• 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 8 (Changes)

Patchwork



I hate this SO much,’ I sighed for the umpteenth time today, trying to use my meagre knowledge of human technology to help these ponies understand it.

Celestia insisted that by stealing, learning about my tech, ponies would finally be pushed out of the rut of they dug themselves in with stagnation. I should never have shown them how my phone works.

I actually thought that I would have to explain how… technologically stagnant they have gotten, but I was apparently beaten to the punch. And Little Miss Sunbutt was quite smug about the whole thing.

Whatever the case, I, along with several ponies, have decided to take both my laptop and two surviving cell phones apart, put them back together (‘magic is awesome’), and take them apart -again- for study. They wanted to see how these devices fully come together in detail. Detail I simply couldn’t help with.

God damn it, Celestia! I’m a nurse, not a mechanic…engineer, whatever’

“I still refuse to believe that you have barely ANY comprehension about these devices.” Little Zap complained. She held a small diode (I think) in strange-looking tweezers in front of her. She was tiny for an earth pony and a monochrome banana-yellow from mane to tail. The only differences were her rich blue eyes, and her blue cutie mark in the shape of a lightning bolt made of… well… bolts.

The rest of the team groaned loudly in protest. Zap and I have been arguing about it for a week now, going back and forth. With her constantly belittling me about my lack of knowledge, and me telling her off while trying to explain that I had other pressing matters other than learning about every piece of technology.

It's not that these ponies were ungrateful for my information, they were pleased with what I was able to give. But there were ones like Little Zap that refused to see reason… or at least, MY reason.

“And I can’t believe we have to go over this again!” I heard a silent prayer to Celestia for ‘both of them to shut up’ but I ignored it. “I am a nurse. I know about the human body, this- “I waved both my claws at disassembled pieces, “-is not in my portfolio.”

Zap scowled and lifted her head to tell me off again, but I had a question for her this time.

“Do you even know everything about earth pony magic?” Several ponies lifted their heads from their work and shook them in my direction with trepidation. I did not take the hint.

“AS a matter of fact, human,” she gave me a haughty look, “I do!” She picked up the keyboard mesh and looked through it. “Before coming to Canterlot I spent the better part of two decades studying every single aspect of earth pony magic… From golemancy, to runology, geomancy, and arobormancy. I farmed and trained until I was certain I knew everything I could before I decided to pour my life into technology rather than magic.”

She put the mesh down and picked a different piece to examine while I pretended that I wasn’t impressed.

When it became obvious that she said her peace, I stood up and walked away from the piles of scrap and the ponies studying it. I told them everything I knew anyways, and I was rather of the opinion that I should take my losses like a man… stallion. Besides, I can’t top her.

Human life is so vastly different that they cannot fathom why I wouldn’t try to learn as much as I could about an object like a cell phone. Considering how most of them treat knowledge I’d call them hypocritical.

Their lives are slow, much slower than ours, when I tried to explain to them how much I could (and sometimes do) cram into a day they were stupefied. Even Celestia said that doing so much in a day sounds like an exhausting venture.

When I asked a few of them what their days are like, it came down to: wake up, go to work/do a hobby, relax/go to work, settle groceries, relax, go to sleep. That’s it… That’s most of their day, provided their mark didn’t make their day busier. Meeting with friends counted as relaxation. They obviously never drunk-argued with their bestie on a Friday night.

My day, on the other claw, was: wake up, go to work, exercise, write/draw, play games, go out with mates, and only then I’ll probably go to sleep at a reasonable time… maybe… my doctor isn’t impressed.

…Meh.

We were studying near my apartment, so I didn’t have to go far to relax.

It has been over a month since I woke up from my nap and the room has gotten a significant upgrade.

Aside from my apartment, the entire room got a boost. New machines, new furniture as well as proper sectioning of the, well, sections and the tests… by the stars, the tests are never-ending. Speed (barely as fast as a pegasus), endurance (higher than a pegasus, lower than an earth pony), strength (pegasus level), magic (unimpressive by unicorn standards), weight (one hundred kg, (same unit, go figure) I am considered heavy), height, one-twenty cm), breathing, MORE blood tests, etc, etc, etc.

