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One-way Ticket · FiM Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 1000–25000
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Celestia's Favorite Punishment
Twilight could have simply ignored the letter. After all, the library was in dire need of re-alphabetizing to accommodate the new entries, some of the books weren’t fully upright in their shelves, and the symmetry of the room was off kilter! Twilight hadn’t even finished dusting the dust jackets, and the tasks kept piling up. Amidst this seemingly infinite number of chores, something like a misplaced letter would have been perfectly understandable. Yet, habit and professionalism asserted itself when Spike belched out his signature green flame with a letter bearing Princess Luna’s seal.

“Spike, would you kindly read that for me? I’m a bit busy right now,” Twilight said, carefully eyeing the cover of The Sound and The Filly for any microscopic trace of dust.

“Sure thing,” Spike said. “‘Dear Twilight, I hope this letter finds you well. I have caught wind of a plot by my sister that concerns creating a massive…’ Uh, Twilight? I think you need to see this.”

“Can’t you see I’m busy here? Just read the darn thing.”

Twilight’s inflection immediately changed from mild irritation to love-dovey. “All my little bookie-wookies need to be squeaky clean for Princess Celestia when she comes to visit next week.”

Spike rolled his eyes. “Fine, but there are, like, these black lines that take out parts of the letter.”

Twilight allowed herself a small moment to break from her work. “Really? I didn’t know that a Princess’s letter had to adhere to the new censorship laws. I swear, ever since Celestia made Blueblood her top advisor, the government has been going downhill.”

“I guess that’s what you get when you use an automated system. As I was saying, ‘…creating a massive blank, which she will use to blank her fellow ponies. Having been blanked by my sister in the past, I cannot help but sympathize. She had a blank that was much smaller than the new blank, and I can’t imagine that makes it any easier for those involved.

Before, blanking was a thing that was done on special occasions, but I fear that now with this new blank that can blank multiple ponies at once, the blanking will be doubled! Recently, my sister has been blanking ponies left and right. She knows the dangers of blanking so indiscriminately, and I fear that she might have come down with some illness, just like me the first time.

Twilight, you’re the only one who can talk my sister out of this blank madness. Enclosed I have left a single ticket for you to travel to Canterlot by train. Meet me at Canterlot Castle, and don’t ask about blank. Regards, Princess Luna.’”

Spike looked dumbfounded. “What did I just read?”

“I don’t know, but pack your bags, Spike. We’re going to Canterlot.”

“But there’s only one ticket.”

“Pack my bags then!”

Spike sighed. “Fine.”

Canterlot was as Twilight remembered it. Busy unicorns and earth ponies strode hurriedly through the cobblestone streets, checking their watches to make sure they were on time for their appointments, or at least appropriately late. Twilight had been one of those ponies up until she met her friends, and thank Celestia for that. Twilight couldn’t help but cringe at the thought of being one of those ponies, forever enslaved to the dreaded deadline. Indeed, things were much better in Ponyville.

In spite of herself, she felt at home. Ponyville could use some of the dignified flair of Canterlot, or at the very least, paved roads. Maybe she could talk to her parents after this business with Luna was resolved. Shaking the thought aside, Twilight approached Canterlot Castle in awe.

Not once in her life had Twilight failed to be impressed by the stunning image of Canterlot Castle. Beauty incarnate, flawless in design and execution, it was truly the home of royalty. The gold and silver in the towers glimmered against the skyline like gemstones. The gemstones also glimmered like gemstones. The architects were several centuries ahead of their time, studying their construction revealed that…

Twilight’s reverence was rudely cut short by an ornate door smacking her in the face. It was all she could do not to shout out in pain; the Princess might be just beyond the threshold, and if she heard the words Twilight intended to use to describe her current situation, she would probably be spending the night in a cold, dark dungeon, or busted back to magic Kindergarten. In Twilight’s mind, they were one in the same. She shook her head, clearing her mind of the dreaded magic Kindergarten, and opened the door.

