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 Infestation of the Body Snatchers

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PostSubject: Re: Infestation of the Body Snatchers   Sat Jun 04, 2016 3:59 am

Sunset shrugged. "Eh, mebbe. Its not really an issue right now, and I'd need a good bit of energy to constantly transform and glamour. Right now we need to find the kidnapper."

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PostSubject: Re: Infestation of the Body Snatchers   Sat Jun 04, 2016 4:46 am

"Yes. I'll keep a sharp eye up front, you guard my back." Nox walked on for about three more feet, around a bend, and they both emerged in a giant crystal cavern which, while the ceiling was near, the bottom dropped off into darkness.

Nox looked over the edge, ears perked, incredibly still. After a long, silent moment (unless it involved Nox and Pyra repeatedly shushing Sunset), she said, very quietly, "I don't think you're the only changeling in these caverns."

Nox's horn lit up in a violet glow. "You want to see what some of my specialties are? Watch." The room grew brighter, but not because Nox was casting a light spell. Instead, the shadows themselves seemed to retreat behind the cavern's crystals. The dark abyss below seemed to drain of dark like water down a drain. Soon, the entire cavern was very visible, lit with a mixture of violet from Nox's magic and gold from Pyra's ambient glow: below them were over a dozen different tunnel openings.

"Hm." Nox hummed. Well, that complicates things. Nothing I didn't expect to run into over an hour ago, though. She summoned a blue roll of thread from her bag and tied the end of the thread around the bases of several crystals. She put the roll back in her bag. "So which tunnel shall we try first?" she asked Sunset.

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PostSubject: Re: Infestation of the Body Snatchers   Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:21 pm

"You got it." Sunset replied, taking up the rear and they moved out. "Unlikely that any changelings of my species would be in this cave. I would have already sensed them through our psychic link. The possibility of the more feral variety however is much higher." Watching as Nox removed the darkness from the tunnels, she whistled low. "That's a neat trick, although I could've just changed my eyes for a low light environment. Still, I think I got a trick that's equally handy right now. How about we just explore all 12 tunnels at once. Gimme a sec." Sunset lit her horn and closed her eyes, straining to cast this bit of complex changeling magic. At the beginning of each tunnel, an illusory copy of herself appeared, and as Sunset opened her eyes, Nox would see that they were completely teal, and glowing. "Remote Viewing." she explained as each illusion ran off into each tunnel. "Should save us a bit of time."

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PostSubject: Re: Infestation of the Body Snatchers   Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:36 pm

"'Feral variety'?" Nox didn't know of more than one kind of changeling. "And you wouldn't have seen; it was pitch black down there." Nox's eyes widened watching Sunset do her magic. "I have never seen a changeling do that before." she commented.

The illusions very quickly ran into a large network of tunnels; they'd find very quickly that this giant system beneath Canterlot was very labyrinthine. And echoing very faintly with strange buzzing, hissing, and clicking sounds.

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PostSubject: Re: Infestation of the Body Snatchers   Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:03 am

"Yeah, feral. Our race has an evolutionary split. The feral variety of changeling are just drones controlled by powerful queens. They themselves don't require all that much energy to go around, although they are incapable of generating love amongst themselves. My breed of changeling can generate love, so we don't have a need to invade a nation over it. So its no surprise that my abilities are strange to ya." she replied, taking in the feedback from her illusory copies. "Hmmm... judging from the sounds ahead, there's a feral changeling hive in here. I need to report this to the princesses at once."

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PostSubject: Re: Infestation of the Body Snatchers   Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:52 am

Nox raised an eybrow. "At once? At once at once? Or when you get back? Because I'm going forward whether you are or not."

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PostSubject: Re: Infestation of the Body Snatchers   Fri Jun 10, 2016 1:35 am

"No, I thought I'd just bound off to the princess with incomplete intel and mere suspicion. She'd take that really well. Lets go find us a bug hive yeah?" Sunset replied sarcastically.

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PostSubject: Re: Infestation of the Body Snatchers   Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:17 am

"Jeez, sorry. I don't know how the Royal Guard works." Generally better to ask than to assume, as I've learned. Several times. Nox leapt delicately off the ledge and, unfurling her wings, gently floated down to the cavernous bottom, her eyes sharp and darting all around below her the entire time.

Meanwhile, one of Sunset's illusions ran into a pair of changelings quietly chittering to one another. These changelings' chitin was darker and their bodies fuller than Chrysalis's, and their eyes light indigo. They both hissed in surprise, and one of the two immediately moved to tackle and consume the magical construct. The other skittered onto the ceiling over the illusion and dropped down quickly on the other side, then buzzed its wings and zoomed off down the tunnel.

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PostSubject: Re: Infestation of the Body Snatchers   Sun Jun 12, 2016 8:49 pm

Sunset followed after her, wings folding out to slow her descent as she kept her ears open, listening for any signs of hostility.

