• Member Since 16th May, 2013
  • offline last seen 7 hours ago

PaulAsaran


Technical Writer from the U.S.A.'s Deep South. Writes horsewords and reviews. New reviews posted every Thursday! Writing Motto: "Go Big or Go Home!"

E

Chrysalis Chrysanthemum is one of the most powerful, feared individuals in the world of corporate business. There is nothing she can't do if she puts her mind to it. At least, that's what she always thought. Then a girl named Sunset Shimmer drops into her life. Chrysalis is set to discover that of all the ways she has succeeded, there's one thing she failed utterly at. Make that three things.

Now she must face the hard truth and find some way to fix it. If only she had the faintest clue how.


The story of Chrysalis as a mother in two parts. Inspired by a long-held and beloved headcanon of mine.

Pre-reading done by Wandering Twilight, Mike Cartoon Pony, ShiningBeacon, and AuroraDawn.

Cover art commissioned from AmazingPuffhair, who surprised me by getting it done perfectly in only one try.

Chapters (2)
Comments ( 46 )

I guess this is the first time I can like a story without ever having opened it! :pinkiehappy:

I absolutely adored this story during prereading. The characters are just so, so believable, and it makes me actually care for Chrysalis. You've managed to grab my heart and play its strings like a harp with this piece, and I'm really happy to see it's out now.

10827598
Shtahp it, yer makin' me :twilightblush:!

This story is so meaningful and moving!! A lot was unpacked in these two chapters and I'm very glad I read it! Loved it, it's amazing!

Seeing this fic published is a surreal experience - I'd noted it earlier, but this is absolutely not a story I would have checked out had I come across it, and based on the subscription, cover art (it's great, just not my type of thing) and tags (though I was surprised to see an E rating, and then realise the story technically didn't break that rating, it just feels like a T story), that's even more true.

So it says a lot that I had a blast pre-reading and providing feedback for this. Part II was more my speed due to the locations and characters, but they were both immaculately crafted, strong in characterisation for a cold, aloof yet not-emotionless Chrysalis, and just an all-round pleasure to read. As you know. The world building in the first half of Part II was probably my favourite individual element, but I'd be hard-pressed to pick out something that wasn't at least worthy of mild praise. Truly, this is the work of a writer who knows what he wants to do, and how to get it across to his desired audience. It's certainly one of the better used of the shared universe between EqG and FiM, though I will confess I don't read much of that.

I might return again in some time and give a more detailed, final take but for now, I'm stoked to see this out there! I hope it gets read by as many people as it deserves to be read by

If one thing can be said about this Chrysalis, is that she does not pity the fool.

“Do you?” When Sunset failed to answer, Chrysalis sat up straight once more so as to be as looming as possible. “Listen to me well, child. If you choose a path to move forward, you devote yourself to it. You do not hesitate, you do not falter. It doesn’t matter to me that you cheated, it matters to me whether you feel cheating was the best way to achieve your goals. It matters that you are satisfied with your methods. Are you going to stay awake at night, fretting pointlessly over what you’ve done, or are you going to own it?”

In a way, Chrysalis is more accepting than the average parent, but she makes it clear to Sunset that she has to own what she does.

To me, this story was deeply disappointing. It's not your fault, though; it's mine. I set my expectations too high as I read the opening beats, and my biases colored the narrative. So, most of the themes and emotional notes you were trying to hit sort of just bounced off. I'm sure almost everyone else will find this an impactful read, but I just can't. The only objective critique I can make is that the first half of part two, before Pharynx storms off, is a tell-heavy slog of exposition. You didn't need quite so many words to let the audience know Queen Chrysalis is a sociopath: we're already aware.

Absolutely loved this. So heartwarming! It seems Sunset isn't the only one that turned over a new leaf.

Princess Luna’s smile turned into a proper grin. “To quote her directly: About as long as it took to see her fall on her face in the school hallways. It seems watching creatures walk on two legs is very different from having to do it yourself.” Chrysalis couldn’t help but giggle, which became proper laughter when Luna added, “Apparently they have her tied up in a janitor’s closet. We were told the numbers 203 and 205 will mean something to you.”

Oh, that is priceless, both Sunset's discovery of Queen Chrysalis and the closet thing.

Twilight, smiling as always, started off chipper. “Hey, Chrysalis! Are you ready to… go?” She took in Chrysalis’s face, smile fading. “Is everything alright?”

