Pony POV: Friendship is Oppression
Part 1: The Beginning of Tyranny
“Alright ladies, let’s show him what friendship can do!” I shouted as she and her friends got ready to use the elements of harmony.
“Wait, wait, wait!” Pinkie said as she got one last drink of chocolate rain.
As the elements began to activate Discord said. “What’s this?” As he was hit by the rainbow Discord laughed. “You think that this is over? I’ll break out again; it’s only a matter of time!”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Why that it only took some kids arguing for me to break out, after Celestia and Luna lost their connection to the elements. All I have to do is to wait for something to happen to one of you, like dying of old age being the best case scenario for you, then one little unharmonious thing will happen and this will happen all over again. Harmony is such a fragile, temporary state. Hahahahahaah!“
All I could think about were Discord's last words and the ponies that were hurt or killed for his amusement. The ponies that killed when they were not in their right minds feeling guilt for the rest of there lives. The Ponies left homeless when his sky quake levelled Manehattan. The settler ponies and the buffalo who had also lost their homes and sacred ground to Discord's flood and so much more that was even worse. We were supposed to be living in a land of harmony but not all ponies; all creatures are living in harmony. We have all seen what chaos Discord has wrought. We all became the very opposite of our elements and almost failed. There is only one thing I can say. “You’re wrong Discord; on my life you will never be free again. I will bring total harmony to this world.”
There were of course celebrations, praise, and parades in our honor a few weeks after the events, but they have nothing to cheer about, not really. Confidence in the princesses has been shaken - many are openly wondering what other dangers Celestia has left ferreted away in poorly-secured areas. Ferry companies are filing for bankruptcy protection: After Discord felt the Manehattan air-ships should all have been made of air, they all had to pay out large insurance sums to the victim's relatives as well as replace their ships and deal with the loss in passenger confidence. Only the ferries going out of the country seem to be doing well thanks to almost half a million heading to other nations either forever or just to get away. Suicide rates have skyrocketed. There have been riots in Los Pegasus and Clydesdale. There have been actual cases of Equinicide for the first time in centuries, committed not by any Discord victims but by those cracking under the stresses and fear that's taken over.
Outside of Equestria, even though Discord's chaos barely went a few hundred miles away from Canterlot other than his flooding of the deserts, it seems chaos is taking hold. Deepening problems in the Arabrayian Pennisula, Equrope and Meridia holding the attention of other major powers and at the stage of "when", not "if" for the prospect of war in some cases. There have been attacks on Equestrian Peacekeepers and Embassies. The violent coup in the Buffalo Lands the very day of the ceremony honoring us stretched the military even further.
Between rebuilding, trying to reinforce peacekeepers, trying to keep the borders secure, and the soldiers Discord managed to affect directly the guard is at breaking point. To think we thought that the few he had reached meant we'd been lucky and we may have had the numbers to cope. Now for every one he directly affected invalidated with PTSD, there are two more either from the stresses of disaster relief efforts, the stresses of attacks on them, or the general strain from the burdens placed upon them. The brief respite we'd had at first with the help of the Columbians is gone: with rescue efforts over, even if the nobility and parliament had been able to swallow their pride further to ask them to stay the commitments of our Griffin allies mean they have to send those forces to the other troublespots. We're on our own to fix ourselves.
The attack on Cadence's diplomatic party and the war in Costa Luna was not helping the confidence and harmony of Equestria. Our soldiers were coming home in coffins. Costa Luna, despite our aid against the invaders, had been one of the first to be part of the so-called Cadenza Movement - nations outside Equestria dropping her aunts as head of state and declaring her the sole princess, almost entirely against her misgivings. Hooves were pointed at the Princesses. Celestia had been disappointed but had apparently encouraged Cadence to agree to these changes simply to try and pacify the problems abroad only to make her own at home.
Some nobles begin to try and raise their own private armies and miltias, claiming the government and the military were not responding to their local problems fast enough. STARS units are accused of heavy-hoofedness when a fire during an arrest raid on a noble-backed militia kills a dozen ponies, three of them foals. There are claims that foreign private contractors have been hired on both sides.
There are daily rumors that some distant part of the nation has undergone full rebellion. Stalliongrad has become a Socialist haven. The Emerald Isle has declared itself a Cadenzan Monarchy. Caledonia has seceded. Treacle Mine Road in Ankh-Morpork has declared itself a republic. Even worse, the fact the last one was actually true went unnoticed for a week.
All of this taking place made us more and more convinced. First we had to fix Equestria before we could ever truly bring harmony to the world...
