• 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.53 "Moves"

Chrysalis Wins

Ch. 53 “Moves”

-Canterlot Embassy, private side room

King Specter gave Chrysalis an unsure look, before he made his horn glow a dark purple. Lilac flames surrounded a portal that sliced into existence next to him, and he took a step to go. Before he could vanish the queen called out to him.

“Wait!”

“What?”

“Uh, how are the other royals going to come after me? Can they intercept my swarm’s telepathy? See through our disguises? What are they capable of?”

The questions came out in a desperate rush, and a slight panic was detectable in Chrysalis’s shrunken pupils and tense stance. Specter remained nearly placid.

“They won’t be able to intercept your swarm’s telepathy. Not unless they are attuned to your mind. As for the techniques of approach, they’re all different. Queen More would likely unite the nation against you. Queen Monarch likes to be more personally involved, and will likely try direct assassination. I’m unsure of King Armor, but last I checked, he was good friends with Celestia, and will likely seek to restore her to the throne. Though I don’t recommend you stick around to find out how effective they are.”

The queen’s lips pursed and one of her hooves grazed over the carpet. The portal Specter had opened still burning silently in the air. He raised an eye brow inquisitively, in case she had any last questions, which she did.

“What are you going to do then?”

“What I’ve been doing for a while now… remain a specter.”

With that the changeling king disappeared into his portal. As soon as he was gone Chrysalis realized she had held onto her breath, and she gasped. After an aggressive bout of eye blinks she shook her head to come to her senses. She needed to evaluate her priorities, now!

Every changeling meet at the mountain tunnels within the hour! This is an emergency!

First and foremost the swarm needs to be relocated. The Badlands would be unacceptable, especially with the increased need for love consumption she placed on her swarm. She slapped her own face with a hoof and slowly dragged it down afterward. The order to multiply was definitely premature.

Next she would need to know the status of Crone. She bit her lip in anticipation; her sister-clone wouldn’t appreciate direct mental communication, not with her allergy. This was important enough to warrant some discomfort however.

Crone?

Gaw, what’s going on?

We’re not alone, royally speaking…

What!

We’re not safe here in Canterlot, I want to evacuate the swarm to the Crystal Empire. I need to know how our other plan went.

Sombra and Luna have been successfully subdued, Celestia is also within our access. What in Tartarus is going on?

Chrysalis threw a mental image of Specter to Crone. Then explained a little more.

He says there are several other royals ready to kill us. Considering he was able to sneak up on me so easily, we’re not ready for this.

Heh, did you flirt with him?

What? Crone! Focus!

So you didn’t… Good, I call dibs.

The queen clenched her jaw in annoyance, where did this come from? She could almost sense her clone hold onto the image she just sent, and relish it. Was she really so flippant over seeing a living king… After never having interacted with one personally… Crone started to complain before Chrysalis could over-think it.

…I’m starting to get a headache, is there anything else you need before the emergency meeting?

Just get the well prepped for departure.

Already there.

Then I will see you soon.

What else needed inventory… Ofcourse, the elements…

Chrysalis started to tear open a green flamed portal in the middle of the room, before she took her leave there was a knock at the door. The magical rift faded with a hiss, as she angrily turned to the door. She flung it open with her magic, and was ready to be dismissive.

Through the open frame she could see two hippocampi, green and red respectively. The red one held a satchel, and they both dipped their heads in a polite bow when they saw her.

“Your majesty.”

They politely offered. She growled at them in return.

“What do you need? I’m rather busy at the moment.”

“We came to give you a gift.”

The red one offered the satchel he carried. The green one spoke next.

“We’d also like to apologize on behalf of Lethal’s idiocy. That entrance was disgraceful and disrespectful on his part.”

“Granted, but what are you trying to gift me?”

The changeling queen eyed the satchel distrustfully. So the crimson hippocampus opened it to reveal the contents. There was only one item, a golden spoon…

“A spoon… is this a joke?”

Chrysalis brought her lips back in a snarl, she couldn’t afford to have her time wasted at the moment.

“No, this is a spoon from Golden Spoon, the lord of the draconequi, something that Lethal forgot to deliver.”

