• Published 26th Jul 2015
  • 20,927 Views, 2,639 Comments

Oops! I'm Equine Again - MythrilMoth

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Devil's Haircut

Beck examined herself in the dingy mirror, pursing her lips and turning her head this way and that. Behind her, Belle was forlornly cleaning up a pile of copper and gold hair from the bathroom floor. In the other room, the cheap television was tuned to the cable weather, which was droning on about the expanding winter storm to the north.

"You think we overdid it?" Beck asked.

Belle frowned. "Yeah, maybe a little," she said. "I mean, you look good! You look...good..."

Beck rolled her eyes. "Belle, I'm homeless. Most of the time I don't even have clean clothes and get to shower maybe twice a week. Hair is just hair." She shook her head. "It's just...a little weird, I guess." She sighed, fingering her cut, dyed, and dried locks. "Well, guess we'd better head out. After I get dressed, I mean."

"What exactly are we planning to do?" Belle asked. "I mean, up until now, this has all been pretty vague, but now we need to get into specifics."

"Well, the way I figure it," Beck grunted as she struggled into a gray sports bra that matched the plain cotton panties she wore, "we've got two missions right now. Seeing as you basically cashed out and made a break for it, we need to get you a job down here. I mean..." She bit her lip. "This is forever, right? You...you're sure you—"

"I'll have to fill out some paperwork," Belle hedged, "but yeah. The ice storm...kinda helps? Worst case scenario, we all get rounded up and confined to the embassy." She shook her head. "In any case, like I said, you and Double Diamond are the two people I care about most in this world. You're all I have, really. Wherever you go, I go, and I'll deal with whatever comes up."

Beck smiled. "Thanks, Belle. You're an amazing friend." She tugged down on the black tank top she'd pulled on while Belle was talking, then picked up a pair of camo pants and stepped into them, pulling them up and buttoning them. She sat down on the bed and put on a thick pair of socks, then leaned back on her hands and let out a sigh. "Alright, I think you should take care of stuff like that today," she said. "Think I'm gonna head for that high school, ask around about this other Sunset Shimmer."

"Is that wise?" Belle asked, biting her lip.

Beck shrugged. "What? I'll say I'm a distant cousin or something, just trying to track down family I didn't know I had. I'm pretty sure I can sell it."

"Well...I guess..." Belle said, frowning. "But she's not there now, right?"

"Yeah, and that's why it's a good time to gather information," Beck said as she laced up a pair of army surplus combat boots. She picked up a green canvas vest and shrugged it on over her tank top, then slipped a pair of sunglasses with black plastic frames into the pocket of the vest. She stood up, running a hand through her short, slightly curly dark purple hair, and struck a pose, grinning. "How do I look?"

"Like a fighting game character," Belle said with a snicker, covering her mouth. "Seriously, think you're overdoing it with the army punk look?"

"Hahaha. You bought these clothes, smartass." Beck stretched her arms over her head, popping her back.

"Got the phone I gave you?" Belle asked.

"Shit, right," Beck said, grabbing a prepaid flip phone off the bedside table and stuffing it into her pants pocket, then folding a small stack of money in with it. "Well, guess I'm headed out. Call me if anything comes up, alright?"

"Right back at you," Belle said. "Good luck! I hope...I hope you can start to make sense of all this."

Beck smiled, then left the hotel room.

* * * * *

Double Diamond popped the collar of the denim shirt he wore and squared his shoulders as he walked down a sidewalk on some nameless city street in a town he'd never laid eyes on in his life yet was so familiar he could practically name every smell.

He knew how the girls thought. He knew Belle would want to do things through the most legitimate, clean, hi-tech channels she could. He knew Beck would probably rush straight over to that high school and sweat answers about 'Sunset Shimmer' out of the students.

DD had his own methods, and knew that there was one place to get reliable, solid information only a seasoned, hardened street bum would think to look.

His eyes tracked a number of faded chalk markings on the bricks of walls and the slabs of sidewalks. He followed them to a dingy alley, down that alley, and all the way through a nest of alleys and side streets until he found it: a vacant building with boarded-up windows whose service entrance had been busted open. The owners clearly never bothered to check up on their property; filth and the stench of urine and old, stale booze hung around the open doorway.

