• Published 20th Apr 2016
  • 2,394 Views, 20 Comments

Juggling a Life or Two - WarShipper



Queen Chrysalis has won! Canterlot has fallen to the Changeling army and there's no longer anybody who can stand in the way of her armies! One problem, though... the Queen isn't exactly in control anymore.

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1 - Car Crash in Slow Motion

What?

"My love... will give you strength...."

What.

I woke up staring at a pair of ponies - excuse me, a unicorn and an alicorn - who looked like they'd just gone through hellweek. And they're talking. And what's worse is, I actually recognize them.

And I'm... not me anymore. And the Mane Six are right there, Celestia up in her cocoon thing, no sign of the Queen except.... I look down. Yep. Hooves. Big, black, disturbingly alien, hole-filled hooves. I look back at dear Princess Cadence, local pony goddess of love, as she crosses horns with her beau, Shining Armor. A flicker of energy, and -

Nope.

NOPE!

With a single, strong motion of my head, both their bodies are wrenched away from eachother, encased in a bright green aura of sickly magic. I don't know how I'm doing that, but I do know that I just prevented... something.

Well, canon, that is. The canon that states I was about another second away from... disappearing from the show altogether. The universe? Which could be good - imprisonment and eventual reform - or could be bad - instant death via love wave. Or somewhere inbetween. Didn't the Changelings get thrown over the horizon? I'd rather not get killed by falling after getting punched in the face by love.

Never thought I'd be thinking something like that.

You and me both.

"What?"

What? Are you new to this, you little brat? Never stolen somebody's life before?

"Wha - no - I... oh no," I groan and facepalm. Face-hoof, anyway, which actually hurts since Ow, a hoof made of bug chitin crap is a lot harder than my old flesh and skin hands.

"None other than Queen Chrysalis, I assume?" I turn away from the gathered and defeated ponies, keeping a shred of focus on whatever instinct is keeping the Princess and her husband-to-be in my grip - and more importantly, separate.

The very same, an extremely toxic voice sounds off in my skull. Yep. I've got an enraged Changeling Queen stuck inside of my head, while I'm stuck inside of her body.

...this has to be Discords' fault, somehow.

"My Queen?"

I turn around, directing narrowed eyes on the Changeling that's approached. It's odd... it's like if you took a leaf, a xenomorph, and a pony, then mashed them into a blender until you got a very disturbing product.

"What?" I snap, glancing about, looking for another threat. What'll come for me now? The Elements of Harmony? Has Discord really done something and any moment now he'll turn the entire palace into a gingerbread house? Is Twilight preparing to unleash the Want It Need It Spell!? WHAT!?

"I apologize, My Queen, but many Changelings are growing weary of wreaking havoc and we have routed the guards. Your orders?"

Oh. Just... Queenly things. I don't know how to be a Queen -

Obviously.

- Shut up. I don't know how to do all this, but... I suppose for now I should just stall. How close to reality is this version of Equestria, anyway? I hope the Changelings didn't kill anybody... it doesn't exactly look peaceful out there. "Start imprisoning everybody you can and securing the city. Post guards for any kind of attack and to ensure nobody is able to escape. And, uh... celebrate. We've done something great today!" The enthusiasm is obviously faked, but the changeling soldier seems to accept it without hesitation.

I pause, mention of prisoners flicking a switch. The Mane Six!

Turning back, I see that they're all surrounded by Changeling guards, sitting about and looking depressed or glaring at me and the guards in rage. Man, this is weird. They really are ponies... Uncanny Valley, thy name is pony.

Whatever. More importantly is - they aren't currently in restraints. They're obviously tired out, beaten up, and down in the dirt, but as far as I'm concerned a Mane Six left free is a Mane Six about the kick the villains' ass.

And considering I'm currently in that ass, I'd rather lock 'em up as quickly as possible.

"Bind and lock up the Element Bearers as tightly as possible," I order, stepping towards the group. "Separate them. No magic, no flying, no teamwork, no tools. I'll deal with them later."

