• Published 26th May 2012
  • 2,371 Views, 17 Comments

Take My Love - Diamond Sparkle

A pony who has been treated badly for a long time by his family runs away

  • ...

Rolling Thunder

The young earth pony stood quaking at the edge of the Everfree Forest, where nopony, no matter what their skills, wanted to go voluntarily. Everypony found this place terrifying; even the goddesses Celestia and Luna avoided it, and yet it was the place he had walked on sore hooves all the way from Stalliongrad to reach, and there was no way that he was going to turn back now. He took a last long look back the way he had come, and then entered Everfree and left pony civilisation and relative safety behind. Hoof sized spiders scuttled away at his approach, and he wondered if the tales of giant webs and pony-sized spiders were false. Anything might be possible here in the Everfree, and it would be a horrible death if such spiders did exist and caught him. There were other creatures around here for certain; including meat eating manticores; carnivorous sea serpents that most likely at a lot more than just fish, and changelings.

At least, he hoped there were changelings, for it was these fearsome creatures that he had gone so far and was risking so much to see. There was a loud rumble of thunder and it started to rain. Not rain that was planned twenty-four hours or more ahead, but rain that rained of its own accord. Back in civilized Equestria you either had to be very impatient or very unlucky to get caught in the rain, as everypony knew when it was going to happen, at least in the cities, towns and villages where it was put up on every noticeboard exactly when it was going to rain. In fact, other than using clouds to put out a fire, it was illegal to make it rain at a different time as innocent ponies could get caught up in it and soaked. It had happened to him, but that was because for the last few months he had been homeless, just a piece of pony flotsam, stealing for food and hiding from the police.

A bolt of lightning struck a nearby tree, causing a large branch to break off and come crashing down near him. He jumped in fright. To be pinned under one of these branches would be another way of dying a horrible death either by being crushed or by slowly starving, trapped under the branch with nopony around for miles to hear his cries for help. This was not the way that he wanted to go at all. He shivered in the rain and sneezed, glancing around to check if anything nearby that was dangerous had heard his sneeze, but the noise he made was lost in a roll of thunder from above. He was scared, very wet, and feeling like he would never reach his goal of contacting the changelings, yet he carried on as he thought things would only be worse if he went back the way he came. At last the rain stopped and he came across a hill in a clearing, a hill with a cave in it. A cave that was guarded.

The guards seemed like two mockeries of alicorns, they had both wings and horns, but their wings and tails were green and insectoid, their horns were bent and twisted, and they had holes in their wings and legs as if they had been tortured, yet obviously shed no pain. These holes were not wounds or healed scars, they had been there from the beginning. These were the changelings that he had heard about; here, far from anypony, they had no need to shift shape. Two spears were by their sides, stuck in the ground. His mind was screaming at him that there was still time to turn and flee as they had not seen him yet, and that what he was planning to do was utter madness, suicide. He stepped out of the forest to where the guards could see him. The spears glowed green in the aura of changeling magic and crossed themselves in front of him, barring his entry.

“Reveal yourself.” The guard’s tone showed he was slightly bored, but it was not unpleasant. Long periods of guard duty were never much fun after all.

“My name is Rolling Thunder,” said the pony.

“You know the rules. You can be whatever shape you want outside the hive, but in the hive, everyling must stay in his or her true shape, otherwise spies from outside could infiltrate the hive and betray its location. So you don’t get in unless you reveal yourself first.”

“But I’m not a Changeling; I’m a pony for real with a gift for your ruler.”

The guards stared at him in shock, their mouths dropping open for a moment, and moved their spears in close, almost pricking him. Their early spies had reported that nopony went into the forest because they feared it so much, and they wondered if a whole army was hiding in the forest, ready to attack them when they got too close. Ponies had not fought a war for many centuries, but they had at least one regiment of guards so were clearly capable of doing so and had done so at some point in the distant past. “Come on in then, but if you don’t come in peace you will leave in pieces.” With a guard in front and a guard behind, spears at the ready, he entered the Hive. It was so dark he could hardly see and filled with twisty tunnels and large halls and Changelings. A very large number of them. There was no going back now, that was for sure.

They brought him into the main hall, this one lit by torches and containing a throne of wood inlaid with satin and glittering with every kind of jewel, fit for a Queen. And it was a Queen that sat upon it, a twisted silver crown upon her head, and stared at the pony. “I am Queen Chrysalis, Queen of the Changelings. Who are you? You’re no spy; a spy would not just surrender himself to the gate guards like that. Are you an ambassador sent by Princess Celestia?, if so, show me your papers. Or are you a traitor to ponykind who has access to important government secrets and wants to share them with us? If neither, you’re not getting out of here, you know too much.”

“I came here to…give myself to you as food. My life has been horrible since my mother broke her leg and died when it got infected. Do you see my cutie mark of two crossed canes? That’s one that a pony only gets when it has been beaten and abused so much that suffering pain is what it’s best at."

The Queen's mouth dropped open in shock. "You want to be Changeling food, hung up in a cocoon and milked of your love? Why?"

"It might be pleasent, after all to keep a steady supply you have to do something to make it leak out."

"You know, that's what we do. Any pony or other creature hung up in a cocoon is thinking of sweet things in it's mind...cuddles, kisses, and other sweet romantic stuff. That produces the love which seeps out of the cocoon and is then fed upon by Changelings nearby. Impersonating somepony's loved one only feeds that Changeling, but somepony in a cocoon can feed all the Changelings nearby. Meanwhile the cocoon keeps the body safe, like an unborn baby in the womb. It would not do for the creature to sicken and die, no love can be gained from a body. Take him to the Feeding room and cocoon him."

Rolling Thunder put up no resistance. Before he was fanged he saw two other cocoons, both containing ponies with strange smiles on their faces. Then the fangs slid into his neck and as he fell down they cocooned him. In his mind, his parents were waiting for him with huge smiles on their faces. All would be good for him from now on.