General Corvus adjusted his peaked officer’s cap, the small bronze eagle and star gleaming in the bright sun. Across from him sat Prime Minister Collins Schmidt, the leader of the Human Republic. Two weeks before, Schmidt had received a letter from the Empress of the Gryphonian Empire and a personal message from Princess Celestia of Equestria, requesting his attendance at a meeting of utmost importance. Both had explained the growing situation of pollution from human industrializing in the past years becoming a problem for both the Gryphons and the Equestrians.
Reluctantly, the Prime Minister had agreed to attend. They rode in a pony drawn carriage towards Canterlot, every now and then asking Silver Tongue, the pony ambassador that accompanied them, a question about the land.
“Prime Minister, if I may ask something of you.”
“Yes?” Schmidt responded.
“Why is the Republic so isolationist? As far as I know, Princesses Celestia and Luna are the only ponies to have even seen your country, and there is rarely ever a human to leave it. Do you not allow it?” He queried.
Schmidt sighed, looking away from the green fields below them. “Well, it’s really a matter of order. We do not restrict emigration entirely, but we do strive to keep it low. We do not allow another species entrance other than ambassadors solely for preservation of order.”
Silver tilted his head, confused by the Prime Minister’s response. “Let’s say there was a large immigration of humans into Equestria. Would your way of life not change? Your species has built a society based upon nature and leisure, while ours is built upon industry and labor. If we were to clash on such a large scale, it would surely throw both nations out of balance. That is why we do not allow foreigners, to preserve the society we have built ourselves upon in it’s entirety.” Schmidt smiled as if it were common knowledge. They drew closer to Canterlot castle.
“I must say, your country’s architecture is quite impressive. With mere hooves at One's disposal, most would not expect such beauty.” Schmidt looked over the imposing structure.
“Well, not just hooves, we also have magic.” Silver pointed out.
“Ah, yes magic. I've heard a great deal about how you ponies use this in everyday life but never had the time to observe it as much as I wish. Pray tell, how does it work?”
“Well, how about I just show you, I am unicorn after all.” Silver grinned at his chance to impress the dignitary. He was about to show him some simple levitation spells when the carriage abruptly stopped.
“Oh, well we seem to be here. I’m sorry sir, maybe another time.” Silver opened the door of the carriage and stepped out. The General was next to exit, standing at attention and saluting as the Prime Minister stepped out. Standing at the base of the castle steps accompanied by two solar guards, Princess Celestia stood smiling.
“Prime Minister Schmidt, it is a pleasure to see you again.” She greeted warmly.
“Ah Princess Celestia, the pleasure is all mine.” He responded. Celestia offered her hoof which he took promptly, raising it a bit more and kissing the golden shoe upon it. As the last human exited the carriage, an armed bodyguard, the doors of it were shut and the carriage was drawn away.
“Welcome to Canterlot. Shall we go inside?” She turned and began to ascend the stairs to the large wooden doors.
Empress Brynja Goldenbeak sat at a large mahogany table, drumming her talons across it boredly. Sitting at the table with her were Princess Luna and the newly coronated Princess Twilight Sparkle. Twilight was visibly excited. She had never spoken with a human before; sure, she had read about them, their society, their history, it was all very interesting but being able to speak with one was something else entirely, and their leader no less!
“Ooo, I can’t wait! Princess, what are humans like? You've spoken with them before haven’t you?” Twilight queried.
Luna turned to her and smiled, enjoying the new princesses enthusiasm. “Humans are complicated Twilight. They are so easy to get along with, yet so easy to anger. It is strange really, Humans have been around almost as long as ponies have, yet they are such a mystery.”
“What do you mean, Princess?” Twilight tilted her head. Brynja had begun to listen in as well, wondering what experiences the Princess had with humans.
“Well for starters, no human is predictable. Unlike many species, you never know what a Human is going to do in a certain situation until it is done. Something they will say, an action they will take, a choice they will make, it’s never predictable. It’s quite fascinating actually, they are so similar to us, yet vastly different.”
Brynja chuckled to herself loudly. “The way I see it, the only thing humans are good for is fouling things up. It is the very reason we are here this afternoon, their industrializing is polluting our water, poisoning our air, ruining the Earth in every way!”
Luna glared at Brynja out of the corner of her eyes. She turned to her, adopting a stern expression, “May I remind you, the true reason we’re here is deal with this problem in a civilized manner? We are not merely calling them here to scold them for their doings, we are simply negotiating.”
Brynja scoffed, crossing her forearms in a childlike manner. “I see it as easier to force them to stop completely. Both of our nation’s populations triple theirs and we function fine without the need of this technology. Why must we, the stronger powers, negotiate with such a weak nation on a matter that clearly has only one solution?”
Luna kept her expression, years of experience in dealing with politicians had taught her it best not to sink to the level another was arguing from. “Do not let the feuds between your species and humans cloud your judgement, Empress, they have the same right as you to use their land the way they see fit.”