DD's nose wrinkled. *Funny, places like this don't usually stink so bad. Is this what a few days of living like a regular guy does to you?* Shaking his head, he walked through the cloud of gnats hanging around the door and into the dim, dingy hall beyond.

He quickly found what he was looking for: a man sat slumped against a wall, wrapped in three layers of dingy, filthy clothes, none of which were the right size. The man's eyes were slightly glazed; a smoldering joint in his hand gave DD pause.

Drunk was good, drunk tended to be more honest and reliable, if incoherent. Stoned...that was another matter entirely.

DD walked past the stoned hobo, searching the building. He found a few sleeping bums, most of them old and grizzled. He found one man around his age who, upon turning bleary, bloodshot eyes on him, let out a feral snarl and clutched protectively to a mostly-empty bottle of gin. He backed off slowly and let him be, then continued his search.

Ultimately, it seemed like the stoner was the only one he could actually talk to without staying here a lot longer than he cared to. He returned to the room where he'd sat, finding him still swaying slightly in place and staring at nothing. He opened his mouth to speak...

"Hey-o, hobos!" a perky, peppy voice called from outside. A very energetic, peppy young woman leaned into the open door. DD could only stare at her in disbelief. She had pale tan skin and wore darker tan pants, a dark pink shirt with long white sleeves, and white sneakers. Bright blue eyes twinkled with mischief. Her two-tone hair was short in front, a deep pink color; at the back, it was white and done up in a swirly bun, held back by a sky blue bow. Colorful barrettes decorated the pink part of her hair, placed at haphazard, random angles. "Oh hey, you're new here! Nice threads. First time out on the street?"

DD shook himself. "Uhh...no," he said. "I'm..." He cleared his throat. "Actually, I'm looking for information."

The young woman blinked. "Information? That's 411 on your phone, Mr. Clean and Preppy! Or, you know, find a cop or something. Or the Internet!" She shook her head. "All you're gonna find here are some people you really don't wanna—"

DD held up a hand to stall her. "I know what I'm looking for," he said. "Unfortunately, everyone in this flop's too drunk, stoned, or gone to help."

The stoner behind him suddenly stirred. "Knew you was a street," he slurred in a raspy baritone.

The girl blink-blinked her bright blue eyes. She reassessed DD, tilting her head. "You're homeless?"

"Let's say transient for now," DD hedged. "I've been homeless for a long time but my fortunes just changed...maybe." He inclined his head. "Name's Double Diamond."

"Nice to meet you, Double D!" the girl said. "I'm Sugar Sprinkles! I bring day-olds from the pastry shop I work at by here every couple of days so these guys don't totally starve."

DD nodded. "One of my best friends is like that," he said. "Saved my butt more than a couple of times." He jammed his hands in his pockets. "Like I said, I need information. The street kind."

Sugar Sprinkles pursed her lips, then looked past DD to the stoner on the wall. "Whaddya say, Ray?"

Ray swayed a little faster, his head weaving. "Don't know what a guy gettin' out th' gutter wants back here," he said warily.

"I need to know about a girl who lives in this city, goes by the name Sunset Shimmer."

Sugar Sprinkles hummed thoughtfully. "Huh. That name sounds familiar, can't think of where..."

"Red? Yeah, few of us know about Red," Ray said. He sat up straighter, stubbing out his joint. "Whatchoo gotta do with Red?"

"I have a friend who's...sort of a relative," DD said. "We found out about her the other day and came here looking for her."

"Sheeeit," Ray drawled. "You runnin' with somebody else that came out th' Hole?"

"The Hole?" DD and Sugar Sprinkles both said.

Ray gave DD an unnerving stare for a long, uncomfortable moment. He frowned. "'Swat I thought," he said. "You a cop?"

"No, I'm not a cop. Like I said, I'm just looking for Sunset Shimmer."

Ray snorted and shook his head. "Thoughtchoo was a street, man. You walk like a street. You ain't come out no Hole, you don't know nobody came out no Hole." He rocked back and forth, pulling a baggie out of a pocket and examining it critically.

"But Sunset Shimmer came out of this...Hole?" DD pressed.

