• Published 19th Sep 2015
  • 5,671 Views, 781 Comments

I, Chrysalis - Scarheart

Imprisoned, Queen Chrysalis writes the story of her life, her legacy. But not for those pathetic ponies! Gifted with a daughter, she cherishes what could be the last changeling she will ever interact with...

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Chapter II

The first vision I can clearly remember when I finally could see clearly was that of a ball. A little red ball. Unremarkable, really, but I found I enjoyed pushing that ball. It made a noise when I pushed it and I would chase it some more. The harder I pushed it, the faster it rolled. The faster the ball rolled, the noisier the sound it would make. It let me exercise my legs. My hoof-eye coordination improved. I loved that ball. I think I still have it somewhere. It had been a gift from She, whom I identified as my provider. A simple toy. It made her happy to see me play.

She was not only my provider, but she also had a name. Mother.

Mother kept an eye over me while I explored a world that every day seemed to grow larger and larger. It always seemed as soon as I thought I had found everything, realization began to dawn the world I did not know of lay beyond my small perceptions. My early days consisted of me learning how to see, how to crawl, how to fly…

Very confusing times, as I recall. There were other things going in the the world I knew nothing of. Terrible things. Pain and suffering lay beyond our hive. LIngering fear permeated from beyond the chamber which was my world. Mother repressed it, kept it away from me.

Mother was gentle. She—

There was a knock at the door, interrupting the changeling. Chrysalis rolled her eyes and let out a huff of annoyance. She had to stand and go to a spot in front of the door. Her writing was set aside; quill set down and the ink well stoppered. A paper weight was placed upon the corner of her personal writings. Pushing herself up, she growled, buzzing her still healing wings. Her joints protested and muscles threatened to tighten as she limped painfully to the designated spot. Just a couple of weeks ago, all four of her legs had been broken. That had been the least of her problems.

Shaking the memory from her mind, Chrysalis cast a longing look at her sleeping daughter. Atalanta was curled into a ball of adorable, peeping in her sleep. After her first molt, her pale and soft chitin would begin to change. The holes in her legs would begin to show. It would be a cornerstone and a bittersweet one for the mother to observe. It would be a visual reminder of the eternal hunger all changelings had. No food could satisfy it and there was never enough love.

Straightening herself, Chrysalis cast a quick look at the vanity mirror to ensure she was presentable. It simply would not due to let the ponies see her in any state of disarray. There were still bags under her eyes. It was a shame her magic was restricted to the point where she could not even apply a vanity spell or even a bit of her innate ability to do a little bit of shifting.

Apparently, she was expected to be tout naturel. At least she had a nice brush for her teal mane and tail. Her chitin was still battered and covered in scratches. Most of it was superficial, but there were some serious gashes in her natural armor from her impact with the earth. It would not fully repair itself until her next molt and that was still some weeks away. This irritated her. A lot of things lately irritated her. Being captured and imprisoned had been and currently was embarrassing. It could only mean her failure would add more meaning to the emptiness of the Hive Mind.

Once she was in her circle, runes flared to life around her hooves. A bored expression creased lines into her face as the door glowed with magic. It swung in. A lunar guard walked in. He was a massive mountain of a pony, larger than even Chrysalis. Beneath his silver armor lay a dark brown pelt, almost black. His mane remained hidden, but his tale was short and pale, almost ghostly. His leathery wings were black. She smirked as she wondered if he was the answer to her physical strength. This new pony certainly was a fresh face.

He eyed her with practiced scrutiny before saying over his shoulder, “She is clear, My Lady.” Amber slitted eyes never left the Queen.

In entered the Princess of the Night. “Thank you,” she told the guard. “Please ensure we are not disturbed.”

“As you command, My Lady.” The guard backed out of the room, his head held high, then bowing low to the Princess reverently before coming up again. His eyes never left the changeling. With the thumb on his right wing, he hooked the door handle and pulled it with him as he left. The door closed silently with only the latch clicking.

“So,” Chrysalis began with false politeness. “What brings you here on this lovely day? Or is it night? I never am sure anymore.” The runes at her hooves faded and the circle disappeared. She hobbled towards the cushions as quickly as her stiff limbs would allow her, squarely and deliberately placing herself between Atalanta and Luna.

