Applejack is a hardworking previously Earth Pony from the town of Ponyville. The thread revolves around her ascension to alicorn status and her subsequent trials and tribulations as a princess, primarily tasked with filling out paperwork and righting wrongs from the Royal Sisters' long and passive rule.
-  Grand Pear and Granny Smith are horrified, the latter deathly silent, as they stare at the acid their family and many other ponies have been dunked in. As Grand Pear starts to speak, calling this the worst thing he's ever seen, the dunked ponies break the surface and scream in bloodcurdling agony. He screams as well, saying that watching them all melt is worse as they continue to scream. And scream. And scream... Granny notes that it's taking a while for them to actually melt.
- Eventually, Grand Pear asks if all of them are alright. Applejack yells that they're not, with Big Mac, Applebloom and Uncle Orange (who's not actually their blood-uncle, by the way) echoing the sentiment as their eyes burn. One of the nameless Tangerines asks what this stuff is and the Not-Madarin mare says it's citrus acid. Her henchmare, Breadbasket, laughs evilly (more like giggles) and Not-Mandarin mare reminds Uncle Orange that he is the one she wanted revenge on.
- Everyone stops and thinks back on this, with Grand Pear saying her previous declaration didn't jive with her actions. Granny questions how this will cost Uncle Orange money since the "Fella’s got money! He makes it rain every Friday, he’s got money!" Uncle Orange complains about her insinuation, but Granny points out that everyone knows what he does. Applejack tries to sort this new information out and wonders what this has to do with Uncle Orange. Someone brings up the fact that the Not-Mandarin mare called the acid 'citrus acid'. Also known as orange juice. Uncle Orange starts freaking out.
- Granny double-checks and asks if they really weren't planning to kill them. Not-Mandarin mare says of course they weren't and is offended they think she's murderer material. Breadbasket nods and details how they'd kill anyone if they actually wanted to, which everyone promptly ignores. Not-Mandarin declares that they didn't actually want to hurt anyone, pointing out that that's why the kidnapped elders weren't going to be dunked and that she just wanted to "just get your old pony stuff in it! Maybe pee a little. I was hoping for peeing..." But Big Mac, to his embarrassment, kicking the vat worked in her favor since it absolves her of doing anything to it herself. She and Breadbasket gloat over their victory, but Applejack points out that she's a princess and they just kidnapped her family.
- Later, with the guards and Peacetrotters having been called and the mares detained, Applejack tells Grand Mandarin (alongside his frowning wife) what happened. She gives him a dressing down for his part in all of this, but he brushes her blame off by saying he's had no contact with either of them and does not consider them family. He offers Applejack some of his finest mandarin spread as apology, but the Tangerines will get nothing. just as he's about to declare that the mares will never be a part of his family, Grand Pear steps in and politely asks if he can take over for Applejack.
- He goes on to say that he's old, so he's going to say what he needs to, and knows what Grand Mandarin is thinking. After advising Applebloom to close her ears and after telling Big Mac to do it when she ignores him, Grand Pear goes on to say that what Grand Mandarin was about to do would have been the biggest mistake of his life. He'll spend nights wondering what could have been until the day either of them passes away and the other receives a letter about it. He says Not-Mandarin is still his daughter regardless and that she did all of this because of him and Breadbasket's only crime is loving Not-Mandarin and following her lead.
- Grand Mandarin begins to falter when Citrus Spice (who turns out to be a mare) runs over to Not-Mandarin and declares that she just wanted to be with her and didn't care about what the other Mandarins thought, begging to be arrested as well. Grand Pear's surprised at the fiancé actually being a fiancée, and wonders if her being a mare had anything to do with all of this. Grand Mandarin grumbles about "I WANT GRAND CHILDREN DAMN IT!" but admits that he might have been too harsh as Not-Mandarin and Citrus keep crying. He asks Applejack if they could be placed under house arrest with hard labor, but she says it's not fair to the Mandarins if they just get a slap on the wrist and they lose their land.
- At that, Grand Mandarin says that it wouldn't be fair to continue the competition due to outside interference and offers to help Uncle Orange until he gets his the situation sorted out. A lot of jaws drop and Uncle Orange is extremely relieved, saying he was worried me might have to ask Applejack for a loan. Applejack asks if Grand Mandarin is sure, saying she can't make him take responsibility, which prompts him to grind his teeth, but sigh in defeat that it was the right thing to do.
- Applejack says they'd be under house arrest and asks if it's alright they live with him. He accepts to many cheers and tears. Citrus hugs him and, when Formerly-Not-Mandarin Mandarin and Breadbasket are uncuffed, he asks them to join in. They burst into tears and call him daddy before hugging him and apologizing. Grand Mandarin tells Citrus she needs to keep Not-Mandarin under control, saying that her mother, who is looking less upset now, will have to teach her how.
