My Life As An Interdimensional Insect

by XenoPony

Chapter 5: Flurry Heart

As soon as I shrank back from the onset of amethyst eyes, the frail illusion cast by my mind faded and a pair of eyes glinting like steel fixed me with a glare that could melt diamonds instead. Then as soon as it began, the alicorn's imposing display was utterly destroyed by a single war cry.    

"For Ponyville!" The young pegasus colt, clad in scribbled cardboard armor declared as he hovered up, tiny wings buzzing like a bee’s before he dove onto Flurry Heart's back. "Surrender, Nightmare Princesses!"

"Argh, no, what is this? Surprise attack, flee, flee!" Flurry Heart yelped, looking at us with pleading eyes as she motioned for us to run. "I cannot repel power of such magnitude!"

"Haha, just like in Starmares, now surrender, I got you!" The attacking colt declared as Flurry took him in her hooves and rolled over before dropping him on her chest.    

"Argh, no you have bested me Stormfly, I give up!" the princess gasped, gazing up at the colt perched on her chest in utter defeat. "All my powers are no match, my armies have fallen."  

She gestured to a bunch of shadowbolt figurines scattered to one side as the colt smirked and puffed up his chest proudly.

"Ha, see, I can beat a real royal guard if I want to," he declared, sitting on her like she was a fluffy throne.  

"Haha, you sure can, little guy, you sure can," Flurry laughed before a set of light wing beats heralded the arrival of a very unsure looking butter yellow mare.  

"Oh, Stormy, don't hurt her. Are you sure this is okay, Flurry?" Fluttershy asked as she tentatively hovered over the pair, biting at a forehoof. "He's not too rough?"

"Oh, it's no problem, Miss Fluttershy... He got me fair and square," she responded before smirking at the colt. "Though he forgot about my magic!"

Her horn flared and Fluttershy gave a shrill eep as the little colt was enveloped in a golden glow and levitated, thrashing, into her forelegs.

"What, no fair! You cheat, we said no magic!" Stormfly declared, trying to get at her again as Fluttershy held him back.

"Yeah, in the fight, and you already won... Even little heroes gotta do what the big ponies say," she responded, before looking at Fluttershy. "Am I okay for a quick break, Miss Fluttershy?"

The older pegasus blushed. "It's just Fluttershy, Princess," she giggled. "And no need to ask, I'm the one who should be kneeling at your hooves for foalsitting." She waved the idea away with a hoof.

"Arr, well I know what it's like to want to meet up with friends you've not seen in ages." Those devious eyes were on me again in seconds and before I knew it I was the victim of the nightmare's magic.

"Come here you little bug, I've been here for hours and you seriously did not even get out of bed?" she declared, ruffling my mane and nuzzling my side. "What were you doing?"

"Running from the nightmare!" I called out, books flying as I reached out and tried to pull away from her, yet when your best friend's an all-powerful alicorn, there is no running from hugs.      

Scootaloo giggled and offered about as much help as the discarded Wonderbolts toys next to her. The comments she and Sweetie had made before were undoubtedly at the forefront of her mind. No help from anypony, I was faintly yanked around and sat before Flurry, her beaming face inches from mine.

"I mean look at you, you've grown!" she observed, plucking open one of my wings with her magic. "I don't think I've ever seen a changeling with wings so shiny!"

I folded the wing, the sensation of anypony, even the closest friends touching them making my chitin crawl.

"I've grown? Like you're one to talk about that kind of thing!" I jabbed a hoof at her fluffy chest, noting for once she'd neither her royal guard armor or royal regalia on. "You're almost as tall as most mares!"  

She waved a forehoof with an indignant 'pfft' sound. "Yeah, I'm thirteen... Alicorn things, you know?"

She said that as if I should know exactly how the first and only pure born alicorn in Equestria should mature and at what rate. Safe to say, all that I knew was that she grew up a lot faster than everypony else, even changelings. Then again, having grown up around just as many rebel changelings as she did ponies in her youth, I hardly think she'd have noticed the difference.

