A story of eight and one half ponies
Chapter Twelve: A Cup Of Love
San Francisco Conversion Bureau Clinic 042 had a somber dinner. It was more therapy group than meal, and in order to permit the applicants to cope with the days events, Dr. Pastern had begged the blackmesh commander to station two soldiers at the entrance to the clinic. He had agreed, because their investigation had revealed a second fragmentation device among the intruder's possessions, and he still felt great gratitude for Pastern's help.
The entire staff and patients of clinic 042 sat together as one for the first time in the cafeteria; Miriam and Dorcas had brought out all the bins of food and set them down on the tables; everyone filled their trays in pot-luck fashion as they saw fit. There were no dinner lines, just one big family sitting down to eat, wandering from table to table to talk and to fill their bowls.
The Bureau cleaning staff had been busy all afternoon; while the blood was gone, the stain of grief remained. Hyssop, the pony receptionist from 043 had spent all of the afternoon with pony Bethany, comforting her and helping her to come to terms with her unexpected new state of being. Hyssop also felt a little shame that the doctor of her clinic had not given Lynn any serum; although it was not in any way her fault, Hyssop still apologized constantly for Clinic 043's lack of generosity.
Bethany, for her part, mostly just seemed grateful to be able to see again and to be alive at all. It was clear that she was deeply traumatized, but she seemed to be repressing it, for the moment at least. Hyssop did the best she could to just let Beth cope however she needed to, but it was very clear that Beth was more than glad that Hyssop was constantly nearby.
Caprice was greatly concerned that Alexi would be upset at having his freedom of choice taken from him; she was worried that he would feel resentful at being forcibly converted, even if it was to save his life. But Alexi did not seem upset, if anything he seemed in relatively good spirits, considering the horror that had happened earlier in the day.
"My peach princess, shhh... shhh... let me tell you something. You asked me for a favor, that I should be converted and become a stallion and spend my life with you. I know I was a stubborn Alexi, I should have answered you immediately with a resounding yes at the time. But I did not. Perhaps... I was too old fashioned then." Alexi's new ears drooped. "But I can tell you, my sweet Caprice, the exact moment I made my decision; it was the instant that I held little Buttermilk outside the Conversion Room, when I crouched down and you kissed me. Right then, minun rakkaani, I was already your stallion in my heart. That I am so in body today was inevitable from that moment no matter what."
"Alexi..." Caprice's eyes shimmered, barely holding back tears.
"Though, to be honest," Alexi's ears rose. "I would have preferred a more... quiet... conversion, had I the choice."
"Oh Alexi... me too. Me... too." It was a night of tears for everyone, and it was not unreasonable that Caprice buried her muzzle into Alexi's chest, weeping openly at this.
Caprice and Alexi had made several decisions as they sat together with Pumpkin and Buttermilk at their low table. They would be one family now. Caprice had told Pumpkin that she was her sister now, and that this is how they should always refer to each other from now on. Pumpkin was overjoyed at this, but puzzled at how it could be.
"Family does not need to share the same blood to be family," Caprice explained to her. "Buttermilk is my daughter - it doesn't matter one bit that she did not come out of my body. I love her. You are no less my sister for the same reason. But if you need a reason, accept this; you and I were born into the world as who we truly are, and always will be, from the same jar of potion. You may consider Dr. Pastern our mother if you wish, and the flask as our father, for our lives only truly began on her table, in this place."
"How do you do that?" Asked Alexi, leaning over and nuzzling Caprice.
"Do what?" Caprice was puzzled.
"Be completely awesome... big sister." Pumpkin tried out the words, savoring them on her tongue. "My... big sister is AWESOME!" Pumpkin grinned, and snuggled in as well, making a nice Caprice sandwich. Buttermilk, who was just beginning to learn to stand, tried to rise up from where she had been laying near Caprice's back legs, and fell across her; Caprice was now covered in love, and realized that however horrible the day had been, she had never felt happier than in this evening.
Dr. Pastern, meanwhile, had been hailed as the savior and hero of clinic 042, and though just about everyone had offered their gratitude for her actions -word of her courage had spread throughout the entire Bureau- Roselyn just felt sad, and numb.
