• Published 28th Nov 2019
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The Dragonfly Hive - Silver Dragon Blade Wing

A young Changeling Prince, with the help of his allies and friends, must become strong enough to challenge and defeat Chrysalis to protect the land and the ones he loves.

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The Hive 1

The Next Day

Somewhere Under Ponyville

After the Changelings had all woken up and ate their breakfast they packed up the camp and moved to a hidden entrance, which Seeker opened, having been here before several times when the Hive was being build. According to him and Rhino, only a select few Changelings in Nebula's Hive, him, Seeker, and Saber included, knew about this hidden Hive so they wouldn't have to worry about Chrysalis finding them.

After walking through the twisting tunnels for a few hours, taking a few wrong turns due to the maze-like passageways, they finally reached the Hive, a massive tower that had either been built like or out of a massive stalactite, hanging in the center of a gigantic cavern with a large light green crystal at the base taking in a constant stream of light green energy. The ceiling around the top of the Hive had been flattened to allow buildings to be placed, and the walls of the cavern had countless light green crystals all over the walls.

"Wow, you guys were holding out on me." Dragonfly said looking around in awe, the two laughed.

"Sorry Dragonfly but we wanted to see your reaction to this place." Seeker said.

"And it was worth it." Rhino said.

The group flew down to the first level of the Hive, which was Dragonfly's new Throne Room. Landing on a large balcony that formed a half-circle around the front of that level of the Hive with a straight extension out the front with a small raised platform At the ends of the half-circle were stairs leading onto balconies that overlooked the Throne Room. Seeker started speaking as the group entered through a short hall opposite of the throne Rhino, the Drones, and the Healers and fanned out went their own separate ways.

"Welcome to the Hive Dragonfly, this room here will be your Throne Room, where you can rule your new Hive from."

Seeker waved a foreleg showing off the large room; The room itself was round with a high raised dais that held the throne on another dais with what seemed to be a pillar of rock with flowing light green glowing energy that traveled pass the sides of the throne, down the dais, and into the floor where it formed several "rivers" about the floor. Dragonfly could feel a comfortable warmth emitting from the streams as he felt his internal E-energy slowly stop draining and start filling up. Behind the throne was a raised walkway with stairs leading up to the upper levels and two others stairways leading from the floor to behind the Throne, the area split into two halls/walkways with a few balconies that went around the room to the entry hall while the front split lead to the Throne Room floor.

In the center of the room were two disks with two thin brown ones engraved with runes on the edges of the largest one, on the largest on were decorative art of Changelings, Ponies, and various other creatures while the smaller one had it's own art in the form of patterns. The very center held a set of layered plates with some sort of glowing rune carved into each. Above the room were numerous empty banner poles hanging from chains attached to the ceiling and a very large clawed object pulsing with light green/dark green energy that Seeker said was a device used for teleporting to chosen locations on the surface, like the outskirts of Ponyville or any buildings that had been purchased. On the edge of the room on the sides were lowered sections were ten (five per side) seemed to homes for the Drones and Healers.

Seeker lead Dragonfly up the Throne and gestured for the Young Royal to lay down on it.

"It's yours now Dragonfly, your Mother made this Throne just for you, she wanted this to be your Hive when you were ready."

Dragonfly stepped up to it, examining the Throne; The bed-like seat was made of light green lightly hardened and gelled Changeling slime with a six pillows made of the same stuff, the Throne itself was made from black chitin and had a very basic shape (Seeker told him this was so that Dragonfly could change it to what he wanted), the left arm had nothing of note while the right arm held a med-sized Changeling Crystal. Dragonfly stepped onto the Throne and laid down, noticing right away that the gelled slime was very soft, warm, and comfortable, enough to sleep in.

Looking over at the crystal he asked Seeker, who had moved to stand next the the Young Prince, what it was for.

"This Dragonfly is a very important item for you to use." Seeker reached over and tapped the crystal, once he did it glowed and projected a 24 inch, transparent light green, holographic screen in front of the left side of the Throne. Before Dragonfly's eyes the picture on the screen filled out and showed three things; In the center was the Hive silhouetted in red against a silver background, at the top was a round disk with a number within and a extension with four sections on the left and three on the right, under the left sections was a thin bar with the words; Day: First Shift: Blank. Second Shift: Blank. Night: First Shift: Blank. Second Shift: Blank. and the time of day. On the right was a similar bar but with "Day 0" and a tape measure-like section that showed the day's progress and the future days.

On the bottom of the screen was four buttons, two on each side of two long horizontal bars; the outer left one had a vertical line with three horizontals, the center on going through the vertical line, the four ends of the horizontal lines had a hollow square on the ends. The inner left on had two crossed claw hammers, the outer right had a pie chart and the inner right had a drawn map. The bars themselves were stacked with the words "negative" on top and "positive" on the bottom with the world "morale" in between them.

