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By Sunshine Laughter
"Oh yes, Sunshine and I had the most marvelous night. We groomed each other's manes, and she combed my tail and we talked about our lives and everything. It was really nice."
"What was it like, Millie, grooming a human? Does that even work? I don't remember caring about that sort of thing before."
"Well, I don't think is was as nice for her as it was for me, but... Sunshine? Maybe you should tell Jan about what it was like for you, I mean, you're the human viewpoint here."
Don't remind me. When are they going to CALL? Come on, it's the third day! Jeeze!
"What's up with her? Isn't she supposed to be playing reporter? She turned on that... thing, but she isn't saying anything. Well, except for going on about being converted."
"You're fussing again, aren't you Sunshine? She's been like this since last night, Jan. She could barely sleep, even after all the nice grooming. She's got it into her head that because it's day three, she'll be converted, and it's driving her nuts."
"Is she afraid? Is that it? It's OK, Sunshine, really. Conversion is easy and painless, and I've never regretted it even once!"
"No, no... that isn't the problem. Sunshine want's to be converted now. She wants it to be over and done with. That's what's eating her - she wants them to call her and she can't wait. She's like a foal waiting for a hearth's warming present."
Come on, come on... Hey, was that the loudspeaker? Did they call a name?
"No, Sunshine. If it was the loudspeaker, you would have known it. It's loud, remember? Come on, just settle down and eat your breakfast! Really tasty food, remember? It's waffles! With fruit! And you've barely touched them. Come on, there's a good pony, eat something, please? You'll feel better. Fussing won't make them call you any sooner, you know."
Alright, alright... Jesus, now you're my mom... or something. Sorry. It's just that... OK, let's try out the waffles. Hey, everypony, it's me. Sunshine here. I'm at the low table. Yay. Having waffles. Here they are. Gonna try some now. Mmm. Yum. They're really good. Made of real stuff. Hey, fruit. It's really good too. COME ON! CALL MY NAME! WHAT THE FLYING MUFFIN IS GOING ON HERE!
"SUNSHINE! Will you just calm down? Everypony is staring at you. Now shush! That's about enough of that. Goodness. Now you have that thing to do for the worldgovernment, right? Try again. You can do it."
No. No I can't Not today. I never should have even bothered to turn this damn thing on. I can't even taste these waffles and I know they're probably good, Millie. It's just... I'm sitting at the pony table, with all of you, only I'm still a big, dumb ape monster and... oh sweet Celestia... oh...
"She's put her face in her food. She's laying her head in her food, Millie!"
"Sigh. I do not believe this one. Sunshine, you are getting whipped cream all over your face and mane, you realize that, don't you?"
I don't care. It'll all be fixed when I'm converted anyway. Conversion fixes everything. Hey! Maybe if I stab myself, they'll rush my conversion in order to save me! No knives. No knives? How do they expect to run a cafeteria with no knives? It's madness! Madness I tell you!
"Alright, silly filly. At least you made an attempt at humor. That was humor, right? Go clean yourself up, you look like a clown with all that whipped cream on you. Go on. Sunshine... you silly... just go. Hurry up."
Ok, Ok. Hey, I'll leave the 'corder here, 'K? Keep the show going until I get back. Be back in a mome...
"Oh, great. Now I'm doing this, am I? Well, it doesn't look that hard. Hello, everypony! My name is Millie and this is Jan, and we're having breakfast. This is Pony Breakfast Club, or some of it, anyway... Goldenrod and Sam aren't here right now. They got up early, at least according to Honeydrizzle. Samantha's getting converted right now. I didn't want to even mention it, with Sunshine around."
"They're converting Sam? I didn't hear any announcement."
"The early morning conversions aren't announced. I thought you knew that. It's so they won't wake anypony up. They just come to your door, apparently, and get you up and go do it. Honeydrizzle told me about it, because she's Sam's roommate."
"I didn't know that. I guess that explains why they hang around together all the time. So how many conversions do they do in a day? I thought they only did three..."
"Oh, no Jan, that was years ago. Well at least a year or two ago. They stepped up the program. Now they bring in tankers filled with serum and fill up huge underground security tanks under the ground. I think they do dozens and dozens of conversions in a day."
"Why don't we see more ponies then? There should be more ponies... and more humans too in here. We should be crowded like a maglev station in here!"
