Outside on the front lawn stood a lone slab of marble that was once the base of a mighty Equine statue, but what was left of the majestic mascot was just chunks of debris scattered in the grass due to events not too long ago.
It seemed to be a normal day on this once quiet, little world, but just as the past year proved to be anything but “normal”, this day unfortunately was to be yet another exception.
Not too far off from the statue base, space and time began to unfold itself. Space literally warped, stretched, and fractured before a large portal of unknown origin materialized on the front lawn. As it warped, thundered, and tore at the very constant of reality, two strange and mysterious figures emerged from the anomaly.
The first stranger that walked through the portal looked to be a man, or at least was hopefully a man of some kind. He was covered completely head-to-toe in blackened power armor that looked durable enough to survive a blow from a tank, while simultaneously crushing the same tank into a tin can. Not an ounce of skin showed through the armor, which hissed and gave off small bursts of steam. Holstered on his back was what appeared to be a large rifle with a rectangular barrel with a wire running from the barrel to a protrusion mounted along the top.
The second stranger that came through was not a man, or even a human for that matter. It was a small floating robot that looked like a round, metal ball with a grilled visor, and eight radio antennae jutting out from its sides, giving it an appearance similar to that of the old Russian “Sputnik” satellite.
As the little bot phased through the portal, it started to violently shake and glitch out, its sputtering thermal exhaust barely keeping it in the air. Sparks briefly flew from its chassis, while it sputtered a series of distorted-up whirrs, beeps, and blips.
The stranger shook and adjusted all of the limbs and joints of his power armor, before turning to his sputtering satellite.
“Sorry about that EDNA,” said the stranger, addressing his robotic companion, “Interdimensional travel isn’t really a craft I’ve had the experience to master, but you’d be surprised what kind of knick knacks are locked in storage in the Wasteland.” The armored stranger spoke casually, as though traveling through the veil of entire worlds was an everyday romp for him.
‘EDNA’, on the other hand, was feeling far less casual. After the jittering and various glitching noises subsided, EDNA adjusted her altitude to where she was at head-level with the stranger, and made a long series of angry sounding bleeps and blips toward him.
“Calm down EDNA. You’re still technically in one piece, so I would call this test a relative success.” EDNA wasn’t that reassured, and bleeped series of unsavory blips back at the stranger. “Look at it this way: You could’ve come out a lot worse when we passed the event horizon. Our atoms could’ve been crushed into the space of a tin can when we went through. We could’ve even exploded, or somehow imploded, if we were lucky. But the fact is, we didn’t, and here we are exploring this new world like the pioneers of ancient history.”
EDNA simply floated in place, apparently aghast with the unflinching nature of its companion, before letting out a single, low-pitched blip.
“Just begin the recording EDNA.” The stranger responded in an irked tone.
EDNA let out another annoyed series of beeps, before begrudgingly conceding, and blipped a high-pitched “BEEP”, indicating that the recording had begun.
“Ahem.” The stranger cleared his throat as he introduced himself. “Otherworld Survival Guide, Volume Designation EG1: Many of you folks of the Wasteland know me as “The Storyteller”, and have heard of my attempts to document its tales and facts. From the New California Republic in the Mojave to the Eastern Brotherhood Citadel of the Capital Wasteland, I’ve acquired a wide array of stories, telling both the wonders of the Wasteland, and its dangers.
“From rampaging DeathClaws, violent Super-Mutants, and even a Vault filled with defective clones, my efforts to document nearly everything have been to ensure that the Wasteland becomes a safer place for its inhabitants. And while the Wasteland has a good number of stories to tell, they’re not the only ones to be told.”
EDNA let out a questioning series of beeps in confusion.
“What I mean, EDNA,” the Storyteller answered, “Is that our world isn’t the only one with stories. You see, a couple of years ago, I managed come across some pretty impressive tech that was locked deep in storage by the ENCLAVE.”
The Storyteller pointed out a small rectangular device that was attached to his wrist. It seemed to be some kind of modified version of the Vault-Tec PIP-BOY device, a standard for anyone fortunate to survive well into the Wasteland; but it instead displayed the title “Dimensional Interface Processor” (or “DIP-BOY” for short) on its layout, along with other displays showing information on “Quantum Entanglements” and “Improbability Factors” in Green LED lights.
“Apparently, this device was some kind of last ditch effort by the ENCLAVE to abandon our world, in case the Wasteland became a lost cause for their genocidal efforts. But for whatever reason, the project behind this technology was scrapped and locked away deep in an underground vault. But, as luck would have it, I managed to stumble upon it a few years ago, and with enough tinkering, I managed to get it in working order.”
