• Published 8th May 2016
  • 876 Views, 4 Comments

Nuclear Shadow - WarShipper



Twilight Sparkle made a choice, one which has been forgiven. But she wonders whether redemption is possible. Artyom made a choice, one for which there is no redemption. But he has been forgiven. The Midnight Incident had consequences nobody foresaw.

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1 - Leaving the House Forever

The Metro was silent.

He breathed deep, air hissing through filter and plastic. Fingers twitching, gun raised, giving the cloudy room a glare. He'd learned long ago that silence in the Metro was a very, very bad thing. It was possible it was simply because of the gasses killing off anything that would make noise while being low-pressure enough to not make any nerve-killing hisses, but....

Well. There was always another side to things.

Artyom, a voice interrupted. Why have you stopped?

"The sound," he whispered. "There is none, Malysh. Can you feel minds?"

No. But there is something.... He looked back - the little creature sat close behind, gangly limbs and char-black flesh blending in well with the darkness of the tunnel. The Little One, what Khan had called the Last Angel, looked... ill, almost.

"Little One," Artyom muttered, more emotion and intent than words. "Are you alright?"

Yes, Artyom. This area just... feels wrong. Do we have to stay here? I want to go.

The rustle of fabric. He crouched, hand coming to rest on the short form of the non-human. Artyom considered, for a brief moment, how things had changed - gone from the destroyer of a species to the guardian of it's salvation. He smiled. "It is okay, Little One. If you believe there is something wrong with this tunnel, it is best we return later."

The ape-like form of his companion seemed to relax under his touch, a short gust of breath disturbing the gas filling the room as it filtered from his trio of alien orifices. Then it stiffened once more, head raising. Artyom tilted his head, question bright in his mind.

I... I am not sure, Artyom. The Shining feels as though it is... fading. Venting.

Raised eyebrows. A frown. The Shining? The radiation? How could it be - ?

Artyom. We need to leave, now!

He felt it. A crawl that went through his spine, the brush of flesh against flesh, whispers. The sound of a voice. Sunlight in his eyes.

ARTYOM!

Instinct. Body curling, legs pumping, boots against steel with all the force he could muster. The Little One, his alien face scrunched in confusion - fear, yellow eyes flailing wildly. Tendrils of purple wrapping around his arms, his legs, his entire body wrapped in a cocoon - panic and terror - Artyoms' fist wrapped tightly around his pistol, looking for something to shoot, some way to fight back.

All he accomplished was twisting around enough to look at what was pulling him in. A hole in reality itself, lightning sparking and burning through the air, a portal tinged and built of purple and dark and past it, as though looking through a hole the size of a pin, he could feel - he could see and hear and feel - life.

Twisted, indecipherable life that peered into his brain, into his soul, that cracked open all that he was and found him wanting. It was an inescapable gravity well, an endless tunnel that aimed straight down into the deepest depths of the Earth where he would be judged and punished for his sins, an incorporeal throat that crushed his bones to dust and made his muscles scream with tension.

And then it was over, and he felt grass.

=-=-=-=-=

The school was silent.

She breathed deep, eyes watering as dirt and grass jumped at her face. She scrubbed them furiously, giving the wheelbarrel of dirt a baleful glare. She'd never expected cleaning up the school to be so... physical. Or exhausting. Still, she shouldn't complain - this was, after all, her fault.

Even so, she couldn't help but give the side of the wheelbarrow a small kick. Stupid thing was going lopsided, making it difficult to drag the dirt around.

"Twilight, y'all havin' some trouble there?"

A shake of the head. "No, thank you Applejack. This wheelbarrow just won't move properly." She grabbed hold of the handles once more, taking a moment to firm her stance and resume pushing the equipment along. Before she could reach the grass, however, a pair of hands wrapped around the handle just above her own.