"Yeah, well when I can work out how to turn into an alicorn, I'm sure you can tell me all about it," I countered with a smirk.

"Sure, but you'll always just be an adorable little buggo to me, though." She was the only pony in all of Equestria that could say that to me with a smirk like she was wearing and not make me feel like my face was on fire.

The look that Scootaloo had plastered all over her face as she stood next to us, however, was more embarrassing to think about.  

No, I'm not some cute token changeling! I grumbled in my thoughts, while I took a step back from the teenage alicorn.  

"I take after you, Fluffy Heart!" I countered and her face dropped and she started to stammer.

"Here, I think you'd make a great looking alicorn for a day, Digit," Fluttershy interjected with a giggle as Stormfly stopped thrashing.

"Oh, oh, is he the... The ch–changell... The changer?" The little colt asked and where once I may have wilted in fear, I shrank in humble embarrassment. "He must be so cool. Mommy said they were scary, but that they were not all so bad."

Fluttershy giggled. "Yes Stormy, that's him. And your mom would know all about him and changelings."

"Awww, no way, Stormfly look at you. I don't get up to Cloudsdale often enough nowadays, you've all grown up!" Scootaloo called to the colt, much to the young pony's proud satisfaction. "You here with your mom?"

"Not right now, Rainbow and Soarin left him with me while they were on the Wonderbolts show this weekend, though she's coming for the celebration soon," Fluttershy elaborated.

Scootaloo felt a little defeated that she couldn’t see her idol again right away, yet the fire of excitement I could taste coming off of her did not fade.

"Yeah, then I can tell mommy how I beat the nightmare!" Stormfly declared, ushering a chuckle form everypony, even the still very ruffled looking princess.

"Haha, you sure did. Kicked my tail to the moon," she laughed, scooting back over to me and wrapping a wing around my back. "So these wings are fluffy still, huh?"

"Oh, oh, she got him Fluttershy, I got to go help!" Stormfly declared valiantly as he wriggled free from Fluttershy’s grip and charged right at the alicorn that had me in a vicious wing hug.

Oh, yeah... This is home. Rough, tumble and locked in very fluffy wings. Scary voices in my head or not, this was my life and I'd have it no other way.  


"I'm Flurry Heart, princess of the Crystal Empire... Auntie Twilight always told me to make friends and I... Well, I used to know a few ponies like you so... Wanna be friends?"

"So what if he's the last changeling in Equestria, I'm the only pony who was born an alicorn, right?"

The words of the princess were cast on a ghostly wind as my head swayed and a breeze passed by my twitching wings.

"Friends with a princess. My, my, talk about right place at the right time." The moment I lost my sense of reality the void wasted no time scooping me up into that irritatingly familiar place.

I fell to the dust, looking up to see the cliffs, moonlight and narrow ledge, as well as the striped mare, sitting on an odd perplexing table made from crystal with her rear legs crossed and one hoof swinging. She had that glow in her eyes again, yet her hood was down and ears erect as she regarded me with an oddly whimsical expression.

"Dare I say that even an elite infiltrator could not have gotten so close," she mused, then nodded to my wings. "Then again... Sparkly things always were alluring to the naive."

I folded my wings behind my back and frowned, memories of the zebra coming back now that I was free to look at her again.

"Don't talk about her like that, why do you even care about me so much?" I asked with a frown.

Jabbing a forehoof at her only saw me fall forward, and before I knew it, I was not in the dusty canyon anymore, but another memory I recognized.

"Hey, grumpy butt. Let me show you something," Flurry declared sternly, clad in regal royal guard armor as she marched me through the streets of the Crystal Empire.

Damn, alicorns were strong. I found myself thinking as if the thought had not been from years ago She's not a mare to be messed with for sure.  

