• Published 19th Oct 2021
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Accepting Change - drFraud

Well... it seems I'm a changeling... Decades before the first episode of FiM.

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CH 2 (how he arrived)


I watched as the poor human/changeling collapsed in a heap after my knockout spell hit him while moving to the side and letting the doctor that followed me rush into the cell to check on the bug-pony.

He was not supposed to react like this to a little illusion trick. After all, he held himself quite commendable thus far considering that he has spent well over four hours with an illusion of Spark Hoof.

‘Maybe we missed something,’ I chewed on my cheek.

My ears were assaulted by my advisors arguing on the other end of a communication spell, and I decided to turn it off with a sigh. They were starting to wear at my hearing.

“Your Highness.” I heard the doctor's voice, trying to get my attention.

“Yes, doctor?” I stepped into the cell, approaching the pony and the downed changeling. He had his head lowered, horn glowing with white light and pointed at the prisoner, going through a deep scan spell.

Doctor White Light is an aged, snow-white unicorn, with an orange wavy mane and tail, both of which had streaks of yellow in them, and golden yellow eyes. He was on the chubby side, with long gangly legs, and a slightly pudgy body, owing to his recent slower lifestyle. His cutie mark is a red cross surrounded by a golden corona of light. He carried several pouches and pockets on his forelegs, and red half-moon glasses perched on his nose.

White Light is the foremost expert on xeno-anatomy in Equestria, providing medical services to minotaurs, Abyssinians, hippogriffs and even dragons among other species of this world. Even now, close to retirement, when offered this job yesterday he jumped at the offer with gusto, exclaiming that ‘studying changeling biology is Starswirl’s spellbook of Xeno study’. Given the fact that less than a hoof full of ponies knew that changelings still existed, I was quite surprised about that statement. Let alone that studying changelings was held in such high regard, given their secrecy.

I knew of Changelings and their insane queen Chrysalis, but the last time I saw them was centuries ago when I dropped them in a semi-active volcano. And while occasional reports by my spy network does prove that changelings still very much exist and are active, actually capturing one is nearly impossible. And while my capable spies have located an approximate location of their nest, I am still unable to do anything much about it. Cursed anti-magic field.

“Anything to report?” I asked him.

Doctor Light stopped the spell and gave the changeling an appraising look before turning towards me.

“Nothing of note.” He said, pulling his red half-moon glasses off his muzzle with magic and putting them in one of the pouches. “I don’t see or sense any damage… Although, for the sake of his mental health it would probably be better to keep such illusions and tricks to a minimum.”

I spotted the golden anti-magic ring on the floor next to changelings’ head, cracked down the middle, and picked it up with my magic for examination.

Normal ‘a-m rings’ would effectively stop any and all magic flow. Regardless of strength, a normal unicorn would be unable to use magic the moment the ring is set on the base of the horn. With me being an alicorn there are some benefits, namely, my earth pony strength would allow me to simply crush the ring with my hooves, and even my unicorn magic (in tandem with my connection to the sun) wouldn’t be completely sealed. I would be weaker, but only temporarily. I had dealt with anti-magic fields in the past, a simple ‘a-m ring’ would be a non-issue.

“It is rather fascinating that he was able to crack the ‘a-m ring’,” I held out the ring for the doctor, who grabbed it with his hooves. “Especially since he comes from a race that apparently never used magic in the first place.”

Doctor Light approached one of my guards at the entrance and gave him the cracked ring.

“That’s why I said that we need to give him a proper examination in the first place, Princess.” He complained, turning fully towards me. “If we did our research, as we should have done immediately, we would have known whether an ‘a-m ring’ would work or not.”

“That may be so, doctor,” I sighed, “but we all agreed that proper containment as well as necessary facilities needed to be prepared first.” I used my magic and lifted the poor human/changeling placing him on the lower bunk before turning to Doctor Light. “Besides, I believe your exact words were: ‘I’m just giddy enough to study the bloodwork, do what you want with him.’ Hmmm.” I giggled lightly at his pout.

