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.
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. We see some groundwork for a number of things that happen off stage or in other stories. Linnet shuts down the asylum she escaped from, and frees most of her family and other commune members at the same time. Many of them migrate to the neo-Goreans on the Island.
Then Linnet gets her community membership, and we discover that the two troublesome girls, Susi and her best friend Terri, have managed to fail their two years as ponygirls. Their new names are Autumn Sunshine and Rocker Girl; Diana decides to buy them to replace Will o’ the Wisp, who also comes out that auction.
Amanda walked slowly up the corridor between the ponygirl cells in her father’s stable. Four of the six cells had placards; the other two had never had occupants and probably would need renovation before they could put a ’girl in one. She frowned at the thought. Connie was still walking a rather thin line. Alice’s intervention had saved her from being kicked out at the end of that quarter, but she still hadn’t gotten her grades up to where they needed to be, nor had she managed to find something that her parents could point to with some semblance of pride. In fact, she’d improved much more as a ponygirl. Amanda suspected that was probably because Raindance had worked with her on a number of occasions, while Alice had done a hit and run with no follow-up.
She tentatively imagined Connie on a display stand in one of the vacant cells, and blinked. That vision had been far too vivid for comfort!
The other four cells held her father’s small herd of ponygirls. At the moment, Blue Streak was kneeling on her stand, eyes focused on Amanda. As soon as she noticed Amanda standing there, she whinnied. Amanda smiled at her. The ’girl had the clearest blue eyes she had ever seen. Her tack, unfortunately, didn’t take advantage of either the blue eyes or the long corn-silk hair. Amanda tentatively added that to her to-do list.
The other cell on the left was currently empty. The staff was undoubtedly out working Charming Rabbit. In the center cell on the right, Pretty Foole was running in the trotting booth. Amanda frowned at the sight. Since her apprenticeship in the training block, she’d become much more sensitive to how the ponygirls moved, and this movement looked forced.
She hesitated a moment in indecision, and then moved on to the last cell. Ebony Night sat on her heels on the sleeping mat, dressed in the standard street uniform. In fact, she was the reason that Amanda had come in today, and Amanda’s indecision stemmed from not wanting to keep her waiting while she dealt with the problems in Pretty Foole’s workout program.
She walked up to the bars that separated the cell from the corridor. “Hey, Ebony Night! I’ve got something else to deal with for a few minutes. If you want, you can come with, or you can sit here until I’m ready for you.”
Ebony Night got up and smiled, the flash of white teeth in stark contrast to her brownish-black skin. “I’d rather come and see what you’re doing,” she said as she rose. “It’s too tempting to slide back into pony mode, just sitting here and waiting.” She walked to the sliding door and waited for Amanda to open it.
“You aren’t here all that often,” Ebony Night said a bit tentatively.
“Nowhere near as often as I’d like to be,” Amanda agreed as they walked the few paces down the corridor to Pretty Foole’s cell and entered it. “This is the first time I’ve seen the Foole running, and her program needs fixing.” She walked back to the control panel and began punching buttons and frowning. Ebony Night stood back and watched. In a few minutes, Amanda stood back too and watched as the computer seamlessly shifted to the new program she’d just entered. Pretty Foole’s pace sped up marginally, but more importantly, the monitor showed that effort expended actually went down.
“That looks like an easier pace,” Ebony Night said thoughtfully.
“It is,” Amanda agreed. “Would you like to learn how to do this?”
“That might be interesting,” the ’girl said.
“We’ll talk about it then,” Amanda said as she led the way out of Pretty Foole’s cell. “My office is next.”
They went down the corridor into the trainer’s common room. The right side of the room held the offices. Amanda’s office had been a storeroom until recently. Now the door simply said: Amanda, with the legend “Owner’s Daughter” in smaller letters below it.
“That’s telling it like it is,” Ebony Night said when she saw it.
Amanda shrugged. “I couldn’t figure out any other title that wouldn’t be either pretentious or just flat out wrong. I like where I work to be a bit easygoing and fun, as long as everyone understands that when I make a decision, the only acceptable response is ‘Yes, Ma’am!’, and when I say ‘jump’, they’re to be in the air before asking how high.”
