The judge nodded, and the short Chancellor got up from his seat. He paced back and forth in front of the judge's desk, then turned to face the crowd.
"Citizens of Equestria, I as the prosecutor, will intend to prove prove that Rainbow Dash here kidnapped the princess."
It was then the Doctor turn to talk to the crowd "And I as the defender, will try to prove that my client, Rainbow Dash is innocent" The brown colt then looked at the masked judge "Shall we proceed now your honor?"
"Yes, the prosecutor goes first, so are the rules" The judge said, the Chancellor then looked at Rainbow Dash
"Rainbow Dash, the accusations state that you ponynapped the princess," he started. "After which you went to Twilight Sparkle's little sideshow and disappeared. Where did you take her?"
Rainbow Dash said nothing. "He'd never believe me anyway..." She thought.
"The young mare declines to answer," said the short colt. "She is obviously guilty!"
"Objection!" yelled the Doctor. "Rainbow Dash is not much of a speaker. But her character is very good. We have witnesses that will testify to her virtues!"
Rainbow Dash raised an eyebrow. The Doctor motioned to the knight at the door. The armored colt turned around and walked out of the court. After a few minutes he came back, leading a familiar yet strange earth mare into the court.
The mare was pink, dressed in a beautiful white and pink dress. And she had a curled up rose-magenta mane. She waved her hoof to Dash, looking at her with her curious bluish cyan eyes. "Hey Dash, are you excited? I am excited! I have never been in a court room before!"
"Ahem, miss Pinkie Pie, you are here to talk about how a nice pony miss Dash is, remember?" The Doctor said to the pink mare
"Ah yes, sorry! This nice pegasus, she found my cat Opal and have it back for me!" said Pinkie Pie, most of the crow cheered, there where many cat lovers in it it seemed.
The Doctor smiled, more relaxed, but the Chancellor jumped up and yelled, "Objection!"
The judge slammed his gavel down on the desk again. "She has a right to speak."
"Thank you for being so kind," said Pinkie Pie "Can I stay to watch? I never ever seen a trial!"
"Well, this is a public trial, you can sit down and watch if you want..." said the judge, but before Pinkie Pie went to sit down in the ground, since all chairs where full, the Chancellor crossed her path.
"Miss... Pinkie Pie.. isn't it? Since you are so kindly to stay, would you mind answering some questions?" The short gray colt grinned
"Yes, of course!" Pinkie Pie said
"Aren't you... the owner of a lot of cats? Aren't you always seen doing strange things? Don't many ponies on town thing that you are a bit... strange?"
The Doctor could see where was this going "Objection!" the brown colt yelled "Miss Pinkie Pie is not on trial here!"
The judge slammed his gavel down on the desk yet again. "Objection overruled, the prosecutor has the right to interrogate any witness, please proceed"
"Thank you, your honor. So, Miss Pinkie Pie, as I was saying before being so rudely interrupted, you are not what we could call normal, right?"
"Well... I... while my behaviour may seem weird I am also the local Jester and party planer of the town of Ponyville. My actions, while strange, they just are meant to cause joy and fun!"
The Doctor smiled, that was a nice save, the Chancellor grunted, there was no way he could make Pinkie Pie look like the 'crazy cat lady' now.
"Very well, you can go and take a seat with the crowd now..."
"Take a seat? But they are no chairs left!"
"Whatever!" yelled the Chancellor "Just... you can leave now if... you want?" Pinkie Pie went to the crowd and just say down on the ground.
The gray colt prosecutor then looked at the injured blue pegasus. "Now, Miss Rainbow Dash, just because you do return kitties to crazy... um... to Jesters, that does not mean you lack motives to have kidnapped out lovely princess!" The gray short colt knew that after such a beating, Dash would have trouble to answer, that would make her look like he was lying.
The Doctor smirked "Your honor, since my client is obliviously is not a good shape to answer for herself, I would like to do it for her."
"Well, what does the crowd thinks?" asked the Judge, most of the crow agrees shouting "Yes!"
"Very well, you shall proceed, as unusual as this is" Needless to say, the prosecutor was not happy
"Thank you, I would like to point out that Rainbow Dash is Ponyville's weather mare, so she had a monthly income. Also she been doing all kind of odd jobs, helping to get the Millennium Fair ready. So she is not in desperate need for some bits. Besides, several witness saw my client giving the Princess her royal pendant back. That object is a royal treasure and is more than enough to have given my client, had she sold it, enough bits to be rich for life"
"Oh, and where are said famous witness?" Asked the Chancellor, since the trial was held in Canterot, the chances of ponies from Dash town to be in the trial where low.
