Kinder and Gentler

- by Xaltatun of Acheron

Author's note: 

This work is copyright 2000 by Xaltatun of Acheron (A Pseudonym). It may be posted on the Internet to any free forum, provided it is not modified in any way, and provided that this notice is included in its entirety. It may not be sold, or included in any compilation that is sold, or posted on any forum that requires a fee for access, without my written permission. My permission will require payment, terms to be negotiated. For purposes of this notice, sites guarded by Adult Check or similar packages are considered pay sites. Posting on any site must include this copyright notice.

Adult Content Warning - this story contains adult themes, including non-consensual bondage/slavery and forced sexual acts. If you are under the lawful age for such materials (18 in most jurisdictions) or if you would find such material offensive, please go elsewhere.

This is one of eight stories in the series entitled "Ponygirl Transformation." I may write others later, but eight is it for now.

Ponygirl Finds Her Place

Kinder and Gentler

The Sorceressí Apprentice

Raw Material

Ponygirl by Choice

The Politics of Ponygirls

Ponygirls on Vacation

Bluebird Grows Up

Acknowledgements. The setting and several of the characters are taken from two works by Sir Thomas (A pseudonym). "Adventures on the Hoof" and "Ponygirls, Inc" are both copyright by the Academy Club. Used by permission of Sir Thomas. These works are both for sale, and should not be available on the net, except for a short excerpt on Sir Jeffís ponygirl web site. They may be ordered in the US from Quality SM, and in the UK from the Academy Club.

The character of the lobo-ra has been changed substantially. This is partially to motivate the biotechnology theme, and partially for other reasons.

The character of Sharon, in the story "The Politics of Ponygirls" was originally modeled after Rhianna Summers, a character created by Leviticus (a pseudonym). She had to be changed because his series took a major turn that rendered the plot in these stories infeasible.

In neither case should you infer anything about the prior stories from this one. The authors named above have substantially different objectives for their stories.

There are a number of hidden references throughout to obscure (and some not so obscure) science fiction and fantasy stories. This is a game that some authors play. Should you care to look, have fun finding them.

Safety Warning. This story may contain descriptions of practices that are decidedly unsafe, either in general, or if performed by someone without adequate training. There are a number of good books available on safety in the BDSM scene. Iím not going to point out which practices are safe, and which arenít. Any practice is unsafe if performed by someone with inadequate training and experience, or if performed when not paying attention. Please think before you act. Donít make yourself a candidate for a Darwin award.

Science Warning. In common with most science fiction authors, if I need it, I invent it. Just because itís described, donít assume it exists. On the other hand, just because youíve never heard of it, donít assume it doesnít. There are only two universal laws. If you believe in a limitation, itís yours. Yesterdayís impossibility is todayís research news, and tomorrowís consumer product.

OK Ė now on to the story -------

 

This story takes place about two years after the events in Ponygirl Finds Her Place. Some of the reforms have taken hold; others have fallen by the wayside. Alice is now the Sorceress, dividing her time between being Silence, doing light psychotherapy and working on various plans to evolve the community into something a bit higher on the moral scale.

Chapter 1. An opportunity arises.

"Put up or shut up! Iím tired of hearing about how you could improve the pony training program." Stephanie had a gleam in her eye.

"So youíve finally swung a pony training assignment for me, eh? When do we start?"

"You start in about half an hour. Theyíre just processing her through orientation now. Iíll come along to watch you fall on your face."

"Cynic." I checked my schedule. "I see you blocked out my schedule all day, pipsqueak."

"Yup. You didnít have anything critical on it, and we need to take Silence out for a run. If you follow the schedule we discussed, we should be able to do one right after lunch."

Alice and Stephanie had one of the odder relationships in the Arizona Community. Stephanie was about 25 years old, 2í5" and 48 pounds. She was a member of the lobo-ra clan that lived in, but was not quite of, the Arizona Community.

The lobo-ra were the basis for the legends of the leprechauns, the dwarfs, the elves, and numerous others of the "little people." They were the smallest of the various human races. Lobo-ra meant wolf-rider. Before they joined the community, they captured timber wolves, broke them to saddle and rode them. They were absolutely natural animal trainers. For them, it was instinctive. They learned it just like anyone else learned walking or talking.

When they joined the community in the late 1940s, they were almost extinct. Female fertility had been dropping for some time, and the end was in sight. That wouldnít come for a while, they were about twice as long-lived as the big people, but the handwriting was on the wall. When they discovered that their males could get big people females pregnant, and that the lobo-ra genes were highly dominant, they had an immediate match.

Alice, on the other hand, was an athletic looking, 5í 5" redhead. Her hair was done in a pony cut. That is, it was cut short along the sides, almost like a ponyís hair, but it was long in a wide strip from the front of her head back to her neck. It looked like she had a mane. She wore it that way because she spent time as a pony, and that was the accepted style. She was the only community member that used that hairstyle.

She was dressed conservatively in a black leather skirt that hugged her hips and came down to mid-thigh, a white, low-cut blouse, mesh hose and five-inch heels. It was similar to, but not quite the same as, the uniform worn by the students in their final year of study to become ponygirl trainers. The heels brought her height up to five feet, ten inches. The pumps were actually practical; they had the same design as the pony boots she had worn during her training, and which she still wore as Silence. The only thing they didnít have was the horseshoes.

Her legs and torso were heavily developed; much more than would be expected from running or aerobics. Oddly, enough, her arms werenít developed at all; they looked like what you would expect on a sedentary office worker, which is what she was, at least some of the time.

Alice was, to put it bluntly, nuts. She was a fully developed multiple personality. The personality most people saw was the one she called the negotiator. It had people skills galore, and was one of the reasons she had the rather interesting position in the community that she enjoyed. One of her other personalities was the ponygirl Silence is Golden. Stephanie was her rider. Alice was the Sorceress, a position that most of the community preferred not to think about.

Stephanie acted like she owned Alice. Silence certainly thought so. The internal committee that was actually Alice was highly amused by the high-handed way Stephanie would rearrange Aliceís schedule so that she could get time to work Silence. Stephanie had, so far, not overstepped any bounds. However, Stephanie was getting the disquieting suspicion that she was being integrated into Aliceís internal ecology.

Chapter 2. Orientation.

It was the middle of the bimonthly acquisition week. The capture teams had gotten their twenty girls for the day into their transportation boxes with no trouble. They were highly skilled at the job. The boxes, each with its captive girl, were flown in by private airplane. When they arrived, they were sorted by time of capture, and distributed to the five orientation teams. Each team would take four of the girls, and prepare them for their destiny as pony slaves. The ones who had been in their boxes the longest would be prepared first.

Molly was the team captain of Orientation Room 4. Her teammates were Dave and Tom. While she was captain, they actually functioned as relative equals while doing orientation; this was a well-rehearsed function. There was no need for continual oversight. Besides, Molly would have her hands full with the girls; Dave and Tom would fill in with support and muscle when it was needed.

Since there was little need for Orientation except during Acquisition Week, they spent time before the boxes arrived reviewing the procedure, and setting up the room. They wanted to project an aura of calm, inevitable control. They also wanted to make things move quickly; some of the girls had been in their boxes for close to 20 hours, and they needed to be processed before there were problems.

