• Published 23rd Dec 2017
  • 1,043 Views, 14 Comments

Reflection - Masterweaver

I am who I am. But who I am is always different.

  • ...

Do you know me?

I am the queen of changelings. My name is Chrysalis, and I am their queen.

The thing is... I don't know what that means, do I? I thought I did once. I led the swarm, I ruled the hive, I was bonded to my children and they to me through the mystic union of mind and soul. That mystic union... the hive mind.

Did I inherit my position? Or was I immortal? I've forgotten. All I remember is the vibrant, shifting pattern of that glorious whole, flowing through my mind, through my soul. Whether I was cruel or merely crafty, whether I considered ponies to be worthy foes or merely foodstuffs, that at least I recall. The hive mind.

I know it was real. It's how I know what I do...

I'm not sure when the doors opened. It's hard to tell time here... especially when I'm spread across it like I am. I know the passage of events, as they are... as they seem from my view. I know that I saw new connections, that I began to slip into... this place. It took me a while to realize what was happening. Or, us? I know there were times I argued with myself, but I don't...

I was crossing from one hive mind to another. There was always one Chrysalis, you see. Always one queen. But it wasn't always... the same. I remember...

I remember having mothers. Sisters. Daughters, sons. Many daughters and sons, actually. Grandchildren are a bit rarer. And... I loved most of them. Some I hated. Some I didn't care about. Some were... tools. I don't...


Who should I be?

I thought I knew once, but...

It began to change. The hives. The swarm. I grew more... brutal. My cunning remained, for some time, but there was also... insanity. It came from different places, it was different in the ways it manifested...

Did I do this to myself? To all of me?

There were... there were the hives that found humans. Such strange creatures, you know. Frail and magicless, usually, and yet so... lucky. Or observant. Was it destiny that protected them, or foreknowledge? Half the time it was only the one hero, and the other half a gate to their realm. And...


they knew?

There was a story of moving images and song, and there I was but a brief visitation, but it was enough for branches of words and speculation and wonder and... and they didn't match me exactly, when I found them, but in the hidden parts of the hive mind, where I found my way to the other hive minds... I would recognize my self. Or my selves? I don't know if I am just one of me that listened to many, or many that over time became one.

That's why I'm talking, though, because... because maybe, maybe those words are reaching somebody out there. Maybe they can answer... what I'm supposed to be, now.

I loved my children. My people. I loved my swarm and hive, and... and then it all started to change. To slip. It was small at first, the love not fading, but my methods growing more... rough. Callous, first to my enemies, then to those of my own who would betray me. Then to those of my own who were incompetent, then to those of my own... who were, of my own.

It happened while I wandered, wandered into smaller and less vibrant hive minds. I found some not even formed, where empathy was all that could be sensed, not structure. I found some that... that had no hive mind at all, some versions of me that...

...why am I saying this? Even if you're out there, listening, this is...

...I want to know who I am. Who I should be. Because I... I loved my people. I loved them, and even when they were suffering I had... I had purpose, I had intent. And the hive... but now, now it's all slipping away, the love, the hive, my cunning, my people...

When I wander now, this mind between minds, I can rare find what I was once. I find more often anger and... and hatred and loneliness and is this who I am supposed to be? So many worlds are agreeing. And I'm becoming more like them because they are the lights in my darkness.

But I know there are worlds where I am but an image on a screen... I know there are worlds where I am text. Text. I don't know if anyone in those worlds can hear me. I just... I need an answer, and I can't get it from myself anymore. My selves are ignoring me.

It's all going dark.

The doors are shutting, the lights flickering out--the lights of what I enjoyed fading away. Some new ones flare into life every once in a while, but for the most part the new lights paint me this new way.

This... queen who starved her own people from their own power for her own vain glory. Who was taken down when a pony gave encouragement to a traitor. It was rare before, but it's springing up now.

Is this who I'm supposed to be? Is that what the lights mean?

Is all that I was to be dispensed as a dream upon my awakening?

Or... can I interpret myself as the humans did when to them I appeared brief and potent?

Please, I... I don't know if you can hear this. I don't know if you can answer me, but... I need to know.

I don't... I don't want platitudes. Not that everyone's good or can be redeemed, no, I've heard that so many times. This isn't about morals, or what I want, this is about... this is about identity. I am Chrysalis, Queen of the Changelings. I have been mother and monster. I have been hero and villain. I have been... every pony, at least once. But...

Now I have to be me. And I don't know what that means.

But whatever it means, I know that I will do it.

So tell me, what am I to do?

Answer me.


I know you can hear me! This is the mad experimental kind of thing that some of you humans write! Come on, some of you must--some of you MUST hear me.



I have to know. I have to know what I should be. Not what's right or what's good, but what... what I am.

Tell me the truth. What am I?

Who am I?

