• Published 26th Mar 2017
  • 2,109 Views, 58 Comments

Chrysalis's New Dupe - deadpansnarker

The story of how a former brony was forcibly ejected from Earth into a new form to become Queen Chrysalis's unwilling assistant in her revenge plot against those darn ponies is a long and interesting one. And it starts... now.

  • ...

Prologue: To A New Life

This was it. The posters were coming down. The Funkos are going back in their boxes. My subscription to the official UK magazine was cancelled. It was getting harder and harder to convince the newsagent I was procuring it for my niece, anyway. (Yes, she does actually exist, but the little darling generally prefers Sofia The First and Paw Patrol, what great standards).

No longer would I have to conceal my 'secret shame' from my family, to hide my paraphernalia when they came round for din-dins, to swiftly skip the music tracks when the tunes randomly appeared on my playlist. I could finally live in peace, harmony and acceptance... ironically, qualities my old obsession itself taught, but ones which I'd found increasingly difficult to correlate with a normal life ever since I decided to follow this dangerous route of fanaticising over wildly age-inappropriate material. Thankfully, all this would be over soon, though not for the reasons you might think.

By reading all the above and not understanding the context, you might think I was into chicken-molesting, cow-tipping or shiver Teen Titans Go. Nothing could be further from the truth, and I resent the very implication that I possibly derive enjoyment from such patently illegitimate forms of entertainment (especially, the last one). Now, let me just shove all of these equine Plushies in my bin and set them on fire, before I respond to your spurious accusations.

I used to like ponies. No, not the sort you ride on Brighton beach wearing 'Kiss Me Quick' hats, or the shaggy Shetland ones you find in town centres utilised to raise cash for failing animal sanctuaries. I mean the pastel, winged, horned, talking, fictional type. You know, to be found in a certain cartoon show. As well as mucho merchandiso put out by the owners Hasbro. Or is it 'Has-sister'? Because that would describe my familial situation better. Tee Hee. I am, of course, referring to the well-known franchise juggernaut called 'My Little Pony'.

Now wait, don't go. I apologise for my atrocious sense of humour, and for my lack of explanation as to why I was so captivated by this show and it's internal lore for so long. It wasn't a thousand years ago that those three dreaded words bought up disturbing images of smily little blonde girls with perfect teeth combing their plastic toy's synthetic manes on daytime TV commercials, or of terrible playground chants where the title was liberally rhymed with 'Skinny And Bony' to mock underweight children. If you saw what passed for school dinners at my place of education, you'd totally 'get it'.

But I digress, all that teasing and taunting and stereotypical advertising changed one day when a nice lady called Lauren Faust decided to reboot the show, and not in a half-assed Powerpuff Girls way either (Miss Bellum R.I.P). No, she invented radically different personalities for each pony, built an entire world and culture for our four-legged friends, and actually helped put a bit of effort into each script so that people of all ages and genders could enjoy it, as opposed to the whole enterprise being just a shoddy excuse to, you know, flog toys.

The future of the show looked great. Specialist conventions for adult fans were set up, Bronies and Pegasisters (as they became known) could cosplay as their 'favourites' without fear of ridicule, and the stores started to run out of products that were usually marketed to the Barbie and Bratz crowd. It was all going so well... and then, Mrs Faust left.

Why, no-one knew, and she wasn't about to 'spill the beans' either (damn those non-disclosure contracts). Last I heard, she was working on her hubby's new cartoon Wander Over Yonder, and look how that turned out. Regardless, with her departure came an entirely coincidental ramping up of the more toyetic side of the show. The Canterlot Wedding I could just about live with, Twilight Sparkle as an alicorn was a tough sell but I bought it, and even the separate 'Equestria Girls' franchise had it's moments (not the first movie, though. Sheesh).

Like cough medicine mixed with wine, I stomached the badness just to get to the good stuff, and for the most part was richly rewarded. Who could forget Discord's redemption arc, Tirek's tyranny and even the blatant Sunset Shimmer rip-off Starlight Glimmer coming into her own? The storylines, mostly continued to stir an intoxicating mixture of humour, pathos and decent life lessons, with the real highlights being the two-parters at the start and finish of each season, where in most cases the very future of the ponies' universe was at stake.

So, with all that being said, why am I currently in the process of disassembling my candlelit shrine to Luna, taking my miniatures of Celestia eating cake to the scrapheap and watching poor old Fluttershy get her wings singed by lighter fluid? That, guys and gals, can be summed up in just one word: Changelings.

Despite all the weird and wonderful beings to be found in the mythos established by the show, these rotten, hole-strewn, love-stealing monsters were always my favourite. Led by the ruthless Queen Chrysalis (remember kids: these days Queens = bad, Princesses = good, you have Disney to thank for that definition), they'd stop at nothing to take over all of Equestria while espousing their own sick, twisted agenda.