“Well, yes.” He huffed. “Which is the only reason why I’m not as upset right now.”

I moved towards the door with White Light trailing behind me.

“I don’t think I need to tell you, your highness, just how dangerous of a game we are playing right now,” he continued. “Not only did we not know whether the translation spell will work properly, but we also didn’t know whether he will see through the illusion, attack, or, well, there are plenty of things that could have gone wrong.”

I sat down outside of the cell, watching the sleeping changeling. The cell door closed with a clang before a light bell sound signified the activation of its magic, locking the doors down.

Doctor Light went ahead down the hallway, and I followed after him. The two guards took their place on the left and right of the cell.

“That may be so, Doctor, but as we saw he was content to explore both his body and his surroundings without showing any signs of aggression.” I nodded to another set of guards that stood in front of the hallway entrance. They opened the door and let us pass into the next hallway. At its other end, sounds of chatter could be heard.

This cell was completely isolated from the rest of the cell block of Canterlot dungeons. And as much as it bothered me that we put an innocent soul inside the dungeons, this was, as of right now, the most isolated cell in Equestria. And until we learn as much as we could about our extra-dimensional visitor it will remain that way… At least until adequate facilities have been acquired and prepared.

“Maybe so, Princess. But for all we know, he could be lulling us into a false sense of security.” Doctor Light commented over his shoulder.

When we exited the hallway, we came to a large room full of well over a dozen ponies. From the highest of arch-mages to the Guard Captain and her advisors to experts of biology, science, and many more.

The room was abuzz with conversations and arguments. I even saw two ponies butting heads in the far corner of the room before some guards separated them. There were notes flying through the air, as well as pieces of equipment that exchanged hooves; ponies running to-and-fro and trying to grab the attention of their colleagues or superiors.

Overall, it was total bedlam, and I was worried that we might awaken Discord by accident. One massive event is enough for another century; thank you very much. I still don’t want to speak about the sugar collapse that happened last century.

From the corner of my eye, I spotted the captain of my guard approaching me while the good doctor left to join a group that looked over some data or another.

“Captain Shield Strike, anything to report?” I asked with a smile.

Shield Strike was an earth pony mare well into the prime of her life. Her deep red fur was crisscrossed in several places with pale scars that stood as proof of her ‘I’ll do it myself' attitude. The very same attitude that earned her the nickname ‘Red Menace’ in guard camp. Her massive body rippled with hard-earned muscle and her heavy hoof falls would cause everypony in her path to duck out of her way. Shield Strike did not have to crane her head much like other ponies to look me in the eyes. One of the things I was silently glad for. I love my little ponies, but it can get annoying and cramp inducing to look down at them all the time. Her cutie mark of a grey cracked tower shield with a hoof imprint was in the open for all to see since she was out of armour right now.

Her short tawny-orange mane and tail were complemented by her mint green eyes, and she had a vicious looking blue tattoo she spitefully decided to get on her left front shoulder, in the shape of a manticore claw swipe. I hated that tattoo with every fibre of my being, and I told her that every single day since she got it. And will continue to do so until her last breath.

I still loved my wife dearly, though, and will, again, continue to do so until her last breath.

“Nothing to report yet, Princess Celestia. Although, the Arch-mage did wish to speak to you.” She stopped in front of me and gave me a sharp salute. Right hoof striking her left breast. The strike was necessary because in her own words ‘it separates the wheat from the chaff'.

I rolled my eyes good-naturedly at my wife and greeted her as is my right: a kiss on her delectable lips.

She returned the kiss for a split second before I was playfully shoved back. “Celestia! Really?”

“Yes, really, Strike.” I nodded with zero shame that others could see us. I could just barely see the blush on her cheeks, but her other tell was plain as day. Namely, her ears were fully at attention and vibrating slightly, a clear sign that I got a good reaction out of her, and that she is merely flustered.

“I told you when I’m at work…” she started.

“Yes, yes, dear. When you are working then we must be professional.” I finished.

