A changeling. Really? It couldn't have been something useful like a pegasus or a unicorn? Heck, even an earth pony would have been preferable! Nope, I had to end up an equine insect that got mixed together at swiss cheese factory wearing a full body bondage body suit.
Yep. Fate, you are a royal pain in the ass. Or should it be flank now? Eh, I'll figure it out later as soon as I get out of this cocoon. Sac. Whatever it is that is keeping me prisoner. Though I highly doubt I’ll be seeing myself emerging becoming a butterfly any time soon. But, anyway, lets start an hour earlier, because landing in cartoon world was always a great start after a rather rough morning.
***About an Hour Earlier***
The day started out pretty standard to say the least. First involves waking up to the blinding light flooding in from window near by. Followed by slur of curses developed from all the years of gaming.
Pulling the sheets over my head. I could hear my parents bickering back and forth from the other side of the house. Grumbling for the fact sleep was no longer an option I took a glance out the window. Looking down the driveway my brother’s car was missing. Odd I don’t remember him having college today…whatever.
After my sun cursing ceremony, I half crawled out of bed, turning on the computer to read some more MLP fanfics for the day. I live a rather exciting life of a drone of a human overall, as you may guess. But today was my first day off in the last two weeks and I just wanted to be left alone to enjoy some peace and quiet. That, as always, seems to be my first mistake of that day.
Its almost as if the world was notified that I just woke up. "You coming to help me get this tractor fired up? Or are you going to be useless for the day?" Came a deep and overly sarcastic voice.
Being the only one down at the other side of the house. The question pretty well narrowed down it’s suspects.
I gently rubbed my temple before returning with a question of my own."Depends, is it only the tractor you plan to work on, or are you going to socialize with the neighbors for a few hours?" Though the tone of annoyance was clearly evident.
"Forget I asked!" Came the only reply before a door slammed shut signaling his departure.
"He woke up in a good mood, anything I miss?"
"Not really, he is just pissed that he has to take it easy and can't drink." Came the ever soft answer from my mother. To her credit, after more than thirty-five years she still had the patience to put up with him. Which to be honest women like that deserve a plaque.
"Well once he gets better I plan to move back into my place again. I hate not having a quiet atmosphere to come home to." I lied, though there was some truth. I needed a break from living as a hermit in my place, because being alone brings more depressing thoughts than necessary.
"No need to lie, we both know you just don't want to have to cook for yourself. Speaking of which, when do you plan to find a girlfriend?", she gave a soft chuckle. This has become an ongoing obsession with my parents, mainly for the fact I haven't dated in over a year and they really want grand kids.
As for my brother, yeah... I seen people faint from blood, but he comes close to that just holding a baby! So that leaves me the responsibility in my parent's eyes. Unfortunately for me, all the good women are taken and the ones around this area are not exactly the type you want to take home to meet your parents.
"Depends on when I find one that isn't fifteen years my senior." That normally keeps her her from pressing. "Anyways, I better catch up to dad before he does something stupid."
Personally I would have just went with a 'screw you' attitude towards my dad if it weren’t for the fact he just had a heart attack a few weeks prior. So that tossed that option out the window, no matter how bad things got between us.
Heading down the hallway I attempted to dodge walls while clearing out the crust in my eyes. Soon as I reached the screen door though I caught a glimpse of the truck pulling out the driveway leaving a growing line of dust as it went.
“Well shit.” I deadpanned turning around shaking my head in annoyance.
Thanks for the helpful reminder pay day was still a week away, being the only coherent thought rattling around in my groggy mind recalling the quarter tank of gas I had left.
After a few minutes of changing from my sleep wear to some work clothes, I did a quick list of all the things I would need placing them in my pocket as I went. "Ok. Keys, Ecig, ID, bankcard that will drop my account into the negatives as soon as I get gas, cell phone, and earplugs. Yep. All set to deal with dad." I mumbled, trying to avoid a morning migraine that was starting to form."Hey mom! I’m heading out, need anything on the way back?", I past the living room heading for the front door.
"Just a bag of ice if you don't mind."
"I can do that, I have to swing by the gas station on the way back through. Anyway see you in a few hours." I called back in a happy as possible tone. In truth, I could have sworn the bed was calling me back to comfort it.
