• Member Since 14th Jul, 2013
  • offline last seen 3 hours ago

Nameless Narrator


Reading order/list is on the profile page or here.

T

This story is a sequel to They're... ON HOLIDAY?


Ayyyy, featured despite the sequel curse on 16.10.2023! Can we keep the last spot in the box? What's in the box? Why is the box?
EDIT: Added a character cheat sheet on the bottom.

Updates: Weekly-ish

Six years have passed since the Canterlot invasion. While the relationship between the Changeling Hive and Equestria is warmer than ever, the relationship between the deadly tunnels under the Badlands and the small, mostly defenseless changeling drones who live there isn't.
However, thanks to the knowledge granted in the recent years by a mysterious "smart box", and the guidance of drone veterans who survived under the "old rules", the post-Canterlot "new rules", and the terrifying "shippy time", fewer and fewer drones perish daily while mining materials for the hive's day to day operations.
Fewer, though, still means far from zero, and there are those among the drones who are doing all they can to finally transform the underground from fatal threat to something the drones deserve - not just a place to hide, but a true home. With copious amounts of goop, unstoppable curiosity, copyrighted board game, and a blessing from High Score, there's no way they'll fail, or at least not for long.
Drones know that everything is a trade and life is just a price. Unfortunately, sometimes there are near-invisible asterisks.

CHARACTER CHEAT SHEET:

--High Ranks--
Chrysalis - no need to explain.
99 - a classless changeling. You figure out her rank on your own.
156 - current highest rank infiltrator. She and 387 might be an item.
387 - current highest rank warrior. There's nothing special about him.
2119, 3012 - unlucky top floor guards
--Drones--
10000/10k - drone leader
20100 - a drone supposedly out on a mission for the hive. Painter, the worst nightmare of casinos
57999 - the closest Ds have to a doctor, grows plants in a greenhouse
65536 - a drone living in Canterlot, a Nightguard. Sort of Luna's adopted kid.
99380 - hive mind manipulation specialist, that might be a curse.
99111 - mechanist, tinkerer. Engineer would be too... successful.
99856 - alchemist
99200 - explorer/survivalist
99012, 99066, 99971 - quicktrotters
99911, 99158, 99112 - drone crisis response team
99999 - a drone.
Smiley - a Silent who surived long enough to gain some mental capacity. Can't talk.
--Other--
Gloom, Night Hunter - Canterlot Nightguards

Chapters (46)
Comments ( 477 )

Thats gonna be a whole load of roast wriggly biters. :pinkiesick:

They're ba-ack...

“Damn you, sudden, unexpected hole!"

All right, who taught the drones how to swear? :trixieshiftright: (Actually, it sounds like there's a good chance this is 65536, so it was probably bat ponies who taught it to swear...but just in case it isn't...)

*kneels and prays* "Just please... don't send 65536 to the great gablonk... after the last story, I don't think my heart can take it..."
I MEAN, hey look! Another story from one of my favorite authors... and so soon! IM SO EXCITED!

D-F

ayeee!! new story! :yay:
does this take place right after the events of 'they're on a holiday' or has it been a while since then?

11663709
As long as there are no crunchED huggers we're okay.
11663875
Those ... after they're back scare me.
I DID A GOOD!
11663904
65536? Where? That's a totally secret traveller with secret identity that's extremely secret.
Also, there might be sads. The previous story had consequences.
11664005
1,5-2 years-ish? 6 years since the invasion as the long desc says. I had to make notes for myself because at this point even I don't know. It's probably in the next chapter, but I have to keep updates short until I build some buffer.

11664035
Well... consequences I can understand... sads I can accept and even appreciate (usually)...
But... Hug Bug and Luna Bug... please... not them... anyling but them...
LOL... in seriousness, I'm just really attached to those two... But I entirely understand.
Soon I will be writing hopefully...
And I know a few of mine will have BIG sads in them. I'm just being an idiot here in the comments because I've been gone a long time.

If a character must go for the story, then they will go. And asking an author to spare a character is silly. If they oblige it could even hurt their story if they NEED that character to go.
... but seriously 2.0, though...
Please... spare them... LOL

11664133
I feel I took the half-joke too far on the serious side in the opposite direction from fear of sounding like I was pestering you, ruining it... hmmm...
Probably should have cut the second half/paragraph of the comment...
I'll just... keep quiet for a bit, heh... sorry.

11664318
Who knows? Drones might get lucky for once.

11664353
For once... HAHAHA! Yeah...
Who knows? I know I'm gonna need a bucket of ice cream and some markiplier videos after... I jest... Anyway, I look forward to the story!

