Ponygirls On Vacation

- 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 -------

What has gone before:

The Arizona community kidnaps young women, trains them as ponygirls, and sells time to rich ponygirl fanciers. Over the years, the community has been liberalizing its policies on treating ponygirls owned by community members. Just prior to this, the Board decided to give them days off and vacations in return for a commitment to the community lifestyle, and their part in it.

This story is a montage of several of the ponysí reactions to the commitment. They are all ponies we have seen in previous stories.

Chapter 1. Cloudburst goes to a convention.

For my first convention, we picked a relatively low-level computer administration tools conference. It was a natural fit; my team and I used those tools every day. We couldn't have run the system without them. I was preregistered as Cloudburst, no last name. Company was Ponygirls, Inc. I profiled it as being in the sex business. If only they knew.

Getting me there was a problem. I wasn't one of the ones immune to teleport fugue. It turned out to be somewhat less of a problem than I thought. Even in overcrowded cities, there are lots of spaces that are clear of people in a sphere with a 20í radius. The problem was picking one that was convenient, and that wouldnít cause comment if someone was seen entering or leaving.

We picked a parking garage just across from the hotel I would be staying at. Teleport fugue had about a 20í radius. Putting me on the top floor during off peak times probably wouldn't cause anybody any problems. I knocked myself out with a small canister of the same sleepy gas we used for boxed shipments. It worked like a charm. My mind noticed the universe going crazy, but I simply didn't care. The canister only had about a two minute supply, so I was up and operational within five minutes of the start.

I checked into the hotel. They had no problem with the way I was dressed, it wasn't that out of the ordinary, and the manager liked the scenery. We had worked on the uniform. My normal girl mode dress was a little too rich for a convention, so we settled on a more conservative variation. I was wearing a black leather skirt that came down to mid-thigh. I could just touch the bottom of the skirt with the tips of my fingers if I was standing straight, shoulders back. This was our standard length. The usual panties, normal pantyhose and five-inch pumps completed the bottom. We had decided to dispense with the mesh hose as too risqué. For a top, I was wearing a fairly heavy bra, a white blouse with a medium neckline, and a black leather tailored jacket. The bra was needed because we didn't want to display the breast rings. I had earrings both through my ID medallions and through the lower pair of holes. We dispensed with a necklace.

The fake ID worked like a charm. The Lemon worked overtime setting them up. The only way someone would catch on would be if they either ran the backup tapes at the DMV, or traced it back to the last real clerk that supposedly handled the file. The only reason we needed the fake was that we still hadnít gotten my paperwork straightened out.

The credit card was, of course, real, with a real bank account behind it. Again, nobody would remember issuing it, but then, nobody should be asking that kind of question.

The convention hotel was a block away. I put what I thought I would need in a shoulder bag and walked. I collected plenty of stares and a few wolf whistles. I also collected three offers of sex. The first two simply looked disappointed when I said "Not for sale." The third was more persistent. I figured he had to be an undercover cop.

He tried the "if you were for sale, how much would it be?" line. I told him.

I don't think he believed me when I said $250,000. Then I capped it by saying that's what marketing estimated they would get if they put me up for auction. I finished him off by pointing out that he was the one doing the soliciting, not me.

That took me to the convention hotel door.

I wasn't that far out of line for the hotel lobby, but when I got to the convention registration, conversation stopped. Dead. I suppose that will happen if a 6'3" (including heels) chick wearing an outfit that looks like she should have a drooling male on a leash walks into a bunch of computer nerds. One hotel functionary managed to ask me if I was in the right place. I asked him if this was the convention registration. He allowed that it was; I told him I was pre-registered. He hadn't picked up his jaw when I walked away.

The girl at the desk was from the hotel staff. I gave her my name, Cloudburst. She asked for a last name, I told her I didn't have one. She looked confused, but a coworker rescued her. The coworker thought the name might be Native American. The girl stared at the registration card as if it was from Arcturus. I decided to put her out of her misery by telling her what it said. Firm name: Ponygirls, Inc. Supervisor: Pretty Lemon. Industry group: Other (Sex). Paid by credit card, showed her the card with the number on it.

She muttered, "Ponygirls?" I said yes, that was the business we were in. She asked what they were. I said they were girls trained to act like ponies. I don't think she orgasmed there, but she certainly got wet. I could smell it. I took a note of her nametag to phone in to acquisition as a hot lead.

One guy near the desk came up and said "Pretty Lemon, that's an unusual name."

"Isn't it just? She's got the most amazing mane of lemon yellow hair. She has it done up with a white topping with brown tips." I saw two guys and one girl trying to stifle giggles. Another one licked her lips. I caught her eye. Might be an interesting night.

"I've heard of someone with hair like that." I took in his badge. FBI.

"If you've got a warrant for criminal hacking, she's the one."

His eyes widened. "Let's be civilized about this. I'll meet you in one of the coffee shops and fill you in on some of the background. She's not only out of circulation, but you really, really, don't want to go after her." We made a date for later.

The first couple of sessions were lectures. I sat in the back and stayed reasonably inconspicuous. The next one was an experience trade. The facilitator started out by asking us to describe our systems. The first were fairly conventional. Then my turn came.

"Junk heap mongrel. It's built completely of used, obsolete servers. Several thousand of them." They stared. "Well, we're the ones responsible for the Leprechaun jokes a couple of years ago when we built the thing."

One guy laughed. "How do you keep a Leprechaun happy?"

The chorus: "A bowl of milk or two servers."

"How the heck do you keep a mongrel like that running?"

"Well, I have no idea how the hardware monitors work; I'm told that there's a pattern somewhere of all the critical components. If one fails, the pattern notices. Then, we use fairly conventional software node reassignment and fallback techniques."

I don't think they believed me.

