By Sunshine Laughter
"... it's kind of important. Sunshine's family gets a good start in Equestria because of her holoshow. That's why she's doing it. It's for her family. Please? Besides, it doesn't matter to any of us, not really. We'll all be in Equestria in a week. Or less. We'll all be leaving, nopony can stay longer than fourteen days and... oh... no..."
Rose? What's the matter?
"I... I got here before you, Sunshine. I'll be shipped out before you and... the Exponential Lands and..."
Oh, THAT! Oh, Rose, goodness, don't you worry a bit about that! I'm going with you, wherever you go. You decide to ship out tomorrow - later today, if they do that - swirls, Rose, if you decide to just hoof it to the Barrier, right muffin NOW, and I am out that door with you, by your side. It's not even an issue.
I don't say what I don't mean. You know me a little by now, right? I do what I say. Unless you don't want me, in which case I'll be gone. You just say the word, and I. Am. Outtta. Here. Just like that. Gone. Zippo. Whoosh...
"I WANT YOU!"
Hee hee hee! Here? In public? Hee hee hee! Hey, it's OK, Come on everypony! She didn't mean it like THAT! Go back to your oats. Sheesh. Dinner crowd.
"Yes I did."
Wha.... oh... you...
"Made you blush!"
I guess... hee! I guess you did, Rose. Hey, Gloria, scootch over - it's your roommate.
"You... you're really cute together."
"Please, don't... don't call me that. I don't like that name anymore."
"Then... um... what should I call you? Have you picked out a new name? What is it?"
"Uh... well.. I haven't figured out a name yet. I just don't like that one anymore."
"Gloria, what... what do you call Raz... her. What do you call her?"
"Hey you, Yo Fuzzy, Hey there Sweetflanks, Captain Cloppyhooves, Rhymes With Lazer..."
Hee hee hee!
"Hee hee! I like Captain Cloppyhooves!"
"Come on Gloria! Did you have to tell them that? Oh... fudge."
"Wow, Razo.... um... 'Captain'... I've never seen you embarrassed before."
"Yeah, well... a lot of things are different now, you know? I used to get embarrassed. I did. I just... I just wouldn't let anyone know it. I couldn't let anyone know it. I felt a lot of things I wouldn't admit back then Milli.... Rose."
"Listen, I want to get the ball rolling here. Sunshine. I'm really... sorry... for being a complete ass back when we first met. I'm sorry about the knife, and the threats and... here's the deal. I was pretty messed up, inside. I had a bunch of mental problems. I heard voices, I saw things, and... it wasn't good. I was a real headcase, alright?
But... ponification fixed my brain. It's just me in here now. Ow. Still getting used to how hard these hooves are. I gotta stop tapping my head like that. Ow. Anyway, I didn't even really see you in that room. I just saw this demon or monster, which is pretty much how I saw everything back then.
I can't tell you how much better it is not to... be nuts. It was really hard, because I was never alone, I couldn't escape, it was just all this stuff going on in my head all the time, and I couldn't exactly tell what was real from what wasn't. And it isn't like admitting that is going to help... that's weakness out on the street, and weakness gets you shived.
So... I'm sorry. There, I said my peace."
Um... wow, Gloria. I didn't know. It's OK, of course I forgive you. All is forgiven. In fact, I'm kind of glad it all happened. Seriously. If you hadn't been all crazy and stuff, I never would have met Rose, and that would have been the biggest tragedy. So... you actually did me a favor, strangely enough. Because of you, I met her. So... thank you. Thank you for that.
"Huh. I didn't expect that. I... I guess... you're welcome. Anytime. No. No. Definitely not. Being loco was pain. It was just total, constant pain. Never again. I only wish I'd gotten ponified sooner, just to get my head on straight. But... anyway, I'm glad it turned out well in the end, Sunshine.
OK, your turn Horseface. Go for it."
"Horseface? Gloria, that's kind of mean thing to call Razor, isn't it?"
"Naww... I don't think so, Rose. I mean, we all have horse faces now, right?"
Well, don't we actually have more more pony faces? Shorter muzzle and all that?