She was fast too. That or everypony got out of her way with a bow as she marched by. She offered the odd nod and smile to her subjects who looked curiously at the changeling bundled under her wing. The Crystal Empire was one of the few places I could look like myself and at least fit in. Sure, no changeling had been there for years, but that did not mean the occupation had been forgotten.  

I watched, my mind stretched between the past and my hallucinated presence as Flurry finally deposited me in a large, open plaza before the magnificent palace. My butt hit the floor as she sat down next to me, gave me one firm look then thrust a hoof to the center of the plaza and the magnificent monument that lay before the palace doors.

The crystal was magnificent. A large plinth of jagged rock and gleaming minerals supported the stoic figure of a large, crystal alicorn. I'd only seen pictures of the alicorn of love, yet captured in crystal as she was Princess Cadence made even the vast place around her look bleak by comparison.

Mane crafted into the traditional crystal style like Flurry Heart's, she had her forelegs raised, wings spread wide and eyes closed as she bowed her head. The pink quartz from which she was crafted almost made it hard to not think I was seeing the real thing. The heart set into her armored breastplate mirrored perfectly the form of the Crystal Heart perpetuating the harmony of the land the evil queen had been after years ago.

To her right was an armored pony bearing a spear in the crux of his foreleg. To her left was a changeling. Thorax, reluctant leader of the Crystal wings during the war with gleaming armor on his back. Each flanked the princess like stoic sentinels, watching over the empire as they had done in life. Ponies looked up at the thing in awe, both the crystal ponies native to the empire and what I assumed were a great many tourists, posing for their cameras.

Flurry herself attracted some adoring looks from passersby as she gazed up at her mother with equal stoic conviction. I found it hard to look at her as she bathed in the glimmering brilliance from the bright sun hitting the crystal monument, fearing I may see tears in her eyes. Yet just like her father, her expression was as firm as the greatest of shield spells.

She took a long breath, seeming to inhale the loving atmosphere as I often did to lighten my mood. "I come here every day and it never gets old."

I forced words to my muzzle, but they were like rocks grinding my throat. "It's beautiful... She was..." My muzzle fumbled as I stammered. "I mean she is beautiful."

Smooth, Digit, so smooth. My mind groaned as she glanced at me with a small smile.  Wow, next to the statue she really does look so much like her mother.

Despite herself, she let out a chuckle, forehoof pressed to her muzzle. "There's no need to be awkward about it. I'm a princess, so I have to put it in the past for the good of the Empire."

Putting it like that only made me feel all the more put off, I could tell it was hard for her to say that no matter how bubbly she could be. I chuckled nervously. If it were not for Thorax, I did not think I'd deserve to admire the monument

As always, the princess of the crystal empire regarded my awkwardly worried look. It had often been hard to not assume she thought I was only acting so defenseless because it was pretty clear she did not believe I should be. But the changelings she'd know had been warriors, they'd grown up right.

Before I could do anything more, there was a wing around my back and I was shoved forward towards the base of the statue.  Flurry did not work like other ponies. There was no reassurance, no telling me I was not evil. There was only blunt and swift action.

"Hey, you need to see something," she stated, jabbing a wing tip at a golden plaque set into the statue's base. "What does this say?"

"Dedicated to Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, beloved goddess, ruler, wife, and mother," I read out, the last words catching in my throat again. "You don't need to hit it home so hard, you know?"

She was stunned for a brief moment before her eyes rolled and she moved her wing down to another plaque. The regal feather trailed past countless names of soldiers lost, in honor of the fallen in the last battle of the Crystal Empire.

Then Flurry's wingtip stopped and I had to squint to read what she indicated. "Thorax, the savior of the princess, lest we ever forget his name?"

I looked back at her to find her stern gaze firmly locked on me. "You know I'm not the changeling that saved your life, right?"

As if unable to resist, her firm expression was parted by a wry smile. "No, but don't I owe it to make sure the last of the ones who did is just as safe?"

