• Published 6th Nov 2013
  • 8,418 Views, 633 Comments

My Very Little Ponies - Yonah21



The Mane Six are on earth, on a search. As expected, they meet up with a human. However, there is something different about them. They are all toy sized. Shenanigans and cute moments to follow. Though something more sinister is afoot.

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Darkness below

(So you know, this chapter and the epilogue are darker than the previous ones. I know it is not everyone's cup of tea. But I chose this path, and I decided to stick with it.)

“Dear G-d please don’t let me crash too b-badly!”

I quickly use the keys to unlock the truck door and look back at the house door, hoping that Chrysalis won’t be coming out anytime soon. For our sakes I really hope that Twilight’s spell will have a lasting effect.

“Micah hurry up! I don’t know how long that spell will work for!” Twilight shouts as I hurriedly unlock the door and step into her truck.

As soon as I step into the truck the ponies get out of my robe and look back at the house door, presumably to see if Chrysalis has come out. I am extremely grateful that she hasn’t. It’s a dang good thing that she did not seem to expect that spell from Twilight.

Grabbing what I hope is the correct key I put it into the ignition and turn it. I smile widely as I hear the car start and immediately step on the gas. Though there is a problem.

The car isn’t moving.

Rarity seems about as happy about this as I am. “Micah, this isn’t a time for dramatic tension! We need to move!”

“It won’t start!”

Oh dang it what the hell makes the car go?! The key works, the engine is on, what do I do?! And why are there so many buttons and and two levers for something that can only go forward and backwards?! What’s the point, what’s the purpose?!

“Wait, I remember Micah! I can do this!” Twilight shouts as she grabs one of the levers with her magic, and pulls it downwards.

I open my mouth to ask how she knew how to do that, but I end up not doing so. Mostly because I realize I kept my foot on the gas, and the moment she pulls down the lever we end up moving. But am I lucky enough to have us move forward? No! We end up going backwards!

"WRONG LEVER!"

The car zooms backwards and ends up running right over the sidewalk and straight into the wall of another home with a loud crash, jerking everypony about the truck. It does the same to me as well, as I forgot to buckle up.

“Sorry sorry! This should do it!” Twilight shouts as she grabs the lever again with her magic and moves it slightly.

I pray that she did that correctly as the door to Leah’s home is opening once more.

“Time to g-get the hell out of h-here!”

I step on the gas once more and hear the tires screeching, but shortly we are off down the street as I see Chrysalis in the rearview mirror as she steps out of the door. Curiously however she does not follow.

“T-Twilight, why isn’t she following us?” I ask as I do my absolute best to not drive us off of the road, which is easier said than done.

“I don’t know. It might be because we’re already going fast, or because she knows if she uses magic in the open it would draw quite a lot of attention,” Twilight says as she moves towards the front of the car, climbing up to the dashboard.

I try to keep my mind focused on driving while I talk to Twilight. “Yeah, yeah it would. I-it is not o-often that one would s-see a weird mutant pony th-thing on the street.”

As I continue to try and drive, I go over everything that just happened today. First, I was exposed to a being that can change its shape into almost any living thing. Second, I was attacked by said creature which gave me a broken rib. And last, apparently, my girlfriend has been a changeling for some time.

My girlfriend is actually a changeling, one of those things. Oh no, that actually means that in the last week when we were together, I didn’t really sleep with Leah. I actually slept with--

“Micah, car!”

Applejack snaps me out of my monologue in time to see that I have drifted into the left lane, and another car is zooming right at me. As fast as I can I move us back to the right lane, hearing the tires underneath screech once more. The oncoming car zooms by us, its horn blaring as it does so and the driver sending me a rather rude hand gesture.

I try to steady the car, and keep my eyes locked on the road ahead of us. “I h-hate driving these th-things!”

I hear Rarity shout at me as the car continues to swerve while I try and keep it going straight. “Micah, dear, you have to try to calm down! You can’t focus when you are so stressed!”

What? WHAT?! Did she just tell me to calm down?! Ok, that’s it!

I slam my foot on the brakes, the tires screeching once more as the car comes to a sudden stop. The ponies, save for Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash, all go forward off of the seats onto the floor from the stop. I meanwhile grab my abdomen as my rib sends me another spark of pain.

“That was fun! Let’s do that again sometime Mi--”

“Shut up Pinkie!”

Pinkie does exactly that as those words leave my lips. Everypony stares at me, with Fluttershy staying behind everypony else, her face partially obscured by her mane.

“Rarity, I will say this one time, DO NOT tell me to calm down,” I state, glaring at her and the others as well. “Right now I got a right to be worried. The woman who I thought is my girlfriend is a changeling, and there are an uncountable number here on this planet who could be taking the place of anybody I know right this second! I have no idea what the hell I should do since now she knows I am aware of changelings, and, to top it all off, some damn weird magic was just used on me by that one back there that made it so I found her irresistible! So don’t tell me to calm down!”

I have rarely shouted like I just have at them, but it was definitely warranted now. How could she expect me to just calm down? It’s not like it is an easy thing to do, considering all that has happened. Specifically what I have learned about Leah.

My stomach feels like crap, and not just because of the pain in my lower rib from when I was kicked by the changeling. The thought that I slept with one of those things, spoke to her-it, lovingly and passionately, makes me feel sick. I never wished to be like that with anyone except for Leah. Not one of those creatures.

“Alright then Micah. You’re mad, I get that. But we still need to do something. And I don’t believe going to your home is an option. Their might be changelings there already,” Twilight states, speaking softly but firmly.

With a sigh I place my face in my hands. “I know that Twilight. Going to my home would be a stupid idea. But, I just, I don’t know where I should go. I can’t go home, I can’t risk going to any of my family. I wish that I could tell my sister Deborah since she is a cop, but even that is too dangerous. I really don’t know what I should do.”

“Um, Twilight, you said that his boss was a changeling, right?”

I pull my face from my hands, and see Fluttershy speaking to Twilight.

“Yes, Fluttershy. He is. But why did you--”

Twilight takes on a look of sudden realization mid-sentence. Soon though she begins speaking again.

“You are suggesting we try to find him, aren’t you?”

Fluttershy nods in the affirmative, to my surprise. “I, I know it’s dangerous but I don’t know what else we can do.”

Twilight looks towards me, as does everypony else. I can both see and even feel their eyes on me.

“Micah, I know that because of us you have been through a lot. You have been hurt, and been put through a lot of danger. And now your girlfriend has been replaced by a changeling,” Twilight states as she walks onto my knee.

“I know that by now you have every right to be angry, but, please, help us with this. We are going to need your assistance if we are to find a way to beat them,” Twilight states as she looks up at me pleadingly.

“Did you truly believe that I would just give up and not help you?” I ask her with a sigh. “It is not as if they are a threat only to ponies. Obviously they are a great threat to not just this city, but this entire planet. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that. It’s just that I…”

“What? What is it Micah?” Twilight inquires with a somewhat worried look.

“Nothing, Twilight. It-it’s nothing. But you are right, we should probably head after him as honestly, right now I have no idea what else I should do. I don’t know where he lives, but I do know he should be at the bakery soon. I was scheduled to work tonight after all,” I say as I start the car up once more.

Glancing at Twilight before I start driving once more, I can tell that she is still worried. Whether about myself, the others, her own safety, or all combined I do not know however.

Though regardless of which it is, I am worried too.

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The drive towards the bakery is not exactly a boisterous one. For the most part the drive has been rather silent the entire way through the streets. Pinkie Pie and Rainbow speak up occasionally, but they are the only ones to ever do so. It would seem that everypony is understanding just exactly how much crap we’re in.

“We’re not going any further in the truck,” I say as I stop the truck a ways away from the bakery. “I don’t want to risk us being seen.”

