• Published 28th Jan 2018
  • 3,655 Views, 136 Comments

Stand and Deliver - Gulheru



When plotting revenge, it is good to find yourself a willing and useful accomplice among your enemies. And Queen Chrysalis is... lucky to meet a professional...?

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... and Deals.

The floor was... nice.

First and foremost, it was clean. Stainless and spotless, even. Her eyes were darting all over it, trying to find at least a speck of dust to follow. Just to occupy her tired, slowly regenerating mind. She had been searching for both dirt and reason for the last... however long. Maybe another century?

And yet... nothing caught her attention. No dust. No speck. No mind.

Impossible, she thought out of a sudden, surprised that she could again formulate semi-coherent thoughts. Every surface, every creature, everything had to have a fault. Small, insignificant, overlooked, it mattered not. But even but a little bit of dirt. A petite imperfection.

She furrowed her brow. Despite this universal truth, anchored in the very fabric of reality, the ground she was lying on and resting for a moment looked unsullied and pristine and all...

... and then it hit her, like a ream of paper dropped on a mahogany desk.

She was the speck of dust on this clean floor.

... an amazing discovery. She was that one, that most important speck. Ruining the otherwise unspoiled place... Crucial for it.

That... that was deep.

She was meaningful in... in many more ways. She was the speck on the pristine floor of the World, all up towards the glass ceiling of sky. The greatest of dusts.

The Queen of the Specks.

... no, that wasn’t quite right. The Speck of the Changelings? Alright close... but still not as clean as the floor.

The... the Basis of Legals?

... no, no, no, that was not her. That was that... that...

She blinked a couple of times. Like trying to wake up from a fevered dream, attempting to figure out where she was...

... the office of the Imperial Tax Collector.

She gritted her teeth! She was no “speck”, no “dust”, she was the Queen of the Changelings! The terrible fault in this pristine utopia that Equestria and all other domains attempted to be!

Yes, yes! Chrysalis had returned to the game!

She took a deep breath and held it in her lungs, still lying down, but gathering strength for one more push. This had proven to be the most ridiculous, demanding and enfeebling mission she had ever personally undertaken. She had expected a satisfying task, but instead found a chore of epic, legal proportions!

This had to cease. And cease it would. Once and for all!

She finally exhaled and rose from the ground, as regally as she could muster, despite her fake, pony form. It was time to finalize this deal and achieve what she was after.

Her adversary was casually waiting for her, with that smile of his and those keen, zaffre eyes.

“Ah, there you are, ma’am,” Legal Basis greeted her, flanked by the two paper monstrosities, still vigilant for Chrysalis, “Have you managed to regain soundness of mind?”

“Indeed I have, Mr. Basis,” she stated almost imperiously. “I believe that we have an Indenture to sign?”

“That is quite correct, ma’am. If you would please sit down again, I will begin filling all the necessary blank spaces,” he offered with utter calmness, taking into his hoof the quill and bringing forth one of the counterparts. “I hope that my aid will stop any further inconveniences for you, ma’am.”

Chrysalis assumed her seat, tall and unwavering. She had conquered her weakness and the floor. She was not going to be the one dancing, and to the dull rhythm of legal song! She was a monarch. A sovereign. She was going to claim what was rightfully hers.

And hers was the fury. Hers was the vengeance.

“I was not expecting such... preparedness from you, Mr. Basis... but that only proves how useful your service shall be,” she stated. “Where shall we begin?”

“Basic matters of personal details – your full name, please, ma’am,” the pony requested, staring down, ready to write.

That was it. He asked for it. And he was going to get it.

... though... one, last twinge of doubt, rebellious and malcontent, passed through Chrysalis. Was she... so convinced of this? Was she so down the maulwurf’s burrow to abandon all pretense?

Yes.

Yes, she was. This stallion proved dangerous, but also more rotten and corrupted than she thought. Not only willing to betray his monarch, but actually primed and prepared for it!

She respected that greatly... and that elephant dosage of regard from her could kill anypony.

Such was the favor of the Queen of the Changelings!

The green flame of transformation engulfed her from head to hoof, almost setting the chamber ablaze. In before the stallion no longer sat a mantis green “Miss Ladybug” mare... but an imposing, chitinous figure of gossamer mane and insect, tattered wings. Of entrancing, venomous eyes, luring with dark and perverse promises. Of sharp fangs that could pierce flesh, muscle and bone! The one and only Matriarch of the Hive, Her Great Metamorphosis, Chrysalis of the Changelings Herself!

The stallion gazed up from the document at the sudden flash of energy, and his eyes locked with hers.

She gifted him with a stare of authority and terrorizing splendor, one to sow fear and awe in lesser ponies and break wills by its sharpness alone.

And he replied with... a cocked eyebrow.

