• Published 25th May 2018
  • 2,221 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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It Is Elementary, My Queen

Mere Minutes Earlier.

Celestia growled through tightly clenched teeth as she ducked past another intense beam of green magic from Chrysalis. She could feel the air around the energy sizzling and rippling from the heat, tickling her cheek as it passed. She pivoted in the air into a sideways spiral before coming out of it to face her adversary, a counter-attack flying free as another beam of golden destructive magic. Chrysalis was able to block the oncoming assault with a barrier of cyan light, and Celestia’s eyes narrowed in disgust as she recognized some of Cadance’s magic at work. Chrysalis just grinned triumphantly back at her as the barrier faded away.

They had been at this for several minutes, now, with Celestia and Luna barely breaking even against Chrysalis’ power, often having to bail each other out whenever the changeling queen pursued one of them more fervently than the other. There had been more close calls than either of them cared to admit, and already they were both beginning to feel the strain of the battle wearing down on them. They were breathing heavily, and every powerful spell they conjured up was harder and harder to form, much less maintain.

Chrysalis, meanwhile, hadn’t slowed down or displayed any hint of exertion so far, maintaining her offensive without pause or fail. She clearly had the stamina and power advantage here, a fact she chose to demonstrate when her horn exploded into green flames before she launched herself at Celestia. She was quick to brace herself and create a magical barrier in front of her, one which sadly proved insufficient in stopping the oncoming comet.

Her barrier shattered the moment Chrysalis impacted with it, and Celestia’s eyes widened with pain as she was tackled with titanic force. A breathless gasp escaped her as she was sent rocketing down from the air to bounce hard off of the roof of an already damaged home. Her bounce carried her past the roof and to the street below, where she hit the ground with a loud thump and grunt. Now with her chest and side throbbing in protest, she began struggling to rise on shaky hooves, breathing heavily.

The sound of buzzing a few yards ahead drew her attention. Lifting her head, she saw Queen Chrysalis rounding the corner of the block, her horn aglow. Celestia prepared herself for another beam, spreading her wings to dodge. However, to her surprise, there was no beam sent in her direction. Instead, the wall of the home she had bounced off of was suddenly encased in emerald light. She turned just in time to see it come away from the structure to slam into her, driving her into another house across the street. Both walls summarily crumbled into pieces, thoroughly burying her in debris.

Chrysalis grinned sadistically, the light on her horn growing as she prepared to finish Celestia off. Her plans were thankfully cut short when Luna appeared next to her in a flash of blue light. Chrysalis turned to face her, eyes widening, before a shadowy shockwave expanded out from Luna’s horn, sending the queen down and into the ground. She skidded along for several yards, tearing up the ground as she went and leaving a considerable trench in her wake. Luna was not done, however. She tilted her head back, gathering energy on the tip of her horn. It swelled and grew into a large, unstable sphere of shadows and moonlight, crackling at the seams with purple electricity. Chrysalis was just starting to stand up when Luna hurled the ball of raw destruction at her. Chrysalis looked up just in time for the sphere to impact with her and the surrounding street before exploding in a brilliant display of blues, purples, and blacks.

Luna took several moments to catch her breath before turning to the rubble that had buried her sister. Grunting with effort, Luna lit her horn and, one by one, pulled the larger pieces of debris off of Celestia, and the solar princess was soon revealed, bruised and scraped, but otherwise fine. Celestia slowly pulled herself back to a standing position, a few leftover pebbles sliding off of her to scatter uselessly on the ground. She glanced up at Luna with a thankful nod and smile, a gesture Luna returned. Luna then turned to face Chrysalis again, only to pause in confusion when she saw that the queen had vanished from her position at the end of the trench.

“LUNA! BELOW YOU!” Celestia’s voice rang in her ears, prompting Luna to turn in the air and look at the ground. Her eyes widened at the sight of Chrysalis rising out of one of those infernal portals, green light erupting from her horn. Luna was left no time to react as a focused beam of green magic engulfed her from below. The energy exploded on impact, filling the sky with a cloud of smoke. An intense gust of wind rushed outwards, and dust was kicked up off of the ground. Celestia was forced to create another barrier dome around herself to shield her eyes, unable to take her eyes away from what was now falling from the smoke in dread.

