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AppleTank


Male. Los Angeles, California. Hmm. I have a WPM of 65. Meh. Occasionally arts. Lord of Dorkness's #1 fan. User #26976. inb4 Crossover

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Jun
21st
2018

The (Original) Conversion Bureau Part 4: Deus Ex Magica · 3:59am Jun 21st, 2018

Welcome back, its the fourth chapter. Only a little more to go before I go back to procrastinating, so here we go

Last chapter was mostly filler. Ethan gets clunked in the head, Rainbow Dash tries to come to grips with the concept that a species can character traits unique among members. As always, tldr at the bottom.

Chapter 4.10 and 4.11, here we goooooo


The chapter starts with Ethan waking up in Fluttershy’s house. Why he’s not in the hospital is beyond me, but shipping waits for no one.


"Looks like Angel found a friend while you were sleeping."

Impossible. Making friends with Demon Bunny in less than 24 hours? I call hax.


"A little better. My head doesn't hurt to much anymore. This bed is very comfy."

This line of dialogue goes all over the place.


"When are we leaving? Aren't we supposed to go on that adventure today?"

Got knocked out yesterday, woke up today, adventure in the afternoon. That’s totally normal, yes yes yes.

Disregarding any possibilities of brain damage, the pair walk to the Treebary, while Ethan starts to feel a little bit jumpy about the upcoming trek.


Noticing how crushingly awkward Fluttershy looked walking next to him, Ethan attempted to start a conversation, "So, what do you think of the humans?"
   "I think that th-the ones that are trying to, um, attack Equestria are very mean, and they sh-shouldn't be like that to us." Fluttershy responded, getting visibly more uncomfortable as she pictured this, "But you and Barry are very nice...I'm glad to have met you two."

Nooooo


"Hi, Pinkie." Ethan said. He hadn't really gotten very well acquainted with the pink mare, and only remembers her a little, from when they were going to the ponification room. The voice was very recognizable, though.

Good to know you were aware of this yourself, at least.


"How’re ya doing, Ethan? It's great to see you all...ponied up! Hahahaa!" Pinkie said,

This is a joke? What?
It has been days since Ethan’s been here, hasn’t it? Gaah.


   "Good morning, Ethan! Is your head okay?"
   "Yes, much better, thanks."

Good enough to go on an adventure apparently


"Please, Twilight? Can I go? I wanna see if I can find my special talent in the forest!" Apple Bloom begged to the purple pony

PFFFFFFFffff---
What?
What the fuck? I though the Everfree was dangerous? Who are you ponies? This needs to stop. This is not okay. Where are your parents? Who are your parents? I need to call Child Protective Services because its time to stop.


    "Where's Rainbow Dash? Wasn't she with you at the Bureau yesterday?"

Fashionably late, as usu-- wait no, wrong pony. Unless drinking the potion made her G3.


   "Sorry I'm late, but I couldn't find the tiara that went with this bag. That's when I found this darling hat, and I thought 'I simply must wear this!'. So I did."

Monochromatic is disappointed with you

Rainbow Dash appears soon after, apparently Mrs. Hooves kept her in late. Pinkie rambles about feeding Mrs. Hooves with muffins. Twilight, Spike, and Barry come down the stairs.


Barry, for once, didn't say anything. He was probably too tired to care about anything right now.

I like this Barry. Can we keep this Barry?


   "Really? That's awfully blunt of you." Rarity asked, as surprised as the rest of the group at Twilight's sudden change of pace. "No lecture about what not to do in the forest? No silly presentation on the dreadful creatures we might encounter?"
   "Nope. I think we've all frequented the forest enough to know where to go by now."

I’m astounded at the lack of checklists.

Am I flanderizing?


   "So you used to be one a'those hoo-mans?" Apple Bloom asked nervously, as if she was talking to an alien.

Not far from the truth, though depending on the potency of those potions ...


   "Oh, definitely. It's way different." Ethan said, then thought about how to go about describing a human to a pony. It was much harder than he thought. "Well, you walk on two legs, first of all. And you have these weird thingies on the ends of your front hooves called 'fingers'. They help you grab stuff easier, but they look weird."

..... Alright, its time to pack it in. Ethan is gone. Now there’s just a skin golem in his place. RIP human.

Ethan the no longer human and friends go on to the forest, which apparently goes off the paths soon after. Before Zecora, probably.


Rainbow had insisted on attempting to look above the trees to find the temple from above, but was only greeted with a dark cloud of smog, which blanketed the forest in a neverending night.

This is new.


 "It's a concentrated magical force field." Twilight explained to the others, "It's also the reason the plants and animals behave so strangely here."

This is very new.


   "Well, it's not so strange to Ethan and I." Barry pointed out, "Plants always grow, and animals most of the time live on their own. The only animals we keep as pets are dogs and cats. Oh, and birds...and hamsters..."

On the other hand, please get rid of Barry the Human.


