• Published 31st Dec 2020
  • 1,136 Views, 211 Comments

They're EVERYWHERE! - Nameless Narrator

No one really knows how many changelings were present during the invasion of Canterlot. Unfortunately for the rest of the world, it also means that the love explosion scattered them all over the surface of Equus. These are stories of some of them.

  • ...

65536: 1

Changeling drone 65536 is leisurely strolling through the hallways of Canterlot castle. All of the nasty iron-wearing, pointy-speared guard ponies are gone, the queen is in the throne room, singing something victorious. It’s like when 97889 tried to do a drone radio station through the hive mind back home before it was told to stop wasting love or be shoved into a crusher. This song is a bit too evil for 65536’s taste but it still livens the feed otherwise filled with orders and map updates.

In general, now that the fighting is over, the situation calls for warriors and infiltrators to find and mop up the resistance while the drones are left to wander or simply stand around like the new weird, experimental ones the queen made specifically for the invasion.

65536 shudders. Those new, silent drones are creepy.

“This day has been just perfect, the kind of day-” the drone mouths quietly to the queen’s singing, nodding its head to the rhythm, “-of which I’ve dreamt since I was a grub...”

Its quiet sing-along gets interrupted by multiple sets of galloping hoofsteps as a group of drones rush towards 65536.

“Hey, guys. What’s going on?”

55684 stops abruptly by 65536 with wings buzzing, looks around in a conspiratory fashion, and says quietly:

“Didn’t you hear? 11581 caught a real pony! One of the non-pokey or magic ones.”

“Oh my holes, really!” 65536’s jaw drops.

“Yeah! It wants to make the pony love it so that it can get fed and beat the high score!” 55684 bounces on the spot, grinning with excitement.

“Woooooow!” 65536’s eyes go wide, “I wish I had a pony too… I could feed it, and give it all the headpats and scritches, and I could even dig its own tunnel. Small, obviously, or one of the high-ranks might come and ask questions.”

“Do you even know what ponies eat?”

65536 quickly glances out of the window overlooking Canterlot castle gardens as well as part of the gold-decorated city.

“Eeeeh, those yellow... shiny… things?”

“No, dummy. We had the briefing, remember? They eat, umm, leaves and stuff, right? And they make other things to eat from… flowers. Rainbow-colored ones specifically,” 55684 nods victoriously.

“Well,” 65536 scratches its head, “Tough to find that back home, true, but… hey, I remember! I was on egg duty once when a real mare the infiltrators caught was laying some eggs. She didn’t look too starved, so there must be something ponies can eat in the hive.”

“Pfff! Queen probably had warriors bring leaves and grass for her all the way from the Everfree forest. That’s like… imported, you know. Top-notch stuff.”

66536 shudders.

“That place is scary...”

“Agreed! Now come on, you wanna see 11581’s pony or not?”

“Sure I do! I wanna see the power-up too. Any bets on what score 11581 gets?”

“34112 is in charge of the pool. I got one shiny rock and a twig from my little bush on rank 1154 or less.”

“Yeeeah, about your bush. I think I saw something the warriors called a hydra while we were flying here and it looked suspiciously like a really big version of your bush.”

“What? Nooo...” 55684 shakes its head, “Bushy’s no hydrant.”

“I had my suspicions the first time you showed us. I was pretty sure that bushes aren’t supposed to crawl around and have scales, teeth, and spit acid.”

65536 shares the overheard hive mind warning with the second drone.

We have a tough carapace, spit acid, and have sharp teeth so… so I thought… it was like a bush… but a changeling bush, right? Plus, it didn’t mind that I cut its… branch off last time. It grew two more almost immediately and they were completely healthy. Shows that pruning is important!”

“All of a sudden, I’m not too keen on coming back to our shaft once we’re done here, only to find a starving little hydra waiting for us.”

“Don’t worry!” 55684 beams, “I left Bushy plenty of water and some love goo. Besides, I thought we were staying here. It’s all nice and shiny. That way we won’t have to carry all the ponies we caught all the way back to the hive.”