Chrysalis smirked, her tone oozing command and self-confidence. “You asked for my full name. So here I regale you with my true and august presence! And you know well who I am!”

“Your full name, please, ma’am.”

His tone was... as firm and sure as before. But, no! He could try to hide his fear behind his official demeanor, yet now it was him who had to wear a mask!

“Your efforts at hiding your concern are admirable, Legal Basis, yet I know well you realize—”

“Your full name, please, ma’am.”

... he... no, he had to be intimidated so much he actually got himself stuck! Hah, nopony could withstand her splendor!

“There’s no need to waste further time on—”

“Your full name, please, ma’am.”

...

“But... you—”

“Ma’am, I would like nothing more than to help you, but I am unable to finalize the deal if I do not have all the obligatory, personal data to be included in the Indenture. I am working overtime and with great patience, but theatrics are not the answer to my request,” Legal Basis stated, his expression constant. “Could we proceed?”

That calm and amiable coldness from him, despite Chrysalis’ sudden and imposing presence, pierced her with fear more than anything before. “I-I... but, you... you realize who you are dealing with, right?!”

The stallion blinked. “Do I, ma’am? You still have not given me your full name.”

... impossible. This was impossible.

“You know it.”

“Have you told me it, ma’am?”

“N-no, b—You must know it!”

“I am terribly sorry, ma’am, but my job is being an Imperial Tax Collector, not a psychic. Your full name, please.”

“But this is redundant! Everypony knows—!”

Legal Basis put down the quill right next to the ink as indigo as his mane and joined his hooves on the table. “Ma’am, filling all the blank spots in the Indenture is critical in assuring that the contract is binding. Personal information regarding, for example, full name, must be provided and confirmed by the other party of the contract. Hence why my repeating of the question and constant hope for the answer. Lest, of course, you have decided against entering into the deal.”

“N-no, I want it!” Chrysalis heard her own panicked voice... surprisingly sounding like a filly asking for a pretty doll from her, rather distant uncle that happened to be a bureaucrat.

... ugh, what a disturbing image, for many reasons.

The said uncle took the quill again. “Very well, then. Your full name, please, ma’am.”

“... you... know who I am... right?”

Legal Basis said nothing, just glanced up at her with those keenly dead, zaffre eyes which drilled right through her with the might of the constant question.

She looked away first...

“Chrysalis Aurelia...” she mumbled.

“Now I do know who you are, ma’am.” He put down the name with precise, flowing motions of his hoof. “Of course I realized it before, but verification and precision are crucial in this endeavor,” he told her in this ominous goodwill in his voice.

Chrysalis’ blood boiled. She just wasted more time on—! And this damnable—!

“Listen here, you—!”

“Title, please, ma’am.”

“You know the t—!”

One more glance from the stallion cut the discussion short. Chrysalis just threw her hooves up and then crossed her forelegs on her chest, pouting.

The uncle brought the doll, but it was stupid! Stupid doll and stupid uncle!

“Queen Monarch of the Changeling Hive,” she mumbled and he jotted it down without hesitation.

“Address, please, ma’am.”

“... why do we need that?” she asked, glancing his way reluctantly.

“To have proper party designations and a way of contacting each other for the sake of future information exchanges. Besides, it is a mailing address if we would be having legal affairs over this agreement,” he explained kindly, dipping the quill.

Chrysalis was trying to hold it together with all her might. He was willing, he was going to be a part of her plan, she just needed to... survive this last part of the encounter to gain him as an asset!

Still... she hissed at him in response to the question.

He looked up at her, blinking. “Could you spell that for me, please, ma’am.”

“No, you—!” She clenched her hooves and her wings fluttered. “I’m staying in Manehattan.”

“Street?”

Grrr... “6th Avenue.”

“House number?”

Grrr! “20! ... fourth floor! Room 407! Bedroom on the right! Waterbed!”

Legal Basis patiently wrote everything, of course not caring for her buzzing anger!

“Ritz Crackers Hotel? Very appropriate place,” he murmured to himself. “Personal Identification Number, please, ma’am.”

“Take a wild guess!” She almost spat at him by this point!

“ ‘Not applicable’.”

He wasn’t, bloody, wrong!

“Taxpayer Identification Number, perhaps, ma’am? Or National Business Registry Number?”

It was her very own opportunity to look at him and arch her eyebrow at this particularly ridiculous question. And, she had to admit, it felt better than all of her plans of vengeance!

He withstood the strike gallantly, however. “No enterprises in Equestria, no legitimate business?”

“How about you put ‘Hostile Takeover’ there, I suppose that is a form of business!”

“Good point, ma’am.”

And he just wrote it down! Unbelievable!

Chrysalis massaged her temple. She was getting closer, she knew it! Just a little bit more!

“Speaking of which, ma’am, please, refer to page three, article five, subsection one. The matter of payments is covered there.”

