Fluttershy: Trapped Together
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Life was simple. The changelings followed her instructs. They served the Queen. The Queen and her rule were eternal. All changelings constantly heard the royal orders in their heads.
Charge into the shield.
It was painful but the changelings did it.
Capture the food.
The ponies fought back but the changelings followed the command of the Queen.
Attack the fleeing fools.
The changelings surrounded them and shifted into their forms. But they fought back with a determination no shape shifter had ever seen. Normally just seeing their own friends attacking them broke the spirit of every victim. Why were they so strong?
One changeling approached the pink pony and shifted into the form of Rarity. Pinkie Pie just smiled at her. The shape shifter thought that the pink pony might have realized that she can't use magic, even when disguised as a unicorn.
So she changed into the blue pegasus ready to attack the pink earth pony. Her smile just got wider. Why didn't she fear the imposter? Did she know something about this form the shape shifter didn't?
Then the changeling became Fluttershy. Pinkie's smile did almost cover her entire face. How could she be this happy at a time like this?
"Oh oh, do me! DO ME!"
Her opponent found herself landing on the ground and still couldn't believe this. Even rolling Fluttershy's eyes didn't really express her confusion at this random behaviour.
Almost instinctively the changeling transformed into a perfect copy of the pink pony before her, stood back on her hind legs and gave her the biggest smile she could muster.
"...eh, I've seen better."
The imposter couldn't believe what she heard, the imitation was flawless. Then the changeling's memory ended. Somehow she was knocked out and now she was in the middle of an unknown forest. But the scariest thing was that the shape shifter couldn't hear the Queen's voice in her head for the first time in her entire life.
She was completely alone and it took her over ten minutes before she could bring up the will to start walking.
It was a relatively quit day in Ponyville. Twilight helped Rainbow Dash to come up with some new moves to impress the Wonderbolts with. Meanwhile Rarity, Applejack and Pinkie Pie visited the spa. Only Fluttershy is racing alone through the Everfree Forest. Angel had become ill. Nothing she had done had improved his situation, so she rushed desperately to Zecura's hut. The fluttering pony had only taken the time to grab a saddlebag with some medical equipment.
Almost totally exhausted from the rush, she took a short break at a clearing. Despite the pegasus's heavy breathing, Fluttershy only wanted to wait a few seconds to catch her breath. The soil beneath her was surprisingly soft. But then she noticed that the bushes next to her seemed to move.
While the fluttering pegasus did describe herself as weak and helpless, she would not let anything come between her and the cure for her little Angel. She readied herself and prepared her stare to send whatever would attack her back into the dark forest.
But she wasn't attacked by a creature of Everfree. It had blue eyes, two long fangs, a horn on its head, blue wings, a black body and several holes in its legs and tail. It was one of the changelings.
Not wasting any time, the being rushed at her, the impact caused the pegasus to fall to the ground. The soil beneath Fluttershy did cave in slightly. The shape shifter didn't even notice this and moved closer. Just as it was about to immobilize her victim, the terrain did collapse around them. The changeling tried to fly away but found herself struck in a root.
Both fell into the darkness.
Slowly Fluttershy woke up from a horrible pain throbbing in her left wing.
"It must have been a nightmare."
When she finally saw the surroundings clearly, she realized this was more than a nightmare. She found herself in a dark and wet cave, a giant mass of moss had softened her crash. A light shined on her, attracting her attention to the giant hole in the topside of the cave.
As she tried to spread her wings, the pain in her left wing became even worse and she quickly pulled it back into its resting position. A quick check showed her that it could be sprained or broken, so she could forget to just fly outside.
Carefully she used the medical utensils she carried to disinfect the wound and bandage her wing. Only then did she take a closer look at her surroundings and saw that the cave wall was too steep to climb it. The pegasus had to find the way to another exit by hoof. Nopony knew that she was in the Everfree Forest.
Only an unfamiliar groan reminded her that she was not alone.
The shape shifter wasn't as lucky and had landed near the moss on the cave floor. Her horn had broken off and her right wing was completely shattered. Slowly she rose from the floor, only to fall right back onto the ground.
Noticing the presence of the pegasus the changeling hissed at her. Flutteshy took a few steps back but eventually her helpfulness overrode her fear and she slowly approached the fallen enemy.
The shape shifter closed her eyes, prepared for the final strike.
It didn't come. Instead the being felt a stinging pain in her horn and as she opened her eyes, she saw her former victim disinfecting the wound. The changeling could only stare in shock as the pegasus cleaned the wound and bandaged her dragonfly-like wing.