“I think that he is in there. The spell has been positive, so there is one around here, at least,” Twilight states as I notice her horn light up.

“Good. Then we can get going,” I say as I open the door, grab my staff and get out. I wish I had something better than this for defending myself. A fake staff isn’t exactly that great. If it could do magical stuff like Gandalf’s real staff that would be a different story.

All of the ponies pile out of the car and into my robe, as expected. “Alright, if we have to, I expect you all to help me fight him if it comes to that. For now though I just wish to follow him.”

“Alright. But Micah, what was it you were going to say earlier? You just stopped all of a sudden mid-sentence,” Twilight inquires of me.

I sigh once once as I step towards the bakery. “It’s nothing, Twilight. Don’t worry about it.”

Applejack speaks up next, poking her head out of my robe. “You’re lyin’ Micah. What’s up?”

“I told you not to worry about it Applejack,” I say through gritted teeth. She doesn’t seem to buy it, but she does go back into the robe.

I really don’t want to tell them the truth. The truth being that I’m scared. Not just scared, actually I am pretty much terrified about all of this. How are we going to beat these things? We can’t get any help, and Twilight is the only one of them that can use magic in any offensive, combative manner. And all I have is this staff!

Hopefully Twilight can think of something. But even if she can’t we would have to try. It’s not as if we can just ignore all that is going on here.

“It is a good thing I have a key to this place,” I mutter to myself while I unlock the door. “I wouldn’t want to break a window or something.”

I slowly open the door, and have my staff at the ready if I need to use it. The lights are on, so the changeling impersonating my boss must be here. Hopefully I will be able to just follow him and find something, anything out and not have to worry about fighting him.

“I did a short range scan, Micah. I think he might be in here,” Twilight says softly. “Make sure you be careful.”

“Obviously I will be,” I state as I start to step through the bakery as softly as I can, past the front counter and through the baking area towards where my boss’ office is. I wish we had more of a plan than just listening in, though at the moment I am really not sure what else to do with--

“What?! What the hell do you mean he knows?!”

Well this will make it a bit easier to find out something at least. Perhaps I will be able to learn something about what they have planned or some way to stop them.

I quietly move closer to his office, so I will be able to hear better. As I do so, Twilight and the others poke their heads out of my robe to hear better as well.

“And he got away in the truck?! How did… N-no, no your majesty, I didn’t mean that. It was a mistake, I won’t speak like that again, my apologies.”

“Wait a second, ‘your majesty’? Did he seriously just say that? So Chrysalis, the changeling who took the place of my girlfriend is also the queen you mentioned?” I ask Twilight softly as I look down at her.

“It-it would seem that is the case, yes,” Twilight states as softly as I do.

Great, the thing I slept with is not only a diseased-looking creature, but is their leader as well. This just gets better and better. Hold on, if she was able to hypnotize me earlier, could she have done so other times as well, and I just don’t remember it? If she did, then she might have made me have sex with her when she… Oh my word that is disgusting.

As seems to happen more and more I am snapped out of my thoughts and to the now. The door to my boss’ office is opening.

“Micah, we gotta hide!” Rainbow says urgently, her eyes revealing her worry.

She’s definitely right, but where in the world can I hide? It isn’t exactly like there are a lot of places to do so! The cupboards and drawers are a no-go, and we can’t just run without hearing anything else. That just leaves… Oh no.

I can’t go in the fridge. I just can’t, it’s insane. I’ll... I’ll be trapped and won’t get back out again. It’s way too small there, I-I might not be able to breathe! There is no way that I am going to go into that thing!

“Micah, we have to go in there! You’ll be fine, I promise! But we can’t let him see us!” Rarity says as she points her hoof towards the fridge.

“No, no I c-can’t! You don’t get it! I’m terrified of small spaces!” I state adamantly as the footsteps get louder and closer.

Fluttershy flies up gently smiling, seemingly trying to hide her own worry. “Micah, you’ll be ok. We’ll be right there with you. Everything will be alright. It’s only for a little while.”

I definitely do not want to go there, but… But we don’t have much of a choice. “I-I just… Alright!”

As fast as I can I move towards the fridge. I open the door carefully so as not to make too much noise, and freeze. It’s just so tight in there. So cold, dark, and small. Like a prison cell, only instead of bars to allow you to see what’s outside. Is it me or does the air seem like the air is getting a lot thinner?

Everypony runs inside the fridge as fast as they can, and, even though I dread this, I follow them. Twilight uses her magic to grasp the doorknob and shut the door. The sound of the door shutting echoes seemingly forever.

I sit down and hear the ponies talking to me, though I can’t discern what the words are. The words are muffled, and now all I can hear is the blood shooting through my veins and arteries. My heart feels like it is going to burst out of my chest. And is it just me or are the walls moving?

It’s almost as if it is getting tighter and tighter. The walls shouldn’t be able to move but damn it I swear that is exactly what they are doing. My goodness it’s so tight in here. It’s like that time back in school.

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“Guys, come on, th-there’s no n-need for you to d-do this. I’m sorry, really. I’m v-very s-sorry.”

A part of me wonders whether I should have not told the principal about what I saw. About how I saw that group of boys harassing the new girl. Maybe I deserved it because I, like others, saw it happening for a while and didn’t say anything because it wasn’t my business. The reason I told the principal about it was because those guys tried to grope her once and only stopped because a teacher was nearby. I told the principal afterwards and the group of boys were punished.

Somehow though they found out that I was the one who told.

“What’s that? I think you should say that again, I can’t understand you when you are blabbering like a baby,” he said with a grin as he grabbed my hair so I couldn’t move, which back then was thicker and much longer.

“I s-said I’m sorry a-and there’s n-no need t-to do this. Please j-just let me go,” I pleaded with him, trying to get him to let go of me.

All he did was look down at me, smiling the sort of smile a person with something really, really bad planned would. And as I heard something opening my eyes widened in fear.

One of the other boys opened a locker. Not one of those roomy lockers either, but one that would force someone to curl up and have practically no room if he were forced inside.

The boy holding me by my hair starts dragging me towards the locker while I continue to try and get him to let go. “It may be a tight fit, but we can make do with it, don’t you think?”

Realizing I couldn’t get out of his grip, I did something that I rarely ever did before. I punched him as hard as I possibly could right in the face. My hand hurt horribly afterwards from how hard I hit him but I have to admit it felt good.

Though, while it hurt him it mostly succeeded in doing one thing. And that was getting him pissed off. After groaning for a bit and recovering from the hit, he glared at me. I don’t know why I didn’t run. Maybe I was too stupid, scared, I don’t really know for sure. But I shortly knew I should have.

“You damn kike!”

His shout caused my heart to start pumping like crazy out of fear, and I turned to run only to be grabbed by my hair once more, and was slammed down onto the ground.

The other boy with him started dragging me by my shoulders into the locker. I kicked and tried to get free but couldn’t do anything. I was shoved inside the locker, and though I pushed against the locker door as it was being closed, I couldn’t stop it from being shut.

There was hardly any room for me to move. I could barely even bang my fists against the locker door. Though G-d knows I tried.

“Guys, l-let me out!”

“Nope! Maybe I’ll let you out after school. This is what you get for ratting on me to the principal.”

“Please! I’m s-sorry, I won’t d-do it again, I promise!”

“Yeah yeah, I know you won’t. Because if you will then I’ll just do this again. See ya later.”

I can hear the footsteps of him and the other one walking away, causing me to bang on the locker door harder and harder, enough so that after I got out I saw I had bruises on my hands.

“No, don’t go! Let me out! LET ME OUT!”

I didn't know how long I was stuck in there until I got out. What to me felt like hours was really twenty minutes. If it wasn’t for a rabbi who was coming to get his grandkids I might have been there a while longer.

While inside the locker I for some reason had a very, very hard time breathing. It was as if all the oxygen in the air was sucked out. I didn’t know why back then but I was told that is called hyperventilating, and it happens sometimes when one is scared.

