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How Chrysalis Got Her Groove Back IIII

Oct 5th, 2016
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  1. >"Hello, your grace."
  2. >"Good morning, your highness."
  3. >"Greetings, my queen."
  4. >"Hiya, mommy!"
  5. >"Look! Look! It's momma! Hi momma!"
  6. >Chrysalis watched as her subjects scurried to and fro in the hall
  7. >Some of them were the smaller, stouter worker drones with their tool belts and their hardhats made of reinforced chitin
  8. >Others were the bigger, bulkier warrior lings that walked around with their armor and their spears
  9. >Even the caretakers, the drones that saw to the hatchlings, were expertly navigating through the crowd with some little ones following them like baby ducks
  10. >One of the hatchlings-- a runt of the cluster by the look of him-- lost his balance mid step
  11. >He was about to land muzzle first onto the stone floor, but with a simple spell the queen caught him
  12. >The baby ling giggled as she lifted him onto the air and floated him over to her
  13. "Easy there little one," she murmured, leaning forward to nuzzle his belly. "We wouldn't want you hurting yourself now, would we?"
  14. >"Sowry, mommy," the hatchling chirped, its green little eyes alive and curious. "I'll watch where I'sh going next time."
  15. >He was such a tiny little thing, barely half the size of his hatchmates,
  16. >Not too long ago, a ling like this wouldn't have survived adolescence
  17. >Love--at one time-- had been a rare and precious commodity
  18. >They hadn't been able to give it out willy-nilly
  19. >Only those who could do their part for the hive could have love
  20. >Only the best and smartest and fastest were able to eat
  21. >Only the strong could survive
  22. >Chrysalis nuzzled the hatchling's cheek, smiling as she felt his hooves lightly tapping against her jaw and cheeks
  23. >"Mommy, mommy! I wuv you mommy!"
  24. >But no more
  25. >All around her--from the smallest worker to the most imposing soldier-- were healthy, strong, love-filled Changelings
  26. >All of her little lings could eat
  27.  
  28. >All of them could grow up, happy and healthy and safe
  29. >The strongest weren't the only ones that could survive
  30. "I love you too, my little ling."
  31. >With a few more nuzzles, and a kiss or two, Chrysalis sent the little ling down
  32. >His caretaker, who had a smile a mile wide on his face, quickly collected the baby ling and set him amongst his hatchmates
  33. >They began to chirp and giggle, their wings buzzing as they nudged and bumped into each other and played as children played
  34. >All around, lings slowed their pace to watch the hatchlings, chuckling and smiling at the sight of the little ones enjoying themselves
  35. >"Now now, children, no rough-housing in the halls. We wouldn't want anyling to get hurt now," the caretaker cooed, shepherding the baby lings as best as he could. "Say goodbye to the queen and we'll go back to the nursery to get you something to eat."
  36. >The little ones brightened at that, spinning around to face Chrysalis
  37. >"Bye mommy!" they all chirped together
  38. >The queen found herself placing a hoof to her chest
  39. >Every single hatchling was smiling at her
  40. >They all looked happy
  41. >Their chitin looked healthy, their eyes were clear and focused and their teeth were white and sharp
  42. >Runt of the litter or the biggest in the cluster, it didn't matter
  43. > It looked like they all were going to grow into happy, healthy adults
  44. >If she had the time, she would have carried every single one of those darling little lings on her back and taken them to the nursery herself
  45. >She would have seen that they were all fed as much as they could eat, and then she would play with each and every one of them until she couldn't lift a hoof
  46. >She wanted to pick them all up and hug them, she wanted to pepper them with kisses
  47. >She wanted to try to share some of the joy and happiness that seeing them, laughing and smiling like they were, brought her
  48. >But she couldn't
  49. >A queen was a very busy ling after all, and she had very important matters to see to today
  50.  
  51. >She had to set aside her personal wants
  52. >For the good of her little lings
  53. >She fought to keep the emotions welling inside of her in check, giving the cluster a soft smile
  54. "Goodbye, my little lings. Enjoy the rest of your day," she said, her tone gentle and motherly. "Make sure to be good to your caretaker."
  55. >"We will mommy! Bye mommy!"
  56. >Waving, the hatchlings took off down the hall, frantically followed by their caretaker
  57. >Chrysalis stood there, watching the little lings until they disappeared down the hall
  58. >It was only when they were out of sight did she begin to walk again
  59. "Seven, Fifteen, come. We must hurry if we are to see all that we need to see to before the king returns."
