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Day Eight: The Shower Incident
By Sunshine Laughter

"Um... hello, everypony. As you can see, Sunshine is running around in circles with the other pegasai... see, there's Aquamarine and Meadowdawn right ahead of her... it looks like she's chasing them! Hee hee! That's cute. Run! Run!

Oh, I should mention, since it's been a couple of days, that's Samantha, there. She chose a pony name! Now she is 'Meadowdawn'. I think it's such a pretty name, and it really suits her with all the green and yellow and... oh, it looks like the teacher is calling all the pegasai in to the center of the parking lot. Well, it used to be a parking lot. Now it's a flight school.

Today is supposed to be the day. Sunshine is so excited. It's been like, three days now, and all they've been doing is running around 'feeling the wind' and flapping like chickens. I kind of don't think that Breezy is such a good teacher, to tell you the truth. That's him, there. Breezy Windthistle. He's a newfoal, but supposedly he's been certified as a flight instructor and everything, but he's really nervous, and he acts like he isn't sure of anything.

I guess they have to wait for something. I'm skipping class so I can see Sunshine fly for the first time. I think my plants can get along without me today. Or I'll go in later, after dinner, and make it up to them then. Oh! While we wait for... whatever it is that we're waiting for, I should probably catch you all up on everything that's happened. Or at least some of it. Sunshine will probably have stuff to say, later, too.

We've been gone because we broke the holocorder. Well, we didn't exactly break it, it got broken. By Razor. Razor broke Sunshine's holocorder. She and Gloria started yelling at us in the shower. I think she was jealous, but she claimed it was because of all the things that Sunshine and I said about the two of them on these shows? I don't think we said anything that bad, but apparently somepony called Razor up on her link and told her about the show Sunshine is doing. I guess there are more of you out there than either of us figured.

Anyway, she got all upset and started yelling at us when we were in the shower. She got physically violent, too, and started pushing and kicking at us. We kind of took it for a while, but then she came after me and Sunshine just went all fierce and alpha mare and stuff, and bucked Razor right in the flanks. It was slippery, and when she went down she grabbed at the shelf, and that flipped the holocorder against the floor... or maybe it was the wall... and then what was left went right into the shower and it didn't work anymore.

Gloria and Razor left and started yelling about how we had attacked them and how we were 'rogue crazy ponies' and 'defective conversions' and whatnot, and then we were all crying and apologizing and stuff, and I know Sunshine just felt terrible about the whole thing, but she was just protecting me, and in any case it wasn't like anypony was actually hurt or anything.

Anyway, the staff pretty much knew who the real problem was and scheduled both Razor and Gloria for conversion the next morning, or else they'd have to leave. Later, Snowdancer came down from upstairs and talked with us. She arranged to contact the News And Propaganda Ministry to get Sunshine a new holocorder, and apologized for the lack of security in the showers and stuff like that. We apologized for everything, and then she apologized and... well, there was a lot of apologies and stuff, but in the end everything turned out really... weird, actually. It all turned out kind of strange.

Hey! It looks like they're... they're dragging a big thick mattress out onto the parking lot. A couple of them, actually. I guess Breezy is really trying to make sure nopony gets hurt or something. I think all of this is just silly. Pegasus foals start flying really early, Blueflower told me that, and all this running around flapping is just... it's been hard for Sunshine. I'm sure that other Bureaus don't teach flying like this. I just can't imagine it. So don't judge all the Bureaus by what you see here, OK?

Alright, it looks like Breezy is going to actually let a pegasus try to fly. That's Boots there. Don't ask me why he chose the name 'Boots'. I think it's a dumb name for a pegasus, but... whatever. Maybe he had a shoe fetish as a human or something. Some newfoals... I just don't get them. I mean, I'm a newfoal too, but I really think you should take the time to learn the culture before you pick out a pony name. Don't you think that makes sense? I sure do. That's why it took me so long to choose.... oh... he's lifting up!

Boots is flapping, but not very hard. He's up... oh, gosh, about... it looks like about two or three hooves to me. Not very far. You have got to be kidding me! Breezy is making him land on the mattress again and... now it's Meadowdawn's turn? That's it? That's the big flight? This Breezy is a terrible instructor! I can't believe this! Three days of running around in circles and... oh, poor Sunshine. She is not taking this well. Oh, she's pawing at the ground. The look on her face is... Now she's standing off to the side. Poor Sunshine. She looks so upset.