Luna’s body came falling out of the sky, leaving a trail of smoke in her wake. There were several new burn marks on her body, and several of them looked severe. Acting fast, Celestia dropped her barrier and vanished in a flash of light. She re-appeared where her little sister would land and looked up, her horn glowing. As soon as Luna arrived, Celestia reached out with her magic to grab her and slow her descent, gently setting her down on the street. She was still alive, thank the heavens for that, but she was definitely out of the fight. More than that, she was hurt, but there was nothing Celestia could do for her right now.

A menacing, feminine cackle that came echoing from not far away sent a chill down Celestia’s spine, while simultaneously adding fuel to the ever-raging fire in her skull. Slowly, Celesta lifted her gaze to meet that of Queen Chrysalis, who stood about five yards away with that same, insufferable grin plastered all over that arrogant muzzle of hers. Celestia’s pupils dilated, and her entire body began to quiver with rage. Chrysalis, of course, was not at all intimidated. She tilted her head to one side, allowing a stray lock of her long mane to hang in front of her eyes. “You know, you should take a rest, too, princess. After all, you’re going to wear yourself ragged if you keep standing in my way…” she taunted teasingly, the light on her horn gradually increasing in brightness and intensity.

Celestia, with stiff movements, moved to stand between Luna and Chrysalis, her wings slowly unfurling and spreading wide open. “You are going to pay for everything you have done…” she stated plainly in a low, murderous tone, her horn sparking into life. The ends of the hairs of her mane gradually began to turn dark, as if burned by fire. Embers drifted out of those burn marks, scorching the earth wherever they fell and filling the air with the scent of smoke and ash. Chrysalis saw this and raised an eyebrow in fascination. She also noticed the flickering orange and black in the alicorn’s eyes as her pupils fluctuated wildly in width.

But even with what looked like the start of some kind of transformation in her opposition, Chrysalis wasn’t impressed. Her expression hardened significantly and her stance widened. “I doubt that,” she spat caustically.

Celestia, with an infuriated scream, let loose the most powerful beam of magic she could. It came out as pure fire, melting the street beneath it and creating ripples in the air. Chrysalis met Celestia’s power with a surge of power of her own. The two beams of magic tore at the ground before clashing halfway in between their casters and pushing against each other. A powerful wind began to fly in all directions, dust was kicked up, and a molten pool beneath the point where the beams met began to grow larger and brighter.

But as the struggle pressed on, Celestia’s beam was starting to be pushed back, despite her throwing everything she had left into it. Her eyes began to widen, and despair began to bleed into her veins from her heart. She was going to lose. She was about to completely run out of power, and she had no way of knowing if the others had managed to assemble the Elements yet. If she fell here, now, then…

Her mind wandered to Rainbow Dash, to her daughter. She thought of her cocky grin, her casual attitude, her competitive athleticism, her humorous sarcasm, and snarky remarks. She thought of the first birthday party she had had in Canterlot, and she remembered the day Rainbow had been revealed to the public. She remembered her being proactive in bringing Twilight to her after her very first flash, and she remembered the pride that had swelled in her heart when Rainbow was chosen by the Element of Loyalty to defeat Nightmare Moon and save her sister.

All of those things, all of her accomplishments, everything… it and more would be lost if Celestia fell here. Chrysalis would come for her… Celestia’s eyes widened even more as her mental image of Rainbow Dash was replaced with the image of a broken, beaten, bruised and bleeding pegasus mare with barely enough strength to speak or breath. She could see Chrysalis steadily advancing on her, stalking her like a predator about to tear into its immobilized prey. She saw that hungry, feral, murderous glow in Chrysalis’ eyes. She could see Chrysalis licking her fangs, and the pegasus quivering in terror under her. She could hear Rainbow Dash screaming…

That was what it took to reduce what little restraint Celestia had left to a very fine dust.