We all have a few moments alone before the audience with Celestia. If we are going to try and get the elements back and start to change things we need to act now. “Okay girls, we don’t have a lot of time. I’m sure you all are worried about what Discord said and what's been going on but I have a plan.”
“Well that is a heap of worry off mah shoulders. I have to tell ya'll my Aunt and Uncle Orange lost everything to what Discord did. If we can keep him from doin that to anypony else I'm all for it!” Applejack said.
“I knew it, Twilight always has a plan!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed.
Pinkie Pie was excited. “What’s the plan? What’s the plan?”
I take a breath and speak. “Well if not all ponies in Equestria are in harmony with everypony else then we have to make them be harmony with each other! Total harmony!”
“But Twilight how can we make the ponies get along?” Rarity asked.
“With the elements of harmony! Just like we did with Princess Luna! We can take all the bad parts out of ponies and they would live in harmony each other! No more lies! No more anger and despair! No more greed! No more cruelty! No betrayal! No more chaos forever!”
“But Twilight, how can we use the elements if Princess Celestia is going to lock them up again?” Fluttershy asked.
“I already have a plan. But right now I need you all to know that I have already begun research into how we can use the elements for what we intend to do but one thing that is out is that we each dedicate wholly to our own element. If we become only one part of ourselves completely then we would become Nightmares like Luna did when she was consumed with her jealousy! The way we need to do this we go in this together with total harmony as a whole cause. Most ponies probably won’t understand what we are trying to do for them right away and they might not like it. So this is your last chance to back out and we’ll never speak of this again. But once you’re in you are in till the end.”
“I’m with you Twilight! I will never betray you guys again!” Rainbow Dash said holding out her hoof.
“I’m telling the truth when Ah say Ah am with you Twilight.” Applejack put her hoof on Rainbow’s.
“How can I call myself generous if I refuse to help?” Rarity put her hoof in.
“It would be cruel if we didn’t try.” Fluttershy joined in.
“Let’s give smiles to everypony!” Pinkie Pie was in.
“Then let this be the beginning of an era of the greatest magic there is, the magic of friendship!” I placed my hoof on top.
“To total harmony!” We all vowed with our hooves going into the air. With that our pact was sealed.
In Canterlot tower Princess Celestia was asking us to make appearances in some of the hardest hit places and forward areas to raise hope and moral. “You are all inspiration to your fellow ponies and with you going with the ESO, you will show them all that through the magic of friendship there is nothing we cannot overcome.”
“Um, Princess Celestia, forgive me for saying this but I think we do more then just give speeches and entertain the troops. We can help secure our land but we need the elements to do it.” I said.
“Twilight, Discord is defeated. What could we need the elements for?”
“Princess, We are vulnerable to any force outside our land and these new rebel factions should they decide to take advantage of the situation. At a time like this we cannot afford to be one hour away from the elements by flight, two hours by express train if we need to act quickly. If we keep the elements with us then all you need to do is send me a letter to get us to where we need to be mobilized. At the very least it would put your subjects’ minds at ease until our forces are back to one hundred percent.” This was it, if Princess Celestia says no then our plans end here before they can really begin. She was really giving it some serious thought.
“Very well Twilight Sparkle, You may keep the elements for now but please be careful with them; they are the most powerful magic we have.”
“Don’t worry Princess; we will be responsible with them.” I reassured her. I don’t see why she would be so worried. She will be so pleased with us when we show her what we will be able to do for this world, and it’s not like the elements of harmony can be used for evil right?
A few days later Fluttershy came to the Library with a very worried look on her face that morning. “Twilight it’s awful! Last night as I came home I heard a voice but there was nopony there. Then I looked in the mirror and there was the me I was when Discord changed me! She is still alive inside me!”
“I thought something felt different when I was doing the memory spell on you. Spike, go get the girls over here right away!”
“Right!” Spike said as he ran out the door. He didn’t know what we were planning, he just dismissed all the materials I asked for as part of my studies. I wish he would ask sometimes but at least I know he is going to understand what we are trying to do.
After he left I turned to Fluttershy and said. “Don’t worry Fluttershy we’ll find a way to destroy this thing!”
“No, Twilight! I realized that she's just a filly, only a few days old really, who had a bad father and doesn’t know any better!”
Then her face seemed to change into an angry scowl. “Quit calling me that!”
I was shocked. “Don’t worry Twilight; I can keep her in check for now. But she knows all about our plans and she said she would do everything she can to stop us.”
