Reasonably Adamant



Newfoal Society!

By Chatoyance

3. The ineffable horror of absent digits

Argent struggled with his latest review, a quill, freshly dipped, floating within his tightly held thaumatic field. He had found himself naturally talented with telekinesis almost the moment that he had awakened from the attack. The 'Ponification for the Earth's Rebirth', the PER, had blasted open the wall of the Fetal Reclamation Center where Argent had worked in his human life. One moment, he had been sitting at a console, adjusting nutrients for the slurry of cells recently harvested from unhappily pregnant favela dwellers - each of which had gotten a small sum of credits for their troubles, they called it the 'Pot Belly Lottery' - and the next he was waking up as a silvery unicorn stallion with the most exquisite, theatre-red mane.

His talents first showed themselves when he almost absently ripped away the constraining jumpsuit that bound his four new legs, and when he discovered he could hover almost an inch off the floor for seconds at a time, he was ecstatic. That is how the Blackmesh had found him, laughing and gliding across the cell-tank enclosure showroom like the old Pre-Collapse movie star Tom Cruise in the ancient 2D 'Risky Business'. Argent had deliberately kept his underwear on to reenact the scene - he was quite the fan of old media from before the Nano Age.

Suddenly his regimented corporate life was gone. He had been shipped off to Equestria without even a stop at a Bureau, and suddenly found himself in the spotlight. It was an accident - he happened to be in a herd of recently arrived Newfoals waiting to be processed when the two princesses of Equestria passed by, ostensibly to inspect the relocation process. Apparently two years previously there had been some... trouble... with a renegade pegasus stranding Newfoals out in the middle of nowhere, and regular tours were now part of the princesses routine.

It was early evening, and Princess Luna had been telling her sister about her new-found appreciation of human media. The only forms that could survive passing through the barrier had been non-electronic, and that left preserved celluloid films and vinyl records for the most part. Luna was trying to remember the name of a film she had particularly enjoyed and found relevant. It was about a group of human colts who had mysterious dreams about the human magic of electronics, and ended up building a conveyance out of collected bits and pieces. The young colts, barely yearlings really, had the hope of achieving great discoveries as they soared out among the stars - a section Luna particularly approved of - only to find, in the end, that the great beings of the sky were just foals, like themselves. In the end, deep and permanent friendships were established between the two species. Luna just couldn't remember the name.

Argent had found himself out of line and in front of the princess before he had even thought about what he was doing. Nopony liked the things he liked, and finally... well finally he had found somepony, anypony. Forgetting to even bow, he had heard himself blurt out "EXPLORERS - 1985, human calender, directed by Joe Dante, written by Eric Luke! It starred Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix and Bobby Fite, not to mention the incredible Robert Picardo among others. Often overlooked, this gem of 80's cinema captured perfectly the foalhood dream of adventure and the joy of discovering purpose in the world, all while underscoring the timeless and universal theme of true friendship!"

In that moment of shocking disregard for station and social convention, Argent's life had been determined. He had felt the musical sting on his flank, only to turn and find the image of an old-fashioned film reel shining there. What happened after was a blur, but it somehow ended up sitting with the princess of the night in her tower in the castle, watching and discussing old movies from Earth for nearly a week.

When next Argent was able to assess himself, it was a month later. He had taken an Equestrian name, and he was now the creme de la creme of critics, with a schedule full of plays and musicals to attend and review. He had been reduced to having his maid pile the gifts that arrived for him from hopeful starlets in a closet that was perilously overfull, and he had been forced to hire an accountant because his wealth had exceeded his ability to deal with it. The number of parties and functions required a secretary, and soon he realized that in critiquing celebrity, he had become a celebrity himself.

But this was not enough. Argent found a deep longing inside him, something he could neither understand nor give name to. He lacked for nothing, really, yet he felt alone and lost in the world. When Royal had scheduled a meeting with him, he had expected another demand to change his review score. Instead, Argent had found another stallion who shared his feeling of discontent, and seemed to have a scheme to solve it.

Without a clue as to what was bothering him, Argent the unicorn critic had become a RADWICKINS. He found himself looking forward to the meetings far more than any party or social event among the upper tiers of Canterlot.

"YES! YES!! We will be having a treat at the end, but I have to tell you... it isn't ice cream!" The groans and sounds of pony disappointment practically shook the walls. It had been a month and a half now of weekly meetings, and the membership had grown at an astounding rate. Royal didn't even have a clear concept of how many RADWICKINS there were, now. There were ponies lined up, outside the door - inside, the rented meeting hall had become a sauna that had required the services of pegasai and clouds and windows and things Royal didn't really understand. All he knew is that it cooled things off.

