• Published 5th Mar 2014
  • 9,818 Views, 163 Comments

Banishment - PureLogic



"TWILIGHT, NO!!!" She screams, but I can't listen to her. I need to hurry. I need to leave. He's about to start a war and only I can stop him. B-but how...? She's banished me from Equestria...

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Exiled

“I hereby revoke your crown, Twilight Sparkle. You are… You are banished from Equestria,” Princess Celestia growls, tears forming in her magenta eyes. This isn’t possible… I was her faithful student… I was her highest hopes.

And I’ve crushed her.

I sit down, fighting back the tears in my own eyes. I should’ve seen this punishment coming… It was the most personal. It means she doesn’t have to be held responsible for my death. I foolishly assumed that the truth would come out before sentencing. Now… Now, it’s too late, but I won’t cry. I will not give anypony the satisfaction. “I’m innocent, Princess… Please…” I lower my head.

“The terms of your banishment-” her voice breaks, yet she continues to speak. “Th-the terms of your banishment are as follows: y-you may not set hoof in Equestria for-… I-I’m sorry,” Princess Celestia looks towards Luna, who sits in her throne. Her face is set sternly, but I can see where tears have matted down her fur.

Luna nods and goes to take over. My eyes can’t help but follow Princess Celestia as she drags herself to her throne and cries silently. “Prin-,” Luna begins, but stops herself, softly clearing her throat. “Twilight Sparkle,” I flinch. They are using my formal name as an insult.

“You shall not enter upon any Equestrian lands, including our Embassies, our Empires, and the land of Equestria itself until it ceases to exist or you cease to exist,” she takes in a shaky breath. The way she speaks… Maybe it’s the tone or just her choice of words, but this sounds rehearsed. How many banishments have been done in Equestria?

She continues, “You shall not communicate with any family or friends currently living in any of the aforementioned Equestrian lands. Any ponies attempting, or succeeding in communication with you will be charged with treason. A guilty charge of treason may result in life in the catacombs, banishment or- or execution.” Her voice catches on the last word, but that is the only bit of emotion showing through her tough exterior.

I glance over to my family and friends. Never see them again? Never talk to them again?

I look back to Luna, catching her eye. Guilt plagues her features for a moment, but she quickly regains her composure and continues. Her voice remaining steady and clear. “You may not send letters or parcels of any kind into Equestria or Equestria’s Embassies or Empires. Anyponies harboring a letter and/or parcel from you, Twilight Sparkle, will be tried for treason. If proven guilty they may face life in prison or the catacombs.

“Anyponies caught protecting you or attempting to sneak you back onto Equestrian lands will be tried for treason, and, if proven guilty, may face banishment or the catacombs.” Would they do that? I can’t even endure the possibility that the Princesses would hurt, or even kill my friends and family because of me. I had no idea that they were capable of such a shocking act, but I’ve never been to a banishment before. I didn’t even know that the Princesses still practiced banishment.

“Finally, you may not address yourself as an Equestrian citizen, a student prodigy of the Sun Goddess Princess Celestia herself, and most especially not as an Equestrian Princess.” Princess Luna stares at me as she finishes the last words of my conviction, sadness leaking into her voice. She manages to keep herself under control, unlike Princess Celestia, but I guess that’s because she doesn’t know me as well. But it could also be for Princess Celestia’s sake, or maybe the ponies that had gathered to watch my exile into Cimmerii.

I take in a deep breath and sigh. Glancing over to my left, I notice just how many ponies believe I didn’t do this… And just how many believe I did. I don’t even need to count my believers because I can glance at them and know the answer.

Three. Two ponies and one baby dragon.

The side protesting me is much larger. Half of it is Ponyville, at least a third of the small town, and the other half is from nearly everywhere else. The news of my conviction spread quickly, and everypony wanted to rid Equestria of me.

Most of them, though, were against letting me live. Especially in Ponyville, as they were hit the hardest.

I look back at Luna and she turns, walking towards Princess Celestia. I can’t hear them, but they exchange whispers until finally, Princess Celestia stands. She trudges towards me, her usual regal posture is tainted with grief, and her head hangs low to the ground. The crowd of ponies are arguing among each other, but when she looks up they cease all conversation. She utters a simple sentence, “It’s time.”