"This screen is your "Hive Interface", from here you can interact with each level of the Hive and are shown the Hive's available resources, the Hive's current amount of E-energy, what shift is working and what others are free, the number of days the Hive has been active, and any future events on the top. The bottom has the Hive's morale, the research, building, law, and chart sections. Which would you like to start with?"

Dragonfly rubbed his chin in thought for a few minutes, than looked at Seeker.

"Let's start with resources." Seeker nodded and pointed to each one explain what it was starting from the center then moving to the most left and working from there to the most right.

"The first is the most important resource; Emotional Energy or E-energy, without this the Hive will eventually die out. E-energy will very slowly on its own drain over time as each Changeling uses it so it needs to be refilled once in a while, the more Changelings a Hive has the faster it will drain. E-energy is also our most basic resource, everything involving the Hive and its Changelings require it, which also drains it."

"Seeker, I looked at the amount and its not draining, in fact its slowly going up." The Advisor Changeling smiled wide.

"I was wondering if you noticed that, you saw the large crystal on the tip of the Hive?"

"It was hard to miss, with the bright glow it gives off."

"Well that was from something you started."


"You remember your "Gatherer Project"?"-Dragonfly nodded yes-" well after you were placed in that cocoon and hidden away your parents found the notes and basically finished it, so our Hive can now produce them and they are unique to us. Nebula and Saber even went a step further by creating a special crystal that does the same thing, more or less."

"The crystal on the tip."

"Exactly, that's another reason why our Hive is below Ponyville. E-energy has not only gathered in the air throughout the town but had also seeped into the ground, the cavern draws all that energy into the many crystals, which then direct it to a central spot under the Hive."

"And the crystal on the tip draws that energy into the Hive, filling our E-energy stocks."

"Right on the mark. Nebula and Saber both loved the idea behind the Gatherers and wondered why it hadn't been done before. I should note that we can out drain the fill rate if we're not careful so making some Gatherers would be a good idea, as the crystal draws the energy at a slow rate to keep from draining the area too fast, which can have... unpleasant effects."

Seeker than pointed to the section on the most left side, starting there and working to the right.

"This is E-energy infused Cocoons, these cocoons are filled to the brim with E-energy, split into pieces and given to the Hive's Changelings as the basic food rations. While Changelings can live of these just fine they well eventually want other foods as well but we will get to that soon.

Next is Changeling Slime, this is produced by the Hive's Changelings and stored. The slime is our basic building material and like E-energy is used to build everything from basic tools to weapons and armor to buildings. We can also construct certain buildings dedicated to producing the slime.

Next is Hive Chitin, this is made from shed Changeling carapace or from special nodes in the Hive and cavern. It's pretty much our equivalent to metal, and is collected and stored by Changelings during and at the end of the molting cycle.

Next is an important one, Hive Cores, these rare items are used to create certain powerful breeds and advanced buildings. Unfortunately, we are unable to produce them, they must be found."

"Why's that Seeker?"

"The only Hive with the knowledge to create them was lost at some point during Discord's reign, and since then nobuggy has been able to regain that knowledge.

Now on the right is Changeling Crystals, these are used to make advanced building and breeds and are important for the Hive's magic users.

Next is Regular Food, this is basically things like apples, cupcakes, hayburgers, pretty much anything other species eat. As I said before, a Hive's Changelings can get by with just E-energy infused Cocoons they will eventually want other options.

The final resource is Prostheses, made in a special structure, these allow any Changelings who had lost limbs, wing roots, eyes, and the like to function like normal again.

That's the resources, what next?"

"How about... more on morale."

"Okay, the morale bars show how happy or discontent the Hive is. As time passes the bars will fill with or empty of color, the higher discontent is the more Changelings start to get angry. If the bar completely fills the Changelings will turn on their Royal if he or she is unable to lower it within a small time period."

"Which can destroy a Hive, on their other end?"

"On the other hoof, the higher the happiness is, the more effective and loyal the Hive's Changelings will be. In fact, they might give guests or goals that can result in special benefits of all."

"Good to know, now let's see... I know the pie chart is for resource management and the tech tree and the Map Screen buttons are grayed out so that leaves only the buildings."

"Alright, open the interface for the buildings."

Dragonfly pressed the button and the bottom section was covered by another one showing the various Hive Structures, though most were grayed out. At the top was a section of taps with different names on the left with two larger ones on the right. One thing that caught Dragonfly off guard was when he opened the interface, the screen zoomed in on the Hive and highlighted all but six of its thirty six levels. He also noticed a small button with what looked like a hollow tube or pipe.

"The Building Interface allows you to pick what buildings to build and on what level, there are two types: Hive Buildings and Cavern Buildings, the former are built within the Hive itself while the latter are built on the ceiling around the Hive. The small button that just appeared is pathways for the Cavern Buildings.

The buildings are the same in both sections, with only their visual appearance and layout being different. The buildings are split into eight areas; Creature, Health, Food, Resource which is split into its own three sections, Tech, Morale, Military, and Miscellaneous."

Seeker took a breath and a drink of water before continuing.

