For the Unity of Us All

Twilight's latest creation was meant to allow them a glimpse of civilizations not of their world. What they hear however, is more saddening, beautiful, and inspiring than they could have imagined.
Ponies picking up human transmission story for fun. Hope you enjoy.
http://www.fimfiction.net/story/261809/to-those-who-can-hear-me

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2. [1000 Up-Vote Bonus] After Party Talk

Author's Note:

Don't be afraid to point out any errors you find. This hasn't been gone over by a proof-reader.

This is a thank-you to all those who up-voted the original one-shot and I hope that those people like it. I tried to cover some points of discussion that had been left out of the initial chapter in the most natural way I could manage, which is a lot tougher than it sounds. You'll probably find that not every avenue of discussion is touched upon by the ponies here, which I hope isn't too much a problem. Like I said, I was trying to make the dialogue feel real, and was already feeling some topics were being shoehorned in as it was.

Well, enough of that, Enjoy the reading. *Places needle on record; Moves Like Jagger starts playing* Wha-? That's not right! It was suppose to be smooth jazz! Who's been touching my records!

     After hours of fun, the party was slowly winding down for the group of friends and family, and Pinkie was quite pleased with the results. It may not have been the biggest party the pink mare had thrown, but the content smiles all around was what counted. The knowledge that she had once again helped her friends feel happy, especially after the emotionally heavy event of earlier filled Pinkie’s heart with joy.

     The small get-together was perfect for a recently ascended princess still trying to get used to the sudden change in her social life. Her time spent in Canterlot had been of voluntary solitude, and even after finding the magic of friendship, that lifestyle was not one that could be shaken completely. The life of a small town librarian had been the perfect transition from recluse to social scholar.

     The transition to royalty however, had not been as smooth, and Twilight still found herself struggling with the change. Saving the world was one thing, but settling lawn gnome disputes in accordance to property lines was on a whole other level of stressful. Having the welcoming smiles of her fellow Ponyville ponies become bows of respect was none too comfortable for the alicorn either and she was beginning to understand why Celestia had constantly reminded her that there was no need for formalities between them when she was still her student.

     For the rest of the royalty, as well as Applejack and Rarity, the party had been an excellent reprieve from work and duties. Celestia and Luna were always glad to get away from the whining of nobles as their attending of Matilda and Cranky’s wedding attested, and they were doubly glad that they could spend time with their shared friends and each other in an informal setting. As for Cadance, she lacked a sister to share her duties with and Shining, bless his loving heart, was still a soldier and couldn’t offer much more than moral support in the arduous task of catching a millennium-long lost kingdom up with modern society.

     Rainbow Dash was unceremoniously sprawled across the floor with a distended stomach and a worried Fluttershy hovering over her. “Oooh, you’re as bad as Pinkie. How can anypony eat that much cake?”

     Gracefully popping the final bite of her thirteenth slice of triple chocolate cake into her, Celestia levitated a napkin to dab at her lips before responding, “With many, many years of practice, my little pony.” Opening her eyes to look down at the pegasus as she tried to stagger to her hooves, she asked, “I take it I’m the victor then?”

     “Yeah, whatever, you win. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to eat cake again.”

     “Don’t say that, Dashie!” Pinkie gasped, rushing over to grab her blue-green faced friend. “I’ve been where you are now, and believe me, no matter how sick you feel, you’ll get through this and be ready for more dessert in no time!”

     “P-p-p-pinkie! Stop shaking me! I’m gonna hurl!” Dash pleaded as she pulled away to fall on her rump.

     Ignoring Rainbow as her cheeks bulged, Pinkie turned to the other pegasus. “Fluttershy! You’re a doctor, do something to help Dashie feel better!”

     “W-what? I’m not a doctor, I just take care of the-”

     “Less talky, more docty!” exclaimed the party pony as she shoved Fluttershy towards Dash, who barely avoided being bowled over when she caught her.

     “Oh, um, okay then,” the yellow pegasus mumbled as her eyes darted about in search of an idea. With a shrug, she pulled her friend closer, rested Dash’s head over one shoulder and started to pat her on the back.

     Red now added to her multihued cheeks, Dash feebly tried to pull away. “Augh, I’m not a foal with gas, Fluttershy. I have to hur- Belch!

