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private A Cultural Exchange (1x1 with Skylight Scintillate)


Illiad Easle

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@Skylight Scintillate

Loke shrugged at Larynx's suggestions as they, for the most part, didn't advance his own comments, except in regards to the quill, "I hadn't thought of that, the context really does matter. Like, I think these would mean different things to different races and genders, but we haven't really gotten into the effects of gender or race yet, except superficially."

On 2022-09-22 at 11:39 AM, Skylight Scintillate said:

”I think that the music note stands out the most to me, because I think I like singing. What about you?” Larynx asked.

Loke raised an eyebrow, "Oh? Personally I'm thinking of something more like a compass like you use for math. I like to think of myself as methodical, measured, even if I'm not all that good at math."

He gave a second look at the marks, "So, looking a little deeper, you think about what the symbol means, as opposed to what it is. I don't know anything deeper for the baseball, but the shield could represent that they're protective of others, even if they're not physically strong like a guard. The note could imply happiness, or some other outward expression of emotion. The quill is a tool, like the compass, maybe it indicates that they are thoughtful? Or that they put thoughts into action?"

 

Larynx would have another opportunity to share before the teacher would get everyone's attention again, "Let's settle back down again, I was hearing some good discussion all around but one comment stuck out in particular that I'd like to address. Loke here said that the meaning can depend on the context of who it's on. And that is absolutely true. Ultimately a mark's meaning is only really known to the one who has it, and no one else can really know for sure just by looking at it what it means to the pony who earned it. The same is true for all of you. Ultimately your mark will be something meaningful to you, even if it isn't obvious to anyone else what it means."

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@Illiad Easle 

"Well let's see here. You bring up some good points about the music note and the shield. However, what you said gives me some ideas for the quill and baseball. The baseball could represent competitiveness because, well let's just say calling Manehatten's baseball team competitive would be an understatement. And the Quil could represent practicality, given that both it and the music note usually represent a way of expressing oneself through writing and music respectively. So actually, I think I have a bit to add onto the music note. It could represent being more abstract compared to the quill because the other three are physical objects while the music note isn't. At least, I don't think it is... Also, while the quill could be used for expressing oneself, it could also be used for journalism, so we could also be looking at a journalist, which could reflect the practicality of a quill," Larynx explained.

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@Skylight Scintillate

Loke nodded thoughtfully at Larynx's final thoughts on the exercise, but turned his attention towards the teacher for their remarks on the exercise as a whole.

On 2022-09-23 at 3:49 PM, Illiad Easle said:

"Let's settle back down again, I was hearing some good discussion all around but one comment stuck out in particular that I'd like to address. Loke here said that the meaning can depend on the context of who it's on. And that is absolutely true. Ultimately a mark's meaning is only really known to the one who has it, and no one else can really know for sure just by looking at it what it means to the pony who earned it. The same is true for all of you. Ultimately your mark will be something meaningful to you, even if it isn't obvious to anyone else what it means."

The teacher continued, "Alright, it's time for you all to head to your talent classes, remember that a draft of your marks are due at the end of the week so you can start working on your bodies. And remember, your marks just have to meaningful to you, the more meaningful they are, the more authentic your disguise will be."

With that the other changelings started to get up and head out, the teacher and Siren coming over to Larynx, Siren asking, "So how'd you like the first class? Any questions?"

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@Illiad Easle 

For a split second, Larynx was a bit surprised when Siren walked up to him and he realized he had to look up at her, but then he remembered he had shrunk himself. 

"Well I thought this class was pretty insightful. It felt like the cutie mark of a music note really stood out to me. Assuming that my talent actually is in music, I feel like that or something similar would be my cutie mark. Also, I didn't know that cutie marks didn't have to be the pony's profession. I guess for me, all the ponies that I had to mimic had their cutie mark represent their profession pretty literally," Larynx replied. He looked over at the teacher, expecting him to say something.