Well, Meadowdawn is up... six, seven hooves and rising! Go Meadowdawn! Wait! Oh, come on... Breezy is telling her to land. She isn't having it. No... wait. Yes she is. She's landing. Oh, pooh. This is just stupid dumb! It's.... it's total muffin is what it is! Now it's Sunshine's turn. Oh dear. Oh, she is not a happy pony. Well, she's flapping her wings. Oh, she's really flapping them. Now she's grinning. Oh, that's a naughty look on her muzzle. Oh dear. She's off. Oh, she is up in the air! Look at Sunshine go! WOOO!!! SUNSHINE! YOU GO MARE! WOOO!

Hee hee hee! Breezy is having a fit! He's stomping all over, look at those hooves slam the pavement! Sunshine's circling the lot! She's sticking her tongue out and razzing the instructor! Oh! She's yelling at the others! Yeah! Come on up, the air is fine! WOOO! GO SUNSHINE! Hee! Oh, she's such a naughty pony. She's a rebel and she can't play by his rules, oh no! Meadowdawn is up there now too! And there goes Aquamarine! Oh, I wish Goldenrod was here to see her. They don't say anything, but it's pretty obvious they're a couple.

HAH! Even that silly Boots has decided to join Sunshine in the air! Oh! They're coming over here! HELLO SUNSHINE! YOU LOOK FANTASTIC UP THERE! IS IT FUN TO FLY? OH, I BET IT IS! IT LOOKS SOOOOO FUN! YEAH! DO A BARREL ROLL! YAAAAAYYYYYY! SUN-SHINE! SUN-SHINE! Oh goodness this is better than I expected a moment ago.

Will you look at that? Breezy is just standing there slamming his hoof and yelling at them. You'd think he'd just fly up there and... whoa... what if instructor Breezy can't actually fly? Is that even possible? How could he be certified as a pegasus flight instructor if he can't actually fly? Maybe he hurt his wing or something? No. That doesn't seem likely, his wings look fine. He's certainly flapping them enough in anger.

Maybe... maybe he isn't really certified at all. Maybe they just threw somepony into the job or something? That would be a hoot - but then again, it has seemed like he's been making it all up as he went along. In any case, the other pegasai are having a ball up there. Oh... I wish I could join them. Now I feel a little sad. That just looks like so much fun. Oh, my.

Well, maybe someday Sunshine will give me a ride or something. Is that even possible? Can a pegasus carry another pony? I sure hope so! I would so love to go for a ride. I hope it's possible. It probably is. I mean, they use magic to fly already, so why not, right? It's not like they have to obey the normal rules of Earth reality or anything. They wouldn't be able to fly at all if they had to do that. I'm gonna choose to believe that Sunshine can give me a ride someday, at least until proven otherwise. I really wish I could be up there right now. Sigh. Oh, Sunshine.

Hey, while she's up there... having fun... I'll tell you about my new name. I finally chose a pony name, I decided the same night the holocorder got broken by Razor. That whole thing just made me so mad that I really needed to shed the last bit of anything human. So from now on, it's no longer Millicent, OK? You can call me Rose Vale. I think it's a very clever name.

First, it's a real color. Rose Vale is a kind of coppery red, which is like my coat, or like my mane. Roses are pretty flowers which also exist, more or less, in Equestria. They're also tasty, and you can make jams and treats from them. I like roses. A vale is a small valley, usually a pleasant and shaded place. But vale also has a secret meaning - it also means farewell. It's my farewell to Earth, to all the mean stuff, to my old life, my escape from this vale of tears, right? But it also means my arrival to a land of green and beautiful valleys, vales, see? It took me a long time to come up with all of that.

So, hello everypony! Rose Vale here reporting live from the Conversion Bureau! Hee hee hee! 'Sunshine and Rose, sitting in a tree, I'm up here 'cause she lifted me! Sunshine Laughter is a really great kisser, I wish she'd land 'cause I really do miss'er! Hee hee! Oh, I'm such a silly filly today, aren't I?

