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The Conversion Bureau: Not Just Ponies is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic by Alex Warlorn written to create a version of the The Conversion Bureau universe that avoids the more controversial aspects of both the original and recursive fics.

Equestria has arrived on Earth and a wall of magic is slowly spreading outward, threatening to destroy humanity... and no one on either side can stop it or do anything to hinder it. To save humanity, Equestria and Earth create a potion to turn humans into Equestrian lifeforms capable of surviving the Veil's advance. These are the stories of those converts.

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The verse is divided up into multiple stories, each with a different protagonist as the focus:

  • Conversion Zebra: An excerpt taken from the online blog of Ryan, a trans-species zebra after his visit to the Conversion Bureau. And his own views on the stereotypes, misconceptions, following the reality crash between Earth and Equus, and the release of deadly energy that forced the human race to adapt.
  • Conversion Dragon: A Dragon Walks Into a Bar: No epic wars here. No ponies flaunting their moral high ground, no humans kicking some alien invaders butt. Instead, we just get a couple of people in a bar (one human, and one new transformed convert) having a conversation about how the world is inevitably changing around them. Hey, a bartender is kinda expected to listen to this sort of stuff ya know?
  • Conversion Earth Pony: Not all protagonists are to be admire or imitated. Check out James. He used to be human. Now he's an Earth Pony. He thought he'd either get an easy meal ticket, or he'd cease to exist (he consider both of these a win for him). Turns out he got neither.
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  • Conversion Negotiations: With Equus and Earth-2 (ponies' name for the second universe they've encountered with a planet named Earth) now fused at the hip, Princess Celestia has a rather awkward conversion with her brand new telephone installed in the castle. Why do they think Equestria (and not any of the other countries on Equus) are out to conquer Earth?
  • TCB Equus Round Table Discussion Antics: Equestria isn't the only kingdom on Equus, when worlds collide, all leaders need to be called in to decide how to handle the wild magic spilling into Earth... after all... why should ponies be the only option available? This is gonna be a long night.
  • Conversion Cat: The Conversion Bureau. Sure, converting the biology of the world is a daunting challenging in order to survive... but what about the technology involved? After all, it's hard to dial a phone when you don't have fingers, that's where this guy and his pals come in! Capper's race becomes the latest option available at the Conversion Centers!
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  • Conversion Merpony: So what if the Conversion Bureau offered more than just, Earth, Pegasus, Unicorn? What kind of people would choose what? What if you could go under the sparkling sea? Here is an interview of one New Foal and her life choices.
  • Conversion Changeling: Not all people on Earth are good, and thus not all converts are either. This is a story of a Changeling with a very unique 'line of work' and a family to feed.

There are also stories not done by Alex Warlorn but set in the same verse:

  • Conversion Unicorn by Mtangalion: Frank is the first new foal patrol officer on the force. But being a cop surprisingly doesn't change that much, it's just as paper work filled, headache inducing, and just as dangerous.
  • A Volunteer at the Bureau by Comma Typer: A man named Sam travels to Los Angeles to work at the Bureau, while also wondering what he'll do when the Veil arrives.
  • Conversion Hippogriff by Godzillawolf: Protecting nature from people and people from nature doesn't change just because you're now a bird horse. Meet Soaring Mist, a park ranger who decided to become a hippogriff.
  • Whelp Me by Jack Crowder: Frat boys decide to embrace their inner dragon and discover they should've read the pamphlet a little more closely.
  • Dragons of Pennsylvania by Ardashir: A depressed young man and his New Whelp friend attend a party to celebrate the increasing dragon community. Reckless dragons, angry movie-goers, prankster frat boys, and anti-dragon terrorists combine to make sure it's one memorable night.
  • Conversion Imoogi by Godzillawolf: Meet Jimmy. He's regretting some recent life choices and gotten himself into a bit of trouble...but maybe a chance meeting with a stranger is just what he needs.

A unique factor about this verse is that the conversion potion isn't just for turning into a pony, but most species in Equestria with the exception of Minotaurs (due to in-universe complications).


