• 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.7 "The Queen and the King"

Chrysalis Wins

Ch.7 “The Queen and the King”

Shade walked nervously back and forth in the throne room. When he looked up to his queen the sight displeased him. Chrysalis grunted and huffed with her eyes tightly shut, and the glowing magic around her horn intensified dangerously. A sudden episode of vomiting came from the queen, and many of the partially digested treats eaten in the royal kitchens earlier that day found their way to the floor.

It wasn’t hard for the head of the vanguard to see the dream stalking caused his queen’s duress. He wanted to help, but tearing a dream stalking changeling away from their target was tricky business.

A high pitched screech tore at all the ears in the throne room, followed by a gnarly explosion. The queen was thrown back from Celestia’s pod with a violent rag tag flail. She stopped once she hit the opposing wall, and sank to the floor.

Several of the prisoner pods swung back and forth, some of which smacked each other,causing many goopy sloshes and slurps. One of the prisoner pods was knocked so bad it’s sinewy suspension snapped. The free cocoon sailed to the ground, and split open. Green viscous soup spilled all over the throne room floor, in the midst of the mess was Applejack.

The orange earth pony coughed up a bunch of liquid from her lungs. She shook her head back and forth to get the slime out of her face. Her vision was bleary as her eyes cracked open; it appeared to be night time.

“The hay…?”

A dark figure approached her, and she still couldn’t make out who, or what it was.

“One of the cocoons broke. I will remedy the situation.”

The voice was distinctly male, and had a slight click to it, but the meaning of the words bothered the earth mare substantially. Her eyes blinked rapidly and gained clarity with each snap.

A tall vanguard changeling approached her, there was a purple lining to the edge of his eyes, and several grey freckles ran down his face and neck. His horn was ignited and a fresh cocoon floated beside him. With the speed of a second place rodeo pony, Applejack jumped to her hooves, and promptly bucked the changeling in the face.

Shade found his head suddenly knocked backward, and the rest of his body soon followed. The pod fell to the floor as the vanguard skidded over the tile of the throne room.. He growled at the pain in his snout, and turned to look for the orange pony with dizzy unfocused eyes, but she was already gone.

Applejack’s sopping wet mane and tail flapped about noisily as she dashed for the exit. Two sentinels stood guard at the throne room doors, when they saw the rapidly approaching earth pony they cast their fighting magic. Long sword-like blades of energy protruded from their horns, and their front hooves shifted to claws.

The element of honesty, dropped to her haunches and skidded to a stop. If she continued to run forward those fierce looking’ door guards would probably tear her a new---

Applejack was suddenly knocked on her back. A large black hoof pinned her to the floor. Her green eyes looked up into the face of another changeling. This new specimen was larger than Big Mac, and had an orange tint around it’s otherwise blue eyes. The thick chitin that grew on this changeling formed neat segments of armor. It hissed in a female voice.

“Going somewhere, pony?”

The large and extra scary changeling lowered her face close to Applejack and bore her fangs.

“Get up, and go to your new pod.”

With little dignity the orange earth pony was lifted and placed on her hooves. Just moments before Applejack had been dreaming, living on her farm like normal without a care. Then this harsh reminder of the real situation had to be thrust on her. She looked up, and saw the rest of her friends, and beloved princesses contained in those green resin prisons. She didn’t want to give up yet, no way, no how.

One step forward was taken, before Applejack put weight on her front hooves, and reared her back hooves up high and bucked. The blow landed squarely on the large changeling’s chest, and did nothing.

The brute of a changeling laughed, and tapped it’s chest with one of its hooves, this caused a slight rattle.

“Think you can hit harder than a manticore do you? Maybe I can convince the queen to let you stay out a little longer, and spar with the sentinels.”

She lifted a black holed hoof and smacked Applejack on the flank. The blow was so hard it threw the earth pony off of her hooves, and left a nasty welt. There was a painful grunt as the Element of Honesty tried to rub her stinging back side.

The soft clop of hooves approached the small scuffle, and Applejack turned to see who. It was the changeling she had bucked in the face earlier. A little blue blood dribbled from one of his nostrils, but he otherwise seemed passive.

“Come on Vivisect, just be practical…”

“I was trying to be, before she tried to fight with me.”

Their conversation was cut off when a loud angry roar burst from the far side of the room. Chrysalis had sprung up from the ground and burned with magical energy. Glowing, enraged green eyes focused on one pod hanging from the ceiling and seized it in magic.

