• Published 25th May 2018
  • 2,134 Views, 969 Comments

Little Consequences - Skijarama

Princess Rainbow Dash and her friends have found themselves in the newly restored Crystal Empire, and now struggle against the forces of Queen Chrysalis and the enigmatic King Sombra in an effort to reclaim Canterlot and save Equestria.

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The Beauty of Agony

“Stay away from my family!” Rainbow Dash shouted, her voice already shaking.

Chrysalis merely grinned, idly studying one of her forehooves as if trying to find some nondescript blemish. “Oh, I don't think so...” she then flashed Rainbow a sinister, spine-chilling smirk. "They're all just too tasty..."

At those words, any restraint Rainbow had left was lost. She snapped. With a scream of rage that could be heard all the way back at the palace, she kicked off the ground with a mighty flap of her wings, launching herself in the direction of the changeling queen before her.

Chrysalis grinned.

Rainbow’s hooves plowed into her chest with earth-shattering force, sending both of them shooting through the air at breakneck speeds. This time, however, Chrysalis had braced herself, buzzing her wings furiously against Rainbow and grinding their momentum to a halt. She opened her maw wide, revealing sharp teeth and pointed fangs that caught what light there was. She hissed and lurched down, trying to clamp her teeth on Rainbow’s ear. The pegasus saw the attack coming, though, and was quick to end her charge. She dropped to the ground, crouched low, and speed between Chrysalis’ legs to disappear into the mist behind her.

The queen’s teeth snapped at nothing but the air and the remnants of a prismatic blur left in the wake of the speedster. Snarling, Chrysalis turned around with her horn igniting with magic. Before she could cast any spells, however, Rainbow came flying back out of the mist to drive one of her hind legs into Chrysalis’ face. The impact snapped her head back and tore a grunt of pain out of her. Rainbow followed up with her other leg, driving it into Chrysalis shoulder and sending her sprawling to the ground in a heap. With a frustrated shout, she pulled herself back to her hooves and fired a beam of putrid green magic in Rainbow’s direction.

She yelped in alarm but just managed to swerve around the beam without being hit, although she could feel the heat radiating off of it singing the tips of her coat hairs. It was only then that Chrysalis realized that Rainbow was carrying another cloud in her hooves, and was now swinging it at her like a warhammer. A quick jet of magic from her horn caused the cloud to disperse harmlessly into the air, although it did not stop Rainbow’s advance. She rocketed past Chrysalis, reaching out as she passed to clothesline the towering queen by the neck, throwing her to the ground several yards away.

Again, Chrysalis rose to her hooves, glaring at Rainbow with rage. With a growl, her wings snapped up from her sides and began buzzing, lifting her off of the ground and into the air. She heard Rainbow shouting and saw the enraged pegasus coming for her again, and this time managed to form a spherical barrier of green magic around herself to block the attack. Rainbow’s hoof collided with the barrier and bounced off uselessly, creating a small flash of light on the surface. She recoiled with a shout of pain from the contact, her eyes losing focus for but an instant. Chrysalis, grinning insanely, exploited that moment to drop her barrier and tackle Rainbow herself, sending them both into a freefall for the ground.

It wasn’t a long drop, but it was still enough to tear the wind out of Rainbow’s lungs. Gasping for breath and struggling against the weight of Chrysalis hooves on her chest, she looked up fearfully into the glowing eyes of the Queen. She could just see that white crescent of teeth, tainted in spots with yellow, that was her grin against the shadowy silhouette of her looming face. Her horn lit up with more green light, and Rainbow reacted immediately out of fear. She compressed her hind legs and then drove them, hard, up into Chrysalis’ gut, forcing a wheeze of pain from her and causing her to stumble back. Rainbow was quick to rise back to her hooves and tackle her yet again. Chrysalis, in turn, threw her forelegs around her, grappling her and preventing her from backing out of her assault.

So Rainbow did all she could.