The third box contained a 5í7" blonde named Sally. She was a runner type, an athletic tomboy with long legs. Unfortunately, she was close to the bottom of the height range for the Classic category. She also wasnít stunningly beautiful. Her lemon-yellow hair was her best point. Taller girls would overmatch her. She was probably worth no more than $50,000, hardly more than the cost of training her. She was an alternate target; one of the primary targets had been unavailable.

When she was put up for auction, there would likely be no bids at the minimum price. The community wouldnít take a loss; they would keep her for their own members. She was ideal as practice material for Alice. The community wouldnít be losing that much if Alice screwed up.

Molly stood back and admired her handiwork. Her handiwork, a pert blue-eyed redhead in the miniature category, gazed back at her in dejected submission. After being kidnapped, drugged, mounted on the display stand, tortured lightly with the hypersonic prod, gagged, stripped, tagged and pierced, it was no wonder she was in a state of shock. And most of this happened while Molly was praising her for how wonderfully she was taking all this.

Molly wrapped a blanket around her, and wheeled the stand out into the corridor. In a few minutes, an attendant would wheel it away, for her date with her destiny.

Molly took a moment to review the data sheet on the third new pony. Meanwhile, Dave and Tom opened the box, and began removing the restraining straps. Molly reached in, and removed the curious gadget that had been providing Sally with a mixture of air and sleepy gas. In a few minutes, the remainder of the gas would leave her system, and she would wake up. In the past, they would have opened all of the boxes at once, and removed the sleepy gas at the beginning of the operation. That had changed when Alice had come through as one of the kidnapped. Rather than being scared shitless at what was happening, she had used the opportunity to listen to the first two girls being prepared, and then played with her preparer by snatching the initiative and handing it back a few times. Needless to say, this wasnít exactly by the book.

She began to stir just as Dave and Tom finished with the last of the restraining straps. They picked her up, swung her upright, and carried her over to her display stand. As they set her down, Molly guided the rings at the back of her restraint belt over the pole in the center of the stand. She was now mounted on her knees, held upright by the pole she was attached to. Molly unhooked her legs from the belt, and attached them to the back of the stand with short lengths of chain. She had about an inch of play at the end of her legs.

Molly removed her hood. A pair of scared blue eyes looked back. Molly briefly stroked her cheek, and said, "Hold on, dear. Iíll take the gag off next." She took the gag off.

Sally gulped a moment, and said, "Where am I?"

"Where you need to be. Are you thirsty? Would you like a glass of water?"

"Yes, please." Molly got a plastic glass of water with a straw off of the table, and held it up to Sallyís mouth. Sally sucked it down; she must have been a bit dehydrated.

"More?"

"Yes, please." Molly got the second glass from the table. Sally sucked most of it down before she stopped. "Enough?"

"Yes. What are you going to do to me?"

"Weíre going to train you."

"Train me? To do what?"

"You donít need to know that. It would only upset you. Just take it as it comes, and youíll be all right."

Molly got her prod off of her belt, and turned it on to its lowest setting.

"Is anyone going to hurt me?"

"Yes, youíll be hurt quite a lot. Iím going to hurt you myself in just a moment. Just be a good girl, follow orders promptly, and youíll avoid a lot of the punishment. Do you know what this is?"

Sally shook her head.

"This is a hypersonic prod. We use it to prompt you when youíre a bit slow. You need to know what it feels like. This is part of the procedure."

She drew the prod over Sallyís breast. Sally drew a long shuddering breath, and let it out. "That hurt" she gasped.

"Yes it did. Itís supposed to. Thatís its lowest setting. Itís not a punishment; itís just a reminder to do what youíre supposed to do. Now, Iíve got to show you the second setting. This one is a punishment. You need to feel it; its part of the procedure too."

Molly set the prod to level 2, and touched Sallyís arm. Sally screamed.

"Iím sorry I had to do that. Its part of the procedure, I would be punished if I skipped it."

Sally gasped. "Just do what youíre told, and youíll be all right. Youíre doing fine, honey."

Molly picked up a mass of straps from the table. There was a large red ball attached to the straps.

"Open your mouth like a good girl. I have to gag you now. Thatís the next thing on the procedure."

Sallyís mouth stayed stubbornly closed. Molly reached for her prod. Sally eyed the prod, and opened her mouth. "Good girl. Thatís right." Molly put the red ball in Sallyís mouth, and buckled the strap behind her head. Then she adjusted the straps until the bridle fit snuggly.

She took a padded stand from the table, and clamped it to the top of the metal pole that Sally was attached to. Then she pushed Sallyís head back, and clipped the bridle to the headrest. Sallyís back arched a bit to accommodate her new position. Her breasts came up.

"Well, lets get rid of those clothes." She picked up a pair of power sheers, and showed them to Sally. "Dressmakers shears. Work wonders." She pulled Sallyís skirt out from under the leather belt. One cut up the side disposed of the skirt and the slip. Another cut up the other side finished off the panties. Then she pulled her sleeveless shirt up, and cut it, and the bra, off with four precise strokes of the shears. "Now, donít you look just darling, dear? Thatís very nice."

"This next procedure is going to hurt. Thereís no way to avoid it." She picked up a bottle of antiseptic from the table, and proceeded to swab Sallyís earlobes with it. It stained the earlobes red.

Then she picked up a punch, and put it all the way up the lobe into the cartilage. "Hang on, dear. This will hurt." She pushed the handle on the punch. It drilled a starter hole through her ear, followed by a wider bit that left a sixteenth inch hole. Sally screamed through her gag. "Now, now, that wasnít that bad." She moved around her head and did the other ear. Sally screamed again. The gag muffled the sound.

"Now, lets get your ear tags in." She picked up a disk from the table, inserted a little pole, and put it in Sallyís ear. Then she put another disk on the backside, and crimped the post so that the entire assemblage was now fixed to the ear. It wouldnít come off without tools. She did the same to the other ear. The posts on the medallions were hollow. She popped a pair of small pearl earrings in the center. Sally was now tagged with her number, assigned by the International Ponygirl Consortium.

She moved down to Sallyís breasts next. With the way her head was tilted, Sally couldnít see what she did. She swiftly smeared a green goop over the front of her breasts, and rubbed it in with a swab. "Topical anesthetic. You wonít feel a thing." Then she very expertly pierced her breasts. When she was done, Sally sported a pair of golden rings through her breasts, about an inch below her nipples. They were permanent; they wouldnít come off unless they were cut off with metalworking tools.

Molly stepped back to look at her handiwork. This one looked scrumptious. It was a pity that she wasnít one of the more valuable ones. Or maybe not, she might choose this one herself if she won the pick of the herd lottery.

She wrapped a blanket around her, and wheeled her out of the door. She promptly forgot about Sally as she turned to deal with the fourth boxed girl.

Chapter 3. Sally has a date with a chair

"Well, pint size, if weíre going to start on her in a half hour, we need to get started." I dumped the breakfast dishes in the sink, picked up Stephanie, and headed for the door. Stephanie cuddled up, taking advantage of the closeness. Stephanie was living with me now. She had moved in shortly after I had got my community membership after the earthquake. The arrangement suits us; we both like the companionship, and there isnít likely to be anything sexual between a lobo-ra and one of the big people. Besides, the Board felt much better having someone on site keeping an eye on me. They trusted the lobo-ra implicitly. They didnít trust me at all, but they didnít have any way of doing anything about it, so they ignored it.

I headed out the door, and paused for a moment in the corridor. The door dead bolted itself from the inside. This was part of the distrust Ė I was a fairly good, if low power, telekinetic. Opening locked doors was a specialty.

