• Published 26th Feb 2015
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[Archived] Scales and Carapaces - ProjectZerro



During Spike's travels throughout Equestria, he comes across a certain starving changling queen. Against his better judgement he decides to help her, this one act of kindness will put in motion a tale of loss and gain.

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Chapter 17: Forge

Initially Spike was overjoyed to be able to see his mother again. She was always so busy and he’d need to make up an excuse to see her in the past when being her adopted son was still a secret. But even after it came to light there was still little to no time for them to be together as a mother and her son. So how could he not be excited? Well it came to him that he’d forgotten one very important thing.

She didn’t know that he was in a relationship with Chrysalis and, only just recently so that could be an excuse, Twilight. And he was already in a slight panic.

He moved from one side of his room to the other trying to think of a way to keep quiet in front of his mother. He knew Twilight and Chrysalis would definitely try to keep it hidden, but knowing their luck she’d find out anyway.

“Okay, calm down Spike. You’ll be fine. She’s the goddess of the sun after all, she’ll understand that not only did I forget to tell her, my mother, that I’m in a relationship with her past enemy but I also cheated on said mare with her precious ex-student and fellow princess and now I’m in a herd with both of them…” Spike slammed his hand into her face and groaned out loud. “Who am I kidding? I’m as good as cooked.”

He lifted his head when a wave of energy Spike knew rather intimately suddenly appeared just outside his door. He took a breath, coughed a bit and a bit of smoke escaped his throat, and walked to the door and opened them slowly.

A pair of pure white arms reached out and pulled him into the tightest, most warm and gentle hug. He inwardly groaned because he knew he’d be spilling his guts in moments but he couldn’t stay distressed when he looking into the face of his adoptive mother. Not with a smile like that.

“Oh! Spikey! I miss you so much!” Celestia called out and hugged her adopted son tightly. She let go of him and pushed him back into his room and closed the doors behind her. “I’m so happy you sent me your letter when you did. I needed to get as far away from the castle as I could.”

Spike could feel the guilt of his actions weighing him down as he gazed upon his very excited mother. How could she always do that to him without trying? It started with him sneaking gems late at night and ending up telling her himself and it spiraled from there onwards.

“Spike?” Spike shook his head a bit and refocused on his mother who was looking worried. “Are you okay?”

“Y-yeah…I um…look I’m just going to say what I have to before I feel any worse.” Spike breathed out as his mother let go of him and gave him a quizzing look. He knew that he should have said all this in the letter, it would have been so much easier to deal with.

And so he spilled his heart out. He told her that he'd officially gotten together with Chrysalis, to which his mother gave him a knowing smirk and a motherly wink. He then told her about him and Twilight, she didn't look too shocked but it caught her off guard, but then she put two and two together. Spike wished he could just find a nice cold cave to hide from his mother's judging eyes but he needed to finish. He let her know how it happened and about what happened just an hour ago, this is where he stopped and watched Celestia rub the ridge between her eyes and groan.

"You...I didn't think I'd ever deal with something like thia ever again." Celestia walked over to Spike's bed and sat down. She looked up at Spike and gave him a understanding smile. "Thank you for telling me all this Spike. Honestly I'm just glad you managed to handle all this without it going bad. But I suppose Chrysalis herself plays a big part."

Spike nodded and sat next to his mother. "Yeah, she shocked me a bit with how calm she was about it. I expected her to get mad at me to be honest. I sort of wanted her to get mad at me. No matter the reason I messed up after all."

"Even after all that's happened she is still a queen. She must have that much understanding to be an effective ruler. But don't beat yourself up about what happened, if she doesn't blame you or Twilight and accepts both of you in this herd of yours then so be it. I trust you to make the right choice, just make sure you treat them right. And if you need advice, talk to Sky." Celestia hugged Spike and kissed his cheek lightly.

"Thanks mom...by the way, what is up with Blue Sky? You and him talked about this in the same way." Spike raised a eyebrow at her.

Celestia thought for a moment before chuckling to herself. "I'll tell you when you're older." To which Spike groaned and flapped his wings lightly.

"Anyway, what did you want to tell me? Sky was supposed to but uh...stuff happened..." Spike rubbed the back of his neck and smiled still feeling a little guilty.

"Oh! I almost forgot." She turned to Spike and took on a air of seriousness. "As I told you before I decided to have the place you found Chrysalis searched, just in case. What we found is exactly what you told me, but after some time we did find something." She placed a hand on Spike's shoulder and smiled. "Spike, we found one alive."

It took a moment for Spike to give a reaction, Celestia thought he'did be more excited when she blinked at the tears that began to roll down his face. He blinked and stared at his mother before opening his mouth. "Alive?" He shook lightly and blinked a bit more before wiping his eyes and taking a short breathe. "I want to met them."


Doctor Birchwood and Captain Mercury were, as usual, at a disagreement. "What don't you understand Captain, he needs to be able to move around. Staying in bed won't help him and neither will walking in circles in a tent!"

"I don't care about that, he's not going to leave that bed!" Captain Mercury stood his ground against the doctor, though admittedly he understood, he just didn't feel comfortable with the changeling walking around openly.

Said changeling was reading a book on forging that he'd asked the doctor for. He couldn't help but hear what the two stallions were going on about, he did feel bad for the Captain's clear anxiousness but there was little he could do. He looked up to see the doctor entering the large tent and rub his forehead.

"That fool. I'm sorry, I did what I could." Birchwood sat in a chair near the changeling's bed. "How are you doing?"