The words send a cold shiver down my body. “Princess Celestia, I swear I’m innocent. Y-you have to believe me. Please…” I bite my lower lip to keep it from quivering. I have to keep a strong face. She always told me that I have to stay hopeful and that I have to stay strong. Always. I can’t let her down now that she’s gone. I just can’t.

“The investigation is over, Twilight Sparkle. Your innocence is… It is no longer up for debate,” Princess Celestia stands a little straighter and turns away from me.

I let a tear fall despite my attempt at a tough exterior. Never in my life had I ever expected the Princess to just… Just give up on me. “B-but Princess Celest-,”

She turns back to look at me, and all I can see is hatred in her eyes. Despite the tears running down her face, I can only see anger. “NO!” she shouts, using the Royal Canterlot Voice. My ears are ringing and I cringe back, though I can’t move much with these shackles on my hooves and a pair of heavy weights chained to my wings.

I must be an idiot, because I speak up once more. I give her one more chance to trust me, just one more. I beg her, “Please, Princess… Y-you’ve known me-”

JUST STOP IT!!!” she screams, slamming her hoof down. Her decorative, golden shoes meet the tile and crack its pristine, white surface. I cower as best I can, and clench my eyes shut. My friends and family scream, and I want to look at them, I want to tell them that I’ll be okay…

And the screaming comes to a shattering halt.

The only noise I can hear is my own breathing and the ringing in my ears. Why is it so quiet all of a sudden? I try to sit up, but I can’t.

I’m just too exhausted.

I wish I could be positive of something, anything. A-am I dead? I may as well be dead. I- I feel dead, and a nap sounds like a dream right now, so if I don’t wake up… I- I don’t think that it would be an awful way to die. Just like going to sleep.

“Daddy!” I squealed and ran faster. “You can’t catch me!” I giggled.

“RAWR! I’m gonna GETCHA!” he laughed and chased me up the stairs and into my little bedroom.

I hopped over my bed and grabbed Smarty Pants in my magic. “We’ve gotta hold down the fort, Smarty! MAN YOUR STATIONS!” All of my most loyal toys hopped onto the bed to defend me just as Daddy came rushing in.

He roared again and Smarty Pants called to me, “Twilight! We have to abandon ship! The crew is getting wiped out!” I gave him a stare down, and was about to shout opposing orders when my entire defense was strewn about the war field! This must be Daddy’s doings…

I squealed and rushed out of the warzone and into the kitchen. Daddy chased me the whole way down, although he wouldn’t let me run down the stairs.

At the bottom he let me run again, so I ran into the kitchen towards Mommy. “Mommy! Mommy!” She was making cauliflower patties with hayfries for dinner, which is my most favorite dinner ever! I almost ran into her when I was picked right up off the ground!

I looked around, and everything was blue, even Mommy and Daddy! “Hey! Magic is cheating, Daddy!” Hanging upside-down in Daddy’s magic, I crossed my forelegs and gave him an angry look which I thought should’ve been really, really scary, though Mommy and Daddy just laughed.

Carefully, Daddy flipped me over and placed me on his back. I giggled, and he trotted into the backyard. “Hold on tight, Twily,” he said. His blue magic wrapped around me in a soft, warm blanket, and Daddy galloped all around the backyard.

I bounced along on his back with a thumpity, thump, thump, thump. Finally, he slowed down just a little bit, and said, “Do you think Mommy would want to play with us? It is a very pretty night out.” I nodded my head really fast, probably so fast that it would have fallen off had Daddy not been holding me in his magic. Daddy laughed at my silliness and trotted back to the house saying, “We wouldn’t want to leave her alone.”

Alone.

“-alone! What kinda sick bastard would do that?!!” A gruff voice growls. It sounds masculine. A lot like a stallion, but with something… different about it. I can’t place my hoof on it, but it’s definitely a stallion.

Thumpity, thump, thump, thump…

“I’m not sure,” another voice says, seeming only vaguely interested. This one sounds distinctly feminine. She continues, seeming more attentive now. “She looks dehydrated. Can you pick up the pace a bit?