Gotta say, it seems so weird for Twilight to greet Chrysalis so pleasantly, considering in the show Queen Bugbutt has been so antagonistic, not to mention tried to take over Equestria three times.

Great story, the confrontation between Chrysalis and OGChrysalis was created beautifully, and I find it great that it took a visit from another universe to make them realize their failings, Sunsets mistake create an infinite amount of good.

10828035

Twilight, smiling as always, started off chipper. “Hey, Chrysalis! Are you ready to… go?” She took in Chrysalis’s face, smile fading. “Is everything alright?”

Gotta say, it seems so weird for Twilight to greet Chrysalis so pleasantly, considering in the show Queen Bugbutt has been so antagonistic, not to mention tried to take over Equestria three times.

I guess I thought that by that time in the story, Twilight had evidence that human Chrysalis is different from the bug Chrysalis? In show canon, Sunset and Twilight are fairly good friends by this point in the story, and Twilight is probably using Sunset as a source of information. And it's just like Twilight to look on the bright side of an opportunity to make new friends. :twilightsmile:

Chrysalis tried to not quirm under that look

Did you mean 'squirm'?

I really liked this story. The first chapter even turned out to be vital for me.

Oh that was just so cute. Thanks so much for such an amazing story n idea

You dick. You made me think back on the way I treated my friends and those that were close enough to be considered family, and just how I almost lost it all.

Go friggin friggitty figure that ponies was also a common interest among them.

Take my goddamn upvote, fave and addition to my personal library.

This is going into my favorites folder. And I've only just finished the first chapter.

That description is completely useless.

10829095
Which one and why?

10829119
Main one. It tells almost nothing at all about the story.

10829124
It does what I needed it to do. You must take in everything: a family photo for the cover art, the description of Chrysalis as eminently successful, the mention of her three failures, the specific declaration of her as a mother. I wanted the readers to know that, regardless of the specific events, Chrysalis as a mother is what the story is about. Mentioning the other surface elements – the events that transpire, the journey made, the characters in relation – is all unnecessary at best and spoils the plot at worst. I wanted potential readers to discover it all for themselves.

10827480 10827503 10827598 10827907 10827923 10827983 10827995 10828035 10828114 10828123 10828246 10828417 10828427 10828674 10828709 10828835 10829095
There is now a blog relating some of my thoughts for this story and inviting more questions, in anyone is interested.

You need to stop writing things that are interesting, intriguing and creative. You're inspiring me to do stuff, but I want to be lazy! :raritydespair:

Orrm #25 · May 24th · · · Part I ·

“Uh, excuse you, but there’s three of us,” Spike growled.

You're a dog.

A dog.

A dragon to a dog.

If you were currency you'd be a Boulevar.

Bravo, good author. Bravo. That was amazing.

It dawned upon Chrysalis, as she stood alone in her kitchen pouring herself a glass of Chinese Cabernet Sauvignon, that she had no idea what to do with this thing normal people called ‘free time’. This whole day vacation thing had been spontaneous; how was she supposed to decide what to do without having set it in her schedule weeks or even months in advance?

I can’t help but wonder what Twilight would think of the parallels?

The back of the Phantom. A private place. Chrysalis had finally managed to clean her face using a nearby water fountain. The twins were outside. Perhaps Pharynx was comparing notes on her breakdown in front of Celestia with this recent one in front of Thorax. Across from her sat Sunset and this other girl, this… Princess Twilight. Who was a pony. In a human body. Who just helped Sunset and her friends fight ancient sea beasts called Sirens. All that, and Chrysalis couldn’t stop looking at the purple dog in her lap. The dog that talks.

Not sure it’s an accurate comparison, but I can’t help thinking this is sort of like the ‘tell someone there’s a billion stars in the sky, and they’ll take your word for it, but tell them the paint’s wet, and they’ll touch it just to make sure’ thing.

Wow, so everything seems wrapped up. Makes me worried about what happens in the next, even longer chapter.

This was a fantastic story! I loved everything from the concept to the execution.

I choose to believe the royal egg hatches to reveal a blue Changeling named Ocellus.

LOVED IT!

Exquisite stuff from start to finish. Brilliant answer to the question of Sunset's guardian, and an even better presentation of how different two counterparts can be while still being all too similar. (The parallels between the Sunsets and Chrysalises there is especially great. You don't have to follow the same fate as your counterpart.)

Thank you for a fantastic tale. It's always good to see a believably sane Chrysalis.

