Equestria is a pretty big place, and most would just describe it as huge. Some strange ambient magic gives it a 'bigger on the inside' effect, and if you remember the old Doctor Who series, you'll know what I'm talking about.
From the outside, it appears to be roughly a quarter the size of Australia. Yet when stepping upon it's shores, you'll find it's grown over fifteen times larger. That puts it at well over the size of Africa.
Yet even with that much space, it would not be able to house over eleven billion people. Not even with multi-layering the entire countryside. (For ponies not in the know about 'Multi-layering', it's a term to refer to building an entire second city suspended over the top of another city.) So what happened to those who didn't make it?
Many heavily religious countries refused entry to ponies, generally on grounds of being 'unnatural' or 'against God/Allah/whatever'. Heavily corrupt governments also seemed to go in this direction, though I suspect it was more to keep control of what they had. The only people that got converted from these backgrounds were those that fled.
This lead to many humans being cut off from access to said chance. The majority in fact. When that's a majority of eleven billion, the end result won't be pretty.
And it wasn't. The Purification was the largest scale genocide to have been seen in human history, approximately eleven billion reduced to two and a half.
Pretty difficult to swallow.
Especially hard when many ponies cheered as it happened. Celestia kept them happy with the thoughts that all of humanity had been converted, and that two and a half billion was the total of human population. Concealing the horrible truth's of reality from a child, much like a mother would.
That, coupled with the pony population only reaching just over one billion, it proves difficult to convince them that was a mere fraction of the total.
Humanity mourned as Ponykind celebrated.
As engrossed in writing as I was, I never heard the hoofsteps approaching, and my first sign that I had a visitor was the orange hoof hitting my door. With a resounding crack, the appendage sent pieces of splintered wood throughout my office from the force of the impact.
"..." A single eye peered through the new hole, past his own lodged foreleg, "Uh, sorry?"
He'd forgotten his strength again, though it came as little surprise. The amount of furniture new Earth Ponies went through kept the carpenters very happy. At least they tended not to injure themselves like pegasi, our first instinct being to take to the skies when frightened. And without growing up with those instincts they're rather difficult to control, as the brand new bruise on my noggin where my skull impacted the ceiling attested to.
"You're paying for a new door," I groaned. Picking myself up from where I'd fallen, I moved over to the entrance, glaring back at him through the impromptu peephole. "Was there something you needed?"
"Yea, there's a VIP visitor from Ponyville to see you," he replied, grunting as he attempted to dislodge his now stuck leg. "As in really important."
That's all I needed, more politics. I already had a headache from hitting the roof.
"Alright, shoot. Who?"
"One Twilight Sparkle."
When this city started up, and was actually capable of being considered a city, I began doing my homework on Equestria. Laws (Finally got around to looking at those land laws), government, and the various who's who. One name that repeatedly turned up was Twilight Sparkle. Unicorn Prodigy, Personal Student of Celestia, Most Faithful and Trusted of Celestia, Savior of Luna, and most commonly, Heroine. All informal titles attributed to the young mare.
What worried me most was that it appeared Celestia had really taken notice of us. We'd had a few representatives show up, of course, however they were nobody's in the big scheme of things. Sent from small towns, cities, and the New Foal Centers surrounding us. Usually asking to come back 'home'. Told them they're free to ask the people themselves, it's their choice. Went about as well as anyone would imagine, either laughed out, or thrown out by security if they got pushy.
This was different though. This one held the ear of Celestia and Luna themselves, in a way that very few ever had. Having the attention and full trust of just one Princess was considered rare in Equestria. Having both was completely unheard of.
Truth be told, Miss Twilight was one of the most powerful ponies in Equestria, both magically and politically, to have ever lived.
Of course, I wasn't happy with her turning up out of the blue. Nobody would. But when someone this important shows up, you can't simply tell them to come back tomorrow and get some manners.
Well, let's get it over with.
"Alright, this is what I need you to do..."
It was an hour later when we arrived at the restaurant. I'd hired out their private hall, so we could have some privacy and reduced noise pollution, and still have proper food and service.
Twilight Sparkle, a purple unicorn with some sort of purple star as a cutie mark, had shown up with no less than six Royal Pegasus Guards. On her sides were saddlebags, filled with what appeared to be a book, parchment and writing utensils, and riding upon her back, her purple and green Draconian assistant, Spike.
Didn't look much like a dragon, to be honest. But I'd heard of what they were capable of, and even a baby was not to be trifled with. Jaws and claws that could shred diamond like a scalpel through skin, and hide with scales acting like four inch plate armour. And that's not mentioning the whole fire breath deal.
With me I had Hemmings and six members of our own Militia, two of each race. My assistant had done a remarkably good job on weeding out thugs, and by now the Police had been absorbed by the Militia, acting as both, reaching about four thousand members.
I still made sure to keep a close eye on them.
Having sent the twelve soldiers to keep the hall secure, as the last thing anyone needed was some lunatic attempting 'revenge' on an Equestrian, we sat at the table, Twilight and Spike opposite Hemmings and I. As the first course was being served, the time to get down to business began.