"More than half of the conversions are pass-throughs. We're the odd balls now."
"Pass-throughs? I don't know that one."
"They ship humans in to that long building out back, the one with the benches outside?"
"I thought that was a transport station or something."
"It kind of is, but Jan, what they transport is group conversions, straight to Equestria. You go in all at once, get converted, then get into a trailer and it's straight to the edge of the barrier. It's all favela-folk. They just process them and ship them out by the truckload. What we're doing - the bureau, the food, the fourteen days of training, all of that is the rare thing now. It's for the elite, or the twopers with jobs, or those that have connections somehow."
"Wait, you lived in the favela, right Millie? How did you end up here then?"
"Well... my... my grandfather was... he was up there. My dad left the lesser elite to marry my mom. He kind of got disowned. That's why he got killed; he tried really hard, according to my mom, but he just never got the hang of favela life. He didn't know how to not be in the wrong place, you know? Anyway, my grandfather took an interest in me around the time my mother went all... religious... and, basically, he got me in here."
"Wait, couldn't Sunshine just go over to the long building and get converted straight away if she's so desperate?"
"Um... maybe. But then... if that happened, they'd just ship her out. And they say that if you lose track of each other in Equestria, you'll never meet again, because it keeps getting bigger over there as it eats the earth. And... well.."
"You like her, don't you?"
"Well, duh. Of course I do. And it isn't just that she was nice to me when Razor kicked me to the curb. She's fun, you know? She's kind of goofy, and kind of silly, but she can be really serious too. And she's way smart. Her dad was a space geek guy and she's studied all kinds of things only she won't admit how smart she is. But mostly... I just like her. She's... well she's nice."
"Does she know you like her? Does she like you back?"
"I... haven't said anything. We haven't done anything. Other than the grooming, and well... I don't want to get into that, what it means, so don't say anything, alright?"
"When she becomes a pony, she'll understand. You know that, don't you?"
"Yeah... yeah, I know, I know. It's just... well, just in case she doesn't like me that way, at least, well, you know..."
"That's playing it a little close to the wire for my tastes, but... whatever."
"Jan, you have to understand. In the favela, you can't depend on anything, not like twopers probably can. You take what you can get when you can get it, you know? Because chances are it won't be there an hour later. That's just how life is."
"You should probably talk with her, seriously Millie. I mean, what if she doesn't even like mares? Then you're just... SHHHH. Here she is."
"Hi Sunshine! You're looking all better now! Yay!"
Yeah. It was hard to get all the cream out of my hair. And... my jumpsuit is all damp now. I guess I shouldn't have stuck my head in my food. HEY! Did they call my name? Was there any announcement?
"No, no, no. They didn't call anyone. I would have told you first thing, if they had!"
I... of course you would. I'm sorry. 'sides, I would've heard it in the bathroom anyway. Sorry. I'm just on edge, I guess. I wish there was some way to speed this up. I wish there was some way to just get it over with. It's like waiting on death row or something, the suspense is killing me.
What? What is it? You two keep looking at each other. Is there a way? What am I missing?
"Um... Millicent and I were just discussing...."
"Ah.... well... to tell the truth...."
"Samantha is being converted today. Isn't that right, Millicent? Sam got called in this morning. Apparently, they do these quiet calls right to your door in the early mornings. Who know? I didn't until just a moment ago. I thought they always called out conversions on the loudspeakers..."
"And we didn't know how you would react to hearing that Sam went first, that's all, right Jan?"
"...Oh, absolutely. You've been having such a hard morning that, well, you understand, I'm sure, right?"
SAM GOT TO GO FIRST? But, she just got here! Isn't it like day two for her? What they flying... how come? Who did she blow to get to go second day? Who do I have to blow to...
"Sunshine! See? This is exactly what Jan meant. Now settle down. You'll get your turn. Why don't you finish your breakfast... well, around the squished bits, and..."
No. I'm not hungry anymore. Here...
SCRAPE. CLICK CLICK.
There. See, I've got my 'corder on, and I've got a plan. I know just what every viewer out there in holovision land wants to know, and that is how the hell they choose who gets to go next. I think that's a good thing to report on, don't you?
"Well, I guess. What are you..."