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@Skylight Scintillate

The teacher nodded, "Most ponies try to get jobs that fulfill them, so more often than not their mark will line up well with what they enjoy doing and as such their professions tend to match. But that is not always the case. It is also not too rare for ponies to change marks  as they age, but that is typically due to outside forces drastically changing how they see themselves. For instance, I knew a pony who was a very talented singer and had a musical note for a mark. He suffered a tragic accident that left him mute, now he writes music for others to perform, and his mark changed to encapsulate the musical note in a thought bubble."

Siren shuddered at the story, "Anyway, we've got to get you into a talent class or two, see what resonates well with you."

The teacher nodded, pulling out a list of topics, "Here's all the talents we're teaching at the moment, why don't you pick a few to try, a few that you've done before and a few that you've never done before, and we can see how you do."

(You can go ahead and pick whatever talents you like, I'm thinking 4 to 6 options, but we can do as many or as few as you like.)

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"Oh, gosh, erm, let's see, I didn't expect to be put on the spot like this, so erm, I kind of expected there to be more structure in figuring out what my talents are. Well, I mean, I have some ideas," Larynx stalled as he tried to figure out what to say. He looked towards the other two, hoping that they might suggest something.

"Well, I like studying and doing different kinds of magic from Celestia's magic school, but I'm not really into books. I can't farm. I'm interested in the magic in communicating with animals, but I'm not sure how well I would do dealing with these animals. I don't know anything about fashion. I'm interested in baking as a hobby, but I'm not sure if I want to make it my job, I can do things with clouds and I'm interested in what else can be done with them, but I'm definitely not cut out for the Wonderbolts or working at the weather factory. I definitely won't do well as a sheriff or a royal guard or nurse or doctor or photographer or mayor or spa pony or waiter or barista or bartender or train conductor or... I'm not really good at sports or writing, but I might be interested in doing some as a hobby. Oh, and I like singing, so maybe a talent as a singer or actor?" Larynx rambled, not really sure where he was going with this.

"Ok, I guess my talents are in magic, but I need to figure out what kinds of magic, baking and writing, but as a hobbies, and singing and acting as talents I guess?" Larynx finally said.

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@Skylight Scintillate

The other two changeling nodded along with his reasoning, though at the end Siren offered some advice, "You shouldn't worry so much about jobs, most ponies aren't when they get their marks. You should focus first on what you enjoy doing, even if it's just for fun, and worry about work second. After all, it's not like you need money for food or housing."

The teacher nodded, "Still, it sounds like you've already tried a good number of things before, and it sounds like you have a good grasp of magic, so why don't we start there with a magic class, then we'll see what aptitudes you have within magic."

Siren and the teacher led the way through the school tunnels, which weren't all that busy as the other students had a head start to get to their classes, which let them travel a bit quicker to get to the room they wanted. It was a different set of changelings there, these all had fairly large horns proportional to their wings and legs, while the previous group had had larger wings. It shed some light on how changelings from the same cocoon looked similar to each other when bunched up, despite all changelings looking fairly similar when mixed together.

The two teachers met quietly for a bit before the first motioned for Larynx to join them before leaving, the second teacher taking control of the class. "Alright class settle down, this here is Larynx, they'll be joining us in class today. They are here as part of a cultural exchange to show other hives how we do things here, so be on your best behavior as we go about our exercises today, and help them as you would any of your brothers and sisters, alright?"

The class responded in unison, "Yes Miss Arcee." 

The teacher nodded before turning to Larynx, "Go ahead and take a seat wherever's free, we're learning a new spell today so you don't have to worry about being behind, everyone's starting on the same page."

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@Illiad Easle 

"Sorry, that was just my thought process. I'm still trying to separate talents from careers, so when you asked what talents I might be good at, the first thing that came to mind for me was listing careers. I guess that's reflective of Chrysalis and her hyper-fixation on productivity," Larynx apologized, blushing and rubbing the back of his neck with his foreleg.

As Larynx entered his next class, he couldn't help but to notice that this group had slightly larger horns than the others. He leaned over to Siren to whisper her a question. " Hey uh, do changelings having slightly larger horns cause the changeling to have talents on magic, or having talents in magic caused them to have slightly larger horns? Or is it both in a positive feedback loop?" Larynx asked. "In Thorax's hive, it all the changelings have the same size of everything before we reformed. We were practically identical. And even after we reformed, our body proportions are still roughly the same size," Larynx whispered. "Also, what would you say your talents are? Are you good at magic?" Larynx asked Siren.

