• Published 22nd Jun 2012
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My Little Changeling -- "I" is Magic - Wing Dancer

In the far north, where changelings live, change begins -- a single changeling learns to think...

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Reunion Under a Night Star

“So, uh…Chip,” said Autumn, leading the changeling along a dirt path. “You mind maybe…I don’t know…changing your appearance or something?”

“What for?” replied Chip, still dressed as Night Star. “It seems perfectly reasonable for the two of us to travel together. And the ponies back at the outpost were very happy to see us.”

“Ugh…you really are a bit clueless when it comes to mare-colt relations, aren’t you?” sighed the stallion, shaking his head miserably. Tomorrow he would have many stupid grins and lots of mocking to endure. “Just…please…pick a different disguise.”

The changeling shrugged, but didn’t want to argue. Without stopping, he let a green flame go over his body, changing him into the colt he remembered at the Queen’s lair. This outfit seemed to please Leaf a lot more.

“Pretty neat. You can really copy anypony you see? Just like that?”

“Yes. How does this look?” said the changeling, taking on the guise of Autumn himself.

Leaf squinted slowly at his doppleganger, a slight frown growing on his muzzle. “That can’t be right,” he said finally. “No way I have such a large gut. I’m all muscle and bones, son. I eat healthy, I work out… Nu-uh, you’re not as good as you say you are.”

“Oh…okay. If you say so.” Chip was near certain he did everything right – but who was he to know the ins and outs of a pony?

The rest of the way to Autumn’s home was silent, save for the sleepy chirping of birds. It was a beautiful sunset – one that the black colt never saw before. In his home canyon, everything was so uninteresting and dusty. Here…the colours in the sky, the smells on the ground – all of that made him feel truly alive, as if awoken from a deep slumber.

* * *

“Darling! I’m home!” called out Leaf, putting down his bags and closing the door. The hut wasn’t large, but it certainly felt comfy. Chip could smell the mouth-watering scent of love, caring and tenderness in the air. He shuffled out of the way of a charging filly, who lunged herself at Autumn with a squeal.

“Daddy daddy!” squeaked the little pony, snuggling up to her dad. “You know what I did today?! Do you, do you?!”

“What is it dear? Show me!” replied the colt enthusiastically. He was trying to inconspicuously locate where the changeling stood – the faint signature of the invisibility spell the creature cast before entering was extremely hard to locate.

“This way daddy, this way!” shouted the filly, dragging her father by the mane towards a structure made from colorful blocks. “See? This is where you work! And there you are!” The little foal was excitedly showing the building miniature to Leaf – for a 6 year old, Autumn thought she certainly did a great job. She really loved those cheap building blocks he got her for Heart's Warming.

Chip was stunned at the amount of positive emotions his senses picked up. He could just be draining them all day long and burst without anyone noticing the difference! He never knew this kind of love was possible - it was dense in the air, shifting and dancing around his delicate senses, sweeping chills over his entire body.

If the changeling ever felt challenged before, it was nothing compared to this. His nature clawed at his mind, demanding he wolf down everything, straight down to the tiniest morsel. It took all his remaining willpower and restraint to not give into the urge, lest his concentration on the spell faltered and he revealed himself prematurely.

“There you are Autumn. Had a good day at work, dear?”

There she was – Night Star. She really did wear her mane shorter now. Her features were a lot less bony now, her mane and coat having regrown properly. The hair had a certain shine to it, looking healthy and pretty much like in Chip's books about anatomy. He couldn't help feeling something stir under his heart, distracting him from the urgent hunger. It was the same feeling he had back in those caves...

“You look troubled. Everything okay?” asked the mare, cocking her head slightly and nuzzling her husband slowly.

“Yeah, sure!” said the guardspony a bit more excitedly than it was necessary. He ruffled the little giggling filly’s mane, picking her up. “Now sweetie, mommy and daddy need to have a talk, okay? You can tell me all about your day when we are done. Just stay in your room, okay?”

“Yes daddy! I love you!” squeaked the little bundle of joy, hopping on the bed as the doors to her room closed. A cute little painting of a yellow pony and a black colt was attached to them.

“What’s the matter?” said Night Star in a worried voice. She rarely saw her husband act like this – he was certainly looking for something, squinting and waving a hoof in the air.

