This work is copyright 2000-2004 by Xaltatun of Acheron (A Pseudonym). It may be posted on the Internet to any free forum. It may be reformatted to match the forum's look and feel, and the forum editor may make minor spelling and grammer corrections. Otherwise it must be posted in its entirety, including these notices. 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.
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. Most large cities, and some not so large ones, have organized BDSM groups that will usually welcome a newcomer. I'm not going to point out which practices are safe, and which aren't. 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. Don't make yourself a candidate for a Darwin award.
There are fifteen stories in the series entitled “Ponygirl Transformation.” At this point, I have no intention of writing additional stories in this series, although I thought that before Engineer burst on the scene. The stories are listed in order of the series timeline, although there are a few overlaps and several continuing characters. The first three set necessary background, the next three cover one formative event from three different viewpoints.
1. Ponygirl Finds Her Place
2. Kinder and Gentler
3. The Sorceress’ Apprentice
4. Raw Material
5. Ponygirl by Choice
6. The Politics of Ponygirls
7. Ponygirls on Vacation
8. Bluebird Grows Up
9. Unregistered Ponygirls
11. Suzie’s Ponygirl
13. Engineer (in preparation)
15. Segue to Freehold (in preparation)
Acknowledgements. The setting and several of the characters are taken from a series of books 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 commercially available, and should not be on any web site on the internet, except for a short excerpt on Sir Jeff’s ponygirl web site.
Some of the characters and settings have been changed, either due to the different legal environment in the United States, my partially successful attempt to make the setting more consistent, and in one case a simple error of memory that got woven into the plot too deeply to back out by the time I discovered it.
In no case should you infer anything about the prior stories from this one. Sir Thomas has substantially different objectives for his 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.
Now on to the story...
Chapter 1. What do you do with a Genius?
Chapter 2. First Trip Outside.
Chapter 3. First Training Episode.
Chapter 4. Loose Lips and all that.
Chapter 5. Susi becomes a ponygirl.
Chapter 6. Auction.
Chapter 7. Leslie and Linnet Meet Team 146.
Chapter 8. Linnet Learns Her New Duties.
Chapter 9. Diana Meets her Ponygirl.
Chapter 10. Excessive Enthusiasm Gets Its Just Rewards.
Chapter 11. The Best Plans are Laid.
Chapter 12. College Interviews.
Chapter 13. Larry and Linnet Meet a BDSM Society.
Chapter 14. How did a String of Sex Workers get into Here?
Chapter 15. Amanda and Connie face a hard choice.
Chapter 16. Official interest.
Chapter 17. Amanda and Connie start training.
Chapter 18. A Ride in the Forest.
Chapter 19. Alice tries to salvage Connie.
Chapter 20. Mistress Melanie’s Stable.
Chapter 21. Space Aliens? Huh, What?
Chapter 22. Pilot Project.
Chapter 23. Amanda starts improvising.
Chapter 24. More School Daze.
Chapter 25. Linnet Closes a Chapter.
Chapter 26. Boris Badinov and the Space Aliens.
Chapter 27. More Planning
Chapter 28. Recruiting an Academic.
Chapter 29. Linnet Gets Her Reward.
Chapter 30. Amanda’s Ponygirl Stable
Chapter 31. Connie flames out.
Epilog. Another Ride in the Forest.
In the first new Arizona Community story from my pen in over three years, Larry Thompson is assigned to go out to Engineering school. We discover in short order that one of the soon to graduate ponygirls, Linnet, has the same psi powers as Alice, so she’s assigned to Larry, and Larry has to learn how to care for a ponygirl, in addition to his already heavy study load preparing for engineering school. He starts training with Raindance, and then his twin sister, Suzi, puts her foot into it. We get to see Suzi “volunteer” to start her two years as a community trainee ponygirl, and then see Larry put a new ponygirl through orientation. Time passes, and Linnet finishes the second part of her training, and is ready to be sold – or so she thinks.
Larry and his mother discover an odd situation at the auction where they are to pick up Linnet, and they wind up with a community trainee for his sister, Diana. They get the two ’girls situated in their cells with their training team. Linnet learns that she’s going to be working closely with Larry on his project, and Diana gets some practice in hitching a ponygirl to a chariot and driving her. The perpetrator of the odd situation gets her comeuppance.
Larry does his interviews for engineering school. His possession of a ponygirl gets him an apartment with the rest of the sexual oddballs, not that he’s complaining about not having to spend the first year in the dorms with the rest of the freshmen!
Larry and Linnet put on a “magic” show for a local BDSM society, and they wind up breaking up a ring of unlicensed prostitutes that haven’t paid their dues to the shadowy organization that provides STD control to sex workers. (It’s the Arizona Community, through a couple of proxies, which is how he got involved.) In handling that, they discover a couple of their client’s daughters caught in the dragnet. Neither of them is in particularly good odor with their parents (or anyone else, for that matter) so Larry makes them an offer they can’t refuse. He’s going to use them to try out a new method of initial ponygirl training. First, however, they’ve got to learn how to study, and learn some of the basics of how to be a ponygirl trainer.
Meanwhile, the sex worker thing is garnering some official interest.
“Well, yes. I’m not aware of doing anything that’s blatantly wrong, at least.”
The police lieutenant was a fairly tall, muscular man in his mid 30s, who was currently sitting behind a desk in his office in the Public Relations section of police headquarters.
“Well, there’s a bit of background. We’re a city of several million people, with several major universities and a large tourist and convention business. There are days that I think that everyone and his pet dog think they know how the city should be run, and entirely too many of them manage to get laws passed or sway public opinion. Eventually, it comes down to us to keep disorder low enough that it has a chance of working.
“My particular branch concerns the several hundred people, or rather families, who have enough power to believe they can get their own way, and manage to do so much of the time. We smooth off rough edges, occasionally negotiate deals, and, to put it rather more bluntly than diplomatically, try to keep massive egos from colliding with each other and causing major problems elsewhere.”
“I see,” Larry said, noncommittally.
