• Member Since 20th Feb, 2012
  • offline last seen March 29th

Eakin


T

When Twilight unveils a secret she's carried for half a lifetime, Luna and Celestia debate how best to respond.

Sometimes there is no right or easy answer.

Chapters (2)
Comments ( 331 )

WOW. I'm... Gonna have to think on this one for a bit...

Damn good story, in any case.

~Skeeter The Lurker

What happened to Luna's dream powers?

dont you have a story you should e working on? or did this just pop into your head again?

2862265
I honestly didn't write it with that intention. It's barely even a pony story.

Still, if it makes the box and encourages someone to think, I'd be more than OK with that.

2862270
Several! But this only took me about three hours. My muse is a pushy one, and doesn't like being denied.

truth be told.... im conflicted with this and how tia and luna went about it.

Of course. Even Celestia insinuates it's only the guy who committed the crime when what happened is mutual statutory rape, and Twi didn't voice her change of consent, which she had given prior... Still, glad Cele beat Luna down from enacting any kind of punishment for what is, we must remember, a stupid decision made by two thirteen year-olds who didn't know better.

This is not injustice, and if it makes Luna feel better to give a warning to a pony that she has no reason to suspect has raped again (even though, from his point of view, he wasn't raping her because she had given prior consent!) or will in future... well, as long as it doesn't infringe on his rights, whatever she can do to make herself feel better about "helping" Twi, I suppose.

"But sister, what if we used one of our time travel spells--"

"Nay. There are no good answers."

"The healing powers of the elements of harmo--"

"No good answers."

"Princess Cadance could restore her ability to love--"

"NO good answers, Luna."

Umm... no. No you don't have the right to go harass this stallion. He hasn't been formally accused or convicted a crime. Plus the statue of limitations. He was a stupid kid as was Twilight.

Was with you till the end then Tia decided to throw it all to the wind.

What brought this story on, if I may ask?

2862275

Well, you got someone to think on it. (Me.)

~Skeeter The Lurker

2862368
I don't know. I've never been through anything like this, nor has anyone I know, thank god. I just had this sense that Twilight was a pent up ball of nerves, there must be a reason for that, and then my mind went to the worst possible place. Still, I didn't want it to be "Twilight gets raped boo hoo let's feel bad for her" and that was it. I mean, I do think we should feel bad for her, but it happened to her under awkward circumstances at an awkward age, in a way that I hope offers a little more nuance. Besides I think this is a lot more like how most rapes happen than "Girl grabbed in an alley by a stranger."

2862269 ...
Story completely invalidated gentlemen!
Whelp, so much for this story.

2862355

"But sister, what if we used one of our time travel spells--"

Obviously, such a thing didn't, and therefore can't, happen because of the way time travel spells work, as Twi demonstrated for us in-show.

"The healing powers of the elements of harmo--"

I believe it was in one of Eakin's own stories where it is stated there is a reason they are not called the Elements of Niceness (or something like that). We have no reason to believe they would work on this.

"Princess Cadance could restore her ability to love--"

We don't even know Twilight's "original" orientation. For all we know, she could have been asexual before being pressured into having sex!

You know someone else mentioned this but I'd like to go into more detail, Equestria has proven time spells that if configured correctly...well time constraints suddenly seem a lot less limiting. Why this possibility wasn't explored or addressed considering your dabbling in them yourself brings some SoD into play but other than that this story is...cute in a horrible a way from the fact it doesn't just give us a "Raped!Twilight lets go get the killer (wo~w :rainbowderp:) perp story".

2862476>>2862472>>2862355
Honestly, free time travel resolves so many dramatic conflicts it's ridiculous. Also, unrelatable. People go through things like this, and time travel would just be a cheap resolution when the problem is so grounded in real life.

2862344
I'm not sure it's 'mutual statutory rape' or even statutory rape at all when they're each thirteen. And while I did intend for it to come across with a sizable grey area about where it lay on the spectrum from consensual to mustache-twirling evil, I think her trying to push him away makes a difference. And obviously striking her later is beyond the pale.