EDNA let out a series of annoyed beeps at that prospect.
“Working ENOUGH at least.” The Storyteller grumbled at his companion’s snide “comment”. “You see, thanks to this marvel of technology, I later discovered that our world is simply one of an infinite number of worlds. Some worlds so different, you wouldn’t be able to fathom that they’d exist at all, and some so alike you could hardly tell the difference from another.
“And thus, I took it upon myself to explore the infinite variations of these other worlds, and I’ve collected quite a tale or two my journeys.”
EDNA again let out a series of angered beeps.
“Well, this was before I even met you EDNA, and before I even started on the idea of the ‘Wasteland Survival Guide’.” explained the Storyteller, trying to reassure his companion, “In fact, you could say that you being here is a sort of “extension” of our survival series, so that others could learn about the stories from these worlds in case this technology becomes more developed and widespread.”
EDNA hovered joyfully up and down at her new role given to her, seemingly ignoring the fact a few minutes ago she was almost torn apart micron by micron by quantum singularities.
“I’m glad you agree,” said the Storyteller, before adjusting himself to look more professional in EDNA’s recording, “So for those of you watching from the Wasteland, I intend to document more and more stories for this series, in case some of you decide to follow in my footsteps.
“And as for the first chapter of new journey, I can’t think of a better story to begin this new guide than the events that took place at this marvelous institution.” He finished, gesturing to the building beyond EDNA’s visual range.
EDNA, blipping with joy, hovered back a bit to get a full shot of this “institution” in her recording scope, and when she was far enough to get a large look, her visual range revealed-
A three-storied brick-layered high school…
EDNA simply hovered in place, staring at the aforementioned high school, before turning to the Storyteller, to make a loud, unamused, honking-sounding beep one might hear when making an error on a gameshow.
“Yes EDNA, I’m aware that this is just a high school. I know at first glance, a high school doesn’t seem as glamorous or as death defying as trudging through the mysteries of the Wasteland, but trust me EDNA, there are a lot of stories that take place within the walls of a simple school.”
High school is an institution that’s meant to aid in the growth for young minds of the modern age. Coming-of-age stories, the battles of the social hierarchy, and even young-love romances are just a few of the stories that take place within these institutional walls. It’s here that the youths of adolescence are taught the nuances of the real world in order to prepare them to be fully functioning adults of civilized society.
EDNA simply let out a groaned, low-pitch beep, seemingly uninterested with the Storyteller’s prose.
“Oh no? That’s not interesting enough for you EDNA?” The Storyteller asked, “Well, what if I were to tell you that this particular high school held a hidden secret behind these walls? A secret that even delved within the realm of the supernatural, such as magic and sorcery. And no, I’m not talking about those strange Japanese cartoons from the back-when-times.”
Upon mentioning the word “supernatural”, EDNA’s mood immediately perked up to a more positive series of blips and quirks, as though to say “Now we’re talking!”
“The typical fears of a normal high school student usually involve receiving detention, terrible GPAs, or suffering from soul-crushing parent-teacher conferences.” The Storyteller continued, “But Canterlot High isn’t like most schools, EDNA. It once had a serious problem that plagued for at least two-and-a-half years, a problem by the name of Sunset Shimmer.
“This average high school girl may have seemed like your typical bully on the outside with a rather unusual hair color scheme. The inside however, now that’s a much different story, bacon-hair notwithstanding.”
EDNA beeped a question series of beeps at the Storyteller. While many people would've brushed off EDNA's beeping as random "robot gibberish", the Storyteller had been with EDNA long enough to understand EDNA's "language" enough to confuse any outsiders trying to listen in.
“What I mean is EDNA, just like how we’re outsiders to this particular world, Sunset Shimmer herself was a foreign entity to this world as well. But before we can get to the cusp of her influence here, we first to understand where she came from, and why.”
The Storyteller then marched towards the marble base out in the middle of the front lawn, with EDNA following in tow behind.
“This seemingly insignificant slab of marble is not just the base for Canterlot High’s former school mascot,” he continued, gesturing to the statue base, “but actually serves as a nexus point between this world, and the world known as “Equestria”. But unlike this world EDNA, the world of Equestria is completely dominated by the species of “Equus Ferus Caballus”, or known by the non-zoologists simply as Ponies.”
EDNA paused as she floated in place, before letting out another “error” beep, as if to say, “You’re kidding.”
