzzle curled into a snarl, but there was obvious hesitation in her movement, as if something still intimidated her. Her hoof falls stuttered a bit, despite her anger and obvious offense to the remark.

One white unicorn mare watched some of the interactive cues between the two changelings. She brushed her curly mane a little with her hoof as she put two and two together. Her mind rolled over the potential consequences a little, and a small mischievous smile curled over her muzzle. She suddenly cried out in a loud shrill voice.

“For shame! That is intolerably rude! To insults one’s family like that. Especially when they’re indisposed! The gall!”

Carve’s red rimmed eyes shot towards the purple maned pony and a snarl erupted over his own muzzle.

“I said…”

The large sentinel stomped towards the little group of mares and lifted his head high, and he took in a deep breath as he prepared to roar right in their faces.

“Come on Carve, if you’re going to insult my blood then prove it. I’ll crack your sorry chitin right here, future head.”

Venomous sarcasm dripped from Gnarla’s final words, as she seethed towards the red rimmed sentinel. The roar that Carve had prepared to blast at the element ponies died in his chest as he rolled his eyes. He turned back towards his rival and cracked his neck.

“You’re not worth my time Gnarla, I have the queen’s orders to see followed. However, if you still have the spine to challenge me, I look forward to shattering your resolve along with your pitiful hide.”

This incited a loud growl out of the golden eyed sentinel and she took an aggressive step forward, but still hesitated to do more. The tension was so thick it was like a dam ready to break.

Applejack had also watched the whole thing progress, and Rarity’s boldness inspired her to add a few words as well.

“I dunno if it’s so much about following orders. Ya insult her family and hide behind “orders”? Sounds like a cowardly excuse to me…”

Green magic flared around Carve’s front hooves and they shifted to claws, he raised one of the weaponized limbs to point at the group of mares.

“Speak again and I will cut out your wretched tongues!”

“What, can’t take being called a coward! By a pony no less! You pathetic grub!”

Gnarla had activated her own magic and brandished her newly shifted claws. The murmurs among the group of observant sentinels got louder and a slight chant started in the form of clicks and hisses. Carve dropped the claws he pointed at the element mares and turned to face Gnarla and the rest of the group.

His muzzle twitched and kept his fangs exposed, his red rimmed eyes narrowed. The large changeling pointed his aggressive stance towards his gold trimmed rival. The hesitation in Gnarla’s steps had disappeared, her wings buzzed and she flew forward.

“Spar with me, or are you too afraid!”

Carve buzzed his own wings and rose slowly into the air.

“If you want me to cut you down then go ahead.”

A hungry glint crossed his predatory crimson eyes and he raised his claws ready to strike. Before the two changelings dove at each other, one pink party pony added to the bustle with her own shout. Her own chant closely mimicked the timing of the hisses and clicks from the other watching sentinels.

“Fight, fight, fight!”

She whipped out a blue canon that rode on purple wheels from who knows where. It blasted out a very large volume of confetti and streamers. This served as a major distraction for Carve and he turned to scream at the pony for her interruption, but he was hit by a blindsided tackle from Gnarla.

“Oh, my…”

Fluttershy whispered in fright, and she covered her eyes with her hooves.

The two changelings barreled through the air until they collided with the ground in a messy tumble. The group of sentinels that watched parted in order to give the two fighters adequate room, and the crowd’s hisses and clicks intensified into a loud jeer.

The fight was obscured from mares’ view, as the rest of the sentinels started to form a closed circle. A few vicious cracks echoed from the center of brawl, followed by yelps and several angry snarls.

Applejack couldn’t particularly tell which way the fight was going, as she couldn’t see past the crowd of changelings, and she didn’t particularly care how it ended. This was a golden opportunity, and she whispered hurriedly to the rest of her friends.

“C’mon let’s go while they’re distracted.”

None of the sentinels even noticed the four mares that sneakily trotted away; their attention was wholly consumed by the conflict in front of them, and they continued their excited hisses and clicks.

After a short while the fight was over, one sentinel emerged victorious, while the other twitched in a painful mess of limbs, and gasped for breath.

