• 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.34 "Blues"

Chrysalis Wins

Ch.34 “Blues”

Morning time, Canterlot---

Chrysalis decided to take it a little easier this morning. Last night’s frigid experience was something she didn’t want to repeat. So rather than tend to the celestial bodies by herself, she recruited a hundred changelings to do it with her. It seemed to do the trick, she felt perfectly temperate as the moon fell and the sun rose.

When the daily duty was complete she promptly dismissed the plethora of assistants with a lazy, mental buzz. She mused at the idea that she should get the ponies to do the job again. Noble unicorns weren’t responsible for moving the sun and moon since shortly after Equestria’s founding.

Her eye twitched and the line of thought died, this was a gesture she shouldn’t be so eager to surrender. She was still new to the nation’s throne and had many impressions left to make. She shook her head and slowly strode down the halls of the castle.

There was another talk to prepare for, one she had mixed feelings about. Simultaneously, she very much wanted some answers out of Luna, while feeling repulsed at the idea of having to engage her in conversation. Worse, she might not even get the information, considering the insufferable Sombra may be just as likely to change his mind. Her walk slowed eventually to a stop. She needed something to change her mood before she even tried. Her hoof tapped the marble floor a few times before it struck her.

Just to show how much she appreciated Luna, Chrysalis took a trip to the royal kitchens. As soon as she entered the attendant staff stopped what they were doing, and gave her the fearful respect that her imposing stature commanded. They were silent,all bowing their heads in fearful reverence. The Queen eyed the smaller ponies critically for several moments, causing to squirm when nothing was said. After waiting a little longer it was clear to Chrysalis that all of them were too afraid to even inquire about her possible request . She clicked her tongue and spoke over the group.

“Is there a chef here who knows Princess Luna’s personal tastes?”

Many of the different attendants and chefs blinked in confusion, before their eyes slowly started to turn towards one pony. This particular chef started to quake harder and his knees hobbled, a shiny bead of sweat dripped down his neck, marking him as the most nervous pony in the room.

Since none of them spoke and the indications were obvious, Chrysalis went ahead and took the initiative. She raised a long leg and pointed a hoof at the agitated chef.

“You!”

“Me?”

“Yes, you, the unicorn with the green coat and blue eyes.”

“Y-yes, your majesty?”

“Come here and speak with me. There rest of you, go back to what you were doing.”

The kitchen quietly resumed it’s busy bustle again. Pots and pans were shifted over stoves, soups bubbled, greasy foods popped and sizzled, dough was mashed and beaten and all other kinds of kitchenly things went on.

It seemed louder than when she had first entered, she supposed the ponies worked earnestly distract to themselves while she stood there pensively. As the busy activity ploughed on the green pelted chef shambled over to the Queen and lowered himself in a reaffirming bow. Chrysalis never told him to get up, so he addressed her initial request while keeping his submissive posture.

“I have experience catering to the former princess’s taste your majesty. What would you require of me?”

“I want you to make her favorite meal, desserts, and any drink she’s fond of. Place it all in a basket and have it ready to go as soon as you can.”

“I’ll prepare it right away. I, um, is it too presumptuous of me to ask why?”

“It is, prepare it, and I will be back within the hour.”

With a dismissive swish of her tail she rounded, leaving the kitchen. The dumbfounded chef came to his senses when he heard the doors patter back and forth. He went about the business of preparing such a meal.

“Only an hour? By Tartarus! Grease Hoof!”

“Ya?”

“Kick up the dark marble stove ASAP, I’m going to need demon fire for this order.”

“Right away boss!”

Grease Hoof, a dark brown earth pony had been in the middle of a large buttery project. Thus, his hooves were covered in… grease. So when he tried to dash off and follow the order his green pelted superior had given him, he slipped.

The slip was rather catastrophic, as the stallion slid across the floor,corralled underneath several other chefs and attendants, and swept them off their hooves. Food, knives, spatulas, burning hot meals, and some large wedding cake were all flung all over the place. It was a mess, a complete and total mess.

The entire work place became a myriad of angry shouts and yelps. As delicate projects were ruined, many of the staff sustained bruises, burns, and cuts. One poor mare ran around with her mane on fire.

“Put me out! Put me out!”

Another mare grabbed the panicky pony and dunked her head into the ruined wedding cake, smothering the flames with a hiss. Even though she was no longer on fire, she was content to keep her head buried in the frosting out of embarrassment. The room was now filled with the scent of burnt hair and food.

The green pelted pony twitched his eyes in barely contained wrath. He was about to shout at his assistant for the chaos, but a magic alarm blinked in the corner of the ceiling. Every pony looked up to it, and that’s when the newly installed sprinklers went off.