Ray looked up at him, then went back to examining his bag of marijuana. "I ain't said nothin' bout no Hole," he said. "Ain't tellin' no cop 'bout no Hole."

DD sighed. "Right," he said. He nodded to Sugar Sprinkles. "It was nice meeting you. I don't think I'll be back this way again." He shuffled past her and out into the dingy alley. He was nearly to the closest main street when Sugar Sprinkles called out from behind him. He turned to see her run up, hands on her knees.

"I just...remembered," Sugar Sprinkles huffed. "Sunset Shimmer, she's a good friend of one of my regular customers." She pulled out her phone and swiped through some photos, then presented a selfie she'd taken with a girl with bubblegum pink skin and big, poofy hair that looked like cotton candy. "Her name's Pinkie Pie, she goes to Canterlot High School. I think Sunset does too."

"Yeah, we know that much about her," DD said. He bit his lip. "What do you think Ray was on about, all that about the Hole?"

"I dunno," Sugar Sprinkles said with a shrug. "I'll tell you one thing, though. There's a lot of urban legends about really weird things going on over at CHS. Like, paranormal stuff. You know, magic and aliens and ESP and UFOs and all that kind of thing. I've heard some crazy stories about CHS, especially in the last year or so."

"Really," DD said. "Thanks."

"Good luck," Sugar Sprinkles said. She frowned. "Are you really homeless?"

"Hopefully not for much longer, but yeah," DD said. "I, uhh...my friends and I just came out of Vanhoover. Our Camp got hit hard by the storm."

Sugar Sprinkles winced. "Ouch. You're lucky to be alive."

"I know..."

* * * * *

The bus pulled up to Canterlot High School. Beck disembarked, frowning thoughtfully as she took in the school with its clean, bright spring green grass, shining pavement, cheerful and welcoming brick facade, and marble statue of a rearing horse that stood in the center of the courtyard.

*I should have gone to a school like this,* she mused. *This is the life I was meant to have. This or something like it.* Her frown deepened; she bit her lip, putting on her sunglasses, and strolled purposefully up the walk.

It was almost eleven in the morning. Beck didn't know much about how schools worked, but the best she could figure, the students should be in their last class before lunch. She felt a bit apprehensive, like she was trespassing, but she fought down her sudden case of nerves and walked through the doors.

The inside was a bit more worn than the outside, with shoe-scuffed floors and signs of peeling and fading paint. As soon as she crossed the threshold, the hairs on the back of Beck's neck stood on end.

Something was wrong here.

She couldn't put her finger on it, but the school was too quiet, and a heaviness hung in the air. It was the same sort of quiet despair she'd felt in some of the more grim shelters she'd passed through over the years, only stronger, more pronounced.

A girl with grey skin and long, messy blond hair walked past. Her clothes were a mix of drab greens and blues, and her shoulders were hunched as she shuffled along, carrying a stack of papers. Her misaligned gold eyes were clouded, and her lips were pursed. She shot Beck a brief, slightly nervous glance, then shuffled along, head down.

Beck watched her head down another hallway for a long moment, then walked over to the school directory and examined it. As she did so, she wondered at the utter lack of sound in the halls.

Weren't schools supposed to be noisy? Even if class was in session, there should still be...something going on. Brow furrowed in thought, Beck took off down a random hall, walking slowly, casually observing everything around her. As she rounded a corner, she bumped into an older man with dark hair, a dour face, and a slumped posture. He frowned at her. "Shouldn't you be in class?"

"I'm not a student here," Beck said. "I'm just visiting a cousin who goes here. Thought I'd have a look around the school, she really seems to love it here."

The teacher let out a tired, apathetic groan. "Whatever," he said in a bored, disaffected tone. "You're supposed to have a visitor's pass from Principal Celestia, but I wouldn't bother her right now. Just...don't hang around too long, alright? And if you get caught, I never saw you." With that, he slouched away, grumbling under his breath.

"Huh. Weird guy." Shrugging, Beck set off on an aimless course, roaming the halls, occasionally pausing outside a doorway and leaning near the cracks to listen in. What she heard only made her more confused and anxious.

