By Xaltatun of Acheron

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

10. Kidnapper

11. Suzie’s Ponygirl

12. Driver

13. Engineer (in preparation)

14. PonyGIRL?

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...


Table of Contents



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.



What has gone before.


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.

The way they handled the prostitutes gets them noticed by the police, and they reach a deal. Amanda and Connie begin training in parallel with trying to bring their grades up. They wind up coming along nicely, so Larry begins taking them out for morning exercise by teleporting to various unsettled places and riding them. Diana, riding her ponygirl, joins them on occasion.

Alice shows up to try to help Connie, who is having a bit of a problem, and the police ask for assistance with a rather weird looking casualty of a gang war.

Connie and Amanda spend spring break at the Spring Nationals as ponygirls, being shown. Apparently they pass muster, because the powers that be decree a pilot project. Amanda joins the training team for the pilot, while Connie has to stay behind to pull her grades up. Amanda gets her first girl to train by herself, and she does quite a bit of innovative work on her. Pretty soon, she has to leave to return to school.

Amanda starts making a few waves in her classes. Linnet shuts down the asylum she escaped from, freeing her family and the rest of the commune members in the process. Many of them join the neo-Goreans on the Island. We see some groundwork for a number of things that happen off stage or in other stories.


Chapter 27. More Planning


“If anything,” Ginny said, “the table you set has simply improved!” She sat back with a satisfied sigh as Jenna collected her plate.

Larry grinned at the journalist. “Jenna works at it. Partially, it’s because I’ve been as hard on her about work habits as I’ve been on Amanda and Connie. The rest of it, though, is that the bondage maid motif seems to supply a missing piece. I’ve tried relaxing it, and she just falls apart.”

“That’s interesting,” Alice said, with a quirk of her eyebrow.

“It certainly is. She almost didn’t manage last spring break by herself.” He responded with a microscopic shake of his head.

“Well, if you want to keep up the effort to keep the pressure on,” Alice said with an equally microscopic shrug, dismissing the matter.

“She actually responds just as well to Amanda,” he answered. “She’s taken her over a couple of times when I’ve had to be away, and she does the girls’ apartment as well as mine.”

“So you know what you’re going to do with her when you return,” Alice said with an amused smile.

“I like that,” Amanda said, startled. “Has anyone asked me if I actually want her full time?”

“I didn’t think I needed to,” Larry said. “You certainly take enough advantage of her availability.”

“Well, I certainly can use a maid, although I don’t know about the bondage motif when I’m traveling.” She looked at Alice with a microscopically raised eyebrow.

“I wouldn’t think that you need to be quite that florid,” Alice said, “as long as it’s obvious that she’s a slave maid, and she feels the role restricts her physically.”

“I don’t see the physical restraint,” Ginny spoke up for the first time.

“That’s a little something I cooked up,” Larry said. “You see the bracelets she’s wearing? They impose a noticeable drag on her movements, almost like chain. There are other things as well. Right now she’s not restricted except for the drag, but I could hobble her at the touch of a button.”

“I like the way he’s done them,” Linnet added. “When he turns on the hobble, the drag increases, and then there’s a heavier drag for the last inch or so. Then it stops suddenly, just like chain.”

“How do you do it?” Dale asked. “I take it that it’s something we’re not supposed to know about.”

“Like the floating flower arrangement,” Ginny added.

“The what?” Dale said, startled. He got up and walked over to the flower pot that appeared to be hanging from the ceiling. “You know, I didn’t notice that it’s just floating there,” he said accusingly.

“Neither did I,” said Alice. “And I should have. That’s a clever piece of misdirection.”

“Well, I am supposed to be an amateur magician,” Larry said, obviously pleased.

“I take it that all of this is utter secret,” Ginny said.

“You could say that,” Alice commented. “It’s not like some of it hasn’t leaked out here and there, but a lot of people would prefer that it not be shouted from the rooftops, or appear anywhere that a person of average skepticism would regard as credible.”

“So why are you showing it to us?”

“You’ve both asked to research our community, for one reason or another. There are a number of reasons we’re isolated, and not all of them have to do with the primary businesses skirting the edge of legality. We’re the worldwide repository for a lot of technology that people wouldn’t like to get into general circulation, but don’t want to make vanish entirely. We’re not entirely averse to having you visit; many of these same interests think that having some respectable academics and journalists who know what’s going on would be a good thing, as long as they can be trusted to keep their mouths shut about the rest.”

