Zephyr Part 19

Dec 23rd, 2012
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  1. For the next few minutes you and Autumn bask in Master's affections, resting your heads on either of his thighs and very nearly dozing off as he devotes a hand to each of you. Opal's got an owner she's sure to love, and you've got one you already do. Perfect. Simply perfect. In all the ups and downs of the past few weeks, especially with Opal always being the center of attention, you'd missed these quiet moments where you can just let your mind go blank. Laid against him, eyes shut and totally relaxed, you can't help but wonder how you ever got by in life all wound up and stressed over stupid, silly things like rent and work. You went home to nothing, nobody, and even in your closest relationships you still held so much back, worried so much about being in control...
  3. You can just lie here, eyes shut and zoned out for as long as he'll let you. No worries about being in control, or holding back, or getting hurt. You love your Master, you know he loves you, and that knowledge is the basis of complete trust. You wish there were some way to convey the depth of your affection, but nothing seems adequate. Sometime soon you know you're going to offer yourself to him completely, your body given over to match the mind that's totally his. Still, you want to pick the right time. It's embarrassingly girly, even though you've embraced your new gender quite thoroughly, but you want it to be special... romantic even. You're sure about it, and the only question is when...
  5. Autumn moves around a bit, breaking the otherwise complete silence in the room and derailing your train of thought. Not a moment too soon, either, any more time spent fantasizing about being pinned beneath him... in the bed... moaning...
  7. Gah! Bad pony! Any more of that and you'll stain the couch.
  9. Autumn's rolled herself upright, with an odd expression on her face as she gets Master's attention with a hoof.
  11. "Master? Did you mean what you said before? Is Zephyr yours?"
  13. "I wanted it to be a surprise for you, but yes honey, Zephyr's staying."
  15. "Just like me? Forever and ever?"
  17. "Forever and ever, darling."
  19. For a moment you brace yourself for an onslaught of joyous affection, but instead Autumn crawls across Master's lap with a look of absolute serenity. There's no squealing or cheering, but when she gets you in her embrace there's no mercy. For a few seconds you think she's going to squeeze the air right out of you. Her lips meet yours for an enthusiastic kiss before she breaks off.
  21. "When he left to pick you and the others up, I begged him to bring me back a present. I think I like you better than my favorite candy."
  23. "Well I promise to be the gift that keeps on giving."
  25. That's what finally breaks Autumn's record-setting period of self control ends and the unfiltered noises of pure happiness begin. Master wanders off somewhere while Autumn play-bites at your ears, with you desperately trying to shake off the odd tickling sensation it creates. For a few minutes the two of you roll around the couch, shrieking and laughing until Master returns with his hands behind his back.
  27. "Eli did nothing but steal my thunder while he was here, but these are for the two of you."
  29. Out from behind his back come two new collars, one in green to match Autumn's eyes, and blue for yours. More attention grabbing, though, was the sound they made when he pulled them out. The light jingling sound only made sense once you and Autumn got up for a closer look. Nestled on the front of either collar is a small metal bell. A small rush of annoyance comes over you at exactly how patronizing this is, but there's an odd excitement accompanying it. Think of how cute you'll look! He got you something! A new collar to make you his! A new collar because he means to keep you! A marvelous little token of his affection.
  31. It's that idea that sits at the forefront of your mind as he removes your old collar and attaches the new one. It feels a little odd compared to your old one, much lighter and even seems to breathe a bit more. While you considered the practical properties of your new, and only, piece of clothing, Autumn became immediately obsessed with the bell now affixed to her neck. Master seems to realize his mistake as Autumn hops around the room jangling all the way, and the two of you share a knowing look. Still, her enthusiasm is coupled with gratitude, and there's nothing to be done about it now.
  33. "Thanks! It's so pretty!"
  35. "Thank you, Master!"
  37. "You're both very welcome. Never forget that you're mine, and I love you both."
  39. He. Said. Love. He loves you! You've reared up on your hind legs in an effort to kiss him, but you still need to paw desperately at his shirt for a second before he leans down a bit and gives you what you want, then taking the time to give Autumn the same.
  41. "That'll make keeping track of you two a bit easier, I hope. Now play for a bit, I've got a little more work to do before we can finish the job with Charlie."
