• Published 7th Apr 2016
  • 3,189 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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Joyous Hive: Part 2

The two began to walk down the halls of the Hive before Twilight spoke up. “Do you mind if I ask you a few questions while we walk?”

“Go right ahead.” Eupha replied. “So long as you don’t ask for my secret recipe, I’m an open book.”

Twilight nodded as she pulled out her list. “Well… I suppose something I’m curious about is why you vanished?”

Eupha smiled. “Oh, no trouble. It was an executive decision on my part. We used to be stationed out in the bayous, but it had… Problems…”

“Like what?” Twilight asked.

“Well, I think I should tell you a little History…” Her horn lit up as a chalkboard was pulled over to her. “Well, under my grandmother, Queen Sreka, we had a Hive set up in the Maredonian north originally but we had a small issue with the population… It involved fire, knives, and a few pounds of black powder… So we bailed out.” Eupha continued to walk as she drew a crude picture of a map on the chalkboard. She drew some Changelings and then had a dotted line leading across the board. “Then we stayed around for a bit, sometimes in different Hives. So much so that we were kind of like the first travelling Hive. But my Mother wasn’t content with the whole constant moving everywhere. She always said: 'A Changeling is meant to have a home they can return to, be it within a Hive, or even just a community.' With our traveling, if a Changeling got separated, they would never know where to go…” Eupha sighed. “So… We stopped in the only place that was available…” She stopped for a moment and drew a few trees.

“She decided to set up in a forest near the Flaming Geysers. The whole Hive was set up and I had been hatched a few weeks after the whole thing was set up. My Mom always told me she got down and dirty after a rather illustrious stay with Cervix. Personally I always thought she was with Cornea when it happened…”

“Wait… But if you were in a forest, why did it become a swamp?”

Eupha flipped the chalkboard. “Well! A couple decades after my birth, we had a freak weather incident, Pegasi were called from Cloudsdale and tried to stop the storm but the issue wasn’t that there was too much water; it was the fact that almost none of it was absorbed into the soil. All that water that fell for the next week or two, it turned nearly the whole place into a swamp, including the old Hive!” Eupha sighed.

“Now at first it was fine, we had an in-Hive waterslide and practically a park inside. Though, all good things must come to an end… Unless that thing is cake! But yes, all good things blahblahblahblahblah…” Eupha said quickly. “Now, soon the water became all gross and full of algae, it was just…. Uck…” She shivered a bit. “But we didn’t really do anything until the mosquitoes hatched.” She looked back at Twilight. “Hey, did you know that Changeling blood tastes like socks to Mosquitoes?”

“No…”

“It’s weird right? I knew that Changelings wouldn’t get bitten since we are insects too but… I’m off topic again… Anyway!” She turned back to the board. “We had to set up this whole filtration system that we use for the Waterslide. Now that was annoying, we had to actually transport the water here since the Badlands don’t have much water…”

She shook her head and let out a sigh. “Though, some of us… Didn’t enjoy it… I myself was born before that whole issue arose, it was a nice Hive, and I enjoyed the waterslide and park… But as the years went by, the water became… Problematic…”

“What do you mean?” Twilight asked.

“Well…” Eupha began. “Remember when I said that the Pegasi didn’t help anymore? Well… They just stopped. The only thing they helped with was the nearby town that was beginning to feel the effects. But they let the rain continue to fall around the area. Eventually our entire Hive was a swamp! My mom told me that both Pupa’s and Viola’s Mothers were calling us ‘The Wet Hive’.” Eupha giggled. “Cervix actually took offense to it. ‘How could any Hive be wetter than my own’.” She laughed. “And Ovi loved it. Though my mother didn’t care what they thought, she was determined to stay there.” Eupha huffed. “I on the other hoof… Hated it!”

“By the time I rose to the crown, I tried to enjoy it, I kept telling myself that I would get used to it… But I never did. The smell bothered me, the fact that not very many Queens would come to visit, and the alligators were being very distasteful. I kept it going for the next five hundred years. Then I couldn’t take it anymore!” Eupha stomped her hoof. “So, I did the only thing that made sense, I left.”

Eupha walked forward before pushing the chalkboard away.

Twilight, who had been furiously taking notes, looked up at Eupha. “Then… Why did you decide to set up here?”

Eupha smiled. “Well… There were sort of two reasons. One, it is secluded from the other Queens, so I could hide here. But it was also close to the Minotaur Republic, meaning that Viola’s Changelings could come over and be perfectly fine. That and we could actually have the cakes not being mushy and full of maggots. Plus, there are less moss issues and infections happen less. You wouldn’t believe the kind of fungus that we found on our wings after bad storms.”

“I guess that makes sense…” Twilight replied. “So… Why was there a pit full of frosting at the bottom of the waterslide?”

Eupha giggled. “It’s fun and delicious. Why wouldn’t you want a pile of frosting?”

“Uh… I guess…” Twilight replied. “So… About how old are you?”

“I’m Seven hundred sixty three and a quarter.” Eupha replied. “I was around when Pupa was born, and I got to throw her all of the parties! She was such a cute little fighter. When she was only ten, she was already sparring with some of the guards. She was a little ankle biter.” She straightened up. “Don’t tell her I said that…”

Twilight wrote down a few things. “So… When did you become the Queen?”

“Well, I became Queen when I was two hundred. So I’ve been running the Hive for a few centuries. I had some good times in… Oh! There’s the bakery!”

Twilight looked over at where Eupha was pointing to see a large cave with a glowing sign, showing a Changeling with a tray in its hoof. On the tray was a selection of baked goods, underneath the sign were the words: Joyeux Pâtisserie. Underneath the sign were two glass windows, displaying a large variety of decorative pastries, one of which seemed to be a large wedding style cake.

Eupha motioned for Twilight to enter into the extravagant door. She walked through the door and saw the inside, it was designed after a pastry shop that Twilight saw in Canterlot, and the walls were white with light purple vines running through them. The area was fairly small, but Twilight assumed there was more in the back.

Eupha walked in and waved at the Changeling behind a counter, the clear container showed a number of smaller cakes and cookies. “Is Frosting in?”

“Yes, she is in the back working on the rest of the commissions.” The Changeling replied.

“Excellent! I’d like to see how they are coming along.” Eupha replied, walking past the counter. “Come on, Twilight.”

Twilight followed Eupha past the counter and into a back room through a pair of large double doors. As she walked in, she saw groups of Changelings working on several large cakes, a single Changeling, that Twilight assumed to be Frosting, was overlooking the work.

“Frosting!”

Frosting turned around, her eyes were a much lighter shade of yellow than she had seen in the others. “Yes, your Majesty?”

“How are the cakes coming along?” Eupha asked. “I’m hoping to get them out before the end of the month.”

“Well, I am not so sure if we can get the High Queen’s cake out that soon…” Frosting looked back towards one of the large cakes, it had a pure white frosting with a slight yellow tint to it, at the top of the cake was a large crystal crown, at each of the seven prongs of the crown, there was a small clear crystal attached at the top. “There was a problem… We seem to have lost the Lust gem…”

“Oh no…” Eupha gasped. “Did you have enough to finish Ovi’s cake?”

Frosting coughed. “Yes… We did… I put it somewhere… Secret. In case a member of the Lust Hive finds it.” She rubbed the back of her head.

“Excellent idea!” Eupha replied. “In case any of those sneaky Lustlings try to get in here. I like the way you think.”

Frosting sighed. “I made sure that Ovi’s cake was finished first. Then I worked on the others. Which are still being worked on now.”

“So, how is it coming along?” Eupha asked, looking at the other cakes.

