• Published 24th Sep 2016
  • 1,525 Views, 105 Comments

Rogue Sun - Jninja15

Sunset Shimmer begrudgingly joins the Cutie Mark Crusaders to find their deceased sisters in the wasteland that is now Equestria

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Chapter 14: The Battle of the Crystal Empire part 1

“R-Rarity?” Spike said breathlessly as he collapsed to the floor.

Cadence shakily got to her knees as Firefly and Lotus ran over to Spike. They flipped him onto his back as Lotus put an ear close to his mouth. “He’s breathing.” She stated as she then lightly pressed two fingers against his throat to check his pulse.

“Damn it!” came a voice from the rooftops, “Damn all you stupid little ponies!” The owner of the voice then roughly glided down with his leathery wings as he held a filly hostage in one arm and a black knife in his other hand.

“Flurry?!” Cadence yelled.

Spike groaned as he sat up to look at the captor. “Garble?”

Sunset, Firefly, and Soarin pulled out their pistols and aimed them at the fillynapper.

Garble raised the knife to Flurry’s throat. “Ah ah ah. I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”

“Let the filly go,” Soarin demanded.

Garble cocked his head to the side as he grinned. “Boy, aren’t you very demanding?” he straightened up and motioned to Spike, “Kill the Dragonslayer and hand me the pony with the ruby, then we’ll talk.”

Sweetie Belle nervously glanced between Soarin and Garble before Firefly spoke up. “I don’t think so.” Sweetie Belle gave a sigh of relief.

Garble growled. “You ponies. You think you’re all so very special with your FRIENDSHIP or whatever. Thinks it makes you strong, huh? Feh. What a stupid thing waste your time on. That’s why we dragons - real dragons - don’t waste time with making friends when we could be defeating our enemies.”

“Garble, stop.” Spike managed to say, straining to sit up straight, “This has nothing to do with them. Let the kid go, and I’ll come with you so you can kill me yourself.”

“Oh, but isn’t it always about them!?” Garble spat back. “All other races are savage, unrefined, or unenlightened. The ponies will be the savior of all creatures.” he said sarcastically. “Fat lot of good it did in the dragon lands. Wiped out an entire clan.”

“That was your fault.” Spike weakly snapped back.

“It was YOUR claws through their throats; YOUR fire burning their bones! You claimed you were going to help us, but even if you didn’t kill them all, we still would have been left to become weak. Just. Like. You.”

Spike smirked. “Then why do you need a hostage?”

Garble sneered, then it morphed into a sinister smile. “Maybe I don’t. I only wanted to torture the little princess. For her to see her ‘hero’ become a monster, then she became a bargaining chip to get me out of here alive because Twilight’s plan failed, but now she’s just a distraction from me killing you - and after I kill her, I’ll kill you if it’s the last thing I do!”

Garble raised the knife to stab Flurry but before he could plunge it into her neck two shots rang out at the same time, and Garble’s head reeled backward, and he dropped Flurry Heart and the knife. He stumbled back a couple steps as Flurry ran away from him, some rope binding her wings to her back and her hands together. Garble regained his balance as he brushed a hand over his forehead and pulled out two little lumps of lead covered with a small amount of his blood. Growling like a savage beast, he bellowed, “Damn you!” as he lunged forward at Spike, his hands popping with small bursts of fire. Garble then heard a loud ‘pwiii’ and Garble’s world was engulfed in a bright blue light.

Cadence huffed for breath as she held both arms forward with her wrists facing each other and palms spread outwards vertically, smoke rising from both hands. All that was left of Garble’s head was a charred stump that used to make up his neck. As the headless body fell to the ground in a head all Cadence could think of was, “(NO-body threatens my baby girl.)”

“Mommy!” Flurry Heart yelled as she ran towards the crater that Cadence was in.