- Grand Pear pats his shoulder and says he did the right thing before walking off, holding back tears. Just as he tries to go his separate ways from the Apple family back to his life of penance, Applebloom calls out to him, saying that what he said to Grand Mandarin applies to him as well and that they want him back in their life. Even Granny Smith says it's time to make amends and start over. He can't hold back the tears and the newly reunited Apple-Pear family embrace.
- [OOCO] She gathers up Celestia, Spike, and Shining Armor who are horrified, neutral, and excited. It turns out that AJ gathered them all to address the obesity epidemic caused by all the sugar everyone is eating by trying out her new idea. Celestia is incredulous, asking "A good way to do it is an exercise video!?" Spike is still meh about it, but Shining starts doing exercise routines. Applejack notes his excitement and Celestia lets slip it's because she "bred them to be dedicated to wanting boosts of testosterone". AJ does a double-take on that, but Celestia covers her slip up and says that he's just a silly pony. AJ seems to fall for it. Spike asks for some guns and says his workouts won't necessarily work for ponies. That's why AJ brought them, so there's different representation for the video. "Let’s pump some iron and bump some booties!" Spike asks if there will be actual booty bumping, and AJ puts it as a "maybe". Shining calls dibs on Celestia, who's happy to be dibbed, and Spike expresses faux-regret over not choosing his mother figure first. He "laments" that he'll have to partner with Applejack ("the bountiful beauty" as he puts it), but she calls for everyone to get to their corners, "Out of touching range!" She declares that they're going to get the country back in shape, topping it off with a "Who's with me?". Bulk Biceps certainly is, as sown by his loud catchphrase.
- [OOCO] She tells Chrysalis they need to talk, to which the Changeling says they actually need to team up against "the bastards overcharging for croissants," which she complains cost five times more than regular bread despite just being curly. AJ states she's going to ignore that, but Chrysalis says that sets a dangerous precedent that will bite her. "Trust me, I know, Shiny hasn’t talked to me in a week!" Ignoring that, too, AJ asks her to explain why there's a new porno with a Changeling star going around. Chrysalis wants her to explain how she knows that. AJ is silent for a moment before asking Chrysalis if she wants to borrow the video. Chrysalis declines, saying "I live in the Hive, I find enough of those fuckers going at it just stumbling around as it is."
- [OOCO] Twilight Sparkle and Shining Armor tell Applejack that "This is going to work out." Applejack is convinced it's not and when Twilight says that "it" is science, AJ calls it "being an idiot". Thinking AJ just doesn't understand, Twilight starts to explain how cannons work, but AJ points out that's not the problem and she's seen Pinkie Pie shoot hersef out of one so many times that she figured the mechanics out herself. She asks Twilight why she has to get shot out of the cannon if Shining's here making the shield she's getting fired into. Twilight says it's because AJ's durable, but AJ points out he's durable, too. Well, he could get her according to Twilight, and she wouldn't want that. AJ's a different story, though, and as the mare says she's reconsidering her offer to help, Twilight fires the cannon.
- [OOCO][CD] Following up a story where Shining asks Chrysalis for a ninja, AJ asks for one, too. Chrysalis agrees to this and a knife lodges itself in AJ's "arm". Chrysalis tells her to enjoy the fight, but AJ clarifies she wanted one for protection! "You want me to get a ninja to protect you from that ninja?" "NO!" Good since, according to Chrysalis, that would just be silly. AJ tells her to call "him" off. "Did you just assume their gender?" "CALL THEM OFF!" Finally, Chrysalis tells Changeling 42 to stop throwing knives. 42 says she meant to throw the knife way above Applejack, stating she "kinda shortarmed it", but she's not sorry since the point she wanted to make was made.
- Applejack has a question as Celestia fiercely mobilizes the army to (presumably) go after Foalington, prompting AJ to suggest they hire a General to do that for her. Celestia blows her suggestion off, stating that, this time, IT'S PERSONAL.
- Alterjack asks Applejack if she's still mad about her not mentioning Shining Armor when nobody was talking about him. In response, AJ tosses AUJ out of her office. Channeling her inner Fred Flintstone, AUJ demands to be let in.
- A Guard wants Applejack to sign a form keeping Alterjack from taking over if AJ dies.
Alterjack and Delight are working outside Applejack’s office. When Delight asks if her not having to triple-check his work anymore is good, she dodges giving a straight answer and vaguely says things are more efficient now. He offers to ask AJ if she’ll let them back in, but she and AUJ get into a shouting match and the two of them are left outside.