“Well, Pupa’s cake was a bit difficult, the Candy Canes aren’t easy to find in that size, and we had to cut the peanut brittle in a way that worked…”

Twilight looked up at the cake Frosting was indicating. It was a decent sized cake, on the third layer, there were a ring of large candy canes all stuck into the cake, at the top of each candy cane was a large piece of Peanut Brittle in the shape of a spearhead. On the layer below that, were a number of small figurines of saluting Changelings. The lowest layer had the motto of the Royal Guard written in ancient Equestrian with red frosting.

Twilight looked up at the top of the cake, seeing a Changeling placing the Candy Spears into the cake. She then looked over at another of the cakes.

It seemed to be designed for Chrysalis. The cake was modeled after one that would be seen at a wedding, white frosting with the top layer being separated by small pillars. All around the cake in evenly distributed sections were emerald green flowers, a small crystal placed in the center of the petals. Around the edge of each layer was a small amount of purple icing around it. The top of the cake held a clear crystal heart, around which showed a small figurine of Chrysalis and some other Changeling.

“Your Majesty, do you really think Queen Chrysalis will enjoy this style of cake?” Frosting asked as she flew around the cake.

“Why wouldn’t she? Chrysi loves weddings!”

“Yes… But with what happened recently and with… Well… With his passing,” Frosting indicated the other Changeling figurine, “Are you sure she wants to be reminded of these things?”

Eupha looked over the cake. “Frosting, I think right now, Chrysalis needs all the good memories she can get. Wouldn’t you prefer to be reminded of the good times you’ve had when everypony you loved is gone?”

Frosting thought about it, and eventually nodded. “I suppose… Though… I have a bit of trouble understanding your… Design for Viola…”

“What’s not to understand?” Eupha asked. “All I need is an upside down triple layer cake with a strawberry center in the shape of a Violin.”

“Yes… But why?” Frosting asked.

“Well… the Violin for Viola, and she loves strawberries.” She tapped her chin. “Unless it changed over the years…” She scratched her head. “Nah… I’m sure she still loves strawberries, I mean, who doesn’t? A nice strawberry shortcake with some whipped cream and a few chocolate chips.” Eupha licked her lips. “delicious…”

“Yes… But the only way I would be able to make the cake upside-down, would be to place supports inside of the cake.”

“Ohh… Viola will expect something fishy.” She leaned in. “You are going to put the fish in the bottom layer right?” She whispered.

“Yes, I made sure the fish was there… Much to my displeasure. It throws the whole portion off…”

“Oh… Viola will love it. Trust me.” Eupha replied.

Frosting sighed. “Alright… But I will need an extra week to prepare Viola’s Cake.”

“Okay, I can expect no less from my greatest cake designer.” Eupha pulled her into a hug. “You take as much time as you need.”

Frosting took the hug as if it were a normal occurrence, but the slight expression on her face made it clear that this was a bit strange to her. “Your Majesty… Could you put me down…”

“Sure!” She released the hug, letting Frosting fall to the ground. “Well, I can see you’ve got everything handled around here. So I had better get going. Let the artists work their magic… Pastry… nah. Magic sounds better. Don’t you think?” She asked Frosting, though before she got a response, she turned back over to Twilight, who was looking at one of the crystals held in her magic. “Speaking of magic! Let’s get onto the interview!” She grabbed Twilight in her magic and quickly carried her out of the bakery. “So, now that that little detour is finished, what were we talking about?”

Twilight blinked before flipping back through her notes. “The last thing I have is your age… So I suppose my next question is… When did you become Queen?”

“Oh… I became Queen about five-and-a-half centuries ago… I was only two-hundred… About five years before my mom died.”

“Oh… I’m sorry to hear that… What happened?”

Eupha sighed. “Oh… Nothing bad. Old age mostly. All Queens go through it. Personally when I die, I want there to be fireworks and for my body, or what’s left of it, to be shot into the sky in a giant fiery explosion! KABOOM!” She threw her front hooves into the air as a bunch of sparks shot into the air. “It will be a time of fun and celebration! And if I have a funeral, it shall be required that you wear a clown wig and dress in rainbow colors! AND CAKE FOR ALL!”

Twilight looked up at the Queen. “Well… That was a… Great speech… But where did the podium come from?”

Eupha looked over the wooden podium in front of her. “I’ve been advised not to answer that.” She walked down from the podium. “So… Next question?”

“Well… I would ask how long it took to build this… But I guess I have that answer already.” She flipped through her list of questions. “Have there ever been any Joyous Hive High Queens?”

Eupha nodded. “In fact… My great great great great GREAAAAAT Grandma was the last Joyous High Queen. High Queen Vocana.”

“Interesting… Well, what exactly does your Hive do for Equetria?”

“OOoo…” Eupha tapped her chin. “A great question! Well… We build cannons; we helped organize a lot of entertainment and helped push it out: circuses, a lot of cinemas, musicals, clowns, so much! Granted, we didn’t create a lot of them, but we helped with the spread.”

Twilight wrote down on her notepad. “So… Did you help spread anything?”

“Pneumonia.”

Twilight blinked. “Wait… What?”

“I’m joking, Twilight.” Eupha replied. “Just a light hearted Joke… Actually kind of dark now that I think about it…” She tapped her chin. “Anyway… I helped spread a bit, Not as much as my ancestors though, I helped spread the idea of a lot of the inventions geared towards entertainment, like bounce houses, trampolines, Hula Hoops, Party cannons!” She tapped her chin again. “Theeeeeen… I don’t remember…”

Twilight continued to take notes. “Well… I’ve been rather curious; did you have to study anything before becoming Queen? Was there any ritual you needed to complete before rising to the throne?”

Eupha inhaled through her teeth. “Interesting… Well, my hive doesn’t really have that… Honestly my Mom just wanted me to be able to make everything we needed.”

“Which was what?”

“Well… Mostly it was weapons. Back in the day…” She blinked. “That makes me feel old… Maybe I should find someling to settle down with? Need to get a Princess going…” She looked back at Twilight. “Oh right! Sorry. Well, back in the day, before we had cannons and all this fancy stuff, we were in charge of weapons: spears, swords, maces, bows and arrows, catapults, all that good stuff. Though now that is more our side occupation.”

Twilight looked around as they began to descend further into the Hive. “I don’t believe I asked this, but what emotions do you mainly feed on?”

“Happiness, excitement, a bit of confusion with just a dash of shock. We can eat other things too, but those taste the best.”

Twilight wrote those down as the two of them continued to walk. About thirty seconds later, Eupha was busy talking about her favorite flavors of emotions.

“-And while a bunch of Changelings think it’s putrid, I find that a healthy tiny dose of fear can help get you up in the morning. Also while a lot of other Queens would raise an eyebrow, some delicious Lust mixed with a hint of fear when a pony almost launches out of a cannon taste delici- Oh we’re here!”

Twilight let out a small sigh as she walked up to the large yellow door, flanked by two Guards holding similar cannons to the top guards. “Are… Those cannons armed?”

“Yes.” Eupha replied. “Usually when the guards catch a pony, we take them to our local Just Hive Member or Outpost to get those nasty memories out of their head.”

“Has that ever happened?”

“A few times. But those aren’t too important.” She said as she pushed open the door to her throne. “After you.”

Twilight held her notes in front of her as she walked into the room, even before stepping in; she got a good look at the throne room.

At the far end of the room was a decorated throne, a yellow gem in the shape of a cannon above the throne, on the right was a locked room labeled ‘The Queen’s Personal Workshop’. While she looked over to the other side of the room, she stepped into the doorway. “Well, this is a rather…” She fell a few inches before hitting an elastic feeling floor, before being bounced back into the air. As she fell back down, she managed to catch Eupha snickering. As she bounced a few more times, she managed to disperse her weight enough to stop herself from bouncing back into the air. She turned her head back to see Eupha laughing on the ground.

