• Published 17th Dec 2017
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Life of a Wanted Changeling Season 4: At Luck's End (Comment Driven Story) - BrownDog77



The Final Adventure of Bugze the Changeling, AKA You. (Comment Driven Story)

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Episode 1: Through the Looking Glass

“I have a rendezvous with death…” you whisper as you stride weary and slowly towards your impossible foe.

“At some disputed barricade, It may be that he shall take my hoof,”

You raise your burnt and tattered power glove in front of you, the only line of defense you have left.

“And lead me into his dark land,”

The landscape around you is burnt and the air is full of smoke, but you continue onward. You have to.

“And close my eyes, and quench my breath…”

You tear the tattered and useless Nobody Cloak from your back and it falls to the scorched earth. There’s no more reason to hide.

“I have a rendezvous with death.”

You stop before the monster before you and look it in the eye.

“And I to my pledged word am true…”

You let the power come forth, one last time.

“I shall not fail, that rendezvous…”



Finishing the mantra that has plagued you over this last year, you plunge forth into your final battle.

There were many events that led you to this moment. Events that were set in motion with every decision you made, events that have been twisted by Lady Luck, events that were all interconnected. All of these many and varied events, have led you to your end.


It wasn’t all bad…

REWIND

“It’s literally Tartarus on Equus out there, and you want to have this talk now?!” you yell at the weakened Princesses.

REWIND

“You know what?! Buck you and your Lady Luck you freaking psychopath!” you yell at your “friend.”

REWIND

“Lady, I’m not keeping your boyfriend hostage! If you’d just talked to me and not created the Legion of Doom, you’d know that!” you chide the Crystal Pony.

REWIND

“Spike, you have permission to marry my daughter,” you say breathlessly looking at all the fiery debris.

“Wait, What?” he asks taken aback.

REWIND

“This is just a rehash of your own plan! You have no originality!” you yell at your old foe.

“Says the guy wearing the same cloak after all these years,” he shoots back.

“Well…Shut Up!”

REWIND

“No Pie! No Filly Filet! Just hoof sandwiches!” Nightshade yells out.

“Well that sounds yum-*POW*

REWIND

“You’ll take my life, but I’ll take yours too! You fire you’re musket, but I’ll run you through!!!” you sing at the top of your lungs using the power of rock.

REWIND

“Those healing tonics are evil I tells ya! Evil! EEEVVVIIILLL!!!” Grandbuggy rants while Nightshade just facehooves in embarrassment.

REWIND

“Do you have any idea what it’s like to go through puberty again?! Because it really, really sucks!” Aria growls at you.

“Well excuse me for being my own age in this stupid world!”

“What’s puberty?” asks Sonata.

“Not Now!” you both yell at her.


REWIND

"Enough with your bondage fetish Ahuizotl just tell her how you feel," Grandbuggy admonishes.

"Can we talk about this later?! Like when Cragodiles aren’t trying to eat us?!" Nightshade implores.

REWIND

"What do you mean I'm fired?! Who the buck do you think you are Cinch?!"

Bugze calm down, it won't be productive punching this old crone Selena instructs.

REWIND

“Your whole religion is stupid,” Nightshade complains.

“It’s not a religion, it’s an ideology,” Starlight Glimmer corrects.

“Whatever!”

REWIND

“Hey! My Little Human didn’t make me evil!” Sunset defends.

“You turned into one, dated one, and then became a demon. I’ll let the evidence speak for itself.”

REWIND

“Back off from what’s mine or I’ll cut you down whorse,” Nightshade threatens.

“I don’t even know what you’re talking about!” bemoans Ember.

REWIND

“YOU’RE THE ONE THE VOICES ARE AFTER!!!” you accuse the teenager.

“Huh?!” he backs up in alarm.

REWIND

“But now we’re going to be villains in her next book,” Nightshade moans.

“Eh, with copyright laws and all it won’t be exactly us…but yeah, she does hold a grudge,” Grandbuggy nods.

REWIND

“I HATE THIS FREAKING WORLD!!!” you shout to the heavens.

REWIND

THE PRESENT

Your eyes snap open and you sit up from your bed with a gasp.

What? What is it? Asks Selena, having been roused as well.

“I…I don’t know,” you gasp as you try to get your bearings. “I think I had a nightmare or something.”

Odd. Normally I can detect and stop those, Selena muses.

“Well, I was confused more than anything,” you explain as you toss the covers off you. “But I can’t help shaking some sort of feeling of dread about my future.” The former Mare in the Moon let’s out an exasperated sigh.

Are you still harking on the Element of Harmony being crowned Princess? It’s been three months. That wasn’t what was on your mind, but now it is.

“Yes! Three months since she got freaking god level uber powers with her brand new pair of wings!” you groan. “Seriously, she packed a punch before, but now she might be able to vaporize me!”

Bugze, we’ve been over this. She’s an ascendant Alicorn, just like the Princess of Love. They are powerful yes, but nowhere near the level of my…Sistersshe spits.

“It’s the principal of the matter! Now she can hand out judgment without having to take orders, plus her freaking crown is the Element of Magic which she won’t hesitate at all to use to get rid of you,” you remind her for like the millionth time.