"She pities you, how quaint." The memory faded and the zebra dropped onto all fours with an elegant grace that put the wicked, twisted form of the dead trees around her to shame. "Playing on their emotions, guilt, regret. Truly masterful."

"Living a happy life supported on the sacrifices of others... Using them like a true changeling does." She seemed to admire that as she added, "And so the countdown draws closer to zero."

I stared blindly into the distance, mouth working to form words that did not come as she turned away, cloak billowing teasingly in the wind as a sly grin crossed her face. It looked like everything was just a joke to her, yet in a world where I did not belong, her words were the only real answers I had, and those last ones piqued my interest.

"Wait, what do you mean? Are you going to tell me why there are numbers in my head or not?" I pressed, taking a step forward, only to feel suddenly overcome with weariness and take a step back.

The way she grinned made me feel like she'd anticipated the words perfectly. Not to mention, I'd no idea whether I could feel emotions in dreams, but she felt as about as emotional as a rock.

"Patience, I already told you you'd get all you want to know when the time comes," she mused, striding towards me.

I jumped away from her, my chitin crawling like I was covered in biting insects. The irony of that was not lost on me as I cringed and backed right up to the edge of the cliff.

"So you're holding the last eight years of my life to ransom, is that it? I... I don't feel like a changeling... I don't know what I feel like." I pressed a hoof to my chest, feeling a faint heartbeat that felt wrong all of a sudden.

"A body's age is fleeting and futile," the mare responded as she flicked a shriveled flower into dust with her braided tail, then moved over to the table and rubbed a hoof over the smooth amethyst.

"A soul, on the other hoof, is timeless. I'd have seriously hoped that the view you have of the world would have been broadened." I had about as much an idea as to what she was saying as I did to why I was even here.

"What did you say?" I asked, taking a step forward only for her to appear in my face again and the real coward to come right back out as I almost jumped out of my chitin.

"A bounty of information, for you, if you do what I say and right now our interests seem to be intertwined... So, run along and find out why that map really spat you out there." I opened my muzzle to question, yet she pressed a hoof to the tip of my muzzle.

It was the lightest touch, but curled up as I was and still feeling like I had four left hooves, it was more than enough to send me plummeting over the edge of the cliff, screaming as my little wings buzzed futilely.


"Best Summer Sun celebration ever!" Flurry Heart declared, oblivious to me as I swayed and fell against her wing.

My eyes darted about, wings buzzing as I instinctively wanted to fly, yet there was nothing and just as soon as she'd been strutting around my thoughts, the zebra mare faded from memory once again. All save her eyes that I saw silhouetted against the bright sunrise over the balcony edge and distant hills. The prismatic purple starburst that radiated off into the dawn sky added to the effect as a lavender streak lanced upwards across the sky.   

"I can't believe she never showed me that, did you see?" Every effort I made to shake myself out of my stupor was put to shame as Flurry nudged me hard.

Then I collected myself just in time to realize that I'd zoned out to miss the display Twilight had been convinced to put on by her friends, something she'd not done since her first summer sun celebration as a princess years ago. I blinked, only then catching sight of the alicorn sat next to me on the balcony, beaming at me with wide eyes from under the royal guard helmet perched atop her head.

"I... I think I blinked?" I stated awkwardly and her expression went from ecstatic to laughter.

"Seriously, that's exactly what Rainbow told you not to do," she forced through her giggling as I crossed my forelegs and frowned.

"Well, maybe Twilight should have just done it without all the extra speed... stunts or whatever," I countered as true to what the group had planned at the part a pair of Wonderbolt pegasi flew up to draw a pattern around the expanding starburst with their flight trails.

There was a series of awe-filled sound sounds from below as Rainbow Dash and Soarin came to land on the stage erected before the palace doors and little Stormfly dove into his mother's forehooves, much to the dismay of a very flustered looking Fluttershy.

"Oh, so the one who was trying to turn into a lamp stand for hide-and-seek only a few hours ago is not talking about overdoing it?" Flurry asked, wiping a tear from her eye with a wingtip as she stopped laughing.

