• Published 6th Sep 2013
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Five Score: A New Hive - bossfight1



Chris, on his twenty-fifth birthday, begins going through some inhuman changes. Set in the Five Sco

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Chapter 3: Adjustment

Chapter 3: Adjustments

The first thing I felt when I regained consciousness, in addition to the agonizing hunger pains, was a horrible sense of wrongness in my entire body. My arms and legs felt like they were being forced to hang horizontally in front of me, my neck felt a couple feet longer than before, and my mouth seemed a lot more spacious. My eyes popped open. My nose was much blacker than I remembered, and jutted out a good three inches from my face.

“What…” I muttered; my own voice was changed as well. It was feminine, with a mild distortion effect. I looked down my body and nearly passed out again.

The blackened bits that had been overwhelming my hands that morning had returned with a vengeance. All of my limbs were now chitinous hooves, with several inch-wide holes in them. Trying to move like a human felt like I was trying, and failing, to do the Matrix Bullet Dodge; I just didn’t have the flexibility for it.

I was, undeniably, a changeling through and through. What’s more, I wasn’t just any changeling. The feeling of some strange growth on my head, the long, transparent mane and the insect wings in my back put me far above a simple drone.

No... I thought. No, no, this isn't fair! I was back, I was normal, I wasn't... I wasn't this!!

A shuddering whimper caught my attention. I turned my head towards the doorway into the kitchen. “Liz?”

Liz stumbled back, her eyes impossibly wide with terror. Her hands covering her mouth, she fell to the floor and scurried away from me, pushing her back against the kitchen counter. “S-Stay away!”

“Liz…” I said. My stomach was aching so bad the simple act of speaking was a trial in and of itself. “It’s… It’s Chri… Chris…”

Liz got to her feet, not taking her eyes off of me, and pulled the largest knife from the knife block. “Don’t come any closer!!” She said warningly.

“Liz, baby…” I said imploringly. “Liz, it’s me… It’s Chris…”

Liz shook her head. “No, no, you’re not!” Her eyes widened as something occurred to her. “Where is he? What did you do to him?!”

“No, Liz, it’s really me!” I said, lifting my head up. “You have to believe me!”

Liz glared at me, sensing I was weak and that she held all the cards. “A legitimate villain from a TV show, one who feeds off of... off of love, shows up in my house claiming to be my boyfriend, and I’m ‘supposed’ to believe her?”

Her? I thought, before a single horrifying realization ‘pinged’ in my mind. I looked down between my new legs, towards my rear, and--

“OH SWEET BABY JESUS IN THE MANGER!!” I shrieked, rolling onto my tail and trying desperately to somehow scoot away from my discovery. Liz screamed and backed into the corner, holding the knife out in fear.

I was looking at... God, I couldn't even think of it... I wanted to vomit, to get to the toilet and just retch into it, as if doing so would purge my system of whatever was making me like... this.

I looked back up at Liz. She’d been silent while I was getting over my anatomical adjustment. “Sweetie, what the hell is happening to me??” I asked.

Liz’s eyes narrowed. She was silent for a good long time, never dropping her gaze (or the knife). Finally, after an agonizing minute (mainly due to my increasing starvation) Liz took a deep breath. “You’re really Chris?” I rapidly nodded. “Then you’ll tell me this… What was the first episode of MLP we watched together?”

“‘Luna Eclipsed’,” I said instantly. “Because Luna is best Princess.”

Liz’s expression softened, but only for a moment. “...Alright, three months ago you stood up to Dane…”

“Your twat ex-boyfriend, yeah…” I said, nodding.

“He ended up beating you senseless, and broke your arm. In how many places was your arm broken?”

“Three,” I said. “The cast I got was red, on my right arm, I had to wear it for about seven weeks. You pulled a prank on me a week in by drawing a bunch of dicks on it while I was asleep.”

She had a lot more questions than that. She asked me about our time together—where we'd eaten, what shows we'd seen, what we'd done for classes... I answered every one as best I could, adding extra details to help prove that I wasn't... her.

It was after twenty questions that the knife finally lowered a couple inches. Liz stared at me with an expression of both disbelief and confusion. Finally, she let the knife hang at her side. “What was the very first thing you said to me when we met at that meetup in Portland?”

