“Cutie Mark Crusaders, Spike,” Twilight smiled warmly at the youngsters as she stood awkwardly in the entry room of the castle of Friendship, “We all appreciate everything you did to help in the fight against the Storm King.”
“We were immediately captured, though?” Sweetie Bell cocked her head to the side quizzically.
“Seriously, we spent the whole war in pony kennels!” Scootaloo blurted out.
“So…” Apple Bloom interrupted an uncomfortable silence, “Am I th’ only one t’ be surprised that it was Stygian who went all ‘Pony of Evil”, and not Star Swirl?”
“I know, right?” Sweetie Belle replied, “I mean, Stygians such a nice guy, and Starswirl’s… kinda a big jerk… according to Rarity… and every other pony besides Twilight and starlight’s other special somepony… what’s his name?”
“Sun… something?” Scootaloo scratched her head in thought, “You ever notice they both wear capes? What’s up with that?”
“Like you’d never see it coming if Spike went evil, right?” Sweetie Belle observed, “We’d all be watching Twilight… I guess that’s what happened to the pillars.”
“Always th’ ones ya least expect,” Apple Bloom mused.
“But Seriously,” Scootaloo raised an inquisitive hoof, “What’s up with Starlight and cape-ponies? Do they have their own tribe, because they should totally have their own tribe! Can Pegasi be cape ponies? Or do you gotta have a horn?”
“Pretty sure ya just got a wear a cape.” Apple Bloom rubbed her chin in thought.
“We all wear capes!” Scootaloo proclaimed excitedly.
“But I’m pretty sure you gotta wear your cape all the time,” Apple Bloom reasoned, very reasonably, “And we only wear our capes at official meetings. I figure we’re more of a ‘secret society’.”
“So… we’re gonna get sold as cuddle slaves in Abyssinia, right?” Scootaloo interjected from her cage.”
“Yeah, unless Equestria defeats the Storm King in the next hour and a half or so,” Apple Bloom rolled her eyes, as she flopped the floor in her own pony kennel.
“I reckon if you all’d had been 15 minutes later defeating the storm king, or that crew hadn’t taken an insanely long lunch break, we’d be on our way to Abyssinia.” Applebloom shook her head and shivered involuntarily.
“And we sure do appreciate the effort!” Pinkie pronounced with a joyful smile.
“Okay,” twilight smiled and twirled her hoof, “Let me reword that, we all appreciate your efforts and or sacrifice…”
“And the war crimes!” Pinkie burst in once more. “We totally appreciate the fiery war crimes!”
“Technically litteral accessory to war crimes,” Spike held up his claws defensively, “Cappers the one who’s on trial, not this dragon.”
“Okay, the point is we all appreciate your efforts, and/or sacrifices, during the war effort,” Twilight spoke with a friendly smile.
“I still have nightmares…” Scootaloo muttered.
“Geez,” Spike rolled his eyes, “I haven’t had my nostrils licked this thoroughly to distract me from bad news since Scootaloo trapped me in the north tower to make out.”
“Hey, I thought we agreed never to talk about that!” The filly snapped.
“Yeah, so did I,” the little purple drake said with a roll of eyes, “Apparently nopony agreed to that. Live with it like I do.”
“Okay the point is there have been some… changes… some good, some bad,” Twilight sighed heavily, “While the Princesses were trapped in crystal statues the nobles of Canterlot formed a provisional government, and we’re now a constitutional monarchy.”
“Fair warning, the nobles are super racist, so don’t take any of these new rules personally,” Pinkie proclaimed, winking at Spike in particular.
“It’s not necessarily racist, Pinkie” Twilight nearly growled before turn with a smile, “In fact the first part of this presentation….”
“You never said there would be a presentation,” Trixie hissed.
“We got off easy,” Starlight whispered tensely, “roll with it… improvise.”
“The Council of Friendship has been stripped of all legislative, judicial, and executive powers,” Pinkie declared in a burst of confetti, “Yay! Go pseudo-feudal capitalist oligarchy fun time!”
“Thank you Pinkie, it’s not like you just blew half of my presentation,” Twilight heaved a sigh and rolled her eyes.