  60. >Lings of all shapes and sizes scurried around her and her guards
  61. >Many bowed their heads, others greeted her with a "good morning" or a "your majesty", though, one or twice, she heard a "hello mother" and "hi mom" come from the crowd
  62. >Though the last few days had been... trying, the queen couldn't help but feel satisfied
  63. >Work Groups three and five had completed building another section in the nursery just the other day
  64. >Two new floors were being dug out to house the almost fully matured lings from the nursery
  65. >The little ones had completed their midterm exams and, from what she had been told, their grades were the highest they had been in fifty years
  66. >All was well in the hive; better than well actually
  67. >There was no threat of mass starvation, no one was coming to try to drive them out of their hive, from the intel that her spies were giving her there were no wars or plagues on the horizon
  68. >It was just another routine, lazy couple of days
  69. >No excitement, no danger, nothing
  70. >While there was still a small smile on her face, Chrysalis couldn't help but quietly sigh
  71. "Tell me, Seven, have the scouts seen my husband and their merry band enter the Badlands yet?"
  72. >Seven-two-five, an old warrior ling with one dead, milky-white eye, nodded
  73.  
  74. >"Yes, your highness. The scouts reported seeing the king entering Throat-Crack Valley at mid-morning."
  75. "Very good. I want you to contact the scouts. Tell them to keep an eye on my darling. I've been told that there's been an unusually high amount of activity coming from those bandits south of us."
  76. >"As you command, your grace."
  77. >As Seven-two-five's horn glowed, Chrysalis looked over at Fifteen-one-one, her other personal guard for the evening
  78. >Fifteen-one-one was a giant of a ling; perhaps one of the largest that she had ever spawned
  79. >He towered above most of her lings, nearly equaling the queen's size
  80. >Just like Seven, his body was a peppered with scars and disfigurements and other signs of battle
  81. >Parts of his chitin clung awkwardly to his body, others were of a darker coloration than the rest
  82. >A long, shiny scar ran the length of his muzzle and across both of his cheeks
  83. >One of his fangs were cracked and the other bore a hole in the middle
  84. >His back right leg was shorter than the rest; a result of an infection from a wound that nearly killed him
  85. >Fifteen was a veteran
  86. >He had been with Chrysalis for more than a hundred years, first as a soldier, then--when he had become to injured to fight for her on the frontlines-- as both her personal guard and an advisor of sorts
  87. >The ling might have limped as he walked, but he was as smart as a whip, and because of him the hive had been saved more than once
  88. "Seven, is there any word on the Collection Crystals?" Chrysalis asked as the three of them entered one of the larger chambers of the hive
  89. >Here three floors intersected
  90. >Lings both walked and flew to their destinations, chattering and working all the while
  91. >"From what I've been told two of our excavation teams have found a particularly large cluster of the Crystals in the Bugbear Lands. They're doing their best to collect them but, because of the territory, it is taking some time."
  92. >Chrysalis found herself gently frowning
  93.  
  94. >While there were many perks being married to a creature that produced a seemingly unending amount of love, collecting and storing said love for the entire hive to eat was becoming a bit of a problem
  95. >Her little lings were growing in numbers and eating more than ever
  96. >They needed more of the crystals to store the love that her husband was emitting efficiently and effectively
  97. >Once upon a time they had looked to the caverns under Canterlot for such crystals but now, with the entirety of the Equestrian city under constant and heavy surveillance, they had been forced to look for the crystals elsewhere
  98. "Send Work Group ten and twenty to their location, along with a cluster of warriors," she said. "I want those crystals back at the hive as quickly as possible."
  99. >"Yes, my queen," Fifteen said with a nod. "I'll have the teams prepped and readied to leave within the day."
  100. "Very good. Now let us be off, I wish to see how the work on those turbines is coming along."
  101. >The rest of the morning went by like this
  102. >The queen and her two guards would make their way around the hive
  103. >Her little lings would report anything that needed reporting
  104. >She'd have them send orders via magic throughout the hive and beyond if need be
  105. >Every once in awhile they would stop and listen or talk to a ling, which would usually end in Chrysalis giving them a nuzzle or a kind word
  106. >All, it seemed, was running smoothly
  107. >But there was a small problem
  108. >As the queen and her guards made their way through the halls and the chambers and caverns, Chrysalis could feel the eyes of her subjects on her
  109. >Usually, this wouldn't mean a thing
  110. >She was a queen, and a loved one at that
  111. >It was only proper for her subjects to gaze upon her with respect and awe and maybe even a bit of reverence
  112. >A month or two ago she wouldn't have paid it any mind, but now, after her... transformation, she knew that the looks were for a whole other reason
  113. "...Fifteen? Do I appear odd to you?"