All at once, her mane was lit on fire, and her eyes went from purple to orange. The crystal beneath her hooves molded around them as the temperatures rose, beginning to glow a bright yellow from the heat. She could feel all of her rage, anger, and hatred for the creature before her spilling free, melting the floodgates and flooding unhindered into her soul. As all thoughts of mercy or compassion were swallowed whole by the raging inferno, she might have gone into a panic attack. She knew full well what this feeling meant, and she knew what she was allowing herself to become. But with her daughter’s life on the line, as well as that of her little sister and the future of Equestria, she was unwilling to hold herself back any more. The flames burned at her mind, at her heart, at who she was.

Her mind was made up.

Chrysalis was going to burn.

Her power spiked, and her beam grew in intensity several times over, driving Chrysalis’ back several feet. The queen took a few staggering steps back before planting herself, her eyes widening in surprise. Well, this was certainly unexpected. Through the flames and her own magic, she could just make out the glaring, slitted orange eyes of Celestia, as well as her fangs bared in a hateful scowl.

Wait… fangs?!

The flames grew even more powerful, forcing her to take another step back and focus on her beam just to hold even. After a few more moments of struggling, though, she managed to pour enough power into her beam to halt Celestia’s advance. Chrysalis smirked in amusement. “And what’s this, princess? Your last hurrah? I have to admit, I am impressed!”

“Oh my goodness, will you just shut up already?!!” Celestia’s voice answered, except… it wasn’t quite Celestia’s voice. It was wrong somehow. There was an edge of sadism that eerily reminded Chrysalis of herself. “I’m sick and tired of listening to you drone on and on! We get it, you love the sound of your own voice!” the flames brightened, and a shockwave tore outwards, forcing Chrysalis back another step. “But I’m done listening to you. I’m done letting you strut like you own everything you touch! I am going to turn you and your entire race into nothing but an ugly smear of ash on Equestrian history! So do me, yourself, and the entire world a favor, and BURN!”

Chrysalis’ grin faded, and she began to pour even more energy into her attack, steadily pushing Celestia’s beam back. “Insults? Threats against my subjects?” she shouted over the roar of the struggle. “Fine, I’m done speaking with you. It’s time to say goodbye!”

Celestia’s hooves dug into the street as her beam was forced back, her eyes screwed shut with strain. No, no no! Even tapping into all of her worst instincts, allowing her emotions to run rampant and free for the first time, she still came up short! She opened her eyes again to stare down at the ground while pouring the last reserves of her power into the beam. She saw her reflection in the smooth crystal street, and for a brief moment, she felt nothing but shame.

Looking back up at her was the face of a monster. Her coat had gained a slight orange hue, particularly at the edges of the thin hairs. The sclera and cornea of her eyes had become as dark as the void, while her iris’ had turned the color of fire, while her pupils had narrowed into jagged reptilian slits. Her teeth had become longer, and as sharp as razors, and her once beautiful aetherial mane and tail that shone with all the colors of the rainbow had become a wild storm of fire and smoke that fluttered about her head in a wild, unpredictable dance. Even her wings had changed. Gone was the elegance and majesty they once held, now replaced with long feathers that ended in sharp tips, making them almost look like blades.

A name rang in her mind as she looked into those eyes, and her shame only grew.

Daybreaker.

“Celestia?!”

Daybreaker went rigid at hearing Luna’s voice from behind her. Slowly, she turned to look at the younger alicorn. Luna’s face was one of unquestionable fear and horror, and she was slowly scooting away from the flames. The sisters looked into one another’s eyes, and for a brief moment, time seemed to slow to a complete and total halt.

Daybreaker’s face fell. “Forgive me, Sister...” she whispered regretfully. With those words, the last of her power faded, and her beam vanished into the air, allowing Chrysalis’ assault to tear towards the two of them. Daybreaker screwed her eyes shut, only barely hearing Luna crying out to her.

A moment passed.

And another.

The beam never came.

