My Life As An Interdimensional Insect

by XenoPony

Chapter 4: Summer Sun Celebration

Once, walking on four legs along regal halls decorated by long tapestries and magnificent purple carpets had been the most disorienting and terrifying thing in the world. Now it was all I knew, the distinct feeling I'd be unable to get anywhere on four legs had dissipated long ago. One hoof forward then another, the dream had been a reminder just how far I'd come and, coupled with the last of the pancakes I'd managed to eat before they were taken this morning, put even more of a bounce in my step.

Today was going to be the best Summer Sun celebration ever, I just knew it. It came as quite the shock then when my next hoof step did not fall onto a smooth crystal floor, but cold sand and dust.  

One strange place to another, I looked up only to stagger to a rhythmic beeping in my ears and flashes of numbers in my vision. My head swam, body swaying as the whole corridor became a blur.  

"So you really are extinct, how interesting. No, it's genius, why would one think to look for you where your kind has disappeared?" there came a voice I recognized, yet from where I knew it was hard to place.

I looked around, seeing flickers of purple light in my blurred vision, beating in time with that droning rhythm of the countdown. That set of numbers, ten down to zero, for some reason it felt colder every time it reset. It sent a shiver down my spine and right to the tips of my wings.

"She thought she could hide you from me, even if we had a deal? How foolish, I can sense it now, you're afraid, confused even after all this time." The voice continued and I tried my best to call out, yet my lips moved without a sound. "You hide your true fears well, too. You brave little soldier."  

Then came a rush of air and I felt more dusty ground under me, a far cry from the flat palace hall. Reality blasted into me like a wall, forcing me to lurch as, like a swarm of crawling insects, dust coalesced into a single mass and the image to replace the castle halls came into being around me.

There were cliffs, pale moonlight, and hanging vines all beset by a cloud of thick fog. Yet where magnificent scenery once may have captivated me, I found myself unable to do anything other than stare down at myself. Dust coated my dark chitin like I'd been bathed in the stuff. My jaw trembled, fangs jittering as I sat down, tucked my forelegs under me and coiled my tail around them like some kind of pathetic shield.   

"H–hello, whoever was talking just now. I feel like I remember you... It's just..." I pressed both forehooves to my temples as my reverberating voice called out.  "Can you tell me what's going on... I was just home?"

"You'll remember what I choose you to remember!" There was a shifting in the darkness, spirals of fog forming as bats flitted away from the movement of something large. "It has been far too long since I've had any power over you... That is not your home."

I skidded right back across the floor, thick dust and cobwebs furrowing in my wake as I did so. That was when my back hit a wall and I was shunted forward by my own momentum. I fell into the dust with a huff, snorting a cloud of the stuff and really trying not to think about the dry taste in my mouth as I shot up and rubbed my tongue. Looking up I saw what appeared to be a crystal table, like the cutie map, only purple. Next to it I felt tiny again, like a foal. Just like the day I'd appeared. While my real self was still only a little larger than an eight-year-old colt, I knew that the cutie map should not loom over me in such an ominous way.       

What is this, why does it feel familiar? Wasn't I just on my way to try and find Twilight and the others in the main hall? The thought made me feel dizzy, like the world I'd woken up in was the real dream.   

"What do you mean, remember. I'd know if I'd been here before!" I called into the empty chasm, voice echoing from the sheer cliff sides.  

"What I mean is that you know me... Or, I at least know you," mused that voice and I looked up into the fog to catch sight of a figure in the shroud just ahead of me.

I froze again, petrified as the quadrupedal form trotted forward under the cloak. A pair of amethyst eyes feeling so familiar it set my thoughts on fire trying to place where I'd seen them before.

"You, you were in my room before. But I..." I pressed a hoof to my head. "How did I forget that?" She looked playfully confused as she thought.

Then she giggled at that, her voice becoming considerably more ominously whimsical as she cocked her head and added.

"It's a simple trick, your memory can be molded like clay if I wish. I could have been with you your whole life and you'd have no idea." She flicked off her hood to reveal her striped face, young and seemly innocent aside from those eyes. "Time flows very differently for me, you must understand."   

She towered over me, even if she only looked to be about the age of the fillies I'd grown up with. She motioned towards me with a hoof and I pressed back against the dark table, feeling a weight around my neck as the stone pendant I'd worn all my life appeared for her to inspect.  