She almost nonchalantly flipped two pages in the copy that was not being filled at the moment and found the correct excerpt.

She wish she hadn’t.

“... how much?!”

Her busy hoof started drilling into her head, almost. This was some sort of a shakedown! And using her difficult position, in desperate need for revenge!

Legal Basis patiently replied. “It covers basic surveillance fees, as well as the hazard pay. Not to mention Public Healthcare dues and pension contribution, and, of course—”

Chrysalis rammed her hoof down on the papers, wings fluttering again in vexation. She had quite enough! “Fine, fine, you will get it all, let’s just get on with it!” she growled, flipping through the next pages, without really caring for the contents. More idiocy, no doubt, each page of it marked with the fool’s initials!

The stallion continued to write unabated, in his patient style that, perhaps, was pleasing to some perverted, legally-inclined individuals, but infuriating to Chrysalis!

Oh, thankfully the compensation for all of this would be worth every minute of this administrative agony!

Finally came the fated words from Legal Basis. “There, ma’am, all done here!”

Wonderful,” she drawled through clenched teeth and pushed forth the other ream. “Get on with this one, then!”

The stallion nodded. “Of course, ma’am. I will gladly fill your own copy of the Indenture... after I read the contract out.”

Chrysalis papered... that is – she paled and reached the same hue as the documents. “You... you want to recite it all?!”

“Naturally, ma’am. Full comprehension and transparency of a deal between the two parties is critical. Both sides, entering arrangement of such complexity, must be fully aware of the contained agreements to avoid the want of understanding, lest they risk—”

“How long would that take?!”

“About eleven hours, ma’am...”

A strange grinding of fangs escaped Chrysalis’ mouth, but Legal Basis did not seem to mind.

“... for one copy, of course. Then the other, to assure those are identical, down to the fine print and—”

Enough was enough!

“No! No, no, no! N. O,” Chrysalis fiercely protested, waving her forelegs with enough speed for the air passing through her unnaturally natural cavities to whistle. “Where do I sign this?”

Legal Basis blinked. “Ma’am, I understand that this seems like quite a lot, but I read documents at record time and—”

Her hooves almost broke through the mahogany desk with the strength she used. She stood up in the blink of an eye, the chair toppling behind her, abandoned and hurt. “Where do I sign this?!”

There was a pause. And soon Chrysalis realized, that...

... she did it.

She actually did it.

Legal Basis’ smile vanished out of a sudden. He gazed at her for a while, then took a deep breath and... lowered his head, nodding gently.

“Very well, ma’am. First, please, put your initials on each of the pages, on the bottom, bar the last page...” he explained, pushing the Indenture her way.

She smirked hideously, pulling out the last page and setting it aside. “How about this?”

Without warning her horn flashed bright green and, with a sickening, sizzling sound, a wicked looking “CA” appeared on all of the remaining papers, burnt away in a flash.

Legal Basis leaned forth, examining the outcome. “A distinctive mark... That will suffice, ma’am.”

“What now?” Chrysalis inquired rather hungrily, feeling the upcoming victory.

“Last page, bottom right, where the dotted line and ‘Second Party’ designation is. However...”

She did not even wish to listen to him. This was it. This was it, finally! She dragged the last page towards herself like it was a small, frightened animal.

“... signing this document means that you agree to each, every and all stipulations...”

Her first, true step on the path of vengeance! She grabbed the quill and ink forcefully, staining the desk with a solid blot, like a splatter of indigo blood.

Not the first one to happen on her path, certainly!

“... after having every opportunity of familiarizing yourself with those...”

She furiously put down her signature, in the crude markings of her hive, fiercely different from the stallion’s svelte autograph and demanding proper recognition!

“... debunking any errors of judgment or wants of understanding,” Legal Basis finished calmly, sliding another page her way. “Second copy for me, ma’am.”

Chrysalis grinned madly and happily, committing to branding the other ream and the correct paper.

She finally put the quill down, not even realizing she had missed the inkwell and instead flavored her cold tea.

She... had done it!

She got herself an accomplice, no matter how ridiculous this entire exchange was. Her plan had begun. And with the help of this impossible cretin, she would soon have her revenge upon all of the ponies!

“Would you object to me filling the blank spots in the other counterpart post haste, ma’am?”

She could not care less at the moment. She closed her eyes and sighed in relief.

“I’ll take that as a ‘no’,” she heard Legal Basis saying. “I am very glad to have entered this contract with you, ma’am. Would you like to proceed to fulfilling the Indenture as soon as I am done writing?”

A chuckle escaped her at the thought of what that could mean. Of the hideous treacheries that this stallion would undertake, following the deal. Of the shock and awe and disbelief at his perfidy!

And so she laughed a malevolent, glorious laugh.

“I’ll take that as a ‘yes’.”