• Published 21st Mar 2024
  • 1,281 Views, 29 Comments

Saved!!! - ArchoPony

A human fell through one of Midnight's portals; and now he's in a 7,000 foot free fall while slowing transforming into a horse.

  • ...

13 - The Trial - Part 2

Celestia waited for the door to shut before returning her gaze to Twilight.
“ Do not worry my student, you are not in trouble. “

Twilight looked to the door that the other 2 alicorns exited.
“ Are you alright? This experience hasn't shaken you too much, has it? “ She said more as a friend then a leader.

Twilight looked to the side, with a puzzled look.
“ Whatever it is, I am ready to listen. “ Celestia reassured her.

“ Ehm. “ Twilight searched for words.
“ Its- “
Celestia was still, ever patient.

“ I worried that there is a part of me that would have let Spike compete, Discord or not. “
She looked solemnly towards the ground.

“ Almost as if past Twilight would say something like: “
“ ' If your staying to compete, then I'm staying to cheer you on! ' “ Twilight put on a small show; making a voice of self mockery and shooting a hoof away from herself, Trixie style.
“ Or... something like that. “ She was back to sad.

' Oh. ' Celestia thought.
This wasn't Ponder related.

“ Twilight, there is nothing wrong with letting your pupils make their own decisions. “ She calmly said.
Twilight seemed to get it, and looked away with a smirk. Celestia continued her lecture:
“ And maybe a deadly obstacle course was not the best start for Spike; “
Twilight was back to self-doubt.

“ And even if you had let him compete - I'm certain you would have intervened if things got too dangerous. “
Twilight perked up.

“ Yeah – Yeah your right! You always know what to say Princess Celestia! “
“ Now, Twilight. You know how I feel about being held to such a standard. “
“ Right, sorry. “ Twilight awkwardly apologized.

“ Now, I should take this opportunity to give some criticism. If you'll accept it. “ Celestia had turned to face the sunset, and back towards Twilight as she said so.
“ Of course! “ Twilight was back to self-doubt again.

“ If Discord's replaying was accurate... “ Celestia paused for a moment to gauge Twilight's reaction.
' Eager to hear ' written all over her.

“ You did not assert your authority when Ponder was taking charge. “

“ Well, he was right. The dragons were going to meet soon. We were short on time.“ Twilight answered.
Celestia tilted her head, ever so slightly.
“ And M – Maybe that's not the only reason. “ Twilight continued.

That's a emotion Celestia didn't see often from Twilight.

Celestia sat down near the window.
The guards gave Celestia a bit of a weird look while Twilight's fear loosened up a bit.

“ Something distracted me. “ Twilight finally said.

There was a pause.

“ I could – hear my own heartbeat. “
“ The world slowed down and every little sound became loud. “
Celestia already knew what this was.

“ Twilight, have you ever heard the saying : Mole in front of a carriage? “
“ Your referring to the Freeze Response? “ Twilight asked.
“ Not being able to do anything in a stressful situation; all the same. “ Celestia responded.

“ I believe that will fade with time. “ Celestia pointed to herself.
“ Along with some practice in much less – high stakes situations. “ She continued.

“ But what scared me the most is I didn't go into my usual ' Problem solving mode' “
Twilight added on.

“ Usually I'm all over the place screwing everything up! “
“ But this time I just – froze. “ She said with contemplation in her voice.
“ This time it was different then in the past. “

“ I hadn't experienced anything like it. “

Celestia knew exactly what this was.
But she also knew just telling her would do less good then pointing her in the right direction.

“ I believe this is a sign that you are moving more towards a more neutral response to these things. “ She said.
“ And, All things considered, I think everything turned out quite alright. “ Celestia, added on, changing the subject.

“ - You do? “ Twilight asked in confusion, raising one wing slightly.
“ Indeed. Considering the alternatives. “
“ You did your best Twilight, and it turned out alright. “
“ We will take the necessary measures to make sure this does not happen again. “

Twilight was still unconvinced. Her nerves always had a knack for getting the better of her.

“ And, you know, PonderBright is responsible for many of those measures. “ Celestia changed the subject again. Twilight looked back at her.

“ It is clear that he does want to help, and to change. “
Twilight looked back down to the ground as Celestia turned to look at her response.

Celestia was surprised at that one. So much so she almost showed it.
“ Do you disagree, Twilight? “ She asked in earnest.

“ No. “

“ He obviously wants to help. “ Twilight said with uneasy certainty.
“ It's just that “
“ He did want to kill Garble. “
“ And – he called it justice.

“ Hm. “ Celestia only half-agreed with Twilight on this one. She showed as much.
“ If you do not wish to continue his friendship lessons, then we could send him back to - “

She was interrupted.
“ No! “ Twilight almost shouted in monotone.
“ I'm not giving up on him. Just... sharing concerns. “ She said with authority which faded into sheepishness.