"I'm sure this isn't just a casual visit, Miss Sparkle. What brings you to our little city?" I asked, folding my hooves as I picked at the salad. No tomato's though, made sure of that. Disgusting things.
"Well, I have been been writing an in depth report for Princess Celestia on New Foals and how they're getting along in Equestria, when the Princess suggested I come here and have a look first hoof." Smiling brightly, her horn glowed as she levitated the thick tome from her bags, opening it before me. Sure enough, the pages were filled with statistics and graphs, seemingly all about us. "So, here I am!"
Inwardly, I sighed. Celestia was definitely getting herself involved now, something I'd been dreading for a while. Nodding slowly, I gave in to her request.
"Very well, what do you want to know?"
Almost quivering with excitement, she turned to her assistant. "Spike! Take notes, please." Receiving a nod from her rather silent partner, she spun back around. "First off, I'd like to get some details about your city here. Population and other information, like city facilities."
"I believe this might be my area of expertise," Hemmings interjected, bringing a hoof up to wipe his mouth clean with a cloth. "We have around two million people living here. Medical and policing has been setup to a satisfactory level, and while we have decent plumbing, it is mostly public and needs improvement, which is ongoing."
The purple unicorn nodded, her eerily intense gaze locked onto the earth pony as her little friend scratched away at a piece of parchment. With a quill of all things. I knew they had pencils, so why was the dragon using something as archaic as a quill and ink pot? I didn't want to possibly offend by asking though.
A sheet of parchment levitated out of one of her bags, coming to a stop just before the unicorn's face, her eyes flickering about its surface. "Within the last six years, since this city was founded, a mass exodus of New Foals have left the New Foal Centers setup around Equestria, heading towards over a hundred communities that have popped up. Approximately two hundred million, with tens of thousands more leaving each day." Lowering the sheet to peer over it, she watched my face carefully. "Why?"
Maybe because many people see Celestia as having committed genocide? I couldn't say it out loud, as I really didn't wish to insult or anger her. We wanted the Equestrians to leave us alone, not poke them with a stick to see if they'll bite. The smart ones at least, some people just wanted to 'Kill 'em all!'.
"I guess it comes down to old human pride," I replied, putting on my diplomacy face. "We wish to be the masters of our future, with our own laws, culture and countries." It wasn't exactly a lie, as I got the feeling that the population did want that.
The mare's head tilted slightly in confusion. "Laws and culture? Aren't you happy with Equestrian laws?" She asked.
"Truth be told, no. I, and many of those living here, are upset with Equestria's rather strict regulation regarding things like alcohol and recreational drugs. There are quite a few others, and I don't really have the time to go into each and every -"
"Wait, alcohol? Like beer and wine?" She interrupted, looking even more confused than before. "I thought that the consumption limit had been raised only a few years back?"
"Exactly that. You have a consumption limit. Equestria has too many laws trying to make it the perfect place, in turn infringing on an individuals freedom," I said, jabbing a hoof in her direction pointedly.
"But it's for everypony's safety! Excess consumption leads to side effects, and then to problems within society. And it's not like you can just ignore the law, not when they're set down by the Princesses!" Twilight exclaimed, a hard edge forming in her eyes.
"We can and will!"
"You WHAT!?" She looked like I'd walked around the table and slapped her. "You can't ignore the law! Not while you're in Equestria!"
By this point, we were half yelling at one another across the table, and quickly proceeding to full on screaming. I was vaguely aware of Spike and Hemmings getting up and heading out the door.
"Well, we're not exactly here by choice now are we!?" I retorted, slamming my hooves onto the table, my rarely used wings flaring in anger.
She hit the table with her own forelimbs, yelling back, "We saved humankind!"
The situation, unsurprisingly enough, rapidly devolved at that point.
I lay back on my bed, staring up at the ceiling, and sighed.
Politics. One of the few things that can get almost any two humans, no matter how close, to come nearly to blows. And apparently it was just the same across the the pond. Our screaming had, eventually, gotten the attention of our respective assistants, who ended up having to physically drag us from each others metaphorical throats.
I had gone into the meeting intended to try and keep the peace, and just give her vague answers to what she wanted to know. Get her to leave me to more important work, without riling anything up.
But I went and let my emotions get the better of me. Aimless frustrations over everything that happened, had finally found a target in Miss Sparkle.
A soft knocking to my door got my attention, and after releasing one last, enjoyable sigh, spoke up, "Come in."
Hemmings opened the entrance, just enough to fit his head through. "You alright there, boss?" He asked. The man only ever called me 'boss' when he was nervous, so I guess the screaming match had him worried.
I barked a humorless laugh, shaking my head. "Not really, but I'll live."
"Anything I should know about?"
Grunting, I pulled myself upright, stretching my cramped wings out. They seemed to hate it when I lay on my back.
"Get the militia ready for riot control. According to Miss Sparkle, Celestia's going to be paying a visit soon, in person."