• Published 8th Jul 2015
  • 499 Views, 16 Comments

Filth - Vi



One of these Changelings is not like the others. What will happen when she is taken away from the only family and home she's ever known? Can she survive the new life she will be forced into?

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The High District

I hung my head out the carriage’s window, fairly excited to catch my first glimpse of the High District. Once the great doors cracked open however, I found myself sprawling back into the cabin as a bright force of flicker crystal light streamed directly into my face.

“Aaahh!” I screamed, rolling onto the floor and holding my forelegs over my now blinded eyes. “What, what, owww!”

“‘What was that?’ you were going to ask? It’s called the sun.”

I sat up, trying to blink away the burning dark spots in my vision. “What in the Queen’s ovaries is a sun!?

“Language,” Den Mother rebuked, “watch your language, child. A Nobleblood does not debase her image with unseemly profanities.”

“What does that even mean!?”

Den Mother glared sharply. “It means to stop asking your stupid, uneducated questions and be silent. You are already trying my patience.” The bite in her words silenced me. I instead decided to moan softly, rubbing my hooves over my assaulted eyes. What could have possibly been so bright?

“Get up,” her hoof hooked underneath my foreleg and she pulled me up from the floor and onto the cushions next to her with one strong pull," a Nobleblood does not sit herself on the disgusting floor. We sit on the clean seats like proper changelings.”

I looked down at the floor. It didn’t really look that dirty at all. It looked even cleaner than the table Mother and I ate our food gel rations on. In fact, it might have been the cleanest surface I had ever seen in my life.

“Den Mother?”

“What?”

“I have a question.”

Den Mother gave me a deadpan stare. “Did I not just say—”

“Just one question!” I clasped my hooves together and held them before her.

The stare continued. “One. Question.”

“Am I really a Nobleblood?”

I watched Den Mother expectantly, and she continued her stare. She turned away from me, looking out the window instead. “That is what the Court is going to find out.”

“Do you think I’m a Nobleblood?”

Her head swiveled around to peer at me over her shoulder. “That’s two questions.”

“Oh, right.”

She gestured towards the carriage window. “Wouldn’t you like to take your first glance of the High District?”

I froze, feeling the lifelong curiosity take over me. “Yeah!”

I bounded to the door, pushing my head out of the window again. Though my eyes had adjusted, I needed to lift a hoof up to cover my eyes. It was still so bright outside the carriage, but I gasped at the wonders I could see. There was a flicker crystal up in the air, I guessed it had to be the one that Den Mother called the “Sun”. I had never seen one so big before! And not only that, it shone with a constant stream of incredibly warm light, floating in a field so blue it reminded me of the eyes of my Mother. I wondered how many changelings were using their magic to hold it up there.

‘That must be a lot of work,’ I thought.

And the wind! It tasted and smelled so peculiar. I didn’t need to narrow my eyes to block out the dust either. In fact, I didn’t feel any dust in the wind at all. And there were no rocks in the air above me! The Higher District must not have to worry about any falling on them, then.

Looking below, I saw the structures of the High District rise high into the air. From here, it looked like they were all made of actual crystal. I had never believed so much crystal could exist, let alone enough to be made into a structure! The yellow-white light shone down into the city, through the pillars of crystal, casting the district in an aura of greens and blues. I could just barely make out the forms of other changelings, buzzing between the tall towers or walking beneath them on wide, straight streets lined with odd, solid patches of green sitting atop what looked like wood. The city itself was hugged on all sides by walls of rock. I could see many more of the strange green and wood things standing just above the top of the walls.

I wondered, 'If the walls didn’t continue all the way up, did that mean I could fly over them?'

Den Mother tapped me on my back, pulling me away from the sights. She pointed close by. “See there? That is where we’ll be stopping: The Royal Palace.”

I followed her hoof and saw, standing out from the rock walls, a gargantuan structure just a short distance away. It hung high over even the tallest of the High District’s structures, and it was right in front of us. Instantaneously, I was reminded of the reason why I was in this carriage, flying over the High District. A tremble worked its way up my legs, and I could feel my fear settling in my gut once more.

“Still not good enough.” I looked back into the carriage to see Den Mother shaking her head at me. “I can feel it. You’re afraid.”

I pulled myself back into the carriage, moving into the seat. The only sound to be heard in the cabin was the clean wind rushing around the outside of the carriage. From time to time, I could see one of the trailing Observers or Guards flutter into view.

I was afraid. I was very afraid. My curiosity had taken to the forefront of my mind for the moment, but it had quickly died out in the face of my anxieties.

“Den Mother?”

My ears just caught the sound of her sigh. “What?”

I turned to look at her. “How do I act like a Nobleblood?”

“No,” Den Mother shook her head, “you do not act like a Nobleblood. You simply are a Nobleblood. The correct question would be, ‘What should I do?’”

“Okay,” I nodded, “what should I do?”

“You act like a Nobleblood.”

Den Mother stared back at me with a completely straight face as my cheeks puffed out in frustration. “What!?”

“You must act like a Nobleblood by being a Nobleblood.” She tapped her hoof firmly on the floor.

I felt like exploding. “So how do I do that!?”

“By being exactly what you are currently not.”

I groaned, running my hooves over my eyes. “Okay then, what am I being?”

“Right now, you are an unrestrained, whimpering nuisance who cannot follow the simple order to stop. Asking. Questions!”

I slammed my hooves into the floor and shouted, “Because I don’t know what I need to do! Because I don’t know what’s happening! And I don’t want to go to the Court! I didn’t want to leave my Mother and I don’t want to do any of this and no one will tell me why this is even happening!”

