Letters from an Irradiated Princess

by Tumbleweed

Chapter 1

To My Favorite Student, Twilight Sparkle,

Of all your admirable traits (of which there are many), I have always most appreciated your desire, your need to learn. More than anything, it is this drive that has made you into the exemplar of friendship you are today. In all my years, I have met very few ponies who are so eager to discover new things, whether it's in the library, on the street, or even in the laboratory.

I would like to discuss that last part.

As has often been the case in many a classical tragedy, a pony's greatest virtue can be twisted into a vice. Thankfully, things have not progressed to the point of high tragedy, seeing as of how we are all still alive, but there are still a few parallels that can be drawn. The term “hubris” comes to mind. I am not implying that there was any mad laughter upon your discovery, nor any declarations such as “I'll show them, I'll show them all!” All I ask is that you maintain a sense of self awareness in these matters.

Again, I applaud your research into new and developing fields of science. Your hypothesis that certain wavelengths of radiation are capable of penetrating magical force bubbles is the sort of brilliant but obvious thinking I have come to expect from you. I had never given much thought to what allowed light to pass through a magical shield, but my own experience with such protective spells has tended towards more practical applications.

You have a keen and brilliant mind, Twilight; even if you weren't the Princess of Friendship, your name would no doubt go down in the history books for your contributions to arcane science. However, I ask that you rein in your enthusiasm, just a little. Your theories are scintillating, but in times such as this one, you might want to revise your experimental procedure.

Admittedly, you couldn't have known the centipede was there when you began the experiment. And again, you couldn't have known the previously unknown mutagenic properties of that radiation. Still, I hope you have learned the importance of keeping a properly sealed and sterile laboratory in order to pursue your studies. If you require any assistance in adding one to your palace, all you have to do is ask.

Furthermore, there was no way you could have known that this now-mutated arthropod had wriggled its way into your saddlebags when you went to share your findings with the Canterlot Academy of Arcane Science. That the train you took to Canterlot happened to be carrying a whole boxcar's worth of apples (which provided the biomass needed to fuel the creature's exponential growth) was again, the sort of coincidence outside of your control.

On a side note, I do not believe the title “Gargantulon” fits any current taxonomy, though I suppose that's just what happens when you let Rainbow Dash name things.

I feel it is important to note, my dearest Twilight, that I do not write these words in anger. Canterlot has endured worse catastrophes in the past, and is sure to endure worse in the future. Even when Gargantulon decided to use my palace as its nest, I took it all in stride. At least I didn't wind up cocooned in changeling slime this time around, which is always a plus.

In fact, I would like to commend you and your friends for your dedication and quick action that prevented any loss of life, and minimized the resulting property damage. Relatively speaking, that is. Insurance premiums have always been high in Equestria, and this incident will no doubt raise them slightly higher. There is at least a silver lining to all this, in that the resulting construction boom will likely cancel out the financial ripples in the insurance industry.

To be honest, it wasn't Gargantulon itself that concerned me. You and your friends have proven yourselves more than capable of handling the occasional giant monster or chaos god. Letters cannot convey the sense of pride I felt when I saw you and your friends subdue Gargantulon, especially after it started breathing fire. (In regards to that, I have my own theory as to that particular mutation-- perhaps Gargantulon is able to somehow ignite its natural centipede venom? I'm willing to leave this as conjecture, however, as further experimentation on Gargantulon's anatomy seems quite impractical. Note: DO NOT TAKE THIS AS A CHALLENGE). Again, it was your quick thinking and your ability to work with your friends as a team that carried the day. In particular, I would like to compliment your friend Fluttershy on her singing voice. I would also ask you where Pinkie Pie was able to acquire a cement mixer on such short notice, but I imagine you do not know the answer yourself.

If there is any criticism in your handling of the situation (apart from the procedural errors that allowed it to arise in the first place), it is the matter of the aftermath. As much as the radiation changed Gargantulon into its current form, certain … fundamental aspects of its anatomy has remained the same. According to the Geiger counter you so thoughtfully provided before your departure, Gargantulon's leavings are in fact more radioactive than the creature itself. I've sealed off the south wing of the palace for safety’s sake, though the smell is more than enough to keep most ponies away. And so, I must humbly request you return to Canterlot at your earliest convenience in order to coordinate the clean up efforts. In the meanwhile, I shall do my best to keep everypony away from the residue in question, though I do not believe your friend Rarity's suggestion for lead-lined undergarments will prove the fashion trend she thinks it will be.

Again, I must reiterate, I do not mean to scold or chastise you with this letter. I only want to ensure that this has been a learning experience for you and your friends. Even if this whole affair could have been avoided in the first place, you and your friends were able to come through in the end. In fact, the way you were able to subdue and relocate Gargantulon without hurting it is something beyond even my own capabilities-- Luna would've had me slay the creature outright (or done so herself), rather than finding that uninhabited island where it can live in peace.

I hope this letter finds you well, and I look forward to your reply. I am sure you will have even more fascinating discoveries to report after your time on Monster Island.




We really should stop letting Rainbow Dash name things.