  43. And play you do. Life is so good, but you still can't wait to see what's in store for Charlie.
  45. It took nearly all of the next day before Master is done with the rest of his work, save for a hearty breakfast of oatmeal and apple slices all around and the usual mid morning walk. You're so close to be able to fly again you can practically taste it, with your wings totally healed and your muscles gradually regaining strength and coordination. It'll be soon, very soon, and you can hardly wait.
  47. Still, you and Autumn found plenty of good ways to pass the time. Past the usual games, Autumn had a stroke of brilliance. It would involve messing with Master while he was working, usually not the kind of thing you would consider, but this was too good. You follow her lead in slinking up the stairs as quietly as possible, taking extra effort to keep the bell on your collar from sounding the alarm too soon. After taking a moment to collect yourselves on the upper landing and go over the plan once more, Autumn leads you to a door you've never been through before.
  49. Master's "workshop"... This is something you've been wanting to see for a long time. He always told you to occupy yourself while he went in there, though, and you weren't sure if it was safe to go exploring in. After all, the machines that made you what you are came from in there, who knows what else your Master's gross misuse of technology might yield if you were to knock something over? You've already relayed these concerns to Autumn, but she insists that it's safe and that she's been in there before, and so with no small amount of trepidation you follow her lead in gently pushing the ajar door open just enough to slip in undetected. The room is large, but you'd expected as much, considering it takes up most of the upper floor save for the bedroom and bathroom.
  51. What's striking is how little it resembles the mad scientist's lair you had envisioned. There are a number of odd devices on a few plain looking work tables, but it mostly just looks like any of the lab rooms at a university. Dang. You knew it was probably more low-key than your visions of Tesla coils and maniacal laughter, but this is a little insulting. The stuff produced here took your hands away and made you a girl, and it looks completely harmless! You figured it'd at least resemble a meth lab or something.
  53. Peering out from behind your cover, you see things looking a bit stranger on the far end, where there's a couple of computers and a box made of clear glass with built-in gloves. Some kind of vacuum chamber or sterile space? At any rate it looks unused. Beside that sits your Master, with his back turned to you, hunched over the desk and typing something. To his right, on a smaller desk, is a pink sewing machine? Autumn said he made all the plush toys for his victims himself, but you've got to assume he picked that up secondhand. Pink really isn't his color. You also never took him for much of an arts-and-crafts type, but time spent curled up on the couch or sweating on the bed with him has taught you that his hands are supernaturally dexterous.
  55. Autumn motions you forward, and then goes around one of the other tables to split up. The objective devised by Autumn is quite simple: The first one to come into contact with Master without being noticed beforehand wins. This would have been difficult before, but now there's a tiny metal thing hanging off your neck that threatens to reveal your location with even the tiniest bump. Still, the game is on, so you begin to creep forward, keeping under the tables for cover as you advance on him. Walking, even very slowly, while keeping your neck and barrel as still as possible was already getting old fast, but you're making headway until the sound of a bell chimes from the other side of the room.
  57. Shit, Autumn made noise! Master freezes in his seat as you slide behind some boxes and hope he doesn't inspect too carefully. You can hear his chair swivel, but it doesn't sound like he got up to look around. After an agonizingly long few seconds you hear the chair swivel again. Maybe he thought it was his imagination? At any rate the coast is clear, and you start progressing towards him with renewed caution. You're getting close enough to see what's laid out on the table Master's using as work space, focusing heavily on a huge, ominous-looking needle. It's at least three times the size of the one that made Opal! What on Earth is Master planning to do here?
  59. For a few seconds you let your imagination run wild with the possibilities. What's so radically different that he needs so much more of that stuff than he did for Opal? At this point you're creeping closer to him mostly for a better look at what he's up to, Autumn's prank all but forgotten until you hear a bell chime elsewhere in the room.
  61. This time he knows something's up, as he stands up and wanders toward the origin of the sound. Once he's up, though, something far more interesting than the needle is visible. As he begins to hunt for Autumn, you feel your jaw drop at the wall above his work desk.
  63. The entire wall is covered in photographs of ponies! Not ponies from the show or fan-art, but pictures of what looks to be every single pony he's ever made. A whole array of sizes and bright colors are on display in an enormous collage of Master's handiwork, some with little notes attached. There are at least two dozen different ponies in separate pictures, some smiling for the camera, others sleeping, even a bunch of activity photos, including a pegasus doing a much better job of catching a stick mid-air than you did. There's like fifty pictures of Autumn up there, in all manner of- oh hey, it's Gizmo! The little unicorn you spent a night playing soccer with is smiling for the camera, wrapped up in the sleeping arms of the woman who came to pick her up. She looks happy, and that warms your heart in ways you didn't know it could.
