• Published 29th Apr 2012
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The Last Holdouts - A Conversion Bureau Story - Aedina

The last few humans who've waited for conversion bid farewell to Earth as it succumbs to Equestria

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The LastHoldouts

By Aedina

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

Chapter Three


Sharp footsteps rang fast and loud along the ship's corridor. Warned by intercom that a pony patient was being rushed to her sickbay, Dr. Jeanette Frazer had made certain that the tiny facility had been cleared to make as much room as was physically possible. Every instrument she might need was neatly at hand, and their unicorn medic, Florrie, was on call, just in case. Up till now their skills had rarely been required on Bonne Chance. The occasional aspirin, antacid, or band-aid had been the bulk of their services, thus far.

As the stretcher reached her, one of the crewmen carrying it cried out to her, "I don't think it's as bad as it looks, Doc. No major arteries hit, no bones fractured, leastwise, not as I can tell. Might be a while before he can fly again, but the bump to his noggin' is the worst of it"

"Thanks, I'll take him from here. Good thing we had the doors widened for ponies or we'd be in for problems.
Get him on the bed, NOW, please"

Closer inspection of her unconscious patient revealed the truth behind the ad hoc diagnosis from the stretcher bearer. Stitching the clean-through bullet hole in Greenwind's wing proved easy enough. The bare patch of featherless wing the procedure inevitably created would look a little odd until he fledged once more. Cold compression to the knot on the pegasus's head brought the swelling down, and there was no indication of skull trauma. Once her patient seemed to be resting comfortably, Dr. Frazer comm switched to Florrie that her magic would not be required and that she could stand down. Next she contacted the Captain, with clear instructions to convey status to those on deck, most especially Mr. Heskin.

"Good news for Greenwind, then." audible relief was in the Captain's usually brusque tone. Dr. Frazer noted it as the most expansive in expression she had ever heard from him. "Let's hope it's a trend."

"What do you mean, Sir?"

"Ah, forgive me, Doctor, you were most likely left out of the loop. We have company coming, the type that shoot at pegasi without provocation."

"Well, yes, Captain, I had to gather we might, since no one on board this ship could possibly have generated a bullet wound. H.L.F.?"

"Who else?, now if you'll forgive me, Doctor, I must put as much distance between them and us as the barrier will allow."

"Of course, Sir, forgive me," she replied, clicking off the intercom. Long experience of looking trouble directly in the eye and remaining outwardly calm took over for Jeanette. She did an inventory of her supplies in her mind while cleaning up the aftermath of her surgery. "Best get out more bandages and disinfectants" she muttered to herself as she began to take deep breaths to combat her inner worry.

"Need a hoof, Netta?" inquired a dulcet alto.

Another deep breath kept the doctor from jumping right out of her skin as she turned to see a pale white mare framed by the Sickbay door. Florrie was the epitome of unicorn delicacy, from her nurse-capped ivory mane to the tip of her silver hooves.

"How do you do that?" she asked.

"What, sneak up on you? Not that hard, when your mind is occupied, Netta. Besides, it's easier than you'd think." The unicorn raised up one hoof-tip and then placed it down onto the floor again with barely a sound. "See?"

Jeanette nodded as she made space for Florrie to join her, they talked quietly, so as not to disturb the resting Greenwind. "Yes, thank you, yes. Just in case, hmmm?"

It was like the two of them had some sort of telepathy between them. Which, given that magic was real, might just be more than metaphoric, she mused. "Wish the bay was bigger, right now. First time I've ever thought we might need it to be. Maybe we could ask Mr. Heskin to let us have a couple of the neighboring cabins for triage and recovery?"

"I'm sure he'd see no trouble to that, and I could always do some logistical alterations." So saying, Florrie's horn took on a tingling shimmer, and before the doctor could even blink, the wall that separated the Sickbay from the adjacent cabin was simply - Gone.

Holding back her astonishment, Dr. Frazer smiled, "You know, believing in magic is certainly easier than it used to be," she joked.

"Just wait til you get converted, Netta, you'll not have to believe anything anymore....you'll simply know it, you'll feel it. Speaking of which, weren't you going up on deck to get some potion soon. We don't have much more time, really."

"I was, but then things went all cattywumpus on us, here." The doctor tilted her head towards the sleeping Greenwind. "And now I'm wondering which would be worse, being out of commission when I might be needed, or waiting to put it off until the last minute?"

"Well, I could take charge, if you like. We're pretty well protected here, within the force-shielding. If I need any help, there are others on board who can lend a hoof or a hand. You shouldn't risk it, in my opinion. Besides, you'll feel so much better once it's over with."

"Bend my arm, why don'tcha? No, no, you're right. Besides, it's not as if I don't have backup, What's the pool say on my change over?"

"Oh, most think you're going to be a unicorn, like me - for some reason health care professionals seem to, " speculated the pretty mare, "My bet is for pegasus, don't know why, really, just feels like it to me."

"Well don't count your bits before they're in your saddlebags, Flo. Think I'll go up and get my share and hunker down for the nonce. I'll give you a combuzz the moment I wake up from the groggies. Wish me luck!"

"Luck!," was the enthusiastic echo that followed Dr. Frazer out the door. The unicorn watched her friend lean on the guardrail as she made her way along the corridor. Netta's gait was awkward, and obviously painful, her right stump of a leg casting a bizarre misshapen shadow on the wall as she finally vanished from view.

"Yes, luck", she thought. "Next time you walk this way it'll be on four good hooves!"