“Well, a couple of months ago, Vice, Public Health and Property Crime discovered that they were all narrowing in on a young woman named Jenna.” He pressed a couple of buttons and turned a bit toward the wall. The display map of the city suddenly acquired a large number of dots, and some interesting looking although quite mysterious charts and annotations. “She seemed to be the central character relating a number of unlicensed prostitutes that were also involved in a fair amount of petty crime. We found that two of her ring were students named Amanda and Connie.”
“Who were both on your handle with care list because of their families.”
“Exactly. We were about
“I knew it was a risk, but making those indentures public record did seem like the better approach, long term.
The Lieutenant nodded. “At the same time, one of our intelligence sources in Vice reported a magic show in the BDSM community involving a ponygirl, and Public Health reported that the STD epidemic on campus seemed to have unaccountably vanished. At that point, everything came together, and we did some additional checking. You’re associated in some way with the organization that sells ponygirls, handles STD control for prostitutes and does highly illegal but quite popular genetic modifications.”
“I’m impressed,” Larry said. “I didn’t know people had put all of that together.”
The lieutenant shrugged. “If there were two organizations with that level of capability, I’d expect them to be fighting fang to claw. Since they aren’t, it follows that there is only one, however much they like to pretend otherwise. Just for my own edification, you are with that organization, are you not?”
“Of course,” Larry laughed. “As I just said, I’m impressed. I must say, though, that I’m not a principle. I really am an engineering student. I got involved with it because Student Services knows I have the STD protection, so they thought I might be able to do something about the epidemic. I found Jenna and her prostitution ring. She had them wearing the ID bracelet that said they had STD protection, and she hadn’t actually gone through the formality of contracting or paying for it. I reported it and my superiors told me to handle it since I was on the scene.”
“Just to satisfy my own curiosity, what did happen to the five we don’t have on file?”
“Amanda and Connie are assisting me in a private project, and the other three bought out their indentures.” He shrugged slightly. “We like to maintain a balance between operating in the shadows and making public examples.”
“Makes sense. I take it you are also behind the sudden disappearance of the STD epidemic?”
“Yes, and don’t ask too many questions about how.”
“We know about Leprechaun Genetics; as you say they do try to maintain a low profile except where it counts. Public Health will be happy to add that fact to their file. I presume the string of sex workers you’re currently running have all of the necessary protections?”
“Of course. As you point out, it’s all one organization, and we’re not idiots, after all.”
“I didn’t expect you were. Your organization makes amazingly few ripples. Since you’re running a ring of sex workers, though, Vice does have a few things that they would like you to take into account.” He pressed several more buttons, and the city map on the wall changed, marking areas and streets in various different colors.
“Just a minute while I get Linnet,” Larry said and got an abstracted look. “Oh, good. She’s available.” He snapped his fingers and Linnet appeared in the Lieutenant’s office.
“At least this time you gave me a couple of seconds warning,” she mock scowled at him before spinning a chair a quarter turn and sitting down, tail draped over the other side.
The lieutenant took a deep breath. “Warn a guy before you do something like that again,” he said shakily. “I thought teleportation was a fable.”
“We’d like for people to keep thinking that,” Linnet said. “So who’s this nice young man that almost had a coronary?”
“This is Lieutenant Peabody,” Larry introduced him. “He’s kind of a liaison with the flakier parts of the upper crust, and he wants to discuss some things about our string of sex workers that will maximize our return while minimizing his hassles.”
“Right. The cop’s dealmaker. I take it you want to discuss territories and how to avoid freaking the average citizen?”
“Exactly. People have a great capacity to ignore what they don’t understand, and we’d prefer that some things not be in their face.”
The three of them turned to the wall display.
“It’s time,” Larry said as he inspected the empty state of his wine glass, “to take the next step. Amanda and Connie, please change into something that you won’t mind having destroyed, and be in the large room in ten minutes. That should give Jenna enough time to clear the table.”
A few minutes later, the two girls walked into the room and looked around. They’d both changed into denim cutoffs and t-shirts with woefully out of fashion, although still funny, mottos. When they arrived, they found Larry and Linnet talking with two women they hadn’t seen before. One of the women was dressed in a black leather miniskirt, a white blouse, mesh hose and heels, put together in a style that would have caused traffic accidents if she was walking down the street. The other also wore a leather miniskirt, blouse and heels, but her skirt had a pattern of tricolor red blocks that seemed to keep changing perspective, and her blouse had a picture of a girl bound to a pole, a circular tray table built around her waist. The tray had a jug, a wine glass, a loaf of bread and a flower. Both of them wore wide red leather belts that held up a whip, prod, phone and a couple of less identifiable objects.
“Folks, these people are Raindance and Dreammaker,” he introduced them, nodding to the one with the mesh hose as Raindance, and the one with the fashion disaster as Dreammaker. “Raindance is one of our senior ponygirl trainers, and she’s also my tutor in all things having to do with the community business. She’s assigned to our pilot project.
“Dreammaker is a senior trainer from Fran’s Ponygirl Stable. She’ll be in charge of training you two as trainers, and she may very well do some movement training.”
“I’m here tonight mostly for the introduction,” Dreammaker added. “I’ve never done orientation and initial training. As Larry said, I’m associated with one of the Owner’s stables. In the normal course of events, it’s quite possible that you might be seeing me if your parents sent you out for a formal course in how to be a ponygirl trainer.”
“Look around but don’t touch,” he told the girls. The center of the room seemed to be dominated by two leather covered platforms mounted on casters, each somewhat less than a meter square. Each platform had a metal pole about two inches in diameter and a bit less than a meter high set somewhat off toward one side of center. Amanda circled the two platforms like a moth drawn to a flame while Connie studied a side table that had a number of implements laid out in two neat rows.
“I take it we are going to be decorating those platforms shortly,” Connie said, not taking her eyes off of the table.
“Of course. Start out with the wrist and ankle bracelets, gag yourselves and sit at the side there,” he pointed at the wall opposite the supply table.
“Stay dressed,” he added as Connie started to unbutton her shorts. The two girls found the open circlets at the start of the rows. The circlets snapped closed with a startling loud CLACK sound.
