• Published 7th Nov 2020
  • 2,586 Views, 320 Comments

I am my own OC - KittyrinnAiko

It started out as a blatant self insert and then morphed into something more.

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Chapter 62: Arbitration

There was a landslide,” Louise offered as we passed gawking onlookers. We were, after all, covered in dust. Ever pony except for Princess Fluttershy for some odd reason.

We cleaned up in Tsuki’s baths, and were back down in time for lunch. Each of us now wearing a Rarity original thanks to the other Dimension’s Rarity. The luncheon itself was subdued.

For a thousand years the only Alicorn they’d known was Princess Celestia. And then Cadance was introduced to them. Cadance was dismissed by most as a ‘False Alicorn” that Princess Celestia had taken under her wing. After all, Cadance was nothing like Celestia. Next came Princess Luna. Luna would also be dismissed by the vast majority of the Canterlot elites. Luna wasn’t a proper alicorn, and there was no way she could be Princess Celestia’s little sister. After all, they were nothing alike. And of course, I was also dismissed as just a strange little half-breed.

My recent activities were making it very difficult for the elites to ignore my presence.

Late that afternoon it was Princess Louise who walked out onto the Sun Balcony overlooking Canterlot Castle gardens and the Sun Square where ponies could gather to watch Princess Celestia lower the sun. If there were ponies there for the dawn it was typically tourists who’d been up all night. Something mom found amusing.

I’m sorry,” Tsuki said to a disheartened Celestia who’d been watching from the doorway. “This was, I’ll admit, more political than necessary.”

You had to establish authority. I understand,” Celestia replied. Tsuki’s horn lit up, but instead of the moon rising clouds appeared on the horizon painting a brilliant sunset.

Sunrise and sunset is really my time to shine,” Tsuki offered.

It’s beautiful.”

Glad you like it,” Tsuki replied with a smile. She then walked out onto the balcony, spread her wings, and lifted up effortlessly into the air even as Louise was dropping back down. The moon soon followed in its full glory appearing larger than any present could remember.

Tsuki dropped back once the moon was well on its way.

That night’s dinner was a bit more lively than lunch had been even if the primary topic was still whispered. The topic of the night was the undeniable fact that Princess Celestia was not the only alicorn.

The following morning saw Princesses Tsuki and Louise sitting in the thrones for the Moon and the Sun.

It is not our habit to insert ourselves in such a dramatic way,” Princess Tsuki said to the capacity crowd. “That said, it became necessary in that Princess Celestia is one of the principal aggrieved parties in the case against Daisy Bellis Woods, and in that Arbitration by no less than one Priestess of Akkadia has been requested.”

If the Bailiff can bring in the accused we can get started,” Princess Louise requested.

A very nervous Daisy was escorted in by guards a couple of minutes later. Minus any legal defense.

Why Mrs Woods, wherever has your legal defense gone off too?” Princess Tsuki asked.

They do seem to be running late,” Princess Louise suggested.

If the court will permit, perhaps I could hurry them along?” Prince Prometheus offered from his box seat attached to the far left wall. Luna, Loki, and I were in a box seat on the far right. Seats that hadn’t been there the night before. As for Princess Celestia, she and Sunset were sitting with the prosecution positioned right of center front. The defense was to the left and the witness box was dead center between the Royal Dais and the legal teams. There was no jury readily apparent.

Yes, that would be most appreciated,” Princess Tsuki conferred.

Prince Prometheus stretched out his right-wing, snapped his primaries, followed by the legal counsel appearing in their places. All wore traveling clothes, hoods to cover their faces, and carrying luggage.

I do hope you have got a better defense than running for it?” Tsuki asked in a stern tone as the lawyers looked about frantically. They settled down a moment later as it became all too clear that running would not be an option.

Let the record show that the legal team is hereby charged with contempt of court,” Princess Louise stated. “They are to be held for the duration of these proceedings or thirty days. Whichever is greater.”

Well, if they had any hopes of Princess Louise being the more understanding and hopefully pliable, those hopes just got dashed.

If we are ready, the court is in session, prosecution, please introduce yourselves and present the charges,” Tsuki requested.