The first voice grunts, and I feel wings shuffle around me as I slide forward. I open my eyes, but the sun is right in my face, so seconds later I close them. I try to move my legs, but they’re still heavily weighed down. “Night? I think she’s wakin’ up,” the second voice says. Whoever is carrying me slows his pace some.

I open my eyes again, the sun blocked by the figure in front of me. I allow them to slowly adjust to the change in lighting. I blink a few times and look at the pony standing in front of me. Only, it isn’t a pony. It’s a griffon.

She smiles at me. The griffon. The griffon is a she, and she’s smiling at me.

What have I just wandered into? Where have I just wandered into?

“Hey, hold tight, kid. We’re about twenty minutes out,” she says.

She walks ahead, flicking her maroon tail behind her. I take a shaky breath in trying to overpower the pain. I close my eyes, hiding from the bright sun. I’ve really got to think this through. Usually it’s an easy task, but it hasn’t been easy since Pinkie…

What do I know about griffons?

Well, Twilight, you know next to NOTHING about griffons! Why? Because you never thought that they’d be on a test, and Ponyville has NOTHING on the subject except for the book Pinkie Pie wrote on Gilda!

Oh, goddess… I guess I’ll just have to play it safe, but I don’t think I should be too trustworthy of anypo- anyone. She seems nice at first glance, but Gilda never left me with a very good impression of griffons.

I allow sleep to overcome me, temporarily blocking my pain.

Applejack! I-it’s not like that! I-I swear it wasn’t me! Why would I lie to you? No! I know she was your friend, R- But she was my friend, too! That’s why we’ve got to figure this out! Rarity? You’ve got to side with me on this… Please? Not you, too P-… Girls, don’t go! Please… It wasn’t me. Spike? Please Fl-I would never!! Y-you can’t… Luna? Princess Celestia, no! Please…

I groan and open my eyes, bringing my hoof up to my spinning head. My face is wet and I shake my head to clear the bad memories surfacing.

Ouch. I really shouldn’t shake my head with such a massive headache. I attempt to sit up, but the chains pull me back down onto a bed of some sort. It’s really more like a sleeping bag that’s been slightly overstuffed. The maroon griffon from before walks in, along with two others. “Hey!” she chirps. “Glad you woke up. Now we can see about getting those chains off of ya.” She sits down by me. “Where are my manners? I’m Scarlett, but most people call me Medi.” She grins and begins to help me up.

“I-,” I croak, but the words catch in my throat. I open my mouth to speak again, but nothing comes out. I swallow, wincing at the pain coming from my dry, burning throat.

“Huh. That sucks. Makes sense, though. You’re really dehydrated. I don’t think you’ve had water for at least four days.” She says it very casually, almost as if it’s the most normal thing happening. It takes me off-guard. Four days? It’s been four days?! That blast must have drained me more than I originally thought. She continues talking, as nonchalant as ever, “By the way, that’s Winchester, but we call him Night,” she motions a white and silver griffon who’d already began picking the lock on my chains. “And that’s the Sergeant, Daemon.” A huge navy-blue and dull-yellow griffon steps up and starts trying to get my wing weights off, as if he only just now notices me.

Rather quickly, they get my restraints off, with the exception of the metal band still clamped around my foreleg. Medi told me that she’d never seen a lock like it, and wanted to have their engineer look at it before trying to pry it off. No magic for now, I guess. Well, at least my wings work. Even if I’m not nearly strong enough to use them yet. Now that I’m free, Medi asks the other two griffons to leave, and they comply. Although, the Sergeant, Daemon, waves her over and whispers something to her before his departure. She just rolls her eyes at whatever he’s saying.

Medi walks outside of the tent we’re in and grabs a bottle of water. She hands it to me, but I can only stare at it. Particularly at the lid. Without my magic, I could never open something like this. I glance at her before attempting to twist off the cap with my teeth. Which isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. In the end, Medi had to unscrew the cap for me.

The water feels amazing on my dry mouth, and I think it’s abating the pain in my head and throat. It’s gone too quickly, and Medi grabs another one. I swiftly down three more, before realizing how urgently I needed to use the bathroom.

I open my mouth to ask, but I’m frustratingly reminded that I’ve lost my voice. Medi nods and leaves for several minutes. When she comes back, she’s carrying a pencil and a notepad. She flips the notepad open to the first page and hands me the pencil. I take it in my mouth and write my name down on the paper.