“The- The look on your FACE!” Eupha laughed. “It was totally worth the energy I needed for that spell!” She wiped a tear away from her eye as she continued to laugh. A few seconds later, she stood back up and cleared her throat, letting out a few small snickers. “Sorry, Twilight. But I haven’t gotten a chance to use that spell in ages! I thought it would be a bit of fun!” She hopped into the room, hitting the floor and bouncing into the air, launching herself over Twilight. “Boingy! Boingy! Boingy!” She said as she bounced around the room, all the while, Twilight was trying to keep herself on the ground.

“Queen Eupha…” Twilight said, watching the Queen continue to hop around the room. “If you could, would it be okay if you turned the floor back?”

Eupha bounced around the room a little more. “Sure thing.” She bounced over towards her throne before leaping into the air, doing a back flip and landing perfectly in her throne. She lit up her horn as the floor began to glow, a few seconds later, Twilight felt the floor beneath her even out as she sighed and stood normally.

“So, this is your throne room?” Twilight asked, looking over the room again. She looked over at the left of the room to see a number of pictures, a couple paintings, showing what Twilight assumed to be Eupha as a Nymph and her mother, A few images of her playing or fooling around. The paintings turned to small pictures as Eupha grew, showing her with a young Changeling. Another with her using what Twilight hoped was a balloon sword to fight the same young Queen. As she looked down the line, she saw an image of two Minotaurs on the street; one of them was tossing balls while standing on only one leg, while the other was playing what looked like a combination of a tuba and a drum.

“What are you looking at?”

“AH!” Twilight jumped back a bit, turning to see Eupha looking over her shoulder. How she managed to walk there that silently, and manage to sneak up on her that quickly was something Twilight wasn’t going to ask.

“Sorry.” Eupha snickered. “What were you looking at?”

Twilight let her heart slow down a bit before sighing. “I was just looking at the picture of the Minotaurs.”

Eupha looked over before using her magic to levitate the picture over. “Ahh… This was taken when I went down to spend a few days with Viola. I helped out with some Emotional gathering while I was down there. We had a lot of fun, but those Minotaurs are hard to crack. Almost as hard as Apath, I mean they would be great in a staring contest since they both are just like:” She lowered her neck and put on the most serious expression she could. The tips of her mouth fell to a neutral expression while her eyes were half lidded. “And then they laugh like… Ha!” She released a very deep laugh. “Though it tastes DELICIOUS! All that held in joy from that hard expression, it makes it taste so good! Not that I’m willing to pick up everything and move. It is WAAAAY to rocky out there.”

“Ummm… Okay…” Twilight replied. “So, if I could, you never told me your mother’s name.”

“Ahh… Well, I‘m surprised I never said her name… Anyway, my mom was Queen Humos. My grandma wasn’t too creative… And you should already know what she did from earlier…”

“Okay, but what was that instrument?” Twilight asked, pointing at the picture.

“My Air-Tuba!” Eupha’s horn lit up as a closet opened up and the strange Tuba-Drum was pulled over. She raised the two large drumsticks and began to beat down on the four large drums causing the Tuba to release a few notes, she beat harder to cause louder notes. How she managed to make the Tuba change pitch was a mystery to throw onto the growing pile…

When Eupha was done playing Yankee Pony Dandy, she put the tuba back. “It’s a dying art sadly, like the flugelhorn!”

“Okay… What is your normal day like?” Twilight asked.

“Well…. That depends, what do you mean by, me?”

“Huh?”

“Well, personally I prefer to mess around in my workshop a little bit, then check up on the rest of my Hive, have some cake, go for a run, work a bit more, then finish off the day with a little rave.” Eupha replied. “While… Straight Face has a very different schedule.” Eupha was covered in a yellow flame as she was replaced with a gray Earth Pony with a short, straight mane and tail. Her cold blue eyes a large contrast to the energetic eyes of the Queen. “Every morning I must be in the office by Seven AM on the dot. From there I ensure that all employees are in their designated locations and check up on the development of our new projects. After that I have meetings at ten, two, and four, and at Noon I have lunch with the overseer of my development in the Outskirts. My Employees can leave at Five, but some stay until exactly Nine o’ clock when I close down the building.” Straight Face took a pair of brown glasses and put them on her snout. “I have an eye examination this week, Thursday at Three. I am also a very busy mare and I cannot be bothered to deal with whatever problem you came to report.”

Twilight blinked. “What?”

“I told you, I do not need any distractions. I will call security to remove you from the premises if need be.”

“But you invited me?” Twilight replied.

“I did, and now I am asking you to leave.” Straight Face replied. “You are beginning to interfere with my work.”

“You asked me to come here, to talk about your day, Queen Eupha.”

“I’ve never heard of this Eupha character, and I certainly do not know any Queens. Do not make me ask again.” She walked over to the workshop, taking a key from around her neck and unlocking the door. “I expect you know the way.” She said, stepping through the door and slamming the door closed before a light clicking was heard as she locked the door behind her.

Twilight stood staring for a few moments before letting out a sigh. “I guess this is over…” She mumbled heading to the main door, but before she reached it, she heard the door behind her open up. “Where are you going?”

Twilight turned around to see Eupha sticking her head out from behind the door, her brown glasses up on her head as she had a curious expression on her face, her honey colored mane reaching the floor.

“You told me to go.”

Eupha blinked. “No I didn’t… Okay, I did but I didn’t actually mean it. I asked you to come here, why would I kick you out?”

Twilight twitched. “But you… UGH!” She groaned. “I’m not sure…”

“Don’t you want to see what I’m working on?” Eupha asked, her horn lighting up as she put the glasses back in their case and placed the case on the arm of her throne. “If you don’t that’s fine, but you haven’t even seen the base under Manehatten yet.”

“How would we get to Manehatten? That would take a lot longer than we have…”

“I have my methods. Now come and see what I’m working on.” Eupha ducked back into the room and Twilight let out a sigh before walking up to the door and opening it. Inside was a half constructed cannon; Eupha was standing next to it, smiling widely. Around the room were various construction and metalworking tools. A welding mask and blowtorch was lying off to the side, a cylinder full of rolled up blueprints was next to a workbench, which had another blueprint spread out on it.

“So… what do you do in here?” Twilight asked.

“Well, usually I would build a bunch of prototypes or really weird things. My current project is an explosive Party blower! One that could fire confetti when you blow out of it. Would that be cool or what?”

“That… Doesn’t sound safe…” Twilight replied.

“Well I would have to put disclaimers and keep it out of foals' reach… And it is still only in development, working on having it be used more than once… So far I’ve got nothing.”

Twilight looked at the cannon in the middle of the room. “What is this?”

“That is a Mark Six Party Cannon! Actually it is a special variation that I am making.”

“Why?” Twilight asked.

“Well, our number one Customer is someone you are rather familiar with, and I wanted to do something special for her, so I decided to personally craft the cannon.”

Twilight looked at the cannon, and within a few seconds knew whom the cannon was meant for. “This is for Pinkie Pie, isn’t it?”

“Right on the nail.” Eupha replied. “I’m building it for Pinkie Pie! She’s our best customer!” Eupha reached up and pulled down a graph and pointer. “If you look at this chart,” Eupha indicated the chart, “You will see that a good portion of our sales are sent directly to Ponyville.” Twilight looked at the graph, it was a simple multi colored bar graph, with each color representing a different city. While a city like Manehatten had quite a large portion of the bar, yet that was most likely due to the proximity. In comparison Ponyville still had about half the amount Manehatten did, which was very surprising as it was overtaking Canterlot by about a quarter.