We got into a very good discussion of available packages, and how to put them together. By the end, they definitely believed I was caretaker of the most god-awful mongrel they had ever heard of. But they still didn't believe our acquisition policy.

The FBI guy was next. I told him up front he wasn't going to like the answers. And if he pressed deeper, he was going to find out exactly why the old saw about being careful what you ask for is an old saw. Then I told him that his target had been out of circulation about two hours before the raid on her apartment. He asked about the incident where she had acquired Black ThunderBolt. Was that someone else pretending to be Sally Bananas?

I said, no, she was the one. She was just pissed about people trying to make jokes over her name. The managing director had not been amused. I didnít mention Black ThunderBolt; they may not have associated the disappearance.

I think that level of detail convinced him I knew something.

He was an absolute hunk. If I didn't already have a date that might develop into a night of unbridled lust, I would have tried to make him. I did ask him what the running conditions were like.

We talked for a while. He went away unsatisfied, but he knew he wasn't going to get any more.

I met my girlfriend from registration at dinner. She was named Jackie. It was a functional name, but not very pretty. I liked mine better. We hit it off right away. We went up to her room, and got down to it. The first trip over the moon was splendid. The second trip was even better. I went back to my hotel, checked out, and joined her for the rest of the convention.

I met my hunk at 6:00 in the morning, on the running path that wound around the hotel district. My running boots put him off. He didn't think the five inch heels were appropriate. So I passed him up. Twice. He went around the path twice while I did it three times.

He said, "What the hell?"

"I do two hours a day on a treadmill from hell. And another hour with a sixty pound load." I didnít mention that was my saddle and rider. "I'm in very, very good condition. I expect I could run a marine into the ground on a forced march. In my five inch heels." I didnít mention that they had horseshoes on them.

This time, I think he believed me.

The rest of the convention was a typical computer conference. Totally boring to anyone not in the field. Of course, I loved it.

The nights were blissful. The last night, she proposed. "Come home with me. Or take me with you. Please."

I kissed her. "Love to Jackie, but I can't. Literally. I can't come home with you at all. Pretty Lemon would have my hide if I tried. And I would screw up too many other people to even think of it. Sorry, pet, but its not to be."

She pouted prettily. "But I really want you. You're the one thing I've ever wanted that daddy can't buy."

If only you knew. "Oh? Tell me about daddy. He sounds interesting. Also mega rich."

"Well, he is. Heís also kinky as hell. He keeps his maids in bondage costumes. And he's got a hideaway I'm not supposed to know about. One of the maids let it slip. He keeps something called ponygirls there."

I was stunned momentarily. "Kid, didn't you even read my badge?"

She picked it up. "Cloudburst. That's a pretty name. Ponygirls, Inc. Oh." Her hand went to her mouth.

I grabbed my cell phone. "Just keep quiet a moment, kid. I need to check something out."

I punched in a number. Our cell phones are special. They've got all the normal works, but Pretty Lemon or Alice modifies the circuitry so that they have a special number that puts us right on our internal system, without going through the phone net. Another off the map tech thing.

"Hi, security? Cloudburst here. I've got an interesting problem. I need to find out if this kid's father is one of our clients."

"Hum. Just a minute here. Yes he is. He was here for the Gymkhana. She did quite well in the heavy sulky with one of his ponies, named Rainbird."

"Out of the money?"

"Fourth in a field of ten. Horrible form."

"Was that the one Dreammaker came in third?"

"Sure was."

"Any guidance?"

"I expect you know the constraints. Play it by ear, it's too late here for any of the bigwigs to be up."

"Ok, thanks, security."

I hung up. "Fourth out of a field of ten. Not bad for an amateur. But you need a better trainer. The lineup at the judges stand contributed to your loss."

The series of expressions that crossed her face was precious. "You were holding out on me. You're an insider. You know what we do. So, where were you coming from when you asked me to take you with me?"

"I was trying to train Rainbird. I made a botch of it. He threatened to make me a ponygirl, see how I liked it."

"That may not be a bad move. I'll bet you don't know how we train our trainers?"

"No, why?"

"Well, all of our female trainers go through two years as a ponygirl, and then a year of classroom before they are allowed on one of the training teams. He might have been offering to have you trained so you could do a reasonable job of training."

"I never thought of that."

"Well, it's not real obvious from the outside. Our girls grow up knowing that if they want to be ponygirl trainers, they have to be ponygirls for two years."

"The other thing you're missing is that all of our detail training is done by the lobo-ra. Our trainers basically handle the breaking and rough training. And lobo-ra are simply not available to people like your father. Not that we have anything against him, but they aren't ours to dispose of."

"Oh. Hell."

"Well, its not that bad. The third thing is that I'm not for sale. Six months ago, your father might have been able to buy me. Since that time, the situation has changed, and most of the community ponygirls are simply not for sale outside of the community at any price."

"Grrr. Now what?"

"Well, it depends on what you want to do. I'm going back after the last seminar tomorrow. I don't have an option there. We're not going to kidnap the daughter of a client unless he authorizes it."

"Let me check with daddy." She pulled out her cell phone, and punched in a number. She talked for a while. First, she tried to convince daddy to buy me. I took the cell phone from her.

"Hello, sir. Cloudburst here. Our business office will tell you I'm not for sale."

"Oh, sure. If you offer enough money, they will undoubtedly ask me to consider it. If you offered enough other inducements, I might even consider it. Then youíd still have to convince my owner. Who has a number of other axes in the fire than the unusual ones."

"Well, when we reorganized a few months ago, I made my commitment. I can't be sold outside of the community without my free consent. I can be sold inside the community, but not outside of it."

"I understand your desire for a trainer. I'm not a trainer. I don't know the first thing about it, really. If you want a trainer, I suggest you speak to the business office. We don't sell trainers, but one might be willing to move out to your place."