D-F

“and Luna didn’t give me just three of those amulets, but last time I tried to wear all of those my sweater caught fire, so I keep the rest here in case I need to change my clothes. I think Luna might have overdone it a bit this year.”

the wording feels a little off, is it supposed to be like that?

The tunnel bends a little earlier than that, but waiting a second or so allows the drone to maintain its speed by sliding along the right side of the bend, its carapace grinding against the smooth rock wall.

A speed run in dark chasms, working by dead recogning and altered mapping, and driven from behind by catterpillars?

Imma gonna call this guy Red October.:trixieshiftright:

11666705
It should. Luna gave 65536 more amulets than the 3 it's wearing.
11666782
Different drone, not the one being chased down.

“and Luna didn’t give me just three of those amulets, but last time I tried to wear all of those my sweater caught fire"

*envisions 65536 happily trotting down the street wearing a sweater*

*then the sweater suddenly explodes into a ball of flames*

Without any visible reason, it presses its side tightly against the wall, jumps several times into it without any effect other than scratching its carapace, repeatedly squats three times, takes a step forward, directly into the wall and…

*Plop!*

…vanishes without a trace.

...did this drone just activate a cheat code or something? Like the Konami Code, but for changelings? The Changeling Code? :rainbowlaugh:

11667429
- The sweater starts slowly smoldering around the neck. "Does something smell like burning?" Bursts into flames. "I AM GHOSTRIDER NOW!"
- The changeling hive is programmed on Bethesda physics engine. And I'm still not sure if I want to explicitly explain what and why is happening with this or leave it for detective work.

Oh god the drones have learned how to break physics, it's the end this time :raritydespair::pinkiecrazy:

D-F

11667571

- The changeling hive is programmed on Bethesda physics engine. And I'm still not sure if I want to explicitly explain what and why is happening with this or leave it for detective work.

i wonder what species works on the source engine

11667663
There's more a chance of Ds telefragging each other.
11667667
I only know that alicorns roll in GMOD.

D-F

“Oh, right! Like you told us, umm, butt ponies!” when faced with a sudden frown from Night Hunter, it backs off, stuttering, “Wait no, what was the offishul name? Uhh, right! Testicles!” 57999 forces a now clearly nervous smile.

:rainbowlaugh:
so are pegasus penises? :trollestia:

11667571
:trollestia: I say leave it, more fun that way.
it's not a bug, it's a feature.
I mean... It's not a feature, it's a bug...
Screw it, it's a bug AND a feature...
... or is it a bug WITH a feature...

Also... more like the Bethesda engine was made in the hive...
So many bug jokes there...

I thought he was going to put the skies under the wheels so he would have something other than an axel to attatch too unless the bottom of the cart acts as the base of a sled as well?

Poor 57999. Its likely he will never make if back to the Hive, even through the tunnel. :pinkiesad2: If he does its because his body managed to change and adapt an antidote to the venom thats been injected?:derpyderp2:

“Ah,” Gloom’s voice turns apprehensive, “Is that where your friend who died on that trip two years ago used to work?”

Some semblance of heavy weight finally creeps into 65536’s tone when it replies, “36658, yes.”

Still kinda a touchy subject, I see. Understandable.

“Oh, right! Like you told us, umm, butt ponies!”

:rainbowlaugh:

“The big rule is - no unannounced visitors. The Queen was very specific about that one."

Ah yes, so it was! I remember her heavily emphasizing that part now in a previous fic.

11672560
Yes. It's canon now. If I ever remember to use it.
11672613
It is a feature, one explained by the history of Badlands. The drones would have no idea how that could come to be, though.
11672627
Is this it? Is this all I'm good for now? Have I fallen this far? 5 interactions and one of them is a sushi selling bot? I'm not even deleting this so that my shame is out there for all to see.
11672744

I thought he was going to put the skies under the wheels so he would have something other than an axel to attatch too unless the bottom of the cart acts as the base of a sled as well?

Yes, reinforced bottom frame.

Poor 57999. Its likely he will never make if back to the Hive, even through the tunnel. :pinkiesad2: If he does its because his body managed to change and adapt an antidote to the venom thats been injected?

What the actual fk did I screw up this time to be misunderstood like that? 57999 is neither dying nor poisoned.
11673023
- Explains it immediately after. Long life leads to new challenges, especially emotional ones.
- I'm an adult and my jokes are sophisticated. :rainbowderp:
- Ah yes. I too... uhh... remembered that. Definitely.