“And within Ponyville, Pinkie has bought, by far, the most of our products in reference to the nearby townships. Also she is the one that found me. I figured this would be the best way to thank her. Her own personal Party Cannon made from the source itself.” Eupha tapped her chest proudly. “Even if I had to push the first couple hundred out so that I could keep up with quota… But it was worth it.”

“So how does this one differentiate from the normal versions?” Twilight asked.

“Well, aside from a couple small tweaks, it is mostly the same.” Eupha replied. “Anything else you wanted to ask me?”

“Yes, I wanted to ask whether you still make ballistic cannons? That fire Cannon balls more specifically.”

“Oh sure. The Royal Guards still need a few of their long-range artillery. But actually, a lot of our requests come from the Griffon Kingdom.”

“Really?” Twilight asked curiously. “Why is that?”

“Well, it is mostly from Aburi, she needs to outfit a few of the Griffish Navy ships with Cannons. Since she can’t make quality cannons like we can, we make them for her Airships. I mean, without them it wouldn’t really be a Griffon Hawk Class Scout Ship, it would just be a small, quick boat. That’s much less incredible! That’s like Tettix’s ship! A Falcon-Class Interceptor airship, I offered to put a couple fake cannon on there, but she refused. Aburi was a bit mad too. I think she said that it cost her a bunch of spare metal because they had to keep redoing it.”

Twilight blinked. “You sure do know a lot about it.”

“Oh it was a huge thing for Aburi! She came and met with me to talk about how she had this whole commission from Tettix. It was a big deal and she asked if she could get a few of my Changelings to help out with it, sadly I had to decline.” Eupha replied.

Twilight looked back around, seeing a few posters put up, but unlike what she expected, they were actually of a couple musicals she knew about… “Eupha, do you enjoy Musicals?”

“Oh yes!” Eupha exclaimed. “I love ‘em.”

“Well, I see you have some posters up…”

“Some of my personal favorites.” Eupha replied. “Personally though, I prefer the more… Upbeat musicals. You ever heard Pony Hill?”

Twilight nodded.

“That was one of my Changelings! There have been a ton of them in musical productions. Usually upbeat songs and musicals, Tettix still handles a lot of the standard musicals but I just can’t resist a good upbeat music number.”

“So you have some Changelings that perform?”

“Oh yes! A good quantity of my Hive is actors, whether as clowns, circus performers, even some of the larger Bridleway performers. And in fact...” She took a breath as if she was going to continue, but a ringing got her attention. “Excuse me for one moment.” She turned away and opened up one of the workbench drawers, pulling out a crystal. She cleared her throat before her voice changed to that of Straight Face. “You called, Invoice?”

“Yes, Miss Face, I’m simply calling to notify you that you have a meeting in thirty minutes.”

“Couldn’t it be rescheduled?” Eupha asked in a slightly annoyed voice. “I am currently being interviewed for 'The Changing Times'?”

“I’m sorry, Miss Face, but they are very adamant about meeting with you. I have told them numerous times that they should reschedule for a different time, but they refuse and said that they will file a complaint with the Courts.”

Eupha scoffed. “What kind of complaint?”

“A Nonperformance and Breach of Contract suit.” Invoice replied.

Eupha cursed under her breath. “Very well, tell them I will meet with them in Thirty Minutes.”

“Of course.” Invoice replied as the crystal stopped glowing.

Eupha sighed. “Sorry, Twilight, but I have to make it to Manehatten.”

“How are you going to do that?” Twilight asked. “The next train isn’t for a while, and it would take longer than thirty minutes to get there.”

“Oh I know.” Eupha replied as her voice changed to normal. “We’re going to take a shortcut.”

“Shortcut?” Twilight asked, unsure of what she meant. It was pretty much a straight shot to Manehatten, but it would take far too long to get there by any travelling means she was aware of.

“Yup, a shortcut. Just follow me.” Eupha said, walking out of her workshop.

Twilight followed behind her as she walked out of the throne room, heading through a couple hallways, before heading down a large staircase.

“So… Where are we going?”

“We’re going to the shortcut. Now, I’m going to warn you, this can be a little dangerous.”

“Wait… What does this shortcut entail?” Twilight asked.

Eupha let out a little gasp. “That would ruin the surprise! I couldn’t possibly do that.”

“Okay…”

“Actually, if you want to be really surprised I could get a blindfold.” Eupha suggested.

“No… I think I’m good.” Twilight replied. “Thank you for the offer though.”

“No problem.” Eupha replied.

The two of them continued to walk and Twilight decided to try to talk with the Queen a bit about the daily life of a Changeling. They got as far as setting up the canons and beginning work when Eupha began to go on a tangent about her personal experiences as Giggle Trousers.

“- And then I relied with ‘Strudel? But you told me to bring the Kumquat and the banana.’ Then she replied with ‘No, I asked you if you could put the banana in the balloon so that…’ Oh we’re here!”

Thank Celestia… Twilight let out a sigh as they reached the metallic doors. Eupha took her hoof and touched a golden crystal next to the doors, causing them to begin to dissolve.

“Little added magical security never hurts.” Eupha whispered. Twilight looked over at the darkened room, a yellow crystal glowing in the distance. “Come on in.”

Twilight looked around the darkened chamber, the glowing crystal the only light in the chamber. “Why is it so dark in here?” Twilight asked, looking around to try and find any light aside from the crystal.

“Well, the whole chamber is huge, so to save on magic and emotion we keep it off, but it is a great shortcut.” Eupha put her hoof on another crystal, causing the room to begin to light up. “We’ll be taking my very own, personal… Drum roll please.” Eupha began quickly tapping her hooves on the ground as the lights came up. “Transportation Cannon!” She said, spreading her forelegs out as the lights turned fully on, revealing the enormous cannon pointing right down the long empty hall that led to the crystal.

“So… How exactly does this work?” Twilight asked, looking down the hall, which she estimated was about a thousand yards away. She continued to look around and saw a wardrobe and a few rooms off to the side that she assumed were for changing.

“It works by us getting into the cannon and then firing!”

Twilight just dropped everything instantly. “WHAT!”

“Well,” Eupha flew up to the barrel. “We just get in here and then we…”

“You want me to get into that thing!” Twilight shouted. “That would kill me!”

“If you were unprotected, yes… Yes it would.” Eupha replied, walking over to the Wardrobe.

“Then how do you expect me to go along with this?”

Eupha opened up the wardrobe and pulled out a large full body suit and helmet. “What size would you say you are?”

Twilight was confused by the question at first. “Uh… why?”

“Would you say you are a medium?” Eupha asked.

“I… Guess…”

Eupha pulled out another, smaller suit and helmet, levitating them over to her. “The changing rooms are just over there.” She indicated the rooms off to the side. “We just need to wait for the Operators to come by and help use the cannon. We should have plenty of time to change. If you want, you can just leave your stuff in the locker and come get it later.”

“But… How am I going to take notes?” Twilight asked. Taking the suit in her magic.

“We’ll get you some writing stuff when you get to Manehatten, but we should probably go quick, since I don’t want to have to deal with a suit. So… Let’s go. We need to change.” Eupha began pushing Twilight towards one of the changing rooms. “Come on, Twilight. Chop Chop, we gotta go!”

“Whoa! Hold on! Can’t we talk a little bit about this…”

“I don’t have time to talk much, I need to be in Manehatten! I’ll explain everything once I’m sure you are changed!” With that, she pushed Twilight into the changing room.

Twilight sighed as she was pushed into the room, taking the time to actually look at the suit. It was a full body suit, covering up to the head, and seemed to be made out of either some kind of leather, or similar fabric, imbedded into each of the hooves were small yellow gems the exact purpose behind these four gems, but along with them, there was a small pack built into the back of the suit.