Her face changed again. “Yeah, turn the whole world into goody-goody doormats? No thank you.”
“Not a problem Fluttershy. I found something while doing research for our plan and while it’s not what we need it should do exactly what I think you want it to.” I then whisper what the spell would do to Fluttershy.
“Oh, Twilight that would be perfect!” Fluttershy beamed.
After the rest of the girls arrived we briefed them on what was going on and what we were going to do. “Are you sure you want to do it like this Fluttershy? It would be a whole lot easier just to get rid of her.” Rainbow Dash said.
“This is want I want to do Rainbow Dash.” Fluttershy said.
“All right let’s begin.” I said. We all began to channel the power of the elements. The rainbow surrounded Fluttershy.
“No! You can’t do this to me! I won’t let you!” The thing Discord made yelled. She tried to act tough but we could tell she was scared.
“Now none of that young lady, this is for your own good.” Fluttershy said.
A light, another soul came out of Fluttershy. “No! No! Waaaaaaah!” Flesh formed around the soul and on the floor of the library was a crying new born baby filly with a darker coat and mane than Fluttershy.
I smiled “Her memories have been wiped clean. She is a pure innocent foal. Congratulations Fluttershy, you’re a mother.”
Fluttershy picked up the baby. “You told me your name was Fluttercruel but that’s not a name for such a sweet little filly, from now on I am going to call you Flutternice, for what I will raise you to be. You were a foal in a body too big for you but now you can grow up like a proper filly.” Flutternice continued to cry. “Don’t worry, mommy is here. Mommy loves you.” Fluttershy then sang her hush now, quiet now song.
“Well that’s one problem solved but now I better research a mind scanning spell in case Discord left any other surprises in us.
“I do hope you don’t find anything Twilight. Otherwise we might all be single mothers soon.” Rarity said.
After I got the mind scanning spell ready and taught it to Rarity to use it on me I began searching each of our minds for more of Discord's taint. While there was nothing like Fluttercruel in me, Applejack, or Rarity I did find that Pinkie Pie was dividing herself and Rainbow Dash was hiding the truth of what happened to her. I convinced all the parts of Pinkie to come together and after Pinkie told Rainbow Dash a story about a donkey and two piles of hay I knew that we were ready to continue with our noble work. Fluttershy finalized her adoption of Flutternice. All the ponies at the department of child services needed to know was that the baby was found by us abandoned, which is what Discord did to her. We all kept our plans to ourselves as life in Ponyville gradually returned to normal. After months of study we were ready to experiment, the only thing we needed were ponies and other creatures that were far from model citizens. We had a short list; Trixie, Gilda, Blueblood, Jet Set, Upper Crust, and the Flim Flam brothers. I asked Princess Celestia for help with an experiment. When she asked what kind of experiment it was I told her that it was a magic sociology experiment that would benefit the whole world. Unfortunately Gilda was nowhere to be found but we got the rest. However when Trixie was brought into Canterlot hospital we were all in for a surprise, she was touched by Discord like we were. She would be the first subject we would test on, if it worked not only will she be free from Discord's taint but she will be a better pony too. The result was very disappointing, as far as we can tell her coat has been restored but she still acts the same. When I tried the mind scanning something pushed me away. “No! Stay away! You’ll only get hurt!” When I tried again it was like there was a wall keeping her in and the world out.
Without anything else we could do we next turned our attention to Blueblood. “What are you going to do to me?” Blueblood asked us.
“Well if this works then we will get rid of all that rudeness and vanity and make you a perfectly charming prince. You and I might get married after all!” Rarity said.
We used the elements again and he was pushing us back while standing on the tips of his hooves. “Careful, careful! We mustn’t crush any poor dust mites!”
Next was the Flim Flam brothers. “Here brother have my hat.” Flim said.
“Oh, I can’t! Have my hat dear brother!” Flam said.
Upper Crust couldn’t stop laughing with the oversized grin on her face.
When we finally got to Jet Set he became a happy, pleasant pony. We had the hospital take care of the others. I promise you all I will not forget your sacrifice.