2862507
True, but this is Equestria, where if you don't have an answer to a question give the following:
lh4.ggpht.com/lsGRRNqYLooBudlfTft7ymB3HltijvlhXWngrdEEtPUCg6kOhZWPZmlxrt7EvjYL1Gac09Y=s151
But that doesn't excuse much, so all I'm saying is:
Problem: These ponies have free time travel.
Answer: Outlaw it and make any evidence produced in court through means of time travel considered contaminated (or whatever legal jargon they use to say "We can't use this.")

2862507

Well, yes. That's why, to me, this doesn't work as pony fiction. The premise of ponies is that there are magical remedies to such things as well as a cultural milieu--that of a children's cartoon--that eschews sexuality entirely.

And if you want a really scary idea from this story, it's that that may be the best answer to a bad situation: to return to the sex-negative views that once held sway. Were rapes unknown in that time? No. But there was a clearer response. If two fifteen-year-olds were sleeping together, it was a problem, irrespective of consent. Is the psychological repression and necessary sexism of sex-negativity worth a potential reduction in rapes? Maybe, maybe not. The genie's not going back in the bottle, so we won't know.

2862344
I'm KINDA with this guy ... not so vehemently, though. While Twilight did have a change of consent and should have voiced it, I believe the kid that he was was entirely in the wrong (maybe not 'charge as adult' wrong but definitely and firmly in the wrong). There is no justice in abusing the powers of a Princess to harass the man he became though. In fact, if Twilight (not Princess Twilight but Twilight Sparkle) went up to him and explained what happened, I think this guy would be devastated. He's a banker, a family man and a soon-to-be-father. I really doubt he'd be proud of what he did.

Hell, he'd probably suicide.

So, yeah. I like the thought of Twilight being raped and I like the thought of the situation having no really good answers but Celestia seems uncharacteristically ... vengeful here and where I should be tsking at the stallion and 'for shaming' him, I end up feeling more sympathy for him then Twilight. And that's just fucking WRONG in this situation.

EDIT: Like the thought IN A STORY SENSE people, as a way of creating drama, pathos and the like ... just making sure you know.

2862507
I'm assuming that thirteen is still considered a minor, under the age of consent, which is how you presented it. I suppose technically it is not precisely "statutory rape" on the base that neither were an adult, but the face remains the the male in this scenario was acting based on Twilight's consent; even though she couldn't give it, he couldn't either, so why blame only him?

"Pushing" does not equate to "take back consent". Twilight was apparently weak enough that the other might not have even felt her pushing, or misinterpreted her pushing (this depends on what position they were in, and whether that position could "benefit" from Twi helping her partner with pushes).

2862344 Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the male in question:
1) Didn't think to check in again when she started squirming
2) Verbally and physically abused Twilight after he couldn't maintain an erection
3) Is currently married and living a wonderful life with a wife and a baby on the way, while Twilight hasn't felt right about herself for years.

Also, Twilight is very special to both Celestia and Luna, so of course they're gonna take her side of things. And since she's still damaged, even years later, they have a pretty good reason to take her side of things. I mean, do you know how hard it is for a woman to change consent partway through something like this? I do. There's some kind of expectation on females to be alright with men wanting to have sex with them. There's a stigma attached to sex, especially when a girl or woman is coming into their sexual maturity, that implies that they should be damn grateful that a man even wants them, like if they don't want to do it, they're spitting on the generous gift of a man's affections, of a man's penis. The lower the self-esteem of the girl/woman/mare/filly/whatever you wanna call them, the less likely they are to say 'no'. Because even if it's the most terrifying, horrible experience of their life, it still feels great, in some perverse way, to know that somebody out there actually thinks they're worth shagging.

I've done some things with a man that I am still deeply ashamed of because I was even more frightened of saying 'no' to him than of what he was doing to me, or with me, if you're going to go that route. Because I was certain that the moment I said 'no' or anything implying 'no' he would get bored and move on, or he wouldn't want me. I knew it was wrong to feel that way, and I knew it was stupid and unhealthy, but I still thought it. And when I finally realized how bad it was for me to spend time around him, I was frightened of telling him I wanted to end whatever the hell we had going on, because I felt like a cocktease for it. I felt cheapened because I didn't have the courage to stick it out to a more 'socially acceptable' timeframe of more than a week and a half.

