The Defectors all stomped down the road with their hands bunched up into fists, with the winged ones flying overhead. With the magic now welling up inside of them, they felt like using their new power more than ever. And their first target would be the school that robbed them of everything that made them what they were: Canterlot High.
Starlight and Blueblood pointed towards a bus that was driving down the road towards them, and the Defectors with horns fired bolts of magic that hit the bus head-on, causing it to flip right over the uniformed students and into the reach of the ones with wings, who swiftly kicked it all at once into a skyscraper, causing it to crash.
"Starlight, if I may speak?" Red Letter walked forward from the group.
"You may, Red Letter," she said.
"Do not forget that the Rainbooms are probably nestled up in Canterlot High along with those other maggots." Red Letter crossed his arms, but still kept a steady pace. "For a total victory, we must destroy them along with the school."
"Don't be stupid, Red Letter. You know full well what Sunset Shimmer and her friends are capable of," Blueblood replied before he pointed at a nearby market stall, causing the Defectors to open fire once again, sending the vendor and the customer flying as well. "If you try to invoke them to use the Magic of Friendship against us, then it will prove catastrophic to our revenge."
"So are we just going to let them keep Canterlot High safe?" Red raised his eyebrows.
"No, but at the same time, we're not going let them stay at that eyesore of a high school." Starlight scratched her chin for a few seconds before an idea struck her. She raised a finger with a gasp and said. "I've got it!"
"What is it, Starlight?" A female Defector asked from behind her.
"We will continue our assault on Canterlot High as planned, while Red Letter goes off and battles the Rainbooms by himself," said Starlight, grinning deviously. "Without those girls at that school, we can bulldoze it without any problems."
"But are you really sure that Red Letter can handle this?" A second female Defector said. "He is going up against six girls—twelve if you include the Shadowbolts."
"I have a black belt in every martial art on this earth. Karate, kung-fu, jiu-jitsu, judo—you name it, I've mastered it." Red Letter leapt in front of the group and watched as Starlight and Blueblood pointed at more objects. Instead of them being destroyed, however, they wre flung at Red, who swiftly punched and kicked them all against other buildings. "Facing six petulant teenage girls should be no problem. And even if they get the help of those traitors, I will still snuff them all out..."
"See that you do, Red." Starlight nodded as she sent him off.
Red Letter charged ahead towards the school so that he could prepare his ambush on the Rainbooms and Shadowbolts. He leapt into the air and with a quick burst of light, his horn turned into a pair of wings, which he started to use immediately.
"This attack marks a new beginning for the humans of this world!" Starlight decreed as her army continued their march towards CHS. "With the destruction of Canterlot High School, we Defectors will provide this world with a new way of life. With the magic we've accumulated, we'll make sure that every man, woman, and child will be able to Pony-Up!
"With all of us using magic, Sunset Shimmer and her friends won't be special anymore, and the world we all live in will change for the better!" Blueblood added his own voice to the speech. "A world where work times will be cut down phenomenally, where people will be able to fly without the need for aircraft, where people can become much stronger both literally and figuratively. That is the true goal of the Defectors! To destroy any rule that stands in our way, and to bring this world further and further into the future!"
"The Canterlot High Wondercolts will be sent to the glue factory, and we'll quash any and all hopes for a rebellion from those snot-nosed brats!" Starlight continued. "Are you with me?!"
"YES, QUEEN STARLIGHT!" The Defectors yelled in perfect unison with each other.
"Are we going to let the Rainbooms keep us from evolving?!"
"NO, QUEEN STARLIGHT!"
"Then let's turn Canterlot High into rubble! Let's make sure nothing stands! Let's burn this blight out of the world and our minds forever!" Starlight raised her right arm into the air.
The Defectors cheered and clamoured, raising their arm fists in agreement as their march continued towards Canterlot High.
As the Rainbooms and Shadowbolts ran through the streets with their hearts pounding rapidly, they began to notice a bunch of objects being launched into the air. As every object flew up and smashed into the nearby skyscrapers, a muted crash echoed in their ears, and then another one when the objects landed back on the ground.