Closing the door behind me, I grudgingly went and stepped into my Scion or also known as a 'box with wheels' as my friends have come to call it. Though I still referred it as 'the short bus'. Sitting down to get comfortable I begun the motions of driving for me, seat belt check, ear plugs in place check, phone clicked to random play list check. With everything in order, I turned the key to bring the car to life. First song to blare in my ears from the selection was Discord. Maybe this day wouldn't be bad after all, I thought before singing along to the lyrics. Dropping the car into gear, I headed down the dirt path in pursuit of my dad.
The drive wasn't far. Maybe 30 mins away on a two lane road that occasionally passed through a small town here and there. The biggest risk factor, was that its followed along a logging truck route to supply local mills for whatever they needed. It was a pretty straight forward route where most of the speed limits where 65 miles per hour, unless coming close to towns or around sharp turns.
Distracted by the music blaring in my ears my mind was able to run off on it’s own for a bit. They really should have a class in school on how best to approach your parent’s while they are in a ‘great’ mood. Breaking my chain of thought a growl came from my gut snapping me back to reality. Wish I grabbed something for breakfast well crap happens. I thought as I took another hit from my Ecig.
Now being smart when it came to my body wasn't something I can claim as my strong point. I blame my younger self for all those years of gaming. But, it got worse after I joined the Navy to only end up as jack of all trades kind of guy. I did learn a lot in that short time. Doing everything from welding to teaching my Marines to not goof around with their tourniquets or quikclot kits. They always did love to mess with me as their 'Doc'.
I still recall when running 3 miles was considered fun. The motivation I use to have was destroyed after a training exercise shattered my knee, forcing me out of the military. That was 2 years ago. I did keep a little active, going on nice walks for a few hours during sunny days, or the occasional convention when time and money allowed. But that was about the full extent of exercise I was going to get.
Fourteen minutes into the drive, the speed limit does one of its drops from 65 mph to 45 around small blind curve. Nothing so great about it really, but I wasn't in the caring mood to pay attention. Instead I decided to play with my cell. Pulling up the music options I started switching through a few till I could find one that I would enjoy. A where a couple of songs on my phone wasn't even that good, but still had them on my playlist for whatever reason. While I was goofing around Fate decided to rear its ugly head around and bite me in the ass. I don't know if the logging truck was new, had to much of a load, the lack of my attention, or even the combination of it all. Whatever the circumstances I was not ready for the encounter.
There is a rumor that claims time slows down during a accident, well its true, and in this case I didn't want to see the sight of a truck flipping in the middle of the road with the classic matrix slow motion effect. An here I was going too fast around the curve, heading straight at it. The timing of the whole situation couldn't have been more perfect, even if a stunt performer planned it out themselves.
Upon impact my 'short bus' transformed into a smart car, crushing the entire front end. The engine burst through the center console, pushing everything out of in its way like a runaway freight train. The huge piece of fabricated metal slammed into my right side breaking my right arm in multiple areas, while pinning my legs tightly together, essentially cut off any blood flow.
Past the windshield, the fallen load of trees pole vaulted the whole car into the air giving way from asphalt to a upside down horizon before shattering into a cosmic spider web of broken glass with a sudden stop. The result left one of my arms laying awkwardly against the crumpled roof while the other became more of a mesh consisting of broken exposed bones and hanging flesh that pumped profusely of the precious life fluid. My head swam in and out of consciousness from the sudden impact, while my wounds happily left a trail of ever growing pool of blood to cling to my hair.
I thought I saw people getting out of their cars yelling to call the ambulance though that was my best guess at the time. The ringing in my ears muffled all nearby sounds, so they couldn't be heard clearly.
The smell of copper and gas filled the air for a bit, before quickly being overpowered by a faint smell of smoke. This caused me to semi come to some sense, but not in time before my airbag went off dazing me further. Sending new pains into my mangled arm and blocking my vision. Somehow through all the commotion, the years of training kicked in on how to deal with rollovers. My good arm moved to instinctively find the seat belt harness following it along in the hopes of finding the belt release. Only to locate the hot engine sitting on top of it, making me rip my hand way reflexively from the burn it just gave me.
