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Chaos and the Fall (Discord, Chrysalis-Loyal Changelings)


Blueblood
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*Crash!*

 

The drones knew to not enter the great chamber while their Queen was in such a mood, which she had been in more and more lately, especially since the spectacular failure of her latest plan.  It wasn't fair, it just wasn't fair!  All she was doing was maneuvering her Hive to it's proper place on top of the food chain (and maybe indulging in a little bit of personal revenge for past slights and failures, fair enough), and what happened?  An apprentice, two-bit magician, renegade drone, and the court jester of the gods just waltz in and rip the heart out of her kingdom!

 

And now, here she was, holed up in the remnants of the Great Hive in the Leota, with all the changelings sensible enough to not become pastel-colored addlepated pony pets, trying to think up some scheme for getting back on top of things.  It wasn't going well, obviously, given that she was picking up random bits of the constructed chitin furniture and smashing them against the tunnel walls in between periods of brooding.

 

But there was no way out she could see, no visible way out.  Something pretty drastic would have to break into her pathological order to set her on a different path...

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  • 2 weeks later...

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Discord normally did not wander Leota, for quite obvious circumstances. For one it still bore the scar of his former conquest against the land, unhealed and fundamentally scarred beyond repair. It as a reminder of just how uncontrollable his powers were and, given the proper circumstances, how irreversible some of his antics could be on a realm were they to get out of hoof. He had no reason to visit such a place, he had no cause -- at last until he happened upon Slim Chance during a sabbatical to Canterlot, And by sabbatical one would assure Discord was up to his usual games which often pulled in the unintended pony or two. Slim Chance had been the one. The cursed doll, animated by the memories of the past, had recalled his days in Leota, which possibly led up to his confrontations with the current diarchs of Equestria. After all Leota was barely a stone’s skip away from the scattered, Pony tribes, at least for a god who warped thousands of miles when he took a step. Even back in those days, before Ponyville’s inception: ponies still bickered over the slightest things. Who had wings, who had horns, who had neither: it was all in contest for argument which only served to summon chaos into their midsts. Given days while they still struggled against the Wendigos that haunted their hatred of one another it wasn’t until they became highly organized in their ways, highly mismanaged and yet still able to proceed in their day to day processions that had called him forth.

 

While there sat many arguments of just why he had targeted the ponies there was one thing clear: he was there to stay.

 

All that aside, and all that forgotten he did wonder just why he had trouble recalling it all… His memory wasn’t awful, per se. He was a demi-god. His lifetimes simply meant that there were some events he crossed wires when considering and mixed up whilst reminiscing. So he was likely to fail in his observation of certain social cues, that didn't mean all was lost to the chaosbringer. For a while all mortals seemed the same: barbaric and power hungry. They did little to entertain naught but disgust with their perverse ways of trying to order and organize an inherently chaotic universe, depriving it of it's wonder, beauty and overall class. But these ponies, he reluctantly admitted, had a degree of charm.

 

Regardless the spirit had pondered the meaning of this missing memory. What exactly had he done all that time ago here that he couldn't recall? All of what he could remember was that he let out Cerberus for a game of fetch and he has to be taken back by his owner. But what caused him to even consider this? What has happened after? All amidst his pondering a sharp twang would ripple through his body like the plucking of a fiddle string.

 

“My chaos sense is tingling.” He cooed before vanishing and reappearing among the Changeling ranks with the most obvious coloration with full chitin armor. “What's going on here? You look down Queeny.” There was no Changeling so looking forward to facing death that he would speak so openly to the queen, let alone his mother! Such disrespect could rattle only from one creature.


And there he stood in full chimeric dissonance. He sat plunked amidst the swarm. He grinned and wiggled his claws in greeting.

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"What!?"

 

The harsh, whip-crack of a shout from Chrysalis was enough to jolt the ranks of the remaining loyalists into something like a military attention.  At least, as much as they could, given the general malaise that had set in lately.  That same malaise made the outlier all the more obvious to the queen, whose slitted eyes narrowed in focus upon the one who dared to address her so.  Slowly, she got up, rising to her full height on holey legs, never losing sight of the outlier, as she stalked slowly towards him.

