• Published 7th Apr 2016
  • 3,195 Views, 64 Comments

A Day In The Hives - Shaded Changeling

Celestia wants to learn more about the Hives within Equestria, but since she has a country to run, the Hive Queens allow her student to spend a day within each Hive, and see a single day in the lives of a Queen.

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The Meeting

The Earth holds many secrets within its rocky surface: Ancient bones of creatures long past, remnants of lost civilizations, the Diamond Dogs’ tunnels, and pony-sized insects. The Changelings, a race dedicated to secrecy and infiltration, they hold the natural ability to disguise themselves as any creature, while they feed on the emotions of a target.

However, a month ago, that secrecy was shattered. The Changeling Queens all agreed to come out of the shadows and reveal their existence to the ponies, to various degrees.

The Hives were all buried deep underground, and a willing pony has not set hoof inside of them for nearly one thousand years, which is why it came as a surprise when Celestia sent out requests to each of the Queens to meet in Canterlot to discuss opening relations. The Queens all accepted and those that were available made their way to the capital.

“I’m not sure about this, Celestia.” Chrysalis said to the Solar Alicorn as they walked down the halls of the castle, tasting the fear of the nearby guards as they warily eyed the Queen. “This could end very badly should the wrong pony get in.”

“I am well aware of that, Chrysalis.” Celestia replied. “I have no intention of allowing any of my subjects to harm your own.”

“I understand that,” Chrysalis said as they walked into the meeting hall, the round table emblazoned with a sun and moon, “But the fact is I’m still working on rounding up all of the changelings that sided with my daughter. If a pony enters the Hive I would be unable to ensure their safety, since part of our agreement was for me to remain here until the damages were repaid.”

“Chrysalis, I will not push you into this.” Celestia said. “I merely believe that showing the Hives to the common pony may help rebuild the ties we shared.”

“Or they could just cut the rope.” Chrysalis replied, a Caretaker flying up to her. “I’m fine, Glitter.” She said to the Caretaker as it flew back to where it was originally.

“I have said before, you do not need to comply with this, we can leave your hive for when it is a bit safer, I would prefer we set the records straight with the Changelings so that others are not wrongly mistreated.”

“But I…”

“Chrysalis, Apath has already agreed to this.” Celestia replied. “While she has stated she will not allow a Pony to enter her hive, she believes it is the best course of action.”

Chrysalis stood with her jaw hanging open. “Y-You spoke to A-Apath?” She asked, her legs beginning to shake slightly. “You didn’t happen to mention the uh… Incident. Did you?”

“Relax, Chrysalis.” Celestia replied. “Apath assured me she already knew about the invasion, and that she would punish you at a later time.”

Chrysalis gulped. “Uh-huh… yeah…”

Celestia sat in her chair at the end of the table, a large gold and white throne that mimicked the appearance of that in the throne room, a smaller throne of dark blue and purple next to her. “Take a seat, Chrysalis, the other queens should be arriving any minute now.”

Chrysalis nodded and walked over to take her seat beside Celestia, she looked over towards the throne opposite her. “Are you expecting Luna to come to this?”

Celestia sighed. “I’m not sure. I tried to make it close to sundown so she may at least make an appearance, but I doubt that she will come.”

Chrysalis looked out towards the setting sun, the large red orb lay just above the expansive horizon, casting its dying light across the sky and ground. Leaving all of them with a faint orange hue, the clouds all tinted pink. Looking down at the city below, Chrysalis saw the ponies going about their lives, some taking their wives and marefriends out to dinner, a majority of the repairs finished, with only some of the smaller areas broken down. Despite that, the night life of the city was beginning to stir, made evident by one establishment’s blaring lights that shot into the sky.

Chrysalis kept watching the slowly setting sun as the sound of the door opening drew her attention. Standing in the doorway was a red Unicorn, clad in the bright red armor of the Lancers, her Cutie Mark of a black lance pointed upwards. She smiled into the room. “Chrysi! So good to see you not trying to destroy our livelihoods again.”

