• Published 13th Jul 2016
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Twilight Sparkle Becomes a Changeling Queen, Book 2: Twilight Sparkle Defends Her Hive - bahatumay



Twilight Sparkle is now a changeling queen. At least, she's supposed to be.

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Chapter 1

Twilight swallowed bile as she scanned the caves. The rocky floor was dusty, spiderwebs covered the corners near the ceilings, the green lighting panels were dull and most were completely depleted of magic, and the occasional starved changeling was scattered randomly across the ground. It was clear that their first order of business would be to clean the hive.

She glanced back at the horde of changelings behind her. They looked to her for guidance, trusting her to make a decision for all of them. It was a daunting burden; one she wasn't sure she was ready for yet.

Still, she had formed her checklist, and she knew where to start. First, shelter; second, supplies; third, growth. She turned towards the changelings pulling the cart. “Piquis. Sira. Ithir. Take the nymphs somewhere protected and safe.”

As the cart started moving, she glanced back. “Jarret. Hrit. Follow them, make sure the young ones are fed. Then report to me how much love we have left and how long it will last.”

Jarret saluted and shuffled off, his swollen abdomen swaying as he walked.

She turned towards Bruch. She leaned down. “Changelings bury their dead, right?” she whispered.

Bruch nodded.

Twilight looked back at the changelings. Most appeared to be exhausted, barely awake on their hooves. She exhaled. “I can’t give that order now,” she murmured. Doing so might actually increase the body count. She turned to address them all. “My little… changelings,” she said, her voice catching only slightly on the different word. “It’s been a long trip for all of us. Return to your rooms and sleep. We will begin working tomorrow.”

Her changelings murmured their thanks and a few odd words of praise as they dispersed. Bruch remained by her side.

Twilight exhaled. “I still can’t believe we’re back here,” she said, looking around. “Last time I was here, I was running for my life.”

Bruch cracked a weak smile. “We’re all fighting for our lives, now. I don’t know how much love Jarret has, but it isn’t enough.”

“It’s never enough, is it,” Twilight murmured, not even needing to form it as a question.

Bruch shook his head.

Twilight nodded resolutely. “It’s now my responsibility. I won’t let the hive down, Bruch. I swear it.”

Bruch looked away and murmured something that sounded like ‘wish that were true’.

This, of course, did nothing but intensify Twilight’s resolve to succeed. “Bruch, get some sleep,” she ordered. “I’ll need your help in the morning.”

“Yes, Princess.” Bruch bowed and departed.

As soon as he vanished out of sight around a corner, Twilight sank to her haunches and exhaled slowly. As much as she hated to admit it, she didn’t quite have a set plan for guiding the changelings. Once her integration idea had been shot down, she had to start thinking like a changeling. And a changeling she was not.

Not yet, anyway.

Twilight kneaded at her eyes, eyes that had irises that had already begun changing to be more green. If she were completely honest with herself, she would have admitted that she could already see fairly well in the near-darkness of the hive. Her pupils were probably already turning into slits.

Thankfully, Jarret soon returned, giving her a much-needed diversion. He bowed. “At our current survival rations, we’ve got enough for about three days. More if we feed just the nymphs.”

Twilight exhaled. “Thank you,” she said. She had much to learn about changeling metabolism. How much did they actually need to eat? How efficient was harvesting?

How could she provide for her changelings?

Twilight shook her head. She could work on that later, when she was rested.

Jarret scuffed a hoof. “Is there anything else, Princess?”

Twilight shook her head. Jarrett turned to leave.

Actually…

“Wait. Jarret, there is one thing. Did Chrysalis have a sort of queen’s chambers?”

Jarret nodded.

“Could you take me there?”

* * *

Twilight slowly entered the hallway that Jarret had indicated. Chrysalis' chambers had been carved out in the center of the hive, probably for her own protection. Twilight could remember seeing no other doors down here, and nothing like the door made of wrought iron and wood at the end of this hallway. Even from this far away, she could tell that it had been intricately carved. All along the walls, there were dead and dying glowpanels (changelings did not care much for fire) and portraits of previous changeling queens. At least, they might have been; Twilight lit her horn to recharge the glowpanels and under that light she saw that they seemed to have been destroyed by magic blasts, which had left deep, angry gouges in the rock. Twilight pursed her lips as she passed. Her portrait would by rights be along this wall, too.

She arrived at the end of the hallway, and turned back to nod her thanks to Jarret. He bowed and departed.

Twilight tapped on the door, but of course, there was no answer. It wasn't likely that Chrysalis had trapped it, but it was an option. With slight trepidation, Twilight lit her horn and pushed it open.