She punched Chrysalis in the face. The sickening crack that sounded from the blow would have made her shudder if she weren’t busy fighting for her life. In response to the punch, Chrysalis hissed and lunged for Rainbow’s throat with her teeth like a feral animal. She just managed to shift back out of range of those snapping teeth before driving her hoof into Chrysalis’ face for a second time, though this only seemed to make the queen even angrier. She then kicked out with her hind legs again, striking the queen in the chest and making her grapple loosen up. Rainbow, grinning triumphantly, capitalized on the opportunity to spin Chrysalis around and wrap one of her forelegs around her throat.

As the two of them struggled for dominance, grappling, punching, kicking, biting, the beating of their wings sent them rising above the top of the mist. Back at the palace, Twilight and Starlight could see them lifting higher and higher into the air. The two watched the struggle with bated breath, and in the case of Twilight, a rapidly growing panic.

No, no, NO! She wasn’t supposed to fight her directly!

Even if Twilight’s thoughts could reach Rainbow, she wouldn’t have cared enough to change her course of action. Everything had gone red. At that moment, in that place, all that existed for her was the revolting monster that had invaded her home, threatened her friends, and hurt her family. The same monster that had casually gloated about torturing her mother. With that thought sending a fresh geyser of liquid fire through her veins to pool in the back of her skull, she pulled one of her hooves back to drive it into the side of Chrysalis’ head as hard as she could.


Another punch.


And another.

“From! My! FAMILY!”

Over, and over, and over again, she drove her hoof into Chrysalis’ head while doing her level best to strangle her. She was still struggling in Rainbow’s grip, and with a burst of unfocused magic, was able to free herself from the grapple. With her pupils dilating with rage, and her breath coming in heaving gasps, Chrysalis spun around and tackled Rainbow Dash, pushing her down towards the ground as fast as possible. They plummeted back into the mist, out of the line of sight of Twilight and Starlight.

As they descended, Rainbow tried to slow their momentum by flapping her wings against Chrysalis. However, she found she didn’t have the raw physical strength the queen did, and her efforts proved fruitless. Gravity was hindering her resistance as well, and the ground was coming up. The impact would hurt, and would unquestionably break more than a few bones if she hit the ground at this speed. She glared at Chrysalis, gritting her teeth and shouting in defiance. She saw that smug, taunting grin staring back at her, daring her to do something.

So she did.

Instead of flying against Chrysalis, she suddenly reversed the direction of her flight to add to their momentum. Chrysalis’ eyes widened in surprise from the tactic, her forelegs being snapped to their full length and yanked from the sudden acceleration. She may have been stronger by an impossibly wide margin, but Rainbow would always have the speed advantage. Chrysalis’ grip on Rainbow was jarred loose.

They had all bet hit the ground now. But with Chrysalis’ hold on her more or less undone, Rainbow was free to redirect her momentum and fly off to the side, out of the way of the falling queen to vanish into the mist. Chrysalis’ hooves struck the street, creating a spiderweb series of cracks in it for yards and sending spears of white-hot-pain dancing up and down her legs. Snarling through clenched teeth, she turned and looked for any sign of Rainbow Dash, but she had disappeared.

“Are you running away from me?!” she demanded in a shout, taking the opportunity to catch her breath. She let slip a twisted cackle. “I thought you had decided to show some bravery, facing me like that. I had thought that maybe the last Princess of Equestria would go down properly. But here you are, hiding like a coward…”

Several seconds passed without any form of response. Chrysalis scoffed and turned to start making her way to the palace when a sound reached her ears. She perked her ears up to hear it better. It was a low, distant whistle that was steadily growing louder and higher in pitch, to the point it was almost deafening. It was also coming from behind and above her. Turning to look over her shoulder, her eyes widened in surprise when a blinding flash of light exploded into existence about a dozen yards over her head, making her squint. A rainbow-colored ring expanded outwards from the epicenter of the light, and flying towards her at well over the speed of sound was-

Rainbow’s hooves drove into the back of Chrysalis’ head before she had a chance to react, forcing her into the street. But Rainbow didn’t stop there. With her hooves pressed into the back of Chrysalis’ head, she shot down the street as fast as she could, dragging Chrysalis along the entire way and scraping her along the ground. She could hear Chrysalis’ exclamations of pain as they went, she could see her flailing to try and resist, and she couldn’t help but grin. Revenge was a sweet thing, to be sure.

