Principal Cinch and the Unhappy Mother

by Hopeful_Ink_Hoof

Waiting in Her Office

Firmly pushing the doors open, Abacus Cinch entered Crystal Prep Academy. The click-click-click of her heels hitting the polished stone echoed throughout as she walked briskly down the hall toward her office. Although she was every bit as cold and stony as the school of which was the principal (The Principal as she would think of herself), there was an extra narrowness to her eyes, tightness to her jaw, and tension in her shoulders.

As far as Cinch could tell, she had nothing to worry about. As was thoroughly pointed out to her, the school board was not going to believe any stories about magic. As such, it left her unable to report the events of The Friendship Games, without having to worry about her own reputation. At the same time, however, it also meant that her own actions could not be fully reported either. Additionally, since the games were never finished, it did not count as an actual loss for Crystal Prep. While she could not say they had always won in her years as Principal, she could still claim they had never lost.

However, Abacus Cinch did not become The Principal of the most prestigious school in the state (if not the country) by being passive and letting things work out on their own. She worked hard and made sure everything went her way. If things went differently, she would get ahead of it.

She would get ahead of this. Both she and her school would come out of this just as prestigious and reputable as it has always been.

Opening the door to her office, she found someone waiting for her. She had not been expecting anyone else to be in the school, much less waiting in her office, and it was one of the last people she wanted to see.

Straightening up and taking a deep breath, Principal Abacus Cinch stepped into her office, and shut the door.

"Miss Velvet," she said. "This is a surprise." She stepped forward, hands sliding behind her back. "However, I am quite busy at the moment, so I must ask you to leave."

Twilight Velvet straightened up and looked Principal Cinch with narrowed eyes.

"Yes," she stated. "You must be quite busy to rush here immediately after The Friendship Games." She motioned toward the chair. "Please have a seat. We have something to discuss."

"I'm certain it can wait until another time," Cinch replied. "As I said, I'm quite busy. So I must insist that--"

"I," Twilight Velvet cut in, "insist." She pointed at the seat. "Sit. Down."

Principal Cinch looked at chair, which was on the wrong side of the desk for her to sit in, then back at the woman standing in her office. A fresh sense of anger flared up in her chest. Straightening up more, her lips pressed tighter as she narrowed her gaze. How dare this woman, this writer, come into Cinch's office, into her school, and try to tell her what to do! She would not stand for it.

"Now see here!" Principal Abacus Cinch stated. "Even if you and your husband are both alumni, that gives you no right to speak to me in such a manner!" She moved closer, using her greater height to her advantage. "I expect to be treated with respect and civility at all times. Especially in my office in my academy!"

Twilight Velvet tilted her head to look up at Cinch, blue eyes burning with anger.

"Do not talk to me about civility," Twilight Velvet growled out. "I am being far more civil to you than you would like by not punching you in the face first chance I get. Now, either sit down, or be forced to sit down."

Before Cinch could respond, a weight pressed against her shoulder. Turning to look she found a hand holding onto her, belonging to a man whose dark green skin nearly made him blend in to the shadows. If not for the white shirt and dark red-orange hair, he would be nearly impossible to see.

Curious and suspicious, Cinch turned to look over her other shoulder. There, she found a young woman with lighter green skin and brighter orange hair, dressed in a black suit as well. Stood near the door with her arms, crossed, smirking at Cinch. She held up two fingers, pointing them at Cinch.

"Bang!" the girl whispered, jerking her fingers upwards.

"Please, ma'am," the man said. "It would really be best for all of us if you did as she requested."

Looking from the young woman, to the older woman, to the young man whose hand was on her shoulder. She found herself surrounded in an otherwise empty school, and was certain that at least one of them was capable of physical violence. Clearly they were not interested in listening. As such, her best choice appeared to be doing as they told. To that end, she pulled free of the young man's grip, and sat down.

Reaching into her suit jacket, Twilight Velvet pulled out a smartphone. After a few quick swipes, she turned the screen to face Cinch.

"Do you know what this is?"

Resisting her first reaction, which was to reply with "a phone," Cinch leaned forward, and adjusted her glasses to look at the screen better. On the screen was an image of Twilight Sparkle, hands outstretched in front of her. Twilight's hands and the large arrow in the center of the screen obscured what she was holding, but Cinch could figure out it was her spectrometer easily enough. At the same time, there was a part of her that was skeptical. It could not possibly be what it appears, could it?

"It appears to be a video of your daughter during The Friendship Games," Principal Cinch stated.

"Correct," Twilight Velvet confirmed. "Students have been livestreaming and uploading videos of the games since Principal Celestia's welcoming speech." She leaned forward, eyes narrowing. "This particular video is of my daughter, releasing unstable magic -- at your insistence -- causing her to be transformed into what is best described as a dark angel, and have a massive psychotic break. A break, which led to her tearing numerous holes in reality, almost destroying both, I might add."