Luna did not answer for a moment. Instead, she observed and took mental notes. Chrysalis was doing very much the same thing, her wings buzzing despite her seeming calm. Both mares swished their tails, clearly uncomfortable with each other and for different reasons.

“Are you still in discomfort? Are your legs healing well?” Luna offered.

“What does it matter to you?” retorted Chrysalis. “Crippled or not, I seriously doubt you wish to engage me in a casual stroll through a sunlit forest and talk of small things.”

“Your well-being is important to us, Queen Chrysalis.”

“Of course it is.”

The alicorn ruffled her wings and gave a small snort. “I am only asking because I am concerned. You were badly wounded when you were brought here and you have fought with the doctors appointed to healing you and understanding your physiology. We want to ensure you are well on the road to recovery.”

“Why? So you can ask more questions? Interrogate me more harshly? Remind me of my failure? Bring up the reality that my hive is most likely destroyed? Lay the blame squarely at my hooves?” Chrysalis’ temper rose. “I will tell you ponies nothing! You will never break me! You will never take my daughter from me.” Remarkably, her voice remained steady, though strained. Maintaining composure was important and she did not want to wake Atalanta.

“If I had things my way, yes,” admitted the alicorn plainly. “You violated Our sovereign nation, assaulted Our sister, impersonated and imprisoned Our niece, held the Captain of the Guard in your thrall, traumatized Our subjects, and caused countless billions of bits in damage to Our capital.” Her blue eyes were like steel. “I should like nothing more than to deal with a creature such as you as we did to such monsters a thousand years ago!”

“You mean as when you were banished to the moon for your petty jealousy?” countered Chrysalis with a smirk.

Luna did not rise to the bait. “Is the food to your liking? You may be incarcerated here, but you should at last have amenities to make your stay as comfortable as possible.”

“You mean to make my death sentence as comfortable as possible. I cannot foresee Equestria letting me go any time soon. I do believe you intend to let me rot in here the rest of my days. I am over a thousand years old, Princess Luna. Do you intend to keep me here for a thousand years more? Do you wish to see me imprisoned as you once were imprisoned?” Chrysalis slid to the floor and on to her stomach, wincing as her legs and joints protested. She ignored Luna and instead checked on Atalanta. She would wake soon and she would be hungry.

“We wish to understand more of your kind. We do not want to see a species we have only just begun to understand to fade into the history books as an asterisk.”

“Go look to the Zebrican Savannah,” replied Chrysalis absently. “I will tell you nothing more in regards to my kind.”

“The Savannah?” Luna blinked. “That is on the other side of the world.”

“It is nice to know you’ve at least discovered the world is round since your return.”

“You have a sharp tongue, Chrysalis,” observed Luna wryly.

“I do? I haven’t noticed. Why are you here, Princess? The false sympathy is expected, but does a poor job of masking your intentions.”

Luna gave her a steady gaze, lacking completely in emotion. Her eyes bored into the Queen’s. A battle of wills ensued. “I wish to ask about your daughter.”

Fury welled up in the Queen’s chest. “You will not have her!” she growled, arching her neck and scrambling to her hooves.

Luna did not move. “I do not intend to take her. Her needs. Is there anything you can think of to make her more comfortable? Her well being is of the utmost importance to you, I am sure.”

“You… you… you have no rights to her,” stammered Chrysalis, barely containing her rage. “You have me cut off from my hive. I will not allow you to cut me off from my daughter.”

The alicorn was unruffled. “I do not wish to take your daughter from you. We have no intentions of separating you from your daughter. I would like for the medical staff to examine her so we might better be able to provide medical treatment should the need arise. It would also help if you would cease being stubborn and assist in building up our medical knowledge in regards to your species.”

Chrysalis calmed visibly, her mane going flat. She had not realized she had assumed a protective stance, her wings, mane and tail flaring out. Silently she cursed her lack of discipline. She turned to Atalanta. The little one was awake and staring blindly up where she had last heard her mother’s voice. No, she was probably seeing blurry blobs of color by now. She had gone silent and still, waiting for her mother to reassure her.