"I am quite fine, I must admit I am shocked at my recovery, but I suppose that is thanks to you kind doctor." The changeling smiled as his gold eyes returned to the book in his hands.

"Do you like forging? You've been into that book for some time now." Birchwood asked as he checked on the changeling's vitals, he was worried that anything could happen at this point.

"I do. Before I became a soldier I was a blacksmith. I've always liked the process, the heat that I use to bend and mold the metal. It was always relaxing to me, it was also that only thing I was good at." The changeling chuckled to himself and looked over the book in his hands. "It's the only way I can keep myself from remembering them."

The doctor let out a sigh and gave him an understanding smile, but before he could say anything the rustling of the tent's opening made him pause and turn. "How can I-" Birchwood's shot open as he stared upon the royal form of one of his princesses. "P-princess Celestia!" He bowed to his princess and heard the odd sound of more footsteps. He looked up and saw a purple dragon standing at the side of Celestia and staring at the changeling in the bed. He knew the dragon as the princess's son however he could not recalled his name.

"Sir Spike." Birchwood stood up and turned to the changeling and watched he stare back at the dragon.

"You are..." Spike moved to the foot of the bed and continued to stare at the changeling. "That guard..."

For a long drawn out second neither said anything, Spike merely stared as tears began to fall. He'd cried a lot today. He moved over to the side of the bed, kneeled down and left his head down and his hands clasped on his knee. The only sound coming from him was him saying, "Thank you." over and over. The changeling continued to smile at him and allowed Spike to vent out what he was feeling.

After a while Spike had calm down and now he wanted a few answers. "What's with your eyes? They were like the other changelings before, why are your different now?" Spike, Celestia, Captain Mercury and Doctor Birchwood were all in attendance now to hear what the changeling had to say.

"As far as I've been able to understand it's because of my ability to survive on my own. I doubt you know this but we changelings feed off of love, happiness and other positive emotions for more than just food, we do so because of the magic attached to the emotions is something we lack biologically." Spike blinked at that and looked to his mother who was rubbing her chin in thought. "It is as you think your majesty, it is more than a simple lack of emotion, we cannot create our own magic through emotion. Changelings cannot produce the magic love and happiness give and therefore we lack a necessary part of ourselves."

"That doesn't quite explain how you have the eyes of a normal pony." Celestia asked inquisitively. "While it does explain why Chrysalis was so strong after absorbing Shining's love..."

"I was getting to that. I..." He let a low sigh and closed his eyes. "When I was with the last of the hive in our final moments...I was the last one tof begin feeling the affects of our starvation, but as I felt everything coming to an end I believe that I was saved by the rest of the hive."

"Dying wishes are quite potent." Celestia chimed in and looked up to the changeling. "It's no surprise you were able to absorb that and survive, but as to your change..."

He finally opened his eyes and looked to the princess. "I believe that was thanks to my individuality."

Captain Mercury finally spoke up. "Individuality? Aren't you a drone?"

"That is true Sir Mercury. However, as I told the good doctor, I was a blacksmith before I was a soldier, and no of the other drones shared my love for the forge. As drones we could act and think as one consensus, a single consciousness. And I was still able to but my love for he forge was not shared with the others. Thus my singularity. Allow me this thought, regardless of how fantastical it is, I believe that because of my singularity and absorbing the emotions from my late hive have given me the ability to make my own magic through emotions."

Celestia stepped forward before other words could be spoken. "Creating your own magic through your emotions, what are the effects?"

The changeling looked at his arms. "The holes in my body vanished some time ago. My skin has lightened significantly, my wings are also much cleaner and as you know my eyes are much different."

Celestia nodded. "And if these things can happen to you, what of your queen?"

The changeling looked up at the princess and stared at her as thoughts plagued his mind. "I am not sure. The hive queens are like us drone in our missing magic through emotions...but they are able to perfectly harness the magic they harvest. So in that case...I assume she may not ever consciously need to absorb magic through emotion as long as she stays by Sir Spike's side."

Celestia smiled at Spike and he suddenly felt a weight lifted from his shoulders. "So where will you go?" Celestia asked the changeling as he close his book.

"I would be grateful if I could stay near my Queen. I doubt she can feel my presence and I want her to know I am alive." The changeling looked at his hand and he slowly began to be engulfed in a green fire. When the fire died down a ashe gray pegasus with black and gold hair stood up from the bed and looked to Spike.

Spike smiled at the disguised changeling and put out his hand. "I hope we can be good friends." The two shook hands and the disguised changeling looked to the doctor and captain.

"Thank you for watching over me. Captain I do hope someday we can come to be friends. Doctor Birchwood, I will never forget your kindness, thank you." The changeling put a hand out to the doctor.

Birchwood would took the hand and gave him a smug smile. "I plan on making house calls until I'm sure you are okay. So expect to see me again Forge."

The changeling blinked. "Forge?"

The doctor nodded. "Makes sense doesn't it? Your love for forging saved you. It's your identity in a way. That's a great reason if any for that to be your name."

He stared at Birchwood and looked to Spike. Spike smiled and nodded to him. "I think it's a great name. But it's up to you to decide if it's for you."

The changeling blinked and slowly a large smile grew on his face. His eyes took on confidence and he let go of the doctor's hand and nodded to himself more than anyone else. "It is my choice and since it is, I shall make it. From today forward, I will be known as Forge."

Author's Note:

Sorry for the shorter chapter. I spent so much time thinking this bit up.

I am writing from a tablet so I can finally work on a regular basis!

The next chapter will be in its way by the next few weeks, I hope.

I am trying to keep a schedule now.