• Published 23rd Jun 2018
  • 4,902 Views, 185 Comments

Change: Avia - tom117z



Princess Avia is looking forwards to the Summer Sun Celebration in Ponyville, what could possibly go wrong with such a fun and active event?

  • ...
6
 185
 4,902

5 - Cutie Mark Crusaders

“I’m heading out, Mum!” Avia called back into the library, hopping towards the door with a grin on her face, and her belly full of daisy sandwiches.

The moment they had been left alone in the Golden Oaks Library, Avia had wasted no time in sticking her muzzle into every nook and cranny while demanding her mother regale her with every story about the place. For her part, Queen Twilight attempted to make each recollection as short and to the point as she could, seeing as she had plenty of work to do, and eventually managed to distract Avia by suggesting that she look at the library’s selection of literature to see if there were any books the filly wanted to borrow.

And there were one or two. Or maybe three, the pile did grow a little.

But while Avia had busied herself among the polished shelves, Twilight had taken only a few short moments to revel in the nostalgia. She had then started to coordinate with her drones over the hive mind, arranging who would help with the celebration and where. Façade had added in his own input and had also excused himself into the kitchen to make the family a light lunch of daisy sandwiches and lemonade.

Avia had munched on her sandwich while continuing her book hunt, while her parents finished up their directing of the hive and idly talked amongst themselves whilst also enjoying their meal and one another’s company. It was only as they were just finishing their food, and deciding where they should go and inspect first, that they heard Avia’s call.

“Oh? And where do you think you’re going?” Twilight asked curiously.

“Exploring,” Avia replied. “I wanna see the town some more!”

“Well alright, just call over the hive if you need anything. I’m sure we, or a drone, will be nearby,” Twilight told her. “Do try to make some friends while you’re out, would you? You do remember what Rarity said?”

“Uh-huh,” Avia replied, opening the door with her magic. “I… I’ll try!”

Then Avia stepped out of the library, closing the door behind her. She released a deep breath as the sunlight hit her, the young nymph taking a good look at the sights immediately around her. As before, there were still ponies for as far as the eye could see. To her right, she could spot a couple of drones from the hive helping set up a blue griffon’s stand. The griffon was in conversation with a pony sporting pale light greyish spring bud coat and sea green mane and a light blue drone, Ocellus if Avia wasn’t mistaken, about the celebration while introducing themselves.

It was nice to see people of all species getting along.

And there really were all species, as Avia started to realise when she began to trot down the street. It was definitely the ponies, followed by the changelings, who were the most numerous; but now that the filly looked she could spy more and more individuals of other kinds. A rather bubbly looking yak engaging in odd girl talk with a magenta hippogriff. A large shadow briefly blotted out the sun as an orange dragon flew overhead, probably an early arrival ahead of the dragon delegation that would include both Dragon Lord Ember as well as Avia’s uncle, Spike.

Avia had to wonder how many other delegations the Equestrian crown had invited to attend that year.

Really, seeing so many new and exotic species was mind-boggling and exciting in equal measures to the Princess of the Equestrian Hive. But it also made her a little nervous, and left her feeling a little like a fish out of water…

Avia turned a corner, passing by Pharynx bragging about something or other to some other drones while his little brother Thorax looked embarrassed through proximity, and walked into a square of sorts. A pony statue sat in the centre with a building nearby that looked like it was made of ice cream or something. Though Avia figured it was cardboard decorated to look stupidly tasty.

Avia walked up to the statue, sitting down in front of it before giving the statue and the fountain it stood upon a look over. The stone earth pony mare was reared up on her hooves, water flowing up in a spray from her mouth before trickling back down into the fountain again. Flags were hanging between it and a nearby home, one of the many decorative items in the area. Two mares walked by, one grey and one white, each with musical notes as their cutie marks. A third walked past in the opposite direction, this one green with a golden lyre on her flank.

So many people. So much to see. So much to do. Where in the hives was Avia meant to begin?

“CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS SUN MOVERS, YAY!”

Well, that seemed as good a start as any.

The shouting was coming from the next street over, so Avia raised her wings, hopping into the air. She flew over the statue and a Ponyville home behind it until she was above the street in question, looking towards the commotion to see a trio of fillies gathered together.

They looked like a… curious group. One was an alabaster unicorn with a purple mane done up in a cute little bun. The second was an orange pegasus with a deep blue mane with lighter blue highlighting that almost looked like a lightning bolt streaking through either side. The final filly was a green earth pony with a short brown mane. None of them had their cutie marks.

