• Published 12th Mar 2013
  • 3,588 Views, 216 Comments

This is Cloudsdale! - deathtap

While doing a census of ponies in Ponyville, Twilight discovers something peculiar about pegasi. Ever the curious one, she decides to investigate and get to the bottom of it. Will what she learns change the way she views her friends? Probably not.

  • ...

Setting the Stage

"Twilight, how're we gonna understand them if we can't speak that fancy language they use?" Applejack asked in a loud whisper trying to be heard over the sounds of hundred of other ponies 'quietly' conversing with one another.

After Twilight had decided to go public with her discovery, there was a huge movement from all parts of Equestria. Ponies from the far reaches of the kingdom had voiced their outrage that something like this still existed in the current age. Many had first tried to put the blame on the princesses, but the Elements of Harmony as well as a hungry press managed to change that opinion quite successfully. The truth was all the needed to tell.

The Gerousia felt it. After the press had attacked them, most had chosen to remain silent. Even the Cloud Chronicle, Cloudsdale's own newspaper, was silent. Those that did not were quickly destroyed in the public's image. It was both amazing and horrific about how much a role the press played in getting the Gerousia to clam up. Their rhetoric fell on deaf ears and their ancient ways were ridiculed almost everywhere. Pegasi who were afraid to speak out before were now jumping on the bandwagon and whistle blowing each and every change they got.

But that was not the most shocking turn of events. The most prominent one was when a certain celebrity came out one day and refused to take part in any of Cloudsdale's events unless the law was changed. It was because of that one pony that it finally forced the Gerousia to do the one thing they did not want. To preside over public elections and allow it to be a public spectacle. Something they had obviously wanted to avoid.

The mare in question floated in and found a place next to Twilight.

"Spitfire, glad you could join us!" Rarity stated offering a hoof.

The pegasus nodded. "Wouldn't miss this for the world. It's about time somepony chose to act. I just wished I had the nerve."

"It's okay-"

"No. No it's not. Don't ever say it was," Spitfire replied firmly, but gently. "I had the chance to, but I didn't. I'm no hero, nor do I deserve any praise. I could've helped, but I was so worried about my own career that I chose to ignore it to the point where I had almost completely forgotten. So, don't ever say it's okay. Not to me, at least. I don't deserve that."

The girls looked at each other. They all understood what she meant, but Pinkie couldn't help but feel that the Wonderbolt was being a little too hard on herself.

"Spitfire, it wouldn't have mattered for you because you're not a member of one of the royal families... wait, are you?"

The mare opened her mouth to reply but was interrupted.

"Okay, girls, it's about to start." Applejack looked at Twilight. "How're we gonna understand anythin' they say? I don't speak... um..."

"Equitatus. Don't worry, I've figured out a way to help us understand what's going on. As long as your head is inside the bubble you will hear the words be translated for you." Twilight closed her eyes and concentrated before a very light, faint balloon of energy surrounded her and a bunch of others.

"Nifty. How do we know it works?"

"We're about to find out," Twilight replied to her friend.

"Please all rise in respect for the Gerousia, the Ephors and His Majesties the Lords of the House of Procellárum and Iridum!" A pony in a red cloak and some trimmings shouted.

Not a soul in the visitor's area stood up. None of them wanted to show any respect for this court, and a few ponies in the far back started to boo and throw things.

"Cease that! This is a place of law, not some common bar!" the herald shouted.

"This entire city and its government are worse than hooligans in a common bar!" a voice shouted back. "You guys are barbaric and primitive!"

"Take him out of here at once!" the herald demanded.

Two armed pegasi quickly moved towards the troublemaker. There was a little bit of a scuffle before one of the two pegasi guards took out a baton and slugged the pony across the face with it. That did not sit well with the other ponies, especially his friends, who reacted by attacking. Despite outnumbering them, the two pegasi managed to fend them off for quite a bit before they were forced to call in more reinforcements.

"Take them away!" A voice thundered across the hall. "Deport them. We do not welcome their kind here."

The voice came from a tall, dark blue pegasus. His mane was unmistakable. The Head of the House of Iridum, one of the two stallions that ruled Cloudsdale and father of her best friend. There he was, and he looked every part of a king. That regal nature, that aura of power. It was almost like Princess Celestia's, but different. Where Celestia ruled with peace and kindness, this stallion ruled with the blind obedience to traditions that had allowed a shameless tradition exist for so long. He was the one that allowed countless foals to be sent to their deaths.

