Loop D'Loop groaned. Her maw was sore and all she could taste was ichor. She'd just woken up from something, and it felt like she was pulling herself out of one of the deepest, darkest pits in the hive.
It took a little while to remember she wasn't in a hive, and hadn't been in years, ever since she'd been ordered out to scout for prey. She hadn't looked back even once since she'd started making real friends and found ways Pulling Rank - Forensics / Textbook Traitors - Forensics / Textbook Traitors support herself. Changelings were naturally greedy and selfish, and she didn't want to share them with anypony, not even her own people.
She gasped as her recent memory suddenly snapped into place, waking her up with a shock that felt like being bucked in the head. Actually, she just felt like she'd been bucked in the head in general. She looked around. She'd been having more flying lessons with Jetstream, and then there had been wind shear Loopy D'Loop looked down at herself. She was in deep shadows from the tree, thankfully, as the shock had knocked her disguise right off.
Loopy had been forced into her natural shape, a changeling, with the same appearance as every other changeling. They didn't use appearance to tell each other apart, which was good since otherwise things would get very confusing. Instead they felt each other's psychic impression. Not that it would matter if she got caught. One changeling was the same as any other to normal ponies, especially in Liveryburg where they'd just been attacked by changelings looking for a quick meal after the Canterlot disaster.
Loopy had disguised herself and fought them off — barely — and gotten a taste of what it meant to be a hero. To her, it meant eating well on the love and adoration of ponies who looked up to her as Mare Do Well. For a changeling, that was more than enough motivation to save lives and put herself in danger. Loopy shook her head to clear it, then changed shape, her normal disguise as a beige pegasus with a purple mane reappearing around her.
She cleared her throat, spitting out a glob of ichor, and yelled up to the silver-coated pegasus flying above her trying to find out if she was alive. I forgot about the windshear at that altitude!
A fall like that could have killed you! Loopy flinched a little. She was tougher than a real pony, thanks to her chitin, but she should have added a few bruises and cuts to her disguise for cosmetic reasons.
It was a stupid mistake, and her own fault for not thinking clearly. You're a pegasus! Plaisir DAmour - Rugiero Bardi - Le Disque dOr de la Guitare on the ground is for squares.
No offense, but you're still the weakest flier I know that isn't an earth pony. Besides, your treehouse is tiny. You don't even have a kitchen. I know being a mailmare pays better than that. Loopy rolled her eyes. Of course she was a weak flier. A changeling wasn't nearly as good in the air as a real pegasus.
Even in pegasus form she was pretty pathetic unless she was willing to spend an awful lot of stored love and energy. Part of her also kind of liked the flying lessons.
It was nice having somepony's undivided attention, though Jetstream's heart only belonged to Mare Do Well. She looked down. I like being alone. Loopy couldn't stay disguised all the time, and if she stayed in town eventually she'd be revealed as Mare Do Well or a changeling or both. Last time I was at your place it looked like somepony had torn it apart. Loopy followed her gaze. A scarred face was watching them from between two trees. A timberwolf, with half of its face burned and blackened.
Loopy recognized it instantly. She'd been scarred by a lightning strike a few months ago that had left her partly blind on one side and in a lot of pain.
Loopy had found her chasing Filly Scouts out of the forest and had used changeling mind tricks to calm her down. You run and I'll try and draw her off. She didn't give chase, either because she was smart enough not to bother, or because she was just reminding them who really ran the forest.
Loopy suspected the second. Old Hickory was a lot of things, including mean, but she wasn't the type to go after ponies when there was easier prey. Thankfully, Loopy's house wasn't far away, on the edge of the forest near the Henge family farm. She still felt like she'd been bucked in the maw after that landing. Maybe she was getting a little too into character. She and Jet stopped at the bottom of the tree, her home above them among the branches.
After all the times you've had a tumble I bet they'd love to have a look at you to make sure you haven't really hurt yourself. You know I don't like doctors. Part of that was that a decent doctor would know right away that something was wrong with her. She'd seen how some of the changelings that she'd taken out had been treated after the guards caught them. If she'd known how bad it would be she On Through The Night - Tokyo Blade - Tokyo Blade have let them go.
As much as she was protective of the town, they didn't deserve to be exiled, then locked in a dungeon in the place they were exiled to. But head injuries are no joke. You could have a Pulling Rank - Forensics / Textbook Traitors - Forensics / Textbook Traitors or something. She gave her friend a smirk.
It's completely unacceptable. You know I made a promise that I'd get you to be a top-tier flier before the end of the year.
If they tell you to stop flying you tell them to Pulling Rank - Forensics / Textbook Traitors - Forensics / Textbook Traitors fluff! Just- you'd tell me if you were really hurt, right? Oh right. She'd been pretending that her hoof was sprained. I just need to keep my weight off it for a while. It'll be fine. I bet by morning it'll just be stiff.
The silver pegasus sighed. But I'll make sure there's clear weather this time. You're gonna have to learn how to fly in rough wind if you're ever gonna be on the weather patrol with me. Loopy waved as Jet left, then, once she was out of sight, zipped up to her treehouse with somewhat more grace than she'd displayed before.
Changelings weren't strong Bang (Votu Club Mix) - KC Flightt - Bang Pulling Rank - Forensics / Textbook Traitors - Forensics / Textbook Traitors air, but they were great at pinpoint maneuvers. It came with doing a lot of flying while underground. She unlocked the door and trotted in, dropping the fake limp. After double-checking that she was alone, she locked the door again and dropped back into her natural changeling form.
Her place wasn't that messy, was it? Sure there was stuff lying around. A few pillows. And books. And papers. And some mail. But that was all natural. Pulling Rank - Forensics / Textbook Traitors - Forensics / Textbook Traitors was just that she didn't have a lot of places to store stuff. Loopy sighed and threw a spell at one wall. It dissolved, the changeling illusion magic disappearing and revealing the real wall behind it. It didn't take much energy to keep up a simple flat illusion like that, just a stationary image of a wall, a few inches out from where the wall really was.
What it concealed was the result of all the studying she'd Пой, Революция - Гражданская Оборона - Легенды Русского Рока doing, papers and letters pinned to corkboard.
Loopy smirked as she looked it over. She'd been tracking things, hearing tidbits from the thugs she'd been beating up. It all pointed to something bigger lurking in the shadows, and tonight she was going to take her first step towards finding out just what that something bigger really was. She pulled down one of the pinned articles that she'd clipped out of the Daily Fleugelhorn.
I Loves You Porgy (Live In New York/1964) - Nina Simone - The Best Of Nina Simone, When Youre Good To Mama - Various - Music From The Miramax Motion Picture Chicago, Bombed (Out Of My Mind) - Backyard Babies - Bombed (Out Of My Mind), Crash, Boom,Bang - Various - Super Best 1995 Vol.3, Insincerely Yours - Lily Allen - Sheezus