Roselyn knew she had done the only thing she could have to save everyone's lives, but what had happened to the intruder was just so horrible. Yes, he had come with the intention to murder them all, yes, he had remorselessly hurt people she cared about. Nothing kind could possibly be said about such a man - yet, still, it was difficult for Roselyn; evil and murderous that man may have been, he had still been a living mind, a living person, and she had destroyed him in the most brutal way imaginable.
She tried to rationalize it; she was helpless, she had no weapons, she used the only tool available to her. Over and over she ran alternate scenarios - could she have knocked him out with a chair, or injected him with anesthesia, or even beaten him in a fight - and not one was the least bit reasonable. Any other action would have ended with a grenade killing everyone in the clinic. As it was, that very nearly happened anyway.
In her intellect, she understood all of this - the intruder was about to toss an explosive device. Commander Miller -the older blackmesh, as she had found out- had explained what a fragmentation device could do, and how close they had all come to death.
But reason didn't seem to help. She kept seeing a man writhing and shrieking, and from time to time Roselyn would suddenly jerk as though being physically hit - because a sudden flash of that memory filled her mind. Lynn sat close to her, occasionally patting her, or giving her a hug, trying to comfort the doctor. It would take time for Roselyn to cope with what had happened that day.
"Lynn..." Roselyn had to tell her, but it wasn't going to be easy.
"What is it, Ros?"
"I... I think I'm going to transfer. They're building more clinics, smaller clinics, back east. I used to live back there, long ago. Today..." Pastern looked so sad, so tired. "...Kind of made me want to go see my relatives, go see the places I grew up before... before they're gone."
Lynn didn't know quite what to say. It wouldn't be the same without Roselyn. "Where do you think you'll go?"
"I grew up in Michigan, maybe there. I have some family there. Or at least I used to." Pastern picked at her dinner. "They're going to build a clinic. Maybe I'll ask to be transferred to it, when its completed. But... I just can't... stay here."
Lynn understood. She really didn't want Roselyn to leave, but she could understand her reasons. Everything that had happened had clearly taken a great deal out of the doctor. "Whatever you need to do, I support it, Ros. But I am going to miss you so much. You're the best... friend... I've ever worked with."
That set Pastern crying, and Lynn felt bad for having said it now, but then Roselyn was hugging her, so maybe it was a good cry after all.
When dinner was over, the staff, newfoals and applicants had talked long into the night. It felt safer to be near each other, and everyone needed to talk about the day. But eventually weariness overcame adrenaline, and the group began to break up, gradually heading to their beds. It had been a frightening, terrible day, but also a tremendously exhausting one as well.
Pumpkin, Caprice, Alexi and Buttermilk were curled up together on Alexi's big foam bed. There was easily enough room for all four of them there, and they could sleep far more comfortably than in the tiny room Pumpkin and Caprice had shared. They had made their own little herd on the bed, and all of them felt vastly safer and more happy that way.
Alexi had been very tired and had fallen asleep almost as soon as he had reached the mattress. This was very understandable; he had experienced more than any being - Human or Equestrian - should ever have to face. He had borne the exceptional trauma of his emergency conversion with astonishing stoicism, and had not voiced a single complaint. He had, however, not stopped mumbling Caprice's name over and over until sleep took him completely; it was clear that he had suffered unimaginably.
Before they had gone to Alexi's room, they had stopped at the bathrooms to wash the blood off; even now though, Caprice's fetlocks were stained a darker shade. This, and that they could still smell blood with their sensitive equine noses, left them all nervous and unsettled. With Alexi asleep, Caprice had turned to comforting Pumpkin.
Pumpkin had been terrorized by everything that had happened; she had tried to be brave, but once it was clear that they were safe in Alexi's room, she could not stop crying. She became hysterical at one point, frightening Buttermilk greatly; Caprice had resorted to laying her full weight upon her, the warmth and pressure slowly calmed her down, as Caprice said soothing words, and got her to think about how she was affecting poor little Buttermilk.