"Lemme help," the farmgirl offered, bumping Twilight out of the way with a cheerful grin and a slight knocking of the hips. Twilight couldn't help but back off, fingers going through her hair. She was supposed to be cleaning things up, not... just sitting around -

"Hey Twilight!" Eyes widening, her head swiveled towards the source of the voice - husky, jacketed, confident Sunset Shimmer. A smile bloomed on her face and she trotted over quickly, eyes flitting over the progress they'd made. The statue would take weeks and she'd be paying off the expertise to remake it for a long time. "Look at what I found!"

"Yes?" What was it - a hiss escaped her teeth as she laid eyes on the cause of all her misery in the past two days - the Magic Detector. "I thought that was destroyed?"

Sunset shook her head, a grin on her lips. "So did I. I did just sort of smash it on the ground, after all. And what with all the magic...."

"I... know what you mean." A grimace. "Is it still active?"

Sunset squinted at the small device, turning it side to side. "S'not lighting up. You look."

Twilight adjusted her glasses, leaning down. The device appeared to have been cracked, and the LEDs weren't responding at all. "Huh. Looks like it is broke. Too bad - it took a while to desi-" Twilight blinked as she felt a thrumming through her fingers, the small device slowly flipping open under it's own weight... revealing, floating in the center, a scrap of light, violets and blues and blacks and yellows - twisting and flipping and turning and -

"MOVE IT!"

Very suddenly, Twilight was on the ground. Also very suddenly, she was underneath another person. But even as her back scraped against concrete, her eyes widened and she sucked in a harsh breath - because her magic-sensing and storing device hadn't been pulled along with her. And it was still open.

And the magic inside... wasn't anywhere near inert.

Sunset dragged her up, hand painfully tight around her arm. Her feet twisted, pain in her toes, knee scraping - she was going to be bleeding soon, she could just feel it. "Sunset! H - Hold on!" She needed to - she needs to - "Hold it!" The grip on her arm loosened, she saw Sunsets' head, pale cyan eyes wide.

She took the opportunity for what it was and turned around, digging her heels in and directing every ounce of her attention on the floating pseudo-pendant.

It'd only been a few seconds, but the maelstrom of power had already expanded tenfold - a growing orb surrounded by cracks as reality itself shattered, her eyes watering and a headache stabbing into her skull from the non-euclidean geometries she could make out inside. Like looking into the eyes of an angel, she couldn't help but think, drawing upon the stories she'd read.

When she was a child, she'd done research on angels. There was the standard depiction as winged humans, but if one went into the reality... into the earliest stories and recordings of Gods' Messengers. Looking at the chaotic swirling mass of light just a few meters from the destroyed statue, all she could think of was the tales of an angel whose body was nothing but massive, overlapping rings that spun and twisted and were formed of dozens of eyeballs.

Be Not Afraid, Indeed.

That thought just made it all the more terrifying that the nascent portal - and that was all that spreading hole in the world could be - was looking more and more like her childhood nightmares.

"TWILIGHT!"

For the second time she felt a body roughly impact her own - but this time instead of orange and red, the hair that flared and obstructed her face was a vibrant mass of different and conflicting colors. Rainbow Dash. What was more important was the growing wind in the air, a rotten stench in the air, and....

Twilight blinked. Then she blinked again.

Then Rainbow's grip on her arm tightened, she dragged herself up, and the two of them were suddenly running. Before she could realize it, she was situated behind the platform that used to hold a horse statue, alongside six other girls who were frantically rambling and gibbering to eachother. Twilight paused as she realized that that number was actually only five, since Pinkie Pie was too busy manipulating a balloon. For whatever reason.

"Somebody," interrupted a voice, "Mind explaining what the hay is happening!?" Applejack seemed to be torn between fear and anger, her eyes focusing directly upon Twilight - who couldn't help but cringe and grab at her hair, averting her eye. Well, this was her fault....

"I found the magic sensor thingy," Sunset cut in, voice tense. "It seems that after the whole Friendship Games incident, there was still some magic inside it... and now that's happening."

"Uh, excuse me, but... there's somebody coming through," cut in Fluttershy.

"What!?" Seven voices, seven heads raising, seven people scrambled to get a good look at the portal.