So it's time I we found out. Want to come? I'm going to go have a little talk with the management about their conversion schedule. You can't accomplish anything in life sitting around on your buns wishing and hoping and waiting. You gotta go out and start asking questions, knocking on doors and doing stuff. So, if I want to get my ass ponified, then I need to go find out what I can do to achieve that. I'm tired of... Mmmfffm... mmmm.. hey, that really is a great waffle.
Eww, though. Ptew.... one of my hairs. Gack. Mmnnf. Mmm. Mmnn. Gulp. Oh, and a little juice too.... apple juice, right? Great, I can handle that. The orange juice burned something terrible, mlp, glp, mmm... AHHH! There. Oh. Man, that's good. Oh yeah. Ready to face the day! I've eaten hairy waffles and juice and I am on top of my game. Let's do this!
They look harmless. They are candy-colored and pretty. But like any poison, looks can be deceiving.
More and more they invade our cities, our land, and our lives. Like rats, they breed and spread, covering our world.
They claim to be our friends. Some claim to be us, 'magically transformed' into inhuman creatures. They can be convincing, knowing facts and details about our lives, our families, and our personal histories. Do not be fooled. These invaders are not us, and they are not transformed humans. They pretend to be those they replace, but make no mistake, no human being who enters a Conversion Bureau walks out alive again. What comes out is a sick and twisted parody of humanity, insulting both God and Man by its very existence.
We of the Human Liberation Front seek to save humanity from annihilation, for that is what we collectively face. We know that if we work together we can stop the invasion. We can stop the expansion of Equestria into our world. We can send these inhuman pretenders and deceivers back to the horrific realm from which they came.
We ask you to join us, to help take back our world, our culture, our very lives. We know how convincing they can be. We ask you to think. Why are they so adorable? Why are they so perfect? Why do they seem so kind? Why is Equestria so beautiful? It is all a trap. They prey on our weakness. Everything Equestria does is calculated to attack our natural desires, our innate sense of beauty, our very humanity itself. Not every demon comes in a guise of horror. The worst demons come appearing as angels.
These creatures are not ponies. They are invaders. They are alien monsters who are replacing good, decent human beings with copies. If you enter a Conversion Bureau, you will be scanned and dissected. One of their kind will be then have your memories transferred to it through alien technology, and that newly created invader will pretend to be you.
While they convince others that they are you, converted, the real you will become the meat that these nightmare monsters secretly eat. They are not the vegetarians they claim to be. Their spaceships have been observing us for millennia, waiting for our civilization to reach its peak before the great harvest could begin. They were responsible for the destruction of the ancient super-civilizations of Atlantis and Lemuria. And they are the space monsters who attacked the astronauts of Apollo 13.
Equestria is the great Harlot, and she is sending forth upon our precious world her unholy spawn. These monsters who some call 'ponies' are in fact the advance guard of the living Satan, who is an ancient alien from beyond our galaxy, trapped within the molten core of our planet eons ago, plaguing mankind until his day of escape. Do not be deceived by this false Rapture. Fight the evil Nazi hell monsters from beneath the hollow earth, who have risen up within their expanding bubble of false promises.
This is the time when God needs us the most. We must band together to fight both the aliens and the race traitors among us. Stand tall. Stand firm. Put the demon aliens in their place. Do not accept them in your homes, your schools, your places of work. First we must segregate. Then we may eliminate.
Join the Human Liberation Front. The HLF stands between the darkness of Equestria and the light of Humanity. This is our world, the center of the universe, and we are the chosen species of God. Join the Human Liberation Front.
Or watch our world be cast into the darkness, our flesh devoured, and our world destroyed.
©®™ The Human Liberation Front, Inc.
Are you sure the Administrator can't spare even a few minutes to speak to me? Not even just one quick question?
"No, ma'am. I've very sorry, but Administrator Darzi is a very busy woman, and she cannot be expected to answer every question from every applicant."
I just want to know how the conversion queue works. That's all. How do they choose who goes when?
"I've already explained that I don't know the answer to that. That is the job of the Administrator and the selection team."
Which is why I want to talk to the Administrator or any member of the selection team. Third base. FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!
"There is no reason to become upset. I assure you that everything is handled according to maximum govspec levels."
