• Published 5th Feb 2019
  • 8,844 Views, 219 Comments

My Life As An Interdimensional Insect - XenoPony



A new world, a new place. A bunch of pastel coloured talking horses, and turns out I'm some kind of strange insect monster responsible for almost the ending the world. This is shaping up to be a hell of a new life.

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Prologue:

"We're always told in life it's not about what we are or what we do, but about the choices we make. Right, wrong, even to go up or down... Side to side? But sometimes, we all should just accept that it's better to go wherever life takes us."

********

The shadow of night hung over the thick jungle as pale moonlight cast a pillar down between the towering trees and jagged cliffs. Curtains of thorny vines and long tapestries of damp moss hung in droves from the ridge above, accompanied by the gushing waterfalls and wispy mist that lingered between the vertical stone jaws.

Every now and again the fluttering of bat wings or the darting movements of the nocturnal insects upon which they prayed would send the gloomy haze into a swirl. Like a game of cat and mouse, life and death played out above, the loser devoured or left to plummet to the dark gloom far below, landing with a distant splash. Yet upon this particular moonlit night, the constant sanctity of the isolated chasm had been broken. For the first time in a millennium.

Hoofsteps staggered down a set of winding stairs, the holes in the dark limbs almost as numerous as the breaches rent in the ruined structures around them. For so long now those hooves had been walking, hard chitin ground away to pale green flesh as one fell before the other. Tattered, diaphanous wings twitched and green bruises shimmered in the moonlight as a swampy mane and tail dragged in the dust. From below the hanging strands peered a pair of sharp green eyes, glowing as if to mock the bioluminescent fauna of the jungle above with their wickedness.

Finally, one gnarled forehoof struck something that was not just another in the endless line of stairs, dust and crystalline, shardroaches scattering in its wake. The broken creature looked up from under her hanging mane, licking one cracked fang. Ahead was a stone bridge, a fusion of natural rock and crafted stone dotted by stalagmites and flanked by odd statues. Hunched, quadrupedal forms, clawed limbs clutching at their rocky pedestals as fanged mouths trailed solidified sediment like petrified drool. Stoic sentinels, they stood guard, eyeless gazes seeming to follow the crippled creature as she staggered between them.

Part of her hoped the guards at the entrance hadn't been right. Though if the temple gargoyles really had been alive as they'd said, then this might all be over by now. The fact that the zebras outside had been so easy to fool did not bode well for those chances, however. Living statues were exactly the talk of naive foals, and equines tricked so easily were no different. The lack of motion from the stone sealed watchers suggested that maybe some things were just legend, and yet the very thing the broken creature had come here for had to be real.

There were no other options, years in exile, so many failed attempts at reclaiming her rightful place and taking revenge. So many times had those insufferable ponies stolen what she longed for most. To crush them all under her hooves, take what they loved most and make them suffer as they'd made her suffer. Just the thought was enough to prompt a low hiss from the mare as she finally reached the far side of the ruined bridge.

The ledge upon which the winding path had finally deposited her spanned outwards on either side, forming a jagged, rounded platform. A ghostly howl, echoing between the towering cliffs as it rustled through the long dead branches of the only things to ever have grown in the desolated gorge. Dust fled in miniature whirlwinds, carrying with them leaves unlucky enough to drift down from the vibrant jungle above.

Before the creature stood a rounded table, faded, purple crystal growing from the stone like a wicked weed rejected by the earth. Even the ground around it looked faded. Fine dust trails flowing around equine skeletons, most left reaching away from the crystalline structure. The table itself was cracked, split into six jagged chunks, one of which was missing.

Dead vines and shriveled ferns had once clung to a meek existence upon its smooth surface. Yet even at the slightest breeze, many simply disintegrated to join the dust built up across the ledge. One glance at the shattered table, catching sight of scorpions and centipedes as they scurried away from the light of her eyes, the dark creature looked past and to the wall beyond.

The rear of the ledge met with the rough rocky of the cliff, more decrepit vines and pale mosses drooping from the rugged stone. More bones too, scattered as if dismembered, savaged by some long dead beast. Without heed for the morbid signs, the creature took a step towards the wall, the gangly spire atop her head igniting with a green glow to part the sheet of dead vegetation that concealed the cliff's true face from her glowing sight. The creature grinned, a long, forked tongue slipping between her fangs as green light washed over the cliff face.

With detail rivaled not even by the most ornate royal hives she'd ever ordered, the wall was etched by a vast sprawl of carvings, symbols, and patterns. No pony within the last millennia could have had a hope of translating the thousands upon thousands of hieroglyphics. Yet the meaningless scribble that surrounded the edge of the inscription like orbital rings were none of the current reader's concern.

In the center of the carvings, surrounded on all sides like the planets did the almighty sun, was an etched ring of flames. Within, eight points marked equidistant around it like the spokes of a wheel, was a slitted, amethyst eye. From around it arched eight spider-like legs, molded from the same purple crystal, each one marked perfect to the tips of each of the eight points around the sunken orbit. Even the light of the moon turned foul as, with the curtain of vines removed, it was forced to shine upon the wall. The creature narrowed her eyes, her grin spreading like one of the deadly infections she'd had to be mindful of in the foreign land. For the first time in what felt like years her wings buzzed and she laughed.

"So, it is real." She pressed a hoof to the wall, light moss and lichen slipping from the sleek stone. "At last I will have my revenge, and this time no pony will stop me."

The mare cackled wickedly, her shrill, reverberating laugh echoing through the dead canyon as the distant wind blew again. The new pair of eyes that set upon the dark creature with a hoof against the inscribed wall went unnoticed for several seconds. Before, finally, at the sound of one hoofstep in the dust, the glowing green eyes were torn away and snapped back.

