Sonata Dusk yawned sleepily and shifted on the comfortable, padded beach chair she lay upon. Clad in a magenta bikini, she was on her third straight day of sunbathing on the beach at Canterlittle. It was the off season, so there weren't many people around; Adagio and Aria had used the last of their savings to buy a small snack shack on the beach, which also doubled as their home. With things quiet as they were right now, Aria was off surfing while Adagio was sleeping off her morning bottle of vodka.
Sonata frowned. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea for Adagio to spend half the day wasted...she'd heard somewhere that that stuff was bad for your liver. She made a mental note to talk to Adagio about it later as she closed her eyes and settled in for a nice, long nap in the sun...
A shadow fell over Sonata.
"I hereby subjugate you-geso! You will help me invade and conquer the surface world or I will kill you for the glory of the sea de geso!"
Sonata blinked and looked up.
A young girl in a white dress, short boots, and a pointed white hat stood over her. Her long blue hair was pulled into ten separate ponytails.
One of those ponytails rose up of its own accord and poked Sonata menacingly in the chest, right above her heart.
"Serve me or be the first of many humans to die-geso!"
Sonata frowned. "Can I finish my nap first? I'm too comfortable to move and the sun and wind feel nice today."
The girl considered that.
She then flopped down on the sand beside Sonata.
* * * * *
Once Rarity and Tenten had eaten their fill, they left for Carousel Boutique in Rarity's car. As Rarity instructed Tenten on the use of the safety belt and started the engine, she glanced aside at her passenger. "Err...not to be indelicate, darling, but do those garments have any...material substance? I mean to say..." She blushed faintly. "Are you in fact sitting naked in the seat?"
Tenten grimaced. "Yes and no," she said. "It's tricky to explain. It's not really something you can understand if you're not a ninja." She smiled sheepishly. "If it helps, I was just getting out of the bath when I ended up here?"
Rarity sighed and backed the car out of her parking space, driving out of the parking lot and onto the street, keeping the speed low.
"Something like this must be really convenient," Tenten said. "I've been on trains and ships before, but we don't have anything you can just...drive around on the street like this!"
Rarity smiled. "I just got my license two weeks ago," she said. "It's ever so lovely not to have to walk everywhere all the time."
"I can imagine," Tenten said, laughing. "I guess it helps that you have these nice wide paved roads. I've heard of paved roads, but I've never actually seen one until now."
Tenten shrugged. "Where I'm from, you walk everywhere. Well, farmers have horses and donkeys for heavier loads, and rich people use horses and palanquins. Everyone else..." She shrugged. "Anywhere you can't walk or run to, you take a ship or a train. So pretty much all the roads are dirt or gravel roads." She frowned. "Which, now that I think about it, is pretty weird. I mean, it's not like we couldn't pave the roads. I mean, if we can run electricity to every building in Konoha and carve the Hokage's face into the side of the mountain, surely we could manage to pave the roads."
They arrived at the boutique; Rarity gently parallel-parked. As soon as they got out of the car, Tenten fidgeted. "Anou...do you mind if I use your restroom for a few minutes?"
Rarity nodded. "Of course. It's just upstairs on the left."
"Thank you," Tenten said. As soon as Rarity had the doors open, Tenten headed upstairs, while Rarity headed for the discounted pants section and began rummaging.
* * * * *
Ever since Sunset and Starlight had headed inside the school with Sci-Twi, Pinkie had been watching the door with a frown.
"Pinkie Pie? What's troubling you?" Celestia asked.
Pinkie shook her head. "I'm not sure," she said. "Something about that pony bothers me. Like...there's a reason I shouldn't trust her, or maybe she's dangerous."
"Now that's jes' silly talk," Applejack said. "She's one'a Twilight's friends!"
"I guess," Pinkie said slowly. "Still, I've got this niggly little itch under my left boob that tells me we need to watch that one."
Miles nearly choked on his soda. "Uhh...what now?"
Rainbow groaned. "Pinkie," she said, "don't say stuff like that when there's guys around!"
"What?" Pinkie whined. "I'm just talking about my Pinkie Sense!"
Miles blinked. "Pinkie Sense?" He looked at Pinkie with interest. "I have a Spider Sense, I wonder if it's the same thing?"