Should I blame the man in question because I didn't say anything? I don't anymore, but I didn't feel comfortable hugging people for a few months after. I wouldn't stay alone in a room with a straight man for about three or four months, even if I knew they were a good person and wouldn't try anything. Was it my fault for listening, for complying silently while hating every second, or was it his for asking me to do things and talking dirty the whole time. I don't know. I'll never know. But I just wanted to take a little time and point out why some people would place blame on the "man" in this situation.

2862275 Certainly made me think.

You have a real talent for putting Twilight through hell.

2862568
Why is it so difficult to understand that, as far he was aware, he didn't even know he was raping her! He's being blamed for a crime he has no knowledge of committing. If such a policy as Luna wanted to employ were to be made universal, one might as well blame Shining Armor for helping the Changelings attack Canterlot, mark him as a traitor, and throw him to the slums where he will be forever shunned. They were both equally, comparably ignorant of the "crime" they committed.

If such an injustice as almost happened here isn't deserving of sympathy, well...

Thoughts have been thunk but there isn't much left for me to say all the above commenters have discussed this very well.


and that if he ever puts even a toe out of place, we will know, and we

I never knew ponies had toes

2862649
We don't KNOW what he knew, only what Twilight knows. She pushed against him (that may be misconstrued) and was nonreactive (that ... well, I can't see me NOT asking if she's ok, even at that age, but it was 18 years ago so I may be overestimating my own empathy at that point). Knowing what I know NOW, that's almost shouting 'no' to me. He was a dumb kid however, and until we hear HIS side of the story, we don't KNOW everything. From reading the above, it really feels to me that he pushed too hard and too fast. Control your hormones, people.

Regardless, he was a complete and utter jerk afterwards regardless of the rape (potential rape, etc.). Just as I would not allow a woman to hit me because she cannot orgasm during sex, I will not stand by as a man hits a woman for his own ... difficulties. Enacting violence of that sort is pretty obviously a 'bad thing' and shows his viewpoint at the time (females were there as pleasure-objects rather than people). I would hope he'd have changed in the interim but a happy family outside could hide some bad things.

Regarding Celestia's response, that can ONLY end poorly for her and her sister. I'd feel terrible if that was me and I'd come out publicly to apologize for my actions, to explain myself (as much as can be explained - for I would feel as it was 'rape without knowledge' which doesn't help but at least it wasn't malicious) and to help rape victims as a type of penance for my actions - as well as highlighting the favoritism that exists in the royal house and how abusive of power the two Princesses can be. Revolutions have started with less and Twilight would end up blaming herself for igniting that series of protests. So yeah, control your emotions Princess.

EDIT: But I agree that what the Princesses are going to do in this story is WRONG - the Princesses should not get involved at all except as a stable and loving pair of friends for their friend. Anything else is just base vengeance and that only perpetuates a cycle of violence and pain.

2862700 there is actually a part of the hoof called the toe. I double checked

2862764
To be brutally honest, so did I - but in a situation similar to the one outlined above. It was done years ago, it was because they were both pretty dumb kids and it was not a clear-cut situation for either of them - and Twilight feels horrible about it and wants to know what to do.

Hmm, that's a good story idea actually.

2862720
Thirteen year-olds: When they're not having sex and hitting each other, they're talking about sex and hitting each other. As a pacifist and asexual from a young age, I was very aware of these things--or maybe it was just my school?... Either way, blaming someone for one's own failings is so automatic in the human--and, I assume, pony--psychology, especially around those ages, that it is utterly unremarkable and, at worst, worthy of a slap on the wrist to teach the offender that such things aren't going to be tolerated when one becomes an adult... which it seems he doesn't really need any more.

As for "if it was me"... well, also "if I wasn't asexual", I don't know about coming out publicly. Of course I would still feel terrible that I had inadvertently caused another trauma, but publicly? If I could scrounge up the courage (being honest, I probably wouldn't be able to), I would apologize and explain myself to the person I hurt, perhaps in the company of that person's family and loved one's, if they so desired, but I wouldn't go any further--as far as I'm concerned: "none of their business" and nothing else need be said. From such a position, I wouldn't know Luna showed such favoritism, so-...