Luna was watching her, wary and aware of what Chrysalis was capable of. She had three guards still in the infirmary because of the changeling. One of them might even have to retire from service. Maintaining a neutral expression, she dipped her head to one side as she gathered her words. “I have no intentions of separating you from your child, changeling. If you would like, you may observe the doctors while they examine your daughter. You will have a say in what they can and cannot do. We would never harm an innocent, despite the monster that bore them into this world. We cherish children and hold them dearly to Our heart.”

Chrysalis stomped a hoof. “No! Absolutely not. My daughter is perfectly healthy, thank you. She will not become an experiment for you to exploit.”

“Please, believe me.”

“NO!” roared the Changeling Queen. Atalanta woke up and began to cry. She hiccuped in fear between wails. Her anger fell away as her eyes went wide. Spinning on a back hoof, she whirled on her daughter and crouched down. Cooing noises came from her lips as she nuzzled the frightened hatchling. “Shh! Mommy’s sorry. Mommy’s sorry! Please don’t cry, my little morsel. Mommy didn’t mean to yell.”

Luna looked on, abashed and a bit ashamed. She opened her mouth to say something, but reconsidered. Sighing in defeat, the Princess of the Night turned and slowly made her way to the door. “Very well, Chrysalis. I also wish to inform you of a matter concerning your hearing. The physician who healed you says you should be fit within days.”

“How does that concern me, exactly?”

“Your hearing will be held to determine if you should be put on trial for the crimes against Equestria and the Crown. We have offered to act as your council, should you chose to accept Us to speak in your defense.”

“Ah, kangaroo court. Of course.” Chrysalis stretched out a cramping hind leg, wincing as she did so. Everything was still sore. She imagined it would be that way for some time. How inconvenient. “Everyone gets to see the horrible changeling who made them realize their world is not full of just sunshine and rainbows. I saved you all. I think you should know that.”

“It is a private hearing. Mine sister will sit in judgement. Twilight Sparkle will be sitting as the representative of the State. As We stated before, We have offered to be thy voice.” Luna turned to present her profile to the Queen as well as fix both eyes upon the changeling.

“Oh? Private? A bit biased if you ask me.” Chrysalis felt her daughter butting against her hoof. She paused long enough to start feeding her, a faint smile etching at the corners of her mouth. Once Atalanta began to slurp noisily, the Queen focused on Luna. “Ah, I am supposed to be dead. Why not simply kill me and be done with it? Your weakness sickens me.”

“A thousand years ago, We would gladly have placed thy head upon a pike and strung thy smoldering corpse above the gates of Our fair city.” Luna smiled pleasantly. “Alas, We have become civilized as the modern era frowns upon such atrocities. Instead, thou shalt have a trial befitting any citizen of Equestria. We desire to be fair and just in all things, as Our sister hath encouraged Us to become more open to the world. This includes ungrateful false queens with inflated heads.”

Chrysalis smirked. “You went medieval there, Princess. I find Olde Equestrian fascinating.”

“I suppose I did. Well?” She waited expectantly.

“Well what?”

“Wilt thou accept Us as thy public defender?”

Chrysalis pondered for a moment. Atalanta snuggled against her hoof, chirping quietly. “What was that?” The Queen tilted her head as if listening intently to her daughter. “When does this… hearing happen?” she asked Luna. Her brilliant green eyes were intent.

The alicorn’s own did not flinch from the challenging stare. “As soon as the physician declares you hale and fit to appear before the judgement of the Sun and the Moon.”

“I thought your sister was the one presiding.”

“Equestria’s symbols are both the sun and the moon.” Luna spoke with infinite patience. Chrysalis thought she caught a gleam of amusement in her eyes.

“Oh? I never noticed. I always thought it was just Sunbutt and her sidekick sister Moonbutt.”

Luna deadpanned. “So sayeth Succubutt.”

It took a moment to register in the changeling’s mind. Chrysalis glared at the Lunar Princess. “Very well, I accept your most generous offer.” Her visage assumed a more appropriate and pleasant demeanor. She even smiled graciously.

