• Published 6th Nov 2016
  • 13,636 Views, 1,831 Comments

Change: Queen of The Hive - tom117z

Changeling hives are vanishing with no trace left behind, who, or what is hunting the changeling race? And what fate awaits Queen Twilight Sparkle and the rest of her hive?

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2 - The Equestrian Hive

The Equestrian Hive

The Equestrian Hive. An enormous structure built into an underground cave system, this system even had its own underground river running through it, providing fresh clean water to anypony who may stumble upon it. The natural formations had structures built within, the architecture being made from a mossy brick substance with another material akin to chitin lining it, giving the hive an organic feel. In the eight years since its initial settlement, many more tunnels had been excavated and expansions made, growing from only a hoofful of occupants from the destroyed Badlands Hive to now well over one hundred thousand drones living within its walls. The underground city was spread out in all directions, and this is the place Queen Twilight Sparkle called home.

The Queen herself was sitting comfortably at a table in the beating heart of her hive, the atrium. The vast space had been modelled after the one in the now destroyed Badlands Hive, the hive Twilight had previously called home until Queen Crudelis had put an end to that.

Still, that was eight years ago. Now Twilight couldn’t help but marvel how far they had come in so little time. The atrium spanned deep into the ground, going many floors down into the earth. A double backed staircase sat at the back to allow ground travel, though most drones preferred to fly from one floor to the next. Each floor contained various changeling run establishments from restaurants to even a spa, something Rarity always liked to frequent in her visits to the hive. Then, in the centre of it all, a magnificent beam of light pierced directly upwards to a large open hole in the ceiling, displaying the day’s bright blue sky in all its glory as Celestia’s sun moved along through it. From the surface the large gap wouldn’t seem to exist, instead, viewers would see the land stretching out consistently with the rest of the terrain and would even be solid to stand on, disguised by a mixture of shield and illusion magic just as the atrium of the Badlands Hive had done. All this magic, and the beam of light, originated from one source, a golden coloured crystal donated to the Equestrian Hive by Princess Celestia as a housewarming gift. The crystal itself was held aloft jointly in the hooves of Queens Avia and Chrysalis, the statues of mother and daughter, and Twilight’s grandmother and mother smiled lovingly out on their subjects as they kept the magic protecting the atrium going strong at all times.

It was this statue Twilight couldn’t help but stare down at from her table outside one of the atrium’s restaurants. And she wasn’t alone.

“Bit for your thoughts?” Spike asked.

As Twilight looked towards the purple and green dragon he gave the Changeling Queen a supportive smile, his eyes almost being level with hers. Spike was easily the size of Princess Luna, his leathery wings folded to his side. They had often joked he would soon be too large to fit in the hive, but that was still a long way off.

Twilight examined the rest of her companions. Also sitting around the table with their ruler were the changelings Carduus, Twilight’s former Guard Captain, along with his wife and daughter Panacea and Iuvenes. Also seated with them were the two sisters Soronis and Puellula, the only survivors of Queen Vespula’s hive, who had joined Twilight eight years ago just after the loss of the Badlands Hive.

As Twilight lingered on them, she couldn’t help but note how much Puellula and Iuvenes had grown. It seemed yesterday they had been mere nymphs. Now, Iuvenes was sixteen years old, as old as Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie when Twilight had first met them at the Summer Sun Celebration all those years ago. Puellula herself was fourteen years of age, being two years younger than her best friend.

The final changeling sitting at the table was Scorpion, Carduus’ successor as captain of Queen Twilight’s Royal Guard. Scorpion had actually been a member of Queen Crudelis’ hive before her death, a member of her guard but one who was always stuck at a low rank due to his ‘questioning’ of Crudelis’ choices over the years. On her death, he quickly reorganised the guard to keep the civilians from panicking, and he was their de-facto leader before their integration into Twilight’s hive. His skills were past that of simply guarding a door, and his newfound loyalty to Queen Twilight was strong.

That, and his promotion to Captain of the Royal Guard strengthened the bond between the once enemy hives.

