Featured In16

More Stories23

  • T Friendship Is Optimal: Caelum Est Conterrens

    Set in the Optimalverse, a middle-aged woman confronts what emigration to Equestria - uploading to a virtual existence - really means. But can she truly understand - and more importantly, should she trust the artificial intelligence Celestia?
    56,871 words · 14,741 views  ·  499  ·  123
  • T The Taste Of Grass

    Within The Conversion Bureau Universe, Newfoal immigrants face settling new lands within Equestria. Unfortunately, not one of them knows how their new universe actually works.
    114,602 words · 5,601 views  ·  354  ·  103
  • T 27 Ounces

    27 Ounces is the story of eight and one half ponies, set within the Conversion Bureau universe.
    78,013 words · 6,647 views  ·  369  ·  120 · gore
  • T The Conversion Bureau: Code Majeste

    Earth pony, pegasus pony, unicorn; a newfoal will become one. But there is provision for one other.
    56,897 words · 8,762 views  ·  362  ·  129
  • T I.D. - That Indestructible Something

    Gregoria Samson awakens transformed into an Equestrian pony - yet no other human being can percieve her new body in any way. What is the incredible, monumental truth behind her impossible change?
    97,700 words · 3,690 views  ·  350  ·  128
  • T The Conversion Bureau: Teacup, Down On The Farm

    Years after the last human is gone, a Newfoal must face that the past never truly vanshes.
    40,225 words · 4,452 views  ·  229  ·  96
  • E The Ice Cream Pony Summer

    This series of stories explores the many feelings of summer for the denizens of Equestria.
    8,144 words · 1,248 views  ·  121  ·  46
  • T The Conversion Bureau: Euphrosyne Unchained

    A young woman prepares for Conversion, but there is more she wants to change than flesh.
    16,364 words · 6,075 views  ·  197  ·  82

Blog Posts71

  • 9w, 3d
    In Hell, There Are No Desks

    I'm typing this from my lap, on a new keyboard I am unused to. Had to get a new one, we couldn't connect my old keyboard - they don't make those ancient connectors anymore, and the cable needed is still in a box. Everything I own is in a box, and will be for the next three to four months at least.

    Hah! How the mighty have fallen, eh? Once I lived in a palatial home, now I have no room of my own. My world, for now, is the far corner of what - in a normal person's house - would likely be the 'living room'. The house is filled with hundreds of boxes, and no way to unpack them. Why? It's a little bit Sokoban, and a little bit 'guess what's in the box' and a little bit 'we are so fucked'.

    Intel got caught with their fingers in the European cookie jar, as you may recall, and they had to pay billions in fines. Worse, they got very complacent and ignored the rise of mobile computing entirely, so the pacific rim ate their lunch with cheap, easily modified, dedicated chips for consumer goods. Desperate to look good to stockholders, they did the usual American Capitalist Trick: fire most of the workers who actually do the work in a way that denies them any benefits or severance of any kind. Suddenly, without employees, they look great on paper!

    The way they did this is to announce that if one wanted to work for Intel any longer, one must move to the region around Portland, Oregon. Naturally, this meant that more that 75% of their employees in the divisions targeted would be screwed, and 'choose' to leave their jobs of their 'own volition', thus making their quitting their 'free choice' and thus ineligible for any benefits of any kind - the slackers! The losers! Stupid peasants with homes and communities and family obligations and relatives and lack of resources to move at the drop of a hat!

    It was evil, but damn clever. Force people to have to quit because moving is not possible for most people. Brilliant. Dirty as hell, of course, but cunning.

    That still left tens of thousands of people flooding into a fairly small region, Hillsboro. It was sheer luck we found an overpriced house at all - there is a huge bubble going on as folks gouge the hell out of the influx of Intel folks. House-flip-a-go-go! Gold rush!

    Bottom line? It is impossible to get a contractor to fix a house or turn a garage into a room. And that is a problem, you see, since the entire plan was to convert the garage into my room. For me to live in. That isn't happening. It's so massive an issue, that the guy that set up our internet? He is part of a small army of folks brought in from Colorado just to hook up internet here in Hillsboro. They're letting him go back to Colorado for a week to see his family, then it's another month of hooking up folks like us... the Intel Invasion. They don't have enough native cable guys here to do the job. Consider that.

    My family is hoping that maybe by October or November, it might be rainy and miserable enough that the contractors here might be unable to work outside - or unwilling to work outside - and it might be possible to get some to do interior work at last, and thus finally build me a room to live in. It's a hope, anyway.

    Until then, I am the empress of cardboard boxes that I can't get into... because there is no place to unpack them. I have six pieces of clothing, my shoes, my computer and monitor, my 360 and PS4, a chair, my toothbrush and the medicines I have to take, one garbage can, and my purse with my ipad in it. This is my world. This is my life. I am slowly going through some of the mis-labled boxes, checking them, resealing them, and writing their contents down (the packing crew did a random job, just insane) to find, well, things. More clothes to wear. Even one game for my PS4 to play. But, it's rough going - the house is chock-a-block with boxes. We were entirely depending on having my room done, so that my stuff could get unpacked, so there would be room to unpack other things. That isn't happening. We also expected that the boxes would be correctly labeled too. Nope.

    If I had thought, even for a moment, that everything would be lies and bullshit, and that it would all turn out to be a clusterfuck... I would have done some things differently.

    So, here is my big lesson to you, in case you have to move:

    Expect that nobody is telling the truth about anything, that everything will be fucked no matter what, and that nothing and no man can be trusted. Prepare accordingly: take enough stuff you need to live normally in the car with you, and don't let said stuff get packed up on the moving truck. Even if you have to make six or ten five hour trips back and forth to do it, do it. Keep what you need close to you. Because it will all go horribly wrong. When it does, you will have all of your necessities with you in your fortress of cardboard boxes, and you will be alright until things eventually become rational again.

    I didn't do the above, so now, for the next many months, I must peer at a monitor stacked on six shelf boards balanced on two incomplete drawer shells and type from my lap.