Buttermilk, frightened and confused, had forced her unsteady body up, and began to stumble across the foam, occasionally falling down while bleating plaintively.
This seemed to have a powerful effect; Pumpkin was a very compassionate filly, and her own torment was forgotten in the desire to comfort the tiny baby unicorn. Pumpkin stopped crying and began cooing to Buttermilk, who gradually calmed and stumbled towards her. "I'm sorry, Buttermilk. I'm so sorry, it's OK, come here! That's it! come here!"
Buttermilk lurched towards Pumpkin, sniffing and making small sounds. Suddenly the little foal dove down between Pumpkin's rear legs as she lay partially on her side, and Pumpkin squealed in surprise. Pumpkin began squirming and kicking until Caprice told her to lay still. "Pumpkin, she's just trying to nurse. Don't you think after such a day, she at least deserves that much comfort?"
"But... I don't have any milk! And... she's nowhere near my chest... AUGH!" Pumpkin was in some slight distress, the sensations were greatly disturbing her.
"Pumpkin, pumpkin, lie still, that's it, shhhh... you don't understand. You're a pony now. That is where your nipples are."
"Between my legs? How can I have nipples between my legs?" Pumpkin was in some shock over this news.
"As a human, you had breasts. But as a pony, you have an udder. It's really still your breasts, and there are only two of them, as before, you are not built like a cow. But their location has changed. That's all." Caprice groomed Pumpkin's black mane with her teeth and tongue, Pumpkin began to relax, despite the hungry little foal.
"It seems kind of weird, Caprice." Pumpkin was bothered, that much was clear.
"No. It is the humans that are weird, Pumpkin, not us." The way Caprice said things always seemed to help, somehow. "Think about it: imagine one of us and one of the humans, naked in a forest, trying to get through it. There are bushes and trees and branches all around. The human woman will be cut and scraped, because her breasts are exposed on her chest. But ours are protected, between our legs, and unless we should deliberately sit down on a bed of thorns, we will not be hurt, however fast we run."
"I would never have thought of anything of that, Caprice." Pumpkin dared to look down at buttermilk, there was no milk, of course, but that didn't seem to matter to the little foal. It was clearly just comforting to her. "When you put it like that, humans are built kind of dorky, really."
Caprice laughed. "Now that's a proper way to see things! We are ponies now, always remember that. Embrace it. It is what you are, and what you will always be. Look at little Buttermilk, trying to nurse. See how happy she is? This is normal, this what is good, now."
"Were you always like this, Caprice?" Pumpkin looked up and behind at Caprice, who was laying close behind her.
"Really.... kind. Wise. You always make everything make sense. And you make everyone feel better, too." Pumpkin snuggled into Caprice's warmth, and began to feel sleepy. Buttermilk had laid down, her mouth still around one of Pumpkin's nipples, but she was no longer sucking. Her eyes were closed, and she was on her way to sleep.
"No. I was not like this before. I was not very nice as a human. I was smart, and I was funny, or so people told me. But I was very selfish, and very manipulative." Caprice lay her head down, her eyes heavy. "I wanted to be a pony very much, because I knew I could have a better soul as a pony. I was definitely not wise as a human. We could never have been sisters back when I was a human."
Pumpkin shifted sightly, freeing herself from Buttermilk with a faint 'pop'. "Then I'm very grateful that you are a pony."
"I am also very grateful that I am..." Caprice was losing it now. "... a pony. Best decision I.... ever..." It was warm, and it was soft, and the day had been very difficult.
"Goodnight, big sister." Pumpkin whispered the words, then checked on Buttermilk to see that she was sleeping peacefully now, tiny breaths making her little chest rise and fall. "Nite-nite, Buttermilk. Sorry I freaked there. Everything is kinda new, you know?" Pumpkin shifted once more to make herself more available to the baby unicorn, if the foal wanted. "I guess... I'll have to get used to all of this, won't I?"
Pumpkin thought about herself, a pony. This was her life now. This was what she was, and always would be. She felt the warmth of Caprice, her sister, sleeping behind her, and Alexi, Caprice's stallion. She could hear him breathing behind Caprice. Buttermilk shifted on the bed, cuddling in closer for warmth, between her legs. This was normal, now. This was what was good and right and proper for what she was.