Cellblock three is a brisk walk from the executive apartment block where we live. You go down an elevator, over several corridors, down another elevator, through a number of checkpoints, and then youíre there. Cellblock three is arranged in five corridors of cells like the fingers of a hand. Each corridor has ten cells, five to a side. Sally was assigned to cell 46.

When we arrived, she was already parked in the cell, blanket swathed around her. We entered the cell, and began checking that everything we needed was in order. Fortunately, the staff had delivered the full harness. In the regular course, we would only need the pony boots now, but we were going to change the schedule radically.

Then Ted and Frank arrived about the time we finished checking the setup.

Ted and Frank were two of the members of the team Iíd be working with. Taking care of a ponygirl, like a racehorse, took more than one person. The training teams were each responsible for several ponygirls, and split their time among them. I took off the blanket, and threw it to the side. Staff would pick it up tonight.

I walked around the bound girl, looking her over, and commenting on various points. Ted, Frank and Stephanie joined in the game. This wasnít part of the normal procedure, but they were quite willing to go along with me on it. I was dropping keywords and playing riffs with my voice. A good part of the rather odd brand of conversational hypnosis I practice depends on cues out of conscious awareness. I learned the basics from the man who melded my warring personalities into a functional whole. I practiced on the members of my hunk of the month club. I watched Sallyís reactions to my comments with a peripheral vision honed to razor sharpness by years of practice. This one had some interesting potential.

"Lets get the boots on her." Ted and Frank took one leg each. The boots were knee high black leather, with built in ankle braces. The five-inch heels would force her feet to a nearly vertical position, as if she was a ballet dancer en Pointe. The bottoms of the shoes had horseshoes attached. The front of the horseshoes stuck out a little from the front of the shoe itself. They zipped them up the back. The well-dressed bondagette would have had her boots locked on; they didnít bother. She wasnít going to get her hands anywhere near them. They did attach a six-inch chain between her knees, however.

Sally took the opportunity to look around her, at least as well as she could with her head held back on the headrest. Before that, she had been attempting to follow me, because I seemed to be in charge. Her display stand had her facing the back wall of the cell. There were three little rooms there. One seemed to be a bathroom of some kind. On the other side, there was something she couldnít make out. The room in the center had an odd looking wooden chair.

"Upsie-daisy" I said. Ted and Frank unclipped the girlís bridle from the headrest, detached it, and then lifted her off the stand, placing her on her feet. She tottered a moment; she had never experienced heels that high. She looked down at her feet, and saw a gleam of metal sticking out the front of the shoes. "Horseshoes", I said. "Itís the latest fashion for the well dressed ponygirl."

"Lets get on with it." I turned to the girl. "See that chair in front of you? Go sit down in it." Sally didnít move. I took out my prod, and turned it to two. Sally moved. Ted and Frank tied her legs to the chair. They left about an inch of slack in the bondage. Then they move up, unhooked her arms from the belt, and tied them to the arms of the chair. Meanwhile, I adjusted the reins coming out the back of the chair to the right length. Then I hooked them to her bridle.

Ted arched an eyebrow. I nodded. They took off; I could handle the rest myself. They had other things to do.

"Letís put you in the picture." I looked at Sally. "Youíre going to become a ponygirl. Youíre probably asking: what is a ponygirl?"

Sally nodded cautiously. "Well, its two words. Pony and girl. A ponygirl is a girl thatís been trained to act like a pony. We have all the necessary ingredients. Girl." I pointed a finger at Sally. "Trainer." I pointed a finger at myself. "Rider." I pointed a finger at Stephanie.

"When you were captured, you lost all say in the matter. When I finish training you, youíll be a ponygirl. Anyone who looks at you will see that you act like a pony. Thereís really only one thing left that you have any control over. You can have it easy, or you can have it hard. It wonít affect the outcome at all. But it will affect the amount of pain you suffer getting there.

"Time for a lesson. Youíve probably heard one of the tricks they teach ponies in the circus. They teach them to answer questions by tapping a hoof. Weíre going to teach you that now. Tap your left hoof."

Sally tapped. "Good girl. Now do it twice. Thatís good. Now three times. Very good." I had her tap on command a number of times. "Good girl. Youíve got that part down. Lets add another piece. Hold your head still when I tell you the number of times to tap. Ponies donít move their heads, you shouldnít either."

I had Sally do a two tap and a three tap another several dozen times, mixing them up. By this point, Sally had gotten into the game. She was relaxed, just letting it flow. "Very good. Now lets add another bit. You know that those circus ponies really didnít understand the questions. Their trainer had a secret signal that told them when to tap, and how many times. Iíve been using a secret signal right along. In fact, the last half dozen or so times, youíve been reacting to that signal, not to what Iíve been saying." Her eyes went wide.

"Now weíre going to check it out. Iím just going to say Ďtapí. You hold your head still, and let your foot do its thing. Tap." Another dozen repetitions.

"Youíre doing splendidly, honey. Now to add another little piece. You canít lie to me. That doesnít mean shouldnít, or youíll get in trouble if I catch you. It really means Ďcanítí, as in not possible. Your entire body says one thing for Ďyesí, and another thing for Ďnoí. Its subtle, but that kind of subtle is my job. Iím going to ask you some yes or no questions. Your job is to hold your head still, eyes in front of you, and let your foot do its thing. Understand?"

Tap. Tap. Very definite.

"Honey, you did it!" I reached over and gave Sally a big smooch on the cheek. "Youíve just learned your first pony behavior. Now, wasnít that easy?"

Tap. Tap.

"Lets just tie a ribbon around this lesson." I asked Sally another dozen questions. Every one was answered with a firm Tap, Tap, or a Tap, Tap, Tap. Again, by the time the questions ran out, Sally was relaxed, and just letting it flow.

"That was so good, you deserve a big reward. Iíll bet youíre hungry, right?" Tap, tap.

I held up two jars, one with white stuff, one with brown stuff. "Now, this is ponygirl chow. Its made of a careful blend of the basic four food groups. Burger Bell, Taco Hut, Pizza King." Sally cracked up in a paroxysm of strangled snorts. I held a tissue up to her. "Blow your nose, girl."

"Actually, it really is a careful blend of everything the active ponygirl needs. Itís all you will get to eat while you are here. This white stuff is called mash. It tastes like a gourmet ice cream. We vary the flavor, but it does get monotonous after a while. Ciest la vie. This brown stuff is called slop. Itís exactly the same, but itís the Devilís own taste treat. It tastes really awful. And the taste lingers."

"We use it as punishment for talking. Real ponies donít talk. We donít allow our ponygirls to talk, either. Most of the trainers would tell you that you will never say another word in your life. Thatís a little white lie. It might be true; it might not. It totally depends on who buys you after you finish training. Youíve got no say in the matter. The general opinion is that if they tell you that you will never talk, then you will have a pleasant surprise if your owner wants you to talk, and you wonít be disappointed otherwise. Over the next few days, Iím going to train you so that you wonít talk. That is, unless you are given very specific permission. And Iím not going to give you that permission except to check whether the training took. Understand?"

Tap. Tap.

"Then we wonít need this." I handed the jar of slop back to Stephanie.

Stephanie handed me the feeding funnel. "Now, this is how youíll be fed. All the time you are here, you will be fed with this funnel. It attaches to your harness like so." I pushed the end through the hole in Sallyís ball gag, and attached the straps. Stephanie handed me the jar of mash. I poured a full twelve ounces into the funnel, and then turned the crank. Mash oozed into Sallyís mouth.