"Yeah... Sunshine is right. Hey, Gloria! Stop being so mean! I've got a PONY face, not a horseface, so there! Blaaa!"
"Alright, alright then. Ponyface. Still your turn. And I think the other end still counts as completely that of a horse."
Oooohhhh!!! Snap! Gloria's a snarky pony.
"Hee hee hee! wait... that's also kind of mean. Maybe even more mean!"
"It's OK, Rose. Gloria and I kind of understand each other. We... we came from similar backgrounds. It's just teasing. And we don't mean anything by it."
"Yes I do."
"Hah hah hah! Gloria.... you... poopyhead."
"Poopyhead? This is the best you can do? Are you serious?"
"Hey, pony here? Remember? I gots me a pony head now. I can't do the good zingers anymore. I gots a muffin for a brain now."
Now that's a question. Hey, Razo... come on, you have to pick a name. It's really hard to address you! Anyway, Gloria here seemed to think that having a 'pony head' was a good thing. It cured her problems. Do you feel like ponification messed you up somehow? Do you regret it?
"No. No! A thousand times no. I don't mean it like that, Sunshine. I've lost stuff, I can't deny that. I've lost a lot of things. But... the stuff I lost? I never liked it. Not really. I lost all the hard-edge stuff. The bad stuff. All the dark, violent stuff. I never wanted that. I felt I had to be that, to survive. But that was never me. Not really me.
I do miss being able to do insults good. I used to be Queen of The Digs, see? I could put anyone down like a dog. I could do with words what the average streety thought they could do with a knife. But... not anymore. I do miss that. It's like I lost all the best tools from my toolbox. But then... I also wouldn't use those now, even if I could... so it's kind of confusing, right? I don't want to hurt anypony anymore. I don't want to make anypony feel bad. But I really miss feeling so... clever. So sharp. There was a joy to a well crafted insult. I took pride in my filthy mouth.
I guess it's all really confusing for me. Inside, deep down, I didn't want to be all hard. I've always been a little marshmallow inside. A little butterfly or something. Yeah, like those little flitty things in the old cartoons. But that wasn't what keeps you alive out there, you know? I saw marshmallow butterfly types just get jacked, just totally jacked and... I swore I wouldn't end up like that.
Even though, deep down, I guess I kind of was one."
"I... I think I kind of suspected that, Ra... um... Marsha."
"What you call me, Rose?"
"Ooh! That's clever, I see where you're going! Rose totally has your pony name... Marsha."
"Gloria, what they hay? Marsha? What's up with that? That's not even a pony name!"
"It is if it's short for 'Marshmallow Butterfly'! Hee! Or we could call you Mallow-ry!"
I get it! Or 'Butterfly!'
"How about just 'Butt'. Works for me!"
Ha haa haa!
"hee hee hee!"
"Oh... my... that's kind of..."
"You are not calling me 'Butt'! And I don't like 'Marsha' one bit. But... Butterfly... that's kind of nice. Maybe we can try 'Butterfly', for a while, anyway."
I don't know, Raz... Butterfly. It's still an issue with the diminutive. 'Butter' works, I guess, but... at some point sompony is going to slip and call you 'butt' for short. I mean, you know it's going to happen.
"Alright, then no 'Butterfly'. See why I haven't picked a name? It's not easy coming up with a pony name!"
"Oh... I'm sorry, Not-Razor. It just seemed like 'Marshmallow Butterfly' was a really sweet name. Honestly."
"I... I guess it kind of does, Rose. I can understand where you were coming from. But it kind of has problems. It's all so... listen. I need to tell you stuff, Rose. I was really... wrong... to kick you out like I did. I'm sorry I hit you and..."
She HIT you?
"It's alright, Sunshine. Really. That was then. And she only hit me a little. That was human stuff. We're ponies now. Really, it's alright."
"Go on, ....Not-Razor... say what you need to say."
"I'm just sorry, is all. I was all freaked out by how much you had changed. You were like, totally different, Rose. I mean 180, just completely different, and I got really scared. It was like Millicent had been replaced by... something else... and the whole thing just terrified me. It was like one of those scary holos where the pods come and stuff."