 

"I don't recognize you."  She said, as she slowly approached like a stalking tiger.  "And if you need explaining, well, that only shows for sure that you are not from my Hive."  Everyling here was only too well aware of recent failures, hence the general air of discouragement.  But this one... whatever he was, he was free from despair.  "Well, I can hardly say no to new ichor, now..."  Her lips slowly spread into a fanged smile, no less warm for the sharp teeth.  A stray child had come home!  "Do tell me from whence you have come."

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Sometimes it was amusing that his hodgepodge’d, chimeric density created such an odd creature. It could be offensive to many creatures who were vain when it came to the state of their physical form, but a Changeling was just that, wasn't it? They seemed always compelled to be anypony save who they were. It was a bit sad, but also advantageous for the chaotic spirit whose mismatched parts were given for a bug whose form was a subique as the hive he's come from. With a grey carapace and deep brown feelers his belly scales and shoulder armor would take the color of his deep, purple wings. Red eyes and a blue, pin striped tongue the mongrel was not from the Chrysalis hive!

 

“Oh I travel from place to place. Not many places for a bug like me!” And why would there be?

 

Speaking strictly as a god of chaos: disorder was hardly welcomed any one place. While many were convenienced by the constructive nature of order, many few were driven to delight in the idea that change supported their primitive communities. One such place that strived on both the order, the idea living beings could work like a network of clockwork parts, and the touch of madness was a hive. Both Harmony and chaos structured such a place but Chrysalis seemed to have an imbalance of the two.

 

“I heard you were facing some hard times Queenie. I just happened to be in the neighborhood and thought to myself. Sqwib, Sqwib I says, that there Queenie has fallen on hard times. Reckon she could do with a helping feeler.” He grinned, the tiny, chimeric bug fluttering at her side in a moment's notice. Fellow was quick. “So what are you doing in this ah.. dump? You could go for an interior decorator that's for sure. Maybe some curtains here or a rug or two.” He motioned his punctured, carapaced hoof about.


He was a strange one. Likely a worker because no soldier would speak so lazily or consider such things as space and room. Those were worker duties! He seemed small enough for it as well. While his carapaced was dull it was fragile looking. Not the build of a hive soldier.

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Chysalis' soft eye began to harden upon this 'Sqwib.'  Changelings before the... incident with Thorax tended to a monochrome black, without too much in the way of extraneous detail.  True, from time to time the queens of lesser hives introduced differing cosmetic details, such as manes instead of ridged chitin plates.  But this milieu was altogether of a different breed, one which would induce the most duty-bound of drones to do a double-take.

 

And that voice... it was modulated, but still familiar.  Especially in that lilting, mocking tone.  The Queen's slitted eyes narrowed further.  "You..."  She said, realization dawning as her voice filled with exasperation.  "You've got a whole lot of nerve coming back here after that last trick you pulled."  Even with all that, though, she couldn't help a corner of her mouth twitching upward in a smirk.  "Didn't you always though?"

 

Standing to her full height, she called out to the milling remnants.  "Begone!  I wish to speak with this one alone!"  The dismissed hive buzzed out, strangely hopeful.  It was the most animated they'd seen their ruler be in weeks.  Perhaps, just perhaps, a new plan was brewing...

 

And indeed it was, though not yet in full maturity, Chrysalis felt the scheme in her brain emerge in larval form as she spread her fangs into another smile, a rather sharper one that the first that had graced 'Sqwib's' entrance.  Lounging back upon her throne, she drawled, "And is this all that's come calling so late in the morning?  Ha!  I don't suppose you've grown tired of those pastel platitude-spouters, have you?"

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It was a curious deed as to where Discord got half these names he picked out. It was not surprising that he had no sense when it came to pony, or even Changeling, naming conventions, but with a name like Discord one could only assume the most absurd and fantastical names would come out his box of surprises. While, moreover, he had the ability to create -- no the power to assume the form of any creature of being in the whole of Equus he often took to these half strewn, discombobulated mashup of parts and colors that seemed more that he was playing a game rather than taking a serious role in the current events of Equestria. But perhaps that is what it meant to be a god. It meant not holding oneself responsible for the choices mortals made, or decided upon. Perhaps he was just that: a shadow on the stage one meant to eventually be forgotten … forgotten?

