• Published 11th Oct 2019
  • 4,591 Views, 209 Comments

All That We Are - Marezinger Z

All processing their encounter with Aurelian very differently, the three villains part ways on paths that will ultimately lead them back together in a way they did not expect.

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Chapter 2

After propping the half conscious Caballeron up in a chair, Cozy Glow quickly high tailed it away from the scene and into the forests. She landed with a gleeful laugh, prancing around on her long new legs.

“Ha ha, this feels amazing.” She danced around the area. “Now that I’m big, those two will have to take me seriously.” An excited giggle left her. “I can get on roller coasters, I don’t have to order off of the kids menu anymore…” She glanced back at her flank, wiggling it too and fro. “Not to mention I’m way cuter than that old bug now.” Reaching up to her curly mane, she tugged on her locks with a questioning hum. “Although, this hair cut doesn’t really scream ‘grown up’.” Her eyes lit up as an idea struck her. “Ooh, I should get a makeover!” Quickly returning to the sky, she headed back towards Appaloosa. Coming upon a traveling stallion along the road, Cozy Glow happily mugged the poor traveler for his bits and made her way into town. With no pony recognizing her straight away, she freely walked the streets in search of some kind of salon. She was directed to Country Rose and eagerly hurried inside.

“Hello there.” A unicorn greeted her. “I’m Lilac, how can we help you?”

“I want a new look.” Cozy Glow said bluntly. “I’m big now and I want to look like it.”

“Um… okay.” Lilac smiled timidly at the bizarre statement. “Are you looking to get your hair done?”

“Yeah.” She nodded. “And makeup, I want that too.”

“I see.” Lilac retrieved a brochure. “May I suggest our silver package? It provides hair styling, a hooficure and we can set you up with some basic cosmetics.”

“Okay, let’s do that.” Cozy Glow followed her into the back where she was passed off to one of the stylists. The mare set herself on Cozy Glow’s hair, using every trick she knew to try and straighten the tight curls. As she laid in the chair with her head in a sink, another mare tended to her hooves. After an hour of work, she was moved to another chair where the treatment continued. The stylist layered her hair, giving Cozy Glow a straighter mane with tips that retained her signature ringlets; while the upper part was woven into smooth waves. Her tail was straightened as well, braided to match the waves in her mane and secured with red lace. She was given rose tinted eyeshadow to lightly compliment her pinkish coat and a similar shade of lipstick. Her hooves were painted to reflect the red lace around her tail and finally she was provided eyelash extensions. When all was said and done, she stood before the mirror in amazement; barely even recognizing herself.

“Well now, what do you think?” Her stylist inquired.

“I’m beautiful.” Cozy Glow held her cheek, a wide smile on her face.

“You certainly are.” The stylist agreed.

“I can’t wait to rub this in Chrys….” She stopped herself from saying the notorious name aloud. “I mean… my friend’s face.” Paying in her stolen bits, Cozy Glow left feeling like a new mare. As she strolled down the street, catching eyes left and right, she quelled an excited laugh. “I bet every pony wants to be my friend now.” She paused her celebration and observed the bracelet. “But first things first, I’m going to have to do a test to see if I’m right about this thing.”

Taking to the air again, Cozy Glow left Appaloosa and headed for the mountain base to begin looking for a suitable cavern. She discovered an opening that was heavy with guano and quietly made her way inside. “Here we go.” She whispered, eying the bats that lined the ceiling. Gingerly plucking one of the slumbering creatures from its spot, Cozy Glow sped from the cave before the screeching could alarm the others. The bat struggled in her grasp as she carried it over to a rock and pinned it down. “Sit still and this’ll be over in a second.” Cozy Glow aimed the stinger and jabbed it into the bat’s stomach; the animal let out a long screech before falling into the same exhausted state as Caballeron. Cozy Glow stepped back and waited, feeling nothing of note. “Huh… maybe I was…” Her eyes widened as she felt the familiar fire course through her flesh. “Ohhh, there we go.” She giggled wildly at the intense sensation, her feathered wings contorting and rearranging into the leathery wings of a bat. As the burn ceased, she spread her new wings with an ecstatic smile. “I knew it!” She lifted herself into the air. “I can take the dominate physical trait of whatever creature I want, I’m like a real Chimera now.” Her mind began to race with ideas. “I can be more than just big… I can become an entirely new creature.” Her laugh echoing off the rocks, she soared up into the sky and began making her way back north.

The Changeling hive was as active as ever with Thorax overseeing the Spring Carnival, a holiday he instigated to celebrate the spring bloom which was something new to the rejuvenated region. Decorating, cooking and preparation were in full swing; the overtly merry creatures singing all the while. A formation of sparrows swept over the area, with one in particular breaking away and landing on a jagged perch overlooking the activity. Through green eyes, the bird watched as the Changelings went about their blissful day. Moving from perch to perch, it kept up its vigil for a few hours before its attention was captured by the sound of crying. Flying over an outcropping near the rear of the hive, a young Changeling was spotted holding her leg with tears in her eyes. Seeing no one coming to investigate, the bird swooped down and reformed into Chrysalis.