“Sound effects?” Raindance said, amused.
“Of course. I was thinking of a mad scientist scene, but it didn’t seem to be worth the trouble to train Jenna to be Igor.” The girls had managed to get their jaws around the red balls and snap the latches behind their heads. They walked over to the wall like prisoners approaching the execution platform, turned and sat down. “Hands behind your backs, kids,” Larry told them.
They put their hands behind their backs, and suddenly jerked upright to the sound of another CLACK.
Raindance stared at them a moment and then laughed. “Another of your little tricks, Larry?”
“Invisible chains. It’s a great effect, but there are times I like good old steel better.”
“I do remember a time or two I looked at a chain and reflected that the weakest link was still stronger than I was.”
“Don’t we all?” Linnet agreed. “That sound effect jolts a bit, though.”
“Let’s get started,” Raindance said.
“Good idea.” Larry sat on another table, foot swinging freely while he flipped his prod in his hand.
“This is the first experience the wild ponygirl has on her journey to being broken to harness. Linnet, Raindance and Dreammaker have experienced it as wild ponygirls, and both Raindance and I have processed wild ponygirls through it. In my case, it was a training exercise and Raindance took advantage of an opportunity. Jenna, of course, has not experienced it from either side.
“The basic objective is to soften the wild ponygirl up by doing things to her over which she has no control, and simultaneously confuse her about what’s going to happen next. This room is a bit smaller than the one we usually use, but it’s arranged about the same. If there’s more than one ’girl, we do one at a time and let the next ones watch. We’re going to go through the entire process, with one exception.”
He turned to Raindance. “Which one first?”
She pulled out a coin. “Call it for the one on the left.”
She flipped the coin and watched it as it rotated through the air and fell on the floor. Jenna bent over to examine it, her skirt rising to expose her petticoats. “Tails,” she said.
“So that’s Connie,” Raindance said. Larry bent over and picked up the bound girl by the waist and placed her over one of the platforms. He slid her down part way as Raindance pushed her knees to straighten them as she came down. A moment later, she knelt on the platform, her back to the pole and her wrists and ankles secured by invisible bonds on the other side. He did something to the bonds and pushed her feet down to the platform, where her ankles snapped to the edge of the platform and stuck there. At the same time, Raindance unbuckled the ball gag and walked over to the platform. She returned with a full glass of water and a straw.
Connie had managed to push the gag out of her mouth and started to work her jaw to relieve the cramps.
“Would you like a glass of water?” Raindance asked her.
“What? I mean yes,” the blonde said.
Raindance brought the glass closer to where she could suck on the straw. A few sips later, she drew her head back.
“We just had supper,” Connie said, almost apologetically.
“That’s all right,” Raindance said, flipping out her prod and turning to level one. “You already know what level 1 feels like, right?”
“Yes,” Connie said, looking at it.
Raindance twitched her fingers and the prod sang at a higher note. “I don’t think he’s ever used level two on you, right?”
“No,” Connie said, and then she howled as Raindance ran the prod down her arm.
Raindance dropped to her knees and held the sobbing girl for a moment.
“That wasn’t a punishment; it was for reference so you can associate the sound of the prod with what it means. Got it?”
“Yes,” Connie said, still shook. “What happens if I hear level three?”
Raindance shifted the prod so the note was higher. “I’d recommend dropping to the floor right then and praying on the way down.” She shut off the prod and put it back on her belt.
“The next thing we do is remove your clothes. Even though most wild ponygirls that go through this are self selected and know that ponygirls don’t wear people clothes, cutting them off has an impact.” She took a power shear from the table and set it buzzing. She cut the two sleeves at the outside seam, and then ran the sheer down the t-shirt from the neckline all the way down, running it though her shorts and coming across the crotch in one motion, leaving both garments pinned between the ’girl and the pole. She pulled the useless rags off and tossed them at the bin as Connie watched wide-eyed at the speed at which her clothing had vanished.
“T-shirt and shorts is the easiest once you master the twist that takes the crotch out,” Raindance said in a matter of fact tone. “Skirts are almost as easy, but you need a couple more cuts for slacks.
“Normally, we’d do ear tags next,” she continued, “but since you’re not indentured we’ll skip that.” Connie seemed to relax and her eyes softened a bit. Raindance turned back to the table and returned with a tube of something and an applicator. “The next step is breast rings, and this is anesthetic.” She noticed that her subject’s eyes seemed to follow her hands, but she didn’t seem to register the words. She looked up at Larry and raised an eyebrow. Larry nodded minutely.
“So …” Raindance continued chattering as she expertly numbed the breasts, ran a sterile needle through them followed by a barbell and then crimped a ring to the barbell. Then she hung bells on the rings and experimentally flicked one of them, causing the bell to ring. Connie’s eyes widened at the touch, but then she relaxed again, eyes following Rainbow as she put the pliers back and came back with a tape measure and a sheet.
The trainer spent a while taking measurements and either checking items off of the sheet or occasionally penciling in a correction. All the while she chattered, saying essentially nothing. Her subject didn’t seem to notice at all.
“All done,” she announced brightly as she brought over a bridle and ball gag. Connie eyed the assemblage of straps warily, but opened her mouth as Raindance brought it close.
“I see you’ve got her trained,” she said to Larry, keeping her voice light.
“She does have a habit of mouthing off,” he answered in the same tone. “She’s learning that it earns her a spell with rubber in her mouth.”
Raindance brought the headrest over, slid it onto the pole and secured it with the bolt. Then she stroked the ponygirl’s head, pressing it back into the rest. Connie obediently relaxed her neck, and Raindance fastened the clips that kept her from raising her head. Then she dropped a blanket over the ’girl, prompting a muffled snort. A moment later, her breathing slowed as she dozed off.
“You do Amanda,” she told Larry.
“OK,” Larry said as he walked over to the other girl and picked her up. Amanda brought her legs forward without being told as he held her over the stand. “Feeling cooperative today, are we?” he asked.
“Some are, some aren’t,” Raindance said. He unclipped the ball gag and got the glass of water.