    Because, in hell, there are no desks.

    Anyway, we are in a new house, there is a lot wrong with it, but it will get fixed in time, and maybe in enough months, I will have a room again. And a surface to type on. (In the mean time, I am experimenting with using boards across my chair arms, tilted boards balanced on the edge of my monitor base, and pillows with boards on them as ways to get that 'desk feeling' back. Something will work, eventually. Surely.)

    When I get used to my new keyboard (this one is USB! Huzzah! I am finally in the new decade!) I will continue with my writing.

    So, for the too-long, didn't read crowd: I am down and (relatively) safe, the move is sort of over, and I am the empress of cardboard boxes, all hail me in my palace of cardboard!

    Lastly, thank you to everyone who has been so supportive and kind to me during this fairly awful situation. You are wonderful, and I am grateful for you.

    All hail Cardboardia!

    May your boxes never crush

    A land not unlike Minecraft

    Someday the toilets will flush

    All hail the Empress

    ensconced in cardboard wall

    one day the mythical contractors

    will build her unicorn stall

    All hail Cardboardia!

    who knows what's tucked inside?

    Intel and life and human greed

    will ever take us for a ride!

    When you gaze upon a cardboard box, remember: the empress gazes back at you. (No, she doesn't. She's too busy feeling sorry for herself. The stroppy bint.)

    Yay.

    - Petal Chatoyance

    39 comments · 442 views
  • 12w, 2d
    This week and the next is moving.

    And I am in hell.

    Please, Celestia, CelestA.I. - I want to emigrate to Equestria.

    30 comments · 411 views
  • 14w, 18h
    It looks like we have a house.

    A little update on my life, it looks like we have a house to move to.

    Over the past... however long... we have been negotiating for a home in the Portland area. Hillsborough. We are just about to sign - this weekend, actually - and then we will own a home about six minuted from the Intel campus.

    It will need a little work - in order to provide me with a roughly equivalent 'Uniplex' room - the common place where my family gets together to watch or play, and the place I do everything in - the garage will be turned into a finished room with a proper floor and insulation and nice walls and skylights and suchlike. A replacement Japanese soaking tub will take a little longer, but it is in the plans.

    The house we are getting has some upsides and some downsides. It has enough rooms for a polyamoric family of four, which is good - one thing we have learned about being in a group marriage is that having enough private space is really a vital thing. People need some alone time. So a house for us has to have places where family members can just isolate if they need to. Say to work on something without interruption, or even just to chill out.

    The house is quirky, which is good. It appears to have been several houses, in a way. A house that was built on, then built onto again. The stairs are crazy in it, short stairs mostly, but strange in placement because of the haphazard way the place sort of grew over time. It has a moderate yard in the back, decent for gardening in, and a very nice front yard with a mature cherry tree. Mmm. Cherries.

    On the negative side, it is not very isolated - it is in the middle of Spielbergian Suburbia. It is next to the distant outer yard of a gradeschool, hopefully that will not be too awful. We are not 'kids' people, and we don't like noise and screaming and people breeding all over the place. Also, there is an airport nearby, somewhere. We have no way to know if we are on a flightpath that will be hell to suffer under. I guess... we'll find out.

    I tried packing some of my little, fragile things, and I broke down in tears. It was also hard on my stamina. Ever since my heart attack about a decade ago, my stamina has not been great. I'm going to need help packing, a lot of it, and I'm not sure how that is going to work out yet.

    But... the plan is that in three weeks or so, I will be living in a new house. When the shit hits the fan, it happens fast.

    That is the update, for those that care.

    I will keep working on my novel with dedication, but because of circumstances, I cannot promise, nor hope to always manage a chapter a day. I am sorry. I hate this unfortunate fact. I was really hoping to perform like I used to. But... life. The real world always gets in the way of ponies, and that is why real life is always inferior! :derpytongue2:

    Oh, how I wish that the Bureau Mythos, my own Pony Singularity, or the Optimalverse was real.

    But then, I doubt I am alone in that.

    - Petal Chatoyance, July 25th, 2014

    28 comments · 295 views
  • 15w, 4d
    Error Correction

    16 comments · 259 views
  • 15w, 6d
    Adrift Off Fiddler's Green: a new story is coming!

    We have a lead on a house. If things work out, then we may own a new place to live by the end of the month.

    This has cheered me enough that one day, I woke up, and... I wasn't completely sad. I had some energy. I had just a little joy in me. The bright day wasn't shining with despair anymore. I almost felt happy.

    And what powers my ability to write is feeling joy. Even just a little.

    And that translates to:

    Adrift Off

    Fiddler's Green

    A     C o n v e r s i o n     B u r e a u     S t o r y

                                                                  By Chatoyance

    It's coming. The first chapter is even now going through approval. It's a sort-of follow up to HUMAN In Equestria, and sort of it's own novel. It stars, with permission, a reporter character courtesy of Midnight Shadow. Why? Because while it is trivial to just invent a character, using his newfoal 'Frontpage' from 'Midnight's Tail' makes me feel, just a little bit, like the old days, when I was part of a community of writers all sharing the same mythos in joy and friendship. That sort of feeling is precious.

    A note on HUMAN In Equestria. For months and months, it has sat there, unfinished, a blot on my perfect record of always finishing every story. So, I set out to finish it. That was my initial goal. But... stories have lives of their own. Stories are living things, and what happened was that in doing more chapters of HUMAN, I realized an astonishing thing.

    I had already finished the book perfectly ( just as some readers did, in fact, point out at the time ) and I had failed to notice it. Or believe it. I think I didn't want that particular ride to end, really. But... it is complete. The 'new chapters' proved that to me. The book had a perfect, happy ending, plus an epilogue that tied everything up. It was complete, I was just unwilling to admit it. Silly, stubborn me!

    So, now I had two chapters and no book to put them in.

    That is remedied as of now... or rather, when the new novel is greenlighted and online. Soon, I expect.

    Please look for it. I would love to tell you a story, if I may.

