• Published 20th Apr 2016
  • 2,396 Views, 20 Comments

Juggling a Life or Two - WarShipper



Queen Chrysalis has won! Canterlot has fallen to the Changeling army and there's no longer anybody who can stand in the way of her armies! One problem, though... the Queen isn't exactly in control anymore.

  • ...
5
 20
 2,396

2 - Adjusting Your Seat

Clop, Clop, Clop. Clop, Clop, Clop. The sound of hooves beating against stone roads is an unexpected accompaniment to my little walk - but not an unpleasant one, considering how I can almost hear a beat in the noise, like the vague potential for music. I give a little hum, then stop abruptly.

...was I about to break out into song?

What? Are you stupid?

I give a hiss of irritation as one of my guards bumps into me, muttering his apologies as he quickly backs off and I take the moment to glance about the ruined streets, stalling for time.

"Seemed like it," I mutter to Chrysalis, mindful of the fact that I'm currently surrounded by a bunch of Changelings who probably expect me to not be insane. They, of course, take my words the wrong way and begin looking about suspiciously, wings buzzing and building up a small draft. I brush a strand of seaweed green hair from my face in irritation.

I hadn't realized that you were delusional as well as stupid and a body-stealer.

Does she really have to insult me every time we speak? Jesus. I shake my head, ignoring my paranoid guards as I approach a nearby shop - what seems to be the remnants of a bakery. Passing through the shattered door, I'm struck by how weirdly dissonant the place is - it's obviously been involved in some kind of fight, but at the same time there's no signs of active looting or destruction. Glass on the counter, a broken till, pastries and bread scattered all around the place. I lift a crushed donut in my telekinetic grip, letting it flip about in my grip.

I see you've discovered the mythical stepped on donut, most coveted of all pastries.

I toss the donut at the wall, watching as it turns into a smear.

"Come along," I tell my guards, trotting rapidly out of the shop building and picking up the pace. "Ossein Trawler, right?" The addressed Changeling perks up, stepping slightly closer so as to better hear me.

"Yes, Your Majesty?"

"Tell me, what was your role in the invasion?"

"Yes, Your Majesty," He nods, taking a moment to give a professional scan of the surrounding environment. "Upon the destruction of the shield, I was one of those tasked with securing the Elements of Harmony, Your Majesty."

"Oh? And how did that go? It was your group that brought the Bearers to the Palace, if I recall correctly." Which I do.

"Well enough, Your Majesty. It was simple to overwhelm the Royal Guards with our superior numbers and they didn't seem to respond particularly well to the presence of an entire enemy force capable of flight. Coupled with the mass disguise tactics to confuse them and we did very well, though there were some instances of friendly fire."

To be expected from my wonderful little Changelings, Chrysalis mutters in my head, her pride drifting into her link and spiked with a sort of joyful edge. She... feels as though she's besting me, in some way? Yes, like the power of her Changelings is something bad for me.

Odd.

"Friendly fire?" I question, mindful of not pausing for too long.

"Unfortunately so, My Queen. In the chaos of battle, it could be quite difficult to figure out who was and wasn't a Changeling. This wasn't much of an issue later on in the battle, however - when the Bearers appeared. Do you want the details of their subdual?"

I give a little nod, eyeing my muzzle. How do ponies get through the day without staring at these things all the time? I feel tempted to poke it.

"-Sparkle seemed to be the most prominent threat, unfortunately. Her spells were capable of stripping our disguises from a distance and were often significantly disorienting, and whenever she managed to get several seconds uninterrupted she would do something that tended to cause a fair amount of chaos."

Yes, that about matches the reports... problematic, that one, best way to deal with her would be isolation and slow integration....

I pause, glancing at the apparently talkative Changeling in interest. Now that I think about it, there are actually some aesthetic differences between each Changeling. Trawler, for example, appears to have more rigid and patterned chitin than the other guards here, appearing to rise and lower in jagged waves. Out here in the sunlike, it gives his body an odd, distorted profile. Maybe I should dedicate some time to studying how to read Changeling body language and tell the difference between individuals.

"That's enough," I interrupt. "I have an assignment for you, Trawler."

"Anything, My Queen."

What are you planning, brat?

"You fought Twilight Sparkle. She was the only per - pony to notice my infiltration, what little good it did her. We've currently got her locked up, but she's too useful a possible assett to simply keep her trapped. Do you have any experience with long-term infiltration?"

He pauses, seeming vaguely confused. "...uh, no, My Queen. Beg your pardon but I usually left that to less martially inclined changelings. My glamours have never been particularly strong, and I'm weak with voices."

I nod along. "Perfect. You have a new job, then. You are to befriend Twilight Sparkle."

"...come again? Your Majesty?"

Oh, with this again? cease your foolishness, bratling. The ponies must be integrated, yes, but to waste some of my best in a pathetic ploy like this? At least waste your time intelligently.

"You heard me the first time, I'm sure," I hiss, narrowed eyes glaring the rigid changeling down. He salutes rapidly, eyes staring off into space as he halts, instinct overcoming sense. Thankfully the guard behind him stops before jostling his fellow, but the rather abrupt halt to our procession lends my glare rather a bit more weight.

