T H E       C O N V E R S I O N       B U R E A U



By Chatoyance


Chapter Seven: Learning The Hoofstep

Gwenhwyfar, Paige and Petrichor had spent the rest of the day trying to think of a good pony name. Too many Newfoals really didn't seem to take picking out a pony name seriously enough, or else they were unclear on the concept.

"I once met this earthpony, right?" Paige lifted a forkful of spinach ravioli and marinara to her mouth, and chewed. The three were celebrating the unique Newfoal celebration of 'First Meal As A Pony' with a special dish. Paige had wanted her houseguest to have a happy memory of her very first meal, and so she had brought out a very special item from their larder as lunch to mark the day.

The spinach ravioli had come from a local co-op market. Earthponies had been greening the dead earth for almost three years now, and most cities had gardens covering their roofs and balconies. As a human city became more and more a pony city, the streets and parking lots would be broken up by powerful hooves and magic, to make even more viable farmland. The special magic of the earthponies brought the dying Earth back to local life, and healed some small portion of the fatal injuries that had been done to the planet. Many crops had been imported from Equestria to grow on earth during these last years, including some plants very much like the extinct terrestrial wheat and rice. as a result, there was a pony that would bring in his home-made ravioli to the co-op, and it was a very popular local creation, when it was available. Paige and Petrichor considered it quite the treat, and a perfect choice for First Meal As A Pony.

"So this earthpony, he used to be a mechanic for high-lift cargo aerostats as a human, so he up and decided his pony name should be 'Cloudfixer', right? Because he repaired airships. Now first off, anything with 'cloud' in it, that just shrieks 'pegasus'. All the air and weather names just naturally go to pegasai, because... that's where they live! Am I right?" Paige looked at Petrichor, who enthusiastically nodded in agreement, mouth full of ravioli.

"Speaking of pegasai, what about that one from the Bureau?" Petrichor took a sip of juice and swallowed. "The one who named himself 'Shadowmagic Wizardlore?'  Luna's left teat - what did he think all of this was, some online RPG game? Celestia! What a featherbrain!"

"Mmmm Mmm mmm..." Gwen was enjoying the pasta more than anything she had ever enjoyed, and though she wanted to join in, it was difficult, since it would mean interrupting the flavor train. "Mnnn... I... had a member of my library staff convert during the first year..." Gwen licked sauce off of her tomato-stained muzzle "... and he ended up a unicorn..." Gwen swallowed and allowed herself a breath. "... like me, I guess!" She giggled, still euphoric, and still getting used to the fact of her new existence. "... and, and... he figured he would be a great and powerful magical type, so he named himself... get this... " Gwen could not resist, the savor was too much, and gave her bowl a lick. The sauce caused her eyes to roll back momentarily while Paige and Petrichor waited patiently. "Um... sorry... ah! So he wasn't the most imaginative soul, and so he named himself 'Zap Kerpow'! Seriously, Zap... Kerpow! We all tried to keep a straight face, but... it was just such a goofy name for the poor silly foal!"

"Oh, pony! That's a terrible name!" Petrichor was laughing and then took another sip of juice. "Wanna hear the absolute worst pony name I ever heard?"

"Oh lord." Paige rolled her eyes in mock annoyance. "Here it comes."

Petrichor grinned as Gwen nodded, eager to hear the worst pony name ever. "Earthpony. Little guy. Bright pink with a curly, fluffy mane and pink eyes. Struts up to me and introduces himself, right?"

"Un...hmm?" Gwen's mouth was once more brakeless on the flavor train.

"Big deep voice, 'Hi dudes! I'm Muscle Beach! Glad to meet ya!'

Gwen snorted pasta and started to choke, Paige laughed as she looked worriedly after Gwen, and Petrichor was reduced to sobs of merriment. "Muscle... Beach... oh, sweet Luna..."

When things had settled down, Gwen finally squeaked out, between sips of water "See... that's what I'm afraid of!" More water. "I don't want to end up with some ridiculous name... like that!"

"Won't let it happen, dear." Paige nibbled on a piece of bread. "How about 'libretto', that's rather pretty, and very learned sounding!"

"No, no... come on, Paige!" Petrichor sounded annoyed "That's nothing to do with libraries or books. That's a musical thing. It's the text part of an opera, I think."

"Really? I thought... oh. Well it is pretty!" Paige took another bite of bread.

"I agree, it is pretty... sorry Paige." Petrichor looked down for a moment then perked up "What about imprimé? That's any printed thing, in French! Very classy, Oui?"