  65. There's Jake and Evergreen! It's one of those high-angle self photos, and it's mostly obscured by the man-and-stallion cuddle session, but you know exactly what couch they're on in his place. You spent far too many drunk nights passed out on that thing not to know. Still, it's good to know Jake's getting on well with his pet stallion, though you still wonder why he never told you he was into that sort of thing. Oh well...
  67. You very nearly moved on with your hide-and-seek game before you noticed the corner of the board with three pictures of a white pegasus mare and suddenly fixated on them. There's the one he took of you and Autumn on the couch way back when! The other two... both seem to have been taken while you were sleeping. Even though Autumn's got you massively outnumbered on his memento board, being included in this makes you feel so, so happy. Hell, even the fact that it exists makes you happy. All of these ponies, and not a single one of them looks unhappy! Maybe he used some technical tricks to make it so, but it's good to know how much he cares. Wait! There's a little note under one of your pictures!
  69. Your excited squeal is involuntary. You just have to know what it says! Sadly, this gets Master's attention and he's found you before you even realized your mistake. You really wish you could hide from him when his shadow falls on you, with a look of real annoyance on his features. The notion that you might have actually made him angry terrifies you! You're a good pony! You want him to know how good you are! Your head and ears are hung low by the time he starts to speak in a tone that's much too serious.
  71. "Zephyr, my work space is not a place for little ponies. There's a lot of stuff in here that could be dangerous. What are you doing?"
  73. "I'm s-sorry. It was part of game we were playing, an-"
  75. "It was my idea!"
  77. You've never been so grateful to Autumn for her sudden interruption. Her honesty at least means the two of you will be punished together. She's emerged from her hiding place to face Master, whose expression is now one of pure exasperation.
  79. "And just what were you two trying to accomplish by sneaking around in here?"
  81. "We were gonna sneak up and surprise you! First one to do it wins!"
  83. "That's very cute, really, but you shouldn't come in here without me knowing. We've discussed this before, remember?"
  85. "I know... I'm sorry. Zephyr didn't wanna do it at first, this is my fault."
  87. "No harm, no foul. Just please, don't do it again. If either of you want to see how I work I'll show you, but you've got to ask. Now go downstairs and entertain yourselves like the good girls you are, I'll make lunch in a couple hours."
  89. Autumn turns to leave at once, but you stay by his side for a moment until his gaze turns to you.
  91. "Did you want something?"
  93. "I saw the pictures on your wall, Master."
  95. "Oh, yeah, those are all the other ponies. Some of them are the ones I asked for after your first... incident with tubby, but a lot were sent by happy owners and happy ponies. It helps me focus on the positive aspects of what I do in here."
  97. "Could I please take a closer look? I won't touch anything."
  99. He smiles again, and you don't feel quite so bad about bothering him once he's scooped you up into his arms and carried you to his work table. You find yourself set down on it, for the first time coming to real terms with how small you are now. Sure, doors were a problem and everything was bigger, but something about being put on the table and still being shorter than him really drove it home. But enough with that, the pictures!
  101. You take a better look at your many predecessors, marveling at the variety of colors and body types Master can create, before focusing on the items of greatest interest to you. The first unfamiliar photo of you is actually from your time in the cage. It was hard to see from a distance, but you're asleep in that big fluffy dog bed and half-covered with a blanket. Heh, that sleeping little mare has no idea what she's gotten into. The second photo is far less pleasant to look at. You're unconscious in it, but your battered and bloody form means this could only have been taken after your dive-bomb of Charlie's van. You only remember brief flashes of that night past being carried to the truck, but it looked just as awful as you feared. The bandages wrapping your wounds were already soaking through, Master's makeshift cast looks as though it was still drying at the time, and large portions of your fur are stained black with dried blood. He must have washed you while you were out.
  103. But the thing that really gets you, the thing that is bringing tears to your eyes, if the note pinned beneath it.
  107. Master seems a bit surprised when his curious pony has thrown herself at him, sobbing and wailing half-formed gibberish that eventually coalesces into repetition of the phrase "I love you."