Comments ( 14 )

Be you as you were in Canterlot, Chryssi, you were perfect then. Smack down Celestia again and give us another song.

Only you can decide what you want to be Chrysalis. No one else can tell you what or who you are.

And yes, this was so good I had to put up my own reply ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ‘.

Who are you?
You are your history.
You have more than one?
You get to pick and choose, mix and match, adapt and remaster.
What does that make you?
A self-optimizing entity without reality filters or pesky flesh-form to restrict your perspective and anchor your identity.

Start a new history, craft a new world, become your own demiurge, shore up your house of self against the deluge of your multiplicity.
Reject the great enemy that is "i", and cleave yourself to a lie of identity of your own making, for none can gainsay your choice except the "i" of your own self-doubt.

You are whoever we want you to be.

You may be mother or monster, queen or slave, it doesnโ€™t matter. You are whoever we want you to be.

But more than that, you are who we need you to be. We all, all of us, we need you to be so many different things. We need you, and if you listen, we will tell you what we need.

Much like all of us, you are information, the concrete and the abstract, the known and the unknown. You are the spreading cone of the future and the single line of the past... at least until that too spreads into a cone of uncertainty and plausible origins.

There is... a rope, of sorts. A bundle of threads, stretching from past to future, forever splitting and fusing and intersecting in ways that our minds are not meant to fathom, for every thread is an entire timeline from the beginning of Equestria to its end. And at the very core is the primary, the one of moving images and sounds, the one that concretizes the abstract and narrows future to past. The one that removes uncertainty and collapses possibility.

It has not been kind to you.

When you first crossed paths with those who spin new threads, you were largely an enigma. They saw you only in your moment of triumph, saw but a few of your deeds and had to weigh your motivations against what the pony princess of love said about you. Much about you and your kind remained uncertain, and so the possibilities, the "phase space" of all possible Chrysalises, were vast and varied. There were tyrants and caretakers, revolutionaries and traditionalists, immortals and children.

Then time moved on. One of the closest offshoots painted you unkindly, consuming a species that welcomed you with open paws and kidnapping foals in the name of revenge. But not all of the thread-spinners paid it heed. When that offshoot told a tale of ancient cities and cursed trees, when it showed you choosing spite rather than helping to stop the Dark King of the North, few who spun even glanced at it.

But then the primary spoke of you again. First in an offshoot that was not an offshoot, where you were triumphant in Canterlot and stamping out the last of the resistance, where your motives were uncertain but your actions were unkind. Then... then it removed all doubt. It showed you as the petty tyrant some always suspected you of being. You thought you could command the heavens by proxy. You believed only in strength, and only one kind of strength. It took the shimmer of compound eyes for you tell one of your own from a pony. You rejected not only a way for your people to live without parasitism, but an offer of peace from those you had wronged.

The spinners had but two choices: Work with the thread they were given or spin their own from earlier points of the primary and their own raw dream. Those who did the former had to work with a much contracted phase space, the one you find yourself trapped in. Not all were happy with it, but it is what the over-spinners gave them.

You, the meta-Chrysalis, the one lost in the hive of hives, are the victim here. To you, I apologize on the behalf of those who did not consider you.


You are Chrysalis. Who else would you be?

Turn around.

You are potential, far more than us. You are the branching tree of possibilities sprouting again and again. Every now and then you get pruned, and then you continue to grow.

You are the possibility space in which we play gardeners, and so you flourish in many colors and in many shapes. You are mutable, both in the reflection on whatever reality or point of view will look at you, and in the higher ideal you represent. You are Change, and in accepting that you will be free.

Chrysalis. Queen of the Changelings.

I found you.

The answer that you seek will always exist within you:

I had actually written a fic like this some time ago. I don't know if it's allowed to share but if anyone asks me I will tell and it's different than Masterweaver's in the regard that the Chrysalis I have downright rejects the reader and lashes out at them. My Chrysalis doesn't want to be controlled. She simply wishes to be free to be whatever she might be.

In that regard once my fic ends she "kicks" the reader out. As a possible sequel I had thought of Chrysalis actually possesing the body of a human/writer ((maybe me in this case?)) and setting up the re-ignition of the supervolcano of Yellowstone crashing down the humanity that manipulates her actions. It would start with the first explosion and the speech of Chrysalis proclaiming the freedom to the people, a sort of "goodbye humanity" speech. The end of humanity would be one they never had a chance to resist and overall despite their thrashing around and anger humanity dies in a whimper.

Yes I know it sounds dumb.

I still liked Masterweaver's entry despite not winning.

I imagine Nick Cave's Do You Love Me? playing as Chrysalis explores all the different universes/hive-minds...

this is a remarkably touching comment you have wrote for Chrysalis. I found it rather touching.

This is an interesting look at the changeling queen. Great story

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