Teachers were delivering lectures in flat, lackluster tones with no emotion. Students were silent; on the rare occasion she heard a student's voice, it was dull, lifeless, and listless. She passed a music room and heard students playing a lifeless, dreary dirge on badly-tuned instruments. She cringed. The only voice she heard with any emotion or passion in it anywhere in the school was the Civics teacher, and what little she could make out of the woman's lecture just from listening at the door cracks was...disconcerting. Ultimately, she found herself in the school library, where a number of students who apparently had a free period sat around at tables, their eyes dull and lifeless.

As she inconspicuously walked around the library, a detail caught her eye. Every single student seated in the library was reading the exact same book.

As Beck lost herself in the stacks and watched the creepy, vacant students, the library doors burst open. "Oh, FUCK THIS," a girl with a raspy voice snarled. "Hey! HEY! You guys! Put that stupid fucking book DOWN, don't you know it's poison?" Beck jumped as, suddenly, a book was projected violently across the room, slamming into a wooden shelf with a solid thud.

"RAINBOW DASH!" an older voice said in a scolding tone. "What do you think you're—"

"Get lost, Ms. Cheerilee," the girl replied. "Go grab an early lunch or somethin', we're takin' the library for a little bit."

"Now just hold it right there, young lady—"

"Alright now, settle down y'all," a voice with a deep country drawl said calmly. "Sorry 'bout Rainbow Dash, Ms. Cheerilee. Ms. Glimmer's been crawlin' all up in her saddle like. You don't really wanna be around Rainbow when she's in this bad a mood, right?"

"Girls, I'm warning you," Ms. Cheerilee continued. Then there was a loud thud and a louder thump, and the country girl sighed.

"Sorry 'bout that, Ms. Cheerilee," she said with a grunt. Beck peered around the edge of a bookcase and gasped. A peach-skinned girl with a Stetson was dragging an unconscious mulberry-skinned woman in a frumpy dress into the librarian's office while a girl with blue skin and wild rainbow-colored hair propped herself up on the check-out desk and folded her arms. "Reckon you'll have a right pear of a headache when you wake up," the country girl continued. Once she'd deposited Ms. Cheerilee in her office and closed the door, she turned and sighed. "You didn't need t' come bargin' in here raisin' no fuss, Rainbow!" she snapped. "We're s'posed'ta be keepin' a low profile 'til we have a plan!"

"Yeah? That was before Starlight Glimmer dropped that poison book on us!"

As the girls argued, Beck noticed something off about both of them. Something far more unusual than the fact they'd just assaulted a teacher and taken the library like a couple of gang members.

Neither of the two girls had ears.

Or rather, they didn't have ears on the sides of their heads.

As she watched them argue, Beck realized that both girls did have small, equine ears poking out of their hair on top of their head, ears which perfectly matched their skin tone and twitched and flopped as if they were alive.

She also realized that the blue girl, Rainbow Dash, had a pair of feathery wings growing out of her back. It didn't take long for her to realize the wings were real.

Beck retreated back into the stacks, her heart hammering, her eyes wide, and her mind racing.

*What the fuck?!*

Had she suffered some sort of brain damage from the fever? Was she seeing things? Had she developed some sort of homelessness-induced dementia? She'd certainly seen enough mentally ill people in her time on the streets and in the camps and shelters. They saw things that weren't there, talked to people that weren't there...

Had Beck, having just learned the truth about her own past, snapped and gone crazy?

She was drawn out of her own ponderings when she overheard something that demanded her attention:

"Ah'm startin' t' think Rarity's right," the country girl was saying. "'Til Sunset Shimmer gits back, it ain't a good idea t' go it alone. Even with th' Dazzlings helpin' us out, we ain't—"

Beck's eyes narrowed, her thoughts quieting in a snap, replaced by determination and anger. She took a deep breath to steady herself, then started to walk back out—

"Ah, Rainbow Dash! There you are."

Beck stilled herself as the Civics teacher walked into the library. A chill ran up her spine.

Rainbow Dash scowled at the woman. "Starlight Glimmer," she said dangerously.

"That's Ms. Glimmer to you, young lady."

"Yeah, no," Rainbow said defiantly. "You're not a real teacher, I ain't gonna treat you like one, and I ain't gonna be in your bullshit class."