At the mention of the lightning drake her horn ignited and started to spark bits of light.

“I don’t have time to waste with senseless drivel.”

The door started to close, but a green hoof blocked it. The queen’s expression flared with offense at the action, and the door blew back open. She pointed her flared horn at the offending hippocampus, which floated back a little.

“This is not a gift you should reject your majesty. If it’s an honest gift, which I believe it is, the value is immeasurable.”

The changeling’s anger was barely kept under control, but the serious tone from the green one gave her the slightest inclination that spoon actually carried some weight to it. The satchel was seized in her magic and pried from the red one’s hooves. She placed it on her back then closed the door.

Without another word she seared open a portal and leapt into it.


---


-Crystal Caverns beneath Canterlot


Sombra and Luna were plastered against the walls, opposite of each other. Changeling goop covered every bit of them, but their faces. Several drones fretted about under Colony’s direction, and made sure the restraints were properly maintained.

A dopey grin was glued to king’s face, and he barked at Luna.

“Hey princess emo.”

She blinked then struggled to focus, it was like there was a thick fog in the room or something. She heard words, but it was hard to hear over the ‘warm fuzzies’ that currently danced around in her head. So she just remained quiet. Sombra barked again louder, but still got no substantial reaction from the princess. In frustration he turned to one of the changelings.

“Hey ladybug, you, ya you.”

He managed to grab Colony’s attention, and the little blue-eyed drone gave him a reserved glance.

“What is it? Are you thirsty?”

“No, I need you to get her attention. Can you suck out a little love from her or something, she’s too delirious.”

He indicated towards the night princess with his snout. The head-drone raised a quizzical eye brow.

“Why should I listen to you? My queen wanted you restrained…”

“Because… You get a free meal out of it… and I can, uh, taunt the princess?”

Colony scrunched her eyebrows in a critical manner, and Sombra cursed under his breath, wrong reason.

“I don’t want to listen to senseless squabble…”

She hacked up a large ball of slime into one hoof and buzzed over to the restrained king. The over-sized booger like object bounced menacingly from hoof to hoof.

“Now my queen wants to speak with you, but I don’t particularly care to.”

The blob rolled carefully around the edges of her dark grey hoof.

“A gag would be easy to remove by the time she gets here. Do you really want to give me a reason to put it in?”

Sombra pursed his lips, and stared at the changeling in silence. That seemed enough to placate the drone, and she buzzed back down to the floor. That’s when Luna finally decided to pipe up.

“You say something er, Sombra?”

The grey stallion looked at the head drone and put on his charm with a fang filled smile.

“Can I reply Lady-bug?”

Colony sighed before she grumbled.

“Go ahead, just don’t turn it into a shouting match.”

“Thank you, now princess, I have a question.”

The princess squinted her eyes and hung her mouth slightly open.

“Uh huh?”

“How competent are your guards, and captain? Could they plan something effective?”

“Guards?”

“Yes, your guard.”

“Why?”

Sombra shot Colony a look, and the drone raised a quizzical eyebrow. Then he turned his attention back to Luna.

“Are they good?”

“My sister thought so…”

“Hmm, I guess that’ll have to do.”

The head-drone buzzed up to the encapsulated king, and booped his snoot with a hoof. Her expression narrowed into something quite shrewd.

“Why the questions about the guard?”

The crystal king just smiled widely, and gave an impressive dance with his eye brows.


---


-Country side, Shy’s house


“Ya, that pretty much sums it up…”

Twilight finished her explanation of the recent events, and Shy sat across from her with slack jaw. If she had any tea in her mouth, she would have spit it out.

“Hoooowat? A changeling queen! Took over Canterlot!”

Shy jumped off her seat and hopped over to Twilight, then placed her front hooves on Twilight’s shoulders and gave her a very close, deadly serious look.

“And you said Tia was where?”

Twilight gulped, it unnerved her to have such a serious pony press her face so close to her own.

“Last I saw her she was strung up in some cocoon thingy. I was too, until I was freed, and wandered this way.”

Shy stepped away from Twilight, and brought a hoof up to chin in thought. She turned to the book shelves and rummaged through a number of titles with her magic. Eventually she plucked out a slim black folder off the shelf and brought it close to her face. She sat back down and licked the side of her lip in concentration.