They walked into the office. It was arranged as an open space, with desk and table on the side. Amanda dropped into her chair and curled her tail across her lap. “Grab a chair, kneel or sit on your heels,” she said, pointing at a cushion in the center of the floor.
“As I was saying,” once Ebony Night decided to kneel, “I like being easygoing and relaxed, and I like getting everyone’s viewpoints before coming to a decision. In fact, I like to let the discussion come to a consensus by itself if possible as long as it satisfies my constraints. Unfortunately, that makes a lot of people think I’m a soft touch, so I maintain a certain amount of ritual to remind everyone who it is that makes the final decisions.
“Now, daddy is exactly the opposite. Nobody who’s still breathing is in any doubt that he’s in charge. In fact, he’s got a lot of trouble asking the hired help for their opinions, and he has even more difficulty asking them if they approve of something. He’s simply not going to ask the livestock for either.
“You’ve been very studiously ignoring my tail, girl! Ever since you found out that tails were possible, you’ve been asking the trainers if you could have one. They asked daddy, and unfortunately there are two issues involved. One involves your opinions on changes to your days off, and the other requires your approval. So he’s been dithering.
“The issue is that a tail isn’t a mechanical marvel that you can simply install. It’s grown. It takes about two months to grow, and it takes another month to form the connection that lets you take it off and put it back on.”
“And that impacts my days off,” she said. “I see.”
“The staff may not know,” Amanda said, “or they may not have wanted to discuss it before the boss said it was all right to go ahead.
“The other issue is that daddy wants to put the charge on your training and equipment balance, and that requires your approval.”
“I never did understand that. Could you explain it simply?”
“Well, after you peel all the complexity off, what it comes down to is a mechanism to keep the indentured slave from walking out on the indenture before the term ends. There’s a legally mandated forgiveness schedule so that the balance is zero at the end of the indenture, so it’s all funny money unless the slave terminates the contract early. Then the balance is due immediately in real money.
“The complexity comes because there’s a mandated annual payment, and as a racer you can get awards regularly. They go into a separate account. That account is real money, so whenever it exceeds the balance, you can terminate the indenture essentially at will. Of course, if you go full term, that’s all money you have to reestablish yourself.”
“Nobody ever explained it that way!”
Amanda chuckled at the ’girl’s expression. “I can see why a lot of people wouldn’t, although that’s never made much sense to me. The basic fact is that unless you’re truly outstanding, and have an outstanding senior trainer, you’re not going to get enough in awards to wipe out the balance before you start getting too old to win against younger ponies. I’d think that it would be pretty good motivation.
“The other thing is that career training usually comes toward the end of the indenture, so it shoves the training and equipment account up just when you’d expect it to be coming down. For a ponygirl, the initial training expense is quite large; there’s no way the mandated annual payment is going to let her come out early – unless she’s getting regular awards from winning races.”
“If I understand you correctly, the charge doesn’t matter so I’ll just accept it. The issue is what to do with my days off while my tail is growing. Right?”
“I wouldn’t be so quick to blow off the charge. I’m going to be more involved here, and I think that, with a bit of work, I can get all four of you into the intermediate class, which will eventually get you to the Nationals. That’ll get the award money rolling in. The problem will be getting drivers. That also reminds me that I want to change your complexion.”
“I want to change your complexion. The pony’s conformation is worth a style point or two, and that muddy black doesn’t impress anyone. Now, a real deep ebony black would be worth a good style point, maybe one and a half.”
The pony smiled at her. “If you can make me blacker, honey, go for it! How much is it going to cost?”
“Nothing. Since it’s directly related to job performance, it’s on the Owner’s account.”
“I like it. Now, what about the tail?”
“I suspect daddy’s problem is that he thinks you won’t be able to take your days off for three months. It doesn’t have to impact your days off at all. I grew mine while I was going to classes at college, and I did all right. I just used a combination of short skirts, long skirts and slacks at various stages, and ended by wrapping it around my waist like a fancy belt.” She stood up, and her tail flicked around her waist. She tucked the tip in and turned around. “Like the effect?”
“That is cool! I take it you wear it on the street like this?”