The changeling that moved to tackle the illusion of Sunset merely passed through it as the other illusory doubles winked out of existence once Sunset detected that one had been attacked by a changeling.

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PostSubject: Re: Infestation of the Body Snatchers   Wed Jun 15, 2016 2:45 am

"I hear something in the tunnels." Nox whispered, landing on the cavern floor, making sure not to land in the middle of all the tunnel entrances. "You see what it is?"

The hive was alerted to their presence. A dozen more drones were sent to investigate, and would be there any second.

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PostSubject: Re: Infestation of the Body Snatchers   Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:44 am

Sunset touched down beside Nox. "One of my illusions was attacked. They'll be on us any second." her form reverted to her changeling state, with azure accents more boldly highlighted so Nox could separate Sunset from the average drone. "Fight's gonna be on us any second now, get ready." she suggested, band on her right hoof glowing intensely as she waited for the initial assault.

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PostSubject: Re: Infestation of the Body Snatchers   Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:08 am

"Do you think I was not ready the moment I approached the tunnel?" Nox asked, lighting up her horn and pressing her wings close to her sides. Beside her, Pyra lit herself aflame.

The buzzing grew louder and louder each second, echoing off the large cavern's walls, and at its loudest it suddenly stopped. In the dead silence, a small, black muzzle and a lavender insect eye slowly emerged from one of the tunnels to see exactly what they were to alert the hive to and, if possible, subdue.

It saw another changeling with glowing blue eyes (it assumed her to be of the Chrysalis hive; Queen was not going to like this), a fiery, flaming bird that somehow wasn't screeching in agony from being on fire, and... an alicorn?! Where did this one come from?! And that made, what, six now?! Queen would definitely have to know about-

The alicorn's head had turned to it almost too fast for the changeling to see. Her piercing, hawk-like glare sent a very uncomfortable charge through the changeling's body, a sensation that definitely registered as the primal emotion known as fear.

ALERT, ALERT! ALICORN AND CHRYSALIS DRONE HAVE FOUND THE ENTRANCE TO THE HIVE! MORE SOLDIER DRONES ARE REQUIRED IMMEDIATELY!

The one changeling ducked back down into the hole a mere two seconds after emerging for a peek. Now that that was sent, the dozen drones currently here needed to stall for time. Likely only less than a minute, fortunately; the alicorn was likely to wipe them all out with ease. The changelings chittered briefly, forming an attack plan.

Silence again.

Nox narrowed her eyes, whispering to Sunset, "They're charging a spe-"

Then an explosion of light and crystal shards sent Nox tumbling backwards and both her and Pyra shrieking in surprise. Through the crystal shrapnel, the three changelings each went after Sunset, Nox, and Pyra: the first one moving to tackle Sunset and bite her neck (her jaw being strong enough to break her chitin), the second one rapidly punching Nox in the nose and eyes to distract her, and the third one... apparently attempting to eat Pyra, despite its chitin literally melting in her fire.

The other nine changelings were blasting surrounding crystals to shards and dust to confuse the ponies and phoenix.

Meanwhile, half of the hive's soldier drones were racing to meet and incapacitate the intruders, and they were moving fast.

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PostSubject: Re: Infestation of the Body Snatchers   Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:45 am

Sunset was unfazed by the explosion of light, her pupiless eyes simply not reacting to the explosion of light, the crystal shards deflecting off her chitin, leaving small divots and scratches as she stood her ground against her attackers. The glow from the band on her right forehoof reached a peak thrum, and held its intensity. Her horn lit as she stepped back up onto two legs, leaning back as her aggressor tackled into her. When the changeling made contact with her, she shifted her stance, left leg, stepping back as her right forehoof hooked under the left shoulder of the changeling. Spinning in time with the tackle, she pivoted her hips, and with the changeling's own momentum she smashed the changeling into the ground beneath her, and out of nothingness, a blade around 2ft long, slightly curved, materialized attached to the band, which had expanded to form a base for it. With one forehoof holding the changeling down, she stabbed the changeling directly through its skull, the blade then vanishing. Shifting, she pressed her two forehooves together as her horn lit, her making a memetic gesture as if pulling, the changeling trying to eat the phoneix yanked telekinetically towards her only to be intercepted by a steel-covered hoof uppercut, followed by a devestating roundhouse kick that left the changeling with a shattered and leaking midsection as it bounced off a tunnel wall. " Mushin...father "

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PostSubject: Re: Infestation of the Body Snatchers   Sun Jul 17, 2016 12:58 am

Nox attempted to blast her assaulting changeling repeatedly, but it proved to be frustratingly evasive, ducking and dodging then going back to punching the sensitive and vulnerable parts of her face.

Another changeling came over and landed on her hind legs that she'd been attempting to kick the changeling off with. Nox smiled. Her legs sprung up like a catapult, launching the second changeling into the first and sending both tumbling in a mess of insect parts. She leapt up and immediately blasted both changelings, trapping them in a crystal cluster.

