• Published 11th May 2013
  • 8,287 Views, 38 Comments

Jury Duty - Estee



It's one of the highest services a pony can aspire to. Some ponies shouldn't aspire that high.

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Selection

"Please state your name."

"Twilight Sparkle."

"Your profession?"

"Well, I'm a graduate student performing extended research while on a grant. I'm also the town librarian for Ponyville."

"Very good. Now --"

"Oh, and I conduct intermittent scientific studies on precognition in my basement, which is really separate from the main research. Plus I have to head the Wrapping Up of Winter every year. Also, I'm raising a dragon as both a personal and a professional thing because I really want to publish a book about it some day. And there's the Element I bear when the Princess calls me, I've done some ambassador duties to the Empire, I was sort of in charge of helping them get the Games for a while -- can I have a minute? I should really just write you out a list."

"...Miss Sparkle -- are you certain you can take -- time away from all that to serve on this jury?"

"Of course I can! I'm very organized! Here, I'll show you..."

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"Your name, please."

"...Fluttershy."

"I'm sorry, but the court stenographer didn't catch that. Again for the record?"

"...I'm Fluttershy."

"Miss, nopony heard that. One more time, please?"

"...eep!"

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"Ah want t' make sure Ah've got this right. So once this thing gets started, the one at that table is gonna be sayin' his client is innocent, never did anythin', and we've got t' let him go. Right? And you, you're gonna be telling us that the very same pony did everythin', needs t' be punished, and we've got t' be the ones who say so. That's the way it's gonna work?"

"Yes, that's basically it..."

"Well, fine. Let's just save some time, then! Just tell us right now which one of y'all is the lying bastard, and we can all go home!"

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"...and there's really no point to picking the alternates after testimony concludes, is there? It's like studying for a test that nopony actually gives you: it's nice to have the knowledge, but was there really a point? So I thought we could just figure out who they were at the very start. And drawing them randomly? That's just silly! I was thinking we could have -- a test. An intelligence test! Something which would show how much they knew about the law, and clearly I would pass because I spent hours studying after I got my summons. Now I'm thinking we should go with essays for the first round..."

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"Now, Miss Dash, do you know anypony in the courtroom today?"

"Sure do! Right over there at that big table! Hey, over here! Remember me? I was at your show! And your other show, and your other show, and I'm going to be working with you one day! Just wait and see!"

"...Miss Dash -- you know the defendant?"

"Well, who doesn't? He's only a Wonderbolt. Come on -- who doesn't know every last Wonderbolt there ever was! -- you're not one of those ponies who doesn't have them all memorized, are you?"

"Ah. But you don't know him personally."

"Well -- not really. Not yet. All I know is that he's one of the coolest ponies ever and if he's on trial for assault, then the other pony? Totally deserved it. That's what the evidence is gonna say and that's how I'm gonna rule. And that's my sworn duty as a juror, right? To go with the evidence? He is self-evidently cool. Good thing you've got me: he needs a jury of his peers, and I? Am as close as anypony here is going to get. By the way, do we get nap breaks?"

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"...and darling, I don't know how you expect me to take your client seriously. You want him to dress to impress! He has to radiate that air of innocence, every fiber of his very being must be screaming 'I am a pure stallion, victimized by the cruelty of an uncaring world which does not understand what truly happened!' And you? Have put him in pinstriped black. Really, the only way he could possibly look like more of a villain was if you had him sitting there prying stones out of his hooves with the bloody knife you're still going to tell me he didn't use. I want to keep an open mind, of course, but here you've already gone and told us how it all happened before the trial even begins! I don't read a novel from the back of the book! Didn't anypony in law school ever teach you about calming hues?"

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"Please raise your right front hoof to take the juror's oath. I, insert name here."

"I, insert name here. Oh, that's funny! I should try that out for a day or two! 'Hi, I'm Insert Name Here!' I wonder if ponies would call me that or if they would actually insert a name on the spot! What do you think they would name me? If they didn't know me at all, otherwise they might just say something like 'Pinkie, you're being random again,' except that I just planned this out right now so that's really kind of unfair."

"Miss Pie..."

"Say, you know some ponies say names are destiny? You know, like how somepony will name her filly with something that includes a reference to an occupation and then that pony gets a cutie mark for the job? What kind of cutie mark do you think Insert Name Here would have? I bet it's a blank form! You'd be really good at filling them out! Or writing them up. Maybe in triplicate. Wow, that's boring. When I have a foal of my own someday, Insert Name Here? Is not going to be on the short list."

"Miss Pie."