“You’re not going to be fit to fight with drones when I’m done with you! Insult my sister again, and I’ll eat you!”

Gnarla stood over Carve’s prone form, and she delivered a brutal kick to his snout, which created a loud sickening crunch. He immediately curled up into a defensive ball to shield his face, and groaned in an agony.

The golden trimmed sentinel wasn’t scratch free, there were several cracks in her chitin, but her opponent had been sloppy about hitting anything vital or crippling. She was about to deliver more punishment when another sentinel intervened.

“Enough Gnarla, you’ve proven your better.”

This other sentinel held out a hoof to block anymore blows she might deliver,]d, thus Gnarla settled to simply spit on her opponent, and kick some dirt in his face for good measure

Now that the main attraction was over many of the sentinels turned about to look for their stations, one of them quickly noticed something was wrong.

“Hey, where’d the ponies go?”

---

Green and red aura’s tugged on the alicorn amulet in a mighty tussle. Changeling Queen and Crystal King wrestled their magical grips over the small object, Chrysalis was the much more desperate of the two, as she’d already depleted much of her energy. She wasn’t prepared for the sudden appearance of the possessive stallion.

“Let go! It belongs to me!”

In a particularly focused yank, Sombra lifted his head backward and crimson magic flared in a small inferno over his head. The top hat he wore blew hopelessly far into the distance, and the heavy trench coat became ripped and torn. Chrysalis’s weakened hold was broken in an instant, and she could do nothing but gasp in surprise. The king’s red eye beamed with exuberance, and he shouted in victory. His timing couldn’t be better.

“Yes!”

Two large hooves were out stretched and ready to receive the corrupted neck ornament. A vision of the future flashed before Sombra’s eyes.

A future where the sky was darkened by mystical forces, with flames of archaic and unearthly power illuminating the landscape. He would stand above all, as the king of Equestria. All would be his slaves to do according to his will and pleasure.

The world seemed to slow down, as the amulet was less than a hoof’s length away. A slow lick of the lips decorated Sombra’s hungry countenance, and for a moment his eyes almost burned with their old fervor.

SWISH!

Large grey hooves reached out and clasped onto nothing but air. Sombra’s jaw dropped in stunned surprise. What happened?

There was a light rainbow tint to the air, and his head turned to follow the trail that was left behind. Already a ways in the distance was a familiar looking cyan pegasus, colored with rainbow mane and tail. In her hooves was the…

“Wha-, Come back!”

His voice suddenly adopted a tone of panic as his greatest hope flew away with the pegasus. Fortunately for Sombra, he was still able to keep enough of his wits about him that he noticed a deadly blast of green energy that barreled towards him.

The location where the Crystal King stood exploded with concussive force, and large chunks of earth were hurled every which way. The exhausted changeling queen slowly sauntered over the wreckage. She was rather proud that she’d managed enough energy for a cheap shot like that. While she made her way her eyes roamed to the sky for a few moments.

She too noticed the pegasus that swooped by and stole the amulet, but the pony had flown too far away too fast for the changeling to simply grab her with magic. The rainbow streak had disappeared beyond reach. Chrysalis turned her attention to the ground she just destroyed. It was a deep smoky crater two ponies wide.

“Hmm, no left overs?”

“Oh there is plenty left over, in fact it’s all left over…”

The royal changeling turned about on the spot, Sombra was right behind her and he had a rather glum face. For the moment, Chrysalis couldn’t decide if she was more angry or impressed.

“Now I must confess this puts me in a sticky spot.”

Sombra waved a hoof up at the sky, then gestured towards the queen.

“It does indeed.”

Chrysalis’s eyes flashed white and she sent a mental command to the nearby drones and sentinels.

“Help me pin him down.”

Fifty or so changelings moved to obey that order. The sounds of hacks and coughs could be heard as magical restraints were prepped. Sombra just cocked an eyebrow, and when the queen’s swarm of soldiers came forward he stomped one hoof to the ground.

Even as a bunch of sticky goo was launched at the tall grey stallion, his form turned to red crystal and dissolved into the earth. Crystal veins stretched through the ground until he reappeared at another location. He was now a slight distance further from the queen.