"Was I really that different? Am I different now?"
"Um... yeah. Still. It's still a little strange, and I'm a pony now myself. I think... I think maybe you've changed more than anypony. I can't speak for Sunshine here, because I don't know her, but Gloria is still recognizable to me as Gloria, and I still feel like me, even if I can't do insults and stuff, but you... you are a completely different pony now. You talk differently, all quiet and gentle and 'Hi there, I hope I don't cause any trouble, tee hee' and well... that's not how you used to be at all."
Seriously... sorry to break in here, but this is really interesting to me. You're saying that Rose wasn't... Rose at all back then? What was she like? How did she act back then?
"NO! Stop. I don't want you to tell her, Razor. No. NO. That isn't me. That wasn't me. I mean, it was me, but... that me will never be me again. Let it lie. Let that stay dead. That person died the second I drank that potion. Just let it be. Please. Please, Razor. Please."
Rose? Are you crying? You are crying! Rose... it's OK. I don't need to know. I don't. Come here, come here, it's OK. I don't want to hear that stuff. It's no big deal. I'm just glad to be with you. I'm just happy with you, just as you are. I don't care about your past. If you don't want me to know that stuff, then I don't need to know. Simple as that. I was just curious. You can't blame a pony for being curious. That's all. Ain't no big thing.
"I... (sniff).... I was... I was cold, Sunshine. Cold and serious. Dead inside."
"Boy howdy was she. She could... uh...."
"Uh... ah... nevermind. Sorry."
"Maybe... maybe someday, Sunshine. Maybe I'll tell you someday, if you still want to know. But... not now. Not while we're still... I want you to know me. The real me. Not... that... human I was. Not that... monster."
I can't imagine you ever being a monster, Rose. Not ever. I know you could never be a monster.
"Then you'd be wrong, Sunshine. Of the two of us, I was considered the most... scary."
"That is a natural fact. There was this time when... ah. Sorry again. Sorry."
Listen, everypony. I think that this dinner together was a good idea. I think it helped. I don't feel bad about... stuff... now, and actually, I'm kind of amazed at how well we're getting along. I guess that's a pony thing. Which is cool.
I'm a little freaked by the idea of some of... the stuff... in the past, but, like Rose says, that's all dead and buried now. And it is. The fact is that all we've got is now, and the future, and that future is in Equestria, as ponies. We're all new creatures now. We're new lives.
I've been thinking about that. Apparently you have too. I found that really interesting. We've all been thinking about what all of this means... about who and what we are, and whether we're the same, or something new. Whether we're the same pony or not. And... maybe it doesn't matter.
No, seriously. I mean... I don't feel any bad towards either of you. Not a bit. And I know for certain that before, as a human, I would have had a big old grudge. And I would have been upset about... um... you - Not-Razor - being... my marefriend's ex. That would have made me jealous or feel weird or something. And I don't. I felt a little protective when she was talking about the hitting and stuff but... it was jealousy. Not like I used to feel it, anyway.
Um... I guess what I'm saying is... this didn't turn out weird, and... I kind of feel weird that... it didn't turn out weird.
"Hee hee hee! You're a silly pony, Sunshine!'
"I was really worried that... you wouldn't forgive us... me, really, for the shower thing. Ever since we got ponied, Gloria and I kind of had that on our minds."
"Yeah, she's right.They made it pretty clear that starting fights in a Bureau was not a good thing, and it was conversion or leave. We were pretty out of control. I was, I know it. Razor... I mean... Muffins, Razor, Not-Razor, you need to pick a name we can use here. You can't just glare because we use that name. I need a name, now."
"Gloria... how... how am I supposed to just choose a name? I'll get stuck with it and then..."
"You don't choose some name, any name, right now, and I'm just going to call you Butt. I mean it. Not even Butterfly. Butt. Now pick a name. Don't you pout at me! Name, now."
"Um... I... Gloria...."
"How about 'Lavender'. I mean, you are. Your coat is a really pretty lavender color. Or you could go by the color of your mane and tail, kind of a teal color. Colors make good pony names! I chose Rose Vale and it was a color name!"
