• Journey's End on PC - Find info here and here. Please report bugs and issues for PC 1.4 and 1.4.1 to Re-Logic here.
  • Journey's End on Mobile - Find info here. Report bugs for Mobile 1.4 to DR Studios at this link and give as much detail as possible.
  • 1.4 will bring many changes to the PC version. We strongly advise making plans to back up your worlds and players prior to updating your game. More details here.
  • Console and Switch - The latest news can be found here. To report a bug, please use this link.

Other Literature The Word Alchemist Fiction Showcase.

Changing Flask

Duke Fishron
Artist Request Conditions
Friends Only
Hello. I will drop all the fictions that I'm writing there - given that the wordcraft would work with me, I can give on some of the... more interesting titles for you to read.

Poems:

A soldier, who is he in current world?
Is he one who sacrifices themselves for country?
Or perhaps the country sacrifices them for needless cause?
Would he have better livelihood somewhere else?
Perhaps he would've wanted to live peacefully instead?
No one knows, as the roses are always thrown for the fallen.

A soldier, tool of the current, yet cruel age,
Marches everyday for the next mission,
Awaiting the fate that the people give him,
Just like an enslaved gladiator in the Rome,
Fighting for an Emperor that an Eagle had appointed,
Either he shall live and go on the next fight,
Or he shall stain the sands with his blood.

So who is he in current world,
Where no one cares about his destiny?
What cause he supports,
Where there's no truth to defend?
Which life will he save,
When he can't even save his own?

Alone in a cell,
Together in suffering.
Locked inside the room,
Jailers unseen, unheard.
A screen that keeps sanity,
A false hope in a bright future.
When it shatters, what will be left?
Nothing is the same any more...

Alone in a cell,
Together in suffering.
Harsh reality outside the window,
A comforting bubble we're living in.
The world is calling for help,
No one will reply to its call.
And yet we can't do anything to save it,
As we're locked alone in a room...

(Dedicated to Upper Karabakh civilians.)
The war's over, a vulture is approaching.
Dead for the wasted lands, for the homeland.
A sound of a widow crying goes from the window,
As the man collapsed to the wounds caused.

Vultures are flying over the man, as they hunger.
Soon they arrive, and begin tearing his dead body,
As the new order shouldn't have happened normally,
Now it has happened anyway from the hands of other man.

The mountains salute for the dead,
The forests mourn the lost caretakers.
The ruins frown upon their new fate,
Will they be saved, or will they be doomed?

Elsewhere a trumpet of victory deafens the tears of the widow,
A new occupant had entered the city the man fought for.
They forced the widow out, and planted their flag,
Over the pile of broken bricks that once was called "home"

So you too, mourn for the land that was lost,
For the widows left without any comfort,
For the country torn apart by vultures,
For the man that lost their own fight.

Two Words, One Destiny: [My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic crossed with In Real World]
List of chapters:
Post #1 -
Main Stories:
1. Beginning of the Conspiracy
2. The Faultlines
3. A Soldier in the Making
4. Freedom Lost, Identity Lost
5. Lost Innocence
6. Retreating
Post #2 -
7. Losing Streak
8. (planned) Besieged in Paris

Sidestories:
Post #1
From The Journal of Fallen Soldier [Takes place before any chapter, and during Grand Evacuation, after Celestia segment]
Grand Evacuation [Technically Chapter 0, taking place between 1941 to 2020 AD, between 1000 moons after banishment to 1002 moons]
Replacing the Leader [Takes place between Grand Evacuation and The Faultlines, Queen Chrysallis point of view.]
The Ponyfication Serum
Spitfire Death Retold [Takes place during Lost Innocence, Rainbow Dash's point of view]
Ponish Apple Family versus Polish Apple Magnates [Takes place in 2020 AD]
Post #2
The Importance of Morale
Mobilisation
The Siege of Paris


Genre: Slice of Life / War-time

Premise: The world was relatively calm as it should've been, from the end of the Cold War, thirty years ago. However in summertime of 2020, a mysterious portal opened in Breton, France. The Princesses had decided to evacuate from the doomed homeworld of Equestria. But rather than being blatant enemies, Celestia wants to merely save her subjects from certain doom. Two extreme factions formed from the discontent and hopes that they want to make real. The pro-Pony faction liken themselves to be the true rebels against humanist supremacy, and accuse the Princess herself of collaborating with humans. The pro-human faction instead hate the ponies with all the hatred, and blame the French president of being too soft and ceding the land for the ponies.

Beldour Barcuda is just an average citizen of Paris, attending to a school and sharing responsibilities with his parents. One day he hears the news and the other day, he gets called to the military. How will the fate of France and Equestria mix together? And what will Beldour truly witness?

NOTE: While based on real world, there are some adaption changes in said Earth. Ponies are just as mortal as humans in this fan-fic (the exception being age-related mortality in case of Alicorns - those can't be outlived).

- "Wake up Beldour, you shouldn't be lying on bed for such a long time, you lazy bum!"
Waking up wasn't exactly what I ever thought it to be. But it had to be done, so I woke up-
- "You're late for the school as usual. Well, one more infraction and you're going straight to military."
And this happens. Ugh, I hate my prospect being the military-man, it's not really necessary. So I tried to argue with my mother like that. - "But what would they do with me? Send me on some impossible mission for me to die?"
- "No! They'll make you a real man! Not the lazy bum. And no, they won't have you to die, forget it!"
Grudgingly, I accepted that I had no real say in my matters despite being an adult. Being twenty and still learning at school, basically this was my life. Ocassionally I could read my newspapers, do something on my laptop or watch the news channel, but well, let's say nothing interesting was there. Besides, this was first scolding in a year.
- "Fine, parents..." - Groaning in disappointment, I've said. I could put time in something more useful than disputing with parents over a want of nail. So I've started doing my chores. Washing dishes in hot water, cleaning my own bedroom, feeding a cat... it is called 'Delicia', because my little sister, Mea Barcuda, named it such, but never fed it. Yeah, guess she can be a bit annoying with her habits, but why would I feed her own cat is beyond my own understanding. Some time later, knowing my breaktime was there, I went towards the living room, where our modern, flat-screen, 48 cals TV was located. I grabbed a remote and pressed the power button, which flashed the screen. Yeah, always need to wait some moment before we can see anything. I've quickly switched channels until I saw a right one.
And then there's what I saw in channel 23, the news one.
- "According to negotiation tables, Princess Celestia and Emanuel Macron agreed upon non-violent way of solving the alien crisis. North-Western France, including Breton peninsula, will be ceded for Canterlot for the sake of peace. It also agreed upon that the aforementioned country will join NATO in 2022, two years after formalization, and EU in three years." - What was that country upon? I don't really understand the fact that my country could sacrifice the lands to maintain the peace, I am just worried that it was too generous of my country... I mean, this could quickly devolve into the war. And what about other citizens of that regions? Oh, this explains it.
- "Frenchmen that evacuate from North-Western France are guaranteed for financial aid for settling in different countries. Those who don't, have a guarantee of Celestia herself that as long as they do no harm, they are welcome to stay in Principal Republic of Canterlot." - Guess that these aliens really wanted a peaceful life and had the same intentions. I've then heard a few more news. Nothing interesting - Poland still having its troubles with law... tphe, boring. ISIL still having a last hold-out... yeah, nothing different. Then I shut the television off, and continued doing my chores. At least until I got really tired.
- "Well, I'm done for today." - I said to my parents cheerfully, but tired, really tired.
- "All right then, guess you can go outside and do the shopping."
- "Argh, fine..." - Like seriously, always after I'm done I must go shopping. At least I can't complain, since there's always a newspaper there in a list. Oh, and we're living in Paris, capital of France, known of its Eiffel Tower, Louvre and of course terrorist attacks. Ugh.
And so, I began walking towards the supermarket, to buy her groceries and a newspaper, cause' why not. It didn't usually take this long, but one conversation stopped me in tracks.
- "So, there are news that weak Macron did that again. First Kaczyński, then Trump, now Celestia out of nowhere. Give me a gun, and I'll overthrow Macron and reconquer that part of France, because France should be French, not shared between us and some saccharine-dosed horses!"
- "Then by your logic we would declare war to Switzerland, Italy and Belgium for exact same reason. It's illogical, even Equ-"
- "Equestria... pfft, who are you, brony? They do not prosper in society, they can't even create their society without being based on the show. Like seriously, Macron's weak, Celestia's invader there, I wish I was in society where there's no pony there! Oh, and no brony either!"
- "You sound like Nero before burning the Rome there with your speech. Not to say any about his modern counterpart, the racists never prosper."
- "Oh, you dare calling me racist? In future humanity will be PROUD of me and will call me a hero, simply because ponies aren't any more a race!"
I couldn't really treat this one seriously. Like who he was kidding? France was peaceful country, why would someone wish a war to be there? It'd just hurt both sides. But yeah, I did complete shopping at very least and started returning home. On an alleyway, I heard another conversation.
- "Equestria. Sounds like dear utopia. Well, we need to spread it to all the world, Earth should be all ponies no humans. Like... everyone is a stallion, mare... yeah, and pegasi and unicorns sound awesome. So are Earth Ponies."
- "Let me guess, you're a diehard brony, right? Y'know, there's no way you could take over the world like that, since NATO will strike back and your utopian dream will fall on your head."
- "It's not that. If we manage to fiddle with Celestia enough so she would actually support the ponyfication of Earth, maybe we could-"
- "No, it doesn't work like Hearts of Iron where you could just walk in with a brigade of soldiers and cause every country to surrender. Modern world isn't easy to conquer. Either that or you'd just get nuclear bombed and your name being written as the criminal against the humanity."
- "Oh what now? Do you really think that NATO is that clever? It's a failing alliance, it can't even graze anything in Syria, and most wars after 1950 were lost or ended in a draw, including the Korean War. So yeah, you'd get a point. And with Celestias support, we all would have awesome powers. Imagine. You soaring into sky, me using magic and stopping fourty the size of army..."
And what was that now that others wanted to make people the ponies? Are they really losing their minds there? I returned home, sat on my chair, and began reading the newspaper after I unpacked the groceries from the bag. Yep, there will be a meeting of Celesti- wait, this was in news already, and it was solved. But yeah, there's worries written in newspaper about duration of the solution. Since it may be not enough to quell the aspiration.
Finally, I've looked at internet, booting up my laptop, logging in and being greeted by the Yoda from Star Wars background. Yeah, I love Star Wars too, I guess. So I've opened the browser and typed in the adress of the same forums I used to be in, Spacebattles... and WHOA. What happened in there? It looked like a giant flame war was spewed already. I couldn't believe it, so I just shut it down and went to sleep. I just didn't care about it.

