• 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.28 "References"

Chrysalis Wins

Ch.28 “References”

“Now what was it you wanted to talk about?”

Chrysalis bluntly addressed the Saddle Arabians, she could feel her focus slipping every moment and losing her cool in front of delegates isn’t how she wanted to end her day. A day that had overall been so disappointing and vexing. Crescent was the first to answer her.

“Originally we came here to follow up on a commission for an astronomical dais, which was to be built in Canterlot. That was our plan for the meeting we scheduled with Celestia, but…”

“What Crescent Iris wants to address is a more glaring issue. For the past week the moon hasn’t left the sky on our side of the world.”

Delta Shores cut into Crescent’s line of conversation. The pink mare had a rather stern and accusatory glare. Chrysalis failed to suppress an unintelligible curse, which caused the eyebrows of the horses to raise. The changeling grimaced, she’d failed to keep a dignified manner already. She breathed in deeply, and let out a frustrated sigh.

“I’ll handle it tonight. It was just a little later on my check list.”

“It gave us cause for concern, we presumed it was that chaotic spirit again. As his last appearance disturbed the heavens, but we have since heard otherwise. We’ve recently heard many things...”

Chrysalis frowned at the judging glare from Delta, and all the implications of her last line. There was no energy left in her chitinous frame to play poker, not when every fiber of her exhausted body cried out for rest. So she ineloquently blustered against the presumptions thrown her way.

“While I don’t care for any particular details you may have heard, know this, I plan for things to continue normally for the ponies. I will extend that to their neighbors as well. The ponies’ loving lifestyle is why I am here, and did what I have done. In a way, you could say I’m even more motivated to ensure my subjects are happy than Celestia ever was.”

This brought a slight sigh of relief from Crescent at least, apparently he had held onto his breath during the pretentious exchange. The queen took enough notice of this, that she decided to redirect her attention to the easier looking target. She didn’t have the effort left in her to address anymore difficult questions, so her last words went pointedly towards the more amiable target.

“If you spread news around the international rumor mill, then share this. I, the new Queen of Equestria, plan keeping things the same. Nothing really special to it. Now, any last questions? Not to make you feel rushed, but the both of you reminded me of other things I need to attend to.”

“We wanted to know where… I suppose now if, you planned on having next Equestria Games?”

The question was rather light hearted compared to all other things considered today, and in her near delirious state, Chrysalis actually chuckled at the inquiry.

“I don’t see why not. Is that it?”

She preemptively stood up, just as much to test her stability, as much as to communicate she was ready to leave. Both the delegates read the gesture clearly, and the more affable Crescent politely bowed his head.

“We thank you for your time.”

The queen made the saddle arabian gesture of departure, and issued her last words as she turned about to leave.

“If you have any further questions, just ask Fancy. I’ll get that moon moved tonight.”

Chrysalis turned her gaze on the tall unicorn stallion who sat at the table. A few schemes bubbled in her mind, but before she would develop them any further there was a very special source she wanted to reference, one she needed to go to her mountain complex for.

“Fancy Pants?”

Fancy straightened his monocle with his magic before he answered.

“Yes My Queen?”

“I’d like to schedule another meeting with you later. Make some time later this week, I’ll be occupied for the next few days.”

“I will make accommodations, though that description sounds rather… um.”

“Ambiguous… yes, the details are unclear for now, and I’ll clarify them later. Also for that meeting in a few days, call back any pony ambassadors we may have, I want them informed of the new situation.”

“I’ll see what I can manage. Some of them were in the middle of important negotiations if I recall correctly, and would find it difficult to be here within a few days.”

“They may find the terms of their negotiations have changed. Tell them it’s their highest priority to make it back here, if they want to be ambassadors for me…”

“I’ll send letters right away then.”

Satisfied that she accomplished what she wanted to, she turned to go, and her wings twitched in readiness.

---

Her wings buzzed and lifted her straight out of the garden, and she soared over the house. Soon the noble mansions passed underneath her, and she was over in the castle grounds. Sentinels dutifully patrolled their posts below, some noticed their queen fly over them and they chattered their chitin in respectful acknowledgement.

Hundreds of drones also buzzed about Canterlot, as they all enjoyed the sun’s afternoon light. Chrysalis noticed them and hummed thoughtfully to herself. No doubt the drones got more cultural exposure here than they ever had before. Unless holes dug and monsters dodged counted as cultural exposure…

Her mind wandered back to her discussion with the Saddle Arabians. There was no doubt it had been sloppy on her part. She blinked her eyes too slowly too many times. She put a hoof to her head as an awful headache developed rapidly there. More inconvenient symptoms for dealing with the litany of fiascos her recent life had become. She didn’t even growl, she didn’t have the will to fight with all the points of annoyance.

