• Published 3rd Nov 2015
  • 1,796 Views, 45 Comments

The Early Years of Sunset Shimmer - SamRose

An Equestria Girls prequel fic, focusing on what happened when Sunset Shimmer came to the human world.

  • ...

One Step at a Time

Sunset let out an exhausted sigh as she flopped face first onto the living room couch, tossing her work hat onto the coffee table. It had only been a 4 hour shift, by all means she had been there for less time than any of the other workers, but her legs were killing her. Perhaps it was just not being used to being in her human body for that long, or maybe it was because she had to stand around in essentially the same spot for 4 hours, but it had taken it out of her.

She knew she had been the one to ask for this, but human jobs were a lot more boring and physically taxing than she had expected them to be. Standing behind a register, awkwardly figuring out what buttons to push had not been her ideal way of approaching work as a human. They were lenient on her due to her age and lack of experience, but that had not made it any less stressful.

This had all better pay out for her in the end or Equestria might not be the only place she'd end up ruling over once she obtained her power.

Groaning and shifting her weight on the couch, she turned the TV on and let herself at least veg out for a little bit. Celestia was already in the kitchen working on dinner, so she at least had that to look forward to.

“Good afternoon Sunset, how was your first day of work?” Luna's voice piped in, looking at the flopped over teen with a smirk. Sunset let out a grumble of acknowledgment before sitting up and rubbing her head.

“It was fine I guess. I mean, it was work after all, it's not like I was expecting it to be fun.” Sunset couldn't help but wish she had at least gotten a job that used some of her talents in a meaningful way, even if it was just maths and sciences that could be applied in this world. Pushing buttons was just so menial and monotonous.

“I'm sure you'll get use to it with time. And if you can prove you can do a good job, I can always manage to find someone who is willing to hire you for more money. It all depends on how well your job experience goes.” Luna explained with a smirk.

“No idea how long that's going to take, but it couldn’t come soon enough.” Sunset grumbled, flopping back into her laying position. Luna could only smirk before heading back deeper into the house, leaving Sunset to veg out for a while.

Sunset couldn't help but wonder if there was some stress-free way to earn some money in this world. She knew money wasn't free, but there had to be an easier way than relying on Luna to get her annoying jobs like working a fast-food register.

“I've got a surprise for you Sunset.” Celestia said with a smile, approaching the young girl in her room. Sunset looked up from the book she was reading curiously, before putting it down and sitting on the edge of her bed. Celestia walked over to her, then handed the teen a small white, thin rectangular box.

“Oh...” Sunset blinked, picking it up, “This is... This is a 'phone' isn't it?” The screen was a solid black color, much like how the TV looked when it was turned off. She could see a faint reflection of herself in it.

“It is. I figured you've been here long enough, and now with you starting a job as well, that you should probably have a line of your own.” Celestia smiled, “I know you've been curious how they work too, so it seemed like now was a good time to get you one.”

“That's... Really thoughtful of you actually.” Sunset blinked at the gift a little surprised. She examined the phone, looking for a power button like the TV had. Uncertain of which one was the power switch, she just pressed whatever looked like a button on the device. After waiting a few seconds of nothing happening, she furrowed her brow in confusion, “How do you turn it on?”

“Just hold the button of the side for a few seconds until the screen flashes.” Celestia explained. Sunset found the button then held it for a couple seconds, before her screen finally lit up. Letting go of the button, she watched the screen flash through a couple of logos until it finally reached a front screen. She followed the instructions on it, pressing her finger against the glass and swiping it, the screen fading away into another, this one with the time and temperature displayed in a big block at the top with several smaller icons on the bottom.

“How exactly do these work anyway?” Sunset asked, turning the phone around to the blank back before looking at the screen again, “I kind of want to take it apart and look at the pieces to see how it does so much in such a small space.”

“I wouldn't recommend taking it apart.” Celestia grimaced at the idea, “The electronics on the inside are very sensitive, and trying to put it back together might permanently damage the phone. If I were you, I'd just look it up on the internet. I'm sure they can explain it in detail there.”