"Alright... alright..." Royal could feel his damnable pony brain forcing him to not allow other ponies to suffer even mock disappointment. "...I have to say this much..." He really did feel like he had to say it "...there IS ice cream involved. But it's a surprise!" The roof-shaking cheers and hoof-claps filled him with unwanted pleasure and joy, and nothing he could do managed to stop the wide grin that spread across his muzzle. It felt like his very soul was bubbling with glee at the thought of how happy everypony would be when the surprise was revealed.

Royal sighed. Maybe there was just no fighting it. Especially since he loved chairing these meetings so incredibly much. This was precisely what he had missed from Earth. Feeling important at meetings. Every week, he was the center of attention, the master of ceremonies, the focus of every eye, and... he loved it. Perhaps it was a small sacrifice to give up the staid and grim businesscolt facade he once wore, in favor of a certain amount of... showcoltship.

"I want to welcome everypony..." Royal grinned wide and waited for it.


Loud and excited laughter vibrated the walls. They loved doing that. It never got old. Golden had even arranged for prizes - bits were nothing to him, after all - for anypony that could catch Royal dropping in the word 'anypony' that the crowd missed. The prizes had gotten increasingly valuable, too - last week some third cousin of Honeybutter had won a Bevelmiter Tube powered refrigerator. It didn't use original Bevelmiter's, of course, but the thaumatic engine inside was a beautiful replica. The fridge had even been designed in the style of the time, quite the collector's piece.

As a result, Royal had needed to step up his game, and much of his week was spent planning when and how he might drop in the odd 'everypony'. It was an important responsibility. It made for such excitement!

"... to the... what is it now, sixth?" Royal turned to Chair, who had become the official recorder for the meetings. His wife, Honeybutter was treasurer. The meetings cost two bits to attend now, they were saving up to rent a larger hall.

"Yeah, sixth meeting. Wow, what a crowd tonight, too, huh?" Chair turned to his foals "Havin' fun?" Daisy Dew and Wildweed shouted "ICE CREAM!" Which brought more than a few chuckles from the throng.

It was a big crowd tonight. Royal could not recognize most of the faces at all. There seemed to be a few of the Canterlot elite mixed in, but he couldn't be sure. Was that... Fancy Pants? No, couldn't be. He certainly wasn't a Newfoal! And who was that mysterious dark blue unicorn covered in an embroidered cloak? She had to be somepony of status. She definitely had an attendant, a lime green earthpony who looked like a maid. And off in the very back was what could easily have been Royal Guard, off duty. That or body-builders. How many of them were Newfoals anymore? How many even KNEW any Newfoals?

Royal tugged at his brand new collar and necktie. He had found a shop on the second tier that made incredibly human-styled collar-and-necktie adornments. They were one piece, and snapped in the back, but they were just what he had wanted. Apparently the fashion had caught on thanks to the Newfoal emigration and the influence of some medical pony, a Newfoal doctor who favored the look.

"We have something special, for tonight!" Royal stomped his hoof down loudly. The poor podium had gotten a dent in it from all the banging. "Chair is going to do a new version of his original Newfoal Complaint, this time set to music. Accompanying him is his wife, Honeybutter, in a very special duet. Give a big Canterlot Clop for CHAIR AND HONEYBUTTER! - but first, our MOTTO!" Sweet Luna, how Royal loved all of this.

In the corner, the five-piece band started up. The motto had been put to music.

"To remind us all of the Earth's devastation,
To unite all Newfoals within the Equestrian nation,
To denounce the evils of ponification..."

As the entire crowd sang, Royal gazed contentedly out at them. No meeting back on Earth had ever been like this. He had to face it, he realized. There was no way around it. He had wanted back the feeling of being the head of something important, of running an organization, of talking at a podium to men in suits who hung on his every word. But this was better. Oh, sweet Celestia... this was better.

When the motto was done, cheers, hoots and hollers filled the air. The band took a bow, and sat down again, preparing for Chair and Honeybutter's performance. The crowd seemed to love doing the motto. Golden's butler Bitsworth had outdone himself. Royal gave a nod and a hoof wave to Bitsworth, busy attending Golden. Bitsworth gave a slight, professional smile and nod back. He took his butling seriously.

The lights dimmed, thanks to the covers that had been installed by a couple of clever unicorns that were... somehow... related to Thunder Road. Spotlights, another recent addition, focused on the couple, now standing in front of the podium. The light jiggled for a moment as one of the lighting pegasai shook the spot so that the lightsprite fireflies inside would wake and turn up the lumens they produced.

The packed crowd fell silent as the music began. Daisy Dew and Wildweed looked on in blatant awe at their parents.

Chair began to sing, his voice remarkably mellifluous, despite a strangely charming growly edge.


