• 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.

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The Crown Princess

The hall exploded into conversation once the Gerousia were gone, going into an antechamber to discuss what they had just heard. Not a single pony there could believe what they had just heard, Rainbow standing in the middle of the hall with the calm and grace befitting one of royal stature. She might have been hot-headed, fast talking, somewhat gruff mare, but right now she commanded the respect and admiration of all that looked upon her. Twilight have given her the words, but Rainbow put her soul into them. It wasn't so much what she said that had struck a chord, but how.

The herald, who was sitting alone at the far end was sweating profusely. Granted, he did not have be clever to understand the significance of what he had allowed Rainbow to do; to speak as was provisioned by ancient law, a law that he was to uphold no matter what. He swallowed hard. Even he could not deny that the Iridum princess' words had pierced his heart and he felt ashamed of supporting the Gerousia, something that he thought impossible. But he had no choice. His authority did not extended to be able to speak or answer to the kings or the senators directly, but he had still had the obligation to ensure that the rule of law was maintained at all times. If Cloudsdale kept their ancient traditions alive, then so much this one must stand as well.

Here, even the kings had to bow to the laws set by their ancestors.

But Rainbow's speech was something none had expected. The words she used, obviously recited, were powerful, but that was not all. It was the way in which she delivered her words. That could not be replicated. She was not merely some mare standing before the most powerful ponies of her city. No, she was standing there with authority, and it drew others towards her. There was no doubt in the minds of those who heard her over who she was. Not merely The Element of Loyalty, a Bearer for Harmony, but also the crown princess of the Cloudsdale House. She had titles that would make some of the most regal of bloodlines jealous and her sharp tongue had cut through the egos of those who thought their mere presence was enough to intimidate her. Their arrogance and their prejudice were cut down like a hot knife through butter. The more she spoke, the more others began to align themselves to her.

A natural born leader.

"I must say, I never expected Rainbow to carry this off so well," Rarity said to Twilight. "I almost envy her, but I know that I cannot command the kind of attention she does. She is, dare I say it, truly acting like how a princess should."

"I know what'cha mean, Rare. I had no idea that she had it in her. And that speech... Twilight, you really taught her to say all that?" Applejack asked.

Twilight blushed a little at the praise. "Y-yeah, but she delivered it better than expected."

"I was worried that she'd let those braggarts get the better of her," Rarity interjected. "Glad to see that I was wrong. I had no idea how much passion she had regarding this subject."

Twilight sighed softly. "I think I opened old wounds. I hope she can forgive me."

"I'm sure she will, Twilight. I think she'll rather be appreciative for the fact that you've given her a chance to make them Garousa wince. I've never seen so many stallions blush like fillies on their first date!" Applejack laughed.

"I'm a little mad at her though. She lied to me." Twilight looked at her friend standing on the podium. She looked regal. The way she stood with her head tall, the lack of fear she displayed and the way she carried herself all were perfect. Twilight had tutored her on how to act like a real princess, trying to get the mare to act the part. "First she told me that she didn't know who her parents were--"

"Well, technically she doesn't," Pinkie cut in. "If you really think about it, she doesn't know her parents. Just her father."

Twilight opened her mouth to respond, but Pinkie did have a point, though she doubted Rainbow actually used that as a reason. More like the cyan mare avoided having to come clean with all this and admitting a sensitive part of her life.

"Then she said that she has an older brother--"

"She still might," Pinkie cut in again. "We haven't seen him, right?"

"Yeah, but Rainbow wouldn't be the crown princess if she had an older brother and assuming they go by the same laws that the rest of us do."

"Well, we know that isn't true," Applejack reminded the librarian. None of this would have even started if Cloudsdale had followed the same laws as the rest of Equestria.

"Does Cloudsdale follow primogeniture?" Rarity asked.

"Say what?" Applejack asked not sure she heard the white unicorn right.

"Primogeniture. It means the firstborn gets the right to everything. In this case, the crown of the Rainbow Household," Rarity replied. "I've always had a thing for royalty. I've always been fascinated by it all. And... I guess you could say that I've always wanted to be an Equestrian princess. I mean, not like Princesses Celestia or Luna -- even Princess Cadence, but a princess nonetheless."

"It that why you were all over that stallion at the Grand Galloping Gala?" Applejack teased.

"We agreed never to speak of that," Rarity replied giving her friends a dry look which made the girls giggle with each other.

"I don't know," Twilight admitted before muttering under her breath, "doesn't seem like."

"All rise! The court is resuming session," the Herald called out. Again only the pegasi from Cloudsdale stood. The rest remained seated, not showing an inkling of respect towards the Gerousia.

However, this was practically dismissed as the Iridum king marched to the front and flashed a dark look towards his daughter. There was so much malice and hate in that single glance that none could miss it.

"W-w-what is the verdict?" The Herald gulped after the question left his lips.

"Unanimous. The law does not change. It remains!" Rainbow's father shouted angrily slamming his hoof down. He pointed at his daughter standing before him. "You dare speak to us as if we are foals! Let me remind you and the rest here that the very reason why Cloudsdale remains the best at everything is because of how things are run and how we've managed things from the very beginning!"