“That’s nots what I say, and you knows it.” She threw a playful pout my way as we moved to the side allowing the constant stream of ponies to move undisturbed.

I tittered. “I am well aware of what you usually say, my love. But I refuse to use such language in public.”

She gave a fake gasp, much to my amusement, and placed her hooves on her chest in mock hurt.

“How dare you… I’ll have you knows that ‘tonsil massage’ is not at all vulgar and or uncouth.” A snort and some sputtering could be heard from one of the nearby tables. “OI!” She shouted, and I pinned my ears to my head. “The fuck are you doing, eavesdropping on my talking with my wife?!”

“Incorrect…” I started with a giggle.

“Don’t care.” She waved me off half-heartedly, leaning her bulky frame on my left side.

We enjoyed our moment for a few precious seconds before she opened her mouth.

“Arch-mage said that we can’ts put any more rings on the bug.” She did not sound pleased.

“How so, my dear.” I was surprised to hear that, especially since it was the arch-mage that suggested the ring to stay on the changeling in the first place.

“Apparently he finished his observation of his body and magic.” Shield Shifted her weight before leaning back onto me. “By putting the ring on his horn, we has irreversibly caused his body to stop adapting to our world… At least that’s what I gots out of it.” She huffed.

I blinked a couple of times in confusion.

“I thought that when he was pulled to our world the spell made an immediate change.” I stretched my wings before using my left one to pull her closer to me. “At least, to my knowledge, which was what the original spell used on the mirror portal did.”

A soldier approached us and gave my wife a scroll. She gave it a quick read before, nodding and returning it to the guard with another firmer nod, sending the guard away with a quick salute.

“Dunno bout’ any of the magical mumbo-jumbo he threw at me. I’m just giving you the gist of it.” She sighed and made herself comfortable under my wing, causing a smile to sprout on my muzzle.

“Well then…” I started pulling my wing back and causing my wife to stumble slightly. This earned me a glare that softened after a quick peck on the lips. “Guess I have an arch-mage to find now, don’t I?”

We both stood up and she shooed me away with her hoof and a twitch of her tail. Making her look ‘weak’ in front of her comrades was a big ‘no-no’ button and I loved pushing it every once in a while.

“Ye, ye. Go and talk shop with the old geezer.” She turned around with a snort and started walking to one of the many tables in the room. “He can talks your ears off instead of mine. Tartarus knows, if I ‘ave to listen to him anymore, I’ll tear ‘em off myself.”

“Aw, why would you do that my love? Who will listen to MY complaints then?” I called after her. That got me an over the shoulder glare and a double hind hoof count.

I chuckled at my wife’s brazenness and remembered a time some unlucky noble gave me a double count in front of my, then, marefriend. Suffice to say it took weeks of magi-medical recovery before she could walk again, and my Shield got a stern talking to. While her chivalrous attitude in defending my honour from such a nasty gesture was romantic in a sense, there is a limit to what one can do to, well, defend one’s honour. And causing severe bodily harm was crossing the line… Even though in the olden days, giving the princess a double count was punishable by death. Provided I wasn’t able to stop such nonsense in time.

I sighed heavily, remembering my past, and started looking for the arch-mage Spell Scroll.

I found him, and a group of his mages at one of the furthest tables.

I could see most of them leaving, and by the time I arrived, I saw that poor Scroll looked about ready to pass out. Completely reasonable as this event caught him in the middle of his all-nighter, and he hasn’t slept since.

His graphite-coloured fur looked matted and unbrushed, as did his sky-blue mane and, of course, the beard. He always did say that any arch-mage worth his salt must have a beard. Or conjure one if one was a mare.

He looked towards me with his tired ice-blue eyes, before grunting and pulling a flask out of his velvet cloak that covered his body. And, naturally, the cloak had bells. His way of honouring my mentor, Starswirl.

“How many of those did you drink now, my friend?” I asked him as his body flashed with dim light.

He grimaced at the taste, before looking at me. Some vigour now returned with flasks’ effect.