Tropes:

  • Advancing Wall of Doom: The Veil is this, but in this universe it's a force of nature that the Equestrians have zero control over and can't be stopped despite the best efforts of both sides.
  • Anti-Role Model: James is this. As Word of God has said, he is meant to be pitied, but not admired or imitated.
  • Baleful Polymorph:
    • Subverted for the most part: the transformation is entirely optional and the converts are in full control of what they become with some exceptions. Played Straight with the PER, who being Knight Templar types do forcibly convert people, including people who were going to willingly convert anyway but end up forced into becoming a species they didn't want to be.
    • Played With regarding James. He's not entirely happy with his new existence as a pony, but that was because he bought into the PER and HLF propaganda, and was expecting something that didn't happen. He failed to think out his choice very well.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Tranquil Mountain arrives to save Jimmy's life from a violent street gang.
  • Bring It: Ishmael tries to use his shapeshifting to scare off some bank robbers that broke into their house. Unfortunately for him, one of them is a New Minotaur, who replies with this.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Done literally by some suicidally stupid pranksters in Dragons of Pennsylvania via a faked terrorist attack on a room full of New Whelps and Trueborn dragons. Then, just to top off their stupidity sundae, they hang around to take pictures of them as they go into a fury.
  • Cool Old Guy: Tranquil Mountain is Kung Fu Grand Master...and pop culture enthusiast. He's also now a teenaged Eastern Dragon.
  • Curbstomp Battle: Tranquil Mountain intervenes to protect Jimmy from a violent street gang of New Griffins. Tranquil is a Kung Fu Grandmaster who's conversion gave the body of a teenaged Eastern Dragon. They don't stand a chance.
  • Death of Personality: Subverted. Newfoals, welps, etc. all retain their true personalities and remain themselves, with some slight mental change in regards to instincts to get them accommodated to their new bodies. James actually bought into the PER and HLF propaganda and was hoping this would happen, as he did not like the person he was.
  • Deconstruction: With a twist - it's a deconstruction of both the common types of The Conversion Bureau deconstructions while reconstructing the setting. Namely in this universe, the issue really is a natural disaster no one has any control over, and the common portrayals of the setting are believed to be true by some on both sides; however, those assumptions are wrong and the consequences of people believing they are are explored. As a result, Newfoals get treated with Fantastic Racism by both sides, the PER and HLF are both extremist lunatics who grossly misunderstand the issue and cause more harm than good, and the attempts by some bits of humanity to 'save' the human race amount to trying to kill genuinely good people who are trying to do whatever they can to save another race from something neither side can control. One instance is the PER converting a human... who was going to convert anyway, but into a different creature who is now trapped as a creature they didn't want to be.
  • Die or Fly: Frank is struggling with learning magic, despite decidedly wanting to learn it to be a better cop, until dealing with a dangerous armed criminal and managing to trigger an effective barrier to neutralize the perp to save himself from being shot point blank in the face, earning his Cutie Mark in the process.
  • Did Not Think This Through: Some New Welps really didn't think their choices through very well, not paying attention to how dragon-human age ratios go.
  • Evil vs. Evil:
    • As the ponies and humans are working together in a joint effort to save humanity, both the PER and HLF are extremist lunatics who misunderstand the situation in conflict with another. Even their less extreme aspects like peaceful protestors are in conflict with each other.
    • To a degree, Ishmael and Shirley vs the home invaders in "Conversion Changeling". The former two are con artists and thieves, while the latter are violent bank robbers one of which is an Ax-Crazy, blood thirsty cannibalistic New Minotaur. Ishmael and Shirley are definitely the lesser evil in the situation.
  • Fantastic Racism: Both Ryan and Frank end up running into this from others on both sides in some ways.
    • Also, in Dragons of Pennsylvania, we find some ponies willing to interfere with the flow of New Whelps simply because they distrust Dragon Lord Ember, and don't think she needs a potential 150 million new dragons under her rule.
  • Fix Fic: The entire idea with the verse is to recreate the The Conversion Bureau universe into something avoiding the common controversial factors of both the original and response fics and make a universe more viable for expansion by the fandom.