“No EDNA, you didn’t mishear me. This world of Equestria is completely populated not just by multicolored-ponies, but both pegasi and unicorn alike.”
EDNA let out a confused series of blips and whirrs.
“Is that really so hard to believe? We come from a world where we have to fight tooth-and-nail against giant, genetically altered lizards, radioactive feral ghouls, and synthetic androids that could pass as a human to the naked eye, yet a world of intelligent ponies is drawing the line?”
EDNA simply let out a conceding blip.
“Like I said EDNA, there’s an infinite number of worlds out there, even one reserved out there for talking ponies.” The Storyteller said matter-of-factly.
But back to Sunset Shimmer, she was no ordinary unicorn living in Equestria. Sunset was actually once the prized personal student of Princess Celestia, the patron matriarch of Equestria and Alicorn ruler of the Sun, quite literally in fact. She was even enrolled in Princess Celestia’s special School for Gifted Unicorns, and one of her top students at the time. And Sunset was certainly gifted, having an almost unparalleled control of unicorn magic, but you’d think twice to believe she was like any of the unicorns we’ve read in our own fairy tales.
Nope. She was as nasty as they come. Sunset was prideful, arrogant, and showed practically no sense of humility toward others. Apparently this egotistical attitude was something that Celestia herself tried to quell in her lessons. This unfortunately had very little success, as one lesson in particular changed Sunset for the worst. It was something involving a strange artifact known as “The Crystal Mirror”, which was exactly what it sounds like.
I wasn’t able to acquire any real data about what really happened in this meeting, but whatever Sunset saw in that mirror, it backfired any of Celestia’s attempts to dampen Sunset’s arrogance, but at the same time, ignited something within Sunset.
She became obsessed with the Crystal Mirror to an almost unhealthy degree; using every opportunity she could to inquire more about it from her reluctant mentor. But when Celestia refused to divulge any more information on her behalf, Sunset took it upon herself to find her own answers. She began conducting extensive research on any mirror she could find in the Equestrian archives, even searching the Forbidden Tombs section of the library. Eventually, her research proved successful, for she discovered that the Crystal Mirror had another function: It wasn’t just a trendy knick-knack, but actually a gateway to a whole other world!
EDNA beeped and jittered in surprise by this revelation.
“That’s right EDNA, that very same mirror contains the nexus point that connects this world to the realm of Equestria.” He elaborated as he gestured to the statue base. He then began to inspect the marble’s surface, combing every corner and crack thoroughly, as though looking for something.
“By the looks of it, the portal’s closed.” he spoke up, as his search appeared to be fruitless, “My guess is that the power source on the other side is being used for some other purpose. We’re going to have to wait at least two-and-a-half years before the portal opens up on it’s own.”
EDNA didn’t seem particularly thrilled by this idea, as she seemingly shuddered in mid air, letting out a frightened series of blips.
“EDNA, I wouldn’t have pegged you to be so skittish at the prospect of exploring other worlds,” The Storyteller commented in an almost scolding manner, “Besides, I think you could do with a pair of insect wings instead of those antenna. Might make you more approachable to some of the “trigger-happy” folks back home.”
EDNA again shot a series of furious quips back at the Storyteller, while shuddering with apprehension.
“For me personally,” the Storyteller continued, “I wouldn’t mind exploring in a quadrupedal stance if we ever were to visit. Traveling with a full suit of power armor would probably be a lot easier with four legs instead of two, though it has the disadvantage of having no arms to carry any weapons. I’d imagine that the poindexters in Equestria would get along well with the Brotherhood in exchange for some of our technology. We’d probably even form an additional chapter if were ever to visit. I even came up catchy name if that were to ever happen,” he elaborated, before putting his hands on his hips, adopting a noble stance that would’ve made Roger Maxson proud before uttering his newest “creation”, “We’d call ourselves, “The Steelhooves”!”.
EDNA simply hovered in place, before deadpanning a quip of blurbs.
The Storyteller deflated from his “Brotherhood” pose to a more casual one. “Hmmm, you might be right, it does need a little work. It doesn’t exactly sound that original of a title.”
But back to the portal in the Crystal Mirror, unlike most magical mirrors that you’d find leading to other worlds, this mirror unfortunately had some limitations. The portal between this world and Equestria would only be active for three days until the moon reaches its zenith in the night sky, and after that, you’d have to wait at least thirty moons for it to open again. Whether or not Sunset knew about this fact, it didn’t stop what happened after she found out the mirror’s true purpose.