Well. She wasn't a mind reader. Celestia would just have to wait and offer her support on this subject. Along with one final send off:
“ Very well. “ She sat back on her throne.
“ Then I shall continue to allow you to do so. “

Twilight looked conflicted at that last sentence.
It looks like she didn't have to read minds after all.

Celestia offered one more word of advice:
“ And Twilight, I do not think he is a danger to others. “
“ Garble was a – special case. “
“ I know. “ Twilight slowly responded.

“ We will be borrowing him for a day to further instruct him. It seems he does require a more strict regimen. “ Celestia ended the conversation with a smile.

There was a wait for Luna and Ponder to get back.

They were talking a long time.
Celestia signal for a guard to check on them.

More time passed.

When they returned, Ponder was looking much less depressed. Celestia assumed her sister had told him much of the same.

“ Very well. “ Celestia spoke.
She looked to Luna.
No apparent objections.

Celestia got up and walked slightly closer to Ponder.
“ PonderBright, I understand you are trying to adapt and change. “

“ However. “

He was getting deja-vu.

“ The laws are as such, and I do personally believe there are some mistakes an adult such as yourself should not have made. “

Ponder was dying to say something.
Twilight shook her hoof at him, and then to Celestia.
He understood that social cue.

He interjected:
“ Adult? “
“ Yes. “ Celestia was just about as confused as she's been in 120 years, but didn't show it.

“ Are you not considered one where you are from? “ She was taking shots in the dark at this point.
“ YES! That's it - “, “ I mean- no. “ Ponder responded.
“ In my world I would still be considered a child. “

Twilight's eye got slightly larger.
“ Oh my- YES! “
“ When I was there, I was treated like a filly! “
“ I'm so sorry I didn't realize it sooner! “

She said in manic apology; her eyes fixed on Ponder.
“ Twilight, you already had enough to worry about; it's fine. “ Ponder said looking back at her, responding to her open ended apology.

Celestia closed her eyes for a bit; seeming fine with Ponder's response to Twilight.
“ Well then, Twilight, I fear then that our social experiment has come to an end. “

Celestia was expecting signs of relief from Twilight.
To her dismay, she was correct. Twilight had relief written all over her face and posture.
“ He will certainly be missed by the other humans. We shall- “

“ Wait! “ PonderBright interrupted again.
“ If you send me back now they'll just dissect me for being exposed to an alien world. “
“ Also they'll probably find the portal here, and start invading. “

Everyone in the room, including Celestia, was visibly shocked.

“ Well. “ Celestia was instantly back to calm.
“ Since I'm not the expert on the subject matter, “
She regretted having to bring Twilight into this.

“ Twilight, can you corroborate? Is his assessment accurate? “
“ I- Don't know. “ Twilight responded in genuine confusion.

Discord tore the fabric of reality back a smidge; poking his head out to speak.
“ I can corroborate. “

Every pony in the room had looks of disappointment, minus PonderBright, who was surprised.
“ You send him back, and Twilight's human friends will join him on the dissection table as fast as you can say : ' magic in the human world ' “. He said while doing air quotes.
“ And personally, I'd take banishment over going back there any day. “ Ponder interjected; missing the point entirely.

Celestia cocked an exceedingly un-regal eyebrow.
“ Discord, have you been to the human world? “

He jutted in a response.
“ Not personally. I just sent some eyes and ears there, you see? “
He snapped his fingers and eyes and ears of various sizes appeared around the throne room.

Luna snarled under her breath.

“ I just got curious when Twilight left for another dimension. I hadn't been to one of those in awhile. “ He said while hand-rolling.
“ And you eavesdropped on our trial because... ? “ Celestia suddenly asked Discord with a slight sneer.

“ Well, do you honestly expect me to just sit idly by as my second-dearest friend PonderBright is judged by a standard not of his own... Or even HIS WORLD? “ Discord spat out like a child in a argument.

Celestia smiled.
Discord recoiled a bit.

“ Oh. Well. More like – acquaintance. “

“ Acquaintance? “ asked Ponder, from Discord's arms as he had picked him up in that last sentence.

Discord looked at the 4th wall all dumbfounded-like.

“ Ah. Hm. Well. I just – didn't want to call us friends when we didn't agree that's what we are!!! “ He said in enthusiastic splendor; arms outstretched, dropping PonderBright.
“ A n y w a y “ Discord looked to Celestia's minor smile.

“ My vote is not guilty. For what that counts. “ He crossed his arms.
“ Dooley noted Discord. “ Celestia responded.

“ And while I do appreciate your contributions to Equestria Ponder “ Celestia was in her closing statement.
" Adolescent or not; You should not have been so willing to kill any creature considering how you arrived here ; even if that creature is an enemy combatant. "
“ As ruler of Equestria I fear I can not overlook all of this. “
Most ponies in the room had forgotten this was even a trial.
All ponies expect Ponder.

He looked towards Celestia, who was looking back out the window.
She turned to face him, the light shinning at her back.

