• Published 17th Jan 2012
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The Donors - GoesKaboom



The truth about Pumpkin and Pound Cake's parentage.

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The Donor Selection Book

Chapter Four: The Donor Selection Book
“What the buck is that supposed to mean?” Carrot exclaimed, turning to face the sardonically grinning unicorn mare, as his wife stepped into the elevator that would take her to the examination room. “Are you- what- what’s going to happen to her? What do you mean, ‘it’s better if I don’t see this?! What are you planning on doing to her?!” His heart beat so furiously that he was certain it would jump out of his chest, but the mare was nonplussed.

“Relax, you tight-flank, all I meant by that was that it’s a very long, complicated exam, with a lot of talk about… well, you know- mare stuff,” she replied. “Don’t worry, your wife will be fine. Why don’t you go have a seat in the waiting room? I’ll send your wife in to meet you as soon as the procedure is completed and the appointment is over.”

Carrot wanted to argue, to demand that the sarcastic, cold mare step down and let him go after his wife, but he knew a lost cause when he saw one (especially seeing as how immediately after she’d finished speaking to him, she reactivated her headset and began talking furiously into it again, this time with regards to a stallion whose STD results had come back positive, awkwardly enough), so, reluctantly, he followed the directions that the unicorn had given him and shuffled off to the waiting room. It was a bland, institutional beige room furnished with a busted television stuck on one channel (ENN- the Equestria New Network), and a few magazines several years out of date, not to mention the painfully non-ergonomic plastic chairs that are the staple of every waiting room ever. Although he knew it would do absolutely nothing to ease his troubled mind, Carrot picked up a three-year-old copy of Cosmarepolitian and began to read an article on “25 Ways to Please That Special Stallion.” But, to be honest, he couldn’t for the life of him begin to figure out why he might ever need to know 25 ways to please another stallion.

Meanwhile, Cup was shown to an examination room by a friendly enough mare (really, more of a filly- she couldn’t have been more than a few years out of her school days) and told that the doctor would be with her shortly. Five minutes passed, then ten minutes. Fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, thirty… Cup began to wonder if “shortly” meant something different to Manehattan ponies than it did to others. Finally, after a little more than an hour had gone by, the door clicked open and in stepped a gray pegasus mare.

“Cup Cake? Nice to meet you, I’m Dr. Scientific Method. So, why don’t we get started?”

The preliminary exam itself didn’t take more than half an hour, but to Cup, it felt like it took decades. She was pinched, prodded, poked, hooked up to machines, poked a bit more, stuck into something kind of like a huge version of the machine Twilight Sparkle at the Ponyville library used to make copies of documents, and pinched again. It was uncomfortable and embarrassing, and by the end of it, Cup was ready to call the whole thing off and head back to Ponyville if it meant she didn’t have to undergo anymore “tests”

“Well, Mrs. Cake, I have some good news!” Scientific Method said to her after she’d looked over all of the test results. “Like your doctor back in Ponytown said, you’re healthy enough to have foals. It really does look like your husband was the problem there.”

“Ponyville,” Cup corrected quickly, choosing to ignore the jab about her husband. But the other mare either didn’t hear, or more likely didn’t care, and continued on:

“In fact, you’re exactly the sort of mare we’ve been looking for!”

“Really?”

“Yes- you’re healthy, you’re strong, you’re relatively young, and best of all, you want to have foals!” the doctor exclaimed cheerfully. Cup, once again, chose to ignore that little pointed barb regarding her age. “It’s perfect, you see? You’ll get to have foals, and we’ll get to see if our technology actually works!”

Something seemed slightly off about the doctor’s words, but Cup bit back any concerns she might have had. After all, it was probably just a slip of the tongue. From what she could tell, the doctor didn’t seem to have much of a filter between her brain and her mouth- what with the little “jokes” about Cup’s age and Carrot’s fertility. Surely they knew that the technology was safe, and the doctor was just shooting her mouth off, right? They wouldn’t actually use her as a guinea pig, would they?

“Now, this right here is our option book- the compendium of all of the profiles of our male donors,” the doctor continued, grabbing a large binder and dropping it on the examination table next to her patient. “You can look through it and decide on up to two donors that you think would be good candidates for fathers.”

“Doesn’t my husband get a say in this?” Cup asked, surprised. Dr. Scientific Method just looked at her as though she’d grown an extra head. Then, she just laughed.

“Oh, no! He’s not the one who’s going to end up pregnant, now, is he?”

“Ah… alright,” Cup replied nervously. She definitely felt very unsure now- she would have thought that the prospective father-in-all-but-genetics would get a say, but she supposed that the other mare did have a point after all- Carrot would not be the one carrying any foal that could result from this treatment. Hesitantly, she opened the book, leafing through the different profiles of stallions who had contributed to the project. A lot of them, Cup could tell from their brief profiles were so different from her and her husband. One seemed to have a special talent for being unemployed, considering he hadn’t had a job since… ever, at least according to the “job” section of his profile. Another looked to be alright, but closer inspection of the “potential hereditary diseases” section revealed that he had the potential to pass on a rare genetic disorder called “pegarcornism,” where the afflicted pony would be born with a small, non-functioning nub of a horn and underdeveloped wings that would never be able to fly. The condition itself was not fatal, but could also come accompanied by several other problems, such as a greater susceptibility to certain illnesses. Yet another seemed to have slept around a lot, possibly not in the safest way, as well as involved himself in some high-risk behaviors (such as traveling to different parts of Equestria where diseases like Cutie Pox and Marelaria were a problem) and while his test results had come back clean, Cup didn’t want to chance herself (or even worse, her foal) contracting something that the tests had missed.

