• Published 18th Dec 2015
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Awkward Conversations And Other Stories - No one is home

A series of disjointed, interconnected stories about people and ponies. There are many conversations. All are awkward.

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Hard Reset (Z): Ponyville Briefly

“So, Darling?” an almost painfully white unicorn mare with lavender mane, and tail, both expertly styled, took the seat next to Z-978 on the train to Ponyville, “Are you going to Ponyville, as well.”

“Yeah,” Z-978 nodded, “And I doubt if I’m the only one on the train. Hard times at the new hive. There’s too many drones, too many changelings, making too many problems, and not much love to go ‘round. This is the world we live in. What can you do?”

“Yes,” the mare nodded, and gave Z-978 a sympathetic look, “I was in canterlot on business and I read all about it in the papers.”

“Yeah,” Z-978 fought back the urge to sneer, she’d read some of those headlines herself, “Changelings: Refugees or The Enemy Within”, jumped out in particular. In a lot of ways, it felt good leaving Canterlot. But still, this mare WAS trying to be nice.

“I’m Rarity darling,” the mare said with a smile.

“I’m Z-978,” the changeling gave a friendly reply.

“I’m sorry darling, did you say your name was Z-978?” Rarity raised an eyebrow.

“Yes, miss,” Z-978 nodded enthusiastically.

“Do you mean Queen Chrysalis only gave you a serial number?” Rarity withdrew in shock and outrage, “I knew she was cold but… oh you poor thing!”

“You misunderstand, Miss Rarity,” Z-978 helpfully corrected, “Z-978 is the name I chose for myself when we escaped from the old hive.”

“So,” Rarity said flatly, almost certain she was the butt of some kind of changeling joke, “You named yourself Z-978.”

“Yes,” Z-978 nodded quickly.

“And before that you had another name,” Rarity continued, questioningly.

“Uh-Huh,” Z-978 smiled and nodded.

“And then after escaping from Queen Chrysalis,” Rarity said carefully, “You, of your own free will chose the name Z-978?”

“Exactly!” Z-978 smiled and clopped her hooves together, “You can call me Z if you’d like, most ponies find it easier.”

“I’m sorry to ask darling, and I truly hope it’s not rude,” Rarity floundered in the unknown waters she found herself immersed in, “But are there 977 other ‘Z’s’?”

“Nope,” Z-978 laughed a little at what she was pretty sure was a pony joke, “Just me.”

“I… see,” Rarity nodded slowly, now certain this was some kind of joke at her expense, “I just find it odd, because I met several changelings during my business trip, and they didn’t use letters and numbers for names.”

“Leader Caste changelings probably,” Z-978 supplied helpfully, “Or drones using whatever name a leader gave them. I chose my own name. Made it up myself.”

“Oh… well, I suppose that would make a certain amount of sense,” Rarity agreed awkwardly, “If you don’t mind me asking, what was your name before you escaped?”

“Worker Changeling 978,” Z replied cheerfully.

“You know,” Rarity said cooly, “It’s alright if you don’t want to tell me, but you should at least have the decency to say so!”

Z-978 fell silent with a long buzzing sigh and turned to watch Equestria pass through the window of the train.

Z took in the sights of Ponyville with interest and curiosity. Everything just looked so clean and festive. Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted a creature digging around in the dumpster behind what looked like a giant gingerbread house. If she wasn’t mistaken it looked like one of those “human” things. Obviously a low functioning drone, left unattended. It was sad, but Z-978 had her own troubles and too much to decide.

“Wow,” said an orange mare with a ridiculously mismatched mane and tail colored purple and cyan, respectively, “You’re just gonna walk around right in front of them?”

“And you’re blending in beautifully,” Z smirked, “Honestly, why even wear a disguise if you’re not going to try to look like a real pony?”

“It’s not a disguise!” the other changeling pouted, “It’s my… hey! Wait a minute… You thought this was a crappy change-job, didn’t you!”!”

“Guilty,” Z laughed easily in the company of the fellow drone, then grinned wickedly. “So show me I’m wrong, do that Pink Pony over there.”

“I’ll do you one better, I’ll do the human she’s trying to lure into a box-trap with cup-cakes,” the strange changeling said with confidence.

“I’m calling bull shit on...holy shit,” Z-978 had been surprised very few times in her life, but to change into a nearly unknown species, on the spot... The drone only held it for a second before popping back into a completely different horribly mismatched pony mare. Purple, green, orange, and black. And there were stripes, vertical and horizontal.

“You can call me Whatserface, it’s what all the ponies call me. I was a harvester, so I got a lot of practice changing. Like I said it’s not a disguise. If I was ‘disguised’ you wouldn’t even know I’m a fellow changeling, but I’m pretty sure every pony in town knows I’m a changeling though. I gotta Pinky Pie Party and everything when I got here. You’ll probably get one too, if you stick around long enough, she seems kinda pre-occupied at the… wow! What do you know? She caught him! Those humans make great pets, I’ve heard.”

“I’m Z-978,” Z smiled warmly, “You can’t believe how good it is to see a friendly face. So, why the not-a-disguise? If the ponies already know you’re a changeling, why not just save energy and stay natural?”

“Well,” Whatserface confided, “I may just be a drone, but I’ve figured out a few things spending so much time around ponies. Like why they’re afraid of us.”

“Duh,” Z-978 rolled her eyes. A non-changeling could never tell but Whatserface picked up on it, “We’re predators, they're prey, we use them for food.”

“Not really though, it’s not like we actually eat ponies” Whatserface shook her head vigorously, “It’s not like we litterally have ever at any time in history stolen their foals out of a clear blue sky for eating purposes. And yet they’re fine with griffons.”

Z raised a hoof in objection, and then immediately lowered it with a quizzical expression. It was a pretty good point.

“They’re afraid we could replace them and they’d never know it.” Whatserface explained, “So I keep a few really bad change jobs in the mix, that just scream ‘changeling’. That way, they can call me out, I can do my reveal and show I’m friendly, and the ponies feel a little safer that they could spot a changeling.”

“That’s… brilliant!” Z was truly impressed by her fellow drone.

“Yeah, I gotta system.” Whatserface nodded with a smile, “I’m headed out on the train to Fillydelphia tomorrow. I know about a pseudo-hive on the outskirts of the city harvesting love that accepts new members. Wanna come with? The downside is, you’ll probably miss your Pinkie Pie Party. Since it looks like she’s gonna be busy with her new pet.”

“Wow,” Z robbed the back of her chitinous head, “Sounds great, I’ve got a few bits I was planning to use to pay off ponies for some feeding time, but guess I could use it for a train ticket.”

“Oh don’t worry,” Whatserface waved a dismissive hoof, “Train ticket is my treat. Trust me. You just listen to big sister Whatserface and pretty soon the ponies will be paying you.”

Author's Note:

Z-978 has made a new friend. Maybe? Pinkie Pie's caught a feral human in a humane box trap. Another Awkward chapter. thanks for reading. :pinkiecrazy:

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