• Published 26th Feb 2012
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The Conversion Bureau: Reality Break - Fullmetal Pony



Reality becomes stranger than fiction when a man finds out TCB is all too real

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Saga 1: Part 1: The Wall is Burning

I hate being sick. On the offset of a cold, I always tell myself, “Whatever, I can handle this, it’s not that bad.” Then my cold gets worse and I just want to crawl into my bed and sleep until the end of time. But I can’t sleep because I’m sick. So I just have to deal with it; I’m too sick to go to class and I’m too sick to sleep. Maybe I take some meds to knock myself out.

That’s the state I found myself in currently. My trashcan was filled with a mountain of tissues and I’d imposed a self-quarantine on myself for the past few days. I’d go out and chat with my friends at dinner, but that was about it as far as social interaction went. Other than that, when I couldn’t sleep, I’d just surf the internet, watching funny videos and frequenting Equestria Daily to see if there was a good fanfic to read.

Yeah, I watched Friendship is Magic, but then again so did all my friends. In fact, they’d been the ones to get me into it. Plus, it was a good way to kill time and let my brain shift to auto-pilot while I read whatever tale someone had put up about Twilight Sparkle and her friends.

A few days into my cold and I got a fever. I wasn’t too concerned though, either because I thought I could take care of myself or my mind was too addled to make proper decisions. After hours of tossing and turning one night, I finally managed to fall asleep.

I really shouldn’t have fallen asleep. I always feel worse when I fall asleep sick. So when I woke up, I knew I was in trouble. I felt hot, way too hot and my stomach seemed to agree with me as its contents wanted out. I rushed to my bathroom and barely made it to the toilet. My only solace in this was that hopefully throwing up would help me feel better.

After my visit to the toilet, I decided it was time to get some medicated sleep. I stumbled over to where I kept my medical supplies, groped my hand around for what I assumed was the cold medicine bottle and measured out what I thought was the right amount. I downed the cup and didn’t even bother putting the lid back on. “Ugh, I hate that stupid fake grape taste,” I complained before I sprawled myself on my bed. I was out instantly.

~~~~

Sister, are you sure this was right?” A voice called out somewhere.

What else can we do? We are running out of time, all of us,” another voice responded.

But will they make the right choice? Even if they do, can they live with it?

You have seen the extent of their desires. All we can do now is wait and hope.

Hope? Why was that one of the ideals you didn’t show to them?”

Because...

Who... who are you?” I called out to the voices. I could only see darkness, but a vast presence was there. The voices... where had I heard them before?

Already? That was quite fast,” The second voice responded. As it spoke, the darkness around its source began to fade, as if a sun were sprouting out of nothing.

Too fast,” the other voice cautioned. Its source still remained in darkness. Although, the darkness seemed to be turning a deep blue. “Child, did you truly understand the choice you made?

The voices, I knew them... somewhat. I’d heard them on my computer and my tv, but now there was a certain air of falsity too them, like an actor doing an imitation. But that wasn’t the point, those two voices could only belong to two beings. “Wait, are you Lu-

~~~

Be-be-beep! Be-be-beep! Be-be-be- I slammed on the alarm clock. “I swear, one of these days I’m just gonna chuck that thing out the window.” I was by definitely not a morning person.

I sank out of my bed. My legs felt wobbly but I didn’t care. I had only one goal in mind. Shower, showers make everything better. Forget about caffeine or energy drinks, hot water was where the real wake up call was. I slumped a hand against the bathroom door and pulled it open. My hand felt weird too, but I just thought it was the cold making me feel weird.

I got into the shower stall and let the hot water flow. Can I just stay here for the rest of the day? It’d make life so much easier. I reached for the soap, but it fell out of my hand. “Damn it,” I reached my hand out again to grab for the soap that was right in front of my eyes. Only my hand was brown.

I think the hue of my hand should have only been a minor problem though, seeing as I wasn’t even looking at a hand. That’s a wing. What I thought had been my hand was instead a brown feathery wing. Apparently it was quite prehensile, as it could open a door and loosely grasp a bottle of soap. For a few long seconds, as the water continued to cascade down on me, I could only stare in shock at the wing. Now, I’m not a big screamer, so luckily my panicked screams probably wouldn’t wake up my roommates.