     The room fell silent as all eyes turned to the furiously blushing Rainbow Dash. It was Applejack who laughed first, a snort followed by uncontrolled guffaws that nearly had the farm mare falling out of her throne.

     “Oh Celestia just strike me down now,” Dash mumbled as she slid to the ground and covered her face. For her part, Fluttershy gave a sheepish smile and, after another pat upon her friend’s back, returned to her seat with Luna to hide behind the billowing nebula of the princess’s mane.

     Luna rolled her eyes and commented with a smirk, “I told you ‘twas foolhardy to challenge Sister to a cake-eating competition. There’s not a pony alive who can match her gluttonous appetite for the dessert.” Without even looking to the pink mare who had just opened her mouth, Luna added, “Not even Miss Pie.”

     “Are you throwing my cake consuming capabilities into question?” questioned a very serious party pony before she zipped over to the solar alicorn, throwing a hoof over her shoulder. “You better be careful before your mouth writes a check that your sister’s tummy can’t cash!” Turning to look at Celestia who in turn stared back with a raised brow and humoring smile, Pinkie issued her challenge. “Come on, Princess, let’s settle this right now, stomach versus stomach!”

     Chuckling, Celestia pulled the pink foreleg from around her neck and said, “I would, Pinkie, but I’m afraid the challenge between Rainbow Dash and I have left the party’s supply of cake quite depleted.”

     “Yeah, thanks for that,” Spike grumbled. “Guess there’s not going to be any cake for breakfast tomorrow.”

     “Oh shoot,” exclaimed the party pony once she set eyes on the dessert-bare table and mysteriously snapped her hoof. “And I don’t have nearly enough baking emergency ingredients hidden away to make enough cake, either… Maybe if I can find Discord, he can make us some…”

     “No!” Twilight shouted before reining in her outburst. “I mean, the party is just settling down. I’m sure Discord wouldn’t appreciate being invited to the tail end of it just in time to help cleaning.” Mumbling, the smallest princess added. “If he does show up, the mess would only be made bigger, anyway.”

     “Apologies, Pinkie, but I’m in agreement with Twilight. It is starting to get late and my sister and I will have to be leaving soon to manage our celestial duties and to ensure that the nobles haven’t made too much of a mess while they’ve been in charge,” Celestia explained to the downtrodden mare next to her.

     “Yes, no doubt a few laws will have to be revoked upon our return,” Luna agreed with a nod. “Blueblood does well enough in managing royal business, but he has a weakness for self-indulgence. Remember when he tried to change the zoning laws so he could expand his mansion into his neighbor’s yard? I don’t think I’ve ever seen Fancy Pants so furious.”

     Celestia chuckled at the memory. “Yes, Blueblood can be more than a bit selfish at times, but his heart is in the right place… usually.”

     “That snotty prince?” Rainbow inquired as she pulled her hooves from her face. “The way Rarity talked about him after the Gala, you’d think the guy was the biggest jerk in Equestria.” The pegasus snorted with humor. “It was pretty funny seeing Rarity covered in cake though, right Rares?”

     The unicorn in question looked up and blinked rapidly. “I’m sorry, what was that, dear? My mind was wondering.”

     “Are you okay, Rarity?” asked Twilight. “You’ve been quiet for the last ten minutes. Do you have a lot of orders to fill or something?”

     “Oh, I’m terribly sorry, Twilight. How rude of me to be ignoring the guest of honor on her birthday,” Rarity responded. “I’ve just been ruminating on something which has taken over my thoughts.”

     “Somethin’ kept Rarity from tearin’ Blueblood a new one?” Applejack wondered. “Hoo-boy, them must be some world endin’ thought’s bouncing around in that gussied up head of yours.”

     “Augh, Blueblood,” the unicorn groaned. “I almost wish I’d have remained distracted.” With a shake of her head, Rarity gave a meek smile. “As for my thoughts, it’s really nothing, dear. I don’t want to ruin the night by souring the conversation.”

     “Don’t be like that, Rarity. If something is on your mind, tell us. It doesn’t matter the time or occasion when it comes to friends being open with each other,” responded twilight. “Besides, like, eighty percent of our problems before I became a princess were from us not communicating properly with each other. Remember when Fluttershy became a model?”

