See Chapter 1 for Disclaimer
There was a flash of light as Marik and Trixie appeared a few feet away from the small cliff they had long ago stood before journeying to the Changeling Hive to rescue their friends, "Ha! Straight to the changeling hive! I told you I could do it", said Marik as he felt proud of himself for his feat of magic.
Trixie, however, gave him a look of indignation. "Well, not exactly straight, Marik. We've been popping all around Equestria, and we still have to walk", she said as she made it clear that they had been hopping back and forth between other locations and when finally reaching their destination, they were still far away from it.
Marik gave her a knowing smirk, "It's like twelve steps away. Before Chryssi's throne was destroyed, the closest magic would've gotten us was all the way over there", he said as he pointed to the cliff behind them, "On a scale of one to ten, how happy do you think Chryssi is gonna be about our surprise visit?".
Trixie gave her usual prideful smile, "Definitely ten. I mean, who wouldn't be happy at the chance to marvel at the overwhelming talent that is the Great and Powerful Trrrrrixie?!", she shouted as fireworks suddenly flew out from under her cape. Though he was rolling his eyes, Marik was secretly laughing internally at his best friend's antics.
"Trixie, we're coming to offer Chryssi encouragement and support. Her letters make it seem like the responsibilities of reshaping her people's way of life are a little overwhelming. She's dealing with the wants and needs of her subjects: redesigning the hive, helping her subjects adjusts to the physical changes they've undergone after learning to share love, and a dread Maulwurf wreaking havoc outside...", Marik said trailing off.
"It does sound like a lot, but are you sure that last thing is real?", asked Trixie. Marik turned towards her, 'What? The dread Maulwurf? Sure it is. Chryssi said it's like half-bear, half-mole, half-raging-pile-of-claws! Now that the changelings don't feed on the love of everything around them, all the plants in this desert have started to grow back, but this Maulwurf keeps eating them all up", he said as he pointed towards the numerous trees and bushes that had grown back as well as the few that had large bite marks in them.
Trixie rolled her eyes as she hadn't entirely believed what he said was true, "'Maulwurf'. Uh-huh. You're just trying to scare me, but it won't work. Because not only am I the Great and Powerful, I am also the Unscareable Trixie!", she said as she struck a confident pose.
Just then there was a flash of light as the rock beside Trixie had suddenly transformed into a changeling that hissed at her, scaring her and forcing her to hide behind Marik; as Trixie cowered in fear, Marik got a good look at this changeling: it was a female, she still had a black colored insect-like body with holes in her legs and a honey yellow chitin, her eyes were neon green with red pupils and her wings, mane and tail were honey yellow as well.
"Please tell me Chryssi also mentioned a terrifying-looking changeling who greets visitors but is actually nice!", Trixie squeaked in terror. Marik suddenly had a sense of fear tingle down his spine, "Uh...no, I don't think she did", he said. The strange changeling then flew towards the duo clutching an enormous burlap bag in her mouth, "Marik, you got us here. I'll take us home. Teleportation spell, go!", Trixie shouted as she attempted to perform a spell to get them out of danger but it was too late as they were stuffed inside of the large bag. "Did I save us?", asked Trixie fearfully. Marik face-palmed at this, "No Trixie, you did not", he said.
The strange changeling began dragging them towards the hive as the two were trying to access the situation, "What are you waiting for?! Use some magic to get us outta here!", Trixie shouted as she began to have a panic attack.
Marik rolled his eyes, "Calm down, "Unscareable Trixie". We have to find out what's going on. Chryssi might need our help", he said. This only made Trixie panic even more, "We need our help! Teleportation spell, go! Teleportation spell, go! Teleportation spell—!"
"Why do you keep doing that? You know that's not how that works, right?", asked Marik.
"I know, but this is my process! Not to mention I'm panicking right now!", said Trixie.
Suddenly they felt gravity pulled them to the ground as they were both dumped onto the ground inside the throne room, with Marik lying on his back and Trixie lying upside-down on his stomach. "I've captured these trespassers!", said the strange changeling.
