• Published 14th Apr 2015
  • 5,625 Views, 1,386 Comments

Chrysalis Wins - Arkolo



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

  • ...
35
 1,386
 5,625

PreviousChapters Next
Ch.37 "Reflections"

Author's Note:

IMPORTANT!

I changed one small, but important detail last chapter, ch.36. I'll put it here so you don't have to go back and search for it.

here's the original paragraph

The rest of the Splicers that sat a little further away watched the balloon changeling pop, and with a swirl of magic, the body was vaporized into green energy. This energy condensed into a long snake-like whisp, and then rapidly slithered through the air back into the Everfree forest.

here's the revised version

The rest of the Splicers that sat a little further away watched the balloon changeling pop, and after a shower of little sparkles, the body dissolved into a watery mist. The changelings below may not have been hit by goop and guts, but a they were pelted by small water droplets.

I changed it so it would coincide with what is explained in this chapter. Thanks for pointing out that one detail I over looked... you know who you are. :derpytongue2:

Anyway, how about the usual stuff I like to put in the authors notes. :pinkiehappy:

Some music I was chillin' to while writing.

Chrysalis Wins

Ch.37 “Reflections”

Ponyville, evening –


A sudden knock on the door startled two changelings that had fallen asleep at the foot of the stairs. Reaper’s bright green eyes shot wide open, and the jolt of consciousness caused her to kick out. Her wings buzzed in a rapid panic and she was a mess of fluttered limbs.

Shade’s wake-up call came in the form of a hoof to his gut. With a loud grunt he shifted his posture defensively, and curled into a confused ball. His eyes were still closed, and he groaned about his sleep being over. He was still exhausted, but in a better state than he had been last night.

Reaper had quickly changed into Carrot Top, and ran up the stairs to answer the door.

“I’ll be there in a moment!”

She tried to straighten her thoroughly disheveled mane. Too bad changing forms didn’t fix up hair styles, or clean you up, or heal injuries, or…

Carrot opened the door, and was surprised when two bodies were immediately pushed inside. One was large, and the other was burnt. In the door way stood an inconspicuous grey unicorn stallion. He had a white mane and brown eyes. The strange pony tilted his head to the side.

“I hear this establishment has fine carrots.”

Carrot just looked at the bodies on the floor and put a hoof over her mouth, as her eyes widened again. The charcoaled unicorn mare looked about the same, miserable, but slightly more conscious.

Next to her was Splotchy, and she still breathed, but the plump changeling showed all the evidence of being thoroughly trampled. Cracked chitin, bruises all over the softer parts, wings bent in multiple ways, eyes swollen shut.

“Not to be in any particular rush mam, but may I come in?”

The shocked Carrot shook her head to try and rid herself of the ghastly sight before her, and her emerald eyes roamed back up to the pony at her door.

“Splicer?”

In response he flashed his eyes a distinct hue of green. After that he didn’t wait for her to acknowledge anything else, and invited himself into her home. As soon as the door was closed, he used his magic to lower the curtains, and the stallion became wreathed in the light of change.

A tall vanguard surveyed the room, his eyes and stubbly mane were a very light shade of lilac. The not clone “Splicer” addressed Carrot in a brisk tone.

“I assume you wanted something from this… mare.”

“Trrrxie…”

Splicer looked over the charcoaled mare on the floor, and cocked an eye brow when he thought he heard something. He ignored that, and pointed a hoof at the trampled one.

“And I was able to recover Sweet Fang, defied her odds by surviving eh? Though I think we should move them somewhere more private don’t you?”

“Yes, ofcourse. Follow me.”

Carrot turned around and moved towards the stairs, her tail gave a nervous twitch as she rounded on her hooves. Splicer picked up the two victims of unfortunate circumstance in his magic, and followed after the yellow-orange pony.

After Splicer had taken a few steps down the stair case he was suddenly pulled to a stop. A noisy thunk behind him signaled something was off. In a grumble he turned about to see the problem. Apparently an extra girthy changeling and an extra crispy pony didn’t fit through the door frame at the same time.

He tried to rearrange them with his magic, and pull them through single file, but he had unintentionally jammed them in quite badly. In frustration he gritted his teeth and decided to pull extra hard. Eventually he was met with success, but the stress and force caused the snugly locked pony and changeling to spring out of the door frame with surprising speed.