Most of the changelings were surprised and looked to the queen in confusion. Should they continue to pursue such a dodgy opponent? He just melted through the ground!

“I, um…”

Sombra ignored the swarm of changelings that buzzed about, and pawed at the ground with a hoof, as if he had something difficult to say. Some sentinels leapt at him, and he melded into a different location again. Some drones tried to grab him with telekinetic magic, but he easily brushed them off.

Lot’s of slime was aimed and shot at him, but he was able to deftly avoid it. Chrysalis barked another mental command at her frustrated changelings.

“Back off, and get out of the way.”

Her horn flared to life with radiant energies, and she reached out with her last bits of strength to seize Sombra in magic. Since she was still a little more formidable than her minions, he changed tactics. A conjured dome of ruby colored crystal shielded the stallion where he stood, and to the queen’s frustration it proved resistant to magic. So instead she strode up to the dome, and started to lazily beat on it with her hooves. The effort was futile and the dark king rolled his eyes as he spoke through the dome with a muffled voice.

“Would you just give it a rest already. We both know this back and forth is pointless.”.”

“Why should I want to listen to anything you have to say?”

She kept hitting Sombra’s crystal dome, though her current pace would probably take 1000 years to do anything. The stallion ignored the eccentricity as he tried to find a more sensible resolution.

“Well, we could continue our little escapade… I would get away, you would try to chase… and you would fail. Then I would keep being a thorn in your side, and you in mine.”

“This does nothing to dissuade me from pursuing your destruction…”

“Aw, but I think there is a new way we could approach this, you could help me get something I want, and I could give you something you want.”

“A bargain? Do you take me for a fool?”

“Yes, as a matter of fact I do. However, that’s beside the point. I think it would be convenient for both of us to strike a deal at the moment. Unless you’d rather continue and prove my view of you is justified.”?”

Chrysalis pursed her lips, and made a particular harsh smack on the dome in petty defense to her sensibilities. She thought about simply trying to wait him out here, until she could recover some. However, there was something about his confident manner that disconcerted her though. What could he have that she would want… oh, but of course.

“You’d be willing to return the princesses to me?”

“On certain conditions.”

“Which are?”

“Help me get the Alicorn Amulet.”

At this Chrysalis simply snorted, and she looked back up to the sky where the rainbow pegasus had disappeared. When she looked back over to Sombra her snort turned into a chuckle, and she addressed him with incredulity.

“You need my help to chase down one lone pegasus?”

“Did you see how fast she was?”

“No, really…”

“Well, see, when you disrupted my shadow magic, I’m sort of… grounded. And if that pegasus decides to stay in the air…”

“Hahaha!”

“Grr, please, are you interested or not?”

The heave in Chrysalis’s barrel stopped as she calmed herself, and she raised a hoof to thoughtfully caress her chin. Sombra in turn sat down, and tilted his head expectantly.

One the one hoof, if she had the princesses back, she would have the impressive well spring of emotional resource that only immortals could provide, and on the other she would help this obstinate king get something he wanted, something he valued above ownership of the princesses.

Then again he didn’t seem happy to have to care for Luna in his letter, maybe this was simply getting rid of a burden he didn’t want to hold onto. She couldn’t know for sure.

Meanwhile Sombra impatiently tapped one hoof, and looked up at the sky. The sun had moved from it’s morning position to high noon.

“I’d rather not spend all day sitting here Chryssie-Chryss”

“How can I trust you to hoof over the princesses to me, should I help secure your amulet?”

With another tap on the ground, and the glow of some crimson magic, a long thin shard of crystal formed amongst the earth, then Sombra opened a small hole in his protective dome to throw this new crystal to the queen.

“Touch it with telekinetic magic, and it will point to the location I have the princesses stored.”

“Oh, you’re just telling me where they are now?”

She grabbed the small red crystal with magic, and in response the crystal glowed with an eerie pulse, and the narrow end pointed off in a specific direction, back towards Canterlot. She cocked an eyebrow suspiciously at the Crystal King.

