• Published 1st Mar 2013
  • 4,645 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?

  • ...

4 - Ambrosia

Loyalty. The desire to support and watch over those close to you.

These are not words that the average pony would ever choose to associate with the changeling race. But, the average pony knows nothing of hive mechanics. A changeling queen is fiercely protective of her children; everything they do is for their benefit. While a changeling queen is unwaveringly loyal to her brood, there is no law, written or otherwise, that requires the same from her children. Changelings will follow a queen out of respect. Should that respect falter, just who that queen happens to be is subject to debate.

Not many ponies, not even Celestia herself, knows the reasoning behind the Canterlot attack. For all of the efficiency with which this operation had been carried out, Chrysalis had only prescribed the assault out of desperation. At the time, her hive within the Everfree Forest was extremely young, not even two weeks old. Times had fallen hard upon her and her children. They were in a time of famine; many changelings had died. A queen's love for her children is quite capable of sustaining a hive during times like this, but only just. An exceptionally large hive will wither when it loses an outside food source, down to a minimum. Hunger forced the queen of the Chrysalis hive to take action against Canterlot. The lofty ambition of this plan, along with the promise of plenty of love, spread a fervent loyalty through her children. They happily followed their queen into battle. All went well; their respect to their queen had been restored.

But all this had been before the plan's disastrous end. As Chrysalis and her children had been tossed over the horizon in a manner of seconds, so too had that sense of respect deserted them and just as quickly. The famine, the death, the moving to a new hive... Each of these happenings had driven a wedge ever deeper between Chrysalis and her children. She might not have known it at the time, but her expulsion from Canterlot had coincided perfectly with the expulsion from her own hive.

When all but one of your children has turned their back to you, it becomes all the more painful when that one finally chooses to take their leave. This is that story.


"P-please... Let me...go... I don't know...what you want from me... Just...let me go..."

"No... You're too much fun..."

There they were again. On the branch next to the emaciated, skin-covered skeleton that was the stallion were those eyes... Those terrible yellow-green eyes... They had been taunting him for weeks now, appearing every single day. Sometimes they chose a new spot, but they were always there. Always watching. They seemed to take pleasure in his captivity, glued as he was to the forest floor by a sticky golden slime. For all the days they had appeared, he had never once seen their owner. She always kept hidden in the shadows, just out of sight. It was only those eyes...

Today, he would finally get a look at the body behind those eyes, whether he wanted to or not.

"Look at you... You're so thin..." The voice that floated from the thick undergrowth was sweet in tone and seemed to be laughing as it spoke. "How long has it been?" she asked. "Three weeks?"

"I-I don't know... What do you...e-even want from me?"

"Ohh...nothing in particular."

"Then let me go... Please!"

"But that's no fun!"

"Then let me see who I'm talking to!"

The stallion’s request was met with a long silence. "Oh all right." Wings buzzed, foliage shifted and the branch creaked as its occupant removed herself from it. Ferns parted, letting the owner of those dark eyes step forth from the forest.

The stallion found his tongue useless at the appearance of the creature before him. She was not the hideous beast he had been expecting; she was strangely beautiful. At least, as much as a changeling queen could be. For a fleeting moment, his fear deserted him.

She lazily draped her forelegs over a low-hanging branch and leaned in close to the haggard stallion. "It's so disappointing... You never last longer than three weeks." The queen extended a holed hoof and poked the stallion in his pronounced ribs. There was nothing between the inquisitive hoof and the poor soul's bones but a paper-thin layer of skin. Each poke produced a satisfying clack as a result.

At every prod, the stallion flinched in agony. "Nagh! Stop that!"

The changeling queen found no end of amusement in the stallion's predicament. "So bony." she giggled. "I will say that you have lasted longer than most though. You're a lot of fun..." The queen had moved from poking her prey in the ribs to tapping a hoof against his thin legs, probably harder than she should have. The hollow noise it made delighted her greatly. Smiling ear to ear from the stallion's cries of pain, the female changeling got a little carried away. One over-enthusiastic tap later and crack!

"Aaaagh! You...broke my leg!"

Her expression took on an air of genuine surprise. "That was a loud scream..."

"You broke my leg!" the stallion repeated in answer.

"I wonder... Will you scream that loud if I do it on purpose?"

