• Published 28th May 2019
  • 275 Views, 22 Comments

Changeling of the East - Wingnut

A mutualistic changeling crosses the great ocean to observe the lifestyle of ponies in Equestria.

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"Thunder. Arctic Thunder. Arctic is my name, Thunder is my...other name? Salutations to you, the name of me is Arctic. Wait, that doesn't sound right. Gaahhh! Why are greetings so hard?"

I stand before the vanity mirror below the decks of my ship. The subtle leaning motions a constant reminder of the open sea. I must have been down here now for several hours planning out my first contact meeting. And yet, I still feel as if little progress has been made. I sigh as I rub the fin on my back in contemplation. Perhaps it is a good time to take a break and check my navigation.


Now I'm finding myself being flung head over heels through the air, rather unfortunate really. "AAAHHHHHHHHH!" Luckily my fall was broken by a bale of hay purposely brought for that exact purpose and not accidently left over from a previous voyage. I stumble out shaking all the loose hay off my chitin and examine the damage. Large holes were ripped in the hull of the ship near the bow, however, the ship did not appear to be taking on water. I notice a rocky outcropping through the gaps and ascend the stairs. My first sight is the sight of nothing, or rather really thick fog which makes nearly everything a hoof length away invisible. There is one thing which shines through the fog however.

"Who in their right minds places a tower in the middle of the ocean?"

Said tower stands before me on the outcropping of rocks my ship has ran aground on. Standing at roughly 150 feet, nothing truly sticks out as any special about the solid white building until my gaze reaches the top and notice a beam of light with a full circle of movement. Full of curiosity I start climbing the rocks to get to the base of the tower. Upon arrival I spot an entrance and carefully open the battered wooden door.


Perhaps a little too battered as the entire door fell off its hinges and slammed to the ground. Oops. I cautiously enter the building casting my senses out for any other unexpected surprises. There is nothing, absolutely nothing except the little light from outside casting eerie, angular shadows across the dark room with the wind whistling through the entrance. I try to take another step inside only to have my body refuse to move. I hear my heart thumping as it pumps adrenaline through my system. I try to move again and manage to lift a hoof, but an increasing sharp whistling wind causes me to loose my balance and hunker down to the ground. I don't know why I feel so much unease as it's only an abandon building in the middle of the ocean with a working light strong enough to shine through severe fog with dark enough shadows in every corner to hide just about anything my size and smaller. Nothing too unusual really.

It takes a few moment, yet I finally manage to gain control of my body again to stand. Once again I try to take a few steps towards the stairs and this time succeed. Take that fight or flight instincts and know that I am your better! I test the old staircase by placing a single hoof on the first step. My ears are greeted by the sound of creaking and groaning wood but otherwise the stair holds. There goes my heartbeat trying to break out of my chest again. I power through my growing unease and climb the stairs.

Upon reaching the top floor I am met with nothing more than a simple light bulb sitting in the middle of a room with a rotating mirror. I stare at the strange contraption only for the mirror to shift in my direction.

"Aaahhh! Too bright! Too bright! My eyes!"

I stumble backwards while trying to block the powerful beam with my forehooves. My hind legs bump into an object and sends me falling onto my back into a daze. After a few moments of watching chirping chicks chasing stars my head clears up enough to spot the object of my pain. A simple desk looms above me. I stand up, this time making sure the light stays on my back, and examine the contents on the desk. A tattered map is rolled out across the desk. I easily make out my position by way of a big red circle with words stating you are here. What puzzles me is that, according to the map, I am a whole lot closer to the mainland than I had expected, as well as right near a small town called Manehatten.

As if mother nature was waiting for a chance for an epic reveal, the fog started rapidly dissipating. My jaw hit the floor as slowly the aforementioned town is revealed in the distance. Tall structures and spires extend into the sky before my eyes. Boats and ships of all sizes take up nearly every spot in the harbor while others move about to and fro at paces I would never believe to be possible. As the fog lifts, more and more of the town kept stretching across the horizon. No, town wasn't the right word. I was witnessing a marvel of pony engineering. The city of Manehatten.

Turns out crashing your ship on many sharp rocks makes the damn thing not seaworthy. During my inspection I discovered that approximately the entire hull was riddled with holes from bow to stern. Honestly, I am impressed at this great feat as I didn't even know I posses a natural talent of completely totaling ships. That's not to say this peculiar accident was my fault in the least. I would have to talk to the proprietor of the lone tower about the damages his stray building has caused to my home.

I am now swimming to the mainland aided by my hooves which I have turned into fins. I aim for a spot a fair distance away from the city as to not cause a scene upon my arrival. One may wonder why I decided to swim instead of flying and to be honest, I'm probably the only ling in the world to love the water. I don't get why the others hate it so much, sure the water grounds us until our wings dry and our chitin makes it very hard to float and that's not to mention our tendency to sink like stones, but if you can get past that it's very relaxing I find.

After about a 15 minutes of peaceful swimming I happen upon an empty beach a fair walking distance from the nearby city. I decide that this would be the appropriate time to change into my main pony form. A burst of fire later and I'm once again the white pegasus with the blue and white mane from the day before I had set sail. I do a once over to make sure everything is in place and then begin to walk to the city. I have to admit that at this point my excitement was starting to get the best of me as I didn't so much as walk as I did canter along the way.

Before long I was among the unusual block like spires of Manehatten. I must have the biggest smile as I absorb my surroundings in a complete state of awe. At first I kept my gaze upwards at the monolithic architecture reaching heights taller than any spire I've ever seen. Then I reached the center of the city. By the queen! Ponies! Ponies everywhere! In numbers never before seen by changeling kind. Emotions of every type drifted across my senses. Joy, indifference, anger, sympathy, empathy, fear, admiration, love, you name it. It was all... all... completely overwhelming.

