• Published 7th Jun 2012
  • 15,158 Views, 1,020 Comments

The Conversion Bureau: United We Stand - RK_Striker_JK_5

The TCB bites off more than it can chew as humans, Equestrians and Autobots roll out.

  • ...

Chapter One

Nicknames/shortened names: Conversion Bureau ponies
Full names: Rainbow Bridge ponies.

Canterlot, Converted Earth

Celestia looked out over Equestria from her balcony, a smile on her face as her sun rose, bringing light to lands once fouled by corruption but now purified through her magic. Seven billion ponies now frolicked and played through Equestria, formerly humans but now a superior species.

She turned and walked into a hallway, past several stained-glass windows depicting various events in Equestrian history. She saw representations of Discord's defeat, Nightmare Moon's sealing, her final resolution with Luna and Cadance, the final human conversion among others. Celestia paused at the final one and chuckled before resuming her walk to a throne set at the far end of the hallway, turning and sitting her posterior onto it and letting her forelegs rest on the floor in front. “Come, my Elements,” she said as Twilight, Applejack, Rarity, Dash, Pinkie and Flutters approached.

The six ponies bowed, dropping to their knees before the alicorn. Twilight was the first to rise to four hooves. She looked up at the goddess sitting on her throne and sweat beaded on her forehead. “I bring grave news, Princess. It turns out our crusade is not finished. Humans are still out there, unconverted!”

Celestia's eyes narrowed. She lowered her head, peering down her muzzle at Twilight. “How? The barrier wiped out all traces of their civilization, and the last human was converted nearly a year ago.” She unfurled her right wing and swept it out. “All are Equestrians, all are under my protection. How could any survive?'

Twilight swallowed. “Yes, your majesty. All on this Earth were either converted or killed. The only problem is, there are other Earths.”

Dash looked over to her and cocked an eyebrow. “That multiple universe thing? How does that even work, Twilight? And so what?” She waved a hoof at her. “Let the stinking humans keep that little pile of dirt. We've got seven billion here and a new world for us all!”

Celestia scraped a hoof across the floor right in front of the throne, ripping up the carpet and digging up the tile below. “No, Dash. We can't do that.” She slid her backside off the throne and marched forward, right up to the ponies. “All humans must be turned to ponies, for their own good and the good of Equestria.” She looked to Twilight. “Have you observed this other Earth? Is it as bad off as the one we saved?”

Applejack nodded. “Yeah, Twilight. What'cha see in that hazy cloud o' yours?”

Twilight's eyes darted back and forth before she finally spoke. “Well... it was certainly different. There was the same overabundance of technology, but it wasn't the same. I saw these... things.” She reared back on her hind legs and held a foreleg straight out. “They were human-shaped, for the most part, but huge!” She dropped back to all four hooves. “And made of metal, too!” She stopped and shook her head. “And there was something... familiar about something there, almost like an echo.” She waved herself off. “Nah, forget the last part. I must be mistaken.”

Rarity held a foreleg to her forehead and rolled her eyes. “Oh, how absolutely ghastly, Twilight. Metal people? The shine off them must be horrendous! And their colors must be so flat, too.” She rubbed her chin. “The crime against fashion alone necessitates conversion.”

Celestia held up a hoof and all fell silent. “No matter what the reasons, our course of action is clear. These are humans, and for the good of their planet and for all, they must be converted. Their wild, animalistic tendencies must be tamed, and their vile technology must be purged from their planet.” She began trotting forward, the ponies falling into step behind her. “It shall take time, but I shall fashion a new portal and barrier. Equestria shall subsume another Earth, and all shall be richer for it.”

Twilight looked up at Celestia and beamed. “And we'll be right there for you, Princess – not that you need help or anything,” she added, looking away and blushing.

Celestia paused and turned her head, looking down at Twilight. “Actually, Twilight, I would be honored if you would help me with this task,” she said, a smile crossing her mouth but not reaching her eyes. “You're very powerful, and I feel time is of the essence with this Earth.”

Twilight's face brightened and she jumped into the air, hopping around Celestia. “Yes, yes yes!” she cried out, finally stopping in front of Celestia. She cleared her throat and straightened up. “I won't let you down, Princess.”

The other ponies chuckled, but a look from Celestia silenced them all. She waited for Twilight to trot around to her side before walking off once more. “I know you won't, Twilight. Now please come with me. There's much to do.” She paused and looked back at Applejack, Rarity, Dash, Flutters and Pinkie. “As for the rest of you, please make yourself at home. But be ready, for we have more to convert, to... save.”

Earth, unconverted
Twilight Sparkle looked up and around at the large room she and her friends walked and flew down. The walls, ceiling and floor were white. Bright fluorescent lighting in the ceiling shone down and there were several chairs strewn about. There was a single table in the middle with a tray of pastries, a pitcher of water and some old magazines on it, some almost painfully out of date. She had read through them for the first hour before beginning to pace about, wondering if they were early for their tour, or perhaps even late. Her head darted about, focusing on Applejack as she stood near the table. “Applejack, do you have the time?” She trotted over, her breath quickening.

