• 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.57 "The Discord Games"

Chrysalis Wins

Ch.57 “The Discord Games”

-In the fields of the crystal empire


Everything went dark. The sun left the sky, and not even the moon or stars were there to give a glimmer of light. Artificial lights and fires died, not even the glow of magic could penetrate the sudden onset of this darkness. Only sounds, smells, and touches could be perceived.

The inhabitants of the empire, and the war hosts without were all caught very off guard. Complaints and fears manifested themselves in the forms of wails and uproar. But none could make sense of why they were all plunged into darkness.

Before long there was a flash of white light, and the light stayed once it appeared. All eyes turned towards the horizon from which it was projected. Towards the horizon was a tall silhouette which resembled a great pillar of some kind. On top of the pillar was a long snake-like figure that had a myriad of inconsistent appendages attached to his form. Every pony that looked towards this strange creature could view it as if it was right infront of their muzzles. Even though many knew it was actually a great distance away.

With a graceful swing the figure raised one of his arms, which appeared to have a conductor’s baton in its grasp. Then flicked his wrist, and the baton shone brightly with glorious power. In reaction the sky changed, the very ground reacted and seemed to morph. A symphony from ethereal sources resounded in every ear.

The storm the equestrians brought with them began to mutate, and its contours bounded out of control. Soon the entire sky was overcastted by the cottony contrast. The dark swirl of grey began to bleed a different color, and every shade from bright peachy pink, to a deep ponderous heliotrope replaced the previously grim hues.

When lightning flashed it wasn’t just white, but a prismatic beam of all colors, then it turned into neon licorice, and rained down upon the ground like a hail of worms. Instead of thunder, each flash of lightning was followed by a choir of a thousand laughs, eerie sinister laughs. The populous all around began to be seriously unnerved, helpless to the changes around them.

Next moment the ground caught every creature’s attention, as it rumbled and writhed. The fields of grass, and crystal paved walk ways constantly shifted texture. From stony stiff, to cushioned carpet, to slippery soap, and back again.

The smells in the air shifted constantly with a new unnatural breeze, sometimes it was sweet, sometimes fouls, but it was always different within a few moments, and gave no pony time to adapt.

The grand conductor of this orchestra-of-absurdness swung the baton again with a swift jerk. Then the ground around his highly elevated column began to mold and jump like liquid. Earth and dirt flowed as if it was a fountain and climbed towards the heavens. It did so in a broad circular fashion, which left the conductor’s column in the dead center of it all.

After moments the energy of the ground distilled and started to solidify once more, into the shape a grand structure. Details as immaculate as sculpture covered the broad flat surfaces, though the style was no more coherent than the logic of its formation.

Once it was complete the shape of an inordinately large stadium was discernible. Rows upon rows of sculpted step-seats were carved into the inner bowl of the structure. Hundreds of thousands could easily occupy such accommodations. The center field was also gigantic and spacious. So much so that a lake could easily fit inside.

The central pillar upon which the conductor stood was easily tall enough to oversee all of this. He could see the empire and the fields around it, and beheld the populous with a dissonant comprehension.

A broad smile came across his uneven mouth, and the conductor’s baton was tossed aside. In its place two fingers brought themselves together, then released in a snap. The small action created an echo in the magical plane, and the ponies of the empire and elsewhere all began to vanish in white snaps of light, hundreds, thousands of them even.

Those who tried to resist the magical relocation instead found themselves enraptured by the elements, and otherwise compelled towards the direction of the new stadium. Earth, and air carried away many. All in the region would witness this, and there would be no questions about it.



---



The draconequus atop the pillar cackled and rubbed his paws together, the anticipation on his twisted face was tantamount to a child on the verge of holiday. When he reined his mirth under control he wriggled the digits of his paws and shaped one more structure in the middle of the stadium’s field. A large dark dome was conjured, and a neat silvery disc on top of the dome was created, which would serve effectively as a broad platform.

In a flash the orchestrator was ontop of the platform, on top of the dome. The pillar in the center of the stadium began to recede and shrink without its creator’s presence.

He put a paw to the floor of the silver surface, and pulled out a tall microphone stand out of its substance. With the new object in paw, he rattled it and blew into it a few times to determine functionality. A loud high pitched screech was the answer, which blew around the stadium, which was now filled with ponies, changelings, and every other creature that inhabited the local region. Their collective response was to cover their ears and wince in discomfort.

“Sorry about that, seems these darn things always do that. hehe.”

He coughed once loudly into his elbow, then put his muzzle back to the mic. He had successfully drawn the attention of the crowd. Whoever looked towards him, was able to discern the chimera clearly, even though the distance was great.

“Anyway, here we are. I’m sure most of you are quite confused, and that’s alright. I’m not here to give you all the answers. Rather, we’re here to let you find answers for yourselves.”