Next day I woke up, and the realization hit me. Perhaps the situation is way too surreal to happen. So I sneaked near my laptop, booted it up, and did the same routine... and holy hell, this flame war just became even more messed up than before.
Apparently the two parties were led by "ponies4earth" and "theHumanist" respectively. The former seemed to be pro-Equus, the latter pro-human. Their arguments... hold it for the moment, are they about similiar to that I heard while going in and out the supermarket and in alleyway? And... and I had seen some freshly-created profiles.... most likely consisting of one side or another. Thankfully it was my day off the school... or so I thought.
- "Apologies to you Beldour. You're going into army, six days from now. Despite us not finding any faults. It's just... we're worried of ponies, okay?"
I was thoroughly surprised. I thought that they would, if not postpone it as usual, at least punish me when I would slack in my chores or school. - "Wait, WHAT!?" - I yelled, maybe a bit angered, but mostly confused.
- "I know it's not easy to hear of this... but trust us on this one. Stay safe in case the war breaks out." - They kind of want me safe, but why in military? I responded with that:
- "And why would soldier me be safe in war? They'd just throw me in frontline."
- "Because anyone would be proud of the patriots." - Can't argue with them, after all French patriots are respected in our country. And then they left me to do their own business. Still, kind of interesting how that peace between our France and the strange pony-alien Equus worked like.
Except, it was only a day from the announcement. And maybe even less from first hearing these extremes. So I, having nothing to do for today, continued browsing the internet. Give or take, the luxury of having access to it will quickly end for me. So yeah, what's better than spending last six days of my normal life doing nothing productive. I continued looking at the flame war. From what I've detailedly seen, both sides started from simple trolling, and ended up threatening the sides that were hostile to them, either by death or by 'having you becoming a newly created pony foal'. Like seriously, the latter threat is not serious nor funny at all. Who would throw that dumb insult there? At least forums are quick to ban these flaming trolls of internet. Merde, if I was a moderator of the website, I would do the same, just quicker. Also, some people already were putting the posts, often called "friendly ponies." Most locked, and redirected into "friendly alien equines compilation", where people just seem to be doing the photo shots on them and the pony. And those look strange. I remembered equines quite differently, they weren't dyed or having different colours.
And here goes ring... I mean, I always answer those, maybe it's just my parents returning as usual- nope, it was that one strangely-looking equine being. I was just scratching my head, considering I've seen nothing like that.
- "Greetings, and excuse me, did I get to the right house? Paris, Saint-Alqoure Street 59." - It's somehow talking. Well, this would explain why would Macron talk with the white equine called Celestia. I've replied, but a bit... flabbergasted with the situation. It didn't happen before at all.
- "Apologies to you, but you're in wrong street, we're in Bonaparte Street." - At least we're not living in that street, so my excuse was valid after all. But then another dumb question, unless I'm missing something in history of their country.
- "My bad, I should read the town map more... why are those 'human' towns that big?"
- "Development and time. Now goodbye." - Frankly I would rather just enter inside and contemplate about my life as a soldier, and spend my time free.
- "Bye, thanks for reminding me anyway. At least you were one of the nicer ones, most people would just close the door in front of me." - Then he trotted away, I entered back inside house, and continued checking, until evening, when I got into my bed, under blanket and fell asleep again.

Another day, more chores, that's how I say. I didn't care much for the fact I have much of chores to do, at least they just kept me busy. Dish-washing, cleaning my own room, vacuuming the floor where my little sister didn't care about cleaning - her own room... I really wanted sometimes that my younger sister just helped me for once. When she got back... that little brat even dared cry because she liked that messy! I just bit my tongue before I could actually yell at my sister, since my parents almost always sided with that brat ever since she was born. And she had higher grades while doing nothing, while I had to work just to get miserable but passing grades. Then she yelled at me.
- "BELDOUR! Why... why you tidied my room? It was my mess, it was organized mess!"
- "Mess is mess, Mea, you should know that. Sometimes you're impossible, sister." - I wanted to go back to my chores, so I replied so she would just give me peace I wanted-
- "NO! You just don't know how to take others feelings!" - And she even dare cry in front of me. That's just asking to be called a bratty sister. I left her room, annoyed and angered. Another time she's being bratty like that and I'll personally teach her a lesson while parents aren't looking. The parents then came, and jinxed me to that.
- "Mea, you're acting unfair to your older brother, lazy daughter. Y'know, grades aren't going to excuse you, say sorry to Beldour..."
- "B-but it was an or- WAAAAAAH!" - Great, she's trying to be crybaby now. At least Arthur usually takes my side there and tells her not to cry.
- "Don't be such a crybaby, crying won't make it better for you. Admit it, you were slacking in your chores." - Phew, I was right there.
- "Agreed. Mea, I know the older brother has his mistakes, but at least he's working pretty hard. So apolo-"
- "No."
- "Why not?"
- "He ruined my me-"
- "He just cleaned your room, you should be cleaning it every week, or at least take some weight off Beldour! Also bad news, he's going to military."
- "Oh? Finally fourteen days without my older, annoying brother!"
- "Er, not that, you'll have to do his chores."
- "I HATE CHORES!" - By this yell, I was already back to work... but there wasn't any, so I was watching TV. Boring, uninteresting, already watched... wait, what was that? God no it's cringe for my eyesAAAAAAAAAAAA! I changed the channel as fast as possible. Why would they air that show... on pretty normal channel!? Anyway, I re-checked news channel...
- "Marie Le Pen had scolded Emanuel Macron for being too soft for the ponies, saying that Frenchmen are embrassed of his weakness, making the popularity of current president down six points from yesterday. First clashes between humans and winged equines and horses over jobs. At one side, winged ponies would 'steal their maintenance and building jobs'. At other side, normal ponies report that human surplus and superior farming techniques will lead to equine farmers losing their jobs. The orange pony reports: 'We have a big o' orchard near Ponyville, wherah we buck the 'pples off the trees. With so said 'Polish Apples'... shoot, we miht(might) losh(lose) the jobs in no time, forced to sell th' orchard. As Flim Flam broth'rs wheran't enouff.' From Apple Family Orchard, Nathanel de Miragious."
Then father decided to visit me. - "I see you know the truth now... I'm just scared that we won't be able to pay our rents. And the fact you being a soldier would help you. Miniscule is that help, but better for one to be a recruit than family to starve to death. I fear... the winged sentient horses will take away my job. Without job, no money." - Huh, why he wasn't yelling at me right now?
- "Tell me, Arthur, why aren't you yelling at me?"
- "Son, I would, but at least you used the free time on checking the important news. And the fact you're going to have some work in case I lose it." - He then left before I could try asking why was I excused all of sudden? This wasn't right. My parent fearing they'll lose their job... I sighed, before hearing more of news. But seems like France and Canterlot were the main focus for now. Not blaming anything, but... they're hogging the world news spot for themselves. Oh right, barring another Trump being idiot moment. Seriously, why is this president still leading United States, one of our allies? But after that I was mood in no more and began reading a book to spend rest of time. Then I fell asleep per usual.

Then I woke up again, a bit nervous about being the militaryman. It was two days already, et all. Still, I wanted to be as productive as possible. Doing chores like I did, watching internet forums and news channel, shopping for groceries, I just had that routine in my head. Except for the fact I also had to cook the soup for us. I didn't mind cooking, at least I could make an edible soup after all. And so I did, per tradition.
- "Well, Beldour, I hope those chores you do make you the good soldier." - Huh, my mother spoke that.
- "Tristina... I know this... I know why I have to... I... I just will try to be such." - I spoke with heavy heart. The separation will hurt us all badly, I just hoped no one will get doomed, me or others. Which... I just didn't know, maybe being in army wasn't that bad.
While at lunch, we had the postman come to us, again. So I was the one to go outside and get the letter. Maybe two. I looked at them. "Barcudas, Napoleon Street, 21a" I opened them as fast- I just couldn't believe that there were two invitations. One to apparently 'saviours of humanity against ponies and vigilantes of Earth', another to 'the sure-fire new ponyfication front of Earth.' I just sighed, and decided not to get in contact with any. Spam, that's how I treat these messages. I decided to trash them, remove them from the e-mail.
- "No important letters there." - I've not lied - they weren't important to me at all. Besides, I already am busy with me becoming one of those soldiers, but that would wait.
Then after we finished eating soup, I continued looking for postmen for a while, before deeming it useless, and decided to surf in internet again, booting up the computer prior. There were no words to how surprised I was. Basically some people were showing the same letters, but blurred names, some topics called "bug in mail-giving or feature?" Those got swarmed and flame-warred upon. Geez, how much people would need to be there to be jerks to each other? Out of anyone who could at least show some sympathy, there were 15-25 trolls or one-siders who... someone more savvy in forums would get the point.
After all that internet surfing, I decided for going asleep again, early now. Not even night. I just wanted to be well-rested for what tomorrow would give. So I got into pyjamas and whispered 'good night'.

The hell was that noise again? I thought as I just woke up, just changing my clothes as quickly as possible. I should check that, maybe that's just parents going home and I'm simply late to wake up! I can't imagine what will happen if that happened! So, after I was up and in new clothes, I went to corridor, where the entrance was, and opened the door... and promptly got said corridor stormed by ponies and... a hatchling of a drake? I quickly closed the door, but they were already inside.
- "Okay, so what is going on there? You three scared me into thinking that the parents were coming home and that I'm late!"
- "Sorry mr... human? Ack, h-h-humans!" - I sighed, I wasn't evil, and yet he was trying to scurry.
- "Apologies if I may sound a bit menacing to you... what had happened to you there?"
- "T-t-they... they chased us! And that dragon and the little pegasus!" - I heard an adult... stallion?
- "Y-yeah, y'know... totally not cool. All I was doing was to check on Twili, but then the humans stepped in front of me! Then they were talking something to each other in alien language, before chasing us! Then I saw Scootaloo being chased by same humans..."
- "Scootaloo? Who is that?" - Not to mind dragon suspiciously able to speak French, but whatever, maybe it's their official language after all. Unless I did a critical research failure there.
- "I! I am!" - I looked at the small pegasus foal, cute as nothing I've seen before. And I thought cats and dogs were cuter.
- "Okay, before you overload me with glucose, mind you ex-"
- "I was with Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom, before they began chasing me... and them... they disappeared... but..." - Oui, she appeared to cry there.
- "Well, great. Who are you then?" - I talked to stallion. I swear I shouldn't be able to hear them, yet I can hear them.
- "I'm called Changing Flask. Not without a reason in a cutie mark, anyway."
- "And what happened?"
- "The chase... one could say 'get that alchemist, we need ponification serum!' And the other yelled 'death to ponies!' So I ran, and ran, not paying attention that the two others were following me, until you opened, out of all the humans, the door."
- "Yeah, yeah, Changing... who's that dragon anyway?"
- "Mind you introducing yourself first?" - Maybe getting all the names without introducing myself was a bit selfish of me... I looked heavily at the drake hatchling before replying.
- "Names Beldour Barcuda. Be my guests as far as anyone's concerned. Let me show my room for now." - I let them into my semi-tidied room, with still signs of hurry here and there.
- "Whoa, it looks like Twilight library after she is done with studying and forgot to clean up. Still better than once where her friends made such a mess. I had to help cleaning her library again. Oh, my name? Spike, totally awesome dragon." - I could barely hold a chuckle. Would a newt be awesome? More of cute.
- "Yeah, can see it from you." - I had my snarky humour activate instead. - "Give or take, without any ceremony, make yourselves at home." - But this part I spoke without any bite.
- "Whoa... so elegant... like Diamond Tiaras house... and it isn't owned by that bully." - That foal was quick to praise it... well, I don't think I deserve that though, I simply keep it in good state.
- "Uh... I didn't know your emotions are carousel - you cry one time, and yet you smile next time. Also thanks, but... I don't know who Diamond Tiara is, barring a word 'bully'..."
- "She's uh... gray Earth Pony. She has her friend, and they two are laughing because we're blank marks."
- "What blank marks?" I didn't understand. After all, only four days passed from the announcement. - "I mean - you look pretty much normal for a foal."
- "Filly..." Spike was quick to correct me. - "She's a filly, don'tcha think? She's adventurous and can be mistaken as one, so remember - short snout is filly at youth, mare in age of Twi."
I sighed to the dragons explanation, then sat on my bed. - "Anyway-" - I got interrupted by Scootaloo being a bit too curious about my room. Or so I assumed, as she had just hijacked my office chair.
- "Whee! That's even better than a-"
- "Peace, Scootaloo. I really don't want to excuse myself being in contact with horses and seem stupid due to that. Besides-" - The parents interrupted me in middle, as they entered the room.
- "What's going on there? What did you-" - I sighed as my parents were asking and stopped dumb-folded.
- "They came in because some people chased them in." - I replied, but I had seen the uncertainty my parents were having. After some time everyone looked at everyone oddly, including myself, my parents finally replied.
- "Guess we have... strange guests. I don't know what are they, or why did they captivate us easily. Maybe since two of them looked like sweethearts, but fine. They can stay for lunch. We're not intolerant." - The mother finally stated. - "But you clean up their mess, Beldour." - Towards me too. I just accepted that silently, given that I let them in. She then left.
- "So, this wasn't as bad as I expected... I expected being yelled at, but then again, my family has a tradition of letting the guests in." - I spoke, with everyone listening.
- "You at least aren't alone, on your own, I'll say it better." - The stallion remarked. - "For since two years ago I parted ways with Zecora to start my own business making remedies and potions. My parents thrown me out after a misadventure one time, the friends never come. The customers may be a break from loneliness, but not big either, they're not like a close friend." - He told me that. I guessed that he must've had a miserable life, but...
There was one but. The stallion continued talking, and I listened to him. Each moment that passed I thought less and less that he was having a bad time. Rather opposite - he was free as a bird. And me - three-four days and I'm going to serve in military, want it or not.
- "I see. Despite it all, you could shape yourself. And me, despite learning well enough, pursuing education for career... yeah." - I sighed.
- "Whoa... so, you didn't even taste a proper life full of adventures?" - The little pony asked. - "Not even you know... thinking of ways how to gain a cutie mark?" - I... er, had an objection to Scootaloo.
- "Hold on a second... I don't really know what it is." - I replied to the filly, given it still was sitting on the chair. I then opened a browser, decided to check a wiki aaand...
Yeah, the site has been taken down by hackers. - "Some... uh... one wants to explain me what it is?"
- "A cutie mark is like a certification - that you're both happy with the job, that you're good at doing. Apparently she has none." - I heard the words of Changing Flask. - "She's pursuing that, naturally."

