Ponyville isn't the type of town that never sleeps. The likes of Manehattan and Las Pegasus are full of ponies content on keeping busy all night until Princess Celestia punches the clock. Ponyville, on the other hoof, would much rather tuck in at 10 PM sharp and have its residents come out of their houses once the sun is high, beaming and promising another great day. But on this day, Ponyville has decided to wake up a little earlier than usual. While Celestia was reeling over a faceful of hot coffee, a commotion over in Ponyville's shopping district had stopped quite a few households from getting that oh-so-intoxicating extra hour of sleep.
One of these households was Equestria's 4th greatest bakery that stocks boysenberry muffins, Sugarcube Corner. Up in its loft, a toothless alligator named Gummy stared intently up at a shelf. Gummy's object of interest was a toy fish that lay far out of his reach. The shelf wasn't even that high for a pony, but it was definitely that high for Gummy's stubby little alligator legs.
"Huh, you want a post-wakey-wakey play? Alright mister, you're the boss!"
Gummy's owner, the perpetually pleasant Pinkie Pie, trotted over to the shelf and knocked the fish down. As Gummy got to work on mauling his toy, Pinkie hopped onto her bed and peered at her pet in adoration.
"You know Gummy, it really feels great to help your friends out when they're in a pinch! You oughtta try it sometime!"
Gummy gave his usual glazed look at his caretaker with the toy in his mouth. He bit down on the fish, making a loud squeaky noise.
"Ooh, giving me attitude over this, are you?" Pinkie Pie asked. "Fine. You officially owe me a favor! Just let me think of something you can do."
Pinkie's attention then focused on the outside noise that woke her up. She didn’t think it was none of her business. Her eyes suddenly lit up as an idea came to her.
"Gummy, I know what kind of favor you can do for me! Tell me, what do you reckon is going on out there? I mean, I thought all those serious-sounding ponies were a whole gang of bouncers for a huge party, but there's no way any sort of party could elude me!"
Gummy bit down. Squeak.
"Check it out myself? Sounds like a plan! Your favor debt has been repaid!"
Pinkie Pie charged out her bedroom door and ran full-tilt down the stairs and out Sugarcube Corner's front door. Well, that was her initial idea anyway, but she didn't even take two steps before realising the potential problem.
"Oh no, the twins are still sleeping! Better go nice and slow! Oh, but I wanna see what's going on now!"
Gummy bit down. Squeak.
"I guess I owe you a favor now, Gummeroni."
Pinkie Pie did an about-face before leaping out her window. The typical pony wouldn't be brave/stupid enough to try that sort of time-saving stunt, which meant good odds for Pinkie Pie the non-typical pony. But fate didn't like her very much that day, so instead she landed face-first with a loud thud. As Pinkie peeled herself off the road, two babies started crying from the bakery's upper level. Pinkie Pie made that her cue to quickly scuttle off to investigate the other pressing commotion on her mind.
After a few twisting turns through Ponyville's marketplace, Pinkie found the source of all the noise. It all centered around the Ponyville Jewelry store, which curiously had one of its window panes missing. Milling around the store was a group of ponies wearing bright blue shirts, dark blue ties and sunglasses. They were none other than Ponyville's rarely-seen defenders of justice, the Ponyville Police!
They also liked to defend their crime scenes, as a big, burly stallion was busy turning away civilians who wanted to take a closer look. Pinkie Pie reckoned she could be the lucky pony to get a sneak peek at whatever lay within that shop, so she strode on up to the stallion to strike up a conversation.
"Good morning, Blue Heeler!" greeted Pinkie. "Gosh, this must be a real exciting day for you!"
"Madam, move along. There's nothing to see here," said Blue Heeler.
Pinkie Pie gave an exaggerated gasp. "Nothing to see? C’mon, somepony clearly broke in! Ponyville rarely has crime and now you and your friends have something super-important to do! Isn't that great?"
Blue Heeler sighed, took off his sunglasses and looked directly in Pinkie's eyes. "Pinkie, this isn't something you can take lightly. A whole fortune has gone missing and who knows if that's all the culprit would be willing to do, so could you please leave?"
Blue Heeler replaced his glasses and was just one second from getting back into character before a look of horror appeared in his eyes when he realised he said too much.
"So there's been a robbery, has there?" Pinkie Pie was revelling in the moment, giving Opalescence a run for her money in terms of devious grins. "You know, I reckon I could be quite the asset to this investigation. I'll have you know that without my awesome detective work, the case of the Half-Eaten Desserts on the Friendship Express would've never been solved!"
"I hate to rain on your parade Pinkie, but I don't think that little incident even compares that what's going on here."
Pinkie Pie spun her head and found that Miss Parade-Rainer herself happened to be Twilight Sparkle, one of Pinkie's closest friends and Ponyville's resident princess. She was trotting up to Pinkie with a look that had a delicate mix of indignation and worry.
"I mean, we're lucky for this to have only been theft!" Twilight was becoming increasingly concerned the more she spoke. "This could be the start of Ponyville's greatest crime wave! So many ponies might get hurt, or worse-!"
"You can rest easy, princess. That won't be happening on my watch."
The arrival of the Princess of Friendship had caught the attention of the policemare who limped out of the shop. She was a pegasus with a light-green coat and a periwinkle mane cut short and spiky. Her flank showed off a cutie mark of a golden shield with a five-pointed star in the center. She exuded an ice-cold deposition that would've made her easy to mistake for one of the Wonderbolts.
"Heeler, move to the south side of the perimeter," the policemare commanded. "I can handle these two."
"Yes, madam." Heeler did as he told, leaving the three alone to have a chat.
"It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Princess." The policemare pulled out a small wallet and opened it, revealing her badge and police ID. "Vinca Fuzz, Ponyville Police Department. I'm in charge of this investigation."
Vinca offered her hoof for a hoofshake from the royal alicorn. That offer was quickly stolen by Pinkie Pie, who vigorously shook Vinca Fuzz's right foreleg.
"Pinkie Pie, Ponyville Baked Goods Department! I'm in charge of making sure there's enough smiles and fun for everypony around!" Pinkie completed her impression by whipping out a flash card with crayon scribbling all over, containing Pinkie Pie's details along with a crudely-drawn picture of her head.
"Charmed," said Vinca bluntly. "Anyway, is there anything I can help you with, Princess?"
"Well, I don't suppose you could tell me what has happened here?" asked Twilight. "With Ponyville uneasy over this, I think I have the right to know."
Vinca Fuzz pushed her sunglasses up her muzzle. The sunlight reflecting off the glasses gave off a brief, yet sharp glare as she did so. "Ponyville Jewelry just got a whole bunch of rare gems. Somepony was definitely paying attention, ‘cause they made off with a couple of the big ones. Thankfully, they didn't manage to get at the real cream of the crop."
"Wow, I didn't know Mr. Jasper kept cream in here!" exclaimed Pinkie. "I should get him to make me a brooch made from whipped cream and chocolate sauce! Fashionable AND delicious! Hey Fuzzy, you alright? Got a headache or something?"
"No, I'm fine!" growled Vinca Fuzz. "What Jasper Jade actually has is a quartz shaped like a rabbit's head. Not as big as the ruby and sapphire that got stolen, but it's quite pretty."
"I see," pondered Twilight, her hoof running along the bottom of her jaw. "Well, thank you for your time, Ms. Fuzz. Best of luck with your investigation!"
"I don't think going to need your blessing, Princess." Vinca Fuzz looked off to the side. "It looks like my boys have found the culprit!"
Twilight and Pinkie turned her heads to where Vinca was looking. They saw a couple of police ponies talking to a dark gray stallion with a very unkempt coat and dark, squinty eyes.
"Scaaaaarrrrry~!" said Pinkie Pie. "Good thing that guy's getting locked up, isn't it Twilight?"
"No, that's one of my junior crime scene investigators," said Vinca Fuzz. "I was talking about the pony behind him."
Right on cue, the investigator walked off revealing a pony sweating profusely and crunching down on her lip. This pony was a pegasus that Twilight and Pinkie knew all too well.
"FLUTTERSHY?!" the two exclaimed.
Yelling out somepony's name right near them is bound to get you noticed by them, as it didn't take long for Fluttershy to see her two friends nearby.
"Oh, er, h-hello girls!" Fluttershy nervously stammered. "L-l-lovely day, isn't it?" Fluttershy gave her trademark nervous smile, only 30% more nervous than usual. Vinca Fuzz walked over to Fluttershy and eyeballed her, scanning every last bit of the yellow pegasus.
"You must be the sweet little thing that robbed this place, aren't you?" Vinca Fuzz and Fluttershy's faces were just inches away from each other. Fluttershy was becoming absolutely drenched in sweat under Vinca's gaze.
"Um…N-N-No?" Fluttershy meekly replied.
"Yeah, that's right!" Pinkie Pie confidently strode in front of Fluttershy, protecting her from Vinca. "Fluttershy wouldn't steal any sort of super-valuable jewels! It's preposterous to think that she could've done it!"
"Hey everyone, I found these under the couch in the suspect's living room!" A police stallion ran into the scene, carrying a sack on his back. He placed it on the ground and dramatically pulled away the sack. Everypony gasped when they saw what was inside the sack. Two translucent, shiny rocks the size of a hoofball. One red, one blue. The ruby and the sapphire.
Vinca Fuzz pushed up her glasses and gave an impressed grin. "How about that? The meek, little kitten's got the claws to go for a heist. Ms. Fluttershy, you're under arrest."
The police ponies were on Fluttershy in seconds, slamming a pair of hoofcuffs on her forelegs and wrapping a chain around her midsection, locking her wings in place. All the while, Fluttershy's breathing was becoming increasingly fast and wheezy.