Fitting: As a loving mother, it was of course easier for Chrysalis to act as a callous overseer than for her counterpart, as a callous overseer, to act as a loving mother.

Or it would have been, if her counterpart had even gotten that far.

I'm getting that warm fuzzy feeling that means a story has wormed its way into my heart. :heart::twilightsmile:

No doubt the story turned out well because of my invaluable input.

You're Welcome :ajsmug:


lol just kidding

Ooh ooh child, things are gonna get easier, ooh ooh child things'll get brighter

10831195
Truly, it was the key to everything!

Hey, every little bit helps!

Damn. I'm gald I decide to read this story, and love how you did human Crissy. How everything comes together. Love it!

And now, a part of me hopes you'll continue the story in away, but another part feels this was good way to end it.
Either way, love it!~

That was a great read! :)

Oh this story was so wonderful! I love Chrysalis and your portrayal of her is amazing! The brothers deserve a spin off in my opinion (Hey, a person can hope!). This was truly one of the greatest stories I've ever read here. Thank you for sharing it with all of us!

It takes a monster to make you wake up to your own bad behavior.

Only by meeting her heartless Equestrian counterpart could human Chryssy see how cold-hearted she used to be.

Even if she were, her imminently more intelligent and capable younger sibling with the tasty lips and hips would have reined it in.

This is the line that got me to break down laughing.

I'm actually going to split this across the two chapters since it seems like that would be helpful for dividing my thoughts.

I feel this is such a clear and perfect translation of Chrysalis to the setting of Equestria Girls. You can't have evil love-sucking bug-horse queens with all-consuming hordes of servants in a mostly realistic human-based world, but you can certainly have shadowy corporate CEOs of nebulous organizations that secretly alter the course of world economies and politics. Of course, by the same token you also can't really give her exactly the same personality either, so it's necessary to adjust her slightly in order to accommodate. She's mean, but she doesn't have reason to be cruel. She doesn't exactly view her subordinates--children included--as nothing more than tools, but she does view them from a basic and utilitarian perspective. She doesn't encourage Sunset Shimmer to be a bully because she thinks it's better to put those beneath her in their place, rather simply because she's used to the necessity of stepping over others to achieve one's goals and she accepts that Sunset seems to have chosen the same path.

I wonder if perhaps Chrysalis should have been born into wealth rather than having to claw her way up to the top as is implied, to better parallel with Queen Chrysalis, but I'm not sure how much of a difference that really would have made. No matter what, the circumstances in this world would never quite be able to equate to those that are present for Changelings in Equestria. Although, for as many differing factors as there may be, I think the most significant one is simply time. Chrysalis, being limited to the timeframe of a human life, has only been at this for a couple decades or thereabouts, while Queen Chrysalis has possibly had centuries to be rooted in her ways. It does also seem like, perhaps, part of the reason for Chrysalis coming to Sunset's aid was that she saw some of herself in her, someone who was strong and determined but needed help getting a leg up to get started in the world.

Of course we don't know yet exactly what the circumstances were that led to Chrysalis adopting Pharynx and Thorax, but it's easy to imagine that her relationship with them was always...detached. She did it because she wanted the best for them, not necessarily because she was interested in having children. She put them into her employ because it appeared to her that that was what they wanted, not understanding that the reason they wanted it was specifically because of the way in which she raised them. Funnily enough, I can see a lot of Lightning Dust in Chrysalis's mothering methods. She cares about her children, but not exactly for them, so she doesn't take the steps necessary for them to develop properly. This worked a lot better here than it did for Lightning and Keen, though, since Pharynx is a big tough boy who probably relished the opportunity to be groomed into positions of power by his mother, while Thorax would have been too timid to voice his concerns, and in the worst case scenario the two brothers could have each other to lean on when their mother wasn't available. Sunset Shimmer, on the other hand, is a completely different beast, she's actively looking for Chrysalis's approval and guidance, presumably desperate for a new mother figure after being separated from her world's Celestia.

Sunset Shimmer in canon wasn't exactly hurting for character development but I really liked this slightly more nuanced take on her origins. I suppose we don't know exactly what happened in this version of events that led to her running away from home, so to speak. It seems apparent that she's guarded and mistrusting toward others, as would be appropriate of someone who doesn't see much value in friendship, though that could come just as easily from the fact that she's in a strange new world as it could be the result of whatever conflict she may have had with Princess Celestia. We don't see exactly what happened in the three years before the Fall Formal either, but it's easy to imagine that Chrysalis continuing to push Sunset like this would put her farther along this path of viewing those around her as tools to be used for her needs, effectively putting her on the same path as Chrysalis herself. But then Sunset tries to do her takeover and Twilight gets involved, and that gives her a shock to the system, the kind of moment that never happened for Thorax or Pharynx or even Chrysalis herself until now, and she has to come to the realization that maybe she hasn't been doing the right thing all this time.

