• 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.

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Chapter 2: The Changeling Exodus

After a final check-in with the personnel on board the train, Cadance made her way towards the front. After a hoofful of nearly full cars came car after car of emptiness and silence. Glancing her eyes over the bare seats, she wondered how many changelings Chrysalis ruled over.

By the time she got to the lead car, she blinked in surprise at the light green unicorn seated in Chrysalis’s place, who stared back at her with a blank expression.

Then recognition kicked in. “Your majesty, you don’t need to disguise yourself,” she said, taking her seat.

Cadance flinched back as the mare was enveloped in a swirl of green fire, and the imposing figure of Chrysalis returned. The queen glanced down at her, before looking out the window.

“Force of habit” was the queen’s only reply.

“Right, well, I have a good number of the royal guard on board, as well as medical staff and the three closest couples the Crystal Empire could offer, as per your instructions. And Canterlot sent as many spare coaches as they could – fortunately without asking questions.” Cadance looked up at the queen. “Is there anything else?”

“No, this will do,” the queen replied, emerald eyes fixed on the window.

“Right, well, let’s get this train moving then.”

Chrysalis frowned and leaned back as Cadance squeezed past her, using her magic to open the window. As she leaned out to wave to the engineer, Chrysalis tried her best to ignore the warmth the princess seemed to exude, as well as the raw smell of love that radiated off her.

There was a long, shrill whistle that brought Chrysalis back to her senses. She composed herself in the time it took Cadance to shut the window and return to her seat. The coach gave a slight lurch before the Crystal Empire’s station began to move out of view.

“Your majesty, I don’t mean to pry, but… where exactly is the changeling hive?” Cadance asked. “I’m assuming you can’t access it by rail, so—“

“You assume correctly,” Chrysalis said haughtily. “The train will have to stop when we’re close enough. I will lead you ponies from there.”

“Great.” Cadance smiled up at her. “Is there anything else we should know?”

Chrysalis’ mind wandered to the elaborate setup of the hive, the number of changelings held within, and her throne. She glanced down at the alicorn, still smiling naively, then returned to looking out at the passing scenery.

“No,” she replied.

“Alright.” Cadance looked up at the monarch, then down at the seat in front of her. She worked her jaw in thought.

“Did… any of your changelings fight in the war?” she finally asked.

“No.”

“Were any of them in the Crystal Empire when Sombra was there?”

“No.”

“Were any of them—“

“Whatever it is, no!” Chrysalis whirled around, practically muzzle-to-muzzle with Cadance, her eyes alight with anger.

Cadance backed away, then frowned up at her. Chrysalis blinked in realization and the fire in her eyes cooled. Her expression returned to neutral and she occupied herself with the window yet again.

“I’m not used to making small talk,” she said to the window softly.

“Well, I guess we should practice,” Cadance said, her smile returning. “Ask me about something?”

Chrysalis looked over her shoulder and arched an eyebrow. At the anticipatory smile, the queen rolled her eyes. “What’s… your favorite color?”

Cadance beamed. “Well, I’ve always liked reddish-pink. When I was a filly, I couldn’t decide which I liked more: red or pink. Both of them looked so lovely, so I compromised.” She looked up to Chrysalis, who seemed a little stunned by the explanation. “What’s your favorite color?”

Chrysalis hummed. “Green, I suppose,” she mumbled, looking out the window.

Cadance sighed softly but still smiled. “Well, progress is progress,” she said more to herself.

Chrysalis, meanwhile, shut her eyes. In the blackness of her mind, she reached out to them. What functioned as her heart increased it’s beating in panic – they should’ve been growing closer to the hive, and yet the buzzing was even fainter.

She turned her head around to the right of the train, oblivious to the confused alicorn beside her. Her muzzle scrunched and her expression flickered from concentration to worry and back rapidly. The train and the pony were easy to blot out, and still the buzzing was faint.

“Stop the train!” Chrysalis bellowed, eyes shooting open.

Cadance jumped, her magic feeling around above them before grabbing ahold of the emergency brake cord. She yanked on it.

With a terrific screech of metal and a great lurch of gravity forward, the train ground to a halt. If not for a steely grip on their seats, it would’ve pitched Cadance and Chrysalis onto the floor.

“What is it?” Cadance asked as the queen darted past her into the aisle.

“We need to get to the hive now!” the queen replied, kicking open the nearest door and jumping out.

“Are we close?” Cadance called, then sighed. She turned as a few shaken guards ran into the coach.