    A story of the deepest secrets of Equestria... like what it actually is, what the princesses (and Discord) truly are, and... the little issue of what happens in my Equestria after ponies... and other creatures... die.

    Because an event, with a little Snow Bunny, from HUMAN In Equestria, needs to be followed up.

    Because stories, have a life, of their own.


    I guess... I'm back!

    - Petal Chatoyance

      July 12, 2014








    34 comments · 692 views
  • ...
 74
 8,179

Set in the Conversion Bureau universe, two young men face the inevitable totality of the expansion of Equestria into our world, and in the decision of one to choose transformation, both must come to an understanding about what is truly important about the meaning of self.

As Featured On Equestria Daily!

First Published
17th Nov 2011
Last Modified
1st Oct 2011
#1 · 161w, 40m ago · 1 · ·

Wow.  A LOT of swearing.  But, I suppose, a nice story if you look past that.  I will be reading the rest. :twilightsmile:

#2 · 160w, 6d ago · 5 · 3 ·

I was concerned about the swearing content, but I needed some aspect of human interaction that could demonstrate a subtle yet powerful alteration of personality. I have heard many gamers, excited during play, speak near constant profanity, and it seems that this form of speech also becomes everyday -even 'proper'- for many young men when relaxing amongst themselves in general. In my experience, at least. I have been around folks who talk like this pretty much constantly.

Your results may vary, of course. :pinkiehappy:

I felt expletives best denoted a change in the mind, because words define the boundaries and nature of thought itself (so I have read), thus a sudden change in speech patterns should radically denote a change in consciousness.

That said, yes, a lot of swearing. Sorry! Not a feature of future stories of mine, I think, it was just useful, I thought, here, in this one.


#3 · 160w, 6d ago · · ·

While i like this conversion stories, everytime i read one i feel anger, giving up what you are is something i am not sure to understand, and with humanity dying i find strange that a counter solution, a violent one, wasn't at least tried. Good story.

#4 · 160w, 6d ago · · ·

Yea if the question of survival of humanity is on then anything is legal to do so.

#5 · 160w, 6d ago · 3 · 2 ·

>>Story has a 3.4 rating

Seriously?  This deserves at LEAST a 4. :facehoof:

#6 · 160w, 6d ago · 3 · 2 ·

>>8276

In the mass of Conversion Bureau stories, there is indeed a violent counter-action against ponification, represented by a group called the HLF, or Human Liberation Front. They fight to preserve humanity as a species, using any and every means, and they consider (rightly enough, from one point of view) Equestrians as invading alien conquerers bent on soft genocide.

These are highly dramatic stories, though, and my interest is in exploring what the CB universe would mean to the most ordinary of people, people not involved in anything great or important or world-changing. What it would mean to the majority of people if such a premise was real.

The CB stories are basically Singularity stories under a coat of Pony Paint, and the Pony aspect lends the seductiveness of being more than human great power.

I cannot understand anyone who would want to remain human, myself. If the choice is between being an aggressive, dominance-driven, greedy, territorial, omnivorous neotonal primate and being allowed to be a innately pacifist, collectivist, affection-driven vegetarian quadruped biomechanically forced to function cooperatively (no hands means many mouths and hooves must work in unison to accomplish anything), plus the bonus of being universally pretty and free from all disease... I would take it in an instant.

Which is why it was fun to write about a character, Dylan, who felt otherwise, and Liam, who was indifferent.

#7 · 160w, 6d ago · · ·

I don't mind the concept of giveing up ones humanity, as long as I can continue to exsiste and I am happy to be with the ones I love and care for than it doesn't matter what form I take, nothing in this world is more valuable than happiness and innocence because lets face it, in this dark cruel world finding those kind of things is as rare as finding gold. But I do care about haveing the ability to have children after all life has no meaning if you can't give and share that life.

#8 · 160w, 5d ago · 2 · 2 ·

But we were born as a humans, our ancestors were humans, don't see any reason to change. Evil, greedy, aggressive? But that's our nature, our way of evolution. Can you tell  - wolf killing a rabbit in a forest - he is evil?? No it's his nature and only.

#9 · 160w, 4d ago · · ·

Although Dylan's cynicism and attitude were a bit laid on at times, I Loved it. :twilightsmile:

You painted a beautiful picture of a man struggling with the idea of forsaking his own nature, and even if that nature was violent and spiteful and jaded, it was still his own. You conveyed that wonderfully.

I will be sure to read Euphrosyne Unchained in the near future, and am very much interested in reading the upcoming chapters.

#10 · 160w, 2d ago · 1 · 1 ·

>>8370 The thing is, though, it sounds better, sure, but it's also infinitely creepy. Dylan and Liam are, essentially, dead; they've been replaced by two ponies that think they're Dylan and Liam. Conversion is like a lobotomy.

Also, the Equestria you present seems... flat, somehow, and empty. Nothing ever happens there. It's less complex than Earth, and thus far less interesting.

#11 · 160w, 2h ago · · ·

I personally don't like this kind of CB world. It's creepy portraying Pony society as an inexplicably perfect Utopia, and lots of CB fics don't have Ponies existing in perfect magical harmony all the time. Still, this and your other stories are good stories, even if I like, for lack of a better term, a more "realistic" view of things, (Perhaps "grounded" works?) so I do enjoy reading them. Oh, and for the absolutely noone who might read this as their first CB story, usually Equestria isn't taking over the word. I don't think I've read another where the entire world is completely changed so much. There's apocalypse, and then there's changing skyscrapers into thatched cottages. :derpyderp1: Really, Canterlot and Manehattan have big buildings, right? Why not other cities?

Question for ya: Why haven't you posted links to your stories in the CB thread on Ponychan?

#12 · 160w, 19m ago · · ·

'Twas awesome, but every time I read a Conversion Bureau story so far, I kind of die a little inside.  :fluttershysad:

That said, I can't stop.  :pinkiecrazy:

#13 · 159w, 5d ago · · ·

As I'm writing a story that features a conversion-averse character, I understand Dylans POV. Great story.:ajsmug:

#14 · 159w, 7h ago · · ·

i wouldnt get converted. i like having opposable thumbs. besides, someonr has to document the extinction of a species.