"W-W-W-Wait, this has to be a mistake!" protested Fluttershy. "I didn't do it! Somepony else must've snuck that bag into my house! IT WASN'T ME, I SWEAR!"
The police ponies surrounded Fluttershy and started to escort her to the police station. Twilight and Pinkie Pie watched helplessly as their friend was whisked away, surrounded on all sides. Pinkie Pie started to march after the cops, but she found that she couldn't actually walk. A quick glance at the violet glow around her told Pinkie that Twilight was holding onto her with her magic.
"Lemme go, Twilight!" Pinkie Pie angrily barked, struggling to get moving. "I have to go save Fluttershy from that mean old Fuzzface, or whatever she's called!"
Twilight Sparkle gave off a soft, sad sigh. "I'm so sorry Pinkie, but there's nothing you can do for Fluttershy right now. We're just going to have to figure something else out."
Pinkie Pie considered Twilight's words before ceasing to resist Twilight's magic hold. After being let free from Twilight's spell, Pinkie Pie faced Twilight with determination.
"Twilight, that little noggin of yours has come up with some great plans!" Pinkie wrapped her foreleg around Twilight's shoulder. "How do we clear Fluttershy's name?"
Twilight closed her eyes and tapped her hoof. She hummed to herself, deep in thought about how to approach the situation.
"Okay, I think I've got it!" Twilight opened her eyes and pushed Pinkie away from her. "I'm going to go ask a few questions. I'll probably have to make a trip to Canterlot as well…"
"Okey-dokey-lokey!" cheered Pinkie Pie. "With our efforts, Fluttershy will be out of the clink in no time at all! LET'S MOVE OUT!"
"Hold on, Pinkie," said Twilight. "I think I better do the questioning alone. You tell the others about what happened and then meet me in the castle this afternoon."
Pinkie Pie reacted as though she had just been slapped in the face, her mouth half-open and her eyes filled with sheer disbelief.
"Y-you don't think I can help you? Help Fluttershy?" Pinkie Pie sounded completely hurt by Twilight's words. Tears were slowly but surely welling up in her eyes.
"Oh my goodness, I didn't mean it like that, Pinkie," Twilight said regretfully.
"Oh, don't worry Twilight, everything's A-OK! I mean, you like to do things your way, and I like to do things the Pinkie way!" Pinkie Pie had a bit of a tendency to go from sad to happy at the flick of a switch. "OK, I'll go find Applejack, Rainbow Dash and Rarity and then I'll show you my plan this afternoon! It's going to be great!"
Pinkie Pie pranced away, full of enthusiasm. Twilight Sparkle couldn't help but raise an eyebrow as she considered what kind of mad scheme Pinkie had up her figurative sleeve. Twilight shrugged it off and turned in the direction of the Ponyville Police Station. She had work to do.
Sudden changes in environment can prove to be disorienting for anypony. For Twilight Sparkle, she had gotten lost on the way home several times since her battle with Tirek, her instincts guiding her towards the charred remains of Ponyville's library. Thankfully, her new castle wasn't an inconspicuous part of Ponyville's skyline, its distinctive purple crystal architecture shining in the late afternoon sun. After making sure the folder she was carrying had its files neat and tidy, Twilight headed inside and made her way to the throne room she shared with her friends. Opening up the door, she found Applejack and Rarity engaged in worrisome small talk, Rainbow Dash looking away from the group quietly snarling to herself, and Pinkie Pie focused intently on the contents of her saddle bag. Applejack and Rarity looked up when they heard the door open.
"Twilight! There you are!" said Applejack as she walked up with Rarity to greet her friend.
"Darling, please tell me you've found a way to get Fluttershy out of this horrid mess!" said Rarity.
"I certainly have, but the situation we're in is rather…interesting," Twilight opened up the folder, pulled out a document and gave it a quick cursory glance. "See, they've scheduled Fluttershy's trial for…tomorrow."
"WHAT!?" shouted Applejack, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie. This news almost caused Pinkie to spill the contents of her saddle bag onto the floor. Rainbow Dash didn't react to what Twilight said and continued to silently fume.
"How in Equestria can they hold a trial for somepony the day after they arrest them?" demanded Applejack.
"Ponyville administration has been in a real mess lately." said Twilight. "Most of the Ponyville officials are at the ECTMEC conference in Manehattan."
"That's the Equestrian Cities & Towns Mission for Exceptional Co-operation, ain't it?" asked Applejack.
"That's right," said Twilight. "And Lady Justice and Tall Order are part of Ponyville's delegation, meaning Ponyville doesn't have a judge or a suitable prosecutor around. But that's not a problem, the police have called in a judge and an attorney from Canterlot to participate in the trial. And speaking of Canterlot," Twilight searched through her folder and pulled out another document, along with a business card. "I managed to find a different attorney over there who agreed to take Fluttershy's case!"
"That is absolutely splendid news, Twilight!" Rarity joyously declared. "And on such short notice, too!"
"I know, isn't that great!" said Twilight. "She's really good, too! Bright Scales was one of the ponies who blew the lid on that bit-printing scandal in Fillydelphia! If there's anypony who can get Fluttershy a 'not guilty' verdict, it's going to be Bright Scales!"
"Yeah, I don't think so," said Pinkie Pie.
It was at that moment that Twilight Sparkle realised that the entire day she spent talking with law enforcement, mulling over paperwork, travelling and talking with all sorts of lawyers had drained her to the point where she deal with anything Pinkie Pie-related.
"Pinkie, whatever it is you want to say, I don't want to hear it," deadpanned Twilight.
"I think you do!" replied Pinkie Pie. "You know the whole great justice thingie lawyers like to say they fight for? They actually care diddly-squat about that! All they care about is getting a nice, big bag of bits so they can get all sorts of expensive doohickeys! Anyway, my point is that Fluttershy doesn't even need a meanie-pants lawyer. If she just tells the truth, everything will turn out great!"
"NO IT WON'T!" Twilight snapped. "You ever heard the term 'The pony that represents themselves has a fool for a client'? Fluttershy can't just go into court without an attorney! She'll be torn apart!"
"OK…court might not turn out the best for Fluttershy," said Pinkie nervously. "But that's when my plan comes into the picture!" Pinkie grabbed her saddlebag and turned it upside down. A blowtorch, a hacksaw, a stepladder and a spoon tumbled onto the floor. "See, if Fluttershy loses the trail and gets locked up, that's when I take my trusty tools over to the jail, cut out the bars and get Fluttershy out of there so we can catch the real thief together!"
This was the absolute last straw for Twilight. Steam was practically coming out of her ears. Twilight stepped up and prepared herself to give Pinkie Pie one heck of a lecture. "No. NO. A thousand times, NO! You cannot perform a prison break! All that's going to do is get Fluttershy into even more hot water, and then you'll be put in jail too!" All the while, Pinkie Pie was getting down onto the hard ground and cowering before her angry friend. Twilight continued, "The ideas you've been putting forward today have been just terrible, so unless you've got something smarter to say, BE QUIET!"
Just then, Applejack pulled Twilight back and hugged her chest from behind.
"Twilight. Breathe," said Applejack.
"Breathe?" queried Twilight. "Applejack, just what you on abo-?"
"Close your eyes and imagine you're a leaf drifting on a little stream. Then breathe."
Twilight Sparkle figured that she should try this relaxation exercise. She did have quite the rough day. Twilight closed her eyes and envisioned the scenario Applejack described. She was at the mercy of the current, yet she didn't feel threatened. The water softly sloshed over the rocks of the river bed, Twilight following right along. Twilight thought about what was beyond the stream. A pleasant piece of the countryside, blooming flowers and birds chirping away as they went about their carefree existence.
Twilight breathed out and opened her eyes.
"Feeling better, sugarcube?" asked Applejack.
"Mm-hm!" Twilight was definitely a lot perkier after the breathing exercise.
"And as for you, Pinkie…" said Applejack as she walked up to Pinkie Pie.
Pinkie closed her eyes and cringed, expecting another tongue-lashing.
"You're desperate to help Fluttershy, aren't you Pinkie?"
Pinkie Pie opened to see not the face of an angry farmer, but the face of motherly concern that Pinkie always cherished the support of. Pinkie Pie got up and dusted herself off.
"Yeah, I am," Pinkie sheepishly said. "I really don't want Fluttershy to be locked up in a little room for a super-long time. I don't think she can take that sort of thing! I have to help her. I just need to figure out how…"
"Aw, you don't need to do much to help Fluttershy, sugarcube!" said Applejack. "All you have to do is come to the courthouse tomorrow morning and watch the trial! Let Fluttershy know you care about her, that's all she needs!"
Pinkie Pie stared down at the ground, taking the time to mull over Applejack's words. After a few moments, Pinkie gave a quick nod to Applejack.
"Well, with that bit of drama over," said Twilight, "would anypony mind telling me what's up with Rainbow Dash? I haven't seen her this mellow before."
"Hmmm…" pondered Rarity. "Perhaps she decided that brooding is what's considered cool now."
"Dashie's been acting pretty strange today!" said Pinkie Pie. "When I was telling everypony about the case, I met up with Rainbow Dash last and she already knew about the case!"
"But I didn't tell Dash anything, and neither did Rarity!" said Applejack.
"Guys, I can still hear you. Don't talk about me behind my back," Rainbow Dash grumbled. Her voice was noticeably more bitter than before.
Twilight Sparkle hesitantly inched over to her pegasus friend, not wanting to trip anything and set Rainbow Dash off.
"Uh, Rainbow?" Twilight quietly asked. "What exactly is making you upset about this incident?"
