• Member Since 15th Feb, 2012
  • offline last seen Jul 10th, 2019



Conversion Bureau one-shot. As the Barrier continues to grow, the HLF spreads thin trying to harden positions deeper inland in the United States. Paul, a fighter with the HLF, is left behind—and alone—to guard the last checkpoint along a major route of egress from Earth.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 25 )

Haha! You live again. i must take some time to read this.


I live again? I never died, baby! I've been around.

2017706 Let me rephrase that.

You have a new story!

wow. Just wow. Totally awesome and makes my stuff look a pile of... well, you get where I'm going with this :rainbowlaugh::pinkiesad2:

Hurray for peer pressure, but good story by the way.

This was incredible. You had me on the edge of my seat every single second I was reading it. A powerful short story. Very impressive.


Damn, but do you get down on yourself! You need commiseration. Here we go.

Me? I wish I could produce more. I wish I were more prolific, just rattling off five, ten thousand words a day, hey, why not.


If FIMFiction were a late-80s after-school special, Dafaddah and Cloudhammer would be the two kids with mullets and denim jackets telling me to drink a beer with them.


Standing a post is one of the most basic tasks expected of a fighter. What the less professional amongst the HLF fail to realize, however, is that one cannot stand it alone. I'm quite glad you enjoyed it! The opinions and thoughts of other TCB writers mean a great deal to me. I soak it all up like some kind of... absorbent rectangular kitchen implement.

Heh. It's how I keep myself from becoming arrogant. Though I do get conflicted when people start saying stuff like "Cloudhammer's stuff is a great introduction to TCB" I'm torn between being uber-happy, and uber-not, since I still don't hold myself on the level of the people who got me into TCB and writing in the first place xD

Also, funny story, I used to have hair past my shoulders and a snazzy jacket in high school xD

Jeez. I can see this happening.

Every time I try to write something like this, I kneel over and die. Great story, I loved it.

Excellent work, you made a member of the HLF truly deserving of that "H" in just a few thousand words. But now I have so many questions, why was the barrier expanding and how fast is it expanding, how was the HLF founded in this world, and how many in the population had converted by this point.

This just goes to show you that a one shot can still be good even when questions are left unanswered.

While this story is fantastic, there are three errors. First, there are only three general orders. that is general order number one. Second is kind of a technicality, its POGs, people/person other-than grunt. Lastly, as a man whos had to do what he did, it ISN'T a one way trip to the loony bin and some of those POGs are ex-linemen or civilians with combat days behind them so it aint all bad.

Besides that, this was a FANTASTIC story. Loved it.

Would I be the niece school boy from Britain that talks proper that tries to hangout with the cool kids.

Welcome to the Conversion Bureau 'verse where ponies become near-zombies (newfoals) and humans either go 'join the herd' (become ponies), become monsters (HLF) or become Xeno-Celestia Converts (PER). Enjoy your stay. Just make sure to avoid the potion bombs when all goes to hell.

Very good. Very, very good. There was a definite sense of his contempt for the weakness and naivete of the ponies, held in tension with how his motivation for fighting in the first place seemed to be to protect others (Saving his five buddies in the HMMWV vs. sparing the kid, not to mention simply being introduced to us as being on guard duty, as opposed to attacking). Then at the end, now that he's taken the opportunity to act mercifully, the way it's reciprocated by the ponies with the simple damn muffin, and how their regard toward remains undiminished, really drives home his turmoil over holding that contempt in the first place.

I also enjoyed the mortar team callback to Railroad 7-3, and all the little details - Just bothering to write down how he kept his feet behind the tire stood out for me. Plus any use of the term "Czech Hedgehogs" is always delightful.

A deserted DC with the Barrier looming silently over it must be quite a sight to see. I can't get that picture out of my head now.

An enjoyable story that reminds us the HLF are people too, with all the good and the bad that implies. Thank you for the read.


You're thinking of Army general orders. Marines have eleven.

The POG/pogue matter is mostly one of phonetics and taste. POG is an acronym, sure, but it's evolved into a single-word term all its own, and I'm not out to make pony fanfiction readers drown in alphabet soup. I've never heard the acronym pronounced as it's spelled anyway, and I didn't want people thinking Paul had suddenly flashed back to the collectible cap game from the 90s.

As for how much of a career-killer it is, the narrator here is unreliable. He was paranoid and assuming the worst would happen. You're prior-service, so you know the line between how things work on paper and how they work in practice. Barracks lawyers, the rumor mill, luck of the draw on JAG and med officers, as well as simple Murphy's Law come into play here. Time-in-grade, good on the board, PLDC done and dusted (I think it's called something else these days), yet something is keeping you from getting picked up for E-5. The military encourages, not through policy but through behavior, to keep people tight-lipped on certain things. If anyone does, I'm pretty sure you know what I mean.


Uhh, is that like Pip from South Park? Also I thought you were Australian.

We're about to be best friends.



Like most TCB authors, I have a setting unique to myself. I'm not so keen on the futuristic sci-fi element in my writing, so I've set my stories in a much more contemporary setting, where humans are still tooling around in internal-combustion vehicles and eating actual food while toting 20th-century weaponry and watching LCD televisions. The Cloudyverse takes a very similar approach.

As for the questions, I suppose I'll have to answer them if I ever write a story where the answer is relevant to the plot. So far I've been much more comfortable focusing on small groups rather than the big picture, and characters operating at big-picture level would have those concerns moreso than the regular people just trying to get by.


Hatred feeds on itself. We humans are social creatures, and the camaraderie inherent in fighting and holding the same ideology as someone else can drive us to do things we would never have been able to do on our own. If we are removed from our affirmations and our echo-chambers and the simple momentum of belonging to something, we revert to our normal state. True honesty is in how we act when nobody is watching, and for Paul, he can't kill ponies like that.

If I had to guess, I'd guess this: from the end of the story to whenever he had to escape the Barrier, Paul wouldn't even have been able to draw down on any more ponies who happened along.


I'm very glad you liked it, and thank you for your service.

I have an uncle who used to conspicuously give the Canadian military shit in my presence simply because it was Canadian (e.g. "not a real military," that kind of bullshit), and then he'd look over to me for approval, like I would find it the peak of hilarity that we actually have allies. I don't know why he was so hung up on it. I'd always just ignore him, but finally it just got too annoying. About a year ago, while visiting, it came out again and I just had to shrug. "They're good guys. I don't remember seeing you over there." It got him to shut up, at least around me.

The virtue of volunteering to go into harm's way transcends nationality, and there are plenty of us Americans who recognize that. All I can do is apologize for those who don't.

Whoa. Powerful stuff. You took the HLF and made them, well, human. Fully fleshed out, conflicted, self-doubting, self-loathing, human. Fantastic work. :pinkiesad2:


It's easier to fight monsters than it is to fight humans. The HLF is a group of humans being led by a few monsters. That's my take on it.

we humans are both good and evil. but its take one human to make the world look evil.
our past is so full of evil I cant think we can be saved. but I don't want to be a pony. so I will fight till the end...so

ashes to ashes
dust to dust
I lay down my life for this world I love
bound by fire bound by steel
I lay my soul to bare the end of my life

I liked this story, and the ending was especially impactful. The writing is as sharp as ever, but I think if I had to choose between 'Ten Rounds' and this, I'd say 'Ten Rounds' was better. Maybe the exposition, though useful at times, was a little excessive at the start, slowing the pace of the story. Still, great story!
Damn this fic is so old... I hope you're still writing!

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