Twilight noticed the title on the front page of the folder, it was labeled “Royal Index”. This pony was just got stranger and stranger, and it didn’t help at all when she heard the red-maned pony mutter to herself.

“Cocoons… cocoons… No, not his style, not hers either. Possibly hizzz no. No, no, NO, NO!”

The black folder snapped shut, and it was easy to see Shy grind her teeth. Twilight, now very nervous, inquired cautiously.

“Shy? What’s wrong?”

The white pony looked up at the lavender unicorn as the dark folder floated back into place.

“No royal changeling I know would do this… Or with that method. You said this queen went by Chrysalis?”

“Y-you know royal ch-changelings?”

“Well, none of them know I’m alive, so the knowing is rather one sided. But yes, I know about each of them, except for this rogue you described.”

Twilight’s pupils shrank to pinpricks and her hooves started to tremble.

“H-how? Even Celestia didn’t…”

“Well, ofcourse she doesn’t. I made it that way.”

The purple unicorn’s eyes started to roll back into her head, but before she could hit the floor a red aura shone around her and kept her afloat. Twilight still went.

“Oh miss Sparkle, I’ve said too much haven’t I. But I’d rather not you fall unconscious, yet.”

Shy shook her head in self criticism. Then glanced over to the shelves again, a jar of ruby colored powder resided there. The glass container was lifted and shaken in her magic, before she pulled some of it out and shot it up Twilight’s nostrils. The reaction was immediate and volatile.

“WAAAHHHH!”

Her eyes opened wide as they could go, and all her legs stretched as far as they could go, and her tail trashed back and forth as fast as it could go, and her ears burned up as hot as they could go. She started to sprint in mid air, since she was still suspended by Shy’s magic.

“WHAT DID YOU DO TO ME!”

“I’m helping you pay attention a little longer.”

“BUT WHY! IT BURNS!”

Shy grabbed a blue jar with her magic and shot a blue powder up Twilight’s nose. Initially the unicorn flinched violently for having her nose invaded again, but a few seconds into it and she didn’t complain about the result.

“AHHHH, ahhhh, awwww…”

She slumped in relief, and Shy gently placed her back in her chair. After a few moments to calm her breath, she looked at the pony across from her, her gaze suddenly accusatory.

“You, how can you claim to know about changelings, unless…”

“I am one.”

Shy smirked, and leaned back into her chair. Twilight glowered and slumped back into hers.

“Caught again… Horse apples!”

“On the contrary, you are not caught Twilight. If anything, you informed this old recluse she needs to stick her muzzle out the door more often.”

The lilac unicorn raised an eyebrow.

“Then who are you? How do you know these things? A-and Celestia?”

Shy sighed, and wave of red magic washed over her, which revealed a tall changeling queen. Her mane and tail looked the same, red with a few grey hairs. The unicorn horn became a long twisted corkscrew, and transparent insect wings sprouted from her back.

“My first earned name is Sly. Something I haven’t shared in ages, but that isn’t terribly important right now. I have a proposition if you’d be willing to give me an ear.”

Twilight just stared at the new changeling figure, and became somewhat mesmerized with the fox-like tail that slowly swished back and forth with a mind of its own. Sly spoke slowly.

“I’m going to Canterlot, would you like to come along?”

“To Canterlot? But there’s thousands of changelings there, and, and Chrysalis!”

“Not a problem… I’d like you to be there when Tia is freed.”

Twilight tilted her head to the side, still unsure if she was in reality at the moment.

“Does Celestia know you’re a-”

“No, she doesn’t, and I’d rather keep it that way…”

“But, why not tell her? You’re her friend aren’t you? Why show me what you are?”

Sly bit her lower lip and cast her gaze to the floor, then looked up at the purple pony, who possessed a confused disposition. The royal changeling fluttered her wings once.

“Frankly Twilight, you won’t remember any of this if I don’t want you too. However, I did reveal my true nature a few times to dear Tia over the centuries. But revealing my nature meant I had to reveal other things, things I’d rather remain covered. On each occasion I had to make her forget my revelation. Every time I looked up to the moon, I was reminded why I did what I did a thousand years ago.”