Splotchy, Trixie, Splicer, and Carrot were all caught in a tumble before any of them made it down stairs. Then the mash up of four all corralled into a wide eyed, barely oriented Shade.

It took some time for the ball of cacophonous complaints to split apart, and there was more than one exclamation of pain as they slowly untangled. When the two limp bodies were placed to the side, and the three wakeful ones had oriented themselves, some order was called in the basement loaded with carrots. Shade started the course of conversation, and eyed the changeling with lilac sclera with a critical air.

“So Splicer, the Splicer, would you care to explain to us what happened earlier?”

“Ofcourse head vanguard!”

“Then go on. You mentioned something about a pool and plaque being associated with last night’s madness.”

“Yes, that was exactly the source of the problem. See, the drone that burrowed the tunnel has a problem with orientation apparently.”

Shade raised an eye brow, and Splicer blinked a few times in confusion. He realized he may have started in the wrong place, and he fumbled with his mouth a bit before he started to retrace his line of thought.

“When Ponyville was surrounded by that large magical barrier, and the queen went to investigate, I was pulled along to assist with the mission. She wanted to approach the mission with some discretion, and ordered all of us to enter the town by tunnel. We were grouped into drone, sentinel, vanguard sets.”

“And what a bunch of lovely dangerous pits you left behind for every pony to fall in…”

Carrot grumbled on the side, Shade gave her a look, before he turned back to Splicer and gestured for him to continue with a lazy wave of his hoof.

“Anyway, the drone, Cull and I followed must have had his senses screwed in wrong. For by the time we heard the call to emerge, we came up nowhere near town. Rather we followed the drone into a dank cave with some large pool in it. After Cull sufficiently berated the drone, I started to investigate the cave for an exit, as I no longer trusted our drone to lead us anywhere.”

“What qualified as sufficient berating?”

Carrot wore a curious smirk. Splicer answered with a curt and level manner.

“Cull saw fit to fill and empty the drone’s lungs with water several times…”

Shade just shook his head, and pursed his lips. He ventured a question amidst Splicer’s explanation.

“So I suppose this pool was the source of all the mayhem, and you mentioned a plaque?”

“Yes, while Cull continued to vent his frustrations I came across a curious stone tablet. It had quite preposterous things written on it and… One curious thing led to another.”

“What? Reading the tablet caused a plethora of copies to appear?”

“Reading a specific poem aloud caused one to appear. Then the copies started to help themselves in making other copies. I only got one or two of them to listen to me before it spiraled out of control. I regret my curiosity in that aspect.”

“Can you take me to this cave?”

“Yes head vanguard…”

A nervous twitch hit Splicer in the left eye, Shade noticed and gave his best tone of reassurance.

“I have no intention of making copies Splicer, though this artifact you stumbled on has already shown it has great potential for disruption. I wish to investigate it, and see if it should be destroyed. Perhaps the queen may have use for it, but I wish to see it for myself first.”

“Then I will take you there.”

“Hey! What about these two?”

Carrot indicated towards to the two limp, but alive figures that lay in her basement. Splicer shrugged his shoulders with indifference, and Shade gave them both a long thoughtful look.

“Would you be able to take care of them Reaper?”

“Wo-wo-wo, I’m no drone.”

“Can you find one then?”

The yellow pony sighed in irritation, and her messy mane complimented her upset and scrunched muzzle. Shade put a hoof to her shoulder and gave her and apologetic look, she responded to his soft gaze with a glare.

“Fine, though I’m just going to dump her at the hospital. Then she can be shipped to Canterlot for the trouble she caused. I’ll look after Sweet Fang…”

Carrot initially pointed at the charcoaled mare in the corner, who wheezed with an uncomfortable and dry scratched throat. Shade removed his hoof from Carrot, and released some air he had held on to in a relived manner.

“Then I thank you for all your help Reaper, I’ll be sure to inform the queen about the damage to the town, I’m sure there are several ponies displeased about last night’s rampage.”

“Ha, I can’t remember how many times this town has been wrecked by this or that, Ponyville citizens are quite a resilient bunch. I appreciate the offer, and an official word would be nice.”