"You should feel better now. I will try to find some help."
Slowly Fluttershy walked further into the cave. She could feel the wind breezing through her hair, so by following it she should be able to find another exit to his cave.
Eventually the breeze led her to another steep cliff, but this one was only five metres higher than she was. It may be possible to climb it. Since the pegasus was still unable to fly, she had no other choice but to climb over the obstacle.
Carefully she tried to scramble her way up, only to soon slide back down again. It was just too slippery to climb.
As Fluttershy wondered what she should do, she suddenly heard a voice, her own voice.
Shocked she turned back to see the changeling behind her, still struggling to stand. Then it started to talk in a perfect imitation of Fluttershy's own voice.
"Why did you help me?"
Slowly she recovered from her shock.
"I believe that sometimes we all need to be shown a little kindness."
"You are a fool
Carefully the changeling approached the cliff, spit some slime on its own hoofs and tried to climb it, only to drop in exhaustion just before the wand.
Fluttershy knew how sticky this mucus could be. The changelings had used it to trap countless ponies when they attacked Canterlot. Eventually her sense of survival overrode her disgust. Carefully the fluttering pegasus walked over to the fallen being and covered her own hoofs in the slime. Then she cautiously picked up the unconscious shape shifter and secured her on her back with her good wing.
Finally she started to clamber the obstacle. Thanks to the mucus she didn't slide away and eventually reached to top. There was still more darkness ahead.
They found another mass of moss and decided to place her unwilling companion there for a moment. The wind had gotten slightly stronger so she was sure, that they had made some progress.
Slowly the changeling awoke and took another look at her surroundings. She saw the remains of the slime at Fluttershy's hoof.
"I am Fluttershy, what is your name?"
The being eyed the fluttering pegasus before finally answering in the same voice.
"The Queen does not allow us to tell outsiders our names."
Both winged beings just looked at each other and didn't say a single word. Eventually both of them fell asleep.
When Fluttershy awoke she saw the changeling still lying on the moss. Hungrily the pegasus started to eat some of the plant life around her. Soon she noticed the shape shifter doing the same thing. The fluttering pony didn't even know that changelings could eat anything else besides the feelings of others. Maybe they just needed to eat emotions to become more powerful?
Wordless both finished their meals and started to walk further into the darkness. Fluttershy was confident, that she would be able to reach the exit. Then she saw the dragon skull before her. Together with the rest of the skeleton it practically created a bridge over a large abyss. The basin and parts of the chest were stabilized by the stone pillars under them.
Shivering she hid behind the changeling. The being could only stare in disbelief that this sudden shift. The Pegasus breathed fitfully.
"What are you doing?"
"It's a huge, gigantic, terrifying, enormous, teeth-gnashing, sharp-scale-having, horn-wearing, smoke-snoring, could-eat-a-pony-in-one-bite, totally-all-grown-up dragon!"
"But this one is dead! It can't do anything!"
I know. It is just
Fluttershy took a deep breath and eventually continued her path over the skull, carefully not to fall off the bridge of bones. Wordless the shape shifter followed her.
Soon parts of the skeleton started break off and both winged beings hurried over the rest of the improvised bridge. In turn the entire structure crumbled away even faster. Just when both of them had reached the basin, the tail fell off. Most of the front had broken off by now, leaving both of them stranded on the remains. Only a few metres were left to reach the other side but without the ability to fly, it was out of their reach.
"It is over."
The changeling sat down and stared into the abyss. Slowly the rest of the skeleton gave away. It would be there for maybe another minute but this was it.
"No, it is not! I can't leave Angel or my friends hanging like this!"
A green light engulfed the other winged being and it took the form of Fluttershy, her right wing still looked broken.
"Just look at you. Your wing is broken as well. Neither of us will fly!"
The construction around them continued to break apart. Suddenly Fluttershy realized that the changeling still had a working left wing. It was crazy but living in the same village as Pinkie Pie made her mind more open to such ideas. The pegasus spread her right wing.
"We still have one last chance. Glue us together!"
It was weird to see the changes on the face of her other self: Confusion, understanding, uncertainty and finally determination.
Soon two identical pegasi made their leap of faith and spread their remaining working wings out. Fluttershy used her right wing, while her twin contributed her left wing. While it could not be called flying, both glided near to the ledge and almost made it. Almost.
As their forelegs reached the edge, both desperately tried to pull themselves up. The impact had separated them painfully. One Fluttershy managed to climb up and quickly grabbed the other one as well.
The pegasus hanging over the cliff shifted back into her real form and the holes in her legs allowed Fluttershy to get a better grip of her. Soon both were safe.