"Marik! Trixie! It's okay, Pupaellion. You can let them go", said Chryssi. The duo looked up to see the reformed changeling queen, despite having last seen her at their award ceremony, they were both still unused to seeing her luminous white fur or her perfectly straight unicorn horn or her heart shaped gemstone cutiemark.
The strange changeling, now known as Pupaellion, snarled in anger. "But they were lurking on your grounds! If this were my hive, I would've already had my drones captured and strung up inside cocoons!", she said approaching Marik and Trixie menacingly.
Chryssi quickly flew down and pushed her away from them, "Well, that's what you do in your hive, but this is my hive. We don't do anymore", she said as she gestured to her newly redesigned throne room filled with beautiful flowers and her underlings that either walked or flew by, all of them looking more pony-like apart from their pupil-less eyes and insect wings.
It was a truly wonderful sight but Pupaellion scoffed, "My hive is far more dignified than this", she said as she walked away. Chryssi looked at her in sadness and annoyance before looking at Marik and Trixie who stood up, "Uh, what are you two doing here?" she asked. "We came to surprise you...um, surprise", said Marik.
Chryssi smiled, "Well, it's great to see you! I'm sorry about the welcome committee", she said as she gestured to Pupaellion who hissed at a yellow changeling who cowered in fear of her. "Wait a minute, I thought your subjects said they'd remain loyal to you in the wake of your new transformation", said Marik.
"Oh yes indeed, they all are fiercely loyal to me to no end, but she's not one of my subjects...she's my sister", said Chryssi.
"Your sister!?", shouted Marik and Trixie in shock.
"Yes. Meet Pupaellion: Queen of the the Western Badlands Changeling Hive and my older sister", said Chryssi as they watched Pupaellion step on a small bush. "Oh yeah, you two have the same...hair style...?", Marik said sheepishly. That's when Pupaellion suddenly stood up, "What an absurd comparison, we are nothing alike!", she said as she walked over to a nearby wall and kicked a hole into it.
Chryssi cringed and snarled in irritation, "Stop doing that!", she shouted. "If there are no holes, how do you expect to confuse intruders?", said Pupaellion as she kicked in another hole and hissed at another changeling drone who cowered, "Oh for goodness sake's, grow a backbone you spineless coward!"
Pupaellion gave a frustrated sigh before walking away. Chryssi sighed and turned towards Marik and Trixie, "Ugh. Well, how about I show you the rest of the hive where it's less loud and obnoxious?", she said as she led them away to another part of the hive.
They entered a larger room where there were many changelings performing various activities; it was here that Marik was able to truly see the physical effects sharing love had on the rest of the hive: all the changelings looked much more like ponies with their vibrant colorful fur and their luscious manes and tails, the only part of them that was still changeling aside from their ability to change form was their crooked horns, eyes that lacked pupils and insect wings; the female changelings either had butterfly or ladybug wings and the males had dragonfly or bee wings. In essence, these new changelings were a spectacle and quite adorable.
"There have been a lot of changes since you were here last. I'm trying to start incorporating some new activities into our culture since the only thing I ever had my subject do before was hunt and patrol. There's theater, swing dancing, game night, bird watching, gardening, a miniature school for the nymphs, star gazing, parties to celebrate each of my subjects' hatching days, a once-a-week potluck lunch. And who can change shape and organize craft time? Hmm? This girl!", said Chryssi as she changed into a deer to prove her point before changing back.
Needless to say, Marik and Trixie were impressed by how much the hive had change within the span of three months. "I am really impressed, Chryssi. The hive, all the activities-"
Marik was cut off by a changeling that came walking towards them drenched in black paint, "Gah! She did it again! Pupaellion dumped an entire can of black paint on me! She said my fuchsia colored fur wasn't "intimidating to our enemies"! What enemies?!", he shouted in his high-pitched and nasally insect voice.