The practicing is fun though.

Yesterday we did some magic practice in an area close to the exit (on the right once entered) and it was quite fun if exhausting. Even when I managed to master the fireball spell by now, they are still relatively unimpressed by my abilities.

The practice was simple: lift an object, throw something, squeeze some beach balls (got one to burst near Shield Strike, the punishment of fifty push-ups was worth it), and generally use my changeling magic as much as possible outside of transformations.

But honestly, I have an unfair advantage when it comes to learning.

Photographic memory!

With specific attention being given to outward senses.

I kept thinking that my memory is merely enhanced, but after talking to some ponies, and two tests later confirmed their suspicion.

I never knew just how much of a chore having it would be, especially since I was able to remember stuff I did during my starvation period with ease (so many apologies given). Everything after my arrival to Equestria was easy to remember, and terrifyingly so. Stuff before that was a little fuzzy. I remembered things from my human life, as a human. Meaning there were natural gaps in my memory. This is why my first order of business was to write down EVERYTHING I knew canonically about MLP.

No one knows I know about this world. Celestia may be able to guess I know a few things, but she will never guess the sheer extent of the future I knew. And if she did, I doubt I’d have the freedom I have now. Needless to say, Celestia did not know anything (I hope), and I intended to keep it that way. As long as possible at least.

Pony series aside, the photographic memory makes sense in hindsight…

I should grab something to eat…’ I thought, entering my domicile.

I mean, changelings should be able to change shape into just about anything (I’m certain there are limits); so, it makes sense that there must be a way for a changeling to be able to, well, change into something that he/she saw years or even decades ago.

There must be more to it than that, but for now, I’m content with the level of knowledge I had. We will be looking into transformations more next week with doctor White Light.

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“All right Mr. Patch, try changing into myself,” White Light requested. He held a quill and a small stack of parchment in his magic and was writing into it. To make my transformation easier he had no clothing or pouches on himself.

We were in the ‘magic’ corner of the massive room, surrounded by several ponies that were taking notes much like Dr. White. Horns were alight and there were several pieces of equipment pointed at me.

Ever since I finally learned how to transform it has been surprisingly going like a charm after the first three days of struggle.

Those first three days were headache after headache (both literal and metaphorical), and our attempts were met with failure after failure.

I need little sleep as a changeling (especially after my cocooning), and I spent most of those three days doing nothing but trying to change.

The good doctor though spent two days awake, helped by some concoction he kept vigorously drinking every few hours. Other than creating some nice-looking sparks to ‘shoot out’ of his fur it didn’t look like it worked… He disagrees, but I like to think that his willpower is something else.

During the first two days we tried several methods to achieve a transformation: unicorn type casting, meditation, inner focus, arcane release (something like what Twilight did with the hydra but controlled (‘it can be also released instinctually under duress’)), a transformation spell (‘messed it up so badly I had a splitting headache for an hour’), and lastly a pegasus type cloud illusion (‘that one threw me for a spin’).

Anyway… All of those attempts were for naught, as we got nowhere. The third day though… I had a personal breakthrough.

I looked at White Light and found the metaphorical string in my core. I plucked it with my inner magic muscles while keeping what makes White Light ‘White Light’ at the forefront of my mind… His fur, his height, and his breadth, as well as the little bits (eyes, ears, mouth, horn, wrinkles, and hooves).

With my newly appreciated memory, I was able to recall everything I needed, and with my changeling mind (‘natural multitaskers I’m guessing’) I was able to keep it all together.

The moment my string was ‘plucked’ (it feels like plucking a string, but it’s actually closer to tensing a muscle that’s flooded by mana), I felt my body heat up, shift, and morph, and in a flash of fire two White Lights were now in the room. I was about a head shorter (my size) but that’s mostly because I haven’t eaten today.

“Hmmm…” Light raised his head examining me. “As expected, you are roughly twenty percent shorter on an empty stomach.” Said stomach growled loudly.

Now-” he pointed a quill at the nearby table full of various foods, “eat up, and we will repeat again.”