She turned around, taking in the details of the scene. Then her horn lit up. Some of the crystal shards the changelings had blasted into the air halted in her magic, then she launched them at one of the changelings, almost fast as a bullet. The changeling, having been caught unawares, was impaled repeatedly. It crashed into a crystal unceremoniously.

Another changeling was hurtling toward her, blue magic surrounding it like some sort of comet. She turned and opened a shadow portal right in front of it. Another portal opened up beside two more changelings who were heading for Sunset and the three of them were sent screeching into a crystal cluster. The latter two were unconscious, the first merely dazed.

Suddenly, with only a moment's cacophonic buzzing echoing through the cavern for warning, changelings erupted from the tunnels. They landed on the floor and walls, or hovered mid-air, surrounding the pony and changeling and outnumbering them a hundred to one. They hissed and chittered and laughed.

One of the changelings flew over to them. "You are surrounded. You will submit and obey or you will die."

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PostSubject: Re: Infestation of the Body Snatchers   Tue Aug 02, 2016 4:26 am

Observing that they were surrounded, Sunset took a few moments to consider her options. She'd gone too far down to directly teleport out, and she had no good recall point either. "Well Nox.... this seems to have gone down hill quite rapidly. You got any ideas? I'm not exactly capable of fighting several hundred changelings at once without collapsing the cavern down on top of us. Not sure I could sneak out of here either." While she waited for Nox's reply, she lit her horn in preparation for what she considered to be her last shot to get out of here.

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PostSubject: Re: Infestation of the Body Snatchers   Sun Aug 07, 2016 1:37 am

"Grab onto me." Nox commanded, taking a rock out of her Bag. A rock with a black galaxy-like image carved into it.

"What are you doing?" the changeling demanded.

"Shield up, now!" Nox told Sunset. It'd buy them the second it'd take Nox to QuickStep them both back into Canterlot. Her horn lit up and soon they both fell into a pitch-black shadow, emerging seconds later in the branches of a willow tree in a park in Canterlot. Gentle moonlight shone through the branches and hanging leaves, and the yellow lights of fireflies blinked around the tree and all around the park, never flying more than a few feet from the ground.

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PostSubject: Re: Infestation of the Body Snatchers   Thu Aug 11, 2016 5:04 am

At Nox's command, Sunset channeled the energy from her horn into the band on her right hoof, tucking up close to her as she slammed said hoof into the ground, projecting an iron dome around them several inches thick just before they winked out of existence and into the park. She blinked a few times before quickly shifting back into her Pegasus form and looking around. "The surface... a relay teleport. Glad you had that set up. Unfortunately, I think we have to part ways for a bit, because I gotta tell the Princess's there's a changeling hive beneath the city, before we have a repeat of the wedding fiasco."

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PostSubject: Re: Infestation of the Body Snatchers   Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:54 pm

"Very well." Nox said, looking between the tree's branches and hanging leaves to see if she could spot a store from here. She needed to buy a better disguise...

"I don't suppose that makes this a top-secret government affair?" she asked, wondering if she'd be forced to leave this to Princesses Celestia and Luna. Not that she was horrible troubled by that, she had utmost confidence in the Princesses.

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PostSubject: Re: Infestation of the Body Snatchers   Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:34 am

"Not up to me to decide, but I'd imagine Celestia will mobilize her forces immediately and begin casting de-glamours en mass, whilst Luna will begin sending out her agents to enforce a soft quarantine of the city. Not my area of expertise. You should get off the street though for the moment. I gotta place on 322 Hoofington Avenue. You can crash there if you wanna stay in town. Its going to get pretty hectic in this city the next little while. I gotta message Mom and Dad... and.." Sunset stopped and took a breath. "One thing at a time. Princess's first. I gotta jet." And with that, she leaped into the air and took flight towards the palace.

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PostSubject: Re: Infestation of the Body Snatchers   Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:50 am

Mass de-glamours, soft quarantine on Canterlot. Get off the street. Why? Should ask her later. Place on 322 Hoofington Avenue... shit I don't know this city, this might take a while. Should save the shopping for later.

Nox nodded goodbye to Sunset, then hopped down from the tree, Pyra crawling into Nox's hoodie to avoid drawing attention.

Every minute she spent walking through the city for 322 Hoofington Avenue filled Nox with wonder and longing. Canterlot was so beautiful, so clean, so big! Smells coming from restaurants made her hungry; seeing the salons reminded her of the dirty messes that were her coat, wings, and mane; and every house, passerby, and late-night establishment she passed made her feel... lonely.

Nox took a deep breath. One day. she told herself. It'll happen one day. She found Hoofington Avenue, and walked down to 322. As she walked, she wondered if she shouldn't follow Sunset's recommendation to get off the streets so she could hopefully find some changelings before they escaped the city. However, she decided against it, realizing how unlikely it was that she could be of significant help that way. When she reached the door, she raised her hoof to knock, only to remember Sunset wasn't there. Duh, Nox thought. She tried to turn the doorknob.

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