Chrysalis groaned. “Hello, Pupa…”

The Unicorn walked into the room, two Pegasus Lancers next to her. She turned to the two guards. “It’s alright, boys, you don’t need to keep that up here.”

Both Pegasi were enveloped in red flames before being replaced with two red-eyed, red-winged Changelings. Each of them still wearing their red armor, they both glared at Chrysalis before following the Unicorn over to the right side of the table. “Hope you don’t mind that a couple of my boys decided to join us.” Pupa said sitting down in a chair. “They’re just being defensive of little old me, need all the protection we can get considering.”

Chrysalis turned to Celestia, leaning in to whisper in her ear. “I can’t tell if she is referring to herself, or her guards.”

Celestia smiled a little at the thought of anypony trying to attack Pupa, they would be in chains or in a box before they got the chance to draw blood. They don’t call her the warrior Queen for nothing.

“Chrysi, you just be glad I wasn’t in Canterlot when you invaded.” Pupa said, removing her helmet and placing it down on the table, letting her short orange mane become visible. “I would have wiped your flank off the ground faster than you could say ‘Magic Bubble Shield’.”

Chrysalis scoffed. “Sure, keep telling yourself that. We both know you’re only good at close quarters. I would easily overpower you.”

“If you could hit me.” Pupa said tauntingly.

Chrysalis growled a little, lighting her horn. “Care to test that theory?”

Pupa smiled. “Time and place?”

The door opened again as a sky blue Unicorn with a gray mane waked through, red-rimmed glasses on her purple eyes and a manila folder in her magical grip. “Are you two honestly going to have a fight?” The unicorn asked. “Because we are still swamped from that little attack your daughter tried, Chrysalis.” The Unicorn walked over to the opposite side of the table, sitting down and opening the folder. “I’ve also only just cleared Ovi’s daughter. I’m not having another nearly dead Queen in my hospital this month.” She shot both Queens a glowing blue-eyed glare.

Pupa raised her hoof and pointed it at Chrysalis. “She started it!”

Chrysalis shot her own glare at Pupa. “I did nothing of the sort! You are the one that started this!”

“Did not!” Pupa replied.

“You did and you know it!” Chrysalis snarled.

“Prove it.” Pupa said smiling.

The Unicorn looked up from her work and at the two Queens. “Honestly, do we need to separate you two? You are grown Queens for Celestia’s sake, act like it.”

Chrysalis shot another glare at Pupa, who returned it by sticking out her tongue. She then turned to look at the new arrival. “I’m glad to see you here, Cytes. How is Bloodpool holding up?”

Cytes sighed. “He bit another one of my doctors.”

Chrysalis frowned. “I’ll have to have a talk with him when this is all over.”

Cytes nodded as she pulled out a pen and began working on the documents. “If you could also tell Soldier…” She flipped through the folder a bit, “2-8-1 to stop eating the cotton balls, I’d be appreciative.”

Chrysalis nodded. “Have you heard anything from Acari?”

Cytes nodded. “I have, so far no major injuries to report from her Hive, a few have superficial cuts and bruises caused by your daughter, Lockup has the worst of it that I’ve seen.”

Chrysalis was going to speak, but the door was opened again and an undisguised Changeling Queen walked through the doors. Her orange eyes glowing faintly and her wings held out to her side, her normally wild mane was neat and elegant as she stepped into the room.

“I must say, coming out and saying we were changelings must be the best thing to happen to my business.” The Queen walked in and took a seat next to Pupa. “It’s amazing how many mares and stallions come when they know you actually can pleasure them in any way they can imagine.”

“Hello, Ovi,” Celestia said kindly, hiding the slight resentment from her voice. “I see you are doing well.”

Ovi grinned. “Better than I was.” She said happily. “My daughter is doing much better now; she can even still have Nymphs! I was worried I would have to knock up another one of my own stallions to keep the bloodline going.”