"Her one and only mistake, she did not keep this," the zebra mused as she rotated the thing in her hooves. "And now it's calling."  

I resisted the urge to snarl as my instincts told me as I snatched it away and shuffled to the side. It took all I could not to be terrified of her and the cold, creeping way she made my chitin crawl.

"Oh, so there is some fight in you after all. Here I thought you'd grown up an adopted prince." Her grin came back as she tapped her chin with a forehoof. "Crystal Wings, good changelings? What an interesting reality."   

"Stop it. Who are you and why do I feel like I know you?" I demanded, then looked around, clutching my stone pendant close as my heart sank. "Is this all a dream, am I dead?"

A world of pastel talking ponies, I was a strange bug monster and she was a small zebra in a cloak. It had been eight years, why did it feel like everything I knew about my life was catching up with me only to fall out from under my quivering hooves.

The mare chuckled gain. "No, you are very much alive. Saying otherwise would be doing myself a discredit."

She trotted over and sat across from me, and I flinched as she moved to rest a hoof on my shoulder.  

"Like I told you once, you are a changeling, you're in a place called Equestria and you especially are in a place very beneficial to me," she elaborated, jabbing a hoof at my chest.  
I looked between her hoof and her eyes, frowning. "I know that, but I never remember anypony like you telling me so. Twilight and Starlight told me about what I was."

"Hm, your mothers and some would believe." The spike of anger at her casual dismissal of them left a bad taste in my mouth as she turned and flicked her tail. "The one to champion the last of the changelings."  

"Yes, nopony else ever cared enough about me..." I looked down at my hooves, was that really true, surely some of Twilight's friends, the princesses would have cared the same way?

How much of that is just the novelty that you're the last one of your kind? I thought, only to shake my head. What, why was I thinking like that, they are my friends, I care about them.

"Confused, do not worry. We meet and I would not belittle you." The zebra mare flicked a hoof. "Your mind was never meant to go through what you have. Still, to see how you have gone about suppressing it all this time is interesting."    

"What are you talking about you... What do you know about me?" I had no idea how much force I put into that demand, but behind the facade of anger, I was terrified of any truth that would shatter the frail life I'd come to love.

"It's only a matter of time, little one. On the eighth year of the summer sun the veil will fall." She chuckled. "She really should have put more effort into hiding you."

I shakily got to my hooves. "Who, what? Just tell me or leave me alone!"

She turned and glared. "End the day and then I will tell you everything you want to know."


"Digit, hey Digit, Equestria to changeling, hello you in there?" A voice I knew, along with the blurred image of an orange face, purple mane and eyes shook me back to reality. "You looked really like you've seen a ghost."

I shook my head, one foreleg waving forward as things came into focus and I found myself looking around in a frantic daze.

"I... she, she was right there..." I stammered, yet just as soon as I knew what I'd seen the image was gone again.

I thought I heard laughter somewhere in the back of my mind as I sprung a forehoof forward, only for the mare before me to look even more confused. Scootaloo, one of the three closest friends I'd had growing up, and the pony that had been dead set on getting me a real cutie mark after her failed attempts with griffins and hippogriffs, looked at me strangely. I met her eyes, then shrank back against the wall, blushing. She was also been one of the fillies I'd had a dumb, foal-hood crush on too, even if she was also twice my age.

"Who are you talking to, and why are you in a broom closet?" asked the young mare as I finally got a grip on my surroundings to find I was indeed surrounded by mops and buckets.

"I... I..." I rubbed my forehooves together before dropping to all fours and darting out.

How had I ended up in here? How zoned out had I really been?

"I have no idea, I was just walking then..." I had to press a hoof to my head as I desperately tried to pry the truth from my mind's abyss.  

When I failed to remember anything, no matter how much I knew there was something there in the blank space in my head, Scootaloo pressed a forehoof to her muzzle and giggled.

I frowned at her. "What's so funny?"

"Nothing, just, well, you kinda had a mop on your head when I looked in here, what were you doing?" she elaborated. and I hated how hot the literal green glow in my cheeks became.

"I was... Doing changeling things," I insisted and her humored look flattened as she deadpanned.

"Changeling things?" Okay, last of a kind, possibly descended of a hive of changelings rebels or not, that sounded dumb even to me.