"We seem to have a lot of guests. It is an honor to see the Elements of Harmony," the head of the house of Procellárum stated. He glanced over to Twilight. "Shame that she is a unicorn, but I suppose it would be rather strange for a pegasus to be the Element of Magic, would it not?"

Twilight kept her mouth shut, despite wanting to let them know how she really felt. She was not allowed to speak. If she did, she would get thrown out and she knew that without her and her friends, Rainbow might lose confidence.

The two kings were laughing as they took their place at the bottom of a large semi-circular room. It looked somewhat like a theater rather than a courtroom and it had several balconies along the sides.

The gavel came down.

"I call this court into session. Please proceed, herald. Let us get all this over and done with.

The events began. It was quick, efficient, and swift. There was hardly any debate, and a number of points had been breezed over in quick succession. It was boring, but Twilight knew they were waiting. Waiting for them to get fed up and leave. Twilight knew that they would try this. She had read enough law books. But they would open the floor soon, and when that time came, Rainbow would appear. Until then she would just have to sit and wait. Wait until the appropriate moment.

"Does anyone else wish to speak to the Gerousia before we close this session?" The herald asked.

There was a large number of hooves raised up from the side where Twilight and her friends sat on, but of course they were all ignored. They did not have a say here. None of them did.

Save one.

"I do!" the voice yelled. At once all eyes turned to see a cyan colored mare floating down to the center of the speaker's podium. She stood there and narrowed her eyes at the the Gerousia, the Ephors, but more specifically her father. "I wish to speak!"

Rainbow's father stood up. "You do not get to speak in this sacred hall, traitor!"

The mare took a step back, turned and saw Twilight and the rest of her friends sitting there. They were there for her, this was her moment to shine.

"I have all the right to be here and the right to voice my dislike for this... um..." Rainbow blushed. She hated Equitatus for the simple reason that it was too difficult to learn properly. She stopped really using it after she got old enough to fly. "Meaningless law! Who do you judge a book by its cover!"

Twilight shuddered at that. Not exactly the right phrase, but it did get the message across.

"It is our way. Our way has ensured the survival of the strongest of our race. We are not about to sit down and let thousands of years of tradition come to a grinding halt simply because of same earth pony mare underneath our city feels that every foal is worth saving!" The angry voice of an Ephor echoed through the court. "You ponies have your own fetal fatalities to worry about. You try to save them, but you can't, can you? You spend thousands upon thousands of bits trying to save new lives of weak and useless foals, and for what?"

"So they might life!" Rainbow shouted. "So that it may get happiness!"

"Your Equitatus is juvenile! My three year old daughter can speak it better than you!" another, grouchy looking Gerousia said as he took a hoofful of hay and shoved it into his mouth before starting to chew slowly. "You bring shame to your household."

"She is no longer part of my household, Nimbus. You would be wise to remember your place," came a cold, hard voice from the Iridum king. He looked at Rainbow. "You have no right to speak here any more. You have been evicted from my household."

"I have right. The blood in my body is the Rainbows. I still have a right to say what I..." Rainbow faltered, now knowing the words. Still, she knew how important tradition was to these old farts. She closed her eyes and thought about what Twilight had taught her to memorize. "I can speak here."

"Only members of the royal bloodline can speak here," another Gerousia said. "You are no longer that."

"Am. Will speak. Will say." Rainbow turned around and saw her friends. They were all there, believing in her. So many ponies were relying on her. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Then she opened them and stared at her father directly. "I am the daughter of the House of Iridum, first born and crown princess to the the throne of my fathers and mothers. I claim my blood right to speak in this place, before the Senate and the Hall, as my ancestors had done in years past."

"C-c-crown princess?" Rarity asked. She couldn't believe her ears. "S-she's the crown princess? Why didn't you girls tell me?"

"I... I didn't know," Twilight replied honestly. "She never told me she was."

"You have no claim!" another Gerousia replied in Equestrian.

"Herald?" the Procellárum king shouted.

The herald bowed his head low. "I'm afraid, according to our laws, she has the right. Her blood allows her all the privileges of your line here. Even as king or the court cannot prevent her from speaking. It is her right."

"Then so be it. Let her speak," the Iridum king stated. "Let us bring an end to this... nonsense."