For a pony.
Summer and Sandcastle chose to sleep together again on the big, lumpen couch. They still felt nervous and upset, and had decided to take shifts sleeping. Intellectually, they knew that the blackmesh soldiers would be especially on guard, and that more had been sent from the Presidio base to bolster the guard, but their emotions would not listen. They felt safer where they could take turns watching the entrance to the clinic, and also have room to run if need be.
Sandcastle had taken the first shift, but Summer was having trouble getting to sleep. "It's OK, Summer." Sandcastle gave his coltfriend a comforting nuzzle. "I'm alert, I'll keep watch. I won't fall asleep, I promise!"
"I believe you. I just can't stop thinking about... today." Summer looked up at Sandcastle, his face pained. "It was really awful. I mean, you see these sorts of things in media, and then the characters are all like 'well, let's get back to business' and stuff. But... it isn't like that at all."
"No. No it isn't. I don't know if it will ever be alright again. I'm... never mind." Sandcastle stopped, unsure of himself.
"You're what? Come on Sands, no matter what, it's OK to talk to me."
"I'm... well, I'm afraid of humans now. I know we used to be human, just a few days ago, but after today, even looking at the human shape makes me feel... afraid. It's dumb, I know. I'm just being dumb." Sandcastle turned to stare at the entrance chamber and the big security door.
"No. It isn't dumb, Sandcastle. I... feel the same way." Summer put his head against his mate.
"We could leave. We could leave on the ship, Summer! We don't have to stay. We can learn how to be ponies in Equestria as well as we could here, probably better even!" Sandcastle seemed happier at the thought. "Let's do it! Let's just go, please, Summer! There are no humans allowed in Equestria. Nopony ever tries to blow up anypony else. They never hurt each other, ever. They don't even have guns there! Please, please let's just go..."
"Of course we'll go, of course, shhh, shhh...." Summer rubbed his cheek on Sandcastle's neck. "First thing in the morning, we will get on that ship. I promise."
"And we can stay together?" Sandcastle looked like a little colt, fragile and delicate, somehow.
"If you will have me, we can stay together forever, Sands." Summer snuggled closer, Sandcastle gave him a nibble on the ear.
"Oh, please. Please let's stay together forever."
Summer couldn't help but smile at that.
Bethany was afraid. It was too dark for one thing, even with a nightlight on. She knew she was safe now, but everything was so strange, and now she was a pony whether she liked it or not, and earlier -she tried not to think of earlier, but it kept flashing back. "Hyssop?"
"I'm still here." Hyssop was only half awake, but she was trying to be a good friend. "I'm right here, Beth."
"I don't... I don't want to stay here."
Hyssop tried to parse what Beth meant. "D'ya wanna go to my room, in the other clinic?"
"No... That's not what I mean." There was a pause, Hyssop almost fell asleep. "Do you know why I never went pony before?"
"I was afraid to go to Equestria alone. But now I don't want to stay on Earth anymore. I want to get away from here, I never want to see this world again."
"Mnn... I can understand that." Hyssop just wanted some sleep.
"Would you go with me? Just for a while. I'm not asking you to stay with me indefinitely or anything, just... we're gonna end up there anyway, so... would'ja just go with me? Tomorrow? I just don't want to go to a strange place alone." Bethany sounded plaintive and lost.
Hyssop thought for a moment. "Wha' th' hell. Sure. Just let me get some sleep. We'll catch the boat in the morning, 'Kay?" She was tired of her job anyway. And the attack... yeah. Equestria. Sounds good.
"Thank you, Hyssop. Thank you so much."
"Yeah. Surrrr....nnnn" Consciousness had finally deserted Hyssop.
Beth stared at the nightlight. She kept closing her eyes and opening them again, to make sure that she was really seeing and it wasn't some dream. Oh, Celestia, it was so good to see again. It was so good to see.
It was Friday morning, and a delivery was expected.