She straightened up, putting the phone away.

"You saw during The Tri-Cross Relay how dangerous the magic was. You were given a chance to end things then and there, albeit with a tie. Instead, you not only insisted on continuing the games, knowing the potential danger to your students, you then pressured my daughter -- who did not want to participate in the first place, I remind you -- to release that same dangerous, unpredictable, power that she had somehow absorbed and contained."

Twilight Velvet held up a hand.

"Negligence," she said, ticking off a finger, "conspiracy, blackmail, abuse of authority." She lowered her hand. "Pretty sure that nearly destroying two realities, even only at a school level, would be considered an act of terrorism, with all of the legal dangerous and consequences that implies."

Principal Cinch shifted, straightening up and looking the other woman in the eye.

"Even if that were true," Cinch stated, "you would not pursue such charges. Even if you were able to somehow convince the authorities the truth of what you say and that magic actually does exist, your daughter would face the worst of the charges." Her eyes narrowed and lips pressed thin. "I sincerely doubt you want her to spend the rest of her life in prison."

A second passed in silence. Two. Three.

"Burst," Velvet said.

The young woman smirked and nodded, unfolding her arms. Reaching into her pocket, she pulled out a phone of her own and pointed it at Cinch like it was a remote control. The woman -- Burst -- then tapped the screen twice with her thumb.

The sound of a firecracker going off suddenly filled the room, coming from right under Cinch and making her jump. As she landed, the chair wobbled, threatening to tilt backwards. Cinch gripped the arm rests and leaned forward, trying to keep the entire thing upright.

Twilight Velvet leaned forward, nose to nose with Cinch.

"As much as I would love to see you locked up in prison until you're wearing diapers and dentures, we are not the police, and this is not a court of law. There are no Miranda Rights, no reasonable doubt, no lawyer, and no jury of your 'peers.' There is only you, and us." Her eyes narrowed. "And nobody knows any of us are here." She then pulled back. "Which means that if something were to happen to you, no one would notice until Monday at the earliest."

Straightening up, Twilight Velvet reached into her suit jacket again. This time, she pulled out a folded set of papers and placed them down on the desk. She rested two fingers on it.

"This," she said, "is your letter of resignation, effective immediately." She tapped it. "You are to sign it. You then have two weeks to leave Canterlot City."

Turning her attention to the papers, Principal Cinch stared at them with the same amount of disgust as she would a pile of human excrement in the same spot. As far a she was concerned, however, the papers were worse. A pile of waste would merely contaminate her desk, forcing her to replace it. Those papers, however, would contaminate her entire future. Her so suddenly and immediately giving up a position she had worked so hard to obtain, and to build into something so influential, would lead to a lot of questions, which in turn would lead to a lot of rumors. Although she could likely come up with an excuse, without any legitimate reason she can prove, it will not stop people from talking and speculating.

"Assuming that I agree and sign those papers," she said, turning to face Velvet once more, "what do you expect me to do afterwards?"

"Go to the tropics and lay on the beach," Velvet suggested. "Head up to Elklaska and work on an oil rig. Buy a cabin in the forests of Maine and write bad romance novels. Move to Neighvada and become a high-class prostitute for all I care! So long as it's not in education, and not in my city, it doesn't matter to me."

Although her exterior remained calm and poised, many thoughts and emotions ran through Cinch's mind quickly. There was irritation and annoyance, wondering who Twilight Velvet thought she was, and what gave her the right to try and run Cinch out of town. There was curiosity, a wondering if Velvet had that power, and was perhaps some sort of mafioso like she was acting. That led to fear, because if Velvet actually had that kind of power, what could she do to Cinch?

Considering what just happened to her chair...

"And if I refuse?" Cinch asked. "Are there more explosives under my chair? If I don't agree, do I get blown up as well?"

Velvet smirked.

"If I were going to have you killed, it would be far less messy and far more subtle." The smirk faded. "But no. As much as Miss Burst would enjoy playing with her little bombs --"

"Tick, tick, tick," Burst called out. "Boom!"

"-- our methods would be far more subtle and socio-political. The correct figure of speech would be 'you will never work in this town again.'" She leaned back, tapping the paper again. "So one way or another, you're losing this job. It's only a question of how publicly disgraceful for you it is."

Picking up the papers, she held them out to Cinch.

"So, what will it be?"

Abacus Cinch stared at the woman and papers. If she signed them, then she would at least be able to try and make it look like it was on her own terms. If Velvet actually could do what she claimed, it would mean getting fired among scandal. She could, in theory, head it off, but that would mean predicting exactly what Miss Velvet would try, and Cinch had not even been expecting this much to happen.

"Very well," she finally said. "I accept."

Twilight Velvet smiled, and pulled out a pen.

"It's for the best."