  • Genki Girl: Canter Crowhop, one of Sam's co-workers, is this, though she can get serious if she needs to.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Apparently, the Minotaur potion. Whatever happened in the trials, it was terrible enough production on it was stopped and Mario's grateful his wife convinced him to become an Abyssinian rather than be one of the trials for it. "Conversion Changeling" implies some clash between Minotaur instincts and humans turned the poor people into cannibalistic, Ax-Crazy berserkers, if the one seen is any indication.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: At the start of Dragons of Pennsylvania we see the New Whelps attending a class in both flying and fire breathing. Or rather, how to not unintentionally do the latter when shocked or startled.
  • I Am A Humanitarian: Implied to have been one of the complications with the Minotaur potion, if Clyde from "Conversion Changeling" is any indication (who's brother promises to find him a 'hobo nobody will miss).
  • I Love Nuclear Power: Princess Celestia has power over this thanks to being the Princess of the Sun (ie, a giant fusion reactor), to the point she can absorb a nuke.
  • Knight Templar: Both the PER and HLF are this as they both completely misunderstand the situation at hand and are ultimately equally as bad as one another.
  • Meaningful Rename:
    • Subverted with the first three protagonists, as none of them do this, and Frank isn't a fan of the idea. Ash, one of the protagonists of Conversion Dragon was already named Ash, ironically.
    • Played straight with Star Blaze, a pegasus Newfoal Frank runs into who was originally named Mr. Blaise.
    • One of Mario's co-workers renamed himself Red after becoming a dragon as well.
    • Conversion Merpony's protagonist also plays this straight, Veronica Altar who renamed herself Pearl Polish.
    • Laura Crowley, Sam's first case at the Bureau, changes her name to Colea. However, she prefers Crowley over her changeling name.
    • Soaring Mists, the protagonist of Conversion Hippogriff, changed his name. He explains this is because his real name is Bob, which he always felt was an extremely generic name, and has the annoying luck to constantly be surrounded by other people named Bob, which gets incredibly confusing.
  • Misanthrope Supreme:
    • The humans siding with the PER are this, following their point of view.
    • Defied with Pearl Polish, who while she's an environmentalist who wanted to help the Earth (and does so), didn't hate humanity, nor think they deserve what's happening. She even wishes that humanity and the ponies had met under much better circumstances, as the two races have learned a great deal from one another as a result.
    • The same as Pearl Polish goes with Soaring Mists, who's a park ranger. While he likes nature, he also points out his job isn't just to protect nature from humans, but the other way around too.
  • Mundane Utility: Pearl Polish points out that having command of the tides with Sea and Merponies made cleaning up the ocean very easy.
  • Nuke 'em: This was attempted as in other TCB fics with two major differences: one, the attempted nuking is by Knight Templar types who deeply misunderstand the situation (as a Reconstruction, the ponies are genuinely benevolent and are completely on humanity's side in the crisis), and two... the Veil is not a physical barrier so the nuke just goes right through it. However, Celestia, having domain over the sun and thus nuclear fusion, is immune to radiation and just absorbs it to prevent damage. 'Conversion Negotiations' follows up on this with her negotiating with a world leader over it.
  • Oh, Crap!: Ishmael has this reaction when he realizes bank robbers just broke into his house. He gets a bigger one when he realizes one of them is a 'New Minotaur,' which due to an incapability between Minotaurs and humans translates to a big, powerful, psychotic cannibal.
  • Pig In A Poke: Ishmael knows the con and makes frequent use of it, with his new Changeling abilities adding a lot of options to pulling it off.
  • Propaganda Piece: In-Universe, James takes part in a HLF propaganda movie. He no longer buys it from personal experience, and neither do some of the other actors, but he needs a paycheck.
  • Psycho Serum: Some incapability between humans and Minotaurs turned the Minotaur potion into one of these, if Clyde's condition is any indication of what it does.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • James was down on his luck before he converted into an Earth Pony, and thought that converting into a pony would be an easy way out. He found out the hard way that converting into a pony doesn't magically make life easier, as he still has trouble paying rent.
    • Someone has to work on reconstructing human technology to be compatible with those who lack fingers and it's not easy. Mario is one of those people who has to do that job.
    • Sam implies it can take converts some getting used to walking on four legs from two.
    • Soaring Mists points out that while he generally likes being a Hippogriff, being covered with fur and feathers means he's a magnet for ticks and bugs, which kinda comes with the territory of being a park ranger. He also notes one of his forms being the size of a horse and the other lacking legs makes enclosed spaces an issue.