“Finally!” I cried out, throwing my claws into the air, which was followed by several giggles from the other scientists. They wanted me to be good and hungry for this first test, so I did not eat anything this morning. Just hungry, not starved.

The reason for this new test was that we noticed how, when I transform my magic draws from the resin in my stomach. Especially if it’s something that is larger than I am.

Everything I eat would be broken down into two things: liquid and resin.

The liquid is mostly colorful urine (depending on what I drink and eat); the resin, however, is where it’s at.

Not only can resin be used for construction and to bind someone down (‘that was fun when we tested it’) it’s also used during transformations. What resin does when transformed is that the body uses it subconsciously in order to add mass, height, and weight. It all depends on what the transformation lacks in scope. The ratio of its usage was baffling, to the point where I was able to use a single small meal for well over twenty transformations taller than me during practice. Speaking of height.

If I wanted to make a transformation that is taller than I, then the body would use some amount of resin in order to ‘add’ height to it. I was told that it’s essentially using resin and mana as a bricks and mortar, but I swear there is more to it… too bad I’ve yet to care enough to look deeper into it.

The fire flash isn’t just for effect. It’s a way for a changeling to hide the intricacies of the change. I managed to change without fire, but not only was it hard, I felt very, very WRONG for an hour afterward. I’m glad there was no one around to see it.

Anyways… Food!

After eating my fill and chatting with some of the ponies (‘surprising how friendly they get once you win them over’), we started again.

This time, however, I changed twice. Once in order to perfectly mimic White Light, the second time to remove some weight off his frame.

White Light peered at me over the rim of his glasses, clearly not amused even with the laughter in the background.

“If you are going to make a fool of yourself Mr. Patchwork, I would suggest you at least not look anorexic, or like you are missing organs.” He lifted the glasses back and wrote down a few lines of notes while I sheepishly reverted back to my old self. I did notice where I made the mistake, though, and was making a mental note to study up my equine anatomy better.

We went through several other transformations, including non-ponies (with some help from an anatomy book), before we finished for the day. My language and social studies were up tomorrow, and I wasn’t exactly overjoyed.

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God, it’s me, again. Please bring over Little Zap, I’d rather talk with her.’

“OUCH!” I yelped covering my head with my claws, looking over at the offending wing of my teacher.

“Mr. Patchwork, if you are so insistent on ‘zoning out’ during my lecture; neither I, nor our dear Princess, will be pleased.” Ms. Quill Swift said sternly.

I guess I have been lost in my thoughts a bit too much today. Especially since I figured out how to transform. I have spent every day now thinking about the possibilities.

Anyway.

While grammatically Equish was similar to English (there were a few differences, such as extended tenses as well as extra ones), it was a bit more complicated, requiring me to learn completely unfamiliar words for, say, magic, that English simply did not have. Like ‘njuuhau’ which could be translated as ‘core’, but it relates to pony magic core which is nowhere near as simple as just ‘a core’.

“I'm sorry ma’am, I had something on my mind.”

“Well, whatever it was, I hope it was worthwhile.” She lifted a stack of parchment with her hooves while holding another two parchments with her primaries. Something that always amazed me. Pegasus wings are extremely dexterous. “Because we are done today.” She continued sternly.

“We are?” I questioned.

“Yes we are,” she narrowed her eyes at me. “Which you would notice if you paid attention. Regardless,” she straightened her parchments and started packing up, “you would be happy to know that, even with your ‘interruptions’ I am quite satisfied with your progress.”

I raised a questioning eyebrow. I never got the feeling that I progressed beyond memorizing words. Not to mention I have only studied for a month.

“Now, given your magnificent memory; I would wager we have another few sessions before I can simply give you a dictionary and leave you to it. Your writing, however, is basic at best and beyond practice, I cannot help you with that.” She gave a haughty sniff, packed the rest of her stuff into saddlebags, and left without a word of goodbye.

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“Noooooo!” wailed my next tormentor.

Circlet Ball was next on the docket.

Today on the itinerary is ears. I was given cue cards that required me to read the emotion/action and I was to move my ears in the necessary position. And me not having such manoeuvrable appendages before meant my control was lacking, even after the recent two weeks of practice. In a world with no fingers, and where ears can be moved every which way, their use in communication becomes paramount, if simple.

