• Published 2nd Dec 2015
  • 3,335 Views, 151 Comments

Queens to Check, Dragon to Mate - dracone



Spike and Chrysalis are now raising a family, but her "side of the family" threatens the peace when they arrive.

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Prologue

Author's Note:

And here's the sequel many of you have been waiting for. Drop me a line with suggestions and leave some comments when you can. Also, as always, you're free to use all the resources I provide so long as you keep me in the loop about them so I can assist you if need be.

Quick note, the tags, and rating will be subject to change with some of the coming updates.

Enjoy

It was almost five years since she married Spike, and Chrysalis couldn't have been happier. She was on her way to Twilight's Castle, one of her recently hatched daughters in her arm. Chrysalis was very happy with her little Focus Crystal, for some reason this one daughter didn't like being separated from her mother if it was more than twenty feet (Chrysalis didn't really mind). The four-month-old changeling foal was the first of her new Spell Collector class workers. The changeling foal was a light violet color with a tint of blue, she also was pulling close to her mother's leaf green dress with mustard yellow highlights every time a new pony seemed to be getting closer.

Chrysalis had just dropped her her three eldest off at Ponyville's magical kindergarten. Light Novel, Dusk Sentinel, and Satin Care were the first of her children with Spike, the hive's primes, and each was given a name by somepony different. Satin was given her name by Rarity, the moment Satin heard her name she showed her delight, it seemed fitting name since Satin was the first of the nurse class workers Chrysalis begot; Dusk was named by Luna, and her name seemed fitting since she was the first the hive guard, unlike soldier class workers hive guard were more defensively oriented in their design and mindset, and were well within Chrysalis's way of thinking since she had always preferred to focus on keeping her hive (and now extended family and even Equestria itself) safe in any way possible; and Novel was given her name by Twilight Sparkle, she was the first of the knowledge keepers, she was also the oldest of the three. None of the three were very aggressive, in fact the three were quite submissive, much to the surprise of everyone. But given the nature of who their biological father was the surprise didn't last long, it was also theorized that the extended submissive aspect of their personalities might lessen after they matured to a certain point.

Instead of heading home, which would undoubtedly help relieve Spike of the twenty other four-month-old foals that had recently hatched, she headed to Twilight's palace to have a chat with the Princess of Friendship. She knocked on the door and was greeted by Dinky.

“Hello, Dinky,” said Chrysalis, “is Twilight in?”

The purple-gray mare seemed to think about it for a moment before saying in her usual professional tone, “Yes, she just returned a few minutes ago.”

“Is she busy,” said Chrysalis, “I don't want to intrude if she is.”

“No, actually she hasn't had to deal with anything other than her daughter the past few days, she'd probably welcome the break of inactivity you'll bring,” she then noticed the infant in Chrysalis's arm, “and who might this little cutie be?” The infant moved in closer to her mother for comfort.

“One of my recently born daughters, Focus Crystal,” said Chrysalis, “please get Twilight, and don't tell her about Focus Crystal, I want the experience to be a surprise for her.”

Dinky nodded and said, “Please come in, I'll go fetch the princess, you can go wait in the study.”

“Thank you very much,” said Chrysalis as she stepped inside and made her way to the study, “I'm sorry Spike hasn't been able to lessen your workload lately, he's been a little busy with the rest of our newly hatched brood.”

“That's quite alright,” said Dinky, “I've seen what parenthood does to someone, Twilight was in quite a tizzy her first year when the little filly was born.”

“Worried over every little thing for the infant?” Said Chrysalis, “I remember how she had to be calmed down at the foalshower.” They both shared a chuckle as Dinky closed the door behind them.

Chrysalis headed for the study, inside the study was a collection of tomes, scrolls, notebooks, empty ink wells, and even a few tablets. It was clear Twilight was using the study for what its name implied, she used her magic to move some books off the green couch and place them neatly at the side of the couch. After a few minutes Twilight entered the room, looking a bit frazzled, and flopped on the small 'nest' of books that was covering what should have been a high-backed chair with plush, blue upholstery that was adorned with her cutie mark, but was hidden under the 'mountain' of books the lavender mare had placed on it.

“Had the staff staying out of the study for a bit I see,” said Chrysalis, Twilight jumped in surprise at the sound of her guest.

“Oh, high Chrysalis,” said Twilight, “yeah, I guess, I just dropped Seeker off at the magical kindergarten an hour ago, and I guess I shouldn't have stayed up late on my research,” she gave a yawn, which was echoed by the infant in Chrysalis's arm, the sound snapped Twilight awake and she turned her attention to Chrysalis to see the four-month-old foal in her arm, “Oh my gosh,” she said with excitement, “the rest of your brood hatched! When did that happen?”