Like right now.

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Twilight urgently speaks to Fluttershy. “Fluttershy, he can’t breathe! He won’t calm down!”

She’s right. I can’t. It’s like when I was in school, everything is closing in. The walls are so tight and close, and they are only getting closer. They won’t stop!

“Micah, Micah it’s ok, but you need to relax,” Fluttershy states as she lands on my shoulders. “The changeling impersonating your boss is right outside, it’s too dangerous right now for us to go out.”

“F-Fluttershy, I c-can’t stay here,” I state as I shakily get to my feet my eyes locked on the door. I need to get out of here so bad I ignore the pain from my rib.

Fluttershy flies right in front of me, her concern clear. “Micah, if I can help you, will you not open the door?”

All I am able to do is nod. If she is able to help me calm down I’ll definitely let her, no question at all about that.

Smiling gently, she speaks very softly. “First, just try and breathe slowly, alright? Just in, and out.” She does so herself, breathing in and out deeply.

I try and copy her, breathing slowly, softly and deeply as I can. Doing so is much, much easier said than done.

“You are having everyone meet up at the hive? Right, right I will be there soon,” I hear my fake boss say outside. “Yes yes, I know, in the sewers.”

The sewers? We will have to follow him down into the sewers? More closed spaces, more dark areas for me to get stuck in where the walls will just get closer and closer while--

“Hey Micah, it’s ok, ignore him, look at me. Just keep breathing, and think of something else. Maybe think of the movie we saw together, or you and Leah together. Just try and think of that, and breathe. In, and out,” Fluttershy softly and gently states, and I once more try to do as she does.

“I kn-know Fluttershy, I-I’m just… I’m just s-scared. I’m so s-scared,” I state as I continue to try and do as she does, my vision clouding up from new-formed tears.

“Yes I remember which one to head towards, the manhole cover at the corner of South Jackson and 20th Avenue. I’ll be there soon.”

I hear him stepping out towards the exit. Each step seems to take forever. The moment that I think I hear him leave the bakery and step out I immediately grab the handle and thank G-d that it didn’t lock itself by accident.

The door swings open and I run out as fast as I can, finally able to breathe easily. Thank G-d I am finally out of there! I hate that damn fridge!

I turn on a nearby light and pull over a stool for me to sit on. I take several deep breaths, and feel my heart beginning to slowly calm down. Though the tears in my eyes do not stop as I bury my face in my hands.

After this is all over I am not ever going to go into a place that small again. Short of G-d alone nothing will make me do so. I feel almost as if I’d rather die than go through that again.

However while I think on that I feel a tiny hoof brushing away a tear that has been running down my cheek. I remove my hands, and see Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash flying right in front of me, and below them on the ground are all the others.

“I knew you were claustrophobic Micah, but I didn’t know it was that bad. I’m so sorry about what happened,” Twilight states as she moves towards me.

“I-it wasn’t just th-that. I mean, yeah th-that was a lot o-of it, but it’s e-everything. It’s that I h-have no real way to def-fend myself against these things, that th-there are only s-seven of us against who knows how many ch-changelings, and, and just e-everything. I haven’t e-exactly had experience w-with this sort of thing,” I declare as I try to calm down and stop stuttering.

Rainbow lands on my lap and looks uncharacteristically understanding. “It’s alright. If any changeling tries somethin’ I’ll take care of it.”

I don’t really see how she would but still, it is a kind sentiment. “Still. It, I, you, ugh, it’s scary. Terrifying, really. And I’ll h-have to go i-into the sewers, w-where it’s narrow, dark, a-and so small. I kn-know we need to at le-least check it out, as we have n-no other leads, but--”

“But that don’t make it any less scary, right?” Applejack asks as she sits down near my feet.

“Right. Very, very right. Again, d-don’t get me wr-wrong, I know we need t-to do this. I j-j-- oh damn this stutter!” I shout as I slam my staff onto the ground, the sound reverberating throughout the near-empty bakery.

Though I soon realize I shouldn’t have shouted as loud as I did. My ribs definitely did not like that. If they could speak they probably would be cussing me out right now. After all this is done I definitely should go to a hospital.

“Hey. Don’t look so down like that,” Pinkie Pie says as she climbs up onto my lap. It might be just me, but her mane doesn’t look quite as puffy as it normally is. “I don’t like it when you are sad like this. After this is all over I will throw you a big thank you party, ok? And do you think you could you give me a smile? I don’t like seeing you like this.”

Pinkie Pie looks at me not with one of her goofy, toothy grins, but a comforting grin. Like the sort a close friend would give when they know what kind of crap you are going through.

I cannot help but smile slightly at that. “I th-think I can do that much for you Pinkie Pie. But th-that doesn’t change that I’m s-still scared,” I say as I gently scratch the back of her neck.

“There’s nothing wrong with being scared. And I certainly would prefer not to go into such a filthy place as the sewers but we probably won’t be in there for long,” Rarity states with a grin.

T’would certainly be interesting to see Rarity in the sewers I must admit. Her reaction would probably be very amusing.

“And while we are there I have a spell I can use that would help. I didn’t use it before because I did not want to be spotted, but down there we won’t have to worry about that sort of thing,” Twilight says as she steps closer.

“Whatever it is p-please do it. If it will help, I h-have no problem with it. But I suppose th-that we should get going, sh-shouldn’t we?” I ask as I get to my feet, and reach down to pick up my staff.

Everypony nods, and I bend down to pick them up, holding my still-hurting abdomen as I do so. I scoop them into my arm with Rainbow, as I presumed she would, landing on my staff. I always find it cute how she does that.

“Remember, any changeling tries somethin’, I’ll take care of it,” Rainbow says with a grin as she punches the air with her front hooves.

“Thanks Skittles,” I say with a smile and gently scratch her under her chin, eliciting a smile from her.

I climb into the car and place the ponies onto the seat next to me. As I start the car I cannot help but wonder what is going to happen in the sewers. Hopefully we will be able to get some more information, and then get out of there. The thought of being in a hive of changelings chills me to the bone. And worst comes to worst we can haul tuchus out of their, I suppose.

I start the engine, glad to hear the truck still working. “I s-suppose there isn’t a-any point in stalling, eh?”

And with that, I press on the gas, ready to go. Or, we would be doing so, if the engine wasn’t grinding against something.

Twilight clears her throat, and as I look down her hoof is pointed at the lever she moved when we first were getting away room Chrysalis. “I think you need to move this thing.”

“I hate driving.”

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“Wh-when this is all o-over, I am never setting f-foot in a truck a-again!”

Driving sucks! I freaking hate this crap! While we were driving over here I almost ran over a dog crossing the road, ran two stop signs, got onto the curb thrice, and I think I once saw a cop following us for a bit! I have absolutely no clue how anybody drives these things! It’s way too complicated!

Looking at Rarity for a second, she does not seem to be looking good. She seems to be turning from white to green in her cheeks. “Oh my stars Micah, please tell me we’re almost there! I can’t take much more of this!”

A loud screech from the tires is heard as I try and slow down gradually, but of course fail and we end up burning rubber before we stop almost on the sidewalk. I can only imagine how many times I would fail the test to get a driver’s license.

“Micah, ugh, please, try and learn a better way to drive. I felt sick through the whole thing,” Rarity states as she wobbly gets to her hooves.

“W-will try, Rarity. Though after all this I d-don’t think th-that I will b-be driving again any t-time soon” I say as I turn off the ignition, laying back against my seat.

“Is the entrance that the changeling mentioned nearby?” Twilight asks as she looks out the window.

“Yeah, yeah it’s th-there. I hope your m-magic can open it Twilight,” I state as I take the keys and open the truck doors, taking the ponies out in one arm and my staff in the other. It’s a good thing this part of the city is very inactive at night.