"Creature are builds that serve as homes and entertainment for the Hive's Changelings, I'll get to each individual building for each section later. Health are buildings used for healing the wounded or sick and keeping and hatching eggs. Food is gathering and handing out the various food types. Resource, which includes Changeling Slime, Hive Chitin, and Changeling Crystals, are building for gathering these items and storing them for later use. Tech are for researching more advanced breeds and buildings and some other important ones for the Hive. Morale is for helping keep morale high, though for some reason most Royal ignore and forget this type. Military is for strengthening the Hive's standing forces and providing security. And finally Miscellaneous are buildings that don't fit anywhere else."

Seeker took another breath and a big gulp of water. "I might lose my voice if I keep this up."

"Let's just finish Buildings for now, we can cover the Map Screen later."

"Good plan, anyway-"

Before Seeker could continue, he was cut off by Rhino saying-

"I think you've talked enough for now, you need a rest Seeker. Besides, it's getting late and we need some sleep. I also found these two lurking about in the upper levels."

Two new Changelings followed the Hive Commander down the stairs; the first was Royal-like with two long antenna-like limbs sitting behind the ears, he wore a green vest with several pockets, a brown backpack with a small cocoon on each side and brown messenger saddle bags over his flanks.

The Second was also Royal-like wearing a blue and white flight suit that left the wings, tail, eyes, and lower legs exposed with a pair of goggles with green lens and red frames on his forehead. He also wore a brown aviator hat with a black crown and green domes on the sides covering his ears, and a brown flight jacket with sleeves that reached the forehooves, white fake fur lining and cuffs, a pair of pockets, and a red armband with a silver six-winged Dragonfly on the right upper foreleg.

"Spotter! Darter!" Dragonfly leaped off his throne and tackled the two Changelings into a hug which the two happily returned.

"Good to see you again Dragonfly." Spotter, the one with the antenna, said lightly slapping the Royal's back.

"Three years we waited to see you guys again." Darter, the one wearing the flight suit and jacket, said buzzing his long, cutlass blade-shaped wings and hovering, his wings making a low, gentle humming sound.

"Where have you two been?" Dragonfly asked.

"Darter and I were here the whole time." Spotter started.

"Nebula and Saber ordered us here to look after the Hive and wait for you." Darter finished.

"Imagine my surprise when I found them, they both tackle hugged me. I had to use my wings to keep from falling down the stairs." Rhino said with a chuckle.

The five of them talked for a short time about what they had been up to in the three year gap, afterwards Dragonfly wrapped his forelegs around them.

"Well guys, the bands back together again, you all ready for the road ahead?" Dragonfly put a hoof in the center.

"I sure am." Seeker put his in.

"Somebuggy needs to be there to pull your tails out of the fire." Rhino put his in.

"I'm not missing out on this." Spotter put his in.

"I'm in to the end." Darter put his in.

The five Changelings smiled at each other, then broke.

"Brothers to the end!"

Next Morning

After a late supper the Hive went to sleep, slowly waking up the next morning to a new day. Dragonfly slowly woke up and stretched his limbs, sitting up and rubbing the sleep from his eyes. As he did this he heard a light knocking at the entryway to his bedroom, covered by two large, banner-like curtains instead of a door.

"Come in."

Spotter enter with a tray of pancakes held in his magic, walking over and setting it next to the bed.

"Morning Dragonfly, sleep well?"

"Better than I have in awhile, thanks for breakfast. I'm guessing you'll be completing the tour while Seeker is taking a break?"

"Yes, you want to start now?"

"Let me have something to eat first silly." Dragonfly said with a small laugh, Spotter adding his own. Dragonfly finished his breakfast and stepped off his bed.

"Okay Spotter, I'm ready."

"Okay, as you already know this room is your Bedroom, from here you have another crystal that can project the Hive Interface like your throne on your bed. You can also rest here to regain health and E-energy, and have some alone time."

He then whispered something that Dragonfly just missed.

"As well as "enjoy some company" and save you progress."

"What was that last thing?"

"Nothing, nothing, continuing on. The bedroom is also were any personal items and effects you have collected over the years are stored." Dragonfly looked around, the bedroom a somewhat large room with a simple, but very large, bed on the left wall from the entryway, a large display case, an armor stand, and a large chest opposite of the bed, and two very large window that were covered by curtains opposite of the entryway. Through the entryway was a large staircase that lead to the Private Quarters.

The bed was made from soft and warm slime gel like the throne's seat and had three large gel pillows and a thick blanket, also made from slime gel mixed with some sort of cotton fabric. The chest, armor stand, and display case were made from dark wood and the display case only had Dragonfly's photo album on it at the moment, and the curtains covering the windows and the door were green with black patterns around the edge and were made of silk. Thin E-energy veins throughout the walls and floor, bathing the room in warmth and energy. Dragonfly had noticed that every room in the Hive had veins like this, almost like blood vessels. Light was provided by several crystals hanging from the ceiling on thin chains.

Spotter lead Dragonfly pass the entryway curtains and down a stairway which consisted of two sets of stairs with a flat section in the middle into the next room.