As would be expected, the interior matched the exterior to a tee, but something seemed off. There had been new additions since Twilight’s last visit, probably to accommodate for all the new rules set in place. Within the antiquated interior were booths and secretaries milling about, each putting on a chipper smile for any would-be client. Directional arrows hung from the ceiling “Department of Censure Departments,” “Meet your Princess,” and even a “Free hugs.” As tempting as the “Free hugs” sign was, Twilight followed the “Meet your Princess” sign.

The receptionist’s desk for “Meet your Princess” stood at the end of an extremely long hallway, no doubt made to house the hundreds of visitors that came to see Celestia on special occasions. However, the hallway was eerily empty, sans a single unicorn receptionist heading the booth. Twilight could barely make out the figure of Lyra in the distance.

Twilight waved to her. “Hey, is this where we go to meet the Princess?

Lyra cheerily waved back, but said nothing. She put a hoof to her ear, and seemed to mouth the word “what.” Twilight sighed. Nothing ever came easy. Just once, Twilight wished that she get an assignment from the Princess that was a book report, or maybe a case study of unicorn history. But no, it had to be walking down mile-long corridors to a booth just to meet with them about the assignment she’d take.

By the time Twilight finally reached the receptionist’s booth, which stood right before a grand stairwell that lead up to the Princesses’ chambers, exhaustion had hit her full front. She could barely move her legs, and as she made her way to the desk, she collapsed to the floor.

“Ma’am? Are you okay?” Lyra said.

“F-Fine.” Twilight said, using the booth to pull her up. “Is this the booth…?” Twilight found herself completely out of breath. She allowed herself a brief moment to breathe before starting again. “Is this the booth for meeting the Princess?”

“Sure is,” Lyra answered with a smile.

“Great. So what do I do to meet the Princess?”

“Well, first you have to fill out this form containing your entire medical history. Make sure to list all your check-ups alphabetically, not chronologically.” Lyra placed a huge stack of papers on Twilight’s back. “Then you’ll have to complete this form concerning your reasons for visiting, after that you need to score eighty five percent or higher on the ‘Your Princess and You’ exam, before finally signing this waiver that clears the royal government of all fault should you sustain an injury.”

Lyra stacked the final form on Twilight’s back, but Twilight buckled under its weight, sending a mess of papers scattering throughout the room.

“Oh now look what you did, now you’ll have to fill out this misuse of government resources form,” Lyra said, dropping a large, book-sized form right on Twilight’s face.

Twilight restrained herself from screaming out in frustration, choosing instead a more diplomatic route.

“Come on, Lyra, can’t you just let me through?” Twilight pleaded. “We went to magic Kindergarten together, remember?”

“Rules are rules, Twilight.”

“Bu-But, I have this letter, from Princess Luna herself! Saying she wants to meet me, personally, at Canterlot Castle today! By the time I’m finished with all these forms, it’ll be tomorrow at least!”

“I said rules are rules,” Lyra said, this time with a sterner tone.

“You wouldn’t want to disappoint the Princess now, would you?”

“Rules. Are. Rules. And for your information Twilight, if that is your real name, the Princess specifically said that there’d be no visitors allowed admittance today.”

“Did the Princess tell you that herself?”

“I’m not on trial here, Twilight. I just do my job to make some extra cash. But to answer your question, yes. The Princess said she didn’t want to be bothered today, as she had important business to attend to. So there, you can go home now.”

Twilight looked back at the hallway she just traversed. No way was she going back through that thing empty-handed. Just as she was about to give up and turn tail, an idea crept into Twilight’s mind.

“Hey, Lyra!”


“I think I hear Bon-Bon calling your name… Look! Over there! There she is!”

“What? I don’t hear any…”

As soon as Lyra’s head turned a fraction of an inch, Twilight was off like a racehorse. Sure, being a librarian didn’t really tone your legs very well, but Twilight managed to avoid tripping for at least the first few seconds, and that was a victory in her book. Scrambling to her hooves, she managed to hear Lyra shout “Security!” before scaling the staircase.