“Let’s see how you like it!”

The queen had grabbed Luna’s cocoon in magic and tore it free from the ceiling. She began to spin the freed pod around in circles in the middle of the air. It turned about faster and faster until it became a blur. Even after a minute, the rate of the spin only sped up.

Without warning Chrysalis brought the pod to an abrupt stop. Though the cocoon had halted its spin, the lunar occupant hadn’t, and she swirled violently within the viscous green fluid. When Luna finally stopped spinning, the unconscious diarch started to heave and puke within her prison.

“Dream on that!”

The queen spat at the pod, before slamming it back up against the ceiling and reattaching it with new sinews.

“Practical…”

The lead sentinel turned to the vanguard with a smirk.

“Shut it, Vivisect.”

“What in Tartarus was that about?”

Applejack was just stunned at the whole scene.

“Apparently your night Princess disturbed my queen’s communication with Celestia.”

Shade answered.

“Why’s Chrysalis tryin’ to talk to Princess Celestia? She’s already taken Canterlot, what else does she want, to gloat?”

“Information, taking over isn’t exactly an easy process. Learning to move the sun proved to be… an unusual ordeal. Now something else has come up, something troubling.”

The apple pony’s expression turned snide.

“Ya don’t say... And now she’s figurin’ she needs help, cause she ain’t as smart as she thought.”

A loud smack came in contact with the back of Applejack’s head.

“You will respect the queen. All of you were fooled except for Twilight Sparkle, even your princesses. You ponies are easily manipulated by your emotions.”

Vivisect growled.

“What, and you have no emotions to deal with? Two bits say you’re full of it. I saw plenty in what your queen just did there.”

“Get her in the pod already Shade!”

“Go back to you post then, no changeling said you had to lose an argument with a pony.”

It was Shade’s turn to smirk at Vivisect. The large armored changeling sneered at the vanguard and earth mare, before she turned and left. Applejack blew out some air with a snort towards the exiting sentinel. The earth pony turned suspiciously to the vanguard.

“I suppose I should thank ya for getting’ that varmint off my case.”

“Eh, Vivisect’s pride gets ahead of her at times.”

“So you changelings have names? Besides your queen I mean.”

“Only after we earn it. Many of us have lived and died nameless.”

“Well, do ya have one?”

“Shade.”

“And, how’d ya get that?”

“I became head of the queen’s vanguard of infiltrators.”

“Huh?”

Shade had to fight to urge to hoof smack his head at the mare’s ignorance,

“My particular division was responsible for keeping the swarm alive. We would live among you ponies and forge a new alias, or borrow one. The love we gained here or in other places was used to feed the swarm. It was my positive reports that inspired the queen to come here of all countries.”

Applejack’s face was bemused “So technically I could blame ya for this whole predicament.”

“Technically you could. The queen was going to invade whether I recommended it or not. The swarm was desperate to move out of the Badlands, it’s just, just that…”

“Just what?”

Shades eyes became downcast, his lids drooped low, ears folded back, and his muzzled grimaced into a frown.

“I should probably get you hung up again before the queen suspects I’m wasting time.”

“Really, ya can’t just let one little earth pony go? What am I gonna do?”

“Letting Applejack, the Element of Honesty up to her own volitions? I don’t think I can let that fly.”

“Ya know my name?”

“Of course, what pony hasn’t heard of the legendary tales of the Elements of Harmony?”

“I suppose you’re right…”

“Come here, those welts will stop hurting once you’re back in the pod.”

With a sad frown Shade picked up the new cocoon and Applejack in his magic, and put them together. He managed to tie her up to the ceiling by himself. Once the orange pony was back in her place the vanguard looked up at her for a moment.

The earth mare looked at him for a little while, until the sedative effect of the goo set in, and her eyes were closed once more.

A loud crash next to Shade caused him to be startled. Chrysalis grabbed her lead vanguard around the neck, and pulled him close. Their eyes were nearly mashed together, and he could smell vomit on her breath. The queen leaned quite heavily on the smaller vanguard for support, and her eyes seemed to shake within her head.

“I need half the swarm ready to move Shade. Tonight!”

The queen pulled back and stood on her own hooves. She wiped a small bit of dribble away from her chin, and stumbled over to the throne itself. Once there, she sat her haunches down on it, and put both of her fore hooves to her head, as she tried to stop the spinning sensation in her skull.

“What are we to prepare for my queen?”