  114.  
  115. >Fifteen cocked his head to the side as Seven made the way for the three of them through a particularly dense crowd of lings
  116. >"Odd? What do you mean, my lady?"
  117. >Chrysalis simply raised an eyebrow
  118. >Fifteen grimaced, his wings buzzing uncomfortably
  119. >"You wouldn't be speaking of your current form, would you your highness?"
  120. "You know very well what I'm speaking of, my little ling."
  121. >Fifteen's wings buzzed again
  122. >Chrysalis could tell that he wanted to look away from her, but his training as a soldier, even after all of these years, forbid him from looking away from his ruler when he was asked a question
  123. >"I find nothing distressing about your current form, my lady," he said very carefully
  124. >Chrysalis snorted, both in frustration and amusement
  125. "Fifteen, I am not some delicate stallion. You will not hurt my feelings, no matter what you have to say," she said in a chiding tone. "Now, your queen ORDERS you to say what you think of her new... appearance."
  126. >Fifteen opened his mouth
  127. "I will know if you're lying," the queen quickly added
  128. >Fifteen closed his mouth
  129. >His eyes darted over to Seven, who gave him a helpless shrug and a smile
  130. >"I find your new form... odd my queen," Fifteen admitted. "I do not mean that in a bad way--"
  131. "Fifteen."
  132. >"--I know that you're the same queen as you were, but your new form is nothing like it was before you molted."
  133. >A small smile came to the queen's face as she looked down at herself
  134. "I do look like a whole other ling, don't I?" she muttered, mostly to herself
  135. >"Would you have any idea why you were changed so during your molt?" Fifteen asked
  136. >Chrysalis shook her head
  137. >"I will admit that this is something that I've neither seen nor heard of in all of my years as queen," she said. "I have the Shaperate pouring through our records, to see if there is any word of this happening to a queen from in any part of our history."
  138. >She made a face
  139.  
  140. "Unfortunately, I have a feeling that they shall not find any other instance of my... condition. Tell me, what do my little lings think of my new body?"
  141. >"Many find your lack of holes odd, and most that I've spoken to tell me that you're beginning to resemble an equestrian," Fifteen instantly replied
  142. >Chrysalis grimaced, causing the ling to backpedal
  143. >"Though, rest assured, my queen, they do not think ill of you in anyway. No matter how differently you look you are still our almighty queen."
  144. >The queen looked away from her old guard for a moment
  145. >She could see a trio of lings staring at her
  146. >Their eyes drank in every inch of her; her now mostly hole-less legs, her horn, her butterfly wings, her smooth, soft chitin
  147. >When they noticed her watching them they quickly looked away but the damage was already done
  148. >Chrysalis snorted again, a rueful smile coming to her face
  149. "The king insists that there is nothing wrong with me," she said. "He even had the gall that I looked CUTE like this..."
  150. >Fifteen knew the beginnings of a trap when he saw one, and so decided to throw himself out of the way in the quickest and most respectable way possible
  151. >Flattery and misdirection
  152. >"While I believe that our king is as wise as he is kind, I do not, in any way, see you as CUTE, my queen," he said. "You are, my lady, a fearsome and formidable sight. When your enemies look upon your majesty they are struck with the most particular mixture of fear, regret, and even shame for attempting to inconvenience you in any way. No ling queen, in any age, carries herself or carries such an aura as you. The very earth trembles in reverence with each step upon it that you take."
  153. >Fifteen could have gone on and one and one but, as a ling knew when to flatter his queen, he also knew that too much flattery wasn't necessarily a good thing
  154. >So he went silent and bowed his head, as any good servant did when in the presence of his better
  155. >On the other side of the queen, Seven was shaking his head
  156.  
  157. >Chrysalis herself was smiling warmly with an amused twinkle in her eyes
  158. "What am I going to do with you, my little ling?" she asked
  159. >"This poor, meager servant would like nothing else than to live comfortably and safely until the end of his days," Fifteen said, picking his head up. "It also wouldn't be remiss if he were to receive a box of delectable dark chocolates once in a full moon."
  160. >Chrysalis chuckled, opening her mouth to smartly retort, when the tip of Seven's horn sparked to life
  161. >The ling twitched in surprise, his eyes narrowing for a moment before he smiled
  162. >"My lady, I just received word from the guards at the mouth of the hive. They're reporting that the king will be arriving within the hour."