Celestia blinked in confusion. “Wait… You…”

“Well, of course, Celestia,” Ovi replied, “I can hardly do my job with an all-important, fragile egg bouncing around in my uterus. Imagine the implications if it accidently accepted the…”

Celestia, Chrysalis, and Pupa all held up their hooves to stop Ovi. “NO! You can stop!”

Ovi blinked at the response. “Oh… Right I forgot this isn’t a personal visit. My mistake.”

Celestia sighed. “As much as I am interested in looking at the biology of Changelings, I would prefer you avoid telling me about your reproductive system… Specifically one so… strange.”

Ovi nodded. “It’s not like the stallions are using it anyway.” She said before getting a shocked look from Celestia. “What?” She said with a shrug. “It’s true.”

Cytes turned to Celestia. “She has a point there.”

Celestia groaned. “Can we move away from this topic, and preferably never touch on it again?”

“Agreed.” Chrysalis replied.

“Ditto.” Pupa said.

“I do hope you haven’t begun without me.” A dark gray Unicorn said as she walked into the room, her graying mane showing the obvious age of the Unicorn. Her bright pink eyes looking directly at Chrysalis, before moving over to Celestia. “I’m sorry for my late appearance, Cold Case decided to hammer me with questions about the past cases of strange light headedness. Thinking they are all connected to Changelings.” The Unicorn walked over to take a seat next to Cytes.

“Greetings, Acari.” Chrysalis said. “I just wanted to say again that I’m sorr-”

“Seven Memory Crystals, Chrysalis.” Acari replied. “Your daughter broke or corrupted Seven Memory Crystals. One of which held the last will and testament of Star Swirl the Bearded.” She glared at Chrysalis. “Need I tell you the expense of that crystal?”

Chrysalis shrunk back. “Well… No. I-I-I’ll make sure you get it ba-”

Acari held up her hoof. “We will discuss it later. Be glad she did not destroy the newest addition to the Royal Collection, or I would have been forced to…”

The door opened again as a member of Chrysalis’s Hive walked in, carrying a bright yellow present with a bright red bow. He cleared his throat to get Chrysalis’ attention. “My Queen, this has arrived for you.”

Chrysalis’ horn lit up as she levitated the box over to her, looking at it. “Thank you, you may go.” The Changeling bowed before backing out of the room.

Chrysalis looked at the package that was no bigger than her own head and levitated the card up to her and began to read it out loud.
Dear Fellow Hive Queens of Equestria,

I must humbly decline the invitation to attend this meeting, I know this is the first time I have responded to any of the attempts to contact us since we broke away/vanished. I have no intention of revealing myself or my Hive at this time. Please accept my humble apologies.

I am glad to hear about the most recent advances that have been made, and I wish you all the best of luck.

~Queen Eupha.

Chrysalis looked up from the letter with a sigh. “We still haven’t managed to find her?”

Acari shook her head. “She is hidden very well; my scouts can’t find any hint of her, her Hive is still abandoned.”

“Perhaps if you had helped a bit instead of planning an attack on the Flaming Wastelands,” Pupa said, propping her hind legs up on the table, “we could have found her.”

“You shouldn’t let Shade hear you say that,” Cytes said. “He grew up there after all.”

“He told me that his home is basically a Flaming Wasteland though.” Pupa replied. “He’d understand.”

Cytes shrugged. “What did Eupha send in the box?”

Chrysalis looked down at it and sighed. “Last time it was a malfunctioning cannon…” Chrysalis took a deep breath and slowly pulled the ribbon, closing one of her eyes just in case.

As the ribbon is finally pulled through, Chrysalis looked at the box curiously when nothing happened. She then pulled the top of the box off to the sound of an explosion.

Chrysalis quickly jerked up at the cannon sound and looked up to see a blue and green party hat on her head. She looked down into the box to see a small cake and note. She picked up the note and opened it, seeing a much more sloppily written message.

Great Job, Chrysi!