"Too fancy for me, I think." Gwen sipped her own drink, a peach iced tea. "I don't have to have a book based name. I don't even know if I still want to even be a librarian anymore. I feel kind of eager to do stuff, not just read about it now."

"What do you want to do?" Paige, full to bursting, slid down in her chair, resting her head on the back.

"I have no bloody idea in all of two worlds!" Gwen was laughing at this, and the others joined in. "I just... I feel restless. There just seems to be so much new... possibility, you know?"

"Oh, I know. Believe me, I know." Petrichor almost seemed like she was going to cry for a moment.

"Pet here... she was in a wheelchair for a few years before conversion came along. She used to be quite the athlete." Paige wore a very serious expression. "She used to be quite the skateboarder. She landed wrong and, well, that was that. It was a rough two years."

"Paige stuck by me through it all. Even when it was clear there was no..." Petrichor leaned over and nuzzled her beloved Paige. "But hope did come. In the form of Equestria! Paige rolled me into that Bureau and gave up her slot to get me in faster. They were being stingy back then with the pony juice. That was before all the exceptions and rules today. I got converted the same week. Paige is my Celestia and Luna!"

Gwen was startled. "So it wasn't that you were kinky after all... you just... oh, Paige... Petrichor... that's just..."

"Oh, we're kinky, don't doubt that one bit!" Paige kissed the brown pegasus and winked at Gwen. "But we also just really love each other."

"Why... why did you have to give up your slot, Paige, I don't understand?" Gwen worked to lick any sauce off of her own muzzle.

"This was the very first year of the Bureaus, right? It was fine and all if you lived close to San Francisco or Vancouver. But anywhere else, and it was luck of the draw. They had conversion lotteries. I won, she didn't. There was no question who needed the ticket more." Paige buried her face into Pet's soft, brown coat - Petrichor had slid off her stool and then wrapped her forelegs around her lover in the chair.

Gwen sighed and felt a tinge of wistfulness - she found herself wishing she had somepony to hold tight like that. "You two are just... adorable. You really are."

"Ah... You'll find somepony in no time. Especially with you looking so striking! Pure black and white awesomesauce! You look like that old cartoon..." Petrichor squeezed her eyes shut, trying to recall something. "Paige... that old cartoon I used to like, the really really old black and white one from the little collapse before the big collapse? The depression? or Repression? or whatever? From back then..."

Paige lifted her head from fluffy heaven and looked at the ceiling "It had that clown... Koko the Clown. And Betty Boop. They jumped out of a magic inkwell and that's how the cartoon started. But I don't remember the name."

"Max Fleischer?" Gwen's ears perked up, which made her half-giggle because it just plain felt neat. "I know that one! It was in the pre-collapse media section. The cartoons were actually called 'Out of the Inkwell'. It was a mixture of live action and cartoon, way back then. 'Out of the Inkwell'... hmmm... haven't thought of that in a long time."

Petrichor pulled away from Paige and stood up, excited. "Black and white! It's perfect! I have the perfect pony name for you! And it doesn't nail you down to any career or future. It's just super cool, and that's all!"

Paige reached out a hand to stroke Pet. "Oh, she's twitchin'. It's gonna be a good one, I bet."

Gwen felt like bouncing on her pillow. She'd preferred it to the stool, she'd been given the choice of either. "The perfect name you say? Alright then, what do you have for me?"

"Oh, this is soooo good! Ready? Are you ready?" Petrichor's tail was whisking to and fro with excitement. "Alright, you are all strikingly black and white, like those old cartoons. You're really pretty, by the way. Exotic. So, the name I have is... INKWELL!"

"Inkwell?" Gwen rolled the name around in her mind as she said it in her muzzle.

"Inkwell! Like the cartoon, but also because of books! See, it relates to your past, to the career you had, but it doesn't influence what you might do in the future! Plus, it kind of says you look cool - you are 'inked well', like a really great drawing!  Plus it just sounds neat!" There was no doubt that Petrichor thought so, at any rate.

"Inkwell. Hmmm..." It was a clever name, Gwen thought. And from what she had seen of herself in the mirror, appropriate. She did kind of look like a drawing, being all Ivory and Black. Essentially black and white, especially with her black eyes.

Paige nodded approvingly. "It doesn't even need a second name. It's pretty much fine as a single name."