"This is your Private Quarters." Spotter said gesturing with a foreleg. The Private Quarters large, spacious room with a decent sized hot tub shallow enough for one to lay down with only their head above the water, resting it on a gel cushion. The hot tub sat close to the stairway leading to the lower levels, a large fireplace sat near the hot tub and eight alcoves were scattered about the room.

"The Private Quarters is your personal level of the Hive, from here you have access to your bedroom, the Magic Room and your Personal Archive. The only ones next to you that are allowed access are your commanders like Seeker, Rhino, me and Darter, and your Hive Guard bodyguards. If you chose you can have your most trusted members of the Hive in here as well. The hot tub works similar to the bed in healing you and restoring your E-energy, it is also prefect for relaxing after a hard and long day."

To the left of the stairway was an outer hallway leading to a small interior balcony and then into the Magic Room, a small chamber with a raised walkway taking up the back half. The center piece was a large green, glowing crystal with a beam of light going into a hole in the ceiling, a small path allowed Dragonfly to walk right up to the crystal.

"The Magic Room is where you select which of your current unlocked spells and abilities you want to use, as you are a Young Royal you only have one level of abilities and no spells beyond the standard disguise and levitation which all Changelings know by default. Now each level of abilities has three per level and unlike spells you can only have one ability per level active at once, but you can come and switch them around at any time and no cost. This crystal is also the anchor point for the Hivemind, which at its base level allows us to communicate with each other over any distance instantly. The Hivemind also allows those connected to it to share memories and feelings among other things with each other, like you for example feeling the happiness of your Drones. The Hivemind can be used to control your Changelings but this has numerous weaknesses that can be dangerous to fatal for a Hive so I would advise against it."

"I'm no tyrant like Chrysalis so I wouldn't do that sort of thing."

"Right and that's why we follow you, before we move on I should mention that other Creatures, not just Changelings, can join a Hive and be connected to its Hivemind, like your father Black Saber was to Nebula's. Before we move on let's go over your current abilities;

Besides the Leaping Wing Strike you have the Magic Blast, this deals very heavy damage to a large target or groups of smaller targets, and the the Internal Recharge, which stops your E-energy from draining over time outside of the Hive."

Passing through a doorway opposite the way they came in they stepped out onto a larger outside balcony which was outside where the two bedroom windows were facing out, around to the other side was a small room with another doorway that lead to a small fight of stairs that lead to another interior balcony which had an entry way back into the main area of the Private Quarters. The small room had a small set of three bookshelves that covered with wall to the left of the doorway from the large balcony and to the right was a object consisting of two green glowing crystal tables, one on the floor and one right above it. The tables had a holographic version of the Hive in between them and around the floor table top was a flat desk-like area in a half-circle and a set of four windows looking out into the cavern.

"This small room here is your Personal Archives, this is were you store any books on spells, information and the like that you find on you travels, this holotable allows you to pick and customize certain parts of the Hive like the defenses and your own personal things. The latter includes the entrances of the Throne Room's Alcoves, Banners, your Bed, Lights, Statures, Rugs and Curtains, and your Throne just to name a few. You can also either have the options as a set or mix and match, but only one options can be used in each slot any ant one time. For example, you can't select two different Banner styles at once. Because we only have just started out, we will only have the default options right now."

"How do we gain more?"

"By visiting different locations, like Ponyville or Canterlot, and by interacting with certain Creatures who may give an item to us. From there the Hive will "scan" the item and unlock new options."

They entered the main area to find a few Drones about cleaning or relaxing, and headed down the stairs to a three-level area in the center of the Hive. Dead center of the massive room was a gigantic green crystal with two rings of chitin, one towards the top and one towards the bottom, around it, the rings had four straight beams going to the ceiling and floor and four more going into the walls. Throughout the beams ran many small crystal veins and gel tubes.

Dragonfly looked at it in awe, the crystal was easily the biggest he had ever seen. He figured one this size had to be important, he looked at Spotter of an answer.

"This Dragonfly is the Hive's Heart, the most important structure in the Hive, for without it, the Hive itself would die and became a husk, just a shadow of itself."

"The Hive's Heart? I'm guessing from the name it works like a normal heart."

"Yes, to a certain extent. You've noticed all the E-energy veins throughout the Hive's rooms?"

"Yes, they constantly give us both warmth and E-energy, not to mention the soft glow so their hard to miss."

"Well it works like this; the crystal on the Hive's tip bring the energy up through the Hive and into the Hive's Heart, the heart then "pumps" the energy through the tubes and veins, feeding the Hive and us with a constant stream of E-energy."

"Like a heart pumping blood through a body."

"Right, at the moment the heart is at low power as our Hive is both only at Tier 0 and we only have a few Changelings so we can afford the low level. As the Hive gains more Changelings we will need to up the power levels to meet the energy demands, we will need research the ability to raise each level but for now we'll be fine. It takes about 200 or so Changelings before needing to raise the levels."