"What isn't making me upset?" Rainbow Dash turned out, showing off a well-worn frown. "This whole thing stinks of something bad and you know it! Now, I'd love to stay and chat, but I have some things I gotta do."
Rainbow Dash promptly walked away, slamming the door on the way out.
"I…I think everything will start making sense by tomorrow." said Applejack.
"It better," said Twilight. "I'll see you guys in the courtroom!"
Twilight Sparkle turned to go further into the castle while Applejack and Rarity departed through the throne room's main doors, leaving Pinkie Pie alone with her thoughts. Despite Applejack's reassurance and sound advice, she still wasn't at peace.
"How can I just sit there and watch while the rest of Fluttershy's life is on the line?" Pinkie Pie started pacing around the throne room, trying to figure out what to do. "But Twilight was right. My ideas were pretty boneheaded. Breaking Fluttershy out of jail is a no-no, and I suppose she does need a lawyer."
Pinkie suddenly stopped in place. What she just said was starting to give her a new plan. Pinkie broke out a gleeful grin and dashed out of the throne room, ready to enact her greatest idea ever.
The Ponyville Courthouse never saw too much action. Ponyville's general lack of crime meant that the halls of justice were mostly relegated to resolving mundane disputes like marketplace stands being an inch too long. However, the upcoming trial was the absolute talk of the town. The courtroom was packed to the brim with ponies wanting to see why Fluttershy of all equines would commit a crime, chattering away with their own theories about how the trial is going to turn out. All this attention didn't agree with Fluttershy, who was sitting alone at the defense's desk, making herself appear to be even smaller than usual. The desk on the other side of the courtroom had the prosecutor sitting at it. He was an incredibly plain stallion, with his light grey coat, neatly combed black mane, dark grey suit, a simple cutie mark of a document and an expression that was both bored and focused as he read through a stack of papers. Near the front of the gallery, Fluttershy's friends were seated down on benches, their presence serving to reassure their friend that they were with her every step of the way. Only some of her friends were seated though as Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, and Rarity had two empty places next to them.
"Just where in the hay is Rainbow Dash? You'd think somepony that fast wouldn't be late!" said Applejack.
"And Pinkie Pie doesn't appear to be around either," said Rarity.
"You think that's bad?" said Twilight. "It's almost time for the trial to start and Fluttershy's attorney isn't here yet! What's taking Bright Scales so long?"
The door at the front of the courtroom opened and out stepped the judge, an aged, yet sturdy light brown mare wearing a white wig and a black robe. She stepped up to her bench, sat down and slammed her hoof down on the desk with a loud BAM! The entire courtroom went silent.
"The court is now in session for the trial of Fluttershy," declared the judge. "Are the defense and prosecution ready?"
"The prosecution is ready, Your Honor," said the prosecutor.
"Um…I-I'm not ready," muttered Fluttershy.
"Hmph." The judge gave Fluttershy the stink eye as she noticed the bare defense desk. "Defendant, you seem to be lacking an attorney. Can I assume that you'll be defending yourself?"
"Oh, no no no no no!" said Fluttershy as she waved her hooves in front of her. "I mean, I wouldn't know the first thing about being a lawyer. I don't think I can do it."
"I see." The judge's expression didn't lighten up at Fluttershy's response. "Well, if the defense doesn't have a case, then the prosecution's case wins by default!"
The gallery started muttering amongst themselves, shocked that the trial would be over before it even truly began.
"No, it can't end like this!" said Twilight. "Bright Scales, where are you?"
The judge cleared her throat. "This court finds the defendant, Fluttershy…"
The shrill, but muffled voice pierced through the courtroom, bringing it to total silence. Everypony turned to the courtroom doors to see who had arrived on the scene.
"Sweet corn cobs, you've got to be kidding me!" exclaimed Applejack.
Standing in the doorway was Pinkie Pie, only in very different attire. She was wearing a blue suit with a red tie, and her mouth was occupied by the handle of the briefcase she was carrying. Pinkie sauntered to the front of the courtroom, all eyes on her watching in total confusion, while Twilight had entered a state of total slack-jaw. Arriving at the front, Pinkie spat her briefcase onto the defense's desk with a 'bleh!" and swung around to the judge.
"Wasn't that great, Your Honor?" Pinkie Pie excitedly asked. "I mean, you were just about to say 'guilty' and then BOOM! I burst in and save the day! Probably a bit dangerous to come in just in the nick of time, but hey, heroes always arrive late! It's super cool and dramatic and stuff!"
Despite Pinkie's enthusiasm to climatic turns of events, the judge wasn't very impressed by her lateness.
"I'm guessing you're the defendant's attorney?" asked the judge.
"Yep! Representing Team Fluttershy is me: Pinkie Pie!" Pinkie leapt into the air and with a backflip, landed perfectly on the empty chair at the defense's desk.
"Um, Pinkie Pie," said Fluttershy. "Why are you my lawyer?"
"Your Auntie Pinkie Pie doesn't want to see you having to trust your freedom to a stranger!" Pinkie opened up her briefcase and peeked through its contents. "Besides, I'm doing this for free, and you'll be grateful for that once you see how much dosh lawyers want!"
"Pinkie…can I ask you a question?"
Pinkie Pie twisted her head around to find Twilight standing up with her hoof half-heartedly raised.
"What is it, Twilight?" asked Pinkie.
"Wh-Wh-Where's Bright Scales?" Twilight was shivering in dread of whatever Pinkie's answer could've been.
Two hours earlier,
Amidst the hubbub of Canterlot Train Station, Bright Scales was thinking long and hard about the case she was recently given as she walked through the early morning commute crowd. It was quite the honor to be given a case by a princess, but Bright Scales was also baffled by her opponent's actions. The criminal investigation was unusually short, a rare case of a trial happening almost immediately after the incident. The few other cases where something like that have happened, the investigation was woefully incomplete. This was something Bright Scales had planned to attack during the trial, with the hopeful result of having the trial extended another few days while a more thorough investigation was conducted. Bright Scales made her way to a train was about to step on, when she unexpectedly bumped into somepony. Looking up, Bright Scales came face to face with a train conductor. Bright Scales thought she looked rather strange for a conductor, with her curly pink hair and peppy air about her.
"Hi!" greeted the conductor. "You ready for the big Vanhoover express trip?"
"Vanhoover?" said Bright Scales. "Doesn't this train go to Ponyville?"
"No, you're thinking of the train over there," The conductor pointed to the train stopped at the other side of the platform. "You must've mixed the two up!"
"Alright, if you say so," Bright Scales turned around and went to board the train on the other platform, all the while not noticing the conductor she just spoke to smugly grinning, trying to hold back a loud giggle.
"She's busy!" said Pinkie Pie.
Twilight collapsed and shut her eyes tightly. She tried to go back to the stream. The leaf was gently flowing along the stream. The stream became a river. The river became rapids. The leaf violently tumbled and turned, unable to escape the madness it had became enraptured in. Twilight jolted up, drenched in a cold sweat.
"I take it that it didn't work?" asked Applejack.
"I dunno," said Twilight deliriously. "At least I'm not angry! Just terrified beyond belief!"
"Perhaps we should try and look at the bright side of the situation!" said Rarity. "We were just mere moments from a verdict earlier! And Pinkie Pie has proven herself in the past to be quite unassuming. Maybe she can work a miracle today!"
"I reckon 'maybe' is the key word here," commented Applejack.
"Pinkie, what you're doing for me is, um, very nice," said Fluttershy. "But I was just wondering what you knew about law and…stuff."
"Fluttershy, I'll have you know that I crammed the entire Pony Mason series last night!" Pinkie Pie proudly said. "Relax, I've got this in the bag!"
"Sorry, but, I don't think I can do that," murmured Fluttershy.
"I think you will, once you see what else I've got in the bag!" Right on cue, Pinkie Pie pulled a paper bag out of her briefcase.
Fluttershy gasped in delight. "Is it evidence that'll prove me innocent?'
"Nnnnot quite," said Pinkie Pie. "IT'S CUPCAKES!"
Pinkie tipped the bag upside-down and out fell a huge stockpile of cupcakes, way more than what the bag should've reasonably held. The whole table was smothered by Pinkie's treats.
"I reckoned we'd be in for the long haul, so I cooked these babies up a few hours ago!" said Pinkie Pie. "Maybe I shouldn't have waited for them to cool, then I wouldn't have been late an-"
The slam of the judge's hoof caused Pinkie Pie to leap out of her seat.
"Hey, at least give me a heads-up before you do that, Your Honor!" protested Pinkie.
"Ms. Pie, please dispose of those immediately!" the judge commanded. "I am not having you and your client snack on sweets this whole trial!"
"Alright, alright, I get it," said Pinkie Pie. "If you wanted us to share, all you had to do was ask. I too believe that sharing is car-"
Pinkie Pie immediately stood to attention.
"Y-Y-Yes, Your Honor?"
The judge sat up in the chair, and leaned forward to look down at Pinkie Pie.
"When I was summoned here to Ponyville, I knew I would be sacrificing my day off to preside over this case. There was a duty that needed to be fulfilled and I was the pony for the job. So you can imagine my frustration when I find out that the defense attorney is a childish buffoon! You better straighten up your act immediately Ms. Pie, because if you end up being a waste of my time, there will be consequences. Do I make myself clear?" The judge leaned back and awaited Pinkie Pie's response.
"You made yourself clearer than a crystal pony, Your Honor." Pinkie slinked back to the defense's desk and shoved the whole pile of cupcakes back into her briefcase. Clicking the briefcase closed, Pinkie looked up the ceiling, tapping her hoof on the desk.
"Pinkie, are you absolutely positive about going through with this?" asked Fluttershy.