The draconequus’s voice carried across the stadium, and was met with varied responses of disgruntlement. Some outbursts were heard here and there, but most remained in place, afraid of another strange shift in events.

“Indeed, I believe most of you are aware that a bloody war was right around the corner. Yes? Speak up if you were aware.”

The general discomfort and uncertainty from the crowd resulted in a weak response. He gave a frown at the lack of enthusiasm. Then snapped his fingers.

Hundreds of duplicate draconequi appeared infront of the crowd in segmented intervals. All of them flapped their little wings and shouted at the equines infront of them with loud voices.

“You were about to be in a war? YES OR NO!”

With the sound of his voice much more up close and personal, the crowd’s response was much greater. There was a general consensus of.

“Yes.”

Then the head chimera smiled.

“Why?... now sshhh, don’t voice your answer right now. I want you to keep it to yourself. Once the demonstrations and games are over, we’ll see if your answer stays the same.”

There were a number of murmurs amongst the crowd, but no equine spoke loudly at that time. With another broad smile, the draconequus’s disposition turned cheery.

“Now could I get two volunteers? Two who would be willing to come up here and answer some questions?”

No pony raised a hoof. All the hundreds of duplicate draconequi kept sharps eyes on the crowd to see if any would. After a stretch of no pony daring to, they collectively rolled their eyes.

“Fine…”

A lion paw pointed randomly to a pony crowd, and an eagle claw pointed randomly to a changeling crowd. Two figures were incased in magic and draw out of their seats into the air, and up onto the silver platform.

The pony was a blue pelted mare with green mane, and she wore the leather outfit of a militia pony. The changeling was a common drone of Chrysalis’s swarm, and had a grey mane. Both of the equines were placed equidistant on either side of the draconequus. He extended a friendly paw towards both of them and shook their hesitant hooves.

“Alright, thank you, and thank you for being my brave volunteers. The questions I have are fairly simple, so there’s no need to fear you won’t know the answer.”

Both of the equines looked very afraid anyway, and quaked in their hooves, with their ears laid low and tails tucked between their legs.

“The lovely mare in this corner will be first. Now, for first the question, do you know this changeling over here?”

At first the shaken mare just stared, dumbfounded. The draconequus sighed, and smacked his face with his lion paw, before he slowly dragged it down. Then he picked up a far more conversational, and casual tone in an attempt to reassure the pony.

“It’s a simple question, have you seen this changeling before? Do you know him?”

He brought the mic to the mare’s muzzle, she stared at it, then up to the changeling across from her, then to the tall draconequus, then to the mic infront of her again. She mumbled a bit, but slowly found confidence.

“N-no. no. I don’t know him.”

“Very good, very good, now, over to this corner.”

The mic was brought infront of the drone’s fanged snout.

“Have you ever seen this mare before? Ever met her?”

“N-no. I haven’t.”

“Alright, so I’m correct when I say neither of you know each other.”

The pony and the changeling nodded their heads.

“Ok. On to the next question. What’s your name?”

The mic was brought to the mare again.

“Foamy Reeds, sir.”

“Oh no need to be so formal. Sorry I haven’t introduced myself by the way. I’m Discord. I’ll forgive you if you haven’t heard of me. But yes, Foamy Reeds, a very nice name indeed. And onto our other volunteer.”

The mic, held in his eagle claw, extended back towards the changeling.

“Your name?”

“Diggy.”

“Diggy, huh, nice and simplistic. Thank you for the frank answer.”

Both the changeling and the pony physically relaxed a little. The questions were not challenging, and the friendly casual manner of the draconequus helped them look past the oddness of the situation.

“So, Foamy, do you have any family?”

“I uh, have two brothers and three sisters. I’m number four. Oh, and there’s my parents.”

“Hmm, nice, now how about you Diggy?”

“Besides the rest of the swarm? My mate just had twins the other day.”

“Oh, congratulations! I’m sure you two look forward to raising them.”

The drone turned a little bashful, and scrapped one hoof along the ground.

“Yes.”

Discord gave the changeling a hearty pat on the back, and turned his attention back to the mare.

“And you, Foamy, are you on friendly terms with your family?”

“Ya, I love my family a lot. I’ve also got a dozen nieces and nephews that like me a whole lot.”

“Hmm, and I’m sure they miss their auntie, being so far away and all.”

“The little buggers can’t get enough of me, but ya.”

“I’m sure… Alright, that’s it for questions.”

Both Foamy and Diggy raised an eye brow to that.

“Really?”

“Yes, that was it. But there is one more thing before I let you two go.”

Both equines started to express apprehension in their postures again. They looked at each other for reassurance before they looked up to Discord. The slim snaky draconequus shrugged his shoulder and spoke matter of factly.

“Kill each other.”