The scene with and portrayal of Celestia are interesting to me in the context of having been ingesting so much of your writing lately and seeing your scrutiny in regard to Celestia's persona. It's clear that she was probably the outgoing and overbearing SGA activist sort in high school and that translates to a somewhat narrow and superficial perspective which doesn't give much thought toward those who are outside the in-group, which is in line with a lot of her portrayal through the No Heroes series and related stories. At the same time, though, we're seeing her through the lens of Chrysalis, the former feisty teen rebel who was banging going out with Celestia's sister, so naturally the two of them don't see eye to eye. This makes it hard to be sure just how much of her snobbery is real and how much is just Chrysalis's assumptions.

(Although...where is this scene taking place? Outside Celestia's home? On my first reading I assumed it was in the school at Celestia's office, but on rereading I noticed that Chrysalis is standing on concrete outside the door instead of linoleum or carpet or whatever, and it would make sense that she's not far from the street if she and Pharynx can clearly see each other. All of the scenes in this chapter start a bit in medias res-y but this one has a particularly noticeable lack of context. I'd have expected Chrysalis to have some internal snarkery about whatever neighborhood she's in.)

Also I'm guessing that this was before the Dazzlings came in and took over the school and hijacked the showcase, so I have to wonder what Celestia might have been expecting to happen at this point when she says that she thinks something special will happen--probably just the main crew going catgirl ponygirl mode after they do their song, instead of something way more intensely dramatic. Then while Chrysalis and company are going through their emotional epiphanies, Celestia is groaning and rubbing her temples as she tries to come up with a plan for how they're going to have to cover up this latest lightshow spectacle.

Even though most of this chapter is about Chrysalis's relationship with Sunset Shimmer, I feel that her interaction with Thorax after the concert is the real big turning point of her character arc. This is the moment where it becomes unavoidably clear that Chrysalis has engineered a broken and warped relationship with her children. I empathize really hard with both of the characters here. Chrysalis is coming to the realization that there's more to life than she once thought, maybe she doesn't need to be cold and unfeeling, maybe she can be sensitive to those around her, but it's too little too late, and even when she tries to open up she can't completely let go of her prior harshness. Thorax, on the other end of the spectrum, is so accustomed to his mother's aloof attitude that he can't even comprehend what it means for her to show compassion to him. The two of them are just at a complete impasse because neither of them knows how to rationalize this discrepancy.

This is overall such an intensely satisfying story to go through. Chrysalis's struggle is almost painfully realistic and easy to understand. You really want to see how she's going to come through this with her kids, but every time she comes to a breakthrough it's only to immediately discover that she's running up against a wall, because she's already dug herself too deep. I adore how all the characters are developed, the translation to the EqG setting is spot-on. It ends on such a wholesome note for Chrysalis and her family.

And yet, for as much as this chapter has to offer, it's still only just the beginning.

I was going to start this with a comment about the line Chrysalis has near the end of the previous chapter about how she would have "gone into politics" if she wanted to take over the world, but then I got further in and saw that she already commented on that herself in the actual text, oops.

I really just love in general how this builds on what was established in the previous chapter. Obviously there's a whole new world here in the form of Chrysalis going to Equestria herself and getting to see what changelings are like. Even without that, though, there are still more details about the EqG world. We get to see Luna after being teased about her before. We can see how Chrysalis has started making progress with her children. We get to have more Pharynx after he was a slightly less involved character. So, so much more Pharynx.

There's a lot that sticks out to me about the sequence of exploring the changeling castle. It's got a lot of interesting worldbuilding about what's been going on with the changelings--the desperation that they face as a species on the brink of extinction is baked into every aspect of their society. After having been reading through the No Heroes catalog though, there's something funny about seeing this more nuanced take on changelings after seeing the old assertion that changelings are an inherently evil and monstrous species with no redeeming qualities. Slightly surprised that there wasn't any mention of pony conversion pods--not sure if perhaps you thought that to be a step too far and would have made it harder for them to be sympathetic.