In a show full of cutesie-wutesie horsie-worsies these bug-eyed freaks stood out like a sore hoof, and I loved them for it. As much as I adored the entire cast down to the smallest non-speaking background pony just chillin' at Sugarcube Corner, the fact that the creators could get away with such an obviously unsuitable nightmarish creature in an otherwise saccharine, sickly-sweet kiddy programme was like a beacon of dark hope to me.

It proved that the makers were prepared to take risks. To add a bit of edginess to their material. To exhibit the fact that they weren't just being yanked by Hasbro's chain, they could tug back when needed, too. It was admirable, inspiring...

Aanndd, just like half of season three and The Hub, suddenly they were no more. Thanks to the combined efforts of Equestria's answer to the Suicide Squad, our evil, blackened nasties were transformed into nicey-nice, dayglo pansies. Now, instead of absorbing love to maintain their life cycle, they 'share' it among themselves in a moving manifestation of pure tenderness and friendship. Excuse me, while I go and throw up all over my replica Daring-Do books in defiance of this nauseating pseudo-Care Bear philosophy.

They've taken the most welcome dose of rare bleakness from the show, and turned it into possibly the most soppiest component. I probably wasn't supposed to feel sorry for poor ol' Queen Chrysalis when she flew off in a huff towards the end of To Where And Back Again, but I certainly did. I could see every line of emotion on her broken face (hey, whatever else I might think, the animation has steadily been getting better) as she watched her kingdom crumble all around thanks to those darn interfering ponies. I suppose next, these new sorry excuses for Changelings will be born at the end of rainbows and moonbeams, instead of hatched from parasitic eggs. Don't want to offend the vegans out there, after all. Sigh.

Why didn't Starlight and company let her be, to continue her reign of terror in peace? They could have quite easily foiled her dastardly plot to replace the Elements Of Harmony and the entire royal family, to allow them to freely return to the 'Darklands' afterwards, and that would have been that. But nope... Ms Glimmer and chums decided to irreparably change the entire societal fabric and lifestyle of these formerly loathsome beasties too, not to mention throw them into a metaphorical paint factory just as it was exploding. The end result was colourful, lovely and cuddly for the so-called 'target audience'... but soul-crushingly dispiriting for any viewer who appreciated a bit of gloom to go with their gloss.

So that's why, in the year the 'Big Movie' is released, and seasons seven and eight have officially been confirmed, I'm packing it all in. If they want to cater almost exclusively for a younger market, along with the introduction of obnoxious characters like the kid-pleasing Flurry Heart and the grating griffon Gabby, they're welcome to it.

They can leave me out though, and as I divide my various merchandise from the show into separate heaps (charity shop/ eBay/ landfill etc.) I start to consider new fandoms I can join instead. It's a shame that Gravity Falls has just finished, that looked quite promising. Steven Universe is good, despite the fact it's scheduling is erratic at best, and Star Vs The Forces Of Evil might be interesting if they focused a bit less on the shipping. Perhaps I ought to try something anime-related, though I hear some of those otakus can get quite intense...

It's as I'm considering all my options that a strange mirror-like rift opens in front of me, the air it emits putting out my blazing cuddly toy fire and prematurely jolting me back to reality. That's if this is reality, I take leave to doubt it after seeing this weird gap in time and space appear in my front yard, especially when I see whose grotesque face pops through to gawk at my open-mouthed form.

Yup, it's Queen Chrysalis herself, looking distinctly more fierce and less cartoony than her TV appearances would suggest. With a wicked sneer present on her regal visage, the disembodied head scans my nonplussed form up and down for a few disturbing seconds, and before I even have chance to ask for an autograph or how the heck she's Skypeing me from an alternate dimension, I hear what she has to say to me.

"Sssoooo, I hear you're sympathetic to my cause, eh? Many are the worlds in which I've traveled to find such as you. The fact you're burning my worst enemies puts the seal on the deal... you're the one I've been searching for to help me take back my crown. Of course, in your current pathetic, weak state, you're no help to me, that's why I'll be making some minor modifications to your DNA. Come now, the portal closes in a minute. All aboard..."

As you can appreciate, I didn't quite know what to make of this 'kind offer'. I stood there, rubbed my eyes like a total goonball and was about to utter something intellectual like "Giggety giggety giggety giggety." (Not in a I'm-Quagmire-and-I-want-to-seduce-you sort of way, more in a I'm-completely-speechless-and-don't-know-what-to-say kind of fashion).

Unfortunately, Chrysalis wasn't the most patient of despotic rulers, and decided to take matters into her own hooves. "Hey fleshling..." she snarled, losing all pretense of good manners. "Did I say you had a choice?"

And with one sudden movement, she grabbed me in a single gnarled hoof to pull me through her little mystical door, just before it shut. My last memories before embracing the darkness completely were my captor's despicable laughter, my own body feeling very weird and the fact that I'd left the front door wide open.

There goes my new Home Cinema system. Welp.

Author's Note:

This fic's protagonist is partly based on myself, partly based on some made-up dude. Regardless, I'm going to have some fun with it. :raritywink:

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