"Starlight? Might I ask what you're planning?" Blueblood asked as she and Starlight looked at Canterlot High with a bunch of other Defectors. His partner and the queen of his group had a wicked grin on her face as she put her hands togehter. "I know that we're trying to take over Crystal Prep with everything we have, but how does CHS fit into the equation?"
"Simple." Starlight pulled out the newspaper that showed Twilight as the monster she had become during the games. "She went on and on about magic, but was ultimately trumped by Sunset Shimmer and her friends. From that, we learned of five words that call this magic to the surface: Loyalty, Honesty, Kindness, Generosity, and Laughter."
"But none of us could possibly muster up those elements now!" Blueblood threw his arms out to the side. "We've been known for multiple horrible acts at CPA, that we'd never be able to use those principles in our plan for victory, let alone use them to better the school!"
"Hush, Blueblood!" Starlight put a hand over his mouth to prevent him and his group from being discovered. "We can't use them, you're right. But I know someone who can." She pointed at a window into a room where Sunset Shimmer and her friends were all having a lesson. "Why else do we have these lockets around our necks?" She pulled out one of her uniform's head hole. It had the exact same design as the one that Twilight had used, but it had Starlight's logo in the ring instead.
"Ahh. I see," he saw the other Defectors pull out lockets of their own, with their own emblems in the ring instead of Twilight's.
"Those meddlesome cretins have fouled up CPA with their precious Magic of Friendship for long enough now," Starlight scowled under her breath. "We need to put an end to this insidious insubordination before they infect the other students into believing their gobbledygook about unity and togetherness."
"Red Letter. You, Neon, Jet Set, and Svengallop are with me. The rest are with Starlight," Blueblood gave the orders to each of the Defectors, who quickly stood by him and his partner. "Move into CHS during their break, then follow Sunset and her pitiful friends," he said. "They need to stop hogging all the magic for themselves, and let others take control for once!"
And as the bell rang, the Defectors all ran into Canterlot High, tucked their lockets back into their uniforms, then leisurely moved through the bustling crowd with fake smiles plastered onto their faces.
This is the beginning of the end, Sunset Shimmer, Starlight thought as she moved through the crowd Once we're done stealing your precious magic, we'll uncover the truth behind it, and give all of our allies a powerful upgrade. And then, once we're done with CPA, we'll extend our philosophies and our control to Canterlot High, her grin contorted maliciously as she kept on walking. And besides, I think you all looked cute in our Defector clothing. But let's see if Canterlot High uniforms will make you just as sweet as you were back then...
As Sunset Shimmer walked into the library to study for her next lesson, she couldn't help but notice that Dean Cadence was slumped against the wall with her hand on her chin. the red-haired girl was intrigued to learn what the dean had on her mnd, but knew at the same time that she had to keep on studying.
"Are you okay, Dean Cadence?" Sunset walked over towards her, putting the book back in her backpack.
"Huh? Oh, yes. I'm fine, Sunset," she sighed. "I've just got a lot on my mind right now."
"The Defectors, and how Principal Chrysalis is trying to subdue them. I know she means well, but she's treating this like it's an actual civil war, and all of the other students are constantly being dragged into the power struggles between her and Blueblood."
"Starlight and Blueblood are fighting for order and discipline, just like CPA was before the Friendship Games. But the way they're going about is entirely immoral and against everything they stand for. They're just not seeing it yet."
"It's a pity, really." Cadence stood back up and picked up a book on resolving conflicts. "There's a much better way to end fighting between two sides, even if they're so engrossed in it that they can't stop for anyone or anything else other than themselves."
"But there's the thing, Cadence. They've been brawling for almost a month now, and I think that Starlight and Blueblood are gathering more and more followers with each passing day. They're not just fighting because they feel like it, they're fighting because they believe it's the way to a better future. when in reality, they'll just be turning CPA into a dictatorship."
"But what can we do that'll get them to stop other than Chrysalis become just as heartless as Cinch was?"
