Negotiations

by Rated Ponystar


Chapters


Negotiations

I checked my papers for what had to be the sixteenth time. Usually Spike was here to help me keep my files organized, but I needed him back in Equestria to keep order. He had grown up so much since I first hatched him from his egg, and the war only made him mature faster than I would have liked. If the worst was to come from this meeting... Well, I trusted him to carry out the backup plans I had prepared just in case.

“Princess, you don’t have to go in alone,” said one of my guards with a look of fear in his eyes. Whether it was for my safety or because we were surrounded by a bunch of soldiers who could-and most likely wanted to-kill us in seconds.

Before I could answer, a voice on one of the communication speakers said, “Princess Twilight. You may proceed to Negotiation Table Alpha.”

I sucked in a deep breath before calmly following our guides down another corridor. It was time to see if Equestria would survive or be destroyed, and it all rested on my shoulders.

No pressure, huh?

I could remember the first time I ever had to represent Equestria with another race. It was almost a disaster. The yaks were this close to declaring war on us, and if it hadn’t been for Pinkie Pie I might have caused the first war in over five hundred years on Equestrian soil. But nothing happened then. We managed to preserve our harmony and peace. I dealt with other negotiations over time such as two warring families, griffins, even a dragon clan or two.

Now, however, I was going to be negotiating with a race that was more deadly than all of those we left back in our dimension. This was a race that I had known for only fifteen years. Sometimes they were brilliant, sometimes they were ruthless, and their seemingly erratic behavior scared me.

Never before had I, or any Equestrian for that matter, ever dealt with such a strange race such as humanity at the negotiating table.

I was escorted by my own personal guards along with those of the U.N. I could feel their hatred even without staring at them, and knew that some of them wanted nothing more than to shoot us and be done with it. If this was the attitude of just these few soldiers in this underground bunker, I feared what the rest of the world would be like.

According to some of my reports, there were a few countries that didn’t hate us in areas like North America and a few European countries. Other places like what remained of the areas once known as the Middle East, Africa, South America and such wanted nothing more than for us to be wiped out. Our surrender to humanity likely saved us from being exterminated via their nuclear missiles like... like the Crystal Empire...

No, I can’t cry now. I can’t cry for the thousands if not hundreds of thousands dead... I can’t cry for Cadance or my niece. At least not now. I had cried for Shining Armor during the invasion of New York City. I had cried for Pinkie Pie. Rarity. The Crusaders. All the ponies that died in the bombing of Ponyville. My parents in the Siege of Canterlot. Princess Luna in the Battle for Jerusalem.  I lost so much.

I had so many to cry for but I couldn’t afford to now; I had to be as strong as I could for my little ponies. The fate of our nation, my people, and the comatose Princess Celestia, who was kept in secret below Canterlot, was in my hooves. And I was all alone. That was the request, myself and myself only.

The corridors were black, almost lifeless if not for the small light bulbs they had. We passed an armed sentry every two minutes, their guns ready every time. I hadn’t thought such horrible weapons could be made. I researched their bloody history and figured that this alone was enough was enough for us to change their ways. Make them just like us and introduce them to the concept of friendship and harmony.

A good portion of them accepted it, becoming the ‘newfoals’ just like we had hoped. What we didn’t expect was such resistance and eventual distrust. That was why Princess Celestia said we had no choice but to force them. If they could not accept our harmony by their own free will and be taught a different path from their destructive ways, then we had to convert them to ours to save them.

It seemed so simple back then, especially with the barrier protecting us from harm and slowly taking over the Earth, but it was gone. Now we were the losers, and they were the winners. We were just trying to save them... but I guess they didn’t want to be saved.

I finally made it to a steel door where one of our human escorts swiped a card and typed some code in a computer. Human technology was always so amazing to see, even now. To think an entire race did this without magic. It made me wonder what would happen if magic and technology was to combined? It was a different mind-set than Princess Celestia; she hated their technology. She told me that their scientific advancements were always for the name of preserving humanity, yet everything they created they also used to destroy or abuse. They had destroyed their environment and were killing each other by the millions-sometimes billions-each century.