Five ponies from the crowd did stand up and started to give their short testimony, all of them had actually see Rainbow Dash give Megan her pendant back. Unlucky for the Chancellor, some merchants from Canterot did go to Ponyville to sell their stuff in the fair, and had come back to Canterot in a hurry because of the trial.
"Very well..." the prosecutor said "There is still the fact that Miss Rainbow here crashed into our beloved princess, any explanation to that?"
"My client was excited about the fair, and also a bit hungry, she just did not saw her, after that she did apologize, and as testified recently by five witness, she have the princess her pendant back."
The Chancellor seemed pale for a moment, but then smiled. "Even if anything that happened in the fair was pretty innocent, there is the fact that the princess did disappear with miss Dash, I request three months of solitary confinement for the accused!"
"Objection!" the Doctor yelled "The defense would like to request the testimony of the princess herself, sure not better than her to tell us what happened!"
The crowd seemed excited, they wanted to hear the princess version of the story, plus she was kind of cute.
"Overruled." said the Judge "Royal family members may never, under any circumstances, be requested for a trial, even as witness, unless they do it on their own will or is authorized the Queen or Princess Celestia herself. Does the defense have any more witness that aren't of royal blood?"
"No..." the Doctor said then spoke up. "But I believe we have established enough."
Growling, the Chancellor returned to his seat and sat down. The Doctor also sat down in silence. The judge looked at the blue mare. "Jury, how do you find the defendant?"
Several ponies in the balcony rose. A tall colt in front of them all looked at his paper. "We, the jury of Equestria, find the defendant, Rainbow Dash of Ponyville, innocent of the accusations of capturing the princess."
Some ponies of the crowd stood up, booing and banging on their seats. The judge bashed the gavel on his desk. "Order! Order! The issue stands that they did disappear together, however. Three days solitary confinement as punishment."
The Chancellor looked like he was having a heart attack. "Your honor, I... I requested three months!"
The Judge glared at him. "Chancellor, I feel it is my duty to inform you that all my decisions are final, and can only be overruled by the Queen or the Sun princess. If you insist in protesting, you will have your own three days of solitary confinement. Do I make myself clear? " The Chancellor looked like a fish out of water. "Yes... your honor..."
The crow cheered. Most of them hated the Chancellor, and loved to see somepony had put him in place.
As the guards stepped up to take Rainbow Dash to the dungeon, Fluttershy ran in, out of breath. "STOP THIS AT ONCE! I was locked in my bedroom, and I just was able to escape, I wanna testify! She is innocent! I swear it in the name of Celestia herself!" The normal calm Fluttershy looked... kind of scary.
The Judge looked unhappy. "I am sorry, princess, but there is nothing I can do. This comes from the Sun princess herself."
"WHAAAT?" Fluttershy felt down to her knees "But... how could she? We..." Fluttershy started to cry as they dragged Dash away.
Rainbow Dash was led across the bridge to the prison towers by two guards and the Chancellor, who had a disturbingly nasty grin.
Equestria Castle's prison was not located below ground like most castles. Instead, prisoners were kept high in towers above. Attackers and rebels found it difficult to get to the top, and were usually stopped by a group of ready soldiers.
The main prison tower stood high above the ground in one of the castle's spires. Only one route led into it, a shaky suspension bridge with a hundred-foot fall.
Heights did not seem to scare the Chancellor as he proudly marched across it. The two guards carrying the injured Dash were behind him, dragging the pour soul along by the handcuffs. The wind whipped about them, forcing them to keep a steady hold on the bridge.
The party made it into the main prison tower. A pinto pony sat at his desk looking over records and skimming them with his pen. He looked up at the short colt and the guards. "May I help you?"
"Yes," said the Chancellor, smiling. "This is the swine girl who kidnapped the princess. We have brought her here to carry out her sentence."
"Ah yes, the pegasus who snatched the princess. She gets three days of confinement, correct?"
"What?" yelled the Chancellor. "This villain is to be executed in three days!" He smiled.
"WHAT?" Rainbow Dash screamed at him. "YOU'RE LYING, THERE'S NO EXECUTION!"
Or... at least tried to, but as soon as she opened her mouth the Chancellor hit her mouth with his scepter, so the poor pegasus ended just saying a few cries of pain.
