• Published 20th Nov 2015
  • 3,994 Views, 188 Comments

Shadowed Bolts - Shadowmane PX-41

At first, things seemed to return to normal after the end of the Friendship Games. But for Indigo Zap, Sugarcoat, Sour Sweet, Lemon Zest, and Sunny Flare, there is no doubt in their minds that CPA had gotten much, much worse...

  • ...

Chapter 14: Scarred

"And in other news, the situation involving the Defectors has spiralled out of control once again tonight, as another major attack was carried out." A newsreader banged her papers against the desk as she addressed the viewing audience. "After fending off a riot suppression force from Canterlot PD, the Defectors then went on to destroy Canterlot High School.

"These images show in depth, an artist's conception of the scene, show what we think to be the extent of the Defectors' as they stomped all over the innocent students at CHS," she said as the pictures flashed by on the screen. "We couldn't receive actual footage of the event, so this was the best we could do. We now go live to our reporter, Eagle Eye, on the scene."

"Hot Scoop, let me just say that this has to be one of the worst terror attacks I've ever seen come from a group of Crystal Prep students, if not the only one I've ever seen." Eagle Eye was a cream-skinned man with brown hair, a black suit, and a microphone. "The casualties are extroadinarily high, with over two hundred dead, and the rest critically injured. And to make things worse, the school's principals are nowhere to be seen to confirm this."

"Do you think they're dead?" Hot Scoop asked from the studio.

"I highly doubt that. If they were, we would've seen them crushed under the debris. But we did a full search and found no trace of Celestia or Luna anywhere on the school grounds," Eagle Eye said. "But at the same time, we don't know whether or not they made it to safety either."

"So, what's gonna happen for all of the students who did survive?"

"I'm not sure, Hot. But if I were them, I would move out of this state and find another one. With the Defectors around, it's not safe for them, or anyone for that matter."

"In an attempt to put an end to the Defectors' madness, the military has authorized a full manhunt across Canterlot, and anyone wearing a Defector outfit will be seen as hostile, and killed on the spot," the screen turned back to showing just Hot. "This is normally unauthorized, but given the death count, we're not taking anymore chances. One way or another, this ends now."

The Rainbooms and Shadowbolts all walked up to Sunset Shimmer's house and their jaws dropped. What was once a peaceful two-story house now had broken windows, a deformed front lawn, peeling paint, and graffiti tagged all across the walls and door. The tiles on the roof were beginning to slide off, and all of the lights were out.

"What the heck happened here?" Applejack walked up to the front door and knocked on it, only to see the door collapse into the house and crash onto the ground.

"Sunset's really been torn up by this thing, hasn't she?" Pinkie Pie looked at the graffiti on the walls and read it aloud. "'All hope is lost, the Magic of Friendship is dead, and it's better to be dead rather than live in this hellhole'? She'd never say stuff like that!"

"Yeah. Sunset's all about hope and friendship and thinking about another way to fix things," Fluttershy said meekly. "But the Defectors seem to have made her really upset."

"Yeah. Not even I get as angry as she did." Sour Sweet coiled some of her hair around one of her fingers. "And believe me, I've gotten pretty angry at times..."

"It's understandable that she's feeling this upset," Sugarcoat said. "Many people suffer emotional trauma when something near and dear to them has been taken away or destroyed. In severe cases, it wracks you with sorrow and eats away at you until you're not the same person anymore. It can turn happy-go-lucky people into joyless monsters, or even goth kids into shy ones. But in this case, it's turned Sunset Shimmer into someone who believes that all hope is lost."

"But we still need her to do this." Rainbow Dash walked into the house. "We can't stop the Defectors without her help. She's been a shining example to us all, and I'm not just gonna let her sit on the sidelines and mope while those punks are abusing the Magic of Friendship!"

"I agree with Rainbow on this." Indigo Zap stood besinde her and wrapped her left arm around Rainbow's shoulders. "The situation might seem pretty bad—"

"That's an understatement if ever I heard one," Sunny Flare deadpanned.