"I am so sorry. I promise I'll talk to her", said Chryssi. "She's the guest and you're the ruler of this hive, Queen Chrysanthemum, you need to do more than just talk to her", said the drone as he walked away to go wash off the paint for the third time. "Okay seriously, Chryssi. What is up with your sister?", asked Marik.
Chryssi sighed, "Pupaellion is very much still rooted in the old ways of the Changelings, by which I mean capturing "weaker" creatures like Ponies and taking their love from them to feed on. She once visited my hive about fifty moons ago and was quite pleased by the way I had ruled over it and I'm sure you're aware of that being the time when I was still evil, but now that I've seen the error of my ways and changed and she picked now to come visit me again, she's disgusted by how the hive has been altered and says I've strayed away from the traditional ways of the Changelings. I was hoping to explain to her how this new way is better for us and she might consider it, but all she does is just stalk around the hive making everyone miserable. The other changelings are sick of it, and if I can't get her to accept love and friendship and change like the rest of us, everything I've done here is at risk", she said.
Marik then gain a knowing expression on his face, "Oh boy, I know that face. You're gonna help out, aren't you. Well, you're a hero, can't really put it pass you", said Trixie. Marik gave her a smirk before looking back at Chryssi, "We know a thing or two about what it's like to be outsiders. Maybe we could talk to her for you", he said.
"Do you really think you can help?", asked Chryssi. "Chryssi, if there's anypony who can help your sister, it's me. And with Marik helping, it might take slightly longer, but I guarantee you we can do it", said Trixie. Marik once again face-palmed at Trixie letting her ego get the better of her and making her sound so arrogant.
Two changelings flew over towards Chryssi each holding a pile of leaves, "Your Majesty, we're ready to start work on the trail of plants to lead the Maulwurf away", said one of them. "Oh, I have to head outside. You sure you're okay handling Pupaellion?", said Chryssi as she walked off. "Don't worry, we've got this", said Trixie.
"Ouch! Filthy plants!"
Marik and Trixie turned around and saw Pupaellion clutching her shoulder before beginning to tear down the white vines hanging from the wall next to her, "So, how do you wanna play this? I'm thinking "good pony/bad pony". You yell and blast her with magic while my natural charisma will convince her that— uh, Marik?", said Trixie as she noticed that Marik had ignored her and walked over to Pupaellion.
"Hey, Pupaellion. I know when we first met, it didn't go so well", said Marik. "I forcefully put you both in a bag against your will. I thought it went swimmingly", she said as she continued to take the vines down one by one. Marik soon felt uncomfortable, "Right. So... not a big fan of the vines, huh?", he said.
"They're a safety hazard. An enemy could hide in them or use them as weapons or worse a nymph could injure themselves if they try to play with it, one of the vines' thorns just grazed my shoulder just now. I don't even know why they're here", said Pupaellion.
"Because they're pretty", said Marik as he touched one of the vines. Pupaellion scoffed, "That is not something a changeling should be concern with", she said. "Oh, totally. We get you. But...maybe don't express how you feel by destroying them?", said Marik.
"I don't take advice from ponies or strange bipedal creatures. The only thing I take from you is a quick meal. At least, at my hive I would've", said Pupaellion as she walked away. Trixie ran ahead and stopped in front of her, "You know, you're just like me and Marik", she said.
Pupaellion then laughed, "Oh wait...you're serious, let me laugh even harder. Hahahahahahaha!"
Trixie rolled her eyes, "It's true. Do you know who Twilight Sparkle is?", she asked. When Pupaellion nodded her head, Trixie continued to speak. "Well, she's the most well-liked, studious, do-goodiest pony in Equestria", she said.
Pupaellion recoiled in disgust, "Ugh she sounds absolutely revolting!", she said. "Oh, you'd hate her. I used to. She made me unsure about my place in the world, which led me to act out against her", said Trixie.
"And I used to be an evil sorcerer who used dark magic to manipulate a group of other humans into helping destroy my enemy and rob him of his mystic power", said Marik. Pupaellion looked at them both with a look of awe, "Really? Hmm. Perhaps you two do understand me", she said with a pleasant smile.
