• Published 1st Mar 2013
  • 4,647 Views, 110 Comments

Love Lost - Eeveexpert

Everypony knows that a Changeling Queen is fiercely protective of every member of her brood, but what happens when that brood refuses her their loyalty?

  • ...

3 - Myxine

"Lie and decieve; make them believe."

From the instant a changeling is hatched, this motto is bred into them. When a changeling assumes the facade of another, it is of the utmost importance that they make their prey believe it.

Regardless of age, all changelings are capable of assuming form. Many do this perfectly, as the eyes are the easiest to fool. For a simple trick, this is all well and good, but if that changeling does not back up this illusion with convincing behavior, they might as well be standing there undisguised. For the simpler beasts of the world, it is usually one behavior to be mimicked. With a more sentient being, such as a pony or even another changeling, a flawless assumption becomes much harder. Any slips in personality can spell disaster. It was one of these slips that ultimately undid the Canterlot assault. For the most part, Chrysalis' assumption of Princess Mi Amore Cadenza went very well. This was largely due to the distance she maintained from her subjects. The plan only began to deteriorate with the appearance of one lavender unicorn. The completely unexpected sister of the groom and close friend of the bride. No intelligence had been gathered on this mare; Chrysalis had had no idea how to act. Suspicions had been planted and the illusion had been shattered. What happened next needs no recounting.

However, when a skilled enough changeling assumes the place of another, much less prominent figure and acts it well, there is hardly a soul alive that can tell the difference, except for one of the queens and only then if they are aware.

The very nature of the changeling's existence is deceitful and espionage against one hive from another is far from unheard of. For a changeling to infiltrate an enemy hive is a dangerous task; queens may love their own children without condition, but to ask them to bestow the same affection to an outsider is pure folly. Even the most skilled changeling must tread in caution. The slightest of mistakes often results in death. Changeling queens are not well known for their mercy.

Break your step once and that's it... You're done. This is that story.


In many parts of Equestria, cities have established weather teams to control the clouds and what comes out of them. Storms do not build until they are ordered to. However, there are two places where nature retains control of her creations. One of them is the Everfree Forest. The other is the mighty ocean. Equestria's coastal cities do indeed have their own weather teams. However, the purpose of these teams is different from most; instead of them controlling and producing the weather, their job is to prevent rogue storms from drifting too far inland. It is a full-time job, as the storms from the ocean are remarkably violent, almost as if nature is attempting to make up for its lack of control elsewhere.

Today was a rare day indeed; the sun shone brightly, there was nary a cloud in the sky and a cool breeze rolled across the waves. For those ponies that live in these seaside towns, days like this were taken full advantage of.

Now, there is not a very large market for seafood within Equestria, given the vegetarian nature of its residents. Perhaps it is for this reason that seaweed is inversely as popular. It is considered a delicacy, passed around in the highest circles. Ice cream also tends to be rather popular with the young ones and those with less refined tastes.

"Hey, Coral! Help me out with this net here!"

"Sure! Hold on!" A female voice drifted back across the open deck of the vessel. Moments later, a white-furred pegasus mare with a bouncy blue mane came trotting up to the brown earth pony stallion. "S'matter there, Breaker?" she ribbed. "Net too heavy for ya?"

"Stow it, Coral." he shot back with a smirk. "Net must be caught on somethin'. Lend me a hoof, yeah?"

"Sure, sure." The mare took hold of one corner of the net in her mouth, tasting the salty brine that leaked from its woven fibers. It turns out that the net wasn't caught on anything; the two ponies combined were able to put the net back in motion, even though Coral had to use her wings for additional force. The net began moving faster and faster the closer it got to the surface. What came up with it shocked the two ponies.

"Ugh... What is that?"

"Cut the engines, helm!" Coral shouted into the cabin.

One great tremor ran through the deck as the steady drone of the ship's engines disappeared.

"This had better be good, Coral. Y'know as well as I that we've got a quota to make. Gotta keep the engines running on a day like t'day. What is it?" the helmspony asked, stepping from the cabin.