Twilight made a mental note to ask about them before taking off her saddlebags and placing them into the locker in the back of the room. As she managed to get the suit on, she looked down at the gems, which were now glowing. She looked over at the helmet, which she found rather strange, as it was not designed for Changelings, the horn was straight where as for a Changeling it would have been curved, the suit itself also would have prohibited the usage of wings, meaning that either Eupha expected every Changeling to travel disguised, or that she had made these in advance specifically for Unicorns.

Twilight let out a sigh as she picked up the helmet, experimentally putting it on, and almost instantly being unable to see anything. The helmet seemed to be highly tinted, nearly blocking all light from passing through the visor. She took off the helmet before walking back out of the room and seeing the group of Changelings that had shown up in what felt like a small amount of time.

Twilight couldn’t be sure, but she believed there to be at least fifteen Changelings around the area. A few looking at the cannon, another few had clipboards and talking amongst each other, another group was setting up darkened glass for when the cannon fired. Eupha was standing not too far away, talking to a couple of the engineers.

When Twilight walked back over to her, she turned to look over Twilight. “Does the suit fit?” Eupha asked, her own helmet floating next to her. When Twilight nodded Eupha smiled. “So, any questions?”

“Yes actually, I wanted to ask about…”

A Changeling flew down to her. “Could you sign this please?” He asked, floating the clipboard up to Twilight.

“Uh… Sure…” She took the pen. “What is this for?”

“A waver saying you are doing this of your own free will and any damages to your body, mind, or property will not be attributed to the Hive. It is just a standard safety precaution to avoid lawsuits.”

Twilight looked back up at the Cannon, then down to the form. “Okay…” She signed her name at the bottom of the form.

“Initial here.” The Changeling flipped the page up, when Twilight wrote her initials; the Changeling looked over it and nodded. “My Queen, your form will be prepared in a moment.”

Eupha nodded. “So questions?”

“Yes… I wanted to ask about these gems?” Twilight asked, indicating the gems built into the legs.

“Ah yes… Well, as you can probably tell, we will be fired at that gem waaaaaaaaay over there.” She pointed down the range. “You see, the reason why is because we made these a while ago, and they aren’t like many of the other Queen’s ‘touch and go’ crystals. For this one to work, we have to be travelling at high speeds towards it. Those crystals built into the hooves monitor your position and speed, so that the crystal can activate when you reach the proper speed and distance required.”

A Changeling flew up behind Eupha. “My Queen, your forms.”

Eupha’s tail reached up and picked up the pen, beginning to write her name and initials on the papers. “Though that isn’t all they do. They are hooked into your parachute, located in that pack, so that if you dip below the speed line, it will activate the parachute and stop you before you hit the crystal.” Eupha explained. She then dipped down to whisper to Twilight. “We had a few incidents when we first used it. Nothing since then though.”

“Okay… That’s… Slightly reassuring.” Twilight replied. “So the suit is to help with aerodynamics, right?”

“Well that and helps weaken the force of gravity on your body.”

“Say what?” Twilight asked.

“Well… When we get shot out of there…” She pulled over a whiteboard. “When the cannon fires, we will be fired out at a speed of nearly one-hundred feet per second squared. Doing so we will be experiencing eight times the gravity our bodies normally would, now of course, such a rapid acceleration would most likely result in your death, however the suit is enchanted to be able to negate a good portion of those effects on your body. So you should be fine, if anything you may be slightly stiff afterwards.” Eupha moved away from the board to let Twilight see the diagram she had drawn. “Now, what will happen is you will be fired first, followed quickly by me. When we slow down, we should be stopped by the Safety pad.”

Twilight tried hard to not think about the worst-case scenario, but he fact that Eupha had drawn charts along with trajectory and air resistance, mixed with a few… dead stick ponies. “Um… Okay… I see… What about the visor?”

“Oh that, well. That is for when you travel through the crystal, without it the trip can cause some really bad effects, like vomiting, paralysis, insanity, occasionally blindness.”

“Oh… That hasn’t happened… recently, right?” Twilight asked.

“Oh sure, vomiting and Paralysis especially, just try not to think about it.” Eupha looked up at a clock. “SHIT!” She covered her mouth. “Whoops…” She chuckled. “Time to go. No more waiting. FIRE IT UP, BOYS… And Girls!”

Twilight looked back up at the cannon, and then down the range, she was starting to regret her initial excitement for seeing a vanished Hive. She let out a sigh before following Eupha. “So this is absolutely safe?”

“Yup.”

“You haven’t had any long lasting effects? Nothing life threatening?”

“Not recently. Though a few did end up in the infirmary, but that hasn’t happened in a few months.”

“So, I’ll be fine after this?”

“Almost certainly.”

“Almost? What are the odds.”

“We had one whose parachute didn’t open. Luckily he managed to get his wings working to slow himself down enough where the collision only put him in a coma. I shut the thing down for the next few months in order to make sure all the parachute and safety gear was working, I didn’t want another repeat. Though you should be all right, we haven’t had an issue for years.”

As they walked up to the cannon, a few Changelings flew down to Twilight. “We’re ready when you are. We will be bringing you up to the muzzle. From there, just keep yourself safe.”

Twilight looked up at the large cannon, before sighing and placing the helmet on her head. “Alright…”

Twilight felt her forelegs pulled up as she left the ground behind, the four buzzing wings reminding her that she was being carried by two Changelings, soon they placed her on the muzzle, before letting her slide a little way down the cannon.

A minute or so after that, a small voice showed up in her ear. “Hello, and thank you for flying Air Joyous! Please keep your hooves, hands, claws, paws, and anything else at your side and try not to flail around too much. Now we hope you enjoy your flight, next stop: Manehatten!”

The Cannon moved down a little bit before Twilight could see a little bit of the large yellow crystal.

“Firing in 5… 4…3…2…1”

Twilight spent a lot of that time listening to her heart pounding in her ears, nearly as soon as the countdown ended, the feeling changed instantly. There was a loud explosion, and the only sounds she heard were a mixture of her screaming and the rushing wind. She couldn’t tell if she flailed at all, but she did know that she looked up at the Crystal, watching it quickly approach as she hurtled towards it at extremely unsafe speeds. Luckily before she hit it, the world suddenly changed around her.

Instead of the yellow crystal and cave like structures, suddenly everything changed to a long glowing blue tunnel, the walls surrounding her spinning and pulsating with small black blotches, scattered throughout the tunnel. As she flew through it, she felt strangely weightless, but her eyes darted around the chamber, not only were the blotches scattered throughout, but there were rapidly flashing images and a few loud noises piercing through the helmet, yet despite that weightless feel, she still felt that burst of speed. The spinning tunnel making her feel extremely weary, yet the large speed kept the images flashing rapidly. After a few seconds, her sight was covered in a bright glow, and then she slid across the ground, her legs feeling locked in place as her hooves continued to scrape the ground of the pad. Her body feeling completely stiff, yet she couldn’t focus on anything.

A few moments later, another bright flash was created behind her as Eupha appeared. “WEEEE!” Eupha laughed as she hit the ground, doing a small cartwheel before bouncing off the ground in a flip, landing in front of Twilight, spreading out her front legs. “TA-DA!”

She stood there for a few seconds before stopping the pose. “Was that awesome or what? High-hoof!” She raised her hoof, but when Twilight didn’t move, she lowered it. “Twilight?”

Eupha looked down at the Unicorn, waving her hoof in front of her face, and tapping Twilight in the side, making her fall over. Eupha released a sigh. “Oh great…”

Eupha stood up and picked up Twilight, moving her off the pad before speaking through the Hive mind. “To any Changelings near the Transport Pad, this is Queen Eupha; we have a 19-23, I am in need of assistance, please hurry.”