  109. "Shh, honey, what's wrong?"
  111. "Nothing! That p-picture and your note, though. I'm so happy I lived! I'm so happy you love me!"
  113. He holds you for quite some time, and even though no more words are exchanged you feel as though the bond between you is getting deeper as minutes creep by. You are eventually put back down on the table, and quietly watch him finish his work before lunch. You feel great, and you feel even better knowing that everything's ready to go.
  115. It's time to go solve the Charlie problem. Right after lunch. God, these fritters are fucking delicious.
  117. Y'know, it's funny. Charlie is, in very real terms, the most terrible person you've ever met. He wanted to break your bones, make you bleed, and enjoy your screams. Even now that he's held captive just beyond the door you're sitting next to, it just creeps you right the hell out. Did he fantasize about you? The thought makes you feel like you're going to lose those fritters.
  119. On the other hand, his specific request for a white pegasus with a green mane is what landed you here in the first place. There was a time earlier in your captivity when that would have been two strikes against him, but now it's quite the opposite. If it weren't for him you might be at work right now, telling yourself that it will all be better tomorrow. Bah! This is paradise and the damn shame of it is that Charlie was probably the thing that made you see it. The frightened, near-instinctual flight from the scary rape monster to hide behind Master really was a watershed moment. Maybe it could have been anybody, and if Gizmo's owners had been the ones to save you and scare him off you would have loved them, and begged to be theirs.
  121. But as your Master comes down the stairs and your eyes meet his, you know that wasn't the case. Sure, the way you met was pretty lousy but this is your one-and-only, your beloved Master. His endless reserves of kindness for you and Autumn don't seem to extend to Charlie though, as the needle hanging from his belt and the grin on his face attest.
  123. "I hope you don't expect me to be nice to this one."
  125. "David deserved better than what he got until yesterday. Not this one. Can I ask what's going to happen?"
  127. "That's... difficult." he mutters with a grimace. "This might not end well."
  129. That's... deeply troubling. The forces at work when Master transforms someone are still very much beyond your comprehension, but you know enough to respect them. What does a bad ending to the transformation process entail? Autumn went nuts, you freaked out, but the uncertainty in his voice conjures visions of a half-human abomination in the playroom. Oh god, now you're afraid. Maybe not afraid for Charlie, but afraid of an uglier Charlie for certain. The knot in your stomach, though, that's fear of what your Master will do in that case. Does a good pet have to help hide a body?
  131. His eyes meet yours, and with a small nod the two of you steel your resolve and open the door. For a second you wish you'd stayed upstairs and joined Autumn's reading. A little over three weeks downstairs has not treated him well. The ugly patchwork bruises on his face from the bat impact have mostly healed, but the rest of him...
  133. He's dropped a lot... Quite a lot of his bulk. Small folds of excess skin hang from his limbs, creating a ghastly appearance. His neckbeard has aged into a full-blown hobo beard, which matches nicely with the most godawful smell you've ever been exposed to. It's just too much, you feel like you really are gonna hurl now. UGH! You know he can get a hose in here, why the hell didn't he?!
  135. You're honestly too busy recoiling from his frightful physical state to evaluate his mental state, until you realize he's struggling madly against his bonds, a frenzied, pleading panic in his eyes. This is the monster you were so scared of? He's a beast, beasts don't break down like this!
  137. ... But it occurs to you now that since David became Opal, he's been down here alone. For over two weeks. Two. Long. Weeks. In the hole. You hate the rush of empathy you feel, but it's just that... you've slowly been coming to realization that Master doesn't understand what this place does to a mind. In total darkness, the brain gets active, trying to impose order, discernible shapes, on the blank pitch around you. Sure, once your eyes adjusted you could make out some basic shapes, like hooves right in front of your face, or wings fluttering in the dark, but beyond that, your imagination started to fill in the blanks. Shifting shapes in the corners of your vision, sometimes even faces. There were sounds, toward the end.
  139. "Master? How long was I down here?"
  141. "Four days."
  143. Oh good heavens.
  145. "D-did you feed him at all?"
  147. "Enough to keep him going."
  149. "Do you feel bad about this at all?"
  151. "I really would, but then I remember sedating Autumn because she wouldn't stop screaming while I was trying to keep you alive. All through the daze of a concussion."