“Come out now, we need to talk. If you’re still there.”

Both ponies jumped as the large changeling appeared between them. He was no longer wearing his disguise and had maybe a foot or two of space between his head and the ceiling.

“Chip!” shouted Night Star, totally surprised. She threw herself to hug the changeling, sending ripples of pleasure through his body.

He couldn't help but murr delicately at the sensation. Did he miss Night Star? She certainly was a pleasure to see. She was the first pony he ever met. The first one he set free. She was kinda...special, at least to Chip and his still developing spark.

“Yes, that’s me” replied the changeling, deadpan.

“What are you doing here?”

* * *

Chip told the story of his ascendancy and subsequent fall from grace, the way the Queen threw him out and the awkward situation at the barracks. Night Star was full of compassion towards her, from lack of a better word, friend, but turned furiously red on the face after hearing the last part of the story.

“You what?!” she whispered sharply. “How could you do such a thing! You know how embarrassing meeting those ponies will be now?”

Taken aback, the changeling shrunk in his seat at the table. “I’m sorry. I thought it was a good idea…”

The mare sighed. “I guess we’ll just have to live with that for a while…I’ll go check up on Silver if she’s asleep”

“Silver?” asked Chip, cocking his head.

“That’s our foal. Silver Heart,” explained Night Star, silently opening the door. She smiled and beckoned the two colts to join her. “Look,” she said.

Inside Chip saw a small earth pony, fast asleep. She was lying on her back, her belly moving to the tact of her breath. She was talking in her sleep – the words the changeling could make out were “Daddy” and “Mommy”.

He didn’t understand the sense of pride and joy emanating from the owners of the foal. Then again, changelings weren’t exactly ones to care much for their young. As soon as they could walk and fly on their own, which happened within a day or few, they became just another appendage to the hive mind. A collective that he would likely never feel again.

* * *

Midnight was approaching when everybody decided it was high time to go to sleep. Chip finished sharing his plans of venturing deeper into Equestria and learning to live amongst ponies just as the clock's hands aligned.

“Chip, you are an okay changeling. But from what you say, your kind generally isn’t loving towards us pony folk,” said Autumn Leaf, taking a swig of his hard cider from a mug. “It is my duty as a guardspony to inform the other outposts as well as our Royal Highness of this…force in the north. From your tale it is apparent that we will have to deal with this sooner or later. I’m sorry to say, that will make your journey quite difficult.”

“I wouldn’t worry,” replied Chip with a brave face. Inside, though, he felt a bit disappointed and scared at the motion of having to be on the run and on his toes all day and night. “I’ll make due. Thanksh you for your hoshpitality and this…strange liquid.”

“Ha, you’re welcome! Want some more?” asked the guardspony, pouring more alcohol into Chip’s mug.

The changeling was starting to feel a bit fuzzy, but could not understand why. He read something about apples and cider, but the exact book title and words eluded him, dancing around in his head. This should be worrying to him, but other parts of his body told him to simply not dwell on it and pour more of the golden drink into his throat.

“Leaf, really, you want to get him drunk or something?” snapped Night Star silently, taking away the beverages. “I can bet he doesn’t even know what cider is. Or do you, Chip?”

“Chi-wha?” hiccupped the changeling. His head felt really funny by now. He wanted more of that tasteless liquid. He was sure there was more in at least one of those twelve mugs Night Star and her five sisters were carrying.

“See what… done?” he heard a muffled voice. “He’s… unk like a…. flank!”

Without much warning, the wooden floor threw itself at Chip. He tried to release himself from its embrace, but the beast was strong. After a brief struggle he yielded, allowing himself to be held by the floor. It wasn’t that bad – it was nice and cold. They could be friends. As a gesture of good-will, Chip even shared some of the fine liquid he drank with his new wooden friend. It was as tasteless as before, but hopefully the floor wouldn’t mind much.

Slowly, thoughts and feelings blurred into one kaleidoscope of colors, noises and tastes. He felt he was being picked up and thrown onto an even softer new friend. Chip tried to share some of the liquid with this acquaintance as well, but found no more of this “cider” in himself. Maybe in the morning. After the books stop flapping their pages, herding all the small foal-changelins into the giant head of Chrysalis.

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