The guy just wouldn't know what had almost happened to him, so I don't think he would be able to accuse Cele or Luna of anything that would cause any dissent.

I don't see any sort of justice in tormenting the guy, especially so long after the event. From what is described he sounds more like a dumb teenager who was terrified about his under-performance than the serial rapist Luna was trying to describe him as. Even if he wasn't sorry then, ten years is a very long time.

I can't see Celestia just going along with abusing their power like that because of their personal feelings toward the incident, especially considering that this guy sounds like he grew up to be a descent person. The way they're acting makes me feel more sorry toward him rather than Twilight.

2862568
This is actually what I wanted to say exactly, but worded much better. And to think Luna wanted to mutilate the guy.

It seems to me that both the princesses are being affected by the fact that it's a personal issue and thus they are heavily emotionally involved.

Hoo boy...this is always a tough subject to cover. :facehoof:
(It was a good story, don't get me wrong. :twilightsmile:)

Luna is the Princess of the Night and Dreams.... I say she become NIGHTMARE moon for the rest of 1 ponies natural life if you get my meaning.

2862368>>2862568>>2862649>>2862720>>2862839
Yikes. I didn't ever intend for the ending to read as "Celestia and Luna hound the guy until he dies/confesses." I've changed it to clarify that I was aiming for "Yell at him for a few minutes in private with the Royal Canterlot Voice."

2862904
The Royal Canterlot Voice could be as bad as Luna's proposition to put him on trial in order to get the public to mob him as a sex offender, even if they wouldn't be able to get a guilty verdict, given that it is pretty much inevitable that ponies all around would hear their accusations and warnings, even if it is "in private"...

2862282
Also why am i not getting notified when you update?

2862904

Still can't do that. You still have Royality interjecting themselves in the private citizen's life for a vendetta.

They would be ruining his life and the family he built just by showing up.

They have to either stick with letting it go or execute legal channels.

Anything else is an abuse of power and hypocritical given what was said before. I know you were trying to end the fic on a lighter not, but it's not appropriate for the subject matter and the way it was approached.

2862882

This actually seems like the best way to go about it. It's an entirely private action that (ab)uses no formal authority of the government, and unlike yelling at him, it's perfectly discrete. If the stallion in question figures out what's going on (and he might not), he might petition for redress, in which case Celestia can 'grant' it in the coldest of terms. Celestia can be angry in a way that's terrifying without being tyrannical or interesting to tabloids.

I will note that statues of limitation exist for a very good reason, and that is precisely to prevent things from becoming unjust for the accused.

Thing is, while people are focusing on the rape, the really vile thing isn't that he had sex with her. The really vile thing was hurting her afterwards. THAT is the bit that speaks very poorly to his character.

If you were really going to go with vigilante justice, you could just send him a note. "I know what you did with Twilight when you were both 13 years old. There is nothing I can do to you now, but know this: I am watching. You have a second chance. Don't screw it up." Don't even sign it. Though I suppose you could say that he owes her an apology.

It would scare the shit out of him, but really cause no lasting harm. As long as HE was the one who got the note, anyway (you'd have to make sure of it).

Also probably making sure that his wife is okay would be smart. But if she is?

Not much you can do now but let go. Won't really solve anything.

Ultimately the purpose of punishment is to improve society. What good does punishing him now do, if he never did anything like it again?

“I would deny you vengence. There’s a difference.”

vengeance

“Twilight doesn’t care about her public image,” said Luna. “Besides, we could keep her anonymous in the public record. Nopony would ever have to know that she was involved at all”

period at the end

I didn't read into this too deeply, because then it would lead to the topic of rape apologism (which, after reading the comments, I see it already has), something I don't feel like delving into at this particular moment. I especially liked the idea of being both omnipotent and impotent--how even the princesses are unable to find a good solution to the problem (thankfully that's the core message of the story, rather than a debate on the more controversial topic).

I like the edited ending better in that it reads less vindictively, but I still feel that it alters the mood of the story negatively. Most of the humor before that point still has a dark feeling to it, but given a line like:

Then the frown broke into a wide grin.