“You mean like teleportation?”

“Exactly. There are several dozen people worldwide that can teleport, and maybe a dozen of those can teleport to somewhere they’ve never been. We’ve also got a mechanical teleportation system. Think of the economic chaos if that became generally available as the entire transportation industry just vanished.”

“I’d rather not think of it,” Ginny said firmly. “I take your point, I was thinking of military applications.”

“Those are, of course, uppermost in a number of people’s minds. Our mechanical teleportation system is rather tightly controlled in some ways, and loosely controlled in others.

“Telekinesis is another thing. That’s what Leprechaun Genetics’ entire technology is based on: telekinetic manipulation of genetics. There are maybe a half dozen people who are good enough at telekinesis to be useful, but the mechanicals give a fair number of people nightmares.

“And I can’t imagine the havoc that Larry’s floating flower pot would cause if it got out. Let alone the time warp, or a number of other things.”

“I take it’s that it’s not telekinesis,” Ginny said, looking at it thoughtfully. “If it’s not TK, then what is it? Anti-gravity?”

“Exactly. And we got it from real space aliens.”

“Space aliens?” Ginny said, clearly startled. “I didn’t think they existed! This all came from them?”

“No, just the antigravity. Larry reverse engineered it from artifacts. I invented the rest.”

“I think the space aliens are a good note to end this on. It’s enough weirdness for one night! If I hadn’t seen Linnet pull stuff out of the air, and disable systems with a wave of her tail, I’d think you were putting me on.”

“You do look a bit fried around the edges,” Larry said. “I take it you got what you needed from the rather abrupt way Linnet shut down the rehab center?”

“Not really,” she said. “I’d certainly have appreciated about six months to collect material! A week hardly gave me time to even get started. Of course, some of them will be available for follow-up interviews, and considering the amount of politicking that people wanted to remain in the background I suspect I wouldn’t have enough for another book anyway.

“On the other hand, it’s certainly given me a lot of leads to potential projects! The neo-Goreans look fascinating, although I suspect it might be safer for me to work the north side of the river with the Amazons.” She grinned. “It also looks like they’ll be out of money by the time any book comes out, so they won’t be in a position to object to my treatment.”

“What’s the old politician’s saying? I don’t care what you say about me as long as you spell my name right?” Linnet studied her glass. “I doubt if any of those people expects an expose to change anyone’s mind, the best they’ll expect is some more recruits.”

“That’s usually the way it works,” Ginny said. “Anyway, I think that’s enough of heavy subjects for tonight. How do you like the little idea I got from the neo-Goreans?” She stood and posed for a moment, letting them inspect her dress. For the most part, it was a simple tube that fastened over one shoulder, and fell straight down from her breasts and shoulders to hug her hips gently, expanding slightly until it ended just above her ankles. She turned, letting the skirt billow out with the movement.

“You mean this?” The ring on her shoulder suddenly rose in the air and jerked slightly, letting the fabric fall into a puddle around her feet. She finished the turn and stepped toward Larry, who rose to meet her. A moment later, they met in a passionate warm-up kiss.

Amanda stood up and gestured at Connie. The blonde stood up, her clothes falling off with a practiced motion, and her hands going behind her back, where they met with a definite click. Dale and Linnet exchanged glances, then stood and moved toward each other at a more sedate pace. None of them noticed that Alice had vanished.


Chapter 28. Recruiting an Academic.


“I take it you’re Larry Thompsen,” Professor Martin said as Larry walked into his office and dropped into a chair.

“True,” Larry said. “As I said when I set up the appointment, I’ve got a business proposition for you that I think you’ll enjoy.”

“Hopefully, it’ll pay the bills,” the academic said.

“It should. ‘Do not bind the mouths of the kine that tread the grain,’ and all that. We’ll discuss those details later. We’re looking to set up a small research institute to develop a device that can do direct brain to brain language translation between any two human languages.”

Larry chuckled at the professor’s expression.

“Before you think we’re out of our minds, I should mention that the hardware aspects are being handled by Leprechaun Genetics. In other words, we already have the brain interface, using Leprechaun Genetics’ proprietary technology. What we don’t have is all of the programming to make use of it, and it’s quite frankly way out of our area of expertise.”