After a few more seconds of panic, I took some deep breaths and looked at the wing again. “Okay, that’s definitely a wing.” I turned to look over to my right as I flexed what I thought was my right arm. Another wing greeted my sight. “Oh god.” I then noticed that everything seemed taller in the shower, or rather that I was shorter. “Dream, this has to be a dream,” I repeated to myself as I rushed out of the shower to look in the mirror. Just when I thought my legs were clear of the little step between the shower and the floor, my foot caught the edge of it. Well, to be accurate, I’d cleared the step with my first two legs, the only ones I thought I had. It had been the additional pair of legs that had gotten tripped up.

My face promptly met the bathroom cabinet. “Oww!” I rubbed my face with the closest appendage at hand out of instinct. However, whatever was touching my face now was definitely not the wings my brain now equated to hands. It felt more like I was kinda moving my leg, but it felt much more flexible than a leg should have been (confusing, but then again this whole situation was frying my brain). The thing cradling my head was rough and solid like a… “Oh no! No, no, no! I was not ready to go insane today!”

As the pain subsided, I opened my eyes and was met with a hoof, brown just like the wings had been. “Okay, just take some deep breaths. You’re probably just running a really bad fever and you’ve been on Equestria Daily too much while you’ve been sick. Just get up look and mirror and snap yourself out of it.”

I slowly got up, glad that whatever my legs had become still acted like legs when I tried to stand up. The only massive difference seemed to be that there were four of them rather than just two. That knowledge didn’t help much when I looked in the mirror though.

Green…why are my eyes are green? No, it wasn’t the muzzle or the brown fur that covered my face and my body that shocked me; it was the fact that my eyes were a different color. Then again, if your eyes suddenly took up two-thirds of your face, they’d probably be the first things you’d noticed also. “Okay, brown coat, green eyes, wings…same hair.” Whether wet or dry, I could definitely tell my hair was still my hair, my parents always did say I’d die with it. “Yep, I’ve definitely snapped. Always thought it’d be because of finals, not a damn head cold.” The mirror reflected back a pony.

I flexed the wings again just to confirm my fears and sighed, “Okay, so I’m a pony, well as far as fever dreams go, I’d never thought I’d pull off this,” the reflection’s muzzle moved as I spoke. “Gotta say,” I looked at myself in the mirror, fully embracing that I was having a delusional dream, “my dreams aren’t usually this vivid, guess being sick helps my subconsci…” I stopped, remembering my earlier collision with the cabinet. “Oh crap, dreams aren’t supposed to hurt.”

Panic! Panic!! Reality isn't working! Now while this could be regarded as the most awesome thing ever (I’m sure a few people online would enjoy this), I wasn’t exactly ecstatic about being a pony. See, I love the normality of reality, the reassurance that the ground is solid, the sky is blue, the sun will rise and set, and that ponies are just cartoons. Now, this may sound boring to some people but consider this: what makes life life? It’s that it’s normal, it’s controlled, and there are some perimeters it can’t pass. Right now, I was breaking through those perimeters at mach infinity.

I scrambled for a lifeline, something that would tell me I was still in a dream. “Shaving cream!” I reached out for the canister by the sink and let it fall to the ground; my wing control wasn’t on level with my hand-eye coordination. I then gazed intensely at the writing on it. Not just the large brand name, but the small print on the back also. “C’mon! If it’s a dream I shouldn’t be able to read it!” I prayed as the words still came out clearly. It was just some company slogan promising a clean shave and how their product was the best. To me it was a death sentence, any second now I expected to the sky to start falling up and the world to sink into the abyss.

Then another desperate idea came to me. “I’m delusional… that’s it, I’m just seeing myself as a pony because of the cold. I’ll just go to health services and then I’ll…” I stopped, realizing two scenarios could play out if I left my room. One, I’m still human and I’d probably be walking on all fours over to the health service building so even if I did recover I’d still look like a freak. Then there was scenario two. What…what if I actually am a pony? If someone sees me they’ll freak, they’ll call the news, then I’ll probably be sent to some base to be studied until I die. Then they'll dis- NO! Oh dear god no! I’d essentially trapped myself in my room.