#15 · 158w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

As humans facing extinction as the only alternative to becoming one of pony-kind, there are bound to be a lot of different emotions and reactions to that process, both for good and ill.  To give both points of view a venue in a touching story that questions identity, and examines what we might be sacrificing or gaining - fantastic.  Looking forward to more from this author!

#16 · 158w, 5d ago · · ·

As humans facing extinction as the only alternative to becoming one of pony-kind, there are bound to be a lot of different emotions and reactions.   This story dares to examine more than one angle on this process, both for good and ill.  To give both points of view a venue in a touching story that questions identity, and examines what we might be sacrificing or gaining - fantastic.  Looking forward to more from this author!  I seem to be having a little trouble giving it a 5 * rating, why I do not know.

#17 · 158w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

>>10333

hehe, if it affected you that much then the author did a good job :3

It IS a story, but it's also a mirror to hold up to your face and see what you look like. This story presents that kind of world because that's the kind of world it is. It's... examining the Equestrian way of existing versus the crapsack world of our own taken to extremes.

Personally I love it, because it's telling a particular type of story in a believable way... hard to explain this late at night. I can try to elaborate later.

If you want to talk about alternatives, fighting back, changing things, the noble human spirit and perseverance, then do it - this is a good universe to play around in.

#18 · 151w, 3d ago · · ·

ummmm.... yeah... am i the only heterosexual male here?

#19 · 151w, 15h ago · 2 · 2 ·

>>54800

Please don't fear; you can be cured. Or at least loosened up a little. So take heart. :heart:

#21 · 149w, 1d ago · 1 · ·

>>54800

You are not the only heterosexual here.

You are however, the only one pointing out his sexuality.

:rainbowlaugh:

Hehe... Have a cupcake.

#22 · 147w, 5d ago · · ·

Well that was a most interesting perspective in that respect towards the proposed scenario. I have not read much into TCB yet (and therfore don't actually know much about how things ARE) but I did not envision the equestrian side to be fully predatory in the respect of land devouring. The infrastructure transfiguration and purification was another feature which I have thus far overlooked and personally I won't accept as factual the part about skyscrapers turning magically into thatched cottages.  

>>8370

I think that (atleast partially) I understand sufficiently both points of view in this dilemma and thus see the positive and neagtives of both sides of the story. I think that (of what little I have read so far) The Conversion Bureau stories generally slant heavily on the side of humanity being evil and unforgivably corrupted in their deeds and mentality (irreversibly so) and the equestrian ways being equally (and opposite) flawless and perfect.

[Insert fairy glitter sparkles, magical princesses and rainbows being really useful for everything here]

The above I disagree with (understand and accept that I am biased)

To quote:

"If the choice is between being an aggressive, dominance-driven, greedy, territorial, omnivorous neotonal primate and being allowed to be a innately pacifist, collectivist, affection-driven vegetarian quadruped biomechanically forced to function cooperatively."

I choose to be allowed to decide to be:

if not placid then nonviolent,

if not meek then at the least neutral,

if not selfless then not more selfish than the majority.

This I choose to do despite what some consider their Innate nature.

I want to still be ABLE to be ALL of the above. If we are Decided, Forced or Predetermined on the matter then in the end there is no free will! I think and I choose therefore I am Myself.

This is no better then what the biblical angels are supposed to be. It does not appeal to me and I would (most likely) never choose the ponyfication option unless it was truly a life/death choice. Anyway there is always more than two choices even though we may be unable to see them from our current perspective. You as the writer however have the power to make it appear that there is not.

You gave me cause to think on my personal perspective. Well done and thank you!

>>8632

I forgot which comment this was in reply to so to whoever it is I either strongly disagree (but show it in controlled moderation) or I slightly (or strongly) agree and come to your support in an apparently unbiased seeming (or self judgmental revoking) way. [Insert Meta reference here]

>>54800

Please, please do not bring this into discussion. the only person who mentioned this here is you. End of disc.

#23 · 145w, 15h ago · 1 · ·

A nice little novel. I loved the analysis of the loss of violent instincts by ponyfication, I figure that would be a natural outcome of the different chemistry, environment.... and magic, of course. And seeing Dylan react so badly to it... his inner conflict was beautiful.

One thing I don't agree with in your stories is the violent predation of territory by means of magical impassable barrier. One thing is making it happen subtly, but this one is just calling for a violent human reaction. (and even if it's an involuntary thing, the humans that are left would be much more animose than this about that). The rest, though, is spotless.

So, congrats for a great little short story :twilightsmile: Keep up the good work!

#24 · 144w, 2d ago · · ·

Well, you were right  about the enhanced audiobook version; the end had me almost thinking I was becoming Pony.

#25 · 140w, 8h ago · · ·

The story was [updated] ten days ago. Uh... what did you change? Did you just add the link to the audiobook? (I do look forward to experiencing it myself.)

Actually, I'm pretty sure that's the answer. No need to respond.

I can't help but consider this your most extreme work, a pilot of sorts, testing the waters, before you really fell into the rhythm of your universe -- any number of analogies could apply. We have the most dramatic, most apparent psychological alterations, which I do not find difficult to accept. I can't help but wonder, however, as I read more of your stories (halfway through The Taste of Grass, now), just where this fits into the universe.

Not necessarily time-wise, mind you -- that can easily enough be deduced from the location of the barrier (inter-dimensional hole thing, which I am starting to warm up to, by the way) as it passes through Los Angeles -- but rather how this ponification process fits relative to that of the other stories. These newfoals are the closest you come to that flat zombie-like state that I can't properly qualify, which is why the story feels so... uneasy, the state of which is made most apparent through their language. In your later stories, you seem to pull back from this interpretation, allowing your newfoals to think progressively more negative thoughts, and to cuss quite a bit (at least internally). Does this represent a change to the ponification process in-universe, or rather something you yourself are doing because it allows for a larger range of character interactions and more freedom to tell a dynamic and engaging story and whatnot?

