• 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.38 "Crone"

Chrysalis Wins

Ch.38 “Crone”

Time immemorial seemed to pass as Chrysalis gazed into the shallow water. Her wings twitched in nervous fidget and her tail swished about uncomfortably. She readjusted her legs as she sat on the ground, but kept her neck and head level, so that her gaze would not be broken.

She was alone in this large cave, and there wasn’t even the sound of crickets to break the silence. Her voice was the first thing to break the audible barrier.

“Mmm, she would be weak… but…”

One of her hooves lifted and started to trace along the underside of her chin, and she rubbed it in slow methodical circles. The recent memories that flooded over her in Canterlot Mountain came to mind. Some of the emotions tied to it bubbled over as well. Her lips tightened, and she remained reserved in her expressions. Her breath was a mutter.

“Another royal…”

Her mind raced over the possibilities, and what she had just read from the tablet.

“Personality variation… wild… flawed memory… capable, but self destructive as a caster…”

One phrase stuck out in her mind more than the others though.

“Another royal…”

Was it really as simple as that? Say a few words, and she could pull another royal changeling out of that pool? The tablet made means of banishing them sound simple enough. If a few of her changelings could get rid of hundreds of these “duplicates” then she would be able to handle one. If anything, it would mean exercising control over a clone would be easy.

The locked gaze she held with the surface of the water finally broke, and she retracted her lowered head from the edge of the diminished pool. The stone tablet was seized in her green aura, and lifted infront of her muzzle. She looked over the verses carved into the stone, and her harlequin eyes roamed back and forth.

She didn’t look up as she read aloud.

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!

Her reverberant voice carried and bounced off the walls of the cave, and created many ethereal voices that echoed about in an eerie manner. After the sound of her voice died down there was a slight splash in the water, and it startled the changeling queen. She stood up on her hooves and took a few steps back.

The stone slab was dropped and Chrysalis looked back at the pool. There quickly emerged the form of another changeling, tall and elegant, and disturbingly familiar… but different. The similarities and differences were more apparent as the royal changeling emerged from the body of water, and stepped out into the world.

As Chrysalis scrutinized this newcomer she noted a number of things were quite different. She was taller, and had a deeper, richer complexion. Her hair was a stronger shade of teal, and her chitin was slightly darker. The horn that was atop her head was shaped differently, and wasn’t bent and twisted as Chrysalis’s was, but rather long and bladed, with a few notches. Oddly enough she was also dry, and her mane shifted easily with her gestures.

It was the image of Chrysalis, if she wasn’t malnourished in her growing years, and minus a certain curse…

The figure opened her eyes and surveyed the cave, they soon found the queen, and their gazes locked. For moment they just stood there and looked at each other. An altered mirror had come out of the pool. The mirror opened her mouth.

“Chrysa-”

The duplicate was interrupted as she was hit by an emerald ray of power. Her words were cut off and muffled as the once healthy royal changeling began to inflate uncontrollably, and protrude out in disturbing ways. A moment later there was a pop, and droplets of water sprayed over the banks of the pool.

A slight string of smoke trailed from Chrysalis’s horn, and she tilted her head. Her breaths had quickened and her brow furrowed, the harsh gaze she had faded, and one of her hooves went thoughtfully back to her chin.

“Manageable…”

Now that she was sure she could easily deal with any misbehavior she went back to the edge of the pool. Her hooves stepped over the moistened ground as she went, and she didn’t think twice about it. The echo of the rhyme sounded within the cave once more.

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!

Once again the water stirred, but there was a far different energy to it this time. The movements were faster, and more agitated, and Chrysalis kept her eyes on it with careful scrutiny. As commanded a duplicate was pulled from the pool, but rather than a slow, drawn-out emergence, the new form launched out of the shallow waters and dived to the ground.

The second royal changeling to be summoned put her front hooves up high and defensively.

“Don’t blast me!”

“What? How?”

“Don’t! Please just don’t!”

“Why are you asking me that?”

“The pool saw it… and… I am you. I understand the caution.”

“The pool saw it?”

“Yes, the pool saw it. So I saw it. Atleast the part of me that was the pool.”

“Curious…”

“Yes, yes, now, how about we talk about something… interesting?”

The duplicate lowered her defensive hooves, and decided she wasn’t in immediate danger. The course of actions had changed sufficiently. This duplicate showed the same physical features as the first, primarily the healthier frame, complexion, and untwisted horn.

The nervous copy didn’t wait for Chrysalis to give any signals before she got up and continued to talk with energy.

“Now, how about the possibilities of what we can do.”

“Oh?”

“Oh yes, the possibilities. I could do quite a few things to help me, and by me, I mean we.”

The slightly taller, healthier clone jumped over to Chrysalis’s side, and wrapped a hoof over her shoulders. The sudden closeness caused the queen to back her head away from this new royal. She didn’t recall being so quick to touch strangers in such a way… but were they strangers? The mirror of Chrysalis put on smirk and narrowed her eyes confidently.

“I don’t think you’ll ever have a friend like me. Just relax and digest while I express some of our new found potential. Hehehe.”

The duplicate buzzed her wings and flew up to the center of the cave chamber, she spread her fore-legs wide in an impressive display, and looked down on her original with a wide grin. Then her smooth bladed horn ignited a brilliant shade of lime. She started to sing with a bizarre melody as magic swirled around her in the air.

Being the top all alone is quite a burden to bear
This is something you now have the fortune to share

A projection of a royal changeling that surveyed a swarm of thousands came to view, and illuminated the air of the cavern. Though the image was a green silhouette, it was detailed enough that Chrysalis could recognize the depiction of herself.