Ever since Selena had inadvertently revealed herself to Princess Celestia all those months back, you and your family have been keeping a lower profile than normal, lest somepony come and “Save You” from the Boogeymare.

Yes yes, Selena mutters since you’ve had this same conversation over and over again. And while I appreciate the concern, are we not taking steps to keep that from happening?

“…Yes…” you relent slightly. “But still, even when we get you out of my head, we’ll still have to watch out for her. She’ll never stop gunning for you.”

And what else is new? She says sarcastically. When I have my own body, I’ll at least be able to help us better avoid the tart and her friends.

“Yeah…I guess you’re right,” you relent yet again to this point.

I usually am, she says smugly.

“Still, when we pull this off, things will get even more hairy. Maybe we can send Smokey off on his own when we get him out too. Act like a distraction.”

I heard that! King Sombra growls from deeper in your mind.

“I know, that’s why I said it,” you snark back.

The former king grumbles and huffs at your provocation. Things between you two and him have been…different since the Appleloosan invasion. Neither of you would call him a friend by any stretch of the word, and he enthusiastically shares that sentiment, but he hasn’t quite been your enemy since then. The common ground between all three of you is that you all care deeply about Nightshade, and on that point he relents. He doesn’t try to get you guys killed anymore, and you two in turn, don’t keep him drugged like it’s HoofStock. Whatever that’s called, he and you two have it.


Though that sounds hilarious, I doubt that will do anything to make them hate me less. “Oh no, Nightmare Moon resurrected King Sombra and set him loose upon us, the fiend!” she says in an over the top voice causing you to chuckle a little.

“Well it can’t be any worse for me, the supposed stool pigeon that will bring darkness back into the world,” you shake your head at the ponies and their willingness to jump to conclusions.

As I keep saying, we will cross that bridge when it comes. Before any of these hypotheticals occur however, we still need to accomplish step one of getting me a body.

“Right, right,” you nod as you look at the cell like room you’re in. “You know, I don’t think Jack knows the meaning of hospitality if these are his guest rooms.” You then get off the bed and open the door into the rest of the Secret Base HQ of Torchwood.

“How much do you wanna bet that Nightshade and Grandbuggy are already up and waiting for us?”

Seeing as how she isn’t in the Inventory, I’d say very highly. She has taken to him like a duck to water these past few months. And it’s true. Grandbuggy has all but spoiled Nightshade the way only elderly relatives can, and for better and for worse, they are inseparable.

Sure enough, when you get to Grandbuggy’s room, you see a note on the door written in crayon.

It reads,
Dear Daddy. You took too long getting up, so me and Grandbuggy are raiding Jack’s Kitchen. Meet you there.

Love,
Nightshade.

“Well great. With those two eating everything in sight, I’m probably going to have to world hop on an empty stomach,” you grumble and head down the empty corridor. “And really, when I imagined Torchwood, I thought it’d be a little grander, and less empty.”

A month ago, while you, Grandbuggy and Nightshade had been keeping your heads down in Appleloosa, Captain Jack Harkness had sent out word to you that he was getting close to finding a solution for giving Selena and Sombra bodies. Then, two days ago, he had shown up in person to let you know the good news.

FLASHBACK

“My team and I have finally figured it out Bugze,” the handsome stallion says handing you a piece of parchment with a scrawling list.

“You have?” you ask earnestly as you look over the paper. It’s a bunch of names that don’t make sense to you.

“A Shard of the Dragon Lord Scepter, the Idol of Boreas, a Ring of Scorchero…” you trail off looking at the rest of the listed items. “What are all these?”

“Ancient artifacts of immense power. Power that while separate are pretty intense, but if brought together could potentially give you what you want.”

“Really? A bunch of ancient artifacts? That was the key the whole time?” you ask incredulously.

Do not doubt relics my bug. One of my own is what is currently keeping you alive after all, Selena points out.

“Right…” you trail off and brush a hoof against your chest. Half your heart is made up of the Nightmare Jewel, courtesy of Queen Chrysalis killing, and then reviving you.

“So what, I just collect all these trinkets, duct tape them together, and boom, Selena in the flesh?”

“Well, it’s not QUITE that simple. You see, the artifacts themselves are components to be added to a machine we’re designing. It’s pretty complex, especially on this technologically impaired world…” he trails off.

“Meaning?”

“Meaning we don’t have all we need on Equus to complete it, and with the Doctor retiring, we don’t have access to the TARDIS to go to any other technologically advanced world.”

“What?!” you ask angrily. “Then what was the point of coming out here then?”

“Well, just because we don’t have access to the TARDIS, doesn’t mean we don’t have other options…”

The Present

“I still can’t believe we’re going to another universe again,” you say aloud thinking of the Otherworld where your alternate self killed everything. “Really, two years isn’t nearly long enough.”

I know what you mean. But that scenario shouldn’t happen if the Captain is to be believed. He did say this world doesn’t even have magic…however that works, she ponders in confusion.

“He’s gotta be kidding, I mean, what kind of world DOESN’T have magic? How would the sun and moon rise? How would Unicorns do anything? It doesn’t sound possible.”

The promiscuous immortal was probably just trying to help ease your pathetic minds. World without magic, HA! Sombra mocks.