Checking to see whether anybody is around, I don’t see a single soul out and about. Quickly I head towards the manhole covering, and place the ponies down near it. This one thankfully is just sealed tightly, so it should be easy enough to get through with Twilight’s help.

I glance at Twilight. “Twilight, t-take care of this please?”

She nods and the manhole is enveloped with her magic as she takes care of it. Skittles speaks up as she does so. “Hey, why are you still stuttering? I thought you only did that when you are really scared.”

“It might be be-because I am still s-sort of scared. Ah who am I k-kidding, still v-very scared a-actually. But… I d-don’t know why I’m st-still st-stuttering, normally I w-would be f-fine by now.”

Maybe all of this is getting to me even more than I thought. Hopefully it goes away soon. I definitely don’t want it to become permanent.

Thankfully Twilight takes care of the seal rather easily, allowing me to get a good grasp on the cover. Though I immediately regret lifting it up, as it weighs quite a lot. The second I try to move it my rib acted up again.

“Um, Twilight, c-could you and Rarity handle this please? M-my rib isn’t exactly l-letting me.”

I don’t hear Twilight speak though she does answer with her magic, as does Rarity. The manhole cover is enveloped with their magic, and the two of them lift it out of the way easily.

The second it is removed however my worries become stronger. As I look down into the hole, I can see that while I will fit, it is still very tiny. At least the entryway certainly is. I can only pray that the spot we will actually be walking through will be bigger.

Twilight looks to me as the magic on her horn goes away. “Are you ready Micah?”

I glance at her before looking down at the small entrance below. “It’s not as if I c-can just l-leave. But, we won’t s-stay down th-there long, right? Just try a-and f-figure some st-stuff out and l-l-leave right?”

“We’d best not stay down there. After this is over I will need to bathe for an entire day!” Rarity interjects.

I can’t stop myself from chuckling at that. “Heh, thanks R-Rarity, I th-think I needed that. Your coat will probably get very dirty while down there,” I say with a laugh, imagining that.

“Please, dear, don’t remind me,” Rarity states as her ears flatten.

“W-well, no more point in waiting. L-let’s go.”

Skittles flies down there into the sewers at once, her typical confident smile showing. After I gather everypony else up, I drop my staff down into the sewers, and start climbing down. I hate how these things have to be so tight. Wouldn’t it be worth the money to make the sewers a bit wider?

And oh my goodness the smell! I know it’s the sewers but still, I did not think that it would stink this bad!

“Oooh, this smell is going to take forever to get out! Micah, as soon as we are out of here you are going to find me a place to get clean!”

Heh, at least Rarity can help a bit.

Once I get down to the bottom of the ladder and step off, the smell hits me even harder. My word I am surprised that it somehow doesn’t rust the covering! I should have brought a gas mask!

Along with the smell, I notice that it is not as closed in as I thought. I can’t stand up fully, but at least I’m not on my knees and it is fairly wide. I suppose this one must be a maintenance tunnel. Though it is really, really tight in here.

“Micah, remember, it’s alright. Just breathe. We won’t be staying in here long,” Fluttershy says as she flies onto my shoulder with a comforting smile.

“I kn-know that F-Fluttershy. Still… I d-don’t feel great. The th-thought of running into one of th-those ch-changelings isn’t exactly comforting,” I say as I pick up my staff, trying to shake off some of the filthy water that has got on it.

“Well, now that we are down here where we don’t have to hide, it’s time to use that spell I spoke of,” Twilight states as I place her and the other ponies on the ground on the cleanest spot I can find, Rarity walking as daintily and carefully as she can.

Ah, that’s right. She mentioned that earlier. “What s-s-sort of spell exactly?”

Twilight’s horn immediately starts to shine, and a slight aura envelops her and all the other ponies. “We aren’t going to be so little, now that we don’t need to hide.”

Before I have a chance to ask for any more detail, a flash of purple light covers them all. It’s bright enough that I have to look away and cover my eyes. Whatever Twilight is doing it doesn’t hurt them at least.

As the light dies down I look back at everypony. And, they are exactly the same, save for one single thing. They are all normal-sized now.

Well, normal-sized, and stuck one on top of the other.

And Rarity is right on the bottom of the pile. “AH! Pinkie Pie, Applejack, everypony get off! My coat is getting filthy!”

Everypony gets off fairly quickly, and it is then that I see exactly how tall they all are. Applejack stands right next to me, and if I was standing upright I’d guess that her head reaches halfway up my torso. With me bending down as much as I have to she and I are at the same eye level.

“W-well Twilight, I wasn’t expecting this. Why didn’t you do this before?” I inquire as I look from Applejack to everypony else, smirking a bit as I see Rarity frantically trying to search for a clean spot to place her hooves, which I don’t think is possible.

“Up above we needed to make sure we would not be spotted. Down here the only ones that we would run into are those who already know about us. So, to make sure we are ready in case we need to fight, I had this spell ready,” Twilight says with a proud smile.

“W-well that will c-certainly help,” I say with a smile as well. “It is m-much better to h-have you all normal-sized r-rather than toy-sized. Though… With h-how narrow th-this all is I might l-like it if I was smaller, so ev-everything would appear bigger.”

“Um, I don’t think it would be a good idea to do that. And if we come across a changeling we will probably need your help,” Twilight says.

“I s-suppose that is a g-good point. I didn’t r-really think th-that you could or w-would, I just… You know h-how I am with tight spaces,” I say as I look down the sewer tunnel.

I know it doesn’t really do this, but I swear that the farther down the tunnel goes, it seems like it gets narrower and narrower. And if should we go down there, it looks as if we would eventually be stuck from the narrow confines of the wall.

Stuck down here, in a sewer, with little light, and no idea of how long it might take to get out. If we get out. If we don’t get out, would we ever be found? Or would we--

I am drawn back to the present by the feel of something furry brushing against my arm. Looking at said arm I see Applejack.

“Sugarcube, Ah don’t mean to bother you none, but we should be going. The sooner we start the sooner we can leave,” Applejack states with a friendly smile.

She is right, we can’t stay here forever. We need to get going. Though, as I look up at the ladder that seems to be begging me to climb it and get out, a nagging feeling just won’t leave me. A nagging, dreadful feeling that if I walk down this tunnel, I won’t be climbing back out again.

But I can’t go back. I cannot in good conscience just leave the six of them here alone. I do not believe I could live with the guilt if I did. Yes they are responsible for getting me into this position, but still. They did not exactly ask for it themselves either. I can’t really blame them for all of this.

Grasping my staff tighter, I turn on the thankfully still-working light which illuminates fairly far down the tunnel. After a final look back at the entrance, I begin walking down the tunnel.“We have b-but one choice. We must f-face the long dark of the s-sewers.”

Twilight adds her own magical light to the light from my staff, illuminating a fair distance ahead of us. As I walk, I can immediately feel my heart pounding harder and harder. Oh G-d I beg you don’t make me have a repeat of what happened in the fridge.

Any of my fears however are momentarily gone as I hear Pinkie Pie. “Lets go find some changelings!”

She goes prancing ahead of the rest of us, seemingly without a care in the world. I don’t know how she is able to do this, but I am jealous. I wonder sometimes if anything can scare her.

“Let me know if you think you are going to have a repeat of what happened earlier, ok? I’m right here,” Fluttershy says with a smile. “Just try to do what I said earlier, alright?”

“I kn-know Fluttershy. It’s just e-ever since an event in sc-school I don’t do well in t-tight spaces,” I say as I try and breathe as she instructed earlier.

Skittles walks next to me as she speaks up as well. “What happened? It must not have been good if it made you freak out like you did in the fridge earli--OW!”