The four of them sat around the table in the little patio, with Jenna kneeling at Larry’s side. “Amanda, how was it for you?” Larry asked.
Amanda took a sip of beer, considering. “Weird doesn’t do it justice, somehow,” she said slowly. “I’ll admit being scared while Raindance processed Connie, and then that level two prod hurt, dammit! That’s a real good inducement to be a good girl,” she said wryly. “Where it got weird was after you did the prod and before you did my breasts. I heard you say you weren’t going to do my ears, and then everything sort of shifted. I knew you were talking, but all I could understand was that you were pleased with me. I could see and hear what was going on, but I was just kind of there. It was just so different it was weird, that’s all!
“Then you dropped the blanket on me and I went to sleep. After that, things got real confused while Raindance did whatever she was doing. That is one strange lady!”
Linnet laughed. “All the senior trainers are like that. They’re like everyone else until suddenly they start messing with your head.”
“You don’t mind?” Amanda sounded shocked.
“Not really,” Linnet said thoughtfully. “Actually, I’ve never thought about it. They were just the ones that came around and smoothed out difficult spots in training.”
“It’s not quite what you think,” Larry said. “The senior trainers pretty much confine themselves to working with the ponygirls. In fact, that’s how they’re trained. They come from the ranks of career ponygirl trainers, and mostly the only experience they have other than ponygirls is girl mode. Alice and to some extent Pretty Lemon are our heavy duty shrinks, and Katie and Margaret do counseling. As I understand it, they share a body of techniques that were discovered in the ‘70s by some rogue psychologists, but people are complicated enough that they have to specialize.”
Larry laughed at the sally. “You work on transitions with Raindance for the next few days until your tack arrives. Once it arrives, we work on cementing the transition into the act of putting your tack on and taking it off. When that’s rock solid, we’ll move on to the next stages. You’ll learn the daily routine as both trainer and pony. One of you will be trainer, the other will be the pony, and then you’ll swap. You’ll be working with me and Dreammaker on that. You’ll learn the pony behaviors with me and Raindance, and I’m not going to tell you about what I’m going to train for in any given session beforehand.”
“Why’s that?” Connie asked.
“We never tell the ponies what we’re going to train for in advance. Think of it this way: what use would a horse get out of your telling it in advance what you’re going to train it to do? Or a cat, or a dog, or any animal? It wouldn’t understand you. The same thing is pretty much true here; while you would understand what I told you, that wouldn’t transfer into pony mode in any useful fashion. Linnet can do that but she had to work quite a bit with Ceecee and Raindance to make it work, and it’s really only useful for our magic acts where I can’t both do my part and train her in hers.”
“That’s quite true,” Linnet said. “The most I know about anything else in advance is something like: Coach practice with Will o’ the Wisp, 3 to 5 Tuesday week. The only reason I need that much is to plan my schedule. Anything more is simply useless, and I’m not sure I even need to know that they’re going to be training me on coach.”
“The other thing that’s going to happen,” Larry told them, “is something we don’t tell the ’girls about, at least until they’re ready for girl mode training. We’re going to start installing the physical mods tonight. You won’t notice a thing except the results. To start at the top, there are a few minor things with your hair that they’re fixing; nothing obvious except that it’ll be a bit thicker, straighter and will have less tendency to frizz and split.
“Your breasts will firm up and stay that way until you’re ready to die of honorable old age. Your feet and ankles will be reshaped so that they can handle several angles between flat and full extension indefinitely without strain. That does mean you’ll need custom shoes because you’ll only be comfortable with specific heel sizes, and except for flats they most likely won’t be the ones that come off the rack. Your tails will start coming in, and your lower body will start rebuilding itself so you can be ridden. That means, by the way, that you’ll need new outfits since your hips will increase by an inch or so. Then you’ll get a metabolism and strength boost. That whole package means that you really can be ridden like a pony for long distances without ill effects.
“Of course, you’ve not only got the STD package, but you’ll also be getting the general genetic tune-up. That fixes any of the thousands of known genetic illnesses and also fixes a number of regrettably common variations that are not precisely illnesses, but do cause problems.
“Last, and by no means least, you’re getting a fairly complete environmental package that should keep you comfortable from anywhere between a wind chill of 20 below or lower, up through around 110 above. Consider yourself lucky: the riding and environmental mods are extra cost options.”
The two girls looked back, wide-eyed. “I had no idea,” Connie said.
“Why the temperature package?” Amanda asked.
“Well, it started out as a request to be able to keep ponygirls in a stable without climate controls, rather than those expensive cells we use. Marketing is thinking of it as a package for harsh environment emergency teams. I’m not entirely sure why you’re getting it; I suspect that Marketing would like to get more feedback on how well it works.”
Will o’ the Wisp trotted up the forest path, bearing Diana lightly in her saddle. “Hi, guys,” Diana waved as she came into sight of Larry and Linnet. “Are these the two ’girls you’ve been training?”
“Yes they are,” Linnet told her.
“Let me see them,” Diana said as she drew the Wisp to a stop beside the other two riders. She pressed the Wisp on the shoulder, and the ’girl promptly dropped to one knee, letting Diana swing out of the saddle. She ground-tied her mount and then walked over to look at the two ponygirls.
“The brunette is Amanda and the blonde is Connie, right? They’re pretty good,” she said as she walked around the pair. “I see you decided to have them grow tails.”
“Connie said that if she had to be a ponygirl, she wanted a tail, so I let them figure out how to grow them without causing too much comment. They started out with short skirts, and then shifted to long skirts and slacks as they grew. At the end, they switched back to short skirts and wrapped the tail as a belt.”
“That was a cool idea,” Linnet agreed enthusiastically. “We’re living where people accept my tail as part of the general weirdness, but now I can wear it anywhere and nobody notices.”
“So get down off of there and give me a hug!” Diana demanded. A moment later, the two ’girls simultaneously dropped to one knee.
“Beautiful! That’s probably an 8.5 on that maneuver.”
“Thank you! Dreammaker’s been working on them a bit.”
“It shows. They’re absolutely darling the way you’ve got them tacked up. How long are you keeping them?”