After three hours spent on talking casually, the dinner was ready. We all ate it, except for sister, who fussily decided to feed the filly a bit more. Sure, the parents glared at her not to throw her food away. And I guess all the ponies had left the chicken fillets for the drake, as they... didn't really eat meat. After all that, the stallion got up, and looked at us. I looked back.
- "So, we're all departing. While it was a good talk, we still have jobs to do." - He spoke, with a dragon adding this: - "Oh, and I think Twi's worrying about me. Goodbye!"
I checked the time on the clock. It was afternoon. - "See you again, then." - They were leaving, and I had to clean the ruckus mainly Scootaloo had done. Two hours passed, and such, after I finally did my chore for today, I sat on the chair... and noticed one orange feather. Huh... did it fall? I asked myself. I inspected it, but finding nothing, I just decided to put it on the table. And so I checked the mail again. Spam, spam, more spam. I just wondered when this will end.
I checked the forums. Apparently, the written response options were blocked due to massive flame war it had spawned. Great, I thought. As if people could be more clever than that... I sighed, before checking the news. And yeah, not much interesting. A peace ongoing, and- hold on a second.
Emanuel Macron does a suspicious U-turn on NATO spending.
That headline seemed odd, and so were the news, as they apparently cut the funding by 25%. No, not something like 2-3%. A 25%! I just looked at the news in the disbelief, blinking occasionally.
Please tell me we had elected a right president. I muttered to myself, as I closed the laptop, sat down and started reading a book, before falling asleep at night.

Fortunately, two next days did not give any adventures like the one where two horses and a hatchling visited us. Neither the headlines gave the more suspicious headlines, other than possibly Trump getting angry at France. Ha, stick it to yourself, Trump. I thought to myself. I took a walk later on afternoon of the latter day.
That's when someone attempted to knock me out. I leaned in bit too much in a walk, noticing a mug. "Merde! What's going on?" Three people were rushing towards me aggresively. And so I had to run. And run.
And that's where police stopped the three. Sometimes cops are good, I admit. I panted heavily from the exhaustion and stress.
- "You're safe now. We can't summon you to court as a victim, since you have no wounds or anything. Be safe in the future though, okay?"
- "A...all right." I shakily replied and moved on, back to the home. Stressed, I decided just to take a nap.

It all went downhill the moment I woke up again, a day later.

- "Beldour, we need you to see the news." My father called me, so I came. The headline? Mysterious kidnapping in the church. Thirteen people missing, offender not found. As if there's nothing worse. The news expanded upon, and I felt gut-punched. My cousin had been kidnapped in the wedding. Maybe I wasn't there, but still, something like that wasn't common.
- "Oh... crap. So, what are the other news?"
- "You'll see."
Another bad news headline.
Germany, Equestria and Spain worried about recent behaviour of the president of France.
Again, it expanded upon, with one of ponies being interviewed. An unicorn, but I don't recognize it. The armour is definitely shiny, but Europe didn't use it for five-six centuries already. Then a Prime Minister got interviewed. - 'I don't know why he verbally insulted us. I thought he was a good kind of president. Hopefully that's just a temporary mood caused by the kidnapping.' Then another.
- "We... we're sorry, Beldour. We can't cancel your enrolment, but the situation is not good either way." - My mother seemed a bit guilty. I looked at my mother.
- "Don't worry, let's just hope it's just... a temporary hiccup." - I tried to comfort my mother with words, but she didn't seem to calm down. The rest of my day was spent on comforting her in a chair, and doing more chores instead. A clock is ticking, and my enrolment day is coming at next morning.

Hopefully the headlines were all, but a bad dream.

I woke up again, numb from the stress. Today was the day of the parting. A day when I am supposed to become a soldier. I weakly got up, and changed clothes to not look like a lunatic who walks at night and hadn't shaken himself off the sleep.
After ten long minutes, I was ready to exit. Two soldiers promptly came. - "Beldour, I suppose, as I see from the card. You've been drafted into army. Follow us." - I followed them slowly, but surely. I then sat where they had shown. The bench, not comfortable. Three people were sitting when I came in. Then more came. There was a narrow light that oxygenated the air thankfully.

After a hour of driving, I felt like my back hurt from the upper legs to the lower spine. The sitting definitely wasn't good.
- "Get out of the truck! This is an order!" - There was a shout. I had to comply, so I quickly rushed out of the truck. And found myself on military training course.
- "Rise up!" - The seregant shouted. - "Attention!" We had to go stiffly upright.
- "And listen! You, as the soldiers, are fighting for France! So I expect you to work hard and train well for this! Now Byr, STOP BEING DISTRACTED!" The seregant made a slap. We all moved our heads at that. "This is but a taste of the training you shall do. Lesson Zero - listen to the authorities! Now, march ten laps around the field! Whoever can't do that - thirty pushups!" I felt thirty kilogram weight worth of equipment being strapped to me. "MARCH!"

And so I began marching. It was an exhausting march - the field might've had two hundred and fifty metres worth of a lap, but I was weighted down by the equipment, the seregant was watching me so I couldn't really take a break, and I knew what will happen if I won't march. They're free as birds. I am only a recruit. I muttered to myself, before getting whipped. "FASTER! Keep it up damnit, Beldour! Chris, NO TAKING A BREAK! Nichol, DO NOT MAKE A SHORTCUT! ONE MORE LAP FOR YOU!" After nine and half of laps I felt like I'm going to collapse. And I did, one step after marching two and half of kilometres. Most of them did. "Now, get over the barracks!" I felt the weight taken off my body. "Now!" I started running towards the barracks. I made it and stood still when I saw a group. They were now waiting. Just like I was.

Just then, a headmaster came. A woman, although clothing simple. "Get your piece of paper and move to where it leads you." I picked up one. It read 'Wing C - Assault Quarters.' I started walking there. 'Lower bed #32, room 16'. I went to the room. There was nobody, but the motivational clips looped in ceiling TV, a working wall clock as well as posters. Two simple basic metal chairs, a metal table, a set of cards, and an empty room. So far, anyway.

Then the megaphone blared up that it's a ration time, and we had to go to the canteen. I waited in a queue. Nothing much, just a fight I've seen, and a queue skipper who got beat down. I waited, and got some chicken roast with mashed potatoes and carrot salad. I just ate it patiently, sitting on a bench. No one did a prank on me, it seems like there was a discipline in the barracks. So, after I finished eating, we were called to some room. I arrived at there, where I listened to a commander teaching us about guns, bragging about French weapons, as well as giving us the learning plan.

Three exercises a day. Mornings I have daily exercises. Afternoons have the gun usage lessons. Evening on Sunday is free, but Monday to Saturday I had to run with weight on my back, on Monday and Thursday, or to do an obstacle course, for rest of the days. I silently read what it spoke. "Dismissed." The commander spoke, after which I got back to my room, where I saw an uniform. I guess I'll have to wear it in the army. I then fiddled with cards, before going to a rest at evening, with only a clock ticking as far as I'm aware.

The next day, the megaphones made me make up. And so, I changed my clothes for an uniform, and reported to the seregant. A day in, he gave us all fifty push-ups and pull-ups. I did them as hard as I could. Mostly because I had hard-working in genes. But right after that, a seregant held me for a moment. "You think a hard work can save you? Wrong! Another fifty pushups! For yesterday that you were lucky to not have the push-ups!" And I had to do this exercise again, him standing over me. I barely did the fifty by the time I was exhausted, and couldn't get up. He just kicked some of dust on me. "MOVE!" I hastily stood up, as in energised. "To the barracks, now! To the shooting course!" I started moving towards there.

After I had arrived to the course, I saw an unexpected by me event.

The president himself had come to the facility. He appeared to be silent for the moment, before sighing. "So, I am there, and there's a glaring lack of... pony-sized targets. Don't worry, we had just delivered some. As the one of first groups who are getting them, I expect you to train well how to defend from them." The trucks arrived, and many targets, looking like horses, appeared. "Well, my time is there, back to ruling France... my France." I stared at him, as Emanuel exited. One thing I've remembered though - his eyes were... odd. I didn't know why - maybe he just had been exposed to radiation, or I was having a headache... or it was his natural eye color all along. It was hard to get it out of my sight.

I was given a gun in meanwhile. It sounded empty. I examined it. A lecturer spoke, and I listened.
- "All right, since he left, let me speak then. What you have are various weapons used in our military. For starters, most of you got FAMAS assault rifles, model F1. Now, those guns have an impressive firing rate of 1100 bullets a minute. They eat the bullets fast, but are good for suppressing your targets."
He paused a bit, giving an explanation to those rifles, like where is the trigger or safety lock. It seemed near alien, but that is a weapon, it has to be that way.
"Now what some of you have are FR F2s, a long-range rifle. Those eagles shoot a long way, up to 800 metres away without any trouble. Please now look at your weapons for a moment. And don't fiddle with them yet"

