In all of Equestria, only one pony still living had ever seen Princess Celestia truly angry. It was something that Luna still occasionally drank to forget.
Celestia’s expression didn’t really change much as she digested Ambassador Gideon’s speech. She lost her customary smile, of course, but otherwise she appeared to remain calm and composed as the Griffon emissary concluded his ultimatum.
“…and our Glorious Majesty, Queen Gertrude of Gryphonia, demands, in return for the safety of your student and her friends, that you cede control of all lands to the east of the Neighagra Falls to Griffin control.” He smirked triumphantly at the Princess, who sat silently considering his words.
“And my subjects are unharmed?” She asked, her voice soft and unwavering.
“So far.” Ambassador Gideon grinned. “They are securely held in the deepest, darkest dungeons of the Aerie. But my Queen’s patience is not endless, Celestia. If you are tardy in responding to Her Glorious Majesty’s generous offer, she may choose to send you… pieces. As a reminder. A horn, perhaps.”
If Luna had been present, she would have already been heading at speed towards the nearest exit.
“I will take that into consideration.” The Princess replied, rising from her throne. “And Queen Gertrude will have my answer at sunrise.”
“My Queen’s patience is not endless, Celestia. I am sure a prompt answer would be most appreciated. By your student, among others.” Celestia halted on her way from the hall.
“I am not the sole ruler of Equestria.” She reminded the smug Ambassador, not turning to face his triumphant expression. “I cannot legally conclude any kind of treaty without consulting the Princess of the Night. As I said, your Queen will have her answer at sunrise.”
Queen Gertrude slept very well that night. Her loyal ambassador’s magically transmitted account of his audience with Equestria’s Princess had left her with no doubt of the totality of her victory. Celestia had offered no defiance. She had not even attempted to negotiate the Griffins’ terms, however futile that would have been. No, it was as Gertrude had always believed, the grass-eaters were prey, nothing more, waiting in their peaceful little kingdom for a true alpha predator to devour them. She tossed beneath her blankets, frowning in her sleep at her sudden discomfort. It was hot. Too hot. She opened her eyes, blinking at the blazing sunlight that streamed through her windows. From the position of the sun, it was noon! But Gertrude hadn’t overslept, had she? She would flay her servants alive if they had neglected to wake her.
Leaping from her bed, she stormed out of her bedchamber and grabbed the nearest rushing servant, who stared at her with wide, panicked eyes.
“You!” She snapped. “What time do you call this?!”
-Time limit (ironically)-
“It… it’s 6 am!” The aged griffin gasped. “The sun! It’s gone mad!” Gertrude cast the gibbering fool aside and hurried down to her courtyard. If it really was early morning, as absurd at that though seemed to the Griffin Queen, her guards would be assembled for morning parade. Perhaps her loyal soldiers would be able to make some sense.
Stepping into the courtyard, Gertrude yelped in sudden pain and leapt back into the shadows of the doorway. The ground had burned her! Dumbfounded, she looked up at the sky, her beak falling open in shock.
The sun looked to be twice as large as usual, and glared down upon the Griffin fortress like a single angry eye. Her soldiers huddled in whatever shade they could find, sweating helplessly, barely able to move from heat exhaustion. Beyond the battlements, she could see the surrounding lands covered with the gentle light of dawn. Somehow, only the Aerie itself was being struck by the full strength of the sun’s wrath. She saw a lone griffin on the battlements try to take flight, only to be beaten down by the punishing heat. He screamed as he landed on the searing hot ground and only barely struggled back into the shade, where he lay whimpering.
The sun flared, a single blazing spark that leaped from the burning orb and hurtled towards the Griffin’s fortress, landing in the courtyard with enough force to shake the castle walls.
“Your Majesty.” Princess Celestia said, inclining her head politely. “You have taken something precious to me. Perhaps we should discuss exactly how big a mistake that was.”
It was really cool to see Celestia defend Twilight and the rest of the mane six like this. I like how she was so calm in the first scene, not giving any specific answer and just promising a reply later. And then seeing what she does in the next scene is just awesome. Great work!