“Four months ago.”

“She's beautiful,” cooed Twilight, “mom's going to be ecstatic about this! What kind of changeling is she?”

“She's a Spell Collector, I named her Focus Crystal. As for the coming family events, I don't think your parents' abode could hold us all, and I don't think the private wings of Celestia and Luna are equipped to handle as many foals all that well either.”

Twilight groaned as she said, “My Castle probably can't handle an influx of that many young foals either, but your warning does offer an opportunity to start planning expansions for the educational sites in the Ponyville area.”

“Always planning the future of the town I see. You're probably going to have to work out the logistics before submitting the enhancements, I mean look at Pinkie's place, she and Cheese were so concerned with aesthetic of the complex they didn't even consider the logistics, they were just fortunate you and the Apples were looking out for them on that front.”

“You helped to solidify a few things on that project too, you reminded them it was better to go with a general appearance more than tear their manes out over types.”

“It was a practical suggestion, one I'm sure you or one of your other friends would have made.”

“I suppose, but it would have taken a bit longer, I don't think any of us would have thought to take certain elements out of the equation, you pointed out to them they were worrying about variables that didn't matter. They were building a place to work and live, not make a record-breaking dessert. I don't think any of us would have come to that conclusion that fast, we'd have probably stewed over it for a few years before tactlessly saying the type of cake didn't matter.”

“You're saying instead that massive building they had built a few years ago on the edge of town would still be in design stage? Twilight, I think you're selling you and your friends a little short. It's important to know your capabilities and limits, but helping someone with work on their home should be well within your limits,” Focus Crystal made a babbling noise that alerted her mother, Chrysalis bounced the filly few times causing her to giggle with joy before falling silent again.”

“She's adorable, may I hold her?”

“She doesn't like being separated from me, she'll wail when I get too far from her and she tries to make herself smaller when she thinks others want to take her away from me.”

“Now that's just silly, I'm her aunt, I would never do anything to endanger a foal, especially one that's family.”

“Doesn't stop her from treating her father with that sort of reaction.”

“Oh, right. Foals don't always go about things logically.”

“Almost never,” both mares gave a giggle, which in turn caused Focus Crystal to giggle.

“You mentioned that memory spell you taught me was acquired by a spell collector, what does that mean for the foal itself?”

“Spell collectors are the changelings that have excellent memories, their primary duty is to gather information on spells and figure out how to execute those spells. Standard changeling practice with spell collectors is once the knowledge is gained is ensure no one else can learn or use the spell, a practice I chose to disregard when I taught you that memory spell. Growing up I was told spell collectors have a natural ability to alter the memories of their targets, in the time before spells were numerous they were Memory Changers, but once an abundance of spells was discovered to exist to changelings we as a culture re-purposed them into spell collectors. Well, that's not entirely accurate, we've just been constantly told they can alter memories, truth be told, they just have a near perfect memory and are usually just taught mind alteration spells from very early on.”

“Why would anypony do that?”

“Because changelings are in a near constant state of war with each other, and our interlinked minds that exist within each hive make it nearly impossible to alter memories. It's kind of like having an archive of personal memoirs with each backup copy of memoirs equal to the total number of staff that looks after them, all you have to do is 'access' one of the redundant copies if you're doubting what you have written down. The mind alteration strategy doesn't work on changelings, but it can affect just about anything else, we had a discussion about that sort of thing at length shortly after Spike and I brought the triplets down for their first Hearth's Warming.”

“Oh yeah, but you didn't seem to properly explain how spells that target the mind have lessened effects on changelings.”

“That has more to do with being something you need experience with than talking,” she shifted the now sleeping Focus Crystal in her arm, “words used to describe are quite inaccurate in explaining it properly. Focus Crystal just has phenomenal memory, just like Light Novel, the main difference is that Novel is more structured towards safeguarding all information and Crystal is more oriented towards how to apply information in how to practice it, although it wasn't uncommon for knowledge keepers and spell collectors to share the same general territory within the hive.”

“Was?”