Marik smiled back, "Yes! We do! But now, Trixie has come to terms with being second-best, and not only do I no longer control people against their will, but I'm also a well respected hero of Equestria. And our lives are so much better for it", he said.
Pupaellion's smile dropped and she looked at them in anger and disgust, "My goodness, so both of you are pathetic weaklings. Stay away from me or I'll string you up and drain you until you're a shriveled up prune of a corpse!", she said before flying off.
Marik and Trixie were both frightened by her outburst, that's when Chryssi walked towards them. "Well, "Operation: Lead Maulwurf Away" is coming along. How'd it go with Pupaellion?", she asked. Trixie stayed quiet as Marik spoke, "Your sister is...difficult to say the least", he said.
Chryssi sighed, "Oh, that bad, huh? You wanna talk it out? You can come with me to the Sharing Circle", she said. "The share-what-now?", asked Trixie. "Oh, it's a place for changelings to express their feelings so we all gain a better understanding of each other. It's really helped bring the hive closer together, and its helped me to grow closer to my subjects and get to know them on a personal level as before the only thing I knew about them was their names", said Chryssi.
Later, the trio found themselves in another room where a few more changelings were sitting in a circle while another changeling wearing an orange headband with a white flower, a brown neckband and a purple robe sat listening to one of them explaining their problem.
"Sometimes I feel like I'm a blue changeling. Sometimes I feel like I'm a purple changeling. But here I am, a green one", she said. "You can be anything you want to be. Be blue one day and purple the next. Be both on the same day!", said the group leader. "But then I feel like I'd be living a lie", said the green changeling.
The group leader then walked up to her, "It's very brave of you to share something so personal. Does anyone else have similar concerns?", she said.
"I used to, but craft time has given me such a creative outlet, I feel great now!", said a yellow changeling.
"Uh-huh. Everyone loves craft time", said a pink changeling as the others agreed.
"Well, everyone except for... you-know-who", said the yellow changeling.
"Yeah. You-know-who spends all her craft time making spears and other weapons", said the pink changeling.
"She's scary and intimidating. You-know-who makes me uncomfortable", said the yellow changeling.
"She makes us all uncomfortable", said the green changeling.
"Everyone, please! I understand Pupaellion can be challenging at times", said Chryssi.
"That's a gross understatement. She lined a hallway with thorns to 'scare off intruders'!", said the yellow changeling.
"She tried teaching the little changelings to growl and hiss! Half of them copied her unruly behavior while the rest were scared and began crying", said the pink changeling.
"My soup's too hot!", said a blue changeling that randomly decided to speak up. He then awkwardly looked at everyone in the room. "What? I thought the Sharing Circle was for talking about our problems", he said.
That's when Pupaellion walked into the room, "It sounds like your ridiculous "sharing circle" is for talking about me behind my back!", she said. "The feelings forum is for talking about anything that's bothering you. Is there something you'd like to share, Queen Pupaellion?", asked the group leader.
Pupaellion walked towards the middle of the room, "Actually, there is. This hive of changelings used to be a fearsome swarm! Now you've all become such sniveling cowards that sit around talking about our feelings so much, you can't even stop a Maulwurf from eating all your "precious plants"! If this were my hive, I would've had my drones send that thing packing ages ago, but I guess since this isn't my hive, you're just gonna try to lead it away and hope that keeps you safe!
"What happened to you, Chrysalis? The last time I visited this hive, you were a fearsome and voracious queen and I couldn't have been prouder, but now you're acting a lot like you did when you were a nymph: feeble, weak minded and docile. And I can only assume it's Pony Influence that made you this way, and that's even more upsetting; Mother had always thought that out of the two of us, you'd be the one to become a true Changeling Queen and strike fear into your enemies while providing for your subjects.
"Now I'm ashamed to call you my sister, for you have brought disgrace upon our family and our species; Mother was wrong to put so much expectations on you, if you were not my little sister I would've done you in years ago just to prevent this travesty from happening", she said.