Your highnesses,” Offered a grizzled old gray unicorn stallion as he stood. “I’m the lead prosecutor on this case. My name is Gharry Mason, my colleagues are Ben Matchlock, Jack Blackstone, Saul Goodmare, Batty Hues, and Anneal Shore.” Ben was another elderly unicorn, Jack was an Earth pony of middle age, Batty was surprisingly enough a dark bat pony and a very good-looking mature mare. Finally, we had Anneal who was a pegasus. He was the youngest in the lineup. Probably the go-fer.

It took the remainder of the morning just to list the charges beginning with Sunset’s abandonment at an orphanage that had turned out to be nothing more than part of the operation. Foals, mostly older foals, would be trickled out from legitimate homes, and shipped off to buyers and unknown fates. I did have to wonder about the parking tickets though. How exactly does one get parking tickets as a pony?

I object!” Mister Rock Stain protested raising while slamming his front hooves down on the table in front of him. By the looks of the grooves in the table, it was likely a common practice.

Mr Stain, how long have you been a lawyer, or perhaps it is common in these parts to object during the reading of the charges?” Princess Louise asked.

By the look on his face he’d regained his wits along with a measure of bravado.

Traffic tickets?” Mr Stain pressed.

Princess Celestia?” Princess Tsuki prompted. “Do you not have a traffic court?”

Traffic court?” Princess Celestia asked as though this was the first she’d ever heard of such a thing. “Ms Woods owns a cabriolet two-wheeled carriage and it has racked up a massive number of citations.”

Do you not have a lower court that is dedicated to handling traffic issues? Because Mr Stain does have a valid protest. Perhaps we could table the lesser charges?” Princess Tsuki inquired.

Princess Tsuki,” Mr Mason prompted. “Canterlot has a small claims court which does handle minor claims for individuals who do not wish to wait for an audience, but does not as of yet have an actual traffic court.”

In our opinion, Canterlot needs a dedicated traffic court. Harmony knows how much revenue is being lost,” Princess Tsuki suggested. “As for these specific traffic citations, perhaps we could table them, for now?”

I will have to agree,” Princess Louise offered. “Considering the nature of the more grievous charges it might be a bit pointless to press the matter on the lesser charges.”

We will table the charges concerning the traffic citations,” Princess Celestia conceded.

As a point of order,” Tsuki began, “Because arbitration has been requested, these proceedings will take the place of a trial.”

No jury?” Mr Stain asked dubiously.

We could ask the gallery to stand in for a jury,” Princess Louise suggested. The gallery was loaded with ponies that had that I already know she’s guilty look.

Personally I think you’d be better off with the two of us,” Princess Tsuki commented dryly.

Nova, as this isn’t going to end anytime soon, what say we break for lunch?” Princess Louise suggested. “Tsuki, I meant Tsuki.”

I’m screwed,” Daisy whimpered as she slunk down in the chair.

Breaking for lunch sounds like a good idea,” Princess Tsuki confirmed and we were on our way to lunch a short time later.

That week saw a parade of witnesses as the prosecution brought witness after witness detailing the sordid life Daisy had lived. Daisy had made one life choice mistake after another. That’s if one wanted to call them life choice mistakes. One of the things I’d learn is that she’d been the one who set up the orphanage in the first place, and while it seemed a legitimate organization at first, the placings of foals became steadily more questionable as the years went by. Sunset’s incident had been the tipping point. Daisy had been the darling of the nobility up to that moment. After that, she’d become that pony no one speaks of openly.

Firebrand, Meadow Lark, and Diamond Tiara were among many who testified. A Detective Columbine detailed her findings and in each case, the lawyers tried to trip them up. By the time they were finished with Detective Columbine, they’d only dug the hole they were in deeper. And yes, the crew of the Drumlin Hay testified. They were more than eager to cast as much blame onto Daisy as they could. My turn came late on Friday afternoon.

But you never saw my client with your own eyes until the cabin door was opened in the presence of the Guard, is that correct?”

Oh how I wanted to wipe that smug look off of Mr Stain’s muzzle.

It was Moony who discovered her, not aye,” I retorted.

But you yourself did not confirm this Moony’s claim.”

I was piloting an airship and she’d not likely lie to me.”

A ship you stole. By your own admittance, you took that ship from the rightful owners.”

That ship was under the military island in Cloudsdale where it had no business being. And it was listed as derelict.”