Larynx choose an empty seat near the middle of the class and waited for the class to begin. 

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@Skylight Scintillate

On 2022-09-30 at 9:05 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

Larynx apologized, blushing and rubbing the back of his neck with his foreleg.

Siren looked apologetic, "It's okay, we weren't very clear ourselves."

On 2022-09-30 at 9:05 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

Hey uh, do changelings having slightly larger horns cause the changeling to have talents on magic, or having talents in magic caused them to have slightly larger horns? Or is it both in a positive feedback loop?"

"It's the former, a physical manifestation of a predisposition. Having a larger horn gives them a stronger natural aptitude for magic, so they tend to be predisposed unicorn, but having a larger horn is not a requirement for being a unicorn, nor does having a larger horn necessarily predispose one to be a unicorn."

On 2022-09-30 at 9:05 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

"Also, what would you say your talents are? Are you good at magic?"

Siren smiled at that, "My talent is in music and song. I'm no better at magic than the average unicorn, but I'm good enough to get by. I don't use it to perform really."

 

On 2022-09-30 at 9:05 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

Larynx choose an empty seat near the middle of the class and waited for the class to begin. 

It wouldn't take long for class to begin, most of the discussion around Larynx was speculation on what spell they'd be learning that day. A few guesses included advanced telekinesis, how to teleport an object, how to lift something very heavy, or other mundane things, though there were a few more outlandish guesses like how to turn vegetables into candy or a spell that would do their homework for them.

Soon enough though the teacher called them to attention, "Alright, settle down everyling, let's begin. The spell we're going to learn today is Energy Conversion. Sometimes, as a unicorn, you'll encounter a situation where you need to use your body for more than you've trained for. For instance, running a long distance or quickly, or lifting or pushing something heavy that would be too big to grasp with your magic. This spell will allow you to convert the magical energy inside you into physical energy and strength for as long as you can maintain focus."

The teacher moved to diagram on the board, "First, you will focus on collecting the energy in your horn, similar to when you cast a light spell, then you will target the part of your body that needs the extra energy, for today's example let's target our wings, and see just how much harder you can flap than without the spell. Alright, don't try and push too hard, you don't want to risk injuring yourselves." 

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@Illiad Easle 

Larynx looked around as the class settled down. When the other classmates started suggesting ideas of what they might be learning, he threw his ideas in as well. "What about some kind of matter or energy conversion spells?" He suggested. He giggled a little when he heard some of the more outlandish guesses which sounded more like childish desires. "I know those spells," he giggled, curious as to how the other changelings would react to this even though what he said was technically true. 

When the teacher instructed them what to do, Larynx focused on the magic flowing through his body. Concentrating the magic in his horn was basically second nature, but then moving this magic without having it disperse took a bit more concentration. He tried flying around the classroom without magic first. The result was comparable to a pegaus filly whose talent wasn't flying. Then Larynx tried flying while slowly releasing the magic stored in his wings. The results surprised him. He found himself flying around the classroom much faster than he expected. Despite the fact that he had better control, he found it hard to react in time to the things in the classroom, nearly colliding with several things before he was able to slow down and land. 

I wonder if this is related to why Rainbow Dash flies the way she does? Wait, no, that doesn't make any sense. She shouldn't crash into anything because she has the reaction time to match...

"Wait, doesn't this mean that if a changeling had a talent in magic but wanted to be a Wonderbolt, they could do something like this? Or do they not have the magical endurance for that?" Larynx asked, feeling a bit drained magically like if he had just lifted something heavy.

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@Skylight Scintillate

Larynx was far from the only one to try flying around with the spell, and it helped that this classroom was large enough to allow it.

Some of those present struggled with the spell a bit more than others, but with help from their classmates they were all able to get it working in the end.

On 2022-10-04 at 8:08 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

"Wait, doesn't this mean that if a changeling had a talent in magic but wanted to be a Wonderbolt, they could do something like this? Or do they not have the magical endurance for that?"