"Change will come," Rainbow replied calmly. Then her regal mask melted away and the brash, cocky Rainbow grinned at the king, her father with a look of fierce defiance behind a showboating demeanor. "And there ain't nothing you can do about it."

"This farce is over!" The king turned and stormed away. The Gerousia followed as quickly as they could followed quickly behind by the sounds of hooting and hollering.

Soon the entire assembly was empty, save for one stallion who sat in the corner. While the rest had made their way to the exit, Twilight watched as this old pegasus floated towards Rainbow still standing defiantly in the middle of the auditorium. He landed in front of her and bowed. That single gesture seemed to cause of ripple throughout the entire building and at once all the hall grew silent. This simple gesture, although completely silent, was louder than even the Sonic Rainboom itself.

"I've been removed from my seat on the Gerousia because of you, you know." A soft laughter came from his lips. "I'm old. Far older than a pegasus in this position should be. I've seen quite a lot of things over the years and you could say that I've started seeing something strange going on in our city." The older stallion laughed to himself. "But I guess you could say that it's because of age that I am able to see things for what they are. Our ways our old. Were they right? Probably. I am no fool and I know the history of what we've done to our kind. There are many ways to measure strength and excuses for being proud, but sometimes it isn't just about how powerful you are, how fast you can fly or how quickly you can cast magic. True strength can sometimes be something so small and nearly invisible, but it changes everything."

"What do you mean?" Rainbow asked.

"To me, I have always wondered why, after what we did to them in our ancient past, did the earth pony population not eradicate the pegasi for their crimes."

A collective gasp filled the room and a quiet murmur soon followed.

"Hey! We ain't the kinds of ponies! We'd never do anythin' like that, y'hear me?" Applejack shouted not being able to let that comment slide. She felt it was a personal insult directed at her and her family.

The Gerousia turned his head to the outspoken farmer. A gentle smile formed on his lips and he nodded. "I know. And that is what I am talking about. Forgiveness. Despite all that we have done. Despite the cruel ways of our ancestors and the harshness of our treatment on our benefactors in the past, the earth ponies forgave the pegasi for what they did. They allowed us to live. Never, in all of our history, could the pegasi win an open conflict if the earth pony tribes combined their forces. Even if they did not wage war on us, without them our great cities would've starved. And you're right about change, Princess. For years I've held this notion deep in my heart afraid to speak out loud, but you changed that. You changed me. You gave me courage to do the one thing that nopony has done in this hall for many, many years."

"Yeah?" Rainbow stated, raising her head slightly up as a show of pride. She looked so regal in that moment. "What's that?"

"You made me stand up to them and say: yes. I voted yes." He hoofed over a small folded piece of parchment. "In this topic, none on the Gerousia has ever voted for changing the ancient laws... until today. As you said, change will come, my dear, so long as there are leaders like you to inspire the greatness in those too afraid to see for themselves."

"This... this is... you know what this means?" Rainbow said, her face showing the mixture of feelings at this news. Anger, pride, pity, remorse all fluttered through her eyes as she looked at the old pegasi in front of her.

"I do."

"They won't let you live," Rainbow whispered as a new emotion flowed into her eyes. Fear. Fear for the old pegasi in front of her.

"I know."

"You... you must leave the city... you cannot-"

A simple gesture with his hoof silenced Rainbow and the old pegasi smiled gently. "I'm old. My life is at its twilight anyway. At least let all my years of silence mean something. Let me be your martyr."

Rainbow shook her head slowly in horror at the words. "N-n-no. I c-can't do that."

"You must. Let me atone for the years of neglect over the foals that were condemned for being born differently, for the uncountable ponies that our kind had killed, for doing nothing. Let me. You must do what an old stallion wishes." He looked at up Rainbow and touched her cheek removing the tear. "You shed a tear for me? Your kindness is inspiring, but don't weep for me for I know what I deserve. Farewell, Your Highness."

Rainbow watched as the old pegasus floated up into the air and out one of the high windows.

There was another long pause as the crowd slowly seemed to wake up. There was some cheering, some applause as the others in the auditorium started to fully comprehend what they had just heard, but none could have heard the final part of that conversation between Rainbow and the old pegasus. All the cyan mare could do was stare after the old stallion. She knew what he said was true, that he had committed atrocities by not doing anything. But could she accept his sacrifice? He had already sentenced himself to death, the others in that power political circle would never allow one of them be a dissenter. For betraying what they believed was their way of life, he would pay with his own.

She looked at the piece of paper in her hoof and unfolded it as a single tear rolled down her cheek. All it read on it was the word 'yes' in Equitatus.

"Change will come," Rainbow whispered once more as if convincing herself that it was the right thing. Of course it was. Now she could not sway from her path, not when one so willingly put his life in the future she promised. Her eyes hardened and her will steeled itself. She was no longer only an Element of Harmony, but a beacon for others. She was Rainbow Dash, Lady of the House of Iridum, Crown Princess of Cloudsdale.