After that I spent weeks figuring out what went wrong. Jet Set visited his wife every day. I went over every little detail of the spell trying to find the tiniest mistake and I found two. First was the fact that we did not need to use one big spell for everything when one time offenses can be overcome by a simple restrictive Geass'. The second problem was that I was the one focusing on all the elements like I did with Nightmare Moon and Discord when the cleansing spell needs each bearer to focus on each of their own element. It would still only work like it did with Discord and seal the target in a statue if they were completely resistant to total harmony but for most they would be happy, well-adjusted creatures with no disharmonious thoughts and feelings. They would be completely harmonized. However with the matter of Trixie and the others I am afraid that we cannot help them without undoing their reharmonization. If we found a way to do that then somepony could use it to undo the new world we are going to make! Discord could break free! No, as much as it pains me to say this but Trixie’s and the others condition is a small price for a world free of chaos and evil and I will be sure to let them know every day that their sacrifice is appreciated. If they could understand what was going on they would agree. Now that we know how to make the spell work we still needed a pony to reharmonize to show what we can do. And we found him in the form of a stallion named Cracker. He was named for the food but most would think it was a nickname for him being the most notorious safe cracker in Equestria. He has just recently been arrested so now we can show the world what we can do.
It was a bigger success than I imagined! After we used the spell on him Cracker renounced his criminal ways and vowed to be a model citizen! The nobles were so impressed that they want us to use the cleansing spell to reharmonize every criminal in the Equestria justice system saying it would save the tax payers and the government a lot of money. I heard some ponies in the crowd say that we were the hope for the future of Equestria. But why does Princess Celestia look concerned?
The next day we were all called to Canterlot. Fluttershy left Flutternice with the Cakes so she could play with Pound and Pumpkin while we are gone. When we arrived Princess Celestia and Luna both had disapproving looks on their faces. “Twilight Sparkle!” Celestia said in the royal Canterlot voice. “You used your cleansing spell on ponies who committed no crime to warrant such a thing all for the sake of perfecting it!”
Luna then spoke. “Thou thought that we did not know? Thou thought we would not find out?”
“But Princess we are going to make the world free from chaos! A world forever free from Discord’s evil!” I pleaded.
Celestia was shocked. “At what cost?! You are changing who they are! Forcing them to feel what you want them to feel! Girls you cannot control everything! Now it is time you gave back the elements.”
'Why can’t they understand?' I thought. I thought. Then I said. “Why? Why can’t we control everything?”
“Well for one thing you are our subjects.” Luna said.
“Yeah about that…” Rainbow Dash said.
“We have all been giving that a lot of thought.” Rarity followed
“And we all came to the same conclusion.” Fluttershy added.
“That is that the two of you alone honestly just ain’t the best mares for the job.” Applejack continued.
“We hope you understand. You did your best.” Pinkie said.
“What?” Celestia and Luna both said.
I began to explain. “If what happened between the two of you is any indication if you get into a major disagreement it could plunge our land into civil war and that’s not including the possibility that one or both of you could become nightmares again. And if you look at your rule over the last thousand years while pony kind has advanced technologically and culturally, crime rates have risen steadily, social problems abound, and you let the Everfree Forest and the monsters that call it home remain!”
“Yeah, you should have burned that place down a long time ago!” Rainbow Dash interrupted.
I continued. “So right now you have a choice to make, help us bring about a state of total harmony, or we will have to take over and do it ourselves.”
“And how do you intend to do that?” Celestia asked.
“Well we do have the elements don’t we?”
“You wouldn’t use them against the two of us.” Luna said.
“Not if you join us.”
“Twilight I am sorry but what you propose is just not something we can support.” Celestia said sadly.
“Princess, please; don’t make me do this.” I pleaded. At that moment the royal sisters unleashed their magic on us but we used the elements against them. As they turned into gold and silver statues a single tear fell from Celestia and splashed against her golden hooves. You will understand someday and then you will thank us for making such a wonderful world.
It was not long after that when the rest of Equestria came under our care. Most of the armed forces are either at home recovering from what Discord did to them or busy with running the refugee camps, pushing back hostile forces, and rebuilding efforts. With all the forces divided and in disarray after the Day of Discord we quickly get the armed forces under our control in little over a week. Three days after we took over the military, work on the magic clock to tap Celestia and Luna’s magic was complete we finally begun the next night (As much as it pained me to, I did come up with the plans for the clock in preparation for our confrontation with the princesses) and we proclaimed ourselves the Queens of Harmony and of our individual elements.
(Interviewer Notes (Pegasus): Why do you call yourselves queens? Feel guilty about what you did?)
I did what had to be done for the world and the title of queen is more mature and commands more respect. Ponies need to take what we have to say seriously and if Celestia had taken the same title maybe ponies would have be less inclined to take shots at her in the tabloids. I am glad we shut all of those down.
“You can’t rightly call it news if you make stuff up half the time and twist the truth around the other half!” Applejack once said to a tabloid editor.
