• Published 22nd Apr 2017
  • 2,326 Views, 31 Comments

Invasion Of The Bug Ponies - shagohad12

A young slacker suddenly finds himself leading a swarm of his fellow townspeople

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Taylor tried to keep her head down as she was led into a cave outside of town. She still had a lot to learn about her new lot in life, but she felt like she was making steady progress. Magic and shapeshifting still gave her trouble, but at least she felt somewhat comfortable in her own skin again.

“Why are these tunnels so small?” Taylor questioned, glancing down at Battra. “I swear, I'm going to be pissed if my horn scrapes the ceiling.”

Battra bowed his head. “My apologies, we dug these tunnels hastily and had no idea that a queen would need to use them.”

“As long as you make them queen accessible, it's fine.” Taylor’s mood improved as they walked into a wide room, with various drones buzzing about. “This is the main chamber, right?”

Battra nodded his head again. “Correct, from here every section of this new hive can be reached.” Battra pointed his hoof at a series of tunnels. “We’ve moved the gateway down to the lower levels.”

“Gateway?” Taylor repeated, tilting her head.

“It's how we came to your world,” Battra responded, looking up at her. “Only the former queen could power it. You should be able to as well, when you’ve mastered your magic.”

Taylor nodded, a small smile on her face. “With all the help you’re giving me, I should be strong enough in no time.” Leaning down, she nuzzled his head. “Remind me to give you two cookies later.”

Battra’s face lit up and he leaned into the gesture. “That will not be necessary, my queen, I am happy to assist you in any way possible.” Pulling away, Battra gestured to another tunnel. “If you’ll follow me, I'll show you the metamorphosis chambers.”

“What’s that used for?” she asked, following him to a tunnel at the other end of the main chamber.

“It's where most changelings go to molt.” Battra stepped into a large, dome shaped room. A few cocoons hung from the ceiling, changelings visible inside. “These are the strongest guards. They're molting into praetorians, the Queen's elite guard.”

“Do they have to do anything special to make that change?” Taylor questioned, examining the cocoons. “Like how bee larvae need royal jelly to grow into queens.”

“Just a higher dosage of love.” Battra flittered up to one of the cocoons. “They shouldn't be too much longer. Another day or two.”

Taylor nodded, her muzzle scrunching up. “Aside from praetorians, are there any other metamorphosizes that a changeling can go through?”

“‘Metamorphoses’, and that depends on what the hive needs.” Battra landed, sticking to Taylor's side. “Normal drones like me can molt into one of the more specialized castes.”

“Ever thought about becoming one of those castes?” she inquired, looking down at him.

“Once or twice.” Battra fidgeted. “The former queen carefully managed the hive.”

Taylor smiled, poking his shoulder. “Well don’t leave me in suspense, which caste did you want to be?”

“I uh...” Battra looked away, his face turning bright red. “I always wanted to look after the little ones.”

Taylor patted his shoulder, her smile growing. “Nothing wrong with wanting that. I bet you’d be great at it. Is Jacky any special kind of changeling?”

“She is a nurse,” Battra answered. “She is able to incubate eggs and other tasks to help rear the larvae and nymphs of the hive.”

“Right.” Taylor nudged Battra to the door. “Come on, let's keep the tour going.”

Battra bowed his head and trotted into another tunnel. After a couple of minutes, they came to a round chamber, the rocks entirely covered by hardened goo.

“This is the nursery,” Battra explained, stepping inside. The room was split into sections, each seeming to be based around stages of development.

“So does this place double as a place to teach the kids?” Taylor questioned, walking around the room. Coming to the section near the back, she noted a few translucent football like objects resting on the ground. She bent down towards one. “Are these eggs?”

“Yes, but they’re duds,” Battra explained, walking over. “A few of the converted breeder drones laid them.”

Taylor frowned, feeling a compulsion to run her hoof along the surface of the egg. “Why were they duds?” Some primal instinct told her to protect these eggs, even if there wasn't anything in them.

“They were simply unfertilized,” Battra elaborated, putting a hoof on one of the eggs. “We suspect the ejection was a side-effect of the conversion.”

Taylor let out a small sigh of relief. She then eyed up the eggs for a few moments, chuckling weakly. “Man, I am not looking forward to laying these.”

A light buzz in Taylor's head informed her that one of the drones was trying to contact her. Closing her eyes, she embraced the hive mind. It wasn't like before, the voices were speaking in harmony now, almost like she was the conductor.