"Alright, let me rephrase that. It might seem like there's no way to stop the Defectors, but we can't just sit back and let them change the world for the worse, can we?" Indigo asked. "We're not going to accomplish anything by sitting around and whining like babies. We've gotta win and save our world—even if this fails and we have to fight without her."

"If we lose hope, the Defectors win. And that's exactly what we don't want to happen," said Rainbow. "Even if things are beginning to fall apart, we've just gotta stand together, hold strong, and fight back with all of our might. And with the Magic of Friendship playing for us too, I'd say we're on fairly even ground right about now."

"But one thing's for sure. We're not gonna let Sunset hide herself away from the rest of the world just because the Defectors dealt her a major blow." Indigo turned towards the stairs. "We're gonna convince her to get back on her feet, battle those bullies with us, and ultimately stop Starlight from causing a massive disaster with the magic. Now, c'mon!"

Rainbow and Indigo led the way into the house, with the rest of the Rainbooms and Shadowbolts following close behind. They didn't even take notice of the trashed living room or doorway into the kitchen that had been completely disorganized. Instead, they just quickly went up the stairs.

When they got to the top, they walked down the corridor and found a yellow door that had Sunset's Cutie Mark painted onto it, but a message in red paint beneath it. It read, "There is no way to win. Just give up like I did, and the Defectors will save our world." The girls shuddered upon seeing the message, but they slowly opened the door, hearing it creak as they pushed it into the blackened bedroom.

Sunset's room was just as bad as the rest of the house, with overturned furniture, shredded pictures, smashed objects, and a coverless bed with pillows thrown against the closet inside. Sunset herself sat quietly on the bed, but her face was blotted out by the darkness, and even when the girls turned on the light, she refused to show it, and hung it down even further.

"Whatever you're going to say, it won't work this time, girls," Sunset's strong voice had been whittled down into a hopeless grunt. "I've lost the will to go on."

"Sunset. This isn't like you at all." Pinkie Pie's voice remained deep and serious as she walked into the room and sat down next to her on the bed. "That's why we're here; to help you get over this funk and fight those bullies with us." She held out her hand.

"Thanks, but no thanks." Sunset slapped it away and stood up. "Everything we've worked for, almost everyone we've made friends with; it's all been taken away from us by the Defectors. You're the last friends I have left, and they've made it pretty clear that when we have friends, they're going to end up getting hurt, so I'm afraid I'm gonna have to drop all of you as my friends."

"That's not true, Sunset." Applejack approached her this time and tried to get close to her, but Sunset merely pushed her away. "We've faced lots of other things that tried to hurt us before, and back then, we were very capable of handling ourselves. So what's making you say that this time we can't?"

"The fact that Canterlot High's been destroyed, Celestia and Luna have been kidnapped, the portal to Equestria's been permanently closed, and almost everyone we cared about is either in a six-foot grave, or is in the hospital," Sunset shot back, then immediately sighed and hung her head again. "Look, Rainbooms, Shadowbolts. You're all really nice girls, but I can't take any more risks. Starlight Glimmer and Blueblood don't just want to make this world better. They want to kick us all around for what happened at the Friendship Games, and if kicking me around means killing people that I love, then I can't be friends with any of you anymore." She pulled out her phone and browsed through the contacts, tapping each girl's name and then hitting a button to block each of them from calling her. "If we're not friends, the Defectors won't hurt any of you, and that way, I can fight them myself without any trouble of having to stress myself about you all."

"The break-up refuge move won't stop us from battling the Defectors, Sunset." Sugarcoat readjusted her glasses again. "They've hurt all of us, and we're all in this together. You might be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, but we're gonna help you, no matter how much you want to deny us."

"Then we could very well be talking until the end of time, Sugarcoat." Sunset flopped down on the bed and looked up at the ceiling. "I've tried fighting, and it's cost me everything. And looking back on it now, your mother was right. We all need to evolve, and even if Starlight's methods are beyond redemption, at the very least, she's being kind enough to let us all Pony-Up. It's what she's gonna do after she's won that'll decide whether or not I feel any better."