"W-what?" The stallion swallowed in terror. There had been no malice to speak of within the voice of the changeling queen. The twisted question had been asked with an innocent curiosity. The more he thought about it, the more he would have preferred at least some hint of darkness. Was she...enjoying this? Nausea rose in the stallion's stomach at the very thought.

"Ooh! Let's use magic this time!" A yellow light issued forth from the changeling's horn.

To feel one's own leg slowly breaking is not something oft felt and with very good reason. The stallion felt his leg, no longer under any control of his own, gradually buckle inwards. The feeling only served to worsen his nausea. Further and further it was pressed. Tendons snapped, muscles ripped, and still it was pushed farther. Finally...crack! Every part of his psyche wanted to resist crying out, if only to spite the wishes of his tormentor. And yet... "AAAAGH!" His scream was so loud, it was a wonder the stallion didn't deafen himself.

Left quite literally with no front legs to stand on, the stallion fell, open-mouthed, into the nectar which entrapped him. Even though this nectar was not intended for pony consumption, it was normally rather sweet. Normally. This particular nectar had been festering upon the forest floor for at least three weeks, collecting all sort of filth, leaves and whatever unfortunate insect that happened to come trundling by. Though nearly a month had passed, the stickiness of the ooze had not waned. The same could not be said for the stallion's strength, however, and he had little choice but to lay there, slowly suffocating on the gritty, disgusting mess.

"Now that was a loud scream." The changeling female's yellow-green eyes widened in a smile of disturbing amusement. "Let's do that again!" she giggled. Another spark of yellow magic jumped from the changeling's horn.

One more of the stallion's legs snapped in response. He tried to scream, but the nectar invading his mouth reduced it to nothing more than a muffled mmphmm!

The changeling snorted, her air of excitement falling away. "Hmph. That was terrible! Your first scream was so much better... Must be that nectar in your mouth." she mused. Her magic gripped the stallion by his ears and popped his head free from his entrapment. "Hold on..." Her face pursed itself into a comic look of concentration, complete with slightly visible tongue. She dug around, rather roughly, in the stallion's mouth, finally pulling a gob of nectar from his windpipe. "There! All better!"

A weak cough fell from the stallion's mouth. This creature before him was mad. There was no other explanation. He was on his last leg, in more ways than one, and here was this...monster, smiling and giggling like an innocent schoolfilly.

"'Kay, here's how we'll do it." The queen pulled the stallion, still held by the ears, up to her level. "You've got one leg left, so we have to get it right the first time. Listen good. I'll break your leg and all you have to do is give me a good scream, okay? Ready... Go!" Another burst of yellow magic popped from the changeling's horn and the last of the stallion's legs snapped outward at the knee. Her look of excitement slowly fell away when she was met with silence.

She released her hold on the stallion's ears, dropping him in a unceremonious pile. "Hmmm..." She began curiously poking his unmoving body. He uttered no more cries, not even when she prodded him hard enough to break one of his ribs. "Awww..."

Too many times, this was your fate if you happened into one of these traps. You became the plaything of the mother of the Honeycomb hive, Queen Ambrosia. The Honeycomb queen was a bit of a rarity among changelings; most queens are cruel by choice. Ambrosia was not. More than a few ponies met their end at her playful experiments. Perhaps even darker than these experiments was the way in which Ambrosia conducted them; never once did the changeling queen intend to kill these poor souls. They were nothing more than innocent games to her.

"Hmph." Ambrosia stared at the unmoving pony, her cheeks puffed out in a small pout. Sure, there were other trapped ponies within her territory, but they were still too healthy. Too much fat on their bones. Too much to produce that satisfying noise she liked so much. It was getting late in the day, though; perhaps it was time for her to head back to her hive to oversee some of the daily duties.

"Insolent brat!"

Or...perhaps not...

Ambrosia took to the trees and with skill born from years of practice, silently flitted from branch to branch, seeking the origin of that familiar voice. Visitors! Her hooves dropped onto a thick branch, barely making a creak under her weight. Below her, she at last found the owner of the enraged shouting. Now this is interesting... What are you two doing so far from home?

"You would so easily turn your back on your queen!? After you were the only one to willingly follow me from the hive!? After all I have done for you!? You unfaithful maggot!"