  163. >Every ling within earshot perked up
  164. >Chrysalis herself looked positively thrilled
  165. >Though it had only been three days, she missed her husband
  166. >She missed walking through these halls with him
  167. >Missed waking up to his peacefully sleeping face
  168. >She even missed his incessant--though oddly heartwarming-- ramblings
  169. >But now he was almost back again
  170. >Back home where he belonged
  171. "Excellent! Come, let us greet him."
  172. >The queen and her guards did not sprint through the halls
  173. >None of them would ever do something so unrestrained and undignified
  174. >A queen held herself to a higher standard, and so only ran in the most dire of circumstances
  175. >But, as she made her way toward the main entrance of the hive, her pace was visibly quicker
  176. >It wasn't quite a jog, but it wasn't a walk by any stretch of the imagination
  177. >There was an unrestrained smile on her face
  178. >Her tail was swishing back and forth with each step she took
  179. >Every few moments she'd wiggle midstep or her wings would flutter against her sides briefly
  180. >Her little lings, seeing their queen in such, were quick to move out of the way as she and her guard expertly navigated the labyrinth of halls and corridors and chambers
  181.  
  182. >As she walked, Chrysalis had the time to think all of the little things that wife's secretly think when they're about to see a husband who had just returned from a trip
  183. >Was he doing well?
  184. >Had his trip been an enjoyable one?
  185. >Was everything alright?
  186. >What had he gotten her?
  187. >It better not have been anything too excessive
  188. >He knew that she didn't like to have all of those nick-nacks in their room, and she also didn't like it when he spent too much on her
  189. >Had he been eating well while he was gone?
  190. >Did he miss her as much as she missed him?
  191. >Many would have found the walk a short one, but for Chrysalis it felt like it took a thousand years
  192. >Eventually though, her and her personal guard found themselves nearing the mouth of the cave
  193. >As per her orders, there were a group of lings standing at the ready with food and water to refresh her dear, sweet husband and his guard, along with a group of lings that would see to the king's baggage and chariot
  194. >"Seven, what is the status of my husband?"
  195. >Seven's horn glowed once again
  196. >"He'll be here in a few minutes my queen. From what I'm being told there's a bit of a gale out there so the flyers are taking their time."
  197. "Very well. We shall stand here and wait for him then."
  198. >"Of course, my queen
  199. >Chrysalis was a fidgeting ball of excitement as she waited for her husband
  200. >She couldn't hold still
  201. >Every few seconds, she would shift her weight, bouncing on the tips of her hooves, before shifting her weight again and bouncing on the backs of them as she bit her lip and stared out the mouth of the entrance
  202. >Every ling in the large chamber was quick to ignore their queen's un-queenly actions, readying themselves for the king's landing
  203. >Outside, Celestia's sun stood at its highest point, baking the hard clay ground with its merciless rays
  204. >The skies were clear except for the occasional heat wave that distorted the very air itself
  205.  
  206. >Other than the sound of the wind picking up bits of clay and dead roots, all was quiet
  207. >Then, out in the distance, a speck could be seen in the sky
  208. >It was a tiny thing, barely visible, but each of the lings perked up when they saw it
  209. >"That should be them," one of the Changeling's said. "Alright everyling, let's get ready!"
  210. >Within a few moments, soldiers and worker lings took off into the air toward the speck
  211. >Inside of the entrance, lings scurried around, making sure that everything looked neat and presentable
  212. >The few guards still waiting stood a little straighter
  213. >A carpet, emerald green in color, was rolled out
  214. >Chrysalis quickly looked over herself, making sure that her crown was on straight, her mane and tail were neat, and there wasn't anything in her teeth
  215. "Fifteen, have the kitchen staff prepare something for the king. He is no doubt famished."
  216. >"Yes, my queen."
  217. "And have one of those soldiers come over here with a shield. I need to get a proper look at myself."
  218. >"Right away, your highness
  219. >Minutes passed and the speck began to grow larger and larger
  220. >It began to take form
  221.  
  222. >If one strained hard enough they would have seen the outline of a chariot, and a pair of lings pulling said chariot along
  223. >When it got a little closer, one could see a hooded figure sitting in the chariot, along with about a dozen and a half lings flanking the airborne vehicle
  224. >Closer and the finer details of the chariot could be seen
  225. >It was a simple thing, though well made and sturdy
  226. >The only thing that distinguished it from any other of its kind was its size--which was nearly three times that of a regular chariot-- and the symbol of a broken heart on the front and the sides of it
  227. >"Everyling make way! Chariot landing! A chariot is landing!"