Sunset furrowed her brow in confusion, “Internet? I've heard that name a few times but I have no idea what that is.” The problem Sunset found herself with when watching human television was that they expected you to already know a lot of basic concepts like phones, TV, and 'the internet' without explaining what they were, so what few context clues she had gotten about anything like that was few and far between.

“It's probably going to be a lot to take in when you see it then.” Celestia chuckled, moving to sit on the bed next to Sunset, “Before you do that though, let me help you get adjusted to your phone. It's a lot to take in, and even someone familiar with phones in this world can get lost at first.”

For the next few minutes, Celestia showed Sunset how the features on the phone worked, how to type in messages, how to call someone, how to store their number, and all the basic features phones were capable of. Once Sunset felt she had a handle for it, Celestia informed her how to hook the phone up to the house's wifi.

“The password is 'Harmony'.” Celestia said with a smile.

“Har... Mo... Ny.” Sunset spoke aloud as she finished typing in the password. The phone accepted the password and the bars at the top changed, indicating a connection had been established. “So, now what?”

“Now, you'll want to open the internet app.” Celestia said, navigating Sunset through the phone to the icon. “Tap that and you'll be directly connected to the internet.” The icon quickly loaded, filling the screen before a white page with a single word.

“Goggle?” Sunset asked confused, “I don't get it.”

“There's a little bar underneath it, see? It's a search engine. It searches for whatever you type in there.” Celestia explained.

“That's...” Sunset furrowed her brow at the explanation, “I don't get what you mean. Are you saying if I search for something, this will just bring up what I'm looking for? Like, I dunno, I wanted to look up TV shows, this would just bring me to a list of them?”

“It'd probably show you links to websites that will list what's currently playing on TV.” Celestia looked at Sunset with a smile, “Just try to search for anything, you might be surprised with the results.”

Sunset let out a sigh of confusion and looked at the app again. What Celestia said was certainly hard to believe. After all, the closest to something like that she'd seen in her world was a simple library navigation spell that would help you find the right section for the book you were looking for. And even that was only used in Canterlot's extensive and massive library system. Having an improved version of that right in the palm of her hand felt like it was too good to be true.

Deciding she might as well test Celestia's claim, she used her earlier example as a basis and typed into the box 'TV shows'.

The screen flashed for a moment before the box moved to the top of the screen and below came several links with information underneath them. The top most text read 'Most Popular TV Shows'. Unable to believe such a thing was possible, she quickly tapped the link and watched the screen load once more, before a list of TV shows she'd seen playing on TV, or at least scene advertised, began appearing in order down her screen. Tapping one of them led her to a new page that gave a detailed summary of the show as well as what times it was airing.

“That's... That's not possible!” Sunset said in disbelief, looking at Celestia with her jaw hanging ajar, “Are you serious!? You can just look up any information you want with just a few presses of a button!?”

“Well, not anything.” Celestia said with a chuckle, “There are some things that even the internet can't tell you. But there's so much for you to be able to look up that I don't think it's possible to see all of it in the span of a lifetime.” She patted Sunset's shoulder with a smile, “Just be careful not to let yourself get overwhelmed by it. And there are a lot of places where humans make posts with the intent of making you upset, so if you see someone saying something you don't care for, I'd just move on to something else.”

“Yeah, okay.” Sunset said not really listening to Celestia anymore. Her mind was abuzz with possibilities, how this literally changed everything she knew or understood. All this time every single answer to any question she had could have been answered with a few presses of a button. Her mind was literally unable to process it, where would she even begin?

“I'll leave you alone to adjust to it for now. If you have any questions feel free to ask me at any time.” Celestia patted Sunset's shoulder one more time before getting up from the bed and exiting the room.

With Celestia gone, Sunset fumbled with the app for a bit to get it to go back to the search page. Once she got there, she typed in her first serious search, 'Portals to Equestria'.

The search results this time, however, were worthless to her. The first result was about some sort of music festival, the second was a page that talked about the theoretical physics about portals, but nothing about them actually being real or where to find them. The third thing she found was pictures of a 'video game', another thing in the human world that Sunset had only heard vague words about from what few moments they talked about them on TV.