Indeed, the portal seemed to have reached some vague point of stability. If a swirling oval of darkness and purple with extending tendrils of energy and cracks in the fabric of reality could be said to be 'stable,' in any sense of the word.

What was most remarkable, however, was the shadow of a person. A human person, two arms and two legs and everything - and... it was moving fast, as though falling - and then suddenly gravity reasserted it's hold on the figure, forcing them to the ground in a tumbling mass.

CRACK-THOOMPH

Fire flared, a noise like thunder ripping through the clearing, and Twilights' vision was abruptly cut off by a cloud of white dust, billowing out from where a shot had struck the base of the demolished statue. Her head spinning, she dropped to the ground, suddenly aware that she couldn't hear anything save the pounding of her heart, more a physical sensation that seemed to be rocking her entire body than actual, coherent noise. If that had been just a few inches higher....

Sound died.

That was the only way she could describe it. It was as though all the noise, all the confusion, all the chaos just... died. It faded with a whimper, leaving her deaf and terrified, unable to hear even the sound of her own heart, unable to hear the rustling of the wind or the scuffing of seven feet against concrete or....

Or... the sound of the being that had just entered their world. So she turned her head to look at her newfound friends - and they were all looking over the top of the base, faces pale and terrified. She followed their lead.

And saw something horrible.

She'd thought the creature that passed through the portal was a person, but now all she could see in the dust and smoke and things that seemed to be swirling around him was a humanoid beast, broad and bulky and covered head to toe in rusty-red armor and cloth. Instead of a face there was simply a single massive, semi-transparent eye that took up most of the head, stretching from one side to the other. And just beneath was a bulging, insect-like mouthpiece. It's head twitched towards them, and she was abruptly given witness to two facts.

One, the portal had closed.

Two, the creature was surrounded by an aura of screaming faces, people and monsters and beasts. Red and black and grey and shadow, indistinct bodies and limbs and most of all the faces reaching out, grabbing hold of air and ground and everything they could, trying to drag themselves from the body of the - the monster that was standing there, cradling some kind of object, swiveling it's head about like some kind of demented, evil owl.

And then it looked at them and raised the object, and Twilight was suddenly, inescapably, horrifyingly aware of the fact that there was a monster surrounded by an aura of screaming souls pointing a gun at her.

=-=-=-=-=

Artyom did not know where he was. He did not know where he was, what had happened, or why it felt as though his very soul were being pumped full of ice. He did, however, know that the world was not meant to be made of light and brightness and wind. His fingers twitched and his breath hitched and he couldn't help but raise his rifle, watchful for any sign of... of what, he did not know.

This entire situation was reminiscent of the hallucinations favored by many of the dead - or those enforced upon him by the Dark Ones before he had killed them in his ignorance. But the Little One was there, was just next to him and had been just as perplexed, so how could it be? Wouldn't the nascent creature have protected him?

Malysh, are you there? "Can you hear me, Little One?"

...tired....

A grimace tugged at his lips, but he refocused his attention on motion - a few meters in front of him, the base of a platform with some ruins upon it. And just behind... a group of young women, staring at him in a sort of fascinated horror. Each one appeared well-groomed and clean, bright and vibrant - moreso than any person he'd ever seen. They looked like fairy tales in real life.

But of course, this wasn't real life, was it?

Still, he couldn't help but spend a moment noting down each head of hair and just how unusual they were - glasses and dark purple broken up by a pink streak, set in a bun and framing obvious terror. Red and orange, long and consecutive, matching to a grim expression. A bright rainbow of colors with a glare of arrogant, barely-restrained youth. Afro-like, long vibrant pink almost overtaken by a pair of wide, half-terrified half-wonderstruck eyes. Long, blonde hair surrounding an awestruck expression, topped by a stetson. Elegant blue with horror-struck eyes, held together by a small, valuable-looking accessory. And finally, pale pink covering an expression of near-blank, dear-in-the-headlights fear.