Twilight cringed at Sly’s insinuated threat, but continued to inquire.

“The moon? Wait, are you talking about Luna?”

“I’d rather not spend time on semantics from over a thousand years ago. Do you wish to be there when I free Tia or not?”

“Yes I wou-”

“Excellent, then let us be off.”

Sly got up from her seat, and shifted back into her pony disguise as she approached the door. Twilight hung her mouth open for a little before she blurted a concern.

“I don’t have a good disguise, and how are you planning to sneak through Canterlot and free Celestia?”

The disguised royal turned her head to the side, and gave the pony a sly grin.

“I have my ways…”


---


-Manehattan, the mayor’s office


“CURSE THAT WRETCHED HARPY!”

More slammed a hoof down on her desk, which caused various table trinkets to fall over, and a few pens to roll off.

The edgy queen was in her natural form, and several of her changelings in the room flinched as if they were personally struck. All of them were antsy when the More was angry like this, luckily that didn’t happen often… But now was such an occasion.

“A blinding spell, a gutter-born blinding spell!”

Golden flames licked past her teeth as she exhaled, and slumped into the lavish office chair behind the desk. She raised a hoof and straightened her disheveled blonde mane a little. Then she spoke with a measure of reassurance.

“This doesn’t matter… Now is the time to get this nation into action. Sabotage, come here please…”

The changeling designated ‘Sabotage’ stepped forward, her crimson eyes glinted with the authority of a head-vanguard. She had a rosy mane and spots along her chitin.

“Yes my queen?”

“Organize the vanguard west, south, and north, we’re going to make sure Canterlot is thoroughly boycotted. We’ll starve that fool off her throne. She’ll soon figure Equestria was not hers to take, not at the price she’ll have to pay.”

“Ofcourse my queen.”

Sabotage tore open a portal, and departed the office.

“And Riot, scan the city and purge any foreign changelings from our boundaries. Though I wouldn’t mind if you brought one or two for questioning.”

A large grey-maned sentinel nodded at the queen’s order. His eyes glowed with a silver tint as he mentally communicated with the other changelings under his jurisdiction. When his countenance dimmed he exited the office through the regal mahogany doors.

More Swiveled her large office chair around, and looked out over the breadth of Manehatten with a sullen gaze. It was her city…

“Chrysalis… gaw, you don’t know what you’ve caused. Undoubtedly the others will be planning their moves. But you…”

A little fly buzzed across her vision, and this annoyed her greatly. She seized it in her magic and slowly reeled it in, when it was in reach she pinned it between her two front hooves. Her ruby eyes fixated on the tiny insect she held, it struggled vainly to get away, but it was far too weak to escape. She released it, and the fly buzzed to what it thought was freedom.

With a mental whisper, she gained the attention the last changeling in the room, her head-drone. The sublimation she told him was obvious, but she still voiced a command anyway.

“Kill it.”

The drone didn’t hesitate to give the liberated fly a zap, and it fell dead to the floor.

“Tender, grab some heart-nectar from the stash.”

“Right away my queen.”

The drone turned tail and left the room to fetch the outrageously rare drink. While he did so More opened a nearby cabinet with her magic, and levitated an empty wine glass to her hoof. She idly swiveled it as if something were there. A slight smile came to one corner of her mouth.

“Heh, I suppose I can be grateful you kick started the inevitable Chrysalis. It was only a matter of time until Monarch made a move, and I think you’ll prove irresistible bait. hahaHAHAHAH!”


---


-Germane, King Torque’s private council chamber


The private chamber had one central table and was large enough to accommodate roughly a dozen ponies. Various metallic sheens glinted from the occupants as they shuffled uncomfortably in their seats.

At the head of the table was a large stallion, whose coat shone with steel splendor in compliment to his blue eyes. His rumbly thick accent combined the natural grit of his voice as he spoke towards the middle of the table, where a glass dome resided. He really liked to roll his R’s.

“So ya haven’t made a chat with mizz Chrrrysaw-lis yet?”

Within the glass dome was the faint image of a brass toned mare.

“Not yet your majesty.”

