Chapter Nine: “Judgment Day”
The next day Twilight once again came running to Sweet Apple Acres with news, “Applejack, Celestia wants to see you, her and Luna have made their decision.”
“Well what is it,” Applejack asked instantly curious.
Twilight levitated out another letter and Apple Jack telepathically grabbed it and began to read.
After much deliberation my sister and I have come to a concordance. However, we both feel it more appropriate to deliver our judgment in person. As usual we are quite busy or else we would have come to you, but under the circumstances we believe the fastest and cleanest way to resolve things is for you to come here to Canterlot. We are terribly sorry for any inconvenience, but we have already made the arrangements, the train will take you to Canterlot with no need of payment, it shall depart at noon, please make haste.
Applejack looked nervous as she finished reading the letter, “that seem a tad odd to you Twi?”
Twilight nodded in agreement, “yes the princess doesn't really sound much like herself at all, the whole thing sounded rushed and stiff.”
“Oh shoot,” Applejack said, as she looked up to where the sun was in the sky, “it's almost noon, we gotta go!”
Twilight hastily walked up to Applejack and promptly teleported them to the train station.
The conductor saw them and waved them over, “your just in time, we're about to leave, get on hurry, the princess has already told me you were coming.”
Applejack got on board and Twilight was about to follow when the conductor moved in the way, “hold on there missy, the princess only told me about one passenger, who are you?”
Twilight took a few steps back looking shocked, “the princess didn't arrange for me to go with AJ?”
“No sir, and I ain't got time to argue with you, you either pay up or you ain't riding.”
Twilight looked at Applejack, “AJ I didn't think I would need any money, please tell me you have some.”
Applejack looking desperate turned to the conductor, “please sir shes mah friend, you gotta let her come.”
Just then the train began to move, and the conductor hopped on the now moving train, “sorry too late.”
Applejack looked back at Twilight with sad eyes, and Twilight her. They both waived and Twilight yelled, “don't worry Applejack, I'll catch the next train!”
Applejack stared out the back window until she couldn't see Twilight anymore, then settled down in the nearest seat. She sat there for a while thinking about not having one of her closest friends there with her, and then about what the princesses had decided. After a short while she became aware of the other passengers. More precisely she became aware of how aware they were of her. Most of the passengers had noticed the alicorn on board and were either staring or whispering amongst themselves and occasionally glancing her way. This was the first time Applejack had left Ponyville since her wings had grown in, and the first time she had been without her friends since her horn had started to come in. She now sat over a foot taller than any stallion, well taller than any normal mare, her horn was of considerable length, and her wings were gigantic.
She became painfully aware that she was a bit of a freak. No one but the princesses, her closest friends, and the doctor that diagnosed her, knew what was happening, to everyone else she was an oddity. She shrank slightly in her seat, feeling embarrassed.
The rest of the ride passed painfully slow for Applejack as the whispering and staring continued. Once the train reached Canterlot she all but bolted from it, desperate to get away from the prying eyes.
As before, Celestia was there waiting for her, “I'm glad to see you made the train Applejack, I was afraid that you might not, considering what little notice I could give, I do apologize.”
Applejack not fully able to hide her annoyance couldn’t help but ask, “why couldn't Twilight come,” she paused then added, “you majesty.”
Celestia stared for a moment then blinked, “Oh my, did I forget to inform them to let Twilight come with you, my deepest apologies, it slipped my mind, I have been so focused on you in the past few days I completely forgot to...,” she trailed off and got a blank stare on her face. After a moment she snapped back, “it doesn't matter now, this way please.” Celestia began to walk towards the castle, and without having a chance to say anything, Applejack followed.
Once inside the main throne room Celestia turned to face Applejack, “please wait here while I go fetch Luna, we want to talk to you together.”
Uneasily Applejack nodded. Celestia went through the door and Applejack sat and waited in silence. Several minutes later both Celestia and Luna came through the door and slowly walked up to the throne, Celestia sat down in it, while Luna sat on her right side. Luna looked very tired, it was still the middle of the day, and Celestia had woke her to come.
They sat, and both princesses stared at Applejack, as Applejack stared back. Applejack didn't dare speak, and the princesses both seemed for the longest as if they would not either. After nearly an entire minute Luna broke the silence, “Applejack, how hath thou been,” she said in what was obviously a failed attempt to break the tension.
Applejack, caught off guard by the friendly question, stood there dumbly for a moment before managing to say, “I been... uh... well I s'pose.”
The entire room was tense, and no one wanted to speak, but Celestia took the burden on herself next, “Well Applejack, as you know we have reached a decision,” she paused to see how Applejack would react, but all Applejack did was continue to stare apprehensively, so Celestia continued. “We weren't sure whether or not you could handle life as normal, we considered for a while letting you stay and live your life normally until what time you saw fit to leave, however, the recent Rainboom proved that you were already powerful enough to do significant damage if left unchecked, accidental or intentional. Because of that, we decided that you would be best off staying here in Canterlot with us, where you could be guided on your magic, and better learn to control your new found powers.”
Applejack simply hung her head, she had been prepared for this, she knew there was a good possibility that this would be their decision, but she had already thought of the problems with this as well, “what bout mah family, ah do half the work round Sweet Apple Acres, they need me.”
Luna feeling more confident with the largest part of the news out of the way chimed in, “yes Applejack we thought of that, that is what made this decision so hard, we thought long and hard about that and came to two possible conclusions, you could bring them here to live in Canterlot with you, and we would pay for everything and keep them comfortable, or you may decide to allow them to stay at their home and we will send them the money they need to live, the decision is yours.”
