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Description: Hey, new fanfic I started. This one is based on a Changeling named Shadow. Also, I'm open for suggestions on a name other than Blueberry Blossom.

Chapter 1

I had been in this form for a long time... so long, I almost forgot what I actually looked like. My name is Blueberry Blossom... or Shadow, if you want to go by my old name. I have to tell you a story... I've written it down, because I don't know how much longer I may survive.

I was sent by Queen Chrysalis to spy on the ponies of Canterlot. She said it would be easy—I believed her. And it was, at first. We'd pose as somepony's lover, arrange meetings, and then feed off their love for a little while. We had to do this frequently, in order to constantly feed and avoid suspicion. So there was a lot of changing going on.

Eventually, Chrysalis developed a more permanent solution. I stalked somepony for awhile, learned their mannerisms... then ambushed them sucked out their life force when the opportunity presented itself.

There were a few of us assigned to this task. Chrysalis always took care of the bodies. Then, we'd each pose as the pony we'd gotten rid of, stealing their life—and their love. Some of them even had kids... which just provided more ponies to feed on.

So we continued on, feeding off the ponies of Canterlot while Chrysalis hatched her plan. I was her second in command, her most trusted Changeling. Funny how I'm the one that let her down the most.

We were all just supposed to follow orders. Mimic the lover for a time while feeding off the love from their family. We were all fine with it. We all trusted Chrysalis. We were loyal followers... it was just orders.

But still... I felt incomplete. I was working for the good of the swarm, for the future of our race. I had somepony who loved me, I had 'friends', I had... everything I should have wanted. I should have been happy. Right?

Ever since I was born, I had followed orders. That was just the way life was. Always pushing forward for the betterment of all Changelings. I didn't mind following orders, always being told and knowing what to do. That is, until I found out there was more to life.

I could make decisions here. Chrysalis wasn't always around to tell me right from wrong, what to do and what not to do, and how to go about things. For once, I had control over my own life. At first, that frightened me. I had discovered individuality.

I wasn't just some mindless creature that Chrysalis had made me to believe. I had a personality, my own likes and dislikes. And most of all... I had feelings.

We weren't supposed to fall in love. That was never the plan. Just pretend, that was all. Deceive.

I felt guilty. I felt guilty for deceiving him. I felt guilty for making him love me. I felt guilty for loving him. If I revealed my true self, it would be a betrayal to my entire family. But if I didn't, I would have to leave him in the dark, wondering where his special somepony went and what he did wrong.

I guess I had never felt love before. It was just an emotion that we Changelings had to feed on. A life force provided by a lesser species. But maybe Changelings just fed on ponies... because they were jealous. After all, we shapeshifted into them, stole their lives... and then slowly destroyed them in the name of our existence. Or maybe... that was just me.

But he really did love me—even if it wasn't the real me. I felt special, giddy. There was a whole wave of overwhelming emotions that I didn't understand. Even though I was personally tough, he treated me gently, with respect and care. For the first time, I felt bad for taking somepony's place.

Before, we'd just do a hit and run. Arrange a date, meet with them, pretend to be their love, feed, and then go on our way. But Chrysalis' plan involved a long term relationship. That was something I was not prepared for.

My life became so entwined with hers that I nearly forgot who I was. The lie that I was living consumed me, just as I was slowing consuming him. I guess that's why I tricked myself into thinking that he could love the real me. He already loved me for everything on the inside. The outside shouldn't matter, right?

I revealed myself to him one night, and explained as gently as I could that his former mate was gone. But the look of terror on his face was enough to say that he would never accept me for who I was. He screamed at me to get out, throwing any object within reach at me to hurry my pace.

I walked the streets alone that night, in my normal—well, my pony form. When I returned the next day, he had offed himself.

I ran away. I went to Chrysalis for comfort. She was our queen, and I had always been her second in command and most trusted Changeling. I didn't go to her because I had failed. I was—I was heartbroken. It's a thing that few Changelings ever experience.

I'd heard of heartbreak before. It was something that happened to weak Changelings. They became too attached to their host. Once something happened to their “mate”, they generally went insane.

I never thought it would happen to me.

I had let myself be blind to the truth. We disguised ourselves because nopony could love us in our natural form. I had thought my case was different... as others had in the past. It was a flaw in our design. Some of us were just destined to fall for the one who loved us—or rather, who we tricked ourselves into believing we were.