Applejack tries to talk Celestia out of her warpath, but she won’t listen.
Rekulk congratulates Applejack on Shining Armor being back.
Applejack calls out to Alterjack, who she still refuses to let into her office, with a question. After AUJ makes an off-hand comment about Celestia’s “semi-immortality”, AJ asks her if it’s alright to use a foreign agent to gather information on potential allies. AUJ asks if he could be traced back to her if caught or caught easily, and after being told that doing either would be very difficult, she declares that it’s fine. This doesn’t help AJ feel better about her decision.
Applejack asks Rarity for a second opinion, prompting Rarity to excitedly declare that assless-chaps are the way to go. AJ says that’s not what she wanted, and when she asks for reassurance that she made the right decision sending someone to commit espionage to avoid or win a war, Rarity goes quiet before scurrying off after calling out for “Spikey-Wikey”.
Applejack tells Delight to make her feel better. After getting a recap about how she’s feeling bad about committing espionage in Harmony City, he points out that what she wants done isn’t really different from what journalists, the police, the guard, and the secret agent(s) that work for the Princesses do everyday. He asks if she feels better now, but she claims to feel dumber instead and now wants him to make her feel smarter by saying something stupid. So, he says something stupid, which makes her feel dumber for walking into that.
Alterjack wants to be let back into the off so she can get her coffee. When Applejack tells her that coffee is seriously banned, her demands become more desperate. Like, death threats desperate, which turns into pleading for her “babies” (coffee packets). AJ eventually slides them under the door. AUJ then asks why coffee was banned, but when AJ simply says "Chrysalis" she has no further questions.
[CD] Applejack nods to herself about how earth ponies have to change diapers with hooves and their mouth. Pinkie Pie just stares at her, with Pennydrop popping up to advertise her telekinetic infusions.
Applejack, having heard the commotion Alterjack was making while chasing Delight, finds the two in a barrackAlterjack is disappointed in the “kick” to her drink, but suddenly falls asleep. Delight’s relieved by this until he realizes that Applejack is behind him. He tries to plead his case about how he didn’t drug AUJ or have intentions of doing “things” to her, but AJ just carries AUJ away in silence.
Still carrying the sleeping Alterjack on her back, Applejack returns to her office to find a cupcake sitting on her desk. She approaches it with suspicion, noting the candle in the shape of a 5 embedded in it. Eventually, she takes a chance and blows the candle out before taking a bite. “Happy Five to you too, whatever that means.”
Celestia has a question for Applejack, a change of pace which AJ is a little weirded out about. She wants to know if AJ ever gets tired of all of this, which AJ responds to by calling her an idiot and saying that of course she gets tired of her work as a princess. But she wouldn’t trade it for anything, no matter all the problems and pestering that comes her way. To that, Celestia says that she knew AJ would be the only one who could understand and takes her leave.
Dazey announces to Applejack that she and her peactrotters have captured Delight, which prompts AJ to ask if Delight was trying to run away. He says he wasn’t but Dazey adds that they couldn’t risk him trying, which prompts him to add that he let them capture him in the first place. AJ subtly implies that she only wanted Dazey to tell him to go see her, saying that she didn’t need to trouble herself with actually bringing him to her, and dismisses her and her Peacetrotters from the room. Dazey leaves with some reluctance and her peacetrotters (G1 and D0) follow after her. Having expected her to be upset with him, Delight’s surprised at AJ’s friendly demeanor, which prompts her to confirm she’s not angry and didn’t ask to see him to talk about the incident with Alterjack.
Instead, she wanted to tell him that he’s off probation and that she thinks he did more than what was required of him. What that means, she says while glancing at the still sleeping Alterjack, is that he doesn’t have to do anymore paperwork for her and can get back to his duties. But she asks him what exactly he wants to do when it comes to the Royal Guard, citing how his files and what she’s seen of him paints him as someone that wants more out of his lot in the Royal Guard but he drags his feet a lot. She finishes by saying he doesn’t have to tell her anything and can leave now, but after a moment of silence he asks her if the offer to go to Harmony City is still on the table.
Celestia brags about being taller and getting neck-hugs to a jealous Applejack. Suddenly, she goes into a fit, surprising AJ and leading her to ask what’s wrong. To that Celestia vaguely answers that something has happened. AJ then asks if Celestia is ok and she starts ranting about how she was “there” first. Needless to say, AJ is left confused and afraid. Presumably, Celestia senses that Shining Armor is getting married again.