“ PonderBright, I find you guilty of use of excessive force. “

' That's it? ' More deja-vu form Ponder.

“ Your sentence is 50,000 bits of service to the state, or 24 moons in prison. “
Luna looked to Celestia, with minor hints of ' appalled ' on her face.

“ That's... what you call your money? Right? Bits? “, “ I don't have any money. “ Ponder was slowly regaining his composure.
“ The fine can be paid with service as well. “ Celestia clarified.
“ Should you select that. “ She made that clear.

“ Yes. “ Ponder confidently stated.
Celestia narrowed her eyes a bit. She was looking directly at Ponder, who was looking right back at her.
She had noticed something, as per her head tilting up a bit and her staring intensely at ponder.
A Light blue reflection shown in her eyes. It was fading in and out, but still there.

Celestia, returning back to the conversation, brought up a paper to read and started to speak again:
“ I'll have you start with joining the ponyville hazard squad for a day. “
Twilight froze up a bit.

“ And if Twilight has any ideas on this or any other matter, you do need to listen to her. “ Celestia strained her posture, looking down at Ponder.
He looked confused.
“ I'll have Luna teach you chain of command along with Discord. “

Luna smirked.

Ponder responded: “ Luna already spelled it out- or more like - made it clear? “
“ I didn't consider it at the time, but what I did was technically insubordination. “ He said with tiredness in his voice.
“ Sorry Twilight. “ He said without looking back at her.
“ It's fine. It did work out in the end, right? “ She said with minor hints of regret.

After the short silence, Discord, who had been uncharacteristically silent for quite awhile, grabbed Ponder from behind and lifted him up into the air.

“ YA-HO!”

He put Ponder back down, now a very stiff and scared pony. Almost resembling FlutterShy when she was spooked. He looked back at Discord with pinhole pupils, in apparent agony. He wasn't hurt. Was he just that upset at that grapple?

“ Hm. You know. “ Discord was coming back down to earth, mentally speaking.
He gritted his teeth a bit, before turning to Celestia.
“ – I got to say. “

“ You really do know what your doing here Celestia. “
She turned her ears up a bit.
“ I honestly thought this place was held together with duck tape and dreams when we first met. “
He stretched out a roll of gray industrial tape from behind his fingers.

“ But as it turns out - “

“ You've more idea what your doing on the throne then anyone I've ever seen. “
He magically spun the tape together, making many layers. It was now capable of holding a 200lb weight on the end; as he demonstrated by swinging a miniature wrecking ball at a cardboard cutout of the old medieval Equestria.

Discord looked back at her, smiling confidently.
“ Yeah. Of all the rulers of the human world no one has come close to what you've made. “ Ponder added, still not completely recovered from Discord's surprise back hug.

“ Country? Culture? “ Ponder was pushing a already delicate situation.
Celestia did not force back a emerging smile.
“ Thank you both. “ She recognized that they were genuine.

“ But I am not special. “
“ I just have good intentions and many years of experience. “

“ And, with time,” She looked towards Ponder “ may you come to realize that Culture and Country are one in the same. “
“ And that folding tape analogy might be more on the ball then you think, Discord. “ She said snidely.

“ I'll look forward to it. “ Discord loudly exclaimed.
FREINDSHIP IS MAGIC! “ He said with ' traditional princess volume ' vigor as he vanished in a poof of party favors

“ Well, that was all a bit too high energy for me. “ Twilight interjected, visibly tired.
“ Then you all are dismissed. “, “ We have settled this matter, as far as the law is concerned. “
Celestia waved at them.

Twilight sunk down, defeated. Almost disappointed.
Celestia was raising a hoof to her as they started to walk away, but stopped.
She slipped up and did not hide her fear, and Luna took notice.

The doors closed.
Luna asked her: “ Do you want to talk about it? “
“ Not until Twilight wants too. “ Celestia confidently reposed.

“ A more important matter does concern me. “ She continued.
“ Which is? “ Luna had to ask.

“ Equestria, at least in it's current form, might indeed be as sturdy as a single strand of tape. “

Author's Note:

I am open to PM. No discord or email. Do not use email. Please.
I am open to work, even collaborations. I can't draw. Muscle condition.

Want to test my writing with this one. Will try to write more and more challenging subjects as time goes on.
All criticism minus something that can only be seen as a nitpick will be appreciated.

It always bothered me that Twilight would just... Let spike do the unknown dragon race, likely resulting in his death.

Spike's about to get impaled on some rock spikes?
Better shout " Look! " and point to a dragon I said I didn't trust.
Problem... solved?

And after Spike almost gets impaled on those rock spikes, only surviving by around 1/2 seconds time to spare, her next words/thoughts can be summarized as :

I caulk this up to bad writing and Twilight canonically being a teenager in a medieval/renaissance setting.
But mostly bad writing.


Twilight was never wrong about a reformation, was she?
Or did she ever think she was wrong?