"Snap out of it, Sunset. Listen to yourself!" Sour Sweet slapped Sunset on the cheek. "You're just gonna sit back and let that bitch walk all over you when you're crying and sobbing?! The real Sunset Shimmer would never say anything like that!"

"WELL THE REAL SUNSET ISN'T HERE!" Sunset quickly sat up and threw a powerful punch to Sour Sweet's face, causing her to stumble back against a bookcase which spilled its' contents all over her. "Now all of you get out and don't come back! I'm not gonna put you all in harm's way because the Defectors think we're still friends! We aren't," she took a few deep breaths before shedding a single tear. "Not anymore..."

"Guess that's plan A out the window, huh?" Sour Sweet stood back up and walked out the door. "Guess we're doing this the hard way. Plan B. A full out assault on the Defectors with the help of the military!"

"But Sunset's crying, Sour." Fluttershy pointed towards her weeping friend. "We can't just let her—"

"Fluttershy, before you go on, I'm sorry about any of this, but again, it won't change my opinions on the matter," Sunset interrupted. "I'm not going to help you. I'm not going to acknowledge you exist. And I'm definitely not going to fight alongside you. This is something I'll do alone, without friends, so that this way, you don't end up in hospital or a grave."

"Well, we've tried." Rainbow walked out of the room as well. "But it looks like Sunset doesn't want to listen ot any of us, so I guess we really are going to do this without her."

"A shame. It would have been nice to have her by our backs for one last fight, but I guess she really has lost the will to face her fears..." Rarity muttered as she walked out of the room with the rest of the group.

Sunny Flare was about to walk out last, but she stopped at the doorway and looked back at Sunset one last time. "Whether or not you want to keep wallowing, you won't be able to win if you act this way, Sunset," she said. "The people of Canterlot need you now more than ever, and the more you want to deny it, the more it'll make it true." She pulled out a letter from her pocket and left it on the nightstand that hadn't been turned over. "This is the time for you to show how much of a hero you can be not just to the survivors from Canterlot High, or the students of Crystal Prep, but to the whole world. The quicker you cast away your pain, the quicker you'll get motivated to keep fighting for a better tomorrow. And in this case, I hope that you can win this battle with yourself, and become the hero once again—before it's too late..."

Sunny Flare walked out of the room and shut the door behind her, leaving Sunset to reflect on the speech she had given and the letter she had left.

In Crystal Prep's main hall, the Defectors were all gathered as Starlight and Blueblood sat down on two large thrones that had been hand-crafted by their followers. They all cheered and clamoured as their leaders sat down and were quickly silenced when Blueblood waved his hand.

"For everything we have done in our lives, we have never felt so proud as we have now," said Blueblood. "Even in absence of our glorious Abacus Cinch, we have accomplished so much in ways she could never have expected. We have carried on her will even beyond the Friendship Games. We have succeeded where she failed. We unleashed the magic's true properties, and crushed Canterlot High in the process."

"This truly feels like Crystal Prep's shining moment," Starlight took over. "Not only have those petulant brats been silenced, but we have finally gained our vengeance for being cheated out of another win, our beloved principal, and all of the honour we had established a long time ago!"

"Sunset Shimmer and her friends are still alive, but they have been demoralized out of fighting and will no longer hamper our efforts to better this world. And yet, I still see potential in them to try and stop everything we have done." Blueblood flexed his arm and looked at the hairs that had been growing on it. "I do not know why, exactly, but there is some certain radiance about those teenagers that strikes me as puzzled. I will not know until I face them myself, and see what it is about them that makes them special—to see why they would be a problem to our plan."

"There's no need to find out, Blueblood!" a male Defector called out from the back of the audience. "You totally beat their friends senseless! You shouldn't be worried in the slightest!"

"As much as I appreciate the confidence, Quickstep, I must say that as a king, I am entitled to having my own qualms, interests, and concerns." Blueblood pointed to him as he spoke, then pulled his finger back afterwards.

"I have to agree with him, King Blueblood." Starlight Glimmer reached out and held his hand. "You've done so much for the Defectors, and after we tore down Canterlot High with all of that power, there should be no reason to still be frightened of the Rainbooms or their prissy pony powers anymore."

