A little later, at the quaint little town of Ponyville...
Twilight Sparkle, Celestia's faithful student (and so far the only one), and her assistant Spike both stared in bewilderment at the wrapped-up parchment that laid before their feet. It had just emerged out of the depths of Spike's stomach completely without warning. The pony and the baby dragon had been preparing breakfast for themselves when the letter appeared. Princess Celestia had been so busy attending to helping her sister merge back into society that she hadn't contacted Twilight in quite some time. Twilight and Spike exchanged nervous glances; there was definitely something odd going on.
"A letter...from the Princess? This early in the morning?" Twilight asked aloud to no one in particular.
Spike gulped. "...Should I open it?"
"Of course you should! Any letter we receive from the Princess is bound to be important news! Open it and read it to me, please!"
Spike used his sharpest forefinger to tear off the golden-colored bow around the letter, and allowed it to unfurl in his hands. Surprisingly, the letter was more shorter than what was typical of Princess Celestia. It must have been hastily written moments ago.
"Well?" Twilight anxiously exclaimed, "What does it say, Spike?"
"Hold your ponies, just let me look it over," As Spike went further down along the writing on the parchment, his already-large eyes grew even wider. "Oh, wow, this is...uh, really bad."
"What is it? What is it?"
Clearing his throat, Spike began to read word-for-word from the top. "'To my faithful student, Twilight Sparkle. I regret to have to inform you of this, but it is very urgent. I have recently received word from an inside source of a terrorist plot being formulated against me. These terrorists wish to eliminate me and take control of Equestria and the royal throne. They are going to sneak a small but powerful explosive into a parcel being mailed to me by one of their more well known mail-ponies; they seem to believe that somepony with a reputation would be less suspicious. The terrorist in question is named Derpy Hooves. I know that she is a citizen of Ponyville, and due to my guards currently away on an important mission, I must leave the responsibility to you to stop Derpy. The fate of all of Equestria depends on your success! I have absolute faith in you and your friends, Twilight Sparkle! Good luck, and godspeed!'...hmm, this isn't like anything the Princess usually asks from you, is it?"
Twilight took a step back as she tried to fully digest everything that she had just been told. "A-Are you SURE that's what the Princess wrote, Spike? You're not making this up, are you? I'd really be happy if you tell me you are...!"
"Why would I waste my time to lie about something like this? This is serious business!" replied Spike.
Twilight wanted to curse loudly at her unfortunate circumstances, but she couldn't bring herself to say anything like that in front of a baby dragon.
"What should we do, Twilight?"
"Well...we don't have any choice; we have to protect the Princess at all costs! I'm going to try the make the best of this situation and not let myself be afraid of the dangerous consequences!" Twilight hit her hoof against her chest and made a rather proud and dignified pose. Her overconfidence in her own intelligence and magical powers sometimes gave her a massive ego.
Spike rolled his eyes. 'Even though she's afraid, she sure seems to enjoy being depended on by her teacher...but maybe this time I can actually be of use for once!'
"Oh, and Spike?" Twilight recalled one majorly important thing.
Spike swelled with pride at the idea of being asked to aid Twilight in one of Celestia's requests. "Yes?"
"I need you to stay here. It's too dangerous for a baby like yourself."
Twilight Sparkle immediately sent out word to her friends to meet up together at town square as soon as possible. She informed them that Celestia was in need of their help again, but she purposely held back on explaining exactly what they were in for until they were face-to-face. She couldn't let any of them back out from the start, after all.
Leaving a disappointed Spike behind at the library, Twilight Sparkle trotted over to the square. In the sack that she wore over her saddle, she had brought along a bomb-diffusing manual in case things took a turn for the worst. Although she tried to ignore the loud thumping of her heart, and the trembling in her knees, the young mare had never felt more fearful in her life. Not even going up against Nightmare Moon affected her this much. If that bomb went off at the wrong time, then Ponyville and everypony who lived here would most likely be blown to smithereens.
As soon as her friends came into sight, Twilight felt the terror inside her had begun to dissipate. She was so relieved to see Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rarity and Fluttershy waiting for her, faithful as ever. However, instead of greeting the other ponies first as usual, her attention was drawn to the fact that Rainbow Dash was mysteriously absent from the group.
"Hey...where's Rainbow Dash? I figured that she would be here along with the rest of you guys."
"Ya got me, sugarcube," Applejack shrugged, "I'm sure she'll be here soon, though. Dash isn't the kind of pony that'd leave ya hangin'!"
"You don't think she DITCHED us, now do you?" suggested Rarity with a gasp.
Fluttershy shook her head. "I...I don't think Rainbow Dash would do something like that..."
Almost as if on cue, a bolt of multiple colors flashed across the sky, and Rainbow Dash herself landed swiftly upon the ground in front of them. For some reason, she looked very upset, and she kept brushing her hoof against the dirt, knocking up a small cloud of dust. None of the ponies were feeling comfortable enough to ask what was wrong, since Rainbow Dash was a bit scary when in a bad mood, but eventually Applejack summoned up the courage.
"Uh, Rainbow Dash? Are ya'll okay?"