Applejack stood there thinking about it for a moment, “no, the decision isn't mine to make, its mah families, they need to make the choice for themselves, ah couldn't make a decision like that for em, it just wouldn't be right.”
Celestia nodded her head, “we understand completely, we shall depart momentarily and discuss the matter with your family.”
Applejack looked up, “and what about my friends, can they come?”
Both Luna and Celestia nodded, Luna spoke, “of course Applejack, any friends of our sisters is welcome.”
Celestia gave a look to Luna, and Luna looked embarrassed, Celestia sighed and drooped her head, “well I suppose that you would need to be told eventually.”
Applejack looked back and forth between the two princesses, “whada ya mean?”
Celestia looked at Luna, “well go on Luna, it was your idea.”
Luna smiled broadly and looked at Applejack, “before we welcomed you as a friend into the eternity, after much thought and persuasion,” Luna looked at Celestia who looked away slightly irritated, “we have decided to welcome you as a sister, henceforth you will be our little sister, princess Applejack!”
Applejack was shocked, “princess,” she muttered and looked down.
Luna looked a little worried and rushed to explain, “don't worry, you need not have any duties, it is merely something we do for the subjects, they will question, and over time it will be easier for them to accept you as our sister, much as they have Cadence as Celestia's niece.”
“So that's where that came from,” Applejack questioned turning to Celestia.
Celestia, still head low murmured, “I didn't know what to do, so I just told the first thing that came to mind, everyone bought it, but people still ask questions.”
Luna smiled a little, “you take things far too seriously sister, it will all boil over after a few hundred years when everyone has forgotten her. This,” she said motioning her head towards Applejack, “will not go away anytime soon, so we need an adequate story, and this time one that doesn't raise several questions,” Luna finished smiling devilishly at Celestia.
Celestia finally looked up, “enough of this, let us go and sort the matter at hand, the Apple family deserves to be informed of the situation as soon as possible.”
Luna, remembering the issues at hand, nodded and stepped between them, “right then let us depart,” she said as she teleported them to Sweet Apple Acres.
Once there Applejack looked around for a moment, “how'd you do that, I thought teleporting that far would be impossible.”
Celestia looked amused, “maybe for a Unicorn, but for us distance is of little concern.”
Luna nodded in agreement, “indeed, we once even wondered if we could perhaps escape from the moon by such means, but had to wait a thousand years when the moon was at its closest.”
Applejack looked amazed, and began to think she needed to learn how to teleport herself. After that she went to discuss things with her family. She explained the situation, to them, Big Macintosh was ready to go with her until Granny Smith said that she would never leave the farm. Apple Bloom wanted to go when she first heard about it, but then realized she wouldn't be able to see her friends anymore. After that Applejack was sure none of them would be happy with her in Canterlot, and promised to visit whenever possible. Applejack then went to each of her friends to explain to them what was happening, and ask them if they wanted to go. Pinkie Pie saw it as an opportunity to meet new people and make more friends, so she was more than willing to go. Twilight being from Canterlot decided that it was a fantastic idea, and started packing. Fluttershy said she couldn't possibly leave all of her animals and apologized to Applejack for not being able to go. Rainbow Dash sounded ready to go until Applejack let slip that Fluttershy wasn't going, at which point she decided she better stay for her sake. Finally Applejack asked Rarity who was instantly delighted to go, but then thought about her sister. Rarity asked if it would be alright if her sister could come as well, Applejack went and asked Celestia who said it would be alright. When Applebloom found out that Sweetie Bell was going she decided she would rather go. Scootaloo heard that both her best friends were going and asked if she could come to. In the mean time Rainbow Dash had been talking to everyone else, and when she realized that everyone else was going she went and tried to talk Fluttershy into going, Fluttershy after a short time agreed to go on the condition she could take Angel.
Applejack went and told Celestia who all wanted to come. After having had been explained all that had happened over the course of several hours, Celestia stared at the large group for a moment before saying, “well this certainly is a crowd. I suppose we have enough room for you all, but we will have to do some rearranging for a bit before you all have a place to stay for yourselves.”
“Wait,” said Big Macintosh as he came running up on the crowd. When he reached the crowd everyone was looking at him waiting for him to speak again. After a moment he said, “ah talked to Granny Smith, since you and Bloom will be going, she decided it would be best to tag along.” Just then Winona ran up and barked. Big Macintosh turned to look and then said with a smile, “and o'course Winona too.”
The whole group laughed. After that the entire group went to there respective homes to get their belongings and their pets. Once everyone finished packing they all met at Rarity's boutique, due to her being the last one packed.
“Is everyone ready,” Celestia asked, looking around at all the baggage, ponies, and pet's that would soon need to be accommodated in Canterlot.
“Almost done,” Rarity said from somewhere in the back of the store, rummaging around.
Celestia motioned to Luna, “sister let us begin, I'm afraid if we don't hurry we will be late to bring about the night.”
Luna nodded and walked up the Apple Family, “are you three ready to go?”
Winona barked, and Applebloom said, “four.”
Luna teleported them to Canterlot, and began finding them temporary quarters.
Celestia then took Pinkie Pie, Gummy, Rainbow Dash, Tank, Fluttershy, and Angel, leaving only Applejack, Rarity, Opalescence, Sweetie Bell, Twilight, Owlowiscious , Spike, and Scootaloo.
After a few minutes Luna came back and took Scootaloo, Twilight, Owlowiscious, and Spike.
Finally after a few more minutes Celestia came to take Applejack, Rarity, Opalescence, Sweetie Bell, and Rarity's ridiculous amount of luggage.