• Published 11th May 2013
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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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Ch. 1-3: Nightmares And Determination

Part One
Summer Nightmares

Chapter Three
Nightmares And Determination

~~)Back At The Hive(~~

Vitam was sitting alone in the family room thinking about Zuro. His wife and two remaining children were still asleep, unless Gnator snuck out earlier with his troublesome friends to cause some trouble, and the sun had yet to rise. Vitam sat on a stony bench staring at the sky out the window, waiting for daybreak. From what Zuro told him, the princess of Equestria uses her magic to raise the sun for the day, and then the moon for the night. This princess of theirs must be powerful. He thought to himself.

The sun should be rising any minute by now, but there was no sign of sunlight over the horizon, which made Vitam a bit curious. He leaned in closer to the window to get a better view of the sky, which somehow looked... different. It seemed more dark and cold then usual and he did not like it. The sun should be up by now, what's going on?

His thoughts were soon interrupted by little screams and he jumped off the bench and bolted for the bedrooms, knowing who that scream belonged to. "Dili!"

~~)oOo(~~

The sun was high in the sky and the air was warm with a gentle breeze blowing through the grass. Ponies were running around, spreading their love for each other, and even the changelings around them. Dili was running and playing with Zuro and Gnator, enjoying each others company as they laughed and gained strength from the ponies around them.

Dili was running from her oldest brother, crying 'you can't catch me' as she blew raspberries at him. He ran after her acting like she was to fast for him while he got closer and closer. He reached out for her with a hoof then swung it down to tag her only to miss her rump and loose some ground behind her.

"You're too fast for me sweetie!" He huffed, then collapsed to the ground. She stopped and looked back to see him buried in the grass.

"I know you're faking it!" She said with a laugh. He did not move. She took a few steps closer as she kept her eyes locked on him, ready to bolt as soon as he made his move. As she got closer she saw his eyes closed and his body completely limp and still. Her curious mind started to get the better of her and she started to grow fearful for the worse.

She stood next to him and reached out her hoof slowly to poke him and as she got only an inch from his body he jumped at her with a 'ha' and snatched her in his forelegs. The two burst into a fit of laughter as he blew raspberries on her belly and tickled her.

"You fell for it!" He shouted over her laughing. "Now you're mine!" He lowered his head and blew more raspberries on her belly, earning more laughter from his baby sister. Soon, Gnator came running in and tackled Zuro to rescue their sister from their bother's assault.

"Run, Dili! Run!" He shouted dramatically. "Save yourself!" Instead of following Gnator's instructions she got to her hooves and pounced up on them, knocking all three of them to the grass in a fit of laughter and pure joy. It was the type of sibling love she always wanted and dreamed about.

The three let themselves fall to the ground, panting and tired from all the running and random playing. Dili was happy with this setting. She was with both of her older brothers and they were all happy together. She wanted this to last forever and ever. There was nothing else she wanted more.

Then everything started to change. The warm air was replaced with a cold breeze, the bright blue sky was turning a deep blood red and black, and the grass around them crumbled and dried up dead. She looked up and saw all the ponies that were running around just moments ago were now either locked up in chains or laying on the ground, screaming in fear, pain, and agony.

The dead scenario was not unusual for a changeling since their homeland was barren mountains and rock, but this was dark and cold, not in nature, but in feeling. The air was completely devoid of love and she looked over to find Gnator was gone and Zuro was standing alone several feet away with his eyes glowing a blank white and a menacing grin spread on his muzzle.

"Bubba?" She called. He made no response. The blood red sky was now transformed into a menacing night sky with no moon to add to its usual beauty, but this night was not beautiful at all. "Bubba, what's going on?" She called again. He lowered his gaze to her, sending cold shivers down her spine as she saw his dark expression which never existed before now. This was not her brother, this was something else. "Where's my bubba?" She demanded bravely, but fear was apparent in her voice.

'Zuro' let out a cold cackle to the question and his body began to glow white and his size began to grow. His wings grew more visible, his horn straight and long, and when the light around him vanished a tall, beautiful black alicorn with menacing armor and deep blue starry clouds for her mane and tail. Her eyes were teal, but what was the most frightening about them was the pupils. They were not round like normal ponies, but dagger shaped like dragons.

"You will never see your precious brother, or the sun ever again." The alicorn said in a deep, menacing female voice. "For, as of this moment the night will last forever!" She raised her head and wings to the sky, her mane and tail flowing in circles over her form and conducting bolts of lighting as she let out a dark and cold fit of cackling that filled the air and frightened Dili.