“I’ll have you know, Princess,” he started, putting the flask away, “that is only the third gulp I got out of that reinvigoration potion.” He smacked his lips a few times before pulling the flask out again. He opened it and peered into its contents. “Although, I’ll have to toss this batch out. It’s starting to spoil.”

“Are you telling me, Arch-mage Spell Scroll, that you are drinking a spoiled batch of re-vigour potion?” I asked while raising my eyebrow. “That seems somewhat reckless given your age and status.”

He snorted before casting his magic into the flask. I couldn’t hear any liquid sloshing so I’m guessing he got rid of it.

“I’m barely fifty, Princess.” He said, putting away his, now empty, flask. I reminded myself that he is one of the youngest arch-mages in the last six centuries. “Besides,” he continued, “not all of us are like you. I need all the help I can get.”

This time I snorted. I sat down and fluffed my wings while I was looking around the room. I spotted my wife near the entrance of the room, probably giving some orders, or receiving reports. I should get back to my office soon as well. This little venture, while a fun distraction, can only last so long.

“I’m glad you dropped by though.” I turned to my arch-mage, prompting him to go on with my right wing, while I went back to my observation. “I said to that brute you call a wife, and I’ll say it to you now: we can’t put another ‘a-m ring’ on the poor bug.” He cleared his throat. “At least not until his body settles.”

I took a deep breath and fully turned towards Spell Scroll. “I know you and my wife don’t exactly see eye to eye, my friend, but must you call her a brute at every opportunity?” I wasn’t upset at my arch-mage. Both my wife and he respected one another, but it was begrudging respect at best. At least they were cordial with each other.

“Maybe one day,” he said, sorting through a hoof full of parchment in front of him with his hooves. “After she apologises for wrecking my tower.”

I watched him roll and seal several parchments as I sighed.

I knew my wife… She would never apologise. Not out of spite mind you, but out of sheer bull-headed pride. She did help fix the tower with her own hooves though, and that’s the only reason Scroll is as amicable as he is.

“Back to the reason I came to you, Arch-mage,” I started while picking up some of the open scrolls scattered over the table with my magic. Spell formulae and old parchments detailing what little was known about changeling anatomy. “Why can’t we put another ring on the changeling?” I put the scrolls down. “If I recall the report, he was barely conscious before that. Overwhelmed by everypony's emotions I believe.”

The arch-mage moved a few scrolls around the table with magic before lifting three of them and presenting them to me. I opened them all and lined them in front of me while he talked.

“These scrolls are the collective scans, observations and diagrams of his transformation since his unfortunate arrival to our world.” I nodded as he continued. “As you are no doubt aware, the transformation upon using the mirror portal should be instantaneous. But it wasn’t and it confused many of my mages to no end as to why.”

“It still confounds me,” I mumbled.

“Quite,” he continued. “Now, poor miss Hoof had a whole team of ponies scanning from the very moment that human came through, and it’s what helped us finally figure this out.”

I raise my head from the scrolls in front of me and lift an expectant eyebrow while my arch-mage is sifting through the parchments on the table with his magic. With a victorious ‘Aha!’ he lifts a ragged looking scroll and presents it to me.

“This,” he said hoofing the scroll to my magic grip, “is the very first scan upon his arrival. Tell me, Princess Celestia, do you notice anything… strange?”

I open the scroll and look at its contents.

On the scroll itself is an image of several shadow looking beings of different shapes. I’ve gotten used to reading such images over the centuries as magic and medicine advanced. This image, in particular, was used by my mages in order to figure out the quality, quantity as well as flow of magic. While the black shapes represented the ponies in various positions, it’s the inside of the shapes that were the object of my attention.

In these magicked images several colours stood out. Namely blues and greens. Blues and their hues are the quality of magic; and greens, and its corresponding hues, being its flow. The quantity was usually found by both of these factors combined. It was the third colour that caught my undivided attention.

“SO easy to spot isn’t it,” Scroll chuckled. “But we still completely missed it.”

There, in the middle of the image, was a silhouette of a human, and in the very centre of his body’s shadow was a tiny red coloured sphere. It was barely branching, but it was there.