I can’t help but smirk for a second when Twilight clocks Skittles on the back of the head with her hoof. “Rainbow Dash, don’t talk like that! He didn’t freak out, he just--”

“N-no Twilight it’s ok. I d-did freak out. It r-reminded me of a t-time when I was st-stuck in a locker by some b-bullies. It was a p-p-pretty bad moment,” I say, though I try not to remember.

“That really sucks. And Twilight, you didn’t need to hit me. I didn’t mean anything by it. But it did look like he freaked out. I mean, he could barely breathe!”

Twilight was about to respond though I cut her off before she has a chance to. “M-maybe we can stop t-talking about that, ok? I would rather w-we talk about a-anything else.”

Rarity apparently has something she certainly wants to talk about. “Ooh, maybe we can talk about why in Equestria the sewers here are so nasty! My hooves… They will never be clean again!”

“Oh hush up Rarity. Back on the farm my hooves got dirty every darn day,” Appplejack states, her annoyance clear in both her face and her voice.

Rarity seems about to send a retort, though before she can, Pinkie Pie up ahead speaks up. How exactly did she get so far down the tunnel so fast? “Come on everypony! Hurry up, let’s go!”

Everypony else and I quicken our pace a bit, though… I can’t help but take a last glance at the spot where we entered as we near a corner in the tunnel. After we walk past this corner, I shan’t see it again until we get out.

“Micah, uh, sorry about what I said earlier. About you freaking out,” Skittles says as she moves a bit closer to me.

“I-it’s ok. Don’t worry a-about it. But thanks,” I say as I look at her with a grin, and mess up her mane with my hand.

Skittles shakes her head to try and get her mane into its slightly more-fixed look it had before. “I gotta say I don’t get why you’re scared of a place like this. But you do seem to be better than you were earlier.”

“I think th-that might be because y-you are all bigger, and s-since I am not f-forced to be here. And p-probably since I know I’m n-not locked in,” I say, and look over Skittles. “A-and do me a f-favor please.”

“Yeah? What sort of favor?”

“While you are n-normal sized, please d-don’t k-kick me or anything. It wasn’t b-bad when you were tiny, b-but s-since you are bigger, now you’d p-probably bang me up pretty bad.” She packed enough of a punch when she was tiny. I don’t want to know what it would be like to get a full-on kick from her at this size.

“Ha! No problem. But before we go I’ve gotta go one-on-one with you in that game of yours again. What’s it called? We were usin’ a bunch of worms,” Skittles asks as she ponders her thoughts.

“Worms, Skittles. The g-game was called W-Worms. Though I c-can’t blame you f-f-for forgetting it after you l-lost. It m-must have been traumatic for the g-great Rainbow Dash,” I say with a smirk.

Skittles eyes widen in shock at my assumption, before they narrow in an accusatory manner.

“Hey! I wasn’t traumatized, I just--”

“Rainbow Dash, Micah, quiet!”

Skittles and I immediately shut up when Twilight speaks up. Even Pinkie Pie stays quiet, as does everypony else. The only thing making a sound is a rat skulking about a few feet away.

“The spell is positive. The changelings are pretty close by. Be on your guard,” Twilight states as she looks about the tunnel, as I do as well.

“Close by? I don’t see anything,” Rarity states as she steps forward a few paces ahead of the rest of us. “All I see is more of the filthy sewer splitting off into separate tunnels.”

As I take a few steps closer, to where Rarity stands, my staff shows exactly what it is she meant. Ahead of us the tunnel splits off into three separate ones. “Oh great. This will t-take us even l-l-longer to find out anything.”

“Maybe we should split up. Three of us down one tunnel, two down another, and two down the last one. Go down a while and see whatever you can, then come back here,” Twilight suggests as she looks down there.

“Might as well. But who will make up each group?” Rarity inquires as she continues to search for any spot that might be the least bit clean.

Twilight seems to ponder that, but for only a few seconds. “Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie and myself will go down the left tunnel. Applejack and Rarity, you two go down the middle tunnel. Rainbow Dash and Micah, you two go down the one on the right.”

A quick look at Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy seem to show that they are fine with that arrangement. Applejack and Rarity seem to have no problem either, though I think I noticed Applejack looked slightly annoyed for a moment.

Twilight steps forward, stopping in front of the tunnel that Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie and herself shall enter. “Remember girls, and Micah. The changelings are very close, so be careful. Don’t stick around if you think you are in trouble. If you have to, get back here and wait if you can, though get out of here if you need to. We can meet up later. And good luck, all of you.”

With that, Twilight lights up her horn to light up her tunnel even more, and Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy follow her down the tunnel. Rarity and Applejack do the same down theirs, leaving Skittles and I in front of ours.

“You ready big guy?” Skittles asks me as she takes a few steps and looks back at me.

“R-ready as I’ll e-ever be, Skittles,” I state as I slowly step towards the tunnel, very grateful to have my staff.

As we walk, Skittles speaks up. “I never like being in a place like this. If we were above ground I could zoom around super fast. But down here I gotta go slow.”

“So sorry for b-being slow, Skittles. I can’t exactly m-move as f-fast as y-you can,” I state right before I trip and nearly fall down onto the disgusting sewer floor, but thankfully Skittles moves just so that I am able to grab onto her.

“You know, Micah, maybe after this you should go see a doctor. You seem to fall down around me a bunch,” Skittles says with a slight snicker as I steady myself.

“Hm… F-falling down when I first m-met you all, then f-falling over in the r-rain when you s-scared me, and right now. I w-wouldn’t exactly c-call that a lot,” I declare as I once again start walking.

Skittles laughs at the mention of those moments. “Heh, I remember that time in the rain. You got scared so easily! I should do that again sometime.”

“Oh, I w-wasn’t the only one who got scared Sk-Skittles. Don’t you r-remember when you and I s-screamed from the sound of th-thunder? And don’t s-say you weren’t sc-scared Sk-Skittles. I know you w-were.”

“But I wasn’t scared! I’m not scared of some lightning!” Skittles sternly declares as she flaps her wings a few beats.

For a while, Skittles and I continue to talk. I think she is one of the reasons why I am doing alright down here. I mean, yeah, I still don’t like it and I want to get the hell out of here soon. But still, she is helping me keep my mind off of that.

On top of that, while I speak to her I notice how much the relationship between the two of us has changed. When we first met she and I didn’t like each other much at all. It was rather annoying actually, how much she distrusted me. But since then she has gone from not liking me or trusting me at all to actually being one of the ponies I like most. Sure I like all of them, though I do feel rather comfortable around her.

But it’s rather hard to concentrate on those thoughts or our conversation with that rat walking behind us this whole time. Oddly enough, that same rat has been following us this entire time since I first saw it when Twilight told us all to be quiet. That’s rather odd.

I am brought out of my thoughts though as I feel Skittles bump into my side. “Micah? Rainbow Dash to Micah, you hear me?”

“Yeah Sk-Skittles, I hear you. I was j-j-just thinking,” I say as I glance once more behind me.

“About what? The only thing back there is a rat.”

The rodent stops at once, and looks at Skittles, then to me. I definitely have not seen any rodent act like that before. Suddenly though, it bolts away like a mouse running away from a cat.

I chase after it as fast as I possibly can, with Skittles following me. “Skittles, don’t lose sight of that rat!”

While I try and go as fast as my feet can carry me, Skittles quickly outpaces me. “You don’t have to tell me twice!”

Ignoring her words, I simply try and follow her as fast as I can. I knew she was fast in the air, but she is extremely fast on the ground as well. I do not think anypony could go as fast as she is now, save possibly for Applejack.

She runs fast enough that eventually she gets out of my sight as she turns a corner. As I try to catch up to her, I hear her say, “What the hay is this?”

Eventually, and very out of breath, I turn the same corner as Skittles did to see…

“A dead end?”