I find the impact of the story to be severely weakened. Also, I still don't believe that's an appropriate way to react. As lighthearted as their foreshadowed actions may appear, it seems like it could far too easily ruin the stallion's life.

2862649

Did...did you just compare rape to Shining Armor, who was brainwashed and drained of magic, being unable to stop the Changeling invasion? :rainbowhuh:

....because even if you aren't in the same context, that's an awful thing to relate. I'm sorry, but it really is. :ajbemused: And yes, I understand you're equating how Luna wanted to punish him, but I really can't get behind that at all.

I also can't imagine that he wouldn't have figured out that he had possibly committed rape. I was taught sex ed from age 11-13 (when majority of people that I know had it, and which included consent issues), and even if he had the most basic knowledge about sex, I REALLY doubt that he couldn't have put the pieces together at some point in time.

2863075
"Speaks poorly about his character"? He was THIRTEEN! Anyone who is sane does not remain as they were when they were thirteen; he's even heavily implied to be a well-respected member of society.

It would scare the shit out of him, but really cause no lasting harm.

Yeah, it would only mentally traumatize him for the rest of his life, possibly making him become irrationally paranoid, which could then completely destroy his life and the lives of those who care about him...

2863080
I compared the stallion's supposed "rape" to what Shining Armor "did to help" the Changeling's invasion: As I already said, they were equally ignorant of their crime.

As for sex Ed., well, I only got that in high school--way past 13--and rape wasn't even addressed.

2863154
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you.

I actually have to wonder just how many people would go crazy if you implied you knew of their greatest sin and were watching them to see if they put a foot out of line. I doubt it would be very many.

I don't think most people are really so unstable as you make them out to be. Most people aren't going to go crazy over that. Feel guilty? Sure. But they'd probably lose their paranoia fairly quickly.

And really, being a well respected member of society is pretty meaningless as far as being a good person goes. Look at how many "well respected" members of society do things like get drunk and kill their girlfriend in a car accident (Ted Kennedy), randomly skip the country to go to Brazil to cheat on their wife (Mark Sanford), or get into dog fighting (that one NFL dude). Its quite possible to be a fairly loathsome person and be a "well-respected member of society".

I wouldn't say it is the right thing to do. Though it isn't wrong either.

Is letting him off without even a warning the right thing to do either?

I don't think it is.

Of course, if Twilight eventually confronts him, it all becomes moot. And frankly, Twilight confronting him will likely be far worse than what any note will ever do to him, especially if it is done somewhere public (which it probably would be for safety's sake, though of course she COULD just summon him to the palace... not that that wouldn't mess with him either) and ended up in a yelling match.

And being thirteen is no excuse at all. Thirteen year olds are entirely capable of telling right from wrong.

2863208
That's why I added "possibly" and "could"--I hardly know him, of course, but the possibility remains that such a note could do serious harm, and not only to the intended target. That possibility should be enough to strike the idea from consideration on the grounds of such a mental attack with fallout being disproportionate retribution. Letting him off without a warning is exactly what should be done because, I continue to reiterate, he had no knowledge that what he was doing was rape...
Here's the breakdown
1. Twilight conveys to "perp" that she is consenting.
2. Twilight revokes consent, but does not voice it, nor display it in a way that cannot be misconstrued.
3. "Perp" continues with sex, still believing everything he's doing is consensual.
This may be a somewhat disproportionate comparison, but try to keep in mind what I'm trying to convey:
1. Lender conveys to "car thief" that they can take the car for the day.
2. Lender revokes agreement, but does not communicate it to "car thief".
3. "Car thief" continues driving car, still believing they are borrowing it.
Would you convict the "car thief"? -or blame them of, well, anything?

I know it might seem cold, but the law (as I believe) should be absolutely logical and consistent--emotion has no place.

EDIT: while 13 is above the age for knowing right and wrong, I feel fairly certain in saying that thirteen year-olds do not apply such knowledge consistently, nor in a way responsible adults might call "correctly". In addition (if ponies are comparable to humans), 13 is an age at which one is very likely to be very new to sex (if one knows of anything about sex at 13), and thus likely not to understand all of it's intricacies. "Intricacies" being such things as "consent" and "rape".