Glancing over at Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie thought back to one of the scenarios Pony Mason had found himself in. One of his clients was a pony who was very down in the dumps. All the evidence was against him and he didn't even want to be found innocent. But Pony Mason didn't give up on him. He made the extra effort to raise his client's spirits, and sure enough, the client started believing in himself and the day was saved. Pinkie thought that if she remained optimistic at every turn, then everything will turn out alright in the end. Pinkie Pie rested her hoof on top of Fluttershy's and looked her directly in the eye.
"Fluttershy, I am going to get you the verdict you deserve, and that is a Pinkie Promise!" Pinkie Pie placed her other hoof on top of her eye to make the Pinkie Promise official.
"Well, if you're Pinkie Promising over it, then I guess you are pretty positive about this!" Fluttershy giggled and gave a soft smile. "I just hope you can pull through. I don't know who'll be able to take care of my animals if I'm gone. Animal care is really underappreciated in this day and age. Oh, did you hear about Kody?"
"Yeah, I did!" said Pinkie Pie. "That poor, little polar bear-"
Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy looked up and saw the judge glaring at them.
"If you two are done, I'd like to get this trial started without any further delays," said the judge. "The prosecution may now give its opening statement."
"The defendant is charged with theft and breaking & entering," said the prosecutor. "The prosecution intends to show that Ms. Fluttershy was indeed the one responsible for these crimes through the evidence we have acquired."
"Hmmm, yes, very good," mused the judge. The judge then sighed heavily and turned towards Pinkie. "The defense may now give its opening statement."
"Will do, Your Honor!" Pinkie Pie straightened her tie and stood up on the desk, her chest thrusted forward.
"Ponies of this courtroom, allow me to ask you just one, super simple question." Pinkie Pie suddenly yanked Fluttershy from her chair and held her up for everypony to see. "DOES THIS NOT LOOK LIKE A FACE YOU CAN TRUST?"
All the ponies in the gallery sat silently, watching the duo in confusion. Fluttershy dangled from Pinkie's hooves, her eyes awkwardly darting around.
"That wasn't a rhetorical question, everypony!" said Pinkie Pie.
The gallery started chattering, many opinions getting lost in the mess of noise, with only a few voices managing to peek at the surface.
"Nah, I don't think so."
"No way, no how, sugarcube!"
"I dunno, maybe…"
*BAM! BAM! BAM!*
"Order! Order in the court!" shouted the judge. "Ms. Pie, I hope for your sake that your case has grounding beyond the defendant's appearance!"
Pinkie Pie's eyes narrowed and she dropped Fluttershy back onto her chair. "Oh, I see what you're trying to say, Your Honor!" said Pinkie Pie. "You're trying to say there's more to Fluttershy than meets the eye! Well, you're wrong! In the case of my client, what you see is what you get, and what you get is somepony who's not guilty of anything! Isn't that right, Fluttershy?"
Fluttershy grimaced and wiped some sweat off her forehead.
"Y-Y-Y-Yes, of course!" said Fluttershy.
"If the defense is finished," said the prosecutor, having finished making sure his stack of papers was perfectly stacked. "I'd like to call my first witness, Your Honor. She's the officer in charge of this investigation, and will provide details on the incident."
"Very well," said the judge. "Bailiff! Bring in the first witness!"
Vinca Fuzz sat at the witness stand, gently massaging her left forehoof, which was wrapped up in a bandage, but otherwise maintaining her professional demeanor.
"Witness, please state your name and profession," said the prosecutor.
"Vinca Fuzz. I'm a deputy at the Ponyville Police Department."
The judge's brow furrowed as she double-checked her paperwork. "Unless I'm mistaken, investigations in the Ponyville County are under the jurisdiction of its sheriff. So why are you in charge, Ms. Fuzz?"
"Same reason you're here, Your Honor," replied Vinca. "Sheriff Pastern is currently attending the ECTMEC conference, so he put me in charge of all police-related matters for the time being."
"And doing a poor job of it so far," said the judge.
"E-Excuse me!?" Vinca turned her head to the judge with a jolt, the movement sending her sunglasses askew.
"Given the current circumstances, I find it rather reckless of you to schedule a trial for the day after an arrest," said the judge. "This does not bode well for your case against the defendant."
"YES!" Pinkie Pie enthusiastically pumped her hoof. This caught the attention of Vinca Fuzz who confusingly blinked before pushing up her glasses and smirking.
"OK, this has got to be a joke! The princess's comedic sidekick is a defense attorney?" said Vinca Fuzz.
"Who are you calling a sidekick, sidekick?" yelled Pinkie Pie.
"Ms. Pie and Ms. Fuzz! Cease your taunts this instant!" commanded the judge.
Pinkie Pie shrunk into her chair and nodded feverishly.
"My apologies, Your Honor," said Vinca Fuzz. "Moving on, I think you'll find that our team's investigation has yielded enough evidence to convict the defendant."
"Very well," said the judge. "Please inform the court on the details of this incident."
Vinca Fuzz whipped out a few pieces of paper and took a brief glance at them. "The incident happened at 4:30 am yesterday morning in Ponyville Jewelry. The perpetrator snuck in the store's workshop and made off with two large gems, a ruby and a sapphire. These gems were later found in the defendant's house. Now, the front and back doors were locked, so as you can see in the court files you received earlier, we believe the defendant decided to break in through the front window."
The judge reached over to a few papers on her bench and looked under the top sheet. "Ah, I see."
Pinkie Pie sat still, bamboozled at what exactly they meant by 'court files'. It then dawned on her that she should've taken a look into Bright Scales' briefcase earlier that morning. Pretending to hum in a nonchalant way, Pinkie Pie opened up her own briefcase and squished her hoof into the gooey mess of frosting that occupied it.
"Gasp! Oh, woe is me, it appears I have misplaced my court files!" Pinkie Pie put her hoof to her forehead and daintily sighed, then reached her tongue up to lick the frosting off. "Whatever shall I do? Without those precious files, how could I possibly hope to win? My dear client, oh sweet Fluttershy, you do not deserve a wretched defender such as myself! I-"
"Ms. Pie, we get the picture," the judge grumbled. "Bailiff, give the defense the spare copy of the court files."
The stony-faced bailiff dropped a few papers onto the defense's desk. Pinkie Pie scooped them up and started looking through them.
"Uh huh…hmm….ooh!" Pinkie Pie's eyes lit up when she saw the photo of the shattered window, shards of glass strewn around in the front display and the ground outside.
"Did you find something important we can use, Pinkie?" asked Fluttershy.
"Nope! I just think these glass shards could make an awesome connect-the-dots puzzle! I reckon connecting all those shards up there can make a doggie's nose! Alright, I know what I'm doing tonight!" said Pinkie Pie.
The judge looked at a different photograph in the court files. "Could the prosecution inform me on the current whereabouts of the stolen gems?"
"The gems are currently in police custody," said the prosecutor. "They'll be returned to the store once this case concludes."
"If I may continue my testimony, our team also managed to find this on the front window's display." Vinca Fuzz produced a plastic bag with a long, pink hair sealed inside it. "Given the length and color of this thing, it's likely it belongs to the defendant."
The judge closed her eyes in thought. "It seems there's little reasonable doubt as to the defendant's guilt based off the evidence," The judge opened her eyes and sat up. "Very well, the defense may now begin its cross-exam-MS. PIE, WHAT ON EARTH DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?"
Pinkie Pie was caught standing on her chair, ready to pitch a book at the witness stand. Pinkie froze, then slowly got off the chair, sat down on it, and put the book down. "I was stretching. While holding this book. Yup."
"Really?" Fluttershy asked. "Because it looked like you were going to throw it."
Pinkie Pie pulled Fluttershy in close to her. "I was going to throw the book at her, Fluttershy," whispered Pinkie, "but that dumb judge really doesn't like the classic lawyer tricks."
"Pinkie, that's just a metaphor for severe criticism," said Fluttershy.
"Oh," Pinkie Pie rubbed the back of her head. "OK, that makes a ton more sense! *ahem* WITNESS, YOUR INVESTIGATION WAS A LOAD OF BALONEY!"
Pinkie Pie snatched up her case files and stomped over to the witness stand.
"You think we've messed something up?" Vinca Fuzz made her glasses glare once more.
"You bet!" Pinkie smashed one of the files onto the witness stand. "This thingie here says you did a lot of stuff! You found the defendant, got some evidence, blah blah blah, but it doesn't say if you told Jasper Jade that his shop got robbed!"
Vinca Fuzz pushed her glasses down and looked Pinkie in the eye. "And?"
"And that is just terrible!" said Pinkie Pie.
"I'm not sure if you're aware of this, Ms. Pie," said the judge, "but informing the victim of a robbery is generally considered to be common sense. And you did do that, didn't you, witness?"
"Not directly, Your Honor," said Vinca Fuzz.
"Ah-ha!" Pinkie accusingly pointed her hoof at Vinca. "What did I tell you? Load of baloney."
"Did you even hear what I just said?" said Vinca Fuzz. "I said that I didn't tell Jasper Jade directly. I couldn't tell him in pony because he's not in Ponyville at the moment."
Pinkie Pie sharply reeled back at the statement. "Oh, come on! How many ponies are at this ECH-something anyway?"
"ECTMEC!" shouted Twilight.
"Actually, Jasper Jade is just on vacation now," said Vinca. "I personally wrote him a letter explaining the situation."
"You didn't get someone else to do it so you could focus on the case?" asked the judge.
"Jasper Jade happens to be a friend of mine, Your Honor," said Vinca Fuzz. "I didn't think it would feel right unless I told him myself."