I don’t get it. We were chasing right after it and following it for some time, only to arrive at a dead end? This doesn’t make any sense. There isn’t even any grate or something for the rat to go through. So where the hell could it have gone?

“Skittles, d-did you see wh-where it went?” I inquire as I look about, searching for any possible way it might have gotten out.

“No. I don’t see a thing. But I know it was right here! I chased it right to this spot! It couldn’t have gotten away!”

“Well o-obviously it did Skittles. O-Otherwise it w-w-would be right here,” I state as I lean my staff against the wall nearby, as I continue to look around.

Though as I search it is rather difficult for me to see. All the light has suddenly vanished. Is my staff on the fritz or something?

“Hey could you check your staff? It’s kind of hard to see when it’s super dark like this,” Skittles asks as we both search for any possible opening.

“S-sure, give me a sec,” I state as I turn around to reach my staff.

Or I would, if it was still there.

I look to Skittles, who seems just as confused as I am. “Wh-where did it go? I p-put it right h-here.”

Skittles walks towards the wall where I put it. “I didn’t hear it hit the ground or anything. It’s not anywhere here. Did a changeling come take it when we weren’t looking?”

“A-and l-leave us here unharmed? I d-don’t think so.”

But I don’t know how else it would have been moved. I had it in my hands just a bit ago, then set it down on this wall, and now it just disappeared. How the hell does that happen?

“I d-don’t get it. I put it right here, on this wall,” I say as I look to Skittles as I point to where I placed my staff. But, for some reason Skittles eyes just went wide as they possibly could be.

“Micah, I think you should take a look at your hand,” Skittles says as she points her hoof straight at the wall.

“What? Why should I t-take a l-look at my ha-WHOA!”

My hand is actually going through the wall! I don’t even feel the wall touching my hand at all! It’s as if it… isn’t there…

I put my arm in further, all the way up to my elbow. I meet absolutely no resistance, and feel nothing but air. “It’s a f-fake wall! There’s a s-secret entrance h-here!”

Skittles punches the air with her hoof as she smiles greatly. “Oh yeah! Great job!”

I return her smile with one of my own as I slowly move my head through the fake wall. It is hard to make out from no light, but I think that this is a secret tunnel that goes down, though how far down I cannot tell. The air doesn’t seem so foul down this passage either.

“When in d-doubt, Skittles, al-always follow your nose,” I say with a smile, quoting my favorite wizard. “W-we should probably g-go back and tell Twilight about th-this.”

“Yeah. Now we know how to find them! You’re awesome big guy!”

You know how something happens, and the moment it does you are aware something awful will follow? What follows is one of those moments.

As I looked down the hidden passage, my feet were on the edge of the passage. And I had one of my hands hanging on to the real wall the entire time. So I am in a precarious position at the moment, though unless an outside force interferes, I should be fine.

No such luck.

Skittles probably meant to just give me a pat on the back. But, of course, as she is bigger now, she obviously has a lot more strength. Enough so that I end up going headfirst down into the tunnel.

As I slide down I try and grab onto anything to stop my rapid descent. I can feel small grooves but while I fall I can’t get a good grip onto any of them! Why did the changelings have to make this tunnel so slick?!

I look back up towards the top of the tunnel and see Skittles looking down at me, terrified. “Micah! I’ll get the others, we’ll be down there as soon as we can!”

The only sounds I make are shouts from the pain of impacting against the walls of the tunnel as I continue to slide down before I eventually hit ground, which stops me immediately.

I lay there, my hands on my abdomen as my broken rib screams in pain. “Damn it! Why d-do broken ribs hurt s-so much?!” I say through gritted teeth. I bet that by the next morning I will have quite a lot of new bruises.

After a while the pain dies down, and I move to get up to my feet. As I do so, and press against the ground with my hands, I notice the ground here is quite different than the sewers above are. Here they feel dry and also the smell here is far less prominent. I just wish I had my staff so that I could see more than a few feet in front of me.

What also gets to me though is how quiet it is. All I can hear right now is my own breath. Up in the sewers I could still hear water moving, and the sounds of little insects skittering about underfoot. But here, nothing. Just a black pit.

Part of me wants to try and climb out of here, but with how easily I fell down, I don’t think that I should. I bet that if I tried to do that I would just fall once more. But considering where I am I can’t exactly stay put either. Staying put here would be begging for trouble, considering this is where that changeling went, there must be other ones down here too.

So, that pretty much leaves walking through a chamber in which I can barely see more than a few feet in front of me. Sounds just peachy. Maybe if I am lucky I can find my staff and turn it back on so I can have some light.

With that, and with my hand on my abdomen I slowly start walking, trying to be as quiet as I possibly can. I wish that Twilight was here, if she was she could cast some manner of a silencing spell. Then again if she was here she could probably find a way to get me out of here so I wouldn’t need said spell to begin with.

While I move, I do not know if it is real or whether it is just in my mind, but I swear each and every step I take creates a rather loud echo in this room, or chamber. And from the way it sound and how long it lasts, this is one fairly big room or chamber.

At least nobody seems to know I am here. If they did I would probably not be just walking around like I am right now. Maybe my luck will hold and Skittles and the others will get down here soo--

Thunk!

I jump back for a second as I feel my foot connect with something, worried that whatever it was might jump at me. But thankfully, nothing happens.

“W-what might this be?” I say softly to myself as I place my hands down where my foot was a bit ago, and I smile the second I realize what it is.

I immediately know that this is my staff. It must have accidentally turned itself off as it fell down here! I hope that the light still works. I press the button, and do a small prayer that it works, and…

It does! Hah! Yes! Thank you Weta Workshop for such a good product! When I get out of here you are getting one damn good review!

But, my joy quickly is replaced by dread from what the light reveals. It is not a changeling in front of me ready to attack. Nor is it a dead body, or some other gross, ugly thing of that nature. But cocoons. So, so many cocoons. Most of them, the vast majority actually, hold sleeping changelings. I know not what the cocoons are made out of but they might very well be soundproof if they did not hear me and wake up.

But, others are filled, though not by changelings. Humans are inside them. Some old, balding and with gray beards, some of them young folk about my age. Though the human filled ones seem to be in the minority. I can only see about nineteen or twenty of them out of the great host of them in this chamber. They also are all lined up. Maybe they are taking their time with trying to find those to switch with, so as to be careful. They wouldn’t want a repeat of being forced to retreat.

But where is Leah? She’s not here, but I know that she was replaced by Chrysalis. Where the hell did they take her?!

“They are here! And they brought the human with them! They might be very close by!”

The second I hear that voice, whatever it might be from, I turn off the light of my staff and dive between some of the cocoons. Once more my rib screams at me for my actions, though I bite my lip to stop from so much as uttering a sound.

“What?! If Her Majesty finds out… We have to stop them now! All of you follow me!”

“What of the human? He belongs to the Queen. Should we kill him with the ponies, or capture him?”

“Capture him if you can. Her Majesty has for some reason taken a particular liking to him. Now move!”

Suddenly I hear the buzzing of wings, similar to that of a fly, or a bee. I didn’t notice that before in the alley because it left so quickly, but those wings are loud. Imagine the same sound as a bee’s wings, but multiply that by a lot. And then have what sounds like at least twenty or so of them at the exact same time flying right by you and you get one scared young man.

G-d, if you can please not let these things see me I’ll be really, really grateful. I’ll start donning tefillin each day, I’ll remember to use the tallit, attend synagogue more often, all of that. Just please, I beg you, don’t let these things spot me.

I don’t even risk breathing as they fly right by me and over me, for fear of them hearing it. One by one each of them flies no more than a yard away from me. If I wished to I could reach out and touch them. But, eventually, they stop.

Not wanting to do anything risky, I wait a little bit to see if anymore of them show up, but thank G-d, none do. I slowly get myself back up, and look at the passage the changelings must have gone through.