It wasn’t until she’d gotten about halfway through the binder that Cup realized something. “You don’t have the type of any of these ponies listed!” And it was true- with the exception of the pony with the carrier gene for pegacornism, it did not say what the donor was, whether that be unicorn, pegasus, or Earth pony. Scientific Method fixed Mrs. Cake with a hard stare.

“Do you have a problem with that?” she asked, her tone betraying that she found Mrs. Cake to be quite bigoted. Realizing how that had come off, Cup clapped a hoof over her mouth.

“I… I didn’t mean that!” she said quickly. “It’s just that my husband and I are both Earth ponies… wouldn’t it look odd if our foal was a unicorn or a pegasus?”

“Not necessarily… genetics are a strange thing,” Scientific Method replied, fluttering her wings, all former thoughts of Mrs. Cake being prejudiced disappearing. “My parents are both unicorns, but my mother’s father was a pegasus. I inherited the pegasus gene, as did my older brother. But my sister is a unicorn like our parents.” Cup nodded. That made sense. But then again, her family had been nothing but Earth ponies for as part back as anypony could remember (or keep records). She wasn’t quite sure about Carrot’s family line, but she suspected it was something similar. The Cakes and the O’Coffees were, as far as anypony knew, completely Earth ponies, with the exception of Carrot’s random unicorn aunt, but then again, nopony was actually sure if Frilly Lilly was related to the Cakes, or if she was a cousin of a cousin, or related by marriage, or if she’d just shown up one day and sort of ingratiated herself with the family.

Deciding that the doctor had a point, and that it wasn’t a big deal after all, Cup continued looking through the different depictions of the stallions who’d contributed.

The first donor she found that she liked, both in personality and resemblance to either herself or Carrot was the profile of a pale orange pony that lived in Manehattan. From the short biography listed on the paper, Cup learned that he was apparently a high-level executive at a major corporation. There were no listed potential health problems that a foal could inherit, so Cup checked the box next to the donor number then showed it to the other mare.

“Good choice,” the pegasus said approvingly. “You’ll just need to select a second donor, and then we can get started with impregnating you!” Cup flinched a bit at the blunt way the doctor explained the procedure, but another question took precedence.

“A second donor? Why is that?”

“In case the first one doesn’t take,” the doctor explained. Cup flushed furiously. Oh. OH. Yes, that was a potential risk… after all, Carrot hadn’t exactly… “taken” himself, had he? It was possible that the first one she had selected could potentially have the same problem, after all, and then she’d be right back at square one. Embarrassed by her own naïveté, Cup continued flipping through the profiles until she found a second stallion who sounded like he would be a good match. This one was also apparently a Manehattan pony, and he already had a foal. So obviously he had already proved that he was able to reproduce. He was also blue- well, blue-gray according to the profile, which meant that if a foal did result, it would be in the realm of plausible deniability that it was hers, assuming that the genetics for coat and mane color worked that way. He also had his own business, and while it wasn’t implied that it was anywhere on the level of that of a major corporation, it was more than likely that his work ethic was similar to that of the Cakes, what with them both being business owners and all.

Once she showed this selection to the doctor, the pegasus mare input both of the forms into a machine that made a loud beeping sound. “It copies the forms and automatically sorts them into both your file, as well as those of the donors you chose,” she explained. “I don’t know how it works exactly… magic, I guess, considering a unicorn designed it.”

“Yes…” Cup agreed weakly. Once again she found herself amazed by the advanced technology in use throughout this whole enterprise. A few months ago she never would have dreamed that it would be possible for infertile couples to conceive foals through the help of technology and some random, anonymous mare or stallion. That was the first miracle. But since coming to Manehattan, she had become even more attuned to the more minor “miracles.” And the more she thought about it, the more she realized how useful a machine like that would be to her own business. Imagine being able to automatically copy and sort orders, and then file them away properly! She made a mental note to talk to Twilight Sparkle the moment that she got back to Ponyville, to see what the other mare knew about this sort of machine.

“Now,” Scientific Method said, jolting Cup out of her reverie. “Let’s get you pregnant.”

To Be Continued

Author’s Comments:
I really wasn’t all that sure how to present this chapter. Obviously from the episode, at least with regard to Applejack, ponies with two parents of one type, while they themselves are a different type aren’t all that common. That was what I was going for with Cup’s confusion when it wasn’t mentioned in the profiles whether a pony was a unicorn, pegasus, or Earth pony. I was hoping to convey that she was trying to avoid having to answer awkward questions about whether or not she’d cheated on Carrot when the foal was born, if it ended up not being an Earth pony, since from what we’ve seen, most ponies are the same type as their parents. Twilight Sparkle and Rarity’s parents are unicorns. Pinkie Pie’s family is Earth ponies. So are the Apples. Diamond Tiara and her dad are Earth ponies as well. And what we saw with Applejack’s reaction to the foals in the episode itself: “How in tarnation is one of them foals a pegasus and the other a unicorn?” Obviously it does happen, since according to show canon, the foals are actually Cup and Carrot Cake’s children, so that’s why I had Scientific Method be a pegasus with unicorn parents, since it apparently can happen in the show itself.

From what I’ve read on the subject, however, in the real world, just about everything is logged on the donors, from things like their race, hair color, eye color, and potential genetic predispositions to certain conditions, down to things like job, personality, and even really random things like shoe size.

I’m probably overthinking it, but it occurred to me as I was writing this chapter that it might not be very clear why I had Cup react the way I did, or why the donor registry didn’t contain that information. Confound these ponies, they make me get all philosophical on myself!
-Kaboom