“Gotta admit, I like the shiny,” 65536 looks outside again, “But you can’t beat a good hole if you want some peace and quiet.”

“Can’t argue with that but those are here too! There are old tunnels all through the mountain itself. Pony-made, so pretty bleh but nothing we can’t fix in a few months. It would be just like home, only with a shiny topping.”

“You know, that does sound nice. What about Bushy, though? It would mean leaving it in the hive.”

“I thought about it. Most of the drones in the betting pool don’t have anything, so they are betting a favor. I just need to win and then I can ask them to get up one night and go grab Bushy. Speaking of which...” 55684 leans to 65536’s ear and whispers, “No hive link convo, got it? If any of the high-ranks hear about the pony, they’re bound to take it away.”

“Got it. Hey, what’s the top bet anyway?” 65536 joins the group of drones headed upstairs towards one of the attic storerooms.

“87911 snatched a helmet from one of the guards and bet it on rank 986 or less.”

“That’s crazy, 87911 is crazy...” 65536 shakes its head, “No drone ever can get that score, even if it got… twenty ponies tucked away somewhere.”

Exactly!” 55684 beams, “Just imagine, in a few hours I might have a shiny new helmet. No more bumps against the ceiling ever! Plus all the favors I need to switch a few shifts and get Bushy here. By the way, you betting too?”

“Sure! Sign me up for a… rusty horseshoe aaand two nails for rank… eeeh, let’s play it safe - rank 3200 to 3500. It’s a bit on the daring side but if someone’s betting a helmet.”

“Oh boy oh boy oh boy!” 55684 grins, “All the favors, a helmet, and a horseshoe? With all that neat gear I just might go for the high score myself.”

“Gonna be tough. Under 2000… there are warriors in those ranks.”

“You’re right. No point in going all out and losing everything, let’s leave that to 11581 and 87911.”

Sudden absolute chaos crashes through the hive mind. Unexplained mental screaming makes the upstairs-rushing ball of drones clutch their heads and stumble towards the windows to see what’s going on. 65536, however, keels over by a massive wooden door on the opposite side of the hallway, and curls up, its instincts taking over and making it harden its carapace to maximum.

A shockwave of pink washes over the area, expanding from below, and blasts the other drones out into the empty skies. 65536, though, gets shot upwards like a pinball, spins around the round ceiling of the arched hallway, gaining speed and momentum that, when he comes back down on the other side of the hall and hits an angled rim on top of the window, launches it straight through the massive oak door and into a pitch black room where it crashes against the wall.

“SHINY AND FROST-BEARING STARLIGHT! CAN WE NOT GET A SINGLE MOMENT OF PEACE IN THIS NIGHT-DAMNED CASTLE?!” yells a voice so loud it momentarily drowns out all the hive mind screams of pain and horror…

...leaving behind silence. New, empty, terrifying silence.

65536 opens its eyes when it senses light surrounding it.

It’s in a… cave… no, pony room…

The drone is losing words and thoughts with every passing second. Hive links gone, hive knowledge shattered and evaporating, replaced only with experience - digging instincts, drone designation, and… and only the barest of basics regarding the world.

In the… small cave filled with soft things, there’s a tall creature rising from a… square soft thing. There used to be a name for those creatures and things but, for the love of holes, 65536 can’t remember anything anymore. The creature has a horn, not a stubby drone one but a loooong, sharp one like the infiltrators and warriors, and it has wings, or things that grow on its back where changeling wings would be and of roughly similar shape but they’re weird, not translucent at all.

Blue - that’s the last concrete thing about the creature 65536 can recall in non-changeling words, so its puzzled mind holds onto it as hard as it can.

Blue, having sat up, glares at 65536 with an unreadable expression which, for the drone, means any expression right now.

Blue’s presence, though, is overshadowed by something, something primal in the drone’s mind, and that is the warm, sweet feeling emanating from a smaller soft rectangle lying on the top part of the bigger soft rectangle next to Blue. It draws 65536 to itself, so the drone flies onto the rectangle right next to Blue, completely ignoring something elongated and soft harmlessly flapping against its hardened muzzle.