2862355

Time Travel: You want to buck with the life of one of the cornerstones of Equestria's survival? For all we know, the damage is what made her into the Element of Magic to begin with.

Healing by the Elements of Harmony: Possible, if the other bearers knew. On the other hoof, if they were going to heal her, why haven't they already? It's possible that because they have she's come out with this, but still...

Princess Cadance Restoring her ability to Love: Err, this has shades of 'want it; need it', and even wholly pure, it could still lead to a very bad situation given that her only sexual experience was getting raped at 13. Kind of messes you up for life, after all.

Granted, Twilight has a much better chance of fully recovering than IRL. Far, far higher, and her connections means that she won't feel as vulnerable in the future with them reminding them that if anyone even tries they can be there in an instant. But there is likely no quick fix, even in Equestria. Celestia has a point, there aren't really any good options here.

2863291
As I noted in my first post:

The part that was really vile about this wasn't the sex. Was it bad? Yes. Was it rape? Yes. Did he know he was raping her? Maybe, maybe not. You should know if your partner is consenting at all times, and trying to push you off is a lack of consent, but it could potentially be misread. Note, however, that knowing that you are raping them is really irrelevant to the law. Consent is not implied by default, the reverse is true. But you have to actually prove it in a court of law, and he-said, she-said is pretty worthless. Had it just been sex, he would never have been convicted in a court of law.

HOWEVER, this is actually really irrelevant to my point. The vile part wasn't the sex. If it had just been the sex, it would have been bad, but, well, whatever. Twilight probably would have thought it was a bad experience, but she would have written it off as just that.

The bad part was that, when he went soft, and she laughed, he hit her and said what he said. -That- is the truly vile part. That is the part that speaks to his character. And it was the part that hurt Twilight.

The irony is, the bruise on her face from being hit would probably get him convicted of rape. Had they just had bad sex that wasn't really consensual, he would never be convicted. Hitting your partner, though, indicates your mindset, and trying to shame them like that even more so.

However, the statute of limitations has expired, so he couldn't be convicted anyway.

But that doesn't mean that what he did wasn't deeply wrong. There's good reasons to be worried about that, especially given his attitude of shaming his partner into not saying what happened. That right there is a very bad sign for obvious reasons.

A warning is entirely appropriate because of his behavior afterwards. If it had just been the sex, that would be one thing. But Twilight wouldn't have had problems with just the sex most likely.

2862269
Are you suggesting she use them to punish the little mule that did this, or that she would have known about this earlier? Either way would be an interesting premise for a sequel.

2863494

Consent is not implied by default, the reverse is true.

Twilight... gave... consent. I'm getting tired of saying this. What do you expect? That everyone, while they're having sex, continually cry out, "I give consent for X to fuck me! I give consent for X to fuck me!" because that seems to be what you're hinting at.
...
Will I be continually called back to make my points?
1. No one who is sane (and this stallion sounds like he's in his right mind, being so successful in addition to Celestia apparently not being able to find a case that she can reasonably connect him to) remains as they were when they were 13. This guy might not even remember this incident, it sounds like it would be so forgettable from his point of view.
2. It is a fairly common psychological barrier to blame others for one's own failures. While this is a more extreme case, it appears to be an isolated incident.
3. Thirteen is still a child: it is unreasonable to expect anyone at this age to be knowledgeable in matters of sex, especially how consent works. (-and even if he did, she did not communicate her revocation!)
4. There is absolutely no indication of any intention to shame prior to her laughing. On top of likely being jealous that Twi was, in his mind, comparing him to others, he was sexually frustrated--he was not exactly in a healthy state of mind. At any other time, he might be a perfectly model pony--outside and inside--but there were a culmination of events that lead to aggravating him beyond a normal state of thinking.

2862904
I'm with 2863154 and 2862967 on this one. The two most powerful being in existence track him down and show they are willing to abuse their power and negate the their own legal system to satisfy their own personal desires for revenge by bullying him based on ten year old information about a crime he may not even realise he committed. This could traumatise him and harm his family.

Well, I guess a real thought a day keeps ignorance away!
But besides that, well written story on a shades-o-grey topic.

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