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One Changeling, in a World of Foes

By Keoteo

Humor / Adventure

Chapter 1: Injured, Defeated, and Lost

Chapter 1: Injured, Defeated, and Lost

Thoraxis finally opened his eyes, waking up to the feeling of raindrops hitting his black carapace. He felt sore all over. The changeling had no idea where he was, or how long he had been unconscious for, but for however long it was, rain had been falling what seemed like quite some time now, judging from how heavy and thick it looked, and how loud the thunder was.

The last thing he remembered was that he was about to suck the love out of some unfortunate pony in Canterlot, his brothers and sisters swarming the place, when suddenly a bright, purple flash of light, followed by a powerful force, probably from magic, and the sounds of multiple of his brethren and queen screaming in fear as they were all blown out of the city.

As his neck twitched around in insectile fashion, he looked around, and noticed he was stuck in a tree, and a very aged, brittle-looking one at that.

"Oh, boy..." he growled. Cautiously, he tried to move his leg, but he heard a dread-causing cracking of the branches he was stuck in. He looked at his transparent, bug-like wings for assistance, but saw that the two, now useless appendages were both drenched in water, and more ripped-up looking than normal, courtesy of the impact against the wretched plant he was now on, and the rain, no doubt. Either way, he was grounded.

"Oh, curses..." he chittered into a sigh, sensing his impeding fall. A moment later, the several, rickety branches he was on snapped apart, and he dropped to the ground with a shriek, and a horrible crunching of chitin hitting the ground followed.

He opened his blue eyes immediately after, in pain, and tried to move his front, left leg. Right off, he noticed it hurt. Bad.

"Oh... curses!" he yelled once more, in torment, holding the injured limb. He moved it about as he stood up on his other three legs, and realized how truly he had hurt it. It was sprained.

He looked up as lightning flew past the sky, followed by a boom of thunder. He knew he had to get himself out of the weather. If whatever creatures lived in this land didn't get him first, the chilling rain would certainly be his doom. Changelings, due to their insect-like nature, weren't meant to live in cold environments unless it contained a food source that would make it worth living in, and they much preferred arid, warm, or at least temperate places.

He limped as fast as he could across the wet, grassy plain, as the rain began to pick up. The water from he darkened sky poured down on his body, until the webbed, mane-like protrusion on the back of his neck, and his equally webbed tail felt completely damp, and lighting arced in the distance.

A dozen-or-so minutes soon passed, and he still continued trudging through the rain, utterly miserable. No other changelings in sight, no idea where he was... who wouldn't feel that way? The wide frown on his fanged snout could show any living being how the loathsome creature felt.

As he mumbled to himself, he finally encountered something: A wooden fence, painted white, and behind it, what appeared to be numerous trees. Each tree was lined in a row, but in between some of them, unmistakable in its appearance, was a path.

Caring not for who owned the fence, Thoraxis willed a beam of sickly green magic from the bent, gnarled horn on his head, and blew the wooden construct apart, just wide enough for him to be able to enter it without the burnt-off edges touching him. He shook his head after using his magic and groaned. Just using that much gave him a headache. He was low on energy as it was, and using any of it was weakening him further, something he could not afford. Cursing himself for his own recklessness, he walked through the opening he created, and onto the muddy dirt road.

He looked around at the trees, and it didn't take him long to realize he was in an apple orchard, and a rather large one when he really stared at the surrounding forest of apple trees. Multiple red fruits hung on almost every branch. It made him feel sick.

"Apples. Fruit. Such putrid foodstuffs-"

He was interrupted when he clumsily tripped over a rock, hidden in the grass and mud. Yelping in surprise, he fell, face-first, into a particularly big puddle, with a tremendous splash, its noise blotted out by the thunder overhead. It was there he stayed, concealed, under the brownish water, for a good few seconds in self pity. The only indication that he was still alive were the several air bubbles that popped to the surface, near where his head was, one by one. The need for breath finally forced him to stick it back up, into the rain-filled air, with a gasp.

"We... were supposed... to win!" Thoraxis shouted in his guttural voice, angrily, as he dragged himself out of the water. "We were supposed to defeat the ponies... Queen Chrysalis said we'd never go hungry for the longest of whiles..."

He looked up to the sky, opening his blank, blue eyes, before suddenly shaking his sprained, hole-filled leg at it, a viscous scowl on his face.

"What cruel god lives up there, anyway? Why do ponies get all the luck? All the miracles? Why are we left to starve? Why? Why?! WHY?!"

Only thunder, lightning, and more rain heeded him. He lowered his head and leg, defeated, and wondering as to why he lifted them in the first place. He looked back at the puddle, and then forward, limping on once more.

He walked on, avoiding as many of the puddles that laid in the path as he could, still grumbling to himself, before eventually noticing a large object in the distance. Thoraxis quickly realized it was a building of some sort. Inching closer, he finally saw what it was.

A barn.

"Better than... Nothing" he sighed with a begrudging hiss. Limping over to it, he could see its red color, and also saw he was on the back-facing side of it. As the rain continued to pelt his chitinous hide, he walked over to the front of it. After opening the door, sneaking in, and closing it again, Thoraxis, his eyes already adjusted to the darkness, looked around. There appeared to be nothing but hay bails, stalls, and farming equipment laying around, but, more importantly, it was dry. Nearby was a ladder, and where it lead to was high, and away from the ground.

Using what little strength he had left, Thoraxis climbed up the ladder with his good legs, and soon found himself in the barn's loft. There seemed to be nothing but bails upon bails of hay in the spacious area, and almost nothing else. Panting, he crawled past each one, until he reached the back of it, and sat down. He felt exhausted.

"Need to... hibernate this off. Gotta... wait for something I can refuel on to pass by..." he said, weakly, a cough soon following. As soon as he took in another breath, he leaned himself against the wall as much as he could, and, with a sickening sound, began to vomit out a pale, green, slimy substance all over himself. A few seconds later, the resiny material fully covered himself, and hardened, cocooning him to the wall.

Gotta... wait this out... he thought, as his mind began to go black, hibernation taking its toll on his cold, pain-racked body, putting it into a sleep-like stasis, of sorts.

Gotta... wait it... out...

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