Altogether, an odd sight. But not one so unusual as to leave him completely flatfooted - this would not be the first time he had encountered the strange, and he had learned that if one is to survive and understand the world, one must embrace and accept what most would call the impossible. He grinned, thinking for a moment of the mad man Khan - perhaps the only one who had ever truly understood the nature of the world after it's destruction.

Lowering his weapon, he breathed deep, considering. Hallucinations such as this were often half-rooted in reality, and if that were so... with a hitch in his chest, he half-lifted the plastic contraption from his head, raising it so it merely rested upon his hair, slightly uncomfortable but prepared for easy replacement. And then he breathed.

It was....

Beautiful, He heard. An echo of his thoughts and feelings, given to him by the recovering child, and he nodded in satisfaction. Air like none other he had breathed, clean and unfiltered and filled with the taste of life. He looked down to find his boots pressed upon grass, vibrant green and small and fragile - and he could see how it bled it's scent into the air, slightly wet and brilliantly strong.

It was nearly enough to bring tears to his eyes. A luxury, a beautiful paradise he had never before been witness to.

He grinned, savoring the feeling, before blinking. Then he blinked again.

It was usually around this point that the hallucinations either faltered or started trying to consume him. "Little One," he said, voice straining and low. "Is there something wrong? Do the dead have hold of us?" A distinct possibility, though it... didn't quite feel right.

No, Artyom. I believe it is real. We are really here. But... things feel strange. And you are.... The childish abhuman trailed off, and Artyom could feel the mix of wonder and confusion suffusing the mental imprints it sent to him. If even the Dark One failed to understand what was happening....

"I am what?" Idly, he swiveled his head back towards the statue-base, where the seven girls seemed to be replacing caution and observation with varying degrees of confusion and curiosity. In fact, the rainbow-headed one appeared to be hefting herself on top with quick, easy motions.

It feels as though - The tiny creature was interrupted by a separate voice - this one present only in the physical world, coming from human vocal chords with the threat of violence implicit in their young, strong tones.

"If you think you're gonna scare us with your freaky magic junk, you've got another thing coming, bozo! Bring it!" That said, the woman seemed to take up a very clumsy fighting stance, fists held out in front of her, and glared at Artyom challengingly.

...what? "I do not understand you," Artyom decided to respond, carefully letting go of his rifle so it hung from the sling and raising his hands in a pacifying gesture. She did not seem overly competent and did not appear armed - and the Little One would not allow him to be attacked from behind even were there somebody quiet and stealthy enough to escape his ears notice. Nonetheless, he couldn't help but wonder just what it was she had said - it sounded almost like the scraps of english he had heard from scholars and read within books.

"Is he threatening us?"
"Uhm, it doesn't... look like it?"
"Hold on, what's he saying?"
"Is that Russian!?"

Artyom perked his head as he heard the name of his homeland from the mouth of the spectacle-clad girl, her expression surprised. Then she noticed his renewed interest, as well as that of her companions, and seemed to panic. The group seemed to debate for a moment, the red-and-orange-haired woman urging her multicolored companion to come back down - who complied with obvious reluctance. Artyom kept his hands up, even as he sought out the calming presence of Malysh.

I am here, Artyom. They feel good. But... there is something surrounding you, Artyom. Like within the Red Square, but... they are hopeful. Different. It is strange, Artyom.

Artyom felt a chill run down his spine. The ghosts of the world were... strange things, rarely malevolent but often harmful. But also very detectable. He had never encountered the shadows of the dead without realization, yet -

"Ah, you come in peace?"

He snapped his head around, focused upon the pair of glasses peeking out over the ruined masonry - from which russian words had been spoken.

"You speak russian?" He asked, idly raising his hands once more, for they had lowered slightly as his attention wavered. "You are americans?"

"A little," the girl admitted, seeming to gain confidence and slowly revealing more of herself - which prompted her friends to raise slightly alongside her, packed in, appearing to give her support and sending him a variety of looks that ranged from angry glares to curious enthuseasm. These women seemed to be oddly quick to change moods, he noted with a small smirk.