Her bravado faded, however, when Chrysalis’ cries turned into sadistic, hysterical laughs, even as her face was dragged forcefully along the ground at speeds that would have torn any normal pony to shreds a long time ago. Before Rainbow could question it, she saw Chrysalis’ horn explode into light, and green flames began to form on the ground beneath her. Rainbow watched for a moment, confused.

But then her eyes widened. She had seen this spell before.

“Fifty bits says Queen Chrysalis is behind those doors,” Rainbow whispered to Twilight.

Twilight hummed in response, looking the door up and down. “And so are the other princesses… okay, hold still. I’m gonna cloak us, then we can-”

“Oh, I wouldn’t try it if I were you,” a feminine, condescending voice echoed all around them. Green fire exploded from the floor directly in front of them, causing Rainbow and Twilight to jump back in alarm. The fire sputtered and undulated before the silhouette of a tall changeling could be seen rising out of it. “You’d only be wasting your energy…” Chrysalis cackled before the flames vanished around her.

A portal!

Before Rainbow could course-correct her flight, they both sank into the flames. She screwed her eyes shut and gasped when they washed over her, the image of her parents lying dead on the ground before her flashing into her mind while her heart twisted with despair. She grit her teeth and forced herself to push the memory down for now, throwing open her eyes and wildly flapping her wings to right herself as she spun through the air. After a few moments, she found herself and managed to steadily hover in place. They had sprung up somewhere else in the city, though Rainbow wasn’t sure where, exactly. More than that, though, Chrysalis loomed in front of her, her horn still glowing.

“I think I’m done playing with my food…” she sneered before the glow got brighter.

That same green light enveloped one of Rainbow’s hooves, causing the images she didn’t want to see to come flooding back into her mind en masse. She cried out, tears breaching her eyes. But then, everything fell utterly silent when a whole new pain overwhelmed that of her memories. Her eyes widened, and her jaw fell open in shock and horror when she saw Chrysalis plunge her sharp fangs into her captured hoof. She could see the razor-sharp points of the fangs pierce her skin as if it wasn’t even there, embedding themselves as deep as possible. She could feel the white-hot agony explode up and down her foreleg. She could hear the noise made from the bite; like biting into an orange with then juice squirting out.

A withering exhale worked its way out of her. She might have screamed, but she couldn’t find her voice through the heavy haze of shock that had settled over her senses. Chrysalis’ eyes looked into hers expectantly, glowing and shimmering with predatory delight. Her jaw clenched, biting down even harder onto Rainbow’s hoof. Something crunched, making Rainbow cringe and shudder uncontrollably.

It was too much.

She couldn’t hear it through the sound of her heart in her ears and the shock muddying her senses, but she felt it. She felt her throat go raw as a scream of indescribable agony tore itself out of her mouth, filling the air all around her.

Chrysalis smirked.

It was music to her ears.

In a desperate effort to free herself, Rainbow reared back her free hoof to try and punch Chrysalis in the face. But it, too, was enveloped in a green glow and forced behind her back at an awkward angle. She could feel her shoulder bones straining and popping, and her screams only got worse as a result. Her entire body began to violently jerk and thrash, but she was completely and utterly helpless.

Laughing through a mouthful of pegasus hoof, Chrysalis reared up onto her hind legs and began to wildly throw her head from side to side, taking an agonized Rainbow Dash with her.

Back and forth, back and forth, all the while with those teeth digging into her flesh, tearing at it and scratching at the bones as she was thrown about like a ragdoll. Rainbow screamed and cried, trying to free herself, but her mind was becoming clouded with shock, confusion, and grief as the magic began to reassert itself over all else. She saw her parents, and she remembered trying to wake them up. “Mom! Dad! Please get up! Don’t leave me!”