Oh, she's coming in to land, along with the others. I've been so busy watching her fly that I didn't see what happened to Instructor Windthistle. I guess Breezy must have just stomped off. Hee! I shouldn't really laugh at him, but he really should have just admitted he was new or couldn't fly or whatever. I hope he isn't sad or anything. Poor little stallion. Oh well.... Look at that smile! Sunshine just looks so happy! Meadowdawn too!

Sunshine's coming over here! Oh, it's soooo smoochies time. SUNSHINE! REALLY WONDERFU...mmmmm mmmm mmmm....

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"Wait... mmmm.... wait, Sunshine. Look."

It's Breezy. The teacher came back. Huh. What... what is he doing? Rose?

"He's standing there, in the middle of the lot. Just standing. Everypony is staring at him. Is he going to yell at you or something?"

Oh... oh my gosh! Did you see that? He just snapped out his wings, just whap! and they are out, sharp as blades. What the swirl is he doing now? He's barely moving those wings and he's lifting straight up! What the muffin? How is that even possible? Wait... wait look! Look, Rose...

"His wings are... vibrating sort of. It's like he's just vibrating them, just the tiniest bit. I've never seen a pegasus do that before, not even in all the holos they show us. Wow.... Sunshine. He looks like he's just standing in the air!"

Oh my gosh! Ohmygosh ohmygosh ohmygosh.... look at Breezy go! I don't believe that! I just don't muffin believe that. He's upside down doing spirals and twists in the air, and his wings are barely even moving!  WHOA! Now Breezy's doing high speed acrobatics! I had no idea that pony could even fly. I never saw him fly once until now. Holy.... Luna...

"He's landing, Sunshine. He's coming down, straight down... oh, no! He's falling! he's gonna hit the...."

Look! He caught himself. Wow! Just wow. He caught himself at the last minute, Rose. That was... incredible. How did a newfoal learn to fly like that? He is a newfoal, right?

"Well... that's what I thought, but now... now I'm not sure anymore."

Come on! I have to ask him where he learned how to fly like that! Breezy! Breezy! Instructor Windthistle! How did you learn to fly like that! That was amazing!

"You scared me when you dropped like that!"   "I was so amazed when you just hovered, with your wings still like that..."   "Can you teach me to fly like that?"   "Yes! I want to learn too!"   "Did you learn that in Equestria?"  " is it even...."

"Can you taste the air with your feathers?"

What?  "What?"  "What does he mean?"  "Huh?"

"Can you taste the air with your feathers?"

Um... no. That would be silly. Wouldn't it?

"I didn't have you running in circles flapping like chickens because I thought it was funny. It was, but that was not the reason."

Um, well...

"If you want to fly well, you need to make the wind your lover. You need to hear the air sing songs to your heart. Above all else, you need to taste the air. With your feathers. You need to make love with the sky. Do you understand?"

I'm... I'm really sorry for... everything, instructor Windthistle. I'm... I'm just sorry, OK?

"A pegasus can fly, Sunshine. That is what they do. But there is more to flying than just flapping your wings and doing the odd barrel roll. Nice roll by the way, especially for a first flight. You've got talent. But it will take more than talent to truly fly.

That goes for the rest of you, too! Alright then. Next lesson, let's see if maybe we can try tasting the air while actually being in it. Next time, we do altitude gliding. Now go shower, you need it."

Thank you! And I'm sorry... I'm... wow. He's a lot cooler than I imagined, isn't he Rose?

"I feel bad for everything I said about him. He's really amazing, isn't he? He had a plan all along. Oh, Sunshine."

I kind of screwed up there, didn't I?

"I think he forgave you. He didn't seem mad. And he did compliment you on your roll. He said you have talent!"

Yeah, he did. But I still feel bad. I just got impatient. I wanted to feel the wind under my wings. I mean... it was just so frustrating. Wings. Flight. You know? And it did feel silly to go running around in circles, flapping. If he'd just shown us all of that first, I....

"Maybe he isn't a newfoal. Maybe he just expected you to trust that he was an expert. I don't know, Sunshine. But I'm sure it will be alright. And it sounded like next class would be all flying. Maybe this needed to happen this way."

Maybe. Aww... thanks, Rose. Listen, I'm gonna go shower like Windthistle says. I am pretty sweaty after that.

"I like that smell. Such a shame... tsk tsk!"

Silly pony! Mmmnnn... mnnn... hey, if you keep that up, I won't have time to get showered up before dinner.

