• Published 16th Oct 2012
  • 16,863 Views, 1,592 Comments

Day One - Miniscule Literary

A man surviving in a cartoon world. Its not as easy as one might think.

  • ...

Suddenly, Changelings

Sometimes it is better to be wrong.

Twilight wasted no time in her return to the library. David and Pinkie struggled to keep up with her as she raced back to her home, ignoring their alarmed inquiries all the way.

"Twilight, what's the matter?" David asked for the fifth time, watching Twilight bolt back and forth in the library. Spike appeared at the top of the stairs a few moments later, apparently awoken from his slumber by all the noise.

"Twilight are you OK?" Pinkie asked tentatively, giving the unicorn a nervous smile, clearly concerned.


"...How many changelings are in Ponyville?" David asked. All three of the Equestrians looked at him with wide eyes, but said nothing. They didn't have to. Why else would Twilight be so flustered after the spell?

"Its not what's inside Ponyville that is the problem!" Twilight said at last, resuming her frantic search. "Its what's waiting just outside!"

David, Pinkie, and Spike were all visibly alarmed by this.

"C-c-changelings?!" Spike stammered, recoiling back a bit at the thought. "Twilight you said we didn't need to worry! You promised!"

"I'm sorry Spike," Twilight said with a sigh of resignation. "I was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong!"

"How many?" David asked, trying to make the conversation a bit constructive.

"I didn't get an exact count," Twilight explained, her ears drooping. "I just saw so many of them at once...I panicked before I could get anything more than that."

"What are they doing out there?" David followed up, once again trying not to dwell too much in despair. Twilight seemed to have the same idea, moving around the library with determination rather than resignation.

"I'm not sure," Twilight responded, peering out one of the nearby windows expectantly. "They seemed to be waiting for something."

Almost as if in response to her statement, a massive crash outside shook the library to its core. Others soon followed, accompanied by manic laughter and hissing. Soon the terrified screams of ponies filled the night air as well.

Something hard struck the door to the library.

"Uh oh..." Pinkie murmured as all four of them took a step back from the door.

Another bang.

"It seems like our time to prepare is already up," stated Twilight quietly, her eyes glued on the door.

With one final crash, the door swung open and three pitch black changelings spilled into the room, clumsily crawling over each other to try and right themselves. Almost immediately after they appeared, a bright burst of purple energy crashed into them, sending them sprawling outside with a shrill cry.

"We need to get out there and help!" Twilight stated as she advanced, her horn glowing brightly as she approached the door with her head slightly bowed. Another burst of magic sent the changelings just outside across the street, where they slammed into a nearby building. David, Pinkie, and Spike followed swiftly behind Twilight as she departed, trusting in her to have a plan.

The four moved slowly through the chaotic mess that engulfed the town of Ponyville. Changelings filled the skies, dive bombing and tormenting the populace. The few pegasi in the skies were quickly run out of them, and those ponies who were unable to resist their changeling aggressors were swiftly subdued. Twilight was an excellent weapon against them, however. Her horn constantly alight, she blasted foe after foe out of their path as they made their way across town.

David, Pinkie, and Spike could do little to help the situation beyond spotting for Twilight. Her magic seemed the best bet for their survival, so they weren't keen on running off to punch a few changelings. The changelings seemed to have abandoned stealth with reckless abandon. They fell from the sky like grotesque stones, creating craters in the streets as they tried to catch their query. The group did not seem to be their focus, however. The vile creatures were content to harass any denizen of Ponyville.

"We need to find the others as quickly as possible," Twilight explained as they approached the road leading to Sweet Apple Acres. David surmised by "others" she meant the other members of the mane six. He began to wonder what exactly Twilight had planned. Would they need to use the Elements of Harmony? Could they even do so? Where were the Elements? And why was this unscripted event taking place?!

"Over here!"

The voice snapped David out of his frenzied thoughts. Applejack was charging up the road toward them, made visible from the light of Twilight's horn. The unicorn was relieved to see her.

"Applejack, thank Celestia you're OK!" Twilight breathed, before becoming alert once more. "Have you seen Rarity, Rainbow, and Fluttershy?"

"Shouldn't they all be at home sleepin' by now?" Applejack replied, looking out at the mayhem befalling Ponyville in the dark. "Well, maybe not now..."

"Their houses are a good a start as any," David added with a nod. Twilight agreed.

"Rarity's boutique is not far from here."

Before the thought could be complete, four putrid green lights appeared in the sky above them, screaming toward them like wayward comets. The assembled Equestrians (and David) dove out of the way seconds before impact, the changelings responsible throwing dirt and dust in all directions as they landed.

Twilight immediately responded with a blast of magical energy, flooring two of them. Another lunged at Applejack, who swatted it aside with one powerful strike. The last was swiftly advancing on Spike before being enveloped by Twilight's magic. The creature flailed fruitlessly before the unicorn hurled it into a nearby fence post. The changeling impacted with an audible thump, sliding down to the base of the post with a dazed look in its eyes.