“Then we’ll meet again sometime later, or the queen will send word.”

“Bye then.”

Shade and Splicer moved up the stair case, and left Carrot with the two injured equines. Once they exited the house they both beat their wings, and headed towards the Everfree forest.


---


Ponyville alley-


A cricket chirped, and there was a noisy rustle in one of the alley ways. A garbage can lid lifted open a crack, and bright lilac eyes peered out of the small crevice. The coast was clear, and the lid was flipped off where it clattered to the ground.

A changeling identical to Splicer, yet not Splicer, jumped out of his hidden location, and proceeded to brush off the sticky debris that clung to him. Once he was satisfied that the garbage on his hide was removed, he looked up to the velvety evening sky. The sun had just gone below the horizon, and splashed it’s beautiful myriad of colors over half of the sky. The other side of the heavenly campus began to reveal stars.

Alone he walked forward, and stopped when his hoof splashed in a puddle. The sensation caused dread to tingle up his spine, and his body froze. Slowly, he head tilted downward, despite the paralysis the rest of his body felt.

The puddle was large enough that this changeling could see his own reflection, and he stared into it for a long while, eventually he started to tremble. A single tear traced it’s way down his cheek, and followed the line of his jaw, once it reached the apex of his chin it stretched, and slowly, mournfully, fell down.

That one salty drip of liquid eventually fell down, and mixed the puddle. The ripple it caused distorted the changeling’s reflection beyond recognition, and he let out a pained gasp.

“My brothers…”

He felt his throat seize up, and he couldn’t utter anymore words. His whole mind was muddled with the puddle he stared into, and the ruined reflection that he couldn’t remove his stare from.

“What was that?”

A guttural voice echoed down the alley, and shook the vanguard changeling from his personal emotional reverie, when he looked up he was greeted by the ominous glare of a sentinel. This sentinel had solid orange eyes and stubbly mane, and his fin had a recognizable hook in it.

“I see one of you old molts managed to hide, well, I’ll give you a short-lived congradulations.”

“Cull…”

“That’s right, it’s impressive you’re actually coherent enough to sort some of Splicer’s memories. That must be part of why you were smart enough to hide. Too bad your smarts finally ran out.”

“I know I am not Splicer.”

“Well, that won’t save you, but good deduction.”

The sentinel ignited his sharpened horn, and produced a long saber blade of ethereal energy. Cull’s wings were a twitter, and he stalked forward, ready to pounce. A sure grin crossed over the sentinel’s muzzle, and the ghostly blade cackled with small arcs of power.

For a few moments the clone was despondent, and simply stared at his own reflection in the puddle again. Before Cull lunged, the vanguard changeling hardened his face as he looked up into hungry orange orbs.

"I. AM. SPARTACUS!"

Cull charged, horn lowered and ready to impale, but instead of his expected collision, his bladed horn pierced a tin trash can lid. He dug his hooves into the ground in order to stop his forward momentum. When the sentinel paused, he felt the trash can lid get pressed around the rest of his head, until it wrapped all the way around, and Cull found himself blinded. He growled in a mighty rage.

Meanwhile a dark silhouette streaked across the sky towards the sunset, and when Cull finally freed himself, the vanguard changeling was nowhere to be found.


---


A shallow distance into the Everfree-


It was a short trip to the pool, and Splicer’s agitation seemed to grow exponentially the closer they got. Shade tried to press a calming influence on his fellow mentally, which helped slightly. The calm that the head vanguard exuded influenced the feeling of the lesser vanguard near him.

Eventually they came across a rather wide tunnel in a patch of the forest. All the edges were messy and covered with fresh earth, it appeared as though the hole had suffered from rapid expansion recently. This was where Splicer led him down.

There were hoof marks everywhere along the entire tunnel, as if dozens of drones had burrowed through it all at once, which is essentially what happened. The tunnel ended in a large beat up cave. The natural fauna had been trampled, and the grass had turned into an earthy clumpy sodden mess. Shade’s muzzle scrunched in distaste.

“The plaque is over here.”