"Maybe that's the idea. Maybe you need to get even sweatier...."

Hee! No. No. Down there. Easy girl. Easy.... hee hee.... oh... now you stop that, we're in public...


Rose! Hee hee hee... hey, can you keep the 'corder. I don't want a repeat of last time.

"I don't think that would be possible. I mean, they're not the same now. Really not the same. It's kind of..."


"Never mind. You trot off and shower. I need to go see my plants anyway. I loved seeing you fly, Sunshine. Mmmnn... now off you go! Be sure and wash under your tail! Yeah! Hee hee!

Sigh... I'll tell you a secret. I've kind of fallen in love with Sunshine. I mean, sure, we're together, but it's not like we've said those words to each other. Not yet anyway. I've only known her for a little while, too. So it isn't like I'm going to say anything for a long time, probably. Maybe it's the way things work for ponies. I don't know. But... just between you and me, since there's no way she's ever going to see this... show.... thingie... before we go to Equestria.... just between us, I can't imagine not being with Sunshine now.

I hope it works out, after we get to Equestria. I mean, I don't know why it wouldn't, but... I just hope it does. I don't know how she feels about me. I mean, I know she likes me. We're all over each other. But... there's passion and there's love, right? And this is all passion and it's all nice and everything but... I really think I feel something more, even if it is all of a sudden. So... wish me luck, out there. Supposedly there's a few of you seeing this holo, so... maybe all that luck will help, alright?

That was pretty wild with the flight teacher, Breezy, wasn't it? Wow. I never would have thought he could do all of that stuff. Oh! Razor and Gloria! I haven't finished catching you up on them, have I?

So, they converted them the next day after the thing in the shower, right? Did them both together. That must have been weird. Or maybe they wanted it that way. I don't know the whole story. So they come out at lunch, and Razor's a unicorn, which I did not expect at all, and Gloria turned out an earthpony like me. She's in my plant class now.

But wow were they different. It was like they were completely new ponies. At first I couldn't even tell which was which. I thought that Gloria was Razor, and I really know Razor. Knew Razor. This new Razor, though, I don't know her at all. And it really made me think. Was I that different when I came back from the Ponification Room? Is that why Razor got so upset and kicked me out? How much have I changed? Am I the same pony now? Or... am I somepony new, like Razor seems to be? I hope she changes her name soon. It's hard to even call her that.

Razor and I were together for some time. I thought I knew her really well. But then, she was all armor and withdrawn and stuff. Was it all an act? Is this pony version of her what her true self was, under all the anger and hurt? I've been afraid to talk to her. It's just so strange. And I feel guilty, because in a way, I'm kind of kicking her out by not talking to her.

She wants to talk to me. She keeps trying. Both of them want to talk to us. It's just been uncomfortable, right? I mean, they attack us in the shower, then they get ponified, and now they are so different, and yet they have the memories of the humans that attacked us and... I guess the whole... all-of-it-ness of ponification is finally hitting me. This isn't like some costume change. This isn't like just being cut up and put together as a pony, this is the real thing. We're really Equestrians now. We're different inside and out, and... I guess the full scope of that didn't hit me until... Razor got ponified.

I'm me. I mean, whatever I am, I am me. But it's really made me wonder if I'm the same creature that walked in here. And I guess I'm not. In some ways, I am definitely a new life. I am this pony who remembers being a human, but I am not human. Not anymore. So... I guess, in a way, it is true. You get ponified and... you kind of die. Millicent Nguyen is gone. She's dead, sort of. Maybe I'm like her child, in a way. No, that's not right either. This is just so unique. I don't know if there is a way to label this and have it make ordinary sense.

I... was... Millicent Nguyen. Just like I once was two years old and pooping my diapers. But that me is gone. It hasn't existed for years, and I can't remember it at all. But I can remember being a human. I can remember it clearly. A lot of it I don't want to remember. I wish I could forget it, actually. Sometimes I have nightmares about my human life. Snowdancer told me that a lot of newfoals have human dreams for a while, but that the nightmares eventually go away. I hope so.