Later, Applejack and Delight go over what she wants done for the investigation again, with added information about Sebjek that includes his appearance and name. In response to Delight asking if the two should sync up, she leaves any team efforts up to them, but recommends at least letting Sebjek know he’s around. When he asks if there’s a codeword he should use, she shrugs and says showing Sebjek the communicator she’s giving him or saying that the “Princess of the Red Fruit” sent him should be enough. He then asks if he gets a codename, too, but she corrects him by saying the Morlocks just fancy calling her “Princess of the Red Fruit”.
Still, he hypothetically wants one, so she offers to call him 「Diamond Eyes 」, which he rejects in favor being called “Substantial Viper”, but (to protect his voice) she suggests he go by “Midnight Drifter”. He accepts and she tells him everything has been worked out with Lieutenant Vermillion, but that he should go sort whatever he thinks he needs to out with her himself. With all that said, she asks if he needs anything else from her. “How about a kiss, for luck” he asks with a smirk. For some time, she just stares at him and thinks on it (his smirk wavering all the while) before responding with a simple “Nah”. His mood deflates, but she wishes him good luck anyways and shoos him off before Alterjack can wake up.
- Applejack asks Celestia if the Crystal Ponies were banished to the frozen tundra they call home. Celestia is incredulous and confirms that they weren't. She just didn't bother stopping them because they didn't want to be ruled by her or Luna.
- Later, Lieutenant Vermillion asks Applejack what they should do about Alterjack. Alt-Twilight says she needs to be captured and restrained, offering tools to assist with that, but Vermillion snubs her words, saying she doesn't take orders from her. However, AJ does say that they need to find her to make sure she's alright and hear her side of the story, which Alt-Twilight claims won't matter and is wasted on her. Vermillion then points out that Twilight behaved more like a villain than AUJ ever did, thich prompts Alt-Twilight to ask if AJ is just going to let her talk like that. The apple princess tells her to take her licks because she's going to hear complaints about what Alt-Twilight did and calls to make Pennydrop a princess for a long while.
- Following that, Applejack has a question for Alt-Twilight... but she's a little embarrassed to ask. Alt-Twilight cuts the fluff and states that AJ's wondering how she pees in her armor. It turns out there's a slot. Of course.
- Eventually Applejack, Celestia, Alt-Twilight, Shining Altmor, Shining Armor and (presumably) some guards arrive at Canterlot Castle's study. Salt begins to wax nostalgic about how the place looks, but AJ tells him to cut to the chase like Alterjack would. She calls him and Alt-Twilight out on threatening the city and stands by Discord and AUJ striking first in defense of their home. In his defense he claims that they're trying to stop a world war, revealing that when AUJ disappeared that many of the species she stopped from attack Equestria banded together to exact vengeance. Since AUJ had consolidated their power and there was apparently no Discord to aide them, the battle was rough and almost lost.
- At least it would have been, Alt-Twilight says, had Salt not coincidentally appeared to hold off the oncoming invasion in an event they label as "The Battle of the Badlands". He tries to brush her praises off with a smile, but Alt-Twilight gives all credit for their victory to Salt and it is revealed that she forfeited her temporary rule of Equestria to him (partly due to a lack of self-esteem on her part). Continuing, they note that they can soundly win another fight, but that they plan to bring AUJ to justice instead to remove the motivation from their aggressors, revealing that they were broadcasting their earlier appearance to their homeworld. Alt-Twilight then goes on a hateful rant directed at AJ, saying that they never intended to hurt anyone because this place is still their home and that the guns were for show.
- Because they didn't give up AUJ and she has now escaped, she says, they now have to worry that about future attacks. AJ tries to point out that they went about this all wrong, but Alt-Twilight just grows angrier and eventually teleports away before either version of her brother can stop her. Having never seen Twilight's face so full of hate, AJ is a little shaken up. At this point, Celestia speaks up and takes the podium, telling Salt that they will not hand AUJ over to him because he needs to understand something: Whatever she's done in their world, she's done enough in hers to show that she is a hero and Celestia aims to tell him of that. Salt settles in for her story and listens intently.
- Eventually, after having told him of every deed Alterjack did (good or bad), Celestia's story to Shining Altmor finishes. Though he never seemed to let his guard down during her story, he smiles softly and admits that AUJ has done some good in this world. Applejack agrees, saying that while she didn't always do things the right or nice way, AUJ doesn't deserve to get strung up to appease some invaders. But Salt says it's not that simple since AUJ placed heavy restrictions on the invaders after their attack, which fostered animosity in the ones that didn't do anything. He's glad that someone could see the goodness that he knew AUJ had deep down, but he has obligations he must uphold.