"Okay, I have no idea, I just... Feel really worried," I admitted, yet with no further things to base my self-diagnosis on I simply offered an awkward smile.

Don't let it ruin the day, you can't remember it so it can't be that bad right? the part of my mind that just wanted to make the most of today reasoned.  

"But what are you doing here anyway? I thought the celebration was tonight?" I asked and she rolled her eyes.

"Princess Twilight asked us all over to help set things up, so..." Before she could go on, however, we were interrupted.

"I need a mop, stat!" The door behind me was swung aside as a white-coated mare with curled purple mane enveloped in her magic. "Of course, you just had to go and spill that punch all over the new carpet, Pinkie Pie."

The prim, elegant voice grumbling to itself could only belong to one mare I knew, and sure enough, the moment we stepped aside and Rarity saw us, she smiled, mop seemingly momentarily forgotten.

"Scootaloo, Digit, how are you, dears? Might I say your mane and wings are looking positively lovely today," she commentated, driving Scootaloo to brush a  strand of her mane from her eyes and me to glance back at my shimmering wings.

"Thanks, though I've not had a chance to properly clean them yet though," I stated proudly, reveling in the compliment to the one part of my body that was not too evil looking.  

Scootaloo once again rolled her eyes. "Wonderbolt brand mane conditioner, Dash won't let me use anything else," she admitted, and Rarity chuckled as she started to rummage through the broom closet.

"Oh, I'm sure she won't have anything less now that she's captain... Now, where is that mop?" The unicorn mumbled more to herself then anypony else, before finally calling out. "Oh, Spike, dear, do you mind coming and helping me find..."

Like a purple missile, the dragon was at her side in a flash. Even on all fours he already stood almost a full head taller than the adult mare, with leathery wings that made even Twilight's look average. Behinds him trailed a younger mare, whose pale coat almost matched Rarity's, as did the style of her neatly crafted lavender and pink mane. Then again, what could one expect from sisters?

"Yes, Rarity, what are you looking for?" Spike asked as he peered over the fashionista with her head in the closet.

The two mumbled to each other, Rarity giving a yelp as a broom fell down and Spike looking very unsure at the situation. Scootaloo and I meanwhile became far more focused on Sweetie Belle as she came and sat next to us, the way she was looking at the adolescent dragon before her earning a nudge from Scootaloo.

"Did not expect to see you down here so soon, you did stay over again right?" The young unicorn looked at her pegasus friend with a stunned expression, then huffed.

"Not all romance has to be so..." Sweetie twirled a forehoof. "So raunchy, I think you've had enough crushes to know that, Scoots."  

That comment made me bow my head as Scootaloo snorted, then laughed. "Well, to be fair if anypony was stuck in bed it was me, I only got up an hour ago... Freaky dreams."

"Digit, I'd be worried about you if you did not have freaky dreams," Scootaloo commented and I tapped a hoof at the floor awkwardly. "Pretty much everything you say going on in your head is crazy."

Okay, so what if my head was not always in the right place. Everypony has nightmares, right? Did it matter that kind felt more like memories? I thought as Sweetie Belle peered past Scootaloo and looked to me.

"You still get those?" She shuddered. "It's not like that time we all had a sleepover and you woke up screaming about purple spiders, is it?"

I blushed so hard I swore somepony could fry eggs on my face. "No... No, I'm pretty sure that was different."

"Yeah a buggo, scared of bugs, how ironic," Scootaloo added, nudging my side with a wing.

"Buggo, I thought you said you'd stop using that name?" I countered with a frown and she smirked.

"Well, that's what Flurry called you. Doesn't that make it a royal decree?" I hated my own stupid embarrassment, it tasted awful, not to mention the way my disgruntled muzzle wrinkled and cheeks puffed up.   

"Well, technically spiders are arachnids... And he's an equine-arthropod so..." Sweetie Belle's witty brains were met with a flat look for Scootaloo.

"Yeah, well I'll have to tell her to stop too," I stated bluntly, even I was certain that would not happen in a million moons. "Even when she's not around she lives to tease me."  

"Yeah, but that’s what best friends do." The smirk on Scootaloo's face was unbearable as she nudged me again and Sweetie Belle squeaked.