The Supervisor also was surprised. "Execution? Strange, I don't remember reading that in the..." He caught the Chancellor's glare, he seemed furious.
"What do you mean?" cried the short colt. "The... paperwork must have been held up in the system!"
"Well, alright," he said. Not like he was gonna argue with somepony that could get him fired. "Escort her to her cell, gentlecolts."
Rainbow Dash tried to struggle to get free, as painful as it was in her state. No way she was gonna let them kill her! But one of guards whacked to the back of her head.
"Ugh... what hit me?... Oh, yeah... him" The world around Rainbow Dash blurred painfully back into place while she shook her head to clear out the fog in her mind. She was on a tiny bed in a dirty cell. There was a gray mug on a table, and next to the bed was a small package. It all came back to her now. The trial... The execution! They where going to kill her, even after she was declared innocent! At least she had a about two and a haft days left. Unless she had been sleeping all day. In that case, she would have less than two days or something like that! It was hard to think with the pain in her head and in almost all of her body.
The guards noticed she was awake, and yelled, "Some sympathizers left that for you, ya stinking ponynapper!" Rainbow Dash ignored them and opened it up, then stared. It was a bunch of herbs. It made sense, the guards where not that stupid to let her friends send her something she could use to scape, and they would probably eat the cake if they tried to sent her that. But herbs? Who would eat those things if they didn't know what they did or if they tasted good? Knowing her friend Sparkle, eating those would help to heal fast.
Yuck! It tasted worse than her mother cold medicine... yet Rainbow noticed how her body and head hurt less and she started to fell better. Those things were sure way more effective than the healing potions Sparkle had used in their little trip to the past. But Dash was sure that eating to much of that herbal mix would make her sick because, while her body was healing, her stomach was complaining. She went to the mug and noticed it was full of... honey? She hated honey! Still, it would help to get the bad taste out of her mouth. She ate the honey slowly. Honey had never tasted so good, must be because she was hungry.
The rest of the day was expended walking around the cell and flapping her wings slightly. She did that trying to make the less noise possible, as she did not want the guards to beat her up. At night, some strange pony visited her and gave her some water, it could not have been Fluttershy or Sparkle as it was way too tall. It was a cloaked white earth pony with a pink mane, the cloth covering most of her face. Rainbow Dash could swear she had seen her before, but could not quite place when or where.
Dash woke up in her second day in prison. It was past midday. She felt way better; her body had barely a few scars left to show of her beatings. There was another bag in her cell and she opened it. There were some oatmeal cookies (the pegasus was sure the guards had stolen most of them) and a bottle with a green cream. Dash ate the cookies, then went to check the mug, honey again. Who was putting honey in her mug? Was it Fluttershy? Why she was torturing her like that? Still, she was hungry, so she ate it. She was also thirsty, she had been so since the other day. That strange mare had only given her a glass of water, after all.
Dash sighed, no use worrying about that at the moment. She took the bottle of cream and glanced at it. It appeared to be some sort of lotion or salve. She applied the whole bottle of cream over her entire body. It felt so soft and nice! In a few hours, her scars were gone. She took a quick nap because the cream had made her felt strangely tired. When she woke up, there was a bottle of water on the table, which she drank greadily.
Fluttershy looked around nervously to make sure nobody was watching, and opened the gate to allow Twilight Sparkle in. "Hurry! If we get caught..."
"Yes, I know." Twilight Sparkle muttered. "Which way to Prison Tower?"
"Left and forward, left door. It's about a ten-minute climb & walk."
Twilight Sparkle hit her face with her hoof. "Why didn't you tell me this before?"
Fluttershy looked offended. " I... um... didn't think it was that important?"
Twilight Sparkle sighed. "I hope my dad can keep the distraction up long enough..."
The Chancellor bolted upright in his bed. What was that loud rushing noise he had just heard? His question was answered when a large rock came sailing through his window and planted itself squarely on his... well you know, that place where it hurts a lot?
"AUGH! GUAAAAAARRRRRDS!" The Chancellor said with a very high pitched voice
KABOOOOOOOM! The castle gate busted open in a heavy explosion, while a series of explosions could be heard all around Canterlot. All of the guards rushed outside the castle in the middle of the confusion, finding a lone catapult, some explosives, and a clock counting backtracks.
"Oh, dammit! Somepony call the the Explosion Squad! It must be those Moonatics again!"