Yes, what do you need from me?” Taylor asked, searching for the individual. It was Fury, the drone she had put in charge of stopping the conversion.

My queen, we’ve managed to stop the conversion groups in the surrounding towns.

Taylor let a bright smile cross her face. “Good work, Fury. Come back to the hive with representatives from each of the towns for now. We can discuss spreading our efforts out in person.

There... Is a bit of a problem, my queen.

What is it? Are you in danger?” Taylor pressed, trying to remain calm.

I believe that your nation's government has become aware of our presence.

Be careful, I don't want anyone dying. If it seems like they’re coming for us then we’ll turn ourselves in. I’d rather work with the government than against it.

Yes my queen,” Fury replied, his voice sinking back into the chorus.

Opening her eyes, Taylor wilted slightly. She hadn't even been in power for two days, and now she had to worry about G-Men gunning for them. “Just my damn luck...”

“What is it, my queen?” Battra inquired, tilting his head with a concerned look. His confusion only grew as she patted his head. “My queen?”

“We’ve hit a small snag,” she said, flashing him an easy smile. “But on the bright side, the surrounding towns are no longer being converted. Which, is one thing we were going for.”

“What is this snag?” Battra pressed, a frown on his face. “Please tell me, my queen.”

“Don't worry about it.” Taylor lit her horn, giving Battra a little love. “Now drop it, or no cookies for you.”

Battra shuddered from the meal, slowly nodding his head. “Very well, my queen, I will trust your judgement. Is there anything in particular you wish to see?”

“Anywhere important left to see?” Taylor asked, petting his head fin.

A smile slowly crept onto his muzzle, and he leaned into her hoof. “There is the throne room, the commons hall that us original drones sleep in and the consort chamber.”

The word consort stuck out to Taylor, she felt like she knew it but couldn’t quite place the meaning. She stared down at Battra, her muzzle scrunched up. “Consort chamber, what’s that? Does that room do anything important?”

“It’s where the Queen’s favored sexual partners stay,” Battra replied like it was nothing. “The old queen didn’t bring any of hers to this world, so it’s completely empty now.”

Taylor’s eyes widened as the word clicked. She blushed as she took a moment to collect herself. “Well, it’s gonna stay empty seeing as Jacky stays in my room.”

Battra bowed his head. “If that is your will, my queen. Though, if I may be so bold as to ask, do you have plans to take on partners aside from her? Queens are well known for having multiple consorts. Some queens see it as a status symbol.”

“Humans usually just stick to the one partner,” Taylor responded, shaking her head. “So, let’s just go with that for now. Come on, we need to find Jacky.”

“Of course,” Battra replied, seeming to deflate for a moment but Taylor dismissed it as seeing things. With a wave of his hoof, he led her out of the chamber and towards the surface. “What did you learn from the one you named ‘Fury’?”

Taylor chuckled, patting his back. “Didn’t I tell you to drop it? It shouldn’t be anything we can’t handle. And I mean that, you just worry about what I tell you to worry about.”

This didn’t seem to satisfy Battra, but he nodded nevertheless. “As you wish, my queen.” Without another word, he continued to lead her through the twisting tunnels. Battra snuck a few looks back at her, trying not to let his emotions show.

The looks made Taylor feel a bit guilty. It was obvious what he wanted, rather ironic for a member of a species devoted to disguising itself. She thought for a moment before sighing. “Okay, I’ll tell you. But you have to promise not to tell the rest of the hive.”

“Of course!” Battra nodded, buzzing his wings. “I won’t tell anyling!”

Taylor couldn’t help but smile at his reaction. “Okay,” she whispered, leaning in close to his ear as an extra precaution. “The government might be onto us. Or at least, those changelings converting people.”

“That’s... it?” Battra asked, giving her a frown. “My queen, shouldn’t you have asked why Fury believes so?”

Taylor blushed, the obviousness of the question smacking her in the face. “Um… no, I was a little preoccupied worrying about what getting caught might mean. I told him that we’d present ourselves freely if he feels we’re going to be caught. So!” she clapped her hooves. “I’m going to talk to him, you get me back to the surface.”

Closing her eyes, Taylor reached out towards Fury once more. “Hey, Fury. Queen here, give me a full report, don’t leave out any details, got it?” She left out the part about not asking before, if he didn’t notice she wasn’t going to point it out.