"Now, just suck on it. Youíll get the trick. Iíll tell you a few more things while youíre feeding." Sally sucked some of the mash out of the funnel. "Good girl, youíve got it."

"Just remember that youíre a girl. You arenít a pony. You will never grow real hooves or long ears. You will never graze in a pasture on four legs. You will never have a tail that you can use to swat flies, although we have a pretty tail for you."

"Weíve already discussed that ponies donít talk. Ponies also donít understand what people tell them. They just understand tone of voice and a small number of spoken commands. Iím not going to do that to you. Well, thatís not totally true. I am going to train you so that you donít pay any attention to words. They will be totally unimportant to you. But that will be just for training purposes. Most of the time, you will retain your ability to understand whatever anyone around you is saying. Except when youíre being worked. Then, the only voice that will be important will be whoever is working you. Understand?"

Tap. Tap.

"Now, thereís a reason for that you may not think of. When you are sold, you will probably be going to a country where they donít speak English. Your owner may, but his staff probably wonít. Its better for you if you get used to not having language while youíre still here."

"One last thing. This chair you are harnessed to is called the chair. As in ĎPlease God, let me not get put in the chairí. Itís the worst punishment you will ever receive here. Itís a combination of sleep deprivation and muscle fatigue. We normally start ponies out at 80 hours to soften them up when they arrive. Thatís over three days of sleep deprivation. Iím not going to do that to you. Youíve been very cooperative, and a pleasure to work with so far. I donít think you need the full treatment. Iím going to give you a few hours taste of the chair, just so you know in your gut what its about."

"When I arm the chair, if you move your head enough to pull on the reins, you will get a shock. Its impossible to sleep without pulling on the reins, so the shocks will keep you awake. Thatís why itís such a nasty punishment. Iím only going to leave you in it for a few hours. Iím not going to tell you how many; the clock will start at 80 hours, which is the standard first session."

Alice unhitched the funnel and tilted Sallyís head forward. Then she swung the small backrest into position. That rest would give Sallyís head only about an inch of movement before pulling on the reins. Then she threw the switch.

"Itís armed. Donít move your head, or you will get a shock. Iíll be back in a few hours to check on you. If youíve learned this lesson, youíll be out of the chair."

"Meanwhile, think about attitude. Life has given you a lemon. Iím not going to pretend otherwise. Your attitude will make the difference between finding what happiness you can in this situation, and being unnecessarily miserable. Remember, in most situations, suffering is optional."

Alice and Stephanie left the room. The mirror came up. Sally stared at herself. She saw a tall, blue-eyed yellow blond with very disheveled hair, dressed in a kinky bondage costume, and tied to a chair.

The clock continued its countdown.

Chapter 4. The Wolf and Ponygirl Show

"Hey, kidlet, it looks like weíre going to be late. I think weíre going to have to teleport back to my cell for us to have a chance to make it."

"Yeah, I guess so. Pick me up and put me out, will you?"

"Of course. I canít have my favorite rider freaking out." We came to a locked door marked ĎAuthorized Personnel Only. If you canít open it, you arenít authorized.í There was no keyhole. It was locked from the inside with a deadbolt.

I opened the door and followed Stephanie into the unfurnished chamber. I relocked the door behind me, picked up Stephanie and held her close. "Stephanie. Teleport. Sleep" I said in a very precise tone of voice.

Stephanie snuggled up against my shoulder and went out like a light. I thought of the room in Leoís complex where Silence had her cell. For a moment, it became highly uncertain whether we were here or there. Then here and there swapped places. We were still here, but now here was there. People in the vicinity of one of my teleports tended to freak out. Space wasnít supposed to turn from solid reality to a minor bookkeeping convenience for Mother Nature. Thatís why I restrict my teleports to a few fixed locations in the complex. Not that I have to, but it avoided freaking them out even more than they are now. It also avoided freaking the Board, which wasnít at all ready to deal with me being able to leave the complex any time I wanted to. They could choose to ignore what wasnít shoved in their faces.

"Stephanie. Wake Up". Stephanie stirred against my shoulder, and woke up. I put her down, and we popped out of the room. The deadbolt on the inside locked itself.

Stephanie made a beeline for the door to the Executive dome. She had a couple of things she wanted from the apartment. I looked around, and spotted Bluebird, Thunder and Lightning on their display stands. They were all in Bluebirdís cell, yakking away. Rainbow was nowhere to be seen.

"Hey, Alice." Thunder called. "Thought I felt you come in. Is Silence going to join us?"

"Canít today. If Jack will get Silence harnessed, weíve got a slot on the other side in a few minutes. Got to run."

I went into Silenceís cell and began to change from my traineeís uniform to Silenceís harness. Iíd just gotten the boots zipped up when Jack came in. "Steph coming back right away?"

"Yeah, she just went to the apartment to get a few things. Weíre running late. Saddle me up, would you?"

Jack held out the bustier. I stepped into it, and Jack zipped it up. As he laced it tight, the Negotiator slipped away, and the ponygirl Silence is Golden took over my body. It was now obvious that there was someone else home.

"Bend Over." She bent, exposing her sex and her anus. He picked up a dildo with a red ball at the end, and plunged it into her sex. Then he used a special tool to expand the inner end so it wouldnít fall out. It looked like her sex had been ball gagged.

Another dildo went into her anus. This one was a thin cylinder with a curved tube out one end. He worked it up her anus, and then used another tool to expand the inner end and seat it firmly. The curved tube was now nestled tightly between her butt cheeks.

He finished outfitting her swiftly. The collar that held her head back. The bridle with the bright red ball gag.

Next, he picked up a light carbon fiber plate, and placed it over her shoulders and against her back. He fastened it to rings on her bustier with straps that were on the plate. The plate focused the weight on her shoulders, and insured that her back would not twist. Next, the saddle went high on her back, where her rider would have a chance of seeing over her head. Her arms were unhooked from the puppy paws position, and folded across her back, as if she was supporting the saddle above them. Finally, another plate went over the top of the first one, securing and concealing her arms. She now looked like she was totally armless.

Just as Jack finished, Stephanie popped back in. "Hi Jack. I see youíve gotten Silence saddled for me. Thanks."

Jack picked her up and swung her around once. "WheeÖ" then he gave her a big hug, and put her back down. "Thatís for my favorite rider."

"I bet you say that to all the girls, Jack."

"Of course. They all like it; you know that." Silence had gone down on one leg. Stephanie said, "Down," and Silence went further down, to sit on her heels. Stephanie popped silenceís ball gag out, replacing it with a working bit. She attached reins, and looped them over the cantle of the saddle. She took a bar code wand out of a receptacle on the saddle, and ran it over the tube nestled between Silenceís ass cheeks.

Stephanie swung into the saddle. Silence came smoothly up to a standing position, with Stephanie on her back. Steph rode her out of the cellblock into the main corridor.

The corridors were overrun with people. People on foot. People leading ponies. Lobo-ra riding ponies. Ponies pulling carts. Ponies on their display stands being pushed somewhere. Like everywhere else, traffic was a killer. Eventually, they got to the part of the complex where the wolf-riders lived. They were lobo-ra, just like the others, but they had revived the ancient practice of taming and riding wolves. They had their own section, with a secure exit to the forest on a mountain. Unlike the ponygirls, who could be trained to almost anything, wolves remained wolves, even when they were saddled and ridden.