All at once, though, she was released. Her hooves were freed and the fangs removed themselves from her flesh with a sickening sound. She crashed into the ground, rolling for several feet and crying out in pain from the impact. With her senses slowly starting to come back to her, she tried to get back to her hooves, to fight back. But a hoof struck her in the side of the head, forcing it back down into the street with a loud crack. That same hoof then kicked her in the ribs, and she swore she felt one of them break. Again, she screamed out, with tears in her eyes. She tried again, this time to scramble and run away and she managed to make it a few feet. But, to her horror, she felt magic on the base of her tail pulling her back towards Chrysalis. Well and truly panicking now, she began kicking and screaming, desperate to just get away. The hoof from before drove itself between her shoulder blades, eliciting another cry of agony from her and pinning her to the ground.

She felt Chrysalis fangs graze her ear, making her go rigid and quiet. She heard Chrysalis chuckle in delight, the vibrations tickling her ear. “Now you are beginning to learn the same lesson I had to teach your mother. Fighting me was a fool’s errand. There was no other way this could end, and now you know that” she whispered before forcefully rolling Rainbow over onto her back and driving her hoof into her stomach. Rainbow gasped as the wind was forced out of her, her eyes going wide. She saw Chrysalis looking down on her with contempt, her face forming a cold glare. She didn’t even bother tilting her head down. For several seconds, the two of them looked at one another. Then Chrysalis’ eyes drifted up to look at the palace, just visible in the distance.

“She’s up there, isn’t she? The lavender colored pony that did this,” she asked while tilted her head to show Rainbow the scar on her cheek. Rainbow, still breathing in shallow, shaky gasps, did not answer. She instead tried to struggle against Chrysalis hoof again, punching it with her own over and over again.

Her efforts were useless, however. Chrysalis wasn’t playing around anymore. To emphasize this, the changeling queen drove her free hoof into Rainbow’s forehead, forcing the back of her skull to collide with the street. Another cry of pain tore itself out of her as more pain stabbed through her skull.

“Ah ah ah,” Chrysalis cooed as if to tease her. “Don’t try to resist. It will only hurt more if you do…” she returned her attention to the palace, applying pressure to both of her hooves and forcing a long, breathless wheeze of pain out of her newest victim. “That lavender pony means a great deal to you… I can see it in the air. Your love for her…” her eyes flicked down to Rainbow, and a sadistic smirk grew on her face. “And I imagine she feels the same way about you… she’ll come running if I make you scream enough, don’t you think?”

Rainbow’s pupils dilated with fury, and with one last act of defiance, she drove her rear legs into Chrysalis’ belly. Her effort was weak, however, and only served to annoy the queen. Her horn lit up again, forcing all of Rainbow’s hooves down onto the street and pinning them there. Already the pegasus was screaming and thrashing against her bonds, but she was powerless to escape them. Chrysalis idly observed her for a moment, looking almost like she was getting bored. “Oh… no. That won’t do at all…” she muttered in disappointment before licking her lips, a hungry look in her eyes. “I need you to get louder. Let your friend hear the beauty of your agony.”

Her jaw opened, and Rainbow’s screams did indeed grow in volume as a current of pink energy began to flow out of her chest and into Chrysalis’ mouth. Over and over again, she thrashed and screamed, her voice echoing all across the otherwise silent empire.

And Twilight did hear it.

“She’s in pain…” Twilight Sparkle breathed in horror from the balcony, her entire body shaking and her hoof on her chest. She was sitting on her haunches, and Starlight sat beside her with a hoof on her shoulder in a futile attempt to comfort her. She didn’t say anything, though. What could she say at a time like this? The screams came again, rising in volume and echoing across the entire city. Twilight shuddered and screwed her eyes shut, desperately trying to contain her own sobs of distress.

