• Published 23rd Mar 2012
  • 2,086 Views, 40 Comments

The Cost of Utopia - Dr Freedom MLP

Is there such a thing as utopia? Or is there only dystopia? Government, war, and drama to follow.

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Chapter 3

“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”
― Gloria Steinem

Chapter 3
The next morning, Celestia strode towards the dining room, up before her sister... as usual. As she walked across the hoof-woven Persano rugs towards her destination, a young colt approached. He was a unicorn, with a dark red coat and white mane. His body was partially covered by a blue vest showing his belonging to the high levels of the empire. He was of average stature, and his cutie mark was an arrowhead pointing down and to the left. His mane was somewhat long and carelessly kempt, and his eyes were a bright blue. He casually walked up next to her and spoke.

“You asked to see me, Princess?”

“Yes, that’s right,” the somewhat drowsy alicorn replied. “May I talk to you privately?” Though it was posed as a question, her subject knew that it was an order.

“Of course.” They quickly moved into a nearby storage room. As the pair entered the room, Celestia closed and locked the door. She then turned to her follower.

“Dom, is everything in order for tomorrow's operation?”

“Yes, Your Highness,” the unicorn replied promptly. “The machine will be ready for tomorrow, and the ponies in question are being gathered as we speak.”

“Very good. On another note, I am going to be showing my sister the Cutie Mark Creation Bureau today. I would like you to come along as a sort of guide and walk us through the whole process. I would do it myself, but I am quite tired, and I’m sure a few things have changed since I last visited.”

Dom blinked as he processed the information just unloaded on him. While he and his brother were the overseers of all secret operations within Equestria, he did not have many direct affairs with the CMCB. He only visited once a month and did not linger for too long. He just critiqued a few workers, observed the head of the Bureau for a short time, brought to attention anything that he thought should be changed and improved, and then left. Surely, he was not the most qualified pony for the job in question... not that it mattered much what he thought. It was his job to serve the princesses until his last breath, and one cannot simply walk away from a job as important as his. If he even tried to leave, there would be no happy ending: he would be caught, have his tongue cut out, and then immediately put to death. They could not have him telling the general population the truth of how Equestria really functioned.

“Well?” The princess finally snapped impatiently.

“Oh!" The colt was quickly pulled out of his thoughts. “Yes, of course... Your Majesty.”

“Good. We will meet again at the castle gates around noon.”

“Alright then. Is there anything else you require?”

“Not at the moment, no.”

“Then shall we be on our way now?”

“We shall.” Celestia cast a spell to see through the wall of the locked door.

“Not a pony in sight.” With that, she unlocked the door and they went their separate ways.


Once the morning had passed, both sisters and Dom met at the castle gates, ready to depart for their visit. Celestia seemed slightly more cautious than usual, checking her surroundings every few seconds.

“Let’s get moving,” she said, looking around for what had to be the millionth time. Luna rolled her eyes.

“Yes, let’s,” their guide replied. He started moving, leading the princesses around the gate and to a rough patch of grass. He checked his surroundings before teleporting the party inside of a small room. Their guide put a hoof to his lips so as to make sure the princesses were silent.

He then turned to face the steel door and whispered his name: “Dom.”

At this, a green magical aura enveloped him and he was lifted up for a few moments before being set down again, the door having been opened. The door shut behind them and magically locked itself after the three walked through. A long corridor stretched out before them; the colors of the walls were bland, which gave great contrast to the candy colored floor.

“Follow me,” Dom said, reverting to his normal voice. Luna stood, stunned; she had never seen anything like this before, from the tame colors to the extremely well-concealed entrance. It was quite clear that Equestria had gained a darker side while she was gone, whether Celestia admitted it or not. Despite being in a state of shock, Luna followed, after receiving a gentle nudge from her elder sister. [The walls should be compared to the moon by Luna]

They entered the first door on the left, which was quite heavy and would not be usable without magic; even the strongest pony in the world would not be able to open it with a simple kick of their legs. The setup inside was strange: dividers were set up in square formats with two desks in each square. There were no windows and the workers all seemed to be unicorns. Nopony even noticed them enter because all were so concentrated on their task. Half the ponies were reading to their partner who, in turn, seemed in a deep state of concentration.

“Let’s begin,” the Royals’ escort said. “This is one of the most secretive operations of the republic: this is where cutie marks are created.”

He paused, letting that information sink in before continuing. “The first pony reads off the fillies in question and their strengths. He or she then proceeds to list off the job openings that need to be filled. The second pony here decides which pony is most adequate for which job and then puts an appropriate cutie mark in their queue, so that the next time they perform that action, it will cause the cutie mark to appear.” He took a deep breath, glad to have finished his explanation.

Luna stood there taking in all the information. “Alright,” she began. “But I do not understand. Why does this need to be done?”

“Well, you see,” began the sun princess, “the population does not always want to do the mundane jobs that are sometimes needed, but if they find out this boring job is ‘their calling in life,’ they are almost guaranteed to do it and stay with their job. It’s a means of controlling the population and their output, without them realizing it and passing judgement that could hurt Equestria as a whole. It also allows us to decide if a pony should move up in social standing or not. If we need a family, such as the Apples, to stay farmers forever, we can do that... for the benefit of the majority, of course."

“So why do some ponies take a long time to get their cutie marks, like the Cutie Mark Crusaders in Ponyvile? And what do cutie marks like Snips’ and Snails’ mean?"

This time, Dom was the one to answer. “Each of the crusaders is a little bit different. We intend to have Apple Bloom get hers after her Granny Smith dies, so as she can take the latter’s place. Sweetie Belle will get a sewing cutie mark the next time she helps her sister with her business, but since she never does, she hasn’t gotten hers yet.” He then shook his head. “And as for Scootaloo...”

“Oh; I’ll explain that as well as Snips and Snails tomorrow,” the older princess quickly interrupted.

“Of course,” their follower humbly replied.

“Anything else, Luna?” asked Celestia. She seemed to want to explain anything else classified while they were here and not chance being overheard on the surface.

“One last thing... Why do we need to have social classes? Aren't all ponies equal?”

There was silence for a moment before Celestia slowly began to reply.

“Yes, all ponies are equal,” she started. “It’s just... some ponies are more equal than others. If we allowed cutie marks to rule freely as they used to there would be no difference between high class and low class, and anyone could be anything. Nopony would work for anypony and society would crumble. There would be no structure. Everything would be forced negotiations between tribes like before we began our rule.”

“I suppose so,” said Luna begrudgingly. Even if they had no control over cutie marks again, it wouldn’t mean that everything would dissolve back into paleopony tribes, she thought to herself. They had managed order in their younger years without deceit and manipulation; why couldn’t they do it again?

“Shall we leave now?” Dom asked, almost happily... as if he wanted to leave the underground lab more than anything.

“Yes, I think that’s a good idea,” replied Celestia, opening the door and leaving. The other two quickly followed her lead, leaving the workers to their monotony.

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