"I understand, shall we do buildings next?"

"Sure, let's head to your throne."

The two went down to the Throne Room were they found Seeker laying next to the throne reading a book and most of the other Changelings just hanging about, Seeker greeted them as they walked up. Dragonfly laid down on his throne activating the Hive Interface and bringing up the Building Interface while Spotter sat next to him and Seeker went back to his book.

"The current screen here, zoomed on the Hive, shows each level of the Hive and the flashing sections are were there is space to build."

"Why are some sections not highlighted?"

"Well the bottom is the Throne Room, the three middle is the Hive's Heart, and the second from the top is your Private Quarters, Seeker's Rhino's, Darter's, and my quarters and the barracks of your Hive Guard. The very top level is dedicated to allowing Changelings to work and live in the structures built into the ceiling of the cavern, moving to and from the Hive with pathways also built into the ceiling.

Each section of the Hive has space for numerous buildings, though some spots can only have certain buildings on them, like Resource Nodes. Let's start with the Creature."

Dragonfly pressed the Creature tab, opening it and showing a Simple Burrow.

"As we are only a Tier 0 Hive we will only have access to the basic structures, in order for use to get more buildings and advance the Tiers we will have to unlock them in the Tech Tree. Now because we only have, not counting you, Seeker, Rhino, Spotter, me, and Darter, fifteen Changelings, we wouldn't need to build any more housing buildings until the ten alcoves here are filled."

"I set up a Simple Burrow for our five Healers earlier." Seeker said.

"How many Changelings do these buildings house?" Dragonfly asked.

"It depends on the size of the breed, for Drone-sized its thirty while large breeds can take one by themselves, it really depends on their size."

"Alright, and so far we only have basic buildings?"

"Yes, the Simple Burrow, the Medical Den, the Food Burrow, the Hunter Den, the Resource Den, the Gathering Den, the Slime Den, the Relaxation Den, the Watch Burrow and the Tech Hub. Here's each of these do;

The Simple Burrow is a small den able to house up to 10 Drones, which I'll be using as examples for the housing.

The Medical Den allows up to five Healers to treat up to five Changelings with minor sickness or injuries.

The Food Burrow turns stored food into meals and up to five Workers or Drones can run it.

The Hunter Den holds the equipment needed for up to fifteen Workers or Drones trained as hunters to venture out into the wild and bring back raw meat.

The Resource Den is a storage unit to expand capacity for a chosen resource.

The Gathering Den allows up to ten Workers or Drones to gather from multiple Resource piles or caches and unlocks E-energy Gatherers.

The Slime Den slowly produces Changeling Slime over time from small nodes.

The Relaxation Den provides The Hive's Changelings with basic items and equipment they can use to help them relax after a long day.

The Watch Burrow provides simple Hive defenses like small traps and unlocks Sentries.

And the Tech Hub allows use to research and lock new breeds, buildings, and Hive Tiers. We have one set up already, the tech tree is split into four tabs and for now we can unlock the Energy Beacon and the Energy Emitter upgrade in the E-energy tab, the Scout Hub in the Exploration and Industry Tab, the Efficient Gathering upgrade, the Slime Pod, the Chitin Shredder, and the Crystal Grower in the Resources Tab, and the Better Hunters' Gear upgrade from the hub. I go into these in more detail when they are unlocked.

And finally, the Hive's prebuilt structures include the Hive's Heart and the Storage Hub, the latter is where our resources are stored until fill, than it goings into any Resource Den that have been built."

Spotter faceplanted into the floor.

"I think he's had enough for now, Rhino wanted to speak to you up in the Hive Chambers. After you're done there we'll finish with the last thing for now, which is the Map Screen." Seeker said.

"We need the Scout Hub first, then we need five free Drones to morph into Scouts." Spotter said from the floor, as if on cue, Darter came into the room.

"Hey guys, Nebula and Saber left a number of Eggs and some Drones for us in Stasis Cocoons! Our Hive just went up from fifteen Changelings to thirdly!"

Dragonfly and Seeker laughed as Spotter lifted his head up with a 'what' look at the timing, Dragonfly selected the in the tech tree, turned off the interface and walked out of the room up to the Hive Chambers on level three. The Hive Chambers was a special area used to change Drones into the various breeds of Changelings. Most Changeling breeds started their lives as Drones, they entered this chamber once certain criteria had been meet. The chosen Drone(s) would then enter special cocoons that would change them into whatever variant that had been chosen over a brief period of time.

For example: If a Drone showed more skill in battle then his or her clutch mates, they could eventually become a Elite Soldier, Shock Trooper or even a Royal Guard if the requirements were met just to name a few.

The chambers were large number of alcoves with a with a slightly raised platform in front of each dotted the wall from one side of the door to all the way around the other side. With each new breed unlocked bee hive-like structure would grow in each alcove until all breeds were unlocked, a Drone and Healer sat in front of two of the alcoves. In the center of the room was a raised dais with a projection crystal. Rhino sat on the dais looking over the crystal's hologram with his head resting on his hoof, one of his ears twitched when he heard hooves clicking against the floor. Looking up he noticed Dragonfly entering the room, looking around.