"We, uh...pulled something up..."

"Which would be...what?"

"That's just it..." the pegasus muttered. "We...don't know..."

"Step aside." The helmspony glanced down at the haul spread upon the deck. Amidst the tangled mess of brown-green seaweed was the black body of a deceased changeling. The iridescent shell upon its back was as blue as the ocean waters it had been hauled from. "S'a shifter..." the pony snorted before turning away.

"What should we do with it?" Coral asked.

"Throw it back in. Th' only good shifter's a dead one..."

Froth churned the ocean behind the boat as the engines spun up. Breaker heaved the dead changeling over the stern into the wake. Coral joined him in watching the black spot bobbing up and down in the foam. "What d'you think happened to 'im?"

"I'll tell ya when I care, Coral. I've heard tales of these shifters. Right nasty things they are; they'll kill their own faster'n you can blink. Creature ain't worth the thought spent on it... C'mon, let's get back to work."

"Yeah...sure." Coral lingered at the rail for a moment more. Try as she might, she couldn't help but think about the late changeling. Poor thing...


While the day was fair, the night before had been anything but. It was regular for storms to brew out at sea, before ominously moving inland. The high winds whipped the surface into frothy whitecaps, but the deeper waters remained untouched by the disturbance.

The calm waters were much appreciated by their changeling occupant. His path through the water was swift and unimpeded. Quick flicks of his fin-like wings allowed for rapid changes of direction and altitude. This changeling was a child of the Hagfish hive and Queen Myxine. The water was his second home.

He was no stranger to land though and the shoreline was coming up fast. Wave-tossed sand squelched under his hooves as he emerged onto a rocky beach. Rocks of all sizes littered the sand, some mere pebbles, others boulders large enough to hide all manner of surprises, both familiar and deadly.

Lurking within the moon-cast shadows of one of the massive chunks of stone were five of these surprises. As soon at they appeared from the darkness, the Hagfish changeling knew that this would be his last night. With impressive speed, he turned and fled from the murderous intent in those purple eyes.

Fangs of the Miasma changelings glinted in the moonlight, revealing their dark smiles. Their wingbeats filled the cool night air. The hunt was on.

Without missing a beat, the blue-eyed changeling took a flying leap into the ocean. Bubbles streamed from his wings and holed legs, a testament to the speed of his flight. Even so, he knew it was in vain. The best he could do was alert the rest of his hive to the trespassers.

His thoughts would have to wait; a high-velocity magenta-hued ball of magic came ripping into the waves, boiling the water on contact. One wing went up, the other down; this motion, along with his quick lean to the right, sent him into an evasive corkscrew. The shot had missed, but more were close behind.

Up, down, left, right. The changeling danced this deadly ballet with expertly timed wing flicks. Every shot he could avoid brought him that much closer to the underwater entrance to his home. Next to the dark crevasse which was this entrance was a methodically stacked pile of rocks. A quick kick sent the stones cascading into the tunnel's dark maw. When the school of stones finally hit bottom, they sent a cacophony up the tunnel to waiting ears.


"There. That should be enough."

The lone changeling withdrew his hoof, shaking loose the small bits of blue nectar that still clung to it. One final inspection of his work and he turned away. There were many more eggs to attend to. One of these opaque royal blue orbs greeted him as he turned. Were one to cast a look around, one would find at least five dozen more spheres, all identical in shape and color. From the holes covering his legs, the changeling secreted more of the same nectar upon the egg before him. He made sure to spread this evenly over the orb's surface to ensure its proper nutrition. He looked up at the sound of slow hoofsteps. "Queen Myxine, your Majesty."

The changeling queen gave a very slight nod to her attendant. When she spoke, her voice was that of one who is not given to heightened emotion. "I trust that there are no complications with this clutch?" Myxine tested the nectar applied to the nearest egg with slight hoof pressure.

"None to speak of, your Majesty. There is slightly less nectar upon this clutch than I would normally use, but it is not of dire concern."