"Spider Sense?" Trunks wondered.
"Ah don't think it's th' same," Applejack said in a bored tone. "Pinkie here jes' gets these random little itches, twitches, shudders, an' aches from time t' time. Like, if her left shoulder aches an' she sneezes twice, you better grab an umbrella, 'cuz it's dang sure fixin' t' rain."
"Interesting," X said. "Usually stories of humans possessing precognitive abilities are difficult to explain or prove."
"Once you've been around Pinkie Pie long enough, you know her Pinkie Sense is for real, even if you can't explain it," Fluttershy said. She grimaced. "I found out the hard way when I fell down an open manhole."
Trunks frowned. "So you don't trust this Starlight Glimmer, then?"
Pinkie shrugged. "I don't know," she said. "I just get the feeling I shouldn't. Like..." She frowned. "Like maybe the other Pinkie Pie doesn't totally trust her because she did something that was very unsmile."
A pause followed that statement.
Pinkie blinked. "'Unsmile'? That was a weird thing for me to say."
* * * * *
When Tenten returned, her face was a bit flushed, and she was holding a small, slim lacquered wooden tube in her hand that looked to have just been polished. "Is there anywhere I can stock up on ninja tools in this world?" she asked. "I hate only having my emergency backups, especially since I can't store very much with this scroll."
Rarity blinked. "Where...exactly were you keeping that?"
Tenten looked to the side, her cheeks puffing out. "Where do you think?"
Rarity turned faintly green. "Gah."
"Well, after all!" Tenten cried. "I'm good at one thing and that's using ninja weapons! I have to keep some in reserve that I only use when I'm really desperate!"
"You...had that...in your—"
"Can we get back to the whole clothes thing?" Tenten asked, her face burning.
"Y-yes, of course," Rarity said, shaking herself. "And, err...I'm sorry, but I don't really know of any place that carries, erm...ninja tools."
Tenten deflated. "Wonderful."
Rarity offered a pained, sickly smile. "Sorry, darling, it's just...ninjas aren't really a thing here, generally speaking. Now, I've got some lovely selections for you..."
* * * * *
"So you're saying this reality is being torn apart by some chaos artifact of doom, other realities are interacting with it, and you can't stop it?"
"Pretty much," Sunset said as Sci-Twi unlocked the lab door.
"Wow," Starlight said. "That's...a story I wouldn't have even believed if I hadn't, erm..." She ducked her head and blushed. "Kinda used the Cutie Map and Starswirl's time travel spell to try to get revenge on Twilight and her friends and wound up creating a dozen or so alternate realities where Equestria was invaded, conquered, or completely destroyed."
Sci-Twi blinked. "What?"
Sunset grimaced. "Yeah, Twilight told me about that. Just so you know, while you're in this world, I don't want you using your magic without my approval unless it's an emergency."
Starlight frowned. "Excuse me? I don't remember anything about needing your permission to use my magic."
"Magic behaves differently here than it does in Equestria," Sunset said. "I've been told you have a bad habit of using way too much magical power for unnecessary things. You could make things worse than they already are, and I don't want to put my friends at risk." She leaned closer, hands on her hips. "So keep your horn to yourself unless, okay?"
Starlight rolled her eyes. "Okay, fine."
Sci-Twi opened the door to the lab. "Alright, here we go," she said.
The trio stepped inside; Starlight squinted against the glare of blinding magic emanating from the center of the room. "Whoa!"
Sunset paled. "Gah. It's getting worse."
Sci-Twi adjusted her glasses as she rushed over to the laptop running the various sensors and equipment. She frowned. "Just as I thought. The growth of the anomaly is exponential. It's neutralizing the phase space."
"It's huh the what?" Starlight asked. Sunset rolled her eyes. Starlight shook her head and moved closer, studying the object. She frowned. "You know, if I didn't know better, I'd swear this looks like one of those, erm...toys lonely mares use...to..." She trailed off, then looked at Sci-Twi, whose face was flaming, and Sunset, who was looking away sheepishly and guiltily.
Starlight blinked. "It...it is, isn't it?"
Sunset coughed. "W-well..."
Sci-Twi pushed her glasses up. "Let's see if she can get through the story without dying of embarrassment this time."
