• Published 11th May 2013
  • 7,520 Views, 319 Comments

Changing Odds - Melody Brush



A changeling decides to live a pony life and after four years of living a good life, Queen Chrysalis attacked Canterlot, the changeling is arrested and sent to trial.

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Prologue: Growing Up

Changing Odds


Written by Music Brush, with the guidance of Mechafone.

Prologue

Growing Up

Dear diary,

Tomorrow, I turn sixteen, and I'm so excited, and terrified at the same time! I'm so excited because, as of tomorrow, I can go out on my own to start my own life, but I'm terrified because the life I want to live is not very accepting to one of my kind, and I doubt my parents, especially my mother, will allow me to leave without a bit of a fuss. My mother has always been protective of her family and taught us right. My father has always been a more understanding of the two and gave us more reasonable freedom while keeping us on a tight enough leash.

Anyway, the life I wanna live is that of a pony's. I have always been fascinated by the ponies' way of life and have wondered what it would be like to live among them. I know that will sound odd to the ponies who read this and don't know what I am. So if you're a pony who's reading this diary and still don't know what I am, you're about to find out, and I hope you will still trust me if we are friends.

I better get to bed. It's almost midnight and I have a long, early day ahead of me! I will go talk to my parents, and even if they say no, I'll go and try to live with the ponies anyway. Wish me luck.

Good night.

Zuro reread the words he just wrote in his diary and smiled at them. He closed the book then slid it inside a pony saddlebag his father had just got for him earlier last week as an early birthday present. His father knew how much he loved ponies, but that was no big secret. After all, a changeling must seek love from the other races to gain their magical power, and ponies were the closest race to the changeling castle. The dragons lived in hot and dangerous badlands such as volcanoes, and the griffons were more commonly found in Griffonstone and were not known for being as friendly as ponies. Wild animals were just too unpredictable to be around, and everything else was either too impossible or nonexistent in this day and age.

Zuro looked up to a picture on his stone desk and smiled. The picture showed two ponies: a strapping blue unicorn stallion with a beautiful pink pegasus mare. The stallion was his father, way before he was born, in a pony disguise. He’d slipped into a small town and found the single mare and beloved her and was well fed with love energy in return. Zuro probably would have been a hybrid if that mare was more accepting. His father had fallen so deeply in love with that mare that he wanted to confess to her, but sadly when he told her what he was, she broke it off and they went their separate ways. Luckily she was kind enough not to spread his secret to others so no suspicion was raised from his encounter.

As he stared at the two ponies in the picture, he imagined a pony persona for himself to allow him to roam the streets of the towns in Equestria freely without striking fear into the hearts of the citizens. He did favor the color blue, but he wanted a brighter shade than his father used, and he loved being able to fly, so the pony 'Pegasus' was the most reasonable choice for him. He could find a job as a weather pony when he got in to sustain himself financially while gaining friends to sustain him with love energy, and he liked the sound of that.

He closed his eyes to better imagine himself as a pony and allowed his magic to course through his body. He felt one brief moment of strong vibrations and heat. After a minute, he opened his eyes and looked at his hooves to find they were covered in the blue fur and were no longer the black stumps filled with holes like he imagined. He got up and ran to a bare wall. He allowed his changeling horn to appear and illuminated it at the wall, causing it to reflect his image back at him.

He smiled at his new look. He was a young pegasus colt with a bright blue coat and black mane. He spread his wings and admired them, turning his body left and right to get a better look at himself. Then his eyes shifted to his flank, which was still blank. He thought about what he remembered learning about pony culture from what his father told him during his time as a pony.

"Let me see... it was called a sweet mark? No, a... a cutie mark!" He smiled. "From what I can remember dad telling me, the cutie mark is a very special mark on the pony flank to show what that pony's specific talent is, and only appears when that pony discovers said specific talent. What am I good at?" He scratched his hoof as he thought about the things he enjoyed doing the most.

He closed his eyes again and thought about things he was best at. "Hmm... what can I do?" He was very protective of his younger siblings and friends. "A shield? To show my protective side? I think that sounds good." And he enjoyed flying a lot. "Yeah! Some wings, too, for flying!" His thoughts sparked an idea, and in an instant, he felt magic coursing to his flank. He opened his eyes and saw a winged shield placed firmly in front of a rain cloud with a lightning bolt striking below it.