"Good, good! I hope I did not frighten you, but, ah, this rather surprised me."

She winced. "We is apologize," she called out, straightening up and struggling with the bastardized language. "Our machine not meant break."

Artyom shrugged, slowly lowering his arms. They didn't seem to react badly, so he let them drop entirely and then cautiously adjusted his rifle so it was more firmly placed behind his back. Malysh? Are you okay?

Yes. They are speaking the truth, and are relieved you are not angry and dangerous. They are scared, but open. They are nice. But... they see the dead. They think you are not human.

He frowned. Still, he took a slow and cautious step towards the group, and they seemed to be getting slowly more relaxed as he showed no signs of hostility. "I do not believe it is your fault," he responded, hedging his bets and slowing his speech for the sake of the girls' obvious lack of practice in his native tongue. "Bad luck. What is this place?"

She shrugged. "Canterlot High. You no speak english?"
"What are they saying!?"
"Shush, Dash! Let the woman talk!"
"Quiet, both of you."

A shake of the head. "No. I mean, where am I? Before I was in Moscow Metro."

The girl took a shocked expression, before tilting her head and seeming to mutter herself. A finger attached to an overly pink girl poked her cheek, and she flinched before focusing back upon the conversation. "Ponyville, town in America."

Artyom couldn't help but marvel at that. "So America was never hit?"

Confusion. "Hit? Hit by what?"

"The nuclear detonations. Twenty years ago," he pointed out, nerves slowly grinding down. What was this strange place?

"...there hasn't been any nuclear warfare in over sixty years." Artyom's eyes widened, his jaw dropped, and he felt the hiss of air rushing past his teeth.

Then the sound of a siren interrupted his shock, and he saw the faces of the seven girls go pale all at once.

=-=-=-=-=

"Okay, so he's some kind of russian nuke survivor?" Rainbow leaned against the banister, taking a glance outside Sunsets' window every few moments, as though afraid the police would come to this house in specific.

Twilight nodded. "From what he tells me, yes. He and his brother come from a world where nuclear warfare forced the remnants of the Russian people into the metro tunnels under the city. He says that -"

"Whoa whoa whoa, hold up, Twilight. How is it you can speak Russian!?" Rainbow got several approving nods and murmurs, leading Twilight to blush and twist her hair.

"Well, at Crystal Prep we had four extracurricular language courses. One was Russian. I only started last semester so I'm not very good at it yet, but - nevermind that! What's important are our new... uh, guests."

"Twilight is right," Sunset cut in. "We need to figure out what to do about them."

"Why, whatever is the problem? Can't we just open up another portal and send them back home?" The words were accompanied by a vague gesture to the pair in question.

"It's not that simple, Rarity," Sunset responded. "The magic used to make the portal that brought them here was directly drawn from all of us as well as from the Portal to Equestria, and it was all mixed together and haphazard. The magic of two different worlds aspected towards the inner self and the creation of portals... well, there's no telling how to control it."

Pinkie Pie very suddenly thrust her head into the center of the group. "Plus we kinda-sorta-maybe left the Magic-Stealing-Thingy back at Canterlot High!"

Blink.

Another blink.

Seven hands met seven heads in a unified slap.

"Well, I mean the cops were - "
"I was kind of distracted by - "
"I, um, I forgot that was - "
"I was too busy trying to - "
"Did you even notice just - "
"Those ghost thingies were - "
"I got nothing."

Another pause as each person stared at the one next to them, heads swiveling about as the excuses petered out in the cacophony. Finally, the group couldn't help but break into giggles - amused at the sheer absurdity of how they'd reacted.

"Hey, uh, those guys say that they'd appreciate something to drink if you've got anything," a voice interrupted. The group went quiet and looked down at Spike the talking dog as he walked up beside Twilight. Who was, as his owner, the first to respond.

"Spike? How can you speak Russian?"

He shrugged. "I dunno. Just as easy as talking to you guys, y'know?"