“Maybe…I still think he’s not telling the whole story. He looked at me funny when I asked about how these other world folks deal with no magic,” you think back on his trollish smile.

He’s always looking at you like that, Selena rolls her eyes. Despite the repeated murders at the hooves of your Grandfather.

“Well it’s not like that’s such a big deal to him,” you say as you reach the door to the mess hall. “Alright, let’s see what the damage is.” You open the door and despite your worst fears, it’s only slightly messy. At the table, eating pancakes is Nightshade, Grandbuggy, and Captain Jack.


“Morning Daddy!” Nightshade waves, “We saved you some pancakes.”

“Despite our best efforts,” Grandbuggy chuckles with syrup all over his face.

“Despite our best efforts,” Nightshade agrees and chuckles herself. Their best efforts being the countless drained syrup bottles, and empty pancake mix boxes. Jack sits next to them with nothing but a cup of coffee and a frown.

“Weeks! I had weeks of pancake mix saved up! Enough for the whole team! And in one morning you two decimate it!” he grumbles.

“Oh calm down Jacky Boy. It ain’t like you can’t afford it,” Grandbuggy laughs and pulls out the seat between him and Nightshade.

“That’s not the point. The point is…Nevermind,” he gives up and gulps his coffee. You smirk at his misfortune and sit down between your Grandbuggy and Daughter.

“Thanks for saving me some,” you kiss Nightshade’s head and pat the old bug’s back. “And don’t worry, I’m sure the Knights can go a few days while you go shopping.”

“It’s not the Knights I have to worry about, it’s Mia and Aqua. Who knew those two would be such Waffle fanatics?” he shudders.

“Well not me, until you just said something,” you say as you take a bite of the syrupy pancakes. “By the way, are they still out?”

“Yes, unfortunately. They are still training the Knights on their first assignment across the sea in Abysthnia.”

“Umm…is it anything serious?” you ask thinking of your old partner, the otherworld Cadence, and the merry band of misfits in some country you’ve never even heard of.

“Eh,” he hoof waves, “Just a possible alien incursion into the local population, nothing too big.” You raise a skeptical eyebrow to Grandbuggy who just shrugs.

“After years of traveling with the Doctor, Alien infiltrators become like a dime a dozen. I wouldn’t worry about them big kitties.”

“Yeah, besides, Aqua can handle anything dad,” Nightshade points out. Relenting to their point, you nod and continue eating. This may be the last meal in months that you’ll be able to have with Grandbuggy and Nightshade after all.

FLASHBACK

You, Jack, Gandbuggy and Nightshade sit in the train compartment as Jack gives you the whole plan.

“Torchwood does have some access to world shifting technology, as you know when we sent in Agent Sweetie Drops to assist you two years ago.” You nod, remembering Bon Bon phase shifting to assist you in your time of need. “But unfortunately, that kind of tech only works twice. Once for traveling to the destination, and once for traveling back. Even then, it only works when the walls between realities are close and thin enough. Depending on the universe, it may not work at all.”

“Alright Jackie, we get the technobabble. It’s only good for one trip, and only under circumstances and blah blah blah,” Grandbuggy interrupts. “Quit keeping us in suspense and just say there’s a world for him to go to and what he needs to find.” Jack gives Grandbuggy a deadpan look.

“Fine, ruin all my fun why don’t you?”

“It was getting kind of windy,” Nightshade adds causing Jack to huff.

“Alright. Yes, during the coming months there will be a world that fits the bill. The veil between our worlds can, and has been punched before in the past by Starswirl the Bearded himself.”

“Whoa, no way! The old wizard guy Twilight was always talking about in my studies?” Nightshade perks up. She then shirks back as all of you give her a strange look.

“What? I did learn stuff!” she defends.

“Debatable,” Grandbuggy snickers, causing her to give him the stink eye. “But really? You’re gonna be messing with that Old Coot’s toys? Nothing good ever comes from that. Just look at what finishing a spell of his did.”

“Wait, HE’S the reason Twilight’s an Alicorn?! Why that no good son of a-“ Grandbuggy clamps a hoof over your mouth as you scream a good amount of obscenities.

“Anyway,” Grandbuggy says to Jack as you continue to scream, “You were saying?”

“Yes, ahem,” Jack clears his throat. “This world we’ve observed has advanced technology the likes of which won’t be seen here in Equestria for decades to come.” This gets you to stop ranting for a few minutes.


“What, like Sci Fi type stuff?”

“In some regards yes. We’ve had advances to be sure, but it's mostly magic based, even the machines, but this world is way farther along. If you can bring any advanced tech back with you, it will help.”

“So wait, you want us to jump to this world and just start stealing all their future gadgets?” Nightshade asks.

“Yes and no,” Jack points. “Getting the tech is important, but it is secondary to Bugze’s main objective.”

Raising an eyebrow you ask, “And that is?”

“What Quick Fix said earlier about not messing with Starswirl isn’t all that inaccurate,” Jack says scratching the back of his neck and making Grandbuggy sit up straight. “He vanquished many a threat in his days, but one of these threats just so happened to have something we need if we’re to get Selena and Sombra out of your head.”


Jack places a photo down in front of you, in it are what look like cave paintings of three figures. They are yellow, blue, and purple and they look like a cross between a pony and a fish, and each one of them has a red dot on their chests.