One of the unexpected changes after the earthquake was that dressage had turned into dance. The dressage routine they had done with the trainees had caught the public imagination. The edict about community owned ponies being required to talk fed right into it. There was now something to actually talk about.

In the rounds of meetings after the earthquake, Alice had mentioned doing her "dog and pony show" once too often in Stephanieís hearing. So Stephanie had organized her own wolf and ponygirl show, with Silence being in one of the starring roles.

It was highly creative. Sometimes it looked like the wolves were chasing the ponygirls. Sometimes it looked like the ponygirls were herding the wolves. There were other motifs as well. Stephanie was in her element. This was what she was born to do.

Sometimes they practiced the choreography to one of the big peopleís more complex musical compositions. Sometimes they just ad-libbed. They went on for a couple of hours. Then it was time to quit Ė everyone was a happy tired.

By the time they got back to Leoís private cellblock, Silence was pooped. She sat. Stephanie swung off of her, and tossed the reins to Joanne. Silence came back up to kneel on one knee.

"Joanne, do me a favor, will you? Put her on her display stand, feed her, and let her get an hour or so sleep. She needs it."

"Isnít she going to be pissed when she comes out?"

"Possibly. But this is why she lets me control her schedule. Anyway, all she has today is the new pony they are letting her train. She was chaired a few hours ago. Alice is planning on letting her out when she gets back, but an hour or so isnít going to make a difference."

"Besides, you know that she never takes it out on someone following halfway reasonable orders. If sheís pissed, sheíll come after me, not after you."

"Oh, hey. Now this, youíre going to have to tell me about."

"She did this incredibly innovative piece of work training the pony to do the yes and no foot tapping. I think sheís got more pieces planned. Got to run, Iíll barely make it for my next training session as it is."

Joanne removed the saddle, put the arm binders on Silence, and led her over to her display stand. "Make a knee". She slid onto the pole like it was greased. She replaced the bit with the ball gag, and placed the headrest. She didnít bother with any of the attachments. Silence was so well trained that she wasnít going to go anywhere without orders. A squad of marines couldnít keep Alice on the stand if she wanted off. The ankle restraints were simply make-work; only useful if they were on show, and they needed points for form.

Joanne set up the funnel, and put eight ounces of mash in it. Silence sucked it down greedily. When she was done, she closed her eyes, and fell asleep. Joanne took the funnel off, and locked the cell door behind her.

An hour and a half later Jack came by and noticed that Silence had her eyes open. "All rested up?" Silence tapped twice. "Ok, lets get you unharnessed. Alice has work to do."

He worked quietly and efficiently. When the bustier came off, Silence went away, and the Negotiator took over the body.

I gave Jack a quick hug, then dressed. As I walked to the door, I noticed that Rainbow was on her display stand, quietly watching me. Bluebird was in the trotting booth. Thunder and Lightning were nowhere in sight. I waved to Rainbow.

Rainbow whinnied back.

Chapter 5. More training.

It took her 20 minutes to get to cell 46. Sally was still patiently waiting on the chair. She didnít look like she was in very good shape.

"Have you got the point?" Two taps.

"Youíre going to be good, right?" Two taps.

"Iím going to untie you from this thing. Then youíre going to go, on hands and knees, to the bathing chamber. Iím going to groom you and put you in your regular harness. Then weíre going to do some more lessons. Got that?" Two taps, hesitantly.

"Let me be very clear. If you so much as think about disobeying an order, or resisting me in any way, youíre going back into this chair for the full 80 hours. Do you want to do that? Three taps, very definite. "I didnít think so."

Alice spent a few minutes untying the restraints. Sally almost collapsed on the floor. "Hands and knees, like I told you." Sally scrambled up to her hands and knees. "Now, out of here to the bathroom." Sally obediently crawled on the floor.

"Now, see that toilet?" Two taps. "I want you to straddle it. Donít sit down; just straddle it with your back out straight, nice and horizontal. Good girl, thatís exactly right. Now, you may be tempted to balk at the next couple of things. Donít do it. This is part of the regular daily grooming procedure, just go with it."

I administered a douche and an enema. Sally shuddered as she felt her bowels filling with water, but she held her position. "Good girl. I know, enemas are an acquired taste, especially when someone else administers them. Itís a taste youíre going to acquire. Now, just let it out into the toilet. Thatís a good girl."

"Iím going to remove the rest of your bondage now. All except for the ball gag. You are to keep that between your teeth yourself. If you let it drop, Iím going to zap you. If you let it drop to say something, Iím going to zap you even harder. Got it?" Two taps.

I took off the rest of her bondage. She kept her teeth clamped around the ball gag like her life depended on it. It didnít, quite. But I liked the level of enthusiasm.

I showed her the shower. The showerhead was only four feet off the floor. The floor was a hard rubber that sloped gently to a drain in the center. I told her to shower sitting up. Under no conditions was she to stand. It took her a couple of tries to get her entire body clean.

Then I groomed her. I used large terrycloth towels to dry her off, and used a hair drier on her hair, also her underarms and her pussy. I brushed out her hair, and put it up in a ponytail. In the next couple of days I would have it styled into a pony cut. At the start she was fearful and tried to pull away a little. By the end, she was leaning into my attentions. She would learn that this was one of the little luxuries of being a ponygirl.

"You may not like this next part. Its part of what the well-dressed ponygirl wears, so you will be wearing them all the time. On your hands and knees, with your ass toward me, please." I inserted the two dildos and screwed them tight. She shuddered, but she maintained her position. She also didnít drop the ball. "Good girl" I praised her.

"Crawl into the main room and lie down on the mat, face down, spread eagle." She crawled. I put the boots on her, and then the arm binders. "Stand up now." The bustier was next. When I had it nice and tight, I clipped the rings on her elbows to the fastening on the arm binders. She now looked like a puppy begging.

"Tilt your head back. More. OK." I put the collar on her. It was high in the front, lower in back. The front had a rough edge that would irritate her throat if she tried to raise her head toward the vertical.

"Now, spit the ball out." As she opened her mouth to release the ball, I popped another one in. She had no chance to attempt to speak. I wrapped the bridle around her head, and then stepped back to admire her.

Next, get her onto the stand. She was easy to control. I put her in the right place and told her to drop onto her right knee, slowly. She dropped down on her right knee, and I guided the rings into place. She was now fastened to the pole. The headrest and the ankle chains completed the picture.

Another inspection. The little puppy hands, and the head back at a 45-degree angle made an almost insufferably cute picture. No wonder people wanted to buy them.

"Iím going to teach you another pony behavior. Do you want that?" Two taps. She was wonderful.

"Make a noise in your throat. Keep your tongue still." She made a noise. "Louder." She made it louder. We kept shaping it until I was happy with the whinny.

"Do you remember that secret signal I was using with the foot tapping?" She whinnied and tapped twice. Ahead of me again. I kept talking. She kept replying in whinnies. Eventually, I was happy that it was wired in.

"Good girl! Youíve just learned your second pony behavior. On the first day!" I hugged her on the stand. "I could just kiss you." I took out the ball gag. It looked like she was going to say something, but she whinnied instead. She looked startled, and whinnied another time. Then a third. Then she shut up. Good. I gave her a big kiss, and another hug, and then replaced the ball gag.