“Flurry!” Cadence tried to stand up but fell back to her knees. Soarin glanced at Cadence and immediately put his gun away to pick up Flurry Heart, who was still in her fencing uniform and barefooted and brought her safely to Cadence before cutting the ropes and allowing Cadence to scoop up her daughter in a hug.

Firefly and Sunset put away their guns as Sunset glanced around. “Who else took the shot? ‘Cause I know I shot first but...”

“Are you kidding me?” Firefly said. “Obviously, I was the one who shot first. Tell her Spike.”

Spike looked at Firefly with a tired expression. “Captain, I wasn’t paying attention as to who shot first. I was busy trying to save your lives, I hardly even knew she was there.”

Firefly looked to Lotus, who gave an embarrassed smile and shrugged. Firefly huffed and rolled her eyes.

Sunset clapped her hands together. “Now! About my pay.”


Sunset loaded up her pay, a box full of bits, in the trunk of her car as the Crusaders were trying to convince her to stay and help the Crystal Empire fight back Twilight’s incoming invasion force.

“No. Rutting. Way.” Sunset told the Crusaders with finality as she shut the lid to the trunk. “I’m not suicidal. My money’s no good if I ain’t alive to spend it.” She opened a passenger door. “Get in.”

“Why do WE have to go with you?” Sweetie Belle complained, “It’s not like you need us to spend your money.”

“Yeah, she’s right.” Apple Bloom chimed.

Sunset pointed between Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom. “You two can stay if you want. In fact, I’d rather you did. Her on the other hand,” she points to Scootaloo, “I need her to crack the codes inside these flash drives.” she holds up the drive found in the wooden box with the ruby heart. “We might have more to find, and if you two are still alive after that and have gathered enough scratch, I might bring her back to you, alive.” she then smiled sardonically. “Given that she doesn’t annoy me to the point where I’d have to kill her just to have peace of mind. Get, in.”

Scootaloo huffed out a groan. “Here.” she held up a small device that was held together with some duct tape, had exposed wires, a small incandescent light bulb screwed in at the top and a small LCD screen with a radar on the display. Sunset gingerly took the device. “It’s a radar to help you find that last drive. I noticed that both drives emitted the same kind of radio signal, even when they’re not plugged in. This is tuned to that frequency and should lead you right to that last one. It is also programmed to break whatever code may be in those drives, all you have to do is plug the drive into this device and hook the device up to a computer, and it will do the work for you.”

Sunset looked at Scootaloo skeptically, then turned on the device and held out the flash drive and waved Scootaloo’s device around a little bit and saw that the radar pointed directly to the drive no matter which way she turned it. She glances at Scootaloo and the Crusaders. “Alright. You’re free to go.” They gave hushed cheers and came together in a group hug before running off, likely to sign up to help fight Twilight’s imperial army. Sunset watched the three girls scamper off and rolled her eyes. She scoffed as she got into her car. “Buncha’ weirdos.” She said to herself. As she turned the ignition key, there was a knock at the window. It was Sunburst. He had a bandage wrapped around his head, possibly from the concussion Sunset might have given him, or it could have been from the dark magic, who knows. Sunset rolled down the window.

“Leaving already?” Sunburst said, leaning on the car door with his arms crossed. “Not going to say goodbye to your little brother?”

Sunset kept an indifferent face. “You know that I’m not very good at goodbyes. ‘Sides, I have my money, I know where I’m goin’ next. I have no more need to stay here.”

Sunburst sighed. “You know they loved you, right?” he went to put a hand on her shoulder but was instinctively swatted away, “Mom and dad?”

Sunset snorted a laugh, continuing with her indifferent face.

“I... I used to look up to you, you know? You were always the better sorcerer than I was.”

A sardonic smile cracked across her face as she laughed again. “Really? Then why did mom and dad make you their favorite child right after you got your cutie mark?”