As the water cascaded down over the kitchen the chef pony’s anger diffused. He was now full of despair, and his rump dropped down to the floor, his ears falling in a sulk.

“It’s going to be my head in that basket…”

---

Waking up from a short lazy nap Chrysalis stretched out as she made her way back to the kitchens. When she approached the two way doors she noticed it was quiet. As if the place was deserted. She pushed the double doors open with her magic and to her surprise, there was only one pony in the large room.

Only the green pelted chef from earlier remained. Otherwise the kitchen was stripped bare, and didn’t have anything going on. The changeling queen did a double take, and wondered how long she’d been napping. She had checked the time before she came down here, which only made the situation seem more off.

“I have what you requested your majesty!”

The green unicorn levitated a basket over to her, which she cautiously grabbed with her magic. Chrysalis brought it close and lifted the cover cloth, revealing a few boxes and neatly wrapped objects, some of which radiated heat, along with a fairly large bottle of some archaic drink.

“Thank you…”

“Spry Days, your majesty.”

“Yes. Also where did all the other ponies go?”

“Oh them, they uh….well, things got a little stressful and I’m letting them take a quick break.”

“Very well, you may resume your plans for the rest of the day then.”

“Thank you your majesty, I will be around should you need anything else.”

Chrysalis gave one last suspicious look to the unicorn chef before she left with her possessions. When she was in the hall she created a portal and stepped through with meal basket in tow. The silent ripple of distortion magic disappeared and she was gone.

Spry Days turned about and not a moment later every cupboard and drawer in the kitchen exploded. Ponies, wrecked food, dish utensils and instruments shot across the kitchen space. Once the rapid movement ceased there was a loud accompaniment of displeased groans. The hidden mess had returned, but this time Spry wasn’t so nervous.

“Come on chefs, we’ve had our first success with the new royalty. Get up and back to actual work.”

“guuuuh.”

Was the general consensus of the beleaguered kitchen staff.

---


Crystal Caves, deep below Canterlot---

Now that she was so close Chrysalis felt reluctant, seriously reconsidering whether the potential information was worth it. She already had the basket, and she wanted to use it. It might be worth it just to get a few more jeers in. Should she even be thinking that way though? Jeers or answers, such a tough dilemma. There was also whether would Sombra insist on staying for the conversation? It would likely not be as private as the affair with Celestia. So she would need to mind what she said too.

“Uugg.”

She grumbled, before she made the transition from the dark grey crystals of the Canterlot cavern into the crimson geometry that was Sombra’s temporary abode. When her hoof made contact with the red steps, a barely noticeable ring accompanied the touch. She waited for a moment, expecting Sombra to pop up with some annoying witticism. He didn’t, so she tapped her hoof a few more times, but there was no more ring. Perhaps he knew she was there, but was preoccupied with something else?

The Changeling Queen went ahead and walked further into the hallway until she came across the chamber that housed Celestia, still in her cocoon. The chamber was sealed by a thin transparent barrier and Chrysalis looked at it critically. It only held her interest for a moment before she remembered she didn’t really want to be down here.

As she peered ahead she recognized the hall Sombra had pointed down earlier to indicate Luna’s housing, so she meandered that way. Before she moved in front of the next chamber she heard voices. Curious as to who Sombra would be talking to, she kept her forward, walk at a stealthy creep, stopping when she arrived near the arch way.

“So what was the time on the moon like exactly? Was it like the mind numbing existence I had in ice?”

“Actually it passed in what felt like an instant, I don’t remember the time spent there at all. It was a bit of a surprise when my sister told me where I had been. My time as Nightmare Moon wasn’t altogether lucid, I just remember the poisonous feelings and flashes of this or that.”

“Bah! You’re fortunate… If only I had been able to sleep. Besides my recovery from insanity, it was disorienting enough to find out it had been over a thousand years.”

“You can say that again. I’ve been back for almost two years now, but there are still so many new curiosities, but so few familiar things.”

“Hahaha! Ancient mortal enemies being one of the few familiar things I take it? Your turn princess.”

The was a soft clink and Chrysalis blinked her eyes in confusion. She decided to risk a peep around the corner. What she saw caused her to frown and roll her eyes.

Luna and Sombra sat at a large checkered table, the Princess had just scooted a playing piece forward with her hoof. Chrysalis could practically smell the smirk that Sombra was hiding from her. The Crystal King then took his turn and moved his piece close to Luna’s. The blue alicorn cocked an eyebrow.

“Trying another dirty trick, you old shadow?”

“Must you always be so blunt Princess?”

“And you always so indirect…”

“Well, make your next move and you can find out.”