"Hey Dragonfly," he greeted, "I've been going over some things waiting for you."

"What to you have for me Rhino?"

"Some upgrades and new traits for our currently unlocked breeds, you can see them on this screen."

He stepped aside so Dragonfly could look, on the screen was a set of tabs with each Hive tier on them off to the far left and several sections filling most of the space. Two of these sections were highlighted showing the Drone and Healer breeds, two buttons were above the with three below, below that was a smaller black screen. Rhino started explaining;

"This is the Hive Breed Interface, it allows you to select each individual Changeling breed and select two upgrades and one of three traits for them. Both upgrades cost resources and if there is enough both can be bought, the Traits work like your abilities in where only one can be active at once but you can change which one from this screen and the smaller black one will tell you what the upgrades and abilities are when up select them."

Dragonfly nodded in understanding and checked the Drone's upgrades and abilities first; The upgrades were Drone Armor and Boosting Crystals while the traits were Charged Carapace, Reflex Boost, and Magic Caster. The Healer's upgrades were Flare Spell and Healer Armor while the traits were Multi-Heal, Defense Shield, and Healing Spheres. The descriptions were as follows;

Drone Upgrades

Drone Armor

A Drone's carapace is tough but is easily outmatched by larger and more advanced breeds, extra armor made from forged chitin and cooled with slime will allow them to take more damage and grant more survivability out in the field.

Effects: +15 Armor and +10 Defense.

Boosting Crystals

By adding a harness with four crystals supercharged with E-energy we can allow Drones to slowly self-heal, allowing Healers to focus elsewhere and Drones would receive a speed boost on both the land and in the air.

Effects: Heals 2 health every second and +20 speed.

Drone Abilities

Charged Carapace

By running a light E-energy-fueled charge through the Drone's carapace, we can grant them better protection from magic attacks.

Effects: +25 Magic Defense.

Reflex Boost

Small E-energy injections to the right spots will allow Drones two react faster to enemy attacks and dodge them.

Effects: +15 Defense

Magic Caster

With a higher magic charge, Drones would be able to have greater range and hitting power and uses some spells other then just the basic magic bolt and levitation.

Effects: +15 Magic Bolt Range, +5 Magic Bolt Damage, Spell unlocked: Magic Blast, a low-yield blast of magic the deals 15 magic damage and stuns enemies. Allies are immune to the blast.

Healer Upgrades

Flare Spell

Healers have no offensive spells which leaves them vulnerable to attack, by teaching them this spell it allows them to cast a small, short-ranged flare that stuns and disorients enemies for a few seconds. Allies are immune to the flare.

Effects: Spell unlocked: Flare, a short-ranged, bright flash of light and sound the stuns and disorients enemies for five seconds.

Healer Armor

Healers are often prime targets for attacks, so modified Drone or Soldier Armor with grant them better protection and survivability out in the field and with a backpack carrying a Healing Beacon would increase their usefulness on the field.

Effects: +10 Armor, Ability unlocked: Deploy Heal Beacon, a small crystal that emits a med-sized area-of-effect healing aura that provides +7 Healing every second.

Healer Traits


With a slight horn adjustment, Healers will be able to heal up to six targets simultaneously instead of just two and faster.

Effects: Heal six targets at once, +10 heal rate.

Defense Shield

By using some of their internal E-energy, Healers would be able to passively case a shield around them and allies in a small radius, at the cost of a slightly slower heal rate.

Effects: Ability Unlocked: Shield, passively grants + 25 Defense and +30 Magic Defense, but grants a -5 Heal Rate.

Healing Spheres

By focusing some of their healing magic into a small slime gel sphere, Healers would be able to throw the hardened gel balls at range and upon braking on impact, releases a powerful healing AOE aura that rapidly heals all wound allies within.

Effects: Ability unlocked: Healing Spheres, these small gel ball brake on impact with a hard surface, releasing a AOE healing aura that heals all wounds at a +90 rate. The spheres have a +12 throwing range.

Dragonfly looked away from the screen and back at Rhino.

"You've been busy, we've only been here one day and night and you already have on new things for the different breeds."

"I learned a thing or two in the three year gap, and I observed a number of thing in things in the time, so I have plenty to work with on the other breeds."

"Glad to see you haven't lost your touch."

"You callin' me old." Rhino said in a mock insulted tone.

"Depends, are you telling the nymphs to stay off your law old boy?"

"Not yet, I've still got many years ahead of me.. not sure I can say the same for you though."

The two laughed and playfully punched each other.

"Just like old times, huh Rhino?"

"Just like old Times. Anyway, you looked like you had some questions."

"Right the the point after a bit of joking around, don't ever change Rhino."

"Might be hard to do that, I am a Changeling after all."

"Ha ha, anyway... I have just one question; when are we getting more breeds, upgrades are good and all, but we have many gaps in our Hive's military right now."