But, just as I had, Chrysalis saw my actions as weak. I was damaged, flawed... she could no longer trust me.

However, she was not without mercy. I was simply placed into the rank of pawn, one of the hundreds of Changelings who were ready to be her army and do her bidding.

I ran away. I journeyed back to Canterlot, unsure of where to go or who to turn to. I had no home, no job, no friends. The life I had had before was all a ruse, and if I showed my face—her face—again, I would have a lot of explaining to do. It wasn't worth it to go back to my old life. There was nothing. I had nothing. I was nothing.

I went back to my old ways, feeding here and there at random. I longed to have a relationship like before. To have somepony, just one pony, love me all the time—for who I was.

I tried unsuccessfully to convince myself that he had never loved me for me. It had always been her. But still... I wanted what I had when I was her—but as me. I wanted to love and be loved, without doing so just to feed.

Eventually, Chrysalis carried out her plan and overtook Canterlot. I was worried for myself when the initial shield went up, but I had already been in hiding for weeks. When the rest of the swarm finally attacked, I hid. I didn't know how long I could keep it up. I supposed that I would have to integrate back into the swarm, pretending to be one of the mindless. But I was afraid of her finding me.

I had run away, and I knew that Chrysalis knew. She was just too busy with her current plan to pay mind to my whereabouts. If she found me... I would likely be destroyed as a traitor. I no longer worked for the good of the swarm, but for the good of myself. We were always supposed to work together, for the good of our species. But I was different. I had become an individual, one not part of the master plan. I was a liability.

However, all too soon they were defeated, and banished from Equestria. Though I had still been in my shifted form, I was blown away with them. Chrysalis found me among the ranks, and I barely escaped with my life.

Weakened and unable to change form, I journeyed back to nearby Equestria. I hoped against hope that I could find somepony to feed on, to get my strength back and heal myself. I tried pretending to be ordinary. I tried being fierce. The result from my sight was the same: screaming and running. Though I had ill intentions, all I could do was cause chaos.

I was near death when they showed up.

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That was awesome.

I have seen at least a hundred fan fictions in the past year (not all from here, of course), and I can honestly say that this one is now what I am looking forward to most.

You managed to keep me pinned to my chair with a new and very exciting story, and I look forward to see where this ends up.

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Wow.

I've read several fanfics lately on FiM Fiction about changelings, but most are about Chrysalis.

You have taken the point of view of a regular Changeling and really gave it a voice.

I was also getting that this fic reminded me of Avatar with a protagonist being in one world but caring for the other when being forbidden to do so.

However, while this alone could be an awesome story, this is just the beginning. i can guess who the "they" are, but I want to see how "they" find out everything.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Chapter 2

“I didn't believe it when they told me there was a Changeling here.”

By the Queen... It was Princess Celestia herself. I looked up into her grim eyes, knowing how helpless I must have looked. Not that she would care. After what the others did, there would be no way she'd allow me to live.

So how would it go down? Would she end it right here, with the trampling of her hooves or a stab of her horn? Or would I be tortured to death, perhaps just left to rot in a prison cell?

Still, I began to back aware in fear. Her guards were at the ready, quickly blocking my escape. They were so quick that I didn't even notice until I had bumped into them.

“Watch it, they're treacherous.” she warned the guards, urging them to keep their distance from me. If I had had the strength, I would have laughed. Without Chrysalis, any one of us was nothing. It was odd to think that one as large as her would be afraid of something as small as I.

I was corralled into a cage, those guards with horns jabbing at me to push me backwards. Not that it mattered, I was going without a fight. Celestia stood just behind them, ready for any trickery. But I went quietly, not even bothering to say a word in my defense or try to argue my innocence. We all looked alike. I was no different than one of my brethren.

Once I was secured, Celestia place the cage upon a cart, which four guards were attached to at the front. Everypony on the street jeered at me as we went by. Some even threw things. I remember some soft foodstuffs hitting me. I just sat there and took it. It was all that I deserved.

Then some pony threw a brick. It clanged on the bars, barely making it, but still had enough momentum to smack me hard in the face. I stumbled to the opposite side, falling against the bars. I slid down to the floor, squeezing my eyes shut in preparation of a further barrage. I didn't even try to wipe the blood off my cheek, and the first drop made a light plip against the metal flooring.