"You know what? I think you had just the right idea!" Pinkie Pie warmly beamed at Vinca with a sincere smile on her face. "I think it's great that you're in this to help your friend out! You're a darn good cop! Even if you totally got the wrong pony."
Vinca Fuzz's sunglasses slightly slipped as her pupils shrunk. "Wow…thanks. Nopony's ever shown me much appreciation for my w-*ahem*" Vinca readjusted her glasses. "Just doing my civic duty, Ms. Pie."
"If you say so!" Pinkie Pie headed back to her desk with a skip in her step. "OK, Your Honor, I'm done!"
"You don't want to cross-examine this witness any longer?" asked the judge.
"Nope! I think I'm good!" Pinkie Pie leaned her chair back and propped her back legs up on the desk.
"Then you're free to go, witness. Are you going to stay for the rest of the trial?" asked the judge.
"No, I have to head back to the station. There are some things I need to take care of." Vinca Fuzz got down from the witness stand and cantered out of the courtroom. She closed the heavy door behind her with a resounding boom.
"Ms. Pie, I'm very curious about your methods and your case," said the prosecutor. "You didn't have any concern over how Ms. Fuzz knew the time of the incident?"
"What do you-AAAAHH!" Pinkie made a noise not dissimilar to a head-on collision between a parrot and Rainbow Dash, and fell off her chair, crashing to the floor. "We don't have a moment to lose! All hooves on deck! AFTER THAT WITNESS!"
"That won't be necessary, Ms. Pie," said the prosecutor. "I already know the answer."
Pinkie Pie kicked her chair back into position and jumped onto it. "Then tell us already!"
"We have a witness that can confirm the time of the break-in," said the prosecutor. "She was preparing to go to work when the incident. Your Honor, I'll like to summon this witness to the stand."
"Of course," said the judge. "Bailiff, go find the prosecution's second witness."
As the bailiff left to retrieve the witness, Twilight sat deep in thought about the strange circumstance of the witness.
"I wonder what kind of pony has to go to work at that hour," Twilight pondered. "I mean, who's even up at 4:30 in the morning?"
Twilight felt a chilling pair of annoyed presences. She looked over and saw Applejack and Rarity glaring at her.
"What?" asked Twilight.
Meanwhile, at the defense's desk, Pinkie Pie was planning her next move.
"OK Fluttershy, I think I've got it now. I'll ask the witness a ton of questions. Question after question after question! And once I've worn them down…BAM!" Pinkie Pie mimed a swift jab.
"You're going to punch them in the face?" asked Fluttershy.
"Of course I'm not going to punch them in the face! I'm just going to accuse them of the crime you were convicted of and hopefully sentence them to several months in prison! I'm not uncivilised, Fluttershy!" said Pinkie Pie.
"Uuuhh…" Fluttershy's eyebrows contorted into a look halfway between concern and confusion.
"Look Fluttershy, if there's anything I learnt from Pony Mason's cases, it's that if it isn't the defendant, it's got to be the witness!" said Pinkie Pie.
The doors creaked as the bailiff came back with the second witness in tow. Pinkie whipped around to see who it was, and her ears drooped at the sight.
"On the other hoof, maybe the witness is just a witness…" groaned Pinkie.
The witness that the bailiff was escorting was none other than Rainbow Dash. She slumped as she walked, holding an unfocused gaze towards the floor, not appearing to be in a better mood than the day before. The bailiff led Rainbow Dash to the witness stand, which she slumped into with her back to the judge.
"Witness, please state your name and profession," said the prosecutor.
Rainbow Dash found the wall to be much more interesting than whatever the prosecutor was saying.
The prosecutor cleared his throat. "Witness, is something the matter?"
"Yeah," grumbled Rainbow Dash. "You're thinking that there's nopony in this town who doesn't know who I am."
"Witness, will you just answer the prosecution's question already?" asked the judge. "We cannot proceed with the trial otherwise."
"Is that right?" replied Rainbow Dash. "Then I'm not gonna say anything at all!"
The judge's teeth gnashed fiercely against each other. "What is the meaning of this?"
"I apologise for the witness' uncooperative nature, Your Honor," said the prosecutor. "From what I've looked into, she's known the defendant since childhood. I can imagine she doesn't want to help a case against her friend, even if her testimony didn't mention the defendant at all."
"C'mon, witness, work with us here! The defense doesn't want to be hanging too!"
The voice was not one Rainbow Dash was expecting to hear so closely. She looked over to the defense's desk to see a super duper party pony as the apparent attorney.
"Pinkie?" Rainbow Dash bemusedly scratched her head. "What's with the suit?"
Pinkie ignored Rainbow Dash and continued, "If your testimony won't get Fluttershy in trouble, then I reckon I need to hear it! Now go answer the prosecutor's question!"
Rainbow Dash adjusted herself in her chair so she was facing forward and rested her hooves on the stand. "OK, um, so I'm Rainbow Dash and I'm a weatherpony. Yeah."
"Alright, witness, you were up bright and early so you could get yesterday's weather prepared, right?" asked Pinkie Pie.
"You got it," said Rainbow Dash. "It was about 4:30 and I just had breakfast when-"
"And just what did you have for breakfast?" said Pinkie Pie.
Rainbow Dash stared and blinked at Pinkie Pie. "Uh…what does that have to do with anyth-"
Pinkie Pie slammed her hooves right on the witness stand, making Rainbow Dash jump back.
"I asked you a question, witness!" barked Pinkie. "What did you have for breakfast that day?"
"OK, OK!" Rainbow Dash pushed Pinkie Pie out of her face. "I had a bit of cereal right out of the box! You happy now?"
Pinkie Pie slammed her hooves again. "NO! You need to tell me what kind of cereal you had! Was it corn flakes? Sugar Treaties? It was Sugar Treaties, wasn't it?"
*BAM! BAM! BAM!*
"Ms. Pie, I have never seen an attorney badger a witness over such an irrelevant detail!" the judge growled. "Do you want me to give the guilty verdict right here and now?"
"Eep!" Pinkie Pie back-pedalled all the way back to the desk. "No, Your Honor, I think I'll just stay here and be quiet! Sorry, Rainbow Dash, keep going!"
"Right," Rainbow Dash sat up and continued, "Anyway, I heard the sound of glass breaking in the distance. I thought it was kinda weird, but I didn't care that much at the time. But while I was setting up the clouds for the day, I noticed that the window to the jewelry place was busted. So after a quick early morning nap, I flew over to the police station and told them what happened."
"And you didn't see anypony suspicious, did you?" said the prosecutor.
"Nope," said Rainbow Dash. "It was kinda dark and I hadn't exactly woken up yet."
"Thank you, witness," said the prosecutor. "That'll be all."
Rainbow Dash unfurled her wings and took to the air. She gently glided down, landing right next to her friends in the gallery.
"Uh…sorry I didn't say anything, guys," Rainbow Dash sheepishly massaged her neck. "Those dumb cops said I shouldn't tell anypony about this."
"It's fine, Rainbow," reassured Twilight. "They were only doing their jobs!"
Rainbow Dash angrily folded her forelegs and avoided eye contact with Twilight. "Yeah, and doing some lousy ones at that!"
The judge began stacking a few of the papers strewn over the bench into a neat pile. "Between everything the prosecution has already presented, I am quite close to delivering a verdict now. Is there anything else the prosecution would like to add?"
The prosecutor opened his briefcase. "Actually, I-"
All eyes snapped onto the source of the loud interjection. Pinkie Pie was proudly standing up on her hind legs, her left forehoof triumphantly outstretched, pointing directly at the prosecutor, ready and determined to tackle the challenge ahead. And yet, Pinkie Pie felt something to be a bit off. Something that didn't exactly correlate to how this moment played out in her head. Something that was happening right behind her. Pinkie Pie looked behind her and saw Fluttershy not sitting in her chair, but instead choosing to cower under the desk.
"P-P-P-Pinkie?" asked Fluttershy. "D-Did you have to say that so loud?"
"Of course!" replied Pinkie Pie. "I mean, everyone was expecting it at some point, right? Sometimes you just have to give ponies what they want!"
"Ms. Pie, is there a problem?" asked the judge.
"You betcha, Your Honor!" said Pinkie. "The prosecution has a real bagel of a case. Nice and tasty for sure, but there's a big gaping hole in it! He didn't say why Fluttershy would even consider stealing those gems! There's no motive!"
The judge quickly leaned back as her eyes narrowed in surprise. "How about that, you actually made a good point, Ms. Pie. Perhaps you're not a completely lost cause."
Pinkie Pie eye's lit up at the almost-complement. Things were finally starting to look up for the defense.
"Your Honor, I have evidence that suggests the defendant's motive."
"Dang it!" Pinkie Pie slammed her head right onto the desk.
"Before the defense interrupted me, I was going to present this," The prosecutor pulled a newspaper out of his briefcase. "This was found in the defendant's living room."
Pinkie Pie snatched the newspaper from the prosecutor and scanned the front cover. She then flipped it over to check the back.
"Uh-oh, this is really suspicious!" said Pinkie Pie. "Fluttershy didn't even do the crossword!"
"Ms. Pie, check page 3," said the prosecutor.
Pinkie flipped to the appropriate page. She found a story headlined with a picture of what appeared to be a veterinary hospital. A white bear cub was helplessly lying on a metal bench with two ponies comforting and examining him.
"It's little Kody!" exclaimed Pinkie Pie. "Wow, he's still hanging in there!"
"I'm a bit lost here," said the judge. "What exactly are you talking about Ms. Pie?"
"Kody is this super-adorable polar bear from the Fillydelphia Zoo!" Pinkie explained. "And he's really, really sick! Why do the cute things have to suffer so much?" Pinkie Pie glanced at the story once more. "Oooh! The zoo's raising money to help make Kody better! There's still hope left in this world!"