“I guess that was hoping for too much.” Sunset grumbled as she looked through the searches and seeing less and less relevant results as she looked. She returned to the search page and typed in another search, 'Magic Portals', hoping to get a more direct answer. This time all she got were phone apps that were also games, other game pages, and a casino link.

She let out a frustrated sigh and ran fingers through her hair. She had to remind herself that magic was a fictional concept in this world, no matter how real it actually was. And considering the information about the portal to this world was in the forbidden section of Equestrian history, it wouldn't make sense that any information about real portals to other worlds would be easily accessible here either.

That left her stuck on what to search for next, all of her mental plans were derailing at that realization. She couldn't look up magic spells, or how to amass magical power, or anything that would actually help her overthrow Princess Celestia. That meant in all likelihood CHS didn't have any books that would help her study the portal or magic either. The only benefit she had in going there now was for her to be in close proximity of the portal. She'd be able to check up on it at any point then.

At least her phone's calendar app would be able to help with that as well. Keeping track of how many days it had been since she had been there, she quickly mathed in her head how long it would be till the portal opened again in 30 moons, then put a reminder on the calendar app for it. She was still going to check manually whenever she had a chance though, but she felt comfortable knowing she had a reminder that wouldn't let her forget.

Her mood had soured considerably now and she laid on her bed contemplating what to do next. It was amazing that she had a reservoir of near infinite knowledge at her finger tips now, but it only worked if she typed in the right thing to search for or if the answer actually existed in this world. It left her frustrated that it wouldn't help her with her goals... But maybe it could help her finally learn about the human world?

Lifting the phone to her face, she switched back to the internet app and began typing, 'How Do Phones Work?'

With a turn of the key, the door slid open. Luna held the passage open for Sunset as she stepped inside and flicked the switch by the door, the lights turning on and illuminating the space before her.

Sunset had to admit that the space was actually more spacious than she had thought it would be. When Luna had told her it was a two-room condo, she had expected it to be cramped. Instead she found a space that could easily fit 3 or 4 couches in a row, a walk in kitchen, a doorway that clearly led to the bedroom area, and a bathroom.

Sunset let out a whistle, “This place is way better than I thought it was going to be.”

“And in a good part of town too.” Luna smirked, closing the door behind her, “Honestly, if I was looking for a new place on my own, I'd probably buy this one in a heartbeat. And you're getting it for a steal too, you should be grateful.”

“Geeze Luna, just how far do your connections go?” Sunset asked, putting her hands behind her head.

“When I turned my life around for my sister's sake, I destroyed a lot of the connections I had made in that lifestyle. However, the connections I did keep, I decided to make stronger and to only use them for good. You'd be surprised how many up-standing citizens still need back-room deals to do everything they want.” Luna chuckled, “Even on the meager salary you're making currently you should be able to afford this place on your own. Utilities will be covered by your rent, so all that's up to you is food and cable. And right now Celestia is paying for your part of the phone bill, but I expect you to start paying for that too.”

“Yeah yeah, I got it all covered. I just need to get the paycheck from my job, have you help me set up my bank account and we'll be all set. Honestly, the only thing I really don't have right now is my own transportation. Which is the next on the list for us to do right?” Sunset asked, turning to look at Luna with a smirk.

“Yes, I've already gotten a cheap car ready for you to practice with. Once you've gotten the hang of it I'll help you find a decent and cheap car for you to buy.” Luna explained.

“That shouldn't be too much of an issue. The job, the apartment, the school, all of it's been a breeze so far! How much harder could driving possibly be?” Sunset remarked with a smirk.

“I PANICKED OKAY!?” Sunset whined, squeezing her hair as she stared at the wrecked front end of the hunk-of-junk she'd been practicing with. The end result of a hard collision with a sturdy tree.

“We were fortunate not to be seriously injured.” Luna groaned, trying to crack her neck, “Though the whiplash will take some time to heal.”