        Three ounces poured upon me
        And suddenly I'm changed


        I've kept my hoovsies warm at home
        Until the day you came


        Now the human life I've always known
        has completely been destroyed


        And though they say you're a Newfoal
        At least you're well employed


        It's just no use denying things
        I've traded hooves for hands
        But it's also time to say goodbye
        To Earth and all it's lands
        What can I do? I'm stuck, you see
        What does everypony do?
        How do I fit in without fingers?
        I haven't got a clue!


        Potion Cock Up! Potion Cock Up!
        The PER splashed me right in my rear
        Potion Cock Up! Potion Cock Up!


        Now your stallion Chair -


        –is here!


        Now your stallion Chair is here!


        I know you lost your gripping parts
        Your bipedal gait is through
        And all your wicked human ways
        Must change to something new  
        No more floozies,
        No more credits just gold

    [Honeybutter and Chair]

        But when I met you -
        On being pony I'm sold!


        Potion Cock Up! Potion Cock Up!
        The PER splashed me right in my rear
        Potion Cock Up! Potion Cock Up!
        Now your stallion Chair is here!
        Potion Cock Up! Potion Cock Up!
        Now your stallion Chair is here!
        Now your stallion Chair is here!

At the end of the song, the mahogany unicorn stallion and the pale yellow earthpony mare kissed, slowly and romantically, then turned again to the crowd, and bowed. The two weeks of rehearsals had paid off, for the crowd went wild, hoots and hollers being supplanted entirely with deafening stomping of hooves and loud, joyous cheers. The applause went on for some time, and it was everything that Royal could do to regain control of the proceedings, even after two more bows and a reprise of the chorus by the choir.

Banging furiously with his hooves, Royal finally regained the attention of the crowd. "Really fantastic, there, Chair, Honeybutter! Wonderful, wonderful!" The two foals in the front beamed at their parents, who had just become royalty in their eyes. As the happy family snuggled together, Royal gave a big smile and tossed his golden mane. "Now every..."

An unknown number of eyes suddenly locked onto the podium, glistening in the low lights, every one of them silent, alert, waiting.

" here can..."

An audible soft groan of disappointment rippled through the audience.

"...understand something of our plight, as Newfoals, thanks to our own talented Chair and his wife Honeybutter." Chair shifted his rear hooves, putting the weight on one and then the other. It always started to hurt, especially in his flanks, standing unnaturally on his hind legs for so long. "All of us..." Royal seriously doubted that even ten percent of the crowd was Newfoals, but... what the hay, "know the horror of being suddenly taken unawares, in the middle of the street, in our sweatshops, in our workgangs, even in our CORPORATE OFFICES..." Royal stressed the last, because the poor never seemed to appreciate that those in power were equally victims, and always had been "...and suddenly forced into fresh new bodies, long of limb and lifespan both, filled with unexpected powers and infinite potentials, only to be dragged away and thrown like so many sacks of juicy, perfect apples, into the luscious and unutterably beautiful expanses of these green and bountiful lands called Equestria! Why it's a crying SHAME!"

Well rehearsed, the audience erupted in loud boos and cries for "JUSTICE! JUSTICE! JUSTICE!"

Royal tried to remain serious, but a grin played about his muzzle. "Surely everyone can see the..."

Another round of soft groans of disappointment circled the room.

"... dire nature of this insult to our very humanity, an insult nobody can bear, that anyone should be able to sympathize with, that EVERY..."

"EVERYBODY!" shouted Bucket "EVERYBODY! EVERYBODY! EVERYBODY!" Bucket really wanted a refrigerator. Or any appliance. He'd just like to win, anything, even once.

"... ONE..."

It was a silence as profound as that of the infinite void of intergalactic space back in the old universe, a dark silence just as starlit, only not by burning suns, but by countless glaring, perfect eyes, shining in the lamplight. Bucket looked down. Way down. If he could have looked under the meeting hall floor boards, his head would be in the soil right now.

"... can surely comprehend." Royal happily straightened his new tie and collar. What a great fashion accessory! "But understanding our plight as Newfoals is only the first step. We need to take this to the top, and everypony needs to help in that cause. Together we can make even Celestia herself come to heel, and give us WHAT WE DESERVE!"

"Everybody." It was a small voice, somewhere in the back, speaking in the momentary silence after Royal's pronouncement.

All the faces in the room turned anxiously to follow it.

"Everybody!" the tiny voice repeated. It was a small pinto pony foal, with a clear Trottingham accent. "You said 'everypony' and I caught you." The little foal shifted nervously, frightened but determined. "So... 'everybody', fair and square!"

"WE HAVE A WINNER!" Royal slammed the battered podium with his somewhat scuffed hooves. "WHAT DO WE HAVE FOR OUR WINNER TONIGHT - GOLDEN SHOWERS, TAKE IT AWAY!"