"Turning your daughter into a trainer? Of course it's possible. I already told her that the standard course requires two years as a ponygirl, and another year of classroom experience. If you want her to learn it, I would also suggest a year of experience with one of our training teams. Even then, she wouldn't be able to put the final polish on a pony."

"Why? All of the detail training is done by the lobo-ra. And they only go where they want. Or by graduates of our special course."

"You have? I see. You really want me to tell her? She may bolt. OK, she's your daughter."

I handed the phone back to her, but he had hung up.

She looked at me. "He's really going to do it."

"Yes, the pickup order is out."

She seemed to wilt for a moment. "I'd rather get it over with. I don't want to live with a sword over my head."

"Well, you might be able to come in with me."

"OK."

I picked up my cell phone and called security.

I finished up the convention the next day. There was an express package waiting for me at the desk in the morning. When I checked, it had two indenture forms, one with Jackieís name, one with the name of the registration chick. It also had two sets of restraints, and a note. The note said that the registration chick might show up at the garage. I was to let her contact me; I wasnít to go after her.

We went shopping to kill the afternoon. I picked up a couple of gifts for friends. I kept her from buying any clothes. She wouldn't need them.

I picked up my luggage from the hotel after the evening rush hour had mostly emptied the garage. We put hers in storage for one of her fatherís people to pick up. We walked up to the top, and the girl from registration was there, waiting.

I cracked open my top case, and gave them the appropriate form. "The business office likes the paperwork done up front. Sign on the line, then exchange the forms and sign as witnesses." Iíd already signed as the first witness. It was the new indenture form that all of our voluntary ponies signed. One of them had a codicil about probable release in two years, and two years learning to train. They both had a wavier of informed consent.

"This doesnít say Iíll definitely come out in two years."

"You may not. Every year we have one or two community trainees that stay as ponygirls. Theyíre better off. And another couple of trainees go back after theyíve been out for a while. However, I donít think thatíll happen to you. The ones that donít come out are either fascinated by it, or so repelled by it that you know they are fighting fascination. You donít fit either profile."

They signed, and then cross-signed.

I tossed each of them a set of ankle cuffs and a chain. "Hobbles. Put them on."

They put them on. Then I took the registration girl, put wrist cuffs on her and a leather waistband, and locked her cuffs to the band in back. I finished her off with a red ball gag.

"Why did you do her first?"

"Because she might bolt. You really donít have a choice Ė youíre here because you donít want to wait for the pickup."

So I did her next. Then I pulled out my prod, and set it to stun. "Girls, this is a hypersonic prod. Youíll learn more about it shortly. Right now, Iím going to put you out. Thatís infinitely more pleasant than teleport fugue." I stunned them, and then I sat down, and inhaled my sleepy gas. The universe did its thing, and once again, I simply didnít care.

We came on one of the teleport stages. I called orientation, and they told me to take them to room 4, everything was set up. So I snapped a leash on them, and lead them away.

Molly looked like she had a busy day. There were two blanket wrapped forms outside the door. She was piercing a girlís breasts, and there were three more on stands lined up. There were two empty stands at the end of the line. Her two sidemen grabbed the registration girl, and attached her to her stand. I took Jackie, and put her on the last stand the easy way. I kissed her forehead, and said, "Pay attention now, you may work orientation in a few years. See you in a couple." Meaning years, not minutes.

I dropped over to the business office and turned in the indenture forms. I also left a note in Jackieís file about concentrating on ongoing training, not on initial breaking.

I checked in with Pretty Lemon, and was told to go directly to her apartment. My conference was over.

Chapter 2. The Price of Commitment.

Thunder and Lightning had almost forgotten about their days off by the time the Gymkhana ended. Things had gotten back to normal in Leoís cellblock. The morning Joanne handed them their street clothes after grooming, rather than putting them in harness, came as a total surprise.

"Iím going to take you out myself and show you the sights. After today, youíre on your own on your days off." It was a busy day. This was the first time they had actually seen any significant amount of the complex. Even though they were restricted to the main dome and the Executive block, they felt lost at first. Then they acclimated.

They even had an ID in their belt pouches. Thunderís had a good picture, her name, her IPC number, her acquisition date, her commitment date, and her ownerís name. Lightningís was the same. The IDs would work for purchases. Neither of them had an account; all purchases were charged to Leo, their owner.

The came out hungry. They hadnít had their morning mash. Joanne took them to a small restaurant she frequented which served breakfast. They were almost overwhelmed by bacon and eggs. They hadnít had anything but mash for ten years.

They found the real price when they got back. They almost didnít, but Joanne was with them, and she expertly steered them the right way. She knew it would be hard, and she didnít want them to fail. Theyíd been her charges for most of ten years, and she was quite fond of them.

The next morning, when she went to put them into harness after grooming, they both rebelled. She chaired them immediately for a full day. They hadnít been chaired for years; it came as a complete shock.

Lightning almost fainted when she was handed her street clothes a week later. "I though we had lost it."

"No way, honey. I knew this transition would be hard. You have to do it yourself, its not one I can force on you. Iíll kick your butt when you screw up, but I want you to succeed."

The next two months were a nightmare for both ponies. Eventually, the awful truth sunk in. They had to take personal responsibility for getting their heads back into ponygirl mode when they got back. Joanne wouldnít do it for them.

And that meant they had to take responsibility for being ponygirls. Joanne couldnít do that for them either. Once they made that decision, things began to ease up. Joanne piled on the praise the day they came back and practically demanded that she put them back into harness.

They had to give up the dream of escaping. But, oh, it died hard. It was such a beautiful dream. But it was standing between them and the rest of their lives.