The dark stallion leaned back comfortably and activated his red magic to grab something Chrysalis couldn’t see. A wide smirk now openly worn on his chiseled snout. At the same time two crystal wine glasses formed out of the minerals on the floor. Meanwhile, Luna just stared at the table in concentration, trying to see if she missed something. Sombra talked while she thought.

“Though, there are many things that are strange and unfamiliar in this age, I do get to appreciate some of my foresight, such as taking my empire with me.”

“Oh?”

Luna was curious and her ears perked, but her eyes were still fixed on the table pieces. The two glasses were broken free from the floor, and a crystal bottle levitated into Chrysalis’s line of vision. Sombra filled the two glasses with a dark blue liquid then he studied the princess’s face as she lifted a hoof.

She bit her lower lip, then decided to pull her forward piece back. Sombra in turn raised an eyebrow in surprise, the smirk turning into a friendly smile.

“You resisted the bait? I’m impressed.”

“Well, it was obviously a trap.”

Luna huffed with self assurance, and she crossed her front hooves over her chest and tilted her snout upward. One of the wine glasses levitated close to Sombra’s face and he swirled it gently.

“Anyway, as I was saying, I was able to keep a few nice things from days past.”

The glass was pressed to his grey lips and he took a slow sip. Luna’s eyes narrowed critically and she sniffed at the glass placed before her. The pupils in her eyes dilated slightly.

“Is that… heart nectar?”

“It is indeed.”

“How did you come by this? I thought it was all destroyed ages ago?”

“A shadow can creep into the most obscure of places. The last owner managed to keep it hidden well from every pony else.”

The Night Princess just gaped at it for a little while, much to the Crystal King’s amusement. He took another sip while she licked her dry lips slowly.

“My sister should have this, it has been much longer in her conscious memory since she had the opportunity.”

“Oh come off it Luna, indulge a bit, it’s not like you’ll find me in this mood when we’re done here. Besides, I’ve got massive stores of it. It was the most important thing to keep hidden, even the Crystal Heart came second.”

“Hmm, I suppose putting you in this mood is one good thing the dread queen has done. I don’t ever remember our court meetings being so amiable.”

“Ha! Like court meetings were ever a social event. Please, I’m sure you despise nobles and ambassadorial relations as much as I do. They’re just needy little tyrants under a bigger one.”

“That is not entirely fair. There’s only one prince these days that reminds me of the old nobles.”

“Really? Since when did the nobles go soft?”

A rather unpleasant look of surprise came over his face, and he took another draft of the heart nectar. Luna snorted in barely contained mirth.

“Oh? Going soft hehehe, you should be talking. For you it took what… a kiss? AHAHA!”

Sombra spat out his drink, rapidly turning purple in the face.

“I hardly consider that fair. Lets see you have all the lovey dovey emotions of dozens ponies vomited down your throat and gauge your reaction! Besides, how did you even know that?”

“Let’s just say some changelings who saw that event have interesting dreams. I didn’t spend too long in their heads, but it was long enough to get a clear picture of what happened.”

Chrysalis leaned away from the archway, her own face burned red. She was going to need to purge some memories from her swarm… Before she grumbled anything audible Sombra cleared his throat and spoke loudly.

“Well, if you do want to go into detail, the femme fatale is right outside, though we’d love to have her join us if it gets juicy.”

The Queen’s eyes snapped open wide. So apparently that little alarm did let Sombra know she was there, but he chose to ignore it until now. She gritted her teeth and rounded the archway that led to the chamber.

The Queen wore a mask of disapproval as she strode into the room, basket of treats beside her. Luna instantly turned sour and looked away, a heavy sigh escaping her lips. Now that she was closer, Chrysalis noticed some mysterious, red crystal growths upon Luna’s horn. With a slight sneer in the Night Princess’s direction, Chrysalis pointed an accusatory hoof.

“I only came here for a few brief questions. Do you have to be here Sombra?”

“Why of course, I want to observe this friendly exchange.”

Luna gave a dirty look to the dark stallion and crossed her legs before her chest.

“You haven’t dropped your indirect methods at all you snake. You planned to use that fiend to antagonize me didn’t you!”

“Hey, the only term is that she is going to ask a few questions. I’ll make sure things don’t get out of hoof, or everypony gets separated. Now play nice, and you can still have your heart nectar. Just pretend I’m not here.”

“I don’t want your nectar anymore!”

The blue alicorn pushed away the wine glass in front of her with an angry snort. Sombra just smiled knowingly. He turned to Chrysalis with an expectant look, nodding his head in Luna’s direction. The changeling turned her hardened gaze to Luna.