 

Forgot.

 

He has forgotten many things, and recalls very little of what he once meant to mortals. They would eventually vanish from his life so lasting bonds had never been a concern until recently. Seeing Chrysalis lose her hive brought him no pleasure, nor had it struck any pity from him. Eventually societies had to change. Eventually -- leaders had to move on and queens dethroned. It only took one spark of chaos. It took but one citizen, one insect amongst millions to realize something had to be different. All creatures were inherently chaotic. Their desire for order was the same as their desire for chaos. An odd balance that Discord would have never, and still won’t, admit to -- even if he does enjoy the occasional moment of peace and quiet among the squabbling ponies and their perpetual problems.

 

“Oh come now, tricks, me?” He gasped. “I wasn’t even involved in the matter at hoof.” He put his forelegs to his chest looking offended. “Oh please, and keep away from my favorite queenie?” He fluttered his red eyes before watching the others quickly vacate on command. “My you can sure -- empty a room.” He fluttered off the ground, an annoying little buzz on his back which was quite suiting to the chaotic bug. “Well I was never into their whole sense of fashion, but gotta love that passion. They learned from the best. I hear you were a go getter of a queen, always going out and getting what you wanted, but something like that made me wonder…” He motioned a holey hoof. “What were you after besides, oh you know, revenge? Couldn’t have been something so paltry?”

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In the grand mythologic worldview, chaos and order stood astride each other, each of their positive sides facing the negative side of the other.  Pathological order versus the fruitful chaos of nature, and wise order versus the destructive chaos of nature; these were the convex and concave curves of Yin and Yang, one of the Ancient Symbols of Long Guo.  Not that Chrysalis had studied that culture much; few of her hive had ever intended to infiltrate it.  But right now, now that she knew whom she was in the presence of, the Queen began to feel that old contrast come on, as it had come upon her once before.  Once long before, before ascending to power and majesty...

 

And now here she was, on the downside of the curve that Discord had first seen her on the upside of.  She knew it; there were limits of self-deception.  She was in trouble, her realm was crumbling, literally so as another piece of ceiling came tumbling down in an attempt to squash the chaotic little bug buzzing around her throne.  Missed by a mile, naturally; one could not so easily fight with chaos.  "Revenge..."  She rolled the word off her forked tongue like old, black coffee grounds.  "We wished to claim a place in the sun from those who long denied it to us.  On such a wave did I ride to my throne, such a promise I made to my children..."  Slitted eyes gazed at ruined majesty.  "What was our simple desire to live without being continually in hiding?  What was my desire to keep my promise?   And what was my desire to return all the hurt done to us?  All one thing."

 

And now that thing was drawing to an end.  She felt it; even as she tried to find any way she could to stop it.  Clearly, what she had been doing wasn't working.  And when systems of order failed, it was only in chaos that the solution could be found.  She looked directly into 'Sqwib's' eyes, sneering, "Not involved, hm?  So, your loyalties are truly so tenuous as rumored..."  Her visage cracked in a cackle.  "Ahaha!  Well, I won't complain when the winds of fortune blow in my favor once more!  So, you've come to stir things up here, have you?  Aim to redecorate in Harlequinade, have you?  Well, I'm half inclined to let you have your way, for a little affection.  I've let others do worse to me for the same pay."

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So long as it was allowed and he was able to fool the smaller, much lesser, hivewards: the spirit would keep his guise. There was no sense in causing a full blown panic, yet, as it was given some hundred eyes of the remaining half million would be watching, upon on this intruder. Yes that has been the issue as of late, hasn't it? In the stead of the Changelings being the intruders it was they who has been, for the first time: infiltrated. It was unexpected, especially with a bunch of background ponies in action. Discord would have a few words for the producers if they thought him some background pony. He was, after all, a semi-god. His ever encompassing presence was not needed so long as he had a few books and spare comics to entertain his free time. Ponies were clever. Their made up plights and adventures were as entertaining as their real ones! A lot less spandex though…

 

He pushed his carapaced covered hoof to his chest, head cocking to the side a bit. Before his mandibles parted to speak he squorked in surprise at the sudden crumble of ceiling. It was an undignified sound, but an expectedly unexpected curiosity that escaped his vocals. It sounded almost Changeling. His expression flattened as those red eyes creased beneath his senior solid brow, the armored plates loose about the face to push up expressions when needed. His wings buzzed a little poot as he looked to Chrysalis, doing to remain afloat with physical compromise rather than his magic.