They didnít have to tell her when they did it. She could see it in their bodies. They were more relaxed, more confident. They started discussing dressage technique, style and running strategy with their riders.

They also discovered each other. Theyíd been a matched pair for ten years, and had been talking to each other in the morning yak sessions for five. They became fast friends. Eventually, they asked Joanne if they could share a cell.

"Canít do it. You need two running machines at a minimum. Tell you what, though. Youíve been such dears lately; we can skip the heavy bondage and put you down on the same mat at night. Youíll still have to have some bondage."

Joanne was true to her word. She put them both down in Thunderís cell. She put ankle cuffs on both of them, with a long chain to a convenient ring on the cell wall. "Remember to put your hoods on before you go to sleep. We never turn the lights off in here." They hadnít known that; they had always slept hooded.

That night, they had sex together for the first time ever. Oh, theyíd eaten each other out before on command, but this was different. They soared, they flew, and they crashed. They barely remembered the hoods before they fell asleep in each otherís arms.

They had arrived at the end of their journey, and the beginning of the next one.

Chapter 3. An interlude in Academia.

Black ThunderBolt was happy. Her request for a convention had been approved. This was going to be more difficult than Cloudburstís convention. It was a midlevel genetics conference that would be attended by both academic and industrial researchers, plus a scattering of entrepreneurs hoping to find the next big thing.

She was almost certain to see somebody she knew from before the Lemon had kidnapped her. Academia wasnít that big on the PhD level, and sheíd only been a year away from defending her dissertation. This conference was a chance in many more ways than one. Marketing was salivating over the possibility of her making contacts to turn some of her and the Lemonís genetic techniques to cash income. Security was more than usually paranoid, with good cause. She could start making contacts. Even though she was stuck like her ass was covered by super glue; contacts were still useful.

She was also in the process of developing some of the clairvoyance and TK that made Alice and the Lemon unique. For her, it was a slow process. Some part of her found the various pieces of equipment that Alice made for her fascinating, and was slowly learning how they worked from the inside. She wasnít a multiple; she was perfectly normal that way. So the altered perceptions that made clairvoyance and TK possible had to integrate with the rest of her personality and worldview. Progress was slow, but definite.

However, she was immune to teleport fugue.

Transport put her down on top of a parking garage a couple of blocks from her hotel. It had worked for Cloudburst, why not do it again? She towed her suitcases to the hotel and checked in. She didnít cause quite as much of a stir as Cloudburst.

Black ThunderBolt was named after her mane of jet black hair. She was 5í5" in bare feet; 5"10" in her 5" heels. They had decided to keep the same look. She was dressed in a black leather miniskirt. She could just touch the hem with her longest finger when she stood up straight, shoulders back. Conservative pantyhose, midcalf black boots. She also wore a white blouse with an intermediate neckline. It showed enough cleavage to be noticeable, not so much as to cause a stir. A black leather fitted jacket with a V front topped it off. It came together in the region of her belt.

Her waist length hair was done in a pony cut. That is, it was short on the sides, like a ponyís hair. It was long on the top and back, somewhat like a mane. She had changed the genetics of the hair follicles herself to make the look permanent; she had no need of a hairdresser to keep it trimmed. The mane effect was emphasized by a French braid on the top and back of her head to focus the fall in the center of her back.

She packed what she thought she would need in a shoulder bag, and headed for the convention hotel, which was about three blocks away. Unlike Cloudburstís convention, this was in a typical academic community. She wasnít solicited on the way.

She collected plenty of stares as she added herself to the end of the registration line.

Donna. Youíre back! What ever happened to you? You just vanished! And how did you ever get that hair?"

"Hey, Joanie. Iím just in for the convention. And I brought a presentation on the hair, in case a slot opened up. The Genetics of Hair. By Black ThunderBolt and Pretty Lemon."

Joanie stopped dead. "Youíre Black ThunderBolt? My God. But the name suits you. Or you suit it. Or something." To herself, "Girl, stop babbling."

"Well, Iím not Pretty Lemon. Youíll see her in the show and tell."

There was a bubble of silence around us. One guy said, "Youíre the people with the Leprechaun genome?"

"Guilty as charged. Although its completely the Lemonís work. I was still a grad student at the time."

"How did you ever do it? It looks too good to be a fake."

"Itís the consensus genome of a couple of hundred Leprechauns running around our place."

Another stunned silence. This guy must have been a diplomat. He recovered right away.

"But, they donít exist."

"As Leprechauns, youíre right. They are a separate subspecies that is the basis of the Leprechauns, the fairies, the dwarfs, the elves and a whole bunch of others. They exist, all right. I can attest to that personally. Both the originals, and lobo-ra to human crossbreeds."

"Where are they?"

"Now, that would be telling. All Iím allowed to say is that they are somewhere on the planet. Same place we are, as a matter of fact. Somewhere on the planet."

"Iíd love to do some research on them. It should make quite a paper."

"You and a couple of hundred others. But it isnít going to happen. Security wonít let you in. Even if they did, youíd be caught in a crossfire between your ethics committees and the religious nuts."

He looked thoughtful. "I hadnít thought of that. How do you cope?"

"Our ethics committee is mostly concerned with the number of significant digits between the dollar sign and the decimal point. And our religious conservatives are after me to create the perfect ponygirl. Nobody else knows."

"Ponygirl? Whatís that?" faintly.

"A girl who has been trained to act like a pony. Like this."

I tossed my head. My mane came up and flipped over my shoulder. It now came down my front, on the left of my head. I put it back with another toss of my head. It had taken Donna a week to train me to do it. Mostly research; we donít train the regular ponies to do it, because their heads are fixed back by their collars. No opportunity to show off.

"How in the heck?"

"Training, mostly. The actual movement was copied from someone who is very good at whip work. It takes a very precise movement to get the exact ripple in the hair to flip it. But it looks exactly like a ponyís head toss."