He smiled at his new look, deeply satisfied with his work, and growing more excited by the second. "I may not get any sleep at all tonight!" He had to fight himself to keep from bouncing in place.

He let his magic die down and both his reflection on the wall and his pony disguise vanished, leaving him in his natural, black changeling form before he trotted over to a stack of leaves and wild animal fur that he had arranged into a rough makeshift bed. The animal fur kept him warm during the cold night hours and, added with the leaves, helped make it more comfortable on the rocky floor.

He set himself on the bed and repositioned himself a few times before finding a comfortable position and fought his excitement to try and sleep. What felt like hours was really only a few minutes before he fell right to sleep and dreamed about his future life as a pony.

~~)oOo(~~

Zuro woke up the next morning with a big yawn and a cracking stretch. He crept out of the haystack and arched his back up until it cracked, then he sighed with satisfaction. "Today's the day! Happy birthday, Zuro!" He gave his legs a good, long stretch like a cat before walking out of the room.

Zuro trotted through the halls into the family room where he found his mother, Anorum, playing with his baby sister, Dili. His father, Vitam, was giving his younger brother, Gnator, quick lessons on transforming into creatures other than ponies. The results of Gnator's underdeveloped changeling powers were... not bad. Most of his transformations ended up looking more like the extinct draconequus of ancient times.

"Oh, good morning, Zuro!" His mother called with a happy smile when she looked up at him.

"Bubba!" his sister cried as she bolted for him. She ran up and pounced right into his chest, knocking him back on his rump with an audible 'oof'. As he hit the ground, he laughed and wrapped his forelegs around her.

"Hey, Dili!" Zuro laughed as he hugged her. She nuzzled his chest with giggles and happy buzzes.

"Happy birthday, big bro!" His little brother shouted as he reverted to his natural form.

"Thank you, Gnator," Zuro replied, looking up from Dili to the young changeling who looked up to him.

"Happy birthday, son," his mother and father called out together. Zuro smiled and sat up with Dili in his hold and looked up at all of them.

"Thank you all," he replied with a proud smile on his face.

"What bubba want? What bubba want?!" Dili asked excitedly as she bounced in his hold.

"Yes, what do you want for your birthday, hun?" Anorum asked.

Zuro's heart skipped a beat at the question. Now was the time for him to ask his question and he was scared his parents would completely reject him of his wish to join pony society. Heaven knows what the queen would say about one of her subjects wanting to live among ponies for anything less than infiltration and finding means to conquer. He took in a deep breath as he lifted his sister off of him in his magic so he could get to his hooves and she jumped right onto his back. He looked up at his sister with a smile before he turned to face his parents who were standing side by side, waiting for their son to answer and tell them his birthday wish.

"Mom, dad..." he began, "I would love to live like a pony." He watched their expressions closely and noticed they were frozen in place. His brother was standing there with a look that instantly shifted from excitement to a sense of confusion, all while his sister sat on his back bouncing with joy.

"Bubba pony! Bubba pony!" She stopped and looked puzzled. "What a pony?"

"Dili, ponies are the creatures we change into to feed off their love," Gnator answered as he sat down and stared at Zuro in disbelief.

"Yay! Bubba pony!" Dili cheered as she clapped her holey hooves. Zuro turned to his mother now, waiting for her protest.

"Please, tell me you mean you just want to go and feed on love on your own for a few days," Anorum pleaded with fear rapidly increasing in her expression.

"No," he replied as he shook his head. "I mean I wanna live as a pony. For life." His mother let out a scream while his father looked as though he was thinking it through long and hard. His sister was jumping with joy and his brother looked more unhappy about the whole thing as the conversation went on.

"Live as a pony?" Anorum cried. "Have you any idea what they will do to you if they find out what you are?"

"Now, my love..." Vitam began only to have her shoot a sharp glare at him.