"We've got some friends from Crystal Prep helping us through these dark times: Sunny Flare, Sour Sweet, Indigo Zap, Sugarcoat, and Lemon Zest. I'm sure you've heard of them?"
"Yes. They were at the top of the leaderboard during the Friendship Games applications. But I'm not sure what they've got planned for the fight against the Defectors." Cadence cocked one of her eyebrows. "Unless it's to provide more aid for the Changelings, I don't see how five of our own can possibly change things between the two fighting sides."
"They're smarter, stronger, and much more helpful than you might think," Sunset pulled out a picture that showed her friends from both CHS and CPA all smiling. "The five of them have helped us learn what we need to know about those thugs, but now we're just wondering if Chrysalis will listen to this intel and make Crystal Prep a more disciplined but fair place, without going back to the ways of the past."
"But if things go back to the way of Abacus Cinch with Chrysalis at the head of it all, it will feel like everything's gone back to normal. And that won't benefit the students in any way, shape, or form," Cadence sighed and hung her head. "I'm not sure what you've all got planned, but at this point, anything's better than going back to the time before the games."
"Don't worry. You can count on us, Dean Cadence." Sunset stood up and pulled out the book to contact Princess Twilight. "No matter what comes our way, we'll face it together as friends. We'll brave the toughest of challenges and make Crystal Prep just as friendly as Canterlot High."
"That's good to know, Sunset," Cadence also got back onto her feet and put both of her hands on the tan girl's shoulders. "I'm counting on you and your friends to save our school from the tyranny of the Defectors."
Unbeknownst to her, Starlight, Sugar Belle, Night Glider, Upper Crust, and Suri Polomare were all standing directly above them, watching down from the banisters. Their lockets vibrated, and their grins grew wider as they pulled them out of their uniforms once again. As they watched Sunset open the book, they opened up their devices in response.
And as Sunset pulled out a pen and put it down on the blank papers of the next free sheet, she felt an excruciatingly painful electric shock run through her body as the magic inside of her was being pulled out of her once more. She groaned in anguish as the Defectors absorbed the energy that flowed out, until she sprawled onto the floor and dropped both the pen and the book. Only when she had fallen did the flow of red energy stop and the females from Crystal Prep vanished out the door to the roof, shutting their lockets as they did so.
"Sunset! What happened?!" Cadence ran over and picked the groaning girl up, only to feel a slight jolt of static energy touch her fingers and cause her to stumble backwards briefly, knocking over some of the books on the shelves behind her.
"I'm not sure, Dean Cadence," her voice was very light, as if she had just suffered a beating. "But I think that we've got a problem on our hands."
"What sort of problem?"
"Look!" Sunset pointed towards the roof door, which was suddenly shut and locked. "They knew this would happen, but we didn't know that they'd come this early."
"What came this early?"
"The Defectors," Sunset cursed under her breath. "Sugarcoat and the others warned that if we didn't return to Crystal Prep, they would come to Canterlot High looking for us instead. But I still don't get why they haven't made their move against us yet."
"What did you do to make them angry?"
"We needed to get into their numbers to find out what they were fighting for, but in order to do that, we needed to don Defector clothing and have our hairstyles completely redone. We fooled everyone else, but Blueblood and Starlight came along and immediately ratted us out because they knew who we were from the get-go. Twilight had been speaking to us via earpieces, and she contacted Indigo and Lemon who set off the fire alarm to deafen them. We escaped, but Starlight was very close in catching us."
"I remember that there was a fire alarm that day, but I never would have guessed that you and your friends were the cause of it."
"We did what we had to do, Cadence," Sunset apologized. "The Defectors would have hospitalized us if we hadn't done that. And it's better to run away from a fight rather than to face it and lose."
"But even so, escaping has only angered them even more, wouldn't you agree?" Cadence tipped her hand. "Who's to say that they won't drag you back there kicking and screaming until their justice is done?"
"And yet they haven't struck yet, even though they're here already. Something's not right..."