"Oooh, just think, then we'd only have to get you a coltfriend, Scoots, and we'd all be..." She was cut off by a glare from the pegasus and a very unsure look from me.

"Me and the princess, no way... She'd kill me if that ever happened," I joked as Scootaloo added.

"Yeah, and I can find a coltfriend no problem. Rainbow's married, I can just ask her." Sweetie Belle rolled her eyes, then a triumphant cheer caught our attention.

"Oh, thank you very much my big strong Spikey-Wikey," Rarity cooed to the blushing dragon as she finally retrieved a set of mops and a bucket.

The look on Sweetie Belle's face as the dragon struggled to respond was like nothing I'd ever seen. She darted forward, wrapped herself around his right foreleg and glared at her elder sister.

"Is that it, Rarity? We've still got streamers to hang up in the dining hall if you're done," she almost growled.

Rarity took a step back, waving a foreleg as she chuckled uncertainty.

"Oh, aren't you just the most adorable little thing." The smirk that spared on her face was far too knowing as she tapped her little sister on the muzzle with a forehoof then turned and trotted away.

"Ick, Sweetie Belle, I know you were always into that stuff and all... But by Celestia, remind me never to get on your bad side," Scootaloo commented, nudging me as I fought not to drift off into daydreams again.

"Yeah, totally doesn't taste awkward," I blurted suddenly, and almost everypony burst out laughing, at least until Spike commented.

"Hey, if you two are free, there's some books that need moving from the dining room table, Twilight was up reading with somepony again last night." I looked from face to face as they all peered at me knowingly.

"Would you believe me if I said that was Starlight, not me?" I may be a changeling, but I was not a very good liar.


"Your care for them is so great. I can see it in your very soul, like a fire that cannot be extinguished. What an interesting concept," mused that mysterious voice, and I looked to my left to see a flash of amethyst eyes.

I jumped back, only for the hallucination to fade and Scootaloo to look at me strangely with a stack of books perched on her back.

"By Celestia, and here I thought Fluttershy was afraid of her own shadow," the teenage pegasus commented as I shook my head.

"I have no idea what's with me today," I retorted, straightening the books on my back. "I really wish there was another changeling I could just ask... Maybe this is a changeling thing?"

Scootaloo then stretched each of his wings. "Well, trust me, growing up is hard... I did not think so until the past few years." She shuddered. "Puberty is rough."

My eyes went wide as I blushed and stammered. "Okay, too much information already!"

Trust her to be so blunt about things. I mentally huffed.

I didn't even know how I was aware of that concept at my age. It felt like just another thing I was remembering from a life that was lost, and even if it had taken me a few years to come to terms with this new body, thinking about how it may change was not really at the top of my mental list right now.

Scootaloo chuckled. "You say that, but you seriously are not excited for when you finally can manage to shapeshift properly? Think of the pranks we could pull."

"Keep this up and I'll be pranking you first," I shot back with a smirk.

We both chuckled I pushed open the library door. Seeing the inside of this room was like stepping into the castle all over again, and after feeling that sense of renewal in my dreams it was oddly nostalgic. The vast shelves stacked to the rafters with books filled the air with a parchment scent and the furniture was perfect, right down to the set of reading chairs and desks in the center.
"Haha, look at you, you're like a foal in a candy shop," Scootaloo teased, nudging my side. "At least you'll never have to shapeshift to look like an egghead."

"And how much did you have to read growing up?" I retorted and she winced.

"Okay, good point," she responded simply. "Urgh, books. Dash tries so hard to get me to read more than just Daring Do, the war made her such a hard flank some times."

Despite the reminder of some of my friends' roles in the war, I was laughing again, all too aware the sense of adventure and wonder in those books was what she craved even if she would not admit it. I could not deny that I was curious in that regard too if only to get out there and find out the truth of where I came from. The cold sensation that came over me dampened that feeling, however, as I saw a flash of purple eyes in my suddenly swaying vision.

I could still hear myself and Scootaloo as we chuckled together. Yet our laughter was soon drowned out by the looming shadow that appeared over us, flickering purple cast down as a distorted voice rumbled.

"Scootaloo, the nightmare bids you welcome." There was an odd sternness to that tone that would send a shiver through the heart of even the toughest pony. "And who is this supposed to be? We have never seen a creature such as this before."