• Published 29th Jun 2023
  • 5,570 Views, 160 Comments

Run Without Debugging - RunicTreetops



After a misunderstanding, you end up sustaining a serious injury while trying to protect Chrysalis. Now, the ex-queen is on the run, carrying you with her as your time among the living grows short.

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Pride

"Er, good morning Twilight. AJ. Dash."

You gave each of them a concerned smile, though their expressions did not change. Chrysalis stood a couple of feet behind you, far enough away to make it less awkward but no so far that she couldn't hear the conversation taking place. When your guests replied, it was Twilight who spoke up.

"Good morning, Anon."

"To what do I owe the pleasure?"

"We... we need to talk, Anon."

"That sounds serious. Okay, er..." You anxiously turned around to glance at Chrysalis behind you. You had a feeling she wouldn't approve of what you were going to say next, but you'll be darned if anyone tries to call you a bad host. "Would you like to come in?"

You heard Chrysalis inhale suddenly, apparently about to protest. Before she could, Twilight responded yet again.

"No, we're fine. In fact, would you be willing to step outside? This conversation should probably be kept..." She glances past you and looks directly at Chrysalis. "...Private."

You thought for a moment. If it wasn't obvious already, that was a dead giveaway that they wanted to talk about Chryssi. Twilight is your best friend and you trust her dearly, and yet...

"Sorry Twilight, but no."

"Huh?"

"Let's not be coy. You want to talk about something you don't want Chrysalis to hear. But even if you don't, I trust her. There's nothing you need to say that cannot be said in her presence."

"I-I'm not sure about that, Anon."

You glanced behind yourself again. Chrysalis had taken a couple of steps forward, but was still very much behind you. She looked at you with surprise, apparently having not expected you to stick up for her like that.

"Then we're at an impasse. Either you say what you need to say right here, or not at all."

Twilight sighed, and Applejack placed a reassuring hoof on her shoulder. After a moment, she composed herself and looked you dead in the eyes with a determined expression, only occasionally glancing away to look at Chrysalis.

"To be as succinct as possible, we've been receiving several troubling reports about Chrysalis since yesterday. The most egregious of these reports claim that she attacked Ocellus at Sugarcube Corner."

"WHAT?! That's ridiculous!"

"So you deny it?"

"Don't misunderstand, Twilight. We did bump into Ocellus at Sugarcube Corner, and there was an argument. But no one attacked anyone, I can assure you of that!"

"I thought Sunburst had you under direct orders to keep Chrysalis away from Ocellus."

"We weren't expecting to bump into her there. What do you propose Chrysalis does, rot away in here for the rest of her life? She has to go outside at some point!"

Twilight sighed once again.

"Very well, then. Admittedly I haven't confirmed this with Ocellus yet since classes are still in session at the moment, so for now, I'll believe you. Though I still find it troubling that we received numerous eyewitness accounts saying the same thing, that would explain why they were so vague."

"Is that all you wanted?"

"Well, those weren't the only reports we received. Several different ponies around town are claiming that the two of you were cutting in lines, scaring townsfolk, robbing market stalls, and generally 'disrupting the peace.'"

"Those reports are full of it! Yes, yesterday didn't go smoothly. Everypony on the street tried to run and hide when they saw us. When we went to the market, everypony in line would just walk away out of fear, and the vendors would hide under their stalls! All of that was entirely of their own volition! And by the by, we paid for everything. If the peace was disrupted, you can blame everyone else's fear, not Chrysalis's behavior."

"But you have to admit that it was her being there that caused the unrest."

"And once again I'll ask: Do you expect her to just never leave the house? Are you saying that she can't even visit the market?!"

"N-no, but-"

"Twilight. You're probably my closest friend in all of Equestria. If literally anything bad started happening to any of our friends, I would believe without a shadow of a doubt that you would be ready and willing to do something about it. So please, trust me when I say that Chrysalis hasn't done anything like that. Is she a bit argumentative and prideful? Yes. Is she the villain you're describing? No, not even close."

"..."

Twilight finally looked away from you, her expression suddenly full of guilt and shame. Applejack looks up at you in her place.

"We do trust ya, Anon. We just wanna make sure you're safe."

"Chrysalis would never hurt me. And she wouldn't hurt anypony else, for that matter. Not anymore. Whatever it is you've heard, I can guarantee that they are just rumors, nothing more."

You spoke with such confidence, such clarity, that you surprised even yourself. Weren't you starting to doubt those words the night prior? Why did you suddenly believe them?

Rainbow Dash responded before Applejack could, her tone much more aggressive than Twilight's or AJ's.

"Don't worry, Anon. We'll make sure of that."

"A-and what is that supposed to mean?"

Suddenly, Chrysalis took a few more steps forward, nudging you a bit to the side to stand in front of you. She had the biggest, cockiest grin you'd ever seen on her face, and you were immediately filled with a sense of oncoming dread.

"That's right, little ponies. He's my friend now! He believes in me! And because of your silly little 'friendship,' there's nothing you can do about it!"

"Ch-Chryssi, that's-"

"Thanks to him, I am free to do as I please, and YOU cannot stop me!"

Rainbow Dash angrily flew into Chrysalis's face.

"You wanna bet?!"

"You silly ponies seem to have forgotten. When I had drained nearly all of Shining Armor's love, I was stronger than Celestia herself. How strong do you suppose I would be if I had an endless supply of love?"