I baked this cake in celebration of the fact that you made up with Celestia after that whole Invasion incident and that you finally managed to go back to your old self. Great to have you back! I hope you enjoy the Party Hat Popper™! I put a few more in here. (Warning: Do not point at eyes, ears, mouth, nose, wings, or genitalia.) Have Fun!

~Queen Eupha.

Chrysalis sighed. “So, anypony want cake?”

Cytes looked over the work. “Eupha’s cakes have far too much sugar to be healthy for anyone.”

Acari shook her head. “Diet.”

Ovi shook her head. “I had enough ‘cream pie’ before coming here.” She burped. “Mmm… Pineapples.”

Pupa shifted a little, scooting away from Ovi. “Eh, Why not?” Chrysalis’ horn lit up as a corporeal knife sliced through the cake and levitated the slice over to Pupa.

Celestia looked over the cake. “Hmm… You wouldn’t mind if-”

Chrysalis pushed the cake box over to her while removing the party hat with her magic. “Go nuts.”

Celestia pushed the Cake a little further away from her. “I’ll save it for later.”

Cytes looked over her folder, and then scribbled a note down on a spare paper. “Note to self, prep for Alicorn Sugar Rush.” She mumbled.

The door opened again as a purple-eyed changeling, her eyes that of Amethysts as she walked in, her wings the color of lilacs while her backplate a vibrant violet. “Her Majesty, Queen Tettix, sends her regards.” The Changeling bowed.

“Where is she?” Acari asked. “Didn’t she say she would be here?”

The Changeling stood up. “Apologies Queen Acari, but Queen Tettix had a prior engagement and could not come.”

“What engagement?” Chrysalis asked.

“She is conducting the Prench Orchestra. She did not realize the times overlapped until she was reminded after her practice session.”

“So who are you?” Celestia asked calmly.

“I am just a humble messenger for the Queen.” She said walking up to a seat. “I have the Communication gem with me, once the Queen has finished with her recital, she will contact me.”

Celestia sighed. “Alright, no point in waiting.” Celestia straightened up. “You all know why I called you here.”

“Of course.” Acari replied.

“Well, I wanted to know if any of you would be open to allowing ponies into your hive now?”

Pupa, who had been chewing on the cake, suddenly found the cake hitting the table as her jaw dropped. Cytes poked a hole through a couple of papers on accident, releasing a small angry hiss. Chrysalis looked over at Celestia with wide eyes. “You cannot be serious, Celestia.”

“We only just began to reveal squadrons within the Guards.”

“The ponies would never trust us with their treatment!”

“I must decline, Celestia.”

“TARTARUS NO!” Chrysalis shouted.

Celestia sighed. “I know that this is difficult, and I know a lot of you are against this idea. But I do not mean that you should all open the Hives to everypony.”

“Then what are you suggesting, Princess?” Acari asked. “Such a radical change is bound to cause problems within the Hives, and within your own civilization.”

“I am aware, Acari. That is why I would like to suggest a compromise.”

Pupa swallowed before levitating up the rest of slightly crushed cake. “Then what are you suggesting?” She took another bite of cake. “I mean ehf tah Prifess uf-”

“Pupa, mouth closed when you chew.” Cytes said. “Show at least a little sophistication.” Cytes mumbled

Pupa swallowed loudly as she forced the cake down her throat. “I mean if the Princess of Equestria starts walking into Hives, it could send a bad image to the rest of the ponies.”

“I know what it may look like. However, I have no intention to enter the Hives myself.”

“Then what are you suggesting?” Tettix’s changeling asked.

“I would like permission to let either a single pony, or two of them to enter into each Hive. As a show of trust, and research, she will shadow you throughout the day and see the inner workings of each hive.” Celestia replied. “I know this is a large undertaking, for both you and my student, but I believe it is the best time to open relations.”

Ovi tapped her hooves together. “Well, I may not know who this pony is, but I suppose there isn’t too much harm in having another pony within my hive.”