Following the law of “If the worst can happen, it usually will” to the letter, the security barracks were conveniently placed right at the top of the stairwell. Twilight had done little more than step foot on the top of the stairwell, when a swarm of identical, armor-clad guards surrounded her.

“Stop right there criminal scum!” said one.

“You’re under arrest!” exclaimed another.

Twilight’s mind sputtered. How on Equestria could everything go so wrong? “But I’m one of the Princess’ most faithful students? How can you not let me in?”

“I'm glad to hear that the Princess is a personal friend of yours. So you know someone who can post your bail,” a guard who appeared to the leader of the group said, chuckling.

That was the last straw. All the trouble she had went to, abandoning her library and her friends just to seek an audience with Luna was rewarded with jail? Frustration and rage overtook Twilight’s normal subdued demeanor, causing magic to pour out uncontrollably from her body. The heat of her emotion affected the spell, causing sparks to erupt across her body, which culminated in her mane and tail being set ablaze with consecrated fury. The temperature of the room dramatically increased to match the massive magical influx, sucking the cool authority straight from the guards. Many lost their composure and ran in fear, but a few stood their ground.

“You WILL take me to the Princess!” Twilight screamed, all sense politeness and diplomacy lost. She was going to see the Princess, and no half-bit, donut munching, tax-bit wasting guard could stop her.

“Now listen here missy, I—” the lead guard said.

“No! You listen to me!” Twilight interrupted, the flames on her tail and mane burning hotter and brighter than ever. “There will be no questions asked. You will take me to the Princess!”

The lead guard backed up slowly. “That’s quite alright, Ms. uh… Ms. Sparkle, is it? We apologize for the inconvenience and would like to extend a full apolo— NOW!”

Above Twilight, a gray pegasus guard dropped a large bucket of water. No water touched her, but the bucket hit her squarely in the face. Twilight felt the world spin and slowly darken as she lost consciousness.

Just before the world went dark for good she heard the lead guard yell, “Private Derpy, you were supposed to pour the water on her!” He paused for second. “Well, it seems that did the job, good work Private! Keep this up and you’ll be in line for a juicy promotion next month.”

Twilight awoke not knowing where she was, but she knew she was sitting down on something. Two guards stood at her sides, and cuffs were tightly clamped onto her hooves. The room she was in seemed to be part of the castle, but not any part she had ever seen. Benches surrounded a single pedestal, like a makeshift courtroom, but there was no bench for the prosecution or jury. A single unicorn mare stood at the center, illuminated by a single spotlight, the only light in the room.

The booming voice of a mare echoed through the stone chamber. “So I assume you know why you’ve been called here today?”

There was an audible scoff from the unicorn. “No! If you are talking about that Ursa incident in that Podunk dump Ponyville, the Great and Powerful Trixie had nothing to do with it!”

“So you know why you’re here today?”

“No! The Great and Powerful Trixie had nothing to do with anything!”

“Then you know why you’re here today.”

“What? The Great and Powerful Trixie doesn’t understand.”

“Then you understand.”

The guard on Twilight’s right leaned over and whispered to the other guard, “Things don’t look good for this one.”

“Nope,” he whispered back.

“The Great and Powerful Trixie did nothing! The Great and Powerful Trixie demands you release her right this instant!”

“So you’re demanding that we seek the maximum punishment for your most heinous crime? Very well,” the booming voice responded.

“No! Snips and Snails let loose the Ursa! Find and try them, not Trixie!”

“Since my hand has been forced, you will receive the maximum punishment for your crime.”

“What crime?”

“That crime.”

“You mean the Ursa?”

“I mean your crime.”

“The Great and Powerful Trixie is confused.”

“Good to know you understand why I’m punishing you then.”

“But I don’t!”

“You do.”

Twilight watched all of this with utter disbelief. None of this made sense, and Trixie seemed to be hanging onto innocence by a thread despite never having learned her crime. It was enough to make someone’s head spin.

Trixie lost it. “Listen, you… you neighsayer! The Great and Powerful Trixie is not guilty of anything ever, and this court is a joke. You never even told Trixie what she did wrong!”