Everyone then looked at Chryssi as tears began to fall from her eyes, she stood up and immediately ran out of the room; they all looked back at Pupaellion, who stood there with a concerned and saddened expression before leaving the room as well; Marik and Trixie looked at each other as neither of them knew how to access the situation.
A few hours later, while she went wandering around the hive, Trixie found Pupaellion sitting on a balcony looking out her the badlands; catiously, she went to go sit next to her, with Pupaellion only acknowledging her presence with a mere grunt. Then an awkward silence fell over the two.
"I didn't mean what I said".
Trixie looked up as she heard Pupaellion speak, "What did you say?", she asked. "All those hurtful thing I said to my sister...I didn't mean it. True I have felt that she's gone soft, I don't think of her as a disgrace to our family or that I'm ashamed to call her my sister. You don't know it, but long before you even knew her, my sister acted the exact same way she does now", she said.
A tall female changeling with red eyes, red chitin and a red mane and tail sat on a throne as one of her drones flew towards her, "Queen Cocoona, the princesses are here to see as you requested", he said. The queen smiled, "Ah yes, good work soldier. Send them in", she said. After bowing, the drone flew towards the door and instructed the changeling princesses to enter: it was Pupaellion and Chrysalis as young nymphs, with Chrysalis being much smaller than her older sister.
"Ah, my dear daughters", said Queen Cocoona.
"You wished to see us, Mother?", asked Pupaellion.
"But of course, my darlings. As you both know, one day you shall both become queens of your own hives and it will be your royal duty to rule over and provide for your subjects, but I wish to see if you are ready for such a task. Tell me: how will you rule over your subjects? Chrysalis?", said the queen.
Chrysalis looked at the ground nervously, "Um...I'm not sure, to tell you the truth...I don't I'm ready to a queen yet, Mother", she said fearfully. Cocoona gave a sympathetic sigh, "It is alright, my dear, not every changeling princess is sure of herself or her abilities as a future queen. However, you'll need to work on that self confidence. Now then, Pupaellion, how will you rule over your subjects?", she asked.
Pupaellion struck a confident pose, "My subjects will be treated with respect, mercy and loyalty", she said. "And what of other nations, like Equestria for example?", asked Cocoona. "Ooh, I'll infiltrate their government, lure them into a false sense of security and the drain the love from their hearts until they're nothing but lifeless husks!", Pupaellion with almost zealous conviction.
Cocoon laughed openly, "That's my daughter, that is how a queen shall rule. Now, both of you run along and work on your transformations, you are dismissed", she said.
The next day as Pupaellion was training, Chrysalis was playing with a chameleon she had brought into the hive to play with; she had taken a liking to it because it was cute and like her, it could change too, the difference was the chameleon only changed its skin color to match its emotions.
As she played with her little pet, three older nymphs from the same brood she and her sister were born from came up to her, "Look at the little grub playing with her pet lizard, what a baby!", said the tallest one. Chrysalis cowered in fear as she hugged her beloved pet, "G-g-go away! I-I-I'm the princess...y-y-you can't t-t-talk to me that way", she stuttered. The others nymphs laughed as they slowly approached her with menacing expressions.
"Stay away from my sister!" The nymphs all turned around to see Pupaellion standing behind them with a look of anger, "Uh...we were just complimenting her little pet lizard", the tall one said nervously. Pupaellion growled at them fiercely, "Learn your place, drones! We may have come from the same brood, but my sister and I are the Royal Changelings and you will respect that no matter how feeble she seems to you. And if you have a problem, you answer to our Mother or to me!", she capped her sentence off by transforming into a hydra and scaring them away. Chrysalis smiled as she walked towards her older sister, but before she could hug her, Pupaellion stuck out her left front hoof and tripped her, causing Chrysalis to fall flat on her face and scrape her snout.