The teacher shook her head, "You'll notice that this spell only gives you a burst of energy, it does not provide a continuous source. So while it could help you to fly like a Wonderbolt for a short while, you'd be hard pressed to keep it up for any extended period."

She turned her attention back to the rest of the class, "Alright, I want you all to keep practicing this spell until you feel like you have a good grasp of it, then take the rest of the time to practice some of the spells we've learned previously."

As the rest of the students continued their practicing the teacher came over to Larynx, "Now, you haven't learned other spells here, is there a particular spell you'd like to practice or learn while the others do their reviews?"

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@Illiad Easle 

"Ah, that makes sense. Even I feel a bit exhausted flying around like that," Larynx replied as he sat back down. When prompted about what kinds of spells he was interested in, he gave it some thought. "Let's see, I'm currently thinking about a cloud-walking spell so that way I can visit Cloudsdale. Oh, and I do fine Haycrate's method quite interesting. And just general quality of life magical spells, mostly," Larynx said. "I mean, I'm into researching different kinds of magic that exist, but I'm not sure what this school is able to teach. Like, because of the way my assignments worked, I'm aware of magic, but I would like more details about the different fields of magic, so could you go into detail about the different kinds of magic out there?" Larynx asked, rambling a little.

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@Skylight Scintillate

The teacher looked impressed by Larynx's knowledge, "Well, you won't need a cloud walking spell to visit Cloudsdale, you have wings after all, but to visit it as a Unicorn, or to make your presence more reasonable while disguised, that would be simple enough to teach."

"As to the fields of magic, well, I can give you a summary in the time we have."

The teacher would go on to explain several fields of magic both those that the hive offered as classes and those it did not. Most of the schools of magic taught at the school revolved around careers and abilities that would help promote the emotions that the hive wanted to cultivate, the schools of magic not taught here were those that revolved around opposing emotions, or things that would detract from the desired effects.

The hive school mostly taught these advanced lessons to changelings who had already established themselves in the world outside as a way to improve their ability to blend in or perform their chosen job.

"Perhaps on some future visit we could get you in one of the more advanced classes, but I hope my explanation was sufficient."

That said the teacher would wrap up the lesson and the rest of the changelings would head off to their next class, the teacher would return to Larynx, "Now, according to the note I got from Miss Kvasir says that the next lesson for you is to help you figure out a hive-based occupation, like Harvester, Cultivator, that sort of thing. Have you put some thought into what you might want to do for your hive?"

If Larynx asked for a more detailed list, he would be told as follows:

The Cultivator's job is to encourage the hive's emotions in the local populous. They typically do this through their work or through various social interactions.

The Harvester's job is to collect the emotional energy already cultivated. They typically have jobs that put them where ponies typically feel the desired emotions, or that allow them to visit many ponies daily.

The Scout's job is to visit new areas that may not have a strong changeling presence and evaluate what sort of emotions that area is naturally inclined to produce. They will see how easy it would be to introduce new changelings to an area or if a new hive could be built there.

The Diplomat's job is to frequently meet with changelings from other hives to ensure that inter-hive relations go smoothly, as well as occasionally bearing messages between queens.

The Hive Worker's job is to do anything that needs doing inside the hive. Typically these jobs are done by changelings who do not yet have a placement outside the hive, those who are too old to maintain a disguise well, or those seeking special favors from their queen.

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@Illiad Easle 

"Ah, that makes sense. So I'm interested in Heycrate's method, general quality of life spells, and something to record and play back audio because I like to sing," Larynx suggested after listening to the explanation of the different fields of magic from the teacher. "So yeah, magic relating to general quality of life and audio or music. Sorry if I'm rambling; it's my thought process. Does that make sense?"

Larynx thought a bit about the different options that were offered. "Well, I'm not really sure. You see, I like singing like Siren, so that would lean towards Cultivator. However, I feel most familiar with Harvester and I wonder if magic can be helpful in that. In addition, I love discovering new places, which would fit Scout pretty well. And even though Thorax doesn't know that I'm in an exchange with another changeling, I'm sure he would like to meet you all and I would like to be involved in the diplomacy... As for Hive worker, well it seems Thorax's hive has adopted a very interesting way of doing things so I don't think learning about that here would make sense. So yeah, I have no idea what to do out of the first four options..." Larynx said, explaining his predicament.  