The booming voice’s response was as cool as ever. “Did everyone catch that confession?” I think we’re done here.”

The audience in the benches nodded among themselves and stamped their hooves in approval.

Trixie actually sounded relieved. “Finally, you get it. Trixie can’t be guilty of crime she didn’t commit.”

“To the moon with her!” the booming voice announced.

“To the moon?” a guard asked.

“To the moon,” another guard affirmed.

“What?” Trixie said. “Does that mean I get to leave?”

The figure behind the judge’s stand placed an oversized red button in plain view of the audience. An alabaster hoof came down onto the button, and the floor beneath Trixie dropped.

“What are you doing to the Great and Powerful Trixie, neighsayer?!”

A cylinder arose from the center of the room where Trixie fell. If Twilight didn’t know any better, she’d say that it looked like a cannon. Realization hit Twilight like a bucket of water. This was the project Luna was talking about. That would mean that the mare behind the judge’s table was Celestia, and that didn’t make sense at all. Celestia would never send her subjects to the moon, especially not after what happened to her sister. Yet, she recognized the figure behind the voice all too well.

“You just earned yourself a one way ticket straight to the moon!”

As the cylinder began to rise out of the ground, the dome-shaped ceiling opened to allow room for the barrel to fire. The faint glow of the moon brightened the room ever so slightly, and Twilight could see Celestia clearly now. Something was off, just like Luna said. She couldn’t quite pinpoint exactly what it was, but she knew it was there.

“No!” Trixie cried out, but it was barely audible within the cannon. Nobody seemed to notice, and if they did, didn’t seem to care.

The crowd began chanting a countdown.


“Trixie didn’t do anything!”




“Please! Have mercy on the Great and Powerful Trixie!”





Twilight couldn’t take it anymore. Sure, Trixie had done wrong in the past, but sending someone to the moon via cannon would simply overkill in every sense of the word. The fact that there seemed to be no one objecting to such a cruel and unusual punishment further incensed her, making her blood come to a boil. This wasn’t right, it went against everything she was taught, and she wasn’t going to stand for it, not while Twilight Sparkle was still around.


“STOP!” Twilight shouted.

Every face in the crowd turned their gaze to Twilight. She immediately regretted her choice of actions. For a few seconds, the entire crowd was silent. Eventually, the booming voice of Celestia filled the room, and all eyes refocused back on her.


Celestia pressed the oversized red button a second time, and a loud boom filled the chamber. Dust and debris from the cannon’s firing area floated through air, coating the audience with a thin veneer of black dust. As the cannon began to recede back into the ground, a single clap from the audience grew into a thunderous applause, and soon whoops and cheers were heard in the crowd. Celestia allowed this applause to go on for a more seconds before holding up a hoof, gesturing the audience to stop. Silence was immediate. Twilight made her way down from the audience bench with no resistance from the guards. The pangs of her hooves as she walked to the center where Trixie had once stood were the only sounds in the entire room.

“So, Twilight, I see you’ve volunteered yourself the next subject of our amusement. Pity, I was hoping that you’d enjoy at least a few more shows before your number came up, but I guess that’s how things happen sometimes, now isn’t it?”

Twilight had deduced the conversation pattern Celestia had been using on Trixie. She answered carefully, “I know what’s going on here, and I think you’re Princess Celestia. What you’re doing makes sense.” It hurt her to hurl such blatant lies at someone who was supposed to be her mentor, but Twilight managed for the sake of getting to the bottom of this madness.

“It’s a shame you don’t understand Twilight, but there are reasons for what goes on here, I assure you. I was a fool to think such an easy pattern like opposite statements would trick you. And as for your second and third accusation, what fun is there in making sense?” Celestia chuckled.

Twilight couldn’t suppress a gasp. “Discord!”

“You’re letting yourself slip, Twilight,” Celestia said chidingly.

Twilight rephrased. “Discord?”

Celestia grinned. “The one and only.”


“Wouldn’t you like to know?”