She believed they advanced too fast, made too much, tried to become more than they should. I didn’t fully agree with this, but I took it to heart nonetheless. I obeyed her because it seemed she was right. Technology was dangerous... the war only proved that.

The door opened and the guard nodded me to enter. I did my best to look as calm as possible, but inside I was ready to teleport. Well, chances are I wouldn't be able to. No doubt their Thalmann Generators were stationed everywhere and working at full power.

Thalmann Generators, or Anti-Magic Generators as they are sometimes called, were the key weapon that brought about our defeat mid-way through the war. They were what brought down the barrier, allowed Princess Luna to be defeated so easily, ultimately forced us to surrender as our forces were slaughtered, and helped cause Princess Celestia to fall into a coma after using nearly all her magic to protect us.

It sounded... so wrong to me. To think that humans could make something so powerful... render our greatest strength to nothing so quickly. I’ve been under them before and it felt wrong. Like a part of my soul was being sucked away.

The door closed behind me and I was left alone with a single human at a table, a set of notes in front of him. I knew this human very well. His name was Anthony Doyle, a member of the U.N.’s Peacekeeping Department, and he was perhaps one of the few high ranking politicians who were willing to give us a second chance.

“Princess Twilight Sparkle.”

“Mr. Doyle.”

I sat down and for a while neither of us spoke. Mr. Doyle then sighed and leaned back on his chair. “For the record, nobody can hear us inside of here. There are no mics, recordings, or anything of the sort. Nobody will attack, hurt, or kill you while you are a guest and trust me, there are a good number of us humans who want you dead.” I didn’t say anything, but he continued. “The reason I am here is because, despite your attempts to completely exterminate my race, there are some of us who don’t want to utterly destroy your kind. As you know, some ponies sided with us during the war and if not for their help we might not have won. You know of Lyra Heartstrings I presume?”

My horn flickered a bit out of anger. Lyra Heartstrings. To think I was even friends with that traitor. She and her followers sided with humanity and sold us all out. She believed we were in the wrong and they were in the right.

Ponies I knew and trusted joined her: Flash Sentry, Moondancer, Carrot Top, Derpy Hooves, Braeburn, and even Fluttershy. My own best friend Fluttershy believed that what we were doing was wrong. That we had no right to force them into becoming something else; it went against nature she claimed. Human nature was what made them almost destroy themselves in the first place! And even if they did survive what would have been their THIRD world war, they would have continued this over and over again. We were trying to stop it. We were trying to help them. We were trying to save them!

But no... she didn’t listen. None of them did. And now we’re paying the price for doing the right thing. What made it worse was that Discord joined her, his loyalty was to her first and foremost. And with him helping humanity, despite his magic being limited on their side of the world, we had even tougher opponents than before. All because Lyra Heartstrings couldn’t keep her damn monkey-loving mouth shut.

“I know of her, yes,” I said in a tone that made it clear I didn’t want to talk about it.

“It’s because of her, her ponies, and some humans who don’t want to commit genocide-like you tried to do-that want to make sure we can have a peaceful co-existence,” said Mr. Doyle.

“Mr. Doyle. We were not trying to commit genocide, we were trying to save you all,” I said, trying to stay true to my mentor’s beliefs. “Before we came here, you were ready to go into World War Three. Your resources were depleted, poverty and corruption was at an all-time high, and you were killing each other for things such as which god to worship. We offered you a chance to be part of something greater. Something that would give you friendship and harmony. A good portion of your people accepted it-”

“-and now they are mindless drones who preach about the glory of Celestia like some brainwashed Jehovah Witness,” finished Doyle, shaking his head. “Tell me, Twilight Sparkle. Have you MET the newfoals? Seen them? Heard them? Talked with them? As the inventor to a part of the potion that turned my people into them you must have seen the results.”