The first two, by now, had pulled themselves to their hooves, but did not attack. The display from both Twilight and Applejack made them hesitant, and also made them open to attack. David managed to slip behind the two in the chaos, holding both hands above them as he clenched them into fists. He brought the bottom of his fists down onto the changelings' heads with moderate force and much to his surprise, they collapsed almost instantly.

"Well that was easier than I thought..." David mused aloud, looking surprised at his outstretched arms. He had never assaulted anything in Equestria, and did not know how his own average strength fared in this new world. Apparently it was enough to knock out a few changelings. David figured it could be a win chalked up to "fodder goon syndrome", rather than exceptional strength on his end.

After making sure the changelings were sufficiently subdued, the group collected itself once more, standing in the dim glow of Twilight's horn.

"We need a plan," Twilight said at last, looking from each member of their party.

"But Twilight," Spike began nervously, glancing warily at the unconscious changelings as he spoke. "If a place like Canterlot couldn't hold off an invasion like this, how in the world will Ponyville?"

A cruel silence overtook the area, with the sounds of muffled chaos hanging in the background. Each of the assembled ponies looked at Spike with a mix of depression and irritation. His negativity wasn't exactly appreciated, but he was just voicing what everyone there was thinking, so they couldn't blame him.

"I don't know, Spike," Twilight said at last, her eyes burning with a rekindled determination. "But we have to try!"

The other ponies (and David) voiced their approval.

"If we're goin' down, we're goin' down fightin'!" Applejack chimed in with an enthusiastic "yee-haw!"

"We need to find the others if we have any hope of using the Elements of Harmony," Twilight began, getting down to business. "But we also need to send a message to Princess Celestia. Spike!"

The dragon seemed to jump at the mention of his name.

"I need you, AJ, and David to head back to the library to write the letter. Send it as soon as possible!"

Spike nodded nervously, clearly very frightened by the situation.

"Pinkie and I will head to Carousel Boutique to find Rarity. We'll all meet up at Fluttershy's cottage as soon as both groups are able."

"Gotcha loud an' clear Twilight!"

"Okie dokie lokie!"


"Uh...go team?" David added, not sure what else to say.

The group split up, both heading back into Ponyville albeit in two different directions. It wasn't long before Twilight and Pinkie disappeared into the darkness, and with the unicorn's departure, they too entered the pitch blackness.

"We did not think this through," David stated as they fumbled around in the dark. Their eyes had adjusted much to the darkness by now, but it was still very difficult to see, especially in a hostile environment.

"Maybe its for the best," Applejack said after a few minutes of wallowing through the dark. "We can't see anythin', they can't see us." She paused. "Changelings can't see in the dark right?"

David and Spike said nothing.

Applejack's hunch had proven correct, it seemed. Their slow pace toward the library was met with surprising success. Changelings darted overhead, that much they knew; the beasts were revealed by their glow or by the sounds that they made. Eventually the light shining from the interior of the library became their goal, and in time they found themselves at the doorway they had fought their way out of not long before. Applejack led the charge, with David and Spike following close behind.

The ease of their mission had run its course, however, as they entered. The library was a mess; books and parchment were scattered everywhere. Many of the displaced supplies were torn or singed as well. Had Twilight been with them, she may have died from shock on the spot.

Three changeling drones were still in the process of tearing the library apart, as if looking for something. Two of them hovered near the ceiling, while one was tearing through books on a shelf not far from the door.

"Oh no you don't ya varmint!" Applejack cried as she launched herself at the nearest changeling, tackling the creature to the ground just as it tried to tear apart another book. This, of course, alerted the other two, who dive bombed the distracted earth pony with reckless abandon.

David, swiftly retrieving a nearby book of sizable mass, whistled to get their attention. As the two slowed to see what was calling to them, the first was knocked off course by the projectile literature, crashing loudly into a nearby bookshelf. The other was so distracted by what had happened to its comrade that it did not realize Applejack preparing her own attack. As the changeling neared, it was met with a fierce buck from the earth pony, catapulting it into the far wall. The battered creature crashed into a pile of books with a groan, and did not rise again.

"Nice one," David commented as he approached. Applejack gave him a pleased grin and trotted further into the library. The man looked back at the doorway, having lost track of Spike during the encounter. The dragon was peering cautiously around the edge of the door, slightly more brave now that the changelings were incapacitated.

"Spike, get in here!" Applejack called, apparently noticing his lack of appearance too. The dragon jumped a bit and jogged into the room, eyeing the changelings warily. "Find some paper and a quill and get that letter to the Princess! More of those darn things could arrive at any moment."

"N-no pressure..." Spike said aloud, mostly to himself. David and Applejack assisted in locating the proper material, however, and it wasn't long before Spike sent a somewhat wrinkled scroll to the Princess.

"Now let's get going. Who knows how long it will take us to find the cottage in the dark," David said a moment after the scroll disappeared in a puff of smoke. Applejack nodded, hoisting Spike onto her back and galloping out of the library, David following close behind.