The Erlenmeyer was empty. All twenty-seven ounces that it had contained had been used. The inner surface of the bottle still crawled with the remnants of conversion serum; lonely, scattered nanomachines sparked uselessly with the dying embers of Equestrian magic fading from within them.
The empty flask had been carefully placed inside of its bright red case, tucked solidly inside of the grey, shock-proof foam. The case had been closed and locked. Now, it sat on the front counter of clinic 042, watched over by the new receptionist, Meagan.
A new Red Case would be dropped off today, as it had been every three days for the last six months. Another 27 ounces would arrive, in a fresh case, and the old case would be taken away to be refilled. Another nine ponifications would happen, multiplied by the one hundred clinics in the San Francisco Bureau, one of the first Bureaus, and one of the largest. Nine hundred ponies created every three days, month after month after month.
But it was still not even close to being enough.
Megan Winfeld sat in the chair at the reception desk of Clinic 042. She had been told that something terrible had happened the day before, that there had been an attack, but that it had been stopped. Meagan needed the receptionist job, and she was grateful to be there. The previous receptionist had apparently converted, and had decided to leave.
The security doors opened. Blackmesh guards entered the reception area. Meagan waited, but the Bureau agents she had been told to expect had not arrived yet. It was certainly taking a long time.
Meagan heard the sound of electric treads. Something heavy was being brought in. Finally the Bureau agents were here, but they were accompanied by technicians. The techies were using an electric lifter to bring in what looked like an aluminum party keg, held firm within a bright red metal support frame. "Are you the receptionist for Clinic 042?"
Well, duh, thought Megan. "Yes, I am. I'm new, I just got hired toda..."
"Put your finger here. And here. Retinal scan here." The agent was not interested in Meagan's new job. "We'll take the package back to your physician. I assume she is on call, and in the Conversion Room?"
Meagan nodded. "Dr. Pastern is waiting, it's right back th..."
"We know where it is. Thank you." The agent motioned for the technicians to power up the lifter again, immediately they were off towards the back of the clinic.
"Humph." Apparently receptionists were not very important. Meagan tried to smile at one of the blackmesh soldiers. He looked away, bored.
Lynn responded to the pounding on the metal Conversion Room door. Behind it a Bureau agent waved her aside, and had a large red metal frame moved in. Held inside the metal cage was a shiny keg, not unlike the sort of container used to house beer or other fluids. "Are you Dr. Roselyn Pastern, conversion physician for Clinic 042?"
"I am Dr. Pastern's assistant, Lynn Daniels. I can handle anyth.."
"Where is Dr. Pastern?" The agent seemed like the sort of man to whom 'humor' was a mythical legend from some ancient past.
"Dr. Pastern had an emergency. I am fully trained and capable of handlin..."
"This is very irregular. Dr. Pastern should be present for this. I am not comfortable with this situation." The agent checked his datalink.
"Listen. I am fully capable of dealing with this. I can easily inform Dr. Pastern of every detail when she returns. You can check my records, I am fully trained and qualified. Now let's get started; I despise inefficiency." Lynn put on her most stern face.
The Bureau agent lifted an eyebrow. "Very well. There will be no more deliveries of the red cases. The red cases will be repurposed as Serum Travel Cases; retain yours for potential field use as needed. Increases in production efficiency have finally been achieved. This is a 900 ounce Ponification Serum Containment Unit. It has been designated by the Bureau as a 'Pony Keg', and it will provide sufficient serum to allow 300 conversions before replacement. There will be a new schedule provided; conversions per day will be expected to be dramatically accelerated."
Lynn tried very hard to stifle a laugh at the official designation; it was entirely possible that nobody at the Bureau had even a clue that it was the funniest possible name they could have chosen. Certainly, the agent had no idea.
"I will now..." The agent gave Lynn a hard look; perhaps her efforts to remain serious were not as perfect as she had imagined. "... go over the methodology of serum extraction and the cautions associated with this new containment vessel."
Dr. Roselyn Pastern stood on the floating dock. Behind and above her, the gigantic dark shape of the San Francisco Conversion Bureau interrupted the sky. The foul ocean breeze tasted metallic in her mouth; the gray, poison water roiled against the broken supports of what had once been an apparently famous bridge.