“Which is why you’re recruiting a panel of experts.” He paused and cocked his head. “It sounds like a fascinating project. It might even be doable, depending on whether your technology actually can do the job. What I don’t understand is how you expect to commercialize it without causing all kinds of undesirable reaction.”

“We expect to be very exclusive in who it gets marketed to,” Larry replied. “As you’ve implied, there are serious security implications involved, and we wouldn’t even be thinking of it if it wasn’t for one additional consideration.” He paused. “What I’ve just told you is the public face of the project. There won’t be any restrictions on academic publications, although the details of the proprietary brain interface technology won’t be released.

“The same restrictions as the genetics papers from Black Thunderbolt’s crew. I understand.”

“Precisely. The private face of the project is, if anything, more interesting. There won’t be any publications on that part, and there won’t be any participation by people that aren’t cleared for working on it, either.”

Professor Martin winced slightly. “You do know what happened to my security clearance?”

“Yes, and that isn’t a problem for us. As I said, the project is officially under Leprechaun Genetics, and we’ve got our own security procedures. Our security department is confident that you won’t talk out of turn unless someone puts a lot of pressure on you. Our policy on that starts out the same as anyone else’s. Tell us about it. After that, we’ll take whatever action is needed, up to and including removing the nuisance.  We don’t make moral judgments, and we don’t wait for the paper to get passed around a dozen unrelated departments, either.”

“Hum,” he mused. “That does correspond to some things I’ve heard about your organization. I’m in. What’s the secret part?”

“Real, live space aliens. They’ve got their own quite good translator technology, but we want the translators on our side. Most of the stakeholders are quite willing, indeed anxious, to believe they have nothing but good intentions, but…”

“They want hard evidence. I understand completely,” Andy Martin said. “Real space aliens! Where are they from?”

“Sirius. I know it’s hard to believe; I’m still having trouble with how they survived the red giant phase of Sirius B. Since they have antigravity, I figure they might be telling the truth about it.”


“I does work.” Larry smiled reminiscently. “I think reverse engineering it was one of the better things I’ve done. We’re keeping it very quiet; I don’t think they know we’ve lifted the technology.”

“Besides which, I expect there’s quite a bit of work from proof of concept to commercial application.”

“Exactly. A floating flower pot isn’t going to break sales records.”


Chapter 29. Linnet Gets Her Reward.


“I’m not sure I like the way they changed the girl mode dress code,” Diana said as she got out of the carriage she shared with Larry and Linnet.

“Oh?” her brother prompted for more detail.

“The black skirt and white blouse for ponies in girl mode is so mundane. I liked what I did for your stable and owner’s colors.”

“I liked them too,” Linnet commented. “The problem was that most of the stable and owner’s colors are garish - at best. The new code is a lot easier on the eyes.”

“Well,” Diana shrugged, “they didn’t ask me. I do have to admit that the combination is easily identifiable.”

“At least if you know what you’re looking for,” Linnet said. “I keep changing my mind about the toe shoes, though.”

“I hadn’t noticed.” Diana dropped back a couple of paces to look. “That’s the foot modifications?”

“Right,” Larry said. “Both Amanda and Connie have picked up on the style, although it does cause comments outside. Connie, of course, laps it up. Amanda is being a bit more judicious where she wears them. Just be thankful they didn’t decide to have them wear their pony boots.”


“The last time I was here I was being auctioned off,” Linnet said as they walked into the display room. “All I remember was a lot of people milling around, and of course Larry coming up and examining me. I have to say that auction was a tense moment bouncing between Larry and the two women from one of the residential associations!”

“I thought it was rigged!”

“It was, but I didn’t find out about that until later. I certainly don’t remember this many ponies!”

“Well, they’re not all up for auction,” Diana said. “The ones on the left are mostly coming out.”

“I see. They do look a bit older. The ones in white tack are community trainees, but what about the others?”

“They’re a mixed lot,” Larry told her. “Some of them are fresh from the training block; either they’re the Pick of the Herd lottery winners’ choices, or they didn’t sell at auction. The rest are being auctioned off because their current owners don’t want them any more.”

“Why would someone want a ponygirl that the original owner didn’t want?”

“Tastes differ,” Diana told her seriously. “You probably don’t know that I almost decided to stay a ponygirl at the end of my trainee experience?”

“No! Really?”