The guards nod along and I ignore the round of protests from said ponies, turning instead towards the pair of Changeling Plan Ruiners floating in my magical grip.

...and wow, that is awesome. I giggle a little, just focusing on making them float up and down at different rates. Magic! I have magic! I let the princess float higher, "stacking" her on top of Shining Armor as they both glare at me, looking equal parts exhausted and in pain. I should... probably do something about that. But magic!

My magic, the Changeling Queen caustically reminds me. Which you stole from me, alongside my body.

I halt my playing, giving a small shrug. "I didn't exactly mean to," I explain under my breath. "Honestly I've got no idea how I got here. Personally, I blame Discord. But that reminds me - we've got stuff to do, right? I wouldn't want to ruin your day more than I already have." Plus, I have no idea just how anybody would react if I suddenly turned around and went, 'Oh, sorry, big misunderstanding. Please don't imprison or kill me?'

Much easier to just go along with things and make the best of the situation. Can't say being a Queen of a bunch of giant bugs doesn't make me feel giddy, anyway.

What did you just call my Changelings?

Uh, nevermind. In any case! Planning!

=-=-=-=-=

So you're an extradimensional parasite.

"I wouldn't call myself a parasite, exactly, but... I suppose? I really didn't mean to do this. On the bright side, I've got some knowledge of this world that I'm pretty sure you don't."

Like what?

"Like here real soon King Sombra and the Crystal Kingdom are going to return, and if I hadn't interfered your entire invasion would've been rebuffed by Cadence and the Guard Captain. Power of Love and all that."

Hmph. That was what they were doing? Ridiculous.

"If I recall correctly, the original timeline version of you referred to it as a 'absolutely lovely, but ridiculous sentiment.' Then you were too busy screaming and getting blasted by a love shield to comment much more. I've got no idea what actually happened to you, hence the panic - for all I know that stuff could've killed us!"

Doubtful. Even they were able to harness love into power enough for a shield, Changelings are rather durable. No doubt we would've merely been scattered to try something else.

"So, question here. Why an invasion?"

...to take control, imbecile.

"No, I mean - you guys... we, that is, we feed on love, yeah? Why invade rather than just, y'know, dip in and out of various peoples lives and get love like that?"

You really are an idiot, aren't you? How would you feel about drifting from random pony to random pony, sucking up love and pretending to be somebody you're not, never even getting the chance to speak to your own kind without drawing suspicion? We Changelings are good at disguising ourselves and draw much of the love we consume from those around who we pretend to be; that has absolutely no bearing on what we want or wish.

The only manner in which we might survive as a discrete entity is by forcefully integrating ourselves into an existing population, and I refuse to bow to some foolish Pony Princesses simply for the sake of survival. We have prepared for this invasion for years, and now that it has succeeded, I will rule all of Equestria as Queen of the Changelings! We will be more powerful than ever!

...or at least, I would've. Then you came along.

I wince. Very evil, but also makes a certain amount of sense. And I can just feel the bitterness and hatred she's feeling for me. Jesus, this'll take some getting used to - particularly considering she seems to be able to sense some fraction of my thoughts. Not everything, clearly enough. Which is a very, very good thing. For a variety of reasons from personal privacy to some of the things I've seen and thought. Particularly regarding -

...I am very glad she doesn't seem to have noticed that.

Noticed what?

"Nothing," I reply. "Alright, so. I have control of your body, and as the new Queen Chrysalis we are now in charge of Canterlot, which we just conquered with an army of Changelings. Now what do we do?"

Tell my Changelings that an imposter has taken their dear Queens' body and must be excorcised.

"Okay, what do we do that doesn't result in my death?"

Go punch ourself in the face until we get dizzy and regret having stolen our regal form.

I rub at my temples, frustrated. "Would you please try to be helpful?"

How about I tell you the long and storied history of the Changeling that invented the toilet? That's bound to be helpful.

"Please don't."

It all started when....

=-=-=-=-=

"Would you care to shut up already?"
Hrrmm... no.