“Foreign magic,” I stammered. “Not just foreign but completely alien.”

“Eyup,” Spell got on his hind legs and slammed his front hooves on the table shaking it. “Direct proof of Starswirl’s ‘outer magic’ theory, right under our muzzles and we threw it to the side.” He ground out. “We were so dumbfounded that it took us a full minute before we ransacked the rest of the scrolls looking through them.” He lit up his horn and unrolled six scrolls in front of me. He placed them chronologically from left to right, with five-second interval timers to show time flow.

I stood up on my hind legs and leaned forward, using my front legs for balance.

The first scroll was the very first scan. Showing several ponies and one human. I found the human’s mana core with ease, now that I knew what I was looking for, and followed along the timeline. Spell Scroll was guiding me through it.

“As you can see, we have ponies and a human.” He stood on his hind legs on the other end of the, what I now noticed, round table and pointed at each image with a quill he acquired. “The ponies, we will ignore for obvious reasons, are the blue representing our own mana and its lighter hue tells us that they are of rather high quality (props to Miss Hoof, she knows how to find good help).” Then he used the quill to tap the human silhouette. “The human’s mana, however, is red; barely any branching and, on closer observation, its hue is garnet (spotted by one of my assistants). That tells us that his magic, based on our own system, is subpar. BUT that’s not the interesting part.”

He moved the quill to the second image and my eyes nearly bugged out. The second image had no change to the human's mana core.

From old, earlier tests with the mirror, we have figured out that a pony’s mana core would change temporarily into a darker hue upon entering/exiting the mirror portal. Even the sedated humans we brought through for testing over a decade ago, gained a mana core on transformation and got darker due to portals’ effect at smudging ponies magic on transformation with impurities.

This human had no change, well over ten seconds after entering our world. That meant that not only did the portal NOT use human’s magic to transform but that his magic is too stable to pick up impurities. Even I had some impurities in my core after using the portal, and I’m as close to a goddess as I could get without pulling on some higher magic.

“Is… Is that why there was no immediate transformation?” I asked my arch-mage.

“That is our current theory, yes.” He said tapping his beard with the quill still in his magic. “His magic is far too stable to be affected by mirror’s immediate effects. And the fact that he didn’t pick up any impurities is also of note.” He piped up, clearly deep in thought.

As he was thinking I took the time to find the precise point that the transformation started, finding it about thirty seconds after the human's entry. The very last of the six scrolls. Previously, his silhouette was standing upright, but now it was hunched over, parts of him looked different from the original shadow. His centre core was now…

“Green?” I questioned, looking up at Spell Scroll.

He ‘hm-ed’ once before looking down at the indicated scroll.

“Ah yes. The last thirty seconds.” He tapped the outline with his quill. “A massive outflow of mana from his core. It’s when his transformation certainly started. But it’s what’s happening later that should keep your attention.”

He rolled up the six scrolls I was examining and brought another set of six. This one caused me even more confusion as the colour of the human’s mana core was now purple.

“As you can see,” Scroll tapped each of the six scrolls, “during his transformation, his magic was mixing with ours. I was never under the impression that THAT is a possibility but here we are.” He shrugged. “As you can see on the outlines of our dear miss Hoof’s team, they were rather stunned.”

Indeed. As I looked at their outlines their ears were perked and fully trained on the human in the centre while their bodies leaned back.

“And this,” my arch-mage exclaimed, removed the second set of six and replaced it with a third, “is where the whole transformation went to Tartarus.”

I looked at the newly revealed scrolls and immediately saw the problem. In between the twentieth and twenty-fifth second, the ring was placed on the, now prone, changeling silhouette. At one minute and fifteen seconds, the changeling’s mana was turning a nice deep shade of blue with hints of red and purple intermixed. At one minute and twenty seconds the green showing that the mana flow is still present, and at one minute twenty-five seconds it's completely gone. At one minute and thirty seconds, the mana was coloured a deep, dark purple with hints of red.