* * * * *
Sunset burst into Applejack's garage in a mad panic. A boy in blue armor was right behind her. "Girls, we have an emergency!"
Rainbow stopped in mid power chord; Pinkie looked up from her drums, while Rarity's fingers slowed to a halt on her keytar. Applejack plucked two more notes on her bass before falling silent. Sci-Twi moved the volume sliders on the mixing board down.
"What's up?" Rainbow asked. "We coulda used you today, y'know."
"I know, and I'm sorry, but I was..." Sunset cringed. "I needed to..." She stopped again, then shook her head. "Nevermind. We've got a problem!"
"Who's your new friend?" Pinkie asked. "Is he a cosplayer? He looks like a cosplayer."
"I'm X," the armored boy said. "I'm an android...sorry, but I have no clue where I am or what's going on."
"Oh my," Fluttershy said. "I see what you mean, Sunset. This boy clearly needs help."
Sunset shook her head. "N-no, X isn't the problem." She blushed, then slung off her backpack and pulled a wooden box out of it. Setting it down on Rainbow's practice amp, she opened it. A sickly greenish-yellow glow filled the garage.
The girls moved closer. "Don't tell me it's more Equestrian magic gone wild," Rainbow groaned.
"I'm...not sure what it is, but—"
Applejack raised an eyebrow. "I'm pretty dang sure it's a dildo," she said.
"Oh my," Fluttershy whispered, her cheeks turning pink.
Rarity blinked. "Sunset. Darling. What you choose to do in your...ahem...alone time is your own business, of course, but..." She coughed. "It doesn't seem to me that having something like...that...inside your body would be, erm, healthy."
"Yeah, it kinda looks radioactive," Pinkie interjected.
Sunset's blush deepened. "Look, it only just started doing this, okay? I mean, up until today, it was just a normal...you know."
"Dildo," Rainbow said with a smirk.
Sunset groaned. "You guys, this is serious! I was...you know..." She ducked her head. "And then suddenly X was in my bedroom, and he's from another dimension! One that isn't Equestria! I don't know how he got here, or why this thing is doing what it's doing!" She let out a frustrated scream and threw her hands up.
Her right hand started glowing teal, and a basketball shot out of the corner of the garage and bounced around the room.
"Wow, Sunset," Pinkie said. "That must've been some orgasm if it broke reality!"
* * * * *
Starlight blinked twice, then burst out laughing. "Oh my gosh!" she cried. "That...that....that's too funny!"
Sunset groaned. "Yeah yeah, get it out of your system, this is serious," she said. "This thing absorbed Equestrian magic from my body, then somehow turned into a dimension-shattering..." She waved her hands.
Starlight raised an eyebrow. "Reality raper?"
Sunset's shoulders slumped. "I'm going to hate you, aren't I?"
Starlight smirked. "Okay, so...I'm guessing the main thing we'll be doing here is dealing with anything dangerous that shows up in this reality while we wait for Twilight to get back from the Crystal Mountains?"
"That's about the size of it," Sunset said.
Starlight shook her head. "And here I had to spend months stalking Twilight and her friends, steal a time travel spell from the Canterlot Archives, and corrupt a powerful magical artifact nopony even understands to break reality. Who knew it was as simple as being a dirty girl?"
* * * * *
Tenten looked at herself in the mirror, pursing her lips as she turned this way and that. She wore a tight pair of wine-colored jeans, matching flats, and a white silk blouse with the leaf emblem of Konoha embroidered near the hem in dark silver thread. "A little tight, but nice," she said.
"I'll set you up with a few more outfits off the clearance rack to wear for now," Rarity said. "As soon as I have a chance, I'll make some more...flexible pantsuits for you, something you can ninja in."
"Thanks," Tenten said. She frowned. "I feel awful about not having any money—"
"Oh, nonsense," Rarity said, waving a hand airily. "I'd never dream of charging a girl in a time of desperate need. Besides," she added, "I'm positive Sunset Shimmer will pay for it anyway, since it's largely her fault you're here." She grimaced. "Not that I'm holding that against her, I mean, it was an accident, but...oh dear."
"How exactly...did all this happen?" Tenten asked curiously.
Rarity coughed. "W-well," she said in a flustered tone, "it..." She worried at the hem of her skirt. "A lady doesn't...talk about such things, mind, but you're bound to hear about it sooner or later..." And she told Tenten, in delicate and discrete terms, exactly how Sunset Shimmer broke reality.