"What, and who dressed up in armor just to play pin the tail on the pony like it was a battlefield?" I countered and she shrugged, giggling again.  

There was a whoosh behind us and the sound of hooves striking crystal as the arc of lavender magic cast across the sky came down and deposited Twilight on the balcony.

"Oh Celestia, remind me never to let Dash talk me into a flip like that again," Twilight panted as Flurry bounded over to her.

"You were great, auntie Twi!" she assured, hopping up and down before the mare she was only a little bit shorter than nowadays.  "Though if it comes to my turn next year I bet I can do two flips."

"Oh, don't I know it... If Shining could teach you how to fly as well as he does with everything else..." Twilight rolled her eyes and Flurry blushed.

"Eh, you're pretty much better than me at everything... Especially in the fluffy department," I interjected, trotting over and offering a smirk that got me a bat on the side from a wing in return.  

"I thought it was great too... Even if I may have zoned out a little there," I admitted and Twilight cocked her head, a spark of concern coming off of her.

"That's still an issue for you?" she asked, instantly looking a lot less excited before adding, "You sure you don't want me to use a memory spell again?"

"No, no, it's fine... I had enough of those when I was younger to last a lifetime," I admitted and she at least had the decency to smile, even if I knew part of her was guilty for having to put me through that in an effort to find the invisible truth.

"Well, I guess I better go and show up on the podium. Then I need to help Sunburst and Starlight in the library and then..." Twilight stretched as she once again lectured me on her mental list. "Then sleep, this was a long night," she finished with a sigh.

After the night of fun, games, and running around like we were all young fillies and colts again, even the talk of sleep made me weary and I yawned.

Right, time to go back to freaky dreams of my life. I shook my head at the thought. No, dreams can't hurt me, remember what Luna told you in that one nightmare about the purple bats?

"Looks like I'm not the only one who's worn out," Twilight observed with a giggle and Flurry looked at me like I'd betrayed her. "Can't all be tireless little alicorns, Flurry."

Flurry Heart's mood went from sour to flustered with one nuzzle from her auntie. "Okay, okay, fine I'll go get some sleep too... I..." The yawn that cut her off only proved our point as we giggled.

"Keep that up and I'll try and teleport us to our rooms again." That prospect shut me right up, even if the two princesses were still laughing. Teleportation was really not my thing, eight years with magic or not.


Fortunately for me, Flurry decided against teleportation, and after bidding her good night, I'd never been so glad to be walking back to my room. At least until I saw the figure of a cloaked mare dart across an intersection in the hall ahead. Right there and then I wished that alone was the last thing I saw, and still I went into a full-on gallop as that hole in my memory burned with curiosity.

Running on all fours was as natural to me now as it was anypony, calling out in my reverberating voice to the mysterious pony skulking about the castle. So when I rounded the corner to see Starlight coming out of my bedchamber with a  pair of saddlebags on her sides, I froze and almost ended up flat on my face like the days I'd first arrived.

"Oh, there you are, Digit, I was looking all over for you," she perked up, even as her eyes seemed to be scouring the shadows around me, only to come to rest on the stone around my neck.

"You were... why? Twilight said you were with Sunburst?" I asked, moving toward her, only for her to take a step back.

"Oh, she did, I... Change of plans you know," she stammered and I paused a step away from her.

Who had I just seen run this way? Why was she in my bedchamber? Something felt odd, epically when the purple eyes flickered in my vision and I staggered. Eight years on the summer solstice... The moment that's just passed me by.  

Starlight moved to catch me before I fell, then reached back into her saddlebags with her muzzle. Manufacturing another excuse as to why I was acting so distant, I looked up to thank her. It came as a big surprise then when the sharp silver thorns of the odd arcane ring she pulled from her bags wrapped around my horn and my head started to pound. The cold look in the eyes of the mare... That was not the Starlight I knew.