“All the time. Most of my close associates know I have a tail, I just don’t shove it in people’s faces.”
“That means I’ll be out of uniform for a while.”
“Not an issue. I’ll authorize it.
“This brings me to the last item. We need to do some career planning so I know how to handle training for when your indenture ends. Daddy was supposed to do that, but it’s not something that’s really in his area of expertise. We don’t have to do it today, though, so think about it. When you want to discuss it, tell the trainers.”
“I’d like to float an idea now, though,” Ebony Night said. “What if I wanted to be a trainer or a driver?”
“I’d probably start training you fairly soon on both positions, but unless you show real talent as a driver, I wouldn’t shift your job responsibility until you’re past your peak as a racer. Trainers are easy to get, after all, and while I can use drivers the logistics of doing both in the same meet means I probably couldn’t use you while you’re still racing.
“Of course, if you show any talent for becoming a senior trainer, I would definitely consider a split schedule. I need a senior trainer desperately.”
“What do senior trainers do? I’ve never been clear on that,” the ponygirl asked.
“It depends on where you are. Out here they do movement training like the lobo-ra and also do conditioning. You can think of them as being the trainers, and the people we call trainers as being more in the order of grooms.”
“I see,” Ebony Night said.
Ebony Night stared at the abrupt change of subject, and then she gave another of those dazzling smiles, rose to her feet and left the office.
Amanda spent a few minutes putting the requisition for the tail and the complexion change through, sparing occasional glances at the monitor which showed Ebony Night. She nodded in satisfaction. Bony hadn’t wasted any time stripping and putting on her tack. She’d gotten her bustier and boots on promptly, then she’d put on the headstall and bit and her left glove. Amanda frowned slightly as she saw the ponygirl sink to one knee in front of her stand. Well, she thought to herself, I did tell her we’d be going right out, and I suspect she’s never been checked out on how to hitch up the heavy sulky harness.
“Very good,” Amanda praised her as she slid the cell door open and walked in. “Now let’s get your other arm.” She held out the shoulder length glove as Ebony Night slid her arm into it, twisting her hand around the right angle bend. A moment later, Amanda brought her wrist up to where it met the top of the glove and fastened the latches at wrist and elbow, completing the “Begging Puppy” pose. She took a set of reins off the wall, snapped them to the bit, and shook them slightly.
The ponygirl rose to her feet smoothly, and then high stepped through the door as Amanda guided her. Amanda nodded again. Bony was responding quite well to the reins; she wasn’t either anticipating or hesitating. Her tail flicked out and hit the switch that closed the cell door behind them. A minute later, she had guided Ebony Night into the tack room. Amanda dropped the reins in front of the ’girl, who promptly sank to one knee. “Perfect ground-tie,” Amanda thought to herself.
She took a shoulder harness off the wall and draped it over the patiently waiting ponygirl. “Up,” she commanded. Ebony Night rose to her feet, letting Amanda settle the padded straps on her shoulders and pull the buckles around her chest and waist. She made sure they were cinched tightly, and then pointed at one of the chariots.
Ebony Night whinnied softly, but obediently marched over and placed herself between the shafts. Amanda buckled the traces, testing the tension, and then seated herself. A light tug on the reins, and the ’girl started backing up slowly. Amanda guided the turn with gentle pressure. She flicked the reins when the chariot was clear, and a moment later the ponygirl began moving forward.
Amanda looked thoughtfully at the ponygirl in front of her. Her legs moved rhythmically up and down, hips twisting to the right and the left. Her torso, however, was so still that it seemed to be carved from a block of dark wood. Her black hair fell down her back almost to her waist, lying on top of the bustier. A mane might be better, she mused, but that depended on whether Ebony Night wanted one, and that, in turn, probably depended on where she was spending her time off. As for the tail? Black of course, but maybe a white tip?
Her musings had brought them into the exercise area. Not for the first time, Amanda sighed at the miniscule size of the place. A regulation ponygirl track was a quarter mile on the inside lane; four laps made a mile. A decent ponygirl stable with track took up an entire city block. This wasn’t close, which probably had something to do with the poor performance her ’girls put in. This time was going to be different.