The cursed moon was something that required more immediate attention, besides the need to set up a hunting party for the escaped element bearers, and the need to come up with a plan to smother the Shadow King more permanently.

She pulled out the crystal Sombra had given her earlier, and held it aloft in her green aura. The touch of magic caused the special mineral to vibrate and flash. It soon locked into a specific direction, and Chrysalis’s lurid eyes followed it.

It pointed straight down beneath the castle grounds, straight towards a direction she had sent a purple little unicorn and pink alicorn not so long ago. She cocked an eyebrow and frowned. Of course a Crystal King would be in the more crystallized part of the region. She mentally berated herself for not thinking of it earlier, then again she had many things that vied for her attention.

A dark portal wreathed in green flames erupted in the air and Chrysalis flew through it.

---

The Crystal Caves beneath Canterlot.

Emerald flames reflected off the mirror like walls of the long tunnel, and illuminated a large area with their eerie glow. Out of the midst of the green flames the changeling queen emerged, and with a casual flick of her horn the fire died.

She looked over the area, and recognized it as the same place she had dropped Twilight at, and imprisoned Cadance. The hoof prints of the two ponies were still left on the disturbed dust of the cave floor.

Chrysalis stepped over a shattered wall, and brushed a hoof through some of the fragments on the ground. As she ran a hoof along the fragments, she refreshed some recent memories.

“Too bad little Twilight was willing to let you talk. It would have been much far more convenient to have her finish you off thinking you were me… ”

Chrysalis blew at the strand of mane that often fell between her eyes, and scratched at the floor in a disappointed manner. That was definitely a poor judgement call on her point, and she knew she was lucky things played out the way they did, when they could have gone so very wrong, so very easily. She could have ended up imprisoned by Celestia, or worse, eaten by her own swarm for being a bad queen. Just like Shellish. An involuntary shudder escaped her lips, and shiver ran down her spine.

She hadn’t noticed her breaths had evolved into pants as she ran over her troubling thoughts, and snapped out of it when she heard it echo off the walls. She sat down and slapped herself in the face a few times, she couldn’t afford to blunder through all her problems. Or let her doubts show to her enemies. She was queen, and with that came the expectations. She focused on breathing slower.

When she calmed herself she looked back at her guide crystal, which pointed down the opposite way of the shattered wall. She sighed, and hoped this venture wouldn’t take much longer. She just needed to see if Sombra was good on his word for giving her the location of the princesses.

To her pleasant surprise it wasn’t that far at all, around the next corner really. The crystal of the caves had suddenly taken a crimson sheen to it, and a fresh chamber appeared to be neatly carved out of the wall.

There were a few neatly shaped steps that led up to the entrance, which had a large organic arch. Once she set her hoof on the last step and walked under the arch a flash of red magic burst within the chamber.

“I wondered how long it would be before I saw you here, at least you made it on the same day.”

Sombra bared his unnatural fangs in a flashy smile, and Chrysalis wrinkled her snout in annoyance.

“And what, oh so productive activities have you been up to?”

“There’s no reason to be snide Queen Horsefly. There will be plenty of time for that once I have my amulet back. Until then you can enjoy this pleasant nature you saw fit to endow me with…”

Sombra attempted a motion to gag himself, but he couldn’t find the will to, and extended a hoof in a wide welcome gesture instead, complimented by an eerie smile. Chrysalis ignored the gesture and continued her stride forward, the direction crystal was still held aloft in her magic.

“I came here to see the princesses.”

“Right this way then, which would you like to see first? Personally I would recommend Luna, she has been so very vocal, especially about you.”

“I’m not surprised… but I would like to see Celestia first.”

“Very well, I’ve kept her in that slimy green bag of yours. I’m not sure if it has an expiration date or not, but that would be interesting to know. Not that I need too, but all the same.”

“Just take me to her.”

Sombra snorted at Chrysalis’s impatience and trotted down a crimson hallway. They soon came upon another archway that opened to another chamber. Within the chamber was the prize the changeling queen sought, and she moved to get a closer look. One quick tap on the floor, and the arch way was blocked by a transparent sheet of crystal. Sombra stood a small distance away with a neutral expression.