Now all the young changeling wanted to do was run, but she could not move. She was rooted to the spot, frozen with fear. The black alicorn then turned her gaze back to the little changeling in front of her and illuminated her horn, aiming it at Dili.

~~)oOo(~~

Anorum sat at the stone table alone in the kitchen, thinking about Zuro and Gnator as she bit down on the edge of her hooves. Images of what might happen to her two sons flashing in her mind. Zuro was locked away in a pony prison while Gnator was laying on the ground with no life flowing through his body at all. She dreaded the day she would see those horrible visions come true.

Then she heard someone come in the front door with a 'mom, we're home' and she bolted up to find both her boys walking in with smiles and love for their mother. She ran up and hugged both of them, and they hugged her back, tears of joy streaming down her cheeks that her boys came home together.

Her joy increased when she looked passed them and saw a tall changeling with silky greenish blue hair with a lock between her eyes, her horn long and crooked, and her eyes more pony-like with dagger pupils. Queen Chrysalis was smiling down at her subject with the love and joy she shared for her sons.

"My queen!" She said as she let go of her boys and lowered her head in a respectful bow to her queen, Zuro and Gnator followed suit. When the queen said nothing, the three raised their heads up to the new monarch, who smiled at them.

"The queen convinced us to come home to you, mom." Zuro said, which brought even more tears of joy to her eyes and she turned to face her monarch again.

"Thank you, my queen." She said with another bow.

"Oh, it was nothing." Chrysalis said. "I just wanted to see the joy on your face before I punished them both for abandoning their hive and family." Anorum's heart sank, and her tears that were once full of joy were stopped by shock, disbelief, and horror. The queen lowered her head and ignited her horn in green light as she aimed it at the younger males. Two blasts of green light and Zuro and Gnator fell to the ground, lifeless and without emotion.

"NO!" Anorum screamed as she dropped down to hold her two dead boys in her forelegs. Chrysalis laughed and flew away, leaving the mother who just witnessed her sons deaths before her very eyes. In Anorum's grieving she heard another scream that made her heart stop entirely. "Dili!"

~~)oOo(~~

Gnator was standing alone on a Cliffside over a canyon in the rocky mountains, his thoughts locked on his brother and the day he left two years ago. Gnator was hurt, and did not feel like being with his friends today. He loved his brother, and he wished he had never left in the first place. When Zuro left, it was as though a part of him left with his older brother. He turned his gaze to the night sky and glared at the moon as if everything was its fault.

He was so focused on his anger and frustration, he did not notice a group of stars vanishing behind the orb in the sky and the faint image of the unicorn imprinted on the moon disappear. However, he did notice the lack of sunlight when the sun should have been up by now. This got him curious and he transformed himself into a griffon, a race he was more in favor of then the ponies, and took flight into the air. As he increased his altitude, the night sky appeared to be more dark and menacing, even the moon seamed to disappear after a few minutes.

"What in the name of Tartarus...?" He began until he felt something coming from back at home that made his heart skip a beat. He turned around and flew back to his home at top speed without a second thought. He flew left and right around the mountain rocks, through open allies, and straight for the house.

He got there and bolted through the door to find no lights on and not a changeling in sight, but he could feel strong levels of intangible love coming from inside Dili's room. That is where he needed to go. He let his griffon form drop and bolted for his sister's bedroom, where he found both his mother and father cuddling a crying Dili on her bed.

"Mom, dad, what's wrong?" He asked as he ran up to join in.

"She had a nightmare." Vitam answered as he held his hoof out for his younger son.

"Bubba..." Dili sobbed. This was enough to make Gnator frown, but not enough to make him abandon his little sister in need. He squeezed in between his parents to his sister and pulled her into his forelegs.

"Shh shh shh." He hushed her. "It's okay, Dili." The four stayed there for a few minutes before Vitam broke his hold and made for the door.

"Where are you going?" Anorum asked. Vitam stopped and looked back at his family.

"I'm going to see if Zuro is okay." He answered. Gnator let go of his mother and sister and started to go after his father.

"I'm coming with you." He said.

"No, Gnator," Vitam said as he raised a hoof up to him. "You need to stay and look after your mother and sister."

"But, I wanna see Zu!" Gnator protested.

"You will." Vitam said as he trotted up and placed his hooves on his son's shoulders. "But, right now something terrible is going on and your mother and sister need you to look after them in case anything happens here." Gnator gave a disappointed pout and wanted to protest, but he knew is father's logic was sound. After Gnator gave his father a quick nod, acknowledging his understanding, Vitam turned and left the room as he transformed into a brown pegasus and flew off.