“That's enough!”

The voice rang out above the crowd, silencing everypony. She turned and looked back at me, but I could only meet her eyes with a fleeting glance. She had shown me a kindness. One so beautiful and noble as her, one who did not owe me anything, one who saw me as her enemy. She had made them cease their torment.

Why?

The procession started again, but this time, nopony made a move. They all just stared at me. Their eyes were filled with hatred for me and my kind. I couldn't blame them. My kind had threatened their way of life, and indeed, their very existence. I had been apart of that plan—and I deserved whatever fate awaited me.

They had to stop for the night to make camp, and all the guards sat around a fire and had dinner. Before it got dark, however, Celestia had disappeared for a few hours, I guess to set the sun and whatever else. They left me a ways off, away from any potential heat from the fire, and didn't offer me any food or drink. Celestia kept turning to look at me, I guess just making sure I hadn't escaped.

The food would have mattered little. It would be like a pony eating dirt. It wouldn't be as disgusting, but the nutritional value would be the same. Definitely not something one of us could live off of.

Now the cold... we could feel that. Other than diet and abilities, we were pretty much the same as any pony. I was exhausted, as I had been nearly constantly as of recent, but I didn't sleep well. They had camped out in the open, and though they all had the fire and each other to keep warm, I had the metal floor and bars of my cage for comfort.

We didn't reach Canterlot Castle until the next afternoon. By that time, I had completely given up. I just laid there, hoping for the sweet release of death. There was no way that they would let me live... but why bother bringing me all the way to Canterlot at all, if they didn't have other plans for me?

“Celestia!” The dark blue Alicorn exclaimed as we entered what must have been the main hall.

“Luna! What are you doing up so early? For you, I mean.” I lifted my head to watch the goings on around me. I hadn't had a chance to view—Luna, yes, that was it. The younger sister, and ruler over the night. ”Not a threat.” Chrysalis told us.

“I was worried about you! When one of the guards told me where you'd gone and why—after what you told me about the first invasion, I was afraid—“ What a softie, worried about a sister. I had dozens of brothers and sisters, and never worried for any one of them. We were all quite capable, and if anyone got themselves killed it was their own fault. Honestly, losing sleep over emotions. No wonder she was too weak to be a threat to us.

Celestia wrapped her in a hug, silencing her blabbering. “I'm sorry I worried you.” She stepped away, observing her sister. “You haven't slept since last night, have you?”

“Well how could I? I couldn't just leave Canterlot to go and see if you were alright, and there's been no word from you since you left!” Luna was smoldering.

“You're right.” Celestia sighed. “But, on the bright side, it looks like there was just the one.” She turned to look at me, and weak as I was, I bared my teeth and growled. I was a living creature too! She didn't have to display me for all to see, like some trophy.

“That's all?” The younger sister stepped forward to get a better look.

Celestia dismissed the guards, sending them off to various duties. I was left alone with them.

“Though I suppose a great number of them would be a problem.”I sat up, crossing my fronts hooves over each other and staring back at her. She was just beyond the bars, so close I could have reached out and touched her.

The love that she and her sister shared was coming off in waves. We can all detect a good host by how much love somepony else has for them, and vice versa. It's like a pony being able to smell food, but not yet being able to taste it. The more pleasant the smell, the better the taste. The stronger the wave, the greater the love.

“It's so curious...” Luna mused. “It has the basic pony shape, but it's not uniform.” She circled the cage, observing all sides. My eyes followed her, glaring now as she began to analyze me. Like I was—a science project.

Ah. It was clear to me now. Experimentation. She was examining me like a specimen, like some creature that couldn't hear or couldn't understand her. I was just a lab rat to them now. They didn't question my sentience, whether or not I could speak or feel. Not that it likely would have changed anything. I was just one of a thousand menaces, and I happened to be a creature that they had only recently had encounters with. Their love for their own kind may have been strong, but they had no feelings for someone who was different.

She inched a hoof towards the bars, either taunting me or watching for my reaction. Maybe both.

“Careful Luna.” Celestia moved to stand next to her, both to guard her and study me from Luna's point of view.

I had several options. I could swoop down and bite her. I could sit and do nothing, let them poke and prod me. I could move away. I could... maybe I could... show my understanding by touching her hoof with mine. Sentiment was not something often expressed by our race—but not many achieved my level of intelligence either.