“We are taking that city your scout saw. Get half of the drones, vanguard, and sentinels ready. Tell them to drain every last ounce of love from all prisoners. Then gather them to Gala Hall, we move from there. The other half will remain here to keep watch.”

The vanguard bowed, and moved to obey the order without further questions. Chrysalis shook her head, and the dizziness finally wore off. She hadn’t planned on what she was about to do next, but she wouldn’t risk losing Equestria’s control.

She flew up to the podded prisoners. Some of the most loving ponies in all of Equestria lay strung up there. Before Shining Armor, she had never had an entire pony's love to herself.

Everything had always been divided, and divided again. There were only a few hundred vanguards able to actually collect love, and thousands of changelings would share it amongst themselves, thus they had to ration it. Even despite having a significantly larger portion to herself due to her position, it was never more than a fraction of what even one pony could give.

Now she had access to many. The feedings she had taken earlier that day were modest, and not enough to disturb any of the slumbering prisoners. Though it was still enough she wouldn’t have to feed again for months. Now she was going to take more, substantially more. The flight over to Celestia’s pod was brief, and the queen readied to feed.

“Forgive me-, wait no, this will make us even. You think you can just get away with disrespecting me in your dreams. I will show you otherwise.”

Fangs grabbed onto the bottom of the cocoon, and Chrysalis inhaled deeply. The pod glowed dully as it’s energies were being drained at an accelerated rate. The green liquid became cloudy, and Celestia trembled with in her pod. The Solar Princess’s face contorted in discomfort.

The green cocoon was almost grey, and the unconscious alicorn was kicking about in her pod in the midst of a nightmare. It was harsh pay back for the mistreatment in the dream, but Chrysalis rationalized she needed the extra power. It would be days before Celestia produced anything emotionally edible again. The queen didn’t feel quite as bad for the next victim she moved to.

“They once called you Nightmare Moon, but tell me, was does a nightmare have nightmares about?”

The giant changeling proceeded to drain everything from the other princesses, and Elements of Harmony. Once she was done, she was full of enough love that she wouldn’t need to feed again for a century. It was actually enough to feed the whole swarm several times over, for weeks!

The potential energy hummed within her, and her body glowed. The holes in her hooves healed over, leaving them whole. Her patchy mane smoothed over neatly, and her wings grew out even longer, any holes in them were fixed as well. Chrysalis laughed with a girly giggle.

“Ooo hoohooohoo, I’m not sure I’m sorry at all. This… is amazing.”

She remembered the reason why she did it though, and left the throne room and headed to the Gala Ballroom.

---

Once the queen left, Shade poked his head back in through a window. Every sentinel stationed there faced towards the door or balcony. The head vanguard was able to sneak in silently, and used the special grip changeling hooves had to walk on the walls and ceilings. Like a spider Shade approached the pod of one pony.

His horn ignited and some of his personal love reserve was put into the grey cocoon. It's murky liquid cleared, and revealed an orange earth pony. She was in the middle of kicking around in her pod, but quickly calmed down once the murkiness was gone. Shade poured a little more love back into the cocoon for good measure, and Applejack actually cracked a smile. It was rather funny to Shade, giving a pony love was hardly different from feeding a changeling.

The vanguard was torn. He had come to understand ponies very well in all the years he had as an infiltrator, and empathized with them. But helping other changelings escape the conditions of the Badlands is what earned his loyalty to the queen. The atrocities they had to go through just to survive out there, these ponies wouldn't understand. Changelings like Vivisect simply didn't understand the ponies, they only knew the harshness they had been raised in.

"I'm sorry it has to be this way."

He wore a sad look on his face and gently placed a hoof on Applejack's cocoon. Helping the changelings help themselves had come at a high cost for Equestria. The vanguard's frown intensified as he looked at the other grey cocoons. He flinched when he thought of the other places Chrysalis had yet to conquer.

Hopefully Fancy Pants really could help make it a peaceful transition with Manehattan. That was where Shade had done most of his infiltration work. Where he had many friends he gained over years of work. If the queen let him scout out the populace before hand he could at least warn them.

The sound of the sentinels rotating positions snapped Shade to attention. He quickly left to go about his assigned orders.

---

Within an hour, a few thousands changelings had drained all the positive emotional energy they could get from one thousand royal guards, and dozens of other assorted prisoners. If the changeling swarm was strong enough to defeat canterlot’s guard before, it was now ready to do it ten times over.