“You see her, she’s there. Now do you need any more evidence?”

“Yes, I would like to dream walk with her.”

“Hmm, hmm, hmm, now it was in my line of thinking that you shouldn’t get full access to the merchandise until our deal is complete.”

“Well, how can I know that this isn’t some illusion that you’ve conjured up.”

“Really Queen Chameleon? I thought that was your specialty…”

Chrysalis gave the teasing King a dirty look, and sneered back at him.

“Don’t toy with me Sombra, I will only ask for this once, and then I won’t bother to check until the amulet is in your hooves.”

“Don’t push your luck either Miss Whimsy. With one tap I could make this opportunity disappear, and things could go in a much less pleasant direction.”

Chrysalis rolled her eyes and sighed, Sombra raised both eyebrows, dropped his eyelids halfway, and pursed his lips.

“Don’t be too sour, you can dream walk just this once if it means so much to you. After that I’ll hold you to your word not to come back until I see my amulet. I’ll know if you keep your word.”

Sombra flashed a little red magic and the transparent barrier to Celestia’s crystal chamber vanished. Chrysalis looked at the Crystal King once before she turned to enter. Sombra’s voice called out to her one more time before she reached the cocoon.

“Oh, and be nice please, I don’t want to mop up two injured alicorns. Speaking of which, I think it’s about time for another chat with Luna. The invitation to come and talk with her is still open once you’re done with Celestia.”

“You can keep the Night Princess all to yourself Sombra…”

“Very well, enjoy your session with the green lovesac.”

“Guuh, just go.”

“Hahaha, alright, goodbye.”

It was not too soon before the grey stallion vanished from her sight. Once she was sure he left, she turned to the pod that contained the solar princess. The queen’s horn ignited and she brought it close to the cocoon, and her eyes closed.

---

Out in a high lonely mountain range it rained. The slopes were covered in lively green foliage, but it all seemed dim under the oppressive wall of grey. The constant patter of rain and gusts of winds also kept the atmosphere from being truly relaxing.

Celestia sat alone on top a boulder, her pelt and mane were completely drenched, and she looked out into the bleary grayness. Water streamed and dripped off her tall elegant form, and her violet eyes closed. She simply let herself feel the exposure of the elements.

“Feeling spritely I see…”

The calm and passive expression on the white alicorn’s countenance suddenly went tense. Her brow furrowed and the straight line of her mouth drooped into a frown. That was a voice she didn’t look forward to hearing again. Celestia kept her eyes closed while she replied.

“What is it Chrysalis.”

The changeling queen had been short with her in the past, and the alicorn felt inclined to return the courtesy on this occasion.

“The moon, how do I move it.”

This broke Celestia’s focus slightly, and she opened her magenta eyes. It didn’t take her long to see a small changeling shaped pebble at her feet. The little figure was stone colored, but retained the green eyes of the natural Chrysalis.

“You don’t want to try and figure it out by yourself again? It might be entertaining, like the last occasion you tried to blunder through the heavens.”

Celestia scooped up the little stone changeling with a hoof and raised her to eye level. The small stone avatar growled at it’s undignified predicament.

“The Saddle Arabian’s complained that I left it in their sky for too long.”

The white alicorn cocked an eyebrow and stifled a smirk.

“And how long is too long?”

“Since I’ve taken over.”

“How long has it been, it’s hard to keep track of anything in here.”

“Little over a week. Now the spell if you wouldn’t mind.”

“One more thing, you don’t have Crescent and Delta strung up like me do you?”

The small stone queen smiled at that before she answered.

“No, I left the horses free, as I will any equine that doesn’t oppose me. Love is tastier from free beings. Now, the spell Celestia.”

Celestia relaxed just a little. Of course there was no way to verify Chrysalis’s claim from here, and the alicorn unfortunately didn’t see herself being released anytime soon. She would just have to trust that the changeling didn’t have a reason to lie this time.

“Here it is.”

The white alicorn ignited her horn with a golden aura and crossed horns with the little figure. The knowledge required to move the night sphere properly was transferred. After that was complete Celestia sullenly spoke to the little stone changeling.

“Just take good care of my little ponies…”

“They’re MY little ponies now, just do yourself a favor, and come up with something less drab in this dream. There’s no need for you to worry, pony love and happiness is crucial to me.”