“There’s only half as much presentation? The Great and Powerful Trixie thanks you very much Pinkie Pie,” the blue showmare beamed.
“Anything for a friend of a friend,” Pinkie replied with a wink.
“The point is it’s not necessarily racist,” Twilight explained with a huff, “They’re just defaulting to a lot of old laws, that were… a little… kinda…”
“Racist?” Rainbow Dash interjected drily.
“...Pony-centric,” Twilight finished with a glare at her cyan friend, “I’m sure they’ll work out the kinks eventually. Normally I’d just declare it a ‘friendship issue’ and make a few random decrees, but now apparently we only have legal authority if we can somehow tie the problem directly to the table of friendship. And unfortunately, there’ve been some… changes… in the Equestrian educational system.”
Twilight passed out three textbooks to the three crusaders, eliciting a raised eyebrow from Apple Bloom. “How come we all three got different text books, and how come mines all about farming?”
“I remember that textbook” Applejack declared with a fond smile, “I had th’ same one when I was a school filly… wait… that’s bad, isn’t it?”
“Mine’s okay, it’s all about how to practice unicorn magic and advance politically,” Sweetie Bell commented cheerfully.
“Well that’s great if your a total tribal stereotype, no offense,” Scootaloo growled in irritation, “My textbook is literally titled ‘Flight and Weather Management: How to Be a Good Pegasus’.”
“Yeah, like Pinkie said… it’s pretty racist.” Rainbow Dash offered a consolatory smile.
“Lucky for me I’m not a pony and legally an adult.” Spike grinned broadly.
“Yeah, about that,” Twilight positioned with a blush, “Thorax has been spending a lot of… let’s call it quality time…”
“We’re pretty sure they’re boinking!” Pinkie exclaimed.
“Wait… Like where you go all the way to the alley behind Sugar Cube corner and make out while bouncing up and down?” Scootaloo quirked an eyebrow. “I tried that with Button Mash last week. Not as fun as it sounds... And Button has a restraining order out on me too now.”
“Welcome to the club, fellow crusader!” Sweetie piped in cheerfully. “Well the other club…”
“Ahem.” The Princess of friendship cleared her throat loudly. “As I was saying, Thorax and Ember have been spending a lot of time together, and he’s been working on teaching Ember the… uh… magic of, let’s call it ‘not abandoning your young and just pretending they’re little adults’.”
“Not sure I like where this is going…” Spiked glared at nothing in particular.
“Pinkie? Anything you want to interject?” The purple nerd-pony asked hopefully.
“Naw, you got this!” Pinkie grinned with confidence.
“Well.. you see…” Twilight both hemmed and hawed.
“Oh, come out and say it already!” Rainbow interrupted suddenly, “Ember called backsies, Spike, your no longer considered a legal adult by dragon rules.”
“What?!?!” Spike was absolutely floored. “You can’t take away my quasi-legal-adult-status! Dammit Twilight! I deserve this! How am I supposed to play O&O with Discord sober? It can’t be done!”
“Don’t you worry none sugarcube, Ah ain’t about to let no silly little gov’mint regulation like ‘legal drinkin’ age’, or ‘state issued liquor licenses come between mah brother and his game night.” Applejack shot a wink to the small drake.
“Thank’s AJ, you’re the best,” Spike smiled warmly at his friend.
“Shucks, tain’t nuthin’,” AJ replied to the praise with an embarrassed blush.
“But wait, there’s more!” Pinkie exclaimed gleefully.
“Now I have to enroll Spike in school,” Twilight groused dejectedly, “because apparently being home schooled by the embodiment of friendship isn’t good enough for the school board. And Cheerilee’s school just isn’t equipped to teach dragons… and - it’s - not - racist - this - time - it’s - a - legit - fire - hazard!.”
“If you say so sugar cube.” Applejack rolled her eyes.
“The only way I can see getting around this is if the cutie map suddenly gives me a flimsy excuse to open a school for all creatures, not just ponies, and preferably based around friendship.”
“So we’re just gonna exposition this whole thing like this?” Pinkie Pie raised a critical eye to the author. “Seriously?”
It worked for the season eight premiere, Ponk, just roll with it.