I winced. Truth was I had. And... I didn’t like what I saw. The potion was to make them just become more pony-like, only with restrictions on their sinful natures, hindering such emotions as greed, lust, and hate. Yet... something went wrong. They just became blindly obedient to Celestia, hating everything about humanity and did anything ordered by any pony. They didn’t harm each other, in fact they were nice... just... too nice. It almost reminded me of Starlight Glimmer’s ponies before I freed them from her.

But it was still better than the alternative. It was better than relying on that human nature that caused them to always repeat the same mistakes over and over. And we had plans on changing them to be a bit more... normal. We just had other priorities such as the Conversion Bureaus and the war.

“I admit there were complications, but they were peaceful. They were happy.”

“They were programmed to be what you wanted them to be,” said Mr. Doyle with a sigh. “I know you weren’t the brains behind the potion, that was Princess Celestia, whom we will get to in a minute, but you still hold some responsibility for that. You had no right to force us to become something we never wanted to become. Nor the right to limit what we could think, feel, or choose.”

“Even if it causes only pain and suffering?” I asked.

“Have you ever seen a human mother find her newfoal son and learn he remembers nothing about her? Have you seen children forced to watch their parents mutate into horses that don’t like them anymore because they are, and I quote, ‘Sinful, polluting and evil humans who love evil technology’? Have you ever seen people kill themselves rather than lose their humanity?”

I was silent, but I admit there was some sympathy for them in my heart. Seeing such things might have been traumatizing, but it was all for the Greater Good as Princess Celestia would say. Yet... were these humans so determined to stay who they were that they were willing to die then to be ponies? I just... I couldn’t understand it.

Why? Why stay a war-and death-loving human rather than become a peaceful and harmonious pony?

“Humanity has always learned by failing and falling. We fall one step, but rise two more. It’s the way we learn, Ms. Sparkle. From what I understand, your kind almost came close to extinction as well if not for a miracle.” He leaned forward. “Strange how there are no historical records of the time before that.”

“It was a time of war and death, why would we focus on such a painful past?” I asked.

“Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” he said. “But about the newfoals. I will not lie and say that the potion doesn’t have some uses. According to our scientists, we can use it to help recreate lost limbs, cure diseases, and such. We’ve had mild success in adapting it, but we want a potion to turn the newfoals back into humans again. Your scientists will work with ours to create this.”

“... fine, but in return you also help us create one for those who want to stay as ponies,” I pointed out. “There are a good many that chose to become one of us of their own free will.”

“That’s fine, but they must contain their memories, personalities, and emotions as they were before. Nothing different,” he stated.

And with that, one deal was done. Now it was my turn.

“We want to repair our homes. We’ve lost so many cities and lands to the war that we want help rebuilding them. Medical aid and food is also a requirement,” I stated.

“Understandable, but but we need it as well for the cities and homes you destroyed, why not compromise?” Mr. Doyle said, writing something down. “We’ll help you restore your cities and homes, but in return our refugees get to live in your nation. Some will live in human-only settlements, others will share with ponies. Think of it as a long-term plan to get our races to coexist with each other. Having human children grow up with pony foals might help ease tension.”

“I suppose there is benefit in that,” I muttered. Even I knew that the power of friendship and magic would not be enough to heal the wounds between us. It would take generations for it to happen.

If we were stuck on this planet, then perhaps we had to get ready to live with it.

The discussion continued on to other topics. What areas ponies could travel to and the same for humans in each others land. Protection from radicals on both sides. Economics. What we were allowed to have military-wise. It was also decided that we would be watched over by the U.N. for twenty years before finally being allowed to govern ourselves again. I would be the representative of my people, but I would have to listen to their rules for now.

I didn’t like it, but I had little choice in the matter. They held all the cards. Two of my friends were dead, as were two of the four alicorn princesses while another was in a coma. I was the last princess remaining to hold any power. Applejack had joined a rebel group to continue the war with Rainbow Dash, neither of whom agreed with my surrender (another two friends I had lost). Fluttershy was no longer my friend after her betrayal. The six of us who defended Equestria for years were broken. Our friendship was dead.