I gripped the cushion, breathing audibly. Den Mother had watched impassively throughout my little rant, not once flinching at the level of noise my screams had created.

She leaned in over the aisle. “Tell me child, do you want to live?”

I could feel my breath stop. “W-what?”

Den Mother’s face was perfectly expressionless as she leaned closer to me. “Do you. Want. To live?”

I met her neutral gaze. “Y-yes, I do Den Mother.”

“Do you want all the answers to your questions? Do you want to know your future purpose? Do you want to receive your name?”

“Yes!”

She stood on all fours, standing above me aggressively. “Do you want to know what the Court would see if they saw just what is before me now?”

I shook my head, fearfully staring up at the suddenly menacing changeling.

Filth,” she spat, “a pathetic and oblivious weakling of a Lower Class changeling pretending to be a pure, unsoiled Nobleblood. They will not send you back to the Lower District when they drag you wildly kicking and screaming from the Royal Court. They will instead dispose of you so easily and so thoroughly that your own Mother would doubt that you had ever even existed.”

I shrunk down into the seat, trying to make myself as small as possible and not tremble at the very audible confirmation of my worst fears. I held my forelegs over my head, trying to stop the tremors currently rattling my body. I didn’t ask for this. I just wanted my Mother. I just wanted to go home. I just wanted to go home…

“Breathe,” Den Mother ordered, interrupting my episode of hysteria, “in, and out. In, and out.”

I could feel her sit next to me, rubbing a hoof along my back, trying to quiet me down. My eyes felt hot with tears, but I held them in, though I felt myself trembling with every breath.

“I, however, am not the Royal Court. I do not see what those changelings would see if they saw you now. Would you like to know what I see?”

Lip quivering, I nodded my head.

“I see what you could be. I see a changeling who might be worth something. And I believe you can serve a purpose. Now, are you going to prove me wrong in front of the entire Court and disappoint me?”

“N-no.”

“Look at me.”

I peered up from my little curled up bundle of fear at Den Mother, who was to my great surprise, smiling. “Are you going to disappoint me, child?”

In just a glimpse, I could see what was behind that smile. It was nothing like the one she wore as she prowled into my home and took me away from my life only a short while ago. This was a smile not very much unlike the one my Mother wore when I would return home from a long day of playing in the streets. Well, it of course wasn’t as exuberant as Mother’s smile, which would always come right before a flying tackle and a tight embrace. This one was much more reserved, her lips pulled up only slightly. It was almost exaggerating to even call it a smile. But within it was something that looked almost…sincere.

“No, I won't disappoint you Den Mother.” I gave her a small smile of my own.

“Good.” She stepped back and returned to her seat across the aisle, stretching out across the cushions. And just like that, she had returned to her firm expression.

“For now, there are only a few items you need to know to survive the trial: You must be calm. You must not rise to the bait of the insults spoken towards you. Do not react with fear, anger, frustration, excitability, surprise, or timidity, for all of these negative emotions are the attributes of a Lower Class changeling. As I said earlier, do not struggle during the Physician’s examination, and do not speak without permission. Do not look to me when you are asked to speak. Answer any question as clearly and to the point as you are capable. Give your King and the Nobles your full attention and respect by standing straight and proud, absolutely no slouching. And never be the first to break eye contact. Do these very simple tasks and you will have a much greater chance of surviving the trial. Understand?”

I really did try my best to look like I had understood all of her good advice. By the look on her face, I could tell I wasn’t fooling her. She slapped a hoof against her forehead.

“If it gives you any motivation to pass the trial, I promise,” she looked disgusted just to say it, “if all goes well, I will answer any of the questions you are undoubtedly brimming with once the Court is adjourned.”

“Really!?” I jumped up, onto the cushions on all fours, a wide smile plastered across my face.

Den Mother glared. “Did I not just mention revealing your ridiculous excitability? Yes, really. Now sit down, we’re here.”

I scrunched up my face and shot down into the seat. Den Mother shook her head. I felt the carriage jolt as we made contact with the ground, rolling to a stop. It was a Warrior who opened the door for us.

“We’ve arrived, Royal Breeder.”

“Thank you sir,” she replied smoothly. Den Mother exited the cabin, stepping down regally. Once she had reached the ground, she turned around to address me, still on the seat, hesitating to leave.

“Come along now.” The way she spoke those words seemed…off, from how she had just been speaking only a short time ago. But I recognized it. It was the too sweet tone of the very first words I ever heard her say.

‘Aren’t you an interesting little changeling?’

I swallowed my nervousness, and did my best to step down the carriage as proudly as I could. When I reached the ground, I stood up as straight as I possibly could for good measure. I did not break contact with Den Mother’s eyes as she spoke to me, and that strangely graceful smile adorned her face once more.

“Welcome to the Royal Palace.”

Comments ( 5 )

I’ve read the Writeoff entry and loved it (I may or may not be biased towards changeling stories in general) and it’s fantastic to see this expanded. I’m definitely looking forward to updates should you decide to continue this fic. :twilightsmile:

Vi

7795974 Goodness, you dug this thing up from the Writeoff? And enjoyed it? :rainbowderp: Well, thank you! I'm glad you like it.

As to updates, I'm not entirely sure when they'll happen. I rewrote this story two more times after hitting that "On Hiatus" button, and wasn't too pleased with anything I'd written, so for now, I'm at a brick wall with this story (along with several others). Not to mention I need to actually start writing again in general. :twilightsheepish:

7796271

Goodness, you dug this thing up from the Writeoff?

This may have helped me find out about it. :raritywink:

Vi

7797140 Ahh, I see! That makes sense. Well, I hope you enjoyed that mini-fic as well. :twilightsmile:

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