“You didn’t really think a simple petrifying spell could suppress the powers of a nigh-immortal and omnipotent god, now did you?

“I guess so. Where’s the real Princess?”

“What real Princess? I am the Princess, aren’t I?” Celestia gestured towards the crowd. “Aren’t I?”

The crowd cheered and applauded in response.

“See? They love me.”

“How did you take control of the Princess? And how long have you been the Princess?”

“Tsk, using my own rules against me. Well, if you must know, I am able to seep little inklings of my power out through the statue at regular intervals, just enough to cause general chaos in the area, and one little Princess Celly just happened to be in the area this time. Such a happy coincidence doesn’t happen too often, mind you. So I took that power and built it up in your precious Princess’s heart, and eventually, I had enough power to control small actions. A little chaos here, and little chaos there, but that chaos adds up after a while. The sweet and fair Celly still can resist my control if I try to break some of her precious intrinsic rules, but I still can manipulate her body. I may not have full control yet, but I can extend my influence for several hours, and our little Celly is none the wiser! I can even take over the crowd here. It’s just like what I did to Luna all those years ago, but this time, they’ll be no return for any of you! Do you smell that? It’s the smell of chaos!”

“And my second question?”

“I was hoping that little speech had made you forget all about that unfortunate question,” the discorded Celestia said with a pout. “Fine, I’ve been poking around this body for around a month. You didn’t really think Blue Blood promotion, and all those ridiculous censorship laws were really approved by Celestia?” She giggled lightheartedly, but it sounded unnatural considering who was pulling the strings.

Twilight wasn’t sure how to handle this. Who read her friendship letters for the last month? Who wrote back? Fear overtook her as she realized that Discord could have feasibly known about everything that had gone on in her life for the past month. Friendships could be torn asunder with that information.

Outwardly, Twilight kept her cool. “I think we both don’t know that I won’t be tricked into confessing anything here. So why don’t we have a change of game, something more suited for our talents? I don’t think you like games.”

The pony that was once Celestia clicked her hooves together in delight. “Wonderful! A new game, brilliant idea! Let’s say this Twilight, you know I’m a sucker for entertainment, and you want your Princess back, no? Well, if you can beat me at my own game, you can have your Princess back. Sound fun?”

“No.” Twilight meant what she said it this time.

“Very well then, but we’ll have no more of that silly backwards talk. New game means new rules. Agreed?”


“It’s up to you to solve the mystery of my game before time runs out.” Celestia produced a pocket watch that was set to go off in an hour. “If time runs out, or you confess to your crimes, you lose and get shot to moon with this wonderful moon cannon I just had installed. If you prove your innocence, or solve the riddle behind my game, not that you will, I will let your Princess free of my control.”

“I understand.”

Though you’d never be able to tell it from her voice, Twilight felt nothing but utter hatred for the entity that had stolen her mentor from her. Resealing the statue would never be enough. That statue had to be locked up with a thousand padlocks, broken and buried underneath the ocean so it’d never hurt anyone ever again.

“We start…now”

Celestia shot her a confident gaze, before saying, “You know you’ll never win Twilight. You can’t beat me at my own game, where I decide the rules!”

“We’ll see about that, Discord.” Twilight retorted, her gaze equally confident.

“Ah, catching on rather quickly I see, Twilight. Or maybe you’re just getting lucky?

Twilight wasn’t sure what Discord meant by that, but assumed the latter. So far, there hadn’t been any pattern as far as she could tell. She even counted out the words as he said them, as to make sure he wasn’t playing an odds-even game, but to no avail. Twilight decided to play it safe and keep quiet, forcing Discord to do all the talking.

“Penalty!” Celestia shouted, much to Twilight’s surprise. “You now have lost your good alibi. Shame on you Twilight, you shouldn’t have lied about not being at the crime scene.”

Baffled, Twilight attempted to figure out what she had done wrong. Realization dawned on her; she hadn’t answered Discord’s question. It was a small sliver of a huge puzzle, but Twilight couldn’t help but grin at her success. Discord wouldn’t last long at this rate.