“Hello?” Spike called out, waving a claw in front of the Queen’s face. “Equus to Twilight, you there?”

Twilight chuckled. “Sorry Spike, I was just thinking.”

“Thinking, huh?” he said. “Think any harder and others might think you were a thousand years old rather than a mere twenty-eight.”

“Oh hush, you cheeky dragon.” She gave him a playful slap on the snout. “If you truly must know, I was just thinking about us, how far we’ve come.”

“It’s certainly impressive,” Scorpion stated. “Eight years ago we were at war. Now we share the second largest hive in existence. Not an easy feat.”

“No, it wasn’t,” Twilight agreed. “A lot of people’s blood, sweat and tears got us here. It wasn’t just me.”

“Good thing your pony parents were loaded enough to buy the land,” Scorpion stated with a smirk.

“You realise Celestia gave them the money for it, right?” Carduus spoke up. “They’re only of minor nobility, they normally wouldn’t have had anywhere near the amount of money.”

“Really?” Scorpion questioned. “My Queen, you never mentioned that. You should really tell me the whole story one of these days.”

“Nothing much to tell,” the Changeling Queen stated. “It’s mostly just the pony nobility bickering for hours on end.”

The changeling snorted. “Then I take it back, I don’t want to hear it.”

“How are your parents anyway, Twilight?” Carduus asked. “You haven’t visited them in a while.”

“No, I’ve been far too busy,” Twilight sadly noted. “But we still exchange letters. They’re doing well, Shiny visited them a few weeks back with Flurry Heart. Though, Cadance was caught up in her duties at the Crystal Empire.”

Puellula put down the drink she was consuming, and then she nudged her sister with an elbow.

“Hey, Soronis. We should take a visit to the Crystal Empire at some point. It’s been too long since we were back there.”

Iuvenes glanced at her friend incredulously. “Aren’t the majority of your memories there being stuck in a cramped wine cellar?”

“Yes…” she admitted. “Until we were found and taken to the palace. It was those events that led us here. That, and I am rather hoping Princess Cadance will allow me to take some love directly from the heart again.”

“Pue!” Soronis scolded.


Soronis rolled her eyes. “If you want some of the heart’s love, all you need to do is visit the reservoir. We only just got a shipment from the Crystal Empire so there is plenty to have.”

“But it never tastes as good as when it’s fresh from the heart itself!” Puellula protested. “Come on sis! You should know that as well as I do!”

“True…” Soronis admitted. “But it’s still a sacred artefact, we only fed from it because we were starving, I doubt she would let us do it again barring extreme circumstances.

“Well…” Queen Twilight twirled a hoof. “She does consider you both personal friends, like I do. So she might, no… definitely would let you.”

“Your Highness, please don’t encourage her,” Soronis pleaded with a sigh.

“Children will be children,” said Panacea with a small smile.

“I’m not a kid!” Puellula protested. “I’m fourteen, teen being the key part of that word. Teenager.”

Chuckles spread around the table at Puellula’s puffed up cheeks, causing the young changeling to pout in annoyance.

Twilight Sparkle glanced upwards towards the sun, seeing it beginning its descent in the sky.

“Well, duty calls,” the Queen stated. “With Draco visiting tomorrow I’ve got some extra work I need to catch up on.”

“You never said why Queen Draco was visiting,” Carduus said with curiosity. “Is it just a social call or something else?”

“She didn’t say,” Twilight said as she got up, stretching her wings out as she did so.

Twilight turned away from the table, viewing the rest of the atrium. Her gaze momentarily rested on the statue of Avia and Chrysalis, before moving over everything else. The atrium was quiet at the present time; a hoofful of drones and one family of ponies visiting from Equestria were moving about, but not much else. On an average day, the atrium would be packed from dawn until dusk, but apparently not that particular day.

Spike also got up from his seat and stood beside the Changeling Queen.

“Your number one assistant is ready when you are,” he stated.