"Sweet mother of..." Lemon Zest took off her headphones as she watched the chaos unfurl.
"They're insane!" Rainbow Dash, Indigo Zap, and Sour Sweet all spoke at the same time before they took quick glances at each other.
Suddenly, Sunset began to feel a burning pain in her chest, and she abruptly stopped in the middle of the street at she clutched where she felt the pain. She let out a small groan as she knelt down onto the ground gritted her teeth, the sensation getting worse and worse by the second.
"Sunset! What's wrong?!" Fluttershy asked as she watched her friend begin to squirm.
"I feel... pain." Sunset slowly began to stand up, the burning still inside of her, but beginning to dissipate. "The Magic of Friendship is crying, and the Defectors are to blame."
"How are you the only one who feels this, Sunset?" Rarity raised her left eyebrow. "If we all have the Magic of Friendship, then shouldn't it make all of us writhe in agony?"
"I don't really know, Rarity. It just sort of happened out of nowhere..." Sunset wobbled, but finally managed to stand upright once again. "But I know the sensation felt all too real, like the magic isn't just some energy anymore. It's a sentient being, and the Defectors are abusing it for their own evil ways."
"But how can manage be a living thing?" Sugarcoat asked.
"I'm not sure, Sugarcoat. But I have noticed that every time a new threat has come up, the Magic of Friendship has been evolving bit by bit." Sunset brushed off her skirt as the pain finally vanished. "When the Fall Formal happened, it came out because Twilight and her friends were together, and their bond was all that was needed to do it. At the Battle of the Bands, the Magic of Friendship could be called by playing a musical instrument that reflected our tastes. And back at the Friendship Games, it could be called simply because we were showing the truest part of ourselves," she said. "But now that the Defectors have weaponized it, it's taking a new form, and I can already feel it pushing to the surface..."
All of a sudden, Sunset Shimmer began to glow radiantly. Under normal circumstances, she would have performed a usual Pony-Up, but this time, it was something entirely different. She was lifted off of the ground, and the amber light eventually turned white as snow, and multi-coloured beams emanated off of her, striking each of her friends and the Shadowbolts.
When the beams died down, all of the other girls began to shine and were lifted off of the ground. Their glows also changed to a bright white, and after a few seconds of airtime, a massive white blast of light consumed the twelve of them.
The Rainbooms all had their Pony-Ups as usual, however, each of them was accompanied by a rainbow streak of light which danced around them, changing their clothes entirely. They went from their casual attire, into suits of armour with plates lavished with their skin colours, their Cutie Marks on their backs, and the rest of their armour being the colours of their hairs. Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy spawned pairs of wings, but for the first time, Rarity and Sunset Shimmer grew a horn out of their foreheads.
The Shadowbolts underwent the same transformations. Pony ears popped up out of their heads, their hairs grew longer, and vibrant tails appeared out of their backsides. They were also given suits of armour with their marks and colours. Twilight and Sugarcoat grew horns, while Indigo Zap and Lemon Zest earned pairs of wings, leaving Sunny Flare and Sour Sweet with just the ears and tails.
When the light died down, Sunset Shimmer opened her eyes and looked down at her new armour. She examined each and every piece before she smiled and looked at her friends, who were doing the same.
"Armour?" Rarity felt the white plating on her suit. "A bit unorthodox, but I cannot deny that this makes me look rather radiant."
"Yeah! You're a white knight, Rarity!" Pinkie Pie bounced up, hearing her new suit clanking as she did. "And I'm like a pink knight, making Dashie a blue knight, and Fluttershy a yellow knight, and Applejack an orange knight! Ooh! We should have a catchy new name for this thing, like maybe Friendship Armour, or Super-Duper Defence! Or maybe even—"
"We get the idea, Pinkie Pie." Applejack put her hand over Pinkie' mouth, silencing her instantaneously. "But I gotta agree with Rarity on this. This is weird."