She turned to them. “Get everyone ready, we’re going for the hive,” she told the guards. Cadance pointed one out. “You, tell the engineer and fireman to get to the nearest signal boxes and divert all trains around this one. Stay with the train when you’re done.”

The guards saluted, one departing from the coach, the rest running back down the length of the train. Cadance ran over to and through the door Chrysalis had jumped out of.

The train had come to rest in a particularly wooded section of countryside, unremarkable save for the short length of grass between the tracks and the tree line. The queen stood at the edge of the woods, shifting impatiently.

The guards were escorting the rest of the ponies off the train and towards the front. “Can’t your ponies hurry?” Chrysalis snarled.

“We’re going as fast as we can,” Cadance chided. “Are we close to the hive?”

“We could be closer, but we need to go now if we are to reach it in time!” Chrysalis exclaimed.

Cadance sighed and turned to the approaching guards. “Everypony, follow us!” she called. “Take care in the forest!”

By the time she turned to the changeling queen, Chrysalis was already airborne and making her way over the forest canopy. The princess sighed and took flight, alighting her horn. Small puffs of pink flame trailed behind her, leaving a path for the grounded ponies to follow.

The queen was flying faster than a Wonderbolt, seemingly with no regard to the princess and ponies she was leaving in the dust. However, their destination soon became clear as it loomed into view.

It was a craggy rock structure, surrounded by barren soil. It loomed like a mountain, and if not for the numerous holes carved into it, might’ve been mistaken for one. Chrysalis dove for the ground, and Cadance followed.

On the ground, the changeling hive seemed even taller and more imposing. It was eerily quiet across the barren ground, without even a whisper of wind. Chrysalis approached the hive, lighting her horn, just as the other ponies joined Cadance.

“By Celestia,” muttered one of them upon seeing the hive, holding onto her partner.

“Seems we’re here,” Cadance said with a determined face. She stepped towards the barren dirt around the hive, and the second her hoof made contact, her eyebrows shot up.

She looked up to her horn and concentrated. Not a flicker of light appeared, and the flames she had used to lead the others here flickered out of existence.

“Your majesty, what is this?” Cadance called to the queen. “Your majesty?”

Chrysalis was distracted, however. She had sent wave after wave of commands and signals into the hive. Her changelings should’ve blacked out the sky, but instead there was barely a response back.

“Chrysalis!” Cadance snapped, having closed the distance between them. It snapped Chrysalis from her thoughts. “I can’t use my magic!”

Chrysalis snorted. “There’s a throne made of an ancient stone, deep within the hive,” she said. “It’s a defensive measure to protect the hive from outside magic.”

“And you didn’t think to tell me this while we were on the train?”

“You were the only one who could use magic,” Chrysalis said, looking back at the cautiously approaching crystal ponies, then down at the alicorn. “I didn’t think it would be an issue.”

Cadance exhaled loudly, frowning. “Fine. Lead the way.”

Chrysalis walked up to the hive, her horn still glowing brightly. “Is anyling still awake?” she called into the entrance, her voice bouncing off of walls and deep inside.

Cadance’s ear twitched at the faint sound of something buzzing, followed by another. She watched as two pairs of glowing eyes appeared in the dark, before drifting towards them. However, they fell short and had to walk the rest of the way.

The creatures resembled Chrysalis in form: black chitin exoskeletons, legs riddled with holes, thin membrane dorsal fins for a mane, similar wings, and a flat, darker membrane for a tail.

“Queen Chrysalis, thank the Queen you’ve arrived,” one gasped in a tiny, raspy voice, falling before the queen’s hooves.

The other one stood taller at attention, but there was visible exertion. “Your majesty, I’m afraid we’re all that’s left. The others have all gone into hibernation.”

Chrysalis growled, but it didn’t seem directed at the changelings. She bowed her head with a bitter frown, before turning to the gathered ponies.

They all looked at the changelings with hesitant curiosity, even more pronounced as the queen’s cold, green eyes grazed over them, before settling on one couple in the front.

“You two,” she said with a commanding tone, before looking to Cadance.

Cadance sighed and motioned for the two to come over. The couple – a red crystal pony and a blue crystal pony – were a part of the couples selected for the journey. The princess had guessed why they would be needed, and her suspicions were confirmed.

Fire Ruby and Sapphire Ice carefully approached, the former staying close to the latter as they did. Fire Ruby eyed the changelings and their queen with suspicion.