Tenten's face turned a violent mix of purple and green. "I am never touching myself ever again," she moaned woozily.
"It's funny," Rarity said, "I was just thinking quite the opposite earlier..." She blushed. "Or perhaps...being touched..." She ducked her head, a silly smile blooming across her face.
"Eh?" Tenten frowned. Her eyes widened. "Oh! That boy Trunks?" She smiled. "He is pretty cute..." Both girls giggled.
* * * * *
"Oy, Sonata. Wake up."
Before Sonata could open her eyes, she felt a sharp kick to her ribs. "Ow!" she complained, sitting up. "I'm up, I'm up! Why'd you kick me, Aria?"
"Because you're the worst," Aria said, scowling down at her. She tilted her head at the young girl sleeping beside Sonata. "So what's going on here?"
"Oh, that's..." Sonata frowned, tilting her head. "Actually, I never got her name."
The girl began mumbling. "Gesogesogeso," she muttered. Her hair-tentacles wriggled and stretched out, planting themselves in the sand; she slowly lifted herself into a sitting position, yawning mightily.
Aria took a step back. "What the fuck?!"
The girl opened her eyes, looked around, and bristled. "AH! Humans! I'll never let you grill me-geso!" She shot to her feet; her tentacles immediately wrapped tightly around Sonata and Aria, binding them. They struggled against her grip, but her tentacles were too strong.
"What the hell? Is this some kind of perverted tentacle anime?" Aria growled.
"Don't rape us!" Sonata whined. "We weren't gonna do anything bad to those high school kids! Just feed on them and make them our slaves! I promise!"
The tentacle girl blinked. "Slaves?" She tilted her head. "You've conquered humans before-geso?"
"Well, we tried to," Aria grunted, squirming. "Could you maybe...?"
The tentacles unwrapped and set them down. Aria rubbed her arms, wincing.
The girl stared at them with the intensity of a hundred wet rubber chickens. "You could be useful-geso," she decided. "I've decided to use your home as my base-geso. You're going to help me conquer the humans and punish them-geso!"
Aria blinked, then shrugged. "Sure, why not. Just one thing. Who, or what, are you?"
The girl laughed a snotty, conceited laugh, hands on her hips and eyes closed. She opened her eyes and smiled cockily at her new underlings. "Ikamusume de geso!"
* * * * *
Rarity and Tenten returned to the high school to find the pizza party winding down, and the girls playing with a strange orange-brown mouse.
"You're such a cutie, yes you are!" Fluttershy cooed as she lifted the overly large mouse up to her face and nuzzled it.
"Denene?" it said, its eyes shining brightly. Giggling, Fluttershy offered it a morsel of sausage, which it ate happily. "Dedenne!" it cheered.
"Hey guys," Rainbow called, waving.
"Ah, that's a cute pet!" Tenten said, rushing over to examine the mouse. "I've never seen anything like it!"
"Neither have I," Fluttershy said. "Be careful, it's...it's a little bit electric."
"Electric?" Tenten asked, blinking.
Rainbow prodded the rodent's cheek with a twig. It sparked. "Denenene!" it barked at her.
"Stop that," Fluttershy chided, petting the mouse and scratching its ears. It curled up in a ball and cooed happily.
The bushes rustled, and a creature bounced out. It looked like a large, fat raindrop made of blue gelatin, round with a long, tapered stem on top that wobbled and wiggled as it bounced in place. It regarded them with comically wide, round eyes and a big, silly smile.
"GET BACK HERE-NYAN!" A red-and-white cat with two tails ending in blue flames, wearing a belled collar and a broad yellow sash around its waist, bounded out of the bushes, walking on two legs. "PAWS OF FURY!" It flailed away at the blue gelatin creature, sending it flying across the courtyard.
The girls, Miles, Trunks, and X watched in stunned silence.
"Okay, this is officially getting weird now," Miles said.
"Denene," Fluttershy's new pet agreed.
Sunset, Starlight, and Sci-Twi emerged from the school. "It just flared," Sunset reported. "We're reading a new series of cracks in reality."
"We noticed," Rainbow snarked, pointing at the battle between the orange cat and the blue slime.