What do you want reported, my queen?” Fury replied, his thoughts giving her a pleasant buzz in her head. “Or by full report do you mean to hear everything I’ve done in my time away from the hive?

Everything you’ve done since you left, Fury.

Very well, my queen.” Fury began detailing his mission outside the hive, including even trivial details. Things started out simply, the recruitment efforts of the hive hitting no real snags. Fury had managed to get the conversion teams to stop, with a bit more force than Taylor would have liked. About a hundred were still in cocoons, which was the biggest cause for concern.

Is there any way to get someone out of the cocoons once they’re inside? Or would that be dangerous?” Taylor questioned, hoping she didn’t sound too desperate.

I’m sorry, my queen, but when we found the cocoons it was too late to release them. If we had, they would not have survived long. Their remaining human tissue would reject the changeling tissue.

Taylor nodded her head before quickly realizing that Fury couldn’t see her. “I figured as much, I’m just happy you’ve accomplished what you have so far. Please, continue your story.

We noticed the black vans soon after we arrived. They’ve been watching a few of the conversion sites; staking them out, to use a human saying.

Giggling a bit, Taylor adjusted her wings on her back. “Good to see you’re adjusting to human culture, Fury. Anyway, have you noticed anything else? Do the vans seem to have the same license plates every time?

I can have one of the drones check, it didn’t really occur ro me.

Just be careful, Fury. I don’t want any of you getting hurt,” Taylor told him, giving the impression of a stern face. “I want hourly updates, got that? If I’m asleep, send them to someone else.

It will be done. My queen, if we are discovered by the ones in the vans, is there a message you’d like us to deliver?

Tell them the queen wants to speak to the president.

Very well, I will see that it is done.” Fury’s connection faded away, rejoining the chorus of voices in the hivemind.

Taylor opened her eyes, finding that she was standing in front of her home. “Right! So, Battra, magic lessons, lets go!” Not waiting for the smaller changeling’s response, she opened the door and stepped inside her home.

Fury stepped out of the tunnels that led to the outskirts of the city the converted drones called Phoenix. Luckily, he and the guards in his squad had stopped the conversions before the city could panic, but many had still become changelings.

Most of the converted drones had been given a crash course in shapeshifting, so they could resume the lives they had been living before. How well it would work out was beyond him. That was the queen’s purview, and it was his job to follow whatever orders she gave. He was far more willing to follow risky orders than he had been in the past. What his new queen lacked in experience she more than made up for in her treatment of her subjects. And while he wouldn’t say it aloud, she was better looking than the old queen.

There was a lot less yelling with Queen Taylor, far less than what Chrysalis subjected them to. Just one of the many reasons that made it easier to follow the new queen. The new queen was also far more forgiving of setbacks. Especially when it was out of her drones’ control.

And she gave me a name,’ Fury thought, buzzing his wings. He’d have to ask why the queen chose said name, but that could wait. Things needed to be done and cocoons had to be smuggled out of the city.

With a quick message out to the hivemind, he directed the other guards to start the smuggling process. He would join them soon, but first he had to monitor for the vans. If the government was onto them, they couldn’t be allowed to find the queen.

In a burst of green flame, Fury took the form of a young human male. He had spent time studying human magazines in order to perfect his disguise. His new hair was swept over his forehead, nearly covering his icy eyes, and was a dark color that bordered on black. He kept his figure lithe, not wanting to draw too much attention.

Making his way back into the city on foot, Fury quickly found himself in a sea of humans. None of them had any sort of clue what had been going on in their city. At least, the vast majority didn’t. Whoever was in the vans seemed to have an inkling. An inkling that he was going to suss out.

Retracing his steps was simple enough, only made marginally harder by the motion of the crowd. Fury couldn’t help but take in his surroundings, the human city fascinating him to no end. Everything was so much more crowded than in Equestria, and the colors more muted. The average human wasn’t close to being as friendly as the average pony. Granted, that made blending in easier, but he wasn’t exactly going to call it a plus. While colors weren’t as bright, there was still no end to them.

The city was like an oasis in the middle of the desert that surrounded it on all sides. The only trace of the outside environment was the scorching heat. Thankfully, it wasn’t nearly as scorching as the Badlands back home.