Chrysalis gave a deep sigh, “Knowledge keepers and spell collectors aren't seen in most of the hives these days, my own mother's hive had so few they made up a very small fraction of a percent of the hive's total population where I grew up. Add that the fact that fewer and fewer hives are allowing them to be born or survive after they hatch and you can see the dilemma. I'm proud to say that my hive has no soldiers, we're not interested in fighting anyone, but we will defend ourselves when push comes to shove, in fact to my recollection my new hive is the only one to be devoid of soldiers, that might change at some time in the future, but I hope they end up being a minority in the hive.”

“Since Focus Crystal is here with you I'm assuming the rest of the egg sacks hatched.”

“Yes, in collected bursts. Eleven two months ago and ten last month, Crystal's from the first burst of hatchings. I'm sorry I left Spike with twenty changeling infants, but he insisted I make today a leisurely one once I dropped off the girls at school, that was just a little while ago.”

“I take Crystal shied away from everyone there.”

“Lucky for her we didn't get that close.”

The changeling infant opened her green eyes and reached for Twilight making babbling noises, “Well, that's different, looks like she wants to know you better.” Twilight stretched out her arms and Chrysalis gently placed the infant within them.

Focus Crystal made sounds of delight, “Looks like she doesn't seem to mind me.”

“It seems so, I'm just wondering why she will let you hold her when she feels the need to cry when her own father gets too close.”

“I don't think we'll ever find the answer to that,” said Twilight as she bounced the giggling foal, “but at least it's nice to see the family growing a bit more. Mom and dad are going to have mixed feelings about all this.”

“Because their place doesn't have enough room for all the girls, I take it.”

“Pretty much, yeah, it's always been a sort of tradition for us all to spend Hearth's Warming at their place, but now that all twenty-four of your girls are hatched we probably won't have enough space for everypony, and the going through the Everfree in winter probably won't sit will with them either.”

“Doesn't sit will with me or Spike either, but that's how things seem to play out. We have thought about adding in an extra tunnel to Ponyville, but decided against it.”

“Why is that,” Twilight bounced the giggling foal a bit.

“Maintaining a tunnel that large would be troublesome, it would be far more work than maintaining the one to the castle.”

“But not as large as the colony proper.”

“That was built up by the remnants of my prior hive before I lost them,” she gave a mournful sigh, “it has special reinforcements known only to changelings, some of the magic reinforcements extend through the tunnels outward, but a tunnel of the length between the colony grounds and Ponyville would gradually have its reinforcements thin to the point they don't exist before the half way point is reached, not to mention a tunnel that size would be far more prone to collapsing than the other tunnels, although it may not look it the tunnel between the castle and colony proper has diminished reinforcement when compared to the colony proper. We are fortunate that both changelings and earth dragons have a passive magic that reinforces the tunnels they dig in order to ensure it doesn't collapse on us, but that sort of magic tends to dissipate quickly without us regularly moving around those same tunnels. It works well with a colony because it acts as our home, thus even if we don't use any rooms our ambient magics float through them to ensure they don't collapse, the reason it works so well is...”

“Because the chambers are in close proximity to each other, a large tunnel would only get a fraction of that benefit. I see now, you can't do it yet, once the rest of your girls are old enough it might be possible.”

“But as we both know, that takes years, the triplets physically mature at the rate of an average pony.”

“And mentally?”

“That's a bit trickier, since all basic knowledge like communication and locomotion are usually passively passed from the queen to her offspring from the point of birth and all capabilities become evident once they physically mature to a point that can properly make use of the information. It's why I didn't have to teach the girls how to talk, the moment they were born my link with them was established and I passively transmitted the entirety of my linguistic knowledge to them, it wasn't until they were physically mature enough that they started proper speaking. The only exceptions to this rule are queens, we have to learn in much the same way ponies do since a young queen is technically not a part of the hive.”

“That explains the lecture hall from your foalhood, your mother struck me as the kind to not want to spend her time doing something like that.”

“She didn't, as far as I can tell she only had queens so that she could experiment in making her version of the ideal changeling.”

Twilight blinked a few minutes before saying, “You and your sisters were experiments? You I can kind of understand, seeing your memories showed you weren't quite the way changelings normally should be, but your sisters as well?”

Chrysalis nodded, “Of course, its just a running theory right now, I also suspect that I might have a closer genetic relation to some queens than I initially believed.”

“How close are we talking?”

“After delving through all the relevant information available to me here, in my colony, in Canterlot, and even the Crystal Empire I think that Queen Arachne might in fact, be my grandmother, it would partially explain why she was so quick to accept me for an audience before she learned what I wanted to discuss with her before our 'alliance' was established.”

“You're going to have to elaborate on that one.”