“I don’t know. I’m having too much fun to let them go just yet, and they’ve still got a ways to go before they’ll be ready to apprentice as trainers. Besides, their school schedule means I can’t keep them in ponyspace for more than a few hours at a time so far. The real test is going to be the Spring Nationals. I mentioned it once, but I don’t know if they remember it.”
“Well, let it be a surprise. I’d say your project is a success if they can go straight through for two weeks. Have you thought of names for them?”
“My idiot brother,” Diana looked at him fondly. “I didn’t object to Linnet because, well, you know, but you don’t have that excuse for these two. If you don’t name them, I will!
“Let’s let them stretch their legs,” she switched subjects and then swung onto Amanda, eliciting a surprised snort from the ponygirl. “You take the Wisp, and last one to the lake gets to buy breakfast!” Larry and Linnet scrambled to mount. Amanda came up without thinking, and then reacted to the knee pressure by heading up the path into the next stretch of forest. Will o’ the Wisp came up smoothly as soon as she felt Larry settle into the saddle, and fell in behind Amanda, closing the distance slowly as the less experienced ponygirl lost ground on the uneven trail. Linnet managed to get her startled mount headed in the right direction with easy pressure on the reins, but eventually lost sight of the other two on the twisty trail. That didn’t really matter. Even though neither of them had ever been on this trail, Linnet’s clairvoyance let her keep track of where she was. Connie, on the other hand, was having lots of trouble staying in ponygirl space as she was faced with a totally unfamiliar situation. Linnet eventually got her soothed down, and they trotted slowly along, eventually coming out into a small meadow filled with wildflowers and a brook on one side.
She saw that Diana and Larry had their mounts kneeling by the bank, heads bobbing in and out of the water as they drank. She brought Connie to the bank and pressed her shoulder to dismount. The ’girl slid down smoothly enough, but then balked when Linnet tried to make her kneel and drink.
“Connie,” Linnet said menacingly, “one way or the other, your head is going into the water.” She flipped out her prod and started it buzzing. The startled ’girl sat up and then bobbed down almost like a mechanical toy. A moment later, she managed to get the rhythm and started drinking.
Linnet stood and shook her head. Then her eyes unfocused for a moment, and Jenna popped into the meadow from nowhere, holding two picnic baskets. She took a picnic cloth from one and spread it on the ground, and then began to prepare breakfast.
Larry opened the other basket and pulled out a contraption that held two bottles, one of water and the other of the somewhat viscous white fluid known as mash that was the ponygirl’s normal food. He hung it on a branch, leaving the three long white plastic tubes coiled up in the base. Then he brought Will o’ the Wisp up from the stream and set her to kneeling under the ponygirl feeder. A moment later, he had taken her bit out and replaced it with the feeding tube, which ended in a nipple and a plastic circlet that could have been from an adult sized pacifier. He set the valve for eight ounces, and went back to collect Amanda. He settled her next to the Wisp with a feeding tube in her mouth. Then he put Connie on the other side of the Wisp. As a final touch, he put a little gadget between each pair of pony boots and activated it. Then he snapped the rings on the boots to the top of the gadget. The three ’girls were now effectively locked in place, not that any of them noticed. They were too busy sucking down the mash and reveling in the sensation of it filling their stomachs.
When he got back to the picnic, Jenna had just put a plate of bacon, eggs and a stack of pancakes on a small table. He sat cross-legged in front of it, with Diana on one side and Linnet on the other.
“You’ve got Amanda quite well trained to the saddle,” Diana said. “She just needs a bit more experience to be as good as the Wisp. Are you thinking of keeping her permanently?”
“I don’t know,” he said thoughtfully. “It really depends on her parents.”
Diana cocked her head. “How so?”
“You know the deal. Their parents were about to either throw them out on the street or turn them into ponygirls, but they gave them one last chance to make something credible of themselves. The amusing thing is that Amanda is doing better as a ponygirl, but she’s also bringing her grades up, and she’s managed to find a real interest in her father’s industrial organization. To say he’s gratified is putting it mildly. Connie, on the other hand, is still on the edge. She’s improved a lot, but possibly not enough, and I’ve had to maneuver her away from a number of opportunities to get herself into deep trouble. Frankly, if she was doing acceptably as a ponygirl, I’d be real tempted to let her stick her foot into it beyond recovery.”
The subject of their discussion knelt on the grass among the wildflowers placidly sucking down the last of her mash; blissfully unaware of how close she was to disaster.
“I’d definitely have to say Connie needs more work, as a ponygirl, as a rider and as a trainer,” Linnet said. “Amanda could be better when she’s riding me, but she doesn’t have that much experience and she’s improving. Connie’s just inept. Amanda’s got the trainer’s procedures down, she just needs experience. Not that she’s bad now. She’s more than adequate on my morning grooming.” Linnet grinned wickedly. “On the other hand, I’d just as soon Connie didn’t.”
“So what’s the plan, brother mine?”
“Now that they’ve had their first morning run, I’m going to keep doing it every morning. I’ll rotate which one is riding with me, of course, so we mix up all of the possible rider and pony pairs. That’ll end on spring break. I’m trying to set it up so they’ll spend the first week of spring break in the community as full time ponies so we see how they do long term. The second week is, of course, the spring National. I’m thinking of seeing if they can fit in some kind of a support role. That shouldn’t be too much of a security risk since we’ll have all kind of outsiders on premises anyway, and they are, after all, owner’s daughters. If their fathers were coming, they’d have a perfect right to be there anyway.”
“As long as they didn’t pose a security risk,” Diana agreed. “What about?” She nodded at the maid.
“Jenna? I’m going to turn our string of sex workers over to her for the two weeks. The police allocate territories for sex workers along the beach, so I’m going to rent some territories and put the girls down with nothing but a bikini, a locked cash box and some meal chits and see how much they come back with. Jenna can do whatever management is needed. She is definitely going to be surprised.”
“That’s where she came in originally.”
“Larry, you are evil.”