Sunset kneeled down, looking the dog over with a suspicious eye. "We really need to figure out just how all that magic changed you sometime," she muttered. "Still," she continued as she stood up. "It's good that we've got two people who can talk to them now. They weren't weirded out by a talking dog?"

Another doggy shrug. "Nah. I mean, not much. They seem kind of weirdly calm about all of this, don't you think?"

"Yeah... and you still haven't explained what all the," Rainbow gestured towards the pair - specifically, the older brother, his form still shrouded by a cloak of etheral limbs. "Gribbly monster stuff is."

Twilight shook her head. "I asked, but I couldn't really understand him. He says - "

"- that I know not what is, yes," their guest interrupted. Seven heads and one dog jerked in surprise as accented, roughly-spoken english broke into the conversation. "My little brother is much attune to things, but know only that, ah... mind are hope?" He seemed to stumble over the words. The entire group seemed to stumble over them too, though for a different reason.

"Oh, so you lied 'bout not speaking any english, that it?" Applejack thrust her face towards the man, glaring down at him with a grim eye.

"No," he responded, completely unfazed. "My brother make me learn you talk. Time take but better me."

Twilight raised a finger. "So... your brother has magic?" She eyed the rumpled mass of dirty clothes speculatively.

"And he knows a translation spell?" Sunset added, adding her eyes to the starefest. The child-sized figure stepped from foot to foot nervously as all eyes in the room slowly gravitated towards his dirty-but-normal appearance, before slowly gravitating back towards the now-unarmored and un-masked figure that was nonetheless surrounded by semi-visible ghosts.

"I'm pretty sure they're lying," Rainbow Dash finally stated with finality.

The man in question shrugged. "We no fight. Not know tunnel home. Trust need no for work."

Twilight stepped forward, switching to Russian for the sake of her poor mutilated language. "It's not that we don't trust you, exactly, it's just...."

"You are afraid. You see something terrible around me, and do not know me well enough to judge whether my words are worth believing when I could be a danger."

Twilight blinked. "Well... yes."

"C'mon Twilight, talk so the rest of us know what's going on," Rainbow interrupted, frowning.

"Apolog, russian better. I speak english for you, yes? Malysh say talk better with time."

"Right, right, so what'd you say?"

"Rainbow," Rarity chided. "Really darling, you must be more polite. I apologize for my friends' rudeness, Mr...?"

Spike spoke up. "Didn't she already tell you their names?"

The woman in question blushed once more. "Sorry, got distracted. Girls, this is Artyom and Malysh," she introduced, pointing to the older and younger brothers respectively. "Artyom and Malysh, the girls are," she took breath and started pointing. "Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Rarity, Sunset Shimmer, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Spike, and me, Twilight Sparkle."

Each person gave their respective greeting; Rainbow crossed her arms, Applejack tipped her stetson, Rarity shook her fabulous hair, Sunset nodded, Fluttershy 'eep'ed, Pinkie gave an exagerated wave, Spike yipped, and Twilight pointed at herself. The short young man nodded along, grinning, and offered his hand. The introductions were followed by a short round of handshakes, which Rainbow and Fluttershy refused and Pinkie Pie took to with enough enthuseasm to leave the survivor rubbing his hand with some caution. Twilight grinned; Pinkie really did have a strong grip when meeting new friends.

Even if this new friend was weirdly passive and calm and looked like some kind of horrible demon jailer or something, ignoring the normality of his features beneath the aura - short brown hair and stubble wasn't exactly a sign of evil.

Artyom cleared his throat. "So, magic?"

Sunset took the opening for what it was. "This isn't the first time we've had to deal with other worlds. I actually come from a land known as Equestria where magic is quite common. This world didn't have any magic at all until elements from ours entered and began to make some. Still, the description you gave us of your world rather made the impression it was without magic?"

The man seemed to hedge slightly, exchanging a long glance with his brother before sighing. "We are not certain. Our world magic no, but... after war, things changed. Dead do not go away. Old friend, Khan, says that death is... privedennaya v pepel, made... Miss Sparkle, help?"