Blueblood and his team poked out of a nearby bush and onto the soccer field of CHS. They watched as Rainbow Dash met with Applejack for a game of soccer. As the two girls got together, the five male thugs from CPA pulled out their devices and rubbed them tenderly, licking their lips as they patiently waited for the magic of the two girls to be unearthed once again.
"Tell me, something, Rainbow," Applejack said. "Why do you always call me to the soccer field instead of the rest of your team?"
"It's just that the rest of my team aren't much of a challenge now that I can Pony-Up," Rainbow sighed as she put her hands behind her head. "I'm not saying that they're bad, they're still useful, but they just can't do what I can, in a way."
"Yeah. I know how you feel, Rainbow Dash. My family always has to climb up trees to pick the apples off, when I can just Pony-Up and kick them all down into buckets. I guess that we're all just a little too powerful for our own good with this magic inside of us. It's still a great thing to have, but I feel like we're relying on it a little too much nowadays."
"When we get those ears, tails, and those wings, I just feel like nothing's a challenge anymore. We can just blitz straight through it without even breaking a sweat. Now I'm not complaining about this either, but I just want a bit of a challenge. I'm sure you understand."
"I do, and I get the feeling that this whole trouble with the Defectors might just be the challenge we're talking about." Applejack climbed up the bleachers and looked out onto the city. "Given everything that's happened at Crystal Prep, and here at Canterlot High, I imagine that those bullies are nothing like sirens, demons, or anything else otherworldly that's plagued this world. If anything, they might be the toughest hate group I've ever met."
"And then there's Starlight and Blueblood." Rainbow Dash followed Applejack up to the top and stood beside her. "Those two have a pretty strong grip on those jerks. They're gonna be the hardest to reason with, and might even try to strike us down without even letting us talk to them and convince them that there's another way."
"I'll be honest with you, Rainbow. She's gonna be the hardest nut to crack, considering she was the only one who chased after us when we deafened the Defectors. I'm not even sure that even with us and the Shadowbolts, we'll get through her and and stop the fighting from escalating."
"But we'll get through this together, Applejack. I'll make sure that we stop the fighting and that Crystal Prep changes for the better! Together, the twelve of us can overcome anything, and I'm not gonna just sit down and watch as the Defectors mess everything up!" Applejack fist-pumped, and all of a sudden, she began to glow a bright shade of blue. From there, she gained her wings, ears, extended hair, and tail.
"Well, I reckon you're right, Rainbow. We'll power through this together. You, me, our friends, and the Shadowbolts. No matter what comes our way, we'll face it together as friends!" Applejack's words also gave her a Pony-Up. In seconds, she gained her ears and tail, as well as a hair extension.
"They've called it. Go!" Blueblood whispered to the Defectors who already pulled out their lockets, held them skyward, and opened them all up. He was the last one to do so, but as soon as he did, the uniformed males all watched as blue and orange magic was drawn from the two girls, spiralling downwards and stopping once they hit the techonological framing on the inside.
From the bleachers, Rainbow and Applejack fell to their knees and groaned as the Defectors siphoned their energy and cut their Pony-Ups short. Clutching their temples in agony, the two girls could do nothing as their energy flowed right out of them and into the hands of their enemies.
"Those jerks!" Rainbow exclaimed through her cries of anguish as she watched the energy pour down the back of the bleachers and into the bush nearby. "I'm gonna give them a real pounding for this!"
"Don't, Rainbow! That'll give them an excuse to say that we're no better than them!" Applejack reached out and grabbed her friend's leg as the flow finally stopped. "Attacking someone is one thing, but if we take it without retaliating, then we're the better people, not them."
"But they just stole our magic, Applejack! You saw it, right?!"
"Yeah. I did, but now we kow how to stop them from taking the rest of it from our friends."
"How?" Rainbow Dash raised a brow as she stood back up.
"We just have to tell our friends to stop showing off the truest parts of themselves for now," Applejack explained. "This magic only comes out when we do that, but if we don't do it..."