Celestia narrowed her eyes at the little queen in her hoof… The arrogance of this little sprite needed some trimming. She tilted her hoof slightly, and the slickness of the rain combined the smoothness of her hoof caused the little pebble changeling to start slipping.

“H-hey!”

“Oops…”

Tiny, stone Chrysalis tried to buzz her wings as she attempted to fly, but she was made stone thus fell like a rock.

“EEEeeeEEEeeeEEE!”

The little changeling’s squeaky intonation rose and fell as she bounced down the side of the mountain, colliding and ricocheting off a number of rocks in a terrible limbo. Eventually she stopped when she fell into a shallow patch of mud with a plop. She groaned as she held her head between her hooves to try and combat the dizziness. Suddenly a large shadow passed over her and she heard the alicorn’s voice.

“Then why the hostile takeover? If you needed love so badly why not ask? We ponies might be more willing to share than you would think.”

With a terrible little grimace, Chrysalis wiped the mud away from her eyes, and coughed out a few globs of grainy earth. She looked up to great alicorn, and the expression she saw bothered her. It was pity. The changeling couldn’t hold the gaze and she looked down, and resentment boiled within her.

The tone Celestia addressed her with, while literally talking down to her, made her stony lips droop. The fact Celestia actually tried to sound helpful made her feel stupid. Here was the true ruler of the kingdom, just so willingly offering help… Chrysalis couldn’t believe this to be a genuine offer. It went against everything she’d done to survive. Shellish had always been so scared of being revealed. So much so she had died for it. It must have been the ponies fault.

Despite the utter lack of dignity in her current position, Chrysalis managed a bitter chuckle.

“You know it’s funny, your little Twilight asked something similar when I gave her a tour of the Badlands. I’ll say the same thing here. I will not grovel to my food for mercy, what I did simply put everything in it’s proper place.”

Years of experience helped Celestia easily see between the changeling’s words. Creatures secure in their position didn’t need to state the obvious. Things must be more troubling than Chrysalis would ever let on. All the alicorn saw was a little equine that had nopony to confide in.

With the flexibility of the dream realm, Celestia shrank down to Chrysalis’s size, and sat next to her in the mud puddle. She stretched out a wing and rested the tip on the changeling’s shoulder. Chrysalis jumped slightly at the contact, but remained frozen in place. The alicorn reached out with sincerity.

“Asking for help is not a weakness Chrysalis. That belief will be a detriment when you finally encounter something that is too much for you. As we all eventually do.”

Unfortunately the alicorn’s attempt at finding some connection sparked the changeling’s defensiveness. Chrysalis conjured up the courage to look Celestia in the eye again, and she brushed away the extended wing.

“Is t-that All? If I wanted advice I will go to my sources, a source much older and experienced than you.”

The white alicorn raised an eyebrow curiously at that. For all of Chrysalis’s bravado, her tone still contained more than a few cracks in her wall of confidence. What source did the queen talk about anyway?

“How old are you Chrysalis?”

“Don’t judge me by your pony standards, changelings mature much faster than you slow ponies. Also royals don’t age like the rest of the common changelings.”

“Well…”

“How do feel to be bested by an equine only fifty years of age?”

Chrysalis’s tone picked up a particularly snide edge, which was somewhat defeated by her lowly and filthy state. To the queen’s surprise Celestia just chuckled.

“I do admit that is rather funny. After standing up to an ancient spirit of Chaos, a demonic magic thieving centaur, a Shadow King, and even my own sister, among the other things I have faced over the millennia, I did not see this coming. If anything it only confirms that youth shouldn’t be underestimated. Of course, that is something you should keep in mind as well.”

The changeling queen didn’t have a response for that, so she shook her head and flashed her magic in readiness for departure. The Solar Princess took a step back, and simply observed.

“Work on that humility, you may have beaten me, but if you try to carry the world on your shoulders alone, you won’t last.”

The tiny changeling snarled as the pony’s words cut deep, and she growled when she noticed she had the shivers. How could she be so easily emotionally destabilized by princess? It downright bothered her to the core. This felt worse than being physically beaten, and she couldn’t find the words to retort, she got all choked up as she tried.

Celestia sighed as she saw the changeling get all bottled up like an emotionally overwhelmed child. The alicorn’s expression saddened, as she thought on the situation as a whole.

For a creature that profited off of proximity to love, this was a terrible waste of potential. That such power could be wrapped around a ball of insecurities. One that needed to conquer the world to prove something to herself. Perhaps she could redirect it?

“Chrysalis, all you need to do is ask.”