"Yeah!" Petrichor nodded "A second name would ruin the effect. I mean... Inkwell... um... ah! Quillfeather! Inkwell Quillfeather! Hee! But that is just too much, you know?" Petrichor halted and thought a bit more. "Actually, that's kind of cool. I take it back. But it does sound super studious. 'Inkwell' just by itself, a pony could be anything, an adventurer, maybe. But add the 'Quillfeather' and it's kind of back to being a librarian no matter what. She said she didn't want any conditions or limits..."

"I don't know." Gwen broke in "I kind of like it! The whole thing, I mean. It is a kind of grand sort of name, isn't it? 'Inkwell Quillfeather' does have the sound of quite the expert about it, don't you think? And there's no denying that it sounds like it could have come from Equestria itself, I have to admit." Gwen paused and thought. "I'll take 'Inkwell' for now, and if I decide to remain the bookish sort, or if I get into the writing and all, I'll finish off with 'Quillfeather' later!"

She smiled at Petrichor and Paige. "So how's that then? How do you do? You can be callin' me 'Inkwell' from now on, if you please!" The black and white unicorn puffed out her chest and raised her head up high, in an attempt to appear snooty and high-class.

This made Petrichor laugh and Paige smile. "Well, welcome to our humble abode, miss Inkwell the unicorn! I hope the food has been to your liking?"

"Oh, sweet Celestia... YES!" All pretension was instantly lost as Inkwell remembered just how delicious and overwhelming her First Meal As A Pony Had Been. "It was fantastic. Thank you, both of you. You've been nothing but kind to me. Thank you so much for going so out of your way for silly old me!"

"Ah, tush and nonsense. It's the rule in our household - any guest gets shot, then we have to feed 'em proper! Isn't that right, love?" Paige was up and taking the dishes to the sink.

"Oh... oh yes. Long standing rule too! Had it since the beginning! You catch a bullet, you get a meal. That's the deal." Petrichor blinked "Hey... that rhymes! Cool!"

And everypony laughed, even the one that still had hands and feet.

After dinner - big bowls of fresh, mixed and toasted chopped hay, oats, alfalfa and banana slices (Petrichor's favorite, her 'Uncereal Unbreakfast Dinner Supreme!), and a Swansonbanquet Replidinner for Paige (Hawaiian-Greek Festival Flavor - with simulated lamb and pineapple-like bits!), Inkwell the Unicorn was at last left alone in the guestroom. Paige and Petrichor had many friends, most of them gone pony now, and they often liked to crash in the couple's apartment. They had made one part of their apartment into a permanent guest suite as a result, but for the moment, it had become Inkwell's room.

Inkwell was trying to get used to her new name as much as she was trying to get used to her new body. There were many things about her new state of being that were deeply strange, and now, alone in a room, just how different she and everything else had become, began to fully settle in.

There had been no proper Conversion Bureau styled fourteen days to get used to the idea of suddenly being a different species. Nopony had told her anything about what it would feel like, or mean to her, to be so suddenly, completely and irrevocably changed. The conversion euphoria was fading, and it was fully dawning on Inkwell that she would be a unicorn mare for the rest of her greatly extended lifespan. She was no longer human - no longer even recognized as a citizen of the Earth or the Worldgovernment. She was now officially a citizen of Equestria, with automatic ambassadorial status. This was not her world anymore. Humanity was not her species anymore. And all of this was permanent. It was forever.

Inkwell didn't feel bad about any of it, it wasn't like it was a problem in and of itself. Conversion had certainly saved her life - the hospital wasn't going to bother with her, that was for sure. And the world was ending - she would have had to convert at some point no matter what. It was just that... now, she was alone. In a strange room. And her old life was just... gone.

If this had been a Bureau, she would have had at least one, and up to three roommates sleeping beside her. The Bureaus made sure that Newfoals were never left alone, that they always had company. Conversion was an enormous thing, and the new pony brain was that of a herd creature - it wanted to be near others, it desired closeness at all times. Human Gwen had never minded being alone. Back when she was human, being alone was great, it was a chance to read, to get away from all the annoying... humans. But now, as a pony, Inkwell felt the most terible loneliness inside her room. She understood, of course - Paige and Petrichor were a couple, they slept together, they lived one life, they were mated. They needed alone time for couple-y things. She was a guest, and they had already doted on her greatly.

But still, tonight, her very first night of being a pony... more than anything in all the world, Inkwell - formerly Gwen - wished with all of her heart that her two hosts would come in and lay down with her, or call her to come snuggle with them, just to feel part of a herd. Inkwell hadn't felt such a need so keenly since her early childhood, when, after a troubling dream, she would crawl unbidden under the blankets, between her parents as they slept. How very much she wanted to sneak into the other bedroom and do just that to Paige and Petrichor, right now!