“I work at it,” he said modestly. “But I’ve got a number of objectives in mind. First, I want to see if she’s got any management talent. I kind of doubt it, but she might surprise me. Then I want to give Linnet a break so she can assimilate some of what she’s learned on the project. Last, I want to see which of the girls actually works at it.”
Diana raised an eyebrow at that.
“Well, most of them aren’t really suitable as sex workers. Several of them are working on accumulating enough to buy their way out, and I’ll invent reasons to let most of the rest go once Linnet internalizes the difference between management and exploitation. It looks like five or six have found what they want to do, though. Two of those look like they want to buy out their indenture and go freelance, and I’ll sell the other indentures to a house.”
She took a mock swipe at his head. “That was an excellent breakfast, brother mine. If we had any place for a slave maid, I’d ask the parents to buy her from you!” She got up from the picnic and stretched. Then she walked over to the three ’girls kneeling in a row. “It looks like they’re done. Why aren’t they moving?”
“I’ve got them locked down,” Larry called after her.
“Locked down?” she asked as she looked them over. “I don’t see… Oh.” She knelt down and inspected the small boxes that linked their hoof boots together. She tried to pick one of them up with a finger, and noticed that it refused to budge.
“What is this? I’ve never seen anything like it before.”
“Like it? I got the idea at a BDSM outing when a
“That fits in with your project?”
“Actually, it does. I used a prototype to manufacture them. I had to do an awful lot of fixup to get them to work, but I sure learned a lot.” He took the feeding tubes out of the ponygirl’s mouths and pressed the valves to flush them out. “This, on the other hand, was a legitimate class project. I added a little gizmo to keep the mash from spoiling without refrigeration.
“Unhitch them, will you? The boxes will come off if you press the front and back sides right.”
“Those boxes have me curious,” Diana said as their ponies trotted side by side along a wide part of the path, “could you use them instead of chains for restraints?”
“I tried that. It works, but there’s something about a nice, shiny chain that goes click, clank as it moves. I’ve got several of the chairs rigged so that I can pin the occupant in them by the hip bones, but I’ve only used them a couple of times. Jenna’s shoes are gimmicked so I can restrict her movements, but it doesn’t really work out. She needs the feel of the shackles to know that she’s hobbled.”
“Now that was an excellent meal,” Alice said as she sipped her wine. “I expect you’ve had offers for Jenna before?”
“Diana floated the idea,” Larry laughed. “I don’t want to let her go until I take my degree, but I’m mildly uncertain about what to do with her afterwards.”
“It’s not like we haven’t had the occasional slave maid, but they were all ponygirls and were under the one third restriction. If you want to bring her back with you, it’ll have to be discussed, and it’s really a community decision. There are places in our outside organization where she might fit, and there are other options.
“Now that we’re all relaxed, I suppose you’re wondering why I decided to have you invite me for dinner?”
“I presume it has something to do with us,” Amanda said from the other side of the table. “Larry is not at all bashful about excluding us from dinner when he’s got something he doesn’t want us involved in.” She shrugged. “All I know about you is that you’re one of the movers and shakers.”
“Quite true, young woman,” Alice said. “You probably don’t remember it, but I joined you for a couple of your morning outings. Both Thunder and Lightning quite enjoyed the experience. I’m pretty sure I know what Connie’s difficulty is, and it won’t be that hard to fix.”
Connie froze and then set her wine glass down with exaggerated care. “I don’t want anyone messing with my head!” she said, equally carefully.
“I’m afraid you lost that option a long time ago,” Alice told her.
“Unless, of course, you want to get up right now, pack a backpack and hit the road,” Larry added. “The way you’re headed, you’re out at the end of the next quarter anyway.”
She froze in place. “I will not be dictated to,” she finally said, obviously controlling her temper with difficulty. Both Amanda and Linnet looked at her curiously; this was a facet they had never seen before.
“Who was dictating to you before?” Alice asked lightly.
“Mommy. Daddy. Aunt…” she suddenly broke down and started sobbing. Alice moved swiftly around the table, picked her up and held her in her arms.
“I’m beginning to see what Larry meant by your being the heavy duty shrink,” Amanda said. “I’ve never even heard of anyone being able to do that.”
Alice shrugged as she held the sobbing young woman. “The techniques have been around for half a century, if not longer. I’m afraid most of the psychological community is still in denial over them. It’s not easy to admit having spent a long time heading off in the wrong direction, especially when you’ve built your reputation on it.”
“Is that all it takes?”
“Not really. This just breaks the logjam. There’s quite a bit of work she’s going to have to do rebuilding, but most of it’s not anything I need to get directly involved in.
“That, of course, brings us to the other reason I’m here tonight. Your spring break is a few months away, and this year it’s at the same time as the Spring Nationals. Both Raindance and I consider Larry’s proof of concept to be a success, but of course there are other people that haven’t been on the scene. We’ve got enough time before spring break to stabilize Connie. What I want is for both of you to be good little ponygirls for the entire two weeks. We’ll spend the first week training you for something and putting a polish on what you can already do, then we’ll show you during the Nationals. We’ll protect your privacy, of course.
“When that goes as well as it will, we’ll want a pilot project. I want to assign you, and possibly Connie, to apprentice with a training team in the Training Block to take our first test group through the new process. That’ll take the entire Summer Quarter, so you’ll obviously not be taking classes then. That’s also the reason that Connie isn’t definite; she may have to take classes to make up for previous poor performance. Dreammaker says you’ve got the basic daily routine down well enough to be able to apprentice with one of the owners, so we’ll concentrate on what you need to know for the pilot program.”
“You said protect my privacy?”
“There are a number of things we’ll do. One real obvious thing is to give both of you pony names. Diana’s got a couple picked out already, but Larry’s been resisting. Ear tags, of course. It’s easy enough to regenerate your ears afterwards. We’ll change your hair color and give you a mane. That’s also easy enough to change back. Fortunately, you wear your hair fairly short, so we can speed grow it after the Nationals so no one should notice a difference when you return to campus. There are some other things about the shape of your face and the pitch of your voice, not that most people can recognize a ponygirl by her whinny. They’re all reversible.”