I close my eye, breathing deep and running a tongue along my teeth. I just know I'm gonna end up biting it off one of these days, with how sharp those are....

"Continue," I state simply, matching word to action. "You will befriend Twilight Sparkle. Pretend to be yet another refugee, another pony crushed under my..." Bootheel? Do ponies even have boots? "Hooves," I finish.

Marvelous performance, body-snatcher. Next you'll have my subjects crying... in laughter.

I stomp on a piece of road with more force than strictly necessary, already fractured stone shattering under the force of the strike. "You will provide regular reports, help her with whatever trivialities she attempts, get to know her. And let her get to know you." I can see the question in his eyes, even if he's too terrified and respectful to ask it.

You really shouldn't repeat yourself.

"You shall be our... pony on the inside, so to speak. You have my confidence, yet nopony would ever identify you. Should your cover be suspect, you provide a sympathetic view - a perspective that they will be inclined to listen to. You will be their friend, after all." I halt once more, staring the changeling in the eye. Thinking on it, is this Changeling male or female? I have no idea how to tell the difference.

Male, you imbecile. Can't you tell by the structure of his horn and hooves? Must you crawl under the belly of your fellows just to tell such a simple question?

I shake my head. "We'll discuss this further later. For now, I believe we're almost there."

One of my other guards - I glance over to identify a probably-female, with larger-than-average holes in her legs and a dimmer, less shiny appearance to her carapace - makes a slight noise. "Ah, where would that be, Your Majesty?"

I shrug. "Why, to see the Princess of the Night, of course."

=-=-=-=-=

I must admit I'd been curious just how we made sure that the dark alicorn hadn't interfered with the wedding or the invasion, and promptly asked such questions once I realized I wasn't just having some kind of dream and my life might actually depend on keeping Luna locked up. I needn't have worried, evidently - she was asleep.

"Dost thou fail to understand what ye do!? Our domain is the night itself, foul cretins!"

I give a nod to the small legion of guard changelings, passing through the door to be greeted by the sight of an extremely angry and extremely locked up Princess Luna. She grows silent as I come in, all shadowy profile lit up only by the light coming from the chambers at my back. It gives me a good opportunity to take a look at her.

She looks very... restrained, I suppose.

Eloquent as always.

Oh shut up, we've barely known eachother for ten hours you overinflated windbag.

That may be the first coherent insult you've delivered all night. Congratulations on your promotion from village idiot to town punching bag.

I grind my teeth. Incidentally, Luna was apparently observing me even as I was supposed to be observing her.

"Thou art the queen of these disgusting creatures? Hah! We were expecting something more impressive and less liable to be crushed beneath our hooves like the insects you take after! Thou dare assault the Royal Sisters of Night and Day!? Release us from this accursed contraption so that we may show thee a true battle!"

Oh, this is going to be a headache and a half.

There's a reason I made sure the wedding would take place at day.

I blink, before shrugging. But yes, 'accursed contraption' would be a very apt description. It's less a cage and more... well, a contraption. Chains and manacles and rope, wrapped over and through and under eachother like the demented work of a drunk spider that was also under the influence of some very insane gods. Speaking of, I should get some cheese. Who knows who could be listening in a realm such as this? Best to cover my bases.

What are you rambling on about now? Cheese? Why would you -

"Princess Luna. I'd say it's nice to meet you, but I somewhat doubt you return the sentiment. Besides, we have already met, technically."

Confusion, writ large upon the face of the night sky. "What is this inane babbling, fool? We have never met a foul creature such as you."

I shrug, before focusing on the power inherent to all Changelings. Unbidden, a smirk graces my features, quickly hidden by flames.

"Oh but you have," I giggle, stepping forward as her expression becomes horror-struck. "You wouldn't forget your favorite little Princess, now would you, dear Auntie Luna?"

...truly, I must be evil. And stupid. Why am I gloating? I halt for a moment, just staring into empty space as Luna does... whatever. This is much more important.

Are you just going to continue standing there or will you actually use my body to do something?

I groan, very, very softly. Then the ranting of my prisoner breaks through my sudden burst of self-doubt. "Thou art no relation of mine, foul face-stealing abomination! Discard that false form at once!" Well, no need to tell me twice. I flick the disguise from my form with an absent ring of green flames, focusing on what I came here to do.

"Disguises and threats aside, I've got a question for you, dear Luna." Wow, that's a nasty glare. "What do you get when you've got two celestial objects at a standstill?" Ah, got her there. Well, not so much got, but -

"Thou intend to halt the motion of the sun and moon? Better creatures than you have tried."

I laugh. It's not happy. "Hardly. What I want from you is very simple; I want the sun and the moon to keep moving. Steady motion, twenty four hours of rotation, the whole day and night shebang. However," I muse outloud, "Not that you can tell, I can't do that while I'm also keeping you and your sister drained of their power and therefore unable to challenge me. There are alternatives," At least, I assume there are. "But... much easier to make a deal, no?"

Luna regales me with a very harsh and very spiteful laugh. "Thou wish to make a deal for the sake of sun and moon? Fine then. release our subjects."