The army flew to the Gala Halls, and occupied the Royal Gardens. Rampant hisses and chatters echoed around the castle. It was still the middle of the night, and the sudden disturbance caused many ponies to awake and promptly become fearful.

Chrysalis stood on her pedestal, and faced her three most trusted councilors.

“Shade and Vivisect will come with me. Colony you are in charge of the remaining sentinels, vanguard, and drones. See that things remain peaceable, I don’t plan on being gone for more than a few days at most.”

“I will see to it my queen.”

“And don’t stop counseling with Golden Trust, I still expect those plans to be complete when I get back.”

“Of course my queen.”

“Very well, Shade, Vivisect, with me.”

The queen took to the air, followed closely by her two more militant advisers. The rest of the changelings within the ballroom came behind. High in the air above the gardens, Chrysalis’s enacted swarm wide mental communication.

“All chosen for this venture come, and enter the portal.”

A great distance directly above Canterlot castle Chrysalis tore the fabric of space. It was massive, capable of letting dozens of changelings pass through it at once. Green flames licked about it’s borders and at its center was a dark abyss. Changeling portals were more efficient for moving large numbers of bodies than the burst of magic teleportation required. Thanks to the massive boost she had just received, the queen could easily spare the cost of maintaining it to move a few thousand of soldiers.

Shade’s link to the scout in the north let the queen know exactly where to place the exit side of the portal. The buzzing swarm advanced forward, diving into the rift created by the queen. Within minutes the entire host was gone and the queen entered last, before the portal was sealed shut behind her.

---

A lone, nameless, changeling vanguard shivered in the freezing winds of the arctic north. He stood on a hill, and surveyed the crystal city that glowed before him. The thought had crossed his mind, but he wouldn’t try to infiltrate it yet. There were still too many unknown factors. A a series of high pitched wails and groans came from behind the vanguard. It sent shivers down his chitin, and he turned around about.

Low guttural growls heralded the approach of a malevolent darkness. A massive sea of shadows flowed over the ground and stopped once it noticed the small being in front of it. The inky cloud warped, and it rose high and reared like some gigantic beast. Green eyes with red irises appeared, then glared down at the creature before them.

The vanguard nearly wet himself at the sight. However, you know hardened infiltrators don’t wet themselves… So instead he settled for the next best thing. Namely he ran away and screamed like a little grub.

His insectile wings were too frigid to fly, and he didn’t have enough magic left to keep them warm either. The one or two ponies he had found earlier were depressed recluses, with hardly anything to feed from.

One of the vanguard’s hooves faltered on an uneven dip in the snow and he tripped head over hooves. He pulled his head out of the snow and shivered violently, more from fear than the cold. There was no way he could outrun the advancing shadow monster now.

“Oh molt flakes…”

The fallen vanguard raised a hoof to block his vision of oncoming doom, when the sound of burning flames erupted in the air. Flames? That wasn’t the kind of noise the dark entity made earlier. The changeling shrugged and accepted his fate all the same.

The sound of buzzing is what really grabbed his attention though, that sounded like…

Changelings, hundreds and hundreds of changelings. Pretty soon a few thousand of them filled the air. And the lone, nameless, vanguard looked up at his saving grace. The shadowy giant stopped it’s pursuit in favor of observing the newcomers.

“Crystal Slaves?”

Had something gone wrong with his curse during the thousand years? Did he unwittingly turn all the crystal ponies into bugs? The devilish red eyes blinked several times in confusion.

The enormous fiery portal eventually came to a close, and the largest changeling of them all made her appearance. The queen’s presence was easily discernible in the midst of her swarm. For her magical aura glowed like the moon next to stars, magnitudes above the rest.

It was only a moment before the two most powerful beings locked eyes.

“King Sombra…”

“A bug?”

The monstrous shadow had solidified into the rough shape of a giant unicorns head, and expressed a strange mixture of surprise, and disappointment.

“That is Queen Chrysalis to you specter. Queen of Equestria, and soon to be this city.”

“A bug?”

“Is that all you can say?”

“Crystals…”

Sombra’s ethereal mouth hissed. The ghostly king’s voiced echoed past the changeling army and beyond. His gaze left the queen, and turned to the unprotected empire, greed filled his eyes, and he hungrily licked his chops.

Chrysalis and her army were ignored as Sombra’s giant cloud advanced towards the empire. His deep base voice chuckled madly as he did so.

“You inane… Grrrr, every changeling blast him!”