“So… what’s with the new firey getup?” Rainbow’s voice suddenly cut through the newfound silence and darkness, prompting Daybreaker to open her eyes in shock. For there, standing directly in front of her, was Twilight Sparkle, surrounded by their friends. They all wore the Elements of Harmony, and those ancient gems were now glowing and pulsating with a soft, gentle light. The last remaining wisps of Chrysalis’ beam were fading into the air, the attack having been halted dead in its tracks. Rainbow was, of course, still on Twilight’s back, and was giving Daybreaker a curious look. “Cause I gotta admit… I don’t like it.”

Daybreaker just blinked before looking past them. Chrysalis was faring much worse than the fallen alicorn was, her eyes wide open, and her ears flat against her head. Her lip began to tremble when she saw the fiery looks of conviction and resolve in the eyes of those ponies. She briefly glanced up at her horn, her horror growing with every passing second. “I… I don’t understand… where did…?” she choked out before looking at the six mares again.

Daybreaker just chortled quietly to herself in almost sadistic amusement, narrowing her eyes at the doomed changeling. “Well, it’s elementary, my queen,” she stated in a taunting tone of voice, her fiery eyes flashing. “You lose.”

Those words hit Chrysalis hard. All of her bravado and composure shattered, and she flew into a blind panic. A terrified scream tore itself free from her lungs as she launched another beam of magic at the Element Bearers. Just like the last one, her magic evaporated long before it ever reached them, fading into the air. Her cries were growing louder, now, and her desperation made itself clear in what she said next. “No, NO! Please, don’t! My changelings, my subjects! They’ll starve without me! PLEASE!” She begged, her eyes pleading and begging for mercy.

“No… They’ll thrive without you,” came Twilight Sparkle’s cold response before she closed her eyes, the other mares following her lead. When they opened them again, they had become spheres of blinding white light, forcing Chrysalis to squint. The air began to shimmer with prismatic magic, and Chrysalis could already feel the small wisps tugging at her body.

There was no point in trying to run or fight back, now. It was too late, and Chrysalis knew it. All she could do was screw her eyes tightly shut and scream out in despair. The six friends came to a consensus, and the multicolored light in the air grew in brightness and intensity until, finally, nothing else could be seen. At the heart of that glow, Chrysalis’ screams gradually faded away into silence.

Behind the six mares, Daybreaker, too, felt the magic of the Elements start to pull at her. She recoiled in pain and fear, her skin burning painfully at the touch. But after a moment, she relented and allowed the light to claim her, too. She felt the fire in her skull sputter and fade, leaving behind a bottomless cold that made her body shiver. The sharp teeth she had grown shrank and returned to normal, while her orange eyes reverted back to their normal purple, the iris’ rounding out to become perfect circles. The fire of her mane and tail calmed and faded away, replaced with her normal aetherial one.

Then, with one last rush and flash, the light faded away, revealing what the Elements had done. Celestia opened her eyes, feeling no shortage of relief that she was back to normal. After a few moments of collecting herself and looking into her reflection, she then turned to face her sister. Luna looked back up at her with worried eyes before slowly getting back to her hooves. “You… you fell… as I did…” She whispered disbelievingly.

Celestia only gave a slow, grim nod before drawing Luna into a warm embrace with her wing. After a moment’s hesitation, Luna returned the gesture, burying her face into her sister’s neck.

Their moment was broken when Rainbow Dash suddenly let out a loud, energetic exclamation of triumph. “Aw, yeah! My wounds are healed! HA! Take that, Chrysalis!”

The two sisters turned to gaze upon the aftermath of the Elements, curious to see what had become of the changeling queen. Where there had once been a towering creature of malice and dark chitin, there was now a tree with pitch black bark. It was fairly tall, and a pony could easily take a nap on one of the branches. Speaking of branches, hanging from them were long locks of silky, dark-teal hair that wrapped around and draped themselves over each other in a wild, messy manner. The roots of the tree were dug into the street, planting it in place. A gentle breeze blew by, making a few of those hairs drift lazily in the wind.

Pinkie Pie blinked. “Huh. That’s not what I was expecting."

Author's Note:

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