And the unicorn’s horn was alight, being pointed at the sun for some reason while the pegasus cheered her on.

The earth pony looked less thrilled.

“This ain’t gonna work, guys!” the earth pony cautioned. “That’s the Princess’ job!”

“Hey, you cheered the chant with us!” the pegasus protested.

“It’s the Crusaders thing! I can’t NOT do it!”

“I think I’ve almost got it!” the unicorn squeaked, her tongue sticking the side of her mouth as her eyes scrunched in concentration. “…I think. Did I wobble it?”

“Not even a little,” the earth pony deadpanned.

“Aww.”

“Uh, guys…” the pegasus interrupted their… whatever it was they were doing, though Avia was distracted from that with a small ‘eep’ when she realised the pony was pointing in her direction. “There’s a bug filly spying on us.”

“I’m not a bug filly, I’m a changeling!” Avia shouted down in protest.

“Guys, there’s a changeling spying on us,” the pegasus amended.

That was better.

Avia, seeing as she’d been spotted, glided down from above the rooftops and landed next to the strange trio. The pegasus was glaring at her almost suspiciously, the unicorn had an odd sparkle in her eyes while the earth pony merely offered her a friendly smile.

“Howdy, name’s Apple Surprise,” Apple Surprise introduced herself, taking Avia’s hoof and shaking it overenthusiastically. “Pleasure to meet ya, Miss…?”

“Uh, Avia…” the Princess replied, gingerly pulling her hoof away from the death shake. “Princess Avia, from the Equestrian Hive.”

“I knew it!” the unicorn suddenly squealed, shooting forwards until she was muzzle-to-muzzle with Avia. “I knew you were the Princess! I mean, I haven’t seen a drone with eyes like that! Oh… It’s so amazing to meet you!”

“Uh…”

“Give her some space, Sapphire,” Apple Surprise scolded, biting on the unicorn’s tail and dragging her back, much to her indignation.

“Calm down, girls,” the pegasus said with a roll of her eyes. “Sure, she’s a princess. But she’s not a princess princess, you know?”

Avia’s cheeks puffed up. “Am too!”

“Are not!”

“Am too!”

“You’re just a filly!”

“Well, I’ll be a queen someday!” Avia rebuked. “That’s better than a princess! Isn’t it?”

“All I hear is a bunch of fancy titles and two fillies gabbing,” Apple Surprise deadpanned. “Simmer down, would you? And I mean you, Awesome Blitz!”

Now it was Awesome Blitz’s turn to puff her cheeks up. “She started it!”

Avia gasped. “Did not!”

“Did too!”

“GIRLS!” Apple Surprise shouted, getting their attention. “Ugh, I feel like this has gotten off on the wrong hoof…”

“Yeah, we shouldn’t treat royalty like that!” Sapphire protested.

“Well… my mother always says that just because we’re royalty doesn’t mean we should act different or better than others…” Avia said, before adding: “Unless we’re doing royal business or something, then we’re supposed to be all regal and stuff.”

“Well that’s fair enough,” Apple Surprise stated. “Your mother is Queen Twilight, right? My Ma has talked about her a fair bit.”

Her Ma…? Wait, why did their names suddenly ring some recent bells for Avia…

“Wait…” Avia looked at the young unicorn next to Apple Surprise. “Your mother is Rarity, right?”

She puffed up with pride. “Yup! She’s amazing, isn’t she? She says I can work in the boutique when I’m older!”

Awesome Blitz gagged. “Ugh, too many dresses. The Wonderbolts are the way to go!”

“So, uh… are you Aunt Rainbow’s or…?” Avia gingerly enquired.

“Huh? What about Aunt Rainbow?” she said with an odd look towards Avia.

“Wait, she’s your aunt too?”

“Too? She doesn’t have any changeling relatives…”

“Not all family has to be blood, Blitz,” Apple Surprise pointed out. “My family has plenty of honorary Apples out there.”

“Your family is also huge, Apple,” Blitz retorted. “But I guess I’m not really related to Aunt Rainbow by blood either. My mother’s name is Scootaloo, she’s in the Wonderbolts with Aunt Rainbow.”

“Well, since you’re an Apple I’m betting you’re Aunt Applejack’s kid,” Avia noted towards the earth pony. “Or maybe her sister’s…?”