It does feel like this section drags on the pace a bit, though. It's particularly noticeable in how it gets to be a bit repetitive in its order of "Pharynx asks about something, Chrysalis has to maintain the facade, Ricinidae gets more suspicious." I don't know how much I can really criticize though because I can't think of any better ways to go about it, it does feel like a necessary part of the story. It's important to show how rundown and dysfunctional the changelings have gotten to be, largely as a result of Queen Chrysalis's actions, and how this parallels Chrysalis herself. It's important to show how these drones are indeed capable of cognitive thought and they can't just keep the wool over Ricinidae's eyes forever. I did really grow to like Ricinidae over the course of the story, he becomes so much more than just a random drone.

And all of Chrysalis's revelations over the course of her foray through the castle set the stage for what's to come with Pharynx...and boy was I not prepared for this. In many ways it parallels Chrysalis's interaction with Thorax in the previous chapter, but it's so much more intense. If the Thorax scene hits you like a truck, this one hits like a freight train. Pharynx isn't like Thorax or Sunset Shimmer, he's not a passive character, and it's abundantly clear that this is something he's been keeping bottled up for a long time, ready to burst at a moment's notice. To me it seems like the opposite of the saying "You never know what you have until it's gone." Pharynx and Thorax didn't like that Chrysalis never properly gave them the attention they needed, but they had gotten to be complacent enough with what little she did offer them that they didn't feel any need to be vocal about it. Now, after all that, Sunset Shimmer comes into the picture and suddenly Chrysalis is trying to go out of her way to be a good parent as if all of that never happened--it's like a slap to the face.

But, where the Thorax scene occurred near the end of the first chapter and was over fairly quickly, the Pharynx scene happens around the middle, and the train just keeps on rolling from there as the focus transitions to changeling Pharynx. This makes for a particularly unique parallel as we see what Pharynx would be like in this setting where he's required to be more outspoken about his loyalty, to do everything his queen bids of him. He sees no reason not to put his life on the line for the glory of his queen and his race. He sees no reason to doubt that his mother appreciates him for his actions, for surely Queen Chrysalis loves all of her children. Surely.

And that brings us to Queen Chrysalis herself, as it finally becomes fully apparent just how much the two versions of the character contrast with each other. Chrysalis may not meet her personally until the latter half of the chapter, but her presence is readily felt all through the time that she spends among the changelings, as it's made increasingly apparent how authoritative and abusive and egotistical she is. The most obvious tension here is in the threat that Queenie might pose were she to escape, and the lingering worry about what might be happening to EqG!Pharynx while no one's got their eyes on him, but the real conflict is in Chrysalis's self-doubt. Chrysalis wants nothing more than to see that Queenie has some amount of good in her, not merely for what it might mean for getting her to see reason and admit the error of her ways, but because of what it might mean about herself. If Queenie is a heartless, manipulative monster, then what does that say about Chrysalis?

On a somewhat tangential note: I think Chrysalis, as she had come to be developed by the end of the show's run, never would have been able to settle for redemption. It's telling to me that she was the one who broke off the sappy bonding moment in Frenemies and insisted on friendship not even being considered. Cozy Glow is still just a child, most likely one who had a broken and dysfunctional upbringing, she probably wanted friends at one point but she didn't understand how to view them as people, she needed the opportunity to be shown what compassion means. Even Tirek I could see being convinced to at least leave and not bother anyone if Scorpan were to come out from whatever rock he's been hiding under and talk him out of his desire for conquest. Chrysalis, though, is clearly far too proud and conceited to ever let go of any of the ways in which she has been wronged. I think the most she could have gotten would be to have a breakdown when it becomes apparent that she's never going to be able to win and willingly accept petrification, not wanting to accept being a part of this new world in which friendship reigns.

It's despite all this that I really had to hope that Queen Chrysalis would turn out to have a heart buried deep underneath that black chitin. I wondered if she would be relieved to see one of her loyal changelings come to save her from her imprisonment. But...no, she's well beyond all that. The twist in this scene that Pharynx wasn't actually the "real" Pharynx was hardly subtle, but that doesn't make it any less gut-wrenching when Queen Chrysalis pulls the rug out from under him. Pharynx wanted nothing more than the reassurance that his mother and ruler cared for him, and she couldn't even be bothered to remember his name. And Chrysalis is horrified, because she can see how similar it is to the way she treated her own Pharynx.