"Indeed," said the prosecutor. "The defendant is well-known in Ponyville for her love of animals. She wouldn't sit idly by when she could help treat the bear. Therefore, it's the prosecution's belief that the defendant stole the gems with the intent to sell them and donate the proceedings to the zoo's fundraiser."
"A noble goal, to be sure," mused the judge. "But, hopefully, the defendant will learn that the ends don't always justify the means."
"You know what, Your Honor?" said Pinkie Pie. "I think the prosecution is wrong! Who's to say Fluttershy even read the paper? Remember, the crossword is bare!"
"Ms. Pie, do you even remember what you and your client were talking about before the trial started?" asked the judge.
"Of course I remember!" objected Pinkie. "We were talking about lawyer fees, and Pony Mason, and cupcakes, and you got mad at me, and I made a big heartfelt promise, and we talked about Kod……oh."
"I should make a note that the police were watching the defendant closely since yesterday morning, and there was no opportunity for her to learn about the bear," said the prosecutor.
"Ms. Pie, I think it's quite clear that the prosecution has a much stronger case than yours," said the judge. "If you have any evidence to present or witnesses to call, you better do it now or we'll proceed to the verdict."
Pinkie Pie gulped as a cold sweat washed down her face. She didn't bring any evidence with her, as she thought she'd do fine if she just winged it. She didn't know which ponies she should call up either. The prosecution had all the knowledge of who was involved. They knew about the police ponies and Rainbow Dash, while all Pinkie had on her side was Fluttershy.
"Wait, that's it!" exclaimed Pinkie Pie. "Your Honor, I think we should hear what the defendant has to say for herself. Fluttershy, what were you doing yesterday morning?
Fluttershy nervously shuffled in her chair. "Um…..I-I….er…I was sl-sleeping."
The courtroom sat silently, waiting to hear more of Fluttershy's story. But Fluttershy just awkwardly sat there.
"Is…is that it?" asked Pinkie Pie.
Fluttershy meekly nodded. Somepony at the back of the courtroom coughed.
"Weeeellll, there you have it!" said Pinkie Pie. "She was sleeping! Heh, heh! …….Heh."
"I believe this goes without saying," said the prosecutor. "But we already have the hair that proves that the defendant did indeed visit the shop. Her statement doesn't correlate with the evidence."
"Well said," added the judge. "Anything else, Ms. Pie? Or shall I move on to the verdict?"
The cold sweat was now bucketing down Pinkie Pie's head. She continually opened her mouth, before closing it, desperately thinking about what to say. The tension she was in was not lost on the now-murmuring gallery, especially not to the rest of Pinkie Pie's friends.
"Land's sake!" said Applejack. "It's all over already?"
"I'm telling you, the police have to have missed some super-important detail!" growled Rainbow Dash.
"Rainbow, I completely understand why you're angry," said Twilight. "But you have to remember that the officers are professionals. They wouldn't let even the littlest oddity escape the-"
Twilight stopped herself. Thinking back on the previous day, Twilight recalled something odd. A little oddity that managed to escape her. She knew what she had to do now. But she also knew she didn't have any time to do it.
"It seems the defense has nothing else left to say," announced the judge. "I shall now announce the verdict of this tri-"
"One second, Your Honor. I believe the defense wanted to summon me to the stand."
Pinkie Pie recognised the voice instantly. She turned to see Rarity walking down the aisle towards the judge, perfectly poised and in control.
The judge peered over at the white unicorn who just appeared. "Have I…seen you before?"
"My name is Rarity, Your Honor," said Rarity. "Fashion designer, and pretty much the cultural center of Ponyville. But I also hunt gems from time to time. Now, I believe the stolen jewels were a ruby and a sapphire, correct?"
"Right here, Rarity!"
A pink hoof appeared right in Rarity's face, holding a photograph of the gems. Rarity took the photo and looked it over, analysing every last bit of it.
"Yes, there's no doubt about it," Rarity returned the photo to Pinkie Pie. "These gems are the very ones that I originally discovered and delivered to Jasper Jade."
This revelation got the gallery talking again. Although, this murmur quickly quietened down.
"That's an interesting piece of trivia, but I don't see how this would be important," said the judge. "Ms. Pie, are you sure we should hear this pony's testimony?"
"Y-Yes, of course!" said Pinkie Pie. "You never know, right?"
The judge made another one of her signature frowns. "Does the prosecution have any objections to this?"
"No. I believe there's no harm in knowing all the details about a case," said the prosecutor.
The judge firmly nodded. "Very well. The witness can come to the stand!"
Twilight happily gasped. Rarity's decision to testify had just given her the time she needed. She got up and worked her way towards the aisle.
"Hey Twilight, where are you going?" asked Rainbow Dash.
"I'm going to turn this trial around!" declared Twilight. "But I'll have to be quick about it!"
Rainbow Dash flashed one of her many cocky smirks at Twilight. "So you wanna be quick, huh? You'll probably want to have the quickest of quick with you for that! The quickest of quick is me, by the way."
"Another pair of hoofs around would be useful!" said Twilight. "Just leave the thinking to me, OK?"
"You're the boss!" Rainbow Dash blew past Twilight, flying right out of the courtroom at full pelt. Twilight let out a loud 'UGH!' and ran after her, desperately trying to catch up.
"If there's anypony out there who can work a real miracle, it's you, Twi."
Watching the whole scene was Applejack, who now sat alone on the bench. She knew she probably could've helped Twilight along with Rainbow, but that would mean a completely empty bench where Fluttershy's moral support used to be. Applejack just hoped that was enough for the remainder of the trial.
"Alrighty then, Rarity! Tell us about the jewels!"
Pinkie Pie had begun her cross-examination of Rarity, who was slowly sipping away at a glass of water. She gently set the glass down on the witness stand and cleared her throat.
"Let's see," Rarity reminisced. "It was about one week ago. Spike and I were out on a gem hunt just outside of Ponyville. More specifically, we were in that mine where those Diamond Dogs used to dwell. We went all the way out to a remote part of the mine after my gem-finding spell got a strong signal. I didn't find anything of note, but Spike managed to locate a weak section of wall and smashed through it. Behind that wall was the most massive treasure trove of gems. There more gems in there than I knew what to do with! But the crowning jewels, no pun intended, of that gem collection were the ruby and sapphire, along with a large emerald and a big piece of quartz. It was also shaped like a rabbit's head, which was just the most darling thing!"
"I have a question for the prosecution," said the judge. "What are the current whereabouts of the emerald and the quartz?"
"The quartz is secure inside the shop," said the prosecutor. "But this the first I've heard of an emerald. Perhaps the defendant had hidden it away somewhere?"
"Now, now, don't go around needlessly pointing hoofs," Rarity took another sip of water. "The emerald is in my possession. Like I said earlier, there were more gems than I knew what to do with. Therefore, Spike and I had quite the lengthy discussion on how the gems should be distributed. I took the emerald for myself, Spike took as many of the smaller gems as he could carry, I gave the ruby, sapphire, and quartz to Jasper Jade, since I heard his business was suffering due to a lack of fine materials, and I donated the remaining gems to various charities."
Pinkie Pie happily clapped. "Wow, what an adventure! Why didn't you tell me about this sooner, Rarity?"
"Well, we all have our own lives, don't we darling?" said Rarity. "I was planning on speaking to you about it whenever we met up next, that chance just didn't come until now. Heck, I only managed to tell Fluttershy about the gems a mere two days ago. Sometimes schedules don't allow for regular get-togethers."
"I know, right?" cheered Pinkie Pie. "I reckon we should all meet up and make schedules together so we can spend lots of time with each WAIT WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?"
Rarity cluelessly blinked. "I'm afraid I don't follow, darling."
"Witness, your testimony just revealed some vital information," said the prosecutor. "Namely, that the defendant had knowledge of the gems the day prior to the incident."
"AAH!" Rarity immediately covered up her mouth. "Oh my goodness, what have I done? Forgive me Pinkie, I didn't mean to cause more trouble!"
"Don't worry Rarity, I know a good little technique," whispered Pinkie Pie. "If something doesn't go your way, complain until it does!"
"That…doesn't sound like it should be good advice, yet I can't fault it," acknowledged Rarity.
"Your Honor, I want that last thing Rarity said stricken from the record!" said Pinkie Pie. "I didn't call her up to say anything about the witness, so we should move on…"
"Are you seriously that daft, Ms. Pie?" asked the judge. "This witness just revealed some crucial details, and you want the court to completely ignore it? Do you think that's fair to justice?"
"What do you know about being fair?!" barked Pinkie Pie. "You've been taking the prosecution's side this whole trial!"
"Only because you've constantly proven yourself to be an incompetent attorney!" yelled the judge.
Pinkie Pie snarled and prepared to blurt something else out at the judge, but stopped herself when she realised she might get into more trouble. She instead breathed heavily and adjusted her tie.
"Your Honor, I think we're having a bit of a misunderstanding of how we go about things," said Pinkie.
"Pinkie, hold on-"
"You're a real traditional judge, and that's great!" continued Pinkie. "But you don't work for me. See, I'm kinda new to this whole lawyer thing and my methods could be considered…unorthodox."
The judge had already drowned Pinkie Pie out and was writing something down.
"If you could just give me a moment to-"
"But!" said Pinkie Pie. "I reckon I've done something that kinda resembles alright for my first case! And that's cause I'm all about the client first, not the cheque first! There is absolutely no way Fluttershy is guilty of anything, and I say that as a pony who's an excellent judge of charac-"
The courtroom fell silent, save for the soft, yet echoing hoofsteps. Fluttershy walked to the front of the courtroom and looked up at the judge.