- Still, he backs off knowing that they won't let her go without a fight and offers his help to keep her safe. AJ questions his sincerity, mentioning AUJ's history with the Crystal Empire. Salt is surprised AUJ liked them enough to open up about that, but gives a speech about how he has grown past that to become the hero that Equestria needs and . Everyone including AJ believes he's sincere (a fact that bothers her) and she sends word to the Guard to start a search, but not before making it clear that she won't let the fact that they threatened Canterlot and attacked AUJ and Discord go. With that settled, Salt turns to Shining Armor and asks for a tour of the castle.
- Left to themselves, Applejack and Celestia discuss how suspicious the situation with Shining Altmor and Alt-Twilight is. AJ suggests burning them if they're evil, and burning them with words if their not. Then AJ'll plant a seed and name the tree after them. Celestia wonders if she'll find a tree named after her, but AJ says she won't. It got too repetitive, so she just named an orchard after her.
- Later, Applejack and Lieutenant Vermillion go to the spot where Alterjack made her escape, finding the ground sealed up but obviously disturbed. AJ says they might have to use the devices Alt-Twilight left her to more easily find AUJ, but Vermillion snubs her nose at the idea and claims she can track her with a spell she was using to avoid her. Though she begrudgingly changes her mind when AJ shows her that the device is picking up numerous decoys sharing AUJ's magic signature.
- Applejack panics when she misinterprets a guard as saying Applebloom’s hurt. He points out that he just said she’s not ok and the scene cuts to Applebloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo suffering from stomach-aches after gorging themselves on discount holiday candy like Davey’s Delights.
- Fluttershy tells Applejack to set Shining Altmor and Alt-Twilight on fire for what they did to Discord. She's not angry though, just irritated. She'd sic blood-sucking, disease ridden, deformation causing mites on them if she was mad.
- Once the tour ends and Shining Altmor flies to his ship, Applejack and Celestia show up to ask if Shining Armor figured out whether Salt can be trusted. He says he hasn’t, adding that Salt was surprisingly bad at hiding things and that worried him.
The white alicorn very likely swings back and forth on whether or not she is happy she made Applejack a princess. On the one hand, a lot of problems she had previously overlooked are being dealt with. On the other hand... A LOT of problems she overlooked need to be dealt with. While Celestia is proud of the strides made and all the good that's been done, she's also about two second from jumping off that balcony again. ONE MORE QUESTION AND LASERS, APPLEJACK!
When she was faced with a mountain of paperwork and more than anything needed a hand, who did she turn to? Why, one of the few characters who actually have hands, of course. Eager to continue being the number one assistant, and more than a little desperate to be noticed and feel like he could be heard, he went to work helping her out. Over time, they began to grow a lot closer. Maybe it was the confined space, maybe it was the reliance on each other, but something sparked, and now she's in a (comical) battle with Rarity for the dragons affection. It will probably end well... probably.
When Applejack decided to show the Bug mercy and try to help her out, it's very doubtful she invisioned her life being filled with sappy movies, chaotic assholes ruining her ballroom and the underlying scheming nature of the Changeling Queen hounding her at every turn. That said, do not be under the impression Applejack is going to take a single ounce of her attitude, and will toss a stapler in her face if she tries to slam her door. She's not exactly friends with Chrysalis, and likely never will be, but at the very least, they make for good allies if the need arises.
Do you really think the "War" for Spike's affection would ever make these two enemies? Of course not, Rarity is still her best friend through and through. Now that the fashionista has slimmed down, the pair are back to spending more time together and making Equestria a better place.
When she came up to the sad sack of sorry, she was having none of that. She realized she needed to be brutally honest with him in order to get him to stop acting like a neglected ninny and start being the Prince he needed to be. Her methods were... less than effective, at the start, but they did spark enough of a flame for him to get his own fire going, and now he's the one she can look to in the Crystal Empire for some sanity, besides 18 of course.
- Wait, why is she a princess again?
- Because she seems to be the only goddamn one of those ponies who gets that a Princess need to do actual work regarding maintenance of the kingdom. You know how much city planning or trade negotiations Twilight or Luna have done? Fucking nothing. Everyone is obsessed with the world ending threats they think I should fight, but the minute I point out the free healthcare I have to work to maintain everyone goes quiet. And don't even get me started on Cadence, who can't even manage a basic meeting with the Equestrian Games representative. Fucking annoying. Stop bothering her and let her go do actual princess stuff, because apparently everyone else got the pamphlets mixed up or something and thinks "Princess" means "Beat cop."
- She also has a rap, along with the two royal sisters. Because of course. https://soundcloud.com/applesnack/p
- Sometimes, she has lazy days. This is what those lazy days look like. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9nthh2g8BA