“Even though queens are highly suspicious of each other, especially if they're 'family', in what little of our history is recorded it has been shown that queens that have a direct genetic link of some kind usually form alliances fastest, I think the changeling reasoning behind it is they figure since they're family they usually can have better knowledge of how to counterattack if they're turned on.”

“You don't have much of your history recorded?”

“We have next to no history recorded, in fact, changelings have very little in the way of official records.”

Twilight gave a rather strong gasp of surprise, “But you have knowledge keepers, your eldest is one, how could you have next to no cultural records?” She bounced a slightly squirming Focus Crystal, who gave a few delighted giggles as she calmed down.

“Little known fact, hives with knowledge keepers usually have them looking after information we've managed to pilfer or plunder. I'm one of the few that actually took the time to collect data that wasn't already recorded by another. It's so bad we don't really have anything resembling and official history, the closest we have is a collection of lores and stories that in all likelihood are more allegory than account.”

“So, they're a culture that doesn't learn the lessons of the past?”

“When I asked my mother why their was so little of a record of the past she gave me a sneer and said 'those of the past came to an end, we have no need to know about those that have failed to continue into the present', granted changelings do have long lifespans, but I was always of the mindset the failures of the past can help lead to the greatest of successes.”

“That's why you almost looked like you wanted to live in the history section of the library whenever you chose spend time in it, why didn't you tell me that before now.”

“How would you feel about a lack of knowing your own history despite being a self-proclaimed scholar?”

“Pretty embarrassed.”

“How bad is it?”

“Pretty bad, aside from the stories of the 'five original hives' we have no real idea regarding our origins, on top of that in spite of all my digging through what little we had on record in all the changeling hives I was allowed to 'visit peacefully' I was unable to find any record of who the first queens to form the first instance of 'an alliance' or why they did it. Twilight, changelings have a potentially rich culture, all demographics do, but all the potential records of where we came from and possible great works of art were shoved aside and forgotten in favor of the militaristic approach. I won't lie, that approach does seem to have kept the changelings as a whole from coming to an end, but if it keeps up we'll be responsible for our own extinction. The only things that seem to be keeping that from happening is our lack of any sort of population control and our naturally long lifespans. Conflict and conquest are the way of things for changelings, we haven't gotten down a proper bartering practice.”

“You use bits or some other kind of denominational currency, right?”

“More like a 'you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours' approach with the added bonus of death threats, backstabbing and various other politically questionable acts.”

“I remember Spike telling me about what you said passes as acceptable in a queen's throne room, I have to say that as fascinating as it is I also find it to be pretty horrible. With a lack of proper rules, it just doesn't seem right.”

“That's just it, the rest of the colony is all about keeping your decorum, but the throne room has a setting where only a small handful of rules are in place. Of course, none that will really matter for changelings on the warpath, seeing as they'll be out to destroy everything that calls the colony grounds home.”

“Which could pose a problem since your old hive is no longer around and the one you're growing is technically part of the royal family since all of them share Spike's genetic material.”

“Well there is that, but it won't happen without warning.”

“Come again?” Focus Crystal curled up closer Twilight and gave a cute, drowsy yawn while in the throws of her nap.

“They need to confirm the location of the colony if they're unfamiliar with it, and this being a colony ground that I've bee living in since a little bit before the girls were born it seems a safe bet they'll have scouts out looking for the colony entrance. Chances are also high that since my initial colony and I eluded our initial execution that another queen, most likely my mother or one of my sisters, has stated outright the 'honor' of either my execution or disposal of my hive should go to her. But as things stand now they still need to garner information regarding my whereabouts and locations I frequent.”

“Makes sense, they want to make this a surgical act, removing what they deem a problem while minimizing damage the surrounding areas.”

“I'm going to try and go have some 'me time', since Crystal likes you so much keeping her around for few hours while I attend to some things I've been meaning to in the past five years shouldn't be too much trouble, I'll see you both in a couple of hours.”

“Have fun. I have a quick question, how soon in their development can a spell collector learn spells?”

“I don't know, they're usually learning spells by the end of their first month, but when you take into account the maturation rate of the average changeling...”

“It's like a pony learning all their spells in your mid-teens. Well, looks like I'm going to see just how magically proficient she is when she wakes up.”

“Twilight, we've already learned that changeling/dragon hybrids develop at around the same rate as a pony, she's not even a year old. How old were you when you started learning basic spells?”

“Five or six, I think, but what if I had started learning earlier than that.”

“Just try not to ruin my daughter too much while I'm away,” said Chrysalis as she left the complex.