They are going to encounter the six of them any time. I don’t know how good the ponies are at fighting but for their sake I really hope they know how to kick tuchus when the time comes.

“I kn-know I just asked y-you to save my t-tuchus back there, wh-which you did, but would you m-mind helping out the ponies too? I know you p-prefer peace to violence, but you have d-d-definitely helped others f-fight at times. So give the s-six of them some h-help would you?”

You know, while I am religious moments like these does make you more a lot more likely to ask the big guy upstairs for some help. When I get back home I am definitely going to use the tallit my dad gave me. A deal’s a deal, and as I made a deal with the big guy I don’t think it would be wise to go back on it.

Though it would be nice if he could have given me a way out of here. The only way out is that passage and I really doubt I could climb up that thing. Meaning that now the only thing I can do is go forward.

Turning the light from my staff on once more (though not as bright), I move forward through this chamber. Each and every step I take I feel more and more worried about what I might see. Is Chrysalis, that queen of theirs down here? Or would there be another regular changeling that just didn’t leave with all the other ones?

If there is one of them down here still I will need to make sure that I am not caught off guard by it. If one of them is down here and it catches me by surprise I am pretty much screwed. One human with a broken rib versus a changeling is not exactly a good match up.

Or even worse, what if the changelings that are in these cocoons wake up? Oh my goodness I don’t want this to be a replay of the Aliens movie, with them all hatching from the cocoons and making me run like crazy through the hive!

“J-just don’t th-think like that M-Micah. Just look around, s-see if you can f-find anything out,” I say softly as before.

I immediately regret speaking however as I hear something. I do not know what it is but I know I heard something moving ahead of me. The second that I hear it I turn off the light. I may not be able to see much of anything without it but at least I won’t be easily seen either.

There is no sound of buzzing wings that I heard when the other changelings flew, so at least it isn’t airborne, that’s definitely a plus. As it is on the ground I have at least a chance of living.

I turn my head to the left as I hear a clop clop sound, similar to the sound that the ponies make when they walk. It sounds a bit closer than before. My grip on my staff tightens as I continue to move. Though with each and every step I take the changeling sounds closer and closer. It probably won’t be much longer until I come across it.

The changeling seems to step closer to me as I move forward. The sounds of its hooves hitting against the ground are louder and more frequent. It’s no longer walking.

It’s running.

As fast as I can I turn the light on my staff to its brightest, lighting the entire area. And it does so just in time, for in front of me is a charging changeling with bared teeth and eyes locked right on me.

Without hesitation I swiftly move to my right and swing my staff straight at it with as much strength as I can muster. I both see and feel the impact, though it does not hit nearly as hard as I was hoping. It only succeeded in a glancing blow on its horn.

Immediately the changeling turns to face me again. Before it has a chance to move at me once more I swing my staff straight at its head. If I can get a blow like that in it would certainly hurt like hell. Though as the staff moves straight towards it, the changeling doesn’t move. Its horn glows green, but doesn’t send out a blast of magic.

And the green magic flows onto my staff, stopping it mid swing. The changeling doesn’t speak. But it smiles a twisted smile and reveals its fangs.

This won’t be good.

Suddenly the staff is nearly yanked out of my hands. I tighten my grip as much as I can so as not to let go of it. But while I focus on the staff and not trying to lose it, I am not prepared for the changeling getting onto its hind legs.

The image of a changeling on its hind legs seems like something straight out of a nightmare. Its teeth seem sharp as knives, and its horn, should it wish to, could easily be used like a spear. Add to that the fact that when it is on its hind legs its head reaches up rather high and I just know I am having bad dreams from this tonight, should I get out of this.

Its front hooves land on my chest and send me falling flat onto the ground, my head impacting against the ground with a thud. In reflex I at once move to grab at the changeling and both of my hands land on its horn and I grip it tightly.

The changeling, like the one in the alley, tries to move and get at me with its jaw but my grip on its horn is strong enough that it cannot move forward. Though G-d knows it is trying as it snaps its jaws like a feral dog trying to get at a steak. But still, my grip does stop it from moving forward.

Even though its horn seems strangely warm. And getting warmer. Okay, now it’s hot, really freaking hot!

Looking from its jaws to its horn I see it glowing green with actual steam coming off of it. It’s trying to burn my hands to make me let go! And DAMN that hurts! I won’t be able to hold on long at this rate!

The changeling smiles as my grip weakens and he slowly inches closer and closer, enough so I can feel his breath on my face. “Can’t take the heat, human? Give up now and I won’t make it hurt so bad!”

It is then, however, that I get an idea. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before.

I move my legs so that my feet are right underneath the changeling, right under his belly as my hands quiver from the burning sensation from his horn. “Y-you should know, h-humans aren’t q-quitters!”

With as much strength as I can gather I kick him off of me and into the air. With a thud he lands on one of the cocoons and appears dazed from the impact. I do not waste a second and move to grab my staff which still lays on the ground.

I grab it quickly and my hands scream the second I do so, but I ignore it as best I can. I can deal with the pain later. The moment I look back at the changeling he is starting to get back up.

With staff in hand I swing as hard as I possibly can. The changeling looks up at me, though this time it does not have a chance to react as my staff connects with its face with a loud crack. The impact is hard enough that it sends the changeling flat onto the ground. I wait, expecting it to come back up, though it lays there. I must have hit it hard to knock it out with one hit.

Now that I see I don’t have to worry about that I drop my staff and look at my hands to see what damage was done. And I nearly gag from the sight.

My hands, which are normally pale as the rest of my skin tone, are severely burned. They don’t look like a third-degree burn, but damn does this thing hurt. The skin on my palms is really screwed up and I think I am definitely going to have blisters on them. After this is done I have got to get to a hospital or something. I can’t just ignore this.

“T-two near-death ex-experiences in one day. This is n-not what I h-h-had planned,” I state with a groan as I feel the pain again as my hand wraps around the staff. “Th-then again I had no pl-plan other than go see the movie.”

I think at this point it would probably be best if I just sit and wait for the others to get here. I don’t want to get banged up any more, and if I continue to look around that will probably continue to happen. But the question now is where to hide.

Should I just go and hide amongst the cocoons again? It might have worked one time but I don’t think it would work again. I know I wouldn’t be able to just crawl back up the passage either. Dang it all! Why couldn’t this place have some more chambers for me to hide in? Shouldn’t a big bad villain have a huge bunch of secret rooms or something? I mean this one lone cocoon for instance, why would they have it by itself in the main chamber?

Wait, a lone cocoon? What’s that doing here?

As most anyone would do when seeing something out of place I make my way towards it. From this far off I don’t see what is inside but it’s probably a changeling. But why would a simple changeling cocoon be here all by itself, separated from the others?

“So, you found your way down here.”

I spin around as fast as I can upon hearing that new voice. Or, more accurately, I try to move. All I am able to move is my head! Looking down I see my entire body is enveloped by a green field. It isn’t painful at all but I can’t move a muscle!

I try in vain to look behind me, but fail. “Wh-whoever you are, l-let me go!”

From behind me I hear the clop of hooves against the ground. Whoever it is behind me knows that I can’t do a damn thing and is definitely taking their time. That voice also sounds different than the other changelings.

A chill flows through my body as I feel a hoof suddenly touch the back of my neck. “Now dear, why would I do such a thing? After all, you must have come here to find me,” the voice states as I feel the hoof trail slowly down from my neck to my waist.

Once more I hear the hooves move against the floor as I now see the one holding me still. Upon looking at her, or I guess it is a ‘her’ as the voice and body shape are more like the female ponies, I at once guess who she is. Her height is the exact same as mine, with her twisted, gnarled horn reaching a foot and a half or two feet above my head. Her mane is longer than any other ponies I have seen or the changelings, and hangs loose about her head, partly obscuring her green eyes.