“I apologize, Discord, it must have been luck,” Twilight said.

“Apology accepted, but there must be some repercussions for such behavior,” Celestia said. “I see your progress may not be such a fluke after all.”

Celestia’s face suddenly reddened in embarrassment. “Oh dear, that is a penalty on my part. The search of your library tree was conducted illegally, and all evidence found there would be inadmissible in court.

“Would you kindly check you watch? I’d like to see the time.” Twilight said, testing the waters. She was sure that pattern for questions was an even number of words, and questions had to be answered, but couldn’t make heads or tails of the statement rule. It was impossible. It eluded all literary patterns she knew of, adjective, adverbs, nouns didn’t seem to have any purpose or reason here. How like Discord, to create a rule of pure chaos.

“I’d be happy to check the time for you, but you must know that just incurred another penalty. Too bad, so sad, your friend Applejack just agreed to a plea bargain and is willing to testify against you. Forty five minutes are on the clock.”

Even though she knew it was just a lie for a hypothetical situation, Twilight couldn’t help but be enraged. “Applejack would do no such thing, and you know it!”

“Oh really now?” Celestia mused. “Because as I see it, Applejack helped you steal those bits to pay for Granny Smith’s operation.”

Twilight’s mouth nearly hit the floor. How on Equestria did he know about that? Twilight quickly remembered that she had mentioned it in a letter she had sent a week ago. “We didn’t ‘steal’ a thing! It was a school fundraiser, set up by Cheerilee that went to charity, and Applejack said that since it was going it the old folks anyways, we could just take some bits for Granny Smith! Talk about taking things out of context, you slime!”

“Very clever, very clever indeed, Twilight,” Celestia said. “But you did take the bits, didn’t you?

The members of the audience behind Twilight stirred, passing comments about the ongoing trial. Twilight could overhear small snippets of “doesn’t look good” and “another victory for the moon” being tossed around, but she ignored them.

“Yes, but I made sure all the money went to where it was intended to,” Twilight retorted.

“Can you prove that for the jury?” Celestia said with a sneer.

Twilight grinned. “Don’t you have to prove that I didn’t? You’re in violation of your question rule, so isn’t that a penalty?”

There was an eerie silence for a few seconds that echoed throughout the pseudo courtroom. Celestia’s cool demeanor was lost for those brief seconds, replaced by what could only be described as disgusted rage. She begrudgingly replied, “Yes, yes I do have to prove your guilt. And yes, I did just earn myself a penalty. The bits you talked about were confirmed to go straight to Granny Smith.”

Celestia flipped open the pocket watch. “Thirty minutes gone by, and you’ve only figured out one of my rules, and you’re no closer to being declared innocent than when we started. To be honest, Twilight, I’m a bit disappointed. Is Celestia’s most faithful student already calling it quits?”

“Of course not! I’m this close to figuring you out, no way am I going to give up.”

Twilight was certain that the statement rule had something to do with odd numbers, but she couldn’t understand how Discord could make statements that contained an even number of words, yet Twilight could be penalized for the same crime. Twilight tried to remember to the best of her ability what was different about those statements, but came up with nothing. She tried to focus, but shuffling of the audience made it nearly impossible.

Apparently, Discord had taken notice that Twilight was lost in her thoughts, and kept tightlipped, letting the clock run down. Twilight didn’t know how long she’d been lost in thought.

Petrified that she might have let too much time go by, Twilight asked, “Discord, how much time is left?”

“As you know, Twilight that’s a question, and I have to answer. There are only ten minutes remaining, but I see that you’ve managed to incur another nasty penalty. Your friend Spike has betrayed you, and offered up all evidence relating to this case for scrutiny. Looks like the ruling is starting to turn against you, Twilight, and time’s running out. How delicious, seeing you like this, alone and afraid without friends.”

Celestia’s voice changed from her usual stern tone to a mocking falsetto. “Poor little Twi-why, all alone on the moon. No friends, just the vacuum of space for a thousand years.”