 

At least for the time being.

 

Dis-- Sqwib couldn't help the laughter that began to bubble up from his chest. He slowly circled back as his hooves came to his chest, the scraping belly laugh echoing through the shattering halls. It was the grinding, grating, and mocking tone that seemed all but natural to a god who claimed he knew all and saw all -- well to be fair he never claimed such, but he always did have a remarkable intuition for the actions of others before that themselves made the decision. He fell shortsighted in regarding his own actions and controlling his fiercely chaotic mannerisms, but it was always difficult discerning oneself from a reflection built upon ego. And that was precisely what Chrysalis had…

 

When his laughter ebbed away, something that easily chipped away the guarded patience of a pony, he was face to face with the Queen of Mean. While he had the face of a Changeling it wasn't hard to see that smirk beneath the shifted carapaced. That snaggletooth amongst the sharp, piercing canines of the feralkin. These psychic vampiric, insects we're but a step away from being parasites. But in the grand scheme of things -- they were not quiet. After all the emotions consumed eventually returned, but oft times the Chrysalian insectoids overstayed their welcome that, by the time they had their fill from the extended points of hiatus … well they were like a Bugbear come spring: ready to consume more than their stomachs could hold.

 

“Oh dear Queenie. Living is not a simple desire. You creatures, Ponies and Changelings alike, seem to think life is some simple step down the road. No it's more like a board game.” He shook his hole pocked hoof, something rattling inside. “Sometimes when you roll the dice and take a gamble… you lose.” He shook out the white dice to the ground, the red dots indicated snake eyes! They blinked and he pulled them up, popping them back into his eye sockets in a sleight of hoof. “You see to play the game you have to know the rules. And the rules are in the hoof of the game master.” He inferred.

 

Keeping promises, huh? Sometimes it wasn't easy keeping them. Even a god like him could not always hold to his word. While he was willing to provide there the cases he was simply too late. Mortals were fragile and, moreover, their time ran much faster than his own. A trip through the cosmos often twisted the idea of time and he would.arrive precisely when he is meant to, even if it means he is late. Lashing out in hurt… Queenie, in some ways, was like him. Except he wasn't a food crazed but who was always on the verge of their next famine. But perhaps that was the problem.

 

He cocked his head and scoffed. “Don't be so quick to believe rumors. I may not have solid loyalties to any one entity, but that is because I am a greater entity who doesn't quite fit into the puzzle of your petty squabbles, but don't worry so much.You got exactly what you wished for darling.” He held out what looked to be a Saddle Arabian lamp in his hoof that lit up with a small flame shaped like Sqwib. The flame danced about and stopped to look at Chrysalis. “You decided to go against the game and was defeated by the heroes. But the heroes can be negotiated with to get what you desire… you just have to play the game.”

 

The flame was blown out by the multicolored insect and tossed back onto a stone where it fell with a clatter and clank. He fluttered around. My this place was familiar. He scratched his chitinous chin coming to a stop at an particularly fascinating stalactite.

 

“I love what you did with the place. You know with a bit more color you could perhaps get off scot-free like Thorax and his merry band of misfits. But I suppose there is another way…” And just like that the god of chaos presented three paths to the queen, one seemingly leading to an easy solution courtesy of the spirit, and the remaining two: join Thorax or play nice with the ponies. But Canterlot wasn't built in a day. He did not expect Chrysalis to be able to change her ways so easily.


Evil queen’s did have certain… “...reputation. “ he said aloud, holding a bright, red apple, inspecting the insect Queen’s reflection off of it.