"You turn girls into ponies?"

"Why would we do that? It would take an enormously complicated genetic program, and all you would have at the end would be a fairly ordinary pony. Not worth nearly as much as a properly trained ponygirl. Besides, Iím having too much fun with the program to turn someone into a toad."

"Worth as much? YouÖ sell them?"

"Yes. Most of them have contracts with us that spell out that they will be sold after training. The quality of the informed consent is debatable. It wouldnít stand up to the standards in the bio-medical community. But it is there. Weíve never had a complaint from them about being auctioned off. They knew that would happen before they signed."

"You sell people?" he said, faintly.

 

Right. I was back in academia. Out of touch with the real world. I suspect he thought that CSA was a defunct political unit, not the Consensual Slave Act.

"I take it you have a problem with that. Actually, I do too, but I donít have a choice about the company business. I was kidnapped. And there is no escape. We make the Columbian drug lords look like a bunch of feebleminded school children. So I do what I can, and donít think too hard about it."

"But, thatís immoral."

"So is the social condition that makes the homeless shelter up the street necessary. You live with that. And you donít have any way of changing it fast, either. I live with my devil; you live with yours. And I donít think that a debate about which devil is meaner does much for either underlying problem."

"Iím a ponygirl. I do several hours a day on a treadmill from hell. Iím trained as a distance runner. Just like a pony. I have a saddle and a rider. The rest of the time, Iím a geneticist, working with technology that you would sell your firstborn to get."

He gabbled for a minute.

"Hey, morals in the real world donít look much like the standard run of worthy causes. The real world is seldom black and white. It isnít even in shades of gray. And the moral landscape looks like it was finger painted by a demented puppy using colors from a very repulsive palette. You do what you can, and hope that whatever problem you tackle actually gets solved."

He walked away, looking stunned. Itís never pretty when your entire worldview is shown to be a figment of your imagination.

Another guy said, "Turn someone into a toad?"

"Yes. The genetic program to transform a large primate into a small amphibian is quite a challenge."

"Just to echo what you said earlier. Why would you do that?"

"Pretty Lemon threatened to do it during a board meeting. Half the board thinks she could; sheís known as the Sorceressí apprentice. So I got interested in how to do it."

He laughed. Someone with a sense of humor.

Iíd finally gotten to the beginning of the line. The hatchet faced harpy running the registration table took one look at me, disapproval radiating from every line of her body.

"You must be Black ThunderBolt. You certainly look like you could be her."

I owned up to it.

"Identification?"

I showed her the fake drivers license, and the quite real credit card used to pay for the registration. She handed me my nametag, and the convention handouts. Its nice dealing with someone who doesnít let their personal opinion get in the way of doing their job effectively.

I asked where Ops was located. She told me. I trotted over to it, and located the people who were responsible for handling the schedule, making certain the speakers were there, and so forth. I located the head honcho by the simple expedient of finding the oldest male that everyone deferred to. When you donít have to keep up pretenses, its simple. His name was on the program as program chairman.

He may have been older than some; he certainly wasnít decrepit. He was as interested in meeting me as I was in meeting him. But for different reasons. I introduced myself as Black ThunderBolt of Leprechaun Genetics, Inc. He came to his senses. We chatted for a couple of minutes about the genome Pretty Lemon had published, and then about our custom sequencing work. He finally got to the point.

"I presume you didnít look me up just to see my pretty face."

"Right. Iíve brought along a presentation on "The Genetics of Hair" with cosmetic applications. By Pretty Lemon and me. Iíd appreciate your considering it if a program slot happens to open up."

"Youíve got it with you?"

I handed him the CD. "Whatís on it?"

"Consider my hair style. Itís actually a genetic modification. The hair follicles on the side produce the short hair you see. It never needs to be cut; it stays the same length. The long hair on top has also been modified to be stronger, and grow faster. Also some tweaks to reduce knotting and split ends. The color is the one I was born with; we didnít change that."

"The presentation is a full discussion of the genetics of each one, how the differences are produced by area, and the related work."

He turned around. "Hey, Jim. Take a look at this. Tell me if itís any good." He scaled the CD at the guy who poked his head up.

"If itís any good, I can get you on the schedule. On one condition."

"Oh?"

"You do a second session as a free-style Q&A."

That was exactly what I wanted. I thanked him, and asked if I could do anything for him. He said the wife would kill him if he asked. I chuckled.

I headed out for the first session on my schedule.

Science conventions are just as boring as tech conventions, except for the rare presenter who is a natural teacher. So I wonít bore you with the agenda.

Night rolled around. I had staked out a couple of stallions and a cute filly. She was the one I finally wound up spending the night with. The stallions were taken. Darn. Not that the filly was bad; she was actually quite good. I was just in the mood for a stallion.

Iíd gotten a map of the running paths the day before. I was up bright and early to tackle one of them. I dressed in shorts and a top with an athletic bra on underneath. Also my standard black boots, with the 5" heels. Add on a pouch with ID and so forth, and I was off.

Cloudburst had regaled us all with her running experience. I turned on the steam when I hit the track. I fully intended to do two hours; I knew what Donna would do if I got back out of condition. The biggest problem was the other runners on the track. I had to slow down to pass them. Again. And Again. Finally, I was done. Back up to my room to shower, down to the coffee shop for breakfast, and to my first session. I checked for schedule changes. Ops had gotten me on the schedule, all right. It was the first and second session. I got to the room with a few minutes to spare.

The session chairman looked relieved, then he realized he didnít have a speaker bio. So he just ran me on with a minimal intro. I finished it up.