Starlight Glimmer narrowed her eyes. "Oh, I think you will," she said darkly. She raised her hand, which glowed with a turquoise aura. A similar aura wrapped itself around Rainbow Dash's head for a brief moment. The other girl tensed, eyes wide, clearly ready to leap to her friend's defense.

A blue glow emanated from Rainbow's skin, and the aura around her head popped like a soap bubble. She folded her arms and smirked. "Sorry, 'teach', that doesn't work on me," she said.

Starlight's lips thinned. "Maybe not, but I'm pretty sure handcuffs, tasers, and rubber bullets do," she said, pulling out her phone. "I'm also pretty sure Bow and Windy won't like picking their daughter up at the police station because she was arrested and expelled."

Rainbow bristled. "You stay away from my Mom and Dad, you psycho horse bitch!"

"And what about that little freshman, what's her name, Scootaloo? What would she think if her idol was dragged out of here in shackles?" Starlight Glimmer smirked. "It'd be so hard, wouldn't it? Leading your pitiful little student rebellion from behind bars?"

"Tch...!"

The bell rang. The listless students who had been sitting around reading stood up, put their books away, and filed out of the library.

"Oops! Guess it's time for lunch!" Starlight Glimmer said in a syrupy tone, putting her phone back in her pocket. "You girls run along now. A healthy school lunch is the cornerstone of a good education!" She narrowed her eyes. "I expect to see you in my classroom the second the bell for next period rings, Rainbow Dash." With that, she turned on her heel and stalked out.

Rainbow growled at her back, her wings bristling.

The other girl sighed and put an arm over her shoulders. "C'mon now," she said in a soothing tone. "Let's go grab some grub."

"Can you believe that...ARGH!"

"Ah know, Ah know," the country girl said patiently. "Jes' wait, sugarcube. We'll fix her wagon. You know we will."

"Yeah, yeah..."

As the two girls left the library, Beck stepped out into the still, silent room, empty save for the unconscious librarian. Her mind was racing with everything she'd just seen and heard, but even as she struggled to process it all, one thought bubbled to the surface, a passive observation that, at the time, hadn't seemed important, but now demanded her urgent attention:

During the entire altercation between the two strange girls and that horrid woman, none of the reading students had so much as blinked.

Beck sat down in one of the vacated chairs, scrubbing her hands through her dyed locks. "What kind of crazy school is this?!"

Author's Note:

You might notice, in the chapter list, the chapter formerly titled "Bacon Up Is Hard To Do" has been retitled "Derelict". I've decided to drop the "bacon" thing for Beck chapters in this story because I'm using it rather exhaustively for Turkey Bacon Club. See if you can figure out what the new alternate naming scheme is for Beck chapters.

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Comments ( 92 )

Oh boy!!! Things are getting tense. Hope Sunset Shimmer and Princess Twilight Come back to save the day or Sci-Twi and human Tirek.

8655671
Thaum- is a common prefix in stories that quantify magic, coming from the Greek word for miracle or marvel. Like the word "alicorn", most people know it from Discworld.

I hope Miss Cheerilee doesn't die or get brain damage from being clubbed on the head.

Blows to the head hard enough to knock a person out are hard enough to kill or do brain damage.

From tv tropes: Most unconsciousness due to injury lasts only a few seconds, not some indeterminate amount of time lasting hours or days during which our hero can be carted around, dressed/undressed etc. If you are out longer than a few minutes, some combination of brain damage, coma, cranial bleeding, and amnesia is going to greet you when you wake up - if you wake up. - Tap On Head

Jesus just kill her...

Dammit, I am getting some traumatized flashback from the fifth Harry Potter.

I still don't like how easy magical mind control/brainwashing is in this story. All of the main characters have plot armor Equestrian Magic that somehow prevents them from being affected, but literally everyone else is helpless. It wasn't some clever ruse, or complex gambit; she just presses her instant win button and no one can stop her. And she's still just screwing around at this point, and we still don't (technically) know why.

I'm trying to stay invested in the storyline, mostly because I think the Beck thing has potential to go somewhere, but everything else is just a bunch of nothing at this point. I'm getting bored.

8667848
Umbrige Glimmer anyone?

8667840
This raises a question. Why are they okay with clubbing Cherilee into unconsciousness, but still shying away from doing the same to Starlight?