#26 · 139w, 6d ago · 1 · ·

I am going to be honest, this so far is one of the best fanfics I have read. :twilightblush:

I love the whole conflict between Dylan and Liam, and it just seems like it is so easy to step into either one of their shoes. Of course with great writing come That feeling of sadness when you wish it was true :applecry: without a doubt I would love to be in Liams place and of course have the same happy ending with my friend who coincidentally is also named Dylan.

So I applaud you Chatoyance, this fanfic made my day a million times better and I really hope you will write another fic following liam and dylan maybe about them living in Equestria or even combining all of your  Conversion Bureau fics and having all the characters' points of view during the last day of earths existence. :pinkiesmile: It's just an idea though.

#27 · 134w, 6d ago · 1 · ·

A wonderful story, Chatoyance. A story of how a friendship is truly tested by ponification, and how far anyone will go for who and what they care about.

#28 · 130w, 5d ago · · ·

Am I the only one slightly disturbed by the almost unnatural innocence of the newfoals? They just seem so docile... it's creepy.

Great story though.

#29 · 126w, 1d ago · 1 · ·

Ignorance is bliss. The sleep of the innocent is the best. Masterfully done, lady. But I don't know...I try putting myself into Dylan or Liam's shoes (hardcore gamer here), and I wonder. Could I have done the same? Suppose that reflects well on your writing.

And I'm kinda new to the genre of CB, so someone mind giving me a crash course?

#30 · 125w, 3d ago · · 1 ·

Very interesting.  This is definietly the best coversion bureau story I've read so far.  Although much like the others it fills me with a sense of dread, and I once again find myself turned off by the Misanthropic nature of these stories.  I personally am appuled at how negative these stories portray humanity I mean yes we have flaws, but I honestly don't think we're that bad.  We behave the way we do because that is how nature and evolution figuritvly designed us and in that respect we are well designed for a semi hostile world.  Humans are capable or both so called good and bad behavior because we need both.  what surprises me is that Equestria's presense plus earths enevitable demise doesen't in humanity attempting to exterminate the ponies in order to save themselves.  With entire nations rising up to opose Equestria.  That would be the more likely senario.  I find it hard to believe that humanity would allow itself to go extinct in this manner.

#31 · 118w, 6d ago · · ·

you guys r right i dont want to be a humans anymore i want to be turned into a barnacle

#32 · 118w, 6d ago · 2 · ·

>>677505 "And I'm kinda new to the genre of CB, so someone mind giving me a crash course? "

The basic premise is that Equestria is an emerging pocket sub-cosmos located off the western coast of the Americas, its magical energies fatal to humans, human nature fatal to both Equestria and the earth as a whole, and the only solution being the total ponification, by any means, of the entire human species.

Conversion Bureau stories are, at their heart, science fiction tales of a Singularity, only not a machine Singularity with uploaded minds into computers, rather a pony Singularity, where another universe - Equestria - is colliding with the earth, and the only hope of survival is to become one of the aliens - the ponies.

The focus is on what human beings would do in this scenario. Would they stand and die as men, or convert? Is a human converted into another life form still the same person? To what degree? Who would oppose the event, or try to stop others from seeking survival, and who would try to rush the event, try to save everyone whether they wanted to be saved or not? How would the crashing of another universe work, what would it look like, how would it affect both the world and the lives upon it?

What would it mean for humans to finally make first contact with an alien species only to find that the species was in many ways better - not technologically, but morally? Ethically? What if that species was beautiful as well, if utterly nonhuman?

What would any given person do, and why? This is the crux, the heart of the Conversion Bureau.

Within the Conversion Bureau are tales of horror, of kindness, of love, of strength, of determination, of courage, of science, of friendship that transcends species and cosmos, and hatred that knows no end. The heights of human passion and brilliance are matched by the depths of human depravity. It is a big canvas, the Conversion Bureau, taking Friendship Is Magic into a very adult, intelligent, and astonishing direction.

I think there is nothing else like it, and I love it. It has many writers, and many different takes on the basic premise. It is an evolving, shared mythos, diverse and wild, and you will never find a more unusual and powerful subgenre of anything, I honestly believe.

#33 · 118w, 6d ago · 1 · ·

>>945276 That's a massive concept. I can see this being integrated into some other fandoms. And the concept itself allows one to explore what and who we are, and the definition of human. Tip of the hat to Blaze and you then, milady.

Do you have a story, perchance, of what happens after the Singularity? When everyone is either pony or dead? Are we still human then? Do we retain human-like qualities? Or are we pony through and through, and the memories of humans would fade? Looking at this story (The Big Respawn), I believe you'd be of the opinion that we'd lose what makes us human. And that might be for the better too. But it scares me to think that we might not be who we were.

Maybe I'll try my hand at writing one of these one day or another. It seems like an excellent philosophical diversion to me. But since I suck at writing, I'll just sit back and watch masters like you weave.

#35 · 104w, 1d ago · 1 · ·

WARNING! WARNING! Major Series of thoughts and analyzes are below. Read at your own peril

I've put down some suggested rewordings/phrasing of some bits that might make it read better. Ignore them or review them as you desire.

Everywhere are the Conversion centers, always is the open hooves to greet you into a new and better life

A suggested rewording of this. "We have set up Conversion centers everywhere, and our hooves are always open to welcome you into a new, better life."

“You have seen what exists beyond the great barrier of Equestria, a world that is green, lush, and beautiful. Beyond it is a land where life is gentle, kind, and wondrous. I would not wish to be despairing of your magnificent works, but surely there are those among you that can see the verdant fields beyond your gray steel and blackened concrete, and yearn for a better life, a better existence. Please, come and join us.”

Should make it read better

It had been roughly two weeks since Liam had left their shared apartment. Liam's bedroom remained silent, no music blaring from behind it,

Dylan's heart was pounding. This was for real, this was someone he knew, someone he lived with. They had isolated themselves from the world as long as they could, insulating themselves in their apartment. They watched it all unfold, as if from another planet, as the madness of a fairyland rising from the sea, the insanity of the human race being converted into an alien, magical species, played out before them. To them, it had becom, an amusement, a fiction. A pleasant distraction from the mundane pattern that had been their life.