  228. >Chrysalis smiled as the chariot flew into the mouth of the cave and landed on the pathway provided with little difficulty
  229. >The moment that it hit the ground lings scurried forward with water and food on tow
  230. >Chrysalis counted to ten in her head, rocking back and forth excitedly all the while, before trotting forward
  231. >"If I didn't know any better, I'd say that the sun had it out for us today, boys. Gods above, it feels like I've been overcooked!"
  232. >Her husband was stepping out of the chariot as she came within a few feet of it
  233. >He threw back his hood, revealing a sweating, weary face
  234. >"I'm going to have to remember to send a strongly-worded letter to the snake oil saleswoman that they call the Princess of the Sun. A proper complaint might turn down the temperature a bit," he said, looking around the room
  235. >When his gaze settled on his queen he smiled
  236. >This, in turn, caused Chrysalis to smile as she snatched a jug of water and an empty glass from a passing servant
  237. >Filling the glass, she stepped forward, offering it to her husband
  238. >"Thank you very much, my dear," the king said, leaning toward her so that he could grab both the jug and the glass
  239. >Closing his eyes, he poured the glass of water over his head before tossing it over his shoulder and bringing the jug to his lips
  240.  
  241. >Chrysalis's smile widened, the tip of her horn glowing to catch the glass so that it didn't shatter on impact
  242. >She waited patiently as Anonymous chugged the water with all of his might
  243. >In a matter of moments the water was gone, both in the human's belly and all over his cloak, shirt, and pants
  244. "Do you feel better, by king?" she asked
  245. >Anonymous let out a sigh, passing the now empty jug to an awaiting servant
  246. >"Very much so, my dear," he said with a sigh, leaning down and wrapping his arms around his queen
  247. >Chrysalis, without a second thought, returned the hug
  248. >She shivered as her husband's love passed over her in waves
  249. >Sweet and pure, she knew it was all for her and she love it
  250. >Her grip tightened around him as he kissed her cheek sweetly
  251. "So, was Labyrinthia to your liking?"
  252. >Anonymous's cheek brushed against her neck as he nodded
  253. >"I have never been to a place with so many fantastic cheeses," he told her, smiling. "If I did not have you and my little lings I would move there immediately and spend the rest of my days fat and constipated."
  254. >The queen snorted
  255. "I give you my condolences then. Such a life sounds like a wonderful one," she said playfully, lightly nudging her husband before pulling him down so that his head was resting on her wither
  256. >Anonymous sighed, nuzzling her
  257. >Chrysalis sighed in turn, planting a kiss on his temple
  258. "...It is very good that you have returned home, my king. The hive is... lonely without you."
  259. >"The lands of the Minotaurs may be the very place of Eden, but I wouldn't trade it for a second of you and my little lings."
  260. >The king planted a kiss on his queen's neck
  261. >"I missed you too, my love."
  262. >For the next several moments, all around the king and queen faded away
  263. >The only thing that the two were aware of was the little bubble that they had placed around themselves, one with kisses and caresses and nuzzles and love
  264.  
  265. >It wasn't until Chrysalis had nuzzled every part of Anonymous's body--that was appropriate to do so in public of course--, and his love for her had left her feeling as though she were about to burst did she let go of him
  266. >With one last nuzzle, she took a step back, looking up at him with a bright and happy smile
  267. "So what has my king gotten me on his travels to distant lands?" she asked. "Some silly nick-nack? An artefact of great power? Some exotic cheeses?"
  268. >For a brief second, Anonymous's smile wavered
  269. >Nervousness and hesitance began to mix into the air, and it wasn't just from her husband
  270. >It came from each of the guards that had been sent to watch over her husband, and even with the scouts that had been sent to escort him
  271. >She flinched in surprise when she finally noticed it, looking around the cavern just as a group of guards were hauling something unusually large from the chariot
  272. >Whatever it was was hidden in a large duffel bag, but Chrysalis knew that body shape from anywhere
  273. >There was an Equestrian in that bag
  274. >She could see a short, stubby horn trying to poke its way through the bag
  275. >She could also see a pair of wings pressing up against the fabric
  276. >This wasn't just an Equestrian
  277. >This was an alicorn
  278. >This was a princess
  279. >Eyes widening, Chrysalis looked back at her husband, who smiled weakly
  280. >"Yes... About that my dear..."
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