“Are those Sea Ponies?” asks Nightshade to which Jack nods. “But I thought those were only myths?”

“Well most things that are regarded as myths did exist at some point. I met a few back in my adventures. They couldn’t sing worth a dang, but they were friendly enough,” Grandbuggy says.

Indeed. I remember the Sea Ponies when they introduced themselves to us at Horseshoe Bay long ago, Selena reminisces.

“Well, to be more accurate, their species used to be known as Sirens,” Jack clarifies. “ “Used to Be” being the key words.”

The Sea Ponies are all dead? Selena gasps in shock.

“Wait, hold up Jack!” you hold up your hooves. “Selena seems surprised by this. When did these Sea Ponies die out?”

“The Sirens,” he emphasizes, “Suffered a terrible cataclysm around 900 years ago that took their underwater kingdom, and drove them to extinction.”

Then it was while she and I were on the moon…she sighs.

“Oh, that’s so sad,” Nightshade bemoans.

“Indeed. I knew several of them quite intimately, and no that’s not JUST an euphemism,” he defends.

“Alright, alright. These Sea Horses are all gone, so what does this have to do with this picture and this world?” you demand.

“As I said before, Starswirl used a number of ways vanquish his foes. These three Sirens once attempted to take over several coastal cities, and they were banished to another dimension. The dimension we’re sending you to.”

I’d heard of that. That horrible pop music that still prevails to this day was invented by those sea monsters, Sombra chimes in.

“Wait a minute Jack,” Grandbuggy starts, “Are you saying that the red stones have been in this otherworld all this time?”

“That’s correct Quick Fix,” Jack nods.

“Grandbuggy?” you ask in confusion, causing him to look to you.

“The Red Song Stones are like the ultimate of lost treasures. The last magical power from a dead race, Daring Do wishes she could find.”

“What do these stones do?” asks Nightshade.

“According to legend, the stones could bring feelings and emotions into the physical realm. Give solidity to something that shouldn’t have it,” Jack explains. This causes your eyes to widen.

“So they could make Selena a body?” you ask.

“That’s what we’re hoping for,” Jack nods. “The other artifacts will be needed in conjunction, but one of these stones would be the heart of the device.”

“And since Sea Pony culture here was wiped off the face of the map, you’re hoping he can find them in Beardo’s dumping grounds?” ask Grandbuggy.

“Preferably yes,” Jack nods.

“But that was a thousand years ago. How the heck am I supposed to find them there after all these years?” you ask.

“Well…actually that part is all up to you I’m afraid,” he says rubbing the back of his neck.

“Huh?” you ask.

“All we know is that the three Villain Sirens were thrown into this world. We don’t know where, but I’m sure someone a long time ago saw a giant sea creature appear. They might even be in a museum or something.”

“That’s it? I just have to wing it?”

“Sorry, but that’s the best we can do. Though anything Magical in this world is bound to stick out.”


You share a look with your daughter and grandpa before looking back to the immortal stallion.

“So the plan in it’s entirety, is for me to travel to another reality, take a bunch of alien tech, and grave rob the last remnants of a long dead species?”

“Well when you put it like that…” Jack chuckles nervously.

The Present

“So when Daddy gets to the other side, why won’t we be able to talk to him?” asks Nightshade.

“Because the tech we have isn’t strong enough for communication. Once he’s on the other side, he’s on his own until he decides to come back,” Jack answers as he puts the plates in the sink.

“And what happens if he loses or breaks the travel device?” Grandbuggy accuses.

“Grandbuggy!” you shout in indignation. “I’m not that clumsy.”

“…”

“Okay yeah, I am, but it’s still mean to say,” you harrumph.

“The truth hurts kid. But the question remains, what happens then? Is there another way out?”

“Yes there is, but not on this side,” Jack says as he motions for you all to follow him. He takes you to another room full of random looking artifacts and doohickeys. He pulls out a large sheet of parchment that has an ornate looking mirror drawn on it. It’s in the shape of a horseshoe and looks very familiar to you.

“I’ve seen this before! In the Crystal Empire.”

You Have? asks Selena.

It’s one of Amore’s accursed treasures…Sombra mumbles.

“Yeah, I saw this thing back when my chest wound was still oozing. It freaked me out…I saw something weird looking in it.”

“What kind of weird Dad?” asks your daughter.

“I don’t know just…weird,” you trail off remembering how your image changed.

“Well weird or not, this is the only other doorway into this other world aside from our Slider. Originally there were two, but the one in Canterlot was destroyed about ten years ago after an incident with one of Celestia’s former protégés.”

“Former protégé?” you ask.

“I think I remember that. Orange unicorn wasn’t it? Supposed to be a genius?” Grandbuggy inquires. Jack nods.

“Though not many outside of the Princess’s inner circle are privy to what her name was. She was all but expunged from official records after the incident.”

“Alright, that’s all nice and ominous sounding, but what happened?” you interrupt.

“That’s the thing, even WE don’t know. One minute Celestia had a rising pupil, and the next she’s a ghost. No family, no friends. Not even a name,” Jack says in confusion. “Whoever she was, something happened and it involved a mirror that was nearly identical to this one.”