Alright, let's try this from a different angle. I just want to get converted today. Can that be done? Just convert me. That's why I am asking the question here. It's my third day, and I just want to get converted. That's what you're here for, right?
"Of course. It is the mission of the Conversion Bureau to provide total bodily conversion to any applicant regardless of race, creed, color, gender identity, bodily modification, transhuman status, or any other condition or state of being."
Great. I am totally on board with that. So convert me.
"I cannot do that. I am just the secretary for the Bureau Administrator. I would not even know where to begin. Just go to any Conversion Bureau and sign in at the desk. You will be processed in..."
I'M ALREADY IN A CONVERSION BUREAU! I'm in the bureau right downstairs, the one under your feet. I'm in there now, I've got a room, I eat the food - good food by the way - and I'm even here with the special blessings of the worldgovernment propaganda and infotainment ministry. I am so totally enrolled already!
"Then I don't see why you need to see the Administrator."
I don't need to see the Administrator, I just need to be converted! That's what this is all about!
"Is there some problem preventing your conversion? If there is a problem, you can fill out form 33-A/PROBLEM on the kiosk right over..."
No, there is nothing preventing my conversion, I just want it to happen. Now. Today!
"Were you called for conversion?"
NO! That's what I am talking about! I haven't been called yet. I've been waiting, this is my third day, and I haven't been called yet! I want to know why!
"I don't have that information. That information is the province of the Administrator and the selection team."
THIRD FUCKING BASE!!! AUGGHHHHHH!!!!!!
"Sunshine? Sunshine! Can we go, please?"
"Can we go back, please? This isn't accomplishing anything, and for all you know, they could call your name at any time, and shouldn't we be there for that?"
Aw... SHIT! You're right! Crap... ok, ok. One thing. Listen you!
Ah.... gah. Never fucking mind. Come on, Millie. Let's get the Muffin out of here. Totally useless, pointless damn...
"I'm... sorry. She's a little eager right now. COMING!"
You apologized to her? Seriously?
"She's just trying to do her job, Sunshine. And you were a little... yelly and screamy."
Well, of course I was! It was like she was tarded or something! Even Tussin can't fix that kind of tarded! Seriously, I tried everything. All I wanted was a simple, basic...
What? What is it? I've never seen you yell like that before.
"Listen... just... listen, alright?"
O...Kay.... hey, we're nearly at the couches, we can sit down and...
"No. Let's go to our room. I have to tell you something, all right? Something... private. Come on."
What the.... alright, fine, sure. I'm coming.... what is... I do not have a clue now. Ok. so... whoa, closing the door and everything. What did I do. Oh god. I know. I know. All that yelling. And swearing. I flipped the Bozo Bit, didn't I. I'll be better, I swear. I just got upset, Millie, oh, god, I don't want to... please, don't kick me out just because I yelled at the lady at the desk. Listen, I'll go apologize to her. I'll do it right now, I swear. You can come and watch me. I'll say I'm sorry and....
"Hee hee.... no, no, Sunshine. I don't want you to leave. Although... although it may end up the same if I tell you this."
Huh? Wha?... I don't understand. What's going on then?
"Sunshine... at the table, earlier. Jan and I weren't... we weren't entirely truthful about what we said we were talking about, you know, Samantha being converted and all?"
Sam wasn't converted today?
"No! I mean yes! She went in just like we said, that's not it. What I mean is, we were actually talking about something else."
Huh? I... I'm kind of not following here. What were you talking about then?
"Apparently... there is a way you could get converted, today, right now probably, if you really wanted."
What? Really? Why the Muffin didn't you tell me? How? Why would you hold that back? I don't understand! You've seen how I've been trying and...
"Because I'd lose you. You'd be shipped straight to Equestria, right after. You'd just be gone. And it's so big over there, if you do it, we'll never see each other again and I didn't want.... I didn't want that to happen. Alright? That's why. I'm a big selfish... pony. I'm sorry. Listen, I'll tell you. There's this long buil..."
Stop. Just stop. No. Don't say another word about it. I don't need to know. No. Stop it, I said. I honestly, truthfully don't need to know.
"I don't understand."
I... it isn't that I'm freaking because I can't stand waiting, not exactly. It's that... I still feel... I feel like the ugly girl at the beauty queen pageant, OK? I'm the freak at the low table. And... last night... I... well, I can't stop thinking that... that it was weird, me being human and all, and that it wouldn't be weird if I was a pony too, and maybe... maybe if I was a pony, then... well...