Immediately hundreds of bursts of green magic launched at the enormous shadow. The spectral king stopped his advance, and sensed he was under attack. When the bolts of energy approached, Sombra silently dodged them, his form twisted and parted to avoid every shot.

“Ha-ha-ha…HA!”

Came the laugh of the king, at the ineffective attacks. When Chrysalis saw the energy was being wasted in a futile effort she shouted a mental command to ‘stop’. Sombra noticed they stopped attacking, and turned back to his advance on the empire.

“Cryssssstalsssss!”

“You may be nimble, but you’re not getting past me!”

The queen snarled, and her horn erupted with a vault of flaming green energy. A wall of emerald fire intercepted the advance of the black clouds. The king’s giant unicorn head butted into the burning barrier and bounced back. Part of the shadowy makeup of his face dissolved. He roared loudly as part of his essence was severed in his spectral state, though it quickly grew back when he turned to face the perpetrator, letting out a roar that shook the landscape.

Chrysalis landed heavily on the snow, and started to slowly trot towards the living shadow.

“Celestia and Luna were able to put you away. I will put you down!”

Sombra’s eyes flashed in recognition when he heard the names of the royal sisters. His fiendish eyes roamed the skies, as if he expected them to be there.

“Celestia?”

“No, Sombra, It’s Chrysalis.”

Playing with this shadow wasn’t as much fun as she’d thought it would be. With a sigh she conjured more burning barriers, and made them close around Sombra’s cloudy being. The flaming walls vaporized any part of the shadow they touched. The two stared at each other like rival predators.

“Grrrraw, you will not keep me from Cryssstalsss!”

“Ha, I’m impressed. So you can say more than two words.”

Before Chrysalis’s fire could completely encompass Sombra he leapt out of his clouds. The Large shadowy face emerged from the midst, with a trail of smoke that snaked behind. He launched forward and crashed down into the ground, and disappeared amongst the solid matter. Though a visible shadow could be seen where he landed. His dissolved form wormed it’s way back into the wilderness. A trail of crystal spires was left in his wake.

Chrysalis followed the trail, and blew apart the crystal structures along the way. The path of dark magic suddenly ended, and the queen could hear a faint chuckle. She looked here, there, and everywhere, but could see no sign of the spectral king, so she growled. Her army gathered around her, and landed in the snow. Vivisect approached.

“Is he dead my queen?”

“I do not believe so. He’s merely retreated, for now. Have the swarm form a protective watch around the empire. Tell them to use barrier magic if a shadow approaches, it seems to be the most effective.”

The head sentinel clicked, and started to cast a message spell to various parts of the swarm. Shade approached the queen next.

“Is there anything else my queen?”

“I’m going to introduce these crystal ponies to their new sovereign, the vanguard can come with me into the city.”

The army started to disperse, and surround the borders of the empire. It was a strange sensation to step past the boundary and into the crystal realm. For on one side were the freezing temperatures of the frozen north, but on the other was a pleasantly balmy spring. The temperature shift was distinct and immediate.

The queen’s entourage flew straight towards the center of the city, and passed over many of the crystal homes. Several surprised ponies looked up when they heard a buzz. The crystal ponies themselves were sullen and faded, but their eyes immediately snapped wide open when they saw what flew by.

One pony shouted.

“Sombra has returned! As a mare!”

Chrysalis face hoofed.

“This may take longer than I thought.”

---

Deep, deep underground, Sombra’s essence slithered straight through stone and earth. Eventually his shadow dropped down into a tunnel. His eyes glowed with magical luminescence and illuminated the dark space he came to rest in. When he looked about he saw a small metal rail, and an old cart rested on the track.

“Cryssstal minesssss.”

The sight of some chains on the ground brought up old memories, and they made him grin.

“Cryssstal hrrr. Herrr. Heart. Crystal heart! The Crystal heart, isss mine. Foolisssh bug!”

His menacing voice echoed down the tunnel. It had been so long since he had talked, so very long. The imprisonment in the ice had his mind addled. It was so much solitude that he had forgotten many things in the oppressive oblivion. There were a few things however, he could, neh, WOULD NEVER forget.

“Crystal heart, is mine!”

Howls reverberated through the very walls, and Sombra navigated his way through the bowels of the empire. His eyes burned with dark magic

“The Crystal Empire Is….MINE!”

Author's Note:

Thus begins the war with her first serious foe!!! dun dun dun. :trixieshiftleft:

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