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Chrysalis, like any other being who conceived of themselves as an apex predator, absolutely hated being backed into a physical or metaphorical corner, as if they were a common prey.  Even though Discord had, at best, only a partial hoof (or paw or claw) in putting her in this particular corner, he was the only one she could blame who was currently in front of her, and his disguised jabs were felt as upfront blows to the ego.  She scowled into her reflection upon the apple, as if she resented him for forcing her to confront her appearance.  Admittedly, she was far from looking her best.  A bit of residual vanity led her to brush her pseudomane back with a holey hoof into some greater degree of presentability.

 

"You know as well as I do how the decks are stacked in that game.  I refuse to play with loaded dice."  She spat, though some vestigal organ of honesty worked overtime in her limbic system, squeezing out the reluctant coda.  "Well, dice loaded against me.  I didn't lead my hive to just have them be... imitation ponies.  We're better than that, no matter what that pretender King Thorax thinks..."  She trailed off into sullen silence, before fixing her expression back into neutrality.  "There was a third option you put forward.  What was it?"

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He grinned and brushed his hoof over the apple, turning it into a prune as she preened herself. As the life was sucked from the juicy, ripe fruit, drying that glorious red skin into a shriveled, purple casing: one could recognize the true visage of the queen. Perhaps the act was a simple change for drama's sake, or it had a deep meaning standing behind it. With Discord one could never be too sure how his actions coincided with his speeches, but the verbal recourse that followed the impactful act would explain it all. He turned around, wings beating a mile a minute as he kept Pace with a naturally hatched Changeling. He tossed the prune into his muzzle, gobbling it all up with those gnashing fangs which seemed better appropriated to the vampiric habits of the species as a whole.

 

He could understand why Thorax's group has no need for them. They were like flowers now. Instead of violently consuming the energy they simply photosynthesized it. Quite charming to consider a garden of flowery rainbow Changeling. He tucked his forehooves against his body and offered the queen a smirk. “Oh Queenie, it isn't a question of playing fairly. It is a matter of playing a game others want to play.” What did he propose?

 

It still seemed it was a course of playing nice with ponies, but he said nothing about following the rules, something of which he was unaccustomed to, as a god. No there were many ways to get such a fly to crawl into his web of her own volition and that was all he needed to do. He has to encourage her to change. Change, one would think Changelings would be used to and yet she has done the same thing over and over, even going as far as directly charging into pony territory.

 

Now he was not given to give evildoers advice but he felt a sense of pity for the abominable queen. She was at the end of her rope, why she even nearly hung from it. There wasn't a moment he could picture the queen being some.sort of her or turning into one of those sorbet colored tarts. He liked her unripe, wrinkly and sour self. She could do with a bit of humility, but that wasn't his job to change her. Oh despite what one thought: it was his job to simply point a pony in the right direction.

 

“Riddle me this Queenie. What does Twilight, Celestia and Luna, as well as Cadence have that you do not?” He landed on the ground and pulled a tattered umbrella from behind a rock. Opening it up overhead as a chunk of debris tumbled down from the ceiling. With a boink it would bounce off and ricochet into one of the soldiers trying to Snoop.

 

'Wagh!’ the sound of him rolling down and taking the tower of Changeling with him who has aided in his climbing to get closer… came falling like a house of cards. The collapsing pile of curious bugs created a massive dust cloud that blew into their meeting space. When it cleared Sqwib, as it was, seated in a throne. Not just and throne: but his. A magnificently large seat of red with antlers seemingly growing out of the sides. He sat back with a crown of flowers rest on his head.

 

“A kingdom darling.” He held out his hooves and in flashes of smoke and light did appear glorious decorations of black and green across the walls. Banners with an obscure, bug-head shaped silhouette indicating the Changeling’s sovereignty. “Instead of hunting your prey make the prey come to you and want to give you…” He smirked. “You're a queen, but by name only. So why not make this place here… your kingdom and make them -- come to you and respect you.” He chuckled as the disguise began the crumble. In all of his drama loving form the spirit fully manifested in his true, predatory glory nothing short of narcissism for the chimera.