“This is Engineer 126, I am close and I will be there in a moment.” Eupha sighed, and looked up at a nearby clock.

“I’ve got time…” Eupha replied, walking into a changing room and removing her suit. When she came back out, a couple Changelings had entered the room, one was busily prepping the Smelling Salts, while the other had removed Twilight’s helmet and was looking into her eyes. “I recommend that you up the dosage a bit.”

The Changeling prepping the salts nodded and put a little more onto a cotton ball. “It’s ready.”

The Changeling walked up and began to wave the cotton under Twilight’s nose. After merely a couple seconds, Twilight reeled back, taking a deep breath away from it before coughing and covering her nose. “OW!”

“Apologies.” The Changeling said, taking the cotton ball and placing it in a small empty compartment within the kit.

“My nose! It burns!” She coughed again. “What was that?”

“Smelling Salts.” The Changeling replied. “My Queen, I must return to the production area.”

“Okay, thank you for helping out.” Eupha replied. “Are you alright?”

Twilight rubbed her nose, the burning sensation still very present. “I suppose so… My nose is still burning.”

“Yeah… Well, we are still working on negating the initial effects. Though you seem fine.”

“I can’t smell anything…” Twilight stated.

“Oh, that will clear up. Now we just need to get you out of that suit and I need to get up to the main building. 492, could you help show her around while I go and make sure that my clients are aware that I am here, I also need to run my check on some of the development prototypes.”

“Of course, My Queen.” The Engineer bowed.

“Great, I’ve got to get to the main building. Feel free to ask 492 anything you want. Bye.” Eupha said, walking towards the exit.

“So… Does this happen often?” Twilight asked, walking towards the changing rooms.

“Quite frequently.” 492 replied. “Usually the first use of the cannon causes paralysis.”

“So that won’t happen again?”

“A statistical overview of one to one-hundred chance that it will occur again.”

Twilight sighed. “I can’t believe I’m saying this… But I would rather go through the Medical Hive’s crystal again…”

“The Queen enjoys that particular mode of transportation, and I must say that when you watch her use it, she is rather animated.”

“Is that the only way back to the main Hive?” Twilight asked. “Because all of my notes are there.”

“Yes, the Queen mentioned that, it is technically the only official way back to the main Hive, and is the fastest. Though many prefer the train.”

“I can understand that.” Twilight said as she began to get out of the suit. “Do you have a name?”

“I have no pony disguise, though my birth name was Caliber. The Queen prefers to call me Cal at times… I prefer my number over that.”

Twilight pulled the suit off of her hind legs. “So, is there anything new going on in this Hive that isn’t going on the main one?”

“Not too much…” Caliber replied. “I have your writing supplies here, whenever you are ready.”

Twilight removed the suit fully, and hung it on a hook nearby, as she walked out of the room, she looked over at Caliber. He was leaning against the wall, a notepad and quill floating in his magical grip. “I have been told through the Hive Mind that the Queen wants for you to see the work we do here. You can spend as much time as you like.”

Twilight took the notepad from Caliber. “So, what do you do here?” She asked.

“Personally?” Caliber asked.

“Well, I suppose.” Twilight replied.

“I work in the Special Modifications section of this Hive, I specialize in the internal mechanisms, to be more specific, I help if you want it to fire quicker.”

“What are the other modifications do you work with?”

“Anything you really need.” Caliber replied, beginning to walk to the exit. “Firing speed, sound suppression, capacity, barrel length, wheels, as I said, anything you need.”

“How does that work exactly?”

“Well, a customer will bring the product to the main building, ask for a certain tweak to be made to it, and if they have the right price, we proceed to make the modifications.”

“Out of curiosity, what are some of the prices?”

“Well, depends on the pieces they want, but it usually can be anywhere from ten to one-hundred bits. It is all based on the modifications you want.”

“Interesting…” Twilight said. “Do you think I could get a chance to see the workshop?”

Caliber looked up at a clock. “I suppose we have time, so long as you are okay with a few more loud explosions.”

Twilight sighed. “Well, I’m sure my ears can withstand a bit more trauma.”

Caliber nodded. “Very well, simply follow me.”

Twilight walked with Caliber for a few minutes, she asked him a few small questions about his work and the development of this secondary Hive. From what he said, it took them an extra five years to finally get the whole thing set up; two of them were just digging the tunnel.

“Caliber, could I ask who is in charge if the Queen isn’t here?”

Caliber chuckled. “Oh, that would be Shadow Drone 9, she keeps all of us in check, unless the Queen has her off on a mission.”

“I’ve heard about the Shadow Drones from a few of the others, but I never got any information on them.”

Caliber nodded. “Yeah… It is a very secretive group. Essentially it is on a need to know basis, and only the Queens and the Shadow Drones have that information.”

“Oh… Do you think they would let me know?”

Caliber laughed. “Not a chance.”

“Oh…” Twilight replied. “Do you know if…”

“They won’t tell you, if that is what you’re going to ask.” Caliber replied.

“Oh…” Twilight replied.

“We’re here.” Caliber said, as they walked up to a door. “Beyond here is the Special Modification and Request section. My workshop is near the back, so we will have a few minutes of walking, feel free to look at the works, there’s nothing really ground breaking in here.”

“Alright, well, what kind of special requests for you take?”

“Well, really anything that can be done with our products. You want a Party Cannon that fires cheese? We can make that and will send you it for a fee. We also make things for other Queens.” Caliber said, pushing open the door.

“Like what?”

“To be specific, we make a few devices for a few of the Hives, if they need cannons or something like that, then we build it, but for the most part we build smaller pieces and… Well… This…”

Twilight looked over at where Caliber was pointing, a stone fountain sitting off to the side, a few Changelings around it. The fountain looked simple enough, a dish in-between the top of the fountain, where the water would have come out of, and the base of the fountain, where the water would pool. “What is it?”

“See for yourself.” Caliber said, motioning for Twilight to get closer.

Twilight walked up to the fountain, beginning to listen to the conversations of the Changelings.

“So… We tested it with water and milk… Both below freezing and over one hundred degrees…”

“It still works.”

“So, those flowed just fine… So why is the shake not working?” The Changeling said, tapping his chin.

“It seems as though it freezes too easily, and the sugar begins to eat its way through the pipes, and if it gets too warm, it begins to slosh through… and clogs up the pipes.”

“That’s not even mentioning the strawberry seeds… Those would clog up the opening.”

“Yeah…”

“Hello.” Twilight said walking over. “I hope I’m not disturbing you.”

Both Changelings looked up at Twilight. “No. No. We were just reviewing the reports on the fountain.”

“What is it supposed to be?”

“It is for Queen Viola, she requested a…” One of the Changelings flipped through the pages. “A fountain that, instead of water, can be filled with strawberry Milkshakes.”

“Milkshakes?”

“Yes… From what we have heard, they are Viola’s favorites.” The Changeling replied. “We have problems keeping the pressure constant right now… That along with a plethora of other issues that keep popping up…

“Well, I guess I had better let you get to work. Wouldn’t want you to make any mistakes.”

“Uh-huh…” The Changeling said, looking back at his notes. “We could try to put a magical component into the pipes…”

“That wouldn’t work… the instant it needed to be recharged it would break down. Minotaur Changelings aren’t as magically capable… Plus this is for Viola.”

“Good point…”

Twilight left the two Changelings to talk and walked back over to Caliber, who was talking with another Changeling. “Explain it to me again?” Caliber said.

“There’s a problem with the firing mechanic on a couple of the Cannons, we need your help to fix them up.”

“How did they break? When they were brought in, all of them were working perfectly!”

“I’m not sure. Last one to touch them was Pinprick.”