     Both Rarity and the yellow pegasus flushed at this. “Yes, I see your point,” mumbled Rarity before clearing her throat. “While I can’t see how this would be the cause of any trouble, I’ll accede your wish since you are the birthday girl… I was thinking about the transmission from earlier. Some of what was spoken about had me quite shaken, as is true for all of us, no doubt.”

    The room became deathly silent. “Oh why did you have to bring that depressing stuff up?” Rainbow practically whined, causing a blush to once again invade Rarity’s face.

     “I told you I didn’t want to talk about,” The unicorn defended. “Why don’t we forget I said anything and return to enjoying the last of the party?”

     “I’m afraid I have to agree with Twilight on this one,” Celestia cut in. “While the party did well to distract us from it, I have no doubt the speech we heard will be weighing heavily on everybody’s mind tonight. It’s best if we talk this out now rather than suffer through a restless night, don’t you all agree?”

     “I reckon that’s right, Princess. I wasn’t gonna say anything, but I’m still a bit shaken up by all this,” agreed Applejack.

      “Well, parties are supposed to be for happy thoughts, but helping friends is more important,” Pinkie assented.

     Similar words were spoken around the room until Rainbow was the only one left with a sour look still on her face. Flapping her wings harder than usual to lift her cake filled body off the ground, the cyan pegasus crossed her hooves and looked away. “I guess you’re all right… Thanks, Rarity, for bringing it up.” A small smile graced the mentioned mare’s lips and she nodded her head in gratitude.

     Twilight spoke up. “So, was there anything specific from the speech that’s bothering you?”

     “Well, it was all quite shocking,” Rarity began, bringing her forehooves towards her chest in an uncharacteristic show of self-consciousness, “But yes, there were some parts that impacted me more than others… The greed to be precise.”

    There were sounds of understandings from the eldest princesses and a few others while Applejack quirked an eyebrow. “I reckon it would make sense that would bother ya, what with being the Element of Generosity and all, but it’s not like we haven’t seen greed before. As a business mare, I’m sure you’ve had more than a few experiences with it yourself.”

     “Yes, that is true, but we’re not talking about cut-throat business tactics meant to line ones pockets with a few extra bits, what was mentioned here was far more…” A shiver ran up the dressmaker’s back. “Sinister. This was on an entirely different level of despicable then anything even the likes of the Flim Flam brothers could cook up, and it was disgusting.

     “What that brave, man, I believe was speaking of- speaking against, was imprisonment of the innocence for the sole purpose of gaining power.” A grimace came over the mare’s pretty features. “What sort of power they believe that is, I’ll never understand.”

     “I get where you’re coming from,” Rainbow spoke. “But still, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen something like that. You all remember Sombra, yeah?”

     The mood darkened considerably and the Princess of Love lowered her head. “Yes,” Cadance all but whispered before looking up again. “It’s true that the Mad King ruled the Crystal Empire with an iron hoof and dark magic; going so far as to force what were meant to be his subjects to mine crystals for his collection.” She leaned into her husband and continued. “Even to this day, Sombra’s motives are unclear to even the eldest of crystal ponies who bore witness to his rise and rein in its entirety. He seemed to have wanted power for power’s sake, and the crystals were his obsession.”

     “Such souls will always exist, sadly, but even I admit the conditions of the alien world are frightening to imagine.” Celestia began then, taking the conversation from her fellow ruler as the pink alicorn had been growing noticeably shaken with rage and sadness. “Sombra was powerful, yes, and had more than enough ambition to fuel his conquest of the Crystal Empire, but not even he would have succeeded as far as these alien tyrants apparently have.”

     “What do you mean, Princess?” Twilight asked.

     “Have you ever wondered, Twilight, why Sombra ruled only one small province if he wielded such power?” Luna cut in.

      Twilight pondered this for a second. “Well, I imagine it’s because you and Princess Celestia stopped him before he could spread his influence any further.”

     This earned a chuckle from the Moon Princess. “While I’m flattered you’d think our intervention alone was the sole barrier protecting the rest of Equestria, the truth is Sombra would not have been able to take over much of anything even had we left him be.”

     Disbelief was clear on many faces save one. “It was his lack of loyal soldiers, right?” Shining Armor asked. “Sombra had plenty of slaves, but no soldiers willing to fight for him. Even if he had managed to take over another kingdom, he wouldn't have had any way to keep it occupied without leaving the Crystal Empire liberated.”