"Well said. A storm is brewing even as we speak. It shall be an excellent night for hunting. Come, Cerin, let us organize tonight's hunt. I feel that tonight shall be busy and it would do us well to be on preparation's side."

The nursery was one of only two rooms in the hive that was not reached via subaquatic passage. The other was Myxine's own chambers. The nursery lay just off of the hive's main chamber, a very short walk. Short though it was, it provided plenty of time for Myxine to draw up a hunting plan. "Several have reported a storm coming in from the sea. If this is the case, any ships present will try to shelter within Horseshoe Bay. Your task should be clear enough."

Cerin nodded. "Crystal, your Majesty. Extinguish the lighthouse and guide any incoming ships onto the rocks."

"I need not remind you to be quick with your taking of the lighthouse. Any longer than is necessary and we risk drawing too much attention. Leave no passenger free to bear witness to our activities; if they are of no use to the hive, drown them."

"Your will be done, my queen." Cerin bowed deeply and excused himself to begin gathering those needed for his assignment.

Myxine's path was different. A pool of water lay in the center of the chamber, its cyan depths lit from within by the glowing nectar lining its walls. The Hagfish queen leaned forward and slipped into this pool with barely a ripple left behind her. She pushed herself from the rock wall and shot down the tunnel. Myxine had swam these tunnels many times and it showed. Her wings worked madly, providing both propulsion and steering. Rolls to the left and right kept the changeling queen centered within the passage. She was in the middle of one such maneuvers as the beginnings of a peculiar sound started to reach her ears. Myxine stilled her wings and righted herself, sinking to the tunnel floor.

There were no other changelings to speak of in this tunnel, but Myxine knew exactly what that was. Stones were falling; many stones. The signal... A cloud of silt jumped from the floor at Myxine's takeoff. The changeling queen hurtled back up the passage, speeding for the pool entrance. She slowed only to exit the pool, even then only emerging up to her neck. Her voice remained calm, but carried throughout the entire room. "Centurion Maryn, Infiltrator Blackfin, with me."

The summoned changelings were quick to respond and dove into the pool after their queen. Neither knew what the reason for their summons was, but neither were about to question an order directly from their mother. Blackfin fell in behind the armored centurion who in turn fell in behind Myxine. The trio snaked through the tunnels with impressive speed, each one knowing their exact destination.

It was not long before the stone incline beneath Myxine's hooves gave way to sand, silently announcing her arrival to the hive's main entrance. She stepped forth onto the sandy floor of the cave, turned and waited. Maryn and Blackfin appeared from the pool in short order.

"Centurion Maryn, at your service, your Majesty. What is the nature of our summons?"

"The alarm has been triggered."

"Further activity from Miasma?"

"There is no possible way to know without surveillance, but, given her newfound aggression as of late, logic would say 'yes.' The encroaching storm should force any invasion party to shelter upon the cliffs." Myxine pointed out of the cave, toward the rock wall across the bay. "If we go with haste, any chance of escape shall be small."


Changelings as a whole do not take much pleasure in hunting; survival comes first. Every species has its exceptions, though, and the Miasma hive holds that title amongst their fellow changelings.

The Hagfish changeling had put on an impressive chase, but his luck could only last so long. The five children of the Miasma hive had finally bested him.

"Pathetic waterlogged maggot..." A holed hoof kicked the dead Hagfish changeling from the cliffside into the surf far below. A satisfied grin crossed the lead changeling's mouth upon seeing the splash. "Infiltrator Varren has assumed his position and it is high time we make ourselves scarce."

Two of the three other changelings spread their wings along with their leader.

"Wait! What about that storm we saw on the flight in? We can't fly in that!"

"We don't have the luxury of choice. We are in Hagfish territory. Traveling any further by hoof with blood on our fangs is inviting death, especially should the Queen catch our scent. If you are foolish enough to choose suicide, you may walk."

Children of the Miasma hive take after their mother and are exceptionally stubborn. The naysayer chose to walk.