Caliber sighed. “Course it was… I’ll fix them later. I’m busy right now, Gear Shift.”

“Well, whatever it is, I’m going to talk to the newbie. Good luck on… Whatever.”

Gear walked off as Twilight walked up to Caliber. “What was that about?”

“A Newbie messed up the cannons… I’m going to have to work on that…” Caliber sighed. “So, you ready to see where I work?”


The tour through the workshop was rather extensive; Twilight got a chance to look at almost every section of the area, seeing everything from simple barrel exchanges, to the small internal pieces that made it capable of being fired with a single button push. While Twilight’s knowledge of the exact mechanisms was a bit lacking, it was still interesting to see how everything had to be perfectly implemented for the finished product to work properly. She also got a chance to see a few of the less precise configurations.

“Sorry again about your ear.” Caliber said.

“I didn’t know that there were ponies who wanted cannons to be any louder…” Twilight replied, rubbing the inside of her ear. It wasn’t as bad as it used to be, where she lost all hearing in her right ear for a good thirty minutes, but it would be difficult to hear anything on that side until she got it checked.

“Usually there aren’t… But a few ponies want to use them for warning systems, so they want them to be loud… I don’t know why anypony would want them louder than a crack of thunder…”

“No idea…” Twilight said.

“Luckily nothing bad happened here.” Caliber said, looking over another cannon, it was only the second one he got a chance to work on since they reached his workshop, and while Twilight was quite interested, but wanted to let him work.

“Actually, I wanted to ask you something.” Twilight replied.

“Go ahead.” Caliber replied. “I can multi task.”

“Have you ever had issues with the time zone change?” Twilight asked.

“Not really.” Caliber replied. “The Hive looks similar no matter day or night, so honestly I’m fine. Though I will admit it is slightly annoying at times when the clocks aren’t working correctly.”

“I can see that being a problem.” Twilight replied.

Caliber slid out from under the cannon. “Speaking of time, when is your train from the Outskirts supposed to leave?” He picked up a rag and wiped his forehead.

“Well, originally I was looking for something at around seven to eight, given how long it takes to get back, but the only train I could manage to find was at ten o’clock. Which I guess, due to the isolated nature, makes sense.”

“You said ten?” Caliber asked.

“Yes I did.” Twilight replied.

Caliber looked up to a clock. “Uh… It’s Nine forty.”

Twilight’s eyes widened as she looked up at the clock. “WHAT!” Sure enough, the clock above said it was 9:40. “Oh no! I’ll never get back in time! The next train is tomorrow and I don’t have anywhere to sleep tonight! Not only that, but I still need to come here and get my secondary notes, since the cannon doesn’t let me take my notes. I don’t have anyway to contact Spike and…”

BANG!

Twilight jumped and looked over at Caliber, the party cannon he was working on smoking slightly. “You done?”

“NO! How am I going to-?”

Caliber rolled his eyes. “Follow me.” He said as he walked out of the room.

‘Where are we going?” Twilight asked nervously.

“We’re going to see Shadow Drone 9. She’ll help out.” Caliber sighed. “Hopefully…” He said under his breath.

“Are you sure she will help? Because if not then I need to head down to the firing range so that I can…”

“I’m sure she will help, she owes me for something.”

“What?”

“Nothing that you need to know.” Caliber replied. “She would also kill me if I told you…”

Twilight began nervously looking around the area, taking very little of it into account as her plans were slowly being changed to include another possible over night stay in a Hive, and while she wouldn’t mind that normally, if this hive was anything like Pinkie, she expected a late night, and early wake up call, which not only would ruin her sleep schedule, but would also not help with her ear.

She was busy trying to plan around the complication of staying within the Hive; in fact, she was so caught up in her plans that she almost ran into Caliber. Before she asked why they were stopping, she looked up to see Caliber looking at the door inside the tunnel, his face that of a foal standing in front of the principal’s door, something she had only one instance experiencing.

Caliber sighed. “I hope this doesn’t end in my own pain…” He raised his hoof and knocked on the door. “Nine? Nine I need to talk to you.” Caliber said, knocking another few times. “Nine, I know you are in there. Can I come in?”

There was a click from the wooden door and Caliber sighed. “Nine… Nine, I really need to…” He tried to knock again, but was pushed back by a small barrier. When he got back up, he sighed. “I didn’t want to do this…” He walked up to the door again before turning to Twilight. “You may want to take a few steps to the left.”

Twilight blinked before stepping away from the door, when Caliber was satisfied with the distance, he sighed before leaning into the door. “Coded Whisper, I need to talk to…”

Before he was finished, Twilight looked at the bottom of the door, where a black smoke had begun to form. A second later, the smoke passed through the door, forming together to the side of Caliber as another Changeling, which glared at Caliber. “What?” She hissed.

Caliber took a step back from Whisper. “Nine, I need your help with something.”

Whisper raised an eyebrow. “Really? Would this constitute for that… favor I owe you?”

“Yes… But it isn’t really for me.”

“Good, I was getting a bit nervous. You haven’t cashed that thing in for a few months.” Whisper replied.

Caliber sighed. “Yeah…” He replied. “I wasn’t really sure…”

“Oh! And another thing.” Whisper said. “Never call me that again. Only the Queens have that right and my Brothers and Sisters. If Twilight Sparkle weren’t standing there, I would have slapped you. I was meditating.”

Caliber sighed. “Yeah… I know, Nine… But I needed your help, well… We need your help.” Nine turned to look at Twilight she had the build of a normal Changeling, but her eyes were a much darker shade than the others, her armor was also a pitch black, and seemed to be non-reflective, not only that, but her carapace in general didn’t reflect the light around the area.

“Ah. Twilight Sparkle, 25 years old, Bearer of the Element of Magic, and first pony to enter these Hives that leaves with their memories intact. Pleasure to meet you again.” She stuck out her hoof.

Twilight shook the hoof. “Well nice to meet yo… Wait… Again?”

“Oh yeah, I met you when you were still a superstitious foal, I can’t tell you why, but we’ve met before. Now what’s up?”

Caliber sighed. “We need to use your miniature transport crystal.”

Nine blinked. “Excuse me, you want to what?”

Caliber sighed. “Miss Sparkle here needs to get back to the main Hive, as well as getting her notes and supplies from the T-Cannon, and getting her assistant Spike out, all before ten.”

Nine looked over at Twilight. “Let me get in contact with Eight, She can help. Anyway, how have you been enjoying your time?”

“Pretty well… But now I really need to get home.”

“No problem, Eight agreed to help, she’s getting a few Scouts to grab your notes, and she is going to check on Eggshell and Spike.”

“Oh… Well.” Twilight said. “Thank you.”

“No problem.” Nine replied before turning to Caliber. “Now then. Where did you have in mind?”

“Originally I planned for her to be teleported to the Canon room, though since you have a scout getting the supplies from there, it hardly seems to matter.”

Nine rubbed her chin. “I could give you the crystal to the Development building’s office. But I’m going to need it back. These things aren’t easy to get, you know.”

Twilight shook her head. “So, out of curiosity, what is this crystal?”

Nine reached into her leg and pulled out a small blue crystal. “This is a portable transportation gem, a modified version of the Medical Hive’s transport gems. They are programmed with a single location, and upon use, become drained and need to be recharged. Be lucky we get the royal variation, the normal version break down after one use.”

“How does that work?” Twilight asked.

“It takes too long to explain, and you have ten minutes.” Nine said, handing over the gem. “All you need to do is hold it up to your horn and let your magic flow through it.”

Twilight looked at the blue crystal. “Will this be the same as the Medical Hive’s crystal?”

“You’ll get a bit of a headache, Cytes is working on fixing that issue, but it makes for good emergencies. Now, Spike and Eggshell should be there soon, so you should get going.”