8667843
yea, i mean really what's stopping them from killing her and shoving her through a portal back to equestria.

8667888
They better hope Cheerilee doesn't go to the police to press assault and battery charges on Rainbow and AJ when/if she wakes up.

8667899
Considering they're a group of teenagers who solve most of their problems by being nice, it's not a surprise that no one's flated that idea.
8667920
Hardly. If she's still under Starlight's control, she won't do it unless Starlight tells her to. And if she's not, she'll probably have other concerns.

8667876
I think you hit the nail on the head here. I felt like something was lacking in the most recent chapter and this is (in part) why, Starlight basically used her mind control button and now we wait while the heroes are... thinking. Nothing would've happend if not for Beck's arrival.

Just to chime in on what some others here are saying: Starlight's had a long time to get ready for this. Way, way longer than any of us are probably thinking. Despite appearances, she most likely would not snap like a twig if Rainbow went at her.

That said, I can understand the frustration. Again, Starlight's had a long time to get ready for this. She's amassed a good deal of resources, knowledge and ostensibly contacts as well. I think the frustration is really coming from that giving her magic feels unnecessary, and actually makes her seem less threatening specifically because it doesn't work on our heroes. It gives us this dead-certainty that she's going to lose.

8667888
Cheerilee wasn't expecting it. Starlight WOULD be.

8667899
Did you not notice, last chapter, what happens if Starlight tries to enter the portal? Even if they tried that, it's not going to work. For all we know, they already HAVE.

8668076
Still x-on-one. And she can't be on guard 24-7. If they wanted to take her down, they could. The alternative (that Starlight is essentially all-powerful and can't be defeated) is silly and boring.

And let's say they try it, and they fail. How are they any worse off?

8667876

Because "clever ruse" working on EVERYONE would be far, FAR less realistic than mind control magic. That's saying that every person at that school has the same personality, viewpoints, and level of intelligence to all be fooled by the same trick or philosophy. It's utterly ridiculous to contemplate.
Where "I have the power" whammies to the mind hit anyone without defenses, regardless of how smart they are or how stubborn and mired in their personal beliefs.

The afternoon's regrouping is going to be interesting. Welcome to the supernatural!
It's very fortunate Starlight is biding her time. What was she waiting for again?
Keep going! ;)

Looks like Beck is getting closer to making actual contact with the group. Once they meet I bet things are going to get even more complicated.

I kinda hate to point this out, but Starlight called Rainbow’s dad “Bow” in this chapter but in an earlier chapter he is called Rainbow Blaze, you might need to go back and edit that.

8668113
True, it wouldn't be realistic. Nor would it be interesting if it worked on everyone, because that would reduce everyone but the main characters to a faceless mass of extras with no agency.

Mind control might be more "realistic" than the alternative, but it's even less interesting. It still reduces everyone but the main characters to a faceless mass of extras with no agency, but the villain doesn't actually have to try.

I'm still in the "Kill Starlight" camp. I don't see that changing.

Arrg. I really dont like the fact that I cant 'Like' a story more than once. Awsome chapter as always.

Really enjoying this story but I admit I still can't really see a good reason why they don't just confront Starlight. I mean surely Sunset and Twilight together can overpower her or at least distract her while the others sneak up on her and attack her with a blunt object or something. But I'm reasonable, I'm more than willing to ignore that since the story continues to be entertaining.

8667876
You say that it's not believable, but CANON Starlight Glimmer is OP and needs nerf. I mean, she outmagicked the ELEMENT OF MAGIC.
I couldn't stand her at first, she was so broken. If her hilarious rush-into-things-without-really-thinking-them-through attitude and general snarkiness hadn't won me over, I still wouldn't like her.

8668445
I never said it wasn't believable, just that I didn't like it because it made the story less interesting. :applejackunsure:

This chapter is great but the end confuses me a bit. Beck is questioning whether or not she is hallucinating or not right? So at the end there when she realizes that nobody else reacted to what happened, shouldn't she be questioning her sanity even more? Instead she questions how crazy the school is, I found this a bit weird.

Not sure how, but Starlight took a book from Umbridge. HOW THE FUCK did manipulative cheatin' BITCH get a teaching degree so fast!?