     “Very good, I’m glad to see you’ve not let the life of royalty dull your sense of tactics, Captain,” Celestia complemented.

     “Just because he’s my prince doesn’t mean he’s still not a soldier,” commented Cadance, the pride in her voice covered with mock annoyance. “Believe me, I’ve tried to get him to lay down the shield, but he still spends the bulk of his days planning out the guard patrols or drilling our soldiers until they can barely walk.” A seductive smile came to the pink alicorn’s face as she wiggled her rump against her husband’s and added, “I’m quite envious of them in fact; he’s often too tired by the time he returns to our chambers to provide me the same treatment.”

     A luminous blush came to the stallion’s face when Rainbow burst into uncontrolled laughter. While Applejack and Fluttershy hid behind their hat and mane respectively, Twilight was glowing red herself and dry heaving. “O-okay! I get it- about Sombra I mean! So he didn’t have an army, but if he was powerful enough to take the Crystal Empire, surely he would have still threatened the rest of Equestria in some way, correct?” The youngest princess asked, though her tone was more pleading than inquisitive.

     Without missing a beat, Celestia answered. “Perhaps, but his powers were not nearly as substantial as they would seem. In the Crystal Empire, he was king because of the nature of his magic and its symbiosis with the Empire itself. His specialty was a unique form of geomancy amplified through dark magic, thus making a city such as the one in the far North, which was entirely built of magical crystal, the perfect stomping grounds for him. Add his mastery crystallomancy which allowed him to send his consciousness through the very architecture, and it becomes no small surprise that he was able to take hold of the empire the way that he did, just as it is no surprise that he could not replicate his success anywhere else.”

     Turning to Rarity, the solar princess gave a sad smile. “Though, I believe we’ve gotten quite off topic, haven’t we, Lady Rarity. I’m afraid that there is little in the way to comfort you about what we heard other than saying that, from the sounds of it, those greed-fueled beings aren’t unopposed in their schemes and that they may fall just as Sombra has.”

     “Yeah, I don’t know what kind of lies have kept them in service to such dishonorable leaders, but hopefully that speech opened their eyes.” Shining chimed. “Any soldier worthy of the title knows that they fight for their people, not against them.”

     A wane smile came to Rarity’s face. “I suppose you’re right, I’m sure I’ve let my worries get out of control.” She laughed breathily. “Really, I shouldn’t be here worrying about such things anyway. It doesn’t help anypony when I’m on an entirely different planet.”

     “That’s not true,” Fluttershy said, bringing her head into view, a steely look in her eye. “Just because we can’t help them doesn’t mean they don’t deserve our sympathy.” With all attention on her, Flutter’s confidence wavered. “…Right?”

     It was Luna who answered. “Indeed, Fluttershy. To not feel for these aliens, to lose our empathy would be the first sign of calloused hearts.” Looking at the pony’s and even dragon in the room, Luna continued. “Callousness is in direct opposition to Equestria’s very way of life, and for anypony here to feel as such would be an ill omen indeed. I know some of you may feel to the contrary; be humble and feel that you are nothing special, but gathered here are Equestria’s leaders and guardians. For us to let our compassion die would signal only the end of the morals our kingdom was built upon.”

     “…Wow, that was heavy,” Dash stated. “And totally nothing to worry about. We’re all way too awesome to be callous or whatever.” The utter seriousness of the rainbow-maned pony earned chuckles from the others.

     “Indeed, Rainbow Dash,” Celestia agreed. “There are no ponies, or dragons, I’d trust the integrity of Equestrian values to more than those in this room with me now.”

      “Aw shucks, I hate to argue with Princess Luna, but Ah really am nothin’ special, just one of the best darn apple farmers in Equestria is all,” Applejack said with a wave of her hoof. The limb stopped midair and began rubbing her chin. “Actually, I hope you don’t mind me changing the subject like this, but there was somethin’ other than all the nasty stuff that the speaker fella talked about that has me a might curios. Is anypony else wonderin’ about them machines he mentioned? The ones that give abundance? Sounds to me like some fancy farmin’ equipment or some such thing.”