"Even so, I must decide for myself whether or not that is true." He held Starlight's hand and stood up. "That's why I will personally face Sunset Shimmer in one-on-one combat, to see what lies underneath the red-haired girl and her spunky companions."

"But Blueblood, the whole town's gonna be on high alert after what we did," Starlight tried to persuade him into staying with her and the other Defectors. "Don't you think that that might be a little too reckless?"

"Nothing I have done has been reckless, Starlight. I have led the Defectors with dignity and honour, and my words will not be questioned by my second-in-command." He glared into her eyes. "Do you doubt my ways? Do you think that the Rainbooms are truly bested after such a hard attack? And do you really think that the Defectors prefer you over me?"

"No, no, and maybe no, but even so—"

"I started this rebellion, Starlight Glimmer; and the Defectors all see me as a beacon of hope. Isn't that right?" He turned to face the crowd, who all cheered and started to chant his name. This went on for a few seconds before he waved his hand again to make them be quiet. "You might be the queen, but you are only given that position because of how strongly you felt towards this whole thing. I am still the overall leader of this group, and despite the fact that our interests overlap, I still have the final word in all of our plans." He leaned in close to her face, to the point where his nose was touching hers. "Do I make myself clear?"

Starlight grunted to herself before she bowed. "Yes, King Blueblood."

"Good." He got out of her face and walked back to his throne. "I will face Sunset Shimmer on the hilly park outside of the suburban area. That is where no-one will expect to find us, and shall be the penultimate site for me to prove whether or not she has what it takes to stand up to us. But I shall not go alone. I shall take a small group of Defectors with me to escort me to this proving ground—and to keep the law and her friends from interfering with our duel." He jumped down onto the ground from the stand with the thrones and watched his audience step back to give him some room. "Now, who shall go with me?"

There was a long silence before a female Defector raised her arm. After that, a male Defector did the same. As they walked up to the front to join him, five more arms were high in the air, and the uniformed students who they belonged to joined him. Only after this, did all of the other arms go up.

"That is all that I need, but thank you very much for offering." Blueblood noticed the other volunteers just as the last seventh one walked up to him. "But if you all insist to coming, I have no worries with that, but just as Starlight said earlier, it would be too risky to take you all."

"We're not abandoning you, Blueblood!" Another Defector called out.

"One way or another, we're gonna fight with you 'til the bitter end!" Another one added.

"Hail King Blueblood!" Another one cried.

"ALL HAIL KING BLUEBLOOD!" The whole room erupted into a cheer that lasted longer than the ones before it.

"Now that is true devotion. Something that I'm proud to see that you all have." Blueblood cracked a smile as he shook hands with his allies. "Alright. You can all come with me. And I suppose that Starlight will join us as well?"

"I suppose." Starlight mumbled to herself before she got off of her throne and joined the crowd. "It would be cruel of me to let Bluey go out without his queen."

"Then it's settled. We shall all go out and find out what makes the Rainbooms special, and an asset to our possible defeat." Blueblood walked towards the exit. "Defectors! Follow me, to the ultimate fate of our kind!"

With more cheers, the uniformed students all walked behind Blueblood with their heads held high in the air. Whether or not they Sunset Shimmer and her friends were still a threat to her, they were all still glad to be loyal to Blueblood. He had provided so much to them in the time of their battle, and he made them all believe that they could acheive their goals of victory, and they would not forsake him for anything.

Starlight Glimmer was the last out of the hall. She had purposely doubled back to think about what her king was getting into.

"Even if Blueblood finds something special about those twerps, I'm not gonna let him risk his pride and our people just because some girls still want to fight and poison his mind with the Magic of Friendship," she said. "I know that he's gonna have a soft spot for them, and that Sunset's gonna eventually beat him, and if his words spread to the other Defectors, that'll ruin everything!

"I won't take that chance." Starlight put each of her fingers together and smirked deviously. "If he wins, then I don't need to do anything. But if he loses, The Defectors'll only have me to look up to. And with them all by my side, nothing will stop me from making this world perfect..."

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