• 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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Battlestations

The Last Holdouts

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 Four

Battlestations

The line for the potion was much shorter than Jeanette had expected it to be. Conversely, there were far more ponies on deck. "Makes sense" she muttered, thinking that with only an hour and a half left to go, at most - it had been a good decision to take Florrie up on her offer to look after sickbay, Besides, the wave of tangible relief that her presence generated was interesting to observe. Everypony knew that Dr. Frazer wouldn't leave a patient who needed her. The very fact that she was here meant that all rumors of Greenwind's improving condition were true. She leaned against the deck rail as she made her way to the front of the line.

"Heya Doc! Here's your cuppa!" sang out the cheerful earth pony behind the table. Dr. Frazer tilted her head, pondering if she should recognize the bay stallion, but when she found that she couldn't she decided not to fuss with it. "There'll be plenty of time to get reacquainted with everypony once we've gotten safely past the barrier," she told herself.

"Thanks!" she answered, carefully cradling the cup against any possible spillage as she moved on to find an empty conversion cabin. A polite path cleared its way before her, easing her passage through the herd. Encouraging muzzles nodded to her, some ponies throwing in a wave or a hoof's-up gesture.

A voice rang out "Don't drink it until you're on the mattress, Doc!" and she turned her head trying to find the source, without success.

"Course she knows that, silly filly, she's a doctor." came another voice from the throng.

At last there was a room in view, empty mattress beckoning her. Jeanette set the cup down on the floor beside it, undressed, and settled into what she hoped would be as comfortable a position when she woke up as it was now.
The artificial grape made her nose wrinkle, then she up ended it in one full gulp. As the anesthesia took over, her body became the pliant dough of bubbly morph-o-goo, writhing and shifting into the equestrian newfoal she would become.

Bullhorns blared forth from the ship's loudspeakers, closely followed by the clipped tones of the Captain. "Everypony below decks, please, all passengers will kindly clear the deck. All crew, to your stations, we've got incoming."

With amazing calm and orderliness the deck cleared. Oliver made his way to the stern, shielding his eyes with one hand, the other still clutching his untouched goblet of potion. The gathering storm clouds made the glint of light reflecting off of the approaching metal behemoth more ominous. Above was the familiar whir of helicopters. Glad he'd installed the force shields, and praying that they'd hold, he turned and made his way to a cabin. Oliver Heskin was determined to show those bigoted H.L.F. bastards that, one way or another, he was not leaving this Earth unless it was as a pony!

Captain Damian Smollette was gripping the wheel of the Bonne Chance as tightly as his forehooves would allow. His gray wings were spread and flapping, to help him maintain his balance on his hindquarters. "What do these fools hope to accomplish anyway?", he wondered, sweat matting his mane to his poll. Fortunately the yacht under his command had more than a few little secrets under Her helm, the finest, fastest, and most formidable of engines being just one of them. Right now he was taxing those engines, and coaxing every last jolt of power out of them. All he had was a little more than an hour, before Full Encloser - and once everypony on board was actually everPONY on board he could cross into Equestria early, if it proved to be necessary. In the meantime he could lead this merry little circle dance and stay out of range - given that the H.L.F. didn't suss his strategy and out maneuver him...given that They had no similar surprises hiding in their arsenal. One good homing torpedo might be enough to bring down Bonne's forceshield, and there was nothing to keep the sea itself from becoming a turmoil of stormy, wind-whipped waves around him, generated by the helicopter blades. Behind him, was his First Mate, a stolid earth mare, frantically clicking on switches, reading gauges, and talking to the ship.

"Good Chance, good Chance!" she intoned, like a mantra. Smollette couldn't help it, it made him smile to hear it.

"You know, Marina, She can't really hear you," he scolded.

"Oh, Aye, Cap, I know right well She can't, but it can't hurt, now, can it?"

"I suppose not, but could you hold it down a little, please, I'm trying to concentrate."