In another snap -- everything was gone. “I've always wondered what a Changeling kingdom would be like. If you are better than Thorax, I don't see why you can't run a kingdom and secure yourself… power. After all they have to play by the rules. Sovereign kingdom tend to come with certain -- “ he rubbed his paw digits together. “... expectations of your neighbors.” That was the third option and quite a doozy.

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Oh, Chrysalist knew what the shriveling of that fruit symbolized, alright.  She knew, and what was worse, she knew that Discord had a point.  Didn't mean she had to like it, and if this conversation was with anyone else, especially a goody-four-hooves from one of the love-rich lands to the east... oh, she would have indulged in so much malice.  However, since he at least had some credit in her mind as one who had been a help as well as a hindrance in her past, and was at least not delivering a lecture from the moral high ground, the Queen was willing to humor him for a little while.

 

"Some riddle.  Shall I go down the list of answers?"  Her words dripped with sarcasm.  "Love, resources, dependable subjects, prime real estate-"  She paused as she heard the noise of the snoopers hit by the chunk of ceiling.  "Hey, enough of that!  Haven't my children been through enough?"  Her mood thoroughly soured again, she refused to even look at Discord as he finally manifested his true draconeqquus form.  Her stare was hard, as if her eyes were boring holes in the wall, opening a window into devastation.

 

"A kingdom, ha.  As if that wasn't the plan all along already..."  Bitterness was sweetened with sad recollection as she continued.  "It's not enough; we didn't have enough.  That was the problem.  We needed a stable source of a surplus of love; that's the resource that drove our whole economy.  That's what everything else was meant to secure.  Once we had that, by whatever means, then we could snowball into being a great kingdom.  Or queendom; I would very much prefer that term.  But... I had to hold it together until then.  I promised triumph; if I didn't deliver victory on the field, I would be abandoned."  With a sigh, she returned to the present.  "Well, I didn't, and so I was.  I had plans in place for afterwards.  Enough love to build up a sustainable kingdom, maybe a few tourist spots for the.... adventurous."  Some buried memory caused her to shudder.  "But, I didn't have enough, I tried to get it, and I failed.  Betrayed by my own, abandoned... it's not that I don't want to play, but I have no cards left.  Well, besides the joker, now that you're here."

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He smirked, delighted by her response. Yes riddles were something weren’t they? It was too bad they flew clear over the heads of the ignorant and stubborn. Many of the world’s problems could be solved if others had the foresight to answer his riddles, but perhaps that was the issue in case: the riddles themselves were the questions that ponies, and company, already knew the answers to. It was just that many lacked the introspective to truly decipher the truth to that which they suffered. They would not face it, could not. He was complicated in his manners but watching the rabble struggles they worked though could be endearing, but also embarrassing. It was safe to say he was no sadist, but it did not change the fact he enjoyed being a puppet master. He did admire the insect for her efforts. It wasn't surprising that she had failed in her attempts to build her kingdom.

 

No such principality was built in a day.

 

“When is it ever enough darling?” He settled back against his throne, nibbling upon that prune. It was set daintily between his digits. He pondered her words, ears swiveling into her direction. “And yet you sit here starving yourself. You know ponies aren't the only source of love. You can find love in the strangest places. If it is a surplus you desire you need to visit places where love blossoms. Vacation islands, carnivals… you look for love in all the wrong places Queenie. Quid quo pro.” He offered. “Did you honestly think rushing in, so barbarously would have gained you favor and victory?” It was the true question.

 

Did she think it would work?

 

Honestly?

 

“Oh Queenie I know you're more cunning than that. Why hunt when you can just receive?” He pushed to stand, slithering into the air like a misty wisp, head turning to the Changeling queen as he body followed suit and righted itself. “Always the plan. Always the same target. Always the same. The gain a surplus one must first have it.” He raised up his clenched forepaw and claw. Opening them one would hold a small seed and the other a fresh apple.”Queenie I know you know… It was such a basic concept.”

 

He offered her the answer to her question, the resolution to her problem… the apple in her pie. Of course she knew the answer, did she not? After all naught was truer to the definition of insanity than to resolve to proceed with the same plan over and over until it succeeds. It was like running into a stonewall with one’s body in the hopes you'd crack it's foundation. But why chip away at a wall when one could build a city behind it? Her problem was not that she took action, but the fact that she never took the high road….

