"Prisoner number 4362-3, henceforth known as 'Subject#1'." Came an echoing voice through some speakers on the flat, gray brick walls. "Subject was captured in southwest Equestria, he was wandering through a forest close to a small village. We assume he was looking for a pony to feed on." The room was small and cramped, much like the cell the creature had come to know as 'home' over the last few days of his captivity. "Subject is of Changeling race and origin, no unique characteristics save for the superficial wounds along its face and sides from the effort to capture it." He had called me 'it', thought the changeling, is that what I've come to? Just another thing to be played with? The small room was sparsely filled, the only things in it being a chair and a table, both being bolted down and the subject being chained to the former with magic nullification bindings. A large window dominated the wall opposite the chair and table, an obscured shadow sitting behind it, bobbing slightly as it talked.
Movement behind the window drew the attention of the Changeling to it, the mysterious shadow now had a companion with him. Whereas the first shadow was large and bulky, this new shadow was rather slim in comparison. A light fluffing at the shadow's sides told the changeling that the shadow's owner had wings, but the shadow also had a long, slender horn on its head. The Changeling quickly realized he was in the presence of a pony Princess. Being a prisoner for days and getting beat up when the caption on duty wasn't paying attention had scared and hurt him, but being in the presence of such power made him squirm in his exoskeleton with anxiety. Who knew what she could do?
The shape seemed to notice his discomfort. "Relax" Came the voice, it had a soft, almost motherly tone to it. One that almost seemed to radiate warmth and love. The sudden influx of love gave the malnourished Changeling a boost of energy, albeit a small one, but everything counts. "You have nothing to fear, little one." Said the Alicorn, "That is if you cooperate with us, of course."
He sat there on the cold, metal chair; still slightly unsure of what was going on other then he was being asked by a leader of the ponies- who was also a demigod no less- to cooperate with them, for what purpose, he still did not know. "Well?" Came the voice again, booming from the speakers. This pulled the Changeling out of his thoughts and back into the current situation. Ok, he thought, She wants me to answer her... I guess there is no harm in going along with this... right?
The Changeling gave a small nod of his head to show that he understood her question... or was this a demand? What would even happen if he didn't cooperate? Then again, did he even want to find out?
"Excellent.", came the voice, still as calm and motherly as ever. "Lets begin our little session with a few questions, shall we?" Subject #1 had a feeling that was less a question and more of a statement. "What exactly were you doing that day you were captured?" Asked the Alicorn, not in an accusing fashion exactly, but more in a legitimately curious way. "Were you scouting for an invasion? Looking for your friends? Were you... Lost?"
Subject #1 was unsure as to how he should answer this question. He could lie and say that he was just lost and trying to find his way back to the hive, or he could tell the truth. Well, I guess I can't do myself any good for getting caught in a lie... The Changeling opened his mouth to speak for what was possibly the first time in months, outside of the times he screamed when he was beaten... "I... I was jusst... hungry..." He answered with the slight lisping hiss that was his people's accent.
There was a small silence as the Alicorn seemed to think over what he had just said. "You were... hungry?" She asked. The subject gave a small, tentative nod. "You could have said any number of things, but you said you were hungry. Being a Changeling, this implies that you were going to suck the very love from a pony. I must say, I am surprised you didn't just lie, because now I know that you were going to attack a citizen of my kingdom." She paused and gave a small sigh. "But I can appreciate your honesty."
Ok so she isn't mad... Thought the Changeling. But why isn't she mad? Granted draining a pony of love isn't Dangerous Per se, just Very uncomfortable. The only real side effects being extreme irritability for a few days thereafter.
"What were you doing alone?" Came the Alicorn again, drawing the Changeling from his thoughts. "From what my information officers tell me, Changeling hunters normally travel in groups of four or five."
"We can't sspare the bodies" Said the Changeling matter of factly. "Too many ssick or injured, we've lost so many to sstarvation. We haven't even had a larva ssurvive gestation in monthss..." The Changeling grew darkly quiet then. "We fear we may be dying out, going extinct."
"Extinct?" Asked the Alicorn, almost seeming like she was caught off guard by that information.
"Extinct" Confirmed the Changeling. "We have had to travel out farther and farther to find food to feed the hive. Many do not return from the pilgrimage. I imagine I've already been dismiss as another who died." The Changeling paused then, in deep thought, then started sadly, "Ssoon we will be all gone, turning into just another foot note in hisstory, forever being marked as beassts..."
"Beasts?" Came the Alicorn's questioning response, "Well you did attack us, a brand like that should be expected."
"Have you ever sstarved princesss?" Came the suddenly hard voice of the creature. "Ever watched as the ones you loved withered and died around you? Held a newborn child in your hoovess as it gave not but one breath before dying? Fought not for land or wealth, but for your very right to live? To survive?" The Changeling gave a pause to let what he had just said sink in. "Sstarving is nothing new for uss, even before the Canterlot fight were we sstarving; sshunned and forgotten by all other beingss because of our natural nature. The Canterlot incident was just the beginning of the end for uss; we were completely crushed, now lacking even the basic infrastructure we had before Canterlot. We were reduced to just a sscattered band of nobodiess just waiting for it to end." He paused again before letting out a furious hiss. "You have no idea how we have suffered..."
The Alicorn was silent then for a long time, deep in thought. "You have my greatest sympathies-" Began the Alicorn before the Changeling interrupted her with an angry hiss.
"Ssave your sympathy for ssomebody else!" He yelled, "It fallss bitter in my mouth! It'ss too late to bring my people back... Too late to save the countless livess it could have. There is no coming back for uss now, We are doomed to fall to history with nothing but a bad name to carry into the future when we are long gone."
The room fell completely silent then, the Changeling refusing to say any more and the Alicorn not knowing what to say.
"Sorry." Said the Alicorn. "First I failed my sister, and now I've failed your people, and gods know how many others I've failed. I can't make this up to you, and this will be another thing that will burden my soul..."
The Changeling sat in silence, a single tear falling down his cold cheek, a tear that was equity matched by one from the princess. A tear of pure grief, filled with pain, regrets, and what-ifs.
FILED AND CLASSIFIED ALR-5
CLASSIFIED BY THE EQUESTRIAN PUBLIC RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
CLASSIFIED BY THE EQUESTRIAN MILITARY
CLASSIFIED BY THE EQUESTRIAN ROYAL GUARD
CLASSIFIED BY THE EQUESTRIAN INELEGANCE AGENCY
CLASSIFIED BY OFFICE OF PRINCESS LUNA
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UN-CLASSIFIED BY THE OFFICE OF PRINCESS MI AMORE CADENZA
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