Taking his mind off the scenery, Fury extended his thoughts out to search for his former hivemates. It didn’t take long to find them, their voices standing out from the choir. Sucking in a sharp breath through his nostrils, he followed their song through the streets.

The scenario played out in his mind, over and over again. While the last few meetings had gone smoothly, it was still possible things could go wrong. Despite their name, some lings couldn’t handle change well.

Fury shook his head, chasing away those negative thoughts away. He could not fail his new queen. While she was new and unsure of herself, she was far better than Chrysalis. Taylor had given them names and thus, individuality.

His wanderings led him to a rundown part of the city, and to a warehouse that hadn't seen proper use in decades. The ancient door squealed in protest before rolling slightly on its track. The inside was dim, the surrounding buildings making the skylight all but useless. From what Fury could see, the walls on the sides were crammed with rusted shipping containers.

Glancing behind him again, he left the door open. If one of the vans had followed him, this was the perfect spot to deal with them. Climbing onto a box, he disguised himself as a raccoon. Eyeing the door, he made a show of cleaning his paws. He waited for a few minutes, not seeing any trace of the vans. Looking up, he saw a hole in the skylight. He hopped off the container, quickly shifted into a fly and headed up to the hole to make sure the vans weren’t planning an ambush of their own. He gave the surrounding streets a once over, finding no sign of the vans. His paranoia satisfied, Fury flew back down and changed into his human disguise.

Moments later, and a group of drones stepped out of the darkness.

“What’s the word?” Fury questioned, adjusting his tie. “Everything going alright?”

“It is, but there’s something else that must be discussed,” the largest of the drones said, pushing his way to the front of the group.

“And that is?”

“Your betrayal of the true queen.” The lead drone buzzed his wings, the others in the group moving to surround Fury.

Glancing from left to right, Fury sized the largest drone up. “Chrysalis abandoned us. Why do you think another queen emerged? She’s not even on this world anymore.”

“Stop talking, filth!” The largest drone leapt forward, his wings buzzing madly. Baring his fangs, he went for Fury’s jugular. Dropping his disguise, Fury let the other drone pass harmlessly over where his neck had once been.

“The new queen has given you all an order, you will obey.” Grabbing the drone’s tail in his magic, Fury used him to send another changeling into a stack of crates. “Comply.”

The circle of other drones hissed, drawing closer to Fury. He quickly assessed the situation, not liking his odds. Charging his horn, he closed his eyes and created an intensely bright flash of light. Slipping out, he spread his wings and buzzed into the sky. Changing into a hawk, he soared off, eager to put as much distance between himself and the warehouse.

He didn't even look behind him, wanting to put as much distance between himself and the other lings as possible. He found an alley, then hid in a nearby dumpster. Closing his eyes, he reached out to the mind of his queen.

Sup, Fury? Did you get Iron Man in line?

My queen, I'm sorry to report that I have failed you,’ Fury relayed, keeping his ears open to his surroundings. ‘The drones of this city are still loyal to Chrysalis.

Which city is that? Don’t play the pronoun game.

I believe it is called ‘Albuquerque’,’ Fury answered, his muzzle scrunching up. ‘Forgive me, I still struggle with human places.

Of course it would be Albuquerque. Head back to the nearest pocket of changelings and see about getting some back up. I’ll send whoever drops off their cocoons back out to you.

Understood.’ Fury opened his eyes and let the hivemind slip back to his subconscious. Changing back to his human disguise, he slightly opened the lid of the dumpster to check if he had been followed and found. Sighing in relief, he didn’t sense or see any other changelings.

With the coast clear, he hopped out of the dumpster and headed out into the streets to complete the new orders. His mind lingered on the ones who attacked him, pitying their dogged loyalty to a queen that didn't care for them.

Comments ( 7 )

It's alive.:pinkiehappy:

Comment posted by Chrome Masquerade deleted Mar 5th, 2019

I suppose the best way to ensure the American goverment treats them well is to hunt down, capture, and hand over non-complying changelings to be tried. And possibly killed or dissected, not like anyone will care about those ones though.

Ok whats so speical about Albuquerque?

Aww man, Taylor is genuinely an interestingly competent individual. The dynamic of this being Earth instead of Equestria also really captivates me. Shame it's dead, as with a lot of good pitches.

A president is not a president if he never oversaw a dissection of aliens :trollestia:

That's a nice story. Do you think there will be a next chapter soon?

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