“Hrrrmm, what an unforrrtunate occurrrance Malleable. But, ya did say ya got a brrrief sight of herrr?”

“Only a few moments before some dragon rudely fell on her. After that she just stormed out. There wasn’t much time to make anything of it.”

“Hrrmm, well, I suppose ya can stick arrround and try to figurrre out what else ya can. I hope mizz Chrrrysaw-lis had a good rrreason for smackin’ down on my favorrrite tea-drinkerrr. Otherrrwise my mood may go sourrr.”

“Yes king Torque.”

“Oh, and is Prrrism doin’ his job?”

“To exactness your majesty…”

“Good, I don’t want ya trrreatin’ it like a party over tharrr. Hrrrmm, ya haven’t brrrawled yet have ya?”

The brass mare scrunched her muzzle and looked in another direction. One of her bruised ears laid itself flat in an attempt at concealment. Her posture overall slunk in embarrassment. Torque just barked a laugh.

“Harr harr harr! Well fine, so long as ya only smack each otherrr. Them equestrrrian sorts are too brrrittle to enjoy our horrrse play. Anyway, go back to yurrr feastin’. I’ll hear from ya laterrr.”

“Thank you your majesty.”

The mare’s faint image hazed out with her farewell. The king rubbed the scraggly steel fur on his chin, which caused a slight screech. Then turned to the rest of the ponies at his council table.

“Now Dull Glamarrr ya said somethin’ imporrrtant was found? Go ahead and spit it out, things harrrdly get morrre confidential than this rrroom.”

A stallion with a rusty iron coat cleared his throat and made his announcement.

“Some of our prospectors surveying the lands north of Equestria noticed a crystal city miraculously appear recently. When they approached it, they were stunned to find it occupied. They sent this message as fast as they could.”

“Crrrystal city? Ya mean…”

“They believe it’s the Crystal Empire of old your majesty.”

There was a shuddered gasp that went around the table, and was immediately followed by uproarious conversation.

“That can’t be!”

“Oi, I bet it can!”

More disbelieving statements circulated, but just as many hopeful arguments blustered through the air. A number of the stallions and mares got quite heated in their conversation, and some were almost ready to throw blows. Before it got out of hoof, Torque stood up and stomped on the table. The loud tone echoed from his hooves, and across the table. The room quickly quieted under the king’s fierce glare.

“Orderrr ya selves! Now! Dull, do these claims come frrrom honest ponies?”

“I’d trust them with my life your majesty.”

“Verrry well, wurr goin’ tharr immediately. Everrry pony pack up, I want us to be the firrrst ones tharr. The time has been too long since we last met ourrr ancestrrral cuzzins!”

The table of metal ponies cheered, and stood up from their seats. The was a loud clop of hooves over the table as they united in ruckus approval.

“Now what arrre ya waitin’ forrr? Go get ready!”

The councilors started to exit the room in a rush of enthusiasm, and King Torque stood there until every other pony had exited. When they were all gone he relaxed back into his seat, and let out a heavy sigh. He tapped a glass receptacle on his edge of the table, and the glass done in the center began to haze into focus.

As the council room door locked, the king’s steel-grey coat faded away in a wave of green fire. In place of fur was roughly edged chitin, and his body was thickly covered in it. His bright blue eyes remained the same. When his transformation finished the hazed image in the dome had formed coherently.

A golden stallion with a thick coat and goggles appeared in the dome’s vision.

“Ay, King Armor I suppose you got the news.”

“Aye, I got the news, but why’d I get it frrrom our pony surrveyorrrs firrrst? BY LETTERR NO LESS!”

“Forgive me my king, for there are changelings in the empire already, who are not our own. I wasn’t sure if they could intercept a mental message or not. You know Specter has been capable of such things.”

“Oi, I suppose, still this is a crrrucial bit of info though. How many changelings did ya see tharrr?”

“I counted around a hundred or so, mostly of the vanguard variety. They’re a pretty lean bodied sort, if I didn’t know better, I’d say they were starving before they came here.”

“Walkin’ in the open… This queen rrreally baffles me… Werrre ya suspected by any of them?”

“I received a few funny looks, but I don’t think they’ve caught onto our swarm’s particular scent yet.”