Something about that kiss. I looked at her. "Youíre a lesbian, arenít you?" Two taps. "What about sucking men off?" Three taps, very definite. "What about straight sex?" Three more taps. The whinny was sounding distressed. "Weíll work on that. I donít want my favorite pony messed up by a gangbang. And there is one in your future, in a few days. Nothing I can do about it, its part of the procedure."

Her whinny was definitely distressed. "Hey, kid. I said Iíd work on it with you. Weíll turn you into a bisexual in plenty of time." She looked doubtful. "What happen, you get raped?" She turned pale. So much for subtle. Even Leo could have seen that signal. I asked a few questions, read the answers from her body language. Anger covered up by guilt and self-doubt. Exacerbated by a well-intentioned attempt at therapy.

Well, trauma reduction is part of my job in the community. Iím the closest they have to a general-purpose shrink. There are a couple of other women who are pretty good counselors, but they are just too small a community to be able to train specialists internally Ė and they donít recruit except in very special cases. I had to learn how the mind really works in the process of getting myself organized. I was very fortunate in having a teacher who had probably forgotten more about it than most professors of psychology ever learned. As the old pipe fitter said, $1 for tapping with hammer, $999 for knowing where to tap.

So I did what I do. The trauma came off in waves. I took off her collar, so she could cry into my shoulder. Midway through the process, Tiffany came into the cell. Tiffany is the team leader, and has been doing training for about ten years. Sheís one of the better trainers. I gave her a hand signal to watch and wait.

Eventually, we got through it. Then Sally surprised me, and almost got herself chaired. She talked. "Can I go home now?"

"Youíre becoming a ponygirl has nothing to do with your being raped. Youíre still on the fast track for being a ponygirl." She sniffled. Tiffany had pulled out her prod. I gave her a quick hand signal to lay off.

"That was pretty intense. It looks like youíve forgotten your lessons in how to be a ponygirl." That brought her up short. She turned pale.

"Tiffany, would you get me her sleeping hood?"

Tiffany got it from the cabinet, and handed it to me. "Tiffany is the team leader. Sheís actually responsible for getting you properly trained. Iím just the cheap help." Tiffany chuckled.

"This is your sleeping hood. You will wear it when you are sleeping. The lights never go out in the cellblock, thereís always noise. This hood is a very efficient blindfold, and pretty good at cutting the noise. Iíve got some things to discuss with Tiffany that you shouldnít hear. This is not a punishment. Its just a precaution."

"Before I hood you, one thing to remember. If I hear one word out of you before I unhood you, your next meal will be sludge." She shuddered slightly. Good, I wanted some motivation for the next few minutes. I hooded her. Her lights went out.

I explained the situation to Tiffany. She looked thoughtful. "Could this be why some of the girls never become really enthusiastic about sex?"

"Probably. Itís impossible to tell with the current training methods. One of the reasons I want to change them."

I told her what I intended to do next. She chuckled. "If this works, you get two gold stars. Sure, Iíll play along. I can take the marching training; there should be enough time."

"Good. She needs to get used to the idea that there will be a number of people handling her."

I took the hood off of my charge. She looked up at me with frightened blue eyes.

"Like I just said, that was pretty intense. Itís not your fault that the conditioning blew out. Iím going to reinstall it now. Just lie back and let it happen. OK?" Tap. Tap.

She looked startled. She hadnít intended to do it; it had just popped out.

"Good girl! Weíre getting it back." A couple of minutes later, she was whinnying into her gag.

I took her gag off. "For the next few minutes, you may find yourself talking. Its ok. What Iím doing is installing a switch. One way, youíll whinny instead of talk. The other way, you will form words when you talk. Just let it happen. OK?" Tap. Tap.

What I installed was a bit more complex than a simple on-off switch. It had a time delay Ė if her handler didnít talk to her for ten minutes, it would go to whinny mode automatically. It would also go to whinny mode automatically whenever her handler changed. Thatís why I wanted Tiffany to stick around. I didnít explain any of this to her. As a ponygirl, she wasnít going to need to know why she behaved the way she did. She only needed to do it.

We tossed her back and forth. Tiffany got the hang of turning her on and off quickly.

"Can I show the rest of the team how to do it?"

"Of course. Itís part of her repertoire. Some day, Iíd like to do this with all of them, but thereís an awful lot of staff training ahead."

"Do tell. I couldnít follow anything you did. I just saw the results. It works, but I want to know how!"

"Really. Thatís why Iím doing it with her. Justify the effort to train the staff."

I touched Sallyís cheek. "See you tomorrow, kid. Tiffany will do your next lesson."

As I left the cell, I heard Tiffanyís voice behind me.

Chapter 6. Another session with Stephanie.

I checked my schedule. Stephanie had scheduled another riding session with Silence, this time in Leoís arena in about an hour and a half. I was hungry and tired. I could get another hour of work done between now and Stephanieís appointment, but that wouldnít leave Silence in real great shape for being ridden.

Thunder and Lightning were on their stands, looking at me as I walked into Leoís cellblock. Rainbow and Bluebird were nowhere in sight. I knew one of them was probably upstairs, cleaning Leoís apartment and cooking his dinner. The other one was most likely being worked in the arena.

I saw Joanne. "Hey, Jo. Steph has me scheduled for a workout in about an hour, and Iím beat. Would you do me a favor? Put Silence on her stand, feed her, and let her rest. Steph can figure out whether Silence is ok for the workout when she gets here."

"Sure, Alice. You know that Steph is likely to leave Silence here overnight, itís getting that late."

"Not tonight. If she wants to, tell her I said no. Iíve got some cleanup and prep work to do. Iíll make sure Silence doesnít stay in control for very long after the workout."

Joanne winced. "Donít bust up any equipment, please. Iíll tell her."

Joanne got Silence onto her stand. When Stephanie got in, she took one look at Silence, and decided to cancel the session. I put Silence into storage, and we headed back to the apartment for dinner.

Chapter 7. Discoveries.

After dinner, I pulled the capture teamís reports on Sally. Interesting. She had been some kind of computer geek, fairly rare in a female, but less so for tomboys. I decided to check further. What I found was a real eye-opener.

"Stephanie, I think weíve got a real live one here. Check out the investigation report on Sally. The police raided her apartment about two hours after the capture team picked her up."

Steph sat up straight. "Whyíd they do that?"

"Looks like they think sheís an uber-hacker. It sure looks like it to me."

"Wow. Sounds like the person youíve been looking for."

"Sure does. But since sheís in the ponygirl program, I canít just snatch her onto my staff. Not only would the Board have a fit, but also there are all kinds of problems about how to treat her. The politics around this place are rugged."

"Well, you play them like I play one of my ponies. Better you than me."

"Yeah. Set me up for a meeting with Leo. About all Iíve got left with Sally is moral support. I did just about everything I wanted today. The rest of the team can handle movement training; all I need to do is fill in and check that what I did doesnít come undone.

Steph got busy with her laptop. "How long do you figure?"

"Maybe half an hour to two hours a day. I want to be there for most of the phases of her training. Oh, yeah, and I will do the intro just before her initiation as a fuck toy."

"OK, Iíll just mark you down for two hours a day with her. I can get you in to Leo in about three days."

"Thatíll be fine. Put in a request with the purchasing office that she is off limits on bids. My override code as the Sorceress."

A pause. "Done. By the way, what are you going to name her?"

"Humm. How does Lucky Lemon sound?"

"Whatís lucky about her?"

"She wound up here, where she might just get to do the work she obviously loves, instead of in a federal prison with the cell door welded shut. Even if we keep her on a real short leash, and she has one of your friends on her back periodically."