It didn’t take long for Celestia to find out about Sunset’s illicit snooping into forbidden tombs. She began to see that Sunset wasn’t really interested in learning to help Equestria, but only to add to her own ambition, even meaning becoming an Alicorn herself. A revelation that swiftly got Sunset banished from her position as Celestia’s prized student.
But Sunset wasn’t a pony to be put down so easily, even by Celestia.
Nope. She sworn revenge against her former mentor, and when the opportunity presented itself, she made a dash to the mirror, and thus ended up here, in this world, a changed mare for the worst.
EDNA then produced another series of quirks in a questioning manner.
“Why would she choose going through the mirror portal?” The Storyteller repeated EDNA’s question, “Well, perhaps she wanted to prove to Celestia that she could be a Princess in any world, using whatever magic she could find to aid in her own goals. I’d imagine she would’ve given that plan a well-earned second thought, if she knew there was little to no magic in this world. Well, magic that she didn’t recognize at least. It must’ve been one heck of a shock to find out about that little fact when she came through as a magic-less human instead of a unicorn. Not exactly “Alicorn Princess” material to miss that little oversight.
“But for whatever the reason she came through, it would be at least three years before she would be able to return to Equestria, but in that time span, she put it to good use, for herself at least. She immediately set her sights Canterlot High, an act that would shape her future, in more ways than one.” The Storyteller concluded.
He then beckoned EDNA to follow him, as he walked off towards the entrance to Canterlot High, which EDNA immediately obliged. Once he had climbed the steps and was face-to-face with the rows of double doors, the Storyteller thrusted them open, as though a long awaiting treasure hunter had just discovered the gates to Shangri-La, and was announcing his presence to a whole new world.
The lockers, classrooms, and trophy cases all greeted him in kind….with utter silence. Not that the Storyteller was expecting anything different from his usual entrances back in the Wasteland.
Undeterred, the Storyteller simply walked on like a man on a mission, his power armor thundering with every step, and his companion eyebot loyally by his side.
All around the school, there were streamers and posters hanging all around adorned with the lettering: “Sign up for Camp Everfree. Ask for Parent’s Permission”, decorated with campfires, tents, hiking boots, and various other camping paraphernalia.
The few students that were out in the open were busy sifting through their lockers for books for their next class, or chatting the newest gossip or trend over their phones. That didn’t stop them from locking gazes with the lumbering, hulking, humanoid TANK and the seemingly floating Sputnik probe casually strolling through their halls.
The reactions were mixed at the sight of the Storyteller, but most of them simply stared slack-jawed at a loss for words at the metal lummox, while others chose to run and hide inside the nearest classrooms, cowering with fear. The few that did stick around to see the Storyteller simply shook their head with a detached sense of annoyance, raised eyebrows, or some simply muttering, “Oh no, not again,” to themselves.
Out of the girl’s bathroom, two of the older students emerged, one with cyan, white, and spiky hairstyle laughing her head off at something on her cell phone; while the other, a girl with a blue and pink curled hair style, didn’t seem to share in the humor of her friend.
“It’s not that funny Lyra,” groaned the curly-haired student, “I told Micro Chips to delete that video already.”
“Oh, lighten up Bon Bon,” jibbed Lyra, “I think that owl suit really brings out the “real” you.” She brought up the phone up to Bon Bon’s face, where a rather unusual video of both of them, dressed up as a peacock and an owl respectively, was displayed with both of them squawking at each other like a pair of pent up hens. All this, with a catchy techno remix synced with each of their “squawks”.
Bon Bon couldn’t help but facepalm in utter embarrassment. “That isn’t exactly my proudest moment Lyra. We were practically at each other’s throats like a pair of…of…roosters in a pen match.” Bon Bon facepalmed herself again at her choice of avian metaphor.
Lyra, on the other hand, simply couldn’t stop grinning. “Oh come on Bonny, it's not that bad. Like you keep telling me, you got to take the good with the bad. Besides, there is no way I’m not making this my new…ringtone…” Lyra trailed off as a look of utter shock and horror paled on her face.
Bon Bon stared at Lyra confused, until out of the corner of her eye, she too saw what practically bleached Lyra’s face.
As the Storyteller casually approached the two teenagers with EDNA behind him, all of the color in Bon Bon’s face drained away as the metal man who completely dwarfed both of them hovered over.
Both girls simply stared in panic at the two alien strangers, both of them scared to even breathe towards this robotic behemoth, whose arms looked like they could snap their spines like twigs. To them, it was like a colorful pair of deers in a car’s headlights, just waiting to be splattered.