Twilight nodded. “Thank you for this.”

“No problem.” Nine said. “Just drop the crystal off at the front desk. I’ll see you around.” She smirked. “Though will you see me?”

“I’m not sure… Thank you for showing me around, Caliber. These notes should be very beneficial to my report.”

“You should get going if you don’t want to be late.” Caliber said. “I need to get back to work, fixing all of the mistakes the new guy caused will take me all night.”

Twilight nodded as she raised the crystal shard, about a forth the size of her horn, and touched it to the tip of her horn. Taking a small breath, she lit her horn, channeling her magic into it. She closed her eyes as the small crystal began shining, before a bright flash encompassed her.

A second later, she stumbled a little as she raised her hoof to her now pounding head, the crystal falling to the ground with a clink.

She tried to open her eyes, but had to close them from the brightness, after a few seconds, she got her bearings, and while there was still a slight headache, it was going away quickly. As her headache ceased, she picked up the crystal and her fallen notepad, before walking towards a door.

As she walked through the door, she saw the same off-white walls of the Development center. She walked up to the Unicorn behind the desk and handed over the Crystal, a minute later, the elevator door opened as Eggshell walked out, Spike next to her as he yawned.

Twilight walked over to them. “Thank you for keeping track of him.” Twilight said as she picked up Spike and placed him on her back. “How was he?”

“Oh, he was excellent, he took plenty of notes and pictures and asked as many questions as he could. It tuckered him out pretty quickly too.” Eggshell said.

“Well, I’m glad he did, I’ll need to look over all of them to make sure he got as much as I would like.”

Eggshell nodded. “Oh! And hang on a second.” Eggshell stepped back into the elevator and pulled out Twilight’s Saddle Bags. “A Scout got these to us before we left.”

Twilight took her Saddlebags and slung them over her back. “Thanks, I was worried I wasn’t going to get them. Now I’m really sorry, but I need to get going. I need to get to the train station soon or I’ll miss my train!”

“Well, bye. I hope to see you later.”

Twilight waved back at Eggshell before dashing out of the building and quickly making her way through the town. She was certain she drew a few confused looks as she rushed through the town, coming up to the train station. As she got there, she took a deep breath to calm herself down as she looked at the train sitting in the station, but before she walked onto the train she heard someone call her name, turning back she saw a mare that looked suspiciously like…

“Hey, Twilight!” The bright yellow earth pony said, her grass green mane unkempt and wild.

“Eupha!” Twilight said in surprise, but she found the mare placing her hoof into Twilight’s mouth.

“Shh, shh shh. Don’t say that name, they’re watching us.” Eupha said, her eyes flicking back and forth.

“What are you doing here?” Twilight asked as Eupha pulled her hoof out. “And why are you disguised as Giggle Trousers?”

“Well, my meeting ended an hour ago and after I did a quick lock up of the main building, I realized that I didn’t say goodbye yet. By the time I got back to the Hive, you were gone and so I zipped out here to say good luck and farewell and I originally had this whole song and dance planned out, but then I realized how late it was and that some ponies wanted to sleep, so I scrapped that and instead I’m just going to give a Goodbye Hug and maybe some cake.” Eupha said quickly before pulling Twilight into a hug. A few seconds after the hug began, Eupha ended it. “So, would you like some cake before you go?”

“Uh…” Twilight looked up at a clock. “I don’t have too much…”

“Pffft. Time. I don’t need that. I just need to ask about what flavor you want.”

“Um… I guess I’d enjoy just some Chocolate if you have…”

Eupha pulled out a small white cake box. She pushed it into Twilight’s hooves. “There ya go. Compliments of the Queen! Now you need to get going, the train leaves in three minutes. Plus I need to go read on all the Cake Cannons. So bye again! I’ll see you around, maybe.” Eupha began to walk away but stopped. “Oh! And could you tell Pinkie that the Party Cannon is going to be ready soon.”

“Sure…” Twilight replied, unsure of how to respond.

“Great! Well, glad that you could come and see the Hive. Hope the rest goes just as well! Bye!” Eupha began to skip away, humming some small tune.

Twilight watched her walk away for a few seconds before turning and walking into the train. As she chose a good spot to sit, she placed Spike on the bench across from her, letting the Dragon sleep. She took Spike’s notes out of his bag and pulled her own notes out, looking over them as she pulled out a large notebook to copy everything into.

As she looked over Spike’s notes, she had to admit that they were highly detailed, even enough to have full conversations. She looked over at Spike, who was starting to roll around on the bench. I did say that I would let him stay…

Twilight smiled. “Well, I guess he deserves it…”

Twilight turned to continue copying down the notes into her notebook. She barely flinched when the train’s whistle blew and they began to move down the track, heading back towards Ponyville.

Author's Note:

It has finally arrived! :yay: The much awaited part 2! Was it worth the wait?....... Not sure...

Sorry about how long this took, life got in the way... :twilightblush:
Anyway, a new Voting blog will be uploaded shortly. located Here.

Comments ( 14 )

It is WAAAAY to rocky out there.”

too

meetings at ten, two, and four,

with a Doctor Pepper

Manehatten

Manehattan

setting up the canons

cannons

the Kumquat

kumquat

A waver saying you are doing this of your own free will and any damages to your body, mind, or property will not be attributed to the Hive

waiver

“Well that and helps weaken the force of gravity on your body.”
“Say what?” Twilight asked.
“Well… When we get shot out of there…” She pulled over a whiteboard. “When the cannon fires, we will be fired out at a speed of nearly one-hundred feet per second squared. Doing so we will be experiencing eight times the gravity our bodies normally would, now of course, such a rapid acceleration would most likely result in your death, however the suit is enchanted to be able to negate a good portion of those effects on your body. So you should be fine, if anything you may be slightly stiff afterwards.” Eupha moved away from the board to let Twilight see the diagram she had drawn. “Now, what will happen is you will be fired first, followed quickly by me. When we slow down, we should be stopped by the Safety pad.”

weaken the impact of acceleration on your body.
we will be accelerated at nearly one-hundred feet per second squared. Doing so we will be experiencing eight times the force our bodies normally would

the Canon room

cannon room


Well. Fun, but the visits being so tightly-scheduled is getting annoying.

That was fun. And a bouncy floor spell is the best.

“So… Did you help spread anything?”
“Pneumonia.”
Twilight blinked. “Wait… What?”

:rainbowlaugh:

There's a problem with the timeline she gave, though. She first said that she's 735 or something years old, then she said that she became Queen six centuries ago, when she was around 230 years old. That gives us her age as 830+.

Yay! More shadow changelings! How many shadow changelings are in each hive?

7461869 True, but a very important word there was 'Almost' though I admit... I should fix that up a bit.

Is that a Monsters Inc. reference I see or am I delusional?

7468988 ....... Maaaaayyyybeeee... :ajsmug:

7468999 I love it, wonder if anyone else noticed.

8606623
Believe me... I hope I get back into it as well. I'm going to try and see if I can get the next Hive up before the year ends. No promises though.

8704171
You're welcome!

Oh please update soon. I love this and Eupha actually made me laugh at some points. Great story! :pinkiehappy:

8878473 I would love to keep working on this, but I'm having trouble coming up with the next few parts, or rather describing them, I'm glad that you have been enjoying the story, and I hope that whenever the next part comes out, you continue to enjoy it.

8879020 Ok well its good to know you haven't given up on it. Thx and hope for the best!😁

I've really enjoyed this, I hope you can find what you need to continue

I soon got 2 weeks off! The perfect time to read this!
Kinda got lost in my Must Read... despite me silly having an RP with all those kewl Queens o_o
Must correct this horrible mistake!

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