She pulled Ebony Night to a halt and pressed a couple of buttons on her phone. A moment later the world appeared to blink around them and they found themselves inside of an enormous building. The massive steel girders holding up the roof were more than 20 feet above their heads. The sunken pit just in front of them was a good 30 yards on a side and about eight feet deep. Neither the ponygirl at the bottom nor the trainer currently working her could see out over the top.
The pit and the walkway on each side were nestled inside of a regulation ponygirl track, with some room to spare between the path and the fence that bounded the innermost lane.
Ebony Night whinnied in startlement, and Amanda grinned. She pushed a couple of buttons on her phone and looked at the display. “We’ve got arena 2,” she told her pony, and flicked the reins to get her moving.
They were soon deep into the exercise. As time went on the computer shifted from simple arrows to more complex instructions. Eventually, it hit the programmed time limit and did a short cool down sequence.
“Oh, hi! Dreammaker,” Amanda said to the tall blonde standing at the top of the ramp. “I didn’t even see you there!”
“You were really into it,” Dreammaker said. “How do you think it went?”
“Pretty good,” Amanda responded after a moment’s thought. “Bony was responding beautifully. I think I’m the one in trouble!”
“It wasn’t that bad. I’d say you’d probably hold your own on the random obstacle course in intermediate. I doubt if you’d win, but there’s lots worse. Your form could improve a lot, though. Could I interest you in a training contract?”
“Don’t I wish! Unfortunately, Daddy is being a tightwad this year.”
“I know the feeling.”
“Well, I’ve got to run. Time’s a bit short for my next class.”
“Don’t let me keep you then.” Dreammaker vanished.
“Yeah, rub it in,” Amanda muttered as she fingered her phone to set up the teleport. Then she giggled to herself. So what if Dreammaker could teleport by herself? The mechanicals would get her to class on time – barely.
Connie looked at her display and slowly shook her head in disgust. “That,” she observed, “does seem to be that.”
“What seems to be what?” Amanda asked from where she sat on the other side of their study room.
“I’ve got one of those ‘We don’t believe this is the appropriate university for you to continue your studies’ letters.”
“Ouch! What brought that on?”
“My grades, what else?”
“Also your attendance record, and a few other, um, incidents,” Amanda added.
“You’re not helping!”
“Well, what can I do besides provide a shoulder to cry on? What are your options?”
“Grim. Daddy might relent, but without mother in my corner, it’s not likely. No money, no job prospects and no boyfriend that wants me to adorn his life full-time.”
“Well,” Amanda said, “there’s always this.” She tapped in a command, and a moment later their printer started dropping pages into the tray.
Connie walked over to pick it up, and made a face as she scanned the first page. “20 year transferable indenture,” she muttered. “With livestock endorsement.”
“What else did you expect?” Amanda chuckled as she observed her apartment-mate’s reaction.
“Winning the lottery? John Veris verTipton?” Connie responded as she straightened up and took a deep breath. “I suppose I deserve that.”
“Well, what else are you going to do?”
“Stare at it for a while and then sign it.” She held it up as if elevating it would cause some enlightenment, and then frowned. “Would you buy me?”
“He already approved it. It’s not like this is a complete surprise, after all.” She shrugged. “If you want to belong to me, sign the indenture to me directly and I’ll pay them for the training.
“I’ve got plans for you.” She picked up a featureless black plastic box and tossed it in the air, catching it expertly when it came down. Connie looked at it with narrowed eyes.
“That’s not a remote, is it?”
“That’s exactly what it is. Your remote, as a matter of fact.”
“I thought Larry didn’t make links for us.”
“He didn’t originally. He made this gadget up for another project I’m working on with him. It didn’t have your link in it; it started out as a direct brain interface with my computer. Linnet put the software together and I’ve been having fun learning to use it. He added the link to your chip after we discussed the likelihood of your flunking out.” Amanda shrugged slightly.
“It doesn’t look like a remote.”
“No buttons, for one thing,” Amanda agreed. She grinned maliciously. “Direct brain control is, let’s say, interesting. Of course, if you don’t sign up with me, we’ll take your link out of the box.”