“M-maybe this happened to everyone… maybe it’s an epidemic.” Somehow the idea of a mass pony plague actually seemed comforting next to the idea of being a lone pony in a human world. The thought scared me. Did… did I just think that? I looked down at the hooves again. “I-I’m not human anymore.” I stood in the bathroom for a long time just looking in the mirror at the creature I now was. “N-no, I’m still me, I-I’m just sick that’s all.” But I need to know.

I decided to check the news to see what was going on, but I nearly slipped just trying to get out of the bathroom. I grabbed for a towel with a wing to dry off, but once again, my grip was loose so the towel fell to the ground. “Err, it was bad enough dealing with my own delusions, can’t daily life bother me some other time?” I complained to the unresponsive towel. I tried to pick it up again but it kept falling off my wing. “Damn it! How does anypony do this?!” I shut my mouth after realizing what I’d said. Anybody! Anybody!! You’re a human damn it! Ironically, I’d gotten so fed up with the situation that I just grabbed the towel in my teeth and threw it over my back.

But just as I did that, I noticed something quite odd. My entire backside was a singular chocolate brown coat. “Huh, no cutie mark? Ugh, why can’t my mind fill everything out?” Great now I’m getting mad at my own mind, I’m getting counseling if the world doesn’t end. I used the wing to open the door, I could at least do that. But then I stopped again. Oh crap! Rooma- oh wait he’s gone. I thanked whatever deities were listening for having sent my roommate to some frat house for a party last night. “Never thought I’d actually be happy with a fraternity.”

But more important matters were at hand. I rushed over to where the remote and TV were, stumbled, and banged into another cabinet. “Okay I get it!” I yelled to the empty room, “Not a dream, you’ve been very kind in reminding me!” I slouched up and tried to hit the power button, but the feather just brushed to the button’s side. “Oh for…” I tried pushing the button with more force but each time I failed. I tried again with even more force, but it caused the feather I’d come to associate with an index finger to bend oddly. I recoiled from the pain. It felt like I’d bent a finger the wrong way, it was a minor pain, but it still exasperated me further.

“Ugh! Screw this!” I inched the remote closer with my wing and proceeded to hit the power button with my tongue. The TV finally turned on. Guh! This is probably so unsanitary, I’ll probably get sick all o- I stopped and took a breath. My nose wasn’t stuffy anymore and my throat felt perfectly normal… well as normal as a pony’s throat would feel I guess. Before I had time to ponder my instantaneous recovery more, I remembered the task at hand. Using my tongue again, I pressed two more buttons and the TV flicked over to one of the major news stations. Come on mass panic, chaos in the streets, something outside of the normal.

“… and here we can see the president clearly eating his pizza with a fork and knife. We must ask ourselves, how American is our president if he doesn't even know how to eat American food?” A droll news reporter droned.

“You’ve got to be kidding me. People are turning into ponies and you’re discussing eating habits?” A great fear was now growing in my mind; if this shtick was getting on the air that meant a slow news day, worse, it meant it was a normal news day. I sat through the BS opinion piece and waited for the next segment to start.

“Coming up we go live to the scene of a shocking event…”

“Okay, this has gotta be it, people waking up as ponies or something, c’mon!”

“…the wildfire in Utah, who’s to blame? We’ll go live right after the break.”

I didn’t even bother turning the TV off, I just slumped my head down. “Oh god, it… it’s just me.” Seven billion people in the world and I felt incredibly alone. Actually, correction, six point nine billion people and one pegasus. I was alone. “N-n-no, I-I’m just sick, this is just my mind playing tricks on me… I… I’ll prove it!”

I stumbled over to the door but stopped, remembering my earlier thoughts. “I know, I’ll call someone, yeah, I’ll call them, tell them I’m really sick and need help. They’ll see I’m clearly not right in the head and they’ll dispel all this madness and get me to a hospital. Now who can I trust?” I searched my mind for a friend and decided almost instantly, “Mary.”

Mary had been a good friend of mine since the start of school. We didn’t share classes, but we went to all the same clubs. Sucked that she had a boyfriend, but right now that really didn’t matter. After a few more stumbles(it wasn’t even that far from the door to where my phone was) I reached over and scooted my phone closer. I’d loved my iphone before, but now I was ready to smash it as I repeatedly tried to type my password in with my tongue.