My only major gripe with this part is the way Thorax feels shifted out of focus. He wasn't a big part of the previous chapter, but as I've already mentioned he was still pretty significant. In this chapter, though, his presence is largely relegated to the background, with his most notable contribution being in how he comforts changeling Pharynx after the meeting with Queenie. We don't even get to truly see Equestria!Thorax in any onscreen scenes. It also feels like there's this weird retroactive cheapening of Thorax saying that he was going to resign from Change, Inc. at the end of the previous chapter, since now it seems like he's still just working under Chrysalis in exactly the same capacity? I know it was said that he'd continue doing work for her but the way he just defaults to filling in for Chrysalis alongside Sunset seems a little odd to me. Granted, it does make for another interesting parallel with how Equestria!Thorax was banished from the changeling grounds for disagreeing with Queenie's rule. I get the impression that if you were to ever do another story in this series, it probably ought to focus on Thorax, considering that this chapter largely focused on Pharynx and the first on Sunset. It does also seem that Thorax would be an important character to bring to the fore if you ever go deeper into the logistics of Change, Inc.'s business, seeing as he's the most involved with it.

But perhaps the nitpickiest thing I can say is that...it weirdly doesn't feel like this should be a "Chapter 2" of the same story as the first? It's obviously a logical continuation of the plot and the character arcs therein, but the premise is drastically removed from the prior scenario of "Chrysalis adopts Sunset Shimmer and learns to be a good mom." It seems more like this ought to have been its own story, a full-blown sequel.

Lastly, some miscellaneous musings that I couldn't fit anywhere else:

I guess this is technically a fix fic in regard to the reformation of the changelings?

Is it possible that Change, Inc. could be some form of contracting company that employs multi-talented agents who can fill various positions at other firms as needed? It seems like something along those lines would be fitting the nature of what changelings are as shapeshifters. I'm not sure if there's any precedent for a company like that.

I have to wonder how Chrysalis being imprisoned in Tartarus might affect her relationship with Tirek and Cozy Glow. This would put her together with Tirek for a significant span of time and maybe both of them could be "pen pals" with Cozy Glow together, which could potentially let the three of them have a little more rapport with each other by the time "Grogar" does his big villain team-up.

I also wonder how this might have gone if this whole Chrysalis abduction/replacement plan had happened without the previous chapter taking place, without Chrysalis being warned of the existence of Queen Chrysalis and the changelings. Queenie's escapades probably would have failed in just the same way, but how would Chrysalis have been able to handle the situation without being aware of Equestria's existence? Would it have been harder for her to assume control of the changelings? Would she have come to the same conclusions about herself?

The recurring motif of "the moths" was really cute to me, it's such a distinct character element for Chrysalis, though in rereading I was a bit saddened to come to the discovery that it actually doesn't come up nearly as much as I remembered.

For as much as Chrysalis doesn't seem to be fond of her world's Celestia, I imagine she's going to be none too pleased with Princess Celestia when she learns about whatever happened between her and Sunset Shimmer.

And I choose to believe that Chrysalis brings her Luna to Equestria because she thinks she'd be hotter as a horse with fancy star hair.

This story is just...damn, it's so good. In many ways it feels to me like a spiritual successor to Lightning's Bolt, shorter and more compact, condensed to that theme of a mother having to learn how to properly care for her child(ren). It comes with so much more added tragedy, though, on account of the way this story starts a lot farther down the road than that of Lightning Dust and Keen Arrow, so Chrysalis is not just having to learn how to be a good mother but also how to make up for being a bad mother for so long. You can really feel the hurt and the anguish in every scene, it feels so believable the way that Chrysalis has to go through this, and you're so relieved at the end of it all that she was able to come out on the other side as a better, kinder person.

(I did notice a handful of lingering typos, if that's something you care to be made aware of, though I recall seeing you say that you prefer those to be relayed through DMs instead of comments?)

10878716

Of course we don't know yet exactly what the circumstances were that led to Chrysalis adopting Pharynx and Thorax, but it's easy to imagine that her relationship with them was always...detached. She did it because she wanted the best for them, not necessarily because she was interested in having children.

Since I'm probably never going to expand upon this: Actually, I envisioned that Chrysalis originally adopted them because she was young and callous and wanted the tax breaks that comes with being a single mother without the whole "giving birth" thing. Motherly instincts kicked in though, as they do, and after a short while she really started to care for them as her children. She was just terrible at showing it.

I suppose we don't know exactly what happened in this version of events that led to her running away from home, so to speak.