“Initially, work on obedience training. You may not like it now, but I guarantee you’ll thank me later for getting it done before I send you out to finish up formal training. I don’t intend to be nasty, but I do intend to be relentless.”
“What’s that about?”
“You remember the Chair?”
“I know it’s there, and it’s a punishment, but I thought they were eliminating it?”
“Yes and no. It’s still early days on expanding the new training methods, but so far about one out of four in the new program needs time in the Chair in order to remain properly motivated. We had a couple so I saw what the Chair does to a girl. It’s not pretty. In fact, they even discussed putting me in it for the experience. I gather it’s also part of trainer’s training, even for the men. Thankfully they decided we didn’t have time!”
“In other words, I take the opportunity now to learn to be gratefully obedient, or I suffer later.”
“Exactly.” Amanda shrugged. “You decided not to follow up with Student Services after Alice got done with you. If you had, we probably wouldn’t be having this talk. Life is, after all, choices and consequences.
“In any case, once you’re trained I intend to use you for riding, and I’m going to show you quite a bit. I might even race you riding style if they get the details straightened out. I also want to change your looks and get you into the experimental program to provide you with hooves.”
“Well, it’s one of Leprechaun Genetics’ projects. I don’t think it’s quite got the market potential that tails do, but I’ll have to admit that not having to take care of hoof boots will simplify the workflow. Besides, considering your last few escapades, I’d think you’d like them.”
“Well, they certainly would do for conversation starters! And I guess you’re right; if I’m going to be wearing hoof boots all the time, I might as well go all the way.” She looked at her feet again and then giggled suddenly.
“I was just imagining what ballet slippers would look like with hooves.” Amanda laughed at the image.
“Hooves,” Connie muttered to herself. “Horsehair on the legs?”
“They’re thinking about doing it to just below the knee.”
Connie pondered a moment, and then grinned. “Throw in a mane and get someone to work on boots so my shoes won’t damage floors, and you’ve got a deal. If you stick me with two stockings, make sure they match, will you? I like looking different, but mismatched stockings would be too much!”
Amanda thought a moment and then giggled. “Your new name is going to be Black and White. I’m going to leave you a blonde, but your mane is going to be a black strip from your brow on down. Change your tail to black with a white tip, and have black leggings with white stockings.”
“You would,” Connie shook her head. “I suppose that’s what I get for wanting a little attention.” Amanda snorted at the understatement. “I think you’ve got a deal.”
“Deal.” Amanda passed a pen to her soon to be ex-roommate.
Connie accepted the pen as if it might explode in her fingers. She turned it over several times as if she had never seen one before, and signed the indenture. “Now what happens?”
“I print out your name change paperwork while you change clothes, and then we go downtown to register this,” Amanda said as she tossed Black and White a leather collar.
“Change clothes?” Black and White asked as she looked at the strap, grimaced and then buckled it around her neck.
“Here’s your new outfit.” Amanda pulled a box off a rack and handed it to the surprised ’girl.
“They at least match,” Black and White said as she took the skirt and blouse out of the box and looked at them.
“Most of the colors are truly awful,” Amanda agreed with her. “That’s why I worked on Mistress Melanie’s stable colors so much. When I got my owner’s colors, I made sure they worked with both Mistress Melanie’s stable colors and with my family stable colors.”
“For which I am truly grateful,” Black and White said as she shed her slacks and stepped into the skirt. She put on the blouse and then twirled. “This is pretty good for a uniform.”
“Don’t get too used to it! I’m going to have to replace the blouses, and your maid’s uniform is still on order.”
“Replace the blouse?”
“You asked for a mane. It’s going to start coming in pretty quick, so you need blouses that fall enough in back to not cover it. I think two styles,” she mused, “maybe three styles. Right, three. One with fairly standard shoulders and sleeves, one strapless style, and one sleeveless over the shoulder that comes to your navel both in front and back.”
Black and White narrowed her eyes a moment in thought. “Open sides?”
Black and White giggled. “That could be fun!”
“Part of showing a ponygirl is to emphasize her strong points, and exhibitionism is one of yours! I just want you to display yourself where and how I say.”
“You mentioned a maid’s uniform?”