  153. "I can see how that would happen."
  155. Once Master undoes the gag it's clear how bad things got down here. Barely intelligible begging and sobs emerge, and you're actively trying to crush down tidal waves of sympathy. This isn't right. He's terrible, awful, a frenzied animal that wanted to tear you pieces. Master seems less sympathetic, even when faced with unmistakably human suffering.
  157. "Alright Chuck- Hey! Charlie! Look at me! Alright Chuck, it's go time."
  159. He seems to sober a bit when he hears it, focusing on Master as requested. At first you dare to think he's calmed down. That was a mistake.
  163. Your ears had already folded back under Charlie's verbal assault, but they swivel back to attention following the loud slap that follows. Yeah, Master doesn't seem to take yelling very kindly.
  165. "The deal was I would sell you a pony and you would keep her in health and love for the rest of your lives. Now you're going to shut the hell up and listen to me. I found your little stories, too."
  167. "Y-you said you couldn't do that!"
  169. "Yeah, more like I 'wouldn't' do that. It's a little creepy, even for me. Hey, it could be worse. I'm not using your fluffy stories."
  171. "Y-you said you wouldn't hurt Dave when you took him!"
  173. "You're properly afraid now. Good. No, I won't abuse you. None of the awful things that happen in your story will happen to you. Your family, if you have any, will survive. You won't go hungry. No one's going to cut on you daily for a few months. You really are sick, you know that?"
  175. "W-where's Dave! I want to see Dave!"
  177. "You mean Opal? She got carried off in the arms of a kind, loving man she'll spend the rest of her days in hopeless love with. She said she forgives you. She said to tell you 'Goodbye'."
  179. He's almost in tears now. He opens his mouth to speak, but Master cuts him off."
  181. "And now I think I'll say goodbye, Chuck."
  183. His needle slips into Charlie's arm before he even knew it was coming. Charlie's eyes bug out when he sees the plunger in the enormous needle begin to sink.
  185. "And it is goodbye, Charlie, because either you'll come out of this as Sunflower, or I'll have to put you out of your misery."
  187. He's just screaming now, without words. Your Master unbuckles him from the chair he's in, and half carries, half drags his latest tranformee to the playroom. Charlie's atrophied limbs leave him ill equipped to resist, and he collapses in a heap when Master unceremoniously drops him on the floor.
  189. "Well, have fun."
  191. "You put Dave under! Put me under!"
  193. "Where was that mercy when my pets were screaming while you tried to kidnap them? No, you're gonna feel it. See you when you're done."
  195. You didn't even go into the playroom. You just sort of sat by the door, incapable of going any further, or looking away. Master scoops you up without a word, locking the door behind him after ascending the stairs.
  197. "Master? Who is Sunflower?"
  199. "The sweetest little filly I've ever read about. Of course, Charlie wrote about it, so she ends up dead. Of course, because Charlie wrote it, death is a mercy."
  201. "You're going to have tiny filly that wants to break my wings?"
  203. "We'll worry about that when she lives through it, because I have no idea what's about to happen down there."
  205. The two of you make your way to the couch, where Autumn is curled up with a book leaned against the armrest. You've made a mental note to find a cerebral hobby, something to occupy your time besides flying and being petted that will hopefully keep your wits sharp. You would take up reading, but most of the books around here are dense technical tomes belonging to Master or Autumn's young adult selection. You need history! You need science fiction! Perhaps you can ask Master for something next time he goes out somewhere. As far as you can tell he only leaves for groceries and kidnappings, and he tends to stock up on both, so it may be a while. Still, you're sure a pony as good as you can beg herself a present.
  207. Rather than sitting down as you'd expected, Master rouses Autumn for an evening walk. The two of you wait by the door for a moment, but when Master comes back to the hallway you're a little surprised and Autumn is simply floored to see two leashes in his hand.
  209. "Master? D-did Zephyr and I do something wrong?"
  211. "Besides sneaking into my lab? No honey, you've done nothing wrong, and I'm not punishing you. Would you be willing to humor me, sweetheart?"
  213. "Of course!"
  215. "Good girl. I'll let you run around on your own in a bit."