"Tell me about it. I can fly!" Lemon slapped her headphones back on, cranked up the volume to maximum, and flew into the air to try dancing while flying. She pulled some unique movements that she could never do on land, and she eventually ended with a swift somersault before landing on the ground again.
"Alright, that's not something you see everyday..." Rainbow Dash looked at the Shadowbolts after their transformation. It was the first time ever that she'd someone who wasn't one of her friends Pony-Up.
"A horn?" Sugarcoat looked at her new appendage and gently rubbed it. "What use does this serve?"
"Back in Equestria, my home, unicorn horns were used for spellcasting," Sunset said.
"Like magic?" Twilight felt how sturdy her horn was compared to the rest of her body. She tapped the point of it briefly before she felt it light up and begin to cast a spell. "Whoa! How do I use this?" She stumbled backwards when she saw what was happening.
"Calm down, Twilight." Sunset walked over to her and laid her arm over the purple girl's shoulders. "Just think of something, and your horn will do the rest. From simple levitation, to teleportation, and even to firing lasers. Just relax, clear your mind, and focus on what you want your magic to do, and you'll do it."
"Umm... Alright." Twilight closed her eyes and pointed her horntowards a nearby piece of litter that someone was about to throw onto the ground. She envisioned the person tossing it away and her picking it up and landing it into the bin. The events unfolded exactly as she thought it would, and a magenta aura appeared around the litter. It was then guided into the slot and into the bin perfectly. She opened her eyes again and smiled, knowing that she had done a simple good deed with her new horn.
"You're a natural, Twilight." Sunset patted her on the back. "And you're only going to get better."
"Thanks, Sunset," Twilight smiled.
"Interesting..." Sugarcoat walked into the middle of Sunset Shimmer and Twilight and adjusted her glasses once again. "So this magic grants us levitation?"
"Not just that, Sugarcoat." Sunset pulled out her book to contact the Twilight Sparkle of Equestria. "Magic back home has a number of different uses, not just picking something up with your mind. It can make you fly, it can change things into other things, heck, it can even make a person older or younger if they really concentrated."
"So it's basically an all-purpose tool?" Sugarcoat raised her brows.
"You could say that..."
All of a sudden, Red Letter flew overhead before his wings turned back into a simple unicorn horn. He did four rolls as he fell before he landed on the ground fist-first, causing a small earthquake to hit the girls and make them collapse on top of each other. He stood back up, let the magic subside, cleaned away the dirt from his landing, and cracked his knuckles.
"Red Letter!" Sunset exclaimed as she stood up again and stood in a battle-ready position.
"So, you girls decided to don some armour for our battle?" Red looked at how each of the girls was dressed. "How fitting, since this battle would've left you broken beyond repair without it. Now that you have it, though, this should be much more interesting..."
"You kidding me?" Indigo Zap began to laugh. "It's twelve-on-one, Red. There's no way you'll beat us!"
"Have you not yet learned to hold your tongue, miss Zap?!" Red's horn glowed, firing a bolt at Indigo's face, sending her hurtling into the nearby wall. "Do not underestimate an asian exchange student—especially not one who goes to Crystal Prep Academy!"
"You alright, Indy?" Lemon Zest called back at Indigo as she fell off the wall and got back on her feet.
"Yeah, Lemon. This armour saved my hide." Indigo ran back over to the group and stood alongside the rest of the Rainbooms and Shadowbolts.
"You know, ladies, you are starting to become a thorn in Queen Starlight's side." Red Letter bent his legs and stood in a martial-arts stance before he made a kickflip that had him punch the ground again, but his horn was lit up once again. "And because of that, I will personally make sure that you are removed from the equation for good!"
Before anyone else could say anything, cracks began to appear in the air around the thirteen teenagers. They all intertwined with each other before reality shattered like glass, transporting Red Letter, the Rainbooms, and the Shadowbolts to another world.