“Whoa, whoa wait,” Nightshade interrupts “What if this was like a coverup and this mare died? You still want Daddy to use that?”

“Of course not,” Jack assures. “The mystery behind this artifact is far too risky, but if worst comes to worst and his Slider is lost or broken, then this Mirror will be the only connecting doorway between the worlds.” You look at the horseshoe shaped mirror and shudder. Even in paper, it still gives you the creeps.

“And how many sliders do you have left?” you asks pointedly.

“Just the one. Only two uses, so try not to lose it,” he emphasizes causing you to roll your eyes.

“Well I don’t plan on going to the Crystal Empire any time soon. They’re preparing for the Equestria Games all year so security is high, and that Royal Summit is being held in like a month so I’d rather not use this creepy mirror. But if I have to, where’s it’s doppelganger?”


Jack ponders for a moment then answers, “This world isn’t quite like the one you visited in the past. There are other versions of folks we know, but as I’ve said, there’s no magic, and the countries aren’t the same either, but there are institutions that are similar.”

“Institutions?” you ask at his crypticness.

“You’ll know when you get there,” he answers, “But it’s logical to conclude that the door on the other side will be in whatever Crystal Empire stand in they have.”

“But if it’s not a country, how will I know?”

“Just look for Cousin Cadence or Shining Armor, Dad. They’re they rulers now whether Sombra likes it or not, so I’m sure they’d be there,” Nightshade points out. Ignoring Sombra’s huff of indignation, you beam at your daughter’s logic.

“Hey, that ain’t bad thinking kid. Guess Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” Grandbuggy praises as he pats her back.

Wow, she’s getting smarter every day, you think in pride.

And we both know she gets that from me, Selena adds.

Oi!

Am I wrong? She asks sardonically.

No, but you don’t have to actually say it, you whine before looking back to your daughter.

“Great idea honey. Hopefully meeting with this Cadence won’t end as badly,” you exposit, rubbing your chest scar.

“It won’t Dad. I know you, Mom and Sombra will be alright over there,” she smiles. You smile back at her enthusiasm which is such a big turnaround from the train ride.

FLASHBACK

“What do you mean I can’t come with you Dad?” Nightshade exclaims as you have a family meeting in the train car, with Jack waiting outside.

“It means what it sounds like Honey. I can’t let you come with me to this alternate reality,” you explain with patience.

“But why not?! Just because Jack says you have to go alone doesn’t mean anything. I’ll stay in the inventory when we travel and then hop out and-“

“Nightshade…” you say tiredly.

“Daddy, you’ve never left me on my own for more than a couple of days, and even then that was with the Deadly 6! But you and Mom could be gone for Months! Why change it now? Why-“ she is stopped as you place a hoof on her shoulder.

“Nightshade, I’m not leaving you alone. Grandbuggy will look after you until we get back,” you say pointing to the old bug who only smiles and nods. Nightshade still looks conflicted though.

“B-But why doesn’t Grandbuggy just come with us?! Why do you and Mom have to go alone? Why can’t we-“ Grandbuggy pats her other shoulder stopping her midsentence.

“You know why he doesn’t want to bring you along kid. When it comes to other realities and you...?” he lets his words trail as Nightshade’s eyes widen in understanding before looking back to your solemn face.

“Oh…” she says quietly, finally getting your feelings. You lift her chin and give her a comforting smile.

“Baby, I know you want to come with us, and I know that you can fight and handle yourself. But I can’t risk it. Not you. Not in another world. Especially in a world “without magic.”

Jack had explained that without magic, your Nightmare Powers would not be achievable and that you would be left with only your physical prowess to rely upon. Even you plasmids might not work due to the genetic manipulation being on “this side’s” body. This part confused you, but he didn’t follow up on what that meant. Why would your body not be the same on the other side?

“And besides, I’ll still have your Mother and Zoomba to keep me company up here,” you bonk the side of your head which makes her smile.

A fat lot of use I’ll be though without access to our magic, Selena admits.

And like Tartarus will I “keep you company,” Sombra grumbles.

“I want you to be somewhere where I know you’ll be safe, and there’s nowhere safer than by Grandbuggy’s side.”

“Yer Gorramned Right,” the old bug agrees. “Don’t worry kiddo, yer parents and shadowy imaginary friend will be back before you know it.”

“He’s not imaginary,” Nightshade responds but then looks back down. “Still, I feel weird about not going with you. This is all for Mommy’s and Sombra’s sake so I feel like I should be helping.”

“You will be honey,” you ensure, “By being safe and sound for when we get back. That will help all three of us more than you know.”

“He’s right my precious,” Selena says through your mouth as she caresses Nightshade’s cheek. “You’re safety will be comforting, even though being apart from you will hurt our hearts.”

She looks down and nods, “Ok…I understand. I’m gonna go to the bathroom now…” She then silently walks out the door and down the corridor leaving you alone with your Grandbuggy. Selena and you then both let out a sigh.

It’s not going to be easy for her. For any of us being separated for so long.

“I know,” you answer aloud. “I was putting on a brave face too. I wish it didn’t have to be this way…”

“It ain’t gonna be easy for any of us boy,” Grandbuggy says with a shaky voice causing you to look at him. He looks like he’s trying hard not to cry which surprises you. “The last time I was told to watch the kid of the Changeling I raised, she and her husband never came back…”

The hurt in his voice registers with you. You know exactly what he’s talking about. The day your Mother and Father were sent off on a suicide mission, and you were left orphaned in his care.