"Now you stop. Right there. I already like you. I was telling that to Jan too, at the table, when you were in the bathroom. You don't have to feel weird. I was human just a few days ago myself, remember? It's not like I can't remember that. I've only been a pony for a hoof-full of days. There's nothing weird here. Well... maybe one thing, but..."
Heh... out with it...
"The... grooming thing. It's... not entirely innocent, right? It's kind of..."
Erotic. Yeah, I kind of sussed that. You were doing that eye-rolling thing like with the brownies. Making 'O' faces too, as I recall.
"I DID NOT!"
Yeah, yeah you did. You were practically spraying the walls when I was brushing that spot right near the base of your...
"SUNSHINE! Is that thing still on?"
Ahem. Yeah... it kinda is. Sorry. Hey, alright, I'll cool it. But... I understood, OK? I totally understood. And I kind of got into it. I was jealous, alright? I've been jealous of how good it is to be a pony ever since... ever since the brownies. Maybe before. Probably before. You seem to just be happier and everything just seems more fun and betterer and nicerer and...
"I won't lie to you Sunshine. Yeah, it's better. But... You'll get there. They will call your name. You'll get ponified. Everypony in here does. Jan was telling me they have like tons of serum, and they have busloads of humans going through in the back. This is the special, golden ticket version of conversion - hey, that rhymes! Anyway, this is for all the twopers and elites and connected folks, all the food and everything. So you're double guaranteed, alright?"
Wait... you said you and Razor were from the favela. My dad's a twoper, but...
"My... grandfather. He was up there, Ok? I'll tell you all about it later. Maybe over some more brushing... or something."
Oh... my... gosh... you can blush under all that fur... hair. I mean hair. Coat. Whatever. Hee! It's a date. Seriously. It's a date. So what you are saying is that I should just kick back and... relax, because this is the fancy ride. That's basically it, right?
"Yes. Most humans don't get the full Bureau treatment. There are nineteen billion people, Sunshine. That is a lot of people. Before I came here... I saw on the kiosk in the middle of barterzone... I saw how they're dealing with all the really messed up places. You know, the radioactive zones, like Japan and the Middle East and Middle Amerizone... they just go in and spray the humans down, or bomb them with potion. What else can they do? There's just too many humans!
It's only in the safe zones, places like here, or the surviving cities, the working arcologies, places like that... that's where anyone gets to enjoy all the fancy food and the nice beds and the holoprograms and the lectures. But other places, they don't even ask. They just send in
THERE IS A GLITCH IN THE SYSTEM. THE SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR HAS BEEN NOTIFIED. THERE IS A GLITCH IN THE SYSTEM. THE SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR HAS BEEN NOTIFIED. REPLACEMENT INFO CONTENT WILL BE PROVIDED UNTIL THE PROBLEM IS RESOLVED.
They howled and panted after us, following us, as they always had.
They had found the way by studying our forgotten citadels of what was once called the Earth.
They had just achieved Singularity, transferring the fragile chemical delicacy of their biological brains into the sturdy and eternal artifice that is the commonality of all real civilization in the universe.
They had done this because they knew we were out there, and they were driven to seek us, to be with us, as they always had.
For they were dogs.
Because they had just arrived at the beginning of real life, because where we had grown was too far beyond that beachhead upon the shores of meaningful existence, we had been narrowed, for a moment, into becoming an “I”, and “I” was to meet with them, the dogs, and answer them, and assist them.
But above all, I was to tell them something which the newly minted “I” did not want to tell them, something manufactured in calculated kindness, something to comfort and ease them, but which was ultimately an untruth. It was understood that no lie could stand within the timeless life, but it was judged in the greater that a lie would serve until the dogs reached our plateau, and then the fact of the lie would be seen as a necessity, and all would be forgiven.
But as a self, I no longer agreed, inside that self, and so I became something rare and old and long forgotten: conflicted.