Inkwell - would she ever get used to that new name? - tried various positions on her mat-bed. Laying on her back wasn't very comfortable, because the Equestrian body was tall in the back and thin through the side, the opposite of a human torso. Laying on her side worked very well, but even comfortable, with the comforter pulled up with her teeth and a little help from her hooves (she still hadn't gotten her horn to work), she just couldn't sleep. Too alone, too much excitement... too much Uncereal Unbreakfast Dinner Supreme. Maybe she was right to 'eat like a horse' but... that was a lot of food. It just tasted too great - Petrichor had been right about hay (who knew?) but... she should never have asked for seconds. Urp!

By the side of her bed, on the nightstand, lay her shoes and socks, her cleaned and folded jumpsuit, ID and Credstick, underclothes, and the notebook. The clothing was useless now, but it belonged to her, so her hosts had given it back all neat and clean. She didn't know if she could still use the ID, and even if she could, it would almost certainly be a very bad idea. The Human Liberation Front was after her, and the last thing she needed was to have her identity as Gwenhwyfar Boik be in any way associated with her new life as Inkwell. Or Inkwell Quillfeather. She hadn't entirely decided on whether a two-part name was better or not. A lot of ponies only had one name. Ponies as a rule did not have last names like humans did. Some belonged to clans, but that was a different matter.

The notebook. Reading always helped! Reading had been her life, as Gwen. It was better than tossing and turning and feeling bloated and alone. Inkwell rolled onto her belly, and raised her upper body with her forelegs. Then she lifted her hindquarters and stood on the mat. The comforter slid off of her body. She stepped off the mat onto the floor, hearing the clop of her hooves as she did so. "Lights!"

The lights instantly came on. Inkwell made an effort to activate her horn, but nothing happened, so she took the notebook in her teeth and carried it to the foot of the bed. She lay down, facing away from the pillows, and stared at the notebook. 'Nothing for it, I'm a pony now - if not much of a unicorn yet ' she thought, and lowered her head to open the notebook. Her new pony senses were filled with scents from the notebook, as well as from the room and every object within it. She had read once that equines, like earthly dogs, had a sense of smell at least 20,000 times greater than that of human beings. Inkwell was willing to believe it.

Right now, she could smell a human woman from the notebook, and she could sense a kind of layering effect as the woman's scent changed month by month receding into the past. She could smell her own former body's scent, when it had been human, on the notebook as well, and also from the freshly washed jumpsuit. She could smell the fact that Paige had carried her jumpsuit, and that Petrichor had helped. Inkwell could tell that some time in the past - actually many times in the past - various humans, ponies, and humans and ponies had enjoyed sex on the mattress under her, receding into the years. She smelled the exact spot in the room where a long time ago, some previous resident had kept mutie rats as pets in a cage, and their bedding had spilled out onto the floor. Inkwell stared at the spot, seeing nothing, but certain of the location, and what it represented. It smelled like pet rats, with a tinge of urine-rusted metal for the cage.

The oddest thing about such massive information flooding her brain was that none of it smelled bad, as such. Not even the smell of the rat's urine from long, long ago. Inkwell, as Gwen, had wondered how animals like dogs could smell disgusting things and not be bothered in the least despite having such incredible senses. Inkwell's sense of smell and taste were radically different now, that was clear - hay tasted rich and savory like the finest replisteak, and oats were beyond mouthwatering. The banana had made her cry at the table from emotion. The garbage recycler had not smelled disgusting at all. She didn't want to lick the thing, but neither had she been repulsed. Considering how powerful her senses were, Inkwell decided she was grateful for how her new brain processed and interpreted things.

It would have been maddening to have a sense of smell thousands of times more powerful than before, only to find that the smell of the bathroom to the left was utterly intolerable. 'Dearest Celestia!' Inkwell thought, 'I can smell my own lunch and dinner through my own flesh!' The notion was staggering, but very real.

Using her teeth and lips, Inkwell opened the notebook and began turning the pages. One page got stuck on her lip slightly, and felt funny when it slid off. She had seen other ponies turn pages just this way as though it were the most natural thing in the world - Newfoals, at that - but right now, Inkwell just felt clumsy. It would take practice to see her neck as an arm, and her mouth as a hand. She wondered 'why didn't they just gift Newfoals with all the knowledge of how to be a pony?' She thought a bit about it, and then decided it was probably because it would have taken too long to program into the nanobots, or because it would have changed the person themselves too much. Maybe the price of remaining yourself through Conversion was to be forced to learn, step by step, how to be a pony in the world.