But you didn't know that at the time. You only had your friend, young Mr Rumble’s supposition. You further endangered yourself and countless other ponies with your reckless actions.”

Objection!” Princess Celestia shouted in the Canterlot voice. “Badgering the witness.”

And why isn’t she being charged with the theft of an airship? Not to mention reckless piloting and openly admitting to a desire to commit piracy,” Mr Stain demanded. “She violated the law as well, and you can’t say she was rescuing those poor unwanted foals. She’s already admitted that she didn’t know they were on board.”

Navel regulations,” Mr Matchlock began as he got to his hooves. “..clearly state that any officer of the Equestrian Guard, or Princess of Equestria, on discovering a ship where it should not be is duty-bound to take control of the ship and deliver it to the nearest port to determine the intent of the crew.” He smiled a big smile. “Her actions while unorthodox were within the letter of the law.”

The objection is sustained,” Princess Tsuki stated.

I suppose I should feel grateful for little laws that helped keep me out of Tartarus. And yet, I couldn't help but wonder what would become of an individual who does the right thing but doesn't enjoy the perks of being a princess.

She’s not an Officer of the Equestrian Guard,” Mr Stain objected.

She is a Princess,” Princess Celestia stated. “A Princess of Equestria. Entitled to all rights and privileges.”

Mr Stain, perhaps if you were to get to the point?” Princess Louise prompted.

My Point is that the witness can not verify that my client had been on the ship at the time she commandeered it.”

Objection!” Mr Mason called out in a dry tone that suggested he was quite done with this. “Commandeered may imply taking possession without lawful authority.”

Commandeered as in to officially take possession within the legal limits of the law,” Mr Stain countered.

As it has already been established that Princess Nova took possession of the ship because she believed there was a crime in progress, all other motives aside, I think we can allow the usage of the term ‘commandeered’ in this case. Objection overruled,” Louise stated.

It would seem that short of some pony teleporting Daisy Woods on board the fact that she was indeed on board has already been established by previous witnesses, to include the crew,” Princess Tsuki pointed out. “If you intend to suggest that she had indeed been teleported as part of some elaborate frame-up I’d like to remind you that you are going to have to provide evidence. This isn’t the sort of court where you get to throw wild ideas out and hope it results in reasonable doubt. Nor are you allowed to suppress evidence or strike down testimony. We’ve talked about this several times now.”

Considering the mounting evidence against your client I’d say it’s time you started arguing that your client is capable of redemption,” Princess Louise suggested.

Such is the enchantment of Tartarus that a creature can be left with no food or water and never perish. Not even age or intentional acts of self-harm will release the creature from that place. It is a place of infinite solitude.” Tsuki informed the defense. “Your next option is to be frozen in stone where you can brood for eternity or until the stone is worn away. In either place, a pony’s mind can snap. And yes, any being trapped in stone is fully aware of it.”

You mean my client, don’t you?” Mr Stain asked nervously.

Oh no, I’m including you and your team,” Princess Tsuki corrected. “Judging by the reading material you brought with you on that first day, and the paper trail those books left, you’ve known about Mrs Wood’s activities for some time.”

Lawyer client privilege.” Mr Stain offered up.

When Lawyer client privilege allows illegal actions to continue and even goes so far as to plot ways to thwart justice that privilege slowly slips into the realm of conspiracy,” Louise admonished. “How long would it take to sufficiently turn your mind to mush I wonder? To make it malleable enough to try again?”

And there it was; being cast in stone was a form of brainwashing. The individual so encased would slowly forget everything about their old life. Once their sense of self was gone their mind could be molded like fresh clay.

Alright, fine!” Mr Stain shouted. “I made a huge mistake.” His voice is now breathless. His tone of quiet desperation. “I’m a lawyer. Helping ponies when they’ve made a huge mistake is what I do. It’s my calling. Finding ways to restore a pony’s life when they are looking at the consequences of their actions.”

Could it be that somewhere along the line you shifted from helping ponies who made a mistake to helping ponies who knew full well what they were doing?” Tsuki asked.

That, I can not repudiate,” Mr Stain admitted. “But, I am still committed to defending Daisy Woods.” He paused. “She is guilty. Guilty of every charge, and quite frankly, I must have been mad to agree to defend a person so unapologetically guilty. Asking for arbitration by a Priestess of Akkadia was the only way I could see to buy her time.”

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