Splicer trotted over towards a fairly large boulder, and picked up a fair sized slab of stone. He placed it gently infront of Shade with his magic. Then his eyes roamed over to the main feature of the cave, the pool. Something was quite different about it though.

“T-the pool! It’s almost gone!”

The lesser vanguard ran over the edge of the water feature, and looked down into the bowl. The pool, which had previous been filled up to the edge, and was now low, much lower than it had been originally. In fact it was quite easy to see the bottom from here. Splicer doubted that the pool was deeper than his knees now, and he blinked his lilac eyes several times in surprise.

Shade just grunted in acknowledgement as he started to read over the plaque.


---

Behold stranger, you have found the remnant of Archaic Brackleback’s greatest work, which is the Mirror Pool. This is not Archaic that addresses you, for misfortune has befallen my mysterious mentor. I am Whispy Winds, and have both warning and wisdom for those who wish to tap into the potential of this project of my belated friend.

The brilliance of this magic is available to all, and the advice applies equally to all. I will expound upon the nature of the pool, and what it produces, to the best of my knowledge, onto the subject itself.

The magic of the pool can only be activated upon the oral recitation of these rhymes.

Where the brambles are thickest,
There you will find
A pond beyond the most twisted of vines
And into her own reflection she stared,
Yearning for one whose reflection she shared,
And solemnly sweared
not to be scared
At the prospect of being doubly mared!

It matters not whether the activator is actually a mare, it’s just the wording Archaic used when she bound the spell. Stallion, mare, colt, filly, foal, all can use this pool, even those not of pony nature, or inherent with magic. They must be able to speak however.

The result of this recitation will conceive and create a doppelganger that will emerge from the pool. The use for application comes down to the nature of the summoner. I am not here to tell you how to use this, as I am likely long gone by the time you read this, whoever you are. But don’t copy anything stupid… Or the heavens have mercy.

That being said, I’ll give my observations on the exact nature of these duplicates.

Those spawned from the pool come out the same age and appearance as the original.

They are healthy, and do not come with any diseases or curses that the original is currently afflicted by, at least initially…

They have memories of the original imprinted in their minds, though often imperfectly, it is rare indeed for one of these duplicates to be able to recall things clearly as the original.

They have a profound and lethal allergy to high concentrations of magic. Saturating a duplicate with magic will cause them to burst, and revert to the watery constitution of the pool that created them.

They apparently age normally from whatever age they were produced.

They can have personality variation, though the base is similar, and heavily influenced by the original.

They will require sustenance in the same manner as the original.

They can wield magic, if the original can, but they suffer limitations because of their allergy. One of Archaic’s duplicates caused herself to burst when she tried to cast a high energy spell. If they attempt to cast lesser spells they typically experience mild to painful swelling and / or nausea.

These were among the more important observations I’ve made of the duplicates. There may be other qualities that I have not yet had time to observe.

Continue on the back-

---


Shade flipped the stone tablet over, and found the writing continue on the back. He gave a curious look over to Splicer, and cocked an eyebrow. The other vanguard was absorbed in his study of the pool.

“Did you know there was a back to the plaque? Splicer?”

“There’s a back?”

“Guh…”

The head vanguard swayed his skull from side to side in disapproval, and continued to read.


---

Should the duplicates become a problem that needs to be removed, there is a salvageable method to go about it. A simple banishment spell.

If the proper banishment spell is not used, and the duplicates are destroyed by other methods, then the Mirror Pool will diminish, and the mass of the duplicate is forever gone from the magical waters.

This is the banishment spell, and it is mentally rehearsed before it is cast. Be sure that these words are the only words in your mind as it is cast, otherwise the banishment may result in a miscast, and you may very well banish yourself.

These are the words…

Pop you aggravating horse puckey… pop

The duplicate will then burst from magical overload, the same as their allergic reaction, but this time their essence will be returned to the Mirror Pool, and the pool will not diminish.

It is also important to note, that duplicates banished in this method still retain their entity within the pool, and should the original wish, for whatever reason, to summon back a specific duplicate, they can do so. Only if the duplicate was properly banished however.

An important warning to keep in mind… This banishment spell can be used on the original… None duplicate ponies, or any creature really, can be banished to the pool. They will dissolve into the magical waters and remained trapped.

