• Published 12th Oct 2012
  • 3,465 Views, 141 Comments

The Unlikeliest of Places - Desideratium



Chrysalis finds herself powerless. All she needs is a little kindness.

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Forcible Awakening

Three months.

Three months since the Changelings had attacked.

Three months since their queen had been defeated, and her forces banished by the power of sheer, unbridled love. An outburst of pure affection, arguably one of the most potent forces in Equestria. Years of planning, snuffed out in a single, spontaneous event spanning no more than a minute.

Chrysalis, and every Changeling below her, respected the power that had defeated her. Respected, not feared. It was against every principle that she had been taught to possess fear. The messages that had been hammered into her very being ever since her hatching. Fear was the first sign of weakness, a trait utterly unacceptable for a future queen.

Instead, Changelings learned respect, and hatred. More than suitable replacements for that ridiculous sentiment that the ponies held so dear. Love. Obviously powerless against the proud tribe that was the Changelings, but to be respected nonetheless.

Love was food. Sustenance. Essential for the very survival of the race. And yet it was also the Changelings’ greatest weakness.

Changelings had always been shunted to the side by their equestrian counterparts, even back in the times when their appearance hadn’t been so . . . repulsive. It had nothing to do with physical stature.

The Changelings were isolated because of their inability to love.

Evolution had long since taken its toll over the millennia. Their jealousy, hatred, and a fair amount of inbreeding had transformed the once-noble race of warriors into savage beasts, preying on ponies for their reservoirs of love.

Ever since, Changelings had been banished from Equestria, kept in check by the efforts of the Solar and Lunar Princesses.

Until a plan was formulated by Queen Chrysalis, the youngest queen ever to take the throne. A plan to satisfy her race’s hunger for decades.

Complications arose.


Chrysalis opened her eyes, gummed over from sleep, cursing the infernal sunlight that had caused her awakening. It filtered through the leaves overhead, throwing strips of gold across the small clearing that the Changeling queen had deigned worthy to be a viable resting place for her royal self. Puddles of light congealed on the soft carpet of fuzzy moss, signifying that the morning had arrived.

Chrysalis peeled her face off of the moss, yawning widely. She raised a serrated hoof to her face and swiped at the greenery and dirt that had congregated there during the night. It came away in clumps; she could imagine that her normally beautiful body looked less than appealing after living in the Everfree Forest for three months. The queen could practically feel the filth building up in her various holes, especially the large ones dotting her legs.

Struggling against the clinging ground, Chrysalis stood, barely able to keep her long legs stable. She exerted all the force that her frail being could muster, trying to keep her knees from trembling. Her lips curled back over clenched teeth.

The Changeling queen was weakened.

The reserves of consumable love that she had kept hidden inside of herself had run dry a week previous. Those reservoirs had been the only things keeping Chrysalis alive. If she was lucky, she had a day or two left.

Realizing her situation once again, Chrysalis collapsed in a tangle of spidery legs. The revelation that she’d not yet accepted caused her breath to falter. Flailing, trying to regain her balance, she tore several long grooves in the carpet of emerald moss, revealing stripes of brown soil underneath. Her inhalation came in ragged gasps, and with every exhalation, she expelled wispy clouds of vaporous phlegm.

This was by no means a dignified position for the queen to be spotted in.

Chrysalis froze. Her body was curled into what ponies would consider the fetal position. Not so for Changelings– their births occurred with an entirely different organization of limbs. She forced her mind to shut down all other functions and focus on her breathing.

The desperate gasps that racked the Changeling queen’s body slowly subsided, reverting back to the slow, shallow breathing that she had been forced to use in order to conserve energy. Her eyes were squeezed shut, but an opaque drop of liquid seeped out from beneath an eyelid and dropped lightly onto the moss.

Chrysalis was immediately appalled at herself– a queen does not display this kind of weakness, even when alone. It had been decades since she had shed a tear, but now it had felt warranted. She gritted her teeth, but her willpower crumbled into a mess of irreparable pieces and the fluids began to flow in earnest.

Silent sobs racked Chrysalis’s form, her pain and grief too deep for any articulation. Too deep to let even the smallest sound out of her mouth. Incapable of expressing her sadness vocally, she convulsed uncontrollably on the ground.

A sound snapped her out of her misery.

Singing.

Singing. A sweet, melodious strain, sung by a female with obvious natural talent. A pony, or something that sounded remarkably similar to one. Not too far from her current location, judging that the sound was barely even muffled.

For the first time, Chrysalis was glad that her sobs were silent.

There was time enough at a later date to mourn for her dismal situation. The current objective on Chrysalis’s to-do list was to locate the producer of the music. And eliminate it, after draining it of the reserves of love that all ponies carried around proudly. Like some absurd military badge, won for obscure reasons.

As silently as possible, Chrysalis arranged her hooves under herself in an attempt to stand, or even to crouch. At this point, she wasn’t too picky on which one. As she straightened her legs, a wave of blood rushed to the Changeling’s head, blinding her instantly and sending her downward. The amount of time she spent in a writhing heap on the ground was increasing by the minute.

The singing swelled– the source was nearing Chrysalis’s position. Mere steps away, she determined. The only thing separating the disabled queen from the carefree traveler was a mass of thick leaves clinging to the thin branches of a large bush. Mustering up all the remaining energy she still possessed, Chrysalis reached out with her front legs, gripping the moss as best she could with hooves. With a hulkantine effort, she dragged herself across the ground, carving a wide ditch where her body had passed. The first tug of her venture almost killed her on the spot. White-hot sparkles of pain danced across her vision, threatening to knock her forcibly from consciousness.

Not today, Chrysalis told herself grimly. Pain was a minor distraction; the prize would be the first meal she’d had in months. Enough to sustain her for the long journey back home. She bit her lip, allowing the taste of blood to fill her mouth. Once satisfied that the pain in her lip was enough to distract her from the agony across the rest of her body, Chrysalis resumed her endeavor.

The singing faltered. Not suddenly– the singer faded out until the vocalization was inaudible. The words– which Chrysalis had never been able to make out– diminished, but the singer continued to hum.

Chrysalis continued, painfully aware of the faint rustling that her lithe body was making as it scraped against the ground. In an attempt to be more aerodynamic, she flattened her papery wings against her back. The distance between her starting point and her destination had halved. A whopping two meters. And yet the miniscule accomplishment filled the Changeling queen with pride. Renewing her resolve, she dug into the ground with more ferocity.

Reaching the bush, Chrysalis peered through the low branches. Close enough now to see through the leaves and make out the appearance of her foe.

Chrysalis choked. The pony on the other side of this bush was remarkably familiar; Chrysalis had gotten used to the appearance of that pony. She had seen it every time she looked in a mirror. The guise that she had pulled off so perfectly, fooling even Celestia with her ingenuity and masterfulness.

Princess Mi Amore Cadenza.

Cadance.