“I-I’m sorry Grandbuggy, “ you apologize. “I never thought to look at it from your point of-” He then grips both your shoulders and gives you a hard look which shuts you up.

“Listen to me you two. You both got a wonderful kid that thinks the world of you. Whatever happens, you come back to her ya hear me?” the intensity in which he says it sets you back.

“O-Of course Grandbuggy. I swear I will. I promise. I won’t let her go through that, you have my word.”

“You have mine as well,” Selena speaks up. After a few seconds he nods and pats your head.

“I’ll hold you to that.”

The Present

After prepping for the trip to come, you now stand in the middle of Torchwood’s conference room. Jack has the shifter which looks like a wrist bracelet as he waits for you to say your goodbyes. Nightshade holds on tight around your neck, and you return the affection with gusto.


“Be careful over there Daddy. Remember to take lots of pictures, and stay out of trouble,” she hiccups as tears run down her cheeks.

“I will honey. I will.”

“And Mommy, try to keep dad from setting too many fires and from starting an interdimensional war please?”

“Hey! Wait a mi-OF course my child. I will keep his arsonist tendencies in check as best I can,” Selena takes over and chuckles softly while you roll your eyes. Nightshade herself giggles before declaring.

“Don’t stay gone for too long. And remember, I love you both very very much.”

“As do we precious…Always…” you both say.

She then pulls back and looks you in the eye.

“Sombra, remember what we’ve talked about. You’re my friend and I’ll miss you too. Keep watch over Mom and Dad for me please?” Your eyes take on a green tint and you allow the former King to speak.

“I…fine. For you young overlord. For you,” he sighs.

“Not just for me silly. When this is all done, you’ll be getting a body too,” she says cheerfully.

“If he’s good,” you speak up, taking your voice back.

“If you’re good,” she agrees. The shadow king sighs once more as Nightshade hugs you again.

“All of you, please come back to me.”

“Of course,” you three say in legion.

“That’s still creepy,” Grandbuggy chuckles as he moves towards you and you take his hoof.

“Watch over her Old Bug. Keep her safe, and no funny business alright?” you chide causing him to raise an eyebrow.

“What’s with the accusation boy? Do I look like the sort of bug to put a child in harm’s way?”


You briefly flash to your childhood with him, like the time he took you to Mardi Gras, that abandoned mine to scare off those meddling kids and their dog, the time you “dined and dashed” from the hospital, and many many more.

“Do you really want me to answer that?” you ask incredulously. He rolls his eyes before saying.

“I’ll keep her safe #@$%. I ain’t gonna put her in any situation she can’t handle, you have my word.” You nod before pulling him into a hug, which Nightshade gets in on too.

“Stay clear of the Princesses, especially the Bookworm,” you warn before pulling back and walking over to Jack.

“Alright Cap, how’s this work?”

“It’s fairly simple. Just hold down the green button, and it will take you to your destination,” he puts the bracelet on you. “After that, put it somewhere safe until you’re ready to return. This thing only works once. If anything occurs, the doorway on the other side is always there, but let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.”

“Ok then. And there’s no chance of me running into my doppelganger in this world? Like, would everyone else be cool with him?” you ask as you look at the device.

“It’s…well…” Jack says fumbling as he looks around nervously.

“What is it Jack? What aren’t you telling me?” you demand. “Is the me in this world a criminal too?” He then looks you in the eye and sighs.

“Quite frankly I have no idea, but that’s not what I’ve been keeping from you. The truth is, when you get to the other side…you might not be the biggest fan of the place…or of what you will look like” he admits.

“Huh? What do you mean?” you ask.

“It…would be too hard to explain, and it wouldn’t help with the shock you’re about to get, so all I’ll say is, you’ll know soon enough. Just…just don’t freak out too much, and good luck” he implores as he pats your shoulder.

“Ha! Good luck,” you mock. “As if I’ve ever had that.” You then turn back to Nightshade and Grandbuggy, the only physical family you have left and give them a confident smile.

“Don’t worry guys. All I have to do is steal some alien tech and find thousand year old relics in a land without magic. Easy Peasy,” you say cheekily, getting them to chuckle.

“I’ll be back before you know it, and when I am, we’ll start looking for some good old fashioned Home Grown Artifacts.”

“Love you Dad and Mom! Be good Sombra!” Nightshade calls out.

“Go get ‘em Boyo!” Grandbuggy adds.

You grin and say, “I love you all. Now, to infinity and beyond!” you call out as you hold down the button. For a moment, nothing happens.

Is…is it working?

I don’t feel any different, Selena muses.

“Um, I think your machine is bro-*FLASH*” you are interrupted as the world goes sparkly and you feel as though you’re spinning in a gigantic rainbow field.

“AAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!” you scream as you feel your body…changing.

POV: Nightshade

Just as your father is complaining about the Slider being broken, he suddenly disappears in a bright flash.

“Whoa!” you shield your eyes. “Dad?” Looking to the spot in the middle of the room, your father is gone. “Did it work correctly?” you ask the handsome immortal stallion.