I think that was what hurt me the most. That after everything we had done and faced, in a few short years we lost it all because of war and hatred. I didn’t know who to blame. Humanity? Us? Did it even matter anymore? If the humans wanted they could have killed me and took over my people completely. The fact that we were even having talks was a miracle.

We talked for hours, making plans for the future. But now we came to the last and biggest one.

Princess Celestia.

“We want her dead.”

I was not surprised by this. Princess Celestia, the most beloved pony in my nation, was hated everywhere else in the world. She was the one who tried to give them a better future and they spat in her face. And what was the price she paid for all her hard work and sacrifice? Being trapped in a coma after spending the last of her magic trying to protect us in Canterlot.

“No,” I demanded. “She is our princess. She-”

“Is responsible for everything that has happened,” stated Doyle, slowly standing up. “She had you teleport your nation and people to our world. Made the potion, started the Bureaus. When a majority of us refused she declared war on us and said convert or be destroyed in some bullshit holier-than-thou speech. She has made it clear she sees us as nothing but monsters when the lives of over three billion people are on her hooves as well as the loss of half the nations we once had. Your princess is so hated she united us. She made us put our differences aside just to take her out; fifteen years ago, North Korea and South Korea would have bombed each other to oblivion, now they stand with each other as a united nation again with the history of bloodshed and hatred behind them.”

I felt my throat get dryer. To be honest, my brother, Princess Luna and Princess Celestia all thought it would be an easy war due to their past grudges and prejudices against each other. They had fought over things such as race, nationality, religion, wealth, territory, political ideology and resources. They were divided, scattered, they would be easy pickings.

And yet, they came together. In one single moment, they had one common enemy they hated more than each other, and it was us. We had to face a united world and we were not prepared for that.

Mr. Doyle leaned forward and I trembled under his gaze. “Princess Celestia’s name is more hated than Stalin’s, Hitler’s, Pol Pot’s, Mao’s, Attila The Hun’s, Osama Bin Laden’s and Satan’s at this point. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was Satan himself. She is a blight on not just us but you as well. You worship her blindly. Even now, when you have lost everything, you refuse to see the monster that she really is!” He slammed his hand down and I flinched, backing away. Under his gaze I found nothing but hatred for the princess whom I had learned to trust since I could walk.  “She manipulated everything and decided to make herself a god to rule over this world for you and your kind without even once asking us if it was okay. Without even trying to work with us, negotiate, or even help us she just decided to come in and rule over us by making us in her own image when the only image we deserve to be is the one God gave us.”

“That’s not true! She-”

“Did you know that it was her idea to make all the newfoals sterile?” asked Mr. Doyle, and my voice instantly caught in my throat. I didn’t know this. I checked my notes for any of this, but he tossed one down to me. I read it, my eyes widening as I saw the scientific data. A part of me wanted to cry out that this was a lie, but then I realized something.

It’s been fifteen years but there are no foals from newfoals. Now that they were ponies, they should have gone through their heat cycles and desires for mating just like the rest of us. But did they? Had they really? Or was it... futile?

“This... I didn’t...” I said, slowly losing my control. The idea of making an entire race unable to bear foals was unthinkable in my mind. I... I cannot have children. A bullet during the war saw an end to that...

“Oh, we found some very interesting notes in Princess Celestia’s study as well as a few members of her inner circle who spilled their guts. Did you also know that it was her who suggested to Princess Cadence that she should use the Crystal Cannon to wipe out Rome and Mecca? She thought the destruction of our most religious cities would leave us demoralized. In truth she united the world’s religions with that little stunt, especially after that failed invasion of Jerusalem. I never thought I would see the day where Christians, Hebrews, and Muslims worked side by side in one united army of faith. And what did that lead to for you? Oh yeah, nuclear devastation for the Crystal Empire. How much do you think she used that as a rallying cry for more ponies to join the army?”

I was starting to tremble, it couldn’t really be true could it? Princess Celestia said Cadance used the Crystal Cannon as revenge for my brother’s death in New York City. Celestia told me she was against using it, but... it never sat right with me on how Cadance just used it like that. Without any warning.