The Storyteller, however, didn’t seem to notice the girl’s abject terror.
“Pardon me,” The Storyteller asked in a relaxed, yet friendly tone, “I don’t suppose you two could direct me to the faculty offices? I wanted to make sure that nothing here was displaced ever since the spatial anomaly incident of the Friendship Games.”
Both girls blinked at such an informal question, but where still rooted to the spot in fear. Using up all the strength she could muster, Lyra pointed a shaking finger down one of the hallways.
The Storyteller shot a quick glance down the direction that Lyra pointed out, then offer both her and Bon Bon a quick two-fingered salute, uttering a swift, “Much Obliged,” before departing, with his floating companion not to far behind.
Lyra and Bon Bon simply stared slack jawed at what transpired in front of them.
“WHO THE HECK WAS THAT BON BON?!” Lyra asked in a terror-stricken frantic.
“I don’t know, and I don’t want to know Lyra,” Bon Bon panicked quietly, while trying to gently force her friend back into the bathroom, “Let’s just turn around, and walk away.”
“Was that a RIFLE on his back!?”
“Don’t look at him! Just get in the bathroom!” And with one final shove, both girls disappeared into the restrooms.
With all the attention that the Storyteller seemed to be gathering, he didn’t seemed fazed at all by the wandering eyes of frightened, but curious looks of both the students and staff alike.
“It must’ve been difficult for Sunset to adjust to her new life here in this ordinary and dull world compared to Equestria.” The Storyteller continued documenting to EDNA, “It’s not everyday that you go from being a powerful, magical unicorn to a hairless biped with little to no magic. But biological complications aside, I’m surprised that Sunset managed to survive here at all with practically no identification, social security, or currency of any kind. If this were any other world, Child Protection Services would’ve been up in arms trying to find Sunset a home, yet she somehow managed to elude every one of those problems with ease.”
EDNA beeped questioningly at this fact.
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned of in my research of this particular world, EDNA, it’s that apparently the people here don’t really ask that many questions.”
EDNA sarcastically beeped in agreement.
But perhaps one of the bigger questions involving Sunset is why she chose to enroll to Canterlot High in the first place? She obviously was an intelligent unicorn, able to slip by Celestia who’s said to have over a thousand years of experience under her belt; so why would Sunset bother enrolling in a simple high school that had practically nothing to offer her? Maybe it was due to her being deprived of her unicorn magic, a talent she had excelled at and lost, which forced her to have to start from scratch on learning about a new world. Maybe it was because she wanted to be close to the portal as possible, in case it ever opened up to Equestria again.
“For whatever the reason, Sunset Shimmer chose to enroll herself in Canterlot High,” The Storyteller surmised, “and it wouldn’t be long before she actually got to see some familiar faces here.”
At the end of the hallway stood a lone office door, its window obscured by pulled down shade, and taped on note that read “Teacher Conference in Session. 1-4pm. Please do not disturb.”. Off to the left of the door stood a small-pillared office alcove, with a Purple-haired teacher worked with a rather bored expression on her face as she idly typed on her office computer.
As the sounds of very heavy footsteps tore the teacher’s attention away her student’s assignment, neatly hiding a nearly completed game of Solitaire, the teacher’s face immediately paled as she saw the walking human in POWER ARMOR take position outside the principal's office, with some type of flying satellite hovering behind it.
Not wanting to attract the attention of this ARMED stranger, Miss Cheerilee thought it was probably best for now to take her three hour lunch break, and silently scooted her chair as quickly and as far away from this office as possible.
The Storyteller, unaware of Miss Cheerilee’s quiet departure, motioned to the office door for EDNA.
“This here is the office of Principal Celestia, this world’s direct counterpart to Princess Celestia,” the Storyteller went on as he made a gesture to the covered door windows, “By the looks of it, she’s probably in a meeting with her sister, Vice Principal Luna, and maybe various other school deans in the county.”
He turned back to EDNA, sounding a bit disappointed at their lack of an audience. “It’s a shame too. I was actually looking forward to having a chat with her; I had a lot of questions planned that would’ve shed some light on Sunset’s early life here.”
There are actually some rumors going around that say that Principal Celestia herself took Sunset in to her home, as a sort of surrogate daughter. Must’ve seemed like a cruel sense of irony for Sunset to be taken in by the counterpart of her scorned mentor. Or maybe it was out of some sense of guilt that Sunset stuck around Principal Celestia, out of an attempt to somewhat make amends, even though it wasn’t really her old teacher.