“And most of what you write here isn’t very nice and if you don’t have anything nice to say then you shouldn't say anything at all! Sorry if that sounded harsh.” Fluttershy added.
As things began to fall into place we rewarded those close to us. Pinkie made the Cakes the official royal bakers who in addition to making all the wonderful treats in the castle they are in charge of making Pinkie’s signature happy sauce. Production is at four thousand gallons a day.
It’s good to have them and the twins here because Fluttershy was so worried when she began to put Flutternice in the castle daycare, but having her daughter’s two favorite playmates helped ease her enough that she'd do her job and spend her free time with her little filly. It must be so hard for her to be a single working parent.
Applejack hired about two dozen new farm hands for Sweet Apple acres so that she wouldn’t worry about the farm as queen. And she convinced Granny Smith and Big Macintosh that Apple Bloom should move into the castle with us and work as a part time assistant while she attends our new school for wonderful ponies.
Applejack was giving Apple Bloom a tour of her new school. “You’ll really like it Apple Bloom, Twilight put all the best books in the school library, and the uniforms make it so nopony can tell if ya have a cutie mark or not so there should be no teasin'. And don’t you worry about Diamond Tiara we’re getting her fixed right up. Yep soon teasing and bullies will just be a story to tell your grandfoals about.”
“Yeah… that…that sounds great Applejack.” Apple Bloom said.
Rarity opened our reeducation centers to help ponies be more harmonious and personally welcomed two of the first students. “Rarity, what we doing here?” her mother asked.
“Mother, Father, I hate to say this but the two of you are often selfish, leaving Sweetie Belle in my care while you leave for weeks at a time, and you have no concept of beauty. So I brought you here to cure you of that.”
Rarity’s parents were in shock. “What? You can’t do that!” Mr. Belle yelled.
“What about Sweetie Belle? Who is going to take care of her if we’re stuck in here?” Mrs. Bell asked.
“Why I will of course, like I always have. As Queen of Generosity I have the authority to place Sweetie in the care of her closest relative while you undergo rehabilitation, which happens to be me. Oh, don’t look so sad; think of it as a vacation! And it’s not like you’ll never see her again, there are visiting hours every day and when you get out you’ll be beautiful and generous parents Sweetie Belle will be proud of. And you will be so proud of her, helping her big sister bringing total harmony to the world. Now these fine stallions will escort you to your room and then you have your first class! You wouldn’t want to be late for that.” Two large guards grabbed Rarity’s parents and took them away. Sweetie Belle came out from behind a potted plant.
“Rarity, are…are you sure this is the right thing?” she asked.
Rarity smiled. “Don’t you worry, it’s for their own good as well as ours. And now you get to share a room with Apple Bloom! Won’t that be fun?”
“I guess so.”
I wasn’t worried about splitting up the Cutie Mark Crusaders and I was right. As soon as Scootaloo heard that Sweetie Bell and Apple Bloom were going to assist us part time she asked Rainbow Dash if she could do the same.
The response that Rainbow gave the filly was. “Yeah, sure whatever kid.” Of course we then found out that Scootaloo was living out of the crusader club house because circumstances made it so that her parents were unable to care for her themselves and they said it was an honor that their daughter was going to work for one of their new queens.
And of course Spike is still my number one assistant. And with Pinkie Pie agreeing to babysit for the Cakes despite her title I have high hopes for the next generation as they will probably one day take over our duties of maintaining harmony all over the world.
(Interviewer Notes (Unicorn): So you do not plain on finding a way to become alicorns?)
Of course not! In my studies to determine which are the true magics of the world I found records of experiments where a unicorn tried to become an alicorn by trying to copy magic from a pegasus and an earth pony. The unicorn didn’t change at all, the pegasus was badly scarred, and the earth pony was reported to become some kind of zombie! I would never want to try to recreate those kinds of experiments! I have a hard enough time living with what happened with Trixie and the others!
(Interviewer Notes (Earth Pony): Yeah, that does sound kind of scary.)
We don’t need to become alicorns anyway. Through our vigilance and hard work of these past two years we are transforming Equestria into a paradise! Crimes are solved quickly and all criminals are reformed after their crimes. Everypony loves and tolerates each other, no one is judged on what you are or what you like. There are no poor ponies because every pony has all the bits they need. Not a cruel word or violent act is to be found. If you hear something that you take heart in knowing that is absolutely true! Magic is everywhere to make your life safer and easier. And most of all everypony in Equestria is happy and soon everypony in the whole world will be happy. Now doesn’t that sound nice?