I felt my eyes starting to mist over upon thinking about my deceased foal sitter again... and my niece who died in the nuclear aftermath. I had never seen anything so dangerous or terrifying as the nukes. There were now only a few hundred or so Crystal Ponies that survived that attack, and that was only because they had been far away from the site. It was then we knew that the war was coming to an end.

“I have entire graveyards filled with dead mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, and more. I have every nation on earth willing to wipe you out unless that bitch you call “fair and generous” is delivered to us dead or alive. We don’t care if you do it or let us do it. But we want her head.” He leaned forward and growled. “She’s not worth it, Princess Twilight. She’s not. We will do it with or without your blessing, but if you don’t support our decision, others will not be willing to even start letting you make amends, much less forgive you.”

I didn’t know what to say. This was my mentor. My mother figure. The one who I respected most in the world. How could I let them kill her? But I could tell this was no idle threat. If I didn’t condemn Celestia to death by our hooves or theirs, if I didn’t betray her by publicly approving her death and declaring her to be a monster...

“She...” I gulped trying to stay strong. “She’s...”

Mr. Doyle sighed. “Let me ask you one last thing, Twilight Sparkle. Your overall goal was to make us ponies and build a new Equestria here on Earth. One of peace and friendship, right?”

“Yes,” I said.

“In your old world, Princess Celestia and Luna controlled the sun and the moon, but they can’t do it here, right?”

“Yes, that was one of the first things we discovered,” I said, a sinking feeling growing in my stomach.

“And back in your old world there were other races. Griffins, zebras, dragons, minotaurs, yaks, changelings, diamond dogs, deer and more right?”

“Yes, but what does that have to do with anything?!" I demanded.

Mr. Doyle shook his head and sighed. “Who's been controlling the sun and moon in your old world since you’ve been here?”

...

...

... No.

Oh no.

My eyes widen as fear began to grip me. My mouth dropped and I swore my heart stopped beating. Everything then hit me at once. No. It couldn’t be true. It just couldn’t be. I thought about Zecora, Gilda, and all the others we had made friends with in the other nations. I thought about every race from the good-hearted deer to the terrible changelings. I thought about who else could move the sun and moon... and there was nothing.

For fifteen years, the sun and moon never once moved in our old world.

If they didn’t move... then that meant...

The tears started falling down slowly at first. Then they began to cascade like a waterfall, as I finally fell to the floor and wept.

Dead.

They were all dead.

All the griffins, dragons, everyone. Dead. Either burned by an eternal sun or frozen to death under an eternal moon.

All of them were dead. Even if they had survived the sudden change in temperature, without the proper conditions to grow food or find shelter from the extreme environment... they wouldn’t have been able to survive for more than three years at best. Every race on that planet was dead... and we killed them. The moment we left to try and help humanity, they were all doomed.

Spike, the only one who stood by me even to this end, was now the last dragon. Rainbow Dash’s friend Gilda was gone, so soon after they had mended fences. Zecora, who had always been there for me and the others… We never brought the Everfree Forest with us.

And she knew.

She had to have known.

What was it all for then?! Why did she do this!? Why make us do this!?

And then it all hit me.

Everything came to me.

The potion, a new world, no predator races, no evil dark magic users, a land we could easily heal and grow with our own power. If all of humanity was converted, then Earth would only have ponies. A world of only ponies.

All these deaths... all this for...

“... kill her,” I whispered as the love of Celestia died in my heart. Mr. Doyle looked at me with pity as I got up and made my way for the door. “Take her. Kill her and be done with it.”

“Ms. Sparkle,” said Mr. Doyle as he got up and sighed. “For what it’s worth I am sorry.”

“No, Mr. Doyle,” I said as I turned around. “I’m sorry... for everything.”

I left to forever denounce the mentor that raised me. The monster that destroyed us and everything we once stood for. For now though, we would try to make amends with the inhabitants of this new world, and mourn the horrors that our mistakes enacted on those we left behind.