“And here I am. I must say I do wish we could have finished our encounter in Leah’s home. I am rather hungry,” Chrysalis says with a grin.

I strain against her magic as much as I can. “Where is she?! W-what did you d-do with her?! Why isn’t sh-she with the o-others?!”

Chrysalis just sighs. “Your stuttering is horrendous. You sound like a frightened child. I cannot imagine how Leah put up with such an annoyance.”

I glare at her, wishing I could move. “Answer me! Where is she?! T-tell me!”

She smiles again, this time her teeth are quite visible. They are just as sharp as those of the other changelings. “I see no reason why I should do that. Neither is there a reason for you to want her. Do you not remember a few nights ago? You seemed rather taken by me,” she says as she moves close enough that it seems as if she is about to kiss me.

“Only b-because you dared to look like L-Leah,” I say as I try to lean back.

The way Chrysalis looks at me changes. It seems she is analyzing me now as her horn glows green. In less than a second the magic around me is gone, allowing me to move.

“Do not think of moving against me human. I removed the magic because I wish to make you an offer,” Chrysalis states as she begins to circle me.

As she circles me I keep my eyes on her so as not to let her out of my sight. “And wh-why should I even l-l-listen to this offer?”

Chrysalis laughs at my question as she speaks. “Ha! Do you really believe you have a choice? You might have bested one of my changelings in combat. But you know as well as I that you stand no chance against me,” I hear her say as I feel her tale rub against my legs.

As much as I hate this, she is correct. “Wh-what manner of offer are you t-talking about?” I say as I try and think of anything else other than her tale moving against me.

She stops right in front of me and tosses her mane out of her eyes before she speaks. “We changelings feed on love. That is why I took the place of your lover,” Chrysalis states with a smile. “She was rather shocked when she saw me looking exactly like her.”

I swear that if she keeps going on like this I won’t care what happens. I will deck her.

“When you are with me, whether it was when I saw you on your walk, or when I drove you to the market, I felt stronger. Though only slightly so. Each time we kissed and you thought I was her I was invigorated,” she states as her eyes wander away from mine, lower until she looks at my groin with a smirk. “And each time we were in rapture together I fed off of it.”

“Get to the p-point!”

“Watch your tongue Micah. We may be on your planet but I am still a queen, and shall be spoken to as one,” Chrysalis says with a hiss. “My offer is to let you live, even after seeing this and knowing where we are.”

I am not about to agree to anything, but I ask anyway. “At what c-cost?”

“You will not leave here. You shall be given food and water to survive but you will not leave, until we return to Equestria, stronger than before.”

“Wh-what? Ignoring h-however you plan to g-get back there, do you t-truly e-expect me to take you up on that offer?” I ask as I tighten my grip on my staff.

Chrysalis steps closer towards me, making me back up away from her. “It is not as if you won’t gain something from this as well. The screams of pleasure from you were quite amusing. You are rather easy to please, did you know that?”

“Shut up! J-just shut up you BITCH!”

In less time than it would take for me to blink I find myself on my back on the ground. Before I have a chance to get up Chrysalis appears over me. Her eyes only show one emotion. Fury.

Chrysalis roars at me as her face is no more than a foot from my own. “You will not speak to me like that again! Do you even understand what it is I am offering you?! My subjects would die for the chance to lay with me!”

“M-must have l-low standards,” I say strained, my head throbbing from hitting the ground so suddenly.

Chrysalis glares at me before her glare transforms into a smile. A hoof of hers raises and she slams it straight down into my abdomen, right onto a spot I wished she would not have hit.

I hear a snap from my abdomen as I scream in pain. Along with hitting my already broken ribs I think she just broke at least two more! How the hell can that hurt so much?!

“That is what happens to those who disrespect me,” Chrysalis says as she smiles and through the pain I feel something brushing against my groin. “But to those who show me proper respect, they are always rewarded.”

Looking down I see what it is. She is using her tail to rub against me. I try once more to get up but she holds me to the ground. “No m-matter what you do, I w-won’t agree.”

Chrysalis leans down while still smiling, her tail still moving. “Now now, don’t fight it. You don’t remember, but there was one time I was in this form. You needed some… convincing, but eventually you did every single thing I wanted.”

“Y-you mean you h-hypnotized me, and forced me,” I manage to say.

“Forced isn’t a word I like to use. I prefer to say I brought out your inner desires. And I must say, you were very, very good,” Chrysalis says as she… Oh damn she actually licks my neck. “Are you certain you won’t reconsider? For your own sake, you should. It is the only wise choice.”

After all this has happened, there is only one reasonable thing for me to do. And unlike other times when I have to make a hard choice, every part of my mind is unanimous in what I should do.

“There is only one w-woman I love. And I w-won’t betray her. Nor w-will I betray m-my friends,” I say, and spit straight into her face.

You know how you at times are aware how bad things are going to get, but for a split second you don’t care? This is one of those times.

For about five seconds Chrysalis just seems shocked. I really do not believe she thought I would say no, considering my predicament. It is so great to see her seem just utterly bewildered. Though that only lasts for a few moments.

Chrysalis encases me with her magic and makes me drop my staff as she levitates me up to her eye level. “You ungrateful ape!”

With a kick from her hind legs she sends me flying backwards. At this point my ribs feel as if they have been reduced to fragments of dust, the pain excruciating. My back is the next to feel pain as suddenly I hit something.

I turn around to see I hit the lone cocoon. But I am shocked at what I see inside of it. I expected it would be a changeling, or a human. It is neither. The ponies mentioned that she was beaten by Chrysalis but I did not think that she would be here!

It’s Celestia. They brought her here with them? Why the hell is she here? How could she have even gotten here in the first place?

I don’t have time to think about it further, for soon Chrysalis yanks me off of the cocoon onto the floor. She looks down at me with pure anger and rage. “No one denies me!”

I try to reach for my staff, even though I know it’s out of my reach. The first I feel is a hoof pounding down onto my injured hand. And many, many more follow. I try as best as I can to get out from under her but I can’t.

Her hooves coming down on me feels like being repeatedly hit by the heaviest hammer one can imagine. I use my already-ruined arm to protect myself, but it does little to halt her assault. My arm and body are utterly pummeled from her assault. Glancing up I see her rearing onto her hind legs, about to slam her hooves down one final time.

But before she has a chance to, a blue streak tackles her, sending her straight into the ground. Five other blurs of color follow shortly after. It must be Rainbow Dash and the others! I do not know what took them so long but finally they have gotten here.

But what can they do against Chrysalis? They are tough, sure, but what can they do alone? I don’t know what they could ever do to her. They’ll need help.

Celestia. Maybe she can help. I don’t know what difference it would make but I have to try and get her out of there. She was beaten before but maybe now that Chrysalis is fighting the others, she will get weaker and become distracted.

I don’t see what else I can do.

Slowly, and with my body screaming at me to stop, I crawl towards my staff. Each inch I move seemingly takes an hour to make. Eventually my fingers finally grab the staff, and I turn towards Celestia’s cocoon.

I hear more shouting behind me, and I think I hear somepony yell my name. But I do not focus on that. I have to get Celestia out of there! I just have to!

Once I reach the cocoon I feel something dripping from my nose. Looking down I see blood, from what must be my broken nose. Odd, I feel like shit and the only thing I know for sure has happened is that I got a broken nose.

Fighting through the pain I slam my staff down on the cocoon as hard as I can. With what is the last of my strength, my staff is able to break through the cocoon. And with that my last bit of stamina is gone, and I fall straight onto the floor.

My eyelids are heavy, as if they are made of iron. I try to stop them from closing, but I can’t. I can’t do anything now, except for one last thing.

I barely move my lips. “Celestia, if y-you can hear me… Help.”

Author's Note:

And here we have the last chapter.

As I said up there, I know not everyone will like the darker tone, but it is the path I chose.

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