• Published 9th Jul 2015
  • 1,891 Views, 106 Comments

Their Variables - Meta Four

A collection of short one-shots about alternate universes and "What if?" scenarios.

  • ...

Change(ling)s and Forms

“Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview,” Twilight said.

“Oh, it’s really no problem,” Thorax answered. “It’s the least I can do after everything you and Spike have done for me …”

“Hey,” Spike said, “we just did what friends do!”

The three of them trotted into Twilight’s private study. Her furnishings—an antique cherrywood desk, warm firefly lamps, portraits of authors and historical magicians, and bookshelves stuffed with a mix of fiction and nonfiction titles—had gone a long way towards making this the homiest, least imposing room in her castle. The thick Saddle Arabian rug muffled their steps as Twilight led them to a set of red, upholstered chairs around a coffee table.

“Here, have a seat,” she said.

“Hmm, this is really comfortable,” Thorax said as he settled into his chair’s thick cushion.

“Isn’t it? I asked Davenport for the most comfortable chairs in Equestria, and he certainly delivered.”

“Yeah, I love these chairs!” Spike added.

Thorax smiled. He was looking much healthier now than he had when Spike first met him. He was already less gaunt, and his carapace was growing glossier by the day.

Twilight grabbed her notepad, inkwell, and several quills. She cleared her throat and said, “So, did I hear correctly that you took the shape of Spike’s reflection? And then a rock?”

“Well,” Thorax said, “I don’t want to brag but …” He transformed into a rock.

“Fascinating!” Twilight jotted notes down. “A lot of pony scientists thought that changelings could only take the form of other quadrupeds.”

Thorax transformed back. “Really? Why would they think that?”

“It was just an assumption, because we’ve only ever seen them copy ponies. There’s just so much about changelings we ponies don’t know!”

“That makes sense …”

“Next question: Are there any other changelings who feel the same way you do? Changelings who want to be friends with ponies?”

Thorax’s head drooped. “I wouldn’t hold my breath for it. Queen Chrysalis taught us all that ponies are only good for food, and she didn’t like dissenting opinions. If anyone else disagreed with her, they never said so.”

Twilight wrote some more. “I see. And are there any other changeling nations? Or is Chrysalis the queen of all changelings?”

“Well, yes and no. Chrysalis is queen of all thirty known hives. But there used to be two other queens, who had five or so hives each. But they and their kingdoms disappeared.”

“Disappeared? As in …?”

Thorax threw his forehooves in the air. “As in, nobody has any idea what happened to them! Their hives were just deserted a few years ago, and there’s been no trace of them since.”

“Huh,” Twilight said, furrowing her brows. “If some other nation overran them, there would be signs of a struggle. Maybe some kind of plague caused a colony collapse?”

“Or maybe,” Spike cut in, “they went into hiding! Maybe they infiltrated the surrounding countries. And no one’s ever seen them because they’re so good at blending in.” His eyes went wide. “Maybe they’re right here in Equestria!

“That’s ridiculous. Don’t be silly, Spike.”

Twilight turned, her gaze darting back and forth over the whole room. “Who said that?”

“Um …” Spike said.

“It wasn’t me!”

“Twilight,” Thorax said, “did your chair just speak?”

Twilight looked down at her chair. She thought about how very, very comfortable it was, and how irritating it would be to find a replacement. “No,” she said. “No, it didn’t.”

There was silence for a few seconds.

“Heeeeeey, Thorax,” Twilight said, “what was life like at your hive?”

Author's Note:

“Changes and Forms”