“Gaaaaah! I tried to slam on the brakes and I slammed on the gas instead!” Sunset groaned, throwing her head into her hands. It had been hard enough getting a firm grip on the wheel with her awkward fingers, but in her panicked state she'd forgotten where things were in her spatial area.

“Well, it'll take a little while for us to either get the car fixed or to find a replacement vehicle.” Luna shook her head, pulling out her phone and dialing a few numbers on it, “You wait here while I make a call. Hopefully this won't set us back too far.”

Sunset kicked the broken car as Luna walked away. She had no idea driving would be so involved, she thought she had been taking it slowly and meticulously but she still managed to screw it up. How in Tartarus did humans have such good spatial awareness to manage all the small details of driving while also factoring in every other human on the road dealing with the same thing? It was ludicrously absurd to her.

All the TV shows she watched had made it look way easier than it actually was too. High speed chases were nothing in them, and here Sunset could barely handle 30MPH, let alone 90. She could only grumble before leaning against the car and contemplating what she would do now. Maybe driving wasn't for her, but she still needed to do it to meet Luna's conditions. It was the last condition she had to meet for Luna to be willing to let her leave.

If this failed too, everything else she'd been doing would be for naught.

“Well, we're in luck.” Luna explained, walking back over as she pocketed her phone. “Since it was just a piece of junk meant for practice anyway, no real money was lost. They'll likely just scrap it for parts and get us another one by tomorrow. Though they did mention to not make a habit out of crashing them or else they'll run out.”

“It's a little ridiculous that I'm expected to drive this thing.” Sunset complained, shaking her head. “Aren't there other modes of transportation that are way easier than this?”

“I wouldn't say way easier, but there are alternatives.” Luna explained, “Why, have you given up on driving already?”

“I haven't, I just think that this shows I need to train my spatial awareness a bit more, perhaps get a feeling for other vehicles.” Sunset kicked off the car and looked at Luna, “What if I tried learning how to ride a bike first? Get a feel for moving while coordinating something, and then maybe moving up to a motorcycle and then a car or something.”

“Most humans would generally consider a motorcycle harder to drive than a car Sunset.” Luna explained with a shake of her head, “You're much more open to the danger of the elements, there are no real safety measures should you get into an accident, and you have to be even more aware of your surroundings than usual.”

“It was just a thought Luna.” Sunset shook her head, “I do still think a bike would be a better starting place for me.”

“Very well, if that is the pace you would like to start at, then I have no objections. Luckily, Celestia and I still have a bike in working order in the garage. We don't have any training wheels though, is that alright?”

“Pffft, who needs training wheels.” Sunset remarked, fully confident that as long as the vehicle was smaller and less dangerous than a car that she'd be able to master it in a short period of time.

Sunset very loudly yelled one of the many obscenities she had learned in her short time in the human world. She twitched and sucked on her teeth as she untangled her leg from the carnage that was her bike crash. With careful turns and pulls she finally managed to free it, carefully rubbing the length of her leg.

She pulled her jean leg up and could see that her leg was scratched up pretty heavily, some spots bleeding, though none of it was as bad as it felt. It'd likely give her a few bruises, but nothing she couldn't survive. She cursed under her breath a few more times as she squeezed pressure on her leg and tried to subdue the pain.

The step by step process she had read on how to properly ride a bike played through her mind again, trying to pinpoint the exact moment of where she had screwed up. Her arms were too shaky when trying to maintain the vehicle, her fingers couldn't grab the brake with any kind of ease, her balance was all over the place, she could barely maintain velocity, and she turned far too steep.

A cocktail of mistakes that ultimately resulted in several crashes, and one particularly bad one just now. It still wasn't nearly as catastrophic as the disaster that had been her learning to drive the car, but she never expected that getting a moving vehicle to work for her was going to be this much pain.

She could keep hammering away at the bike for days and potentially not get very far if all she was going to do was keep crashing and losing her balance. If she was breaking down the learning process, she needed to break it down even further. She had to think of this like it was a math problem. After all, she didn't learn how to do calculus by jumping straight into it, she had learned algebra first, and basic mathematics even before then.