“Put your brain back in gear, girl!”
“Oh. Jenna does get her days off.”
“And you’re going to substitute for her, as well as do another day a week for training. Besides which, having two maids when we entertain is going to be helpful.”
“So what’s next?” Black and White asked as she slipped her feet into the toe shoes and then stood, feet arched as if they had a 5 inch heel.
“County clerk’s office,” Amanda said as she tossed a shoulder bag at Black and White. “Then you go right to Mistress Melanie’s stable. I’ll put in your tags when we get there. Your weekly schedule is two days as our maid, four as a full time ponygirl and one day off until it’s time to send you to finish your formal training. That’ll take three to four months.”
“Why so long?”
“There’s a lot you missed. Otherwise you don’t need to know.” She paused for effect. “When you’re done, I’ll have you deliver yourself. Unless you’d prefer to be boxed and shipped?”
“Is mistress crazy?” Black and White asked, unconsciously aping Jenna’s speech pattern.
“I didn’t think so,” Amanda laughed as she walked through the door and waited while Black and White locked it behind them.
“Stay within 8 feet of me.”
“Those chips have a lot of functions. Right now I’ve got you on a virtual leash. You’re going to feel very uncomfortable if you get too far from me. As I said, you are going to learn obedience.”
Amanda left their apartment building and hailed a taxi, her ponygirl following behind.
“Hey, Amanda!” Diana shouted from the other side of the clearing as she spotted Amanda. “Catch!” She tossed a bright red Frisbee in Amanda’s general direction. Amanda twitched Ebony Night’s reins, and the ponygirl headed to intercept the flying platter. Amanda reached out, and the disk gently curved toward her to where she could pluck it out of the air.
“I thought you’d be riding Black and White!” Dianna said.
“She’s got something else to do today,” Amanda shot back. “Bony needs the exercise.”
Four other ponygirls with their riders emerged from the forest path behind Diana. Amanda recognized all of the riders: Larry and Diana’s parents, Frank and Laura, their sister Edie as well as Leslie, who had been one of their ponygirls and was staying with them during trainer’s school. She also recognized three of the ponygirls: Footloose, Rocker Girl and Autumn Sunshine. The other two were new. She assumed they’d been rented for the occasion.
“I see you almost emptied your stable,” Diana said as she spotted Larry and Linnet farther back.
“Of course,” Amanda grinned. “Our regular ’girls are otherwise occupied.”
“Where’s the food?” Diana asked, looking around.
“We’re set up in another meadow,” Larry told his sister. “It’s about a mile.” He waved at an opening in the forest on the other side of the meadow, and got Bouncing Rabbit moving in that direction with an economical twitch of the reins and some knee pressure. Linnet and Pretty Foole fell in behind him.
Ten minutes later, the riders came out of the forest into another meadow to find Jenna and Black and White setting up breakfast on a picnic table. They spent the next few minutes having their mounts drink from the stream, and then pegged them to the ground under a tree, with Larry’s feeding tubes in their mouths.
Before they got started on breakfast, Frank held up his hand for silence. “I suppose you’re wondering why the family gathering?
“I want to congratulate both Linnet and Leslie on completing trainer’s school with exemplary scores. Leslie’s already gotten inquiries from three different training teams!”
“And Linnet didn’t?” Diana asked.
“I’m waiting until Larry finishes up college and we move back permanently.”
“And I also want to congratulate Larry on getting his prototypes working. Pretty Lemon and Fast Flood are very happy with the first run of processors. It looks like that project is a success!”
“Hey guy, you’re blushing!” Linnet teased her husband as she slid an arm around his waist to snuggle a bit closer.
“It was,” Larry said feelingly, “a lot of work. Fun, though! It does look like the girls have the food ready,” Larry changed the subject quickly.
“I like the way you’ve got Black and White outfitted,” Diana told Amanda as she walked around, a slice of cantaloupe in one hand. “It complements Jenna’s French Maid motif and continues the color scheme.”
“I thought so,” Amanda replied as she nibbled on a hot croissant filled with scrambled eggs. “Her mane does pose a few challenges.”
“I think the strapless style is brilliant, considering her coloration. And those angel wings are a perfect solution to her hair.”