Starlight is NOT a Mary Sue because of Season 6... or was it 7? But I ain't gonna deny that she formed a cult, broke time seven times and whatever THIS is.

No, I don't hate her enough to want her dead anymore, but she still has to answer for all her crimes. NOT by being stupidly forgiving like Twilight or Celestia.

On a random note, Tempest Shadow or Fizzy-whatever her name is didn't break time. Or swear revenge for brain-dead reasons. Or form a cult. Honestly, though WHY do all the villains have horns!? Why can't we have more non-unicorn, non-OC enemies!?

Excellent chapter, good sir.

8668149
Not necessary. "Bow" could be a nickname too. :P (Short for Rainbow?)

8668480
Reread the previous chapter. There's nothing "fast" about it. She's been stuck in a time loop for a long time, and gaming the system roughly 4 years at a stretch before looping back with knowledge, skills, and whatever gold she can carry with her into the next loop as a nest egg.

Dude, so badly want to just beat down Glimmer here

"I'll have to fill out some paperwork," Belle hedged, "but yeah. The ice storm...kinda helps? Worst case scenario, we all get rounded up and confined to the embassy." She shook her head. "In any case, like I said, you and Double Diamond are the two people I care about most in this world. You're all I have, really. Wherever you go, I go, and I'll deal with whatever comes up."

Your loyalty is admirable.

"Like a fighting game character," Belle said with a snicker, covering her mouth. "Seriously, think you're overdoing it with the army punk look?"

I love snark.

"Hopefully not for much longer, but yeah," DD said. "I, uhh...my friends and I just came out of Vanhoover. Our Camp got hit hard by the storm."

And you got lucky, especially if the Windigoes really are behind that storm.

Weren't schools supposed to be noisy? Even if class was in session, there should still be...somethinggoing on.

Right, Starlight's doing.

Or rather, they didn't have earson the sides of their heads.

As she watched them argue, Beck realized that both girlsdidhave small, equine ears poking out of their hair on top of their head, ears which perfectly matched their skin tone and twitched and flopped as if they were alive.

Right, still ponied up.

*What thefuck?!*

Excellent question.

A blue glow emanated from Rainbow's skin, and the aura around her head popped like a soap bubble. She folded her arms and smirked. "Sorry,'teach', that doesn't work on me," she said.

Nice.

"And what about that little freshman, what's her name, Scootaloo? What would she think if her idol was dragged out of here in shackles?" Starlight Glimmer smirked. "It'd be so hard, wouldn't it? Leading your pitiful little student rebellion from behind bars?"

I want to hit you. Which is probably the idea.

Beck sat down in one of the vacated chairs, scrubbing her hands through her dyed locks. "What kind of crazy schoolisthis?!"

Excellent question.

8668445
My compliments on the Shining Force II avatar.

I feel Rainbow's frustration. Especially with Starlight rubbing in her face she'll humiliate her in front of Scootaloo and her parents. Although when all this is over, she'll have to give at least a thorough apology to Ms. Cheerilee for knocking her out.

Nice insertion of Sugar Sprinkle from "Canterlot Cooking Calamity!" by the way.

Definitely a Devil's Haircut, in my mind (and anyone Glimmer gets her magic into).

Something's wrong, cause my mind is fading...oh wait, that's cause I was up till 6am!

So magic just overrides everything that isn't magic? And it just boils down to who has more magical power? This paradigm is used a lot both in the show, and in a lot of fanfiction. Usually, it's not a problem, because the stories usually focus on character interactions and developments, and magic is just sort of a background part of the setting. But in a story like this, which has a plot driven by the magic itself, it makes the story very uncompelling, since we already know that whoever has more magical power is going to get their way, and we know that Starlight Glimmer has less magic than those opposed to her.

OK, no. Myth, you need to throw the protagonists a bone.

This is the same complaint I had with the antagonist's plan building up in Seven Days In Sunny June.

The antagonist(s) go(es) unopposed until the endgame because the protagonist(s) are either {A} ignorant to the plot and their end is just reacting to the public results of the Evil Plan™, or {B} unable to do anything, and just sit around whining about how bad things are, until what they need to win just falls into their hands and only now is it time to open that can of asskicking.