When their trip ended, the group all found themselves in a mountainous landscape with nothing but mist below, and other mountains in the distance, with a few rope bridges connecting each of them which just hung over the mist by a tiny amount. A few cherry blossom petals fell from the sky before a massive swarm of them appeared on one of the adjacent mountains.
The pink petals where swiftly blown away, revealing Red Letter dressed in a purple robe with black belts on his arms, legs, head, and chest. The robe also had a simple purple 'S' with a wing on the back, and a golden outline—the emblem of the Crystal Prep Shadowbolts before the Friendship Games had ended.
Red Letter was entirely barefoot, and had his hands balled up into fists as he stood on one foot and took another stance. "With a legacy built by Principal Abacus Cinch, the students all followed all of the prospects of unity, uniformity, and equality." He leapt onto his other foot. "Until the Friendship Games happened, the students were happy with this way of life, including the Shadowbolts who now stand by your side."
"Times change, Red Letter! The sooner you accept that, the sooner you punks'll be gone!" Sour Sweet shouted.
"Do not deny the past, Sour Sweet. You used to laugh at all of the common people before the Games came around," he said. "Showing contempt for those with less talent, money, or other such traits beneath your own was the way Crystal Prep students have always been, as they know that there is no-one else in the country—maybe even the world, who could compare to them.
"But now you girls have this new power, the Magic of Friendship, that jeopardizes our reputation, as well as our place in the hierarchy." Red did some regular punches and kicks to warm himself up. "Because of it, Abacus Cinch was stripped away from us, and our school fell into tatters. We formed the Defectors shortly afterwards, and with the Shadowbolts by our side, we were to be unstoppable. But alas, it was not to be, was it, traitors?!"
"You Defectors act like you are the heroes, when all along, you speak madness. Madness led by a girl who lost her principal, then her friends, and is now consumed by rage!" Sunny Flare stepped forward, puffed out her chest, and threw her arms out, ready to fight.
"You have to admit, Sunny can wax poetic." Sugarcoat smirked at how pumped her friend was for their upcoming battle.
"Starlight Glimmer is busy forging a new world for us. A world where everyone can use the Magic of Friendship, where no-one is left out, where the world is better for all of us," Red said. "That is our ultimate goal. To make sure that everyone is given a chance at brandishing your power, so that no-one feels insignificant or useless. And we cannot have you all ruining it..."
"You don't understand, Red Letter." Sunset Shimmer stepped forward and perched herself on the very edge of the mountain she was standing on. "You're all fighting change, I know, but will your goal really bring you happiness?"
"What do you mean?" Red's voice lowered into a venomous tone.
"Will you truly be satisfied when Starlight Glimmer uses this magic to take over the world? To destroy everyone and anyone who's not as strong as she is? You're all believing what she says about a perfect world, when in reality, you're all nothing but her lapdogs, who'll be put down immediately after she's done making her perfect world."
"You lie. Wondercolts are known for bending the truth and making people believe there's another way. I will not be dissuaded."
"I've done it before. I've led my own army towards total conquest in the past, and all that brought me was a scar that's still here today. If I was successful back then, I would have thrown away my allies and claimed it all for myself, but it took Twilight and her friends to stop me. And now, that whole tragedy at the Fall Formal is playing out again, but Starlight Glimmer and Blueblood are leading the charge, and it'll be us who stop them!" Sunset held hands with the rest of the group, causing all of them to shine with the colours of the rainbow.
"Go ahead and try, miss Shimmer." Red Letter performed a number of gestures in rapid succession, causing asian symbols to appear around him for a split second before they all shone radiantly and disappeared, leaving him bathed in a golden glow. "You and your friends can do nothing to change fate, and that is how it's going to stay!"
Back in the human world, Starlight Glimmer and Blueblood had arrived at Canterlot High with the other Defectors behind them. The ones with horns were at the front, with the ones with wings flying high above the others.