"God you're annoying."
Oh! So two people can think the exact same thing at the exact same time!

"Okay, let's try this again. You defeat Celestia, take over the entire city, and then...?"

I smash my skull into a wall before some ghost can steal my victory!

"Oh for - I'm trying to be helpful, see? I didn't plan or want to do this, you didn't plan or want to do this, but in order to, y'know, actually solve something, we need to get started on solivng it! That simple! And we can't do THAT until we're sure that we're not about to get blasted by a love beam shield thing!"

I still say you totally overreacted. They're hardly Changelings, they can't draw power from -

"She's a Princess, Queen. A Princess of... Love. OF COURSE SHE CAN USE HER LOVE AS SOME BULL AMPLIFIER CRAP!'

No need for the harsh language, brat.

"Y'know what? Screw this. Where's the off button on this thing?"

It's my mind and soul, child, you can't exactly turn me off.

"Watch me!"

=-=-=-=-=

"Okay," I say, staring down at my Second in Command - Dusk Shatter, apparently. "Let's go over this again. A child was able to escape the dungeons?" The Changeling is currently in his natural form, which means form-fitting purple armor, nice and shiny. I'm not completely sure where his horn goes in that helmet - if he even has one - but he does look very impressive.

He shuffles nervously, eyes flitting about for something to distract me. Can't imagine exasperation mixed with frustration is particularly confidence-inspiring on the face of a Goddess-analogy. "Well... yes, Your Majesty. A baby dragon, to be specific. We are of the understanding the creature often worked with Princess Celestias' student, Twilight Sparkle."

I shrug. "Yes, I know. Spike. He knows no magic, is too small to fight effectively, and isn't currently in one of those dragon greed rampages. As evidenced by the fact that we're not dealing with a lizard larger than some castles."

It is very rare to find a castle of less size than a dragon, even those made larger through their greed. Incompetent.

I shrug, redirecting my attention. "Fine. Whatever. Alert the guards to find the little creature. Maybe Princess Celestia will know how to get into contact with him using his flame travel thingy...." I trail off, musing on methods of capturing the undersized monster. Don't exactly want to piss him off by threatening Twilight or Rarity, but he shouldn't be able to leave the city without getting spotted, at the least - he was never particularly graceful for all that he has fingers, if I recall correctly.

Hrm.

"Queen," I mutter to myself. "The Mane Six are -"

Who?

I frown. "The six ponies who bear the Elements of Harmony. They're very good friends with Spike, even if they don't always appreciate him like they should. He's vital if we're going to gain their assistance."

What's this about assistance? How are you planning on abusing my body now!?

I scowl, waving my hand negligently. "I'm not planning on abusing anything, just planning ahead. Those six are some of the most competent and dangerous ponies in the kingdom, and they are very good at handling whatever situations the world throws at them. I can't exactly hand your body or Canterlot back to their rightful owners, but I can try to make things better for everybody involved - including us. I want to convert the Mane Six. They're not going to just capitulate, but if I can convince them that we're not so bad, we might be able to reach some manner of compromise that doesn't end in them grabbing the Elements of Harmony and blasting us with their Friendship Laser until we're little more than a smear of black and green, if we're lucky."

...rather descriptive, aren't you?

"I told you, I've seen a version of events already. The Elements of Harmony are freaking terrifying; I'm just happy they're benevolent macguffins. Anyway, on that topic; Spike, Celestia." I raise my voice, calling for one of the nearby attendants. It's so nice, being Queen - especially when I get to take over this nice, big Thrown Room that already belonged to Princess Celestia. I should have somebody remodel the place to be more fitting for me. "Could somebody bring the Sun Princess to me? I must speak to her." I pause, then continue, "Alone."

There's a bit of nervous shuffling at that, but I'm still supercharged from all the love in the air of the wedding and Celestia has been getting her magic drained regularly since the event in question, so things should be perfectly fine.

In theory.