Other rumors say that Sunset may have brought some rare artifacts from Equestria, probably some gold or fine jewelry, which she managed to hock off at some local pawnshop to get the monetary means she needed.
Some say that she lives in a homeless shelter, and is just that good at feigning appearances to the rest of her peers.
Probably one of the more ridiculous rumors say that Sunset actually lives in the school itself, hiding in janitor closets or the library at night, completely avoiding detection from the faculty. Though, if it were true, it wouldn’t really surprise me. Like I said, this world doesn’t really ask that many questions.
Regardless of her living situation, Sunset used every moment and opportunity she had while she was here to establish herself as the Queen of the social ladder, almost quite literally in fact. While she was an excellent student, and got along well with the academic staff, the same couldn’t be said for her fellow students.
Nope, she used every trick in the book to make sure that everyone stayed beneath her in her ambitions. Verbal threats, spreading gossip, blatant sabotage, and even through social media blackmail, there wasn’t a tactic she wasn’t afraid to use to ensure she remained the best of the best, especially with her two high school flunkies, Snips and Snails, doing her dirty work. And for a long time, it actually worked.
She was even crowned Queen of the Fall Formal, a sort of special prom night event, three years in a row. Not that anyone would dare to run against her anyway. Sunset had her hand in everyone’s pocket, whether they knew it or not, and she would’ve made sure she would’ve taken down any opposition.
With Sunset at the top of her own crowning kingdom, she practically had everything she wanted as close to a ruler that she could get. But as history has shown many times, those who are in power are rarely satisfied, and Sunset had her eyes set somewhere close.
You see, while Sunset toiled away in her tyrannical kingdom at Canterlot High, back in Equestria, Celestia had adopted a new student in her place, a unicorn by the name of Twilight Sparkle.
Like Sunset, Twilight was a brilliant student who loved nothing more than to spend most of her days studying and reading a good book.
But aside from academic achievements, that’s pretty much where the similarities between Twilight and Sunset end. While Twilight wasn’t really interested in the idea of gaining friends as a student, it was more due to her academic inclination than a notion of pride. But, that all changed when a fateful visit to the town of Ponyville not only saved their world from an eternal night, but also gained Twilight five new friends, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy, and Pinkie Pie.
EDNA let out a quip of what sounded like a series of condescending beeps.
The Storyteller made a quick shrug as he tried to make light of this growingly bathetic-sounding story. “I know that sounds a bit sappy EDNA, especially with names like those, but Twilight and her friends proved time and time again how the power of Friendship can conquer almost any obstacle. People back home have gotten so used to the mentality of “kill or be killed”, they’ve forgotten how strong we can be when we’re united instead of divided.”
Back in the Capital Wasteland, the city of Megaton is a prime example of how working together in friendship and cooperation can help others survive even the harshest trials of the Wasteland. Even the Brotherhood of Steel, despite our isolationist attitudes, is willing to work together with the other Wasteland powers, if it serves our mutual benefits.
And just as the Wasteland is slowly becoming stronger and more united with every passing day, the bonds that Twilight shared with her friends also grew, as well as their own personal strengths. As they fought countless evils against their world, resolving disputes both big and small, and even achieving feats that were once deemed impossible, Twilight and her companions became much more than just six friends. They became the very symbol of friendship, and spread its influence to all corners of the Equestria. Such efforts, of course, did not go unrewarded, for Twilight Sparkle eventually earned the very honor that Sunset Shimmer tried to take by force: Ascension to an Alicorn, and Title as the “Princess of Friendship”.
EDNA then let out a quick series of beeps in rapid succession, almost akin to that of a mocking laugh.
“Well, I can imagine that Sunset wasn’t really too happy to learn about this new entitlement,” The Storyteller answered, ignoring EDNA’s rather rude bout of “laughing”, “but Twilight herself would actually find out about Sunset in person.
“Not long after Twilight was coronated as the “Princess of Friendship”, the portal in the Crystal Mirror was opened once again, and Sunset had her own agenda in mind. Once in Equestria, she swiftly played the role of a thief, and managed to steal a valuable crown belonging to Twilight herself, and hoofed it back to this world.”
EDNA blipped questioningly at the mention of this new artifact.
“Why did Sunset go all trouble to steal a simple crown? Well, this was no ordinary crown EDNA. It was actually one of the Elements of Harmony, a powerful set of artifacts that Twilight and all five of her friends had wielded many times before.”