“Nope, you got it down the first time,” Apple Surprise confirmed. “Cousin Sweet Pip is a couple years younger than us.”

“And how old are you all…?”

“Ten!” they all chirped at once.

Avia’s eyes widened. “Huh!? Me too!”

“Really? Cool!” Apple Surprise responded enthusiastically. “Well, again, it’s a pleasure to meet you!”

“And you! So, uh… what was that about sun movers?”

“Sapphire thinks she can get a sun cutie mark just like the Princess if she moves it,” Awesome Blitz explained.

“I think I was close!” the unicorn in question claimed.

“No, you really weren’t,” Apple Surprise refuted.

Avia tilted her head. “Why…?”

“To get our cutie marks is our biggest goal!” Sapphire proclaimed. “We’re, well... You could say we’re late bloomers. Most other fillies and colts in our class have theirs by now.”

“Even the old Cutie Mark Crusaders had theirs by now,” Blitz noted, dejectedly kicking a pebble.

“Cutie Mark Crusaders…? Yeah, Mum has told me the stories. Apple Bloom, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle, right?”

Apple Surprise nodded. “Eeyup. When we started wanting our marks, Awesome Blitz got the idea to start the New Cutie Mark Crusaders from her Ma. Sapphire thought it was a good idea-”

“If it worked for Aunt Sweetie Belle, then it’ll work for us!” the unicorn interrupted.

“…Ahem, and so I went along with it. Now we do all sorts to find our marks, no luck yet though…”

“Last week we ended up covered in tree sap for our efforts…” Blitz mumbled. “So what’s your special talent, Avia?”

Avia blinked. “My… special talent?”

“Yeah, the thing that makes you special! That’ll get a cutie mark on your rump!”

“Well… changelings don’t get cutie marks,” Avia explained, diverting her gaze awkwardly. “So, I guess I never thought of it.”

“I thought royals did, doesn’t your mother have one?” Sapphire asked.

“Yeah, she does. Though, apparently, that’s because she’s the Element of Magic,” Avia informed them. “I don’t think I can get one.”

“So does that mean you don’t have a special talent…?”

“I… don’t really know. I don’t think so, I mean… I can do this!”

In a flash of cyan flame, the visage of the changeling was replaced with that of a pony. Avia appeared to have transformed herself into a pony version of… herself. Her colouration was the same, only with lavender fur replacing her chitin and her wings having vanished from view, her horn having also straightened out into a standard unicorn horn.

“Ta-da!”

The Cutie Mark Crusaders all gave awed noises at the display.

“Wow, I’ve never seen a changeling do that before,” Sapphire said in glee. “I’m getting so many design ideas, I have to tell my Mum some of them!”

Avia blushed at the praise. “Thanks. But… I still don’t think I can get a cutie mark. I know I can change well, but nothing has ever appeared or anything…”

Awesome Blitz hummed, leaning down and sticking her muzzle uncomfortably close to Avia’s flank. She then took a step back, before walking around Avia while keeping the same look of scrutiny.

“Uh… why are you looking at me like that?”

Blitz didn’t respond, instead coming to a halt in front of Avia and remaining silent for a few moments.

“Crusaders, we have a new mission!” Blitz announced. “We are going to get this changeling a cutie mark!”

Avia took a step back. “What!?”

“You sure this is a good idea?” Apple Surprise questioned.

“It couldn’t hurt to try, could it?” Sapphire stated.

“If we get covered in tree sap again, I’m blaming you.”

“Eh, it’ll all be fine!” Blitz dismissed, walking up to Avia and putting a hoof around her. “Avia, we’ve got this! We’ll get you a cutie mark before the celebration is over.”

“I really don’t think that’s possible, I’ve researched the topic…”

“Pfft, who needs dusty old books anyway?”

“Hey!”

Awesome Blitz chuckled, hopping away from Avia with an eager flap of her wings. “I guess you like books, huh?”

“Well, yeah!” Avia huffed, and in another flash of cyan she returned to her usual changeling self. “And they’re not dusty! I keep them well maintained!”

“Right…”

“If we’re actually doing this, then we should start at the tree house. Our newest member needs a proper induction!” Apple Surprise stated.

Avia didn’t recall signing up for this…

“Oh, this is going to be so awesome!” the orange pegasus gushed, excitement written all over her features. “Say it with me girls!”

Sapphire and Apple Surprise looked between each other, and then…

“CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS CHANGELING CUTIE MARK HUNTERS, YAY!”