Following in his ill-chosen hoofsteps, irony and its close friend karma accompanied the Miasma changeling. Like the Hagfish changeling he had helped see out from this life, tonight would be his last night as well.


The brewing storm broke upon the Equestrian coastline with unbelievable fury. Rain lashed at the trees, knocking down leaves and battering the grass upon the forest floor. It takes a special sort of fool to even consider being out in weather like this. A special sort of fool...or a particularly stubborn Miasma changeling.

The changeling knew his decision hadn't been the smartest, but that aforementioned stubbornness wouldn't let him come to regret it. Even so, he was stubborn, not stupid; continuing in this storm would be a decision most foolish. He must find shelter soon. A flash of lightning revealed a low-hanging branch beside a wide forest stream. It would have to do. He hadn't the time to be overly picky.

The Miasma changeling ducked under the leafy protrusion and sat there, cold, wet, and in an all-around sour mood. The relentless drumming of the rain upon the trees above him quickly blurred together into one toneless drone that grated on his ears. After a while, he began silently wishing that something would break the monotony. As if in answer, a branch cracked in the darkness. Instinct opened his wings, readying him to flee. He chanced an investigative peek from his makeshift shelter and, as he did so, he came face-to-face with the helmeted head of Centurion Maryn. That would be reason enough for flight. He jumped from his shelter and took to the sky...

...almost instantly taking a blow to his back that threw him to the forest floor. At first, he thought it a fallen branch, fed up with the storm's battering. This thought quickly deserted him as he looked up into the deep blue eyes of Queen Myxine herself. Her expression did not falter in the slightest, but the Miasma changeling very clearly saw a flame of cold anger burning within her sapphire-like eyes.

"You may answer my next question in one of two ways. One will keep you breathing for a few moments more. The other shall forfeit your life on the spot. Now, what sort of idiocy has your queen come across to warrant such intrusion into my territory?"

"Choke on your bile, sea witch!" he barked defiantly.

"As you wish." Myxine's horn lit up for an instant, producing a focused ray of magic. The blast sliced through the center of the changeling's throat, severing his spine and windpipe with one clean strike.

The gurgling of his blood mixing with the air of his last breath as it bubbled out through the new hole in his throat was the only response Myxine recieved. "This is Miasma's fourth incursion into Hagfish territory in the past month; she is becoming increasingly aggressive..." she murmured, falling silent in thought. "Blackfin! What have you found?"

Another changeling stepped from the rain-soaked brush at Myxine's call. "Apologies, your Majesty, but the storm has erased much usable evidence. I know that this changeling was traveling alone, but past experience would suggest that the party that brought him here would be of the usual four or five. As to their intent, though, I cannot say."

"Miasma is planning something, this much is certain. To say what would require intelligence far removed from our possession. I trust that the next logical step is obvious to you, yes, Blackfin?"

"As always, your Majesty."

True affection from a Changeling Queen is something that is rarely, if ever, seen from outsiders. Myxine took the smaller changeling's chin upon a gentle hoof. "Then I trust that you know that what I am about to ask of you is only done out of necessity and I would not have you do otherwise, yes?"

"I do."

"Very well. In that case, Blackfin, you shall infiltrate the cesspool of the Miasma hive. Discover the reason behind her newfound aggression. Be as quick as you can; this may be a necessity, but I do not wish for you to endanger yourself unduly. Are we in understanding, my child?"

Even among changeling queens, Myxine is known to show little emotion, remaining almost impossible to read. Blackfin knew his queen, though, and knew how to read such a book. A long look into her sapphire-like eyes revealed nothing but love and concern dwelling within their corners. "We are, my queen."

"Then go."

With a nod, he dove into the river and swam for the ocean. Myxine watched until the bubbles from his departure had followed him downstream and out of sight. "There is nothing more we can do, Let us return to the hive."

The queen and her centurion also entered the river to return to the ocean and from there to return home. Their direct path was no more than several minutes in duration, quickly placing them before the underwater entrance to their home. Up the twisting tunnels they flew, back to the hive's main chamber.

