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“The princess threw a party in the royal jail;

The dungeon band was there and they began to wail.

The joint was jumping and the place began to swing:

You should have heard those knocked out jailbirds sing!”

“Your Honor, on behalf of my clients I would like to renew my motion for separate trials,” Nickel Guise said.

“And I’ll renew my denial of that motion,” the gray-maned judge said, from his bench at the head of the courtroom.  “Now, you will be the attorney of record for the Defense?”

“Yes, Your Honor.”

“Even though you are one of the defendants?”

“They say that an attorney who defends himself has a fool for a client.  But I attended the Canterlot Legal Academy, Your Honor.”

The judge regarded the attorney with an even gaze.

“And, Your Honor, despite two years of taking any dumb case that trots through the door and living in abject poverty, I still owe them over a quarter million bits for tuition loans.  This is hardly a time to stop being a fool.”

The judge looked down the defendants’ table.  “Your attorney has just gone on the record as admitting to being a fool.  Does anypony wish to request a new one?”

The Flimflam brothers shrugged.  “He’s got to earn his money somehow.”

Trixie shook her head.

Octavia said “He’s quite acceptable.”

“Seems alright to me,” Lyra said.

“Like we can afford better,” Bon-Bon added.

“I like his spunk,” Iron Will said.

The goats nodded agreement.

“This is a bunch of horse apples!  Why am I here?”  Vinyl Scratch complained.

“I hear no objections to this attorney – we shall now commence the bench trial.  Opening remarks from the Crown, please.”

“Let’s rock!

Everypony lets rock!

Everypony on the whole cell block -

They was dancing to the jailhouse rock!”

“So you see, Your Honor – no matter how counsel tried to present this case, it isn’t about any of those things.  This case – it’s not even about these ponies’ noble search for redemption.  No, Your Honor,” Nickel said, “this is about thirty-eight little unicorn fillies and colts who will get to remain in a loving, trustworthy environment, despite the trials and ravages of war.  It’s about little Roo, here, and each of these others.  I’d like counsel for the Crown to look into each of their eyes, if she can, and tell them one at a time why it was such a bad thing that their home now has the structural integrity to last through the winter months.”

“G and PT played the alto saxophone;

Iron Will was blowin on the slide trombone;

The drummercolt from Foaledo went crash boom bang -

The whole rhythm section was Vinyl's old gang!”

“Will the defendants please rise?”

The ponies, goats, and minotaur took to their hooves.

“After taking into advisement certain messages received from one or more Princesses…and having weighed all the facts and law, I have reached my decision.”  The judge shifted his spectacles on his face and read from his paper.

“On charges one through seventy-four of the indictment, the felony counts: I am dismissing all of these charges with prejudice.”

The Flimflams high-hoofed their attorney.  “Yes!”

“On charges seventy-five through nine-hundred-and-eighty-seven of the indictment, the misdemeanor counts: I am entering verdicts of guilty.”

“No!”

“And on each of these counts, I am entering a sentence of ninety days….”

As the mental math added up, faces fell.  “Two hundred twenty-eight years…”

“…sentences to be served concurrently!”

“YES!”

“Furthermore, upon service of their jail sentence and release, the defendants will all remain on probation until such time as the full sum of their collectively-owed restitution is paid.”

“Oh, heck, that ain’t bad,” Flam smiled.  “That’s practically boilerplate.”

“Er – how much do we collectively owe, Your Honor?” their lawyer asked.

The judge glared at the defendants.  “After five weeks of calculation by an entire office of the royal government, the sum total is…

…seven hundred forty nine million, eight hundred seventy six thousand, five hundred forty three bits, and four cents.”

“Let’s rock!

Everypony lets rock!

Everypony on the whole cell block -

They was dancing to the jailhouse rock”

“That does sound lucrative,” the brothers said through the holes in the magic glass.  “A quite intriguing offer,” Flim added.

Applejack nodded from the other side.  “I reckoned you two might be interested.  And shoot, only eighty-five more days – if you can get some paperwork signed, you might just be able to do it for this cider season!  Maybe even set you all up in some buildings in Ponyville.”

“You’re pretty eager about this, Miss Applejack, given where things stood the last time we spoke.”

“Well, heck, I want to make money, too – just honestly, ya know?  I mean, I know we’re only looking at your share being about eighty-thousand bits for the season, which’d pay off your debt in, uh…”

“About nine times as long as Nightmare Moon was banished.  But no, friend, it is honest work, and that’s what we need.  Our probation officer told us so.”