“‘Oh, shit down the drain, I’m so sorry.’ Because I sneezed and startled you, causing you to spill your drink all down your front,” I said firmly. “I, very awkwardly, helped clean you off, we got to talking, and, as you’d say, ‘it was all downhill from there.’”

Liz stood there, completely still. For a moment, I thought she’d opt to believe that Queen Chrysalis had been spying on us for the past seven months and had only now decided to take my place. Honestly, it would make for a more plausible explanation than actually turning into her.

“...baby?”

My humorous side got back from his smoke break. “...snuggly-bear?” I asked, laughing softly.

Liz put the knife on the counter and slowly approached me. I wanted to hurry forward and pull her close, but didn’t want to startle her. I carefully stood up, my legs burning from the hunger. Liz carefully raised a hand to my new muzzle, eyes wide with wonder, and touched my face.

Instantly my hunger began to slowly fade. I felt a wonderful sensation flow from my mouth, down my throat and into my eagerly waiting stomach. The pain quickly began to die down. Liz seemed to feel something too; her eyes flashed towards her outstretched hand, as though feeling something from making physical contact with me.

She looked me in the eyes.

“...Chris!” She cried, pulling me into a tight hug. The embrace made my hunger die quicker. I fell to my new haunches and carefully wrapped my new forelegs around Liz, pulling her closer. “What happened to you?” Liz whispered.

I hesitated, choosing my words carefully. “...So, last night, it wasn’t exactly a… 'dump', per se.”

“What?” Liz looked up at me.

“I was starting to change last night,” I explained. “My hair was longer, my eyes were green… I didn’t want you to see it, cause I thought you’d freak out. I opted to sleep in the guest room and hope like hell I’d get better in the morning… I didn’t. I’d only gotten worse. I panicked; I started screaming that this wasn’t me, I thought clearly about what I really looked like, and… I did.” Liz stared at me. “I was back to normal, on the surface at least. I still couldn’t eat food, as the donut will attest…” I motioned towards the masticated jelly donut on the floor. “But the hunger got so bad, so quickly, especially when I forced myself to eat. I passed out, and…” I trailed off.

“If you were back to normal…” Liz asked. “Why are you like this now?”

“I really don’t know…” I muttered. I lifted a front hoof to my face. “I just thought really hard about being human again, and…” I imagined the hoof being a hand. A burst of green flame enveloped my hand, causing Liz to scream and back away. I yelped and waved my hoof, trying desperately to put the fire out. Within a couple seconds, the flame was gone. So was the hoof, my hand back in its rightful place.

“...Just like that…” I said. I laid the hand on my cheek. “I get it! If I concentrate I can take the form I want! I just have this body… by… default…” I looked at the rest of my body and felt a pit in my stomach. “And if I take human form I get tired…” I looked over to Liz. “...Hungry…” At some point during the awkward silence that followed, a warmth around my human hand signaled that it was a changeling leg again. Remaining in this form felt a bit more… relaxing than in human form.

So this was who I had turned into; the queen of a parasitic race of insectoid equines from a little girl's TV show. Honestly, there were more desirable events to go through in life.

Liz found her voice. “...So what do we do?”

I shook my head. “What can we do? Who do we go to in hope of fixing this?” My tail seemed to twitch on cue, tickling my hind leg as it brushed past it. The reality of what I was facing seemed to finally take hold in my mind; I was turning into the queen of a fictional race. I could look human all I wanted, but the blood in my veins would be that of a changeling. In less than a day I’d dropped headlong from a comfortable human life into an unknowable future of hiding, feeding and, hopefully, epic villain songs.

But what about Liz? God knows what was going through her mind at that point. I couldn't expect her to blindly stay with me through this. I would just complicate things to some inconceivable level for her. I couldn't ask her to stick with me through this.

Liz seemed to sense what I was thinking; she was good at that. She approached and sat at my side on the floor. “Are you still you?”

“What?” I asked, turning to her; hadn’t I proved I was me?

“I mean, are you, deep down, Chris Barton?”

“Yes…” I said, nodding slowly.

“Are you still the man I love?”

At the mention of 'man' I glanced down at my new… bits. “That’s a matter of debate, but yes, I’m still Chris.”