The smaller of the two creatures must have been blessed with an amazing amount of self-control to retain a level tone in the light of such heightened temper, let alone remain respectful in every word. "If I recall, it was your words that wished for me to not place my life in danger without due cause."

"What would you call the undertaking to reclaim my hive?"

"A lost cause, your Majesty. You left your right to ask for respect at the Canterlot gates.We should have parted ways at the hive. I have only followed you this far because I believed we had a chance. have been thinking; why should any other hives even consider pitying us? I see now it is nothing more than folly to expect otherwise."

"You would rather submit yourself to be trod upon by the swine that is Miasma!? Have you lost your mind!?"

"Quite the contrary, my queen. I have never been saner. Miasma is hardly anything more than a disgusting swine, this much is true. But even a swine is to be more respected than the filth in which he wallows."

The female of the pair flinched slightly at the barbed words of her companion. She stepped up to him, raising her hoof in anger. There she held it, her body shaking with rage.

Ambrosia could not see the creature's expression, but upon hearing the shaky tone that came from her mouth, she could draw a good conclusion.

"V-very well... If you would be so disloyal..." The creature's hoof dropped toward her smaller companion like lightning.

Not even the enraged hoof falling to earth mere inches from his face could shake the resolve of the smaller creature.

"I would never bring harm to a child of my own hive; that shall not change, but...if you would be so disloyal, then you are dead to me. I won't forget this act of treason, Sylph. If you walk away now, it shall be the last time you see me. I...will no longer come to your aid. Regardless of the danger you may be in...I...I will not stand to see you again. In choosing to turn your back on me...you have asked me to do the same to you. Be gone, Sylph… Y-you are on your own now."

"It...has been an honor to serve under you, your Majesty. Goodbye." Before he disappeared into the dense undergrowth, he hesitated, glancing back at his former companion.

Another smile crossed the face of the perched changeling queen as she watched Sylph plunge into the forest. Ooh! I was starting to get bored!

The Honeycomb queen put herself on the move again, pursuing the lone changeling. It appeared as though she would get to have a little bit more fun today.


These treetops belonged to her hive and if Ambrosia wanted to remain undetected within them, not a soul would find her. Quieter and swifter than a shadow, the Honeycomb queen darted through the foliage, quickly overtaking the changeling deserter. She returned to the ground, only long enough to trap his path. Now it was a waiting game.

It turned out to be a very short game; not five minutes later, the changeling appeared from the undergrowth. Ambrosia closed her eyes in anticipation and waited for his signal.

"Ah! What is this!?" He started slightly at the appearance of the Honeycomb mother from the trees above him. "Ambrosia!" he snarled. "Why have you detained me? I have shown no hostility within your territory."

Her captive's question was one of very low priority; Ambrosia took her time in stretching out upon a low-riding branch of substantial heft. "So... 'Sylph', is it?"

"My term of address is no business of yours, hag!"

Ambrosia dangled a hoof off her perch and amused herself by batting at a particularly springy fern. "Your queen...she seems really upset."

"The emotional well-being of my queen is no longer any of my concern." Sylph retorted sharply. "Her business is her own. None of mine, and certainly none of yours."

"I don't know... I mean really upset. So upset, she was shaking." Ambrosia paused abruptly and gave Sylph a quizzical look. "Wait! Is that something you do?"

"Is what something I do?"

"Shake!" The female changeling plucked the fern from its grassy home to wiggle its leaves in Sylph's face. "Do you all shake like that when you get angry?"

Sylph took a moment to search the queen's eyes, looking for any indication that this might be a joke. He found none; this was an honest question. "You've got to be kidding me..."

"So are you saying you don't shake like that?"

"I refuse to answer such an inane question!"

A look of determination crossed Ambrosia's face. She snapped a twig from the branch she was reclined upon, which she floated over to Sylph. This was repeatedly jabbed into his side at regular intervals.

"What in Tartarus are you doing?" he snapped.

"Pfft. I want to see if you shake like that if I can get you angry enough." she replied, focused on her poking.

This only carried on for so long before Ambrosia grew tired of it; the constant prodding did little more than irritate the captive changeling. "Ugh... You're good at this..." she commented, staring at the upside-down Sylph.

"Are you quite finished yet?" Sylph glared daggers at the changeling queen perched upon the branch and sprawled out on her back, all the while still poking away at him.