     “Maybe like the Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 9000®!” Pinkie suggested. “Boy did those Flim Flam Brothers know how to name stuff or what!? You know, if they hadn’t been meanies that tried to trick the Apples into losing their farm, I would have asked them to help me market my ChimmiCherryChanga™ and made enough bits to fund a never ending party!”

     “… Riiight,” Twilight began, slowly turning her gaze from Pinkie to her orange friend. “That very well could be what they were talking about. Actually, from the sound of things, these aliens are tool users, much like the gryphons who I based my radio off of or the minotaurs.”

     “But surely they must have some form of magic, yes?” Cadance asked. “Technology is useful to be sure, but how could machines help grow food in quantities large enough to feed an entire planet? I mean, I can’t imagine where Equestria would be without earth pony magic to rely on.”

     “I reckon she has a point,” agreed Applejack. “My cousin Windfall Apple and his young’uns are all pegasi and they have a fair bit of trouble growin’ their own crops. Sure, being able to control their own weather is nifty and they’re always ready to help out when a kin’s farm gets a drought, but at the end of every winter some of us earth pony Apples have to pay them a visit and help them get the soil ready for growin’.”

     Twilight appeared deep in thought. “Hmm, while it is true that, on average, farms run by non-earth ponies have a thirty percent lower yield than those that are, I know there's work being done to lessen this margin, both within and without Equestria.” Pointing at Applejack, she added, “Why, that farming magazine you asked the library to get a subscription to had an article about work with soil treatments being done by the minotaurs that has been showing promising results.”

     Applejack’s reddened. “I guess you got me there, I remember readin’ ‘bout that now that you mention. Guess it didn’t stick too well as account of it not affecting my family much. Though I guess I should be payin’ more attention to farms outside of Equestria, if anythin’, it’s competition in the market.”

     “Well that’s an… interesting way of looking at it,” Rarity said. “While it’s true that, in the cut-throat world of fashion, foreign designers are my competitors as much as those within the kingdom, they warrant my attention for more than just that. Why, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been inspired by Saddle Arabian fashion.” The unicorn put a hoof to her head and swooned. “Their incorporation of bits and bridles alone in designs meant for, well, non-bedroom activity is just fascinating.”

     “Still not gonna be caught wearing that ‘evening’ gown you think will be all the rage,” Rainbow mumbled under her breath. “I’m awesome, not a pervert.”

     “Lady Rarity has a very good point,” Luna stated. “Why, I imagine if you could combine these treatments the minotaur have been working on with earth pony magic, it would create an agricultural force never before witnessed.”

      “I’ll actually have to look into that. I’ve been hoping to find a way for the Crystal Empire to grow more of its own food to reduce the need for imports. Maybe magic alone isn’t the answer and the non-pony races will hold the key to solving the conundrum of developing agriculture in a frozen tundra.” Cadance added.

     “Well shoot, I guess I cracked my own hoof there,” Applejack said, face heated again and baring a frown. “That came out wrong, I don’t got nothing against those other races. If anything’ I’m proud to count them as farmers; it’s real clever how their workin’ around limitations ta fill more bellies… Actually makes me wonder exactly how them jerks on the other planet are starvin’ folk if’n they got ways to provide for everpony.”

     “I’d imagine the same way it happens here,” said Celestia as she looked down into a glass of punch. “It’s the same for our world; there’s more than enough land and resources to go around and have everyone live comfortable lives, but the greedy, and even some aspects of culture in general have created all sorts of restrictions. From buying up land and keeping it from being worked or being simply being wasteful, I admit not even the living standards in Equestria are where I wish they were.”

     “But Equestria has the lowest poverty rate of any country on Equis,” Twilight protested.

     The solar alicorn smiled sadly. “Perhaps, though that's still not as good as it could be. Even after a thousand years, there are ponies living impoverished lives, and that’s not addressing all those outside of Equestria who struggle merely to stay alive.” A cool presence brushed against Celestia’s aura and she looked up to see her sister staring at her with sympathy as well as many downcast eyes.

     “T’was a battle being fought alone, Sister,” Luna all but whispered before looking around. “A millennium may not have seen the results you wished for, but now you have three more princesses to aid you as well as five of the greatest mares to grace our kingdom since its formation.” The blue alicorn chuckled. “Why, you even have a young drake who I’m sure will be quite useful.”