"Then the Defectors came to CHS for nothing!" Rainbow cracked a smile as she realized where her friend was going. "Great thinking, AJ!"
"But we'd better hurry." Applejack jumped off of the bleachers and felt a shock run through her legs as she landed on the grass. She watched Rainbow Dash do the exact same thing, but without the shakiness when she touched down. "If we're not fast enough, we'll already be too late..."
As Rarity looked through her backpack to find something, she heard and felt her cell phone buzzing. She stopped what she was doing and pulled out the phone from her pocket. Turning it on, she found a message from Sunset Shimmer, and then two more from Applejack and Rainbow Dash.
At first, she was happy to see the notifications, but when she actually saw the messages for herself, a grimace swept across her face. The messages all said, "The Defectors are here. Don't Pony-Up or you'll be helping Starlight and Blueblood advance their evil plans!"
"The Defectors? Those ruffians are ditching Crystal Prep just to come after us?" Rarity questioned the messages that were on her screen before typing up her response. As she typed, she said to herself, "But why? Why would they leave their school and possibly most of their ground to the Changelings?"
Once she had finished typing her responses, she went down towards the lunch hall to meet the rest of her friends. She slung the backpack over her shoulders whilst cautiously looking back every now and again to make sure that she wasn't being followed. Each and every time she turned back and saw nothing, she couldn't help but feel more and more vulnerable.
Starlight poked out of one of the rooms Rarity passed by and curiously gazed at the locket around her neck. As she pointed it at the purple-haired girl, it began to react in ways that the old one never did. The whole ring turned purple, and when Starlight opened the locket up, a powerful pulse shot out of the room and struck the fashionista.
"What the?!" exclaimed Rarity as the pulse forced her to Pony-Up. Without warning, she was given her ears, her tail, and her extended hair; however, it was short-lived when Starlight's locket pulled it straight out of her and into the devices for her and her fellow Defectors. "You cowards! Come out and face me like proper ladies and gentlemen!" the robbed girl scowled as she watched the stream fly right into the room where the thieves were hiding.
As Starlight closed the locket, she held out a black ball and waited until Rarity got to the door. As soon as it was opened, she threw the ball down, engulfing them all in a thick cloud of smoke which made the white girl cough and splutter as the blinding fumes went into her mouth and nostrils.
The Defectors all escaped past Rarity before darting down another hallway to find another of her friends. When they were sure they had escaped her, they blended back in with the crowd of students who were moving towards the lunch hall to eat, making sure to hide their devices away under their uniforms once again.
Interesting... Starlight looked back down at her clothes and felt the locket warmly vibrating on her chest. So these devices, when calibrated correctly, can also force those brats to show their magic? she grinned once more. So we don't really need to wait for them to show off their true selves. We just have to strike them all at once with these devices. I'm even impressing myself with this plan.
Sunset, Applejack, Rarity, Twilight, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, and Pinkie Pie were all eating together in the lunch room, on the lookout for the Defectors. As they took each bite, they felt more and more unsettled as they started to eye up each of the students. For all they knew, their enemies could have disguised themselves as average students at CHS.
"I don't get it, though," Rarity spoke up after finishing another bite of her food. "Why would the Defectors abandon Crystal Prep just to come here and seek vengeance against us?"
"They're probably still angry about us being a part of their numbers, so now they're coming into our school and infiltrating our ranks, just to spite us for what happened back at CPA."
"Well, either way, when we find them, they're not only going to be reported to Celestia and Luna, but they'll also have to hear from their parents, and from Chrysalis at Crystal Prep," Rainbow's brows lowered as she put her hands on her chin. "For their actions, they'll suffer either a really long detention, or a complete expulsion. And if that's not enough, their parents are gonna be so angered that they'll ground those punks for life."
"What?!" Sunset lurched back at Rainbow's beliefs. "That'll only make them angrier, to the point where they'll relentlessly attack us and both schools with a burning passion. There's no need to anger someone further, Rainbow Dash. It's bad enough that they hate us, CPA, and CHS, but if they get so mad that they become berzerkers, then we'll be the ones to blame.