"Or maybe -- maybe he'd be a unicorn -- yeah, that's definitely a colt's name -- and he'd wind up with the magic power to insert a new name on any pony! And maybe their cutie mark would even change with it! Oh, that's -- bad. Really bad. Trust me, that's horrible. Okay, still off the short list. So where were we? Oh, right! I, Insert Name Here, do solemnly swear -- can I say 'buck' here? And how do I do it solemnly?"

"Miss Pie!"

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"...plus the jury box is just so badly designed! I mean, would you look at this? Two rows of eight benches? Now if we assume you wanted the benches to be a little uncomfortable so we'd all stay alert during the trial, you still have to account for the sheer number of times we'll file in and out during extended sidebars and all the standard breaks. Two groups of eight ponies going down two rows is just inefficient. Now if you'll look at this chart which I'm calling Exhibit A for practice, you'll see where I've drawn up a sketch showing four rows of four seats. Much more effective. Now naturally, any pegasi on the jury can have the top row, with their flying in saving still more time..."

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"So -- did anypony get a trial?"

"Naw."

"No, dear."

"Nokily-dokily!"

"No! Because all the attorneys were so lame!"

"...no."

"Huh. Weird."

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Comments ( 38 )

A Wonderbolt on trial? Oh dear. He'd better pray that Spitfire doesn't know about this. She's gonna hit the roof when she finds out. :rainbowderp:

This was very silly, but it was the good kind of silly. I certainly got a few chuckles out of it. Also, you managed to capture all of the character's voices relatively well, so there was not all that much confusion as to who was talking. There were quite a few grammatical hiccups (you may want to consider an editor), but that's just nitpicking. Overall, nice work. :pinkiehappy:

And we now see why jury trials are a mess. You do not get ponies like Twilight on the jury, you get maybe Hayseed if you are lucky.

Gave me a good hearty laugh. Especially Applejack's part.:twilightsmile:

2561936

Thanks for the spot. I've been so wrapped up in my Extinction Of 'Everyone' campaign (the word, not the world -- 'everypony' still doesn't always get in on first typing) that other errors have been scurrying away in the dark. I didn't even see the triple comma I had in for an ellipse until I went in to fix your find.

As long as I'm writing...

Open Courtroom Playground

I hereby grant permission to FIMFic's writers to take the Jury Duty concept and use it to show any other characters of their choice being rejected from service. (A little 'original concept by Estee' at the end of each would be nice, along with a notice of having written a new one.)

After all, all the ponies in this jury pool are crazy.

(Double-posted to Comments and Blog for better visibility.)

:rainbowhuh: Uh who are the other ponies? There are 2 extra conversations, or were those Twilight again because of all the inefficiency and school work. Otherwise this is pure comedy gold, AJ and RD for sure.

2774353

Twilight again both times. You know, once she gets going, she's kind of hard to stop.

I wonder which Wonderbolt it was? It couldn't be Soarin, he's way too chill. Well, maybe if the dude was blocking the pie counter. Then shit is on.

:ajsmug: Ah calls em lahk Ah sees em...
:rainbowhuh: I still don't get why they wouldn't want me in there though. I'd be like, the COOLEST juror ever!
:yay: i'm just happy i DIDN'T get chosen...
:duck: Well, I still say they could have at LEAST hired me to advise their client on how to dress for a trial.
:facehoof: i just can't figure out why they wouldn't listen to ANY of my suggestions... they would have saved so much time!
:pinkiehappy: well, how about a "nopony-got-chosen-but-that's-okay" party to celebrate?
:trollestia: there better be cake.
:eeyup: eeyup...
:moustache: sweet. i could use some cake before they sequester us after the trial tomorrow.
:twilightoops: how did YOU get chosen?!
:pinkiesmile: silly Twilight, he has a mustache! how could you not trust someone with a mustache?

Pfft, yeah this is pretty much how it would happen. :rainbowlaugh:

RD, Twilight, and Pinkie would be the worst jurors ever.

Hilarious little story.

I would have loved to see all six of them in an actual jury setting, though. Imagine the havoc! :facehoof::pinkiecrazy:

That was awesome, and it makes me really want to read a Twelve Angry Ponies story.

I have heard stories from my dad and Uncle Henry (Lord rest both their souls) about the jury selection process. This story sounds like someone who's been there.

And I so love Applejack's comments:
"Ah want t' make sure Ah've got this right. So once this thing gets started, the one at that table is gonna be sayin' his client is innocent, never did anythin', and we've got t' let him go. Right? And you, you're gonna be telling us that the very same pony did everythin', needs t' be punished, and we've got t' be the ones who say so. That's the way it's gonna work?"