Cytes sighed. “I suppose there wouldn’t be too much harm…”

Chrysalis shook her head. “I’m not doing it, Celestia.”

Celestia nodded. “Excellent, I am sure that my student will be more than happy to accept this request.”

Chrysalis sighed. “Very well, I suppose we are all agreed then.”

Tettix’s Changeling’s eyes began to glow. “My Queen has finished.” The Changeling pulled a purple crystal from under her leg and touched it with her horn, causing her eyes to turn into cat-like slits. “Sorry for the delay.” The Changeling said. “My messenger has filled me in.” The Changeling placed the crystal on the table. “I am willing to allow this student of yours into the Hive, but she must not disturb my Changelings that are at work.”

Celestia nodded. “I will make sure she is informed.”

Acari cleared her throat. “Now that we are all present, we come to the most difficult portion of this task. Who wishes to go first?”

All of the Queens paused, each one looking around the room waiting for one of them to speak up first. Eventually Ovi raised her hoof. “I suppose that…”

“No.” Celestia said, much to the Queen’s surprise. “Not that I believe you are an incompetent ruler or that your Hive is dangerous, I just… Believe we should start with a less… vulgar hive.”

“One where the common greeting isn’t, ‘Which hole do you want to take?’” Pupa said, pushing the rest of the cake into her mouth.

Ovi turned to look at Pupa, her mouth wide open as she glared at the Unicorn. “We do not ask that!” She said. “First thing is: ‘How do you want it?’ If you are going to insult me, make sure you get it right, Pupa.”

Pupa shrugged.

“Oh come on, one of you have to be available?” Chrysalis said, looking towards each of the Queens.

“I have many duties to attend to,” Acari replied, “both with the court and with my Hive.”

Pupa shook her head. “Busy. Guard stuff.”

Tettix shook her head. “I’m sorry, but I am much too far away to be the first Hive she visits.”

“You said I couldn’t be the first.” Ovi replied. “So don’t look at me.”

All of the Queens turned their eyes to Cytes, who was still scribbling on her paper. She looked up from the folder to see all of the Queens looking back at her, she released a sigh. “Must I?”

“Everypony else is busy.” Pupa replied. “Looks like you won by default.”

Cytes rolled her eyes as her horn lit up, there was a wisp of blue flame in front of her as a small sky-blue crystal fell to the table. She picked it up and held it in her hoof. “A master key, it should allow her into any room in my outposts and the Main Hive. Make sure she doesn’t lose it.” Cytes levitated the crystal over to Celestia.

Celestia grabbed the crystal in her magical grip. “I understand, Cytes; I will make sure that it is returned to you.”

“So, I suppose that I must prepare for Miss Sparkle to come to the Main Hive.” She let out an irritated sigh. “And with Hemo busy looking over Ponyville… I’ll have to entrust Callsign to keep an eye on everything.” She scribbled a note down.

“Out of curiosity,” Pupa said, rubbing a hoof inside her ear. “How far do you want to extend this invitation?”

Chrysalis looked over at Pupa. “You can’t honestly be suggesting we reach out to the other Monarchies are you?”

Pupa shrugged. “I’m just saying, Changelings may be revealed here, but we hardly have the most interesting history.”

“True, but we cannot risk exposing the other Hives, Aburi does that enough on her own…” Acari replied releasing a sigh. “I’m certain Apath has a plan.”

“Indeed she does.” Celestia said. “She merely wants to use this as an experiment of sorts. She is just as curious with the results as we are.”

“Very well.” Acari replied. “We can discuss further details at a later date, and preferably an earlier time.” Acari looked out at the Sun as it finished sinking below the horizon. “I have quite the trip home, and much to do.”

Cytes nodded. “I need to get this paper work finished before I can head to the Main Hive,” She pointed the pen at Chrysalis. “I expect Bloodpool to be docile as a kitten when I get back, Chrysalis.”

Chrysalis nodded. “I’ll talk to him. But he always loved causing pain, so I’m not sure how much I can do.”