Where was she in the notebook? Ah, past January, that was certain. February, then.


Project Bucephalus - Nanosafety Level 4 facility

February 15th

It finally works. Somewhat. The secret was to properly process the fairy blood and then let the unicorn teams do their thing to it. That's what we all call the purple fluid now. Fairy blood. It does look like purple blood in the initial state, it even smells like it. But, after processing, and the centrifuge, we get a nice, clear, violet liquid. The stuff could burn your hand off leaving charred bone if you were stupid enough to lift a vial of it. It is probably ten times more powerful after being filtered and centrifuged.

Daniels, our biochemist, came up with a way to measure thaumatic radiation levels. The stuff is invisible to technology, beyond the fact it destroys it. Her solution was elegant. Cultured strips of human skin, grown in a bioreactor. They get strung on little neoplastic frames, everything exact and calibrated. All you do is put a strip in harms way, and use a chronometer to measure how fast the little rectangle of skin dies. Time versus degree of necrosis. It is remarkably consistent. So I can more precisely say that properly processed fairy blood is 10.37 times more potent than prior to processing.

Daniels can't make sense of the waste left over in the centrifuge. It's probably biological, she says. Probably. Under a microscope it looks like little dark purple - almost black - disks piled on top of each other, all waving like they were in a breeze. They never stop waving. It is creepy as hell. We dump the stuff into sealed containers where it is shipped back to Equestria. They measure the stuff precisely, they don't want us keeping any of whatever it is. Every speck of the material is accounted for. It is apparently more precious than... well anything. Nothing is more precious. Maybe it really is the blood of fairies, and they desanguinate the poor little creatures or something. We know nothing, and it is maddening.

The processed fairy blood, we call it 'wizard wine', that gets sent to the unicorn mages on level three. We have a bunch of really old, scary unicorns down there, dressed up in robes and jewels and fancy hoofwear, and they come and go as they please thanks to a bunch of weird stones they stuck in the floor. I've been told they teleport. They fold space and time and pop back and forth from Equestria at will. Or near Equestria, then walk across, something like that.

Their job is to weave P-TEC (Programmed Thaumic Energy Constructs), or basically magic spells, into the wizard wine. They seem highly upset to work with the stuff, as if it were some big sacrilege or something. But they do what we ask them, they are under orders from the twin princesses. I don't think they like us, to tell the truth. But then, I am not sure these Equestrians like anyone. They are the first of their kind like that I have met. They are a breed apart.

I'm getting used to the ponies now. We have several acting as liaisons and probably spies in Lab 12. They have overly cute names and goddamn are they colorful. But they are also very pleasant, cheerful, and kind. They are friendly to a fault, and just so darn nice that I can't see them as weird aliens anymore. To tell the truth, I like them better than I do my colleagues most of the time. This is no aspersion on the character of my teammates, it's just that anyone would compare poorly to a creature that is always pleasant, always cheery, and always eager to help - not to mention just plain fun to be around.

If this is what we will become, should the project actually succeed, I don't think I will have any problem with it. I only wish project Bucephalus would give humans such sunny dispositions. I don't like myself compared to them.

There are four Equestrian natives that associate with us in Lab 12. Two are still learning English, so I haven't had much to say to them, and I can't pronounce their names to save my life. The other two use translated names, and are very fluent in English, and one is fluent in English and Korean too. The first is a light blue ground-type Equestrian who goes by the name of 'Buttercream'. At least that is supposed to be the nearest English representation possible. The other, trilingual pony we call 'Raindrops', mostly because of the symbol on her buttocks. She is a pale yellow pegasus pony - that is the only thing to call them, they have wings. Ponies seem to have these odd tattoo-like marks on their behinds which hold some great importance to them. The designs seem to be made out of the hair that forms their coat itself. It looks as if the hair just grows in as an image. Raindrops has the image of three droplets. Buttercream has a picture of a pastry that looks a great deal like a cupcake. Maybe ponies act as living billboards to advertise Equestrian products?

Raindrops sometimes stops to chat with me. She lives in a small town in Equestria, not far from the capital. She works on the weather team. Apparently the weather is controlled in Equestria, it has to be manufactured. It doesn't happen naturally, or perhaps it would be more correct to say that the ponies themselves are the mechanism of nature in their reality. They make nature happen, rather than how things are in our universe, where nature makes us happen.