~~)In Ponyville(~~

The townsponies of Ponyville were in complete disarray as they ran through the dark streets. Everypony was talking about Princess Celestia and how she never showed up at the town hall to raise the sun for the celebration. That black alicorn, Nightmare Moon, who appeared in Celestia's place this morning disappeared shortly after, and Twilight Sparkle seamed to know quite a lot about her.

Twilight's knowledge of the alicorn got Zuro's attention, but when he went to the library to find her, all he found was Spike asleep in a basket upstairs and a few books scattered all over the floor. He did not want to bother the baby dragon because he had been up all night at the party, and most certainly needed his sleep, being a baby dragon and all.

He began to go through the scattered books to see if he could find some kind of clue that would lead him to where Twilight might have gone too. All of them were dead ends and he was starting to get a little frustrated and gave up searching at the library to look for Twilight some other way.

Just as he was about to walk out the door, it swung open and Angel and Jet both came in looking for him. "Guard, where have ya been?" Jet asked.

"Where's Twilight Sparkle?" Zuro replied.

"Zuro, you had us worried!" Angel snapped. Zuro felt the level of love from her for him drop quickly.

"Twilight knows something about Nightmare." Zuro explained, which seamed to give him the sense of hope coming from Angel. "I need to find her and figure out if she can help out."

"Guard, what did you do in here?" Jet asked as he brushed past his friend inside, surveying the books on the floor.

"The books were already scattered all over the place." Zuro answered quickly. "Twilight must have been here looking for answers before and left Spike upstairs in bed."

"Did you ask the little guy where she went?" Jet asked.

"No, he's asleep." Zuro answered.

"Always the soft one." Jet said as he started trotting for the stairs. Zuro flapped his wings and landed on the stairs in front of the red stallion.

"Jet, Spike's been up all night. Do you really think he'll be able to think clearly when he's tired?" Zuro protested.

"He's a dragon, I don't know anything about him, other then what he told us about his time with Twilight." Jet answered.

"He's a 'baby' dragon." Zuro pointed out. "You know the youth need their sleep."

"That's a good point, Jet." Angel stated as she held a book up in front of her muzzle. Zuro felt the love from her return to a higher level. "Zuro, did you look through these books to see if you could find anything?"

"I did, but I didn't find anything." Zuro answered as he and Jet trotted up to her.

"Did you look at this book?" She asked as she held the book up for him. Zuro took the book and checked the title.

'The Elements Of Harmony, A Reference Guide'

"Yes I did. What help will this be?" He asked.

"The Elements Of Harmony were used against a wicked mare of darkness a thousand years ago by Princess Celestia." Angel explained. "The princess used the Elements to banish Nightmare Moon into the moon. Hence the name, Nightmare Moon." Zuro looked at the book again and read over the pages to double check her words and was met with and annoyed sigh.

"Okay, I overlooked my history." He admitted. "Maybe this book can tell us where..." He stopped short as his eyes looked over a sentence.

"What?" Jet asked as he came up beside Zuro to read over the page. Soon his eyes shot open wide and he backed away, shaking his head. "Oh, no! No way are we going in there!"

"Where?" Angel asked as Zuro eyed his best friend.

"Really, Jet?" He asked. "I would've thought you'd jump at the idea of a good adventure."

"Not in the Everfree Forest!" Jet countered.

"Whoa. Wait. Where?" Angel asked, taking the book back to read over it.

"What makes going into the forest this time so different?" Zuro asked.

"Should I answer alphabetically, or chronologically?" Jet replied.

"Zuro, from what I've learned and what this book suggests, we don't wanna go anywhere near this place." Angel stated. "The forest is more dangerous at night, and these ruins are deep in the Everfree Forest. And I mean 'deep'."

"So, you'd rather let Nightmare Moon shroud Equestria in everlasting night instead of doing something about it?" Zuro asked sarcastically.

"What can three eighteen year old pegasi do?" Angel countered.

"Twilight might have gone in there to find the Elements. We can't just let her go at it alone." Zuro stated.

Before either of his friends could say another word he bolted off for the door and trotted out of the library. Angel and Jet dropped the book and ran after him.

"Zuro, wait!" They called for him. He continued his pace a few steps before flapping his wings and taking off for the forest. He felt their love for him die down at first, but soon they caught up with him on either side of him.

"I thought you guys weren't going." He stated.

"Are you kidding?" Jet spat out.

"We may not like it, but we're not going to let you go out there by yourself." Angel added. Zuro smiled at both of them and all three continued over the trees of the dark Everfree Forest.