"Sorry, Sir, yes, Sir........" her voice went into a whisper tone as she continued praising the vessel for all she was worth "Good Chance, good Chance, good Chance"

On another plane of existence entirely, Jaenette surveyed a vast green plain, gentle hills rolled up in the distance. The sky above was glowing in sunset hues that she'd only ever seen in old photos, before. When she turned to look around she saw a huge tree, and below it were two forms of ethereal beauty. She found herself bowing before Them, Luna, Celestia, how often had she seen their holograms - not as if any image could do them justice.

"Little one, welcome. Are you ready at last?" came the mellifluous inquiry of Celestia.

"Sister, this one hath given her life to the healing of others, but like Ourself, she carries much pain." was Luna's observation. "Tis only fitting she joins the herd."

"Your Highnesses," came Jeanette's own voice, head still bowed before Them. "There is someone I hope to find in Your realm, but I do not know if he is there. I know you've helped many, far too many to remember, maybe. But if You would help me know how to find him...." she trailed off, aghast at her own audacity.

Luna gave a flick of Her tail, as though to indicate that the request was, indeed, presumptuous.
Her sister, though, stood, and walked forward, "Rise, Netta, for that is what I shall call you, until you choose your own name. Come along with me."

Not at all surprised that a Goddess would know Florrie's nickname for her, "Netta" followed willingly as Luna nickered Her farewell and flew up to begin placing stars into the twilight sky. Together they came near a ridge, and far below spread a valley dotted with little villages and roads. It was as if the whole of Equestria was laid out before them.

"You see Our Realm, Netta. While I cannot know where each and everyone of my subjects might be at every moment, there are always those who share a special bond with me. To find the one you seek you must follow that same sort of bond, the one of love between you. Love shall guide you, if he is in Equestria, you will know it and love will lead you."

As these words sank in, Netta felt a warm glow begin above her, a light shown out from her forehead, where now sat a unicorn horn. The light shown down into the view below them, until it pointed like a spotlight on one specific town. Jeanette sent out a wave of love towards that spot, focusing herself upon it with all of her might.

A shuddering of the very earth beneath her hooves rocked her violently....or so it seemed

Until the rocking entered her consciousness in a very different way. Lifting her groggy head from her forelegs, Netta could dimly see the cabin walls pitching and rolling. The only light in the cabin emanated from her shimmering horn. Desperately trying to hang on to the memory of her Conversion Dream, she felt herself hurled across the cabin floor, mattress and all. She made one stumbling attempt to stand, glancing over her new body, with a note to her neatly regrown right rear leg, as she wobbled unsteadily, legs akimbo.

Then the ship pitched again, tossing her from the cushioning mattress and sliding her almost all the way out the cabin door. Across the deck railing loomed two enormous black helicopters, gunfire and smoke surrounded them - the clamor of conflict deafening in her now highly sensitive, mobile ears . In their wake hulked a be-cannoned monster. The sensation of the forceshield against Netta's side was the only comforting thing. Blasts were clearly hitting it, but it remained intact, so far.

Still too tired out from the anesthesia and her recent transformation her mind tried to make sense out of the scene before her....blind panic was the instinctual response. Netta heard yet another hit to the shield, loud enough to thunder an echo across the entire deck. When the wave slammed into the Bonne Chance, she was sent once more into motion.

Thrown to the stern she half crawled, half clamored towards an open cabin door. The protection it offered was like a beacon that helped her draw strength. When she reached the door frame, she wedged her body against the wall. In the cabin was a burbling pale puddle. A broken goblet lay shattered next to an old fashioned tux and tails on the floor. "Mr. Heskin!", she exclaimed as another shell-blast ricocheted from the shield wall. "Oliver!", she cried. Some part of her knew that calling out to him was a waste of effort, that he would be beyond her voice's reach, but it was almost a compunction to try. "Oli, Oli!" she screamed, trying to drown out the sounds of battle behind her. Then her world careened, and this time when she smacked the wall, it was hard enough to knock the wind out of her and leave her sprawled in a rag-doll heap. Helplessly she watched as Oliver transformed. She neighed to him, as though trying to warn him of the disaster unfolding all around them.....Her horn flickered out as one last wave capped through the shield and over the railing, flooding the room.