After about five tries, my tongue needed a break. Exasperated, I looked around the room again to make sure nothing was off. Everything still looked normal: bed, posters, everything. Then I saw my alarm clock… or what was left of it. Evidently, the hardness of hooves also came with increased leg strength, as the clock was now just a broken pile of wires and plastic. “Great, I’ll need to get a new clock too.”

Then I saw an even worse sight: my glasses were still normal. Now I don’t have the worst eyesight, but the world looks pretty fuzzy to me on the normal basis. I glanced up at my roommate’s posters on the other side of the room just to confirm my worries. Yep, still blurry, guess it’s just a part of me. Inwardly, I was somewhat happy, my senses were still pretty much the same. My body and how it moved may not have been human anymore, but at least I still felt human.

I tried a few more times on the phone and finally managed to unlock it. “Finally, guh, I’ll be tasting plastic for a week.” With improved tongue control, I managed to pull up Mary’s number and put it on speakerphone. I hoped she didn’t have an early class.

For a few anxious seconds I waited as the phone rang. Suddenly, there was a voice. “Hello,” it murmured, it was the sound of someone who’d just woken up, “someone there?”

For a few more seconds I was silent, but I reassured myself that Mary was a friend and that she’d help. “M-mary, it’s John.”

“John? Why are you calling so early?”

“Look, I… I don’t think I’m well… I think I might need to go to the hospital.”

“Oh my gosh! Are you sure?” The voice was much more alert now. “You’re not contagious are you?”

“I…” I awkwardly looked behind myself as I flapped my wings, “I don’t think so.”

“Okay, I’ll be right over.”

“Thanks and please don’t,” the line cut off before I could finish, “freak out.”

Alone in my room again, I decided to try and get used to my body and avoid any more falls while I waited. Mary lived in a different dorm, so it’d take her a bit to get over to my room. I acted like I was moving my right arm and my right wing responded. But it wouldn’t bend or move exactly like an arm. The more I flexed it, the more distraught I became. It’s not an arm, it’s not even something a human would have. Legally an adult and I felt like crying. I was a stranger in my own body.

Then there were my legs. When I’d gotten up, I’d moved them out of instinct, but now when I tried to move my legs, only my forelegs responded. They were now starting to feel like a mix of an arm and a leg. I could bring them up to touch my face and even scratch the back of my head. But they were still touching the ground when I stood and that was what legs did, not arms.

The hindlegs were a much bigger issue. My conscious attempts to move them only resulted in me almost bucking my bed. I eventually decided to walk with my eyes closed and just not think the additional pair of legs was there (not an easy task since they kept dragging on the carpet). But if I just imagined myself back in my normal body, I was able to, after a few more stumbles, get the hang of walking. At least I was getting somewhere.

That was when I heard a knock at the door. “John? It’s Mary, are you okay?”

“Be there in a minute,” I shouted back before I quickly bit into my bed covers and draped them over my body. Then I went over to the door. “Okay, I’m about to open the door… just promise me you won’t flip.”

“Okay… but what’s going on?”

“That’ll depend on what you see.” I used a wing to pull the door open slightly and then hid under my covers.

“John?” Mary called out as she entered my room, she didn’t notice me or the covers I was under at first. Unfortunately, that meant she also stepped right where my tail was.

“Oww!” I cried out from under the sheets. It felt like the hair was being ripped from my… well, given my tail’s location, I’ll leave the guesswork up to you.

“John? Why are you under your sheets?”

“First make sure that door is closed, I don’t want anyone else to see this.”

“Okay.” There was a quizzical tone in her voice as she made sure the door was closed. “So what’s the big deal? You actually sound better than you’ve been for the past few days.”

“I know but… but I think something is messing with my head. I… I’m seeing things… I think. That’s why I need you to check.”

“How can I help with that?”

“Because,” I started to shift out of the covers, “I need to know whether I’m going crazy or the world is.” I completely slipped out of the covers and revealed myself fully to Mary. I even flexed my wings to make sure all my fears could be put to rest. Mary just stood there dumbfounded, slowly taking in what she was looking out, her mouth was gaping open in shock. “Well? What do you see?”

“John… you have wings.”

“Oh shit.”