"I don't want to be responsible for making our enemies any angrier, and neither should you," she pointed towards Rainbow. "This is something that we have to resolve without provoking them, or getting their families and the law involved. I know it's tougher and longer this way, but it's the only way we can fix this problem without making it even worse."
"But at the same time, who's to say that the Defectors won't get even worse now that we've interfered in their business?" Rarity raised her finger. "Not to put a damper on things, but I have the feeling that we've made things harder for ourselves for being involved in this little conflict."
"Maybe we should just duck out and hide out for just a little longer," Fluttershy suggested. "I've heard things of the Defectors being bullies, but I don't really want to go back to CPA just to get beaten up, even if our new friends need our help that badly."
"Fluttershy. I know how you're feeling." Sunset walked over and put a hand on the timid girl's shoulder. "We're all frightened about what the Defectors are capable of, but only as friends can we stop them from being thugs and bring a new golden age to CPA."
"The one major concern I have with the Defectors is the fact that they know about the magic you girls all have, and have begun to hunt it," Twilight spoke up. "I received messages from Rainbow Dash and Applejack, as well as Rarity that the Defectors came out of nowhere and used perfect copies of the device that I had used for the Friendship Games. If they've taken their power, then that immediately makes them a major threat not just to the Changelings and CPA, but to us, Canterlot High, and even the entire world!"
"And that's why we'll beat them together, as friends. Sure, the odds are against us, but we can pull through. We've been through some pretty tough things, and we've always come out on top."
"Are you sure that it'll be enough to win this time?"
"Trust me, Twilight. This is one battle that we can't and won't lose." Sunset put her arm on the spectacled-girl's shoulder. "And as long as you have us by your side, we can do anything..."
All of a sudden, the pulse appeared again, engulfling the whole lunch room and getting everyone to turn their heads in shock as the Rainbooms magic was forced onto the surface, then immediately pulled away from them and out of the door. As the whole ordeal went on, all that the girls could do was cry out in pain as their magic was pulled out of their bodies, and Starlight and Blueblood walked in.
"Well, well, well. Isn't this a cosy little scene?" Starlight stepped into the room with Blueblood and the rest of the Defectors, who had their lockets open to contain the energy that was spilling out of the Rainbooms.
"Starlight!" Sunset, despite being in pain, was still able to violently crane her neck sideways so she could glare at her "What are you doing?!"
The purple-haired girl let out a little cackle before the rest of the magic flew into the lockets and they simply snapped shut, despite the fact that they were now bulging with energy. "I'd tell you, but I don't want to ruin the surprise!" she responded as Sunset fell to her knees. "But I will say that your time with that magic is up, and that you need to share, even if we need to steal it from you!"
"Starlight! Stop this!" Twilight ran over and got onto her knees. "You don't know what you're getting yourself into! I've been down this exact same road, and it only led to destruction and ruin!" she poured her heart out, causing the queen of the Defectors to raise a brow briefly. "Please. Just stop this. There's a better way..."
"You're right, Twilight. There is," Starlight spoke mellifluously as she put one of her fingers on her former friend's chin and looked her in the eyes with a smile devoid of happiness. "What happened back at the games was a slight blemish on the formula. Because it wasn't studied, it went berzerk and enveloped you," she said. "We will not make the same mistake that she did. We are going to take this back to CPA, study it, and then unleash it upon you, your miserable friends, and those irksome Shadowbolts that have plagued us for so long!" She threw Twilight to the ground and ran out the door with the other Defectors.
"Stop!" Sunset got to her feet and ran after Starlight, Blueblood, and the Defectors, with her friends close behind. Bolting out of the door, she careened down the corridors to try and keep up with the uniformed bandits.
"You've been flaunting this magic thing for long enough now!" Starlight shouted back as she pointed at other students, prompting the Defectors to throw them at the ground to try and trip Sunset up. "It's time that we use your stuff for once!"