“Hrrmmm, well, be rrready, I plan on bringin’ everrry spare body overrr tharrr. Those crrrystal ponies arre ourr kin. We’ll have to orrrient em’ properrr. And Farrrsight.”

“Yes my king?”

“Find out what poison this queen has been feedin’ our cuzzins. I’d like to know what strategy she’s employin’. Keep an eye out for Monarrrch’s, Morrre’s, or Specterrrr’s filth. We’rre not going to let em’ claim one stone of that empirrre.”

The golden stallion saluted in his glass dome.

“My eye’s are open for you King Armor.”

“I’ll be seein’ ya soon.”

The changeling king flashed back into his other kingly disguise, and left his council room. There was an army to mobilize.


---


-Deep underneath the prench city of Mode


A changeling queen paced back and forth in an earthy chamber. She had light grey mane, and a brilliant orange neck-fin, that had many white spots, and a dark grey outline.

The only other creature to inhabit the room was a blue-maned vanguard, who stood silent, and waited for the queen to come to a decision. The royal’s voice was agitated, but mixed with a measure of tantalized excitement.

“WHAT is this… what IS this… what is THIS!”

She flung one of her hooves about wildly, and smacked a string of chitinous objects that were strung along the wall. Upon close inspection, it was easy to see what these chitinous objects were. Horns, horns of royal changelings specifically, and there were hundreds of them strung up all along the walls as trophies. The queen’s green eyes roamed over each of them, and lingered on some longer than others. Each was a memory, each was a prize.

“Heh, what’s More planning, what’s Specter planning, what’s Armor planning? They want to get back at me, I know they want to get back at me… They dressed up a puppet didn’t they. A neat little puppet that would entice me. It looks entirely too easy. It can’t be. A trap. A trap. It’s a trap!

Her green eyes lit up furiously and she peeled her lips back to hiss. She snapped her jaws at imaginary foes, and stomped her hooves violently.

She continued her pace about the room, and started to tap the trophy horns with her own. As she tapped along the dried dead chitin, the rattle soothed her. Every little bump reminded her she was strong, she was capable, that her foes would be added to this string, and hung up as more mementos.

She paused when she came across a particular horn, she knew its feel, its curves, its length and breadth. A wicked smile cracked across her mouth.

“Allure, Allure, she was yours Armor, but now she’s mine. Hehe-haha. Seems you’re only good at protecting your own spine…”

The queen dropped the severed horn of Allure, and rifled through the other trophies that hung by the string. She found another horn that was a pertinent match, and her tongue slowly dragged around her lips, as her eye lids drooped.

“More, More, you always wanted more, but along the way you lost your king. You lost Ambition, and now Ambition is also mine. You have nowhere else to climb.”

She dropped Ambition’s horn, and playfully pranced along the other lines, and drummed a wing across the multitude of horns, as if she played the xylophone. She found the last one she sought, and intimately pressed her muzzle against it, then brushed her cheek and face along it.

“Clarity, Clarity, too bad your king was only an observer, a specter… Had he more guts you might not be dismember.”

Her face relaxed from Clarity’s horn, and she gazed over her collection as a whole. She eyed a few empty spaces on her wall with longing. A space for empty relics lay there.

“Only a few more, and then gone with be the sore. You’ll match your missing pairs, and make the picture square. Finally there will be just Monarch…”

The vanguard had remained silent and still during the queen’s mutters. After a few more moments of quiet the changeling spoke up.

“Honestly Monny, must you start rhyming and referring to yourself in third person every time we’re in this room?”

“Shush, don’t mess with my theatrics Fetish.”

Fetish sighed and rolled his eyes, while he waited for his queen to finish. She had idly plucked another horn from the line and started to nibble on it. She hummed with contentment, before she mumbled reluctantly towards her vanguard.

“Fine, tell me what you saw.”

The smaller changeling cleared his throat, and put a hoof to his chest pompously.

“I know where More is hiding, and what guise she goes by.”

“Oh?”

“I stopped by Manehattan the other day to refresh at one of their establishments. Things went funny when I felt a mental magic exercised over all the occupants. I departed with the crowd to blend in, but then I returned to one of the windows to watch.”