Sunset took one look, shook her head, and walked back over to the girls.
"It's getting late," Celestia said. "You should all go home and rest." She paused. "Hmm. I suppose our new guests will need...accomodations..."
"Oh, Trunks can absolutely go home with me," Rarity said, nodding rapidly.
At Trunks' flustered expression, Applejack rolled her eyes. "Ah think he'd be more comfortable out at mah place," she said. "We've got room t' stretch out, an' with Big Macintosh there, he'd have a guy t' talk to. He wouldn't feel so overwhelmed."
"I really don't want to trouble anyone," Trunks said, looking down at the table. "I don't want to impose."
"So don't," Applejack said. "We've got more'n enough chores t' do out at th' farm, if you feel like it."
Trunks smiled gratefully. "I'd be happy to," he said.
Tenten raised an eyebrow. "A farm? That must mean you've got tools, right?"
"Of course," Applejack said.
"And maybe scrap metal lying around? From broken plows and stuff?"
"Some," Applejack said, brow furrowing in confusion.
"Got room for one more?" Tenten asked hopefully. "I really, really need to make some new ninja tools since apparently there aren't any shops where I can stock up around here."
Applejack frowned, but shrugged. "Ah dunno how useful anything we got at th' farm'll be fer all that, but you're welcome t' crash in th' garage an' see whut you can come up with."
"Arigatou," Tenten said, bowing.
"I guess I can put Miles up in our guest room," Rainbow said. "I kinda wanna hear more about this world of superheroes he comes from."
"Will be returning to Equestria," Starlight said. "I'll come back through the portal first thing in the morning." She smiled. "Sorry, but I think it's best if I don't stray too far from here."
"Fair enough," Sunset said. She looked around as a few more bizarre creatures, all of which could be termed 'cute' and 'inoffensive', but none of which were native to this reality, roamed around the campus. "I guess we should let the, err...new wildlife deal with the leftovers?"
"I don't have a problem with that," Celestia said.
"I'll clean up the trash after they're done," Luna commented.
"Well...I guess that's that then," Sunset said. "Come on, X. Let's roll."
* * * * *
Adagio stared in bewilderment at the new "friend" her fellow Sirens had made. "I usually don't start seeing things like that until after a half a bottle or so," she muttered.
It was late in the evening, and Sonata had made dinner for all of them. A plate was set for Adagio, who had just stumbled out of her room half-dressed; Aria, Sonata, and the weird blue-haired girl were sitting around the table eating. The blue-haired girl was using her hair to eat, picking up utensils and her plate and her glass and even her napkin with prehensile precision.
"Hey Adagio!" Sonata called, waving. "Meet our new lord and master, Ikamusume! She's an invader from the sea, here to conquer mankind! And we've decided to help her!"
Adagio fumbled for words, then glanced at Aria. "What?"
Aria shrugged. "This weird girl with tentacles for hair showed up, nearly tentacle-raped us, then ordered us to help her take over the world. We more or less decided to roll with it."
Ikamusume laughed arrogantly. "With this house as my base and you three as my underlings, I will take revenge on the humans for polluting and destroying the ocean-geso!"
"Yeah! We're gonna kill those dirty humans who pee and poop in the sea and throw garbage in the water and all that stuff we TOTALLY don't do because we're not evil!" Sonata said cheerfully.
Adagio's mouth slowly stretched into a devious smirk. "You know," she purred, "if you truly want to get revenge on the humans, I'd start with these horrible, evil witches at Canterlot High School."
Ikamusume recoiled. "W-witches-geso?!"
"Oh, they're the worst," Adagio said. "The three of us used to be mermaids with the most beautiful singing voices until these awful witches cursed us. Now we can't sing at all and we're stuck like this."
"That's horrible-geso!" Ikamusume balled up her fists. "I'll help you make them pay-geso!"
"Perfect," Adagio purred as she sat down at the table and began salting her food. "It's decided. You can sleep in Sonata's room, and tomorrow..." She grinned evilly. "Tomorrow, we'll tell you everything you need to know about our mortal enemy, Sunset Shimmer..."
As the Sirens and their new friend ate dinner while the last light of the sun faded into deep dusk, the rippling tide carried a sound that no man, woman, or squid heard.