That was when the sight of green flames licked around my peripheral vision, greedily swallowing up the everything around me. I knew I had real issue due to the memory of a recent purchase of at the local car store for a oil change supplies. All the materials were suppose to be in the back seat somehow made their way up front to the engine and the plastic on a few of them was melting from the close by warm flames that protruded out of it. At that point all I could manage realizing what was about to happen was let out a scream of desperation. Just as the green flames took to my body stealing the very air around me.
Thrashing frantically about I found that I could barely move in my confined prison and the air around me didn't exist yet I was breathing? That's when a few things started to dawn on me. My movements were hindered as if I was under the water in a pool trying to swim around in a circle, the burning wasn't present, and I could make out voices.
"Quickly the queen wants the new warriors ready now." A hissing voice sounded near by, though it was as if he was talking underwater.
"They will be ready, but some will need time to have their bodies harden or they will die quickly." Came from a slight closer direction to where I was wrapped up. "Tell queen they will all be awake in short time, they will be ready for the wedding." Opening my eyes they slowly adjusted to the low light from the surrounding area. When they finally did, I wasn't sure if I was to be happy to be alive or confused, but at that particular moment it was a toss up.
There is always a point when one has to question their own sanity. I knew I was either losing my mind, which wouldn't be far from the truth, as moments ago I could have sworn I was being burned alive. Or am I still asleep? I would have chalked it up to a very very bad dream inception, but the pain from just moments ago should have woken me up and this didn't look like my room.
Taking a look at the surroundings through the clear substance were a pair of insect like creatures about a yard away. Each was decked out in abyss looking skin with small insect like wings protruding from their backs. They each had a horn, two sharp looking fangs, blue colored eyes, multiple holes through most of their appendages. Scary at the moment really, if it wasn’t for the fact they resembled something that belonged to a chiwawa’s as a chew toy.They reminded me of the changelings from My Little Pony. I didn't realize right off hand how true that was, or for the fact they were staring back at my direction.
Gazing past them, I could make out rows upon rows of sacs hanging or mounted to the floor like a bad copy of the old aliens movie. Each cocoon seemed to also have a transparency form about them showing inside what looked to be a insect per sac and there was easily a hundred of them. At this point, my mind clicked into a panic mode again where thrashing about trying desperately to break out of my prison seemed like the best course of action.
"Look that one moves, now open the sac. She needs to be prepared for armor." The underwater voice sounded.
Suddenly I quit moving as much still trying to process what was just said. Did it just say she!? Ok maybe its talking about another sac, yep that must be the case cause..... I started to move my hands to my lower area only to find grasping things wasn't possible. Looking look down I had few more pieces of information to work with and none were pleasant. Noticing the most obvious at the time were having hooves sticking to my limbs that had holes in multiple areas and the joints sticking in the wrong direction. My nose was sticking out of a broad snout, and to the most important issue for a guy. Oh no, no no no nope not happening, this isn't happen and if it did please just kill me now... mentally whimpering to myself.
Mind reset from panic mode
My struggles became a lot more violent inside this little prison. All I wanted at that moment was just to get out and run for the closest exit, wherever it may have been. This had better be drugs really really good drugs, yeah that's it the EMTs must have gotten there seconds later, put my body out from a smoking husk and loaded me up with LSD makes perfect sense. Came the most rational thoughts my mind could muster at the moment.
"She violent maybe to violent should we-"
Before the changeling could finish the sentence, my sac burst open from the multiple tears I was able to cause from my hooves to the newly decor on top of my head. Leading me to land face first into the solid muddy like ground, bringing a new set of pain rocketing through my body.
Yep definitely not a dream or drugs. I thought to myself on the now slippery floor from the sac's fluids that spilled out.
The pair of changelings just looked at me before returning their gaze to each other only seconds to fall to the floor in what I can only assume was laughing, even if it did sound like someone was choking a hyena. After a few moments they finally was able to compose themselves long enough to watch as I started to stand on what felt like stilts. Just as I took a step forward I begun walking in a zigzag pattern before finally flailing around trying to gain any type of balance.
Needless to say I got to try out the taste of dirt for the 2nd time while hearing a new set of laughter burst out from my small crowd of onlookers.