“Get on with it Fetish.”

“Mayor More of Manehattan is actually queen More…”

“How original…”

“She blasted off some other changeling’s leg, but failed to capture her quarry. There were a few ponies that escaped with them, I’m not sure who they were or why they were important.”

“Blasting off legs now? More doesn’t treat her own that way… Did you recognize Specter’s or Armor’s stench about the place?”

“No Monny, it was different than what I’ve smelled before.”

Monarch spit out the horn she nibbled on and smiled.

“So it is a new swarm… HA! Hmm, there could still be unseen alliances. But… One more rival has exposed their neck.”

The queen’s eyes flashed towards the empty relic space with a predatory glint. A stimulating shiver rode its way down her spine, and she started to salivate.


---


-The Badlands


Chrysalis dropped out of her portal and landed on her hooves. She targeted the same old chamber she left the elements in a small while ago, right in Shellish’s ribcage. Something was off though, the lightning in the room was all wrong. The royal changeling blinked her eyes, and noticed a heavy number of dust particles in the air.

She glared towards the exit, and daylight was easily visible… daylight, this deep into the canyon caverns? Her eyes shot back towards the bones along the chamber wall, and the place where Shellish’s bones should be. It was unoccupied.

With a gasp, Chrysalis took a step back in shock.

“Who? How?”

Her head turned back towards the light, to Shellish’s empty space, and back to the light. Curiosity pushed her forward, and she took tentative steps. It wasn’t long until she noticed the caverns had been thoroughly… remodeled.

Chrysalis’s mouth hung slightly open, and her wings spread carefully, her steps became even more measured as she soaked in the new surroundings.

The old caverns were gone. She stood on the edge of where the throne room used to be, but was now the midst of a gigantic crater. She was definitely inside the canyon still, but it appeared a large meteor had impacted the area, and made the enormous craggy gorge twice as wide as it had been.

Her jaw dropped at the spectacle before her, and she fell back on her rump and struggled to comprehend how the expanse had formed. The motion to sit down created a small scuffle of noise, which caused another nearby creature to shuffle in response.

The royal changeling hadn’t noticed how deathly quiet it was, until she heard something else ruffle around. When her eyes roamed to the source she saw the drift wood throne of all things. Somehow that old thing had survived? It was in the epicenter of the crater too, and the source of the shuffle sound.

Stealthily as Chrysalis could sneak, she approached the throne in its surreal location. On the tips of her hooves she reached the backside of the monument, and at this close proximity she could her breathing. The thought to leave crossed her mind, whoever or whatever annihilated the canyon was likely on that throne. A flash image of Shellish’s bones crossed her vision, but she quickly dismissed it. There was no way…

She gulped before she slowly peeped around the backrest. She blinked…

And seriously began to doubt if she could trust her eyes. Because it looked like Shellish was on the throne, but Shellish was dead…

The orange-maned changeling coughed a little to clear her throat, then continued to gaze out into empty space. Chrysalis froze as she continued to soak in every detail of this imposter. The curved horn looked like Shellish’s horn, the freckled spots along the cheeks and legs were Shellish’s spots. A brief sniff of her aroma revealed the same tangy scent, Shellish’s scent. Something even a changeling disguise couldn’t entirely fake.

She found no words to say, her brain struggled to come up with a rational response, but failed to. In midst of her comprehension block, she didn’t even noticed when turned to look at her. The older royal scrunched her muzzle a bit as she concentrated.

“Little royal?”

Ok… now it was time to freak out. Chrysalis’s pupils shrank to basically nothing, her wings popped out and beat furiously, her hooves flailed wildly and she screamed.

“AAAHHHHHH!”

Author's Note:

Oh man! the anticipation of doing the next few chapters is killing me! Why can't I have that magic imagination book Rarity used!

ya know, except not to spoil kids parties N stuff... but make chapters faster :raritywink:

anyway text links if you missed.

And teh sketches.

When a politician's honest

King Armor / Torque... I was too lazy to do his pony form. :heart:

the original concept sketch

Queen Monarch and her "Trophies"

original concept sketch

Chrysalis playin' peek-a-boo

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