Sunset leaped over the felled students like hurdles, desperate to chase after the bullies who had stolen the magic from her and her friends. With each and every leap, she closed the gap on the Defectors, but they just threw more and more down in the hopes that they would catch her off-guard.
"Stop this! These students didn't do anything wrong!" Fluttershy charged in a fit of rage over the students in an attempt to catch up with the Crystal Prep thugs who had tossed her classmates to the ground. "You have no right to attack them!"
"And you had no right to strip Crystal Prep of its cornerstone!" Red Letter scorned back. "You had no right to eliminate Cinch, but you did anyway! We will never forgive you miserable maggots for the downfall of our society of order and discipline!"
"I'll never give in to your cold and heartless ways, or let you steal what rightfully belongs to us!" Rainbow Dash cried out for blood as she finally closed the gap just as the Defectors made it out to the portal. Lunging forward, she tackled Starlight Glimmer and Blueblood, before she was thrown straight into her friends by Red Letter, Svengallop, Neon Lights, Jet Set, and Upper Crust.
Starlight growled as she picked herself back up. "Why must you irksome children continue to be thorns in our side?!" she screamed at the Rainbooms, who were all ready for a fight with her. "What do you hate about order, discipline, and authority?!"
"See, that's the thing, Starlight." Twilight stepped forward. "True authority and control doesn't come from being a bully, or a power-crazed tyrant seeking revenge," she said. "It comes from hard work, devotion, and proof that someone can lead people with strict rules. Chrysalis might not be the same as Cinch, but she's trying her best to steer Crystal Prep towards a better tomorrow," her brows lowered and she balled her hands into fists. "So I think the question here is why are you fighting against the very order you want?"
"That witch who sits on the chair now knows nothing about how to truly maintain dominance over a school," Blueblood spoke up. "The strong and smart must thrive, leaving the stupid and meek to be swept away. That is the nature of order and authority. It is the only way Crystal Prep has ever known. And to see it become a school with common students, with common tastes, and differentiating clothing, is utter poppycock!"
"Crystal Prep must be led orderly, otherwise it loses repuation, and becomes just as commonplace as CHS or any other school," Red Letter went on. "Don't you infants see now? We are saving this school from crumbling, not letting it return to being cold-hearted and malicious like you might think!"
"And if stealing your magic and having to use it as a last resort is an option, then so be it." Starlight clicked her fingers, causing the Defectors to encircle the Rainbooms and cut off their chance to prevent her escape. "This parade of namby-pamby nonsense involving friendship and magic has to stop. We will beat those nonsense philosophies out of you, even if it means having to break each and every bone in your bodies to do it!"
She clicked her finger, and the Defectors uttered a battle cry before dogpiling on the Rainbooms. The uniformed students all began to punch, kick, and generally hurt the seven girls without hesitance, qualms, or remorse. In fact, wicked smiles and laughter rose up as they watched the girls all suffer and cry with each and every attack.
"Friendship is Magic? Please," Jet Set taunted as he punched a sobbing Rarity once again. "If it's so magical, then why is it letting you girls all get beaten up?"
"You don't hold a candle to us, you insufferable excuses for high-school students!" Svengallop dealt a dropkick to Rainbow Dash's stomach. "You hold no place in this world, and your magic belongs to us if you cannot use it to save yourselves!"
"The famous Sunset Shimmer, reduced to nothing more than a sobbing mass of flesh and bone." Red Letter used a number of martial arts attacks, striking the fiery-haired girl in all of her sensitive spots, causing her to tumble to the ground like a ragdoll. "Honestly, any Defector could easily kick your butt with how weakly you're resisting us."
The fighting got so bad that every student from CHS ran out just to see the spectacle. From the sidelines, they could only watch as the uniformed Crystal Preppers punched, kicked, and threw the girls around like punching bags. Some of them had their phones out, whilst the rest looked on with their mouths agape or with some of them hiding behind bigger ones.