Both breathed heavily from the pain in their wounded wings. Then the last parts of the skeleton fell in the abyss and smashed a few seconds later with a loud noise. The entire cave began to shake. The shape shifter growled in frustration.
"OH COME ON!"
Both used their last remaining strength and rushed foreword hoping to find the exit soon. The wind had gotten stronger, they were so close. The ceiling started to cave in and stalactites began to rain down on them. They tried to dodge them but there were too many obstacles and soon it overwhelmed them.
Both were unconscious.
The changeling awoke first. Looking around in confusion she saw Fluttershy unconscious, her hind legs trapped under debris.
Suddenly she heard voices.
"Shy are you in here?"
Her friends had arrived. Almost instinctively the shape shifter took the form of the helpless pegasus. The winged being briefly wondered how they had found them. No voice in her head told her what to do. Then she made a decision.
"I am here!"
"Fluttershy, where are you? Keep talking!"
"I am here, trapped under some stones! Please, come here!"
Soon the changeling heard the sound of hoofs and shifted back into her real form. It made it so much easier to hide in the darkness. Within seconds the two unicorns had lifted the stones aside with their telekinesis and the blue pegasus picked the wounded Fluttershy up and flew off with an incredible speed.
The bounds between those few ponies were so strong that even on the other side of the cave the shape shifter did feel it.
A few minutes after the remaining four ponies left, the changeling walked out of the darkness and wondered what she should do now.
A few days later the fluttering pegasus awoke in a hospital in a warm bed, surrounded by flowers, baskets filled with apples, books, all kinds of sweets and even some jewels. A giant banner was placed on the other side of the wall. "Congratulations! You are better now!" was written on it. Fluttershy couldn't help but smile at this.
Then she heard the sound of somepony opening the door. She saw a yellow earth pony with a curly dark pink mane, wearing a nurse hat.
"Ah, you are finally awake! That took you long enough. How are you feeling?"
"Thanks I am better now, but how did I end up here?"
"Your friends found you. The orange one went to your house and your pet pointed alternating at the clock and at the Everfree Forest, so your five friends knew where they had to go."
"Angel! Is he okay?"
"Yeah, don't worry about that. The purple one rushed over to the zebra living in Everfree and she took care of the rest. He is fine. Your friends told everypony in the hospital, they knew it would be one of the first things you ask. They really care for you."
"Oh, what a relief. Still, how did they find me in the cave? And how is she?"
"Who? You were the only one they found there."
"No, I wasn't. There was a changeling there, I helped her with her broken wing but eventually I was knocked out by a cave-in. Maybe she did lead them to me?"
"They didn't tell us of anypony else there. Your voice did guide them to your location."
"You better forget this event with the changeling. Maybe the pain has made you delirious. I am sure, that there was no changeling with a broken right wing in this cave."
"Maybe you are right."
Something bothered Fluttershy but she couldn't quite narrow it down.
"I better tell anypony that you are finally awake. Your pink friend has already threatened to throw the biggest party you have ever seen. Don't worry, we will only let her do this, when you are feeling better."
The yellow earth pony was about to leave, when Fluttershy realized something and interrupted her.
"Just one last question: How do you know that her right wing was broken? I never told you that."
The nurse stopped dead in her track.
I just guessed it
Then Fluttershy realized that the form of the nurse combined aspects from her and her friends: Her coat had the same color as Fluttershy's, her mane shared the color with Pinki Pie's and the hairstyle with Rartiy's, her eyes reminded her of Rainbow Dash's. Her Cutie Mark was a mirror.
"No, it is you! Are you really that afraid about somepony knowing that you did save me?"
The earth pony before her signed and her eyes returned to a familiar blue colour.
"We served the queen. This is all we did. We were her loyal army
but the power unleashed in Canterlot has spread us all over the world. Suddenly I had to think for myself
I am still learning how to live alone."
"You are not alone. Neither of us would have escaped the cave alone. My friends would understand. But you don't have to reveal yourself right now if you don't want to."
The shape shifter almost fainted at this line.
You trust me?"
"You have already proven that you deserve it."
The Changeling gave her an honest smile.
"I'd like to hear your opinion on one thing."
In green light the nurse transformed into an imitation of Pinkie Pie, stood back on her hind legs and gave her patient the biggest smile she could muster.
"You look just like her, even the eyes."
Smiling the shape shifter returned to her nurse disguise.
"Thank you. I think I am beginning to understand. I will tell your friends that you woke up. By the way my name is Lonomia