I continued looking at my assault rifle, curious. I never had a gun in my hands. It felt heavy, like a live weapon. After that I was dismissed to my room for a hour, before somebody else arrived in my room. Purple eyes, general disregard to his clothing, tall and thin build, and of course the same skin as I had. I could hold a composure, but I suspected everyone else wouldn't. He then spoke.
- "Your fate, my fate, guess we both have the same job then."
- "Excuse me, who are you first? I don't think we had even met yet."
- "I'm... ehm..." - I awaited his response patiently. He seemed to be a bit stuck. - "Adam Fouerau?" - I sighed as the person clearly improvised his name.
- "I guess that's a solid name. I'm Beldour Barcuda." - I replied to him. - "You too are there?"
- "Yes. From orders of my que- er, nonono, from the order of a... recruitant." - I raised an eyebrow. France never had any queens recently, and it abolished the monarchy after last Napoleon, third one. But I had some barely hide-able chuckle with his words.
- "I guess they are sending all lazy and ungifted students there." - I added to his comment.
- "Hey! I'm not lazy!" - He protested my speech, then looked at the cards curiously. - "What are those?"
- "Cards. They're means to play sometimes, at school or elsewhere... I had a complete set at home."
- "I see." - They spoke, as they felt a bit more confident. - "Listen here, Beldour. How come you're stronger and I'm the weaker one?" - I decided to reply.
- "I'm just hardworking-"
- "Don't you think the strength doesn't come from hard work? Else I would be stronger. Come there, a fistfight. En garde!"
- "Wait, what-" I got a fist in my mouth, making me spit some blood. Damn it, a co-locator fights me just after me getting back. So I decided to punch back. He blocked and attempted to kick me. I sidestepped the attempt though, looking for a chair, grabbed it and swung it at him. He ducked, and immediately took hold of the chair. The fighting was stuck in place, me trying to push with enough strength to knock him to ground, him pushing to knock me into table. No one came.
- "This is getting awkward..." He remarked, as I felt a kick to my leg. I moved the chair left and right, shaking him off, and limping, I slammed him on the leg. - "A tit for tat, we're equal." - I summarised, before - surprise, he had probably done a flash, as after I processed that and blinked, a bug stood in front of me. I tried to smack it again, but it didn't let me, as it held me in a tight spot with the same chair.
- "So... you may be strong, but also guile." - It spit on ground, staring at me. - "How come both Frenchies and ponies are made of innocence?"
That got me thinking. But why would it punch me? For sheer sensation of pain? I sighed, before slamming back at its argument. - "Yet you were the first to initiate that fight with a fist."
- "Aaand? No one would believe you." - It changed into a figure similar to me, barring the fact their eyes were still purple. - "Now listen, if you don't want to get replaced, do not speak too much about the takeover we did on your leader, okay? Because elssssse..." - It then changed back and started shining its horn. The queen card was placed on my throat. - "She'll have a feast of your love." The card dropped on ground, and the chair unpinned me. I was too shocked to process anything, so I hastily agreed. I couldn't do anything to it. And I knew that my fate is in hooks looking like hooves of that bug looking like a horse.
Distraught, I skipped the feeding time, and spent the evening on the another march. This time, a weakness and the stress got me collapsed halfway. A thirty push-ups on me were issued, with full equipment. I did thirty, and after I got to the room, a human... er, bug disguised as one was waiting.
- "You seem very tired, don't you? Well, you now know how it goes, once on the wagon, once under it." - It spoke to me.
- "Oh, shut it, b-"
- "Shh-h, we did agree to something, didn't we?"
- "All right, all right..."- He would then sigh, after seeing the panic in my eyes.
- "Now sleep." - I got to my upper bed, and slept.

It was an uncomfortable night, made worse by the fact 'it' was free to interrupt me every so often.

At morning, I woke up to a pulsating pain on my arm. Adam was already awake, and looking at me. Or whatever that Adam was.
- "I see you're awake. Hmm, humans always are slow to wake up, aren't they?"
- "Shut it you... Adam... you made me bleed."
- "Knew you'd learn not to make mistakes. Took you some time. Also sorry, guess one of the cards simply flung itself in air and hurt you." - I sighed at the bugs explanation. The card didn't work that way. But then again, I had to play along, as he wouldn't leave me alone otherwise. - "Anyway, you gotta train more, waste some time trying to best me..." - It rubbed salt to my wounds, but at this point I didn't care. After another fifty push-ups and fifty pull-ups I was discharged. Someone else was held, I guessed to make an example of a day. I then weakly arrived to my room. He was gone, which was relief. I sat on the chair, for thirty minutes, before I was summoned again.

To the course I went, with all targets being... horses. - "So, there are your targets. Humans are easy to kill, on the other hand you'll learn to shoot, on ponies. At least, at ponies that the president gave us to train on. They aren't live. Now, we shall give you a training pistol." They then gave us some... pistols of sort. After some time learning where we pull off the safety trigger and back in, we were given training rounds, as well as assigned to stands. And to my surprise, the bug was there as human. I knew I wouldn't do much, anyway.
- "Just watching how you shoot." - He spoke, as I reached for the training rounds- and they were snatched. He would give them back at some time later, after I did what he said - aim at the pony head. I loaded up the gun and shot the targets. Three hits out of nine - two bodyshots, and one headshot.
- "Well, you killed one. And another would bleed out, but two would get you... joking, they won't, they're weaker than you. They'd just cry." I wanted to shoot him for remarks, but again I remembered that he would simply replace me, and my claims would look like a bad lie.
- "What's next then, Adam?"
- "What next?" - He would look at me. - "Shoot them more. Look at me, how a real professional does that." - He would shoot. But I would've chuckled at his aim. All the shots missed horribly! It was only him that I didn't laugh. "Nevermind, save me, and I'll give you some peace." - I would then shoot on his field, hitting four out of nine, then back at mine. Three, but two were headshots. The examiner arrived, then after examining the targets, spoke.
- "Well, you two did... well enough. Low accuracy, but it works. Dismissed until evening." - I felt a bit bad for cheating for that bug - I should've been ignoring it. Yet I felt like its own tool. It made me feel bad. We both then came to canteen. Ate our rations silently and went back to our room.
- "Well, technically I already did by now." - He would cut my arm with a card. Enduring the pain, I sighed and sat on chair.
- "So... why are you cutting me?"
- "Just to make sure you won't do your punchout like a day ago, and blown out my cover."
- "If I could, I would've done so right after."
- "If you could." - The bug repeated. - "But since you can't blow it out, I'm sure you won't disobey her." - It seemed to be a bit too reckless in speech.
- "Gh." - I finished wrapping the wound with a bandage he provided to me.
- "So the real reason why I did? I'm marking you. In case you tried to disobey, this mark will be enough of alarm and you will be pacified."
- "I... I see. So I have to obey?" - I was terrified in my thoughts. I was bound to be free man, not a slave to a bug!
- "Yes, else you know what will happen. Now, guess we have an obstacle course. You go, soldier. You go." - I ran towards the obstacle course. The seregant also seemed to be running it.

And then I didn't know why, but I began taking it the moment he had whistled. Given, it was hard, I wasn't as agile as a sportsman. And after one painstaking hour, I would complete it, in middle.

- "Dismissed." - The sergeant would simply say. - "You're lucky you're a minute before average." - I would then struggle to walk towards my room, go to the bed again and fall asleep.

Hopefully it really is just a bad nightmare that I'm experiencing currently. I hope it's just bluffing... I hope my cousin is safe and sound.

I woke up again in the bunk bed. A headache slightly grew because of the recent events... at least I thought it would. First off, ponies somehow made concessions with France, before I heard about the discontent. Then I was invited to army. Then of course three ponies somehow made it to my home and began telling how scared they were, but ended up toying with a chair - er, Scootaloo did. Then I saw first strange news, got attacked, other two strange news - cousin being kidnapped and rude president. And then army happened and I have to obey the bug that disguises as a human. Meanwhile I'm not sure what news I'll get in the facility.
Adams was already awake, sitting on the chair, looking at me. He seemed a lot smugger than the first time where I met him. I uncovered the bandages. An ugly scar that the blood and the wound had left, revealed a 'C' symbol, although quite different, as it more of looked like '<' shape.
He clearly seemed happy that his identification plans were successful. And me, who couldn't resist him... I was all but downed and having a headache. This didn't seem like a nightmare either. Guess I am still in reality. I decided to ask him some questions instead.
- "Okay, since you've basically blackmailed me into submission, what exactly are you?"
- "Don't you know who we are?" - He asked, as if surprised.
- "No, I didn't hear anything about you." - I replied to him. not telling a lie. - "But I want to know now."
- "Right. If you desperately want to know, we are the Changelings. You aren't, but if her plan is successful, and Equestria is ours for once, perhaps she'll let you be one of her underlings. Of course, if you're obedient, because traitors always end badly." - I had gripped my head again, having an episode of worse headache. The bug that met me, that shifted. It had a species name, it was a Changeling. And... I don't know what is worse - being obedient without question or being subjected to cruel death.
- "Okay, before my head splits in half, maybe we'll just drop the topic and forget." - I spoke, as I felt like I just couldn't talk about that any more. It nodded and dropped the conversation.

The whole day went without any misadventures. It seemed boring compared to day or two ago. Or even to the day when I was enrolled. But one thing literally bugged me. 'Why would I even prefer being an underling of a foreign nationality? Am I going crazy? Just why would I collaborate with an invader, who I can't really disobey, as one is watching literally every single step I made?'
I was greeted by the same Changeling. He seemed to be happier. And still had some migraine in my head. He invited me to the cards. I agreed, although a bit curious where did he pick it up. He served the five cards to me - Ace of Spades, A nine of chestnut, a Queen of Spades, Ten of Diamonds and a Valet of Hearts.
- "This is what apparently you play often. A Go Fish, they say. Eh, they're clever, but whatever. I have to guess what your cards are, and if I can't do it, then I pick it up from a deck. Then it's your turn to do that."
I never knew that game, so I expected myself to lose that, to a bug. Whatever, one game has to be lost in order to learn. So he then asked me.
- "Have you got any... Kings?" - I looked at my cards.
- "Go fish for it." - I mockingly spoke. He drew a card, and knowing it was my turn, asked him instead.
- "You got any... Queens?"
- "Dratttts..." He would hand me two queens.
- "What about Valets?"
- "Go fish." - I drew a card and added it to my deck. I had one... Two of Hearts.
So the Changeling asked me instead. "Have you got any Aces?"
I gave him the Ace.
- "What about nines?"
I gave him my nine too.
- "Threes?" - He stumbled his decision.
- "Go fish." - I had him draw a card. Now I only could ask about queens, tens, valets and twos.
I decided to pick the one left from my original deck..
- "You have a ten?"
He didn't have it, so I had to draw a card. I drew three of Spades...

The match took a whole hour, with both of us taking set after set. I had three, the bug had six after the game. Four sets were still on hands. It was my turn.
- "I want your threes."
- "Go fish."
I grabbed the card nervously. I hoped it was a Three, because if it wasn't, I won't be able to win. If it was, then I would win by one.
Nope. It was a Four. I had now three fours. Bewildered, I looked as the Changeling just gamed me to loss after I had to hand rest of my cards, ten to three.
- "I guess I am just lucky." The changeling remarked. I was about to insult him, but bit my tongue until blood came in teeth and accepted my defeat calmly.
- "Okay then. I guess it took long enough. I'm going to sleep, I'm just too tired right now." - I would then get to sleep, but not before watching him go under my bed and sleep too.

Losing to a bug... I need to act well to my bad game. I admit - he starts acting nice somehow, don't know why.

The next day I got up from the bed, then collapsed from migraine too major for me to function. I had to skip the morning exercises, but at least the Changeling had been saving my skin, by saying I was too weak. I didn't know why, but it put me on the chair. - "Listen there now, I've saved you just like you did. So that's now a draw, too." - It would leave me for three hours then. "I have an exercise to do." It would leave. The ticking made into minutes, minutes into hours, hours into days. The migraine passed away after two hours, and I still sat on chair, fiddling with the cards, and noticing I had just stepped on the gunk. Couldn't it just... clean after itself? Now that's gonna need cleaning up... Just after the bug, The Changeling, or in how I have to speak to him - Adam, got in, I just looked at him.
- "Here, have this." - He would show me the painkillers and cup of water. I took one pill, and swallowed it, with a sip of water.
The headache passed a bit, enough for me to stand up. Still, I felt a bit weakened. - "So, where did you get this?"
- "I asked the field medic for some mean to kill the headache. They gave me those pills, and I assumed those would work." - The Changeling seemed to be not that well versed in our world, but at least it redeems for being just nice enough.