This was Golden's favorite moment. He looked forward to it every meeting, though it didn't happen every meeting. When it did happen, he was filled with such excitement he could barely stand it. Bitsworth helped the portly pony to stand up from his castle of silk pillows. In his haste to rise, Golden accidentally knocked over his tray of cheese and flower pastries. "A WINNER! HOW WONDERFUL!" Bitsworth steadied his employer. "W-what it is your name, my good colt?"

The pinto pony blushed at this, he was hardly a colt yet, but it certainly felt very grown-up to be called such. "Pipsqueak, sir! But you can call me Pip! If you want, of course." The crowd softly D'awwwed at this. He really was a little cutie.

"Well, Pip, my lad, for your OUTSTANDING catch of tonight's ANTI-HUMANISM, I am PROUD to present to you...." The band knew to do a dramatic drum roll, which they performed with gusto. Golden had waved his hooves high in dramatic gestures, finally pointing to the front left corner of the room, behind and to the side of the podium, where the spotlight pegasai were even now focusing their beams. There, in the corner, was a fabulous velvet curtain of deepest crimson, and everypony there knew what it was for. The drumroll came to a climax. The curtain parted.


Oohs and aahs filled the room as Pip's eyes grew as large as dinner plates. Well, larger. It wasn't a full size cart, of course - it was a replica model, only a hoof high by two hooves long. It stood on a black velvet draped platform, sparkling in the light. From somewhere in the room a voice remarkably like Bucket's could be heard apparently having a fit of some kind.

"This marvelously ironic work of art comes from the skilled hooves and horn of the master unicorn sculptor August Roandin, and is made from utterly pure, magic-cast draconic silver. The cart wheels are set with diamonds, and the 'load' the cart is carrying consists of spherically carved emeralds - how's that for a game of marbles, my fine colt?" Golden Showers was in his new element now, finding ten times the pleasure from it that he had once gained berating and belittling human underlings in his old life. In this moment, Golden felt like Princess Celestia herself, raising the sun for others, bringing life and light into their lives, and it felt good.

Pipsqueak stepped nervously forward, unsure of what to make of the amazing prize. The diamonds were not worth much, of course, they could be found easily in the deserts of Equestria. But silver was another matter, and Pip was bright enough to understand that silver worked into art was worth even more, even if he couldn't understand exactly why. "What's it for?"

Golden laughed. "It's for pretty, Pip my pony, and worth more than a pretty penny as well!" Golden saw the perplexed look on the foal's muzzle, and remembered that Equestria didn't use pennies. He couldn't imagine what the colt must be thinking. Quickly he corrected himself "It's worth a fortune, Pip, and now it is yours. Put it in your mansion, and enjoy the delicious irony! It's a dung cart... made out of silver!" This brought huge laughs from the audience, though one voice groaned and growled bakery pastry epithets in the back.

Pip just stared at the strange thing. "I don't have a mansion. I live in a little cottage with my..." he was cut off by the mysterious dark blue unicorn in the embroidered cloak and cape. She offered to purchase the little cart from him, for enough bits to assure his future. As the two walked into the dark and the crowd, Pip could be heard saying "Wow! You're always my favoritest..." The crowd closed around them to stare and gawk at the beautiful sculpture. Golden beamed at the attention his latest prize was gathering. This was the best fun ever.

Once the fuss had finished over the prize of the evening, Royal once again reared up and pounded the podium. He liked pounding the podium, even if it did look a little worse for wear from his vigorous efforts. Somehow it was just satisfying. CLOP! CLOP! CLOP! The crowd came to attention.

"It seems we've run a bit long on time... again..." Royal happily fiddled with his collar-tie "...But we at least have time for our little tradition!" All the ponies in the audience cheered, they knew what was up. "When we think of that castle, high up on the mountain, above all the tiers, the castle that holds She Who Is To Blame, WHAT DO WE SAY?"

The crowd giggled nervously. Dare they? Could they just say it out loud like that? Just demand it like that?

"Come on... it's why we are here, after all! Don't be shy now...." Royal waited, patiently, the great leader of the new order, marshaling his troops. "Ready? As one now! On three!"

The assembled ponies glanced nervously, expectantly around.


The ponies couldn't help but send out a few excited whinnies.


The voice that had sounded like Bucket had never stopped grumbling. It grumbled still.


Great whoops and cheers threatened to burst the walls as the ice cream trolleys were pushed by Golden's three butlers up and down through the crowd of thrilled ponies. Instead of the usual scoops and cones were tall ice cream cakes with ice cream frosting and rosettes made of sculptured ice cream topped with cherries. The slices were gobbled with delight and satisfaction! Royal had been teasing them at the beginning... it wasn't ice cream - it was ICE CREAM CAKE!

Little Daisy Dew once again put it best - "This rebel-fo-lution keeps getting BETTER AND BETTER!"

This time she buried her muzzle in chocolate with cherries mixed in.

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