"THAT'S ENOUGH!" Celestia's voice boomed from the front door as she, Luna, and Cadence all walked out to see the Defectors beat up the Rainbooms, whilst Starlight and Blueblood had already left the scene. With her hands balled up into fists, she approached the fighting students and immediately got them to stop by pulling them off. "What in the name of Tartarus is going on here?!"
"Your school is weak, weak and pathetic, just like the irksome Rainbooms that you have as the cornerstone!" Red Letter spat in Celestia's eye. "The Defectors will rise, and if you and your pathetic students ever mess in the affairs of Crystal Prep ever again, I will personally put you, your moronic sister, and our cowardly dean straight into the morgue!"
"I've heard enough, Red Letter." Cadence pulled out her phone and dialled in a number. "You have obviously let this silly little nonsense go directly to your head. I'm stopping this before it gets out of control!"
"No you—" before he cold even get close to her, Celestia and Luna looked down at the rest of the Defectors as fiercly as they could "—won't."
"9-1-1, what's the nature of your emergency?" the voice came from the other side of the phone.
"Students at Canterlot High have just been beaten up within an inch of their lives by students from Crystal Prep," Cadence spoke to the operator on the other end of the line. "Get in touch with Principal Chrysalis and put the whole area on lockdown, whilst adding to the disciplinarian team we already have there—"
"Give me that!" Svengallop ripped the phone out of Cadence's hands. "Your time is at an end, wretched scum! The Defectors will rule this miserable town, starting with the tarnished Crystal Prep that was supposed to be Cinch's from the beginning to end!"
"Sir. Please calm down," the voice said.
"Why don't you just take a hike, you pieces of trash?!" Jet Set added. "Your teams will never stop the fighting at Crystal Prep, not for as long as we live and breathe!"
"LONG LIVE THE DEFECTORS!" They all shouted before throwing the phone back to Cadence and running off into the distance, throwing their fists into the air as they followed Starlight and Blueblood.
"Miss, your situation has been verified, and we have now dispatched teams to Crystal Prep," the voice spoke to Cadence once the Defectors had all left. "If there is battling going on, rest assured that the police department will finally break up the conflict between the two sides."
"Thank you. Have a nice day," Cadence said.
"You too, miss," the voice hung up.
"Are you alright?" Flash helped Sunset get back onto her feet, whilst the rest of the students aided in getting the rest of the Rainbooms up. "Did they break anything?"
"Nothing physical, but I think they broke our wills to keep going," Sunset winced as she felt the pain running through her body once she stood back up.
"I'm guessing that those were the Defectors you've told us about?" Luna came over and helped Twilight stand back up, watching the spectacled girl wobble before propping herself against the wall. "You said they were bad, but I never expected that they were that bad."
"What's going on?" Rainbow Dash asked when everyone else was finally helped up and students begun tending to their wounds.
"Don't worry, Rainbow Dash. It's all been taken care of," Celestia pulled the girl into a little hug. "Those bullies are long gone, and they won't ever be coming back."
"In case it was a little hazy, we've ordered a state of emergency from CPA," Cadence helped Fluttershy with her concussion before giving her bandages where the Defectors had bruised and cut her. "Now, in addition to the Changelings, we've got the town's police department working full time. If any more activity rises from those brutes, then they'll be going straight to prison."
"What?! N-no!" Sunset stumbled towards the dean of CPA, but found it to be a hard chore with the pain in both of her legs. "You said that it was all in the hands of me and my friends to stop this!"
"Yes. I know I said that, but given the recent circumstances, it's safe to say that you and your friends from Crystal Prep are now in grave danger." Cadence aided Sunset over to the stairs and let her sit down. "By putting yourself into the crosshairs, you provoked then, and now we're having to double our security, maybe even triple it, in the hopes that this rebellion is finally put to an end."
"This is all our fault. We shouldn't have gotten involved in this. We should have just stayed at CHS and gotten on with our work than get tangled up in Crystal Prep affairs once again."
"It's not your fault that this happened, Sunset."