“It’s a long story, but the upshot is that my owner had me specializing in steeplechase, but wasn’t developing me in position and movement which I’m also very good at. If I’d have stayed, he’d have put me up for auction in five to ten years; steeplechase really takes it out of you. Then I’d still be good for another couple of decades at position and movement, but with some other owner.” She paused a moment. “After that, I’d go to the work pool. Most of the ponies you see on the street are either privately owned by someone in the Executive Block or else in the work pool. Once a pony is in the work pool, it’s mostly a matter of agreement when she comes out, if she ever does. Some don’t seem to want to.”

“Makes sense,” Linnet said. “So what do they do when they come out?”

“We look for submissives, so they usually take up various support positions in the community.”

“I think I see the Wisp over there,” Linnet changed the subject.

 “That’s her,” Larry said. “We need a replacement. It’s been two years since we got both of you.”

“I wish she’d decided to stay a ponygirl,” Diana said.

“Really?” Larry asked.

“It’s selfish of me, I know, but I’ve gotten really attached to that ’girl. Do we want a community trainee or a permanent ’girl?”

“What about both?” Linnet said. “Your family can certainly afford one of each.”

“That’s an idea,” Diana said slowly, “One racer and one saddle and show pony. Use the trainee for the saddle pony, and the permanent ’girl as the racer.”

“That’s a pretty good idea,” Larry said. “I think Dad would like a racer now that he has a little time, and community trainees don’t have the time to hit their stride on the track.”

The three of them wandered down the two lines of ponygirls, checking each of the 27 ’girls that were up for sale in this auction.


“I should have expected it!” Diana chortled.

“Oh?” her brother said from across the aisle where he was deep in study of a petite blonde’s stat sheet.

“Guess who got black boots!”

Larry walked over and looked. “I’d completely forgotten she’d be coming out this auction,” he said as he looked at Susi.

“Except she isn’t,” his sister said. “I’m tempted to bid on her.”

“You can’t bid on your own family!”

“You can if they’ve been black booted!” Diana shot back. “What’s the stat card look like?”

The three of them bent over the card, completely ignoring the look of panic on the ’girl’s face. “Name is Autumn Sunshine. I like that. Mediocre speed, good racing form,” Diana said.

“Not that surprising for a community trainee,” Larry observed. “Anyway, it’s the other one you want as a racer.”

“True, brother mine. Pretty good at position and movement, but that wasn’t what her owner used her for.”

“It looked more like he neglected her,” Linnet said. “It probably wouldn’t have bothered me, but she seems to have difficulty with staying in ponyspace. The good thing about her is that she’s already been modified for riding.”

 “So if we fix the ponyspace thing?” Diana asked.

“Well, then you should be able to train the attitude problem out while she’s in ponyspace. It won’t do much for other times, though.”

“If you do, she might not come out at the end,” Linnet added.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, from my experience, I vastly preferred ponyspace to who I had been, to the extent that I did my days off in ponyspace. It was simply easier. I had to leave ponyspace to deal with Larry’s project, but he let me do it my way so I could sort through my past for what was useful at my own pace. If she stabilized in ponyspace to the same extent I did, she might not want to leave.”

“So if she doesn’t come out?”

“Fixing the ponyspace thing may calm her down enough that she quits misbehaving on her days off. Otherwise,” Diana shrugged, “Security will fail her. If we don’t have the income to maintain two ponies, we can always sell her.” She paused again, considering. “I think I’ll like her much better as a pony than as a sister.” Autumn Sunshine got another panicked expression as Diana wrote a bid on the sheet.


“Now here’s an interesting one,” Larry called across the aisle to his sister.

“Black boots and black gloves? What’s that mean? Two failures?”

“Exactly. Today’s the last day she can wear white. She’s chattel. Not even indentured since we’re not going to either let her go or sell her outside.”

“What happens if she doesn’t sell?” Linnet asked.

“Depends on whether she’s just inept or she’s a troublemaker. Since she’s inept, she’ll go into the work pool. There’s lots of work for ponygirls that can pull things, even if they need a bit more supervision than otherwise. If she was a troublemaker, she’d go into the genetics experimental pool or get put down.”

 “Who would want a ’girl that had failed twice?” Diana asked, picking up the stat sheet. “Footloose? What kind of a name is that? Good turn of speed and not bad on form,” she said leafing through the three pages. “What’s wrong?”