"No! I'm not okay! You wouldn't believe what just happened to me on the way over here!"
"Ooh! Tell us, tell us, tell us! I bet it's the most unbelievable thing EVER!" Pinkie Pie was as hyperactive as ever.
"A pair of guards from Canterlot approached me all of the sudden, and told me to come with them. They said they had to gather up all of the gay or bisexual mares to meet with the Princess and her sister! Of course, I told them off and left them spinning on their heads with my speed! Still, can you believe it, you guys? They thought I was GAY!"
Twilight, Applejack, Rarity and Fluttershy dared not to voice their personal opinions on the matter. Pinkie Pie, however, broke out into a fit of giggles.
"Ha ha, that's so silly! If they were looking for gay or bisexual mares, they should have come to me! I like both colts and fillies, after all!" All of the pink-haired pony's friends shot her weird looks at the same time, but she didn't seem to openly acknowledge them.
"Knowing you and your randomness, Pinkie, I'm not surprised to hear that at all..." Rainbow Dash mused in a dull tone of voice.
"My whole life is like a party that way, too! I have lots of fun, and so do they!"
"Wait, what exactly do you mean by that? This is really getting awkward, Pinkie!"
Rarity decided to interrupt the current conversation with a question of her own. "Hold on! What in the world could Princess Celestia want those mares for? You don't think she plans on purging our town of homosexuals, do you?"
Fluttershy's mouth fell agape.
"Where the heck did ya get such a wacky idea in that fancy little noggin of yours?" Applejack demanded to know.
Rarity frowned. "I've heard a few rumors during my time as a seamstress for an overly-flamboyant noblepony, back before I started my own business,"
"That's a load of hooey!" Applejack face-hoofed, "There's no way that the Princess would do such a thang!"
"Do you really think so? Then again, he was a bit of a drunkard, so he may have been rambling on about things that he didn't actually understand..."
"There ya go!"
"But then...why would she need them there?"
"Beats me! I jus' know that ah'm not gonna go and make up any stupid crackpot theories 'bout it!"
"I was just reminiscing on the past, dearie. I'm not an idiot who believes every conspiracy she hears."
"Suuuuuure you aren't..."
"Hey! I saw you roll your eyes!"
Twilight Sparkle had had enough of this. She threw her head back, and used the magic of her horn, creating a loud pop to garner everyone's attention at once. "I think we're all starting to get a little bit off-topic here! We can worry about what's going on with the Princess summoning all of the lesbian mares to her castle later! I'm going to get straight to the point: the reason I called you all here is because Princess Celestia's very life is at stake! A certain pony in this town is planning to assassinate her with a bomb!"
"A BOMB?" Fluttershy shrieked, and then proceeded to faint.
"Wow! A bomb? Really? Oh, man, that's so cool! I can't believe the Princess is actually asking US to stop a group of terrorists! She's really outdone herself this time! Woo-hoo!" Rainbow Dash's pensive attitude from before was replaced with excitement, almost immaturely so.
"That sounds way too dangerous fer a bunch of unarmed ponies like ah'selves," Applejack remarked with a shake of her head, and then she asked, "Where would we find this bomb-thingy anyway?"
"The Princess told me that a mail-pony named Derpy Hooves would be carrying the bomb."
A brief silence befell the group of ponies. All of them, excluding Fluttershy, had their eyes glued to Twilight. Then, without warning, they all collapsed backwards, laughing hysterically. Even Rarity was rolling around on the grass alongside them. Rainbow Dash was laughing so hard that her eyes were tearing up. Twilight cocked her head to the side, bewildered by her friends' actions.
"Uh...did I miss something?"
"Twilight, there's just...oh gosh, I can't breath...there's just NO WAY that Derpy Hooves could be behind this!" Rainbow Dash proclaimed in between fits of laughter.
"What? Why not?"
Rarity brushed herself off as she got back onto her feet. "It's understandable that you wouldn't know since you haven't been living here as long as we have, darling. Let's just say that Derpy is not exactly the brightest of ponies. Why, she could barely say a full sentence without throwing in some sort of mention about muffins or the like! She's quite the riot at social gatherings even when she's not actually wanted!"
"I'm the one who introduced her to muffins in the first place!" gleefully exclaimed Pinkie Pie.
"That pegasus pony is a few apples short of a full pie, if you know what ah' mean," Applejack winked, trying to hold back another surge of laughter rising up inside her.
"But...but...but the Princess told me-" Twilight stammered in her confusion.
Suddenly, Pinkie Pie turned her head upwards, and pointed towards the sky. "Hey, look! What a coin-ki-dink!There she is now!"
Twilight saw the gray, blonde-haired pegasus only for a few seconds before she disappeared behind a pair of houses. Twilight wasted little time in pursuing the suspicious pony, not even bothering to wait for her friends to finish laughing. Pinkie Pie followed after the magical unicorn, if only because she was expecting something fun to happen. Personally, Twilight Sparkle didn't care whether or not Derpy was some kind of mentally-ill pony; if there was a threat against the Princess, then Twilight had to stop it no matter what.