"Unfortunately, these aren't some misguided or misunderstood ponies looking to find the right path. They had their chance, Sunburst. They threw that chance away and stomped on it when they attacked a not-even-fully-grown filly just carrying out her duties." > "I know..." > The words are mumbled, and Sunburst looks down to the ground again. "I know that a lot of ponies are expecting me to torture them, and of course straight punishment is not a perfect solution. Anything fitting their crime would be close enough to torture already, and I-" > This time it is your turn to hesitate for a few moments. > How much can you really say to him? > Sunburst may seem to have a decent head on his shoulders, but he'd still taken part in a rebellion without a second thought. > ...no, you're trying to be open - and in the end, this is a truth you'd been telling for a while now. "If these rebels push me too far now... What happened to Corona was wrong. I lost control, I became a monster, and she suffered beyond any reasonable measure for it. I don't want to be that person again." > Your hand balls into a fist, nails digging hard into your palm. "I'd much rather they repent and turn themselves around, but - like I said, I'm not a princess and this isn't Equestria. And they all chose to be part of what they did, to spit on the olive branch I've been trying to offer... your friend was one situation, but this is another. Tell me, Sunburst - if they'd beaten Flurry Heart, would you still be willing to give them another chance? Can you honestly tell me you wouldn't be calling for their blood too?" > He doesn't answer at first, simply turning his head away from you. > When he does, it's with a small voice. > "I suppose I would only wish there'd be someone there to make sure I don't become a monster too." "Mmm." > "Master - if I may go - I need to be off for the morning lessons..."