Keeping the ears focused forward and fully perked, means you are attentive to the conversation or the situation. Different degrees of placement means you are either upset (forty-five-degree angle), angry (ninety degrees and with light shaking) or scared (fully pinned to your head). There are also variations to this depending on how the ear is turned, whether it's twitching or shaking, or if either one is raised while the other is lowered.

There is also an entire sign language invented by pegasi and used primarily by them and by earth ponies. Unicorns simply use their magic to write out what they want to say… provided their magic worked of course.

All stuff that was INCREDIBLY fun to learn in the first few days of my study. In practice, I was having issues. Such as now.

The reason for my teacher’s wailing is because my tail was swishing lazily left to right (lazy l-r swish means contentment, happiness) while I was twitching my ears in agitation. I was supposed to twitch my tail at the same time in tune with the ears. Why I need to learn things that come instinctually I don’t know, but I was told it was important, so here I am.

“I ‘ave told you thrice already you muss not move the tush wif ze earz!” He continued wailing, in his heavy accent.

I sighed heavily and nodded my head, making sure my ears were pinned in embarrassment.

“Good, good… You ‘ave remembered zat ze ears muss be pinned. At least we are making some progress.” He motioned me to continue with his hoof, and I took the cue cards, continuing my practice.

This wasn’t as fun as reading about it was.

I was hoping it ends soon.

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My progress with Equish was much better than I originally hoped. Case in point, I was reading a history book. I honestly thought it would take me longer, but here we go. I was lounging in my bed, lying on the side.

Equestrian history is… interesting.

Before Equestria was founded there was nothing but wars and conflicts between the tribes. Mostly between pegasi and unicorns, but earth-ponies were far from innocent. They had their fair share of aggressors.

Anyway, it was reading through its history that I ran into some interesting tidbits.

Number one, I need to get a calendar and learn how to use it.

Number two, following the show, the sirens came first, and they were one of the major reasons for the escalations that followed (Tirek, Discord, and Sombra in that order). Some historians even speculated that wendigos were the by-product of the siren influence, but that would mean that those three were alive longer than Celestia was. Either that or there were more sirens before. But other than Adagio, Aria, and Sonata no other siren was mentioned.

Number three is where I am stuck now, rethinking the whole thirty minutes and all the history I’ve read thus far, trying to find where I missed this before.

There, right next to the founding of Equestria, a name stood out: Luna, sister of Princess Celestia, bringer of Night and Dreams, and The Sleeping Princess.

“The Sleeping Princess?” I whispered to myself, thoroughly confused.

No one in the show, sans Twilight and Celestia to our knowledge, knew about her or Nightmare Moon, yet here it was.

I opened the index of the book and searched for Princess Luna, hoping to find more about her. Lucky me, there was.

Apparently, Celestia did not want her sister to be forgotten, or what happened to her. Long story short, according to the book, Luna got corrupted by an outside influence, fought Equestria at large for almost a year AS Nightmare Moon, got blasted by the rainbow cannon as Celestias’ last-ditch effort, and her spirit and soul were now trapped on the moon due to the evil nightmare. The actual body is in stasis, somewhere. The book isn’t specific about where stating that only Celestia and a hoof-full of thestrals know her real location.

The entire thing is romanticized to Tartarus and back (‘only the chosen pony will save her at the thousand-year mark’), but for me, the whole thing gave me a head full of questions and a headache to boot.

And there was no mention of the prophecy, of any kind. Maybe in a different book, like that prophecy book Twilight read in episode one, but all in all, The Sleeping Princess is an actual thing. Ponies pray to her for good dreams and Thestrals have a whole holiday specifically FOR her.

Worst even, the Elements of Harmony aren’t even mentioned by name in any way other than ‘a mysterious artifact’ that Celestia used to defeat Nightmare Moon.

So, ponies know about Luna, there is no prophecy I can find, the Elements are a mystery and Nightmare Moon will return in about thirty-something years…

I threw the book to the side and decided to go to sleep before I start panicking.

Suddenly, my future did not seem so bright.

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