Oh! Here are my plants! I'm doing sunflowers and strawberries. I like strawberries. We were allowed to pick our projects, and I picked these. How old do you think these are? Two days! They are all just two days old! I expect to have my sunflowers blooming by tomorrow evening. And maybe the day after that, the berries will be ready. I really love doing this! I can make dessert, right out of the ground! It's so amazing to be able to do that.

Also, it feels amazing. Let me tell you something about being an earthpony. It is pretty awesome. I can feel the plants growing. When I really try, I can see them growing, in real time! And I can feel the soil under my hooves, and I can tell it's quality, and how healthy it is, and what's in it, and what it needs just like that!

When I eat, I get impressions from all the food. I can tell instantly which things came from Equestria, and which were grown here on earth, and I can tell how they were cared for and how much water they got and all sorts of stuff. It's like their life story with every bite! It's certainly made dinner more interesting. Sometimes it's hard to keep up with the conversation, because I'm getting so much from the food, you know?

Also, I can kind of tell what's around me, through the ground, somehow. I can close my eyes and just feel stuff that way. A little, anyway. It's not like I could walk around with my eyes closed or anything, but... I can tell what things are growing around me. I could probably walk around a forest with my eyes closed. I bet I could do that much.

Maybe that's part of it all. How can I be 'Millicent' anymore, if I can do all of that, feel all of that? Humans can't do those things. Humans can't even imagine what any of that would be like. I live in a whole new world, and I haven't even left Earth yet. Millicent is a blind, deaf, clumsy thing to me as a pony, to Rose Vale. I look back at that me, and it's like she's blind and deaf and numb. That me couldn't put a hoof on the ground and feel the worms down deep making the soil rich and healthy. That me couldn't taste the history of every bite of food. That me was deaf to the songs flowers sing, or to the chanting of grass. There's no way I could stand being Millicent again. It would feel like being put in a box and then buried.

I guess I'm not Millicent Nguyen. I guess that human girl is gone. Just like her two-year-old baby self is gone. She wouldn't have wanted to be two again any more than I would want to be her.

Maybe... maybe it isn't so much like death as it is like being born. I kind of feel like I wasn't really alive until I woke up as a pony. Maybe Millicent was a... a ghost. And now she's alive, as me. I don't know. I guess that all sounds really dumb, doesn't it? But I'm trying. Sunshine said it was important to try to communicate what being a pony is like. That's the whole point of this... holoshow. I'm trying my best. Please don't be too mad if I do a bad job, alright?

Hey, look at this. This is Gloria's project. She's doing all flowers. Chrysanthemums and daisies and roses. I think she did the roses because of the name I chose, but I'm not sure of that. Those two are really trying hard to be nice now. I suppose I should... we should... try to talk to them. It's the pony thing to do, anyway, isn't it? Sigh. It is. I know it is. I've got to talk to Sunshine about it. We need to be nice back. They really are trying. I wonder if she did choose roses because of me? That would be kind of sweet, I guess.

I... oh, that's an idea. It kind of feels like snooping though. Is it snooping? I don't know the rules for such things. Maybe it's alright? Oh, what they hay, I have to give it a try. I'll just do one hoof, and maybe a big sniff....

Oh. My. Gosh. I can tell. I can actually tell. So much regret. So much sadness. Oh, poor Gloria. Both of them. Poor Razor, she must feel the same way, they've been inseparable since their conversion. Oh, sweet Luna... I had no idea that you could tell such things from other ponies flowers. I can feel it on them. What the pony feels must change how they make the plants grow. Gloria must have grown the roses for me. Because of me. To be nice. To say she was sorry.

That does it. Sunshine and I are talking with Razor and Gloria tonight at dinner. We'll have dinner together and talk it all out. Oh, I hope it isn't wrong to snoop on other ponies' flowers. But... I'm glad I did it. Now I know. They're not being creepy, they're just really ashamed and sorry. They're trying to be friends. Wow. So much trouble in the human world would just be gone if humans could do what we ponies can do. There'd be a lot less dumb drama, anyway.

I've got to tell Sunshine about this. I'll help her dry off again, and tell her then. The 'corder! I don't want to get it wet. I can drop it off in our room first, get it again on the way to dinner. Alright, ponies, brief shut off, while I take care of stuff. But I'll be back for dinner, so... look for that or... however this is being distributed or whatever.

So, like, Rose Vale at the Conversion Bureau, signing off and stuff, at least for now. Back soon."

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