Twilight was not entirely sure what to expect, but she hadn't expected this. Remnants of Shining Armor were all over the room. His likeness was painted on the wall, the outline of his cutie mark was etched into the floor, and a little stone statue of him rested on one of her tables.

Twilight bit her lower lip. During the fight with Chrysalis, she was more concerned with staying alive than anything else; but now she began to wonder. Had Chrysalis truly cared for her brother? She felt a small twinge of guilt. Not that anything could have happened, of course—he was quite happily married to a wonderful mare—but still. It almost had an element of romantic tragedy.

She hesitated as she looked down, but then shook her head. This was her room, now; her queen’s chambers. By rights, she owned everything in it. She stepped further into the room. It suddenly occurred to her that she had no idea how changelings slept; but she doubted they could all sleep like this. Chrysalis's four-poster bed was huge, with translucent green curtains hanging from the carved posts. The covers looked thick and plush, and she found herself drawn to it. Feeling her exhaustion catch up with her, she stepped forward and gently moved the curtains aside, ready to collapse.

She froze. She recognized that sensation.

This wasn't a curtain. This was slime.

Now very much awake, she retracted her hoof as quickly as if she had been bitten. She desperately shook her hoof out, nearly hyperventilating.

Then she took a steadying breath. No. I am the leader of the changelings. This is a part of life for them. A natural process. Purely scientific. And someday I might be making this myself. I will not be disgusted. I will treat it with simple scientific professionalism.

Twilight paused.

She scuffed a hoof against the ground and coughed.

Then she spun around. “On second thought, there's just so much to explore in this room,” she said airily. “I can sleep later.”

There wasn’t much more to the room, Twilight discovered. Being a queen meant you got a large room with a large bed, but aside from the huge mirror (which she avoided) and the ornately-carved desk, there wasn’t much else in here. There was also a trunk with a substantial amount of bits in it, but that was about it. For a few moments, Twilight wondered if she would be able to find anything to distract her in here.

And then, underneath the bed, she found a journal. It was written in a flowing script, jagged but definitely regal. Chrysalis’s diary.

She stared at the book for a good minute or two before her curiosity overcame her reluctance. She opened the diary and began to read.

Day one. This plan is perfect.

Twilight chuckled dryly. She skipped to the next entry.

Day two. Already I wonder at this pony I am to ensnare. Shining Armor of the Royal Guard is not fit to rule. He is an ignorant simpleton, cares too much about his physical appearance and ridiculous manecare products, and is far too kind to be an effective prince. One must rule with an iron hoof. I am beginning to doubt the necessity of personally coming and replacing Mi Amore Cadenza.

Twilight was mildly disturbed, but continued reading, unable to tear her eyes away.

Day three. I am beginning to see why Mi Amore Cadenza fell for this fool. He is indeed as simple as I had expected, but he is full of love and honor and goodness. Gag me, right?
Day four. It is done. Mi Amore Cadenza resides in the caves beneath Canterlot and I have taken her place. It was far too easy.
Day five. Shining Armor has become suspicious. Stallions are so easy to manipulate, though. I merely distracted him with a simple tail-wave (reflected in the suit of armor behind me, of course), and was able to cast the spell on him without him even noticing. What a fool.

Twilight bared her teeth and kept reading.

Day six. I hear the whispers in the hallways. Apparently, the poor princess is under a lot of stress right now. Some have even wondered if I should just get mounted, but it is far too late for that. Shining won't remember doing it, though. He and his stuffy sense of honor meant I had to expend the energy for a memory-wiping spell as well as the manipulation spell, but the return was well worth the investment. He has introduced me to the concept of anal sex, which is somewhat of a taboo in this culture. Ponies are weird, with all their holes. Nothing like the streamlined integrated systems of a changeling. And don’t get me started on this concept of a penis. It’s a thick, unwieldy rod of flesh that-

At this point, Twilight couldn't continue, and slammed the book shut. No longer did she feel much sympathy for the former queen. Instead, she felt like she needed to take a cold shower.

Which was good; it was probable that magical water heating was a foreign luxury out here. That would be another thing she would look into. She looked around her room and sighed. Maybe Chrysalis never bathed.

And she was going to sleep in the same bed.

She cast a cleaning spell on the bed, letting it run for twice as long as it usually required. Once she felt marginally more secure, she lifted the slime curtains high out of the way enough that she could get in and crawled in.

It was a strange sensation, sleeping in someone else’s bed. But Chrysalis had apparently enjoyed the finer things of life; these covers were soft and must have been made with the finest materials, and the mattress felt like the ones at the castle.

Wait. Did she…?

No…

She slid out of bed and lit her horn once more, flipping the mattress over. Sure enough, she recognized the logo on the bottom. A company that made mattresses specifically for Celestia herself.

“She did steal this from the castle! What a jerk!”