The ship was not pretty, but it did not need to be. It had only one purpose; to transport the converted to Equestria, far out at sea. Scientists had calculated that in just a few years, the expanding border of Equestria would be so large that it would physically cover part of the West Coast. When that happened, the transport ships would no longer be needed; newfoals could just walk across on foot.
Roselyn had broken protocol because she wanted so much to be here. Alexi Venäläinen - he hadn't yet chosen an Equestrian name - was leaving, and she would miss him. He had been the handyman for Clinic 042 since the beginning, and the main reason why her job had gone as smoothly as it had for the past six months. More than that, he had been the soul of clinic 042, and the place would be hollow without him.
Alexi was a handsome white and blue newfoal stallion now, and he took with him an extraordinary and wonderful family. His beloved Caprice, their daughter Buttermilk, and Caprice's sister Pumpkin all looked forward to a happy life together. Buttermilk had begun to walk sometime during the night; she was unsteady but already more able than any human baby of the same age. Caprice would be good for Alexi: someone who could help him occasionally, someone who could keep him out of trouble.
"I enjoyed my days at the clinic. We helped a lot of newfoals, did we not?" pony Alexi smiled at Roselyn, how could he help but smile?
"You were probably the only thing that kept us going half the time, Alexi." Roselyn turned to Caprice. "I am so glad I let you convince me to convert you, Caprice. I'll always think of you as my very best conversion, ever. Please take care of Alexi!"
"We shall be together for the rest of our days, Roselyn. But if you came with us, you could see that for yourself. You could undergo conversion on the trip, and wake up in Equestria. I do not understand why you simply do not come right now!" Caprice seemed both sad and a little angry; it was almost certain Roselyn would never see any of them again.
Equestria was a big place, an entire, magical, wondrous world beyond the bubble in the ocean; as it devoured the Earth, it was apparently growing exponentially on its side of the Barrier. In the end, Equestria would become unimaginably vast, with more land than a thousand earths, more than enough to swallow the whole of the Earth's population as if it were nothing. In that unimaginably vast, expanding landscape, those that did not stay together in their travels could never hope to meet again.
"I don't have any serum." That was technically true, but it was an excuse; everyone knew that today a new shipment would arrive.
"Dammit, Roselyn, you've done enough. If you keep putting it off, you could end up in a desperate place one day!" Caprice nuzzled Roselyn's leg. "You always act as if you are trying to make up for something. If you'd just take the serum, you'd find that Celestia forgives humans. She knows humans can't help what they are." Caprice looked deeply into Roselyn's eyes, and Roselyn felt that somehow Caprice was speaking from personal experience. "Just do it, Ros. Run and grab a cup and then get on the boat. It's alright. You have my permission." Caprice pressed her body hard into Roselyn's leg.
Roselyn felt tears stinging her cheeks. She could almost accept it. She could almost accept it with the permission of this extraordinary peach pony. "You have my permission." Just like Roselyn had given Caprice permission, three days ago.
Sniffing, Roselyn crouched down and put her arms around Caprice's neck. "Thank you... for that. But, I really can't. Not yet. I'm sorry. I'm really, really sorry. Have the best possible life with that big lug and your little foal. And take care of Pumpkin too. You're amazing, you know that?" Roselyn hugged tight, Caprice cuddled her with her neck and head.
As Roselyn and Caprice embraced, Sandcastle and Summer were heading up the ramp to the ship; Roselyn could hear them arguing about something to do with whether tomatoes were a fruit or a vegetable; they seemed oblivious to everything except each other. Roselyn wished them a happy life in her mind, sure that her wish would come true.
Roselyn finally stood up, wiping her face.
Caprice, Alexi, Buttermilk and Pumpkin ambled slowly up the ramp. They stopped occasionally to assist Buttermilk, who found the angle of the ramp unsettling. Eventually the tiny foal made it to the top, a miniscule yellow figure on a large, white boat.
A dark stallion with a blue and gold mane stood close to Roselyn. It was Newmorning, formerly Ryan Niequist. "Doc?"