"Lavender, huh? Lavender. La-ven-der. Lavi. Wait! That sounds like a bathroom! I don't want to hear 'Lavi's going to the Lavi!"
"Gloria? What do you mean..."
"I said, why not? So somepony says that? So what? Lavi sound's cute. If they make a joke, so they make a joke. Let's face facts - if pride was that big a deal for us, we would have both left when they called us on jacking up Sunshine in the bathroom. I don't know about you, but pride just got me in trouble before."
"Ah... um... I guess. What they hay. I... I like Lavender. I like the way my coat looks. Lavender. Yeah, I could be Lavender. Lavender the pony. Fair enough, Gloria. From now on, I'm Lavender. Is that OK?"
"I'm NOT Gloria."
"You can call me Newmoon. That's my name now. I'm Newmoon. So, hi there, Lavender, nice to meet you."
"Just like that? Newmoon? Not even a second thought? Why? Because your coat is pitch black? You have a golden mane, why not Goldy or something? How can you just choose like that?"
"You just chose like that. Now you're 'Lavender the pony', right? So, I'm Newmoon. And yes, it is because I'm black. Black like the new moon. Dark as midnight and twice as pretty. Frankly, I think I got the most dramatic look of all of us!"
Says the pony who tells us pride is not a virtue! Hah! Well, then, nice to meet you both, Newmoon and Lavender. Hey, that kind of sounds like a legal office. 'Have you suffered a... carriage wreck? Contact Newmoon and Lavender, Attorneys at Law!'
"Ha ha ha ha!"
"Hee hee hee!"
"Oh, pony... hee... yeah, it kind of does!"
"I was thinking... maybe Newmoon and Lavender could... join the Pony Breakfast Club? Would that be alright? Are we friends now?"
Yeah. Yes. How about it you two? Want to join the coolest and most exclusive club in the entire Bureau?
"Club? What's this now? Glori.....Newmoon, you know anything about this club of theirs?"
"Nope, but I'm intrigued. Tell me more."
Well, it's not fancy, but it is friendly. We kind of meet at breakfast. We got to calling ourselves the Pony Breakfast Club. It's me and Rose, and then Goldenrod and Aquamarine - they're kind of a couple, though I'm not sure they know it themselves yet...
"Heh! I know the type!"
Gold's an earthpony, and Aqua's in my pegasus class. Then there's Jan, she's a unicorn. You'll probably meet her in your... unicorn classes or whatever, Lavender... she's really serious, but she's nice.
"Is she kind of yellow, orange mane, looks like a creamsickle?"
Hee! Yeah, that's her.
"Met her, briefly. Basic Levitation. She has trouble floating stuff. She really tries hard, though."
Yeah, Jan told us she's worried she won't be able to use magic. It's kind of a sore point with her. Let's see....
"Meadowdawn! She's in your pegasus class, Sunshine. Sunshine wanted to be green, right, and the next day out comes Meadow all green, just the color Sunshine wanted. But I like Sunshine the color she is. I like blue."
Aww... thank you Rose. So there's Meadowdawn and her roommate Honeydrizzle. I don't think they're a couple or anything, they're just roommates. So... altogether that's...
"Sunshine... you... Me, Rose, then Goldenrod and Aquamarine, Jan - she hasn't chosen a pony name yet - and then Meadowdawn and Honeydrizzle, and now you, Lavender and Newmoon. That's the Breakfast Pony Club!"
"We didn't say we'd join. Do you remember joining this brecky club thing, Lavender?"
"Yes. Yes I did. Of course we'll join the brecky club thing Newmoon! Great Luna, I mean... what was the whole point of making nicey-nice if we can't be friends and play in all their pony games afterwards? Don't be daft. Newmoon and I graciously accept. Don't we?"
"Heh. Yeah. Of course. I'm just being a goof. I want in on breakfast friends. Well, if they'll have us. Did you already ask the others or something?"
Uh... no. I guess we kind of didn't even think of that part. Oh, pony.
