• 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): Looking for Love

“Okay, time to put on some work clothes,” in an invisible flash of green fire Whatserface became a hideously yellow earth pony mare, with a garish red and black striped mane, “Now you do this same thing, but reverse the colors.”

Z-978 studied her fellow changeling for a moment and then flash into her near twin, with a black coat and a red and yellow striped mane and tail, “This good?”

“Right on sister,” Whatserface noded with a grin, “I’m gonna be… Debbie! And, let’s see… You like Z-names, so you can be Zilia! Yeah, I can work with that!”

“Those aren’t even pony names,” Z said flatly.

“Weren’t you listening yesterday you silly bug,” Whatserface grinned slyly, “That’s the point.”

“I understand that we need to fit in,” Z-978 nodded carefully, “And I get that we’re not really hiding. But why the fake names. Why not Whatserface and Z-978.”

“Okay, fine,” Whatserface stamped a hoof in irritation, “Try it your way. Go talk to that nice family over there, explain your situation and ask if they would mind you accompanying them on their tour.”

“I-I didn’t mean…” Z stammered.

“Well I did,” Whatserface insisted, “You gotta learn sometime, go try it your way. Go on, I mean it.”

The family in question seemed so ridiculous that Z momentarily thought this could a prank and they might be changelings, if it weren’t for the energetic filly bouncing between them. That was an energy that no changeling could mimic, not even Whatserface.

“Um excuse me sir,” Z walked up to the family shyly, “My name is Z-978...”

“YOU’RE A CHANGELING!” the white unicorn filly immediately pointed and shouted.

“Sweetie Belle!” Her mother admonished sternly, “You can’t just go around calling ponies changelings. I’m sorry miss, she does the craziest things trying to get her cutie mark…”

“It’s alright, really,” Z nervously rubbed the back of her head with her hoof, “Actually I AM a changeling and that’s kinda what…”

“I KNEW IT!” the white filly shouted, “Cutie Mark Crusader, Changeling Spotter!”

The filly then immediately stared at her own flank for four full seconds before deflating.

“See what I mean?” the obliviously pink mare gestured vacantly, “She calms down quickly enough once… wait, you’re a what now?”

“A changeling?” The mustached father cut in, “You must be from that new hive in canterlot. Our oldest daughter was just telling us how she had the most interesting chat with one your hive mates on the train yesterday. She said it seemed friendly enough, if a bit of a joker. Terrible things your people have had to go through. I’m Hondo, this is my wife Cookie, and our youngest, Sweetie Belle. We were taking a little family outing to see the cherry orchards. Simply beautiful this time of year. How can we be of service, young lady?”

“Well, sir, as you probably know, my people feed on ambient positive emotions, and I was wondering if you would mind if I... accompanied you on your tour?” Z gave the family her friendliest smile.

“Wait,” Hondo’s face scrunched up a little as her considered the implications, “Are you asking me if it’s alright if I let you feed off my family?”

“Well,” Z said with a little embarrassment, “I know it sounds…”

“It’s sounds down-right scary is how it sounds,” Hondo stepped between Z and his family, “Can’t we just donate time in the pods in Canterlot?”

“Well, you see sir,” Z attempted to explain only to be interrupted again, this time by the bee-hive maned pink mare (how could such hideous ponies have such an adorable filly?).

“Wait, Hondo,” Cookie cut in, “I read about this. They sent out volunteers into equestria to save food at the hive for the less fortunate and to teach ponies about changeling culture!”

“Yes ma’am!” Z-978 smiled brightly, “I was volunteered into the free-range initiative!”

“Ooh,” Sweetie Belle leaned in closely, “Can you do Princess Luna?”

“Well, I can, but...” with a flash Z was replaced by a pony-sized copy of the princess of the night, which she held for exactly three seconds, before changing into her natural self with a little bow, “Making an exact copy, or holding it for more than a few seconds for demonstration purposes could get me in a lot of trouble. Somepony might think I was impersonating royalty.”

“Do changelings get cutie-marks?” Sweetie continued to question her relentlessly.

“Sweetie, dear, don’t be a nuisance,” her mother chastised, but Z shook her head.

It’s alright,” Z said happily, “That’s part of what I’m out in the world for, and no miss, changelings don’t get cutie marks in the sense that ponies do. Although I can imitate a cutie mark and change it if I want.”

“You can have ANY cutie mark you want???” Sweetie Belle's eyes widened in awe, “Dad, can we take her with us? You gotta! It’s um… that thing you like so much… educational.”

“Well,” Hondo rubbed the back of his head with one hoof, unable to say no to his youngest daughter, and turned to his wife, “What do you think, dear?”

“I think Sweetie has a point,” Cookie smiled gently, “It’s a chance to learn about a new culture, and a chance to help somepony who really needs our help.”

“You’re right of course dear, our famil has plenty of love to share with a hungry changeling, especially one as well mannered as our friend Miss Z” Hondo laughed, “How can we say no when we’re the parents of the Element of Generosity.”

“Now he’s just dropping names,” Cookie swatted playfully at her husband, "Come along dear, you’re simply going to LOVE the cherry blossoms. They really are a sight.”

“Oh, oh,” Sweetie hopped around Z excitedly, “Can you do Scootaloo, I gotta picture…”

As she walked towards the orchard in her natural form with the happy family Z turned and stuck her tongue out playfully at her fellow changeling.

“Well I’ll be damned,” Whatserface declared, “She actually did it.

Author's Note:

Slightly short chapter but I want to try and get in two this weekend... :pinkiecrazy:
And a slightly more upbeat chapter as well, I think. :pinkiehappy:

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