"Ow, why did you do Pupae?", she asked as she grasped her bruised snout. Pupaellion looked at her with a sympathetic yet stern expression, "Because they're right about it one thing: you are weak and feeble and that needs to be nipped in the flank. Chrysalis, one day Mother will no longer be here and we will have to rule over our own hives, and you need to learn to stand up for yourself; if Mother's subjects speak to you in such a way, imagine what your subjects would do, and if that happens, the creatures you'll have to take love from won't take you seriously as a threat", she said.
Chrysalis looked at her nervously, "But...but I don't want to be a threat. Why can't we just be nice and politely ask the Ponies for their love?", she asked. Pupaellion sighed, "Chrysalis, look at us! The Ponies find us terrifying, they think we're monsters and when you think about what we have to do to survive, maybe they're right. But what they think doesn't matter, as a queen, you have to disregard what your prey think and think only of the needs of the hive. When you become queen, you'll have to find food for yourself, your current subjects and all the unborn nymphs you'll eventually have to give birth to; if you let this weak-minded idea of "asking nicely for love" rule your judgement, the Ponies will not see you as a threat worth surrendering to and take advantage of that weakness, and as a result, you and your hive will starve to death", she said.
After hearing this, Chrysalis began crying at the idea that she'd make a terrible queen that would bring about the death of her subjects; Pupaellion sighed sadly and hugged her, wiping her tears away. "Oh Chryssi, I'm only saying this because I don't want you to get hurt. You're my little sister, I know that deep down inside you is a fearsome and powerful queen and one day that will come true, but I won't always be around to protect you so I just want to make sure you can protect yourself. But don't think I don't care about you, that is the reason why I'm so tough on you, remember that?", she said as she hugged Chrysalis.
~~End of Flashback~~
Trixie sat there surprised after hearing what Pupaellion had to say. "Chrysalis doesn't know this because she was out on her first hunt, but on the day our mother finally passed, before she did she made me promise her that I would look out for Chrysalis and keep her safe. I swore that I would help my little sister become the queen Mother always wanted her to be; she was never concerned about my abilities as a queen because I was always so fearsome and voracious even as a newborn larva, Mother knew I'd make an excellent queen but she was scared that Chrysalis wouldn't be so capable, and that's why I swore to keep her safe and mold her into the queen she was meant to be. I've looked around this hive and I've seen how cowardly her subjects behave, but they do seem happy.
"My subjects have often complained that there was never enough love to feed on, because our strange internal biology, changelings can never get enough love and we need to constantly feed upon it in order to survive. I've seen my sister's subjects and how happy them seem with this new lifestyle of sharing love, and Chrysalis had explained that because of it they no longer need to feed on love. She wants me to adapt to this new way of life too, but I don't think I can. Sometimes I wish Mother was here to give me some advice", she said.
Trixie gave her a sympathetic expression as she reached into the collar of her cape and pulled something out: it was a necklace. It had a golden length of chain and attached to the end was a heart-shaped locket with a shard of blue topaz on the front. "Look at this", she said showing the locket to Pupaellion. She opened it to reveal that it had a watch on one side and the inside cover contained a photo of Trixie as a filly being held by a unicorn mare with a bluish white coat, a white and light blue mane and tail, and a cutiemark of a blue star with sparkling light blue wings on either sides of the star. "This is a picture of me when I was a filly and the mare next to me was my mother, Comet Magic Lulamoon, she gave me this locket as a birthday present", said Trixie.
"For a pony, she's very beautiful and so is the locket", said Pupaellion.
"I lost my mother when a fire destroyed our home, this locket is all I have left of her. She was a great magician and had hoped one day I'd follow in her hoof-steps and become a great magician as well; she was the one who gave me my love of performing magic shows. But over time, I let my ego get the better of me and I've done some pretty bad things, things I'm not proud of. I sometimes wonder if my mother, from wherever she is now, can see me and if happy or upset at the pony I've become", said Trixie.
"Didn't you say you've made up from what you had done in the past?", asked Pupaellion.
"Then I'm sure she is proud of you, I can only hope my mother is proud of me", said Pupaellion. She gave Trixie a warm smile which she returned.