She smiled, giving one last nod to the rest of her companions, and then spread her gossamer wings. They all watched her depart, Spike not far behind her.

The doors to the throne room opened as Queen Twilight and her draconic assistant briskly walked on through. The line of changeling guards in blue armour all bowed as the Queen walked down the dark purple carpet leading up to the throne.

Like the rest of the hive, the throne room was crafted with the brick and organic chitin seen throughout the structure, but unlike the rest of the hive the throne room had a dark coloured marble for the flooring with alcoves in the walls that had black and green banners hanging down with Twilight’s cutie mark displayed for all to see. The hall was vast and brightly lit, a large chandelier hanging from the ceiling with blue arcane flames burning magnificently within it. Guards lined the carpet leading to the seat of Twilight’s power that sat at the very end. The throne was a large and menacing seat made from obsidian, the very same throne Queen Chrysalis had once used. The throne had been recovered from the Badlands Hive and repaired, Queen Twilight taking it as her own with her cutie mark having been installed onto the backrest much like the throne she used as a mere princess.

As Twilight gracefully lowered herself into her throne, the friend that sat at the table in the atrium vanished. Her features became stoic and reserved, completely emotionless as Chrysalis’ was during her life as she sat on her own throne. When she sat on that throne the Twilight Sparkle raised by ponies and bearing the Element of Magic went away, and the Changeling Queen who forced an arrow into Crudelis’ eye socket came out to play.

The sight of her and the loyal dragon sitting by her side was enough to give any dignitary a shiver down their spine, and had caused fear in any who did not know the mare beneath.

“Spike, are there any who seek an audience this day,” the Queen asked.

“No,” he responded. “Though in two days’ time Prince Blueblood of Equestria has requested an audience. Though, there is another matter.”

“And that is?”

“A few guards caught one of the ponies visiting the hive stealing.”

Queen Twilight’s eyes narrowed. “Thievery? Where and when?”

Spike opened a bag up he had stored previously next to the throne, bringing out and flicking through some paperwork held within.

“Last night in various establishments around the atrium,” he informed. “Seems he intended to sneak off with his ill-gotten goods back to Equestria. The guards who caught him submitted the report this morning, since he is a foreign national they wanted to know what to do with the pony.”

Annoyance flashed in Twilight’s eyes, but little else.

“Have the thief sent to our embassy in Canterlot, and then work with the pony authorities there to get his punishment. There is no need to keep him here for such a petty thing.”

“Will do,” he confirmed, ticking off one box on the checklist he had also recovered from the bag. “I’ll see that it is done.”

“Good. Is there anything else?”

“Just some paperwork regarding the annually renewed trade agreement with the Crystal Empire,” he stated, packing the report back into the bag while bringing out a dauntingly big stack of paper. “I thought you weren’t tackling this until tomorrow?”

“With Queen Draco visiting, I decided to move it forward a day,” the Queen stated.

Twilight’s magic latched onto the paperwork as Spike passed it over. She brought it up towards her, examining the first page intently.

“Any changes?”

“Nope,” he answered. “You know Cadance would have told us beforehoof is there was to be, right?”

“I do,” she responded. “But I like to be thorough, there could have been something my sister-in-law overlooked.”

Twilight brought up a quill, beginning to work as she continued to speak.

“If that is all, I do not need you to stay, my faithful assistant. You may go.”

“There is nothing else,” Spike stated, getting up. “So I’ll take my leave then.”

Spike gave Twilight a nod, and as he walked down the carpet towards the large double doors at the end, the Queen sent a message to the guards at the door over the hive mind.

“I am not to be disturbed except in dire circumstances as I work, understood?”

“Yes, my Queen!” the guards at the throne room’s entrance all responded in affirmation.

The large doors opened momentarily as the dragon slipped out, and then they closed again. Once the throne room was dead silent, Queen Twilight resumed on with her royal duty.

Author's Note:

That's all for now, expect updates every Sunday as was the original Change's schedule.

Next time we get to reunite with an old friend!

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