      Spike’s eyes widened at this before he grinned and his chest swelled in pride. “Yeah, Princess Celestia, you can count on us to fix things!” Tapping a claw against the table, he added, “Hey, Maybe even the mystery map here will be able to help once Twilight figures out how it works.”

     “Still haven’t made any progress on that front,” Twilight mumbled with a half-hearted glare at the holo-map. The thing was like one big black box after another with every sign of progress merely revealing how much more there was to understand. Blinking rapidly, the young alicorn looked up. “But I agree with Spike and Luna one-hundred percent on this. If we all work together, there’s no doubt that we can make the world a better place.”

      There were nods and words of agreement from all around the table, and Celestia’s once-sad smile became genuinely joyous. “Thank you, all of you for your words,” said the solar alicorn before a short burst of laughter escaped her lips. “Here I am telling you all how important it is to be open and honest with each other while I myself am still in the habit of keeping my thoughts hidden away. It’s been a difficult transition to make; ruling alone for a thousand years then to suddenly gain so many to share the burden with.” Her warm aura sought out Luna’s for comfort. “Sometimes it’s so surreal to not only have my sister back, but two other alicorns- other friends as well.”

     With a slight shake of her head, Celestia asked, “Is there anymore any of you wish to discuss before the night is out? We seem to have gotten somewhat off topic.”

     The first response was that of a yawn as Rainbow Dash stretched out her wings. “Actually, it’s not that I don’t want to keep talking, I mean, there’s still a lot of stuff from Twilight’s fancy radio that were confusing, but I’m getting pretty tired and I do have work in the morning prepping a big storm. Maybe we can take a rain check?”

      Fluttershy nodded. “I have to leave soon, as well. The animals need their before-bed snacks and Angel can’t get a wink of sleep if I don’t tuck him in and give him a goodnight kiss.” Her eyes went wide. “Oh, please don’t tell him I told you about that. He would be really embarrassed.”

     “Your secret is safe with us, Flutters!” Pinkie chimed as she motioned zipping her lips. “And I gotta go soon too. I like to be there in case the twins wake up in the middle of the night so Mr. and Mrs. Cake don’t have to get up to put them back to sleep. I have lots more energy than them after all, and they need all the sleep they can get to run the store.”

     Another, louder yawn followed Pinkie’s ramble as Twilight rubbed at her eyes. “Sorry, Princess, but I didn’t get much sleep last night on account of working on the radio, and after that party, I’m about ready to pass out.”

     “You know us farmers, early to bed, early to rise.”

      “I myself have a dress commission due tomorrow and I still have to finish the gem placement.”

     “Our train back to the Empire leaves early in the morning, and I have papers that need reading on the train ride back, so I need to get my rest in tonight,” Cadance explained with a sigh. “Being a pony princess isn’t nearly as fun as I thought it would be when I was a little filly… but it is quite satisfying.”

     “Yeah, it’s been fun but those cadets aren’t going to drill themselves, and I have a policy to only make them do what I can handle by training right beside them. Definitely need a good night’s sleep for that,” said Shining.

     “It looks like it’s time to head back to Canterlot then,” Luna spoke as she stood and stretched her legs. “Ponies will start falling asleep soon, and I’d like to get some nightmare patrol in while the night is still young.” Walking over to her sister and dodging the other ponies as they too straightened out cramped legs, she nudged the white alicorn with a wing. “Besides, it’s time for you to turn in as well while I take up the reins. All that cake needs to migrate to your flanks, after all.” The lunar alicorn stumbled from the hit of a large, white wing and chuckled.

     Celestia gave a mock glare. “You’re just envious of my mareish figure. Don’t worry Luna, I’m sure you’ll fill out someday and stop looking like a colt.”

     Gasping, Luna returned the glare. “Nice try, tubby. You’re the one who’s envious of my svelte, sexy form.”

     “Oh yeah?”

     “Yeah!”

     “I do believe I hear a challenge.”

     “Your ears do not deceive, Sister.”

     “Shall I assemble the guards as judges?”

     Luna rolled her eyes. “Your day guard is larger than my night. The vote would be biased.”

     “An issue to Equestria Daily and all newspapers then. We shall let the ponies of Equestria decide who the most beautiful princess is.”

     “Well that’s Cadance, obviously,” Shining chimed, earning twin daggers from the eldest alicorns and a bashful punch from his wife.