The session went well until the Q&A. Then one woman stood up and asked if I knew what was wrong with her hair. So I told her. There were five different genes that had non-optimal alles in her genome. The combination produced brittle hair with a tendency to frizzyness and split ends.

Then a guy stood up and asked how I knew. So I told him. I had scanned her genome into our system, and run a hair model program. Its output matched what the lady seemed to have, so I ran another hair model program that produced an optimal output with minimal genome changes.

He looked like a stunned fish. So I explained some more. The business office would have been proud of me. I pointed out that our genome scan was commercially available as a service. We charged exorbitant prices, and took our own sweet time about delivering results because we didnít want to run anyone out of business. We simply didnít have the capacity to handle the workload if we had decided to establish a significant presence.

"But, how do you get a complete genome scan in a couple of.. minutes?"

"The scanner has a direct, high speed link to our computer complex. It doesnít go through the net at all. The actual limit on speed is the link; the scanner does it in complete parallel."

Another stunned fish look. He decided to go for something that he might have an outside chance for. "You mentioned a couple of programs?"

"Yes. Iíll ask my supervisor if I can put them on our web site. Sheíll agree if itís her decision. Sheís so open source it isnít funny. It may take a couple of days to get the board lined up."

Another guy. "Is there any chance you can get the technology released? Or just a little hint?"

"Not a hope. This technology has got so many applications besides genetics that it scares a lot of people. They get nightmares about it escaping. The only thing that makes them at least minimally happy is that critical components are hand made, and will stay that way for the foreseeable future. There are national security people from several nations looking over our shoulder, making certain that they know exactly where each of the widgets is. They spend the rest of their time in the Rathskeller, drinking beer together and writing reports home on each otherís movements."

"Oh, and there is no known way of automating the creation of the critical components."

Another guy. This one looked like he should be wearing a suit. "Do you have any plans for attempting to make the technology commercially available?"

I looked at him. "I think your question is: Do we have any plans which would make investments in this field inadvisable?"

"Yes."

"The answer is a definite no. We limit our commercial activity to cosmetic improvements at exorbitant prices. Also genome scans where there is a compelling scientific or ecological need for it to be done fast. There are a couple of more minor items. I donít think you need to worry. You also donít really need to worry about anyone else duplicating our technology. The physics community is moving in the wrong direction at warp speed. Iím not at liberty to disclose the research avenue that got results, but you can assume that it was a fortuitous accident in an organization that had absolutely no interest in doing that kind of research."

Another guy stood up. "I think you passed me three times on the running path this morning. How did you do that?"

"Partially gene enhancements. They are absolutely not available to anyone except ponygirls. Also a training schedule from hell. All of the relevant pathways have been boosted so that I can maintain that pace indefinitely. The limit is running out of food or water."

A woman stood up. "Lets get back to hair. You went past the part about that absolutely marvelous jet black color. Iíve never seen anything quite like it."

So we got back on track.

There was only one other really relevant question.

"Are you hiring?"

"Well, thatís really two questions. One is: are we interested in adding to staff? The answer is a definite yes. We have tentative plans to add at least three more geneticists. Our cosmetic surgery business is booming, and there are a number of enhancement research avenues that the Board wants to pursue."

"The other question is more relevant. Do you want to pursue it? Unless youíve got some highly unusual personal preferences, Iíd say you really want to give it a pass. We donít hire. If we accepted an application, you would have to sign an indenture. And you would spend six months being trained as a ponygirl first. Then youíd have to make your lifestyle commitment. And even after you joined the staff, you would still spend an appreciable amount of time as a ponygirl. The board thinks I spend two thirds of my time that way. Pretty Lemon has a highly creative view of two thirds, but itís still substantial. I enter and occasionally win races. Mostly riding style, which means that I am under the saddle, and a lobo-ra is on top.

"For myself, I like being a ponygirl, as long as I have my genetics to go along with it. The total body focus is a perfect complement to the intellectual work of genetics. But I would never have considered it. I did something incredibly stupid, and wound up there."

I saw two men and one woman look interested. We broke up, and it was time for lunch. One of the guys, and a different woman, asked me about it. So we did lunch together.

It turned out both of them were interested. So I told him that he simply wasnít eligible, unless he wanted a sex change first. He looked confused. I said, "Ponygirl, remember?" He said he didnít know we did sex changes. I told him we didnít. Yet. He looked intrigued.

"Actually, you would both be interested in the technique. In the lecture, I talked about single gene changes. Or a cluster of them. But everything was active at the time of change. For a sex change, itís exactly the opposite. The genome already has everything. What I need to do is install a transformation program."

"There are several modules. One would dispose of the male sex organs. One would grow female sex organs. One would do the bone changes on the hips. One would do the brain structure changes. One would do the skin and hair changes. Another one for the larynx. And other more minor things. The entire transformation takes about a week."

"Iíd love to study it."

"Well, I may publish it some day. The thing is, nobody but us could use it unless someone discovers another way to do gene surgery properly."

So the chick asked about the ponygirl program.

I showed them some film clips on my laptop while we ate lunch. Then I went through the formal script so they both knew what they would be getting into.

"No family?"

"If youíre lucky, you would be able to join staff in ten months to a year. The Act specifies days off and annual vacations. Once youíve made the lifestyle commitment, you can have your days off anywhere. Likewise the vacations. I dropped out of touch because everything was under wraps. This is the first time anyone has found out where I am."

They both wanted in. I told them there would be an express package at their hotel desk for them when they got back after the afternoon sessions. It would contain the indenture form. He needed to sign and get it back to me immediately. I would then start the sex change. She could wait until I was ready to leave. They would both be told where to meet me.

I picked up another stallion and filly later. The first stallion was transforming into a filly nicely. Then it was time to go. Iíd had the first filly move in with me, so she came along when I checked out. The other three met me at the parking garage. I got all four of them into their bondage, stunned them and brought them through. Then I put them in a coffle, and led them to orientation.