“I want to know why you and your sister have lied to me.”

“Lied?”

“You lied about your knowledge of changelings. You clearly knew we existed before I revealed my kind. Or has it been so long your pitiful memory has grown faulty?”

“I have no idea what you are talking about.”

“Really?”

Chrysalis’s horn ignited, projecting a small portion of her memory in the air, revealing King Avalanche saving two unicorn mares from the devastation of a dragon’s claws. The image paused right where Avalanche dodged the dragon, pulling the two sisters safely over the city walls.

“That! Explain to me how you forgot that!”

A look of pure confusion crossed over Luna’s face for several moments. She stared at the image of Avalanche with a sense of loss.

“I remember the dragon clearly, that beast’s name was Archway. I have no memory of that other creature though.”

Luna pointed a hoof at the image of the giant royal. The alicorn turned to queen with an entirely suspicious look.

“What game are you trying to play Chrysalis…you’ve already taken everything else, now you’re trying to take my sanity?”

“I am playing no game. You and your sister are alive because of King Avalanche! Now, why are you acting like you don’t remember!”

“Because I don’t. I don’t know how you captured that memory so well, but it’s obvious you tampered with it.”

“HOW DARE YOU ACCUSE ME OF TAMPERING WITH THE WELL!”

Chrysalis’s fangs were bared and her wings tittered in her irate mood. She marched forward, baring down on Luna with her greater stature. A red flash stunned both changeling and alicorn. Both of them shook their heads, turning an angry eye at the stallion across from them.

“Hey, I said keep to things civil. I didn’t let you come here to see if your voice can shatter glass.”

Luna spoke next, while Chrysalis just gawked at Sombra with incredulity.

“A Well?”

The Queen’s predatory eyes snapped back to the Princess. She had let an important detail slip. Sombra also leaned forward, a new interest kindled in his blood red eyes.

“Yes, lady dragonfly, what is this Well?”

“Nothing, I’ve found I have nothing to learn here. If Luna wishes to play ignorant then I will take my leave.”

Chrysalis turned to go.

“Wait…”

The image Chrysalis projected hadn’t quite dissolved yet and Luna stared at it harder. As if she could draw something out of it. The royal changeling narrowed her eyes and tilted her head in anticipation.

“There is something to it…but when I try to remember, it feels blurred, as if… as if it is blocked…”

A new realization started to dawn over the alicorn’s face and she went dead quiet. The rising implication disturbed her greatly. The Queen digested Luna’s reaction, and remained quiet herself. Sombra shrugged and added his own thoughts.

“What, seems simple enough. That overgrown grasshopper wiped their minds after he got what he wanted.”

Chrysalis instantly had her doubts. Mind control and manipulation was a delicate process and quite frankly, that didn’t seem like Avalanche’s specialty. More intriguing was the fact that the memory of the event remained, but it was altered to forget a key individual? It would have been much easier to just wipe the memory altogether. To keep it almost identical, leaving the affected individual without suspicion? That took talent, more than she wanted to admit. Perhaps there was a much larger context to this whole matter she needed to explore.

Who had mind alteration powerful and precise enough to leave two immortal alicorns without suspicion for centuries?

“I need to go.”

Chrysalis turned to leave, but was stopped one more time.

“Wait, what do you have in the basket?”

It was Luna that halted her departure again. That question brought a slow smile to the Queen’s face. She slowly removed the cover cloth from the basket with an indifferent attitude, then picked one of the warm boxes to open.

From the warm box she lifted a chocolate loaf, which peeled apart in pre-made slices. There were large chunks of tender chocolate chips and syrupy caramel throughout the pastry in several long curvaceous veins. Chrysalis buzzed her wings slightly so the powerful smell wafted around the room.

The grumpy face Luna put on made the whole trip worth it to the changeling. The alicorn had quickly recognized what it was the Queen held in her magic, and it made her burn with envy. Chrysalis took a slow sensuous bite, humming as she did so.

“Mmm, I must say… my new chefs are quite talented.”

Luna turned away from the changeling and wore a lethal scowl. Her eyes spotted the wine glass she had pushed away earlier. She greedily grabbed it, taking a big swig of the heart nectar. Sombra snorted into his own wine glass and Luna shot him a wide eyed glare, in it was a silent challenge “I DARE YOU TO SAY SOMETHING.” The Crystal King just laughed and raised his hooves in an innocent shrug.

“Come again any time Teaser Queen. But only if you come to visit this fine Princess, AHAHA!”

Sombra received a glass of heart nectar to the face…

Author's Note:

The atmosphere of the kitchens.

How to spend time with your prisoners.

hey, freeze frame that memory... thanks.

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