"Rya... Newmorning! I heard you were getting on the ship today as well. It seems like all the newfoals are leaving today." Roselyn still could feel tears on her cheek.
"Well, after yesterday..." That part was obvious enough. What did the human world have to offer, really, except more chances for tragedy? "...Anyway, I wanted to thank you again for... helping me. You absolutely saved my life. You gave me my life. Thank you doc. Thank you forever." Newmorning brushed close against Roselyn as he passed, then gave her a sharp, stinging whip from his tail. He grinned at her. Roselyn couldn't help but grin back.
As Newmorning trotted to the ramp, he held his tail as high as he possibly could, the view from behind an additional jest. Yes, I get it, thought Roselyn. I see them. You're welcome. She shook her head. Boys. Roselyn sighed.
"Hey! You've come to see us off!" Roselyn turned to see pony Bethany. Beside her was Hyssop from 043. "We're going together! It's really nice of you to see everyone off." Bethany turned to Hyssop. "See, I told you Pastern was a good egg. Best doctor in the Bureau. I always thought so. Pushy on the ponification, though."
Roselyn waved to Beth and Hyssop, and tried to say something clever, but she couldn't because the words wouldn't come out. Bethany and Hyssop strolled up the ramp; Beth had a little trouble because she was still getting used to her legs, but Hyssop helped push her up from behind.
'I want to go on that ship. I want to go on that ship with them. Oh, Celestia, I want to be a pony too' was all Roselyn could think, and by then the tears were streaming down her face. Maybe back East would be easier. Maybe one day she would finally give in. Maybe one day she could feel that those men had forgiven her somehow. Maybe she could forgive herself.
Roselyn Pastern stood there for an hour and a half, until the ramp was pulled away and the ship began to leave, sailing out into the open ocean, towards the shining, gleaming, semicircle that was the wondrous, magical Barrier of Equestria.
Some day, some very special, wonderful day, when she had somehow earned it, she would finally go too.
 24oz Carmine - (Carmine Rosalita Guadalupe Vasquez, age 21)
Cerise coat, gold mane, gold eyes. Unicorn pony
 21oz Caprice - (Human Name Unknown, age unknown, probably 24)
Peach coat, deep peach mane, green eyes. Earth pony
 18oz Pumpkin Licorice - (Sharon Marcella, age 16)
Orange coat, black mane, black eyes. Pegasus pony, with foal
 15oz Sandcastle (Elijah Shaloe, age 23)
Tan coat, white mane, burgundy eyes. Earth pony
 12oz Summer Raincloud (Logan Bertram, age 24)
Medium gray coat, blond mane, blue eyes, Unicorn pony
 9oz Newmorning (Ryan Niequist, age 26)
Dark gray/black coat, sky blue and gold mane, Earth pony
 8oz Buttermilk (Baby Jane Doe, age 2 weeks 3 days)
Pale yellow coat, yellow-white mane, bright yellow eyes. Unicorn pony
[1/2] 6 3/4oz Horsemeat (William Duke Culpepper, age 36)
Bright pink patches/caucasian, zero mane, Brown/violet eyes, pink guts. Half pony
 2 1/4oz Alexi (Alexi Venäläinen, age 28)
White coat, deep blue mane, purple eyes. Pegasus Pony
Chestnut coat, light red mane, red eyes. Earth pony
One: The Big Respawn,
Two: Euphrosyne Unchained,
Three: Letters From Home,
Four: Teacup, Down On The Farm
The Conversion Bureau Novels:
27 Ounces: A story of eight and one half ponies
The Taste Of Grass
The Conversion Bureau: Code Majeste
The Conversion Bureau: The 800 Year Promise
The Conversion Bureau: Going Pony
The PER: Michelson and Morely
The Reasonably Adamant Down With Celestia Newfoal Society!
The Short Stories:
Her Last Possession
The Conversion Bureau: PER Equitum
The Conversion Bureau: Brand New Universe
Tales Of Los Pegasus
The Non-Conversion Bureau Fanfics:
The Ice Cream Pony Summer
Around The Bend