“TWILIGHT SPARKLE”

She looks at me. “Is that your name?” she asks. I nod. “Hmm. Cool.” She smirks. “So, Twilight Sparkle, what were you doing tied up in mutt territory?” Mutt territory? What does she mean by that? I shake my head, confused and not willing to ask. I find that I just don’t want to know anymore. I feel curiosity pulling at me, but… I just haven’t had a desire to pursue it.

Medi pulls me out of my thoughts. “Uh-huh…” she doesn’t look completely convinced, but she doesn’t say anything either. I sigh. I really wish Equestria had more books on griffons.

My urgency flashes back to the front of my mind. “MAY I USE THE RESTROOM?” I scribble, which isn’t easy when you’re holding the pencil in your mouth.

Medi looks up from her thoughts and smiles. “Sure, c’mon.” She leads me out and towards a small camp with about ten tents pitched in a small, dusty area of dirt. I glance around, looking for a patch of grass or any plant life at all and notice that all of the griffons are staring at me. Maybe it’s best if I keep my eyes on the ground.

“Here,” she says, showing me a small tent with a zipper on the front. “This one’s for the girls. I’ve gotta warn you, it smells like ass in there. I guess that’s to be expected, though.” She laughs. I stare at the supposed ‘bathroom’. I-is she serious?

I grew up in a castle. I’ve never seen a stall in real life before, but I’ve heard about how… unhygienic they are. I look at her, and she glances between me and the stall with an overly-amused look on her face.

Oh, dear Celestia.

I’m desperate, and the trees around here are stripped bare.

I go into the tent and zip the ‘door’ closed after me. I don’t know what I expected, but it certainly wasn’t this. It’s just a hole in the ground. I groan.

A foul odor is permeating from it, the lewd essence practically dripping from the air. I gag. Well, at least there’s some hygiene. A roll of toilet paper sets on the ground beside the revolting rupture in the floor. I’m growing nauseous from the sickening smell of the vile mixture hidden in the hole.

I’m not going to last long out here.

I finish my business as quickly as physically possible and get out. Medi is waiting for me outside. She sees me practically run out and suppresses a laugh. I give her an annoyed stare.

A growl causes me to jump. I look around for the source, but don’t see anything. “Hungry much?” Medi asks. I blush, nodding. “Come on, lunch is starting.” She leads me back to the center of the camp where all of the griffons are gathered around a bonfire.

Medi directs me to the silver griffon from earlier before just… taking off. I’m not sure where she’s going, and if I wasn’t surrounded by griffons, I’d probably take off after her. She seems to be the only friendly griffon here. The others keep casting me suspicious glances.

I sigh and sit down next to the griffon. Winchester, or Night, I think. I prod the dirt with my hoof. I’m trying my hardest to not let my thoughts drift into the past.

I look up from the ground. The air around the fire smells different, somehow. Through my hazy mind, I can’t pin-point what exactly it is. Whatever it is, it leaves me feeling slightly uneasy.

A talon taps me on the shoulder, and I look over to see the griffon grinning at me. “Hi,” He says pulling me out of my thoughts.

I give a tiny smile and a wave. I really hope that this is friend of Medi’s…

“Ah’m Night.” He smiles. I think I recognize his voice… He’s the one that carried me. “Ah never got your name,” he presses on. Why should you even care about my name, Night? You might be able to look at me and guess, unlike you. Why? Because your name is contradictory to your appearance!

Oh, no. I sigh. Great. I’m talking to myself again.

I just point towards Medi, who’s walking back towards me. He must be confused, but I can’t explain. I’ll just let Medi do the talking.

I make room for Medi to sit down beside me, scooting away from Night. Medi must know what I’m doing, because she pushes me closer to him and sits on the other side of me. I groan inwardly.

The griffons are passing around a large, round tin. I turn my attention towards it. It looks slightly rusted in certain areas, but is otherwise a monotonous grey. It’s possibly a bowl or a bucket, depending upon how they use it. Currently they are pulling a dark-brown… What is that? I can’t tell from my view, but it’s roughly the size of my forehoof and they’re eating it.

When the tin reaches Night he passes it to me without pause. “Wait, Night-!” Medi cries.