     “What about Twilight, she’s a princess too, and she’s absolutely adorkable!” Pinkie shouted, indignant on behalf of her excluded friend. “I’ve seen a bunch of stallions and even some mares eyeing her when we’re out on adventures!”

     The alicorn in question blushed, gaping like a fish. “Okay! It’s getting late! Goodnight everypony! We’ll discuss this again never! Bye!” she finally managed as she magically began pushing ponies towards the door, which was quite the feat considering there were nine of them spread throughout the room.

     “Alright, alright, we get it,” Celestia chortled. “We’ll talk to you soon, Twilight. After all, your organization skills will be quite useful for setting up this competition.”

     The force increased and all the ponies soon found themselves flat on their flanks with the doors to the castle’s main entrance slamming behind them.

     “…I’m gonna have to remember that next time I want to mess with Egghead. That was the best reaction I’ve seen from her that hasn’t involved a disaster,” noted Dash as she got up.

     “Um, that’s not nice, Rainbow Dash. She seemed really embarrassed. She didn’t even let us help clean up the party,” spoke Fluttershy.

     “You don’t have to worry about that, a true party pony never leaves a party un-tidied,” Pinkie declared as she slipped into a black body suit from who knows where.

     Uh, I don’t think that’ll be necessary, sugarcube,” Applejack said, a tinge of nervousness in her voice as she trotted over to pat the pink mare’s back. “How ‘bout you and I come over in the mornin’ and help her clean up then, eh? No need to go breakin’ into anymore palaces.”

     “Besides, if I know my little sis, she’ll want to do some organizing to steady her nerves before she can get any sleep,” Shining added. “The party will be a great distraction for her. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was already cleaned up by the time you got here.”

     Pinkie’s face scrunched up for a moment before released a puff of air and kicked at the ground. “Fine, I guess you’re right. I’ll go home for now. But I will be here first thing in the morning or my middle name isn’t Party!”

     “Um, I thought your middle name was Diane?” Fluttershy whispered. She was ignored and left confused however as was the norm when hanging around the pink wonder, and the ponies soon dispersed, their minds put at ease by the levity of the situation. No doubt they would all sleep soundly that night.

 

 

      It wasn’t long at all after Celestia sent the signal that their chariot had arrived, pulled by a pair of bat-winged ponies, and the pair of sisters were on their way back to Canterlot. Celestia yawned. “Hmm, that party took more out of me than I thought it would. Perhaps the years are finally catching up to me?”

     “Pfft, that’s highly doubtable; you and I both know we are still in the prime of our youths. It’s probably just lethargy brought on by the over consumption of baked goods,” Luna returned with the roll of her eyes.

    “The other ponies aren’t around, sister, there’s no need to bring up my eating habits,” said Celestia, giving the other alicorn a small shove with her shoulder, earning a confused look that she failed to notice. “I must admit however, that that was quite clever of you. The fake argument and challenge was an excellent way of getting the others to stop thinking such heavy thoughts for the night.”

     She chortled. “And I must say Twilight’s reaction to Pinkie’s exclamation was wonderful. Very adorkable, as Pinkie would put it. I haven’t see Twilight that flustered since she was just a little filly who thought she had wet the bed when it was only spilled tea from studying late. Catching her trying to sneakily drag her bedding down to the laundry room was hilarious. She honestly thought I’d drop her as my student because I couldn’t possibly want a bed-wetter as my pupil.”

     “Okay… Perhaps the years have not been kind to you, after all,” Luna mumbled.

     “Hmm? What was that, sister?”

     “Oh, nothing, I was just commenting on your story. T’was quite entertaining.”

     “Come now, Lulu, you know I can always tell when you’re lying to me.”

     “Apparently not,” Luna said under her breath, though not quiet enough for her sister not to hear.

     “What’s that supposed to mean?” Celestia asked with slowly narrowing eyes.

     The smaller alicorn adjusted in her seat to better meet Celetia’s gaze. “What I mean is that I have no idea what you are talking about, sister. I didn’t fake anything during the party.” A smirk came to her lips. “… Fat Flanks.”

     Gasping loudly, Celestia’s face shot forward until her her nose was touching her sister’s and she practically snarled, “Oh. It. Is. ON!”

 

(Really wanted to go back and put in talk about Democracy versus Mon/diarchy, but oh well)
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