"Well as new buildings are unlocked and built and the Hive advances Tiers we gain the ability to create the new and unlocked breeds here from Drones, though some breeds are born like they already are. Once the Scout Hub is up and running we can begin creating the Scout Breed, Through the Scouts we could get lucky to find a Hiveless Changeling, identified by their gray-scale eyes, wings and backplate. If we can convince them to join our Hive we automatically get that breed, regardless of the tier it is normal unlocked on.

This method also allows used to gain more Changelings at little to no cost other then the drain on the Hive's E-energy and allows use have the nymphs or Drones change into something else."

"Good to know, so to refresh my memory, what is a "Hiveless Changeling"?"

"Hiveless Changelings are Changelings of various breed that somehow or in someway were severed from their original Hive, while still sentient like us they became lost, living day-to-day surviving. How they do it varies greatly, but the vast majority try to blend in and live among other species, most commonly, and unsurprisingly, Ponies. Many, though not all, end up living happy lives on their own as they have total freedom to chose how they live, quite a few even starting families with other species."

"Wouldn't them joining our Hive take that same freedom away?"

"In a way yes, but it isn't as bad as you think. Most of the Hiveless eventually start to miss feeling the connection to their Hivemates, with only their own memories. They can live just fine, but they will always have this painful feeling loneliness and longing."

"So them joining other Hive removes those feelings?"

"Yes, we would need to offer a mutually beneficial deal to them and it would be their chose but most would take the offer, especially if the Royal offering treats their own Changelings well."

We'll have to see what comes up in the future for that, is there anything else you wanted to tell me?"

"Why yes, once we get the Scout Hub up and running I might be able to give you something called a "Variant Mission"."

"Variant Mission?"

"Yes, some breeds have different versions other then their default form, like the Ravager, and-."

"Stop, the Ravager? I'm not familiar with that breed, is it a new one?"

"Yes, soon after you went into the cocoon the Ravager was created. Ravagers are a slightly large, a little under a Manticore is size, breed resembling the Pony/Dragon Hybrids. Armed with fangs like that of the Berserker, two wing arms with five fingers tipped with scythe-like blades, a broadsword-like tail-tip blade, and the ability to large the hardened chitin spines that cover their shoulders at a distance, these deadly Changelings are used as heavy assault and shock troopers. While unable to fly the can instead deep tunnel through the ground at rapid speeds, bursting out among enemies to attack and they has lost their Disguise Ability because if their out on the field, the time for staying hidden has passed."

"Sounds like a nasty breed, and you said it has two variants?"

"Yes, the Lurker and the Impaler. Both variants keep most of the same appearance as the Ravager but with one key difference: both lose the ability to launch spines, instead gaining another attack. Lurkers gain a cluster of five long, blade-tipped, multi-segmented tentacles on each shoulder while the Impaler gains a heavier multi-segmented tentacle tipped with a claw consisting of four blades. The Lurker is best against many lightly armored to unarmored foes while the Impaler is best against single heavily armored ones, though both have heavily armored carapace so they can take on other targets then those."

Dragonfly looked a bit shocked at the Ravager and it's variants capabilities.

"Okay what Tier are those?! They sound very dangerous to face in combat, with what they can do."

"They're a Tier 5 breed, and yes, they are very dangerous."

"Okay, might want to keep an eye for those. Back to the Variant Missions."

"Right, Variant Missions appear for whatever compatible breed we have unlocked. Once one is found we launch a small mission to make each of that breed's variant and test it out, then after the mission is complete we come back here were you select which one you want."

"We can't take both?"

"Not at the moment no, we need a Geneweaver first. This is due to the fact that both variants are mutual exclusive with each other, so at first we can pick one and store the other."

"And once we get a Geneweaver, then we can have both?"

"Right," Rhino paused for a second thinking. "All that's left for now is what breeds we have right now, since you already know the Drone and Healer I'll just go over the Worker...

Worker: The caretaker of the Hive, Workers do everything from Hive maintenance, moving eggs and nymphs to safe places, operating buildings, and other such tasks. Due to their roles and the fact they are not fighters they very rarely leave the Hive and each Hive comes with sixty Workers once it is finished being build. One thing to note that Workers will defend themselves if cornered."

Rhino called one up, the Worker looked like a smaller Drone with a shorter horn but looked otherwise the same in appearance. Once the Worker left Rhino remembered something.

"Oh, before I forget, besides the nine, ten if you include Tier 0, Hive Tiers, there is also "Special Tier Breeds". We cannot unlock these breed through research as we will need special items for them."

"And the reason is because these breeds are very powerful and rare."

"Right and that's it for now."

"Thanks Rhino, I'll see you later."


Dragon walked back to the Throne Room, on his way he was told through the Hivemind that the Scout Hub was ready and a team of five Scouts had been created and were ready to set out on his orders. Rhino brought up information on the them with their appearance; Scouts looked like Drones but had two long, antenna-like limbs sitting behind the ears, like Spotter's.