Yet again, no dangerous creatures seemed to cross their path, and if any were seen, they ignored the group, and went about their business quietly.

What the heck happened to the forest?

After crossing a river with a conspicuous lack of Steven Magnet (did this guy even watch the first episode), they team ends up at an old ruin, with plant life mostly covering everything.


The main room upstairs consisted of six glowing gems of different shapes, each color-coded and sitting on a large, out-of-reach pedestal. Barry, Twilight and her friends seemed to recognize the gems, but Ethan and Apple Bloom were clueless.

When and why did Barry come here?
And uh, Blaze changed a heck of a lot from canon. One wonders what got Twilight to move to Ponyville without the whole friend making and Nightmare Moon business that clearly seems to have been skipped over.


Remember, we're looking for an old spell book."
   "Just think of an older version of any book Twilight would read." Spike explained, semi-jokingly. "Full of pictures and cool shapes and stuff."

What kind of books is Twilight reading?


"BREAK!!" Pinkie belted out, like a football player before the big game, and with that, the ponies split up. Applejack, Apple Bloom, and Rainbow Dash went down the east hallway; Fluttershy, Twilight, and Rarity went down the west wing, and Ethan, Barry, Pinkie Pie, and Spike went downstairs.

Does Ethan and Barry not find this the least bit odd?

Ethan’s group ended up at a pantry that apparently goes upsidedown. There was a large thump


   "D-did you guys hear that bump?" Spike stammered.
   "How that bump made me jump!" Pinkie replied, apparently not phased at all by the sudden noise.

Pinkie Pie is Dr. Suess now.

They run to investigate the bump, but no indications how, really.


"What made that noise? It was coming from out here..." Spike questioned, but soon got his answer. A pitch-black unicorn with fire-truck red eyes came out from the shadows of the edge of the forest, and shot a spark of magic at the dragon, sending him to the ground a few feet away.

.......Sombra?


"Ethan and Pinkie Pie, go tend to Spike! I'll fend this thing off." Barry shouted, trying his best to sound like an action hero. Using his newly-taught magic, Barry shot off three medium-sized fireballs, which the black pony dodged seamlessly. The shadow-pony fired back with a purple lightning spell. It looked painless, but Barry dodged it anyway, not letting his guard down yet.

How the heck does any spell look “painless”?


 Suddenly, as he was about to slip back into reality, Ethan felt something on his head. It hurt, but only a little. It felt like a human hand was grabbing onto his forehead, and giving him the Vulcan "mind-meld" from Star Trek.

This is new. Nice to see that he is no longer associating “hands” with something he used to have.

In any case, Ethan passes out.


"Wh..where ar' wee?" Ethan mumbled, still very dazed from the spell.
   "Oh, I think you know..."
   Slowly getting up on all fours, Ethan looked around. They were in a fenced-off grassy area, with a massive tree covering the immediate area with it's branches. Turning around, Ethan saw a two-story, sky-blue house, and a concrete patio with the swing that Pinkie Pie was on.  

??????


The dragon stood up and walked to the panicked pony, clearing his throat. "That black pony Barry was fighting cast a 'Memory Transportation Spell', which brought us to the first location you thought of when he cast it. Um, Ethan, what were you thinking at the time?"

How the heck do you figure this out?


"We should look around. Find a way back to Equestria. But, let's go inside first. We all need some rest."

RIP other team’s sanity, I guess.


After a quick tour of the house, Ethan sent the others to bed. Pinkie slept on the couch in the basement, Barry and Spike slept on the couches in the living room, and Ethan slept in his old bed. Barry fell asleep the second he touched the couch, but thankfully, Spike was there to help open doors for the finger-impaired.

1) Boooo, why is Pinkie taking the basement? Where are all the other bedrooms? Where are all the people? Is this just a random abandoned house? The hell? The more I think about this the weirder it gets.
2) Ha! Fingers!
3) I thought this was in the morning? Did the forest walk take that long? Why do you guys not feel hungry?

Ethan has another dream sequence (man there’s a lot of these, and I’m still not getting the reason for them yet)


Suddenly, a yellow pony with a blue snout popped up from under the snow and looked at him. <----> he pony opened its mouth to speak.
   "You're a strange one, aren't you?"

What

Pinkie wakes everyone up, because reasons. Its getting dark.


"Maybe the yellow pony just wanted to build a snowpony with you! I know I'd build a snowpony if I had that much snow!" Pinkie said.

....Frozen wasn’t released , right?


"...The Bureau!" Barry shouted out of nowhere, "We can go to the Conversion Bureau and get them to transport us there! They do it to the new ponies all the time!"
   "Well, yeah, but how do we get there without my car?" Ethan added, indicating his hooves

Fingers claim another victory


"Who do we know that can drive?"
   After a short pause, they both came up with the answer at the same time.
   "Jimmy."
   "Jimmy?" Spike asked.

Oh no, another character


   "Yeah. It's a long shot, since he's not a big fan of us ponies, and I quote, 'trotting around like they own the place'."

