A loud boom with a pink flash of light, a speedy trip soaring uncontrollably through the air, and a very hard landing later... and I have no idea where I am. My wings are injured from the fall, my chitin is cracked along my stomach and I'm starving. All in all, I'm doing pretty well.
I was in the middle of a wheat field, further than I could see... but considering that the wheat was taller than I was, It wasn't that impressive of a feat. I couldn't take a step without squashing the plants around me. Not that I even ate plants like ponies would; I didn't need them. I needed love. The sky was an eerie light blue with dark clouds overhead... and for some reason a few of the clouds had become thin lines across the sky, poking through the darker clouds like they didn't exist. Did Pegasai make those kinds of trails? I couldn't imagine how they would. Their magic must have something to do with clouds, yes, but... not in that way.
"Well," my chittery voice sighed, "I might as well find a way back to the hive. If anyling is alive to come back to, that is."
Behind me was a respectably deep crater; the place where I had impacted. Dirt, rocks and disturbed wheat stalks where everywhere and a scorched trail of soil marked my entrance into whichever farmer's... farm I had the unfortunate grace of crashing into. Movement was painful; every step shifting my cracked chitin and forced me to take a moment to catch my breath again. Thankfully I wasn't hurt enough to be bleeding, but it was still ridiculously painful to bear. If I didn't move however, I was going to starve to death very soon. I could try to look like any random pony that would come to mind, but my body wouldn't survive the shift between flesh and carapace. What was a crack in my shell would become a garish line across me.
I winced and ached my way through the pain and the wheat field to its edge, finally breaking free from the golden plants to fall face-first into an irrigation ditch. My wings reflexively buzzed in annoyance along with my pain, but complaining wasn't going to get me anywhere. I needed love, and I needed it now.
I continued away from the kilotrots of wheat and corn, not really remembering where this much farmland would exist in Equestria, but not really caring either. It gave me good cover if anypony were to come along. What had attracted my attention though, was the unending strip of nearly solid smooth stone. It stretched further than anything I had ever seen, and it wasn't even cobblestone! It was darker than my chitin with white dashed lines in the center, and a solid yellow line along the sides of it. I hadn't seen anypony use it, so I couldn't figure out its purpose. I mean, I knew it was a road, obviously, but why place one here if nopony used it?
The sun had already been setting when I woke up, but now the only thing to see by was my natural night vision granted by my glowing blue eyes. They wouldn't help me stay hidden, acting like the lanterns that they were, but I could hopefully spot somepony before they spotted me, hide in a bush, and shut my eyes. They would either figure that they saw something from being tired and carry on, or seek me out.
I had continued on well into the night at this point, not seeing a fur nor mane of anypony. I must have been blasted really far away from Equestria if I haven't found anypony yet. Maybe I was in Minos? That could explain why everything was so... giant. I had seen buildings in the distance, but they were large enough to be castles! They had the appearance of humble homes and barns, a few silos, that sort of thing... but the scale was almost upsetting! There were also some kind of strange metal... things on wheels just sitting there, unused next to the houses themselves.
I was torn from my thoughts when I spotted movement... or more like two large glowing eyes looming over the hill far ahead of me. The problem was with how fast they were headed towards me! I was wounded; I couldn't move fast enough to hide in the wheat nearby before the creature spotted me! I could close my eyes, but then it would just find me later instead of sooner. Should I try to escape? Should I just...
There wouldn't be much point in running, would there? There was nopony around for miles if I was in Minos, and the Minotaur were more likely to squish me than help, even if I were a pony.
Well. I might as well just sit down and stare death in the face, then.
It drew closer with each second, a steady low growl as it approached. Its eyes becoming larger and larger, bright enough to blind me. I had to shield my face from the intensity of the beast's eyes, tensing up as it drew close. A steady growl came from it... and then a click?
"Hey, Ricky! Come get a look at this!" I heard a voice yell. It seemed... nice... soft.
"Maria, get away from that thing!" A gruffer voice shouted back, another click and a slam following after.
"But Ricky, it's so pretty!" the voice pleaded. I pulled my holed hoof from my face and squinted into the light, finding... something? I've never seen a minotaur before, but... something told me that wasn't what I was looking at. It was bipedal, tall, thin... and had no horns. Definitely not a minotaur.
"What's it doing?" the rougher voice called to their companion.
"It's just sittin' there, Ricky! Get your coward self over here and help me with this poor critter! Eh, whatever it is..." the softer, shorter not-minotaur asked of the other.
"What's going on?" I asked, my voice chittering with nervous stress. They both froze, staring at me. They looked at each other but it was difficult to make out the details with the bright lights. "Can you tell the beast to look somewhere else? I can't see!"
"The..." Soft Voice started, "The beast... yeah."
I saw the soft voiced thing move away from me to the side of the beast, and eventually it... closed its eyes? They were still wide open, but... no light came from them. I shook my head and blinked, trying to get the spots of light out of my vision in order to see what I was dealing with better.