"I suppose..." Ambrosia puffed her cheeks out and sighed, at last tossing the stick away. "You're a lot more boring than I thought you'd be..."

"So sorry to disappoint..." Sylph muttered sarcastically. "Am I free to go then?"

"I gu...ess..." The female changeling trailed off in the manner of one who has just had an epiphany. Something had caught her eye. That something had been the irritated twitch of Sylph's wings moving under his elytra. Intrigued, she quickly rolled over and sat up. Magic of a hue identical to her eyes lit her horn. The same light took hold of the protective carapace upon the smaller changeling's back, wrenching their halves apart in a manner that was probably more painful than not.

"Nngh! Release me, hag! You've had your fu-"

"Not yet!" Ambrosia interrupted, only half-paying attention to Sylph's protest. "There's one more thing I wanna try." The queen's invasive magic continued its search, taking hold of one of Sylph's wings. This she pulled out to full draw. Like an organ separated from a body that still needed it, the tattered wing twitched as its owner tried in vain to retract it. "I really want to see if you shake when you get angry."

"What are you going to do? Poke my wing with that damn stick?"

"Of course not! That would be silly. I'm going to pull it out!" she giggled. "That oughta make you really angry!" A wing at full extension obviously has no more length to give, but Ambrosia had important questions to answer. Slowly, her magic pulled at Sylph's wing, stretching it well beyond physical limits. During this process, she fixated intently upon his face and the increasingly pained grimace creeping across it, searching for any hint of rage-induced trembling.

Anger was the last thing on Sylph's mind; pain consumed every available synapse. It had reached the point where he could no longer speak, even if he had wanted to. Instinct took over, forcing a guttural snarl from his lungs. Agony screwed his eyes shut as he felt the muscles of his wing finally give in to the inquisitive tug of the queen's magic. One by one, each structure that held his wing in place tore away, leaving behind the most intense pain the changeling had ever felt. It reduced his mind to a primal state; he could feel nothing else than the liquid fire coursing through his body, burning him up. If nothing else, the searing pain gave him something to focus on. Something to hold on to; to force his rage back down. He was not about to satisfy this queen's idiotic curiosity.

Ambrosia dangled the translucent wing before her eyes, inspecting its bloody stump. She tossed this away after a few moments, turning her gaze back towards Sylph. "Still not shaking... Wow, you're really good at this! This is a lot more fun now!" The changeling queen happily clapped her hooves together, enjoying this immensely.

Sylph's eyes narrowed to furious slits and his fangs ground against one another as he felt Ambrosia's magic begin tugging at his remaining wing. The queen wasted no time in pulling this appendage out to its full extension. The Honeycomb queen went at this wing with a renewed curiosity. She pulled just enough to feel something begin to tear, then abruptly stopped, letting the near-useless wing fall to Sylph's side and tear itself out further. She removed her gaze from the awkwardly hanging wing to peer at its owner. "No...pe... Not shaking yet... Looks like I get to pull this one out too!"

The aura clutching his wing went back at it with one massive yank. The snap the wing made as it parted ways with its home resembled a bone cracking itself in two. The second wave of fire that shot through Sylph's body finally broke him. “GAAAAAH!

"Look at that! You do shake like that when you're angry! I was right!" she squealed happily.

Ambrosia's celebration would have to be cut short. Sylph's cry of agony had summoned the entire fury of Tartarus from within the undergrowth. A dark blur came tearing from the trees and less than an instant later, Ambrosia felt something hook itself around her horn. The momentum from her assailant ripped her from her hooves. She was more than prepared, though, and twisted in midair to land upright once again. The Honeycomb queen whirled about to lock horns with the new arrival.

"Simple-minded bitch! I will flay you with your own entrails!"

Ambrosia giggled, still giddy from her recent discovery. "I'm happy to see you too, Chrysalis! Guess what I found out?"

Author's Note:

Here you have it, readers! The last (and my personal favorite) of the queens' introductory chapters. Next chapter we'll get to start into the meat of the things with all of the story we have. Hype. You should get some.

As always, pre-read by the brilliant Carnifex and Spiritofthwwolf.

*Random Fact: The current death toll as of this chapter stands at 12 timberwolves, 4 changelings, and 3 ponies.*

Enjoy and stay classy, readers.