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@Skylight Scintillate

The other two changelings nodded at that, "Typically a hive job depends more on what the hive needs than what the changeling wants to do, especially when the hive is starting out or in lean times. It isn't uncommon for a changeling to do more than one job in their lifetime." The teacher looked thoughtful, "Maybe it would be best to hold off on that training, and simply send you back to your hive with some instructors and information on each, then you can decide with your hive the best course of action? It sounds like your hive is most similar to a new hive, and would need changelings capable of all the jobs until enough new changelings come in to allow specialization, so it wouldn't be unreasonable for you to be both a cultivator and a harvester at the same time for a while."

Siren nodded at that, "That still gives us time for you to sit in on one more lesson before we need to go have the Dr. look at you. I think the last subject you needed for your own disguise was gender studies, but if you'd rather discover yourself on your own we could always go to a different class or see the doctor early."

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@Illiad Easle 

Larynx thought a bit about the teacher's response before formulating his reply. "Yeah that makes sense. Huh, I guess it's beneficial that the hive in general is trying to figure itself out at the same time as the changeling members are trying to figure themselves out, so each changeling can try multiple jobs figure out what job they like. Because it seems like a lot of changelings can't seem to make up their mind right now..." Larynx explained. 

"I would be interested in attending a gender studies class," Larynx replied, thought he still was a bit confused about the exact purpose of the class. He supposed that he would figure out soon enough. 

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@Skylight Scintillate

The other two changelings nodded at that, Siren speaking up, "If you want to, I remember where it is, I'll take him and explain what's going on."

She would lead the way to yet another part of the school, where it looked like more mature changelings were being taught, they entered the classroom soon before the class was going to begin, and Siren explained to the teacher who Larynx was and why they were there. The teacher nodded and aside from a brief introduction to the rest of the class, carried on with the lesson without paying special attention to Larynx.

The gender studies class was essentially a deep dive into the differences between mares and stallions, both in terms of physical differences, as well as mental and societal differences especially in regards to the culture of Manehatten. The class was designed to give changelings all of the basics that they would need to properly disguise themselves as either gender. teaching them the things that the ponies would learn naturally about themselves. 

Despite the sensitive, and potentially awkward, nature of the subject, the teacher kept everything well managed and informative. It wasn't much for deciding which gender a changeling ought to select for themselves, as apparently there were more advanced classes specialized for that, but it gave an overview as to the considerations one would have in deciding. This included of course the reminder that changelings were not capable of producing offspring with ponies, and how one might explain to a potential pony partner that fact without revealing themselves.

Once the class was over Siren would come back over to where Larynx was, "I don't know what you were hoping to learn here, but maybe I could give some answers if you have some questions?"

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@Illiad Easle 

Larynx followed Siren to the gender studies class, not quite sure what to expect. What he learned was eye opening to say the least. 

"Well, I wasn't sure what to expect when I walked into this class, but I certainly can say I didn't expect that. Especially the part when they went into very specific detail about the differences between the genders... I feel like I have no idea what to make of all this," Larynx explained, struggling to put the thoughts flying through his mind into words. The way they talked about pony pony biology reminded him of when Chrysalis ruled, but this class went into significant depth while making it as least awkward as possible. 

"Although I have a very good idea of which gender my ponysona is going to be now. I would actually say it was quite informative. A little awkward, yes, but informative nonetheless," Larynx explained. "Anyways, we are going to see the doctor now?"

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@Skylight Scintillate

Siren chuckled softly at Larynx's reaction to the class, "Well you could hardly be expected to learn and understand everything in just one day. Typically the full gender studies course takes a week or two to get to everything. I'm glad to hear though that it was of some use to you already, if you don't mind, which gender did you decide on?"

 

In regards to going to the doctor she nodded, "We'll be a bit early, but that shouldn't be a problem."