“My changelings need food – they need love,” Chrysalis explained, looking to the two crystal ponies.

“Alright.” Cadance turned to the couple. “Do whatever it is you do to express love to one another. I promise, you’ll be alright.”

Sapphire Ice nodded, followed by a reluctant Fire Ruby. The crimson pony pulled her partner into a tight embrace. Sapphire Ice giggled, burying her muzzle in the crook of Fire Ruby’s neck.

All at once, the changelings’ eyes lit up and they rose to attention. Their fanged mouths swung agape and they took a few steps towards the ponies. Cadance shifted on her hooves, unsure if she should do something.

Thin wisps of pink, like ribbons of mist, drifted off of the pair. The changelings’ eyes turned pink as they inhaled the mist. The process took only a matter of seconds, but when it was done, both changelings were standing at attention before Chrysalis with none of the previous exertion.

Cadance looked to Ruby and Sapphire. The former’s embrace on the latter had tightened to help her stay upright. “Are you sure this will work?” she asked, turning her attention to Chrysalis.

Chrysalis glanced down at her, then to her changelings. “It will, if we conserve the love wisely,” she said, addressing her subjects as much as she did Cadance. “Spread what you can to the drones, and wake them up. Feed again as necessary.”

Both changelings saluted. Their wings blurred with excited buzzing as they darted back into the hive. Chrysalis started to head inside herself when Cadance tapped her on the shoulder. She frowned down at the alicorn.

“What can we do to help?” Cadance asked. “I know I don’t have my magic, but we can still help.”

Chrysalis’s eyebrows raised as she looked past Cadance to her entourage. None of them seemed entirely eager to be there, even on the surface, but they were being led. And if they were the good little servants Cadance had made them out to be…

“Help move any cocooned changelings outside,” Chrysalis said, her gaze returning to Cadance. “We can revive the ones we can and move the rest back to the empire.”

Cadance nodded firmly and turned to the crystal ponies. “Alright. You heard the queen. We need hoof power. Let’s go,” she ordered, though the tone was more enthusiastic than commanding.

Chrysalis watched as the guards, medical staff, and even the couples headed into the dark bowels of the hive. She was surprised when Cadance flapped her wings and flew in after them.

“You… You’re going to help?” Chrysalis asked, eyes narrowed.

Cadance turned to her, a smirk on her muzzle. “I just thought I’d lead by example,” she simply replied, before heading into the hive.

Chrysalis stood there at the entrance, baffled. Of course she was going in to help – these were her changelings after all, and they’d been without a queen’s guidance for too long. They needed her. As a princess, Chrysalis had expected Cadance to order her ponies to work and oversee them, but she was getting her hooves dirty with the rest of them.

That was something that almost made Chrysalis want to disable her throne somehow and allow the alicorn to work her magic.

Almost.

Helpful as they were, these ponies were still outsiders.

Chrysalis followed her into the hive, horn igniting with flickering green magic.


Hours later, Chrysalis fidgeted in her seat on the train. She and Cadance remained alone in their coach while the engine had left to make a U-turn at a junction down the line – it was incredibly dangerous to run a train that big in reverse.

She didn’t need to hear the buzzing to know the cars behind them were full of activity. Chrysalis felt every thought, heard every sound of reunion and comradery. She could sense their emotions – including their distrust of the ponies that had saved them, but that could be addressed later.

The changelings that hadn’t been brought around back at the hive had been carted back to the train. It was less of a lack of love and more of Chrysalis wanting them consolidated together safely. Next to their queen.

“Homesick?”

Chrysalis blinked out of her thoughts to find the alicorn looking up at her. Her smile was soft, apologetic almost.

“What?” she asked.

“Are you going to miss the hive?” Cadance asked. She set one of her warm hooves on the queen’s shoulder.

Chrysalis turned in her seat to face towards the window, though the hoof lingered. “The hive has always been our home. Of course we’re going to miss it – it has been our sanctuary for as long as I have been queen,” she replied, her voice soft even through the authority she willed in it.

“I promise, the Crystal Empire will welcome you. You and your changelings can stay there was long as you need to recuperate.” Cadance sat back in her seat with a sigh, the hoof leaving Chrysalis to fall slack. “Rebuilding takes time.”

Chrysalis glanced back at her and found her staring straight ahead. Her eyes went past the seat in front of her, lost in a sea of thoughts. The smile had slowly faltered.