"Your Honor, I'd like to make a confession!" said Fluttershy.
"Fluttershy, hold on!" Pinkie Pie began dragging Fluttershy back to the desk. "I'm trying to make you NOT guilty, OK?"
"I'm sorry, Pinkie," Fluttershy pushed Pinkie Pie off of her. "I know you've been working hard for my sake, but I don't think I can stay quiet any longer. Just give me the chance to say something. Doesn't a good lawyer put their client's wishes over their own?"
Pinkie Pie thought back to another one of Pony Mason's cases. Pony Mason thought he had a pretty good idea of what was going on, but no matter what he did, he couldn't find a way to win the case. It was only when the defendant admitted that he was hiding something that Pony Mason could connect the dots to the truth and win the case. But what in Equestria could Fluttershy be hiding? She couldn't really be the one who stole the gems, could she? These questions bounced around Pinkie's brain like a pair of manic pinballs. She turned to Rarity for a clue on what to do. Rarity gave naught but a solemn nod.
"Alright, Fluttershy," said Pinkie Pie. "The floor's yours."
Fluttershy flashed a grateful smile at Pinkie. "Your Honor, I…I lied earlier. I wasn't sleeping yesterday morning. I was actually breaking into Ponyville Jewelry!"
"YOU WERE WHAT!?" Pinkie Pie and Rarity exclaimed.
The courtroom erupted into a chaotic cacophony of noise, courtesy of the gallery.
"Well, I never!"
"Such a disgrace!"
"And she looked so nice!"
"What did I tell you, it's always the quiet ones!"
*BAM! BAM! BAM!*
"Order! Order in the court! I will have order!" boomed the judge. "Defendant! Explain yourself at once!"
Fluttershy nodded. "Like Rarity said, she told me about her trip two days ago. She made this really, really big deal about the rabbit-shaped quartz, and well, I really like bunnies, so I wanted to see it badly. But Mr. Jasper Jade was on vacation, so I couldn't ask him to show it to me! I just had to wait until he got back. But I couldn't wait! I just lay awake in bed all night, trying to get to sleep, but that bunny quartz wouldn't let me. I HAD to see it! I figured it'll be fine if I just snuck into the shop and took a quick peek at it, so I headed over there. Only thing was that I didn't have much of a plan. All the doors were locked, so I went to see if the front display window could open. I tugged at the window, and to my shock, the whole pane fell out!"
"And this was the shattering sound the witness heard?" asked the judge.
"No, it didn't break," said Fluttershy. "I managed to catch it and left it resting on the side of the building. I made my way up to the workshop, where I found a few boxes on a bench. The first two I opened had the ruby and sapphire in them, but the third one had the quartz."
"Absolutely dazzling, wasn't it?" asked Rarity.
"It was alright, I suppose." Ignoring the incredibly dumbfounded Rarity, Fluttershy continued her story. "But then I heard the door to the workshop opening. Moments later, I saw the silhouette of somepony coming inside! I ran as fast as I could out of the shop through the front display. I actually knocked over the window pane as I was running, and that was probably what Rainbow Dash heard. I ran all the way back home and I hid in my bed. A couple of hours of later, the police came by and took me to the crime scene, and uh…you know the rest."
The commotion had quietened down to whispers and murmurs. Fluttershy's confession seemed to have won over the crowd, now no longer making loud judgments.
"Well, there you have it!"
Pinkie Pie confidently trotted up to Fluttershy and stepped in front of her.
"It's just like she said! My client didn't steal those jewels. She simply broke into the store and encountered the real thief there!" said Pinkie Pie.
"It's quite the elaborate tale. Unfortunately, it's also a false one."
The prosecutor got up off his chair, holding one of the photos lying on his desk.
"That piece of testimony contradicts the photograph of the broken window," The prosecutor held up the photo for all to see. "If the defendant actually knocked over the resting window pane in the manner she claimed, the shards should only be on the ground, yet they're in the display as well. This can only mean that the confession was a fabrication."
"No way!" interjected Pinkie Pie. "The real crook just moved the shards so it'd look like Fluttershy did it!"
"But you have no evidence to support that theory," said the judge. "Therefore, the prosecution's statement stands. We cannot trust the defendant's confession."
Pinkie Pie gulped in dread. The judge didn't even ask her if she had any evidence, she already knew the answer would be 'no'! Pinkie knew that Fluttershy would've never made that confession without truly meaning it, but her best opportunity to take the lead was shot down without a second thought. However, that didn't mean it was time to throw in the towel. Even with the threat of her case going down the drain in no time at all, Pinkie Pie knew she had to try one last thing.
"Your Honor!" said Pinkie Pie. "I wanna call up another witness!"
"Another one?" asked the judge. "Who else could possibly be connected to this case?"
"Your Honor, what we need is a new perspective on things!" Pinkie Pie proclaimed. "And I've got a hunch that this witness' perspective will change everything about this case!"
"I assume you know why you were called to the stand, Mr. The Dragon?"
"Of course I don't! I don't even know what's going on right now!"
Pinkie Pie was now grilling Spike, who was not having a good time. He found it a little curious when he came home from his trip to the Crystal Empire to find a quieter Ponyville. What was more curious was that his welcome back greeting consisted of Pinkie Pie in a suit grabbing him and rushing him to the courthouse, where Fluttershy was on trial for…something.
"Mr. The Dragon, you have some vital testimony to give to this court," said Pinkie Pie. "Tell us about the taste of rubies and sapphires."
"The…taste?" asked Spike. "OK, uh…well, rubies are kinda like ice cream with a few chili sprinkles. They're very sweet, but a little spicy too. And sapphires…how do I put this…you ever wondered if you could eat something that make you less thirsty, but not less hungry?"
*BAM! BAM! BAM!*
"Ms. Pie, I've heard enough out of you," said the judge.
"Did you mean you've heard enough out of the witness?" asked Pinkie Pie. "Cause you know, he's the one talking and stuff…"
"This witness doesn't even know what had happened!" snapped the judge. "The only worthwhile thing this court can learn from the witness is that you, Ms. Pie, have run of out of ideas and are grasping at straws. Did you even have ANY sort of case to begin with?"
"Your Honor, I-"
"I don't want to hear another word!" said the judge. "I've given you far too many chances considering you've consistently proven yourself to be a complete embarrassment to attorneys everywhere! Guilty or not, your client deserved better! I'll be ending this trial right now, whether you like it or not!"
Something inside Pinkie Pie had burst. Her normally buoyant hair had deflated and she remained rigid in the middle of the courtroom, only softly quivering. Spike was able to see Pinkie's empty eyes, slowly starting to well up.
"Pinkie?" Spike quieted asked. "Should…I have said something else?"
"Don't worry, Spike. It's fine."
Pinkie Pie turned her back on Spike and shamefully trudged back to her desk. She walked with her head down the whole way, not wanting to make eye contact with anyone in the room, especially not Fluttershy. Pinkie Pie sat down and collapsed her face onto the desk. Fluttershy could only hear quiet sniffing and sobbing coming from her distraught lawyer.
"There, there," Fluttershy gently offered a reassuring hoof to Pinkie Pie. "I sure the judge didn't mean it, she was probably just cranky-"
"N-No *sniff*, she's right," Pinkie Pie lifted her head off the desk. Much of her face was damp with tears. "I'm the worst lawyer ever!"
"Pinkie, calm down," said Fluttershy. "You were just trying to help-"
"But I didn't help!" sobbed Pinkie Pie. "You're going to go to jail and it's all, *sniff*, my fault!" Pinkie Pie buried her face in her forehooves and continued to cry.
"Well…if it helps, I know something else you can do for me!" said Fluttershy. "And I know you're more than capable of doing it!"
"Hmm?" Pinkie Pie peeked up at Fluttershy.
"When I'm in prison, could you visit me every single day?" asked Fluttershy. "Unless the prison doesn't let visitors in every single day. Or if you're busy. I'll understand."
Pinkie Pie wiped the tears from her eyes and shared a smile with Fluttershy. "You can count on me, Fluttershy."
"The case against the defendant is extremely clear," declared the judge. "This trial has no more need to be prolonged any further. This court finds the defendant, Fluttershy-"
"Who is interrupting me no-Princess Twilight!?"
Everyone snapped their eyes to see the entrance of Twilight Sparkle. She stood triumphantly in the doorway, brandishing a manila folder with her telekinesis.
"Your Honor, I have discovered several new pieces of evidence," said Twilight. "I believe these will turn this entire case on its head!"
"You found something that can cast doubt on the prosecution's case?" asked the judge.
"Better than that, Your Honor!" replied Twilight. "I've found the real culprit behind the jewel heist!"
Twilight took a couple of steps to the side as Rainbow Dash flew in beside her. Rainbow Dash had the company of a pony who was struggling to get out of Rainbow Dash's restraining grip. The whole courtroom gasped at the sight of said pony, specifically due to her green coat and purple mane.
"Fuzzy-Wuzzy was the bad guy this whole time?!" exclaimed Pinkie Pie. "Bu-…wh-…HUH!?"
"Calm down Pinkie, I'll explain everything," Twilight walked to the front of the courtroom, with Rainbow following close behind. "I had the police officers watching the crime scene let me have a look around the shop. And I ended up discovering this underneath the front display!"
Twilight levitated a small object out of her manila folder. It was a small, sharp piece of glass with a small red streak lining the edge.
"Is that…blood?" asked the judge.