I tsk. "No go on that, Luna. Don't worry, they'll be free to wander the city soon-ish, but I don't plan on letting anybody leave. I was thinking something more along the lines of... luxuries. Food, drink, your family and friends. A measure of freedom, not total, but better than...."

I take a moment to eye her restraints, holding her up as though she were bipedal, the manacle around her horn obstructing her sight, a muzzle-like chain around her snout.

"Well. The obvious. We both know you deserve a lot more than such uncomfortable quarters."

Her glare is vicious and I can see her stars glowing brighter in her mane, pinpricks of light exploding and dying in a cosmic cycle. I wonder if she understands astrophysics?

She's the Mare of the Moon, fool. She knows more about the night sky than we ever will.

Hrm. I should talk to her at some point, see if that's true.

Hmph.

"Thy countenance is disgusting."

"I don't hear a no~" I sing, a little giddy. I'd never imagined I would get to be the villain for real. It's actually kind of fun, getting to screw with people. Plus, I am literally negotiating the day/night cycle.

"...fine. You will grant me a measure of freedom and in turn I shall resume the cycle of the sun and moon." Good. Great, in fact, considering I'm prett sure she would've taken up the slack given the chance regardless.

Then why would you waste time making a deal? We've won! The winner doesn't come to the loser and give her all the winnings, you fool!

"In your world, maybe," I mutter.

"What was that, creature?"

"Nothing." I grin, rapping a tendril of magic against the door. "Guards," I declare, "Release the Princess. Set her up in her old room. Don't let her go anywhere without an armed guard. Get her anything non-dangerous she requires. If she -"

"Creature." I blink. "Why doth thou ask this of us and not our sister?"

I grin, teeth glinting as I turn my head and let my wings flitter behind me. "Because you're the smart one, of course."

...Stupid fool.

The door closes behind me.

Comments ( 12 )

7148185
7147804
Pacing is my primary issue, yes. New writer... eh, so-so. I've never managed to write a full on story, though I've done lots of collaborative projects and a fair few one-shots.

I have trouble trying to "perfect" conversations until I just give up and I find it difficult to grasp how and when to transition from scene to scene as well as how and when to get information across.

7149570
Glad to hear it.

I love body swap stories, especially ones where the MC is in an awkward situation. I just hope the MC doesn't intend to go full retard/villain.

Never go full villain.

7172849
Well, the OC is already dipping dangerously into full-retard, and since the author probably wants to milk as much drama as possible, he'll probably make the fall in a few more chapters. I mean really, who ever sane has the thought, "It's fun to be the villain and mess with people," when they're legitimately hurting others. No one good, that's for sure.

Going off the top of my head, had I been put in this situation, I probably would have played the invasion off as a result of cultural belief, like, "Now that I have shown the power of the changelings and our tactical superiority, we can negotiate properly, Princess, for you understand now that betrayal can only lead to your defeat."
Get what I mean? Make the ponies think the invasion was just how changelings go into foreign relationships, like animals showing dominance, and let them think they are teaching my savage race the value of friendship as we set up proper integration of the societies.

7172911 Nobody sane, that's for sure.

...I can oddly see that.

7172911
Comedy tag, mate. I dislike excessive drama - particularly when it's forced, and it's pretty pointless with a character nobody cares about yet. Hopefully I can get the general gist of the character across well enough over future chapters. MC ain't exactly great, but they aren't going to be torturing people or anything grimderp.

The general aim of this story is to show one full-on villain snark at one kinda-villain while they both try to deal with the consequences of being a villain and figure out how to split up. Comedy (Snark and banter), Mystery (Why and how the possession took place, how to revert it), Thriller (Dealing with being a villain). Human because of a human transplant and some future content.

If you've got any suggestions on how I can maintain a proper balance I'm happy to hear them.

7173010
Oh, so you explain all the other tags, but not Romance? I see how it is.

A funny, interesting story that came out recently and is far more popular than anything else you've produced so far? Why the **** is it canceled?

7327452
You ever jump into something only to later realize it's not as interesting or have as much potential as you first thought?

I apologize if you found it interesting, but... I am an amateur writer, and I'm trying to get better. I hope you can enjoy my other stories, if possible, since I do plan to continue writing. I just don't plan to continue writing this story.

7330741 you are truly evil, you truly are.

influence of some very insane gods. Speaking of, I should get some cheese. Who knows who could be listening in a realm such as this? Best to cover my bases

Sheogorath?

7330741
Okay i get its been 2+ years but "Get ready", because this is my point of view on this story. I for one only read 0.1/10 of the stories on here. Im not interested in the self inserts unless they are in the form of an H.I.E ( Human in equestria ). But I like authors like you. Not only because you chose to write about a human from the modern age becoming a character. Not becoming a clone becoming them over time, or hell they were human in a past life. But because stories like yours are the content I enjoy, and I am pretty sure I'm not the only one. So, again if you still want to give stories like this the shots they deserve, go ahead. If stress and time is an issue, please let us all know. If you ever need help editing, I got time to spare. Just know your appreciated.

Login or register to comment