She kissed me on the cheek; the display of affection dropped down my throat like I’d sipped hot cocoa. “Then I’m staying with you. Whatever’s happening, we can work it out together.”

Now was the time I started returning that immense amount of love Liz had been giving me. I struggled to find words before leaning in for a kiss. Liz instinctively leaned back, for obvious reasons. I stopped. “Sorry, hang on…” I clenched my eyes and focused on an image of my normal self. A yelp from Liz and the sensation of warmth told me I’d succeeded; transformation really wasn’t that complex. I opened my eyes and joyously flexed my fingers. I looked at Liz and gave her a full kiss that she gladly accepted.

Holding a different form felt like holding a weight with your entire body, if that makes any sense. Feeding while transformed made maintaining the form about as complex as breathing, so as long as Liz was nearby, I could keep whatever form I wanted… in theory. I don’t think I could turn into Godzilla and stay that way feeding off of Liz alone. Whatever the case, this wasn’t insurmountable.

That didn’t mean I wanted to stay like this, though. Breaking off the kiss, I rubbed my chin, deep in thought. “So,” I began, thankful for my normal voice returning. “We have absolutely no clue what’s happening, there was no way of knowing this was going to happen…”

“What about that dream thing last night?”

“What?” I asked, turning to her.

“You dozed off on the couch, remember?” Liz asked. “You woke up like you were having a nightmare… Do you remember what it was?”

I shook my head. “I’ve never been one to remember dreams,” I said. “But maybe you’re right; whatever I saw had something to do with what’s happening. But it still doesn’t really help us…”

“Should we call someone?” Liz asked hesitantly.

“I don’t think there’s anyone we could call who could help us, or who wouldn’t seal me in a tube and prod me with syringes for the rest of my life,” I said. “No, it looks like we’re alone in this…”

“...Are we alone?”

“What?”

“Is this just happening to you?”

I shrugged. “Maybe, maybe not… But how would we know? It’s not like someone’s gonna madly tweet, ‘OMG OMG I’M TURNING INTO A PONY HASHTAG WHAT THE FUCK HASHTAG I HAVE HOOVES NOW,’” I said. “And even if we found someone, do you think they’d be any closer to answers than us?”

Liz sighed. “So I guess we’re screwed.”

“Eh, probably,” I said. I stood up off the floor and walked to the screen door facing the backyard on the far side of the living room. “But, hey, positives.” I turned around and clapped my hands together. “Evidently, I can still look like a human, so I don’t need to stay in the house for eternity and a day, I’ll just need to feed off of… love. Food isn’t a problem, so long as we spend plenty of time together…”

“No issue there…” Liz said.

“And maybe down the line we’ll find a lead or something. Maybe someone’s dealing with this as well, though if they’re not a changeling I shudder to think of how they’re going to get along.”

“So… That’s your plan?” Liz asked skeptically. “Your plan is to just go along with it, never eat actual food again, wear a human disguise for the rest of your life when in reality you’re a villain from a kid’s TV show?”

I raised an eyebrow. “You have a better plan?”

Liz immediately shook her head. “I just can’t believe that this is the best option available.”

I approached and put my hands on her shoulders; Liz flinched a little, which wasn’t very encouraging. “This doesn’t have to be such a major change,” I said softly. “We can get through this.”

Liz was silent at first, but then she nodded. “Okay…”

My phone on the living room table buzzed. I picked it up; it was reminding me that I had class in an hour. “Well, if I’m gonna have a pretense of a normal life, I should start by going to class…”

“What?!” Liz said, grabbing my phone. “No! You’re not just leaving this house in human skin just hours after turning into Chrysalis!!”

“But--”

“No ‘buts’!” Liz said before taking a calming breath. “At least wait a couple days before you head out, okay? Get the hang of… what you can do, see if there's anything else we should worry about, and we’ll decide if you can handle being outside. Deal?”

I opened my mouth to argue, but she had a stone-cold look of determination that told me there was no point. Every time she looked me dead in the eyes, unflinching, not needing to think of anything else to support her argument, I knew she had won. I slumped my shoulders and sighed. “Deal…”

Author's Note:

Apologies if my writing seems rather fast; it's just how I write. I'm not one to write too much description.

Feedback is much appreciated.

Next chapter we have a bit of fun... :pinkiecrazy:

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