The fun is now double
And enemies half the trouble

The shiny swirls and outlines realigned and showed two royals happily trouncing on top of the cocoons of Celestia and Luna, and the captured alicorns were rolled around as both changelings stood on the cases and pushed them about like logs. They merrily walked on top like circus performers.

Then the dark shadow of Sombra appeared, and was quickly sucked into another container. The two outlined royal changelings played with the imprisoned king like a beach ball, and they bounced him back and forth over a projected net.

No need to decide between research and responsibility
You can do both without liability

One royal was depicted using the Well of Memories, and the other interacted with the divisional leaders of the swarm. One managed relations with ponies. One oversaw needs of the swarm. Both turned about and gave a hoof bump to the other.

You’ll be seen as the high queen
And all will come to respect your brilliant sheen

Representatives from other nations and the rest of Equestria all surrounded a high pedestal, upon which was the depiction of Chrysalis. Every equine and other creature all bowed down in reverence, which included the silhouette of the other royal changeling.

There is no longer a single royal
To help you claim your soil
For now there is another to help address your needs
I am capable of many deeds
The wait is over and you don’t need to worry about having seed
Your best friend is here already, indeed

Most of the outlines branched out and exploded like fireworks, but the two silhouettes of the royals remained, and posed dramatically for the finale. The projections twirled and sparkled in a shower of marvelous display.

The use of the illusionary magic was impressive, and Chrysalis nodded in approval. Once it was done the duplicate hovered down to the ground and landed gracefully.

Then promptly fell over and started to heave violently.

She puked up volumes of water and wretched painfully. The queen just watched with some surprise as her mirrored figure groaned in apparent agony. The aftershocks eventually cooled down and the duplicate raised a hoof to wipe at her wet mouth.

“I suppose I have my limits… but, don’t worry, there are many things I can still do for us.”

“Are you sure you don’t need to lie down and rest?”

“Ha, that is an offer I would make to you. No, I’m fi-”

Then copy wretched and vomited more water, but less this time.

“-pant- I suppose –gasp- I’ll have to test my boundaries.”

“Well if you are so insistent to help, then I will have to call you something.”

“Yes, but Chrysalis is the name you’ve earned, as I remember.”

“Yes it is. It is mine.”

“Then what would you have me called, high queen?”

Chrysalis shivered at being called by that title, it sent something pleasurable down her spine. She looked over her duplicate, and prone posture she held. She brushed a hoof along her neck, until she brought it to the point of her chin.

“I’ll call you Crone…”

“HA! As in a hag? Or, as in your personal Crony?”

“I was thinking because you are my clone, of me, Chrysalis, the Chrysalis clone. Though I suppose you can take it in whatever context you wish.”

“Then Crone it is. What do you wish to do first high queen?”

Another tingle ran down Chrysalis’s spine at the mention of the title.

“We’ll go back to Canterlot and decide from there. It’ll be an important test to see if you can survive going through a portal…”

Crone flinched at the prospect, and she continued to breathe raggedly. She raised a hoof in acknowledgement.

“Just give me a moment, then we can find out.”

Chrysalis ignited her jagged horn and caused a portal to tear into the air. Crone’s eyes flickered between her original and the dark abyss, and her breaths quickened. Eventually she got up from the ground and took a few tentative steps forward, she shuddered more as she got closer, the ache in her gut was still quite painful. Perhaps that magical display had been a little… excessive.

“Just a few more moments, please.”

“Alright.”

The queen… make that high queen now, casually strode around until her duplicate was between her and the portal. Chrysalis started to paw at the ground with impatience. Crone’s breaths hadn’t slowed down, and her pupils only got wider as she stared.

“We have to find out eventually…”

“I know, but the risk isn’t the same for you!”

“Well, if you end up popping it will only take a moment. Now go on.”

Chrysalis gave her a little push towards the open portal, and she took a step, and stopped. The little flames around the edges made it seem unnaturally intimidating, as if she was being prodded towards the green gates of Tartarus. The high queen gave her another prod, and Crone dropped to her haunches. Chrysalis made an exasperated sigh.

“Come on, I’m not going to keep the portal open all night.”

“eep.”

That squeak sounded pathetic for one of royal stature, especially from one that so closely shared her image and voice. She frowned at her duplicate’s terrified expression, and then gave her hard forceful shoves.

As soon as Chrysalis began to push in earnest, Crone dug her hooves into the ground. Her eyes went impossibly wide, and she refused to budge. Physically, Crone was actually stronger than Chrysalis. Her frame was built like the paragon of nutrition handled her diet, vs. the harsh and detrimental conditions that had malformed the high queen’s body.

A fierce grimace erupted over Chrysalis’s face as she realized she couldn’t physically force Crone into the portal, so she backed off a few steps.

“We will find out if you can survive a portal!”

The jagged horn atop her head ignited and Crone was seized in the grip of her emerald aura. There was a loud shriek as the duplicate was tossed into the portal, where she disappeared and her scream was silenced.

Before Chrysalis stepped into it herself she turned to look back at the pool. She grabbed the stone tablet that had the information regarding the pool, and it’s valuable rhymes. It was casually tossed into the pool itself, where it quickly sunk to the shallow bottom.

The high queen pointed her horn at the ceiling of the cave, and fired an explosive charge of green magic at it. Dirt cascaded down and buried the pool under a miniature avalanche. A calm grin spread over her fanged muzzle, and she finally turned to the portal and disappeared into it’s dark dimensions. The pool could be dug up later if needs be…

Author's Note:


I'll start by saying I don't write song lyrics...

I was just going for words with thematic elements :derpyderp2: but you can tell me if I shouldn't bother :rainbowlaugh:

oh and lol, incase you didn't click the link earlier

,and some sketches

Just Crone. This one is so you see her horn shape a little more clearly

Crone is slightly taller than Chrysalis, and it's like self chat!

another one for fun

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