Meanwhile, Marik went looking for Chryssi after her outburst; he eventually gave up looking around the hive and went looking for her outside in the desert. That's when he heard a loud roaring sound and grunting, he flew over a small cliff and saw Chryssi fighting a giant mole creature with dark purple fur, a light purple underbelly, bright orange-yellow, a light blue nose with ten long feelers at the end of it, huge faded yellow buck-teeth and long faded yellow claws. Marik gasped, "Holy Baset! I have to go get help quickly", he said as he flew back to the hive as fast as he could.
Back in the hive, Pupaellion and Trixie were in the hive nursery where the nymphs and eggs were kept; Pupaellion held a purple nymph while Trixie held a yellow one, and they were gently rocking them back and forth. "See, if there's a crying nymph, this is how you calm them down", said Trixie. She was showing Pupaellion that being gentle and patient with the nymphs when they were upset or crying was better than just hissing and getting impatient with. Just then, Marik flew into the hive surprising everyone.
"I need help, Chryssi is out there in the desert fighting the dread Maulwurf by herself!", he said. Pupaellion put down the nymphs and followed Marik and Trixie outside the hive, she noticed that her sister's subjects hadn't followed them but she expected that because she knew her sister's subjects didn't like her. When they came back to where Chryssi was, they arrived just in time to see the Maulwurf smack her with its giant paw, slamming her into the ground and rendering her unconscious.
Pupaellion gasped in horror as she saw her little sister pass out but then her face contorted into an expression of pure rage when she saw the Maulwurf slowing approach Chryssi with its jaws opened wide, "GET AWAY FROM HER, YOU FILTHY OVERGROWN SHREW!", Pupaellion screamed as she transformed into a hydra and body slammed the Maulwurf to the ground. It then got up and smacked her into the ground; Marik and Trixie tried to help by either blasting it with magic or flinging huge rocks into it but the attacks barely fazed it. "Why isn't this working?", asked Trixie. Pupaellion got up and shook off her four hydra heads, "I'm sorry, I may have forgotten to mention that maulwurfs have really thick hides!", she shouted.
The Maulwurf was about to bring its paw down on top of Trixie, but Marik swooped down and grabbed her. "Um, Pupaellion...not for nothing, but I thought you'd be able to take this thing down", he said. Pupaellion smacked the Maulwurf in the face with her tail and said, "Technically, I said "I would've had my drones send that thing packing". In other words, if my swarm was here then I could take it down, but I can't do it alone", she said.
"Good thing you're not alone!"
The trio looked up and saw not only Chryssi's subjects, but a swarm of changelings that still looked black and insect-like flying above them; they gave a war cry as they swarmed the Maulwurf, some of them changing into other creatures like manticores and chimeras. Some bit into the Maulwurf's eyes, blinding it while the others took the opportunity to trip it and attack it; after awhile, the Maulwurf cried out in intense pain from being bitten and scratched furiously by both changeling swarms, it shrieked as it dug into the ground having given up fighting and escaped.
After the battle, Marik bent down and used his magic to heal Chryssi's wounds while brushing off the sudden wave of nausea he felt after doing so; she slowly opened her eyes and sat up as her subjects cheered. Pupaellion ran up to Chryssi and hugged her tightly, "Chrysanthemum! Thank the Goddess above, you're safe! What in Tartarus were you-"
"You...called me by my new name...?"
Pupaellion was taken aback by this statement but her saddened expression didn't change, "Of course I did, I...look, I'm sorry about those things I said to you. I don't think you're a disgrace to our family nor am I ashamed to call you my sister, I was just worried that you had gone back to being the feeble and soft-minded mare you were when we were nymphs, but after seeing how happy your subjects are and finding you out here fighting that Maulwurf with them, I've learned that you truly are the queen Mother always knew you'd become. I'm sure she's proud of you and I am too", she said. Chryssi teared up as she smiled and hugged her sister back, "Oh Pupae, thank you. And I'm sorry if I scared you but I thought if I fought off the Maulwurf and got rid of it, I'd be able to prove you wrong about me being weak or soft. I may be a much gentler queen and the Ponies are no longer my enemies, but that doesn't mean I have disregarded the safety and well-being of my subjects. I have friends now, but my subjects come first and foremost always", she said.