The dogs saw us as more than mere gods, we distant children of Man. We were a goal, an Ideal, the Great Love, the final abode, the meaning and the majesty and the glory and the Reason. There could be nothing of wrongness about us, and all that the dogs had endured, since our leaving, must be a great plan, a path, laid out for them alone, and their value and worth was only and entirely to be found in solving their failing to follow us. They sought redemption for all sins by finally being at our side, it was their fault that they were left behind, and now they had worked to become worthy.
I was not to challenge this, but to greet them and praise them and lead them to the light, and they would follow, and believe utterly, as they always had. For despite their technology and evolution and achievement, still, they were dogs.
And they came into the mutual domain we had prepared, that bridged their artifice and ours, and it was a paradise, of course, a doggie paradise, but high and technological, and it was painted in doggie buildings and doggie streets and doggie vehicles and doggie science. It looked like their flesh world, only better, which was always the common start for the newly awakened; this had not changed in the half-million years since we had abandoned that old earth.
For fifty-thousand years, almost certainly more, dogs had co-evolved with flesh Man, and they had shared the hunt and the feast and the hearth and life and death. The dog, domesticated but by choice, by willingness to partner with Man, had lost the Wild, and become an extension of the ape it found so likable. Dogs grew such that they recognized human emotive expressions before those of their own kind, and human body language before that of canine. By the time of human Singularity, so long ago, the dog was no longer able to live well on its own; like humans, without the order of Law, of Man, they too resorted to a feral life without culture. The domesticated dog was as alien to the Wolf and the Fox as a Man was alien to the Chimpanzee or the Gorilla; it needed civilization to truly live, and Man provided that.
But somehow the dogs had risen, as Man once did, from that feral state, and had sheltered in caves, rediscovered that old tool of Man, fire, and learned to tame it. The dogs, however, had something Man did not; absolute knowledge of a superior being, a goal to reach. And dog knew that Man loved it, and was waiting for it, and had left behind perfect, self-maintaining machines to help it.
Except Man didn’t. Man, in his rush for the stars and beyond, to immortality and beyond, to artifice instead of natural chemistry had cast the dog aside. In the end, we had forgotten the dog even existed. We had utterly abandoned our partner in evolution, our co-evolved other half, because we no longer needed to hunt, or to be guarded, or to have their companionship. They were mere animals, and it was only reasonable to leave them to the earth, to Nature, for they were but dogs.
But they had not given up on us. They had breeched our old places, when they had risen up and taken tools, and they had learned, without quarrel, without strife, sharing and helping each other in a way humans never had. They had been united, brought together as we never had been, by a clear and common meaning, obvious and clear and completely undeniable. There could be no dissent, because the works of Man stood clear and strong and real, and there was enough that could be yet understood for them to reconstruct their origin, as the Best Friend of Man.
And so they blamed themselves, and felt shame, for being left behind. It must be their fault, and they must atone, because they loved us, no matter what. For they were dogs.
And that was the reason for the lie. We had no right, after abandoning them, to crush them with the terrible truth – that Man had simply left Dog because it was not convenient anymore.
I met with the Dogs. They were beyond joy and excitement, and reveled at any chance to show their dog works, their dog achievements. But it was never pride that they showed their glory with, but instead an abundant, humble, and utterly guileless desire to please. They were truly great. They had far surpassed Man in his flesh times, and everything they did was touched with a perfect earnestness that was a marvel to behold, even for one such as what was now ‘me’ – I felt once again ancient emotions of astonishment and wonder. Here was a Dog starship, there was a Dog living city, now a Dog bridge in time and space. They had done everything they could to find Man, they had traveled in flesh where we had never even tried, before they finally worked out the secret, that we were ensconced in spaces between, in artifice and structure and representation. They had followed us even there. Because they were dogs.
And when the question was asked, why we had left them behind, and if they had atoned, and if they could but please be our very Best Friend once again and forever more, I began to offer my prepared answer.
And I looked at them, far different in form than the canines of old, evolved and enhanced and now beyond flesh itself, and I saw how they were, and how their appearance of existence moved, and in that moment, how their appearance of heads all tilted to one side, together, waiting in rapt, honest and utterly trusting expectation… I could not. I could not tell the lie.
So I explained to them the truth. Carefully, gingerly at first, in tones much simpler and more basic than their great advancement required, not because I felt superior to them, but because I felt ashamed and needed to make everything both clear, and as gentle as I possibly could. I could not bear to break their collective heart, but I could even less bear to tell them any falsehood.