"I wouldnít call that real lucky. Just the lesser of two evils. Maybe. If you asked her, she might prefer the cage in the federal penitentiary."

"She might at that. How about Pretty Lemon?"

"Better."

Pretty Lemon slept, comfortable in her hogtie.

Chapter 8. Time Passes.

Time passed, as it usually does. Pretty Lemon got on the fast track from the start. Her endurance training went well, they started cart and riding training early, and doubled up. She would be ready for market in four months time rather than the more normal six. She was chaired once, for three days, for a lack of enthusiasm. That was normal; what wasnít normal was that she wasnít chaired again, and she never tasted sludge. A success story.

They decided to have me do six ponies in the next batch, one each day. I got it reduced to three; six wouldnít leave me any time for ongoing supervision and support.

I was having some success teaching some of the trainers how to do the foot tapping and whinny my way. I was finding that there was a huge difference between my being able to do something because a master had taught me, and my being able to teach it to someone else.

I signed up for teachers training courses outside. The board blew a fuse when they found out, and then calmed down, somewhat, when I explained my precautions.

Security referred one little problem to me. It seemed that there was a revolution afoot.

Chapter 9. Revolution or just Revolting?

When I got to security and reviewed the recordings, I almost laughed. It still had to be dealt with. But their revolution was six late teens studying Marxist thought. Ponygirls were totally incompatible with Marxism, but then, so was common sense. That hadnít kept a major part of the human race from falling for it for most of a century.

What had gotten security suspicious in the first place was that several potential ponygirl trainers had dropped out just before their eighteenth birthday. There were always a few, but a cluster was suspicious. They had them tracked, and found the clandestine meetings. They hadnít a clue as to how they had gotten the material.

From the recordings, it was obvious that one was the ringleader. The others were followers. Security wanted to run out and arrest them immediately. I got them to wait until the next meeting. Then I broke into it with a couple of security goons. Iíd also alerted an orientation team; I wanted this over quickly.

The ringleader, a 5í8" brunette, started screaming curses at me, interspersed with Marxist slogans. Neither the cursing nor the slogans showed any original thought. I stunned her. Deal with her later, separately. Once she went down, the other girls showed various emotions, ranging from bewilderment, through hostility and resignation.

Once the hubbub died down, I had one of the goons sit on Sheryl, the ringleader. The other sat in the door. That bottled things up nicely. After some questioning, it turned out that the reason all five were in it was that they had serious doubts about the morality of kidnapping young women and turning them into ponygirls. I surprised the hell out of them by agreeing with them.

Kidnapping them was both illegal as hell, and morally wrong to boot. It would get most of us executed if we were caught. Turning them into ponygirls, well, I knew for a fact that there were a few women out there that would pay us for the privilege. Somehow I doubted that there were enough to make our production quotas, but I didnít know of any hard statistics. Putting them down when they got too old was, well, doubtful to say the least.

You could have cut the moral angst with a knife. I figured that a little expiation would work wonders, so I chased them out. They got jumped right away. I figured they were snug in their transport boxes, on the way to orientation, within half an hour. I wasnít going to make it easy; theyíd do it the old fashioned way, with the 80 hours in the chair for starters.

Sheryl was a different case altogether. She was a pure and simple control freak, using an issue she didnít believe in to build a political movement. By the time she was spilling her guts, even the two hunks of beef from security looked disgusted. Even if we managed to get this junk out of her head, she would turn into the worst kind of sadist and political opportunist.

"Sheryl, I hate to do this, butÖ Iím going to have you trained, and sell you to the Columbians." She freaked. I stunned her, and she was packed off into her transport box, on the way to orientation. As it turned out, she adapted to life as a ponygirl real well, and we simply kept her that way. Turning her over to the drug lords was overkill. She may have been the type that gave people the idea that women were best kept under control.

End of revolution. But it did bring the moral issue more into focus for the powers that be. It got a little more urgency.

Chapter 10. Bureaucratic Snafu

Four months had passed, and I was going to collect Pretty Lemon, put her in the picture, and give her a choice as to whether she wanted to work with me, or continue on as a simple ponygirl. Then I heard the news that the winner of the pick of the herd lottery had chosenÖ Pretty Lemon.

I didnít have time to be pissed. I tracked down the relevant bureaucrat so fast the communication lines nearly melted. What seems to have happened is that someone interpreted my instructions as "donít sell outside the community", rather than "donít transfer to anyone without my prior approval". The bureaucrat seemed to think that done was done. I donít believe that. As long as the parties are breathing, there is room to negotiate.

The news had shown a man, Sam Treedle. I called him, and told him there was a problem with his pick of Pretty Lemon. He huffed a bit. I got a strong impression of a man who had been pushed into a corner by his family, and now was finding it uncomfortable.

"Sam, why donít you come on down with your family. We can meet, look over Pretty Lemon, and talk about it." We made an appointment for that afternoon.

Sam showed up with his wife, Barbara and one of their kids, Donna. Donna was an 18 year old lobo-ra. Barbara was a well kept up blond of about 39, who looked ten years younger. Once I saw them, I knew the facts. Sam and Barbara couldnít afford the upkeep on a ponygirl, but they hadnít been able to resist the kids. Sam had played the lottery, hoping he would continue to lose. Unfortunately, he lost by winning.

I had Stephanie along. I noticed that they didnít have passes. Sam mentioned that they hadnít arrived yet.

"Well, lets head in there anyway. I can get you temporary passes." Rank hath its privileges. Doing the occasional favor for security doesnít hurt either.

It turned out that their passes were at the security checkpoint. I thought it was another bureaucratic mistake, until one of the guards winked at me. I smiled prettily. Reward time coming up. As Barbara was a former trainer, she had an unlimited civilian pass. Sam got a limited civilian pass. I explained the difference Ė Barb was allowed anywhere any normal civilian could go. Sam had to be with someone until he learned the complex. His wife was a perfectly acceptable someone. He could get his pass upgraded anytime by showing a security guard how much he knew about the complex.

"No pass for Donna?"

"Good question. Lobo-ra donít need passes." He blinked and looked at his foster daughter. I had a suspicion he was seeing her for the first time.

We headed into the complex. Donna paired off with Stephanie, which left me with Sam and Barbara. Donna I wasnít worried about. Stephanie had that totally under control. Pretty Lemon was mounted on her display stand, watching everything. Her eyes widened, showing she recognized me.

I was about to open the cell door when I remembered my manners. "Barbara, open her up and letís go in." Barbara looked at me for a moment, and then she put her card in the slot. The cell door opened. The training team that was responsible for Pretty Lemon didnít need that Ė the door recognized their implants. I didnít need it either, but for a very different reason. I figured that giving Barbara a boost in front of her husband and daughter was worthwhile.

Pretty Lemon was rolling her eyes. All the new people had her upset. I liked the effect Ė it was one I had trained in. Steph bounced right over, and started crooning to her to calm her down. Donna stayed glued to Steph. In a moment, they were examining the details of her harness and bondage.

Barbara decided to check out the cell, see if things were still where they had been when she was a trainer. That left Sam with me. Sam obviously had major misgivings on his mind that he wasnít sharing. I did one of the things I do, and brought them up to the surface.

"You know, I canít afford this. But the children want it so badly."

"No shit, Sherlock. I know you canít. But thereís more than just you and me to consider. Thereís also Barbara and Donna. Not to mention Pretty Lemon, who usually gets left out of these decisions."