I mean, if they bought the house, they do own it.


   "Remember, everyone. Play it cool." Barry whispered from behind Ethan, "Don't make it seem like we're going to the land of sunshine and rainbows to save magical talking horses."

/: (


   “Yeah, but I don’t want him to know that. He’s a little...apprehensive about our kind.”
   “Hey! What do you mean, ‘our kind’?” Pinkie jokingly added, before being viciously shushed by the other three.

Oh boy


   Jimmy looked down at the ponies (and dragon), all a little intimidated, with Ethan and Barry the only ones fake-smiling. He let out a heavy sigh.
   “You have got to be kidding me.”

You and me both.


DIDJA MISS ME?
STAY TUNED FOR PART 5 - COMING SOONER

See y’all next time
.
.
.
.
HAAAAAAAAAAAAA


The team prepares to go to the Forest.
Apple Bloom gets to join the team for no apparent reason besides looking cute and “My cutiemark might be in there.” Where did the rest of the Crusaders go? They’re fine with just one going? Did you watch the show?
Everfree seems unnaturally calm
The group splits up
Ethan’s group gets attacked by Not-Sombra
Not-Sombra’s magic apparently causes Ethan to teleport them all to Ethan’s old home.
After a moment of discussion about how to get back to Equestria (and not having the fingers or body shape to drive a car), they decide to go to their friend Jimmy’s place and ask him for a ride.
Jimmy doesn’t like ponies.

The End.


And that’s the end of Chapter 4.

Pace is both fast and slow at the same time. Fast in that time is still blazing past like lightning, with little words spent getting to know the scene. Little in that barely anything happens anyways.

Not-Sombra seems to be gearing up for a big bad, but we know so little about him, his presence, how he moves, sounds ... he’s little more than a black ghost with lasers.

I have the feeling Blaze doesn’t understand brain damage, so Ethan’s probably concussion is, as always, basically ignored, though its likely that whatever hit him last chapter was Not-Sombra.

Ethan randomly teleporting several hundred miles to his house seems a bit contrived, considering it was based on what he was thinking at the time.

Really?

In the middle of a monster attack, the first thing that comes to mind is “Home Sweet Home.”? What? His house being empty, and the door unlocked ... what? Its just randomly abandoned? No one questions a completely empty house ... unless this was the house in the first chapter, in which case did he not bother to lock the door, cuz I’m pretty sure he didn’t keep his key hanging around.

Also, Ethan mentioned his car, except I’m pretty sure the last thing the car was used for was driving to the Bureau. How the hell did it get back here?

This seems like a needlessly contrived way to get Jimmy onto the table, and since this is the last chapter, we’re not going to see what plan nobody planned for Blaze had in mind for him.

Have I mentioned Twilight still doesn’t know what she brought Ethan to Equestria for?

Basically, Blaze once again loses track of plot points in order to set things up for his plot to play out in a certain way. I basically obsess over a timeline because this is exactly the sort of shit I don’t want happening in my old story.


So Final Thoughts:

Its a mish mash of ideas and settings. A house built on rotten foundations is going to collapse no matter how well it is built, and this one doesn’t have any part well written. The plot requires you to suspend your disbelief about the increasingly implausible series of events set up in the first chapter, but because of everyone’s incompetence, you are constantly reminded about the beliefs you are trying desperately to suspend.

Blaze, from the blistering pacing and the sparse descriptions reads off to me as a fairly young, or at the very least a very inexperienced writer. He wanted to self insert himself in a completely different way, and I’ll give him that, he did accomplish that.

There’s a reason why I have so many unfinished ideas though, because a good idea can be easily squandered by poor execution. Blaze had come up with a unique idea, but put pen to paper lobbing events together the moment they came to mind, without really thinking about cause and effect.

Things happen mostly because Blaze wants it to happen. A text-based version of playing with toys and coming up with nonsensical situations for them to deal with, like GI Joe and a Barbie doll drifting across the streets of Medieval Tokyo to win the Lincoln Town House.

Fun? Sure.

Coherent story? Probably not.

Of course, good writer or not, he did lay the seeds for a good idea that better writers than he could expand or rework into their own things ... for better or worse.

Bits of those ideas can be seen sprinkled throughout his fic, whenever he isn’t overtly focused on the Romance Sideplot or his own excitement about his new Humans in Equestria idea. I got the feeling that despite being called “The Conversion Bureau,” the fic itself uses it more as a plot device than something the story revolves around.

On an amusing side note, there are some brief glimpses of story few TCBs seem to have covered, though to be frank, I haven’t exactly gone out of my way to read many of them. (If I need to do further research, I may cry)

It’ll probably be covered in a BONUS DUCKS Blog later on. Who knows. Blaze isn’t here, and TCB never went anywhere, and so instead here we are.

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Comments ( 2 )

Can you link to the original story? ( or you did somewhere and I missed it)

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