My pupils shrink and I instantly recoil from the tin, knocking its contents onto the ground in my haste. The tin was filled nearly to the edge with skinless, roasted rabbits. My mouth opens in a gasp.

Sure, I’d seen Fluttershy feed the bears before but… But rabbits?! Fish aren’t exactly sapient, so it doesn’t matter to me as much as, well, seeing Angel skinned and roasted! I’m not exactly sure how the griffons will react to me ruining their lunch, but I don’t want to stay and find out. I don’t think any more on the subject, instead choosing to turn and run.

I’ve only just realized this, but I have no idea where to go. I don’t waste any time choosing to go to the medical tent. I dive through the opening, zipping it closed after me.

“Twilight, stop! They didn’t know!” Medi calls out after me. She must think I’m afraid of them, which I am, but not because of their diet. I’m afraid of them because of the little I know about them. How do I know that pony isn’t on the menu? How do I know that griffons don’t do ritualistic sacrifices on whatever creatures wander into their territory? How do I know-?

I stop the train of thought right then. I don’t know. But, I can learn. And if bad goes to worse, I can run from them. My earth pony stamina will allow me to navigate the terrain easily and last longer, while my lightweight pegasus bones will allow me to run faster. I could outrun them, even without magic.

“Twilight!” Medi gasps, running into the tent in her haste. Quickly she unzips the front and rushes in, mumbling unkind words to the tent. “Craston, you’re quick!”

She steps in, sitting in front of the tent door. “I’m not sure if you knew this or not, but griffons eat meat,” Medi says tentatively. “But we don’t eat ponies. I mean, not usually-,” she stops abruptly.

I open my mouth in a gasp.

“I- I didn’t mean that we sometimes eat ponies! The-they had it once-! N-no! Dammit! We- we never eat pon- GAAH!” Medi falls to the ground in defeat. “I’m done talking now.”

I want to give her the benefit of the doubt, but there are enough griffons here to easily take down one, measly, magic-less alicorn. I don’t have any reason to trust her. I don’t have any reason to trust anyone around here.

After several moments of silence, Medi speaks again, “You still haven’t eaten…” She looks at me expectantly. “I know a place where plants actually grow in this deserted area. If you’ll come with me, that is…” I shake my head, not about to move towards a hungry griffon. “You can trust me, ok?” I still don’t move. She should be getting frustrated at my stubbornness, but she doesn’t look like it at all. She actually looks kind of sad. “I’m not going to hurt you. I have nothing against ponies. I actually kinda like you. You’re… different.”

Well that told me almost nothing. Still, I’m curious, and I haven’t been curious in a while. I guess I do have that escape plan if things go sour… But, I don’t think- uh. Whatever, what have I got to lose anymore?

I stand up, and follow her out of the tent, her face slightly happier than before. To my joy, she completely swerves around the griffon camp, leading me down a narrow, winding path. I stay several feet behind her, keeping away from the strong tail swaying behind her.

I hope this trip doesn’t take too long, because I haven’t eaten in two weeks, not counting the distasteful gruel they served me in the catacombs. I still get a shiver whenever I think about that underground crypt where all the worst offenders of Equestria are kept. It was worse than what Princess Celestia had told me. Much, much worse.

“Here we are,” Medi says, stopping abruptly. The trip took longer than I expected, a good twenty minute walk which has only succeeded in making me hungrier. I think that it was worth it, though. This place is… beautiful. It is the only lush area in this otherwise dry wasteland.

Medi pulls her rucksack off of her shoulder, stretching her wings. She immediately begins picking specific herbs from the greenest area by the pond. She’s very picky about what she gets, only choosing the best. Then, she wanders from the bank, picking these tall, bushy, flowered plants growing through the dry soil.

I don’t waste another second watching her, and began grazing by the bank. These flowers are amazing! The last time I tasted something this good was Pinkie’s last party!

I sit down.

Her last party. She tried a brand-new recipe. A special one, just for the Cake’s. She’d made Pumpkin and Pound a huge cake for their birthday, it easily towered their parents. They foals had just turned one. She used a special flower… Sh-she even planted it in my garden afterwards. It was beautiful…

Tears pool in my eyes, and I move my train of thought. I really should gather some food to take with me. I expect to leave tonight, while everypony, well, everyone is asleep. I glance around, hoping to see something that would work. I spot… nothing. I sigh, and continue grazing, pointedly ignoring the flowers. Their taste would really spice up this very dull grass, which seems to be leaving a disgusting aftertaste, but I don’t want to deal with any memories pertaining to my friends.