My thoughts on the entire thing to be presented below:

-Well, the first thing, it seems humanity is taking the entire situation really well. Humanity has either lost some back bone, or before the start of this fic humanity had already tried dealing with the barrier by various means.

-I noticed that in Celestia's TV appearance, while she mentioned the loss of the city, no mention of loss of life was made, by, well, either her or the TV anchor. Course, the TV anchor could have rattled such off after the two zoned out, but Celestia could have made mention the possible price in human life. From the way the barrier is described here after all, if a human touches it, *BZZZT* dead, ashes, or well not even that. So any humans that didn't end up getting out of there are...gone. Would have been nice to hear something about that. Heck, I would picture Celestia in such a situation stating plans to perform some sort of memorial type ceremony for those who did not make it in each of the cities. (If your wondering why I'm assuming anyone was still there, I need only use as an example those people who, when threatened by a hurricane, batten down the hatches and stay put rather than evacuate. Its also possible there were some elderly couples or citizens who decided that they'd lived a good life, and would face the end and go on to meet their maker)

-The thing with curse words...I've never really understood that in regards to TCB. For one thing, a word is only as powerful as we let it be. Secondly, from my perspective anyways, I've never seen them as bad words, only words used to simply and strongly imply a feeling. They can be used in both good ways and bad, like many other things.

-I liked the scene with the pegasi clearing the sky, making the stars visible. Despite how I may not like my small hometown, I can at least see the stars (when the sky isn't cloudy, of course)

-The Dylan being scared of that change is understandable. Its because that someone whom you once knew so well, now its, in a sense, as if they're a different person. I imagine people who've had a friend or family member get a serious head injury, and when they've recovered there's a few things different about them, got scared as well. Its not an easy process for the brain, as it tries to determine whether or not you've 'lost' a friend or family member. Especially because that change could change how said person views you.

-That safe zone spot with the bubble...I'd theorize its more case that as the bubble gets bigger, it has to spread its magical energy across a bigger and bigger area. Thus, some area's might not have as high a concentration as others would.

-We again come across that. Its part of something that humans have always had a bit of a problem with: Change. Before, Dylan could keep the change distanced, apart from him. It wasn't going to bother him anytime soon after all, was the thought (We humans have a problem with long term thinking) so he was able to deal with it. Now though, its come right up beside him and slapped him across the face, and whats more damaging about it is that it came in the form of his best friend. I can understand why he's angry, why he's scared. The "its prissy shit" is more of a shield, a mask, to keep him from fully admitting to himself how much the changes that have occurred scare him. It's forcing him to confront that which he fears, but because of the scale of the change, its too terrifying to look in the eye and meet head on at the moment. So he hides instead.

-Ah, I think I've figured it out. I think, just there, I think I know what the potion took from Liam, and what it would take from Dylan. It stole one of the things that defines humans above all else. No, not violence, though that is tied to it. No, what it took was...his passion. Or, maybe not took it, so much as toned it down, or subdued it. Human passion is a powerful force. It can accomplish grand and glorious acts of good, or it can create works of horror and evil the likes of which has never been seen before. At its core, passion is what drives us as human beings in almost everything we do. I think...I think that's what upsets some people more than anything, about this style of TCB. To see the flame of humanity's passion snuffed, or turned down till it is barely even a flicker, I think that's what gets to people most.

-The funny thing about the killing in video games thing is that its not real, yet Liam is acting as if doing such means he's going to go out and murder someone. I know that some people think that playing violent video games makes us more violent, but in my mind it doesn't, at least as long as our minds are able to keep the disconnect that what we're playing is fiction, not reality. (THAT'S when the problems start)

-I think I just figured out another reason why some people don't like your TCB fics. Maybe two reasons. The first is the generalization that all humans are horrible creatures. The 'every man for himself' thing is true, to an extent, I will not deny it. However, not every single human out there is such a selfish beast (otherwise we'd either be living in a real and true hellhole...or we'd all be radioactive dust particles) So this causes some anger on some people, especially some people who actually consider themselves to be nice people (some said people may not be as nice as they could be, but hey, better to be a tiny bit nice than not nice at all) The second reason could be the aspect of the potion making humans child-like again, not in the sense of being interested in toys and such, but more...the being naive thing. The sad truth is that even if 90% of humans, or heck, even if 100% of humans were nice and kind like the ponies, that wouldn't mean everything is better. The universe itself is after all still a cruel and harsh place. To quote something from the game Galactic Civilizations 2, after researching Space Weapons:

Space is not a friendly place. It's unfriendly to the extreme. First, if you try to take a stroll around in it, you'll die. Which, needless to say, could be considered rather rude.
Even not thinking beyond our own world, there's nature to deal with on Earth. They look at the naiveness of the Newfoals in the story, and see something that wouldn't last ten seconds on our world, and the only reason it'll last in Equestria is because everything plays by the rules of Celestia (I would like to point out here that even in Season 1, there are threats to the general order and stability of things) So they see the naiveness as chopping off half of one's ability to survive in a universe that isn't very nice, and they see that as a bad thing (which, in the context of universe that isn't very nice, is indeed a bad thing)

-I certainly hope the ponies and possibly people working in the CB's are not careless enough to let someone who takes the potion possibly hit their head as they lose consciousness. That would be rather rude and unfriendly of them, even if said being won't remember or feel it.

-That bit where he's floating before Celestia and Luna...now that's given me an intriguing idea for a short story. The focus would be the experience a person going through the transformation feels, and it would involve said person having a conversation with Celestia and Luna, asking various questions and stating what it is perhaps that he seeks to gain from the transformation.

I know one thing. my answer would be simple. "To Survive." Wonder what they'd say or react to that, and if that would change the experience at all.