Then I looked at time. Midday. I looked back at him. - "Also, three more days, and we're all in the front." - 'Hold on, why did he say - three more days? Does it... what does it mean?' I had to ask it what was the cause, but I felt like my speech would stop at this point.
- "What it means Adam?"
- "That you'll have some live practice. Nothing big, I'm sure you'd like more practice, but they spoke that they want the war to end in a week, so..."
- "Hold on, a war!? Is Emanuel crazy?" - I thought he wouldn't come to this extreme, but here we are. A war with ponies. That's just... funny, too funny. Surreal, I'd say. A friendly president declaring a war to pony nation... maybe even ridiculous. - "Listen, that... that's just too ridiculous to be true." I almost choked on my laughter, the Changeling snapping me outta it.
- "Okay, you stopped laughing? Good, because this might be funny for you humans. But not for us. Our hive almost got starved out by Celestia and her so called 'Royal Guard', when they found out that they could just cut us out of supplies, by bringing us away from lesser sources of love. All but wild animals, that feel much less than what we did before. And after being starved out of it, only she, our Queen, let us live. She, who saved us all, attempted to pay in kind by draining Shining Armor and whole Canterlot, just to make us satisfied." - I still couldn't believe his claims. But I didn't interrupt him yet. - "And after the world merged, our hive somehow got destroyed. That was the last straw. So we decided to enact our plan. With help of humans like you, maybe this will force Celestia to roll back her plans?"
I sighed. Wouldn't bugs eat flesh or something?
- "Hold on, why love out of everything? If they cut you from all sources of food but animals, why didn't you just try to eat them?" - I asked it, confused.
- "We... we tried. But we only have four fangs. And we can't really eat anything other than love. Our Queen tried that once, but she just got sick, and we had to help her somehow."
- "You... basically can't eat anything? Like, at all?" - I raised my eyebrow in confusion.
- "We really can't do that. But at other point, I'm pretty sure you'd starve to death without food to feed on." - The bug changed the topic somehow.
- "True. We can't live more than 60 days without anything to eat." - I spoke.
- "So, we still live for longer when starving, ha!" - And then he just got a bit rude.
- "Adam, stop comparing us-"
- "Or what? Remember? You weren't free to begin with." - That hit me a bit too hard, especially since I had a memory of some pony speaking about a freedom-laden adventurous life. I sighed.
- "Grrfh, fiiine, Adam." - I had a near hissy fit of anger again. But the realization again hit me real hard. If he wasn't honest, then he would've been suspecting I'm a bit too disobedient instead. But to be honest, he seemed to have been suffering hard back before meeting me. I felt guilty for its state, no matter if it was a torturer or just abusive friend.

Then the megaphones sounded again, and I walked towards the training field. I expected myself to continue a training, but then I saw the vehicles.
- "As far as you all can see, you all are going to the frontline. We require you to be prepared. The rest of the training will be done in the base on western Pays de la Noire. Now get a gun and into the trucks." I picked up a FAMAS F1 as well as a pistol, and got into the truck. There were fifteen other recruits inside it. The truck then was closed, as it started driving.

It was late evening when we arrived at the base there. It looked like a polygon, with barracks there serving as our accomodiation. I left the truck after some time, and after being assigned to a squad, was motioned towards the room. It was bigger and more spacious. Two tables, eight chairs, four bunk beds. I was tired, being awake for long, so I decided to just take a rest again. Before the sleep, I thought. Why am I already going to frontlines? I'm... I'm not ready yet, and it's not a war yet. What will happen if I get sent to my home in a coffin, or worse, never return? What if its words are true and I return as one of them, just to be on mercy of their queen? Is that even reality?

I woke up after being poured a glass of cold water on my head. Someone else did that. Migraine didn't stop, but at least I still stood up, and, seeing the squad going, I started running towards them. 'Two days... just two days. And I'm so nervous right now. Why?' I thought as I arrived at the real course. After arrival, I saw another commander in a light suit. "Attention! Group A will go through the battle course today. Group B will go through it tommorow. Secondant and Capral, Filippe de Allemaegne, mind you bringing me what groups are going through it today?" - I saw another person, handing the note to the commander. He started reading, I tried to listen the best I could. The line-up seemed to be shorter by now. And then I heard my name.

"Group Merci, Adam Foureau, Beldour Barcuda, Nicol Bevito... ...come to course. Rest of you have a free day in today." - Quickly, I rushed towards the course. I was given a full inventory, just like others did. Three training clips for two guns, two training 'nades, as well as supplies backpack. The whistle was sound, and off I was into obstacle course. The only whispering was somebody whispering. "'Just act like the ponies are your mortal enemies.'" I was first crawling through ground, getting through the wind acting like gunfire. After we, as in squad, crawled through it, I had to shoot ten targets. Each one of us got ten. I loaded a clip into FAMAS, and then, after pulling a safety trigger, fired at the targets. Full clip, ten targets down.

The next order was to get through the obstacle course. Knowing what obstacles were two days ago, I could get through them, although barely. Adam briefly got stuck, but somebody else helped him. After we did, we had to get through the field on odd whistle, hide behind cover on even whistle. I barely passed that somehow, I think luck was the factor, with two of squadmates failing and probably having to retake that part of course. The next part was easiest - unpin a grenade and lob it the furthest we could. At young age we threw pebbles. Even Adam did a better job than expected, given his aim normally was terrible. The last obstacle in the course... or actually, the last thing we had to do. Storm a building. It was pretty quick, given the fact they specified how we had to infiltrate it. So we did that, I didn't even recall how did we do it. We just... had done it... well enough. As another two failed it.

We then ran back to where we began. The commander shouted at us. - "Attention!" - We would then stand up.
- "Well done, you four. France is proud of you soldiers. I shall now give you the dogtags. Do not lose them, they are your emblem of success. As for other four... I think they have to repeat it in evening. Dismissed!" We got back to barracks, where, on the table, warm rations were there. Adam didn't seem to eat at all, even though we did.
- "Adam, what's wrong?"
- "I don't feel hungry right now. And probably won't be, unlike you. So come on, eat them. I'm not touching them anyway." - We all looked at him, but the situation de-escalated as quickly as it did, when he bit on potato and... didn't take it well, as he had spewed it out.
- "Guess he's right." - Another person spoke. - "We have a day off tommorow though, as they have a break. Hey, anyone willing to play a few rounds of poker? Tommorow. Only pen and paper."
We all accepted his idea. After the rations were eaten, we all got to our beds and slept. My head was still hurting from all the... troubling thoughts, though, as I couldn't sleep. 'War is coming awkwardly close. What will tommorow give, then? I know that it's a last day of peace I'll know. But... I really hope Mea will be safe back at Fr-AAAUGH.' Then I lost my consciousness.

And then I woke up a day later with the same heavy migraine. This day was our final peacetime day. My heart was racing, my head was even number than before... and again I got poured with cold glass of water by the changeling itself. The rest of squad was merging two tables into one. I got up and sat on the chair.
- "I heard the news. Seventeenth hour, we have to be sent to Equestria-French border. We're going directly to frontline. Now it's tenth hour. So, we can play it for six hours." - I heard from a squadmate. - "Also, repeating the course was bit too harsh... I got back there, and the rations were given cold."
I listened to him, before we both played a long game of a poker. At beginning I was just a wild-card. I didn't know anything, I hoped on luck to carry me. I saw one squadmate being eliminated due to lack of funds after a hour. Then three hours passed, I got some hang of it, but my balance zero'd, so I was out too. At 15:20 only Adam and the other guy were playing. The other one won, just before rations were delivered for us to eat, and gear for us to pack.
- "Everything we need to pick on them." - Adam was quick to reply, before others followed suit. The clock ticked, as we ate the last warm meal, and changed into proper military uniforms, put pistols on holsters, a rifle on our backs, a backpack too on our back. And two grenades on their slots. I also put the spare clips to the reloaders, as if - a pocket in front that holds the bullets. Just after the final preparations, we got out of the barracks, loaded full of weapons. My heart still raced with brain. But I couldn't afford being nervous. The trucks were waiting for us. Twenty, for twenty of us are assigned.
- "You will be the first strikers, on wartime orders of Emanuel Macron. Roughly at midnight we'll drive you to Bretonia. There, you'll conquer the border cities, and start pushing towards New Canterlot." - They would select the key targets we needed to attack. - "Good luck, soldiers." - I then looked at truck, getting into it, others following suit. During six hours, nothing much happened, apart from us having difficulties getting there.

We got deployed at 23:50. Ten minutes, we heard on the radio. It's going to be a very long night. Everything is getting to my head. Family, Adam, everyone. Everything I could think of.
Three minutes. I barely gathered my thoughts as my feeble feet carried me towards the outpost.
One minute. The war is coming... I couldn't really gather my thoughts.
Thirty seconds. I'm still worried of what will happen next.
Fifteen seconds. I saw a pony.
Ten seconds. Adams told me to shoot it.
Five seconds, pulled a gun... three, two, unlocked the safety... one...
I pulled a trigger.

///
BREAKING NEWS: France declared war to the Principalty of Equus.

The world itself is shocked by the declaration. A civilian pony killed from the bullet fired at midnight, 26th July 2020.
///

The horse silently collapsed, killed by my rifle. I felt a bit bad about doing that, before Adam cheered me up. - "Don't worry, at least you get a first kill. Now we're moving to the outpost, two kilometres in. We silently capture it and signal the military to move in." - I sighed and just moved along. After thirty minutes of the march, we arrived at the outpost. It looked like repurposed military base, and some nightguard was there. The squad I was in awaited for numbers to arrive. - "Today, them, tomorrow, Rennes, day after that, the entire Equestia." - I heard from the Changeling. He seemed quite optimistic about our chances. So, after the preparations, we have stored the base. There was about no resistance from the ponies. None, but some winged ones. I shot one as soon as they approached me. In both fear of the repercussions they could give me if I don't... and to cover up the crime we're actually doing. A yellow pony with orange mane crashed in front of me. She began defiantly speaking something, and Adam just whispered. "Just finish that Spitfire off. Pretty sure that'll break Dashie, she always brags about Wonderbolts."

I pulled a trigger again, firing the bullet straight into her head... oh God, what I'm becoming. I thought the war would be simple, but we're... doing a crime after crime. I am doing that, because if I don't... then I myself will be imprisoned or worse. If I won't follow orders, I might be seen as a traitor... oh God, help me...

She's gone after a moment, the bullet made the wound bleed badly, as a pool of the blood formed behind her head, and much smaller on the left side where the wing was shot. Adam pointed up at the rainbow-maned pony, barely visible at night. I pointed the gun. And she fled, probably scared off. In midnight moon, no one would truly notice her intentions. - "Hah, not so loyal, is she? A gun is enough to scare her out." - He was inconsiderate. More than perfect soldier. I still had guilt. Already from his recommendations two probably innocent horses have been killed in the middle of night.

The fighting continued for some minutes, as another pony arrived, and then got shot to death mid-air. It plummeted to the ground, splatting into pile of flesh and organs. The letter somehow survived, and I took it to my hands. Adam looked at me. I opened the envelope, then gave it to him, after not knowing anything about it.
- "So... they know we had declared an act of agression. Well, we should be quick then, a quick rest in the field today, as we cleared it, then tommorow march at Rennes." - He seemed to sigh. I looked at him.
- "Well, if you say we can rest..." - I replied wearily
- "Yeah. The outpost was easy... eerily too easy." - Adam spoke, as I went with other squadmates to rest in the barracks.

What did they deserve to die from my bullet? Why am I the tool of death that they had received? Hopefully it goes as planned, three days and I'm at home.

I was awakened to the shells dropping at the conquered outpost. I didn't have so much of migraine today, but we were in hurry to man the outpost anyway. I looked at whoever did the bombing, as it seemed very severe. What did I see? Humans, of course, using artillery pieces as well as mortars, with a... different flag than French own, firing the napalm shells. I went back to the group, only to notice he was following me. But I didn't mind that.

Adam spoke to us. "This is getting complicated. There might be people that are collaborating and creating more of those cute horses somehow. Whenever you find one, just kill them. We need no third side to beat us to the means. There are also people helping us killing ponies using dubious means such as suicide trucks. Don't worry about those, they'll die for naught. And then there are people who are fighting back. Take those prisoners."
- "And how do you know that?" - One of the squadmates asked.
- "A... a radio of course."
- "Oh, right." - They sighed, but weren't relieved, just like me.
I took my voice. - "What today, then?"
- "We get out of the outpost and attempt to besiege Rennes." - Adam sighed. - "Get into trucks, they'll drive us over there." - I followed him to the trucks, and got into it. Directly in front of exit, as it was closed by the driver. We prepared the guns to fight off any dangers, as the truck started driving. Turbulences were felt, as the shelling of the outpost continued. One of the trucks got blown up by the explosive shell. And no one of them survived. A waste of lives, of course, but mission still needs to be done.

