• Published 23rd Jun 2020
  • 2,411 Views, 38 Comments

Make Love, Not War - TheLegendaryBillCipher

A desperate queen will do anything for her hive. Even ask ponies for help.

  • ...

Chapter 1: A Desperate Queen

The architecture of the Crystal Empire is said to be one of the greatest feats in all construction. Towering spires and graceful arches made of a clouded crystal were meant to refract light to dazzle onlookers.

But as Princess Cadance looked up from the blueprints, all she could see was the gaping hole made just months before during Sombra’s defeat.

The palace had been the hardest hit – necessary force from her and Celestia to break through Sombra’s defenses, retrieve the Crystal Heart, and banish him for good. And it had worked, but the pieces seemed a lot harder to pick up.

“That’s good!” she called to the construction ponies – she could go by their profession, for she knew not most of their names. “The beams should go there and there.” She pointed them out, and the crystal ponies simply nodded and got to work.

Cadance looked around her, seeing the same tension everywhere. Crystal ponies, happy to be under a new ruler but remorseful for their actions under the last one’s tyranny. It barely kept the Crystal Heart functioning and the empire safe from frost.

She left the blueprints to the construction foreman and took flight through the hollow atrium. The upper levels were relatively unscathed and, according to the workers, structurally sound. Which was good for when she needed space to breath.

On a balcony overlooking the main corridor from the empire’s entrance to its heart, Cadance took the moment to look out over the reconstruction. Nightmare Moon, Discord, and Sombra hadn’t been kind to the city as a whole.

While Discord had cleaned up his chaos magic, the physical damages remained. Many ponies were homeless, but at least supplies from Equestria were coming in regularly. She just wished more ponies were willing to help their crystal counterparts.

That’s when her eye caught sight of an armored guard racing down the main street for the palace. Flaring her wings open, Cadance decided to meet him halfway.

“What’s going on?” she asked once she touched down.

“Your Majesty,” the guard said, skidding to a halt and giving a hasty salute. “We have found a pony wandering in the Frozen Wastes. She seems to be nearly frostbitten.”

“In the Frozen Wastes?” Cadance blinked in disbelief. “Where is she?”

“She’s just coming into the city now, ma’am, at the guard post to the west,” the guard reported.

“I’ll see to her,” Cadance said, taking flight again before the guard could say more. Her mind poured over the scenarios.

How old was this mare? How long had she been in the Wastes? Did she get lost from a train or some other patrol? Or was she somehow a prisoner of Sombra’s left in the Wastes as punishment? Her survival to this point must’ve been a miracle.

Cadance soon arrived at the guard post, and found a trio of guards surrounding a cloaked mare. Her coat was still frosted around her hooves, and her cloak dripped with moisture from the melting snow.

“Get that cloak off of her,” Cadance ordered, and one of the guards obliged. He all but tore the fabric from the mare’s limp frame.

Her coat was light greenish grey, and she had a mane and tail of scarlet and vermilion. Her cutie mark resembled a ladybug and three leaves. Most importantly, however, was the fact that she was a unicorn, bearing no crystalline coat.

“There’s no way a mare from Equestria survived the Frozen Wastes all the way here,” Cadance said, crouching down to her muzzle. The alicorn lit her horn, and gentle swirls of pinkish fire enveloped the unconscious mare.

The mare let out a groan, then opened one emerald eye. Though Cadance’s love fire spell had warmed her body, she was still weak. She looked up to Cadance, and said in a hoarse whisper:

“My… hive…”

Then all at once, the mare fell back asleep, and more fire enveloped her body – green fire. The pony underneath transformed into a pony-like shape of black chitin and membrane for mane and tail. Her horn became twisted and gnarled, and her long legs were full of holes. Thin wings lay limp at her sides.

The guards gasped and shied away, and even Cadance took a step back. Her eyes, however, fell upon a protrusion on top of the creature’s head that resembled a crown. She stared at it, fascinated.

“Your Majesty? What… is that?” one of the guards asked, breaking her trance.

Cadance cleared her throat. “I don’t know, but it is injured. Gently, bring it to the palace and let it rest in one of the guest rooms. Hopefully we’ll get some answers when it awakens,” she said sternly.

The guards reluctantly nodded, two lifting the back end of the creature and one in the front. Slowly, they made their way down the main street, towards the palace, with Cadance and many crystal ponies watching on in curiosity.

It seems I have more to attend to here than I thought,” Cadance sighed inwardly, before taking flight for the palace.

Blackness surrounded the queen, but not silence. Off in the distance, she could hear the buzzing of hungry mouths, the starving of her hive. Their presence grew weaker each day, and as much as it would’ve normally annoyed her, she prayed to keep hearing it. To know there was still time.

There was another noise, much closer but fainter. It was a steady beat, a rhythm of life that any changeling would know from a mile away. A heart, pumping love on a grand scale no mortal body could possess.

And Chrysalis could practically taste it.

All at once, her senses returned and she shot upright, panting with adrenaline and wings flared open. She’d wandered that accursed frozen desert for so long, until she saw her crystalline destination. Then her vision had grown dark, her steps felt uneven.

Starved and delirious, she had collapsed in a snowbank. The last thing she remembered was a warmth coursing through her exoskeleton and the sight of an alicorn…

Chrysalis manically looked around, expecting a dark dungeon, cold as the wastes she’d escaped from. Instead, it was a suite of some sort, with plush carpeting and even an intricate chandelier over head.