  217. You had no qualms about it whatsoever, and he had a real problem getting the leash latched to your collar through the flurry of small kisses you can't help but douse him with. It's only moments before the three of you are out in a tight-knit group, taking a few seconds to re-learn walking on a leash. Once you and Autumn have the rhythm down Master begins to pick up the pace, and soon you're forced into a light gallop as he breaks into a run. Something about running in unison with the two of them makes you happy in a strange way. You hate to use the word "herd" to describe anything about yourself given your hooves, but there's a sense of unity and belonging in breathlessly following his lead around the yard. Before long you can predict his turns with near perfect accuracy, and Autumn seems to move in even better sync with him that you do!
  219. The three of you end up sprawled out under one of the trees at the edge of the yard, sweaty and panting. You had fun, but that may have gone on a few minutes longer than it should have. A hand finds its way to your mane, and For a moment you share a smile with your Master and Autumn before he can muster the energy to speak between breaths.
  221. "Is this what you had in mind with the occasional leashing?"
  223. "I was thinking more like long walks, but that was good, yeah."
  225. He offered to let you and Autumn run around free, but he'd worn the both of you out far too thoroughly for that. That run was just what you needed to clear your head, and thinking about it, it was probably the same thing for him. You feel really, truly good, and your compatriots seem just as exuberant as you re-enter the house...
  227. Until Charlie's screaming wafts up from the basement. Through three doors meant to hold it all in. That can't be a good sign. Master grudgingly goes down to check in on him while you and Autumn wait at the top of the basement stairs, both fidgeting pretty nervously as the continuing shrieks of agony pierce the air.
  229. Master's look of calm and relative relief is exactly what you were hoping for, as opposed to the visions of screaming and violent bludgeoning your imagination had conjured.
  231. "He's actually in better shape than I thought. For a guy who loves handing out pain, he sure doesn't take it particularly well."
  233. "So it's like when I changed?"
  235. "With all the screaming, yes. The actual change is far more intense."
  237. "More intense?"
  239. "Making you a pony is already quite the rearrangement process. Making him a filly is that, but taken much further."
  241. "We're getting a filly?! Oh yesyesyes!" Cries a thoroughly enthused Autumn.
  243. "You're excited about it?"
  245. "Well yeah! I can't wait to play with her!"
  247. "That might be a while, Sweetie, but we'll see."
  249. Autumn hops off in her excitement, already assembling things for playtime with a particularly small pony, leaving you and Master in the living room. After plopping your head down on his lap, you begin your usual game of twenty questions with your Master.
  251. "So, why a filly?"
  253. "My friend Ann asked for one."
  255. "But isn't that a little creepy? Even if there's an adult mind in there and it consents, he'll look like a child."
  257. "Why would that be creepy?"
  259. "You... you know what these bodies want. It's weird."
  261. "That's actually why I haven't done it yet. Plenty of people wanted a filly, but most of them... it's just too strange."
  263. "You've got some oddly particular scruples for a guy who kidnaps people."
  265. "Hush, you. Ann called me a couple months ago, asking if her two ponies could get pregnant. She's got a stallion and a mare, you see. All three were terribly disappointed when I said it couldn't be done, so I'm going to offer them an adopted filly and see how that goes over."
  267. "Your ponies can't have babies?"
  269. "Nope. I'm making pets, not a new species. I'm sorry to say that even if I left you with a stallion in rut, you'll never have foals."
  271. "That's just fine, there's no stallion whose foals I"d ever want to have. I've got a stallion, and we're already not having kids."
  273. "I'm going to take stallion as a complement, but I do think the look on your face when something starts suckling your little teats would be worth a million."
  275. The face you make at the mere idea seems to be enough, if his minutes of laughter are any indication.
  277. The rest of the day passes in comfort and idleness, with particularly loud action films meant to cover the occasional scream from downstairs.
  279. "You figure by now he'd have just passed out, y'know?"
  281. "I may or may not have thrown a stimulant into the needle."
  283. "Master! That's horrible."
  285. "No, horrible is watching you wake up in terror, even getting hit by the odd flapping wing, every night for a week and a half."
  287. You would apologize, but you honestly don't feel like you're at fault there. You do nuzzle his leg a bit, and shivers run up your spine as his fingers delicately run up the back of your neck and ear. Somewhere in the sleepy daze of a quiet evening of cuddling you even worked up the nerve to ask him for something to occupy you while he worked, and he even seemed receptive! At some point after sharing your likes and dislikes you noticed something quite odd.