Fifty kilometres in, some more trucks got destroyed in the convoy that was supposed to arrive at the city. Then Adam shouted up suddenly. - "TO THE FLOOR!"
I got knocked out cold after falling to the floor instinctively.

I woke up again. The leg was in severe pain, as if a piece of metal had impaled it. No one else, but the Changeling was alive. I crawled out of the wreckage of the truck, carrying it out. I just... felt like leaving it there would be wrong, just like my and its actions before. I didn't want to let it bleed out. It then woke up in my grip. - "W...what..." - It looked at direction of truck that we both got out. At this point the interior was set on fire, engulfing the bodies. - "B...beldour? B...but why?"
- "I... I couldn't not help..." - I sighed. - "Besides, even if you are rude... you're still one who... was simply left."
- "Right..." It got on fours. "Let me get out that shard out of leg." - I bit my tongue until the blood came out of my mouth when the Changeling pulled it out of my leg. - "Here." - He would then clean up the wound and bandage it. - "We're still going then... but not on foot with your state." He would then set me on his back, and gallop. I noticed his husk in some places was cracked.

I didn't care much, but we arrived at Rennes, where I got out of him, and limped towards the suburban area. The city seems to be bombed by the French, and ponies being crushed, as many of them laid dead. The only resistance, surprise, came from natives to the area, as they held the city.
- "Thiss seems more like a longer war now... I don't think Chrysallis thought about natives fighting back." - Adam... or the changeling, hissed, as we both entered the intermediate area, which appeared to be the residential area.

The fighting there was severe, and... it was weirdly a stalemate. Often I saw skirmishes that ended with Frenchmen surrendering. I looked at Adam. He looked back, and spoke again. - "They aren't even trying to fight? How come?"
- "Those were French territories. Some of them still live there, but for why they seem to find no point at fighting, I have no clue."
- "I see. No one has any clue- oh, right." - The changeling turned back into military man. - "Forgot my disguise."
- "Right. But even then... I don't really care any more. I'm just a soldier, on the same side as you. We can help ourselves, I guess." - I sighed at his explanation. Sometimes I felt like it was wrong to be friends with one who abuses me, but at the same time, a friend, especially at the time such a war, is a rarity.
I suddenly felt radio vibrating. I decided to accept the call.
- <We're retreating from there. We need to suppress rebellions in the homeland instead. No reply.> - I raised an eyebrow, before looking at Adam. - "We're on retreat now... well, nice knowing that we'll have to take it on our own turf."
We had to get into the room though, as it was getting dark, really dark due to cloudy sky blocking the sun and moon. We had to find anything liveable to sleep in. I found an abandoned house, and motioned Adam to get in there. He followed, and we both entered it.

It had no furniture, and the freshly dropped shards of bomb were on floor, coming from ruined ceiling and roof. The walls had two electric sockets and a switch. But without light, it seemed useless. They were painted blue. It was also recently made - maybe someone moved outta there?
We both just decided to sleep on the rough floor for the night. Next day we should return to homeland, though.

Sometimes I ask myself why are we dealing with a war? It shouldn't be mine to fight, yet... we are there, fighting on orders of someone else.

//BREAKING NEWS:
A major uprising funded by Front of New Equestria has been staged in France by unknown forces. Suspicions seem to vary - Celestia, ISIL, Russia, Poland and Hungary, United States, China, or even India.
Two thousand dead ponies and two thousand five hundred dead Frenchmen in the war.
Celestia on verge of nervous breakdown due to death of so many ponies, calls for any help.
Germany declares France to be governed by rouge government on basis "Emanuel doesn't even act like he should be at this point", and sends interventional troops to investigate.
//

I woke up in the same building. The headaches passed. As usual, the changeling was awake, and looking at me. I felt like it's going to be a long time we both are going to be together. I counted the days we were together, fighting, or rather training and having misadventures. On Monday I met it. Sunday was as well seventh day, so this Monday is eighth day.

I still limped quite much, and I didn't feel well-rested. Floor is a poor place to begin with, even without all the shards, dust and whatever. I decided to break the silence by speaking to it.
- "Good day, guess today we're retreating..."
- "Yes. Nuisances making us retreat. And if you fight along me till the very end, you'll find them just the same." - The changeling sounded aggressive. I just noticed that my uniform got ripped by the accident that happened yesterday with a transport truck. More specifically - the arm was revealed, with the same '<' symbol. - "Okay, so first, we need to see where is nearest city. Second - go there and quell the uprising there. Third, we go back there and finish them."
- "Seems good enough... just my heart's racing at the very thought..."
- "Ah, don't listen to heart, it's quite the useless sense. Listen to orders, working hard pays back." - They spoke as they started heading out. - "Follow me, then." - I followed the bug out of the ruins. The town seemed to have more patrols now, more ruined buildings, and of course, firefights occassionally triggering between militia and other bugs. Adam seemed to be grumpy, so I asked what did happen there.
He replied back. - "They're just... idiots sabotaging the plans, acting on instincts only. That'll only increase the difficulties." - He seemed to be aspiring and feeling like everything had to go according to a plan, that got ruined really fast. Sometimes though I think he's overly ambitious, but that is just my opinion.
Anyway, we both started leaving the boundaries of the Rennes. We were lucky not to be caught in one of the patrols on the way out, and so we were in an open plain field. The planes were flying above us. Mostly French and Breton ones, but one or two pegasi appeared from time to time to cross the sky. I had no good reflexes to shoot out ones, and Adam, despite being annoyed, seemed to concede those.
Another thing had hit us though. The fact the supplies were only for three days.
- "I only have supplies for three days. Not sure with you, but I really need to restock, or somehow hope somebody carries us out of Brittany."
- "I can't fly much with a human on back, so don't look at me as a potential mount. The only reason why I did was because we had to hurry for the siege." - He sighed. - "To be frank, I only expected that Celestia will fall flat in three days. Now it feels like we all need is a miracle from our Queen." - He spoke. While before this situation I would've taken it out without ifs, I thought it would be more interesting to ask him.
- "I see. Mind you speaking more of your queen then?"
- "Chrysallis. There's no point in hiding that we both fight for her. You, me..." - I got quite shocked, but... still, I had no choice in my matters. I was no rebel, and I felt like with those two shootings, I'm at least as bad as him. He hated them, and I killed them, ponies. - "...weird why you didn't interrupt."
- "At this point... I'm as well a crime partner of you, just because I feel like I won't leave unscathed either way. Either remembered as a traitor, or as a criminal." - I admitted. The killings we did together, they aren't going to disappear as if nothing happened. They're dead by my gun, by his recommendation. Then my train of thought got interrupted.
- "Well then, time to tell you. She needs the love to feed on, just because without it, we all are weakened or worse. The first thing a starved Changeling needs is love. Without it, they're more and more feral. If they aren't fed in one month any love, maybe even less..." - He stopped us both for a moment, took a stick, or rather somehow made it float, and snapped it loudly. - "There's no chance a Changeling will outlive that. The exception is our Queen, of course. She doesn't speak why, but she's most important of all, so I guess her position explains her."
- "Hold on a second. So... if you don't feed on feelings, you'll end up-"
- "Dead? Yeah. Actually witnessed a few Changelings dying from lack of love, during the harshest period." - He spoke and I sat down. He might've had some messed priorities, but even he seemed to cringe on death part.
- "So... that's one cruel way to kill a Changeling." - I thought the revenge on the fallen brethren was cause why he wanted ponies dead. And the dead were reason why he was using sarcasm to push his point.
- "Basically. We could take lots of punishment in Equus, but sadly Chrysallis informed us that some of us are dying just as easily as them ponies from bullets."
- "I see. Any interesting stories you have?"
- "No. I can't really find a good material for a story so far. Mostly because most of them end badly in the end." - I heard him lie, as he probably struggled. But I didn't ask him why he lied. Maybe he just wanted to end the topic and all that?
- "Okay then. Do we have a map of this place somehow?"
- "No, we don't have any. But I see a village about five kilometres away. I'll try to contact the Queen there... our Queen." - I got up as soon as he spoke that, and started limping towards it, just when he got up and started moving too.
- "Hopefully she knows how to pull off a rescue action."
- "Don't worry about that detail. She knows how to impersonate, so she knows how to rescue." - He spoke to me to blow away my doubts... but they still were there. Just hidden.
- "Fine. I still worry for Mea Barcuda... maybe she's a little brat, but she's still my sister."
- "Pff. She'll be safe." - The bug horse seemed to not care about them, or they took for granted her safety. Either way, that was a little inconsiderate.
After five kilometres, going through the fields, we had arrived in the small village, somehow. The locals were nowhere to be seen, and the Changeling that disguised itself as a human seemed to be uncertain. As this had raised his apparent suspicions, he turned to me.
- "It's too devoid of emotions, apart from yours. Still, for a village, there's a glaring lack of them." As soon as he spoke, I pulled out an assault rifle, and held it with my hands. Not that it mattered. A few shots were fired and I felt light-headed. I could barely look around who did that, but Adam seemed to feel the same. I was then knocked out by some hard object.

I woke up in the dark room, with three other people tied with me. My first reaction was to reach for anything sharp, or for any gun. Unfortunately, I found neither, as the whispers appeared louder and louder into proper voices.
Oh :red:, oh god, what I'm going to do now? Is that some sort of torture room? I looked around. No Changeling. The two people I don't recognize. One could probably be an supposed enemy soldier, the other - just a civilian. The problem is - I probably am supposed to be enemy soldier to them.
They arrived, with syringes. - "Whose turn is first to create a new Ponykind in our image? Oh, I know, the one who defended his homeland!" - I looked around, scared of the implications, before noticing someone else was injected with that. It was definitely hell of headaches, as they screamed a lot. And I couldn't look around much. But gradually, the soldier seemed to appear... stranger. As if their emotions just caved in, collapsed, nothing, even fear was heard, nothing, even painful screams that were splitting my head, they were gone. The tail too seemed to be leaning on my back, as I heard cracks of chair and then it just got ruined, fell apart into pieces of wood. I felt pain spike from my left leg. It had impaled it.

They came in. Took the one. Now I noticed - they looked like a caricature of a horse, just like every other horse we fought. Great, if a miracle doesn't happen now... Doesn't help that the pony began parroting the few words. "Join us. Join, and you will never feel negativity ever again. All sides are bad, but not The New And Great Equestria."

I would've shot the pony at this point. They came back with another syringe. They injected the other person too. My heart raced once more in stress, as I desperately looked for Adam. Even when he was a Changeling, they never did such an atrocity, brainwashing people with syringes, and mocking us with that. The other person turned out to be a winged pony. They too started parroting what the first said. Their monotone voices appeared like a torture. I didn't know how long it'll take. Finally they came with another syringe.
And that's where I'm truly... :red:ed.
They were going for a fast jab. I promised myself that one day the atrocities will be avenged.
They swung it.
They got interrupted.
Their eyes rolled up.
They collapsed, dead, blood flowing off from their punctured head, bullet stuck in their brain.
The two ponies started running away, but they too got killed.
I looked at the Changeling. It breathed a sigh of relief. "Beldour, at least those bastards didn't make you into artificial, brainwashed pony... but we have to get out, NOW!"
- "H-how did-" I looked at the ties before they were cut by a knife held by Adams. I then looked at two killed ponies. At least they rest in peace. But why I got saved at last second specifically?
- "No time, we have to escape it, now!" - Upon that I jolted out of chair, and ignoring the pain, followed him. Despite my limp, we had enough time to escape the building I got trapped in. The doors quickly closed after I got out, with a message heard from the megaphone.
<FORCED PONYFICATION IN 10... 5... 3, 2, 1!>
- "They sure attempted to make me a pony." - I breathed in and out, quickly.
- "Funny how they attempted to turn a changeling into pony too, considering I can just feign that. Never mind, at least you are still in, a human, at least unchanged." - He spoke, as he looked at the facility. - "I'd normally finish a job there, but not enough time."
- "I see. If that's the ponyfication... then I'm sure I... I'd prefer death over it." - I sighed. - "Still, my legs hurt badly."
- "Ah, you'll walk it eventually on your sheer hatred." - His speech left me confused. What did that mean? That I'll become some sort of a war veteran who is just determined enough to punish people who wronged me? My friends? My leader? My family?
Regardless of that, it was getting darker by now. We couldn't stop now, though. The territory was already dangerous during the day. And while we didn't know what night would become now, we couldn't stop now, with our dwindling resources. There wasn't much of conversation either - probably the fact neither of us were willing to talk after this incident.