Rhino; Scouts: The trailblazers of the Hive, Scouts move about the land finding and searching points of interest, relaying what they find back to the Hive. Their antenna allow them to navigate poorly lit areas, even in almost total darkness and their emotion sense is far more keen then other Changelings, allowing them to gauge another's emotions far better then other Changelings and at a greater range.

Dragonfly entered and sat on his throne, bring the Hive Interface up and selecting the now unlocked Map Screen button. The screen zoomed out very quickly showing a bird's eye view of the surrounding land, Canterlot Mountain easily visible in the distance. Four marks appeared, a green one over were the Hive was located, a black one over the town of Ponyville, another black one over Canterlot, and another black one over a spot in the Whitetail Woods some distance away. Spotter started speaking.

"Welcome to the Map Screen, from here you can direct the Hive's Scout Teams to points of interest, the marks on the map, that the Scout Hub has detected. As upgrades are unlocked we can increase the detection range to find more, the speed the Scouts get there and back to the Hive depends on the distance and what upgrades are unlocked. You can also scout these spots out yourself, but this can be dangerous. So were would you like to spend the Scouts?"

"Mmmmm... let's send them to the mark in the Whitetail Woods, I want to checkout Ponyville myself."

He selected the Scout icon and tapped the mark in Whitetaill Wood, the icon showing it would take three hours for them to get there. After that he selected his own icon and tapped Ponyville, Seeker lead him to the center of the room under the ceiling. Dragonfly watched as it activated, the short claws opening out as the device lowered towards him, light green-colored electricity arcing between the claws and the floor before he was lifted up a few feet, then Dragonfly vanished in a flash of light green light.

Outskirts of Ponyville

A light green sphere of energy appeared within walking distance from the town but was hidden enough to not attract attention, the sphere hovered in place of a second, then burst outward as it vanished, leaving Dragonfly standing in it's place. He rubbed his head as the dizziness and nausea slowly faded, right before;

"Hello testing testing, is this thing on? Testing testing."

"Will you stop shouting into the crystal Darter, you'll give him a headache."

(Rhino and Darter start auguring, Spotter trying to break it up.)

"Dragonfly this is Seeker, are you there?

"Yes, I hear you clear and loud!"

"Sorry, alright you two break it up! Sorry about that, anyway, you are now on the outskirts of the town, within walking distance from the town but was hidden enough to not attract attention. Before you head in pick a disguise for yourself, this will be your "Pony Persona" that the townsfolk will get to know while you're there."

"Okay Seeker, give me a minute."

Dragonfly sat down thinking about what his disguise for a minute, when it hit him.

"My old foal disguise, the one Mom put on me when she brought me here for my fifth birthday."

With a flash of green flame, the Royal Changeling was gone, replaced with a silver Unicorn with red eyes with slit-pupils, long red mane and tail with just the mane braided, and a cutie mark of a black dragonfly with six red wings. The newly disguised Changeling walked over to a puddle to examine himself, he was a little taller than normal, about half a head and was a bit bulkier in body. Dragonfly knew he could pass that off as hard work earlier in his life, he frowned as he looked at the disguise's eyes. For reasons he, Seeker, and Nebula could never figure not, the shape of Dragonfly's eyes would not change, their color and type would just fine but they would always have slit-pupils, no matter how hard he tried.

Overall he looked just like he did as a foal, only aged up to match the years that had gone by.

"How do I looked Seeker?"

"Perfect disguise my Prince, this will make some things easier actually."

"How so?"

"I didn't know about this till recently, but Nebula owned a tea shop here in town. It wasn't open too often because of her duties as Empress but she loved the shop, perfect place to relax and gain more E-energy at the same time. After she left the last time she knew she wouldn't be able to come back because of the looming Civil War, so Nebula told the Mayor, a Mare by the name of... well... Mayor Mare that her son, you might come to run the shop in her absence. From what I can tell here, the townsfolk were sad to see her leave, you still know the lessons she gave you?"

"Yes, I'm not as good as Mom was but I will try my best. What other things could we get here?"

"One second, let us send you something."

Another sphere, only smaller, appeared and dropped off Dragonfly's saddle bags.

"You will need the deed for the place as well as some bits for any purchases. We can use the bits to get things we can't at the Hive, such as other food items like apples. The tea shop also opens up new possibles with the tea, which we'll see as they come."

"Understood Seeker, I'm going in. Talk to you guys later."

"We'll watch through the Hivemind, it allows us to see what you see."

"Really, handy feature. Out."

Dragonfly put on his saddle bags and starting walking towards Ponyville, breathing in the familiar air and wondering just how much had and hadn't changed since the last time he was here.

'Welcome home Dragonfly.'

Author's Note:

Phew, this one was work!

Sorry if this chapter is complicated, but I wanted to get at least most of the Hive "Mechanics" out of the way. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments and I'll do my best to answer.

Hope you guys enjoy. :pinkiehappy:

There are a few shout-outs in this chapter, can you find them. (I don't think they're that hidden)