“Why are you crying?” Chrysalis asked rather curtly.

The little Changeling looked up at her in shock, sniffling as she clutched her leg. “I… I twisted my leg when I was playing on the rocks.”

“Is that all?” Chrysalis eyed her. “You’re a Changeling, your body is designed to endure far worse than a simple fall.” She knelt down and rolled the leg, feeling the joint and squeezing in various spots. “Your leg isn’t damaged, just sore.”

“Okay.” The young Changeling planted her hoof down and tested her leg.

“If you should actually injure yourself while away from the others, do not merely sit there and cry.” Chrysalis continued. “Change into a creature that compensates for the injury and quickly return to the hive where you can be properly treated.” She sighed in disgust. “Honestly, that should be of the first things you learn.”

“I’ll remember that next time.” The girl smiled up at her. “Thank you.”

“Yes, well… be more careful next time.” Chrysalis advised.

“Chitin!?” A voice called from the distance.

“Over here!” The young one turned and waved. “That’s my…” Turning back, she looked around in confusion, finding the stranger gone.

Chrysalis continued to watch over the hive; she noticed that within the hour there were dozens of Changelings inspecting the area, no doubt in reaction to Chitin describing her to the others and raising alarms. Thorax himself surveyed the area as well which caught her eye; going against her instinct, she descended from above and landed at his back.

“Looking for me, I take it.” She assumed her natural form.

“Chrysalis.” Thorax turned, startled but holding his ground. “So it was you.”

“What of it?” She turned her nose up.

“Princess Celestia sent a letter warning Pharynx and I that you had escaped Tartarus.” He detailed. “I haven’t told the rest of the hive yet because I didn’t want to start a panic. To be honest, I was hoping that if it was you I would find you first.”

“You do not fear my presence?” She asked.

“Should I.” He asked in return. “Tell me why you’re here and we can go from there.”

“Hmph.” Chrysalis cocked her stance. “You may have taken the throne, but this is still my hive. I was just seeing what you’ve done with it… or to it, rather.” She turned and started off. “I didn’t come looking for a fight.”

“Wait.” Thorax stopped her. “Thank you.”

She looked back over her shoulder. “Thank you?”

“Chitin said you helped her and gave her some good advice.” Thorax lightly smiled. “So, thank you.”

“Whatever.” She looked away. “Some creature has to teach them properly.”

“Hey.” Thorax crinkled his nose. “I may be new to this whole 'leader of the hive' thing, but the Changelings are doing better than ever."

“You’re certainly leading them down an interesting path.” Chrysalis noted.

Thorax’s extremely empathetic nature could detect that something was off with all of this. He looked at her with serious eyes and held his hoof out. “You came here for a reason. If it wasn’t to fight, then why?”

Chrysalis struggled with all her might to swallow her immense pride. “I wanted… to see my home again.” She turned back and looked up at the hive. “I didn’t think this was my home anymore; but some creature suggests that it still is… or should be… or could be…” Her frustrated eyes battled against displaying the emotion she was feeling inside.

Thorax sighed as he struggled with a decision of his own. “History and experience say I shouldn’t trust you; but I’ve always gone with my heart and my heart says that whatever this is… it’s genuine. If something is wrong, I’d like to help if I can. In spite of all that you’ve done… you’re still our mother.”

Hearing that word finally broke Chrysalis; she bit her lip to stay the tear that was working to leave her eye and silently nodded her approval of the idea. Disguising herself as a fly and resting upon his antler, Thorax took her into the hive and instructed the Changelings to end the search. He retrieved his brother and headed to a secluded area to let him in on what has happening.

“You shouldn’t have stopped the search.” Pharynx grumbled as he followed. “If Chrysalis is in the area then we are in danger.”

“She’s… a lot closer than you think.” Thorax chuckled nervously as they halted. “Come on out.” Chrysalis flew from his head and retook her form.

“Ah!” Pharynx leapt back and dug in his hooves.

“Hold on!” Thorax frantically waved.

“Are you crazy!?” Pharynx stared his brother down.

“I really wish you would stop asking me that.” Thorax pouted. “She isn’t here to fight.”

“You gullible nitwit, did it ever occur to you that she could be lying?” Pharynx asked.

Chrysalis laughed shortly at the question. “Well, it seems some of you still retain your instincts.” She chimed in. “But this time he is right, I didn’t come here to cause trouble.”

“See.” Thorax waved his brother down. “Just keep calm and let’s talk this out.”

“Fine.” Pharynx settled but maintained his distance. “What exactly are we talking about?”

“Well, that’s kind of up to her.” Thorax looked to Chrysalis. “You want to tell us what happened that led you back here?”

“Why don’t you start with how you escaped Tartarus again?” Pharynx suggested.