A next day came, and we had made more progress at night somehow. Sometimes travelling through roads, sometimes travelling through farmlands, but never saw any living soul. On the other hand... it should be Wednesday. And I was stopped by Adam again.
- "We need to go to nearby village again. The Queen said that she'll have something arrive for both of us." - He explained, but then added. - "But should we trust those?"
- "Not sure. Either she'll take us outta there, or we're going to be ambushed. The bet is for former."
- "Beldour. As far as I'm snarky, please don't take any hope I'd feed on away."
- "Okay." - I sighed. - "So you feed on different feelings too?"
- "Yes. Pretty much anything positive can stave the hunger. But only love can satiate us."
- "Okay, I understand. Moving on, you see the other village?"
- "Pretty sure I am." - We both had noticed another village at this point. It was pretty large for the French village, not large enough to become a town, though. It too had barely any people.
- "I wonder why both of those villages are empty?"
- "No idea, one seemed like a trap-" - He collapsed after a bullet hit him into legs. I looked at the people who shot him. They shouted around. "We have a traitor there! Open fire at those two!" - I took cover despite the limp as soon as they opened fire. I then looked around. One person was going to attempt to flush me out with a shotgun. I ripped off the piece of wood from my leg, hissing from pain, before staking the militant in the neck with said piece. They dropped the shotgun in shock, choking on blood. I took it, then fell to ground, just before bullet had reached me. This wasn't my reaction, that was merely my legs giving in to pain. But it saved me.
- "Nevermind... why we have gone there for the two when they could just kill one of us easily?" I heard as they stopped. Then the helicopters appeared. The french flag! We're saved! We're finally saved...
I heard people muttering one more thing. - "Or they have a backup." - They weren't going to be nuisances any more. I got up, then checked on the Changelings state. And simply said, he doesn't look... well.
The helicopters landed, and I grabbed him, bringing ourselves towards the helicopter. The first aid was administered to both of us, because of gun wounds, the wounds from truck and the piece of wood.

I looked at the pilots. "What's the destination?"
- "At first it was going to be Normady... but rebels took hold of that place, so we're going to fly you two at Orleans. Also, the Germans, the Spanish, the Italian and the Englishmen are intervening on side of rebellion." - The pilot spoke. "Hopefully there won't be serious riots there either."
- "I see. How much it'll take to arrive?"
- "Some two hours. Also I see you are tired. You should definitely sleep." He pointed out the fact I had yawned... and quite frankly I wasn't going to stay awake for long. After two hours of flight, we arrived at hospital. I fell asleep after being carried to the medical bed.

Sometimes you can only wonder if your relatives are safe, away from action. I still hope that Paris won't become a battlefield.

//BREAKING NEWS:
Rebellion taking France apart. Normady and Occitanie fully under rebel control.
More countries consider France to be ruled by a rogue government that came to power via coup. The list is currently this: Germany, Equestria, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Ireland and United Kingdom.
Celestia denies being the ponyfication instigator, after far-right Front of United Humanity accuses her of making humans become ponies, says that she doesn't even know what some people even did.
A far-right leader killed in what appears to be "Operation Rainbow Factory", made by Egyptian rebels against dictator, who were inspired by the French trying to overthrow the rogue government. They were thrown into the machinery that was normally used to extract resources from mechanical scrap.
Poland vetoes the European Budget for years 2021-2027 due to 'unfavourable funding'.//

Warsaw, 2nd September, 1944. Journal of the Fallen Soldier, p. XIX
---
We found a note in the body of a German soldier. Our partisans are wishing our men had some reason to continue fighting for our independence. But the note seemed to be well-crafted. To read it and see the locations of enemy groups - that would turn the tide on our sides!

But no. It wasn't coordinates.

I read it twice, but couldn't comprehend the language there. It seemed like French or English, but at the same time it looked too fancy to be it. So I've asked anyone with English skills to come. In what they spoke, it was about... we both had a chuckle of the false prophecy. So we decided to gather around, to laugh at the bizarre German note written in English. About what they even thought they've done!

We are busy fighting on the fronts though. We lack ammo, but with this note, we got both a chuckle and some morale back. I shall return and fight for Poland. Poland shall rise again!


[Attached note]
Dear Earth,
We've been terribly sorry for the fact we'll be forced to evacuate there. Our Equus has only two years to live, as given from the prophecy, and this Earth looks more than promising for our resettlement plan. Whether this happens, a portal will open.

We shall evacuate towards the large enough peninsula where the people with baguettes and under occupation have come. We're also terribly sorry if this shakes up harmony of your own world. But Equestrians deserve to live. If they don't make it, then I have failed them, myself, my sister, and the Equus itself.

The Princess of Equestria, the Alicorn of Sol,

Celestia
---

Thus ends page XIX, the last of this soldier. They died three days in the siege of Śródmieście, Warsaw, a bullet hitting him in the heart.

1000 moons after banishment, Equestria, Canterlot. Royal Princess Castle.

Celestia looked horrified at what she had found in the prophecy. In two years, her Equestria, along with the planet, would be gone. She didn't want to alert any Mane over that, hoping that the problem will be solved on its own. Besides, her own sister was undergoing the re-adaption to the world that existed thousand of moons after banishment.

She read it over and over again, blinking occasionally from disbelief, stomping upon a soft rug with a hoof nervously. The princess decided to send a scout somewhere. She charged her portal spell 'somewhere safe' and sent a Royal Guard member to check the 'lands' where this will lead into.

---

1941, France, Brittany, Rennes. Commercial District.

Windy Spear ended up in the large, modestly lighted up city. They looked around, noticing their architecture looks bizarre, yet alien to them. For one, he couldn't understand what are those lightposts. The people there too spoke alien languages undistinguishable to the Earth Pony. All the symbols, looking like nothing he had seen. One of the 'bipedal bears' glanced at him. After that many. He had to hide, which wasn't easy given his armor was weighing him down.

All of them seemed nice, though. One even invited it to some sort of home. He was fed, although not with Equestrian standards, like those 'bears' were. They were fed by the hand itself. He thanked them, but they could only barely understand Equestrian.

Over the stay of few days, one child would try to show him few photos from the Rennes before a war, and in a war. Another would show him an image of baker, as well as a 'French-made', but actually done with English language, childs book. His mood lightened, but then he felt a bit sad. He couldn't be there for long. So he decided just to take silently the gifts and go back through the same portal, back.

---

1000 moons after banishment, Equestria, Canterlot. Royal Princess Castle.

Windy Spear appeared there and began talking about strange things, like the fact he was being fed by strange creatures. That they gave him some images and some book.

Celestia silently acknowledged that and dismissed the guard.

A month later, after she picked up on the alien language, she made a second attempt to contact with them. This time, it landed upon a war-stricken city, Warsaw. She didn't make it far, as somebody started shooting her with 'strange metal objects'. She did a quick shield spell before escaping into Canterlot, gasping heavily.

Luna would then storm in, worried. The bullet hit Celestias left hind leg, that bled heavily. The older princess was shaking in fear and crying in pain. She would attempt to cast a wound-mending spell, one of few she knew from when Celestia had similar misadventures. She cast it, and the bullet popped out of wound, bloodied. Both sisters were equally confused and scared, with Celestia looking for her letter, but finding it nowhere.

They both were scared about the possibility that the world might be not safe enough for them. But they had no choice, both of them put a hoof on ground, reassuring themselves that if they are going to live through the turbulent period, they would do it together.

---

1002 moons after banishment. 1st June 2020, France, Brittany.

Celestia would know time of her world would pass away soon. The sun seared the landscape, and the moon started to freeze it. She had ordered about every pony to stay home, as she charged a spell with Luna. Her linguistics at English were better each scouting, and so she decided to try it.

"Rennes, France, Earth." She would be barely audible, as the world started to be engulfed by the ever-increasing darkness, around her and Luna beginning.

---

The humans who were in Rennes noticed ponies starting to appear. Confused, they decided to call law enforcement - police, only for latter to shrug. One pony landed on top of a car, startled, and looking around for a tree library. This one was Twilight Sparkle, Celestias own pupil. She still looked equine, which... made some sort of controversy in the modern world, as no one was prepared for equines to land. Slowly, more and more ponies landed in there, maybe even eventual Zebra or two. Or Yak, or even a griffon. The reports were amassing, and French police just gave up and decided to investigate what happened.

Celestia and Luna had agreed that the latter will try to make the places the ponies knew again, and the former would try to explain the strange situation.

The police quickly approached Celestia. "I think we didn't ask for horse delivery in Rennes."
"I..." She would stumble a bit, not sure what to say at first, but her head stopped being light, and responded back, just the police waited for her to speak up, even though she had some difficulties, English not being her first language. "We apologise for such a hasty appearance." She replied back, making the policemen surprised.
"She... She talks!?" They would be surprised before regaining composure. "What a... what are you?"
"Princess Celestia. Once again, We are sorry, but after Equus was fated into doom, only a quick evacuation was possible."
"Hold on a second... how can the world be fated to be doomed?" The policemen didn't believe the claims. Celestia would pull out the book with a prophecy in, and read it, translating it. "Three thousand moons had the world lived so far. Thousand moons will the Equus be dying due to imbalance of powers that lived there. Two moons will pass, and the heat shall reduce the world to fine ash."
"Right... and are we going to believe you just like that?" The policemen would ask her. Celestia just looked at them, pleading for mercy. "Okay, okay, we'll attempt to contact the President of France. Hopefully he's having a break from dealing with Polish freeloaders or Hungarian lawbreakers to listen to some talking horse." The policemen would begrudgingly call him.

And thus, this was how the Principal Republic of Equus came to exist in the World. The rebuilding and the negotiations would be unmentioned due to privacy reasons and unnatural means the nation had rebuilt itself, as it did using the magic.

As seen from the eyes of Queen Chrysallis, Queen of the Changeling Hive.

Starvation.

This was bad feeling for me and my hive. Month passed since defeat at hooves of those cheaters. I was so close to the complete victory... yet it was foregone that in a blast we were flung back to our hive. Maybe I had fed on some of his love, but I am not sure it was enough for a hive... I rationed the love between each Changeling carefully, just to not make them hungry.

Then the lands froze and seared. I ordered my entire hive to my throne room. If we were to die there, we could as well die like a hive deserves...

...and then a flash of darkness.

I found myself in... quite fancy city. Every single one of us ended there, we were amassed in a pile. Apparently I could see some gray mountain that seemed to shine and look quite like our hive... it just seemed different. The streets also looked a lot more different than Canterlot that I tried to take... oh, how hard I tried to invade those ponies... first replacing Cadance, then acting about naturally as I could try, then blaming Twilight... then if not for her breaking Cadance free somehow we would've had a feast of love for years, if not for eternity.

I hoped that a revenge would be hatching fast, just like the last brood of the Changelings.
Eleven days in the strange town, eleven days since my subjects blended in the surroundings. I turned to the glass window. The presenter sounded funny, but I took offence of the moving pictures. What in SAKE OF THE HIVE HAVE THEY DONE NOW? I blasted the window, and moving pictures, breathing heavily.