All three of the mares gasped in shock and took a step back, their faces showing a combination of surprise and anger. They each took a defensive stance as Chrysalis let out a menacing-sounding cackle. Twilight spoke up again, her voice nearly a shout.

"Everypony, get back! Anon, get away from her! She's about to do something!"

"N-no, she isn't! She's just-"

Chrysalis briefly glanced at you and then turned back to the mares, the grin never leaving her face.

"Would you like me to act like the villain you so desperately want me to be? It wouldn't be hard! Ahahahaha!"

Twilight began to sweat as you watched her horn start to glow. It seemed as though the air around her was being sucked towards her, and the typical purple glow of her magic was much deeper in color than you are used to.

"Anon, get out of the way! This is a new spell I created exactly for instances like this!"

"What are you going to do to her?!"

"When I know my magic isn't as strong as my opponent's, I can collect and condense the air around me before launching it at breakneck speeds! Instead of a magical spell, it's a physical one! It doesn't matter who the opponent is, it'll hurt all the same!"

In response, Chrysalis began to prepare a spell of her own. Her horn started to glow a brilliant green color. Your eyes widened as you realized the severity of the situation. That was probably why Twilight brought AJ and Dash, too. She expected Chrysalis to pull something like that, but only you knew that Chrysalis wasn't actually threatening them! That was just her pride getting the best of her again!

"Twilight, Chryssi, stop!"

Neither parties listened to you as they prepared to unleash their spells. You watched as Twilight's horn briefly flashed. Without thinking, you leapt in-between Twilight and her target. In that instant, a booming sound came from Twilight's horn right as you centered yourself between her and Chrysalis. Immediately after the boom went off, you heard the faint sound of Chrysalis's spell fizzling out before it could be cast. At the same time, you heard four distinct gasps. Th-that spell had to have gone off, right?

"...H-huh?"

You began to tremble as you slowly looked down at yourself. Steam gently poured out of the golf-ball-sized hole that went straight through your chest. You brought a shaky hand to the hole and felt a hot liquid begin to gush out of it. Why... why did you not feel any pain? You slowly glanced behind you, seeing Chrysalis look at you with shaky, terrified eyes. You looked back in front of you to see Twilight, Applejack, and Rainbow Dash all staring back at you, their faces white as sheets and their mouths agape. A bit of familiar-looking steam still emanated from Twilight's horn.

Suddenly, your vision began to grow blurry. You lost feeling in your legs, and as your eyes began to close against your will, you could see the ground rapidly approaching. The last thing you heard before losing consciousness was Chrysalis yelling out your name.


You fall to the floor with a loud thud. For a moment, Chrysalis, Twilight, Applejack, and Rainbow Dash simply look at your unconscious body in shock. Slowly, their eyes lift off of you and back at each other. No words are spoken as they exchange terrified glances.

Then, in one rapid movement, Chrysalis's horn glows as she leaps forward. Your body is surrounded by the green glow of her magic as it is lifted onto her back. Just as she clears the doorway and makes it a couple of feet past the three mares, Chrysalis's body shimmers as it begins to shapeshift. It grows and morphs extremely rapidly, lifting your body into the air as it does. When all is said and done, an ursa minor with glowing green eyes is booking it towards the outskirts of town with your still-bleeding body balanced precariously on its back.

Applejack is the first one to regain her senses.

"T-Twilight, Dash!"

"Let's go!"

Rainbow Dash begins to pursue the massive bear at breakneck speeds, with Applejack following on the ground and Twilight doing her best to keep up in the air. Their shock allowed Chrysalis to get a big head start on them, and her massive form allows her to cover distance extremely quickly. She's running in the direction of the Everfree Forest, but Rainbow Dash is rapidly gaining on her.

"Get back here! Give him back!"

Chrysalis never slows, but she does glance behind her to see Rainbow Dash quickly approaching her. In another quick movement, her massive form begins to shimmer once again. It shrinks ever-so-slightly, leaving behind the much different, albeit still massive form of a green dragon. With a flap of her wings, she begins to fly not too far off of the ground. In the same movement, she purposefully swats her massive tail behind her, smacking her quickest pursuer in the process. Rainbow Dash grunts as she is flung a great distance away. The time afforded to Chrysalis in this moment is enough for her to reach the Everfree Forest with. As she makes it a fair distance into the forest above the treeline, her body shimmers once more. When it finishes, she has taken the form of a storm creature, the tuft of hair on its head a blueish-green color reminiscent of her changeling mane. In her large arms, she carries your unconscious body bridal style. The momentum of her flight flings her at a forward arc towards the ground. Her feet skid painfully along the dirt as she does her best to keep her balance. She narrowly avoids running into some trees before finally coming to a stop. Darting beneath the cover of some nearby foliage, she finally transforms back into her changeling form and places you onto the grass. Your wound is grievous and bleeding profusely. The liquid she feels running down her back doesn't give her much confidence in your current state. With a frustrated click of her tongue, she glances at the forest around her. Within seconds, she magically rips a few hanging vines from some nearby trees. Carefully lifting you up, she wraps the vines tightly around your chest in an attempt to seal your wound. It's extremely crude, but it's the best she can do with next to no medical knowledge, especially when dealing with humans.

She wipes some sweat from her brow as she hears several voices a ways behind her.

"Tell everypony in town! The Everfree Forest is too big for just the three of us! Anypony willing to search needs to get out here immediately! This is life or death!"

Staying tucked beneath whatever cover she can find, she awkwardly carries your large form on her back as she does her best to navigate deeper and deeper into the forest.