"No!" She spat. "You remember what happened to you when your pony friend found out what you are!" Granted, it was not as bad as she would make it out to be, but that was not going to stop her from doing everything she could to make sure her charges were safe from the worst.

"Every changeling has to grow up sometime, and you know we can't survive without the other races." He explained as he ignored the memory of his past lover.

"The ponies fear and hate us!" She countered. "That's why we hide amongst the couples to feed, and when we're not among them we live in our castle, not live with them like them!"

"Yes, but mom," Zuro interrupted, "you know there have been times in the past when a changeling has lived a successful life with a pony."

"And were later ejected from the hive, or discovered by other ponies and chased out or locked away, or even terminated! I will not have that-" she stated.

"Anorum, don't you think you're overreacting a little?" Vitam interjected.

"Are you saying you want to send our son to his death, Vitam?!" She asked.

"No, but-" he began before getting cut off again.

"Then he's not going!" She stated firmly.

"Bubba pony! Bubba pony!" Dili cheered as she bounced on Zuro's back. They all looked over to Dili, who was now hugging the back of her big brother’s neck. The two had been very close since she was born, and it was plain she loved her big brother and he enjoyed every bit of it. Vitam looked to his wife, who smiled at her two children before turning to face her husband with fear apparent in her eyes.

"My love, I know how you feel right now, but we can only protect him for so long," Vitam explained. Her expression never changed. "This may be what the hive needs, Anorum. His leaving to live with the ponies might be the one thing that can save us from our current state."

For the past several years, their changeling hive had been slowly slipping. The reserved ponies captured or chose to stay from so many years ago to feed love off of had been dwindling, which was odd, since love lasted, and the queen was growing more desperate by the day. Now their supplies were running dangerously low which only made things even worse. For a changeling to be able to successfully go and live a good life amongst the ponies, that changeling would be set for life! He would have one to love and many to feed off of, and if said changeling could convince the ponies they were not as bad as they were feared to be, then they could come out of hiding and live freely. Though that also depended on the actions of the queen as well as any changeling who dared to make such a leap.

Anorum looked back at her children. The unusable love radiating from her only daughter was strong for her older brother. The look in Zuro's eyes was screaming and begging for her to let him go, but her youngest son, Gnator, looked displeased about it and looked to his mother with a shake of his head, silently asking her to say 'no'.

"Zuro... do you realize how serious this is?" She asked. He replied with a silent nod of his head. There was a long pause with Dili's giggles being the only sound to fill the room.

"Mom," Zuro spoke up, "I really want this. Even if it doesn't work, I have to at least try to live my dream. You know how much ponies fascinate me." She said nothing after he spoke, and after a minute, he reached up and lifted Dili off his back, gave her cheek a quick nuzzle, then sat her down before looking back up at his parents. "Look, I even have a pony disguise already." A flash of green flame engulfed him briefly, and after it died, a blue pegasus stallion stood in his place. Dili giggled at this and in a small flash of green, her own scaly skin turned blue to match her brother's. It was not a full pony, but it was an adorable sight nonetheless.

"Bubba pony!" She cheered.

There was a long, ear-piercing silence, broken only by Dili's cheers for her eldest brother. Gnator stood there staring between his mother and brother, waiting for the answer, hoping and praying that his mother would say 'no' and keep Zuro here. Zuro sat there in his seamless disguise with his little sister at his hooves, her love strong enough to make him feel like an alicorn while his heart raced a mile a minute as he waited for the answer.

Anorum stared into her eldest son's eyes while the options weighed heavily in her head. She could not let him go. He would be locked away, or worse. She had a sworn duty to protect her family, and even if it meant keeping Zuro from his dream, she would do it. Finally, an answer came to her. She closed her eyes and let her head drop as she heaved a heavy sigh. "Okay." She said. Wait, that is not what she wanted to say!

"What?!" Gnator yelled. Zuro's pony form flashed away in an instant and he stood there in his natural form with a look of anger on his face with a deep groan.

"I knew- wait, what?" He looked up when he processed what he just heard.

"Zuro," Anorum started again, "you may go live with the ponies."

"You're letting him go?!" Gnator asked, his heart pounding, hoping he misheard what was being said.