“What?”

The equines gawked, not sure if they heard correctly.

“Kill each other… you know, fight to the death, one of you will probably survive. Go ahead, I won’t interfere…”

For a long measure of time there was silence, the silence extended all the way out to the stadium, and many thousands of eyes watched, just as nervous as the two equines held up on the pedestal. Many breaths were held, and eventually the tension became unbearable.

“N-no.”

It seemed as if every eye in the stadium shot to Diggy when he stuttered out that word. There was a wide, collective gasp, and Discord raised an eyebrow. A twinge of a smile came through his indifferent expression.

“Y-ya, me neither. I don’t want to fight him.”

Foamy seemed to have found her voice as well, and she even stamped her hoof in disapproval of the situation. The draconequus didn’t hide his smile very well at all.

“Oh, and why not? Aren’t you two on opposite sides of the fence?”

“Ya, but…”

Then the mare seemed to lose her voice just as fast. Luckily Diggy picked up for her.

“I don’t want to fight if I don’t have to. I don’t want to kill any pony…”

His courage bolstered hers, and she spoke up again.

“Ya, Diggy’s done nothing to me. Why should I fight him?”

Discord thoughtfully stroked his goatee, and spoke again with nonchalance.

“So are you two saying it would be wrong to fight each other right here, right now? That neither of you have a history with each other that deserves such a conflict.”

The pony and changeling exchanged glances again, and in turn gave a bold nod to Discord.

“It would be wrong.”

“Ya, nothing’s happened between us. There’s no reason to.”

At that point the chaotic chimera just burst into laughter. He even went so far as to fall backwards, and roll around on the pedestal, and flailed his limbs about giddily. This indulgence in humor was lost on the two equines, and they stared in confusion.

Eventually he calmed down, and crawled over to the pony and changeling. He lowered himself to their level, and wrapped an arm around each of them, so he could pull them close.

“Heh, pretty stupid huh? Just fight and kill each other for no good reason eh? Hard to think of something dumber than that ya?”

His constant chortles brought out some hollow laughter from the two.

“Ha-ha, ya. Real stupid.”

Foamy wore a very uneasy fake smile that Diggy attempted to share.

Discord suddenly stood up and dropped both of them on their rumps. His laughter was completely gone, and his expression fell to something rather dark. He snapped digits on both of his paws, and there was a white flash. Queen Chrysalis and Shining Armor appeared on the pedestal just behind the draconequus. More shocked gasps echoed across the stadium, and a few shouts and screams. Diggy and Foamy just gaped, speechless. Discord, however, had some words to seethe.

“Then why is it acceptable for you two to fight and die and when they say so?”

He might as well have breathed fire, because his new venomous tone caused Foamy and Diggy to drop to the ground, terrified. The draconequus then adopted a very sarcastic vehemence.

“Oh, but it’s justified! See, she’s all evil like, and, and he’s all aggressive like. So ya know, to settle out differences we need to throw minions at each other…”

Shining and Chrysalis were both frozen in place, neither could move a muscle, except for their eyes. Which were opened wide and wild. They both looked about with a panicked franticness. This greatly disturbed the on looking Foamy and Diggy. Meanwhile, the draconequus hovered a short distance up into the air, and pulled out two small cross planks of word. Attached to these crosses were strings. With long unnatural reach, Discord put out a paw above the mare and the changeling respectively.

In the next moment, the two ‘volunteer’ equines danced about as the chimera played with them like marionettes. Then he did a poor imitation of Chrysalis’s voice.

“Hey Diggy, we need their stuff, go get it!”

Another snap of magic put a frozen, barely lucid Cadance onto the platform. Discord puppeted Diggy over to Cadance, and the drone carried the princess over to Chrysalis’s side. Then Shining Armor was puppeted to jump about like a spastic goat. Discord’s impression of Shining was a little better.

“My bride! My bride, she took my only bride! Um, um, Hey Foamy!”

“Yes sir?”

“Go get her back for me!”

Foamy marionette marched over to the changelings. Discord’s bad imitation of Chrysalis’s voice came up again.

“The ponies are coming, go fight em’ off Diggy.”

Then Diggy and Foamy smacked each other around a bit, before they both were set on their sides. The chimera voiced Shining’s part again.

“Aw… looks like our soldiers are dead… guess that means we have to settle our differences ourselves.”

Frozen Chrysalis was made to slink in disappointment.

“Aw, llama pickles, it looks like you’re right. Ok, here we go!”

Discord made the stallion and queen do some play smacks with each other, meanwhile a copy Discord popped up next to the two fallen equines, Foamy and Diggy. He held a skull up in one paw, while he dramatically put the other on his forehead in a gesture of woe.

“Oh, to be or not to be… Should it be their decision?”

The copy discord scooped up the mare and the drone, and wept over them, dramatically.