-Hey, sappy is good, not a bad thing :derpytongue2: May be a tad cheesy, but that's beside the point.

Alright, I read it, and I have to say that I enjoyed it. True, I was not fond of the bit where Dylan generalized how all humans are big meanie heads, to quote Pinkie Pie, and I wished for more from Celestia's TV appearance, but overall I enjoyed this fic. It was a good read, and it gave me a chance to do something I love, which is overthink and overanalyze things :twilightsmile:

Overall rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

(Deductions: -1 for the Generalization of Humanity, -0.5 for the Celestia not doing more with her bit on TV)

(Extra Points Awarded: +1 for a chance for me to overthink and over analyze things)

Now, onto the next story!

#36 · 104w, 1d ago · · ·

>>1543118

Just minding my day, maybe read The Big Respawn again and BAM! First new comment since last summer -- and a big one at that. Interesting and just begs for a response. Who am I kidding? I obviously stalk the Social Thread

The situation and humanity. The best feature of this fic is how Dylan and Lian depict both their personal struggle and the world's as well. We know about the creeping barrier and what's eventually going to happen to everyone, but we really don't know "how humanity is taking it". The main duo represents humanity in its own way, and the rest is left for the reader alone.

Celestia and Bakersfield. Bakersfield didn't vanish overnight. It's not written out explicitly, but we are safe to assume that the lads have been aware of the situation and that Bakersfield hits the news once again now that it's completely "creamed". Also it's hard to make more than very rough estimates about the death toll since most if not all evidence is gone. However, it's likely that the barrier does kill some people, and Celestia doing more in the TV bit could add to the story.

Swearing. You're very true about swearing. I mean, a genuinely nice and happy person can say: "Hell yes!" when accomplishing something genuinely nice and happy. True, but that's the logic of a human adult. If I won the lottery, wouldn't it make more sense to yell out: "Money yes!" or just "Yes!"? It would! Why would I want to mix the Fiery Pits of Damnation into it? I don't, but that's how the cookie crumbles. What I'm trying to say is that Liam has changed so much, his ways to imply feelings have changed too.

Passion. I don't know where you got the idea about Liam losing passion. You can be passionate about anything, like trees in the forest or maybe the word "asymmetrical". Defoloce's magnificent Railroad Seven-Three has a good example: a passionate politician became a passionate maker of birdhouses. Of course, the alien thing here is that in Equestria those two don't have a stellar prestige gap in between them.

Killing in video games. Hm, I know that one amusing fella who's been EZpEZially fervent (or should I say passionate) when it comes to the evil of violent media. Maybe that has something to do with you bringing this up, maybe not. In games you fight fake enemies, but also for a fake cause. Liam probably wouldn't kill even for a good cause -- why fake kill for a fake cause? To be honest, violent video games and therefore the ability to feel good and entertained about killing people, virtual or not, is important to us and our society, but that doesn't mean it's somehow essential to our state of being. About it being harmful, hmph, truly vicious people find other ways to feel vicious and the age ratings are usually there for a good reason.

Humans are horrible creatures. This fic has two humans and neither of them is a horrible creature, so it can't be that... Right, Dylan's mental rant about the shitheads of humanity. Dylan is generalizing here (and you generalize on his -- one guy's -- generalization, ouch). Ever used a hyperbole? Yes. That's what it is. One of those odd, so very odd things people seem to think about Chatoyance's TCB fics: even though obvious examples are everywhere -- even right under their noses -- they still stare straight past those and tell that these fics represent all of humanity as a corrupt piece of shit.

Naivety. I don't really understand your point here. Liam and the shopkeeper act quite strangely from out point of view, but how are they naive? From Wiktionary: naive -- lacking experience, wisdom, or judgement. Maybe you think a pony wouldn't cut down trees to build a fire to fend off beasts. Or maybe it's about the seemingly stagnant pony society and newfoals loving being a part of it. I don't think this particular fic has much to do with those.

Hitting one's head. This gives me a fic idea: hilariously abusive bureau employees who make every second count between the patient's human and pony forms.

Whether the author herself backs up my comments or offers a different view, The Big Respawn will forever be one of my favourites.

#37 · 104w, 1d ago · · ·

>>1544921

May I point out that I stated I enjoyed the story? I even gave it a good rating.

#38 · 104w, 1d ago · · ·

>>1545008

May I point out that I read your comment? I even gave it a lengthy response.

#39 · 104w, 1d ago · · ·

>>1545569

I was simply responding to the bottom line of your comment. It seemed to me that you said that at the end as if I was implying there was reason not to like the fic. This of course is an assumption on my part, but that's just what I was getting from that last bit.

#40 · 104w, 1d ago · 2 · 1 ·

>>1544921

>>1543118

Microshazm answered everything so well, and so effectively, that I have nothing to add to his points - they are all well said and I agree with them all. He speaks for me.

In response to what is left to say, the way I use language in the story, re:

"I've put down some suggested rewordings/phrasing of some bits that might make it read better. Ignore them or review them as you desire.

Everywhere are the Conversion centers, always is the open hooves to greet you into a new and better life"

Is all very deliberate. For example, Celestia's use of words was designed to sound grand and elegant, the pronouncements of a princess rather than a commoner. I write my stories to be read out loud, or viewed as movies within the mind, and I use language to denote character and background a great deal. Try saying Celestia's lines in this story out loud, as if you were her, as if you were a godlike entity a thousand years old, who has absolute power, and who is used to that fact. I think you will find my choice of wording makes her character... her.

The same can be said for the other examples you have given. As you can see from the rest of my story, and my works, I am very capable of writing normal, effective prose. When you come across an unusual way of saying things in my work, it is almost always deliberate, a kind of 'special effect' designed to convey emotion, character, age, period, circumstance or background.

Another example is:

"Dylan's heart was pounding. This was for real, this was someone he knew, someone..."