11673469

Ah, sorry about that, given the drones usual run of bad luck and the leggy biters mentioned, Id thought the venom was Cobra style, turning the victim into an easily drinkable soup, rather than just a paralyzing agent that just turns the victim into a non moving meal or larvae larder as paralysing is chemically easier than instakill?:twilightoops:

11673583
57999 was just saying that it got bitten by a timberwolf earlier and the bracers protected it from having its legs bitten off, they'Re just numb now. That's all.

11673469
I like sushi... I'm sure as holes not clicking the link though.

11673469

- Explains it immediately after. Long life leads to new challenges, especially emotional ones.

For the record, I did consider omitting that part of my comment for that very reason...but then I felt it was still worth noting anyway, because yes, the chapter acknowledges it's a touchy subject and touches upon some of the whys...but I also felt like there was an unspoken layer (perhaps because the drone(s) in question still haven't figure out how to best articulate it fully) to it that wasn't discussed, so...

11673785

perhaps because the drone(s) in question still haven't figure out how to best articulate it fully

That's entirely the case. Especially when the eldest hive veterans are six years old at this point, and this includes both Three and the Boss. Even 65536 didn't see Sharp get killed on the battlefield, but 10000 was there when 36658 died and saw it later through Smiley's memories. I didn't really think about it from this angle, but the most experienced with others dying directly in front of them is Smiley

It would be intresting if the Drones picked up the idea of calling a rapid response quad, The Flying Squad, and went with bird names.

Rooks to tunnel bx7, Parrots to shiny collection,

Canaries to Sing sing? :trixieshiftright:

I keep forgetting that Smiley is superior to other Drones and is not one at all.

D-F

11678811
oh shit, it is? i always thought the silents were just braindead drones

11678892
They are, or were, at least. It seems smiley got an upgrade.

Don’t laugh, it’s still tech.

And still more tech than they had before in previous stories, so...I'd still call it a noteworthy achievement, albeit still just a "first step" in the general direction of tech.

I see Smiley's been experimenting with personal image.

11678799
Personally, I'm just picturing this team of drones featuring in the intro to some 80's action show. That seems particularly "drone-y" to me. :rainbowlaugh:

11678799
I would NOT want to be a drone on the hive's canary team.
11678811 11678892 11679023
Silents are slightly bigger, stronger, and more durable, but baseline braindead. Still, with a non-starvation level of love plus proper stimuli a lot can happen.
11679454

And still more tech than they had before in previous stories, so...I'd still call it a noteworthy achievement, albeit still just a "first step" in the general direction of tech.

Yarr, there be more beyond the door!

I see Smiley's been experimenting with personal image.

Jam zebra!

Personally, I'm just picturing this team of drones featuring in the intro to some 80's action show. That seems particularly "drone-y" to me.

"The D Team"
They're not the best, not even good, but if all hope is lost, you may as well throw them at it.

11679556

Especially if theyre Dwarf Drones?

The tilted one, Listing.
The cleaning one, Roomba,
The purring one, Cat.
The sad one, Crying.
And the one whose name shall never be said, Home Alone?:derpytongue2:

I simply love those drones

11680602
As soon as the portal to this particular Equestria opens, I'm there with you and we go grab a couple. Rainbow lasers won't stop us.

...so Smiley was in control of Gem? :rainbowhuh::applejackconfused:

11681458
Whaaaaaat?
Okay, seriously. I've had 2 recent questions that I have no idea where they came from. What and where did I screw up so badly? :twilightoops:

11681587
You had the mare changeling holding the tablet while the other little changeling went over and sat down

11681588
Ohhh I get it. No, the "zebra-d" changeling is Smiley (guess why), the other changeling is a drone.
Gem is not involved at any point.

11681620
Ah, so has Smiley always been larger than the drones and I never realized it?

11682025
Not by much but yes. Now they're a bit more transformed, less bulky, even taller, and presenting more of a female shape.

11682529
I will try to be better in my descriptions.

11682536
Nah I'm the one who skips details and has a bad memory :derpytongue2:

D-F

hold on, did 10013 get promoted to 10000? if yes, did any of the other drones from 'they're on a holiday' get promoted as well?

Looks like 838 ran into a newly evolved instance of Zeroth Law?

At least now the drones have a slightly improved chance of dealing with those that took over the hves old places amongst others, and the more they make the more they have to back up each inxrease in search area?:trixieshiftright:

11685224
Well, If 838 had actually gotten 10000 pointlessly killed by mind-controlling it, I think Chrysalis would have been rather unhappy with 838. Perhaps even near-terminally unhappy.

10000 is a valueable asset (even if it is "only" a drone) and while changeling culture seems to embrace the concept of "unavoidable / acceptable losses" pointlessly wasting an asset might no longer be tolerated by the Queen.

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