I could suddenly feel my hooves start sweating, my knees are weak, wings are heavy, there is vomit on my feathers already, mom's spaghetti. Huh, I should write this down somewhere, this is good stuff. Where was I? Right, heart beating out of my chest. Is it just me or do the buildings look like they're a whole lot closer? Okay, I'm okay. Deep breaths now.

"Hey buddy, are you okay?"

I snap my head around to stare down my accuser. A lone stallion of golden coat and white mane eyes me with his purple orbs.

"Yes! I am alright! Why wouldn't you think I'm not alright? Are you trying to make me not alright? Because it won't work"

The stallion wisely takes a couple steps back. He tries to hide his suspicion actions behind a worried face, but he can't fool me. I return my gaze back to the overcrowded street just in time to collide head first into a tree. I slowly slump to the ground in a daze. I try to stand back up only to fail to find my balance in my lightheaded state. So out of it am I that I am barely aware of being helped to my hooves. As the fog clears in my head I take note of the yellow hoof helping me keep steady. If there was one good thing to come out of this, it's that the blow to the head knocked the rising panic right out of me. I indicate to the friendly pony that I can bare my weight and he backs away.

"Sorry about that, I guess I just got a little overwhelmed," I say, emphasizing my apology with a nervous chuckle.

"No worries, you'd be surprise at the amount of ponies that have the same reactions." The Stallion smiles in return. His smile soon falters as he takes in a second look at me. "Whoa, what's up with your eyes?"

My red and green eyes twitch against my will. Sugar sticks! He's on to me! I must employ escape tactic number 23. I squint in the direction just past the bemused earth pony and point with my hoof. "That's an odd place to hang a piano." Aha! The fool takes the bait and turns in a stunning 180 degree pivot. A true master of being deceived he must be. Alas! With no time to waste I make my escape post haste to the right in full gallop. Straight into the same tree from before. I curse at the abomination before me. "Tuesday's... applesauce day." Thoroughly stunned, I stumble my way down the street leaving the puzzled stallion behind, still searching for a non-existent piano.

The rest of my day did not go any better and I felt my initial excitement slowly dwindle into nothing as the shadows grew longer. All my life I never knew of a place bigger than the main hive back in the homelands and even that couldn't hold a candle to this city, it simply was way too big. I was fortunate enough to find a haven within the madness before I once again became overwhelmed from all the emotions in the air.

It is hear now on a grassy hill within the city park where I make my refuge. Tired, confused, and very, very hungry. Emotions where plenty in the city sure, but they were so mixed and diluted that it was inedible for feeding in an indirect state. It wasn't an emergency at the moment. I had gone hungry before and I still had some stored love on my ship. I would have to ration it until I could find a more direct source though.

In all truth, I did not know what to do next. Here I was, finally living my dream. Standing on the land of paradise from the wonderful stories back home. A chance to explore the amazing marvels once thought impossible. The very city surrounding me a true testament of what one can achieve through harmony! And I was already homesick. I miss the flat open lands, the cool ocean breeze, the buzz of the hive, the sharing of stories by the fire side, and most of all I miss the gentle humming of the queen singing her swarm to sleep.

I sigh as the last rays of sunlight disappear beyond the distant horizon. What was I doing here? One day in and I already crashed a ship, panicked in streets, received a concussion, and messed up my disguise. Again! I came here with no goal, no plan, and little preparation expecting everything to be sunshine and rainbows. It was only a matter a time I ended up where I am now, hungry and alone with no way home.

Farewell young one and know that no matter the distance I am with you.

The words of the Queen buzzed around in my head. The link! It was still there! My connection with the queen was extremely faded but present all the same. The great distance of the link means it would take time to send information to and from one another, yet its presence filled me with great resolve. The Queen had faith in me, she would not had spent time and effort managing a team to build my ship otherwise. I can not and will not fail her.

I turn my gaze away from the horizon and back towards the sleepless city. I remember the reason I gave to the Queen and her advisers when I first proposed this trip. As I stare at the distant ponies I wonder. Could it be possible and worthwhile to set up a sub-hive here? A headquarters for changeling harvesters? Such a thing must be proven to be of benefit both for changelings and ponies as set by the mutualistic standards by the Queen. By my first impressions the answer is no, there is simply too much risk involved. Yet, my first impressions were made while I was both in awe and being overwhelmed with a focus on my dream only. As such, little was achieved in actual reconnaissance.

I watch the moon start its watch and make a promise. I had achieved my dream thanks to the Queen and now it is time to begin my responsibilities to the hive. Starting dawn of the next day I will go out into the city and find a way to create a sub-hive so that the homeland may prosper. Suddenly, my stomach decides to growl at me in anger for being left unattended. I amend my promise to say I will help the hive after I get my fill. Can't work on an empty stomach and all that.

With the Night Queen reaching her zenith I let out a yawn. Only now do I realize how stiff my hooves feel and how heavy my eyes are. I debate heading back towards my ship only to banish the thought when my wings protested my commands. This park is peaceful and comfortable enough for a good night's sleep. I circle around in an effort to pat down the grass to make a proper sleeping area and lay down. Perhaps this journey won't be such a disappointment after all.

Author's Note:

And thus Arctic has arrived to the big apple itself. I wonder what kind of shenanigans tomorrow holds for him? Who knows right? Now would anyone care for some peanuts and cracker jacks?

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