Celestia... allied with the strange creatures... I had to devise a plan somehow. I really had to. During the three days, I had heard from my most trusted subject, Triton, about him, who allied the ponies. They're apparently 'hoomans', I'll just call them aliens.

This should be easy to replace him, he's just... one of many. Yet I had no plan, only information. And the hunger was really getting into my nerves right now. The egregious plan hatched in my mind. I'll attempt to replace him before the conference outside happens. The ruling, the revenge can wait until this happens.

Feeling confident about my plan, I decided to go wherever were his headquarters. He indeed was there, but with some guards. Tch, as if the targets ALWAYS need some guards. I put a disguise that sure should distract them to me. Wouldn't mind me some love to drain from them ssssince they were there. And assss I planned, they got there, I drained them, then tied them and called a swarm there. There needs to be replacements if we can't sound suspicious. Then, I looked around. Why would they overcomplicate their homes? Why their residences look so simple compared to pony? I didn't wait long, as he arrived. The alien I saw shaking paws with Celestias hooves. I immobilized him with a spell.

The plan will succeed, and I will know now what IS next. A COMPLETE REVENGE ON EQUESTRIA! But first off, I decided to replace him. So, I copied his appearance, then looked around for any layout, for somewhere I could dispose of the obstacles... but not before draining them. I ordered another changeling to drain some love for me, so I can feed my hive on their love.

I then locked the obstacles to my revenge down in the basement. Only enough food for them to not starve, only enough water to not die, because then I would be disappointed of them. And they're tied by the gunk, so they won't be able to get out.

I wonder how tasty it'll be...

...I wonder how tasty the revenge would be once Celestia is deposed, and only I, CHRYSALLIS, QUEEN OF THE HIVE, RULE OVER HER PATHETHIC PRINCIPALTY! PAH HA HA HA HAA HAAAA!

The Ponyfication Serum advertisement:
"Are you tired of being angry, tired of friends or simply your own life? Are you disappointed in Celestia for not ponifying people? Do you want to live without ruining anything due to lower emotions? Do you feel like you want to become a pony? If you say yes for any four of the question, then this serum is for you!
It removes every sign of bad feelings. Anger? Forget it, you'll always forgive them! Celestia? Who cares! The feats you couldn't do before? You can do it now! Using ingredients borrowed from the Ponies, you can truly become satisfied with your new form. You never ever need to fight with your neighbours if you can convince them to try it too!
And best for all, it's for absolutely free! Check it out, as the supplies are limited. And to spice it up, first 100 people will get the serum for themselves and their friend of choice!
Call now! [Redacted]"


The reality:
The victim called the number to the advertisers. Naively, they said that they want to be a pony. He had answered to all the questions they had given him, positively. He then was invited to test the serum on Friday the 24th.

The human didn't suspect anything, and indeed, on that date, they arrived at the given address. A van drove him into some sort of a facility, where he was immobilised with iron table and leather straps. They could barely ask why. The FfNE employees spoke that it's just in case there were severe seizures. Everyone left the room, before a fine mist of a gas entered the room with victim in there. The victim, suspecting some foul game, would attempt breaking out of the straps, but then the gas would overcome their senses. The lungs filled with mucosae as the horn painfully spiked from his head, as tail grew out of his lower spine that just lengthened. At first, they screamed in pain, as the changes were both very sudden, and very painful. Once five minutes passed, the serum would start overwriting his brain - namely chemically lobotomise its 'bad' parts, which stood for disobedience and any other bad, unwanted feelings. It would also work as strong anaesthetic. Last, they would feel urge to convert anyone into the Newfoal, just like the victim himself.

The scientists returned five minutes later, and gave this Newfoal a new name. "Hopeful Spring." They were sure of their success, as they drove him into reservoir, where the Newfoals were planned to build the New Equestria. With no princess, with no bad feelings, and all obedient to each other. The plans were only turbocharged by the apparent war between Chrysallis and Celestia, as it meant a free smokescreen for them to do their experiments, now on live population of France.

As seen from the eyes of wannabe Wonderbolt, and Element of Loyalty, Rainbow Dash.

I wasn't sure about the new surroundings. Most of that, the familiar Everfree went missing, so I couldn't do much for Scootaloo. Besides, the other... not-pegasi flying their machines... They flew higher, yes, but not faster.

Not like that was important. The clouds are still great enough to sleep on, and at least we border the salty ocean on three sides.

On the evening, I just decided to watch Spitfire do her tricks. It's... complicated, I'm idolising her, while being the fastest pegasus in whole Equestria. Y-yea... couldn't make less sense.

I deliberately took a day off, just to see her in action. But it took longer than expected. Besides, I could've just flown away to help Applejack. But ehh, everypony has their passions.

It took long, and then... A-a what I heard? It sounded like a thunder. It was strange, the sky was starry, there wasn't any clouds nearby, and definitely I didn't jump on my cloud.

Another thunder... I couldn't ignore that. I was going to investigate that, as since I'm the Element of Loyalty, it must've meant friendship problem! Ha, clear in ten second flat, good times.

It... wasn't what it expected to be. The bipedal beings were exchanging thunders between each other... and... and...

...and I saw Spitfire. She did notice me, and pushed me back. She seemed to speak to me something.
[Rainbow Dash! You know we were busy but for love of Celestia, couldn't you find something else to do? We're under attack!]
I tried to rebuke, but my mouth froze at this one word. [B-but-]
[That isn't a place for you, Dash! You're risking your own life! Already two ponies are gone! Not temporarily, FOREVER!]
[B-but-] I froze... Death wasn't what I often heard of. Especially since nopony talked about it. Especially since I witnessed what happened next.

The exchange barely flew over or under me, I didn't know what did happen. But it was... scary. One thing that could kill me. One thing that...

[...Spitfire?] I looked, shocked, as he crashed in front of two upright creatures. One of them had strange rifle, the other one seemed to be whispering to him. In all the honesty... I could only hear them speaking... Spitfire trying to warn me...
[ Dash! Get out of there! Just get out of their weapons! They're... just fly! I'll take care of them!]

I just flew motionless above the air.

[And you, YOU TWO. You don't really care about who you kill, monsters without compassion! Yes, come on, come closer, I dare you, and I'll buck you all the way to-] I had to close my eyes as I heard them interrupted... they... they...

The weapons were aimed at me after I opened my eyes again. I had no option. I just heeded her warning and fled. The weapons... all the idolisation... and she's... just gone.

She's gone... because of two monsters...

She's gone, because they could care less of who they put away!


I promised myself. That if I catch that creature...

...but I still didn't believe she'd be truly gone. Maybe she's not gone... maybe she was just knocked out.

Uneasy, I slept on top of a cloud., still hoping that she'll wake up

The sleep was interrupted at morning, when I heard the explosions. Startled, I hid in clouds and started to cry out. It only passed at afternoon, where I hoped I could see if she's just knocked out.

How I misjudged that assumption...

From her head, a hole that pierced it... the red, sharp-smelling liquid that was soaking her coat, and now my hooves, was making me quite sickened. I tucked my head on her lap. She didn't move at all. She was stiff. Really stiff. And cold... I started uncontrollably crying, disbelieving it all, moving her mane, shaking her to wake her up, bumping my nose on her body... nothing worked.

She's not coming back...

...and it's all their fault...

...it's all their fault for taking the one I wanted to become, away from me.

I'll... oh Celestia, what I'm gonna do when I'll catch them...


I came back home, to my cloudplace, and promptly fell asleep, still eyes full of tears I wanted to cry out for her, Spitfire. But why... why it had to be my idol... Why she died? Just... why?

As both sides of apple-farming competition recall it.

The life in Poland wasn't quite bad, given one knows how to make profit out of that. Not different were lives of Dariusz M. and Michal M., two pseudo-magnates responsible for more than 10% of apple harvests in Poland. It was going easy, multiplying money they earn on farming apples, by investing on the stock market, lending people predatory loans or bribing markets to sell their 'higher' quality apples at higher price. Back in 2019 it was their fifth successful year in a row despite drought. And now it was going to be their sixth, had it not be for certain headline.
[Apple Family apples better than Polish Apples.]
At first, the magnates thought that it's just a sick joke, some brony hating their apples. They even shut down the TV for 12 hours. But the headline did not disappear. Brothers were going to have a discussion with each other.
"We have a problem."
"Which one?"
"We have some competition."
"Lower the prices then. Surely that'll sink them down-"
"We're not even into harvest season, how did their apples go that high in quality!? And they even create alcohol out of it?"
"No idea."
"Maybe some devil pact happened?"
"Yeah, that's the most probable cause. Whatever. They're not cheap anyway. For each their 'apple' comes two of our apples."
"Hopefully the economics finish them off."
The brothers analysed the stock market, the food price market as well as their local market. Thankfully, after a day it was known Equestrians can't oust Poles from their market specialised in cheaper apples.

---

Applejack woke up with a yawn, stretching up her body. For her it was yet another day at her renovated and remade orchard. Helping her were Apple Bloom, her younger sister, Big Mac, her older brother, and Granny Smith, her grandmother. While they did all their work collecting apples with their natural affinity well enough, they had to sell half of their stock to Filthy Rich.

She made a few warm-up bucks on apple trees, not just for that, but also to harvest the apples. The Earth Ponies had learned this technique since their birth. And when she came home, a human appeared in doorsteps of her farmhouse.
- "Excuse ush, ahm too busy doin' my farm chores right now."
- "It's fine. Mind us though, may we have a few of the apples?"
- "Uh... ah want them?"
- "Yes. Five, for sampling."
- "Well then, yah gonna pay... three bits."
- "Can we pay in Euros? We don't even know what that currency is."
- "Ah... fine. How many ah get from these' apples?"
- "About 50 Eurocents each apple - 2.5 Euro."
- "Yah'll got my word on that."
The humans took five apples, and Applejack was paid in Euros. The rest of the day wasn't especially interesting for her, just a weekly visit to Twilight Sparkle and solving the friendship problem.
The next day was more interesting, as in the morning Big Mac himself woke her up. "Eyy, look who still has best apples."
Applejack looked at the newspaper, in positive disbelief. Her apples were indeed the best. However, the writers noted that their orchard is ridiculously small compared to human orchards anywhere, even in some country called... Poland?
Her jaw dropped off the hinges when she noticed how many apples the country harvested at a whole. She regained only some composure later on.
- "Ah not know what to say... Ah assume the 'tonnes' ar' the meashures."
- "Eyyup."
Applejack wanted to blame it on Flim and Flam, as the two recently wanted to claim her orchard as their own. But neither of them lived in the strange country called Poland. So she just came back to bucking apples off the trees, just like her family always did. The forecast at evening did help somewhat, as the writers wrote 'while we don't know what do those equines do to maximise their harvests somehow, they're still behind most countries in terms of food production in general. Normally, they'd become bust in the modern world'.
Still, AJ put her hopes in the fact that eventually she will outproduce the apple farmers from the strange country called 'Poland'. The next day, the next news. Poles had made their apples worth 20 eurocents each somehow, reducing the prices by 20%.
Applejack could only stare blankly at the newspaper she had received.

---

The magnates stared at the news they had watched, then looked at each other. The... horse was responsible for all the harvests, and it felt funny. To all but them, because being bested by an non-sentient animal seemed to be a point of the shame.
"How come a sapient horse is competing against us!?"
"No clue. We only had them for two weeks, allegedly from the news."
"Ah damn it. The newcomers are resilent and of different species. Hopefully the quantity wins."
"Always bet on quantity." The magnates spoke together. "No matter if prices are high or low."
 
Last edited:

Changing Flask

Duke Fishron
Update: Current progress on Two Worlds, One Destiny is 6 main chapters, 6 side stories.
Going to use the second post for more TWOD content.

[Note: This post is reserved for TWOD content, if the chapters go past XII]
 
Top Bottom