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There must be some kind of way out of here, said the Joker to the Thief.

 

Or to be more accurate to this conversation, there is certainly a way out of here, and the Thief already knows it.  Chrysalis had to admit to herself by now that the strategy of aggression had failed.  She had only tried it because passive gathering had not been sufficient to feed her increasing population, as her hegemony expanded over the hives.  But now that she had a core of loyalists only...

 

She stood up, her kingdom in ruins.  But she didn't have to stay here.  None of them did.  After all, it was such a burden to bring love here.  Discord was right; the smarter plan was always to go where the love was.  "You know, I rather think you've got it.  We really do have to work together more, you stimulate me so!"  She winked at him, now that he was at eye level, as her magic levitated the presented apple.  She may still be skinny and half-starved, but the Queen was back, baby!

 

Her old, flirty self had recovered its strut, and strut she did down the steps of her throne.  "You're right, of course.  We need a place, a honey trap, for ponies to come and deposit their love.  Should be easy enough to find such a place, resort, vacation spot, and just... hm, make it our base of operations.  You wouldn't happen to know of any that are vacant?  Or... shortly to be?  I mean, you can drop property value in no time flat; I've seen you work.  Just a little favor to an old friend?  One you can... call in later, haha!"

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A Jester he may be viewed as, but it was the court fool who was able to speak the truths to the whole of the country, and never be taken seriously until it was too late. Oh always listen to the fool, for he knows, better than anypony, the follies of others. She was the thief who stole into the night. Taking leaders, pushing out dignitaries. As such a kingdom becomes wary of such repetitive, insipid deeds over time. They become predictable, stale. But if the thief became the merchant and sold a product everypony wanted then it became profitable. Jack prices, withhold products. Over time the thief becomes unrecognizable from the merchant.

 

She becomes a shadow in the night.

 

Something to be ignored, yet never crossed lest lose that sense of safety.

 

“Now, now don't get too cozy Queeine, I am reformed after all. And besides it would be much easier if you just set up shop elsewhere.” It wouldn't do her any good to impede on his friends again. It made him rather annoyed. “Also never use that word near me again. Work, ugh. Perish the thought.” He dramatically threw his paw against his forehead and leaned back.

 

A smaller hive meant sustainability and loyal soldiers meant she needn't worry about another insurrection any time soon. Perhaps if she screwed up in another few centuries… It was an opportunity. After all the world needed both predator and prey to find balance and an emotion eating bug in a country overflowing with love was a necessary evil, not that Discord thought in such black and white terms. There was always a rather grey shade in which he placed himself. He never really found an overwhelming cause on either side to ever be considered evil or good. He was, at best, a nuisance. He motioned his paw to the queen, offering it to her to hold.

 

“Dear queen what you need is a place that is fun and ponies go this time of year…. The beach. Perhaps if such a young, dedicated queen could she could run a resort all her own, a kingdom of ponies escaping to romantic getaways, ponies together in friendship enjoying themselves.I can tell you that the Mane frequent such places as do many citizens of Equestria. Nothing suits them better than to have fun whenever they can… they love it!” Ooh there was that word!

 

Love!

 

Oh but would she accept such an offer…?

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"A beach resort... brilliant!"  The queen punched the air with one of her holey hooves, only to wince at the crackle of chitin.  Hoo boy, she'd left the conditioning too long.  "Yes... we may not be able to start fancy, but the environment will do half the work for us!  My loyal little children could all approximate the beach beauties appropriate to such a place... hm, I quite fancy myself as an island queen... hopefully without too many flowers."  Bright and pastel colors were still a little bit of an anathema to her, at least as far as personal decor was concerned.

