• Published 17th Jul 2017
  • 3,938 Views, 829 Comments

An Exercise In Management - Nameless Narrator



A simple drone "accidentally" failed to leave the Badlands hive for the invasion to Canterlot. He was only two weeks old, one of the clutch specifically created to break through the protective shield. Now starving, he's just trying to survive.

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3: Onwards to the exit!

Queens and armies may fall, but the Hive will survive. Those who earn the loyalty of others are fit for leadership. There used to be many, they fought for supremacy. They didn’t understand that no matter how fractured we got, we would still be the Hive.

Wake up, young one.

“...unngh...”

“-ss?”

“Boss?”

“...mmphm?”

“Boss, you’ve been out for so long. At least I think it was long. I kinda fell asleep guarding you.”

“My stomach hurts. Wait, no, I recall it hurting. Now it feels... heavy?”

“Oh yeah, few hours after you fell asleep-”

“Unconscious due to wrecking agony.”

“-unconsh- asleep, your belly went all dark blue instead of black.”

“Oh no, I have changeling pox. I’m doomed. Noooo, now I’m gonna die in agony, all alone in the darkness.”

“I’m still here, boss, and my glowy spear butt still shimmers.”

“...all alone in the darkness would be better...”

“What was that, boss? Anyway, you grew belly armor like the big changelings have.”

“Holy ovipositor, you’re right! Why? Waaaaaait...”

I scratch my head, remembering the onset of itching amidst the stomach pain.

“Oh yeah, and you have a mane too now. It’s short and sticky, like velcro.”

The hay is a velcr-

A type of fastening tape consisting of opposing pieces of fabric, one piece with a dense arrangement of tiny nylon hooks and the other with a dense nylon pile, that interlock when pressed together, used as a closure on garments, luggage, etc., in place of buttons, zippers, and the like.

“THE HECK WAS THAT?!”

“Uhh, what, boss?”

“Can you feel the hive mind?”

“No, boss. None of the higher-ups are around. Hey, since you’re my boss now and have mane, tail, and armor, can I tap into you? Let me try.”

Out of nowhere, I can feel a tiny searching… moving little dot of pressure inside my head. Explaining mental phenomena is hard.

“Whoa whoa whoa whoa, stop that. It feels really weird. I like my head being just mine.”

“No hive mind in there anyway, only you. I get scared of voices in my head too sometimes, but then I realize it’s just me thinking.”

“...I bet there’s a nice echo in there...”

“So, boss, what now?”

“How long was I out?”

“The skylights blinked once, and now it’s getting brighter again.”

“Over a day… and you didn’t drain and leave me?”

“You’re smart, boss, and you let me have my spear bit!”

“...and you consider that an answer in your head...?”

“I’m sorry, boss. I can’t make anything out when you mumble like that. My ears still ring a bit.”

“That’s intentional.”

“Oh, okay. Do you think I’ll ever be smart enough to know the hive secrets you do?”

“Hive s-? Oh, yeah, sure. I mean I was a drone yesterday, and now I look as if I was second in command of the whole hive. Work hard and you can do that too.”

“You think so? That’s exactly what the queen said.”

“...scratch that one...”

Why does that comment bother me so much?

“I mean you’re not that big. The queen was huuuge.”

“Thank you for reminding me. I’m absolutely certain she won’t use her huuuge hooves and huuuge horn overflowing with huuuge magical power to crush me into a tiiiny ball for… something if she ever sees me looking like this. I’m not sure what for, but I’ve never heard about a male changeling looking queen-like. Huh, king-like?”

“Boss-like.”

“Very helpful.”

“I try my best, boss.”

“Great, what did you say your number was?”

“Uhh, a lot?”

“Alright, we’ll sort that out later. Let’s get ou-OW!”

“Does your hoof still hurt?”

“No, I like randomly screaming in pain. It helps me deal with the unexpected loss of everything I’ve ever known.”

“Cool, should I try?”

“N-”

“OW! Hey, it does help. I don’t feel so alone anymore, or that might be because you’re here… or the echo.”

“...I could just drain this guy here and now and no one in the hive would fault me for it...”

“You’re so smart, boss.”

That idiot actually means it.

“Ow- forfuckingqueen’ssake!”

Contrary to popular belief, hitting the ground isn’t fun.

“I can carry you, boss, if you can’t walk. I used to carry eggs, and you’re not that big. I have a little love you can take if you need help healing the hoof.”

“I can see how much you’ve got left and if I drained you I’d have to carry you- wait, HOW can I see that?”

“Awww, I can’t do that. How does it look?”

“Like a little red sun in your barrel. Tiny one… I mean… really tiny… a dot more like.”

“I’m starving, boss. That’ll be it. But you can still take it, since, you know, you’re the boss. The queen always said the best thing a drone can do with its life is to give it for the hive.”

“Aaaand you’re fine with that? You’d just leave a hollow shell lying here if I told you to?”

“Uhh, yes?”

“...please don’t say it as if that mere question was some out of this world crazy suggestion...”

“Hey, the skylights are getting brighter.”

“It must be early morning. Fine, I’m not sticking around for no reason. Let me just wrap my foreleg around your neck like this so that I don’t walk on it and let’s go.”

“I have seven hoofsies now, and one of them glows.”

“Yes, yes, you do.”

The Hive will survive, no matter what shape or form.

I shudder. Why do I get the feeling that the invasion into pony lands didn’t go as planned?

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