Each one of them represented an aspect of Friendship that each of her friends exemplified, and when used together, they repelled any form of evil that would threaten Equestria. The crown that Sunset stole represented the Element of Magic, probably the most important element of all, and took it back to this world. Without it, the other elements were powerless, and Equestria would’ve lost its strongest defense against any evil.
Worse yet, in the hands of someone with less-than-stellar motivations, the Element could become a very dangerous weapon, in whatever world it’s in. So, with both worlds at risk from Sunset’s machinations, Twilight Sparkle chose to pursue Sunset, but it was a journey she apparently had to take alone, without the help of her friends.
EDNA beeped in confusion.
“That’s what I was thinking too,” The Storyteller replied, “It would’ve been easier to take down Sunset and retrieve the crown with a lot more numbers on your side, but I guess Twilight didn’t want to draw too much attention to herself, not that the fate of two worlds wasn’t at stake anyways.” The Storyteller replied sarcastically, which EDNA beeped a robotic chuckle.
“Regardless, Twilight wasn’t completely alone on her journey. She had her number-one assistant, Spike the dragon, to tag along and keep her company.”
Now EDNA was really confused by this new tidbit of information, and was beeping fanatically at the idea of a dragon in the story now.
“No EDNA, Spike was a bit easier to tag along than six alien girls wandering around a school on four-legs. Spike was a baby dragon, travel size for convenience, but that fact didn’t really matter when both he and Twilight went through the portal.”
Like Sunset Shimmer before them, it took both of them awhile to adjust to the new changes, both to themselves and the world around them. Spike probably got the worst end of the deal. While Twilight adopted the form of a normal teenaged girl, Spike unfortunately was transformed into a simple household dog. Apparently, the universe didn’t favor kindly to the little dragon, not that I would blame him though.
Despite the biological setback, they both adapted quickly for their mission, but no sooner did they began their journey that the both of them hit a roadblock. In the ensuing scuffle to stop Sunset from stealing the crown, she had lost the Element through the portal into the hands of Principal Celestia, who chose to use it as the centerpiece for this year’s Fall Formal Dance, instead of turning it into a lost-and-found. Like I said before EDNA, this world doesn’t ask that many questions, and that could’ve saved Twilight a lot of trouble in the long run if she simply claimed the crown as her own property.
Instead, she chose to enroll in the Fall Formal Dance to win back the crown, dragging out this journey even longer than it needed to be. Unfortunately, she wasn’t the only one interested in winning the Fall Formal.
Yep, Sunset Shimmer of course was her main competitor, and after three years of winning unopposed, the odds were not in Twilight’s favor.
Luckily, this little detour proved to be worthwhile for Twilight, as she soon found out that the human counterparts of her pony friends, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy, and Pinkie Pie, were actually some of the committee members in charge of the dance.
The only problem was, these familiar faces weren’t exactly the friends she knew back home. In fact, they weren’t even friends at all, but bitter rivals. During their freshman years, they actually were the closest of companions like Twilight’s original friends, but a series of falsely made miscommunications drove a wedge between all five of them, and kept them apart and bitter for a long time.
My guess is it was another tactic of Sunset to keep the school as separate as possible. Better to have a kingdom divided and against each other, than be united and start a social uprising.
“But thanks to Twilight and he lessons she had learned from her own friends, she managed to expose the lie that drove them apart, and reminded them of the friendship they all used to had. With their friendships renewed, these five girls and an interdimensional pony princess set out to help win the favor of the entire student body, and crown Twilight the next Fall Formal Princess.” The Storyteller went on, just as a punky-looking student with blue, spiky hair, purple shades, and a large set of headphones walked by both of them, completely unnoticing them, while blaring a cheery pop-song at a volume that would’ve sent any sane person to the otologist.
♫So get up get down,
If you're gonna come around!
We can work together
Helping Twilight win the crown,
So get up get down.
'Cause it's gonna make a sound
If we work together
Helping Twilight Sparkle
Win the crown! ♫
The Storyteller and EDNA simply stared at each other in silence, at the remarkable coincidence of that strange student. With a simple shrug, the Storyteller then gestured EDNA to follow him down yet another hallway.
“Truth be told, it probably didn’t seem that difficult to win over the school crowd between this friendly new face against the school tyrant,” The Storyteller continued as he walked on, “but Sunset was playing for keeps in this competition. Social media blackmail, intimidation, blatant sabotage of the dance room, and some rumors even say kidnapping with ransom, there wasn’t a scheme that Sunset and her goons weren’t afraid to use to get that magical crown.”