“Bad! Bad whatever-you-are!” says Blue. The noises don’t mean anything to 65536 and it doesn’t feel in any danger, so it sniffs the small rectangle and realizes the warm feeling is coming not from it but from a soft replica that looks like a tiny version of Blue, only in a different, brighter color.

Perhaps once all the chaos is over, someone will come with orders for the drone. Until then, though, there’s this warm, soft non-Blue which makes 65536 feel as if everything is going to be okay.


Princess Luna stops swatting the bug-horse creature that just crashed through her several inches thick, steel-reinforced, oak door with a rolled-up yesterday’s copy of Canterlot Tribune after it hugs a plushie of her sister, buries its muzzle into the plushie’s chest fluff, and seemingly falls asleep.

“Did We… miss something important?” Luna raises an eyebrow and carefully leaves her suite, her magic scanning the surrounding area for any presence.

The guards are gone, and occasionally there strange green and black splatters on the walls. A quick look out of the window reveals more of the splatters along the tall wall separating the castle grounds from the rest of the city…

...and smoldering black shapes in the gardens as well as squishy green cocoons seemingly containing ponies.

Contrary to the unexplained weirdness, there don’t seem to be any commotion which would require her immediate attention, so she keeps her careful pace and heads for the throne room. Celestia would know what’s going on. After all, Luna had been away for a millennium so this might all be a… festival of sorts or something.

As she enters the throne room, she immediately notices a black shape similar to that of the creature in her room, only over twice its size, fused with the decorative carvings on the wall.


Celestia hasn’t spotted her yet, busy giving orders to a pair of unicorns armored from head to hooves in white and gold full plate mails.

“...ugh, paladins...” Luna stops herself from calling out and mutters, “...their religious fanaticism is the only thing bigger than our sister’s cake-fueled backside...”

“Sun’s Fury!” Celestia barks out and the paladin in question salutes, “I want the city scoured from the tallest towers to the cellars of lower Canterlot. If any of the changelings are still alive, purge them immediately. This attack can’t be left unanswered. Holy Flare, set up a special unit to figure out where the changelings came from and how they infiltrated Canterlot even before the main wave of the invasion itself.”

“Yes, your solar Majesty!” Holy Flare salutes.


“And make sure my sister is okay!”

“THE TRAITO-” Sun’s Fury becomes the recipient of the “One more word and you’re next at the stake” award, and bows, mumbling, “I will do as instructed, Empr-” another glare from Celestia, “Princess.”

Luna silently backs out of the throne room and, once out of sight, teleports back into her suite. A quick repair spell fixes her door, and she manages to get back into the bed and cover the quietly purring changeling with a blanket just as the irritatingly aggressive knocking of somepony who doesn’t respect her at all resonates through the suite.

She telekinetically unlocks the door and calls out:

“Come in!”

Sun’s Fury in full armor stomps into the suite and casts a scanning spell which reveals nothing suspicious around and can’t penetrate the barrier around Luna’s bed.

“A paladin?” Luna fakes surprise, “Is anything wrong?”

“Your sister sent me to check if you’re okay, trait- princess.”

“Of course, why wouldn’t We be?”

“...shouldastayedonthemoon...” mutters Sun’s Fury before saying out loud, “Canterlot has been attacked by an army of changelings, princess.”

“Oh dear, was it? I must have slept through it all.”

“...incompetent moon-lover...”

“Did you say anything? The soundproofing spell around the bed is rather powerful,” Luna narrows her eyes.

“I said that Her Majesty will be relieved to hear that you’re unharmed.”

“Majesty is a title for queens, not princesses. The correct one is either princess or Highness.”

“I’ll keep that in mind...” Sun’s Fury grumbles and leaves.

Luna takes a deep, relieved breath in and out.

“Now what do We do with this little disaster?” she scratches 65536 behind the ear.

The drone goes blep and starts drooling all over plush Celestia.

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