Merry Mayfly meets Changeling!Rorshach: A short fanfic.
I had horrible insomnia because I really wanted to get this written out, so I finally got out of bed and wrote it.
Changeling!Rossy meets Merry Mayfly for the first time.
“…Yes, I told you, I was given clearance, you can even check the card. See?” A young mare’s voice could be heard quite loudly on the other side of the steel doors down the hall. She was speaking with an authoritative urgency, much louder than the other pony she was speaking to who’s voice only came out in muted muffles.
Curious. It wasn’t a voice Rorschach recognized. Voices were more or less all he knew of the facility past those doors, picking out the routines and the familiar, the only window left to his old passion before everything had been torn away. He kept to his usual introverted observations, all he really had any more beside the dreams that haunted him every night.
“Thank you.” her voice rang out again. Sarcasm, a bit of wit. She had indeed proven her point and was quite proud of her victory, it was clear in her tone of voice. He wondered what sort of prodding he was in for today, and how long it would take them to realize he would not speak a word to them. The usual routine.
This thought was interrupted abruptly as the steel door swung open, though what strode in after was what really caught his attention. This wasn’t the usual type of pony to come through those doors, not the obligated tired postures or the cold gazes, not a condescending smile disguised as pity. This one was bright, lively, determined.
Even still, this new pony didn’t bring any sort of desire from him to speak. Observation. It was safest that way. His story and his secrets were his own and only his own to understand, and he knew that full well.
He had to jump slightly when once again he was pulled from this process of thought by the loud clank of the key turning the lock of his cell. She strode right in without even an inkling of fear, her big straw hat and braided pigtails a rather conspicuous contrast to her lab coat and the big rounded spectacles she was wearing and constantly adjusting as she too seemed to be observing him.
A smile. Her eyes lit up. “Oh you are just an absolute beautiful specimen, the files didn’t do you justice at all!”
Specimen. He didn’t like the sound of that, but then, he didn’t like the sound of most anything he heard in these prison walls. Still, he gave no protest, only stared her down, trying to figure her out.
She pulled up a chair for herself and sat, placing a clip board in her lap and speaking to him directly, not caring that he’d given her no response. “My name is Merry Mayfly, I’m an entomologist who has been making the occasional visit to this sanctuary in order to research changelings as a species. You wouldn’t believe how much I had to push to see you. You’re a special classification, you know.” she waved her hoof dramatically, “Too many unknowns, potential killer, yada yada, only letting me see the little drones in the hive holdings. But I did it!” She was looking at him triumphantly, pausing even to allow a response from him.
He gave none.
Even still, she continued as if he had spoken to her, and began flipping through her notes on the clipboard. “Let’s see, Number 823… You haven’t spoken much other than to make it clear that you wont speak, plus the occasional mumbles in your sleep. Dreaming, interesting. That’s fine, I only really need you to listen for now. I think you like listening.” She giggled slightly, pointing out his ears which were in fact alert and facing in her direction.
He said nothing. In fact, now he decided to look away from her, feeling that usual spite he felt when he knew he was being spoken down to as a changeling and not being considered anything more.
“You see…” she continued, “Unlike drones, you have very distinct features. The most interesting one to me is your cutie mark. The fact that you have one. Now some of my fellow scientists theorized that changelings can imprint a pony on to themselves if they mimic them long enough, but me… I have a different theory. It’s a frightening concept, and often gets shoved under the table because of that, but I’m determined to see if my theory is correct.”
He felt himself drifting in and out of her chatter, not because he didn’t want to listen, but because he didn’t want to give himself hope where there likely wasn’t any. Too many times, too many let downs. No more. Changeling. Scientists. Specimen. He knew this game already.
“You see, from what I’ve researched…” she continued still, tapping her clip board, “…a shifted changeling’s memory has nothing to do with the pony they change in to. We used to think they extracted basic memories the same way they copied bodies, but it didn’t check out. There were too many inconsistencies, ponies they didn’t remember, events forgotten, but other times they remembered some very obscure things. I realized that it’s not that pony’s memory they are getting their information from.” She leaned forward, pausing for dramatic effect as if her next words were the ones to get his attention. “It’s the victim they are feeding on.”
Rorschach’s ear twitched. He wasn’t sure where this was going, but it was more information about the changelings than he’d ever known or been informed of, and suddenly his appetite for knowledge was starting to grow again. He gave her a momentary glance, it would suffice enough to show he was listening but not yet invested.
She nodded to him, sitting back and adjusting her glasses. “This theory, which has more or less been proven so far, is that changelings only reflect what their victim remembers of the pony they are mimicking. Let’s say the victim knew the copied pony’s sister well, but didn’t know their mother. The shifted changeling would remember the sister, but they wouldn’t know the mother. See?” She grinned suddenly, looking a little too excited for her own good as her glasses seemed to fog up a bit, “Since that’s been proven already, I have a new theory. And this is where you come in, Number 823.”
He gave a momentary huff. A number.
“Ah, see?” she chimed, “You don’t like that one bit. To be honest, neither do I, and that’s what this is about.”
And there it was, suddenly she had his attention. He turned his head to look at her, his expression becoming perplexed.
She clapped her hooves at this and stood, speaking excitedly. “I’m talking about converted changelings! Changelings who were once ponies! This has never been proven before, not for sure, it’s been assumed this whole time that changelings drain the copied pony, kill them, replace them, maybe even eat them to gain their memories and imprinted traits, but none of that has been proven either!” She began pulling the chair closer, but paused, deciding against it and instead opting to sit down in front of him to be at eye level. “You don’t make sense right now. Not in your file. If you imprinted off of Rorschach then there would have been a pony you had in mind to feed off of. And your memories would have been theirs, not Rorschach’s. But you… You have memories that are only yours. Don’t you? You wont talk about it, you probably want to protect whoever it was that put you in this situation and protect yourself. I wont ask you for those details. Here is my proposal. If you can help me prove my theory about converted changelings… Then I will help you prove that you are Dr. Rorschach.”
There was a pause between them. Her eyes were determined, but overwhelmingly kind. And his were wide in disbelief.
Rorschach’s disbelief slowly became something else, something he hadn’t had in a long time. A cool and collected smile. “I will help in whatever way I can…”