Unfortunately I do not possess the knowledge of how to pull an original out of the Mirror Pool. If that were to occur, only a duplicate can pull the original out. If there are no duplicates left, and the original is in the pool, then they will remain trapped in the pool with no way out.

In parting, I ask those who come across this pool, please don’t destroy it. For I, Whispy Winds am still searching for a way to pull originals out. This is the misfortune that has befallen my mentor. For within that very pool, the essence of Archaic Brackleback still swirls. She had no duplicates left when she was hit with the banishment spell.

So be warned reader, whoever you are, use the pool carefully. For even if I am gone and passed away, I believe those trapped within the pool do not suffer the effects of time. And maybe some other pony wiser than me will have this figured out.

So long… Whispy Winds.

---


Shade dropped the plaque, and slowly turned towards the pool. A slight fidget of horror crossed his face. The drained pool now meant something else to him. He didn’t even know where to start with the implications of this, and he fell back on his rump. The vanguard’s gaze wandered off into the distance in minimal comprehension.

Eventually his mind went to default mode, and his eyes flashed a brilliant purple as her relayed a mental message.

My queen?


---


Chrysalis stirred from her place on the ground, and she felt overly lethargic. The hair around her face was dried and matted, and dirt was caked around her form. She sighed and groaned as she righted herself. She had felt the message, and it felt like someling had tossed a small pebble at her aching fore-head.

What is it Shade?

I have found something, something important.

One of the mares I sent you after?

Perhaps more important than that.

What?

It would be best if you inspected it yourself, I am unsure I am fit to judge this situation appropriately.

I am unfit to come at the moment, I’ll inspect it later.

With respect my queen, this could be quite disastrous if ignored.

Chrysalis blew a strand of hair out of her eye, and she frowned deeply. With great effort she righted herself and stood upon her hooves. Her right wing felt numb from being slept on, and she buzzed it to get some flow and feeling back it in.

I’ll be there within the hour.

I’ll remain until you come, then I will go back to the hunt.

The queen shook herself ragged, and flung off as much loose dirt as she could. She mentally check listed her next few steps. Go take a bath… then portal to where ever Shade is.


---


An hour later-

Chrysalis stood in the dank trodden cave with a bemused expression. She was cleaned up and bore no evidence of her recent emotional escapade. Shade was alone in the chamber now, and stood next to a shallow pool, and held a small stone slab in his magic. The queen’s reverberant voice echoed particularly effectively in the earthy chamber.

“What is so important it requires my presence Shade?”

He bowed respectfully when he heard her voice.

“This pool, it’s capabilities are wildly unpredictable, and potentially very dangerous.”

“Oh?”

“To put it simply, it can make copies of any creature that can recite a simple rhyme.”

“Copies?”

“A short while earlier a set of changelings who got themselves lost ended up here. They found the rhyme on this plaque and three changelings became over three hundred…”

“What?”

“After the rhyme is recited a duplicate of the speaker will come out of the pool. If enough duplicates are called out they become wild.”

“So why have me here, the wild duplicates were handled already I assume.”

“They were, but it’s not so much common changelings I’m afraid of coming across this pool. If Sombra were to discover this…”

Shade shivered at what he had just implied, and his wings couldn’t stay still. Chrysalis’s slit pupils dilated sharply.

“You’ve said enough, I will think upon this. You may resume your previous task.”

Before Shade moved to leave he set the small plaque infront of his queen. His head hung low and he spoke his peace.

“Before you come to a decision I would suggest you read this plaque. It contains all the details you need to know.”

The stone tablet was set down infront of her hooves, and the head vanguard turned to leave. The royal changeling let him go, and read through the contents of the slab.


---


Some hours later-

Chrysalis had set the tablet to the side, as she had finished going through it some time ago, now she was at the edge of the pool, and looked down into her own reflection.

Her mind raced in several directions, and she had simply spent most of her time feeling… torn. Between Shades advice, and what she had read, she couldn’t decide whether she wanted to simply annihilate the thing and be done with it, or feed her curiosity.

Harlequin eyes stared back up at her from the pool, and locked with hers. The gaze didn’t break, and she leaned her head closer, and so did the reflection.

“Hmm.”

Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
PreviousChapters Next
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!