"Ricky, no!" Soft shouted, and suddenly I was struck in the side of the face by something flat and metallic. A loud clanging sound rang out as I was flung sideways onto the road.
"Aaaoww!" I complained, rubbing my face. The chitin was unharmed, but it seemed whatever I had been smacked with had my face as a dent in it.
"The heck did'ya do that for!?" Soft Voice yelled.
"That thing's a freakin' alien, Maria! Lookit those fangs!" Rough voice yelled back.
"So you think its a good idea to hit the poor thing with a darn shovel!?"
"It's freaky lookin'!"
"Oh, good excuse. I'll be sure to let the aliens know that you hit one o' their people with a shovel cuz' you were spooked."
My face really hurt. Rubbing it wasn't helping and... now my chest felt different. I think being flung across the road shifted the plates that were cracked.
"H-help?" I pleaded, trying to hold myself together. "I think I'm hurt even worse now..."
"Now you' gone an done it, Ricky!" Soft Voice scolded. I saw their figure rush up to me, and witnessed a creature I had never seen before.
They had a smooth face with an angular chin, or what I'm assuming was their chin. Two small eyes towards the mid upper part of their face with a wide forehead, soft cheeks if it was similar to a pony, and a tiny mouth as well. It had reddish-copper hair tied like a pony's tail coming from the back of its head. Maybe that was their mane? It didn't have a tail, so I had no idea how it was standing upright on its two legs, and it had two arms with... weird looking things on the ends of them. They were like a minotaur's hands but... softer; more agile.
"The heck kinda critter are you?" Soft voice asked... softly. It had probably been studying me in the same way.
"Maria, would you get away from that darned thing!?" Rough voice whisper shouted, tugging at Soft voice's shoulder.
"Get off me, Ricky! You hurt this poor thing, and now we're gonna take care of it!"
"Take care of it? What in the seven he-"
"'EY! Swear jar!" Soft interrupted, pointing towards the sleeping beast on the road.
"But I- you... darnit." Rough voice conceded in defeat, apparently the drone to this... queen of their party. I should probably ask.
"Are you the Queen?"
Their face scrunched up in a strange way, their eyebrows shooting up in disbelief and surprise as well. "The what now?"
I pointed my hoof at her, causing her to move back a bit in fear that I could taste. It was cold, biting and made me shiver. "I-I mean... the other follows your word. That would make you the leader, or queen, yes?"
It looked down at me skeptically before chuckling. "Yeah, sure. I'm the queen all right. Just wait until Mom hears 'bout this."
It then reached its arms towards me, attempting to pick me up and carry me like a newborn nymph. Strangely enough, it succeeded fairly easily.
"Yer a lot lighter'n I thought you'd be, alien thing." she smiled, carefully carrying me towards their beast. Getting a better look at the creature... it didn't seem to be alive. There looked to be chairs inside of it with a strange covering, some dark, smooth and shiny thing that held what seemed to be cups with straws, a brown bag of some kind between the two chairs and a metal stick sitting between the two chairs in the front. She shifted my body, resting my flank on her knee and pulled something underneath the chair, causing it to buckle forward.
"Okay, I'm gonna be careful as I can with you, alright? No laser beams from your eyes, please." Soft said seriously.
"I can't shoot lasers from my eyes. I don't actually know anypony or changeling that can do that..." I explained as I was moved inside of the beast, resting on a soft cushion in the back. My wings were doing well, considering the way this day had been progressing. They folded neatly behind my back and were pressed between myself and the cushions, but otherwise weren't hurting as much as they had been.
Soft Voice was radiating concern, worry and a bit of anger, though that was directed at Rough Voice. The other not-minotaur was radiating fear, intense worry and... more fear. Mostly directed towards me. There was also a hint of annoyance towards Soft Voice.
The two climbed inside of this strange metal beast, which I was beginning to think was actually more like a wagon or a train, soon slamming the doors as they got adjusted and pulled some strange strap across their bodies. Two clicks later, and they both stared past their seats to look at me.
I looked back at them in confusion.
"Maria, if this thing don't kill us before we get home, you're the one explainin' everythin' to Mom." Rough voice mandated.
"I already know that, Ricky. You keep an eye on it, and I'll do the drivin'."
"Drivin'?" I asked, copying Soft's voice to better convey my confusion with the word.
Rough looked to Soft, brows furrowed. "Did you just stutter?"
Soft then looked at Rough, then to me. "Did you say that?"
"Uh... what is Drivin', Soft voice?"
Two large spikes of worry and fear were my response, and Soft voice slammed her leg against something on the floor of the wagon, causing the beast to screech in pain before we lunged forward.
"Ah swear, the second we get home, you're the one gettin' grounded, not me!" Rough yelled over the roar of the beast.