Brynja was about to retort when the sound of hooves began to draw near the conference room. The door handles were surrounded in a golden aura and turned, opening the large wooden doors. Princess Celestia walked in casually, followed by three humans, one in a dark black suit and gray trench coat, the other two in dressed in gray military uniforms.
Celestia stopped and turned to them. “I’m sure you already know Empress Brynja Goldenbeak,” Brynja merely nodded, not granting the humans anymore recognition. “Princess Luna,” Luna nodded as well, smiling.
“Welcome to Canterlot, Prime Minister.” She greeted him. Schmidt nodded to her and then looked to Twilight.
“And this is our newest member of the royal family, Princess Twilight Sparkle.” Celestia finished.
“It is a pleasure to meet you, Princess,” Schmidt spoke. He smiled and nodded, taking a seat across from the the dignitaries. Celestia took her seat as well across from the humans between Brynja and Luna.
“Well let’s not tarry on the point, we are here to discuss the growing problem of pollution being caused by some of your recent moves of industry, Prime Minister.” Celestia spoke bluntly.
“And these problems are? As far as I know we have not interfered with any ecosystem in a damaging way.”
“Actually Prime Minister, Gryphonia’s ecosystem has been greatly affected! Ever since your nations oil spill near the Lower Ironclaw Islands, our fishing waters have been poisoned!” Brynja shouted at him.
“Keep in mind Empress, that was only a few weeks ago and I have had spill teams working round the clock to correct our error. As I have said before, I am greatly apologetic for that accident.” Schmidt pointed out.
“But it never would have been a problem if you weren't shipping oil so close to our waters in the first place!” Brynja shot back.
“Empress please! That is enough!” Luna shouted, “ I've already discussed this matter with you, we are negotiating, not scolding.”
“And pray tell Princess, what is it we are negotiating?” Schmidt looked to her, his gaze hardening.
Luna was about to speak before Twilight cut her off. “We are going to negotiate the slowing of your industrialization, thus lowering the threat of destroying the ecosystem.” Twilight smiled wide, proud of her memorization of the central goal of this meeting.
Schmidt raised an eyebrow. “Is that so, Princesses?” He somewhat glared at them, making both of them uneasy.
“Yes Prime Minister, it is so. With the threat of pollution rising every day, we have decided something must be done. We request that you cease your oil drilling on the Zebrican Coast.” Celestia stated.
“The Zebrican government has given us permission to drill there! They have no use for it and we need it for fuel. We have not been intrusive upon any of Equestria’s or Gryphonia’s territories in search for oil. We are drilling completely legally and you have no right to tell us we can’t.”
“Be wary of the path you tread, Prime Minister,” Brynja spoke up again. “It is not wise to challenge a nation that triples you in size.”
“Are you threatening me, Empress?” Now both he and the General were staring at her, their expression contorting to that of anger and annoyance.
Celestia horn flashed, silencing the two and bringing their attention to her.“No, she is not. We will not turn a civilized council into war room by exchanging petty threats. Empress, I suggest you stop, you are beginning to overstep your boundaries in this matter.”
“Who are you to tell me I am overstepping my boundaries? I am trying to stop the destruction of our ecosystem, yet you sit here and idly talk, trying to work around the only solution!” Brynja spat.
“And what is that solution, Empress?” By now Schmidt was glaring daggers at the gryphon.
“You’re kind’s poisoning of the Earth must be stopped entirely! That is the one, and only solution, Prime Minister.”
There was a long silence amongst the dignitaries. Schmidt then straightened in his chair, “Well, I believe it best I take my leave. This meeting was a waste of my time, and a waste of yours. I will not cease the drilling in Zebrica, it is something you cannot force me to do.” He stood, putting on his trenchcoat and turning to leave, flanked closely by his bodyguard and General Corvus.
As they left, the large wooden doors swung closed and Luna exploded from her chair.
“Have you lost your mind, Empress?! This meeting was meant to peacefully negotiate better environmental precautions and you all but threaten them with war! Do you even understand what kind of mark this leaves on both our countries’ relations with them?”
Brynja scoffed, standing from her chair and walking towards the door herself, flanked by her personal guards. “You may waste your time worrying about petty things such as relations with them, but I have better things to do than negotiate with those destructive beast. If you three cannot come up with a better way of dealing with this, I will be forced to take matters into my own talons. Good day, Princesses.” With that she departed, leaving the three pony princesses alone in the conference room.
Twilight groaned, leaning over the table and covering her face with her hooves. “How could so much go wrong in such a short span of time?” She sighed.
“As I told you Twilight, Humans are unpredictable, but the Empress’s radical intentions and threats certainly did nothing to help the matter.” Luna sighed deeply as well.
Celestia eyes stayed fixed on the door, as if she expected the dignitaries to return and take their seats once more. “I fear we will soon have more than a threat of pollution to worry about...”