This was the same way. If she was going to ride a bike, she needed to train her hands, arms, and balance as a human. She'd gotten away so far with not having to do much in terms of walking or using her hands, her phone and eating were the things she used them for the most, but now she was facing a real challenge of moving forward.

Pulling out her phone, Sunset quickly began searching up ways to improve her body's coordination. If there was some quick and easy way for her to learn, she wanted to learn it as soon as possible.

Looking through the various articles on her phone, an idea popped up in her head. School was going to be starting soon for her, and if what she was reading was correct, there was a way for her to incoporate her education in this world with improving her balance.

“Your certain that's the magnet you want to join” Celestia asked curiously.

“Is there a problem with me joining?” Sunset asked rolling her eyes.

“No, it's just... Do you have any experience with the subject?” Celestia fidgeted a little, trying not to upset the teen.

“Well obviously not! That's why I want to join it, so that I can properly have a place of learning for it.” Sunset demanded.

“Well, it's just usually the music program doesn't allow anyone in who has absolutely no experience with the subject. It's more about teaching those who already have some experience with instruments the systems in detail, about how to improve their technique, getting into the working field with their talents, and that sort of thing. They don't have time to teach you from scratch.” Celestia tried to explain to the best of her ability.

“Wow. That's a stupid system.” Sunset huffed, crossing her arms angrily, “What's the point of having classes to learn something if they don't actually teach you how to do the thing?”

“I know it might seem weird from your point of view, but I assure it's a system we've honed over several years of study.” Celestia nodded while doing her best to explain, “However, if you are serious about taking the music magnet, then we can get you an instrument to practice with here before school starts. If you do well enough, I won't reject your admission into the musical magnet.”

“UGH!” Susnet groaned, putting her palm to her face in frustration, “It's always one thing after another! I have to prove myself at this, I have to prove myself at that. Can't anything ever just be straight forward and simple?”

“Life rarely is Sunset.” Celestia began, but Sunset just shook her head.

“Spare me the lecture please.” Sunset groaned. “Fine. I'll get an instrument and I'll spend the next two week just practicing it rigorously, then you'll have to let me into it right?”

“I don't see why that can't be arranged.” Celestia nodded with a smile.

“Fine. We'll get an instrument. But I'm paying for it with my own money. I'm tired of letting you buy me everything.”

“I see no issue with that.” Celestia chuckled.

“-You're going to put your first finger on the first fret of the second string, and your second finger on the second fret of the fourth string...” Sunset's phone began to rattle off as the video played. Sunset awkwardly positioned the guitar in her lap as best she could, trying desperately to follow along with the video. She paused it at several parts to make sure her fingers were following the actions on screen.

She fully expected at this point for the guitar to just burst into flames or to explode into tiny pieces or whatever else it could possibly do when she struck the pick against the strings, but to her surprise all it did was let out a fairly harmonious single note.

“Hey, I did it!” Sunset beamed with pride as she repeated the note a few more times. “Seems the information I read was correct, if I learn how to play guitar my finger and hand coordination should go up immensely.” She chuckled as she strummed the chord up and down a few times, the chuckle turning into a bit of a girly giggle.

Playing the guitar was kind of fun. She leaned over to the video and continued to play it, learning each part of the video at her own pace and figuring out the timed positioning of her fingers.

This was how she was gonna be spending the next few days of her life, and she didn't mind that at all. It was certainly better than crashing constantly, or standing for hours on end at a job she hated. It was good for her to have a hobby as well, something to take her mind off of the stress around her.

And hey, how cool would it look to lord her immense power over Celestia while rocking a wicked guitar solo? That alone would give her many nights of encouragement to keep playing.

Author's Note:

Knowing one day you will be the most powerful being in Equestria fills you with DETERMINATION!

This chapter proved more difficult to write than I thought it would be, as we're still not quite at Sunset's first day of school just yet, but there's a lot of time in-between that and a lot of things she still had to learn about humanity.

However! Next chapter, the School finally enters the picture!