“She seems to fall over her horseshoes on show, and she can’t seem to maintain a straight line on cart.”

“Then how does she manage to run?”

“Lobo-ra?” Linnet hazarded. “Right! They’re only running her on light sulky and riding. She’s abysmal on heavy sulky.”

“That explains it. She’ll go cheap, but it’s a risk unless you two can do something about the problem.”

“Let’s see if we can figure it out,” Linnet said, holding her index finger in front of the ’girl’s eyes and moving it back and forth.

“Now, that’s interesting,” Larry said, staring at the ’girl’s head. “There are at least two brain areas not being activated that should be.”

“So there are. Now, if I do this…”

“Got it!” Larry crowed.

“It’s just temporary,” Linnet demurred.

“So?” Diana said. “Can you do something with her?”

“Up to a point, yes. I can throw together a chip that will activate the linkage between the brain areas. Whether she’ll ever have full use of those functions is another matter.”

“Will she be able to navigate?”

“I’m not sure,” Linnet said. “I don’t know how she ever managed before.”

Diana cocked her head to one side. “I don’t remember her that well; it’s been four years. I’ve got the impression that she was always kind of tentative, though.”

Larry walked behind the unfortunate ’girl and snapped his fingers. Her eyes moved toward the sound.

“Got it!” Linnet exclaimed. “Bat ears!”

“Bat ears?” Diana said, puzzled. “Oh. You mean echo location.”

“Exactly. Everyone can do it with some practice, but most people don’t know it’s possible. We learned how in the commune – it was part of our emergency preparedness, and it did come in handy at night during power failures. I can place anything over about a meter in size to within a couple of meters anywhere around me. It doesn’t even have to be that big if it’s generating the sound, and I was by no means the best at doing it.” She shrugged. “Clairvoyance was a lot better, but I didn’t dare let anyone know I had that.”

“That’s totally weird! I don’t care if she ever gets full function, all I care about is that she can race and pull the cart in the victory parade. Anything else is gravy. But,” she paused a moment, “well, I suppose that if she’s ours I really do care if she gets full use. What’s the issue there?”

“Those areas are programmed in the first couple of years; by the time the baby is walking it’s all done. Activating it as an adult might not let it get full function without a lot more intervention.”

“I think we can do quite a bit more than that,” Linnet said. “The brain areas that deal with location are common to all senses, after all.”

“Besides, we can always have them install Bat Ears, Mark II.”

Linnet cocked her head slightly. “I don’t think that will do much for racing, but it should straighten out cart and show.”

“Bat Ears Mark II? What’s that?”

“Improved echo location,” Larry said. “Amanda’s field testing it for them. I gimmicked a laser pointer, and you should see her doing presentations using her tail to point that thing while she’s facing the audience.”

“It’s definitely useful for taking the audience’s mind off the presentation,” Linnet said dryly.

“I want to talk to Daddy on this one. She’s likely to go cheap, but it’s a risk.” Diana pulled out her phone and walked out of the line of traffic.


“Now this is rich!” Diana said, looking at another of the four black booted beauties up for their second attempt at passing the ponygirl experience.


“It’s Terri, idiot!”

“That does take all,” Larry said. “I wonder how she managed to flunk?”

“Outside of malicious stupidity?” his sister asked, reaching for the stat card. “Rocker Girl? That’s a cute name. Mediocre as a racer, but that’s no reason to hold her over. Can’t hold a pose for more than a minute, though. She’s been modified for saddle, and it says she’s not too bad there. Not very strong, but that’s not a good reason either. Oh, there it is! Won’t cooperate with the conditioning regime, and continually causes trouble for the trainers. Also causes trouble on her days off.”

“She always did have a bad attitude,” Larry observed. “Which training team had her, I wonder?” He looked at the stat sheet. “Oh, them!”

“What’s wrong with them?” Linnet asked.

“When I was apprenticing, rumor had it that they were lax on discipline. The team leader was notorious for not wanting to use level two on his ’girls.”

“They still are,” Diana added.

“I don’t think you’ve ever used a level two on me,” Linnet said.

“Then you never needed it. You two may be head over heels in love, but that wouldn’t have stopped him. The way I heard it, he pulled Susi right out of her chair at dinner and put her on the floor. Then he watched her go through Orientation the next day.”