“You want to do what?” Larry said into the phone. He sounded more amused than startled.
“I want a stable where I can keep some of my clients that want a longer ponygirl experience than a couple of hours at a time,” Mistress Melanie said. “One of my clients asked for it, and of course I said no. I don’t have the facilities, and there are a few ranches and so forth that specialize in that kind of thing anyway. Then she waved some money under my nose. Quite a lot of money, actually. So now I’m thinking about it.”
“I take it you talked to Marketing?”
“Yes, and they turned me down. I can’t say I really blame them; they help with stable construction for their ponygirl clients, and I’m not spending anywhere near that kind of money with them. Then they suggested I talk with you.”
“I take it you’re thinking stalls and so forth? What kind of a building?” He listened a moment.
“I think that has possibilities,” Larry said slowly. “There are basically four things you need. Well, five if you count the ponygirls to keep in the stable.” He paused a moment. “Obviously, you need a stable, then you need full time staff. I take it you want faux-authentic for horses?” He listened again. “I thought so. Then you need to weatherproof the ponies, and you also need to pest proof them. The environmental package is available, although you will need additional insulation in the stable itself for the coldest part of winter. What we don’t have is a good pest repellent. We’ve got several owners that do what you’re suggesting, but they use really obnoxious amounts of insecticide, and I don’t think that the city code around here would permit it.”
“Not to mention the health effects on the ’girls.”
“Our genetic enhancements handle that. We added stuff that breaks down the normal run of pesticides into something harmless fairly quickly.”
“That sounds like a salable product in its own right! However, it also sounds like a showstopper for my idea.”
“Well, maybe. I’ve got some ideas, but I want your input on what you need. If it works, it could well be another product for Marketing. Why don’t we schedule dinner at my place?”
“You run an interesting household,” Mistress Melanie said, gazing appreciatively at Jenna as the maid minced out of the room with the drink order, hobble chains tinkling. “Heelless heels are an interesting innovation. That’s the foot and ankle changes?”
“Yes. Connie came up with the idea when she discovered that she really didn’t need to rest her feet on the heels, although Jenna is the only one that I require to wear them. I think they’re a bit too obvious for street wear, although Connie does wear them various places.” He shrugged. “She’s fairly notorious as an exhibitionist; I doubt if anyone has caught on that she actually finds them comfortable!”
Connie giggled while Melanie laughed. “I’m going to have to try them. It might increase the effect of my working outfit! So what did you have in mind?”
“Well, what I’m going to say is confidential, you understand.”
“Of course,” Melanie nodded.
“The basic issue is that most of what’s needed is simply genetic engineering, and Leprechaun Genetics has already done it. It’s in the catalog. What they can’t do is pest proofing. Too many different pests use too many different signals that translate to ‘dinner’ in too many different ways. What’s needed is something that sees the pest coming and zaps it.”
“I can think of a lot of applications for that!” Mistress Melanie said as Jenna returned with the drinks.
“Well, so can I. In fact, I’ve already got a version I use here. I haven’t told marketing about it, though. It’s one of those things that nobody would think twice about if they ran across the effect at a soirée given by one of the ultra rich and influential, but if it was in at all common use, it would raise questions that people would rather not have asked, let alone answered.”
“I take it you’ve got a way around the issue?”
“As a special favor for you,” Larry said, grinning.
“That grin seems to say that the special favor has strings that could hold up a bridge!”
“Not that bad,” Linnet put in. “We’d really like to find a ponygirl stable for me. He’s also,” she added almost as if it was an afterthought, “thinking of boarding both Amanda and Connie there.”
“He’s what?” Connie exclaimed as Amanda put her drink down and stared at him.
“I’m thinking that both of you need to be in ponygirl space for longer periods. In particular, you need to be in ponygirl space at night, but I just don’t have the time or facilities to put you down every night and groom you every morning. I also don’t have standard cells for both of you.”
“Unfortunately, that makes all kinds of sense,” Amanda said disgustedly. “I can see why Linnet would be attracted, of course, and you’re thinking that if we’re going to go full time for a couple of weeks, we need to work on extending the time now.”
“Rather than hit you with it before you’ve got a chance to acclimate.” Larry nodded.
“So how’s it going to work?”
“There are three pieces. One’s a chip that I’ll install in the vic… um, subject,” Larry said. “That’s right, subject. The pest eliminator part is completely automatic. It’ll keep working until it runs out of power, and that won’t happen until the subject dies. The other functions you can turn on and off. That’s what the rest of it does. The second piece is a little token that fits with a small control unit. It’s matched with the chip; there’s no way of controlling the chip without the matching link token. The controller looks like any other remote.” He shrugged. “You can also use a computer attachment, which might be better for a large establishment.”
“It suppresses or stimulates various brain areas. You can program in the patterns you want. You can’t get everything, of course; I’ve limited it to functions that I think you’d find interesting from what I know of your practice.” He handed her a remote. She turned it over and over, looking at it as if there might be enlightenment hiding in one of the almost invisible gaps in the plastic cover.
“It’s awfully tempting,” she said at last. “I have the feeling that I’ll probably play with it for a while and then put it away. It feels a bit too much like cheating.”
“The dominant business,” Mistress Melanie said thoughtfully, “is mostly about helping clients fulfill their fantasies. I’ll grant you that a lot of it’s my fantasies that are getting fulfilled as well!” She chuckled. “However, a large part of it is the back and forth as you get into the client’s head and get them to do something that they simply wouldn’t do normally or outside of a protected space. This little gadget,” she waved it theatrically, “bypasses most of that.
“That said, though, it might come in useful as an adjunct to certain kinds of scenes. I think I’ll give it a workout, but I don’t think it’ll play a very large part in my practice, long term.”
“So what’s the plan?” Connie asked.
“It should take a couple of weeks to get the facility built,” Mistress Melanie said. “The point about full time staff is well taken, of course. I’ve got a few candidates lined up. I’m not at all sure about how it will work with your three, though.”