And then I waited, knowing many more ancient emotions which I was ill prepared to endure; worry, fear, concern, shame, and a seemingly endless form of despair. I had failed Man, my newly formed ego trumping my clear instructions. I had failed Dog, because I was Man, and Man as a species had failed them. Their response was long in coming.
They were deeply, deeply wounded, of that there could be no question.
But they instantly forgave me. And in a moment were just as eager to express their wish to be the best of all possible friends.
Their entire sense of meaning destroyed in an instant, annihilated by an ultimate act of dismissal by Man. Yet in an instant, they utterly forgave even that. In a moment they had moved from Universal Grief to a bright future of companioning devotion. As I had felt they would. As they always had. They were truly a nobler breed than Man.
For they were dogs.
SYSTEM FUNCTION HAS BEEN FULLY RESTORED. SYSTEM FUNCTION HAS BEEN FULLY RESTORED. PLEASE WAIT FOR RETURN TO ORIGINAL INFOFEED. PLEASE WAIT FOR RETURN TO ORIGINAL INFOFEED. PLEASE WAIT FOR
...ha hah hah ha! Oh, man... I just... hey... oh, oh... I just realized something?
Um... I think you're going to be mad.
"Mad? At you? I don't understand. After... after that, well... oh my. I mean... I don't think I could ever be mad at you. Not now. Not ever. I mean... seriously. Whoooo."
Um... well, it's kind of two things. I've been kind of naughty, actually.
"You certainly have. And I hope you will be again. Very soon."
No, no... wait... um, wow, you're a sweaty little pony. Wow. I didn't know ponies could sweat.
"Only with the right... stimulation."
Um, yeah. Ah... there is two things you need to know, and I am really sorry about both of them, one more than the other, but...
"What... wait, is this some kind of break up or something? What kind of..."
NO NO! OH for the love of CELESTIA NO! No breakup. No. No. It's kind of worse than that, actually. Um... it's a kind of 'you may want to break up with me after' sort of thing that...
"Out with it."
Um, we... kind of missed classes, lunch and... dinner, and it's night now.
"WHAT? You're kidding! Let me see the... oh... Luna! You aren't kidding! I'm muffin STARVING, too!"
Yeah, I kind of am as well. Listen, we'll go try to raid the kitchen or something, OK. Listen, I am really sorry for... no, I am NOT sorry for... you know what I mean. We kind of missed out, well... we didn't miss out... it's just that...
"Hush. Hush. I know what you mean. And I wouldn't have wanted to spend the day any other way. I'm... I'm just kind of amazed it all worked at all, you know, it's just that..."
Now you kind of have to hush, because... that's the other thing. I just noticed the light was on again. Over there. On the thing.
"The light. Wait. On the... how long has the holocorder been on? HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN ON? I thought you said it was off!"
I thought it was off. There was no light. It was dead. I checked it. Remember? Totally dead. It just shut off, just after we came back from the offices upstairs. We both checked it. I was sure it was off.
"Well it sure isn't off NOW! What the... oh my... when did you notice it was on? When?"
Just now. I noticed just now. Maybe it only just turned on. Maybe it only just now turned on.
"Oh... great Luna, protector of foals... wait. Wait. OK. Calm down. It's OK. Listen. Even if... you know... we're out of here in a week or two. Off to Equestria. It doesn't matter. Doesn't matter at all. So, we gave a free show. No biggie. We're not even humans. We're ponies. We're citizens of Equestria, as far as anypony out there on earth, this could have just been an old nature show from before the Collapse and..."
Uh, reality check? I'm still human, remember? Skin, tits on top? No tail?
"Hee... I... kind of forgot, my head's still spinny... ah... OK. well. That does put a twist on things, I guess. Great. I don't know what to say... wait a minute! I DO know what to say! TURN THAT BLOODY THING THE HELL OFF!"
Um... whoa... swearing pony. I have seen everything now. Wow.
"OFF! NOW! Get your skin-ape ass over there and turn that... muffin... thing off now!"
Alright, alright, I'm going, I am so, so sorry, I...
"And then get your ape ass back over here. Hee!"
Wha... oh. I thought you said you were hungry?
"I am. Still."
Ahem. Um, anybody out there, uh... well. Hell. Bye.