"I know I can't protect you all the time, and sooner or later, the young must move on," Anorum observed, "so you can go as you wish." Why was she saying this? She wanted to say 'no' not let him go.

Gnator turned to Zuro, who looked as if he was about to faint. "You're not going, right Zu?" He asked. There was no answer. Zuro just stood there, petrified in unbelief that his mother gave in. After several long seconds, he smiled and bolted up to his parents and gave them both a tight hug.

"Thankyouthankyouthankyou!" He screamed. He then turned and gave his sister a hug, who happily returned the embrace as she giggled and cheered for him. Then he turned and gave his brother a hug, who did nothing in return. After giving each of his family a hug, he bolted through their stone home in the castle and into his room to pack a few things to take with him on the road to his new life.

He grabbed his pony saddlebag with his diary and grabbed the picture of his father with the pony mare and a few other things, placing them in the bag eagerly. After a few minutes, he looked up from his packing to find Gnator with a pleading look of sadness on his face. Zuro felt strong love radiating from his body that would never give him any strength physically or magically, and his own joy began to die down. He got to his hooves and took a step closer to his little brother.

"You really are leaving us, Zu?" Gnator asked. Zuro stopped and stared at the young changeling with a look of sorrow.

"Gnator..." he began.

"Just tell me you'll be back, Zu." Gnator interrupted. There was a long, headache-inducing silence between them for a long minute before Zuro let his head drop with a sigh.

"I don't know, bud." He answered. "This is something I've wanted all my life, and if it turns out as I hope..." He lifted his gaze up to his little brother, who just looked back at him with sad, blue eyes. After a minute, Gnator turned and left the room, leaving Zuro alone to finish his packing.

Zuro stood there with a bit of a heavy heart. He cared for his family, and would gladly give his life if it meant they would live. For anyone of his family to be upset like this, it made him feel guilty.

He took in a deep breath and convinced himself his brother was just a little unhappy with the change and he would soon adjust to it. That's how Gnator always was. When Dili was born, Gnator had zero interest in his new baby sister and showed signs of great jealousy, but after a while, he soon grew attached to her and enjoyed her company.

Zuro resumed his packing, and when he was done, he left his room to say goodbye to his family one more time. He started with Dili, giving her a sweet kiss on the cheek, earning a fit of giggles from the three-year-old filly. He then turned to his parents, giving them warm hugs, his mother refusing to let him go. Then he went to Gnator, telling him that he liked to save the best for last. It did not seem to help much, but he thought it was enough with the added hug he gave him before trotting out the door that just appeared in the wall and flew away toward his new life.

~~)oOo(~~

Zuro was flying through a heavy forest with an old map sticking out of his saddlebag for easy access if he needed it to get his bearings straight. He had been flying for hours, his excitement growing every minute as he got closer to his destination. He was also growing more tired the farther he went. He stopped a few times along the way to take the form of nearby animals in order to regain some energy, some of which were not the best moments of his life, but it helped. Then, after a bit of rest, he would check the old map before continuing his flight.

Hours had passed and he reached the end of the forest and there, settled just outside the forest, was a small town made of wooden houses with straw rooftops, some trees refined into houses, and plenty of ponies to satisfy the hive. He quickly pulled out his map and saw that the town was not listed. "This town must be new," he mused.

He put the old map away, transformed himself into his pony form, and took in a deep breath before flying out of the forest toward the town. He passed a small cottage that was surrounded by animals of all kinds and could feel they all shared a love for one pony with a large, gentle heart. In the distance, he could see a farm with an apple orchard. He could make out a rather large red stallion pulling a cart of apples across the fields. As he entered the town, his excitement skyrocketed. Ponies of every kind— earth, pegasus, and unicorn —were filling the streets with activity. Small shops were set up for selling goods like food and furniture. Theaters and restaurants were lined with couples giving off many levels of love vibes. He noticed a couple of mares, one mint green, and the other a cream color, with an extremely high level of love for one another. He smiled at them. ”Best of luck, you two,” he said to himself.

Zuro was so lost in his joy that he did not notice a young, bright red pegasus colt coming his way until he bumped into him. "Hey!" the colt barked. "Watch where you're going."