  289. The movie's been done for about twenty minutes now, and you haven't heard anything from downstairs. Your fully perked ears and raised head get Master's attention, and it only takes a moment of eye contact for him to understand what you're getting at. Without any prompting or a word exchanged, you remove yourself from his lap, Autumn following suit so he can rise to his feet and lead the way. Autumn stalls at the top of the basement stairs, choosing to wait for you there instead, but you're in one hundred percent. Part of you wants to stop outside and collect yourself, but Master throws the door to the playroom open without even checking the...
  291. No, he did look at the two-way mirror... it's just fogged over?
  293. Sure enough, there's a healthy wave of steam flowing out the open door to the playroom and for a moment you're at a loss to explain it. But there was steam rising from Opal during her change, wasn't there? Your Master doesn't seem to pause for any of this and heads right into the cloud, and despite your misgivings you're hot on his heels a second later, if only out of concern for him. Not all that logical, considering you're ill equipped to deal with any problem that doesn't need eating or cuddling, but it's your first instinct. You can hear vaguely human noises somewhere in here, but you can't see a thing! Master seems to be having some trouble locating tubby, but then it dawns on you that you can actually help for once!
  295. Master seems a little surprised to hear you flapping your wings like mad, but when the swirling steam cloud begins to dissipate under your crude, pokeymans-esque gust attack you can see him smiling at you.
  297. "Very clever, Zephyr. Who's my good pony?"
  299. "I am!"
  301. Oh god, did you really just say that? Yeah, you definitely need some kind of intellectual challenge before you're, well... Autumn. You love her, you just don't want to be her. Small , labored moans catch your attention, and a few more stiff flaps of your best feature finally draw back the curtain over tonight's big show.
  303. The steam is rolling off of him in waves, to the point that the plush carpet around him is soaked, and he's already lost a substantial amount of overall mass. Sadly, his shrinking and rearranging limbs are a bit smaller than his still rounded, flabby torso, giving him the appearance of a particularly unpleasant tortoise. It's even highlighted by the yellow-brown coat beginning to grow in! You giggle a bit, still enjoying the novelty of being unafraid of him, but another soft moaning sound stifles your laughter. The wrinkly, halfway-rearranged head and neck roll a bit toward the two of you.
  305. Oh sweet pony jeebus, he's still conscious. Master's quick in checking his pulse, and then really grosses you out by forcing his eyes open to check his response. They're... freakishly, horrifically large, but his irises and pupils are still human looking, leaving this enormous sea of reddened eye around those tiny islands. They even seem... oh no, they're even pulsing and twitching as Master's toys do their thing. That might give you nightmares.
  307. "M-m-m-master? Opal didn't look like this." You can't contain the worry in your voice. Just killing Charlie would have been one thing, but now you're worried the little filly might come out wrong. Malformed, maybe even handicapped. Eugh, wait! No, it's still gonna be Charlie in there, not some innocent child. If you're still the same jerk you have been and Opal's still a panicky worrywart, then this will still, still, be a bastard wearing different skin. Won't he?
  309. "I knew this was going to be bad going in. I'm going to have to stay down here and keep him from going into shock. You should go back upstairs and stay with Autumn."
  311. "B-but Master-"
  313. "No. This is going to be long, difficult and disgusting and you're going to be sick if you stay down here."
  315. "No I won't!"
  317. "The steam you were breathing? That's all over both of us?"
  319. "Yeah?"
  321. "That's Charlie. You were breathing Charlie. You're covered in Charlie."
  323. Your gag reflex is sudden and violent. Oh god, little bits of him are inside you now! Gross! Gross! Gross!
  325. "I saw that. Go upstairs and be good with Autumn and I'll give you a bath later."
  327. You don't think you've moved so quickly since falling toward the van. Sadly, your panicked leaps over multiple stairs at a time put poor Autumn in a frenzy until you convinced her that nothing was wrong and Master was fine. Even she looked a little grossed out when you told her what Master said to get you out of the room, but she also took the time to comfort you as only Autumn could. A nest made of every blanket and pillow in the living room all in a pile on the floor, some fruit pilfered from the fridge, and some very, very interesting applications of them once you'd moved past cuddling. Even though you're infected with Lard-o, Autumn still thinks you're sexy, and for now that's enough.
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