Black and White stood behind the grill, cooking more of their breakfast, apparently oblivious to Diana’s scrutiny. Her ash blond hair, as Diana had mentioned, was done up in angel wings which were perfectly set off by the black strip of her mane. The tightly fitting top of her black leather maid’s uniform showed just a hint of cleavage from where it came from just over her breasts, and then dipped slightly in back to just under where her mane stopped. Her uniform skirt came to a couple of inches below her knee, so that all the onlooker could see was the horsehair covered part of her legs and her hooves. Unlike Jenna’s skirt, it was tight across her hips so that her tail could come out a slit in the back without having the leather shift around it.
“What are you going to do about those two?” Amanda asked, nodding toward the line of ponygirls kneeling under the tree.
“Autumn Sunshine and Rocker Girl?” Diana said. “We’re not sure. They’re doing a lot better as ponygirls, but they still get into trouble on their days off. That could be enough to condemn them right there. The last thing we need is troublemakers.”
“I know what you mean; it’s just that the attitude seems so … foreign.”
“I don’t understand a lot of yours, either. Why you let troublemakers loose is beyond me.”
“It’s what we grew up with,” Larry joined the conversation. “Although part of it is simply the way their attitude rubs off.” He nodded slightly toward Edie.
“I thought so,” Amanda said. “They’re very good at concealing the fact that they’ve got a very low opinion of us.”
“Perfectly justified in some respects,” Diana said. “Although I think that attitudes are shifting just a wee bit. Give it a couple more generations, and we might have something like mutual respect.”
“We might not have the time, sis.”
“I know; that situation really scares me when I let myself think about it. I wish there was someplace else to go.”
“I’ve got some ideas, but it’s way too soon to talk about them.”
“You know,” Frank said, “I could get used to this.”
“Oh?” Amanda asked him.
“There aren’t that many of us left that weren’t born in the caverns. This is the first time either of us has been outside.”
“I’m surprised,” Amanda said. “I’d think that with teleportation you’d be all over the place.”
“Well, they’ve got security on their mind. They like to have a reason before letting one of us loose.”
“And then there’s training time,” Larry added from the sidelines. “The only reason Security authorized this is because we weren’t going to be meeting anyone else. Besides, I’ll bet the two ponies I don’t recognize are outsiders.”
“They’re not community trainees, although this might be a treat for them,” Diana said.
“Speaking of outsiders,” Frank waved his hand at the line of tethered ponygirls.
“Larry doesn’t always ride Linnet, and Black and White has started coming along on her day off before she goes to do whatever it is she does. When we get both of them together, we manage to empty Daddy’s stable! The ’girls like it, and it gives our training staff time to do things with no ponies to mind.”
“That’s enough of that!” Diana proclaimed. She picked the Frisbee off of the table where she’d left it and tossed it at Amanda. Amanda reached out in the general direction, and the disk banked back toward her, allowing her to pluck it out of the air without moving.
“You did it again!” Diana said in disgust. She nodded at her brother and sister in law. “I know those two can, but how do you manage to do it?”
“See my bracelet?” Amanda showed it to her.
“So bro fixed it up for you?”
“Yup. It’s got a bunch of stuff Larry wants me to test out for him. Besides, it makes our morning rides a bit more evenly balanced.”
If the story looks a bit scattered, that’s because I put several partial stories together. A number of the threads that look like they’re dangling are connected to other stories.
Larry and Linnet don’t show up in person, but their influence is felt in a number of places. Linnet is, of course, the Bess that appears as a historical character in Gor Meets Amazonia. They are instrumental in building the Dodecahedron, and in establishing Freehold’s automated manufacturing system.
The Sirians show up several times, particularly in the space fiction cycle that begins with Eden and Learning the Business. They are one of the powers behind the Dodecahedron and Freehold, although they stay invisibly in the background except for the cameo appearance in Gor Meets Amazonia.
This story has quite a few conflicts with The Curtain Falls. I’m not apologizing – it’s been three years between those two stories, and I’ve changed my mind about how a few things happened. The Curtain Falls may be heavily revised, and retitled Segue to Freehold.
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.