Molly was ready. She told me what the plan was. Alice would do the first one; Pretty Lemon would do the second. Fran would do the third, which surprised me mildly. Then Alice would double back and do the fourth. Theyíd all go into the chair, but the two fillies would be out the next morning. The two stallions would do the full eighty hours; they didnít want to take any chances with residual male programming.

I left her to it and took the indenture forms to marketing. The first stallion would finish his transformation to a filly in the chair; the second one would be half way along. Theyíd get their breast rings when their breasts finished growing.

I was told to head to the Lemonís apartment after marketing. Leo wanted Cloudburst and me for dinner.

This was the first time I had ever had dinner with the Managing Director. It had been years since I had the "but, I donít have anything to wear" panic. Well, what I had would have to do.

Dinner was wonderful. Pretty Lemon joined us, making it five. Rainbow was serving; she did a splendid job. Leo gave us the news. They had found two more ponies with significant system administration experience. Both Cloudburst and I were going to get our full community memberships so we could supervise our respective sections. They werenít going to come for a while. Iím afraid I pouted slightly. Leo asked why.

Well, it was kind of obvious. I actually liked being a pony. Supervising four geneticists would be a step up, all right, but if it meant I had to give up racing, I reserved the right to pout a bit.

Leo laughed. Then Cloudburst weighed in.

"Sir, Iím going to second Bolt. You really should have Flash Flood here, not me."

Leo looked surprised. Pretty Lemon looked thoughtful.

"Why?"

"Well, the reason Iím team leader is because I fast tracked through training, so I was first out. Flash has been doing the planning ever since she got herself oriented. I kind of lashed the thing together. Sheís the one who actually got it organized. Sheís the one with the leadership skills. Besides, I really donít want to give up running. Ever since the Lemon hooked up with that horseman of hers, sheís been racing us, although I suspect that heís actually the one behind it. And frankly, thereís nothing like coming across that finish line first."

"Flash doesnít really care if she ever runs another race. It shows, and sheís gotten punished for it a few times."

"You know, Iíd wondered about that. I though you were leaning on the Flood a bit much."

"Well, yes. Iíd give almost anything to get these tags out of my ears. Except stand in the way of a colleague getting a deserved promotion. Especially if it means giving up running. Myself and the computers."

"Part of the reason for doing this is that the Lemon wants to get out from under the supervision thing. Her horseman has gotten her interested in showing ponies for real. And she has other things to do."

"Maybe we could do it this way," Alice said. "Promote Flash Flood to team leader right away, and see how she does. If she does ok for six months, give her the community membership, and transfer ownership of Cloudburst and Rainmaker to her. Then when the two new ponies have settled into their system administrator jobs, promote both Cloudburst and Rainmaker. Give the Lemon the task of acting as owner for any community members that want to participate in ponygirl activities."

"If weíre going to do that, letís just leave Cloudburst and Rainmaker with Pretty Lemon. She can rent them out to Flash Flood. Then she can promote them. That avoids my having to yank them out from under the Flood. And she gets to keep part of her household staff for a while."

Cloudburst thought for a while. "Suits. That means I get my promotion in two years, and I can stay in the races as long as I want. And I donít have a conflict of interest with Flash."

Leo said, "Sounds like a plan. Promote Flash Flood to team leader now, wait until she has the two new ponies oriented before giving her the community membership. She gets them as her new household staff. Promote Cloudburst and Rainmaker about a year later. Their job responsibilities donít change as far as the computer work goes."

"Then Iíll take the membership when the geneticists come on board. With the understanding that the Lemon continues to race me. Also, that I reserve the right to promote one of the other geneticists to team leader in a year or so, and promote her to community member a year or two after that."

That finished the meal. Altogether, a most satisfactory convention.

Chapter 4. I Wound Up Where?

I felt hands on my body, removing the straps, when I came out of the fog from the sleepy gas. I was looking forward to the next part of my stint as a community trainee. I wondered whom they had appointed as owner. It wasnít likely to be anyone I knew well.

They got me on my stand. Then I felt like the roof had caved in. The trainers around me werenít in our trainer uniforms. They wore collars with their names on them. There was a tall woman who called me Black Beauty. Oh, God, no, please. Not a name from that kids book. Please. Then I relaxed. Well, she did have the right to rename me. And it wasnít inappropriate. My raven hair was certainly one of my good points. And I had all the boys drooling over me in high school, so beauty was reasonable. But still.

They gave me my mash, and left me to suck it down. After an hour for digestion, they had me in the running booth for a two-hour exercise session. Then another feeding. The tall woman came back, took me off my stand, hooked reins to my bridle, and marched me up a corridor and into an arena. She put an additional harness on me, and hitched me to a heavy sulky.

Now, Iíd seen them, but I hadnít been trained on one. Another, much younger, woman joined us. She was going to be my driver. The older woman started training us both. Then back to my cell for some movement correction, and back on my stand. Another two hour session in the booth, and then down for the night.

I was one confused ponygirl. I was clearly someplace they spoke English, but I had no idea if I was still in the U.S. I had never paid much attention to how foreigners spoke it. The collars kind of indicated it, but then, I still didnít know how the rest of the world did it. If they did it. The penalties of majoring in boys, clothes and showing my favorite ponygirl.

Well, Iíd find out in the morning, when they explained the talk rule.

The thing is, they didnít. The trainer who got me up and groomed me didnít say one understandable word. Well, he did, but it was either the commands I had been trained to react to, or the utterly meaningless crooning that they did to keep nervous ponies steady. By the time I realized that I hadnít been allowed to talk at all during grooming, I was on my stand, sucking down my mash. The next few days went on in that pattern. I kept expecting them to give me the talk rule during the grooming. Damn it, they were supposed to. But they didnít.