Normally, in such a scenario a transformation spell would cancel out and the body would start reverting back to its original shape as the pony’s original mana signature would overpower the new one, simply speaking.

But in this case, the ring was on. The ring being on meant that the mana flow is stopped. The only theory I could come up with is that Patchwork’s mana was fully adaptable and accepted the transformation and was trying to settle in.

“But why did the mana go from blue to purple and red?” I whispered.

Spell Scroll chuckled excitedly, clopping his front hooves together in an imitation of a minotaur clap.

“That’s the thing,” he said in between giggles. “Don’t you see, his own magic is so aggressive it took our own and melded it to itself, even with such high saturation. It used our own magic as fuel to feed itself and I’m one hundred percent certain that he had no control of it whatsoever.” He skipped a few times on all fours. His re-vigour potion was finally kicking in properly. “My current working theory is that”, he pulled an empty scroll from a separate pile under the table and started madly writing with the quill in his magic, “his species relies purely on a passive magic system (a ’la earth ponies). It’s quite possible that they never knew they possessed magic in the first place and left pure, unfiltered instinct to guide it.” He giggled again. “A fully developed, instinctual mana core would be pure, condensed mana like in the very first image. A stable, passive mana would be hard to influence by outside sources.

In fact, I’m certain that by now his magic is fully red again, with higher volume and better flow. Actually, this current lashing out of his mana and absorption of ours was probably a passive reaction under stress.”

“Like the minotaurs!” I exclaimed.

“Exactly!” He yelled, shortly drawing attention from other tables. With a quiet ‘oops’ Spell Scroll composed himself and left the, now fully written, scroll on the side to dry the ink. He dragged one hoof over his beard in thought, “I think they call it… Oh what was it…” he hummed. “Ah yes, mana-adrenal surge. An instinctual magical strengthening buff that triggers in dire situations if my memory still serves me.” He looked me directly in the eye. “And if I also recall, Taurian magic is also quite aggressive and absorbs everything that can strengthen it. It's why Minotaurs are so adaptable.”

That would explain that then.

“So, I take it we now have a changeling-human hybrid at our hooves, using a magic specific to his human species,” I concluded.

“Possible, but a human-pony-changeling hybrid. At least that’s what I think he is now.

However,” he continued shaking his head, “I’d wager we would find more if we could get a deeper, more detailed scan of his biology… Maybe even another scan of his magic, to see what we are working with.” There was a quiet ‘pop’ sound and a projection orb appeared in front of the arch-mage, showing the still knocked out hybrid. “We could do some good research and scans now while he’s out of it.”

I opened my mouth to agree with him when I heard a sudden shout of excitement from my wife. I turned my head to the entrance of the observation room and spotted her turning in my direction and waving her hooves.

“OI, Sunshine!” She shouted. “My mooks are telling me that we have the room for the bug-colt ready!” I could see most of the ponies around her pin their ears in discomfort and I sympathised with them. My wife had an incredible set of lungs.

I nodded at her and summoned one of her guards to me with my wing. I really did not want to shout.

The guard gave me a crisp salute (without the smack) and awaited my orders.

I turned to Spell Scroll first.

“Arch-Mage, round up the mages and doctors.” I swept broadly at the whole room with my left wing and foreleg. “Set up a powerful sleep spell on our hybrid and get as many scans as possible and tests you can get with him asleep. And please remember, nothing invasive. We have done too much to him as it is.”

I got a grunt of acknowledgement from my arch-mage as he left to do as I asked. Then I turned to the guard.

“Relay to your Captain that I want the room to be ready to receive the hybrid as soon as the tests and scans are done. I want the transfer to be as smooth and discreet as possible. No ports and no gates.”

He nodded and galloped off through the, now even bigger, chaos carrying the message. I cringed again thinking about Discord and have decided not to worry. If the sugar crisis didn’t wake him up, this certainly won’t.

I decided to go and steal another kiss from my wife before I go back to my office.

I saw and spoke to an alien… I think I deserve some extra cake for today,’ I thought with a smile.

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