“I don't know- I was young and still growing, I hadn’t had many successes at the time. You were already accepted into Celestia's school, - and our parents were idiots. Remember when we went to that Daring Do amusement park, mom had our ENTIRE trip planned out, down to how many bathroom breaks we would take per day? And then when we told her when we weren’t sticking to her plan for just a moment, she completely flipped out when she couldn’t find us afterward, even though we told her we were going to be by the cotton candy stand?”

“Oh yeah.” Sunset snickered, a genuine smile creeping across her face, “And you stuck to that bathroom plan long after we came back. You told me you almost wet yourself on several occasions.”

Sunburst chuckled. “Yeah. Good times.” he put his hand on her shoulder. “I love you Sunset. You’re my sister. Nothing can ever change that.”

She put her hand on his for a couple of seconds before gently brushing it off and shifted the car into drive without saying a word.


Spike was resting in a hospital bed, comfortably taking a nap when a knock came at his door. “Come in.” He said as he stretched. It was Firefly and Soarin.

“Hey, Spike.” Firefly said as she entered the room. “How ‘ya feelin’?”

Spike sat up and rolled his shoulders. “Feelin’ good, all things considered. How’s everypony else?”

“A banged knee, a few scratches here and there. Nothing major.”

“Except for a few guards you killed,” Soarin added.

Spike paled a little bit.

Firefly waved a hand dismissively. “Everypony here knows that you weren’t yourself. It was quite clear to many residents of the Crystal Empire that it was impossible for the ‘Brave and Glorious Spike’ to kill all those ponies of his own free will.”

Spike shrank into his bed. “And what of the others? What do they think?”

“Dunno. Never really talked to any of them. I just know that there are likely some out there.”

“That’s always the case, isn’t it?” Soarin shook his head, “No matter what happens, somepony’s gotta be a contrarian, even if it benefits no one, not even themselves. And they gotta drag so many others with them.”

Another knock came at the door, and Spike welcomed Cadence and Flurry Heart in. Flurry Heart bounced towards Spike’s bedside with a big smile on her face, obviously undisturbed by the earlier encounter with the “bad dragon” as she put it.

“So, what now?” Spike asked as he ruffled Flurry’s hair.

“Now?” Cadence said. She took in a deep breath “Now we prepare for an invasion. Our scouts have spotted a large fleet moving in towards us. Including Twilight’s new flagship and weapon ‘The Midnight’.”

“What kind of weapon we talkin’ here?” Firefly asked.

“A weapon of mass destruction. According to Sunburst’s account, it can wipe out an entire town in one blast.”

“Impossible.” Soarin said, “The only thing that can produce that much power would be the Elements of Harmony.”

“She has four out of the six. Twilight’s a clever mare and has plenty of resources, she’s figured out by now how to harness the power within the Elements without needing them all together.” Silence filled the room. “More will be explained in the mission briefing if you wish to join us.

“We’ll be there.” Firefly affirmed.


Sweetie Belle scrolled through her music selection as she remembered the mission briefing.

The Crusaders had been sitting in the front row and off to the far side of the briefing room, all doing different forms of nervous fidgeting. Sweetie Belle was twiddling her thumbs, Applebloom was rubbing her fingertips against her nails, and Scootaloo, giving the least nervous outward appearance, sat back with her arms crossed as she was tapping her foot. Everybody else in the room was murmuring amongst themselves.

“Why are they letting three kids in on this? They’re gonna get killed. I didn’t think we were that desperate.” one dragon murmured among his crystal pegasus peer.

“I heard one of them was the one who stopped the Brave and Glorious Spike’s monstrous rampage.” The pegasus responded.

“Can that pegasus filly even fly? Her wings look kinda small.” murmured another in a separate conversation.

“I don’t think they’ve fully grown in though. What do you think?”

“I’m wondering if that earth pony filly has her strength fully grown in too.”

The murmurings continued. Most were not about them, but all the Crusaders could hear were the ones about them and their doubts. The murmurs stopped when a portly pegasus with a mustache and high ranking officer’s marks entered the room and stood in front of a black board.