Eventually, I quit expecting it. I thought something had gone horribly wrong, especially when my harness was no longer white. My new tack was quite pretty. It should have set me off quite well, although I had no chance to see myself in a mirror to admire it.

It came as a complete surprise when the trainer grooming me actually said something to me. That was the first time anybody had directed a complete English sentence my way, and expected me to understand it. I almost dropped the ball, but I kept it firmly between my teeth.

He was doing that final, long, luxurious drying process. I was on my hands and knees. Well, hands and one knee. The other leg was straight out behind me, and he was drying it with a terrycloth towel. Utter bliss, especially when he went over my foot, and in between my toes, to make certain I was completely dry.

"Now, Beauty, keep that ball in your mouth while I tell you something."

Like I said, I almost dropped the ball. Just as well he mentioned it first.

"Today is your first day off." Oh, wow. At least, something I expect. "Youíre allowed to talk once you get out of the cellblock. Youíre not allowed to talk in here."

I shook my foot at him twice. He grinned.

"Iíll show you where your girl mode clothes are. Then, youíve got a session with the chief trainer. Sheíll explain everything else."

End of speech. He finished up the leg he was working on. I brought it down, being careful to place it outside of the wet spot. Now I was on all four again. He took out the hair dryer, and dried my thatch. He brought the drier all the way through my legs, and ran the air across my sex, then my asshole, and finally up the crack between my ass cheeks. Feeling warm air blowing there was sensuous. I lost myself in the feeling.

He was done with the drying. He swatted my ass lightly, and I moved forward, away from the wet spot, and sat on my feet, back to him. He brushed out my hair, and did it up in a French braid. Then he swatted my ass again, and I crawled to the mat.

He held out his hand in front of my face. "Ok, kid. Girl mode."

I looked at the hand. Oh. I dropped the ball into it, and got up. He showed me where my girl mode clothes were, and explained the house uniform for ponies in girl mode. I got dressed with panties, fairly conservative pantyhose, a black leather miniskirt and five-inch pumps. The top was a fairly heavy bra, and a white blouse that was cut to show just the least hint of cleavage. My longest finger could just brush the hem of the skirt if I held my shoulders back.

He folded back the door to a tall cabinet. It had makeup, a mirror, and makeup lights. God. Luxury. I hadnít had makeup for the entire six months I was being trained. It was even my brands and my colors. Someone did their homework. One thing that surprised me was the collar lying on the shelf. I pointed and arched an eyebrow, since I hadnít been given leave to speak yet. He chuckled. "Try it on if you want to see how it looks. You donít need it today. Its for if you are trained to serve dinner for the family, or at one of their parties."

I tried it on. It complemented me wonderfully. It was totally understated, and made me totally gorgeous. I really regretted taking it off and putting it back. If I could only find other jewelry that did the same thing for me.

We left the cell, and turned in the other direction. Then we went through a door I had never been through. "This is the door, kid. Talking is ok on the other side." There was a large room with offices. The two on the end had names I recognized. One said, "Chief Trainer", with "Dreammaker" below it. The other said "Owner", with "Fran Donaldson" below it. The feeling of relief was so great; I almost fainted. I swayed on my feet.

"Steady, girl, steady." I recovered. Fran was the head of the owners association. Not that Iíd ever met her, my family would have had to be a lot higher in the hierarchy, or just be plain lucky. But hers was a name I knew. If I was in her establishment, things were going according to plan. Nobody had told me the plan, but that was typical. Nobody told ponies anything.

He showed me into the door marked "Chief Trainer." The woman who had been training me was there. So was another woman who just radiated dominance. That had to be Fran. It was.

Fran started off. "Hi, Beauty. I expect youíre wondering just what is going on here?"

"Yes." My first word in six months.

"Weíre looking at the entire community trainee program. Your last week was an experience that most community trainees donít get, but that all of the sale ponies get. You wind up somewhere else. Nobody is familiar. You donít know anybody. We could give you a week of it. A month might have been better, but the CSA requires a day off every week, and that isnít one of the exceptions."

"We might send you to Horst or Francois for a couple of months. That would give you the experience of being somewhere where you just donít know the language, and they donít know yours. We try to simulate it a bit by doing as much as possible without language. Itís entirely possible that today is the last time anybody will tell you anything while you are in pony mode."

Dreammaker took over. "The problem youíve got here is that you have never been outside of the Community. So just turning you lose would be a disaster for you. Weíre going to team you up with Golden Spitfire for the next couple of months."

Fran stuck her head out the door. "Hey, Gold. Get your ass in here."

Gold turned out to have this mane of the most gorgeous golden blonde hair I had ever seen. It was the first time I had even considered being jealous. She also had this almost visible crackle of energy around her.

"Gold will take you around on your days off for a while. Sheíll coordinate the schedule. Expect to be at some interesting parties; sheís got dispensation to be out after curfew. You do too if youíre with her. Once youíre OK on your own, you will go your separate ways. You may turn out to be inseparable friends, but I doubt it. Our ponies mostly go solo on their days off."

Gold grinned. "Letís bend a rule right off. Tanhauser is playing at the Met tonight. OK if we stay out late to see it?"

"Youíve got tickets?"

"Not yet. Figured your people could take care of it. Or I can ask the Senator."

"Letís make it a threesome. Unless Dream would like to join us?"

She begged off. With Fran there, it would be two ponies with their owner. That made the outfits much more acceptable. We agreed where to meet, and then headed off to do some heavy shopping for costume jewelry, and possibly more suitable tops.

When we got back, there was only one guy on night duty. He just told me to put on a bridle and hood, grab a blanket, and curl up on the mat. I did.

I never imagined being a pony could be this much fun.