• 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.54 "Relocation"

Chrysalis Wins

Ch.54 “Relocation”

Chrysalis did a back flip, and retreated into the air with a furious buzz of her wings. Both of her hooves shot over her mouth in shock and disbelief.

“You’re dead! I SAW YOU DIE!”

The orange-maned changeling blinked, and didn’t say anything. She just stared. The longer the opposing emerald eyes studied her, the more uncomfortable she felt. Chrysalis remained in the air and stared back. Eventually she landed back on the ground, and panted slightly, more from shock than from effort. Shellish broke the fragile silence after a while longer.

“What’s wrong with your horn little royal?”

For a moment Chrysalis went crossed eyed as she looked up to her own horn, then her skittish gaze went back to her old mentor.

“Happened after a bad deal with a bog witch… But… Shellish?”

“Yes?”

“How are you alive?”

“I’m alive?”

Another painful silence ensued where comprehension was attempted, but ultimately concluded with disappointment.

“I thought this was a new lonely realm of Tartarus… I was, somewhere else… It was pleasant, but the memories of it have already faded. There were some fleeting emotions and sensations. Then I awoke here, surrounded by death and emptiness. So, tell me little royal, have you also died?”

Chrysalis snorted at the suggestion.

“I am quite alive Shellish.”

The older royal cast her gaze of into the distance again, and shifted her posture on the throne. She rested her chin on a fetlock, and peered at the slow drift of the clouds above.

The young royal lost confidence in her previous statement, this experience felt entirely too dream-like. She needed more concrete evidence, so she took cautious steps forward. After several tense moments she sat next to the throne, and raised one of her hooves. Chrysalis hesitated before she put the hoof forward, and touched Shellish on a fore-leg. She blinked at the warmness of her old mentor, it was a peculiar warm, hot even.

“You’re burning.”

“You’re cold little royal.”

“I go by Chrysalis now.”

Shellish scrunched her face in confusion.

“Chrysalis? How did you pick up that name?”

“I figured out how to keep ponies alive in slime capsules. The swarm was able to grow because of it.”

“The swarm…”

The simple mention caused Shellish’s tone to go a little cold, and she closed her eyes. She leaned back into the throne and clenched her jaw, her wings went stiff and her ears twitched in irritation.

“So it’s not dead?”

“No, we moved out of here, I rule over ponies now too.”

“Oh? Who did you replace?”

“No one, I conquered.”

The old queen’s eyes shot open, and she stared directly back at her former pupil. The tone was deadly serious, and a little edgy.

“You what?”

Chrysalis was taken aback by the sudden weight in Shellish’s voice, and she croaked a little, but her confidence built slowly over her explanation.

“I defeated Celestia and Luna. I beat an ancient tyrant in the far north. His empire is now mine. The ponies know my face, they know my army, they know what we are. My new subjects in the north are quite fond of me.”

Shellish leaned back, sighed, and placed a hoof over her eyes. Besides the gestures, the old queen’s tone was worrisome.

“Oh my little royal…”

The younger royal perceived the tone as condescension, and one of her ears flicked irritably

“So, Shellish, when were you going to tell me about the other royals? When were you going to tell me how they want to kill each other?”

The older royal’s eyes grew wide and she lowered her hoof. When she did she beheld a very contemptuous Chrysalis who’s wings tittered, and tail flicked. With marked hesitation, Shellish slowly reached a hoof towards her former protégé.

“I’m sorry litt-”

“It’s Chrysalis! I haven’t been any changeling’s little royal for thirty years! No, I’ve been alone! I’ve been queen of the swarm, while you’ve been dead… why are you here now? WHY?”

The vehemence and anger caused Shellish to flinch away, and moisture built in the corners of her eyes. Her posture slumped, and she lowered her head. The blame, the accusation, the sense of betrayal and failure was too much for the older royal to look the younger in the eyes. Her voice choked when she tried to speak.

“I… I only trie-”

Chrysalis stomped on the ground and shattered the crusty surface under hoof.

“THE SWARM KILLED YOU! I SAW THE MEAT ROT OFF YOUR BONES!”

Old memories surfaced and caused the former queen to break. She remembered the terror, the failure… and began to sob on the ground.