“Excellent! We shall meet with thee once the day of your hearing is set and give thee Our council as We think is best for thee. We should like to extend to thee our resolve to make thy confinement as comfortable as possible. Perhaps a bassinet for the little one? Toys? Books to read to her?” The Princess smiled down at the pale hatchling, no doubt making mental observations. “She is far different from pony foals.”

Chrysalis hooked her daughter with her leg and drew her to her chest. “She is fine sleeping with me. As for toys, I shall make a list and present it to the maid who always seems ready to wet herself every time she comes in to clean.”

“It would help her do her job if a certain occupant would stop hissing at her and making hungry eyes while slowly licking her fangs.”

“I am a cripple. I can do no such thing.”

“Yet,” Luna finished for her with a smirk.

“Yet,” Chrysalis agreed amicably. “I will make a list, as you requested.”

“Very good. Is there anything else you require?” Before the Queen could answer, the Princess added quickly with perfect professionalism. “Be sure to add it to your list. You are a prisoner, Queen Chrysalis, but you will also be treated with respect. Please be mindful and treat your caretakers with a bit more kindness. We have already had two mares step down from their positions because of your attitude.” Strangely, Chrysalis found it very interesting in the change of the alicorn’s speech pattern. It was not difficult to see what Luna was trying to do. She rather fancied the fancy dialect, to be honest.

Luna was a very good orator and might have even made a very good actress had the curse of royalty not befallen her.

“Very well, I shall leave you to your own devices. I bid you a good evening, Queen Chrysalis.” Luna inclined her head politely with a neutral expression. Her blue eyes flickered upon Atalanta and a faint smile briefly appeared. “We shall speak again and soon.”

“I shall await your return with breathless anticipation.” Chrysalis held her head high. Her daughter lost her balance, rolling on to her wingless back. Her weak legs kicked in the air and she squealed, chirped, and made an odd grunt as she struggled to right herself. “My daughter bids you a farewell, too.”

Luna departed quietly, even her silver shod hooves making no sound. The stars followed in her wake, making Chrysalis wonder how much more of a disaster Canterlot might have been if Luna had not been elsewhere. Where, exactly, had never been disclosed to the changeling.

Once she had settled Atalanta upon her withers, the Queen eased her way to her low desk, the discomfort of her aching legs causing her to grunt in an unladylike fashion. She settled down, looking down at her work which had been interrupted by Luna. The scrutiny of her memories on paper brought them forward again. For a moment, she thought of starting anew as she plucked the sheet up for closer examination.

Shaking her head slowly, she put it down and smoothed it out gently with a hoof. Chrysalis was thankful she could manipulate the quill pen with her magic, though she could do little else other than lift objects under a pound, she had discovered shortly after awakening for the first time in this room weeks?.. days?.. ago. She had meant to inquire Luna how long she had been here.

“Next time,” she muttered to herself. Her daughter shifted, moving in a tight little circle and gathering up her mother’s mane in her toothless mouth. There was a tug here, a tug there. Chrysalis giggled, not wanting to do so, but unable to help herself. The gentle yanking of her mane tickled more than anything else. “What are you doing?” she inquired of her tiny assailant.

She was greeted with a sleepy chirp. Atalanta settled down even as Chrysalis willed her mane to hold her daughter in place. Who needed blankets?

There was so much I did not know. The world was and is a cruel place. Life was only as precious as one valued it. I would soon discover a terrible fact. Not all changelings are created equal. Not all hives are viewed with the same respect, deserved or otherwise. Not all colonies had equal power. Those who had power ruled over others.

I was born into one of the weaker colonies, despite Mother being the Queen. I would discover, as I grew older, there were only two choices for Lesser changelings. Serve or die. Sometimes, death was the only answer to the question. Those who ruled were not kind. Those who ruled wielded their power without mercy.

I was born a slave.

Author's Note:

Chapter two, unedited! I will have my editors know about the editing being needed as I might have not told them the chapter was done.

I'm a terrible person.

I do hope to convey the characters as naturally as possible, adding a bit of intrigue here and there as well as do some rather serious character development.

Questions? Comments? Bad jokes? Spot a typo?

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P.S.: I love my editors. I just can't help myself. I do hope people notice improvement in my writing style.