I can’t help but glance towards the fabric wrapped around my foreleg, just beneath my shoulder. You wouldn’t even see it unless you were looking for it, as I disguised it to match my fur tone perfectly. I tear my eyes away, not wanting to see it for longer than a second. Memories can wait until later.

I fill up on the bad grass, with the occasional burst of flavor and grief when a flower is missed. “Hey,” Medi says, handing me a small canvass bag. I strap it around my neck as she continues, “Grab some to take back with you, so we don’t have to trek out here in the morning.” She looks at the Pinkie flowers, noting, “Especially those.” She doesn't give any sort of explanation, which doesn’t help my curiosity any, but it does give me something to take my mind off of Pinkie Pie.

I fill the canvass bag, hoping to come across something to transfer the food from. When I leave tonight, I don’t want to leave a thief. While wandering about the bank collecting food, I stumble across a berry bush.

Actually, this doesn’t even look like a bush, rather a grove of tall, stemmed flowers closely packed together. The flowers are beautiful, though. They are star-shaped, and the most beautiful shade of purple that I can only compare to Rarity’s mane. The berries growing on it are glistening, black berries that look so big and juicy. Something so pretty and delicious-looking couldn’t possibly be poisonous, could it? I sniff the berries, their sugary-sweet smell alluring me in for a bite.

“TWILIGHT!” Medi screams.

I stop, and look back at her. She’s dropped her bag and flown over to me. She pushes me away from the sweet berries and shouts at me. “Did you eat those?!” I too shocked to answer at the moment, backing away from Medi and the berry bush. She begins hyperventilating. “DID YOU EAT THOSE BERRIES, TWILIGHT?!”

I shake my head, trying to stop myself from shaking so hard.

“Oh, thank Craston!” She sighs, tucking in her wings. “Nightshade is toxic, Twilight!”

I back farther away. H-how was I supposed to know that? I’ve never even gone camping before! It’s very clear that the first thing that I need to do here is find a library if I want to survive.

“Are you all right, Twilight?” Medi asks, stepping away from the poisonous berries. I close my mouth and nod, getting to my hooves. I’m ready to go back to Equestria. Death seems to hang over here like a fog. If I could only talk to Spike and prove my innocence…

Medi casts me an unsure look, but hovers back to her dropped bag. She slips it on. “Let’s get going,” She says, walking back to me. I motion for her to walk ahead, and then walk behind her, watching out for her swaying tail.

I sit in the back of the Medical Tent, watching Medi pull the herbs from her bag and boil them over the small fire she set up just outside. She goes to the corner, pulling a small, metal case over to where her concoction is brewing. She opens it, pulling out what looks like tree bark, and puts it into the brew.

After several minutes of silent waiting, Medi strains the larger items out of the pot, leaving a brown liquid filled with small stems and colorless petals. She does an extra strain, this time removing a majority of the small plant parts from the liquid.

“Twilight,” Medi says, pouring the substance from the pot into a collapsible, plastic cup. She glances up at me, waving me over.

I stand and slowly step towards her. She’s not looking at me anymore, instead focusing on pouring honey into the cup. “Here, drink this.” She hands it to me. I don’t take it. Instead, I look at her, one eyebrow raised higher than the other.

She wants me to drink that? Nonononononono. I apologize, my dear griffon, but that is full of stems and leaves and bark. I stare at her, and she rolls her eyes.

“It’s for your throat,” she says, pushing the cup to my lips. It smells sickly sweet, and vaguely woodsy. I take it in my hooves and take a deep breath.

Can I trust her?

I exhale, and quickly gulp the liquid down, the heat searing my tongue. The taste is bad enough without the feeling of stems going down my throat. I invision spiders crawling down with the stems and shudder. Now I’m getting the disgusting after-taste, and start to pull the cup away. Before I have a chance to set it down my vision grows hazy, and the world starts spinning. I can’t help but fall over from dizziness.

I don’t think I can.