The latter of which, I admit, may or may not be what just happened, with Beck turning up.

Give the protagonists some significant victories, for f:yay:'s sake! Make them seem effective in that they're not just twiddling their thumbs and just complaining for the sake of reminding us that they're still Good™ guys.

Yeah no, if Starlight gets off like she did in the show...just no. She needs a baseball batting to the face at least.

8668155

Having everyone fall for the same trick of words is better? Everyone's still a mass of extras. I mean, they technically are to begin with. But your reasoning doesn't actually create a different point here. The end result is the same. Mind control is mind control, be it magic or somehow managing to make everyone change over to your way of thinking by bullshitting philosophy that for some reason everyone is affected equally by. Either way, everyone but the MCs are going to be influenced by Glimmer.

8668611
Always save the girl. Always. :moustache:

8668508 That explains everything.

Trying to picture the growling hobo in the style of the show is both hilarious and unsettling. :rainbowderp:

I'm the most worried about the Vanhoover party, to be honest. The Rainbooms and the Equestrians are the most involved in the main conflict, and the guys from Crystal Academy are dribbling a little. Beck and her friends are strangers to the whole magic thing, which makes them a wild card in the game. They could trow a wrench into anybody's plan.

8669061

While normally I agree that the heroes being pathetic until the end is a problem, I feel like that isn't an issue with this story. Starlight took over the school, but the lack of opposition has mostly been because the heroes are taking it slow and avoiding pushing a full confrontation; they arguably still have way more resources, since Equestria is at full strength and none of the human heroes are defeated (unless I'm remembering wrong). The ponies are just treating this as a mystery to solve and magical issue to research for now, thinking that letting her rule the school for a bit isn't especially threatening on its own, though that may prove a mistake if her evil plans have powerful use for a ton of minions.

If you treat the school as unimportant in the short term, or just a territory you only need in the long term, then Starlight has done little so far. Her ultimate goals being a mystery IS the whole threat, so the heroes not rushing in makes sense if they aren't genre savvy enough to guess that she has some power play to make.

Hmm. I'd be optimistic about Beck's addition, but given Starlight's save scumming, I'm not sure how she could ever be stopped. For all we know, there have already been dozens of successful rebellions and Equestrian counterstrikes in abandoned timelines. I wouldn't be surprised if she already knew about Beck and any other curveball the protagonists could throw at her, because she's already seen all of them. Therein lies the problem with an antagonist like this; how do you stop that which can undo your victories and then stack the deck such that they can never happen in the first place?

Good chapter. Things are getting scary. Starlight has to be careful though, she might have power but if she pushes to far things can get uncomfortable for her, especially in a age of cell phones and youtube and tv channels. Threating students and it ends up on the news is a sure way of creating attention she doesn't want and she has limits I would think.

okay, this chapter is mess poor becy up what she gonna do? what happen if the girls mistake becy as sunset shimmer?

8671465
They can't, seeing as Beck went and cut & dyed her hair. They'd have to be pretty damned dumb to do that, and Mythril is too smart for that shit.

Speaking of.... Mythril, I believe I have decoded your naming scheme for Beck's chapters. They begin with a 'd',.

8671706
Sorry, that's not it. ^^;;

"What kind of crazy school is this?!"

Well, to be perfectly fair...you're not exactly catching it on a good day...

8670604
You would be right about the slow pace being okay if this story had not started with a much higher pace. Ton of thing were happening at once, thing were pilling up on top after another and just when it could've kicked up. Tirek and Human!Twi huntng down magic source, the mirror portal going all wonky, Windigoes approaching, two Sunset Shimmer and Starlight on top of that.

For a story that was at first just a funny fic about Sunset turned into a pony and struggling with it, it was already strange, but hey! What an epic build up!

And then...
Starlight just make a hostile show takeover; just like that, Tirek is an anti-climatic anti-hero, somewhere in the north, winter is coming but it's kinda irrelevant; the siren are doing... something? just like Twillight and Sunset on the other side of the mirror and the heroes are turning their thumb.

Now I am not saying it is bad, but it certainly is annoying. And the more the situation drag, the worse it get.

8672997

I'll definitely agree too many seemingly random things are being covered now, but presumably it all fits together in the end.

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