• Published 4th Feb 2021
  • 11,029 Views, 1,001 Comments

Choice - zelkova48

When the time came, choices needed to be made. Consequences be damned. A series of short vignettes set in the Negotiationverse by Rated Pony

  • ...


The war with humanity has begun, and Fluttershy's defection early on will serve as the catalyst for Equestria's unconditional surrender.

The smell of salt and brine tickled Fluttershy’s nose as harsh waves rocked the pitiful dinghy of a boat she was on. It was a humble vessel, the Jumbo Shrimp as it was ironically named. Seaworthy but undeniably cramped. It was all that they, the Resistance, could find on such short notice when it came to escaping Equestria by way of water.


The only home Fluttershy had ever known was far off in the distance, an ever shrinking island of blind hope and misplaced trust. Even now she could still see the apple fields of Ponyville, smell the clean air of Cloudsdale and hear the sounds of Canterlot’s bustle in her mind’s eye. She and her friends have saved it time and time again, and in defecting to humanity she hopes to save it again before it’s too late.

"I'm sorry? What was that?" replied Twilight, removing her protective goggles.

"I said are you sure that this potion is a good idea?" Fluttershy repeated. Twilight gawked at her like she had suddenly grown two heads

"Of course it's a good idea, Fluttershy. Look at this." Twilight presented the potion to all her friends. The glowing fluid was housed in a conical flask, it sloshed viscously against the glass wall like maple syrup. "Princess Celestia helped to formulate it. This potion will be the key to humanity's salvation! With it we'll be able to curb their sinful nature, allowing them to live lives of true happiness as one of us. Imagine it, no more wars, trivial disputes or even hate. Just harmony in all things."

"Well, shoot," Applejack sounded impressed, adjusting her stetson. "All I have to say is, when can you start mass producing that miracle juice?"

"We're not quite at that stage yet, but you can bet the farm it'll be soon," replied Twilight.

"Do you think they'll go through the transformation willingly? The humans I mean," Rarity inquired, looking unsure.

"I know so. In fact, we've already gotten a few volunteers to help with testing already."

"Pfft, they'd be foalish to think about passing this up," commented Rainbow, cracking her cocky grin. "I mean, come on. What could be better than being like me?"

Once upon a time the very notion of abandoning Equestria to the fates was beyond her comprehension.

Equestria was a land of peace and prosperity. A place where everypony could live in comfortable harmony, free from trouble and filled to the brim with wonder and opportunity. A pony could live their entire life from birth to the grave content in all things. Equestria was perfection made manifest, warmed by the light of Princess Celestia’s radiant sun. It seemed nothing could shatter its utopian visage. That was until they arrived on Earth and the cracks of the supposed utopia began to show.

It seemed so simple at first. Set up the bureaus and convert humanity into ponies to save them from themselves. After all, they were already on the brink of destruction by the time they had arrived. Depleted resources, overpopulation and hazardous pollution were only a few of the issues that plagued the planet. Humanity was slow to learn and quick to anger. One wrong move and the world could’ve been plunged into a nuclear holocaust at the push of a button. The potion was the solution to end all human suffering.

But they refused.

Not all of them, but the vast majority had made their position clear as crystal.

War was the last thing on Fluttershy’s mind when the call had been made. It was one thing to coerce humanity into becoming newfoals, it was another to force them into it.

The choice had been made and humanity had no say in the matter.

She couldn’t believe it when the news reached her cottage. The cacophonous cries for war were loud and it deeply disturbed her just how ready her friends, family and neighbors were willing to force their judgement and beliefs onto another race without even trying to understand them. Granted she couldn’t blame anypony for abhorring humans and their failings but that didn’t excuse ponies for believing they were superior by comparison.

"Humanity has made it's choice," Celestia's staticky voice hissed over the radio. "They have spurned our gift and now it has become our solemn duty to shepperd them into a glorious new age of peace and prosperity. Hate them not for what they are, but love them for what they will become: one of us. I ask you all, my little ponies, to take take part in this short war and ensure them the golden future that has been denied to them time and time again because of their own folly.

Though the barrier continues to expand, we still need the aid of strong able bodied individuals to help with the war effort. Visit your local guard recruitment station today and become the heroes you were always meant to be; for your loved ones, for your neighbors, for Equestria. Victory is all but assured. It is not a matter of if we win, but rather whe-"

Rainbow turn the knob of the radio and shut it off, a scowl plastered on her face. She was at Sugarcube Corner with her friends. The tension in the air was so thick you could cut at it with a knife.