You added several sentences as correction. Why did I write this section the way I did? I deliberately chose a breezy, poetic phrasing and abbreviation in this paragraph to convey the sense of awe - in the ancient, Romantic concept of the term - that Dylan was experiencing. By choosing a pattern of speech that deviates from the normal way of describing a scene, and forcing a poetic meter, cadence, and grammar upon the paragraph, the purpose was to force the reader out of normal thought and into an emotional state. This is a very old writing trick, and I use it along with another one you will encounter, stream of consciousness, for terrifying scenes.

#41 · 104w, 1d ago · · ·

>>1546565

Hmm....

I can see what your talking about in the regards to writing style. Its certainly different. It just knocked me off course, due in part to how I've been trying to pay attention to make sure I'm writing properly when working on my own stories.

As for the reading it out loud thing, give one a sec.

Maybe I'm just weird, but it still sounds a bit off. I suppose part of it is because from what is seen of her in Season 1, she doesn't seem to speak like that. True, she is dealing only with her subjects at such times, so its certainly possible that when talking to beings of other nations/species she tries to sound grander.

Anyways, I still enjoyed reading it, and am in the process of going down the line with your other fics.

#42 · 84w, 6d ago · · ·

While it was a very short story with a lot of cussing, I enjoyed reading "The Big Respawn". I like how you are just starting to map out your version of the TCB universe and I felt that Dylan's fears were very realistic. Aren't you losing part of yourself when you give up all of the hate and violence? Are giving those aspects of you up worth it? I liked your answers and how you portrayed the story. Thank you!

#43 · 66w, 6d ago · 1 · ·

“What the flying FUCK was THAT? Seriously, let me be the first to say 'Fuck You, Man'. Sincerely. What WAS that shit?”

cod. in a nutshell. in a vault. underground.

#44 · 66w, 6d ago · 1 · ·

>>2272926>>2905789

In this story I used the cussing as a tool to describe states of mind. Admittedly, it was a lot of cussing - but it is also how some game sessions go. I myself am normally mild mannered but in Borderlands 2 or the Left For Dead series, or Battlefield, I can end up swearing like the saltiest sailor on the sea.

When I wrote this story I thought that the use of this excited swearing would be a powerful indicator, a metric, of the type of mental change that matched the physical change. And, being obscenity, it would be visceral - the reader might feel the impact of the change.

#45 · 59w, 13h ago · · ·

Very interesting tale of what would happen if a couple Call of Duty players found themselves living in this world. I do have to wonder how many such people would actually come to the same conclusion as these two; most seem like the type who would join the HLF at the first opportunity. There were a few spots where some of the swearing felt a bit forced, but for the most part it was pretty natural and it could just be me since I don't play these kinds of games so I don't have a firm grasp of how the kind of people who do would talk to eachother.

#46 · 59w, 7h ago · 2 · ·

>>3198400

Occasionally, I do play these sorts of games and for this story - I tuned down the swearing. Mostly - I just shut off all voice completely when I play shooters of any kind now.

#47 · 59w, 6h ago · · ·

>>3199539

Hm, I wonder if that intentional toning it down is what caused a couple bits to seem off. That could well be what threw me.

#48 · 36w, 5d ago · · ·

It really takes a true psychopath to be a killer. :pinkiecrazy:

#49 · 30w, 3d ago · 1 · ·

One pony, on a mission: to read and review each and every story. 1,115,163 words, according to the header thing. That's lots of words. Celestia only knows how long this mission will take. Even so, it seemed only fitting. These stories were what made me want to write MLP. No doubt being able to read each and every one of these stories will mean an increased source of inspiration and motivation to contribute as well.

The Big Respawn. For me (and many others, perhaps) This was my first introduction into this universe. In that, it proved to be quite successful. This story provides just enough information to bate the appetite for more. It tells us about the level of technology we're going to be looking out, the angle on humans and ponies we'll see in the future, and also presents a world where things are about to change. But how? I guess we'll have to read on to find out more!

Negatives for this story, and/or criticism or plotholes? Don't really have much, which I feel terribly guilty about. There's not a whole lot of complexity, but that isn't a bad thing. Just means less opportunity to trip yourself up. Perhaps wanting to see more of the aftermath, but I already know from having read much more that we do get to see these characters again later, and that complaint is rendered moot.

Good job! One of my favorites, simply because of how simple it is. Simple, sweet, and to the point. An enjoyable read.

Oh, and I apologize in advance if I comment on things other reviewers have already noticed. I'm coming to this whole adventure rather late into the game, and reading all the past comments is not something I have the time to do.

#50 · 30w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

>>4168957

I am greatly enjoying your comments and thoughts, and I feel happy that you are bothering to read my works. Thank you!

The Big Respawn was the very first story I ever wrote on Fimfiction. It was deliberately short and to the point because I was unsure of myself, and because I was trying to establish my own take on what a Bureau story was. I chose to focus on one primary issue: what does transformation do to the mind, to the self. To me, this was the single most interesting question I could ask, and thus because the focus of my story.

To illustrate the fact that the brain is part of the body, and that there would rationally be a mental change as a byproduct of the physical change, I chose to use the way many, many male gamers speak to each other when they game. As a veteran of Xbox Live and Playstation both (as well as PC games like Unreal Tournament and Team Fortress), I am well acquainted with how boys speak during online shooter games - which is to say utterly obscenely. Violently. Cruelly, malevolently, and viciously.

As a transsexual, having been a spy in the camp of males up until the age of 20, I also know how many boys talk to each other outside of games, and that too is often crude, rude, obscene and generally nasty. Even if it is all done in fun, it is still incredibly violent, sexist, and just plain mean sounding.

I took that experience and used it as the means to show mental change in my characters. Language as a window into the mind. While the finished story ended up with a lot of swearing in it, it was purposeful obscenity, used both for verisimilitude, and more importantly, to demonstrate and illuminate mental transformation to accompany the physical transformation. I think it worked to that purpose reasonably well.

The two boys, Liam and Dylan, are - as with every person in all of my stories - based on real people I have known. In this case, they were roommates in my college dormitory, and while this was before the age of console games, their speech and mannerisms are retained and just as true in my fictional future as they were in real life during my college days.

Login or register to comment