"Yes, that's basically it..."

"Well, fine. Let's just save some time, then! Just tell us right now which one of y'all is the lying bastard, and we can all go home!"

I'm with you, Applejack! :ajsmug:

And since she's the Element of Honesty, how could she even sit on jury? Wouldn't she be able to pick out the liars from the get-go? Surely that sort of ability with its power to shorten trials (and cut attorney's fees) would get her disqualified.

3093489
In that case, she should just be the judge: it would be the best money saving decision Celestia would ever make, and being a lawyer would suddenly become a lot tougher

3115411 True, but AJ would probably hate it, seeing how she's just a farm girl at heart.

3116184
No arguments there, perhaps in her home town where disputes are few rather than in Canterlot where i assume this summons took place.

Okay, this is hilarious. I really loved Applejack's straightforward approach to the whole thing.

Woo, I was the 1,000th viewer! I think you had Twilight down to perfection, but she failed to factor in the pegasi and unicorns who could fly/teleport in :twilightoops:

I thought Applejack would be in, not much reason to disqualify her for telling the truth is it? :ajsleepy:

How about Insert Name Here as a first name only. If his first name was Insert, I wouldn't let my filly get too close to him, if you know what I mean.

Hi there. I hope you don't mind, but I liked this fic so much I have put together an audio version on YouTube.

3665705

Mind? Ummm... see most-recent-as-of-this-writing blog entry. (For late arrivals, that's this one.)

Short, can't repeat it all here without feeling twice as linguistically bereft form: anything but. Thank you.

(Awk-ward...)

Ah, that's what was throwing me off. I didn't know Twilight got multiple sections, so Twi2 had me thinking, "...Cheerilee...?" and Twi3 had me completely stumped. But now that I've got it... I've got it. :twilightsheepish:

I listened to scribbler's reading of this and loved it. This is a great, funny little Fic. Favourited and liked:twilightsmile:

This is a silly little thing.

Poor lawyers. They never saw it coming.

SHL

So silly and fun! XDDDD

Poor Twilight. The world is full of ingrates who don't appreciate her efforts to make things more efficient. ;)

This was hilarious and silly and fun. :rainbowlaugh::pinkiehappy:

This was awesome. Also, I think Rarity has a point...

3121118

There's one simple reason that won't work:

They're all lying bastards.

oh, that "insert name here" reminds me of several Diskworld stories:
Vimes has a personal "dis-organizer" run by an Imp who always calls him "insert name here".
and when people take the oath, they keep saying, "i comma square bracket name of applicant square bracket..."

7342427
Unless you are Detritus, then you repeat it about 10 minutes later after everyone else does.

You'd think they were being dumb and quirky at first glance, but they were actually being smart. They just dodged jury duty which can be loooooong and boring.

8520027
hell, I was just in jury duty in September; I managed to get out for nearly the entire month, then on the VERY LAST DAY, I got picked. had to stay the whole day and miss work (which was okay, because my job has a VERY good jury duty policy)

8520784
Cool, I'm up for possible jury picking myself.

"Say, you know some ponies say names are destiny? You know, like how somepony will name her filly with something that includes a reference to an occupation and then that pony gets a cutie mark for the job? What kind of cutie mark do you think Insert Name Here would have? I bet it's a blank form! You'd be really good at filling them out! Or writing them up. Maybe in triplicate. Wow, that's boring . When I have a foal of my own someday, Insert Name Here? Is not going to be on the short list."

Finally someone understands.

Perfect characterization.

"Well, fine. Let's just save some time, then! Just tell us right now which one of y'all is the lying bastard, and we can all go home!"

I think I died of laughter right here. :rainbowlaugh:

omg pinkie, rarity, aj and twilight were insane in this story why haven't i found this earlier?

5396694
I read a story about a week or so ago where Twilight becomes a Princess via a strange adventure with Princess Luna (oh and they are an item btw). Anywho, Twilight is having a meeting with some group of Nobles and she gets a bit flustered and tells everyone to freeze, and in doing so freezes time across the entirety of Equestria. Naturally, Twilight panics and tries to figure out how to fix things, and whilst doing just that notices some errors and inconsistencies within the magical "field" that is part of Equestria, she makes everything nice and neat and restarts time, but quickly notices something very wrong. Everyone, including her special somepony Luna is acting very odd, they are all acting like machines no emotion, no personality, no nothing. Thankfully before the story's end everything is back to normal, but she learned that perfect efficiency is not all that its cracked up to be.

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