“Yup. Don’t fret Nightshade. In less than a minute he’ll be over there on his quest.”

“Alright, I can’t wait for them to bring back the pictures….They’re gonna be alright, right Grandbuggy?”

“They will kid. They will,” Grandbuggy reassures as he pats your shoulder. “Your Dad’s got three good heads on his shoulders, and no alternate world is gonna bring him down.”

Oh Grandbuggy, you always know what to say…except for the times when you don’t. Grinning, you then look around the room in confusion.
“Sooooo, now what do we do? Just hang out here till he comes back?” you ask Grandbuggy.

“Well you’re more than welcome to-“ Jack starts but Grandbuggy cuts him off.

“Heck no we’re not going to just be sitting around. You heard Jackieboy, it could take months, and I sure as heck ain’t gonna hang out doin nothing.” Jack slumps his shoulders.

“Well you don’t have to be so rude,” he complains.

“Oh shove off Jack. You’ve known me long enough to know I ain’t idle. Not when there’s work to be done.”

“Work?” you ask

“Ayuh. Work that’s only for family ears,” he says with a pointed look at the Captain.

Rolling his eyes, Jack walks out of the room, “Whatever Quick Fix. I have known you long enough to know you keep your work to yourself. Just don’t do anything too stupid, and know you’ll both still be welcome here any time.”


After he leaves, Grandbuggy takes you by the shoulder and leads you back to his room where he pulls out a piece of paper.

Wait, he doesn’t mean homework does he? You think in dread. To your relief, the paper isn’t homework, but a long list of…something.

“A shard of fossilized dragon egg, a Ring of Scorchero…What’s this?”

“This little filly, is the list of artifacts on this world that will be used to get your buddy a solid form, and your mom her smoking hot bod back.”

“Really?” you ask looking at the list. “Dad did say something about doing this when he came back.”

“Yeah, but he’s gonna be gone for some time, and we’re not doing much so…” he trails off giving you a knowing look. You gasp in understanding.

“You want to go hunting for these now while Daddy’s gone?”

“Correctomundo!”

“B-But you told him you’d watch me and…”

“I told him I would keep you safe and wouldn’t put you in any situation you couldn’t handle. Can’t you handle a little adventure?” he says with a wink and suddenly you are elated.

“So how about it kid, you wanna travel around and do some good ol fashioned Tomb Raiding with your Great Grandbuggy?” When presented with this outlandish, mischievous, and possibly dangerous proposition, the answer is very simple.

“Oh Tartarus the Buck Yeah!” you squee as you jump up and down. Throughout all your adventures, you’ve been sidelined, and “kept safe” even though you are probably as big a hitter as your Dad. While you always appreciate the sentiment, you are no damsel in distress. And if it means helping out your Mommy and Sombra, then you’re all for it.

“Oh My Gosh, We’re going to have our own adventure while Dad’s having his? This is so cool!” you cheer before a thought comes to you. “But how are we going to find all these artifacts? I’ve never heard of half of them.” Your Great Grandbug chuckles while rolling up the list and putting it into your Inventory with Mangle.

“Let’s just say, I know a Big Cat Enthusiast who is very versed in finding ancient stuff, and that he owes me a favor…”

POV: Bugze (You)

Dizzy. You’re whole world is nothing but dizzy. Those wonderful pancakes your daughter made from you keep protesting to come back up, but you won’t allow them.

“Oooohhhhh…” you groan as you shake your head, trying to will your stability back into place.

Bugze focus, I believe that we have crossed.

“Trying Selly, believe me, I’m trying,” you answer as you wobble. It’s not just your vision, but your whole body feels weird. Your back hooves feel constricted, and your front ones feel more sensitive on the concrete ground. After taking a few breaths, your vision starts to focus on a sign in front of you. Slowly but surely, the letters come into view.

“Crystal Prep Academy?” you ask aloud as you look past the sign and see a large building that looks like it was hewn right out of the Crystal Empire.

Fascinating. Mayhaps we’ve come to the alternate Empire institution…Sombra examines.

“You like anything with Crystals,” you mutter sarcastically as you try to walk forward, only for your limbs to not work correctly, causing you to fall on your face.

“Ouch! The heck is going on with me?” you groan as you bring a hand to your face.

“Oh crud, I think I pushed in my muzzle, it’s all flattened and…wait…Hand?” You pull your arm back, but there is no hoof at the end of it. Instead, there is a chitinless, dark colored, five fingered Minotaur like hand.

“What the buck?!” you yell as you throw your limb away from you, causing you lose your balance again and topple over. Pain shoots up your arm and you even hear something crack.

“OOWWWOWW!” you groan and grasp your arm in your other hand, before realizing how creepy that feels and letting go with a shriek.

“What the buck is going one?! Am I still dreaming!” you start hyperventilating.

No, we are quite awake. The pain and fear are real! Selena answers, confusion in her voice as well.

“Then why the buck do I have minotaur hands?! Why do I-AW CRAP! I BROKE THE BUCKING SLIDER ALREADY!!!” you swear as you see that the crunch you heard was the dimensional slider that brought you here. It now crumbles into several pieces at your feet.