"I'm sorry," Zuro offered as he got up and brushed himself off. "I didn't mean to run into you."

"No excuse!" the colt snapped. Zuro did not like where this was going.

"Look, I'm new here, and I don't want any trouble," Zuro said calmly.

"First rule, pal: You bump into Jet Blast, you got trouble." The colt gave Zuro a shove and nearly knocked him to the ground.

"I'm sorry..." Zuro began.

"Put 'em up, boy!" Jet ordered as he raised his wings threateningly. Zuro sighed. It was obvious he was not getting through this colt with words. Maybe the pony life was not going to be so great. He stood in place and got himself ready for an upcoming attack. Basic fighting was necessary for a changeling in case of situations like this, so he was ready for this 'Jet Blast'.

Jet stood on his hind hooves and took a swing at his opponent. Zuro dodged to the left, causing his attacker to overpass him and stumble over a few steps. Jet regained himself and made for another swing with his left hoof. This time, Zuro took a step to his right as he stuck a hoof out, tripping his opponent face-first into the grass. Jet got up and looked angrily at Zuro, who patiently waited for the next move.

Jet flapped his wings and charged the blue pegasus in a full-on tackle. Zuro jumped and flapped his own wings to gain altitude and let Jet dive to the ground underneath him. By this point, the two had attracted an audience who were gathered around, chanting 'fight, fight, fight' as things began to heat up.

Zuro landed and turned to face Jet, who was on his hooves, glaring and snorting at him. "We don't have to do this, Jet," Zuro said calmly. "Let's stop this now, and walk away like it never happened." Jet just snorted and charged him again. He swung his hooves at Zuro multiple times, missing each time as his opponent dodged all of his attacks. There was a pause in his attacks before he resumed swinging. This time, his blows were met with blocks.

Jet took another swing and Zuro slapped his hoof away, followed by a swing of his own hoof, hitting Jet in the chest and sending him to his back onto the ground.

"Stop this now, before someone gets hurt," Zuro ordered. He blinked when the response he received was laughing. Jet got to his hooves with a smile on his face as he brushed the dirt off his shoulders.

"You're good!" Jet mused. "Haven't had a good rustle like that in a while."

"You... enjoyed that?" Zuro asked."Yeah, I saw you comin' in town and thought to myself, 'he looks like a fighter,' and had to make sure. I was right!" Jet extended a hoof out to Zuro. "Name's Jet Blast, friend." Zuro hesitated before reaching his own hoof out and shook Jet's.

"My name's Zuro," he said.

"Zuro, pleased to meet you! Welcome to Ponyville!" Jet exclaimed. Zuro felt some energy come from the colt and smiled. "This may not be so bad after all," he thought to himself.

~~)oOo(~~


Dear diary,

Today is the best day of my life so far! I asked my parents if I could go live as a pony, and even though at first my mom said no, they both said 'yes'! I immediately packed a few things, a few old maps of the land included and left to start my new life.

I've been flying all day through this strange and dark forest the ponies call the Everfree Forest, stopping every now and again to refill on the love of some random forest animals, which most of the time wasn't very pleasant, but I needed the energy.

Just after reaching the end of the forest, I came up to a small town called Ponyville that wasn't on the map, but it was filled with ponies of all kinds! Imagine my glee! I met one young colt my age and we had a bit of a fight to start with, but soon became friends and I can already feel a brotherly love coming from him. His name is Jet Blast and he's a pegasus, which means I have a flying buddy!

Of course, there were other ponies who were completely crude and unkind, like this one earth pony, Buck Rogers, who were just like my mother feared, but they were targeting their own kind. The way I see this life, even though I've only been here for a third of a day, their way of life is not at all different from changelings.

Well, I better get some sleep. It is well past midnight and I need to start looking for ways to live like these ponies.

Good night.

Author's Note:

Pronounciations:
Anorum: an-or-room
Dili: dil-ee
Gnator: nat-or
Vitam: vit-om
Zuro: zoo-ro

Names were taken from latin words to involve romance and love.

Just proofread yesterday, May, 20th, 2015, by Mechafone.