“Oh, these leaders… These princes, princesses, queens, and kings! They feign care and importance for those below them. But when it push comes to shove, they would willingly sacrifice their own subjects for their needs! They don’t have your best interest at heart. For if they did, they wouldn’t send you to kill each other for their personal gain.”

The draconequus double released Foamy and Diggy, and their spell induced control was gone. As soon as the two were free, they skirted away till they were at the edges of the platform. Another snap of magic and only one Discord stood at the platform. He held out a paw, and gestured towards Chrysalis, Shining, and Cadance, then addressed the rest of the stadium with his voice.

“They won’t say it to you, but to them, the rest of you are disposable. You need a leader they say. We know how to make the best decisions they say. Our safety is a priority because you need us they say… Well guess what I say… You, my good equines, know what’s best for you. You know your needs. You know your concerns. You know your desires. You know all of this much better than your manipulative royalty… So who do you think should make decisions for you?...”

Magic surround the blue mare and the changeling drone, and both of them flew through the air, and were placed back into their original positions in the crowd. Shining, Cadance, and Chrysalis all disappeared in a flash.

“I’ve heard it several times, at different places, and at different eras. That this is your king’s war or this is your queen’s war… Well, now I say it’s time, it’s theirs, and I’m going to let them own it!”

With a willful clap, the silver platform that supported the draconequus broke free from the dark dome where it rested, and flew over towards the shrunken central pillar of the stadium. As he crossed the air, the darkness of the dome started to fall away, and become transparent.

Inside of the now clear dome was another large elevated platform. This one was earthy, and much wider than Discord’s personal silver disc. On the platform were eleven figures. Eleven equines that the audiences in the stadium recognized quickly.

Standing side by side, petrified into their positions, was Celestia, Luna, Cadance, Shining Armor, Sombra, Chrysalis, Crone, Specter, More, Monarch, and Torque.

Discord’s silver platform connected with the shrunken pillar. Which was still high enough to overlook the platform inside the glassy dome. In a snap, Discord jumped platforms, and hovered above the royalty that stood statuesque.

“Yes, all of these creatures, who would have much blood spilled on their behalf. Here they are, and here they can bring up their problems with each other. No pawns in the way, no knights on their behalf. No kingdom’s resources to burn for their endeavors… Just each other.”

Discord paused infront of More, and Torque, who still wore their pony guises.

“I suppose we should be honest at this point to. You’re not really Mayor More, and you’re not really King Torque.”

The disguises around the two royal changelings melted away under Discord’s presence. A shuddered gasp came from many Equestrian and Germane ponies, and the crowd almost erupted into riot at the mere sight of it. The Chimera just laughed wildly at the crowd’s response.

“Don’t get too excited yet, we haven’t even got to the good parts. I do appreciate the enthusiasm however.”

He clapped his paws together, and an overwhelming bolt of lightning blinded every pony, and a crack of thunder deafened every pony. The draconequus gave a few moments of recovery to the much subdued crowds.

“Now we are going to do a series of games. Over the course of this we will get to see your precious royalty work out their issues with each other.”

Discord turned towards each of the eleven ponies and changelings and eyed them one by one.

“I know there are plenty of aggressive feelings amongst this group. So, for the first game we’re going to do indulge in a little slapstick. Here are the conditions…”

The draconequus disappeared from the glassy dome, and reappeared on his silver disc pillar. He wore a black and white referee outfit, and pulled out a convoluted sports manual.

“Game one, battle royal…”

Suddenly the ground below the earthy platform cracked apart, and a thick red liquid began to ooze up. Soon it coated the floor, and bubbled menacingly beneath the plateau that hosted the ‘participants’.

“To win, knock all other contestants off the platform… into the river of ghost scorpion ursa trinity tartarus sauce.”

The ghost-scorpion-ursa-trinity-tartarus sauce flowed until it reached the edges of the glass dome, and then it steadily rose until the devilishly spicy sauce acquired some depth.

“No equine is allowed wings or magic. Also, there will be five minutes of pre-game banter. You’re free to form alliances, but remember, at the end there can be only one winner.”

In a final flash of magic, the eleven contestants we’re teleported equidistant away from each other, in a ring around the edges of the platform. All horns and wings disappeared from them.

“Alright, just remember, anything you say or do can and will be judged freely by me and the audience… Pregame banter go!”

With a snap of his eagle claws the equine royalty were released from their frozen state. Contained in their own cubicles, but otherwise free to move and speak.

“DISCORD!”

Author's Note:

To conduct the world

A twisted stadium becomes neighbor to the empire.

Discord's volunteers.

Mock politics...

Games to organize, and a line up of the participants.

The stage,

Up next, 5 minutes of pregame banter =P

Oh, and I guess the actual game :trollestia:

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