Meanwhile, another smaller explosion occured in the Prison Tower, as two mares, a unicorn and a pegasus, blasted a certain blue pegasus's cell door open after Twilight had knocked the guards out by clonking their heads together.
"What the hay?" Rainbow Dash asked surprised "Fluttershy, Sparkle, are you nuts?"
"Would you prefer to be executed tomorrow?" The unicorn asked, and gave Dash a steel sword. "Sorry we took so long, but a pony does not just plan a prison escape in just a few hours."
Dash took the sword in her mouth and noodled. She noticed both of her friends had their backpacks on and that Fluttershy had the crossbow in hers.
The mares ran out the door to the right and down the stairs. They kept going down as they reached the next set. Dash was surprised to see that no pony was after them, but most of the guards where busy with the bomb threat. And almost all of the rest had been defeated by Sparkle's trusty hammer.
After crossing a bridge, they found themselves at the start of a long hall with a lone guard. Twilight was shocked to discover that she had missed that one, but they had just missed him before because of a shift change. Dash took him by surprise and knocked him out cold.
At the end they found a torture chamber. Guillotines, iron maidens, racks... Fluttershy jumped as they saw a white mare earth pony in one of the guillotines!
Dash recognized her "You! You are the one that helped me!" Of course, since she talked her sword felt to the ground with a loud clank. She was going to get a sheath for that thing soon!
"Yes! Please, help me!" The mare called. Rainbow Dash freed her, while Fluttershy was still shocked and Twilight Sparkle stood in silence. The mare stood up "Thanks! I went on a shopping spree and ended up in here. The Chancellor was gonna execute me without a trial!"
Rainbow Dash nodded. "After this mess is over, I'm gonna kick that colt to the next week!"
"Stop wasting time, our distraction is about to wear off!" Twilight yelled, annoyed. She absolutely hated when her plans went out of control.
Meanwhile, the Explosion Squad, a bunch of ponies in heavy protective armor, had made the area around the bomb evacuate of all the civilian ponies. They began moving near the bomb to deactivate it. When the clock started to ring, everypony jumped to the ground, but nothing happened. The bomb was a fake!
The Chancellor came running outside the castle. "You idiots! There is a prison break! Go stop it, now!" The guards ran back inside the castle, followed by an hysteric Chancellor. Once they had left, a familiar colt came out of hiding from some nearby bushes.
"Okay daughter, I did what I could. You're in your own now." The colt, who was no other than Taban, then went back home now that he was not in danger of being caught. He hoped his explosions had'nt hurt anypony, but the places where he set the explosives where going to be demolished anyway.
At the prison tower, several hollow hoofsteps could be heard echoing against the cold stone of the tower. An even more worried expression came over Twilight Sparkle's face. She hit the floor with her hoof yelling loudly, "Let's get going for real!"
The white earth pony stood behind smiling while the three young mares ran out of the room and faced down the hallway. A large, heavy brown door blocked the entrance to the prison office.
"No problem," said Twilight. In their hurry they had failed to notice that the mare they had rescued was not with them, but thankfully Rainbow Dash had not forgotten her sword.
Rainbow Dash tapped on Twilight shoulder. She turned and looked at the pegasus and Rainbow pointed down the hallway.
Slowly a large iron gate began to rise into the ceiling. A puff of steam shot through the grating. Two red slit eyes shone through the darkness beyond the door. "I have a bad feeling about this..." said Fluttershy.
"No... no way, they build it! Awesome! I mean... we are in trouble!" Twilight Sparkle said (still unable to hide the happiness prevalent in smile).
The gate had fully retracted into the ceiling, and a green metallic foot with sharp metal claws stepped out from the shadow. The foot was attached to a long, thick, green leg. The leg fully emerged from the shadow, followed by another one next to it. The three ponies saw it was connected to a similar metal body with a tube that resembled a dragon's tail that was letting out puffs of steam. A long neck slowly uncurled, which was attached to a rectangular green head. The machine's mouth was lined with a row of sharp steel teeth. Its red ruby eyes glowed with a yellow light. Instead of back legs it had several wheels. Unlike the rest of the machine, they where made of wood.
"What... Twilight... what is that?" Fluttershy muttered, hiding behind Dash who growled at the beast. It was one of the few things she could do with her mouth without dropping the sword again.
"The Dragon Tank. I made the plans for it a few months ago..." Twilight said, her smile now gone.
Special thanks to doctorbrony from #fimfiction at irc.irchighway.net for editing this chapter