Chrysalis stood nearby, and looked down on her mentor. She clenched her jaw and forcefully narrowed her eyes, but the longer she watched, the weaker her resolve and anger became. Slowly her wings stopped their fidgets, her tail didn’t swish as rapidly, and her stance lowered ever so slightly. The furious crease in her face receded.

Neither royal said anything for a while longer, Shellish was too occupied with her misery, and Chrysalis turned contemplative.

A hoof reached out and placed itself on the former queen’s shoulder, she flinched at the contact and cautiously looked up. There was no longer fire in the younger changeling’s eyes, and they shared a look of acknowledgment. After a moment Chrysalis sat herself next to her former guardian. She sighed, and spoke in a relinquished tone.

“That was thirty years ago… But here we are now, and I don’t have the time to loiter. The swarm needs me. I’m… I’m vacating ground. I do have another question, if you feel up to answering.”

Shellish stared at the ground, while she wiped her face and sniffed.

“Go ahead.”

“Did you see any brightly colored stones about?”

The older queen raised an eyebrow.

“Looking for gems?”

“No, they’re called the Elements of Harmony. I hid them here… In your old-”

Chrysalis cut herself off and her pupils shrank to pinpricks as she stared at the old queen, her ribcage to be specific.

“Elements of Harmony? Weren’t those one of Celestia’s old artifacts?”

The younger royal didn’t pay any attention to Shellish’s question as she pushed the former queen onto her back and pointed at her chest. Shellish placated the action, but gave her a strange eye. A moment later with wide eyes Chrysalis looked around the canyon that had become a crater.

“Did… Did you do this?”

She gestured wide all around them to indicate the dramatically altered landscape. Shellish looked around as if she finally noticed the environment around her for the first time.

“Oh… Um…”

“What happened, and why did I find you in the middle of this?”

“I sneezed?”

Chrysalis just snorted at that.

“What?”

“No really, everything was so disorienting, I felt very confused and stressed about it. I was in that nice place that I don’t remember anymore, then I was dragged here. After I saw what was outside I kind of lost my mind, and then… everything became brighter.”

Chrysalis just leaned back and slumped, deep in thought. She was pressed for time though, and after a few moments of indecisive glances she looked back to her mentor.

“Will you come with me Shellish? Back to the swarm?”

The former queen thought about it, then her expression turned stern, cold even.

“No, Chrysalis. I won’t go back to the swarm. As I remember, it was them who ended my life… last time.”

“All of those changelings are dead. I promise my swarm won’t lay a hoof on you.”

The older royal just gave a sad smile, and shook her head.

“I have too many things to sort out right now, and I feel unstable. I’m still not sure any of this is real, and I don’t think hopping into another mess would help.”

Shellish moved to stand up, and Chrysalis did likewise. Possibilities roamed through the younger royal’s mind, but when she saw her old mentor’s pain most of those faded away, and she felt a prick of concern.

“If you need time to sort things out, I suppose you should do that.”

She glanced around the crater once more, then turned back, and touched horns with Shellish.

“Come find me when you’re ready.”

Her jagged glowed against her old mentor’s curved one, and a familiar mental bridge was revitalized. When the link was strong she turned about, and prepared to open a portal, but before she could Shellish echoed in her mind.

I’m glad you're strong my litt-… Chrysalis.

The young queen turned back and saw an honest grin from Shellish, for some reason it hit her strongly, and she turned away. She replied in Shellish’s mind.

I hope you come soon.

With that a portal of flames erupted into the air and consumed Chrysalis where she stood. The older royal was left there alone.


---


-Canterlot (Fancy Pants’s house)


The prim and proper stallion was in his lounge room, and enjoyed a cup of tea when suddenly a changeling queen burst into his room from a ball of spontaneous fire. Fortunately the magical flame didn’t burn anything, but that didn’t leave Fancy feeling any less disheveled, or his tea less spilled.

“By my Monocle! Your majesty?”

The giant changeling lazily waved her hoof in acknowledgement.

“Yes, hello Fancy Pants. I hope you don’t mind me dropping in.”

There was a bit of bite to the queen’s voice, and Fancy chose his words carefully.

“Not at all your majesty. Though if I may inquire, what brought you in? Did the luncheon go well?”

“The embassy? That went horribly. But I have something else to tell you.”

“My sincerest condolences. What happened?”

“That’s not important. What is important are the two choices I’m going to give you.”

“Choices? What choices?”