“He draws blood again, I’m going to sedate his jaw.” Cytes said, pushing herself up and walking towards the door. “I assume he still wants to complain about whatever it is he rants about.”

Chrysalis nodded. “Yeah… I’ll definitely talk to him.”

“Good.” She said, closing the folder in her magic. “I expect to meet Twilight soon.” She said as she walked through the door.

“WELP!” Pupa said, pushing off the table. “I got stuff that needs doing. I’ll see you tomorrow, Princess.”

“Very well, you are dismissed, Lance.”

Pupa gave a salute and raised her hoof at a ninety-degree angle, both of the Changelings next to her disguised themselves as Pupa grabbed her helmet and put it on. The three of them walked out of the room.

Acari stood up. “I need to get to the Hive, I need to try and recover the memories.” She shot Chrysalis another glare before walking back towards the door.

Ovi stood up. “Well, I spent enough time here.” Her horn lit up and she looked at a clock. “I need to be in Las Pegasus in an hour. Somepony ordered the Royal Treatment, and it seems like they brought friends.”

Chrysalis rolled her eyes. “Go get ‘em, Ovi.” She said as Ovi walked towards the door. She was enveloped in orange flames as she was replaced with a black and orange Pegasus.

“Farewell, Princess.” Ovi said, giving a wave before walking down the hall.

Chrysalis sighed as Ovi left, then looked over at Tettix. “So where is your messenger staying?”

“That is none of your business, Chrysalis. She will return to the Hive if you must know. Speaking of which, the Nymphs have an art display. I should be in attendance. Farewell.” Tettix said as the Changeling’s eyes widened back to their normal appearance. She grabbed the crystal and walked out of the room.

As the door closed behind her, Chrysalis placed her head in her hooves. “Oh Morphi, they hate me…”

“Oh, I’m sure that they don’t mind.” Celestia replied.

“Acari wants to kill me for letting Ceymi do that…” Her horn lit up as she removed her crown. “Honestly… Tettix is the only one who might be indifferent. Ceymi hurt the others.” She rubbed her head. “My daughter is more trouble than I thought she would be… Was that what I was like at her age?”

Celestia shook her head. “You were almost killed, so you passed that stage without much trouble.”

Chrysalis groaned. “I really hope that I can pay Acari back for giving me another chance… To think she broke one of the Ancient laws…”

“I know that it is hard, but they will eventually forgive you.”

Chrysalis sighed. “I just want my Hive to be fine.” She said. “This whole incident has caused a lot of struggle for me.”

Celestia sighed. “I know. We will work on repairing the ties later. Get some sleep. You’ve been working yourself half to death trying to find them all. Relax a little.”

Chrysalis nodded. “I’m waking up first thing to find them. I know they are somewhere. I need to find them, before they die.”

Celestia looked at the Queen, she had watched her working nearly day and night to scrounge up the missing pieces of her Hive. Every Changeling was important to her, a way to try and fix everything. She had a few times in the short week she had been here, where the Caretakers came to her for help. “I promise, Chrysalis, I will send some guards to check the locations you narrowed it down to, we will find them.”

Chrysalis nodded and then yawned. “Yeah… I should probably sleep…” She grabbed her crown and stood up before she began to walk around the table, heading to the door. As she pushed it open, she turned back to Celestia. “Tell Luna to stop looking in my dreams, it’s creepy.”

Celestia chuckled and nodded. Chrysalis released another yawn and turned to walk back towards her quarters.

Celestia looked out towards the last lights of the Sun. Celestia smiled. “My faithful student, I hope you are prepared for this.”

Author's Note:

And so it begins!
For those who didn't see the blog post, this is going to be a more world-Building focused story, it will have less of a flowing narrative, and focus more on looking through the Hives. Now I have the main Equestrian ones sorted out already and a plan worked out for typing them, but if any of you wish to suggest a Hive design or Queen for the other lands of MLP, I will try and see if I can fit them in. :ajsmug:

Anyhoo! First up is the Medical Hive.