"Correct!" said Twilight. "This bit of glass also has the same depth as the shards on the ground, so it had to have come from the window! Unfortunately, I don't have hard evidence of the blood's owner, but I think Vinca Fuzz's appearance over the past couple of days has proven interesting. When I first met her yesterday, her right forehoof was bare. But now, you can see there's a bandage on it!"
"Holy smokes, you're right!" said Pinkie Pie. "But…couldn't she have just fell over and hurt herself last night?"
"It's not just the bandage, Pinkie," said Twilight. "She was also limping when we talking to her, meaning the injury was recent. Furthermore, I also have evidence of when she applied the bandage. Rainbow Dash, if you please!"
"Right!" Rainbow Dash pulled out a small piece of paper. "I got a statement here from Ponyville Pharmacy. They said that Vinca Fuzz came in right after they opened and bought a box of bandages."
"Sounds like she desperately wanted to heal a deep cut, doesn't it?" Twilight lowered her head and started to slowly pace about. "The only thing I can't figure out is why the window got broken in the first place. Vinca didn't need to break in so-"
"Oh right, you weren't here!" said Pinkie Pie. "Fluttershy said she broke the window by knocking the pane over when she ran out of the store after breaking in to see the bunny quartz!"
"She did WHAT?!" Twilight nearly dropped all the stuff she was carrying. "Wait, that's it! Vinca Fuzz must've moved some of the shards into the shop to make it look like it was broken from the outside and ended up cutting herself!"
"This new evidence does support the defendant's confession," said the judge. "But then how did the other police officers not find it?"
Twilight turned towards Rainbow Dash and nodded. Rainbow Dash nodded back and produced another slip of paper. "I had a chat with the other investigators. According to them, Vinca Fuzz went in first and told them to search the rest of the store while she checked out the display. She then told them she only found Fluttershy's hair and the shards on top of the display."
"Meaning she could hide an incriminating piece of evidence away from her colleagues!" declared Twilight.
"Wait, stop! Random thought!" Pinkie Pie blurted. "Fluttershy said she heard somepony opening a door! But then how did Vinca Fuzz get in anyway?"
"Simple. With this!" Twilight pulled a small keychain out of the manila folder. "I found this in Ms. Fuzz's shirt pocket, and it belongs to Jasper Jade. This key right here opens Mr. Jade's house, but the other one is the key to Ponyville Jewelry! All Vinca Fuzz had to do was unlock the door!"
Twilight placed the shard and the keys back into the folder and closed it up. "In conclusion, the evidence suggests that Ms. Vinca Fuzz of the Ponyville Police Department had the means of entering the shop and that it's likely that she also framed the defendant for her crime. I'd say that makes her a prime suspect!"
"Hmm…" The judge's eyes were closed as she sat deep in thought over Twilight's statements. "I agree, this is a matter of grave concern. Ms. Fuzz, do you have anything to say about the princess' allegations?"
Vinca Fuzz had stopped trying to break away from Rainbow Dash. She nervously looked around her and mournfully sighed. "Yeah, you got me. I did it."
"But…but…why?" Pinkie Pie walked up to her. "I thought you were a good cop, but you actually just wanted to steal your friend's stuff! That's awful!"
"Actually, I never wanted the jewels," said Vinca Fuzz. "All I wanted was a case to solve."
Vinca gave Rainbow Dash a quick nudge. Rainbow got the message and set her down.
"Ever since I was a little filly, I wanted to be a cop," explained Vinca Fuzz. "My cutie mark represents my desire to be somepony anyone can rely on to see justice done. But ever since I joined the PVPD, I haven't been able to become that pony. Every incident that happens in this town either doesn't need the police at all or is too big for us to handle. Let's face it, I'm completely useless in this town, and I can't afford to move someplace else, so I'm stuck. All I wanted was a situation where I could finally feel important. Then Jasper told me all about the jewels he was given so I came up with a plan. I convinced Jasper to go on a vacation during the Manehattan conference, and I offered to watch his house while he was away. Using his keys, I opened the door to the shop in the middle of the night when I saw something I wasn't expecting all."
"You saw me, didn't you?" said Fluttershy.
"That's right," replied Vinca. "I saw the defendant in the workshop, but she immediately ran off. I chased after her until she got to her house. That's when I decided to change my plan. The idea was that I would just find the lost jewels, but now that there was somepony in the shop, I could create a fake jewel heist and catch the thief. I went back to the shop and grabbed the jewels. Then, I threw a bunch of the glass shards into the shop and got a pretty nasty cut in the process. When I was done with that, I took the jewels to the defendant's house and hid them under her couch. You should really remember to lock your front door at night, by the way."
"I'll…keep that in mind," said Fluttershy.
"With all that finished," continued Vinca. "I went to the police station, the pony who lifted me here reported the crime, and you know the rest."
"Was the scheduling of this trial was also part of the plan?" asked the judge.
Vinca Fuzz nodded. "I thought if the formalities were done as quickly as possible, I wouldn't get caught as easily, but I guess that didn't work out. Defendant…I mean, Fluttershy…you don't have to forgive me, but I'm sorry for all the trouble I've caused. Maybe next time I can really be of help to somepony…"
"Princess Twilight, what happened to Ms. Vinca Fuzz?" asked the judge.
"She surrendered her badge and went into custody," said Twilight. "What happens next with her will have to wait until the Ponyville officials return."
"I see," acknowledged the judge. "I must commend you on your efforts, Princess. Thanks to you, an innocent pony narrowly escaped conviction."
"Just making sure justice is done, Your Honor!" said Twilight.
"We…we won?" Fluttershy was absolutely giddy with the revelations. "Pinkie, did you hear that? We won! …Pinkie?"
Fluttershy was surprised to see Pinkie Pie very quiet. She was preoccupied with her thoughts and had a concerned frown on her face. Pinkie looked up and noticed Fluttershy staring at her.
"Oh! Right! You're innocent! That's great!" Pinkie Pie nervously loosened her tie and looked away from Fluttershy.
"Without any further ado, I'd like to announce the verdict," said the judge. "This court finds the defendant, Fluttershy…Not Guilty!"
A huge crowd of ponies spilled out of the Ponyvile Courthouse, all excitedly discussing the trial they had just watched. However, none were more excited than a certain group of friends. They congratulated Fluttershy for her verdict, thanked Twilight for her efforts towards that verdict and generally hugged it out. It didn't take them long to realize that there was somepony missing. They looked back towards the courthouse and saw Pinkie Pie awkwardly loitering at the courthouse steps.
"What's gotten into ya, Pinkie?" asked Applejack. "C'mon, get over here!"
Pinkie Pie gave a sad smile and walked up to the group.
"Guys, um…I'm really sorry I didn't listen to you," said Pinkie Pie. "I should've just watched the trial and not, you know, make things worse."
"Aw, that's alright, sugarcube!" said Applejack. "We made it through that just fine, didn't we?"
"That's right!" agreed Twilight. "Though I do expect you to write a formal apology to Bright Scales."
"Consider it done!" declared Pinkie Pie. "I think I'm gonna write a little something extra as well!"
Helping your friends is an absolutely great thing to do!
But sometimes you might not always be able to help your buddies out when they're in a jam. I learned the hard way that I'm not cut out for everything. Sometimes you should just let your friends know that you're there for them, or you can find somepony who can help out the right way! I don't think Fluttershy would've taken that the wrong way!
A week had passed since Fluttershy's trial and Pinkie Pie was seated at Sugarcube Corner's outside table, rereading the Friendship Journal she and her friends had shared since their escapades in the old castle in the Everfree Forest. Pinkie was in the mood for some quiet relaxation, with maybe a sugar binge a bit later. She looked across Ponyville and took in the sights of another typical morning. Ponies walking every which way, ponies happily chatting it up, inviting sunshine, a bit more garbage lying around than usual, Fluttershy picking up the garbage with a big pointy stick…
Pinkie Pie did a double-take at the last one. Fluttershy, to Pinkie's knowledge, didn't own any big pointy sticks, nor did she own any open saddle bags that Fluttershy was currently placing the trash in. Pinkie Pie got up and scooted over to Fluttershy.
"Hey Fluttershy, what's going on?" asked Pinkie Pie.
"Good morning, Pinkie!" Fluttershy set her stick aside. "Well, even though I got off of the jewel theft, I still broke into the store, and I also lied in court. So I had to go to another trial and I was sentenced to community service. Don't worry about me though, I can clean up Ponyville just fine!"
"Okey-dokey-lokey!" cheered Pinkie Pie as she started to skip back to Sugarcube Corner.
"Oh wait, I forgot! Pinkie, I have something to tell you!" said Fluttershy.
Pinkie Pie halted mid-skip and whipped around to face Fluttershy.
"It's about the trial last week," said Fluttershy. "The judge really wasn't happy with you. Apparently you broke a whole bunch of rules during that trial. She tried to reach you but she couldn't, so she asked me to tell you that you're wanted in Canterlot next week. Some really big legal ponies want to evaluate you and see if you should keep your right to practice law. So yeah, just thought I'd let you know."
Pinkie Pie completely froze up. Her pupils remained as small as pinpricks as she stood in shellshocked silence.
"Are…are you alright, Pinkie?" asked Fluttershy.
Pinkie Pie didn't respond, nor did she move.
"Oh no, I knew it!" said Fluttershy. "You never were allowed to be my lawyer to begin with!"
"I…I need to find a really, really, really good lawyer. Right now."
Suddenly, a huge gust of wind nearly pushed Fluttershy over, and when she stood up again, Pinkie Pie had disappeared. Looking behind her, Fluttershy watched a pink blur race off into the distance. With an exasperated sigh, Fluttershy got back to picking up garbage, all the while wondering how much longer Equestria's legal world would have put up with one Pinkamena Diane Pie.