I'm Not A Tribalist

by TheGreatEater

Parliament *updated*

I sat with Cadance and Twilight on the latest meeting of Parliament high in our box seats. It’s not the most enjoyable of duties but occasionally it's something, that as one of the three rulers of our nations is necessary. If only to ensure that they don’t try pulling a fast one, or slip something into a bill that I’ve given a go ahead for. It rarely happens nowadays but it's still good to remain on top of things as they were.

The reason for us being here was three fold: One, Twilight needed to learn the more soul crushingly boring aspects of rule, and second, Cadance wanted to know how our nation did things so that she could bring her nation to the modern era even more than the poor dear already has been. That and I’d never send a fellow ruler here on their own, no, this was a punishment that I would not wish to bring on anyone. Not even Discord… although thinking about it I might bring him along just to see how he’d liven things up, but that’s a matter for next time.

I tried to keep the grin off my face, I truly did. But the thought of Discord shaking things up while myself looking blameless was truly too much. If I couldn’t prank ponies anymore since … the event, then at least I could bring Discord in to do it for me. That is if seeing this didn’t make him change his mind that friendship with ponies was worth it.

“Um … Princess?” Twilight asked, her wings fidgeting.

“Yes Princess?” I snarked.

Twilight rose an eyebrow before remembering the talk we’ve had about a hundred times now before I simply started ribbing her till she remembered, “Sorry Celestia?”

“Yes I do believe that is my name.” what’s gotten into me today?

Twilight let lose a cough that one has when they don’t know whether to choke on laughter, or nervously cough and it comes out as both, “I was wondering what you were thinking about? Is politics really all that great?”

“What ever do you mean Twilight?”

“Well you have this… devious smile? But I don’t get what would be funny about a bill to increase agricultural taxes?”

“Oh was that showing? No this tax isn’t funny, I was just thinking about how much Discord has changed. It really is quite something isn’t it?” I replied serenely.

“Yes it is,” Twilight answered, clearly wondering what the meaning behind the question was.

I turned to Cadance who had a glazed look in her eyes, “Cadance dear, how are you holding up?”

Cadance whose head had been nodding gently jumped after being addressed looking around nervously, Ha! I know that feeling well dearest niece. I should probably introduce her to some tips to staying awake through the monotony. Maybe hook her up with Pinkie’s newest creation, Red Minotaur. It does wonders.

“Oh Aunty! Um sorry, what was the question?”

“I was asking how were you holding up?”

“Honestly?” She asked demurely.

“Of course we’re all princesses here.”

“I was wondering how something so horrible came to be? And how can you look so serene through all of this, plus Day Court when its open, and everything else … this is just … horrible.”

“Ah! As to your first question. There’s quite a bit of history to that. I’ll tell you some day, as for serenity. Lots and lots of practice, and a mane longer than physically necessary.”

Cadance gave a look of understanding and preceded to try listening back to the proceedings, and Twilight. Adorakable, inquisitive, smarter than anypony should be, Twilight. Gave me a look as if she were trying to put together a puzzle. Giving her a sly wink that would have her mind whirring for hours I looked back at the parliament and let my mind wander a bit. I might have to sit through these things but the discussion on this latest bill was taking quite a while.

I get that question asked quite often. Not how come I let parliament and the House of Nobles become so horrible. But how could I look so serene. Ponies recognize emotions from three things, ear placement and position, the eyebrows (eyes were important, but eyebrows held a library of expressions that changed everything with but a twitch), and most importantly one’s muzzle.

My wonderful tiara has the most magnificent duty of resting over my ears, keeping them upright and attentive. If the ears are held backwards they show fear, uncertainty, nervousness. If they droop, worry or disappointment. But upright and perky gave the illusion of confidence, attentiveness, and most importantly composure. Upright ears made a more reliable leader.

Even more important, are the eyebrows and muzzle.. Relaxed eyebrows and slight upturn of the lips. Gave the illusion of calmness and serenity. Any deviation and it belayed a whole slew of other emotions. But the ears, all made them look positive at best, or serious at the worst.

But that beautiful tiara held it all together. The mane of course allowed me to hide expressions, or even act as a booster to highlight what I wished to convey. Mare I loved my animated mane. I can’t wait for Twilight to grow into hers. She’d look absolutely stunning.

But these two young mares didn’t know how to play the game. Neither did Luna. Which made playing poker with them so much fun. So many tells, and they never caught on … my only true competition was Fluttershy and Rarity. Rarity as a fashionista and with a keen eye for detail I could understand. But Fluttershy whom from reports I had received on her when looking for potential bearers to throw into Twilight’s way was a recluse, on top of being a pegasus, a race not known for guile or subterfuge. Yet she flew loops around me in card games. It was quite frustrating.

I coughed to get my companions attentions when Luna burst through the door, lightning dramatically cracking behind her. I leaned to the side and sure enough a tiny storm cloud was behind her, I’m at least glad she’s hasn’t stopped her need for dramatic entrances when she needs somepony’s attention. She’s kept that part of her old self at least.

Before I could gather my wits, Luna shoved a somewhat soggy newspaper at my face.

“Hmmhmm, Luna. You know I love you, but perhaps it might be better to show me the newspaper at a distance further than ‘in my face’?”

“Oh sorry sister dearest. But look at the slander posted on us!”

I gave a titer at that, what could it be this time that got Luna in a tizzy of indignant rage and frantic fury? One look at the title, and I could feel a millenia of control almost break at the urge to facehoof.

Princesses are Tribalist?

Recent information brings startling facts to life. Is Celestia raising the other Princesses to further downtrodden the non-unicorn population?

My mouth opened and closed several times as I tried to comprehend the level of stupidity that was before me. I knew I was going to regret it, but I had to read the rest of the article. While trying to ignore the indignant squawks of my fellow princesses reading over my shoulder.