But despite her underhanded tactics, in the end it all amounted to nothing. With the help of her newfound friends, and the entire school backing her up, Twilight Sparkle ended Sunset’s three year reign, and was crowned Princess of the Fall Formal and the crown won back to its rightful owner.
It’s the same story that history repeats over and over. Rule a nation with fear, and you only have servants. Rule a nation with love and compassion, and you not only have friends, but brothers in arms as well.
But Sunset Shimmer wasn’t a pony that was going to go down without a fight, quite literally in fact. With all other options exhausted, she resorted to physical violence to steal the crown, and she actually succeeded. Not exactly the best message there, EDNA.
With the Element of Magic finally in her grasp, she unleashed its magical power unto herself, but I don’t think she actually expected what happened next. The magic within the crown forcefully transformed Sunset into a reflection of her inner dark and cruel nature, a flaming she-demon no less who reveled in the destruction she caused.
With her newfound powers at her disposal, she took her vengeance on Canterlot High, and brainwashed her fellow students to be her army to conquer Equestria through the portal.
You have to admire her from a tactical point of view, though. Not many people are willing to harm a bunch of high school students as an army, even if they are a bunch brainwashed zombies.
And she probably would have succeeded in her plans, if a certain pony princess and her five human friends didn't get in her way. It was probably a sight to see Twilight and her friends in action, being defiant face-to-face against a raging she-demon, that’s definitely some Brotherhood material right there. Normal people would’ve been turn into pulp if they faced something like Sunset.
Luckily, these girls where far from normal, but in a good way.
While Sunset managed to unlock her inner darkness with the magic of the Element, Twilight and her friends unlocked something more by standing up against her. Each of them together exemplified the original traits that made the Elements of Harmony so powerful:
Honesty, Loyalty, Generosity, Kindness, Laughter, and most of all, the Magic of Friendship.
With all these elements combined, all six of them were given enough power of Equestrian magic to stop Sunset and strip her away from her demon form, thus ending her reign before it even started. If this were any other fairy tale, where the hero finally defeated the all-powerful villain, Sunset’s ending would’ve happened right then and there, but instead she was offered something that she had denied herself for her entire life.
She was given a chance a redemption by the Princess of Friendship herself, and offered place among her new human friends. They were reluctant to accept Sunset at first, but where at least willing to give Twilight the benefit of the doubt to reform her, provided she actually help rebuild the school. Sunset actually caused quite a lot of damage in her brief reign to go unnoticed by the authorities, but like I said, people here don’t ask a lot of questions.
With her mission completed, Twilight Sparkle and Spike returned back to Equestria just before the portal closed, and the Element of Harmony was now rested with its rightful owner. Now Sunset resides in this world, trying to make amends for all the harm that she’s caused. But this time, she’s no longer alone, and now has a new group of friends willing to push her in the right direction.
“I guess there’s a bit of a lesson to be learned here EDNA,” the Storyteller concluded his story, “If you fight someone with empathy and compassion instead of violence, an old enemy can become a new friend. Wish that kind of thinking was applied more often, cause it wouldn’t have gotten Sunset far in any other world. If she ended up in the Wasteland for example, she probably would’ve been shot on sight, or worse, found herself on the wrong end of a dissection table by the Commonwealth. She was really lucky she found a place she could even be given the chance at forgiveness.”
With the Storyteller’s fable concluded, EDNA once again beeped a series of questioning beeps.
“What? Oh no EDNA, Sunset’s story doesn’t end there, not by a long shot,” The Storyteller elaborated, “and this certainly wasn’t going to be the last time that Sunset or this school encountered any other problems from Equestria."
In fact, Sunset would later discover that she wasn’t the first native of Equestria to come to this world, but actually the fourth. A trio of Dazzlings whose own efforts of world domination would test Sunset’s mettle of friendship, and determine if she was really set on reforming herself for the better.
The Storyteller then approached one of the many bulletin boards covered completely with posters of “Camp Everfree”. After sifting through all the pinned up papers, the Storyteller then pulled out underneath a rather old and crinkled-looking poster that had seen better days. On it was the title of “CHS Musical Showcase” in big bolded lettering, with a large green guitar in the center surrounded by a menagerie of musical notes and symbols.
But plastered over the guitar was a cutout of another poster, and printed in a very spiky and punk-like font with dark coloring were the words: “BATTLE OF THE BANDS” .
“But THAT, is a story for another day…”