“I didn’t so much escape as I was let out.” Chrysalis informed. “There is an old and very powerful creature down there; it was he who freed us, but not after a fairly insightful talk. His words hung on us like iron chains and Tirek felt driven to leave for who knows where.” She lowered her head in a sort of shame. “I thought I could manipulate this creature to aid us but that was a naïve dream. He saw through me like damp parchment and laid a truth on my shoulders for which I was not prepared.”

“What truth?” Thorax asked.

“The full history of our kind.” She answered. “His tale laid bare that I have spent my life being mistaken about so many things… and that I walk a path that has been treaded before, to no great end.” She set her hoof to her head. “I didn’t know where else to go.”

Thorax checked his brother’s face to see his reaction to all this, finding the typical level of suspect in his eyes. “Would you… like to see the hive?” He finally asked.

“What?” She quickly looked back to him.

“Yeah, what?” Pharynx repeated.

“Like you said, it’s still technically your hive.” Thorax smiled. “I’d like to show you what we’ve accomplished since you’ve been gone.”

“I…” Chrysalis hesitated greatly, more so at Thorax’s willingness to show her so much kindness than anything else. “I would.”

“Thorax.” Pharynx finally stepped forward.

“Brother, I don’t want to fight anymore.” He said sternly. “Not with you and not with her.”

Pharynx slowly nodded. “Okay. It’s your call, but make one wrong move and I’ll set the entire hive on you.” He pointed his hoof at Chrysalis.

“Fair enough.” She nodded in return.

“This works out great.” Thorax cheered. “We’re getting ready for the Spring Carnival.”

“Spring… Carnival?” Chrysalis eyed him.

“Yeah, it’s a new holiday I came up with to celebrate the spring bloom.” He smiled excitedly. “Since flowers and trees, you know, grow here now.”

“Lead on.” Chrysalis suppressed an eye roll at the very idea.

Thorax led her from their spot and out into the midst of the hive activity. As the Changelings saw their visitor they immediately stopped and stared in worry. “It’s okay, every creature!” Thorax assured as he gestured to Chrysalis. “Yes, this is Chrysalis and she is here under my charge! There isn’t any need to be afraid so lets put on our best attitudes and show her how awesome our hive is now!”

Pharynx flew out over them. “I’ll be monitoring the situation! So stay at ease and go about your day! We still have lots of preparation to do for the Carnival!” Between the words of their leaders, the Changelings slowly began to return to their activity, albeit cautiously.

“There.” Thorax beamed. “Let’s start the tour.” Chrysalis quietly followed as Thorax showed her around the hive, showcasing all the changes he had introduced after their evolution. Surrounded by bright colors, art, singing and merriment; Chrysalis could hardly believe that many of these Changelings were once part of the destructive horde she had commanded. They ultimately found themselves near the hive’s peak, the full majesty of the area before them. “So, what do you think?” Thorax asked.

Chrysalis sighed. “Honestly, it’s so sweet I can’t help but be disgusted.” She answered.

“Oh… okay.” Thorax frowned.

“But they do seem happy.” She added. “Happier than I could ever make them.”

“Well, I know this change is a lot but…”

“That’s just the thing.” Chrysalis cut him off. “It isn’t. This has all happened before.”

“It has?” Thorax sat at her side.

“We were the result of such a change as well.” She nodded. “Born from love, no less.”

Thorax’s curiosity was piqued. “Can you tell me the story?”

"Yes." Chrysalis sat and recounted the story that was passed to her by Aurelian. She told him what he had said to her about her path in life and the advice he left her with. Upon hearing the full explanation, Thorax felt more certain than ever about his decision.

“He’s right, you know.” He smiled. “You’re still our mother and you can still have a place here… that is, if you’re willing to be a part of what we’ve created.”

Chrysalis shook her head with a laugh. “Where did you get your heart? Certainly wasn’t from me.”

“You led us the best way you knew how.” Thorax began. “But the world is different now and that isn’t the best way anymore. I knew that the reason we always fought with other creatures is because we needed to feed off of them. I left because I felt there had to be a better way and I thought that if I could find that way, you would be proud of me.” His smile faded. “I did find a way, but by that time you had already enacted another plan to take over Equestria. When Starlight led us back to stop you, I had hoped in those final moments I could convince you to hear me out.”

“You expected more than I was capable of at the time.” Chrysalis looked to him with regret. “I think deep down I knew you were right, but I was unable to accept that truth. I blamed you and Starlight for taking my hive but it was as Aurelian said, I cost myself my own hive.” She looked back out over the Changelings below. “I may not agree with all this, but you have done more to lead the Changelings to a better future than I ever did; and for whatever it’s worth now, I am proud of you.” She heard him sniffle and looked over to see tears in his eyes. “Stop crying.” She ordered. “That isn’t how a leader acts.”

“Sorry.” He laughed and wiped his eyes. “Does this mean you’ll stay and finally put an end to all the fighting?”

“I… will try, Thorax.” She nodded. “Just don’t expect me to sing or anything.”

“Deal.” He got closer and put his hoof around her with a teary smile. “Welcome home, mom.”