At that point I was no longer in a moment of panic. Pissed off was more appropriate. Here I was in a situation where I somehow become a BDSMS wanna a be, had a sex change after getting caught on fire, where I was pretty sure I died in a rather unpleasant way, trying out the local soil samples, and all while being laughed at by two annoying voiced creatures from my favorite cartoon show. All I could think about was wanting to do was burn a hole in one of the little pricks before a light above my head begun to glow a green.
"Did you see that...*gasp*... warrior can't stan-" was all the little changeling could muster in between breaths before a sickly green blast hit him dead center, sending it well over 20 feet through the air.
The other one watched in amazement as it's partner became a uncontrolled skeet, sailing through the underground cavern air before slamming into a stalactite with a gut turning crunch. The body slid down the rough surface and ungracefully fell to the floor in a mangled smoking mess. As I'm wondering what the heck just happened, the other changeling came up to me where I was laying on the floor while I focused in the direction of the burnt corpse. I tore my attention away just in time to witness a rather blunt looking, black, raised hoof that struck me in the face leading me into darkness.
***In the center of the Hive***
My sense of hearing came back first to the sound of wings beating against the wind as if a bee was right next my ear coming louder and louder. I tried to move my arm to swat the annoyance away in hopes that whatever it was would go bother someone else, but my arm wouldn't move as if it was being held tight. Suddenly everything became silent as I became weightless for a brief moment before my ragged body fell to the floor knocking the wind out of me.
Opening my eyes was more than difficult as I was only able to get them into tiny slits blurring all my vision. I could make out that this room seemed a great deal larger than the one I woke up in. Looking ahead, there seemed to be a large type of couch with a huge back end to it laying in the center being surround by a few more insects. That's when a blurry sight of a large creature came into view and began to pace in front of me, no more than ten feet away.
"So this female killed another changeling out of anger hmmm, that is interesting to say the least." The female voice rang out in leaving a echo in the room, but despite the harmonics, it did sound very familiar. "Well if what you say is true, this could be a problem, especially if I can't sense any of her thoughts being this close. Well no matter." She waved her arm dismissively through the air. "Killing one of my children means death, even if it was my one of my new offspring. So take it out to the Badlands and leave it there to die a slow death. Keep a close eye on the others to ensure they don't have the same habits as this one." She pointed at me with what looked to be her hoof.
"Yes my queen." Came a pair of voices from both sides of me.
"Oh by the way, you can take some revenge out on it. Wouldn't want her to be able to walk or fly anywhere now would we?" I could hear the malice almost dripping off her words.
"Hehehe with pleasure Queen Chrysalis."
As soon as I realized who it was that matched the voice, my world went dark once again from another strike to the back of my head.
I regained my senses a while ago, but I had a few more important matters at the time, since both of my escorts were going leave me to die out here. I knew I had wings, or I think I did judging by the odd feelings coming from my back. Though I'm not sure that was normal at the time, even if this whole situation was far from it. The complication I had with the wings is I had no idea how to fly, use them, and the fun fact we was a couple of hundred feet up, so yeah I can wait. Yet, overall I figured I could get a free ride out of it, hopefully closer towards 'civilization.'
A good three hours went by before a particularly foul smell attacked my sense of smell. Cracking one eye open I soon realized why. Hundreds if not thousands of changeling bodies littered the area. Some were deformed beyond any means of recognition, others looked like they been chewed apart, while even fewer had the resemblance of mummies probably from the harsh environment...I hope. Whatever the case I didn't plan to be a new addition here.
"Grahhh this place smells worse every week. Why does the queen want bodies placed here?" One changeling complained in a whiny voice.
"Cause it keeps the beasts far from the hive and closer to the ponies that's why." The other grudgingly stated as if it was common sense. "We must hurry and get rid of this bag of chitin. Dark is hour away and we shouldn't be here that long."
As we descended to grave site I went over a few things. Pony civilization is somewhere near by or closer than the hive. Something about it dark around here is a bad thing, and by the way the one on the left twitched at the idea means they are in a hurry which can lead to 'accidents'. Almost breaking into a smile...almost.
The changelings landed to the ground, tossing the their cargo somewhat ahead of them, leaving me to grown a bit upon impact. I could hear them giggling like a few school girls about to pick on the local nerd. Letting my senses open up, I felt the heat beating down from the sun as it was starting to waver in preparation to give way to the moon. Shortly a cool spot came across my head which was more then enough to signal the oncoming attack.