 

"All we need is the right site... I don't know how long we can afford to scout, but I'm sure that you know a nice spot?  A modest start will be fine, I just want to be able to work without undue... interference at this point."  Her tone underscored the seriousness of her situation; given how little love remained to be rationed out among her forces, she was probably not going to get another chance to do... anything.  Failure here would be final.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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Discord knew he was brilliant, he could tell you himself that his intellect far surpassed that of ponies. He would too. He needn't be told that he was... But he couldn't very well lie and say he disliked the praise. Oh his ego was on par, if not more, with a certain insectoid queen. Arrogance was the quintessential model for a god. And though his newer model bordered on the edge of anti-hero these days he continued to revel in placing his collected pieces out on the chessboard and seeing just how he could urge them to move. It was no simple task getting them to cross into their designated positions. For such a rapidly evolving set of creatures they sure had a foul habit of stepping backwards in the face of progress. It was that vile sort of tenacity that had endeared him to them. They were really hard to push around. It made the game more challenging that way he supposed.

 

His lips pulled up in a grin as he looked to his claws, picking his thumb claw over the digits as he proudly picked the black, slashing claws. Leave it to him to be prideful over such minor compliments. It wasn't until the carapaced monarch continued did Discord fully focus on her distant ranting. There she goes all aglow with inspiration. Honestly inspiration didn't come free. Ha she not given her insight on her own self she would have very well remained in the looping paradox! Oh well -- you couldn't win them all he supposed. She did seem completely on board, which was good for him. He could use a good deed on the books and what better than shifting the course of chaos to benefit him?

 

He kept focus on his claws, preening. Only when the queen posed her question did he perked up, head cocking. His ears perked up, the equine cartilage swiveling to focus on the excited monarch of flies. He leaned back on his throne and tittered. Clapping his paw and claw together the seat of power vanished and he would settle in a hovering in a snaking posture with his rump in the air and upper torso at the carapaced maiden’s eye level. His left claw reached out to rest on her shoulder. He carried himself like the king of serpents. A silver tongued prince of madness was he. Metaphors and analogies were a staple whilst mystique and intrigue stood as the backbone of his very existence. The queen wouldn't even be dealing with him if not for the fact he was who he was.

 

He was a true neutral, at least these days. But even in days of yore he never stood behind any one company. His actions had always been for himself. While he was friends with the do goody Mane, he was still as transparent as ever. He took greater care not to cause undue harm with his games so his leading her could be trusted, even if his reasonings were -- obscure. His eyes pinched up in a smile as his head cocked. His claw clutched his right elbow, the fuzzy lion's paw pressing to his bearded chin.

 

“It's a lovely place between Equestria and Chaosville.” Which, frankly, could be anywhere! “It's a little place I visit from time the time. The sands are like glittering candy, the grass colored skies and sky colored seas made of water so clear you'd mistake it for glass.” Honestly it sounded loads better than a decrepit, crumbling hive in the middle of Leota. “How about this… I'll trade you. Location for location. I happen to hold this resort under my … well let's just say it was a fair bit of fun winning it from the owner who has retired.” He manifested a deed which he held out to her. “All I ask in return is for these ruins. Oh the fun I could have.” He held out the paper to Chrysalis. “I'll even do you the favor of packing for you and teleporting your whole hive there.” Not that it would be much trouble given they were so few in number now.

 

Ah but little time did she have to negotiate with the feral spirit. Without the Mane to tether him well … he would have been much less agreeable in having his way. One way or another.

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Chrysalis knew a bargain when she heard it.  These ruins had always been a means to an end; back when the Hive was bustling, they made a proper home for her children.  Now, they were just an oppressing reminder of failure.  No more!  Time for a change of scene, a change of plans, of everything.  "You've got yourself a deal!"  Slitted pupils shone within her green irises.  "Come, my children!  We are off to a new land, of love and desire for the taking!"

 

Holey hoof shook proffered claw to seal the deal, and soon the Queen and all her hive were whisked away.  Soon, entirely coincidentally, rumors of a new resort would begin to filter through to Equestria, and other lands.  A magical, tropical land, where every native was buff, handsome, or beautiful to whatever one's preference was, where indulgence in pleasure and relaxation was practically mandatory, and where a great Island Queen held sway, taking the most loving of ponies into her own private huts to hold great feasts of celebration!

 

All this could be yours, if Discord gave you the offer.  Just ask his satisfied customers...

 

 

~Fin~

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