“You wanted evidence that I can give them to you, and I will, but I have my own precautions. If you try to take them early I have it arranged so that I can relocate them at a moment’s notice. And believe me when I say, don’t try, I will know if you try, and our deal will be off.”

This brought a contemplative hum from the queen’s chest.

“So while I have the skies scoured, what are you going to do? You're going to sit on your flanks and wait for me to play fetch?”

“I’m not going to tell you all of my agenda! I want one thing that you can assist me with, and I in turn will give you your prize. That is all, we are not allies.”

Sombra’s expression turned somewhat malicious and his smirk turned sinister,

“Of course, if you choose to not accept my deal, I could always explore a third option. Namely letting the princesses loose and leave you to deal with them.”

That effectively not only set Chrysalis’s own blood cold, but also that of all the changelings present. Much as she hated to admit it, Chrysalis knew she got lucky with beating Celestia, it was one on one and she had been powered up. However, if Luna or Cadence had lent their power, she would have lost, and taking all three of them on, that’d be suicide.

“Are you insane, if you do that, they’ll come after you as well.”

Sombra however, merely chuckled,

“That may be true however, given I’ll be the one responsible for giving them liberty, and the means to free their ponies from your abrasive and demeaning hooves.. Well, and with the change of heart you gave me, I may very well be able turn a new leaf in their eyes, or at the very least present you as the bigger threat. After all, if you’re going to make things difficult, and make me lose, why should I let you win?”

The queen’s eyes narrowed, her mind conjuring an image of three very powerful, and angry Alicorns staring her down. . It would appear that accepting this deal with this King of Shadows was her only option as he currently held the better hand? Her horn finally dissipated the magical build up she held onto during their conversation. Many thoughts mulled over in her mind. Perhaps she could play this game, and find a new angle to dupe this troublesome king. He already proved frustratingly difficult to catch and at the moment she didn’t have any more hands to play,

“Very well Sombra, I’ll help you retrieve the Alicorn Amulet.”

“Excellent, royal company awaits your success.”

A wide smirk crossed over the stallion’s fanged muzzle, as well as the queen’s. Even as they nodded their heads respectfully to one another their minds boiled with other thoughts.

Chrysalis closed her eyes and messaged mentally to the nearby changelings.

“We are not going to give him that amulet

Sombra quietly muttered to himself within the silence of the dome.

“She’s not going to get the princesses

Another changeling tickled at the queen’s mind, it was not one she was familiar with on a personal level, but she could tell it was from the sentinels near the Golden Oaks library.

“Um, queen, the element ponies are gone.”

“WHAT!”

She shouted the word out loud, even to her own surprise, and Sombra perked up his eyes in response.

“Something the matter?”

“Those ponies you released here… The Element Bearers they escaped.”

Some sentinel was about to have his neck wrung out… Chrysalis clenched her jaws even as she thought about it. Sombra seemed rather unimpressed and continued.

“I don’t see why common mares are a prob-”

“They’re friends with that pegasus who stole you amulet!”

“I fail to see how that’s my problem. You capture them and then return them to my custody.”

“They will be mine, I want them as part of our deal. Now you have something to do on the ground.”

“Don’t talk as if you can give me an assignment, and don’t presume you can simply alter our arrangement at your leisure.”

“I thought this was mutual interest…”

“It better be, I have no problem acting on my own threats if needed.”

Chrysalis buzzed her wings, and Sombra lowered his crystal dome, before he dissolved in a mineralized fashion to the ground. The changelings hovered in the air as a group and prepared to move.

---

A scorched blue unicorn lay stiffly on the ground and groaned painfully. She was barely conscious by any definition, but her glazed over eyes saw the changelings as they departed. She attempted to say something angrily at them, she only managed to mumbled.

“Tee.. Grreyyt, and Peerrwurrful Terxy…guhhhh….”

She lost it, and no changeling paid her any mind. No pony was nearby to pay her any mind either.

Author's Note:

Alright, there's the last part of the Great and Powerful stuff...

here's a sketch. Sentinelsssss! GRR

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