"It'll be alright, Sunshine. Don't worry. Newmoon and Lavender are nice ponies and all of our other friends are nice ponies and nice ponies are... um... nice!"
You cannot fight logic like that. I wouldn't even dare to try. I guess you're in because of... The Law Of Nice.
"Nice ponies are nice."
"Seems pretty deep to me, Lavi."
Hee hee hee!
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Tonight on CELEBRITY PONIFICATION, we'll investigate why this lower ranking corporate leader is dragging his hooves on getting the rest of his family to a Bureau, and look into the rumors that a certain Bollywood singer is having a cow over her costar not getting his pony on! And that's not all!
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"... I thought that went really well, Sunshine. I feel like we made new friends. It's kind of strange though."
Everything is always strange here, Rose. We're in a Conversion Bureau. What isn't strange?
"Well, yeah. I guess that's true. But... that's not what I meant. I mean... It's like we knew these ponies, before. I knew Lavender for years, and you at least met Newmoon before she changed, right, and now we meet these two and they are just new ponies. I mean... we can be friends now, and I know we couldn't before we were ponies. No way at all. Yet, as ponies, we all get along and we can talk and it's alright."
Well, one thing I noticed right away is that ponification makes humans polite. It doesn't matter if you were the meanest son-of-a-muffin before you drink that stuff, afterwards everypony is totally 'please and thank you'. They want to be polite. It isn't like anypony is given some command 'Be Polite'... they may not even know how. But they try, they invent being polite if they have to. You can watch some of them stumble around, trying to figure it out. What's up with that?
"It's because once you're a pony, you care how other ponies feel. You care about what effect you have on them. Even if you don't know them. That's the thing that is put in us. Caring."
So... we're forced to care? We're reprogrammed to care about others, that's the whole deal?
"I think so. I mean, wasn't that true for you, too?"
Um... I thought I cared about people before I drank that goop. But... maybe I didn't, really. I mean... I kind of know that... alright, when Gloria and Razor were... I mean Newmoon and Lavender, sorry, I'm trying to remember, I really am... when they were like all 'we need to talk with you', I was pretty creeped out. You kind of seemed that way too, right?
"Hee! Yes. I wasn't sure what that was about at the time. I just noticed something too... you were really apologizing for not remembering their new names, and they aren't even here. I just thought it was cute. But yes, I was 'kinda creeped' as you put it."
Hey, move over, Rose. You can't hog all the blanket! Sheesh! I thought ponies were all about sharing and caring here!
"Sorry. Here, have some more blanket."
Thank you. I was just teasing. I didn't mean to be... mean or anything.
"Shhh... I know. Silly."
Anyway, once we actually decided - well you decided - that we should have dinner with them, it all just went so well. And it wasn't creepy from the first second. And I really wanted to hear what they had to say, and I felt good working everything out and becoming friends. I feel happy now about the whole thing. I know that would never have happened if I were a human. If I was still a human. So I know I'm different now. I wanted to make friends. I wanted that more than I had issues about what happened.
"See? It's strange, isn't it? I mean, it's not bad. If anything it's super good. That's the human Ideal, isn't it? To be nice, make friends, resolve differences in a peaceful way, be nicey-nice? That's the whole human notion of what it means to be good, to be righteous and not-evil and... well, good. Only, humans don't really do that very well. I've certainly not seen them able to live up to that Ideal very well. But now..."
Yeah! Now, as ponies, we can. That's what ponification gave us. The ability to finally... whoa, this is going to sound weird, so bear with me, alright?
Now that we aren't human, we can finally be human. Now wait! I have a point here. Humans want to be certain things, but they never can. They try, Luna how they try, but it just never quite works out. They don't know what went wrong, it just doesn't, right? But they know what they want to be. It's the theme of every idea of goodness, like you just said.
But in being ponies, suddenly we can be that. So in a way, by not being human, we can finally be the Ideal of being human that humans have always strived for. We're more human than human now. We had to stop being human to finally be human, see?
"I get your point, but... I think maybe it's a little convoluted. It's clear we've changed, inside and out. And we've definitely been given a second chance, a new life. And it's also pretty clear that we've been granted a stronger moral compass and more concern, more compassion than any human ever had, or could have. But... I don't think we're anything like what humans imagined as their Ideal."