Starlight sighed and gazed helplessly out into the mist, and to the rippling barrier of magic that resided beyond. “She’ll live… Chrysalis can’t afford to hurt her too bad, right? She just needs to hold out a little longer. Than Thorax and his brother will be back with the Princesses and save the day,” she tried gently, hoping to lift Twilight’s spirits. Another scream echoing in the distance caused that sentiment to quickly lose any impact it might have had, however.

This carried on for almost thirty seconds before, finally, Twilight’s ears perked up in response to something. There was something else in the screams. Something faint, barely audible from here, but it was there. Curious, she rose to her hooves and stepped closer to the guardrail, suppressing her breaths and sobs so she could hear better. Starlight stood as well, looking into the back of her head inquisitively. After a few more seconds, Twilight gasped, her eyes widening. There were words in those screams.

“Help me!”

Rainbow Dash was calling for help. She was begging for help. Twilight backed away from the edge of the balcony, her eyes wide open with shock and horror. Now, Starlight heard it too, her ears splaying back against her head. Twilight took in a long breath, trying to calm herself down. “I can’t keep listening to this…” she choked out, absently dragging one of her front hooves along the ground.

Starlight’s eyes narrowed. “Then maybe we should go inside,” she suggested gently, reaching out.

Twilight jerked away from her, giving her a glare of warning. Starlight received the message and backed off. After a few moments, Twilight took in a deep breath. Then she heard the scream again.

“Somepony, please, HELP ME!”

She had heard enough.

Starlight’s eyes widened in shock when she saw Twilight suddenly launch into a sprint for the edge of the balcony. She quickly gave chase, trying to catch Twilight and stop her. “Twilight! Don’t!” she called after her, jumping after her.

Too late.

Twilight soared over the rail, the light on her horn spluttered and then faded as she released her part of the barrier spell. Starlight crashed against the rail, holding onto it and gasping in pain and shock before screwing her eyes shut. Acting quickly, she began channeling as much power as she could into the barrier to keep it stable and fill in the gaps Twilight had left in it. She was able to stabilize it, and when she opened her eyes, the barrier had become entirely cyan. Now with sweat pouring down her neck, she looked down after Twilight.

Her entire body was encased in lavender light, ensuring her descent to the ground was smooth. She vanished into the mist, leaving Starlight all on her own on that balcony to maintain the barrier. She growled angrily and looked back up at the dome, already able to feel changeling drones chipping away at it and her magic reserves. Their time had just been cut roughly in half.

In spite of this change of plans, though, she couldn’t help but smile. “Alright… fine, Twilight. Go save the pony you love. I’ll hold down the fort…” she mumbled to herself before closing her eyes and focusing entirely on the spell.

Rainbow’s cries were beginning to lose strength and volume, fading into pitiful whimpers and quivering gasps as her pain dragged on and on. Eventually, Chrysalis scoffed and released her magic, as well as ending her feast on Rainbow’s love. The tortured pegasus gasped and wheezed as soon as she was released, rolling over onto her belly and weakly trying to crawl away. Chrysalis scowled in disgust and frustration. “I see your dearly beloved is taking her sweet time answering your call. Maybe if I mangle you and put you on display she’ll come out!”

With her lips peeling back to reveal her fangs, she kicked Rainbow in the side where her flesh had swollen around her broken rib, hard enough to roll her onto her side. If she had more strength left, maybe she would have screamed. But, as it was, the agony only managed to elicit a tiny whimper from her. Chrysalis’ horn ignited with more magic. “Now… what should I break first?” she mused while examining Rainbow’s shaking body. She had finally decided on her right wing when she caught movement out of the corner of her eye. Turning to look, she only had time to open her mouth for a shout before a long slab of red crystal encased in purple light swung through the mist to strike her on the side of the head. Her skull and, more importantly, her scar exploded with fiery pain as she was sent flying back into a small, single-story home made of similarly red crystal.