"Defectors of Crystal Prep! Today marks the beginning of a new era!" Starlight announced as she turned back to face her followers. "With the destruction of Canterlot High School, not only will we crush Sunset Shimmer's feeble rebellion against us, but we will also take our first step into creating our glorious new world!"
"If there are any students that still walk these halls, I want you to make an example of them," Blueblood instructed. "I want you to hurt them, make them cry, diminish any hope of happiness left in their wretched souls. But most importantly, I want you to get rid of this school's principal and vice-principal, Celestia and Luna. After all, an eye for an eye. A principal for a principal."
"As for the rest of the school, I want you to use your magic, flight, and strength to tear it apart, brick by brick," Starlight continued. "Leave nothing standing. Destroy whatever you can find, even if it's the smallest banner with that eyesore of a horseshoe." She then turned her attention to the statue, which held the portal to Equestria. The damage had still not been fixed since the Friendship Games, and it was almost devoid of anything. "I'll start us off."
Starlight Glimmer charged her horn up and fired at the statue itself, causing it to crack and shudder as she poured all of her concentration into her magical outflow. As the beam intensified, the whole statue exploded into white dust and rubble, leaving the mirrors on all sides shattered beyond repair.
"Let this be known to all Wondercolts and their followers!" Starlight shouted towards the front doors of the school once the destruction had died down. "Our reputation was all that we had, and you monsters decided to take it all away from us! So now, we're going to take away everything you have, and prove that Crystal Prep was, is, and always will be the best in the country, and that nothing and no-one is going to change that!"
"For all of the things you meddlesome insects pulled at the last Friendship Games, we have decided that you are not only a liability to our hierarchy, but to the balance of this planet as well!" Blueblood spoke up. "This is the last day that you decide to make your own destinies, as your actions have landed you in the hottest water imaginable!"
"Defectors! Attack!" Starlight shouted, causing the horned students to open fire on the school, making lots and lots of cracks and holes in the walls and windows as they tore into the high school. "Bring this forsaken school to its' knees! Make these students pay for what they have done to us! End this blight, and make our world great again!"
As the horned students attacked from the front, the winged students flew in from the rooftop entryway, leaving the regular students with just ears to attack from the emergency exits behind the school. Within seconds, they had cut off all means of escape, were destroying everything in their sight, and were advancing on Celestia and Luna.
As the ground team infiltrated the school from behind, they came across a group of frenzied CHS students, who they all kicked and punched against the walls, ceiling, and ground. They continued to brutalize them until each of them started to bleed or cry visible tears. Then they moved on to the next rooms on their path.
The winged students were primarily attacking students and staff in the library by picking them up and throwing them against whatever they could find. As each and every teenager and member of staff fell to their knees and failed to get back up, they flashed a devious smirk, except for Night Glider, who showed a tiny bit of remorse as they flew off to the next room.
The ground and air teams both made it to Celestia and Luna's offices before they charged in, grabbed the women in question, and silenced them before they could even ask who they were, or call out for help. Once their targets had been subdued, they began to run out the way they had came in, so that the unicorn team could destroy the rest of CHS without harming their principals, as they knew Starlight and Blueblood would do something much more befitting for their punishments.
"Keep going! Destroy everything! It's the only way our world can be perfected!" Starlight barked orders at the horned students, who only started to cast their spells of destruction faster. She then noticed that Sugar Belle wasn't firing as fast, or was as enthralled as the others. "Sugar Belle! Why are you so down? This is what you wanted, right? To see the Wondercolts burn for what they did to us?"
"Y-Yeah. It's exactly what I want..." She stuttered as she continued to fire on the building.
"Then keep going! Work with the rest of the team, and get this place decimated within the hour!" Starlight yelled before she ran off to oversee the others.
Sugar Belle sighed and shed a single tear before she picked up the pace of her assault, firing on everything she could see. Truth be told, she didn't want to hurt anyone anymore, but as long as she was under Starlight's rules, she had to obey—or she get destroyed by the army of Defectors she now commanded.