“As you know,” he started, “A significant force of Twilight’s Imperial army is headed our way. What you may not know is that Empress Twilight’s brand new flagship and superweapon will be among them, with her at this lead.”

Most everyone mumbled something after the mention of the superweapon.

“Fortunately, thanks to agent Sunburst and the late Prince Shining Armor,” everyone shared a moment of silence, “we have obtained enough information as to the construction of the flagship, and thusly its weak points.” the frame of the board behind him lit up briefly before showing a top-down wireframe display of Twilight’s flagship. “Because it is an airship ground assault will be impossible.”

“I coulda told ya that.” a dragon in the audience mumbled.

“Yes, thank you for that private.” The dragon shrunk in his chair. “As I was saying, this is a high priority target that is going to have to be dealt with in an air assault.” the wireframe model rotated to focus on its side guns. “However, its broadside armaments are too heavy for our conventional aircraft to get through but too thin for them to successfully defend against small fighters.”

“So are we going to have to shoot a lacrima torpedo at an exhaust port or somethin’?” a pegasus inquired.

“Not necessarily.” the portly stallion had responded. “While we believe that is an option, we’re unsure if it will cause enough damage to disable the ship. But if we can have a few infiltration squads infiltrate the ship itself on foot and plant bombs in two of these three power generators located here,” the wireframe rotated back to a top-down view and highlighted three points near the aft of the ship, “We may be able to destroy the ship.”

Sweetie Belle selected the song “Cherry Bomb,” and she zipped up a black leather jacket she got from the armory.

“Each infiltration squad will be composed of three ponies-” the stallion had said.

A dragon in the audience coughed.

“Three - individuals.” the stallion amended. “Usually I would say: composed of a pegasus, a unicorn, and an earth pony. But considering that the races that are in our population are now more diverse, I’ll change that to a pilot, a magic user, and armed support...”

Scootaloo wiped a pilot’s helmet lens clean. She then stared at the helmet, admiring the sleek look the black headpiece gave, even without anypony inside of it. She put the headgear on and entered a flying simulator.

“The pilot, obviously, will pilot the craft carrying the team to the target zone. Once on the ground, so to speak, she will lead the team to the final target point...”

Apple Bloom pulled back the bolt on her automatic rifle and chambered a round from a new magazine. She looked down her sights and down the shooting range. A clean target with a pony silhouette was at the other end. Apple Bloom took a deep breath and as she exhaled, pulled the trigger and emptied the magazine of 30 bullets.

“The earth pony- or armed support- will be charged with watching the team’s back and provide suppressive fire if need be...”

Sweetie Belle tugged on the hem of her jacket, adjusting it to make it more comfortable. She then reached into her locker and pulled out a Colt 1911, released the magazine, glanced at the bullets inside, and put the magazine back in. When she racked the gun, a bullet flew out, and she awkwardly jumped to grab the shell rolling on the floor and clumsily put it back into the magazine. After a sigh, she made sure that the safety was on and put the gun in the holster at her tail.

“The unicorn- or magic user- has the most important job here. She’s the one to carry the bomb...”

Sweetie Belle shuddered a shaky breath as she walked down a hall in the crystal spire, having recently left from her tutorial on how to handle and set up the bomb they were to use. She was alone at the moment, her friends preparing for their own jobs on the same mission.

Sweetie Belle rounded a corned when she almost ran into Cadence. “Princess Cadence!” Sweetie Belle said, startled. “I’m sorry, I didn’t see you there.”

Cadence just smiled. “It’s alright. I was actually looking for you.”

Sweetie Belle blinked. “For me? Really?”

“Yes. Come with me.”

Sweetie Belle followed.

Sweetie Belle followed Cadence to the sword fighting training room. There were several kinds of ponies there and a couple of dragons, a few of the ponies were wearing lab coats, many were holding a clipboard and a pen in their hands.