So that's what I did. She placed her hoof between the bars, slowly, deftly. I watched it closely, baring my teeth a little at the invasion of personal space. She stopped and let it sit, I suppose just waiting for a reaction.

At first I just stared at it, debating actions with myself. I looked at her, and our eyes met. I had stopped being content with being caged like an animal. I wanted to be free. My eyes pleaded with her to let me go, before I averted them. Slowly, I moved my right front hoof to rest atop hers.

“Oh! It's cold.” she turned to Celestia, no longer watching me. I removed my hoof, pressing it against my face to test. She was right. With the combination of the metal flooring and the cold night, my extremities must not have warmed up yet. My body was probably conserving energy as well, seeing as I hadn't fed in several days.

Luna turned back when I removed my hoof, giving me a once over before she removed her own. Then she turned her full attention to her sister.

“So what exactly do you plan to do with it?” I fumed at her continuous use of the word “it” to describe me. I would have been happier if they had picked a gender, even the wrong one, and at least referred to me as someone rather than something.

I was feeling exhausted again. I laid down facing the two of them, listening in on their conversation. I placed my head between my front hooves, probably looking rather pitiful at this point. This was like torture before the torture, just waiting for it to happen.

“Well, it's going to stay locked up, that's for sure.” Celestia replied resolutely.

“Really Celestia? It's just the one.” Luna glanced back at me briefly. Was that—pity, in her eyes?

“Luna, I know you have an affinity for dark creatures, but this is different. “Just one” is what started the whole mess in the first place. They're too crafty and it's too risky.” Celestia called for a couple of guards to come and situate themselves at the head of the cart.

“However, you may observe it any time you wish while it's still locked up. Beyond keeping a close eye on it, I haven't decided what to do with it.” Celestia began to lead the way down a hallway.

IT IT IT! None of them had so much as tried to speak to me. They must have just assumed I was too stupid. After all, I had a mouth, and I obviously didn't eat regular food, so what else would I use it for? But I supposed, thinking on it, they thought I was just like any other Changeling. A creature that simply blindly followed her leader, though hell or high water, with no regard for myself.

But I wasn't ready to prove them wrong. Not if they didn't even care to acknowledge me as a sentient being. I was an enemy to them, and at this point, it seemed that nothing I could say would change their minds anyway. Or at least, Celestia's.

Luna seemed to be intrigued by me. At least she had the decency to make physical contact. Celestia had just stood by while her guards did all the work. Was it that she was afraid, or disgusted? Too regal to get her hooves dirty doing any real work, wasn't she? That's probably why she was so easy for Chrysalis to defeat. Yes, there she was, leading the procession, far enough away that I wouldn't be able to get my hooves on her. Yet there was Luna, walking beside the cage, every so often glancing at me. It almost seemed like she cared.

It wasn't long before I was removed from the cage and shackled. From there, I was taken down stone steps, and away from the last of the sunlight I would ever see. It was dank, and dark, the only light coming from Celestia's horn as she led the way.

This was it. This was where I was going to die.

The walls were made of cold stone, as were the ceiling and floor. I didn't know much about architecture, but I got the feeling that anything down her was very very old. My body shook with every step, and I had to fight not to pass out or trip over my own hooves. I shivered, knowing that the sun would never warm my back again. I was going to die cold and alone—but hopefully quickly.

The cages were not far from the where we had exited the castle. I was thankfully unshackled, and placed into just one of a two long rows of cages. From what I could see and hear, there were no other prisoners. This place probably hadn't been used in years then, since whenever the last war was. I guess that would make me a prisoner of war then, seeing as how Chrysalis tried to start one.

Almost as soon as I was secured, I was left alone. I tried to let my eyes adjust to the dark, mostly just feeling around my surroundings. The smell wasn't pleasant—but I soon identified the source. There was hay scattered about on the edges, which I assumed had once been used for bedding or feeding. But now it was damp and soggy, emanating a foul smell and offering little comfort.

I laid down on my side next to the bars of the door, my eyes and head facing toward it. That was the closest I would ever be to the outside again. I let out a heavy sigh, accepting my fate as I did so. I just laid there, alone and in the dark, too weak now to even bother shivering. The floor was cold, but I barely felt it. I moaned lightly, waiting for the sweet release of sleep... and possibly death.

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  • 5 weeks later...

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