Water streamed from Myxine's legs as she climbed from the pool. It was not thirty seconds later that she was approached by an injured changeling. He limped across the slippery rocks, favoring one of his hind legs. His wings hung uselessly at his side. "My queen! You have returned!" His bow was a little shaky, given the disability of one of his legs, but respect bade him do it nonetheless.

"Do not strain yourself, my child." Myxine proffered a hoof to help the unsteady changeling back to his hooves. "What is the origin of your injuries?"

"It was...the Miasma hive again. Another invasion into our territory! I barely escaped with my life!"

"So it was you who sent the signal down the tunnels then?"

The changeling nodded. "Indeed it was. I hope none of ours fell prey to the invaders."

"Not that I saw. The trespassers had long since made themselves scarce by the time I could respond. One of them was caught walking, though; a mistake most fatal." A queen as calculating as Myxine catches many things, even a breath taken a little too sharply. "But he has been dealt with. Tell me, with your wings as they are...how did you return to the hive?"

"The hidden entrance upon the top of the cliff, your Majesty."

Myxine paused briefly before answering, a pause during which she buzzed out a rapid signal with a click of her wings. The signal stopped all changeling activity within the chamber and turned the attention of each of those changelings toward their queen. One by one, they all began moving closer. The injured changeling slowly looked about, like the cornered beast he had become. "I hear that your queen has come into some newfound aggression recently. What say you to that, Miasma scum?"

Feigned ignorance is often a discovered changeling's first instinct. "W-what? Your Majesty, I am not from the-"

"Be silent; any further words would be a waste of breath on your part." The horn of the Hagfish queen came to life with a blue flame. In the light of this arcane fire, the illusion disguising the Miasma changeling burnt away, revealing the purple eyes and shell of his mother hive.

Fangs showed themselves through his angry snarl. He could not undo a queen's magic and even if he could, another disguise would be pointless. "What was my mistake?"

"You reacted when I spoke of killing your hivemate. You also spoke of the secret entrance to this hive. A child of my hive knows to never speak of this; they shall be told of it once and will never mention it again, not even to myself. Your answer sealed your fate. That and the stench of your mother clings to you like the filth to her disgusting hooves."

"Queen Miasma will have your head for this blasphemy!" the intruder snarled.

"That...is your second mistake..."

"What is?"

"Assuming that you are free to leave here alive. As much as I would enjoy to have such truths delivered to Miasma's face, that...will not happen." Myxine rapped a hoof against the rocky floor. At her signal, the five of her children closest to the intruder fell upon him, fangs bared. His death throes echoed from the hive walls, but it was not long before a sharp set of teeth met with his throat and he crumpled to the hive floor, riddled with bleeding horn and fang wounds. "Maryn, remove this filth from our hive. Meet me in my chambers when you have done so."

"At once, my queen."


"Permission to enter Her Majesty's chambers."

"Permission granted. You may enter, Blackfin." Myxine's eyes did not open until she heard the sound of hoofsteps upon her chamber floor. "Your return is remarkably quick. Have you already discerned the cause of Miasma's aggression?"

"I have. Chrysalis has removed herself from her hive, in order to mount an assault on Canterlot. Miasma is making her move on this hive as we speak. I do not expect the Chrysalis hive to resist this attack."

Myxine shook her head disapprovingly. "Canterlot... Chrysalis, your ambition has blinded your judgment... Your mission was most successful, Blackfin. What you have told me tonight has told me all of Miasma's plans. She is seeking total supremacy, and when she takes the Chrysalis hive, as you say, the taste of victory will push her forward. Miasma will not stop until she has all the hives underhoof. Chrysalis, mine...and Ambrosia's."

Author's Note:

Behold! Queen's Myxine's first appearance, wholly character-approved by Carnifex and, as always, pre-read by the brilliant Spiritofthwwolf.

For those curious, the name of Myxine's centurion is pronounced the same as "marine," because, y'know, reasons.

Stay classy, and enjoy, readers.