My intention was always for this to slide neatly within the pages of canon MLP. The only thing that is likely different is Sunset's apparent age when she first reached the human world, although I think that concept is nebulous all by itself?

At the same time, though, we're seeing her through the lens of Chrysalis, the former feisty teen rebel who was banging going out with Celestia's sister, so naturally the two of them don't see eye to eye. This makes it hard to be sure just how much of her snobbery is real and how much is just Chrysalis's assumptions.

I prefer to think that the two grossly misunderstand one another. Chrysalis (and you) is not entirely wrong about what Celestia was like in high school, but her view of Celestia is far more negative than she actually was, and vice versa.

Although...where is this scene taking place? Outside Celestia's home?

Excuse me while I bang my head on the desk. One of my editors brought this exact subject up, and I disregarded the issue because I like to "help" my audience develop their reading skills. Why would Chrysalis knock on the front door of the school, and why would Celestia answer it immediately if she were in her office which most certainly would not open directly to the outside of the school?

I'd have expected Chrysalis to have some internal snarkery about whatever neighborhood she's in.

Nah. Her own neighborhood would be similar, if perhaps a little more wealthy in appearance, and Chrysalis isn't going to judge people based on their incomes.

Also I'm guessing that this was before the Dazzlings came in and took over the school and hijacked the showcase, so I have to wonder what Celestia might have been expecting to happen at this point when she says that she thinks something special will happen--probably just the main crew going catgirl ponygirl mode after they do their song, instead of something way more intensely dramatic.

Exactly that. She knows about them "ponying up" when they play, so that's all she was talking about when she mentioned it. She had to be cryptic or else Chrysalis would have just called her nuts or accused her of attempting a joke in terrible taste, but it was pretty hard for her to give Chrysalis a cryptic statement and let the readers know her meaning at the same time.

After having been reading through the No Heroes catalog though, there's something funny about seeing this more nuanced take on changelings after seeing the old assertion that changelings are an inherently evil and monstrous species with no redeeming qualities.

My own view of the changelings in No Heroes also changed. Had I continued the franchise, I had a whole trilogy arc planned as a finale in which the changelings were shown in far greater detail, which would have shown them in a nuanced light. And brought about a giant war and made an Octavicorn, but it was mostly about changelings. It even would have had Chrysalis surrender herself to Luna and her team for judgement in return for aid for her people (before the war, mind you, so not as a "I've been defeated, please spare them" thing).

That said, I consider this a wholly different world from No Heroes, so nothing from that franchise factored into this. Didn't even cross my mind.

My only major gripe with this part is the way Thorax feels shifted out of focus. He wasn't a big part of the previous chapter, but as I've already mentioned he was still pretty significant. In this chapter, though, his presence is largely relegated to the background, with his most notable contribution being in how he comforts changeling Pharynx after the meeting with Queenie.

This was both intentional... and not. I wanted the first part to be where Thorax got his important scene and the second part to be Pharynx's moment. The problem stems from the fact that the second chapter is almost three times as long as I intended it to be, and as a consequence Pharynx's role in that part became larger. It had never been my intention to give him so much more presence than Thorax got, but it's what happened.

But perhaps the nitpickiest thing I can say is that...it weirdly doesn't feel like this should be a "Chapter 2" of the same story as the first? It's obviously a logical continuation of the plot and the character arcs therein, but the premise is drastically removed from the prior scenario of "Chrysalis adopts Sunset Shimmer and learns to be a good mom." It seems more like this ought to have been its own story, a full-blown sequel.

That was the idea in the first place. I didn't label them as "Part I" and "Part II" for nothing. The second one is supposed to be seen as a sequel. I left them in the same "story" because they're intrinsically linked and I wanted to be certain readers would view them back-to-back, but they're not meant to be looked upon as separate chapters of the same story.

I guess this is technically a fix fic in regard to the reformation of the changelings?

If people want to view it that way, I suppose they could. But no, the reformation of the changelings had nothing to do with the creation of this story. My only purpose was to explore the idea of EqG Chrysalis, particularly with her being Sunset's adoptive "aunt", which has been a beloved headcanon of mine for years.

Is it possible that Change, Inc. could be some form of contracting company that employs multi-talented agents who can fill various positions at other firms as needed?

I address this subject in the accompanying Q&A blog in this comment.

I have to wonder how Chrysalis being imprisoned in Tartarus might affect her relationship with Tirek and Cozy Glow.