"War! Can you believe this?!" She bellowed angrily, slamming an hoof onto the table. "We give them the greatest thing on this planet since sliced bread and those monkeys throw it back in our faces! Buncha ungrateful jerks, the whole lot of them!"

"Calm down, Rainbow. I'm just as mad as you are but that doesn't mean you can go around hitting things" grumbled Twilight.

"I can't say I share that sentiment, Twilight," said Applejack. "This is an outrage. We're doing everything right, why are they acting like we're wrong? I just plum don't get it."

"...You guys don't think war is taking things too far, do you?" Fluttershy asked.

"Bah! They asked for it when they wanted to remain smelly hateful animals," huffed Rainbow.

"But we started it," Pinkie retorted.

"That's quite true. This all feels a tad too hasty for my taste," added Rarity.

"I can't believe what I'm hearing, girls. Don't tell me you're actually against this?" Twilight rebuked.

"I just... have a bad feeling," replied Fluttershy.

"Well, what's the point in arguing," said Rainbow. "The barrier's already overtaken that Old Zealand place or whatever and Asia is next. You heard Celestia. It's only a matter of time before we win. Human's will have to decide whether they want to lose gracefully or be dragged kicking and screaming towards defeat. I bet my left wing this'll all blow over by next Hearth's Warming Eve. By then we'll all be sipping some hot cider in paradise."

For months the war effort cloaked her like a clammy cowl.

Manufacturers were being pushed to their very limits churning out goods at an alarming rate. Rationing had been instated, food and raw materials were prioritized for the Equestrian military. Mandatory services like labor or tribute were expected when they were demanded, refusal to adhere to the mandate was punishable by jail time or worse. Posters urging young stallions and mares to join the army were plastered across every building in town.

Recruitment officers had become a common sight and you couldn’t walk five steps without having some blatant anti-human propaganda being screeched at you through the mouth of some very enthusiastic ponies.

It was all so very vocal and difficult to ignore, but those problems were superficial at best and irritating at worst.

Fluttershy mainly kept her opinions of the war to herself fearful that voicing them would make her a pariah among the community, forcing her to walk on eggshells almost every single day. After all, she was one of the faces of Equestria. It would be terrible for morale if one of the Elements of Harmony were staunchly opposed to the war.

Eventually however, the mounting frustrations of wartime patriotism and devoted fanaticism had reached its boiling point when she had been used as propaganda to rally the troops.

Fight for Equestria!

The poster said.

Just as the Elements of Harmony do!

The thought of her image being used to bolster enlistment in the continuing effort to perpetuate genocide was the figurative straw that broke the camel's back.

Fluttershy had been against the war from the very start, against the forceful conversion of humans on a planet that wasn't their own. She became outspoken on her thoughts, trying her hardest to persuade everyone to cease this folly. But her cries fell upon deaf ears.

Her friends didn't listen.

Humanity brought this upon themselves, they said.

Her family didn't listen.

Humans couldn't be reasoned with, they said.

Her neighbors didn't listen.

Humans deserved to be turned, they said.

Fortunately, when things appeared at its bleakest, Lyra Heartstrings was the one to lend an ear to Fluttershy when she needed it the most.

The peculiar unicorn had always held a soft spot for humanity, causing her to be ostracized by the community at large. She was one of the few ponies who could see past humanity's warlike nature and grasp the untapped potential they possessed. Together with like minded ponies, she had formed a resistance that strove to find a balance between human and pony.

When the offer finally came to join and defect, Fluttershy didn't think twice.

Fluttershy's friends watched in stunned silence as she prepared to leave Equestria. They'd all gathered at her cottage curious in what she had to say to them. Of all the things they expected to come out of her mouth it came as a shock when she announced that she had joined the Resistance and planned on leaving that very night.

"No..." Pinkie Pie whined, her hair flattening out. "No, no, no, no, no..."

"I can't believe this," Twilight's voice cracked and she was on the verge of tears. "I expect this kind of behavior from that freak, Lyra, but you, Fluttershy? One of my best friends?"

"I'm sorry, Twilight," replied Fluttershy, packing what little luggage she needed into her saddlebags and motioned for Angel to come along. The little rabbit complied, crawling into one of the saddlebags and nestling himself amongst her belongings. "I've tried to change your mind. I tried so hard, but the fact of the matter is that you never wanted to listen to what I had to say, because it went against everything we believed in, against what Celestia wants."