A sense of dread crawled along the stallion’s spine, and the fur on his next stood on end.

“One, you can stay here, and I’m going to give you the throne. If you do that be prepared for a large influx of visitors. I’m not the only changeling royal around and I’ve apparently upset the others quite badly. Your wife, Fleur, will have to leave, as the other royals will be on the hunt for my changelings.”

Fancy just gulped.

“Two, you can come with me to the crystal empire, and be with your wife, though I will no longer have need of you as a liaison. It’s the safest place I know of at the moment.”

Fancy stared with wide eyes and was speechless. Chrysalis forged a new portal behind her, and began to pass through it.

“Come to the mountain side within the hour, if you don’t, I’m going to assume you’ve chosen option one.”


---


-Canterlot mountain-side


The changeling queen appeared above the tunnel mouth on the blue-grey mountain slopes. Hundreds of changelings had already gathered in and around the tunnel entrance, and hundreds more soared through the air, or otherwise portaled in.

Chrysalis kept her eyes closed as she registered her swarm in the mental spectrum. A few more needed to gather that were here in Canterlot. Others that were spread further out across Equestria made moves, but a few remained stationary. She issued orders to Colony and Shade, and got the rest of the swarm otherwise organized for the event.

Crone hovered through the air, and landed next to her sister, where she took a seat. Her voice was agitated.

“So what exactly is going on? Did he mention details?”

“Specter mentioned a few names and strategies. Apparently their names are More, Monarch, and Armor. We don’t have to worry about telepathic interception, but we need to leave here. I’ve been here long enough they all know about it. Apparently they thought I was setting up some trap for them. However, you would know that’s not the case. I think the Crystal Empire is our best bet right now. The ponies there actually like us, and the location hasn’t made big news… yet.”

“Are you just going to portal the swarm there?”

“Yes, and I’ve already ordered Colony to bring up our prisoners. Apparently Cadance was hidden in Sombra’s crystal abode as well. So we have the princesses and that thorn of a king under our hooves. Also Shade is just making it back, with four of the element mares.”

“How nice. Speaking of which, did you grab the elements?”

Chrysalis’s breath hitched in her chest, but she quickly caught herself.

“We don’t have to worry about that for now…”

“What does that mean?”

“I’ll explain later.”

Crone scrunched her muzzle in annoyance.

“Very well… But if we’re going to portal all the way to the empire then I need a prep.”

“Suck love out of who ever. We need to make this trip as soon as possible. Then barricade entry to our empire.”

The clone-royal sighed and sauntered off, while Chrysalis focused on the remnant that gathered.

Soon the hour was up, and the changelings had congregated in mass on the mountain side. There was a nervous chitter that echoed by the thousands, and the queen’s expression finally resolved. She lit her horn with an ardent blaze, and opened a large portal that filled the mouth of the tunnel.

She gave one mental command swarm wide.

Enter

With that, the mass exodus of the changelings in Canterlot began, and they began to disappear through the mystical magic in waves. As group after group merged into the dimensional rift she watched them.

Drones, Sentinels, Vanguard all passed by. Along the way she saw Colony come in. Celestia and Cadance were still in cocoons, and were levitated into the portal by an escort of drones. Sombra and Luna were still bundled in massive balls of slime and helpless. Some sentinels rolled them along like boulders until they passed through the portal.

Shade hovered in the air, and Chrysalis squinted, her head-vanguard was missing a leg. She would have to ask about that later. For now she was satisfied to watch him escort Applejack, Pinkie, Fluttershy, and Rarity through portal with an entourage of fifty vanguard.

Towards the end of the line she saw Fancy Pants had come, he stood next to Fleur, both of them looked extremely nervous. A small smirk graced her muzzle as they passed into the green flames. Apparently Fancy wasn’t the only pony to voluntarily come along either. She saw a few various changelings and their pony mates come along as well. The queen wouldn’t complain about extra food coming along…

As the last bits of the swarm disappeared through the portal Chrysalis felt fatigued. Using so much magic caught up to her. She was glad when Crone came by.

“That’s the last of it, come now, it’s time.”

The queens went into the portal and the rift sealed itself away.

Canterlot’s population was now ten-thousand less. The Crystal Empire was now ten-thousand more.

Author's Note:

Some mood music for Shellish

We need an x-ray stat!

Canterlor exodus

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