by Hiver

Chapter 2

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Chapter 2

I found Skitter in one of the smaller libraries, she had two drones with her, fetching books for her when she needed it.

“Your Highness,” I said with a slight bow as I approached her table.

“Sir,” she said and looked up from her book, “Good morning.”

“Afternoon for most people, but sure,” I agreed, “Busy?”

“Studying,” she said and sighed, “…did you know how many laws Equestria have?”

Nodding I sat down with her, “Oh yeah. I run into quite a few of them getting my books published. But that would still be only a small part of it.”

“It’s so much simpler for Changelings,” she sighed with a frown at the book.

“What the Queen says is the law, is the law?”

She nodded, “Something like that, yes, sir.”

“Simpler if nothing else,” I agreed, “So, studies going on?”

Skitter sighed softly, “You have talked to Princess Celestia, haven’t you, Sir?”

“How could you tell?”

“You both taste concerned,” Skitter admitted and looked at me, “It’s… nothing bad for ponies.”

Yeah, not buying it.

“Perhaps not, but it seems bad for you,” I said, “Come on, Skitter. You know you can tell me anything. It might help to have someone to talk to about it.”

She looked torn for a long moment, looking away, her wings slowly fanning the air before she nodded, “…It’s Chrysalis.”

“Princess!” one of the drones exclaimed, “It’s not…”

She silenced him with a look and he shrunk down, bowing down slightly.

Skitter then turned to me, “It’s not something that should be mentioned outside the Hive,” she said quietly, “It exposes weakness to our enemies, especially other Hives.”

“Chrysalis mentioned other Hives before. How many?”

“We’re not sure, when Hives meet it’s usually end up in combat. We haven’t seen any in Equestria,” she said and then shook her head, “It don’t matter. But if any of them got word, they would find us and attack. So it’s not to be spoken of to anyone outside the Hive.”

Lighting up my horn, I cast a globe of silence around us, “Nobody can hear us now.”

Skitter forced a small smile and nodded before she sighed, “…Soon there will be a two-month period where we will be without a Queen. If another Queen moved in before I could go into a Cocoon she would be able to take over the Hive, absorbing it into her own.”

I blinked at her, “What? What about Chrysalis?”

Skitter shook her head, “Mother has stopped eating.”

“What!? Why!?”

“Once a Changeling notices it’s a burden upon the good of the hive, it’s meant to remove itself from it for the betterment of the rest of the Changelings,” Skitter explained, “That include Queens that get too old or weak to be able to support or guide the Hive.”

I shook my head, “But Chrysalis wasn’t weak last time I saw her. She didn’t even look old.”

“…She’s neither,” Skitter said quietly, “But she has decided that it would be politically advantageous for the Hive if I took over as Queen. That can not happen while she is alive so she stopped eating two weeks ago.”

I just stared at her for a second, “…Are you serious?” before I shook my head, “Forget that, I know you are. What is she thinking!?”

“…I tried to talk her out of it. I’m not ready!” Skitter exclaimed and surged onto her hooves, “I can’t!”

What the hell was Chrysalis thinking!

Skitter sank back down, her head on her forelegs on the table, “I... I’m…”

I moved around the table and sat down next to her, putting my wing around her, “You’re worried and afraid for her. You don’t want her dead.”

“But it… it would be for the best for the Hive! I hate her!”

I shook my head and held her closer as she leaned against me, “She may be a horrible manipulative bitch that’s outright evil,” I told her softly, “But she’s also your mother and Queen. Of course you’re worried and afraid and don’t actually want her to get hurt.”

How fucking dared Chrysalis do this!? How dared she put all of this on Skitter like this!?

That’s it.

That’s fucking it.

Skitter nodded and leaned against me for a moment before she looked at me. Yep, she could tell my mood perfectly well.

“I’ll go talk to her,” I said and got up, pulling me wing back, “Maybe I can talk her into changing her mind.”

Skitter shook her head, “…I tried that, sir.”

“I just feel like I have to try,” I said and walked out of the bubble of silence only to find Amber and the other two changeling drones blocking my path.

“…Can’t let you go to the Hive, sir,” Amber said, “The Queen has banned ponies from entering.”

I shook my head, “Amber, you know this is stupid, I have nothing but the best intentions of the Hive in mind. Move.”

“The Queen…”

“Do you still want to have a Queen next week? Move or I move you.”

Amber almost seemed to be in physical pain for several long moments before she looked away and lowered her wings but without moving.

I brushed past her on the way, giving her a quick nuzzle and some Love as I did.

Next Chapter: Chapter 3 Estimated time remaining: 2 Hours, 33 Minutes
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