“She’s not fidgeting,” Linnet changed the subject.

“Why is that important? Oh! That means there’s no reason she shouldn’t be able to hold a pose.”

“Right, sister mine.”

“I’m going to bid on her.” Diana reached for the bid sheet. “No other bids. I wonder why?” She scribbled her name and a minimum bid. “We’re going to have such fun, Rocker Girl,” she said, lightly stroking the ’girl’s cheek before walking off.

“You really want her?” Larry asked.

“I’m not sure. She and Autumn Sunshine would make a stunning troika behind Footloose, but three ponies are a bit much. It’s just that I’d love to see those two competing with each other.”

“Autumn Sunshine is up first in the auction.”

“That’s another reason to put in a bid on Rocker Girl. She’d be OK if someone snaps Autumn Sunshine out from under us.”

“Are you going to have enough room in the stable for all three?” Linnet asked. “There’s not that much room under the executive dome apartments.”

“They reorganized ours,” Diana giggled. “A couple of the other families wanted extras, so they decided to go with the stabling arrangement. We’ve got eighteen stalls for six families. There are three grooming rooms and six trotting booths. The ’girls griped a little at first, but they settled down when they realized that it meant they only had to be on a display stand when they were being displayed, and that they didn’t have the night bondage, either. They simply stand in their stalls. Or sit, kneel or lie down. We’re debating whether to let them gossip.”

“Now that could be real amusing if they had to stay in ponyspace while they did,” Linnet said. “They might not find all that much to say!”


“Ladeez and Gentlemen!” the announcer bellowed from the stage in the small auditorium. “Today we have for your perusal sixteen prime ponygirls! These delectable specimens are just waiting for their new owners!”

He looked at the card. “Oops! Wrong speech, folks.”

“He always does that,” Larry whispered to Linnet and Diana.

“Let’s start over,” he bellowed. “Ladeez and Gentlemen! Today we have sixteen of our own delightful young ladies that have finished their rite of passage as community trainees, and are ready to take their places among you in ponygirl training class!, and another five of our community owned ponygirls that have finished their terms of service, and are ready to become full members of this community!”

“First, we have Red Runner!” The attendant rolled a display stand holding a redheaded ponygirl to the front. “Red managed to gallop out of the beginner class into intermediate with one of the fastest performances we have seen recently in a community trainee! Give her another six months, and she might be ready for the Nationals.” He turned to the ’girl. “Red, would you like to go for it? I know Phil would love to keep you!”

The pinioned ’girl tapped her hoof three times and snorted.

“I don’t know why, but that seems to be the usual answer,” the announcer said in a stage whisper. The attendant came up and unsnapped the anal restraint, took off the headrest and then unsnapped the ankle chains. The ’girl popped off of her stand like she was a cork in a campaign bottle. Then the attendant unzipped the gloves, and the ’girl dashed behind the screen at the side of the stage. A minute later, she came out wearing a black leather miniskirt and white blouse that was rather obviously put on over the corset, tail waving through the slit in the skirt. She ran off of the stage to meet her parents.

He went through the cards one by one, reading off the ’girls’ accomplishments as ponygirls.


A few cards later, he bellowed “Will o’ the Wisp! This community trainee messed up the first time around, but managed to finish her second attempt in grand style! She’s not a racer, but she’s been taking seconds and thirds in show against ponies of several times her experience. She’s gotten a number of awards in fancy pair carriage with Linnet, and she’s pretty good under the saddle. I know Diana would love to keep you, and her family can certainly afford the maintenance.” Will o’ the Wisp tapped her foot three times and snorted. The announcer shrugged. “Well, I don’t seem to be doing very well at convincing them to stay.” The audience laughed as the attendant came up to release the ’girl from her stand.

Larry looked around. “I don’t see Mrs. Threadly,” he said.

“I should think not,” Diana whispered back. “I’d hate to have a murder on our hands. We’d better welcome Leslie ourselves.”


The announcer continued turning cards. Only one of them decided to stay as a ponygirl. Eventually, he came to the last card.

He looked at the card and then looked back at the stage with its forest of stands, empty poles sticking forlornly into the air. Then he looked back at the card. “Now where did that ponygirl go off to?” he asked in a stage whisper. “She just won’t stay on her stand!”