“I understand that you traveled with Shining Armor for a while,” Cadence said as they approached the group of ponies.


“Did he give you training in something?”

“Yes. He taught me and my friends a few basics in sword fighting.”

Cadence chuckled softly. “He always did like teaching something when he could. Even if it was small and wouldn’t be remembered for long.” One of the ponies in the lab coats handed Cadence a silver cylinder that one could easily wrap one hand around with a small red button on it and a small white lacrima crystal. She turned around to face Sweetie Belle. “You’ve heard how alicorns and some powerful unicorns can summon a blade made of light, right?”

Sweetie Belle nodded.

“Well, our engineers are working on a way for less powerful unicorns to be able to have such a weapon, and theoretically, other races with less active magic as well.” Cadence presented Sweetie Belle the items in her hands, holding up the cylinder first. “This is the mechanism that will allow the projection of your light sword.” she then held up the crystal, “and this is its power source.” she placed the crystal that was the size of her thumb in Sweetie Belle’s hand. “But first, this lacrima crystal must be attuned to your magic signature, so clear your mind and focus on the crystal in your hand.”

Sweetie Belle closed her eyes as she did what Cadence told her. Sweetie’s horn glowed with her pale green magic and enveloped the crystal in her hand. Slowly, the color of the crystal itself turned to match that of Sweetie Belle’s magic. And, as if told by the crystal itself, Sweetie Belle stopped and opened her eyes.

“Amazing,” Cadence said. “Usually, it takes a unicorn hours for a crystal of that size to tune with their magic. You did it in a minute.”

Sweetie Belle gave a sheepish smile.

Cadence opened the cylinder and handed it to Sweetie Belle. “Put the crystal here.” she pointed to an empty spot in the middle of the contraption.

Sweetie Belle took the cylinder, placed the crystal in its appropriate spot and put everything back together.

“Now, activate it.”

Sweetie Belle pressed the button and with a snap and a hiss a pale green blade shot out from the cylinder, almost singeing her hair.

“It works!” Cadence said excitedly. “Let’s test it.” Cadence motioned Sweetie Belle to the fighting ring off to the side.

Sweetie entered the ring and held her lightsaber ready. Cadence stood at the other side of the ring and summoned her own lightsaber, without the mechanism of course.

“Ready? Go!” an instructor announced, everypony else in the room turning to watch the match.

The match didn’t last long, for once Sweetie Belle’s blade clashed a third time with Cadence’s, her sword immediately sputtered out and died.

Cadence gave a sigh of disappointment as she let her blade die out. “Darn. I thought they had that fixed by now. Well, at least it lasted more than one hit. Take the crystal out, and we’ll give you a new conduit later.” She then took the broken, empty conduit and handed it to a pony in a lab coat. “Get some rest.” she told Sweetie Belle, “We still have 18 hours until the invasion begins.”

Later, when Sweetie Belle was in her quarters, she laid back as she held her lacrima crystal that was imbued with her magic above her face, staring intently at it. Scootaloo and Apple Bloom had said that it was so cool that she had a magic crystal that was imbued with her magic like that. Thinking back of her time with Shining Armor Sweetie Belle shot up in her bed, crossed her legs into a meditating position and held the crystal in her open palm as she concentrated on trying to summon a blade herself again, without the conduit.

Sweetie Belle closed her eyes, and the crystal’s glow began to shine brighter, and a translucent spear of light slowly grew from her palm. She could feel that the sword was not at full length and could do nothing but serve as a fancy light. Sweetie Belle tried harder to fully form a blade, and the light grew brighter before receding entirely back into the crystal and sparking a little bit. Sweetie Belle sighed in defeat as she threw herself back into her bed holding her crystal out to the side in a clenched fist before setting it on a nearby nightstand and covering it with a piece of cloth. “(I hope we survive tomorrow.)” she thought to herself as she covered herself up with a blanket and set to get some shut-eye before the next day’s adventure.

Or suicide mission.