Never occurred to me, but it could be an interesting dynamic to explore. Last time I depicted Chrysalis in Tartarus she was insane from hunger and loss. Having her able to properly communicate with other villains would definitely change things. Plus, her returning after what Chrysalis did would indeed be a "big deal".

The recurring motif of "the moths" was really cute to me, it's such a distinct character element for Chrysalis, though in rereading I was a bit saddened to come to the discovery that it actually doesn't come up nearly as much as I remembered.

This is something I came up with ages ago as a distinction between character types, usually in reference to the whole "Luna vs. Celestia" element. Characters who favor Celestia tend to get butterflies and characters who favor Luna get moths. I don't know how consistent I've been with that over the years, but it's a fun distinction to make, similar to the oaths ponies make to the princesses as an indicator of their preferences.

For as much as Chrysalis doesn't seem to be fond of her world's Celestia, I imagine she's going to be none too pleased with Princess Celestia when she learns about whatever happened between her and Sunset Shimmer.

One of my few regrets is that Princess Celestia herself made no in-story appearances.

I did notice a handful of lingering typos, if that's something you care to be made aware of, though I recall seeing you say that you prefer those to be relayed through DMs instead of comments?

Indeed, I do. Leaving them in comments just lets the entire world know the mistake existed at one point in time and will now never be erased. I get that everyone makes typos and they're not a big deal, but I don't see any added value in displaying such mistakes to the world.

Anyway, glad you enjoyed this one so much! I haven't had so much fun writing a story since Guppy Love, so it's great to see so many other people enjoyed it as well. Looking forward to your next gargantuan piece of commentary.

10879460

My intention was always for this to slide neatly within the pages of canon MLP. The only thing that is likely different is Sunset's apparent age when she first reached the human world, although I think that concept is nebulous all by itself?

It doesn't help that time between Equestria and EqG world seems wonky in general. One of the IDW comics suggests that Sunset was Celestia's student while Twilight was still a child, which ought to make her considerably older, and yet she's still passing as a senior in high school by the time Twilight also goes through the mirror. To say nothing of the Dazzlings getting banished hundreds of years ago but still being around. My personal headcanon is that time doesn't truly pass in the EqG world, everything is retrofitted into this high school AU and no one is allowed to get older, memories come into being retroactively--so, for example, Sunset wins the fall formal three years in a row, but she's always in her senior year, when she's in her second year the year before becomes the junior year, and so on.

This was both intentional... and not. I wanted the first part to be where Thorax got his important scene and the second part to be Pharynx's moment. The problem stems from the fact that the second chapter is almost three times as long as I intended it to be, and as a consequence Pharynx's role in that part became larger. It had never been my intention to give him so much more presence than Thorax got, but it's what happened.

I suppose I can understand that. I could see it being quantified that Pharynx doesn't actually have that much more going on than Thorax, it just seems that way because of how much more screentime he gets, as well as effectively being doubled when changeling Pharynx comes into the picture.

This is something I came up with ages ago as a distinction between character types, usually in reference to the whole "Luna vs. Celestia" element. Characters who favor Celestia tend to get butterflies and characters who favor Luna get moths. I don't know how consistent I've been with that over the years, but it's a fun distinction to make, similar to the oaths ponies make to the princesses as an indicator of their preferences.

Coincidentally, I did just start reading Life of Pie last night and saw that Fine Crime gets the moths too.

It makes sense, Chrysalis definitely is a Luna person...albeit on a more personal level than most.

Indeed, I do. Leaving them in comments just lets the entire world know the mistake existed at one point in time and will now never be erased. I get that everyone makes typos and they're not a big deal, but I don't see any added value in displaying such mistakes to the world.

Oh absolutely. Pointing out typos is on par with pointing out "plot holes" in movies, it's not unreasonable but it's definitely the least of a story's problems. Seeing comments that exclusively consist of picking out mistakes and errors is so...needless--like is that really all the person took from the story? (Not to mention the irony that these commenters themselves rarely notice all of them.) I don't consider typos to be a measure of a person's writing skill unless I'm tripping over them multiple times in every paragraph. I only brought the topic up this time because this is an actually recent story so it seemed like the iron was still relatively hot.

10879587

My personal headcanon is that time doesn't truly pass in the EqG world

You should read The Fishbowl.

Seeing comments that exclusively consist of picking out mistakes and errors is so...needless--like is that really all the person took from the story?

I love comments, but these? Worst. Comments. Ever.

"Okay, fine, thanks for pointing it out, but what did you think of the story?"

Login or register to comment