Five minutes later, and the half-cocooned princess is being dragged inside. Unfortunate, but I suppose a bit of uncomfortable entrapment and transport is pretty much inevitable when everybody knows you literally cart the sun around. Thankfully, her powers on the mortal scale are much more limited, from what I understand.

"Princess Celestia?"

Hrm. Asleep. How should I...?

Let me.

"Hrm? How?"

Just do what I say.

Following her instructions, my horn flares with a spark of magic that I quickly twist into an odd shape, before... oh. A spark of electricity bursts from me into Celestia, forcing her awake in a rather jarring fashion. Not exactly the gentle awakening I'd been planning on, but I suppose it works.

"Princess Celestia," I call, tuning my voice to carry through the hall as my attendants file out. The flanging is an odd effect, but sounds very nice. Very intimidating. "It's nice to see you again."

"What do you want, Chrysalis?"

I shrug. "Love, money, respect, power, monkeys. The usual. But right now I want something specific from you - I need to know how to get into contact with Spike. Twilight Sparkles' Assistant?"

Her eyes widen, and I give a grin filled with teeth. This should go nicely.

Predictably, she scowls and bares her teeth at me. "I will hardly help you find that poor child, fiend," she challenges, looking mad as all get out. That's actually kind of intimidating... or it would be, if she were in a better position. As is, she just looks sort of pathetic - singed black horn, hair and fur all messy, missing crown....

"Now, dear Princess Celestia," I croon, playing up the whole Evil Overlord bit. Not that that's hard to do with the teeth and the voice and the... everything about my new body.

Mine.

Yes, yes, whatever. "All I ask is the way by which I might talk to the tiny creature. Can you fault me for wanting to have a friendly chat?"

"I doubt you're interested in just a chat," she responds. I shrug.

"Doubt all you wish, I simply must talk to the dragon. Now, we can do this the easy way - you tell me right now. Or we can do it the hard way - I make you tell me."

The Princess glares at me silently, and I shrug. "Fair enough, I suppose. Hard way it is."

Now I just need to figure out a hard way.

You're making threats without even knowing what you're threatening?

I grind my teeth, resisting the urge to respond. Can't appear insane in front of the Princess, after all. With a flick of my horn the doors to my new throneroom slam open and a few guards and attendants file back in. I'll deal with Celestia and Spike later, then. For now I've got to focus my attention on stabilizing the situation in the city. If all goes well, I should be able to lock things down pretty tight within a few days and have my less war-oriented underlings begin entering the place.

"Urgent news, My Queen!"

Oh no. I turn to the changeling messenger, glaring at him in an effort to make him spit out his news by sheer force of will. He flinches under my green-tinted gaze, stumbling on the spot before switching to his wings as he flits closer and bows. "What is it?"

And here I thought you had everything under control, Dear Mastermind.

Oh shut up, I seethe.

"Ponies have been spotted outside the city limits! We were able to lock down an incoming train, but three pegasi were able to escape. We believe they're on their way to the nearby town of, uh...." He squints at a small paper floating in front of him, obviously having trouble reading whatever was placed there.

"Ponyville?" I ask, a sense of dread slowly filling my gut.

"Yes My Queen, I believe that's the place."

Just... brilliant.

Isn't that some nowhere village?

"It's the home of the Mane Six," I mutter under my breath, using a head-massaging hoof to hide the motion of my mouth. "I can't imagine anything good is going to happen if that's the first place told we've taken Canterlot."

You're just being a coward, little bratling.

I shrug. "Coward or no, this has ill omen written all over it." I raise my voice, letting the entire court of Changelings hear me. At the corner of my eye, I notice that Celestia was dragged out at some point. Good. "Send our fastest fliers over to Ponyville. See if they can't do something to make the people there think everything is fine."

"Yes, My Queen." Still feels a little weird, being called that. And satisfying, but mostly weird. Oh well, I'll get used to it, I'm sure.

So what do you plan on using my body for now, bratling? I ignore the hostile tone of her voice, focusing instead on my possible options in the immediate future.

"I think... I need to use the bathroom."

...You wouldn't dare.