FimFiction Link - Short ID: 86542/winds-of-change
Published: Feb '13 — Sep '14
How do you stay loyal to your friends if your very existence is built on lies?
That is the overarching question 'Winds of Change,' a forty two-thousand word shortfic tackles. The premise, like with all similar Changeling fics is simple, one of the M6 is not who they seem to be, in this case the most brash of the bunch, Rainbow Dash herself turns out to have been a bug all along. The story sways between drama and action for the most part, each chapter usually only focusing on one or the other. I think this is a good choice for a fic that's not overly long and operates with short chapters. It gives the plot a certain rhythm that doesn't thrust the reader into an overly melancholic state, but also reminds them over and over again that things aren't all sunshine and (bug)-rainbows.
While I have enjoyed the fic throughout its entire length, I have to highlight the first chapter. Just like 'Mirror's Image' (review: >>37297738) the integration of a newborn changeling requires a child's sacrifice, in this case Rainbow Dash's who fatally injures herself after performing the Sonic Rainboom as a foal. The scene where the changeling drone finds and comforts her as she slowly dies in her arms frankly brought a tear to my eye. Similarly, the later parts of the story when Changeling-RD slowly starts to accept herself for what she is and the M6 prove their own loyalty towards her by first frantically trying to find their "real" friend, then realizing that she is indeed their real friend is also very nicely written and the characters' behavior is much more natural than in many other fics I've read in the topic.
And with that I'll also talk about what I didn't like. Firstly, what's up with all the sex stuff? In some chapters out of blue, characters start talking about finding each other sexy or the changelings' anatomy is pondered on. I don't get it. It's not about me being a prude, rather it feels so unfitting to the mood and topics of the rest of the story. Secondly, Celestia suddenly donning armor and playing military is extremely out of character and just weird. I understand that she wanted to apologize, but the method and execution were so weird both in and out of universe, that I couldn't help but raise an eyebrow at it.
The final point of contention to me was the ending. I'll freely admit that the "Pale Moon" scene sent shivers down my spine. It was the climax a story like this deserved, but, and this is a painful "but" the rest of the epilogue feels a bit rushed. Rainbow is now a queen because she choked on some hair? Seriously? In my opinion, showing the cast returning to semi-normalcy along with the mention of a simple peace between the species would have been a better epilogue than this new hive idea.
Overall: 7/10 Despite its odd ending and weird sex stuff, WoC is a great fic, one I can wholeheartedly recommend.