  • Reconstruction: Is one intended to present the setting in a world where the ponies are much closer to their show selves (with a Reasonable Authority Figure Celestia who has no intentions of conquest in any form) and the Veil is genuinely a force of existence neither side can do anything about. Ponification is genuinely a last resort to save humanity from the Veil that decidedly does not cause a Death of Personality and the ponies themselves for the most part aren't forcing it on anyone. The HLF and PER are both presented as equally bad extremist groups who are both Wrong Genre Savvy about the situation. The mirror portal to the Equestria Girls verse is also mentioned as a potential solution for humans who wish to return to being human after all is said and done if they so choose, and human technology is being preserved. Humans have full choice in what they become (with some exceptions for safety's sake). The main protagonist of Conversion Zebra, Ryan, is a newfoal zebra trying to adjust to his new life and being fed up with the Fantastic Racism he sometimes gets from both sides who don't truly understand the situation. In Conversion Dragon the main character Ash is an elderly woman who became a dragon, which she's rather happy about, given that being 70 for humans is the equivalent of being a teenager for dragons (though there is a limitation on the number of dragon conversions due to a dragon population boom having obvious drawbacks) so she's young again. The entire story is mainly just her and a still human bartender having a friendly conversation.
  • Slice of Life: Conversion Zebra, Conversion Dragon, Conversion Earth Pony, and Conversion Cat are basically just snippets of four new convert's lives, and it's only Conversion Unicorn that delves into some adventure with police-related drama. Even Conversion Negotiations, starring Princess Celestia, is just her side of a phone conversation with a human diplomat or leader. So far, both Recursive Fanfiction stories have been this as well.
  • Smelly Skunk: Soaring Mist notes that as a park ranger, he has to deal with these a lot, either getting sprayed himself or having to deal with someone who was. Which is one of the drawbacks of his new form: his sense of smell is much better, so the smell is much worse.
  • Super Cop: Frank wants to be this after becoming a unicorn, but at the moment is a downplayed example. He's got telekinesis and a very useful tracking spell, but is still trying to learn more advanced spells. He manages a pretty effective barrier spell in a confrontation with a dangerous criminal capable of negating bullets and confining his attacker.
  • Super Strength: In Dragons of Pennsylvania it's pointed out that nearly all Equestrian species are much stronger and tougher than their Terran counterparts, with denser flesh.
  • Super Toughness: Dragons, especially, have this. Their scales can turn bullets and, as in canon, they can survive heat that would incinerate a human. None of which protects against a face full of bear mace.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The frat boys in Dragons of Pennsylvania qualify, especially when they decide to fake a terrorist bombing on a room full of angry dragons and hang around to take pictures.
  • Underwater City: Conversion Merpony reveals that merponies are building such cities, complete with human technology adapted to work in the ocean. One of Pearl Polish's friends suggests they try to become an independent country, but it's not clear if it'd work.
  • Villain Protagonist: Ishmael is a conman and thief and proud of it, as is his wife Shirley.
  • Violin Scam: Ishmael cites this as one of his many cons he does, with his shapeshifting making it much much easier.
  • Widget Series: Discord tells Celestia to relay a message to the Prime Minister of Japan that he loves their 'entire popular culture', for this reason.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Defines the PER and HLF. The PER believe they're in a straight Conversion Bureau story, the HLF thinks they're in a general anti-Conversion Bureau deconstruction where the ponies are the fantasy Borg who created the Veil in the first place and paint smilies on the souls of Newfoals. The story is in fact a more even-handed take on the story that tries to solve the Unfortunate Implications present in the original genre (i.e. the Veil is the equivalent of a natural disaster and it's not actually erasing human culture, non-pony Equestrians are taken into account, and the ponies are genuinely trying to help humanity and don't think they're the Master Race, so there's no 'pro-harmony' brainwashing or Death of Personality involved) instead of taking them to their logical conclusion and showing how horrific they are (the Veil is a tool of a perfect genocide, ponies see themselves as superior to humans but don't take into account the other canon non-ponies, and brainwash Newfoals so they fall in line easier).
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