Pupaellion smiled as she turned towards an original changeling wearing dark yellow battle armor, "General Hornet, how and why are you and the rest of the swarm doing here?", she asked. "We received a distress signal from Chrysa-I mean Chrysanthemum's head of patrol, Pharynx", said Hornet. Pharynx, who had become dark purple with a red mane and tail and dragonfly wings, approached them. "Its true: at first we didn't want to help you because of how much of jerk you've been acting towards during your visit, after realizing that our queen was in danger and overhearing how much you really care for her, we decided to help you. And we forgive you for your attitude, its clear now that you were just being overprotective", he said.
Pupaellion smiled before she sighed and turned towards Chryssi, "Little sister, I'm ready now", she said. Chryssi became confused, "Ready? What do you mean? Ready for what?", she asked. "I want you to show me how to share love, so that I can teach my subjects this new way of life that makes you so happy. I want to experience this same happiness you feel", said Pupaellion. Chryssi smiled as she hugged her sister, "There's not much to it: I willing give you my love and you take it", she said. She hugged Pupaellion tightly as she felt her love leave her body and enter her sister's; Pupaellion suddenly felt a strong sense of warmth inside her heart and a satisfying fullness in her stomach, when she felt she finally had enough, she stopped.
Suddenly, Pupaellion was surrounded by a bright light and was lifted off the ground; when she was lowered back to the ground, she had indeed changed: she was now a Pegasus mare much taller than Chryssi, her body was still black but was covered in fur instead of an insect-like exoskeleton with a large tuft of fur around her neck like a scarf, and a cutiemark of a red gem-like heart-shaped lock. Her mane and tail were still honey yellow but a lot less cobwebby than before.
"She did it! She transformed!", said Trixie. Marik smiled as he approached her, "I always knew you had it in you!", he said. This line confused Pupaellion, "Really? I thought after the way I acted towards you and Trixie, you'd be angry and wouldn't want to be friends with me", she said. Marik chuckled as he placed a hand upon her shoulder, "Well true you're weren't the nicest creature in the room, but I've learned a long time ago that all anyone needs is to be given a chance and they'll prove that they can be good. Its like they say: if you look for the good in people, you're sure to find it", he said.
Everyone laughed, "Well, its getting dark. What's say we head back to the hive for dinner?", said Chryssi. Everyone agreed as they went back to the hive, with Marik and Trixie joining them; the meal consisted of various fruits, vegeatables, breads and pasta, and meat. Everyone sat and ate, enjoying the food and the company of friends; for once in her life, Pupaellion understood that there was two things more important than being strong and fearsome: Friends and Family. "Hey. Do you guys want to hear the story about how I tried to help Chryssi toughen up?", she asked. There were murmurs of agreement all around the table from her subjects to her sister's subjects, even Marik, Trixie and Chryssi herself wanted to hear the story. Pupaellion smiled as she began to tell the tale, "Well, when we were young, our mother had great expectations for the both of us. She always knew we'd both become great changeling queens, but Chryssi was a little weak. So I had to protect her..."
Author's Note: That's it for Chapter 24, and I'm so glad I'm finally able to continue this story. I stopped for awhile because I had writer's block and that's why I began writing "Madness and Chaos", I thought I needed to take a break from this story and work on something new. Now that I'm out of the funk and have several ideas for new fanfics that I plan to write after I finish "The Millennium Element" and "Madness and Chaos", I just needed a break to get my creative juices flowing again; much like my new Youtube channel, I can't guarantee that I'll update frequently, but I will continue making more chapters and updating whenever I can. Next time, Marik is asked to babysit Flurry Heart on the exact same day he planned to have a Father/Daughter day with Scootaloo. What'll happen when Marik pays more attention to the baby Alicorn than to the Pegasus filly he adopted? Find out next time in Chapter 25; until next time, this is SuperKirbyLand234 signing out!