The cold stone floor she’d expected was replaced by a love seat and a crackling fire in the hearth before it. Still suspicious, she cautiously stepped off of her perch and looked about the room. Her horn flickered with green light and her tongue flicked against her hungry maw.

She couldn’t taste anypony in the room with her, but there was a faint presence growing closer and closer. Chrysalis honed in on the door to the suite just as a maid – as apparent by her dress – opened it.

They stared at one another for a moment, and the servant was able to get out an “Oh my” before fleeing back down the hall at Chrysalis’s hissing visage. With a satisfied smirk, Chrysalis took stock of her surroundings again.

Her ear flickered towards the partially opened door and her eyes widened – the presence approaching now was faster and practically brimming with power and emotion. Nothing less was expected from an alicorn.

Cadance threw open the door to find Chrysalis sitting there, calm and composed, but with piercing eyes that studied her movements.

“You’re awake,” Cadance remarked, carefully shutting the door behind her. “Are you injured?”

“No,” Chrysalis said in a low voice.

“Alright.” Cadance walked up to her, but stopped when Chrysalis’s wings flinched and sat down at what she perceived to be a safe distance. “I am Princess Cadance of the Crystal Empire. Who might you be?”

Chrysalis sat up a little straighter, a haughty look coming over her as pride held her head aloft. “I am Queen Chrysalis, queen of the changeling hive,” she stated proudly.

“Changeling?” Cadance tilted her head, and Chrysalis saw her first opportunity – a lack of prior knowledge.

“Yes. We changelings live in a hive on the border of Equestria,” Chrysalis replied.

“Why were you in the Frozen Wastes then? They’re incredibly treacherous for any creature,” Cadance replied.

Chrysalis chose to look elsewhere, settling her gaze on an ornate vase set on a dresser. “You know of King Sombra?” she asked.

Cadance frowned. “How could I not? I claimed the Crystal Empire from him with Princess Celestia’s help. He has been banished for good, and I have been made ruler in his place.”

The queen eyed her up and down sideways. The alicorn exuded lover right down to her cutie mark and coloration. But she also looked younger than the last one she’d encountered, and her inexperience had already shown its hand.

“Equestria’s war with Sombra was not a good thing for us changelings. Though you may frown upon it, our sustenance relies solely on the emotion of love. With it we thrive, without it...” She frowned sourly. “We starve.”

“You eat… love?” Cadance shook her head – magical sciences could be saved for later. “So, you eat love. Then the war with Sombra…” She trailed off, hoping the queen would finish.

Begrudgingly, she obliged. “Created a void of it. A cesspool of inedible hatred and anger we changelings could not live upon. Normally, we would hide among you ponies, as you have already seen with my own disguise, and feast, but all we found was heartache.”

Cadance gulped softly as her heart sank and nodded sadly. “There has been a great amount of heartache, on both sides of this war,” she agreed. “But we are rebuilding. That doesn’t explain why you were found in the wastes.”

Chrysalis growled softly, swallowing her pride like an acidic pill. “My hive is dying,” she admitted, voice cracking. “My drones and scouts do not have the strength to bring love back to the hive. I took it upon myself to go in search of the Crystal Empire now that the war was over, rumored to be protected by the power of love itself. My hive needs that love to survive.”

The queen’s head sunk to her chest, refusing to look at the princess. Coming here was bad enough, but to have to be rescued as well was just another insult to her wounded pride.

Cadance cautiously walked over and set a hoof on the changeling’s shoulder. Though she tensed, she made no motion to remove it. “As Princess of Love, it is my duty that love flows freely, even to those who consume it. Whatever you need, I will do my best provide.”

Chrysalis watched her from the corner of her eye. The genuine hopefulness exuding from her was as thick and gagging as syrup. And yet, there was a warmth about it, and the touch of her hoof. It remained even when her hoof did not.

“I will need to bring my changelings here so that they may regain their strength,” Chrysalis said firmly. “Afterward… we shall see.”

Cadance nodded. “I will start making preparations at once,” she said. “In the meantime, you should get your rest.”

Still a little tired, Chrysalis opened her mouth to protest being told what to do, but it died in her throat when Cadance flashed her a warm smile before she left. The changeling stared at where she had been for a moment, before returning to her seat.

Laying down, she could still feel the warmth of the alicorn’s emotions and touch, but underneath it all, gears began to turn inside her head.

Author's Note:

Date of Creation (D.o.C.): 05/29/20

This is going to be one of my longest projected stories since I wrote "Laughter," and the second story in my Alternate Universe.

The title originally belonged to an idea I had where, shortly after the Canterlot Wedding, Cadance ponders over her response to Chrysalis, seeing as she's the princess of love... just in time for Chrysalis to return.

In this timeline, there is no Canterlot wedding. There are no element bearers (see Season 5's finale). The war with Sombra is over, thanks to help from Nightmare Moon and Discord (in case there was confusion from this chapter, they helped Celestia and Cadance, not Sombra) and Cadance receives the Crystal Empire afterward. Meanwhile, Chrysalis's hive is starved for love from the war. And so the story begins.

The song I used when writing this chapter was "It's Raining Somewhere Else" from Undertale. At least, I think that's the song I used.

More chapters to come.

-yours truly,
The Legendary Bill Cipher, Equestria Enthusiast