Her impact with the wall was enough to put a dent in it. She lifted her gaze to look for her attacker just in time for a volley of purple spellfire to pummel into her and the building around her. She was driven through the wall with a shout of surprise before the whole building collapsed on top of her, burying her in a pile of dust and rubble with a cacophonous crash.

All was silent for several seconds, and Rainbow Dash eventually managed to find the courage to open her eyes. Through her blurry, swimming vision she could just see a pair of four purple hooves galloping towards her. As their owner slid to a halt by her side, one of them gingerly slid under her head and lifted it up to rest in its owner’s lap, while the other found her good hoof and held on tight.

She could hear her savior speaking to her, but the noises were muffled. She blinked a few times and squinted, trying to focus. After several more seconds, her vision adjusted, and she saw the face of Twilight Sparkle looking down at her with a horrified expression and tears in her eyes.

“Oh my gosh, Rainbow… what did she do to you?!” Twilight choked out, her eyes roaming over Rainbow’s body to see all of the damage she had accumulated. There were bruises all along her torso, a point on her side where her skin had swollen up severely and turned an ugly shade of purple, and the still bleeding bite mark on her hoof.

Rainbow’s eyes widened as it fully dawned on her who had just come to her rescue. “Twi… light?” she murmured weakly, slowly reaching her uninjured hoof to touch Twilight’s cheek. “Wha… why are you here?” she asked, her voice gaining some strength back. “No! No, you shouldn’t be here! Chrysalis was trying to lure you out here! She’s gonna kill you!”

Twilight’s expression hardened, and her eyes drifted over to the collapsed house. She saw some of the rubble stirring. “...I know she will. But I won’t just sit by and let her hurt you anymore!” she snarled before gently setting Rainbow’s head back down and rising to her hooves. The long slab of crystal she had clobbered Chrysalis with slowly rose back into the air from where she had dropped it, and she pulled it to float by her side.

“Twilight, please!” Rainbow begged, shifting and trying to stand back up. “Just go back to the palace! You don’t have to stay here!”

“Yes, I do!” Twilight snapped sharply, looking over her shoulder at Rainbow. “I am not leaving your side! Not again, not ever again! We go down together… or not at all. Got it?!”

Rainbow blinked in surprise, her jaw slowly falling open at the intensity and fire in Twilight’s eyes. She was serious about this. Before Rainbow could muster a proper response, though, the building Chrysalis had been buried in was suddenly blasted apart with an expanding wave of green fire, and the queen herself stepped out of the flames with a few new scratches on her chitin. More noticeable, though, was the scar on her cheek.

It had grown significantly.

Twilight immediately assumed a defensive stance in front of Rainbow Dash, pointing her makeshift club at Chrysalis threateningly. “I am only going to say this once…” she began in a warning voice. She then pointed the club at Rainbow Dash. “That. Is. Mine.”

Chrysalis stared at her for several seconds, a blank look on her face. Slowly, almost reluctantly, she lifted her hoof to her scarred cheek. She winced when it made contact before pulling her hoof back and looking at a small crimson smear that now decorated it. For a good while, she just stared at it blankly, looking like her brain had shut down. Then her expression shifted into one of madness. Her eyes lit up with murderous glee, and her lips split open into a crooked, insane grin. Her eyes looked up at Twilight, shifting sporadically as her horn lit up with magic.

“Oh… oh, you should not have done that,” she said in a voice that sounded far, far too happy and excited for what was happening. Twilight flinched back, a chill running down her spine.

Then, with an insane laugh, a beam of green flames shot from Chrysalis horn towards Twilight and Rainbow Dash with the purpose of reducing both of them to cinders. The crystal street beneath the beam parted and melted, adding an orange glow to the green light.

Rainbow Dash screamed, begging Twilight to move out of the way.

Twilight Sparkle ignored her, her own horn flaring with light.

The beam reached them, swallowing them both in an explosion of green flames and the smell of ashes.

Author's Note:

Fun Fact: I have long wanted to bring back the 'hey, that's mine!' line from Little Choices.

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