“Well number 47 said to number 3:

‘You’re the cutest jailbird I ever did see;

I sure’ll be delighted with your company -

Come on and do the jailhouse rock with me!’”

“So there was nothing salvageable of the omnibus?”  Iron Will asked.

Applejack shook her head.  “Sorry, hon’.  Just be glad your little wooly friends got out okay.  But hey!  At least you didn’t get a felony!  I hear they revoke your motivational speaking license for that.”

“Let’s rock!

Everypony lets rock!

Everypony on the whole cell block -

They was dancing to the jailhouse rock!

Let’s rock!”

“So, uh…what’s this going to mean for your career?”  Applejack asked.

Octavia laughed.  “Any musician worth her salt, in any genre, should do a little time in the dungeon.  I’ll be getting even better offers than before, I assure you of that.”

“And, uh, how’re things going with that DJ character?  She didn’t seem too happy.”

“I expect her career will also do better.  She just needs some time to get over the shock, is all.”

“Of having her tour bus explode?”

“Of being propelled through the stratosphere on an iron plate and landing in the middle of Cloudsdale’s rainbow factory.  Apparently a most distressing experience indeed; fortunately, I had already blacked out by then, and woke up comfortably in leg irons on a prison transport.”

“PON-3 was sittin' on a block of stone,

Way over in the corner weepin' all alone;

The princess said ‘hey pony don't you be no square:

If you can't find a partner use a wooden chair!’”

"Actually,” the attorney said, “I might just stay in here - I actually get paid on time and in full as a dungeon lawyer, even if's mostly in chocolate coins."

"Well, do as you like.  But if you do let yourself get released, remember that y'all owe Twilight another cup of coffee."

"Oh, yes."  Nickel Guise smiled.

"Now, between you and me, I don't think you're anything like good enough for her, and I think you know that, too.  But after you lathered on all that sweet talk and even made her believe some of it, she gets to realize that for herself and dump you on her own time.  In the meantime, you break her heart; I break yours - straight through the ribcage.  We clear, pardner?"

"Crystal, ma’am."

“Let’s rock!

Everypony lets rock!

Everypony on the whole cell block -

They was dancing to the jailhouse rock!”

“I can’t tell you how eager the Cakes are for you two to get out.”

“Why’s that?”  Bon-Bon asked, skeptical.  “I’d think they’d be glad to have a competitor out of business for a few months.”

“Oh, they were excited at first – for about two days, Pinkie said.  But your customers have needs, pardner, needs that not just anypony can meet!  Forty-two flavors!  Forty!  Two!  Flavors!  I swear, ninth time somepony asked Pinkie for a pumpkin smoothie, she dang near cried.”

“They were dancing to the jailhouse rock!

They was dancing to the jailhouse rock!

They was dancing to the jailhouse rock!

They was dancing to the jailhouse rock!

Everypony on the whole cell block -

They was dancing to the jailhouse rock!”

“Uh…Trixie?”

“Yes, Applejack?”

“You know Twi ain’t never been mad at you, right?  Are you mad at her?”

Trixie crossed her forelegs and harrumphed.  Truth be told, even she didn’t know anymore.

“Well, anyway, if you need a place to get back on your hooves when this is all over, Ponyville’d like to see you back.  And heck, even if you don’t want to stay, a lot of your friends’ll be there, at least for a while, it’s as good a place as any.”

“Friends?”

“Well, sure.  Flim and Flam got to build a cider press there; that attorney fella says he’s going to hang up a shingle while he tries and puts the moves on Twilight; of course Lyra and Bon-Bon will go back to run their ice-cream shop; Iron Will wants to do some consultin’ work with Fluttershy; and Octavia’s going to crash with some relatives for a while.”

Trixie blinked.  “My friends.”

“Right.  So, c’mon back to Ponyville with the rest – I’m sure we can find a place for y’all.”

“They was dancing to, dancing to, dancing to, dancing to

Dancing to the jailhouse rock!

Oh they was dancing to, dancing to, dancing to, dancing to

Dancing to the jailhouse rock!

Everypony on the whole cell block -

They was dancing to the jailhouse rock!”

“Spike, take a letter!”

Twilight Sparkle rubbed her hooves together in glee.

“I’m going to be able to milk this for at least six friendship reports!”