"Do you have the slightest idea what you're doing or even the sheer magnitude of this moronic decision?!" Twilight snapped, taking a step forward.

Rarity spoke hesitantly, voice wavering, "Fluttershy, d-dear. T-this is treason! Betrayal! This is the kind of crime that warrants execution!"

"I know," Fluttershy's voice was soft but resolute. "The only reason I'm even telling you about this is because I needed to make my convictions clear. I owe you all that much, at the very least."

"After everything we've been through together, all you've done for Equestria, this is how you repay those years of hardships? By siding with the enemy!" Rainbow roared, hot tears streaming down her cheeks. "How could you?!"

"Because we're in the wrong," Fluttershy finally admitted as her own tears began to flow. "This isn't right, any of this. What we're doing, turning humans into newfoals against their will, it goes against nature."

"Nature? Is that what this is all about?!" Twilight seethed, her emotions straddling the line between fury and outright denial. "You can't be serious. Nature is the very reason we're even doing this! Human nature in general is vile and self destructive! We're not the bad guys in this war!"

"This is all that Lyra's fault, isn't it?" Applejack did her best to remain calm but couldn't hide the venom in her voice. "That monkey loving traitor filled your head with all this sympathetic humanist hogwash, just like she did my cousin Braeburn. Fluttershy, please, put your saddlebag down and we'll talk about this. You're just confused-"

"I know what I'm doing!" Fluttershy raged, causing her friends to recoil. "Do you?!" The question caught everyone off guard. "Everyday I see the home that I once loved descend deeper and deeper into a self righteous pit so deep ponies don't even know what's right or wrong anymore! No more... I've made my choice. I'm defecting."

"Like hell you are!" Rainbow growled and took up an aggressive stance. "Friend or not, Fluttershy, there's no way we're letting you leave and help those dirty humans! Either stay put or we'll make you!"

"I'm not asking," Fluttershy muttered.

"Well, neither am I!" Rainbow lunged forward in the blink of an eye, determined to tackle Fluttershy to the ground and make her see reason, maybe break her wings if it came down to it so she couldn't fly away. But she suddenly stopped in mid-air, floating helplessly as a mischievous chuckle rung out in the silence.

"Oh, no. This will not do, not do at all," Discord quipped as the mercurial draconequus blinked into existence with his toothy grin on display. "Hello, every pony!"

"Discord!" Twilight gasped.

"And goodbye!"

With a snap of his fingers, both he and Fluttershy vanished into thin air, leaving behind a gaggle of speechless ponies and Rainbow Dash to fall flat on her face as gravity set itself in for her.

"...Buck," Rainbow grumbled, standing up and bucking the nearest piece of furniture in anger. "Buck! Buck! Buck! Buck!" she cursed, smashing lamps, windows and chairs in a frenzied state. "She's gone! She's gone and she going to join up with those human bastards along with the rest of the Resistance! Buck! Buck! Buck!"

"Worse, it looks like Discord is coming with her," Applejack grimaced, her face growing pale at the thought of Discord offering chaotic magical aid to the opposition.

"...Find them," Twilight started, her expression downcast. "Find them before they leave! We cannot let them escape Equestria! This is a priority emergency! Get every available pony looking for them before it's too late!"

"W-where are we supposed to look?" Pinkie asked. "They could be anywhere!"

"...The ports," said Twilight, realization dawning upon her. "Discord isn't strong enough teleport the entire Resistance across the ocean. They need a ship."

"Well, what are we waiting for? Let's get a move on!" Applejack bellowed, kicking up dust as she bolted for the doorway with every pony else following suit.

And that was the last time she saw her friends before setting sail with the Resistance. By the time the posse had arrived at the nearest port their ship was already long gone into the night, far away from Equestria and the eventual carnage that would follow in the ensuing years.

It has been close to twelve hours since her defections and the recent memory of leaving her friends caused her to cry again, salting the oceans with her tears. But she had to remain strong, no matter how much her heart ached.

"Every pony!" Lyra called from the bow, pointing to the massive gray blobs rapidly closing in from the horizon. "Look alive, it's the U.N. ships, just like I said! Grab your things. We'll be boarding soon!"

Wiping away her tears, Fluttershy grabbed her things and prepared to board another vessel. Discord and Angel were nearby, watching her with sympathetic eyes. Taking a deep breath, she hauled up her saddlebag and straighten herself out.

Fluttershy had made her choice.

"I'm ready," she declared.