Applejack rolled her eyes and trotted over to Twilight Sparkle. She reached out and patted her on the shoulder. “Now don't you fret none, Twilight. “No way they'll start tha' tour without us.” She looked around the room and swallowed. “Course, would've been maybe a bit nicer fer them tah ask us to wait outside instead of inside this here room. Not as roomy as I'd have liked.” She suddenly ducked as a cyan blur came within inches of clipping her head. “Consarnit, Rainbow Dash!” she shouted, waving a hoof in the air. “Git down here!”

Rainbow Dash looked down at the orange earth pony and stuck her tongue out. “No way, Applejack!” She continued circling around the room, buzzing the walls with each turn. “This is so boring! Why couldn't they just page us or something instead of having us wait in this tiny little room? Pegasi can get stir-crazy in such an enclosed space.” She looked down at Fluttershy, who sat on one of the chairs. “Right, Fluttershy?”

Fluttershy glanced up at Rainbow Dash from her chair. “Oh, I don't know, Dash. It was awfully nice of the people here to make sure we all had our own rooms and a place to meet the tour guide, instead of wandering around this big place.” She looked down at the floor. “And I wouldn't want to get lost or...” She swallowed, her eyes widening, “underfoot of anyone here.”

Rarity looked over at Fluttershy. The unicorn stood near a wall, opposite Twilight and the door. “At the very least they could've put us in a room with a bit more flair or style!” She rolled her eyes and grunted. “Honestly, would it hurt to add a little color to this place?”

Applejack glanced over. “Yah realize most of them here wear less clothes than we do,” she said, arching an eyebrow. She looked down at a lanyard hanging from around her neck and a plastic card attached to it, then at identical lanyards and cards hanging from everypony else's necks.

Pinkie Pie bounced around the table, pausing to lean forward and eat a cupcake in one bite. She spat out the wrapper onto the tray and swallowed. “Hmm, tasty!” She looked to Rarity and twisted her head around almost one hundred-eighty degrees. “That's odd, Rarity. I thought the walls matched your coat.” She hopped over and onto Rarity's back, poking at her flanks. “You almost blend into the background!”

Rarity's horn glowed. She wrapped Pinkie Pie up with her telekinesis and floated the earth pony off her back. “Pinkie, please! That's one of the problems.” She looked herself over and scowled. “And your hooves mussed my coat!” She turned around to face Pinkie Pie, her right eye twitching. She stalked forward even as Pinkie Pie backed up. “Do you have any idea how long it took for me to–“

Rarity stopped as the door slid open, catching everypony's attention. A human female stepped inside, clad in a white uniform with blue trim, a belt with a large pistol in a holster and a shoulder patch with the letters EDC. She looked around the room with sharp, brown eyes. “My apologies for the wait,” she said, holding a tanned hand to her chest. “My name is Lieutenant Commander Marie Hernandez, and I'll be your tour guide.”

Twilight Sparkle trotted up to her and let out a breath. “Oh, hello Commander! It's an honor to meet you!” She waved a foreleg around as the other five gathered around. “I'm Twilight Sparkle, and this is–“

“Applejack, Rarity, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash,” Marie interjected, pointing at each in turn. She looked back to Twilight and half-smiled. “I did my research.”

Twilight Sparkle's cheeks turned scarlet and her ears folded down. “Of course, how silly of me.” She cleared her throat and placed a hoof on her chest. “My apologies, please.”

Marie shook her head. “Not a problem.” She turned on her heel and stepped out of the room. “So, are you all ready?”

Rainbow Dash flew out of the room throwing her forelegs up. “I can't wait!” she shouted, buzzing around Marie. “So, do we get to see the ships? Do we?”

Marie chuckled as the rest filed out. “Maybe, Miss Dash.” She looked down at the ponies. “Now please be careful and stick together. Most of our tour will be in areas more human-scale, but there will be times we'll be going to larger areas.”

Fluttershy swallowed and her head darted around. “Oh, I hope everypony-sorry, everyone will be all right!” she said, looking up at Marie.

Applejack suddenly glanced back at Twilight, still in the room. “Twilight, yah all right?” she asked, leaning in.

Twilight Sparkle's horn glowed for a second, but the light quickly dimmed. “Sorry, Applejack,” she said, finally leaving the room with the rest of the group. “I thought I sensed something... no, someone watching me.” She shook her head. “It's nothing.”

The group passed a few other humans before they stopped in front of a door. Marie turned to the ponies, a serious expression on her face. “Now please be careful, here,” she warned. Her eyes locked onto Rainbow Dash in the air, then drifted to Fluttershy on the ground. “Stick to the corridor.” She turned and pressed a few buttons on a control panel and a light changed from red to green. “All set?” At their nods, she opened the door and stepped out, the ponies following her onto an open-air corridor suspended nearly thirty meters in the air. A waist-high wall separated the corridor from empty space. Down below was a constant cacophony of absolutely huge metal beings, most humanoid in shape but of every color and variation imaginable. One common feature was a red face somewhere on their bodies, on all of them.

Some chatted, some hurried through silently. Some had weapons, some had tools. All moved with a purpose.

Marie looked back to the wide-eyed ponies and smiled. “Welcome to Autobot City.”

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