"The human Ideal is also to be grand. To rise up and fight for the very stars. To have power and majesty and triumph and glory. That's part of the big human Ideal too. 'In action how like an Angel! In apprehension how like a god!', right?"
Hamlet? You know Hamlet?
"Hey! Just because I lived on the street doesn't mean I was stupid. Seriously, Sunshine."
Sorry, I'm sorry. Foolish prejudice. I'm sorry, Rose.
"Well, it's not entirely unjustified, I guess. I was pretty weird out there. Anyway, do you want to be all godly and full of angelic majesty? Do you want to rule and command the world?"
N...No. No I don't. Once... back before, maybe I kind of did. But... no. I don't even think that way now. I just want to be happy. I just want to... be with you, eat nice food, do something useful that might make other ponies happy...
"That's what I mean. That's maybe the biggest change of all. Ponification took our ambition away. It took our need to take and replaced it with a little more give. Equestria is a universe of plenty, right? So... creatures mostly give. Earth is in a universe of scarcity, so... we mostly are built to take. We've been altered to function right in our new universe, in our proper home. Ponies couldn't exist on Earth. They'd be like the dodo."
"It was a flightless bird that never had any enemies. It lived on an island, long ago. Man came and brought rats, dogs and pigs. The dodo didn't even know to protect its eggs. It would stand around while dogs ripped it to shreds. It had no idea of how to get angry and fight for itself. It couldn't encompass being hurt or killed for no reason, or because some other creature thought it looked tasty. It just kept trying to make friends until it went extinct.
That's why calling someone a dodo is supposed to mean they are stupid, only... the dodo wasn't stupid at all. It was just a citizen of a land where no evil existed. No enemies. Just friends. We're like that now. Or at least a little like that. If ponies lived on the Earth, they would become extinct very fast."
Well, they sure would if they came here for the food. Not much grows anymore, pretty much anywhere.
"No, I mean before the Collapse and the Ecosaster. I mean that we're now built for living in a world that humans aren't built for. The changes we have been noting are the adaptations to that new universe, see? We've been altered to survive according to different rules. That's what ponification really is... it's making us able to live in a universe where magic is, and where... friendship and kindness... really are the rule. It's sad, actually."
It's sad that friendship is the rule in Equestria... what?
"No, it's sad that human Ideals partly had no hope of ever succeeding because of the universe they lived in itself. When they fail, it isn't really their fault. They tried to reach for something better, only... that better was against the rules of the universe itself. Except for the power and dominance stuff, of course."
Listen, I am too tired and too happy about Lavender and Darkmoon? Halfmoon? Wait... Newmoon to talk any more philosophy or whatever it is we're going on about. You know what I want?
I want to snuggle up with the prettiest little pony I know, and cover her with a wing and maybe have some smoochies time and maybe even fall asleep with my head over her back. That's what I want. Is this a negotiable possibility here?
"What, you don't want more? What if a certain little pony was to.... nibble.... you... in... the... right places, and..."
Oh, hoh! Ah... Now that's nice and all... but... frankly... I am really tired. You forget that I flew like a proper pegasus today. I've never been more tired. I've mostly been running on excitement until now.
"There is goes. I knew it would happen. But so soon?"
What? What do you mean?
"Lesbian Bed Death. LBD. First it's all 'oh, I want your body so bad' and then it turns into 'let's cuddle and be domestic', and then it's nothing but gentle contentment and peace for ever and ever and ever and blah, blah, blah......"
I'll show you lesbian bed death! I'll show you le petit mal, you little scamp! You'll be passing out from pleasure before I'm done! Never threaten a pegasus with contentment after she's had a successful flight! We live for excitement and the thrill of the open air... and the open leg, little pony, yea... like that.... Mnnnnn... Mnnnn....
"Hee hee! Now that's more like.... iiii....ummmmm oh, yeah.... that's well.... what about the.... the... cor...der..."
Muffin the corder! Mnnnn Pbfffff sllllp mffff Mnnnn....
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