“They’ll keep outfits on premises,” Larry said. “If it works out, I’ll probably convert Linnet’s cell into a second work room and wardrobe and shut up Connie and Amanda’s apartment for the duration. Your staff will have to be prepared for them to teleport in and out in the evening and morning. Although,” he mused out loud, “I think it might be better to move Linnet and Connie over right away, and get Amanda used to sleeping in bondage for a couple of weeks, and then switch the two. I don’t think you really want to deal with the level of bondage we use on our ’girls for nighttime.”
“How stringent do you do yours?” Mistress Melanie asked with real interest.
“We use a single glove and a single boot, pulled together in a hogtie and fastened to the floor with tiedowns. She’s also gagged and hooded. The hood cuts out light and most sound.”
“You’re right, that’s much too stringent. It’s also unsafe! I’m thinking more in the way of bondage gloves and hobbles, with a half door that’s high enough that they can’t climb over it with the gloves and hobbles, but that will open if there’s a fire or other emergency. Some kind of gag that keeps them from talking but doesn’t prevent swallowing.”
“You can do that with the chips.”
“How’s that work?” she asked as Connie and Amanda looked on in interest, mixed with a bit of trepidation.
“There are a surprisingly large number of language areas. What you want is the link from the language center to the motor control area that coordinates the larynx, mouth and lungs for speech. It doesn’t affect listening, reading or writing. It also doesn’t affect animal sounds like whinnies, snorts, wuffles and so forth. Or barks, meows and brays, for that matter.”
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” the detective lieutenant said. The object of his puzzlement looked, at first glance, like a heavily built male, somewhat under two meters tall, and dressed in some kind of an ape costume. Closer inspection revealed that it wasn’t a costume; he was covered in shaggy gr
The creature was, fortunately, unconscious from the head wound. He shook his head again and reached for his secure phone.
“Lieutenant Peabody,” the voice on the other end said. They discussed the problem for a few minutes, and the detective lieutenant set up a picture for Lieutenant Peabody to inspect.
“Unfortunately, as far as anyone has ever told me, space aliens simply don’t exist. I have no idea what agency to call that wouldn’t simply add to the chaos without helping the situation.” He stared at his bedroom wall for a moment and then smiled grimly. You expect favors, you’d better be prepared to return them.
“Larry Thompsen,” Larry grunted into the phone that had waked him out of a sound sleep. Jenna rolled over beside him, the chain that connected her collar to the ring in the wall making a pleasant shirring sound in the quiet.
“Lieutenant Peabody. Sorry to wake you in the middle of the night, but your organization is the only one I could think of that might be able to help without two weeks of checking out its colon the hard way. It looks like we’ve got a real space alien, and it’s got some bullet holes in it.”
“You’ve got a what?” Larry woke up with a surge of adrenaline. “I haven’t a clue what we can do, but at least it’s different.” He punched an override code on his phone. A moment later another voice joined them.
“Security. Oh, hi, Larry. Ted here. What’s up at this unholy hour of the morning?”
“I’ve got a Lieutenant Peabody on the phone, and he’s got something that might be a space alien. I was wondering if the crowd that hangs around the Rathskeller might know something.”
“A real, live space alien? Lieutenant, that’s the most interesting thing I’ve heard all year! You got a GPS for me?”
“Lieutenant Davis here,” another voice put in. “Here’s your numbers.” He rattled off the coordinates from the screen on his phone.
“That sure doesn’t look human,” Ted from Security said. “Let’s just see what the medical monitor says.” He paused a moment. “It’s refusing to cooperate. It says there’s no DNA to analyze, and it doesn’t recognize most of the body chemistry. I’m waking up the Sorceress and the Thunderbolt. Want me to wake up Boris Badinov too?”
“It’s probably too soon for him.”
Ted looked at the body again. “That sure looks like a Yeti to me.”
“Does to me too,” Lieutenant Peabody said. “I thought they’d been proved not to exist.”
A few minutes later, Alice joined the conference. “Lieutenant Peabody, what’s your interest in this?”
“I’d like it to go away quietly,” he said ferv
“Likewise,” Lieutenant Davis added. “I’m not sure how to keep the lid on, though. We’ve got too many people here.”
“I think we can do that,” Alice said. “We don’t do a whole lot of cover-ups, but when we do, they tend to stick. I think we’ll just put this guy in stasis. Larry, Linnet, you people ready to go? We need some diplomacy right now.”
“I’m getting dressed,” Larry said. “I could do with a gallon of coffee, though.” He paused as he slid into his slacks. Just then, Linnet teleported in, already dressed in her usual street outfit. “What’s up?” she asked.
“Space aliens,” Larry said. “We need to help the police put a lid on it.”
“Let’s do it,” Alice said. The body vanished from the underground room with the police milling around. A moment later, Larry and Linnet teleported in.
“Oh, God,” a plainclothes officer said from the background. “The Larry and Linnet show!”
“I’ll forget you said that if you forget you saw this,” Larry offered.
“Saw what?” the officer asked.
“If we’re done with the comedy routine,” Lieutenant Davis said, “what’s the deal, and how did you do that?”
“As far as I know, teleportation is impossible. All the most respectable skeptics say so, so it must be true.”
“Yeah, right,” one of the other cops muttered.
“Of course. The watchword on this is it never happened. Lieutenant Peabody knows how to get in touch with us, and since we’re around, I kind of expect some of you know us, at least by sight or reputation. If you want to discuss things over coffee sometime, feel free. I’d rather have a working relationship than have people going off on tangents and causing trouble because they feel slighted.
“Now that I’ve woken up a bit, though, it occurs to me that our shaggy gray-haired friend might have been based around here, and have some equipment that various interests wouldn’t like to see come to light. If you run across anything like that, give me a call, quick.”
Amanda and Connie are on their way to becoming ponygirls, and Linnet is presumably having fun with her string of prostitutes. The interview with the police lieutenant is going somewhere. So are the space aliens.
If you enjoyed this story, please e-mail the author and let him know. He likes to hear from his loyal fans,and it gives him some motivation to keep writing this stuff. Of course, if you're a publisher and you'd like to buy some of these stories, please let him know. The starving author in the garret makes a great story, but it sucks in real life.