Siren led the way out of the school area of the hive, leading the way to a more sterile looking portion of the hive, the tunnel turning square and the smooth stone replaced with white tile. They arrived at the reception area for the clinic, there were a few sick looking changelings waiting in the chairs as Siren approached the receptionist, "Hi there, no illness to report, but I do have a changeling here from Doc's hive, and our Queen thought he'd be interested in giving him a look?"

The receptionist peered around Siren to look at Larynx, then nodded, "Yes, we received a message indicating as much. Doc is treating a patient at the moment, but I'll let him know you're here and let you know when he's ready to see you. Go ahead and take a seat while you wait."

Siren would find a place for them to sit appropriately distanced from the other patients, "So, are you nervous? Did you know Clypeus before? I don't know much about him other than that he was part of the Canterlot incident, only escaping because he was outside the city tending to wounded changelings when everyling else was pushed out."

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@Illiad Easle 

"Well, for some reason, I feel like if I were to be a singer or do something relating to magic, I would probably choose female as the gender for my ponysona. I can't really describe why, it kind of just feels right," Larynx explained as they walked. Larynx was so busy pondering how to describe how he was feeling be barely noticed the transition as they walked towards the clinic. In fact, he was kind of surprised when they arrived. He sat down with Siren in the waiting room.

"Oh, well, Clypeus always wanted to help others. I guess your explanation makes sense for why Clypeus never came back. He probably wouldn't have fared too well if he returned anyways. Chrysalis believed that trying the help the very injured was a drain on the hive's resources, so it's probably a good thing he ended up here. Though I wonder how he is going to react to the recent news... As for how he will react to seeing me, well I'm not sure. He was definitely one of the more friendly changelings I knew, but I was kind of brash and confrontational back then, like everyling else. He probably won't recognize me. For some reason, talking about him is making me really sentimental..." Larynx said, a rollercoaster of emotions flowing out of him.

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@Skylight Scintillate

Siren raised an eyebrow at Larynx's description of Clypeus, "Really? I mean, no offence to Doc, but I wouldn't exactly call him friendly... At least not compared to the changelings here. Though maybe by comparison to what you were used to he would seem friendly."

By the time Larynx was called up, the patients who had been waiting their turn when they arrived had all been called back and new ones had taken their places. It hadn't been more than fifteen minutes of waiting on their part.

They were shown into an exam room, which looked almost exactly like a pony exam room would, with the exception of the changeling diagrams on the walls. They were only there for about five minutes before the doctor in question walked in, he looked just as he had when Larynx had last seen him, before the invasion, with the exception of him having a pony style mane of grey hair via a partial disguise. He was reading off a clipboard when he entered, "Alright, Larynx was it? Oddly familiar, let's see-" He looked up at Larynx and did a double-take, "My, what happened to you? Roll around in a poison joke patch?"

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@Illiad Easle 

"Well, yeah, I only knew him before we reformed, so I guess we'll find out how he compares to reformed changelings," Larynx explained. He tried his best to remember what Clypeus was like, but it was hard to remember the details. All he remembered was that Clypeus liked to help the other changelings, even if he was incredibly direct about it. Larynx couldn't remember any specific example of them interacting in the past, but he remembered they happened. 

"Uh, hey Clypeus, long time no see. I'm from Chrysalis' hive. Er, well, it's not Chrysalis' hive anymore; it's complicated. Basically, Chrysalis planned another invasion, but it failed, and then Thorax shared his love, and then there were rainbow lasers everywhere which turned us into colorful bugs, and then the elements of harmony and Starlight showed up and they talked about sharing love and being friends with each other, and then Chrysalis looked at us in disgust and ran off, so Thorax rules the hive now, yeah... Anyways something interesting has happened because of this reformation. It seems that our default appearance has changed, and we can create love simply by interacting with other changelings? And because of that and that the changelings in our hive are scared of what the ponies think of us now, most of us are a bunch of recluses now. Both Siren and I were wondering how changelings creating love is possible and we were wondering if you could look into it," Larynx explained. 