Without words to reply, Chrysalis let the air grow quiet, until the sounds of a steam engine thundering past shook their coach.

“I… appreciate what you’re doing for us,” Chrysalis said, keeping her eyes to the window. Something about small talk played in the back of her head, though she wasn’t fond of the topic she’d chosen.

“I’m happy to help,” Cadance replied. Without looking, Chrysalis was sure she felt her smile returning. “Just let me know what you need once we get back to the empire, and I’ll see what I can do.”

Cadance patted her on the shoulder, and Chrysalis let it linger there until the train started moving again, and Cadance removed it.


“My loyal subjects!” Cadance announced. Without a megaphone or some other amplification device, a lesser version of the Royal Canterlot Voice would have to do.

She stood on the structurally sound balcony overlooking one of the empire’s main streets. A glittering mass of ponies spread out below her like a lumpy, but calm sea. Just the thought of all of them looking up- at her sent Cadance’s heart into overdrive.

“Queen Chrysalis and her changelings are suffering through a great hardship, as many of you are,” Cadance continued. “They are here to heal, as you all are. Please, I ask of you to lend your kindness, your generosity to them as you would your fellow pony. It is my hope that together we can rebuild the empire, and each other. Thank you.”

Cadance waved to the crowd before turning back and walking inside. As she left, the crowd stomped their hooves in applause. Already, there were some objections to the changelings from the citizens, but she had done her best to appease them. They were in the empire, and would abide by the empire’s rules.

Besides, they hadn’t done anything to warrant suspicion or distrust. They were still waking up from their famine of love. They needed love and support as much as any pony, if not more. Chrysalis had come to her for help in earnest – she had too much to lose to lose that faith now.


“My loyal subjects,” Chrysalis projected among the eager black masses around her. Their glowing green eyes watched her in rapture, their minds attuned to hers.

The underground spaces beneath the empire’s palace had proven quite adequate for a makeshift hive. The cocoons were already being set up for resting and healing. Drones had been mingled with the builders to expedite the process – they had little reason for a guard here.

We have been presented with an extraordinary opportunity,” she continued, eyes sweeping across her changelings. “The alicorn princess has allowed us to stay, to gorge ourselves on love until we are… heh, fit.”

A smirk crossed Chrysalis’ muzzle – there wasn’t a changeling before her that wasn’t bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, to borrow from pony phrases.

Rest assured – this love will be all ours. But until then, mingle with the ponies. Don’t take too much to draw suspicion, but watch them. Learn as you always have. And build our new hive in our new home.”

The changelings around her buzzed and cheered. Their enthusiasm brought a genuine smile to Chrysalis’s muzzle – the warm kind that only a mother could express at her happy children.

There was much work to be done, but for her changelings – it would be done.

Author's Note:

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

Been sitting on this a while. Still lacking an editor for this, so I don't know when the next chapter will be ready. Hopefully sooner than this one.

Here's to three years on Fimfiction!

-yours truly,
The Legendary Bill Cipher

Comments ( 14 )

10310927
What made you so sure he wasn't going to update?

Welcome back:twilightsmile:

September 1st? You god damn time traveling hobgoblin, stop trying to trick me.

OoC: good to see this is still going.

Chrysalis is always Chrysalis. :3
Though it would be sad if, after what she did here to save the changelings, they handed her over like they did in canon.

Well, this is going to be interesting. With none of the canon changeling episodes having ever happened here, which way is Chrysalis going to jump once she feels in control of the situation again? Start scheming how to best take over the Empire for herself and her ‘lings? Realize she’s got a good thing going already at least for the time being and hold off on that (while still making contingency plans Just In Case, of course)? Will she ever fully “get” ponies the way she clearly doesn’t quite just yet, and what shenanigans will ensue from fairly minor-seeming misunderstandings in the meantime?

Time will tell... 🍿

Nice to see its return.

I knew we'd meet again...

Nice to see you're continuing this story. :)

Ah, nice to see this continue; thanks for writing. :)

The chapter still turned out well, even sans an editor.

I like this take on Chrysalis: opportunistic without a tendency toward stupid evil.

Going to be interesting to see how Cadence interacts with Chyrssy and if this truns into a the "villian" finds out they have a soft spot for the protagonist. Although maybe it's not that kind of story idk also I like that Chrysalis has some devious subterfuge to her.

An interesting au so far. One would think that under better circumstances one who can eat live and one who can create it would be natural allies, so changing their meeting is a great path to explore.

RIP shining armour

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