Twilight frowned, tapping a finger against her chin. That would mean... "Reduced to ash," she finally muttered, before echoing. "Reduced to ash? What could that mean?"

Another shrug. "Dead do not die. They stay, shade of self. Fear, mad, die no end. Malysh say dead follow me in this world, feel... hope."

Sunset interrupted. "Hold on, hold on. That's impossible. The dead don't just... stick around."

"But if they did..." fluttershy finally said, eyes tearing up and voice choking. "Oh, how terrible! That sounds so sad!" Her voice was joined by that of Pinkie Pie, and the two suddenly bounded forward to wrap Artyom in a hug. His face morphed through surprise, confusion, and some strange mix of pity and satisfaction rapidly, before he shrugged.

"Is life," he simply responded. "Even dead will fade in face of future. We grow. We fall. We live. We die. The future comes."

"So... you're serious?" Rainbow finally said, obviously confused and more than a little frightened by the thought of such a world. "It's just... everything's gone? Where do you guys live?!"

Artyom shrugged once more. "Metro. Surface air venom, and stations made safe."

"Alright, alright," Sunset finally said, waving her hands slightly. "This is all really important information, but we're getting off-track. We need to figure out how to get you two home." She paused, then continued, slightly shakier. "I mean, that is, if you want to go home."

Rarity scoffed. "I can't imagine the idea. It sounds utterly dreadful, you poor dears. Though it's not as though you can live with us, either...."

Fluttershy raised a small finger. "Uhm, I think maybe...."

"Well couldn't he go to Equestria? I bet Princess Twilight would love to meet him!" Pinkie interjected with a cheerful tone.

"Metro is my home," Artyom finally said. "It is danger and hard, but I will not abandon."

The momentum of the conversation ground to a halt, and the group of teenaged girls started nervously averting their eyes. "Be that as it may," Sunset finally responded, "I'm not so sure we can get you back in a few hours. The police will be all over the school by now, what with the gunshot. We can't get through the portal to Equestria or find the magic detector while that's happening, so... well, you can stay here for the night, if that's alright with you?"

He nodded, giving her a grin. "That sounds good, yes. Spasibo, Sunset Shimmer."

"Well," Rarity gave a flick of her hair. "I can't deny the idea of a sleepover sounds nice. I believe this is even the first time we've all been over to your home, Dear Sunset. I must say, it was quite a surprise to hear that you own your own home."

The girl in question rubbed the back of her head. "Nah, it's just an apartment. Nothing big. If you guys wanna stay over the night, then that's fine too."

"Yeah, well," Rainbow hedged, giving the transdimensional pair a good glare. "It's probably best we don't leave you alone with two guys we've never met."

"Uhm, Rainbow Dash, that seems kind of... rude...."

"What? We've barely met these guys! And this one looks like something out of a horror movie!"

"Rainbow!" Rarity speared the athletic girl with a glare, tilting her head in emphasis. "A little tact, if you would!"

"Yeah, yeah, fine."

As the conversation turned to more normal topics and light-hearted bickering, Twilight shuffled closerto Artyom. "So, uh... I was just thinking, your brother hasn't talked at all during all of this. Is he okay?"

The man seemed to consider her words for a moment, sharing another glance with the child in question, before shrugging. "He does not... speak like we do." He seemed to consider this explanation enough, and Twilight winced. Probably a sore spot for the pair. Still, she gave a grin and tried again. "Well, I'm glad we met you two. Maybe once we open a portal to your world, we could even help you guys? I mean, I don't mean to impose, but the way you describe it made it sound..." Like a hellhole where decent people went to die in. "Unpleasant."

Surprisingly, her comment elicited a chuckle. "Metro is home, but... if portal is open, many would leave. It would be... a second chance, I think. Second chances are good."

Twilight's expression slowly changed to a small smile as her eyes locked on Sunset Shimmer, fresh memories blooming. "Yeah," she agreed. "Everybody should have a second chance."

Comments ( 4 )

Will there be more

I REALLY love this, I hope you continue this, its really well written.

This story was born and died on the same day...








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