Rolling into the direction of the shadow, I quickly kicked all four of my legs in hopes to make contact with something. Luckily for me I did. The surprised changeling landed a small distance away grunting with annoyance more than anything. It wouldn't take long for it to regain its bearings, but that left the other to worry about.
I quickly blinked opened my eyes to see the second changeling preparing to ram me with its horn. Normally, this wouldn't be a issue with a pair of hands and two legs. But lacking my normal limbs it made things a bit more difficult, including rolling out of the way. That left me with one stupid option...so I sat up.
The changeling stampedes right past me, going as fast as his little legs could muster, and set on a collision course for his friend. The other one catches sight just in time to dodge and avoid be gouged to death by his own hive member. Hissing in spite of this, he hops back up onto his hooves and prepares to attack me in the same manner his friend.
Slowly I was able to stand up, trying to impose a more threatening stance, but my legs just didn't agree with me. I stood there shaking like a angry leaf towering about a half a foot taller than Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.
I'm going to die cause I can't even stand. This is bad and even if I could fire whatever I did last time, I am still a stationary target....this isn't good not good at all, if only I could have been a griffin or something! Was all I could think about before green flames licked around me.
Just as soon as the changeling was about to charge in for the kill, the female changeling's horn quickly lit up. Eerie green flames swarming around her, leaving a griffin standing in her place. Un-phased by the change in appearance, the changeling took action charging with full force.
First thing I noticed was that I was on two legs with semi balance and coated in mainly coal black fur and feather, with sharp looking talons and a beak. Before I could take more details, the prior smacked over changeling launched its attack. Unfortunately for it, I used to do fencing in an organization similar to renaissance fairs, and was trained up to Green Belt in the Marines Corps Martial Arts. With two balanced legs, I now held the advantage.
As soon as the little insect came close enough, I did a simple side step, letting it pass in front of me before performing a thrusting knife hand only made more lethal with the sharp claws aiming for its throat. Feeling instant satisfaction as the razors passed into its neck cutting through the body easily using its own momentum of its own attack against it. The changeling went limp and the fresh green blood flowing down my talons as I pulled back out. The victory was short lived as I felt the impact of the last changeling ramming its horn into my midsection. We went tumbling into the ground sending dirt and rocks in all directions.
The remaining changeling sat on top as victor, putting all its weight on top of my chest while pinning my arms under its back legs. It then started punching me repeatedly in the face with its hard hoofs. With each blow the stinging become less and less apparent as it brought me closer to passing out. With a quick lunge forward with what strength I could muster, I did the last thing I could think of...I bit down. The series of attacks halted and a blood choking scream took its place. The changeling brought it hoofs up wrapping around my beak trying to force me off. I kept the pressure on its neck, even as the blood ran down my bruised face into my mouth with a sickening taste. I pushed back the nausea that was building, and held firm for a what felt like a lifetime before the noises and flailing stopped all together. Satisfied that the changeling was dead, I tossed it off of me with a heavy heave only to start gasping for air as I coughed up the corpses’ blood.
Awkwardly standing up on two legs, I assessed the hole in my side from the short battle. It seemed to be a few inches deep, but wasn't bleeding out profusely. So with a heavy grunt, I applied as much pressure as I could with my talon.
The sun begun falling over the horizon with maybe thirty minutes of daylight left, if I was lucky. Recalling a few memories of the show during season 2, I tried to recall how the queen was launched away from the castle. “She was heading away towards the badlands after the bubble shield so that means..." I trailed off as I caught sight of a forest off in the distance. "Bingo." I smiled.
"I seriously hope that’s the safe forest they used in the show during the 'Running of the Leaves' event. Cause if it isn't, well this is going to get a lot worse before it gets better." I stated before gulping what saliva had built up forgetting it was mixed with blood making me immediately regret that idea. Clutching the wound I started to walk away from the graveyard towards the distant field of trees with hopes for a better day tomorrow.
Soon the moon rose up to take its rightful place in the sky bathing the Badlands a peaceful low hue, till a single traveler broke the silence. "God I wish I had a cigarette."