“We all know Linnet!” he bellowed to the audience. “Those magic shows are an absolute delight! She’s taken awards at position and movement, at pair fancy with Will o’ the Wisp, and at saddle with her owner Larry! It gives me great pleasure to announce that the Board has decided to offer Linnet a full Community Membership, in recognition of her outstanding service to this community!

“Besides which,” he added in a lower voice, “they didn’t want to think about what might happen if they didn’t!” The audience laughed with him on that one.

“Come on up here and take a bow!”

Linnet slid out of the end seat that Larry had maneuvered her into after Will o’ the Wisp’s coming out hug, and bounced up onto the stage.

“Can I keep my tail?” she asked him brightly.

“What would those magic shows be without your tail? Of course you can keep it. Might liven things up around here!”

“I’ll keep doing the shows as long as Larry wants to keep riding me!”

“It’s a deal,” Larry called from where he, Diana and Leslie had walked to the front.

Linnet gave the announcer a big hug, and then bounced off the stage to hug Larry, Diana and Leslie.


“We’ve got another hour to the auction,” Larry observed.

“Well, let’s look over White Water, and then grab a bite,” Linnet said.

“Not interested,” Diana demurred. “Her only good points are strength and patience. Strong as ox, almost as smart. Hitch to plow when horse dies. She’ll go back into the work pool. I’m more interested in Leslie’s plans.”

“I don’t know what I’m going to do,” Leslie admitted unhappily, tail twitching. “I’m not going home to Mother, and that’s final, but I don’t have a backup plan.”

“Susi’s room is available.”

“I thought Linnet would take it,” Larry said.

Diana looked into Larry’s ear. “Something in the way,” she observed.

Linnet giggled. “Larry,” she said, sliding a hand around his waist and up to his shoulder, “I think she’s saying that I belong in your bed.”

“You know,” Larry snapped his fingers as if he’d just remembered something, “I think you’re right!” He slid his hand around her waist and pulled her in for a long kiss.

“I’d better talk to the parents,” Diana said, giving the two of them some room. A couple of minutes later she came back. “They’re cool with Leslie moving in until she lands a trainer slot and can afford her own apartment,” she told them. “And they didn’t scream too much at getting Rocker Girl. Mother reminded me to transfer the points, though.”


“Since you’re now a full member, you get points for the community trainee auctions. Unless the Board really went overboard, you get the minimum allotment, which isn’t enough to even enter the bidding. What most members do is transfer them to their block association, but since you’re with us in the Executive Dome, you don’t have one of those, either. So you transfer them to Frank and Laura’s account. We need to do it right now so they’re available for the auction.”

“Take mine too,” Leslie said. “I’ve got no use for them. I wish I had someplace to change.”

“Let’s find some space,” Linnet giggled. “They can do the paperwork.” The two young women walked to an unoccupied corner and vanished.

“Wha…?” Leslie said as the scene shifted around her.

“Startled you, didn’t I? I teleported us to the apartment. Shed that skirt and blouse so I can take the corset off you. We’re about the same size so my fishnets should fit. Where did Larry put those Allen wrenches?”

“Allen’s wenches?”

“Unless that’s your boyfriend’s name, it’s what we need to take those plugs out. Now bend over and tell me your shoe size while I pull the plugs.”


“Damn, mine won’t fit.”

“My girl mode stuff is packed somewhere.”

“Oh, right!” Linnet exclaimed. “I thought I saw a bunch of boxes.” She got an abstracted look on her face, and then a box popped into existence. “Here’s your stuff. Let’s take it into the other room and unpack.”


“What did you mean by taking you shopping?” Leslie asked as she neatly hung her skirts in the closet.

 “You may have been out of circulation for four years, but I didn’t grow up here! We weren’t big on shopping in the commune, and we never went anywhere in rehab. Then Larry dictated what I wore. I’m going to have fun learning to shop! While we’re at it, you can tell me everything else I need to know!”

Leslie looked at her a moment, and then snapped her fingers. “I’ll bet you’ve never been to Community Services?”

“A couple of times to talk to Katie. You’re right, though. I have no idea what else they do.”

“Right. There’s probably some sort of orientation class. Let’s just set up an appointment for both of us. We also need to schedule removing the ear tags, and then sign up for trainer class.”


Section End.


All sorts of strange things have happened. If you want to see some of the threads neatly tied up, just trot on to the last exciting episode of Engineer.




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