"I assure you, what you have there is quite real," sounded a muffled voice as the sharp green spheres fixed upon a hooded figure standing by the table. "It's been an awfully long time, hasn't it, Queen Chrysalis."

At that name, the broken creature's eyes narrowed, last unbroken fang flaring as she glared at the mysterious stranger. "That name no longer has any meaning to me, all it is associated with is the countless defeats of a weakling," she snapped.
"Then would you prefer just Queen, your Majesty?" The figure gave a bow, not even a glimpse of their face flashing as they placed one striped forehoof forwards. "Your reputation certainly proceeds you."

Chrysalis' muzzle wrinkled, her one unbroken fang glinting in the moonlight as she dropped back to all fours and stalked towards the figure.

"I've killed for less mockery, so give me one good reason not to slice that head from your shoulders," she warned, forcing herself to full height and looming over the hooded equine. "Well!"

The pony under the hood hadn’t yet answered before the former queen's strength failed her and with a weak shudder, she crumpled in on herself. Slouching at first before utterly falling to her knees.

"I've done far worse than kill for far less, I assure you," the figure responded in the clear voice of a mare, before lifting back her hood to reveal she was indeed a snowy white zebra, face marred by dark stripes and scars. "On your knees without even a threat, how far you have fallen, my queen."

The zebra turned, smirking while, just as she'd expected, the changeling's anger spiked. Chrysalis surged forward, hissing as she moved to bite down on her tormentor's neck. The blow struck nothing but thin air, then solid rock as the former queen slammed face-first into the floor, scattering dust and bones. She was still far from done, however, at least in her mind. Rage stoked a fire that her weakened body could no longer support and she was on her face again before she could even stagger to her quivering hooves.

"You have my sympathies, my queen, truly. Had I still the ability to feel," the zebra assured, peering down her muzzle at the crumpled queen. "But I lost that restraint a long time ago."

"W–who are you... I'm not your queen, I–I'd know if you were... were a changeling," Chrysalis forced, wincing as she clutched her chest and slipped back into the dust.

"It doesn't matter who I am, what matters is that I found you here." It was the zebra's turn to grin as her eyes flashed purple. "Little insect caught in the spider's web."

Chrysalis glared at the mare, straining her neck enough to come eye to muzzle with the pale coated equine.

"If you intend to kill me then do it, don't waste my time with talk." She gritted her fang, and was on the floor again before she could speak another word.

If this was going to be her end then she would make it an end to be remembered.

"You don't need me to kill you, my queen. You were dying the moment you stepped in here. No pony leaves," the zebra stated, brushing a forehoof through Chrysalis's mangy twig and leaf filled mane. "Such a shame to waste the last true changeling. You did fail to realize that, even as you are, you're still one of a kind."

"A paltry sentiment," Chrysalis coughed, a dryness in her chest that was from more than just exhaustion as the mare continued to stroke her mane. "I was the most powerful queen my kind has ever known. Then, betrayal, revenge."

"To the point at which you are here now, no care for name or station." The zebra sat down, eyes fixed with the broken queen's as Chrysalis managed to shift her head. "You're hardly worth the life you were given."

The changeling sneered up at her tormentor. "Says one who squats around in a chasm all of her years, I should have known the myths were too good to be true," she wheezed, words lost to another fit of coughing.

"You should never trust legends, warped and tainted by opinion they always are," the mare retorted, glancing at the wall of hieroglyphics behind her.

When she looked back, her eyes were glazed purple and shimmering like stars.

"I know what it is you seek, and I will tell you that which I have told all others. To seek one of its kind out, is to seek only oblivion," she elaborated, then smiled as if her words were no more than a pleasant warning.

"I have been living oblivion since the day I lost everything, death would be better... If not, then revenge!" Chrysalis forced every ounce of her strength into those words before once again succumbing to a fit of wretches and coughing.

The zebra mare blinked, eyes slit for a split second as she pressed a hoof to her chin.

"The last changeling, you believe?" she asked, seemingly talking to nopony in particular. "What an interesting prospect."

Chrysalis glanced up at her, moisture seeping from her clouding eyes as if the air were leaching her dry. "W–what... are you?" she forced, the question drawing the zebra out of her thoughts.

"I'm who you came here for, am I not?" she asked, tone almost cheerful as she smiled.

"No... You were supposed to be perfect, you're barely more than a filly," Chrysalis responded, pressing one quivering hoof to her eyes as she started to growl in pain.

"I ask again, am I not?" the zebra pressed as Chrysalis’ whole body began to shrivel, blistering wings turning to dust like everything in the lifeless crevice around her. "Am I not?"

"You're a monster, that's what you are. Just get this over with!" Chrysalis screamed, dry strings of ooze peeling from her eyes as she pulled her hooves away. "My life is not yours to waste!"

Years of pain, regret and an insatiable lust for revenge finally granted her strength enough to peer right into the zebra's shimmering purple eyes as the striped mare cocked her head and smiled.

"Such a disappointing end this would be for the mighty queen," she reasoned as the former queen clutched her shriveled gut and fought not to double over. Dust trailed from the changeling on the wind as the zebra finally added. "How about a question instead?"

"W–what?" Chrysalis gasped, finally falling back into the dust she was swiftly becoming a part of.

"What would you do to get what you want, how far would you go?" she asked as if it were the most simple question in the world.

Throat dry as a desert, body cracking like a river bed in summer, the queen screamed. "Anything and everything, you witch!" The striped mare's grin grew, the purple glint to her eyes spreading.

"Good, good." She pressed a hoof to Chrysalis' chest and the broken queen sucked in a sharp breath. "That's all I needed to hear, my queen."

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