Celestia extended an open hoof to the changeling, a gesture that was not lost to Chrysalis. As they held eye contact, her stony lips trembled something fierce, and for a moment she entertained the idea.

Could Celestia just forgive her? Could she actually work towards something better for everypony and changeling, with the help of an alicorn no less. Could it be that simple? Could she finally be free of all these exhaustive charades, all the posturing, all the stoicism, all the damn anxiety and looking over her shoulder, then Sombra could finally be handled as well...

Chrysalis flinched when she noticed her own hoof involuntarily began to stretch out to the one offered by Celestia. The queen smacked her own hoof down, for weaseling its way towards such alluring ideas, there was no way that path was available to her. It must be a trick.

“I can’t.”

And with a flash, Chrysalis departed. Celestia let out a frustrated sigh, and the rain came to a stop.

“Such foolishness.”

---

Back in the crystal caves under Canterlot.

Chrysalis pulled her head away from the cocoon, and she noticed that the alicorn contained inside had her hoof pressed against the inner surface, as if still reaching out to her. The queen backed up too quickly and fell flat on her rump.

“T-there’s no way you could mean it! I-I’ll go learn from from my own! I can trust the well! It has no reason to lie!”

Something wet started to bothered her on her cheek, and when she put a hoof up to her face, she was horrified to discover it was tears. The giant changeling scampered to leave the red crystal chamber, and once she was outside the arch she looked down both sides of the hallway. One would lead to Sombra and Luna… The other way led to the exit, she didn’t hesitate to take the exit.

When she stepped off the last crimson steps of Sombra’s little staircase she opened another portal. One that would take her to the mountain complex behind the castle. She quickly sprinted into it and disappeared.

---

-The mountain complex

The queen exited her portal and sealed it shut, she was in a private chamber high in the complex. Changeling sentinels stood guard outside, to make sure none would disturb the important contents.

Exhausted and distraught eyes roamed over the relatively small chamber and immediately spotted what they searched for, a large clear orb that contained sapphire blue liquid. With her emerald magic aura, Chrysalis started to sculpt a deep set well in center of the chamber.

She dug this new pit a deep way into the ground, and once she was satisfied with the volume she started to cough slime into it. Soon the earthen pit was coated with a layer of liquid resistant resin.

Chrysalis then turned her attention back to the large clear orb, which she levitated over to the newly resin coated depths. She poked a hole in the bottom of the transparent sphere and let the blue liquid drain out of it. It was quite a dull hue, and it took several moments to get all of it out.

Once the orb was empty she cast it casually to the side, and stared down in the well she had created, and her eyes pierced the crystal blue substance pooled within it. Green magic touched it and brought the thing to life. Fiery energy now sparked in the core of the well and some of it sprang up like a living creature.

Soon the changeling queen was surrounded in the bright shining substance. It encapsulated her in a small world of it’s own. Now that the well of memories was active, Chrysalis brought her front hooves together and tapped them excitedly. She needed this distraction, and she was too emotionally disturbed to try and sleep at the moment. She she plowed into contents of the well.

“Where to start…”

The well of memories had been something Shellish had used extensively to teach her when she was young. It contained literal thousands of years of experience from royal changelings past.

Sadly she didn’t go through as much of it as she would have liked. When Shellish received the hammer of the swarm’s wrath, and Chrysalis took over, there wasn’t much time for it. Some new concern that required her full attention almost popped up daily. Between handle that Quarray Eel, and manage those dangerously low food rations, she didn’t have the time.

The thought she should organize a hunting party for the element mares came to her mind again. She would set Shade on that task, along with his best vanguard, but Shade was likely asleep still, and she could afford to wait until tomorrow to address that. Besides if one of those mares was foolish enough to put on the amulet they’d probably cause a scene, and make themselves all the easier to find…

With that rationalized away, Chrysalis put her full attention back to the swirl of contents all around her. Her eyes flashed white and she began to sift through the well of memories.

Author's Note:

UGGGGG :facehoof:

been a whole week hasn't it. Anyway hope you enjoyed the chapter. Now that the distractions of multiple house guests are gone it shouldn't be so long before i'll post again.

anyway here's a teaser for next chapter. :rainbowwild:

and some theme music to herald his appearance

i guess as a heads up, royal changelings of the past will be the topic for the next several chapters, with some other interludes in between. Hope u guys are interested in some changeling history :twilightsmile:

and this song because... lol, ROYALS, not that it's all too related

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