"Your wife wants back into training so bad you can taste it." He looked astonished. Men.

"Donna is equally obvious. A lobo-ra without a wolf or a ponygirl is a very unhappy person, indeed." He looked thoughtful.

"So, I think we can settle this. Do you have any objection to Barbara taking up her trainer job again?"

He sighed. "Well, yes. Honestly, its status. I donít want her to outrank me. But I should outgrow it."

I yelled over. "Hey, Barbara."

She came over. "Would you like to take your old job of trainer back?"

She looked stunned. The she looked at Sam, and asked, "May I?"

Sam gulped, and said, "Yes."

She screamed and flew into his arms. Ah love, its beautiful.

"Ok, listen up." Everybody shut up. "Now that thatís settled, hereís whatís going to happen. Sam is going to turn his choice back into the lottery board. Theyíll give you a rain check, and select another winner. You folks simply canít afford it at the moment. That will change in a couple of years. When Barbara works her way back up, you can reconsider getting your own ponygirl. Youíll have the rain check, so you can get one immediately."

"Donna. If you want, we can team you up with another lobo-ra for training. Immediately." I didnít have to ask. It was that obvious. "OK, Stephanie will take care of it."

Sam harrumphed, said they had to go, taken up enough of my time.

"OK. Barbara, call Elaine at the academy in the morning. Donna, I want you to stay for a while. Stephanie can see to getting you home tonight. Then weíll make arrangements for your commute. Good talking to you Sam, Barbara."

They walked down the corridor. I could hear a couple of comments. "High-handed bitch." "Well, rank hath its privileges." Doesnít it just.

Chapter 11. Presents.

I walked over to Pretty Lemon and took out her ball gag. I kissed her lightly, and said, "You can talk now."

"Are they my new owners?"

"No, Lemon. Iím your new owner."

"Well, hot stuff, if I have to have an owner, I suppose youíll do."

"Such enthusiasm. Well, pretty one, Iíve got two presents for you."

"Presents? Wheee."

"Yes, girl who acts like a pony. You are now a girl who acts like a pony that can talk. Officially."

"Wheeee. Thatís a nice present."

"And Iíve got another one. But this isnít for girl who acts like a pony. Its for girl who acts like a girl."

You should have seen the expressions chasing themselves around her face and body. Eventually they settled down, and another person peeked out of her eyes.

Chapter 12. Girl Who Acts Like A Girl

Suddenly I was awake. I had this feeling I had been dreaming for four months. There was someone with me, maybe several someones. It seemed totally weird, and also totally right and proper, at the same time.

Alice was standing over me. She said, "Iíve got a gift for you. But you have to play a little game first."

"For me?"

"Yes, for you, girl who acts like a girl."

"Whatís the game?"

"Three wishes. You tell me the three things you want most in the world. Then I will tell you what your gift is. Weíll see if they match up."

"I want out of here. I want it not to have happened."

"Well, I can understand that. Assume you canít have it. Whatís the next wish?"

"Can I be as wild as I want?"

"Of course."

"I want a computer to program."

"I thought that might be on the list. Now for the third."

"I want some respect. You and everybody else. Ponygirls donít get any respect."

"OK. Thatís three."

"Surprise. You canít have the first one. The board would shit bricks if I let you loose outside of the complex. Besides, you really donít want it, you just donít know that yet."

"I didnít think youíd let me go. But why do you say that I wouldnít want it if you did?"

"The feds raided your apartment about two hours after we captured you. Sally Bananas is on every wanted list in the country for criminal hacking." She looked shocked. "Oops. I thought I had my tracks covered."

"Steph thought you might just prefer a cell in a Federal pen instead of being a ponygirl. Would you?"

"Well, since I donít have the option, I donít need to make the choice, now, do I?"

"No, you donít. Now for the second."

"Wish granted. There are conditions you may not want to meet, however."

Her eyes went wide. "Oh, my. Dear God, there is a Santa Claus."

"Well, maybe. The board is going to want you kept on a very tight rein. This doesnít get you out of being a ponygirl. It maybe gets you out of harness for four to ten hours a day. The rest of the time, youíll be in your cell, or out being worked by your trainer or rider. Your trainers will take things as they come. Your rider, on the other hand, is likely to be very high handed in rearranging your schedule to suit her convenience."

"Well, I can live with that. It doesnít sound that bad."

"Now, hereís the deal. Every once in a while, the board gets a couple of scruples. They try to ditch them at the first opportunity, but the pesky things keep coming back. Now, you remember that you were kidnapped."

"No shit, Sherlock."

"Well, the board wants to experiment with more open recruiting. See if they can fill the intake quota with volunteers. However, security is paramount."

"Well, I know how to cover my back trail."

"Remember that jail cell in the federal pen? Youíve already demonstrated that you donít know how to cover it yourself. I, on the other hand, have access to some technology that is so far off the map it might as well be magic. What I donít have is the means of integrating it with the net. Howíd you like to work with something that could insert a stream of bits in a fiber cable from a thousand miles away? It didnít go in, it came out. Or the other way around. Stuff like that."

"Holy Shit."

"Exactly. Any sufficiently sophisticated magic is indistinguishable from technology. Now, what I donít have is the ability to mesh this with the net. Protocols, file systems, things like that. And package it so that our recruiting and security departments can use it. Thatís where you come in."

"Santa Clause, there is a God."

"I take it that you want in?"

"Yup."

"OK, wish three. I canít grant that myself. The board has granted exactly two ponygirls full community resident status. Iím one. The other one turned it down. Since youíll be in the same cell block with her, you can ask her why."

"If this project is successful, the board might grant you community resident status. Then again, they might not. Theyíre very fickle when politics are concerned. What will help is if they know you personally. Which isnít going to happen to a simple ponygirl/hacker."

"What I can do for you is give you another couple of roles."

"Steph has been wanting me to get a maid. Leo uses his ponygirls as French Maids to clean his apartment. You can do that for us. By itself, itís not going anywhere. But itís a leg up to the next step."

"Thatís to become my hostess at parties. Leo sometimes has to put on big parties, and he sometimes has me as the other half. He uses Bluebird and Rainbow as his hostesses for these things. Sometimes, theyíre overworked keeping things going, so I could volunteer you as a third hostess. Thatís going to require you to learn how to act properly in an evening gown. A bit out of your normal style, I think."

"Gaaak. You ask hard things, mistress."

"Well, you wanted it. Thatís the best way I know of putting you in the path of a possible lightning stroke."

"Well, lets wrap this up. In the next couple of days, weíll move you into an unused cell in Leoís block. Then Iíll get you acclimated to my apartment and workroom, and we can get started on planning, materials, how my technology works, all that sort of stuff."

"I turned you into a multiple personality like myself. You are girl who acts like a girl. You are also girl who acts like a pony who talks. You are several others. Pretty Lemon is all of you. Iím going to show you some of how you work. You will have to work out the rest."

"Girl who acts like a girl. Its time for you to retire, and let girl who acts like a pony take over again." I saw the shift as one left, and the other one returned.

I touched Pretty Lemonís lips, and told her talk time was over. She obediently opened her mouth; I popped the ball gag in and tightened the straps.

"Steph, time to take Pretty Lemon out for a drive, and show Donna how itís done."

As I left the cell, I turned and said, "By the way, Pretty Lemon, I hope you like wolves."

 

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