"Yes it is!" Sunset cried out as she threw her arms out. "We promised those Shadowbolts that this could be resolved without drastic measures. But now that the police have to get involved, things could very well be impossible to fix between the students there," she sighed and hung her head. "We've let them all down in the worst possible way, and now they're probably going to hate us once again for it."
"Well, there's only one thing you can do now, Sunset." Cadence helped her to dry away the tears whilst the other students took the rest of the Rainbooms towards the nurse's office. "You need to call up your friends and tell them that you tried, but failed. At the very least, they'll understand you for at least trying."
Sunset sniffled, but she knew that what Cadence was saying was right. Reluctantly, she pulled out the phone, went to her contacts, and chose Indigo Zap's number. She hit the call button, and the number was speed-dialed. A few rings came from the phone until a connection was finally established.
"What's up, Sunset?" Indigo's voice came from the other side.
"Indigo? Can you put your phone on speaker and get the rest of your friends?" Sunset asked.
"Oh no... I know that voice anywhere," Indigo's voice went sombre. "What happened?"
"The Defectors came, and they not only stole our magic in much more advanced ways, but they threw down the other students to try and trip us up," she explained perfectly. "We tried our best to stop them, but Starlight and Blueblood ordered her allies to beat us all within inches of our lives. It attracted the attention of the rest of the school, and Cadence decided that that was the last straw."
"So, what's gonna happen now, Sunset?" Sour Sweet's voice came through, sounding genuinely friendly.
"Prepare to see a lot of people from Canterlot PD in a moment, because Cadence called up 9-1-1, and the Defectors declared war on them," Sunset choked up before she finally let out some tears. "If you're all angry with me and my friends for this, then that's understandable..." she sniffled once more, until she finally put her head in her knees and began to cry. "I'm so sorry! We tried to make things better, but not they're just gonna get worse!"
"Hey, hey, hey... Don't feel sad, Sunset," Sunny Flare's voice came through next. "You tried your best, and that's all that matters."
"But our best wasn't good enough, and now things are gonna be settled in ways that no-one wants!" Sunset's tears had been reduced slightly, but not to the point where she felt better.
"We're not angry with you, Sunset," Sugarcoat's voice was next on the phone. "If anything, we knew this would happen sooner or later, and we're sorry that it happened to you today of all days."
"Y-you're not upset?" Sunset's tears were reduced considerably.
"No. If anything, it's much more interesting now that the stakes have been upped," Indigo's voice sounded smug. "Now we've just gotta stop this before the cops. A true contest, don't you agree?"
"Don't let a simple beatdown stop you from being who you truly are, Sunset Shimmer. The same goes for the rest of your friends," Sugarcoat's voice came back. "If anything, you should use this occurrence to bolster your morale and work harder and harder to save Crystal Prep."
"R-really?" Sunset was almost dry-eyed
"Yes," Indigo's voice came back. "We've all had moments where we lost, both at the games and away from it. But that just kept us going to become better and better than ever," she said. "So don't let those jerks in uniform push you around. Rather, you need to make sure that you stop them from hurting others after what's just happened."
"We're not cross, upset, or let down by you or your friends at all, Sunset," Sour's voice came back. "Don't ever let those brutes keep you or your friends down. Just strive to end this conflict, and do Crystal Prep justice."
"Th-thank you, girls," Sunset's voice was still quiverish, but she was glad that she hadn't been yelled at, or that her friendship between the Shadowbolts was over. She shook off the last of her depression and put on a small grin. "And you're right. We do need to stop this, and we need to stop this as soon as possible."
"But how?" Cadence asked
"I think I might have an idea..." Sunset stood back up and scratched her chin with two of her fingers.
"Well, whatever you come up with, we'll be ready to hear it," Sugarcoat took over once again. "We'd love to continue talking with you, but our next class is in a few minutes."
"Catch you later, Sunset!" Indigo and Lemon both spoke almost together.
"You too." Sunset finished before she hung up and put the phone away. As soon as she did, she groaned and face-palmed. "What are we getting ourselves into?"