“Goramnit! It hasn’t even been a minute! How could I have already bro-WHERE THE BUCK ARE MY HOOVES?!” you shout as you look down at your lower half and see them covered in clothing. There are shoes at the end of your legs, but you know there’s no hooves in there.

“Oh Buck, Oh Buck, Oh Buck!” you scramble and roll around as if trying to get away from the alien limbs.

Bugze! Bugze calm down! Selena orders.

“How can I?! My hooves are gone, the Slider’s broken and I have no idea what’s going on!”

This must be what the Captain was alluding to, she insists.

“Well he should have been clearer! My body is all weird! What the heck am I?!”

Oh My Goodness. Can It Be? Sombra sounds off in your head sounding…giddy?

“Can what be you smokey nutjob?!” you demand.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think it could be true, that they could be real! he squees.

Selena suddenly gasps aloud, Oh No…It can’t possibly be true. It can’t! she says in dread.

“What? What can’t be true?!” you shout as you try to crawl, but your back legs bend a different direction now.

I might actually be able to meet Andrea, Peter, Ashley, Michelle and the rest! Sombra says all sugar and rainbows.

“Oh Come On!” you yell in frustration over his happiness. “How many times do I have to tell you, that show and it’s fandom are pure trash! TRASH I TELL YOU! They’re not even real! There’s no such thing as a huuuuuuu…” your voice skips a beat on the evil horrible word.

“No…”

Bugze I think that he’s-

“NO!” you awkwardly crawl towards the Crystal Prep Academy building and it’s many, many reflective windows.

“Please don’t let it be real! Please don’t let it be real!” you beg the heavens, but because Lady Luck has it out for you, it sadly is.

You look upon your reflection. The hands and legs are attached to a bipedal being, wearing blue jeans, and a dark hooded sweatshirt. The creature's face is flat and ape like, and it’s eyes are much smaller than normal. But what kills you most of all, the most damning evidence is the crop of spiky orange hair upon it’s head.

“I’m…I’m…” you sputter as the ugly truth cements itself.

~My Little Human, My Little Human. Aaaaaaahhh, Sombra sings.

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!” you scream to the sky with your transformed, hideous mouth. “BUCK YOU JJJJAAAAAAAAACCCCKKKKK!!!”



WHAT DO YOU DO?

Author's Note:

It's time to begin Hive Mind. The Final Season of Life of a Wanted Changeling Starts Now!
And you read that correctly, there's two ongoing adventures. Bugze's Quest in Human Land, and Nightshade and Grandbuggy artifact hunting. The last poll was evenly split, so this is the result.

Now the way this will work is that we'll break the chapters into arcs. Have a few for Bugze, then have a few for Nightshade and Grandbuggy. The turn over will clearly be labeled so that we can get the best of both worlds. For the first couple, we're gonna focus on Bugze naturally as he freaks out in this strange new land a full Month before the events of the first EQG Movie. And remember, Bugze isn't a High Schooler in this world :pinkiecrazy:

Now that we're set to begin, let me start by apologizing once again for the Hiatus. My personal life took many turns these last few months, but I'm back now. Let's finish this tale once and for all :pinkiehappy:

Now, the title and even the cover art are temporary until we get new ones, so that leads to our first Chapter Question.

What should the Season 4 Title be called?

Give me some options, and then we'll vote on them next chapter.

And for Returning and Old Readers, Here is What's in Bugze's and Nightshade's Inventory



Your Inventory

Weapons

Boomstick (Black Staff with Red Crystal. Causes shockwaves when slammed)

Jet Stream Sam Sword Reversed High Frequency Blade.

Knock-Out Luna Plushie

Ninja Stars (15)

Power Glove (Plasmid and Vigor channel with grappling hook attachment)

Second Law: (Air Shotgun)


Disguises/Clothing

Baker Sylvester Tennant (Brown overcoat, Yellow and black striped pants, White Panama hat, face mask, and 4th Doctor Scarf)

Crimson Vengeance: (Alucard Hat, Immortan Joe Mask, Deadpool shirt, Vash the Stampede Coat, and red pants)

El Hunko (Restored), with Purple Top Hat

Hooded Offender Cloak

Stetson Hat with Orange Bandana


Miscellaneous

Bounty Hunter License

Brown Money Pouch: (500 Bits)

Free Filly Scout Cookies For Life Card

Grandbuggy with Granny Smith photo

Grandbuggy with Your Mother Photo

Instant Mail Transfer Container (Cadence Direct Line)

Patching Supplies (Vice-Grips, Duct Tape, WD-40)

Pink Lover’s Jewel Necklace

Powers and Spells List (That you know)

Sapphire Shores Signed Photo (Probably worth a lot)

Trixie's Black and White Bear Plushie (Never Forget)


Potion Sash

Healing Potion (6)

Molotov Cocktail (4)

Stink Bomb (3)

Transformation/Disguise Potion (4)


Nightshade’s Inventory

Weapons

Dark Cannon (Laser Gun with Limited Shots)

Junk Jet (Cannon that launches junk)

Kendo Stick


Miscelaneous

Assorted Movies, Videogames and Videogame Systems

Ocarina (Might be able to manipulate weather?)

Mangle, Plush Robot Fox Pet


See you on the battlefield Hive Mind.

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