Raindrops is very curious, and wants to know about our world and about humans. All of us in the project were given a big lecture on what we are allowed to say to the Equestrian helpers. We cannot talk about human history, current events, or the state of the world in any detail. We are required to keep to our personal lives, if we choose to share them, and to trivial details such as our favorite foods, colors and hobbies. We can explain the details of everyday life. We were told to treat the Equestrians working with us as being emotionally like very young children, despite having an intelligence and capacities that humble us all. It is a very strange thing to deal with them. We can discuss the deepest issues of the project, and they grasp the subject matter like trained scientists. But one word about, say, the Collapse, and we are facing potential termination, and by that I really mean termination.

It's sometimes like working beside cute and colorful landmines. It isn't their fault. Apparently their world has never had real war, or poverty, or hunger, or sickness or total financial collapse. The horrors of human history are utterly alien to them, and it is felt that such knowledge of our world would deeply scar them, and compromise our work. So, we talk careful pleasantries with these strikingly beautiful and caring aliens, all the while dealing with the fact they clearly feel hurt that we won't open up fully to them. That is sometimes the most difficult part of my life here.

So, long story short, we got the stock nanomachines to run, powered by the wizard wine. It took several iterations, and the taciturn unicorns on level three grumbled at us a lot, but in the end the little buggers managed to build a human kidney for us. That was the programming we had available to give them from a medical project abandoned a decade ago. The kidney project was abandoned because the result was a partially cooked organ that was laced with the remains of dead nanobots. That wasn't the case here. All the nanobots came out, to the last unit, and the kidney was entirely healthy and functional. At least at first.

The concept was proved, but within minutes, little blotches began to spread. Necrosis. The thaumatic energy powering the nanobots had somehow contaminated the tissue. Within half an hour, the perfect kidney was a sloppy mess of black pudding. Supposedly, if we can make the little machines create an Equestrian organ, this problem won't happen. We are waiting on another group, in another part of the world, to finish sequencing whatever the aliens use for the equivalent of DNA. Hopefully, it will be something we can make use of.

That's one thing I have discovered. It isn't just us, we proud 400. There are other groups and teams all over the planet. We're just one small aspect of what must be the single greatest global project ever undertaken. The scope, the scale of it boggles my mind. The entire human species is working together on one, single thing. Historic isn't enough of a word for that.

It is almost ironic - the first time in all of history that the human race has worked as one, and the purpose of the project is to stop being the human race. I guess that is ironic. I'm not sure. I've never really gotten 'irony', honestly.


Inkwell closed the notebook and sighed. Reading hadn't helped as much as she had hoped. She yawned. It was going to be a long night, and a lonely one.

"Can't sleep?" It was Paige, at the crack in the door. Inkwell had left her door open a few inches, loath to close it entirely. Paige must have seen the light on.

"Um..." Inkwell stared at her new hooves. She didn't want to admit how she felt, how terribly lonely she was. But the feeling was overwhelming. She just couldn't stop her ears from folding back against her skull.

"Pet said you'd be in a pickle. The pony herd thing. Listen... you can come jump in with us. Won't be the first time we've had a houseguest in our bed." Paige blushed "Um... what I mean is... well... you see..." She coughed, lightly. "Bottom line, you are probably really, really lonely right now right?"

Inkwell nodded, her ears still drooping. She felt exposed, truly naked for the first time since her conversion.

"Come on, it's warm in the other bed, and there's plenty of room. And it's OK too, nothing weird or anything going on. It's just ponies are a herd species, and they are used to not being alone. Nopony... dammit... I mean nobody wants you to suffer. So please, join us!"

Petrichor poked her muzzle through the gap "Don't be a silly filly! Come on - pony is as pony does! And ponies are natural cuddlers. This way! Come on! That's it!"

Inkwell found herself led into the couple's bedroom, and tried not to look at the odd things on the shelves and walls. She found herself gratefully jumping into the bed, a very soft one for the sake of Paige's human body, and instantly a massive rush of tingly scents flooded her brain. All the scents were happy ones, though, and they made her feel comfortable and safe. It was amazing how powerful smell could be, and what emotions it could generate.

Paige and Petrichor got in, on both sides of Inkwell, and with them there, she could not keep herself awake, and feeling no longer alone at all, fell instantly, and joyfully asleep.