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@Skylight Scintillate

The doctor raised an eyebrow at being called Clypeus, as he had not been called that in a long time, but he couldn't respond before the rest of Larynx's explanation raised his other eyebrow. He was silent for a moment before looking to Siren, "You didn't bring him in for being delusional on top of the poison joke right?"

Siren shook her head, "He'd telling the truth, so far as I can tell, it lines up with what the scouts say."

Doc sighed, sitting down in a chair, "Things got worse than I thought they would then. Oh my queen..."

He shook his head, reasserting himself, "Never mind that, I'll deal with it later. Let's take a look at you then."

It was clear that something was bothering Doc as he proceeded in silence, like he was saddened by the news. He did a physical examination first, taking measurements and notes, testing the strength of Larynx's plates with a variety of rubber hammers. After examining all he could visually he motioned for Larynx to get on a scale, which he immediately maxed out, as it had been calibrated for much lighter creatures.

"Interesting," Doc said as he shifted the weights, recalibrating the machine for Larynx, "According to this, you weigh much more than a typical changeling, almost as much as a typical pony. That would explain the thickness of your plates and their rigidity. Tell me, since this change, have you been less hungry for emotions than usual? And more hungry for other food sources? Have you noticed a difference in your ability to cast magic? For instance, finding it harder or easier than usual?"

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@Illiad Easle 

Larynx was kind of surprised that Clypeus was disappointed by the news. However, he supposed that everyling had a different way of working though major shocking news. "Is there a reason why you're sad about this?" Larynx asked as the doctor examined him. Larynx hoped that maybe he would be able to explain to Clypeus why he saw it as a good thing. 

"Well let's see, I have definitely been less hungry for emotions, but I think that's because I'm friends with a few other changelings from the hive back home, so I can create love and simply use that. It seems like I still need to obtain the same amount of love as before. Speaking of which, I'm actually kind of hungry because, well, I can't exactly create love with a changeling here, no offense. I can create love with a reformed changeling though... As for other food sources, definitely. Us reformed changelings eat like ponies now, which I suppose could help explain out more pony like weight. It's a good thing we are able to grow food in the lands around the hive, because we need it. I might have gotten a bit better at magic, but that might be because I have been practicing. Other than that, nothing else that I can think of," Larynx explained.

Edited by Skylight Scintillate
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@Skylight Scintillate

On 2022-10-18 at 4:17 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

"Is there a reason why you're sad about this?"

Doc sighed as he set his measuring instruments down. "Well... I am a very old changeling, I remember a time before, when my queen was not as you knew her. She used to love everyling in her hive, even more so than the love Queen Sleipnir has for her changelings. She was a young queen, eager for the approval of her mother, and at first she did well." He shook his head, "The spring died when I was young, the ponies in Canterlot having locked the source down for their own purposes. My Queen's pride prevented her from moving us or seeking help, the troubles destroyed her from within."

He paused for a moment, "I had hoped, that my Queen would return one day, that she'd have the love within her that she once did. But it sounds like she's too far gone now. Maybe I always knew that, I didn't go looking for her like the others after all."

 

In regards to the answers he got from Larynx, Doc nodded, "That all seems in line with my theories, and from what I've been able to observe. I am surprised though that you find magic easier, as fundamentally you have less magic within you than before, but also, you don't have a field around you at all times. Lets try something." He pulled out a sharp scalpel. "As you might remember, when a changeling dies their body is immediately cremated when the field disappears." He scarped a bit of his own plates with the scalpel, and the shaving immediately burst into flames when it got far enough away from him. "That is why flames appear when we change disguises. But in your case, when you're not disguised there is no field around you."

He would gently take a scrape on a leg plate from Larynx, and it didn't burn when pulled away.

Doc nodded, taking more notes, "It would appear then that reformed changelings have become biologically more similar to ponies, while still retaining much of their changeling attributes. Now, I can't say why this change has occurred, or the full extent of the changes, and we probably won't be able to until one of you dies and we can examine the body. Maybe if we did some pony-type scans? Like a pathway scan or an x-ray?"

He shook his head, "I won't keep you for that, I'm sure there will be others willing to participate in experiments going forward. It suffices me to say that reformed changelings constitute a brand new species."

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