Hearing that in her mentor’s voice irked Twilight to an endless degree, but she had to concentrate. What was different about that question? It followed the rules of having even wording. Twilight stopped mid-thought. A rogue thought entered her mind. She hadn’t used Discord’s name in a question before. She took note that Discord’s last statement also violated the odd rule, but included a name. There was no time to waste, even if this route netted her more penalties, it wouldn’t matter if she went over the time limit.

“Discord, could you check the time one last time? I want to make sure that I still have a chance of winning, if not I should just let you have Celestia.”

Celestia looked at her suspiciously, but gave her the time regardless. “There are five minutes remaining.”

She had done it! Discord’s pattern was laid out in front of her like a panel of glass, completely transparent. Twilight resisted patting herself on the back. That could wait until Celestia was back in control, and the madness of Discord was forever vanquished.

“Discord, I figured out your rules!” Twilight shouted triumphantly.

Celestia shot her a look of the purest contempt. “Oh, is that so? Very well, try your best, because this is the only attempt you get.”

Twilight took a deep breath, hoping she wouldn’t forget anything. “First off, questions must be answered first, regardless of any other context of other statements. Questions must be worded with an even number of words unless there is a special exception having someone else’s name in it. If there is someone else’s name in a question or statement, it does not count towards the word count. Speaking of which, statements must be worded with an odd number of words, unless there is another person’s name present in the wording. Pronouns like “he” or “she” and the proper noun “I” count for the even or odd count. Statements do not have to acknowledged, and can be dismissed entirely by the other party. Also, contractions don’t count as words when calculating the even or odd scale.”

By the time she was finished, Twilight was completely out of breath. She looked up at Celestia expectantly, and saw panic incarnate. Discord was going back to the statue again, and there was nothing he could do about it.

“NO! You do not win! It’s my game and I can change the rules as I see fit!” Celestia yelled, her voice becoming nothing more than a child’s pout.

“Face it Discord, you’re all washed up, and I know you can’t break your own rules while in Celestia. Plus that’s three penalties for the persecution. I think the ruling has been decided, hasn’t it boys?” Twilight turned to face the crowd, and they stamped their hooves in approval.

Suddenly, Celestia’s body began contorting uncontrollably, and darkness bled out from her body, encasing the room entirely in pitch-black smog.

A voice that seemingly came from everywhere at once spoke, “You thought you’d won, Twilight? This is only the beginning! I can take control of anyone here, who said I needed your precious Princess when I could have you all for myself! The elements of Harmony would be at my beck and call. Could you imagine it, Twilight? A new age of chaos, with nothing to threaten me! It’d be per—”

Beams of light suddenly flooded the room, casting the darkness aside with one fell swoop. It was Celestia, back in control of her body.

“Fear not, my faithful student, he cannot harm you while in my presence. His temporary power is weak compared to mine,” Celestia said, as the light became blinding, banishing any trace of the darkness in the room.

The light, or rather the magic behind it, was too powerful for Twilight to withstand, and she blacked out for the second time that day.

Twilight awoke in the exact same spot she had fallen. Celestia was there to greet her. Morning had dawned, dim

“Oh dear, Twilight are you okay? You must forgive me for using so much power, but I had to be sure that the bane that is Discord would be forever gone from this world. Don’t worry about that Trixie girl either. Luna is working on un-banishing her.”

“I’m fine, but I don’t think you understand! Discord managed to possess you through power he released from the statue!”

“Oh, you don’t have to worry about that,” Celestia said with a grin.

“Really? Why not?”

“Well it just so happens that our good pal Discord just purchased himself a one-way ticket straight to the moon.”

Twilight couldn’t contain her laughter. She bucked and rolled across the flow in sheer joy.

Celestia stared back at her, laughing along with her. “I waited for you to wake up, because I thought you might want to do the honors.”

“The honors of what?” Twilight said, dumbfounded.

“Firing the last shot of the moon cannon, of course!”

Twilight climbed on top of the pedestal, and with nothing more than a short makeshift countdown, slammed the button with all her might.

“Goodbye, Discord, and don’t come back,” she whispered.
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