• Published 24th Sep 2016
  • 1,500 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 2: Loads of Trouble (updated)

A black “1982 Ponyiac Trans Am” model hovercraft drives across a large desert while the song “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” plays on its stereo system. Sunset Shimmer, wearing a pair of sunglasses and her leather jacket, drives the craft. In the passenger seat lies bags of lacrima crystals, magical gems with the power of elemental attunement. On the floor lay a box of magazines for her Ruger SR9 she keeps in her pocket dimension.

Sunset’s craft approached a caravan. When she reached the vehicle, she stopped the car, turned off the stereo, and got out to talk to the owner.

“Ah, Sunset Shimmer, my favorite customer and my most valued supplier of lacrima crystals.” said a red-haired stallion with a blue and white vertical striped shirt and a boater hat, his clothes nice and clean, in contrast to his vehicle. His vehicle was a mobile home hovervan, modified to house an inventory and a fold-out stage on the side. The paint was a tan-ish white with rust breaking a fine line down the van’s middle horizontally.

“Flim~,” she said slowly with a tone of familiarity. “Always with the buttering up of the customers, I see. Where’s your brother?”

“Oh, I sold him to some mayor of some hopeless settlement trying to become the next Elysia.” He said nonchalantly, cleaning a broken glass bottle with a dirty rag.

“Aw, it’s so sad when you have to let go of family members like that.” She said in a mock pouting voice.

“It sure is, sweetheart.” Said Flim as he hopped into his caravan and opened up the fold-out stage with the podium. “What’ll it be today, missy?” he says, leaning on the stand.

“How much for this?” she says, handing him one of the bags filled with lacrima crystals.

Flim weighed the bag in his hands. “About 800 bits.”

“What?! This much should be worth at least 2 thousand bits!”

“I’m sorry, sweetheart, but you’ve brought a bunch of small crystals, and we all know that a single crystal of the same weight is worth more.”

Sunset growled, “Fine, I’ll take it then. Just let me get the rest out of my car.”

Flim turned around and went inside his van as Sunset opened the passenger door of her car and gathered up the rest of the goods into a small plastic crate. Just as she was ready to pick it up, she heard the sound of a lever-action rifle loading behind her.

“Goin’ somewhere, Sunset?” said the pony behind her in a very familiar and haughty voice.

Sunset Shimmer put her hands up and turned around to face her aggressor. “Trixie...” she said, “Long time, no see. How’s it been?”

“Oh, not so bad. Considerin’ you stole my car after you abandoned me- the Great and Powerful Trixie~- on our last job together.”

“Your car? I won that from you in a card game while we were waitin’ for our train to arrive.”

“Well... Trixie knows you cheated.”

Sunset closed her eyes and turned her head away slightly, “You have no proof.”

Trixie grumbled as she changed the subject, “Never mind that. Queen Chrysalis has put a bounty on your head so large that every bounty hunter in Equestria will be lookin’ for you. Lucky for you, I- the Great and Powerful Trrixie~- found you first, and that’s the only reason why you ain’t a corpse yet.”

“Look, if this is about the money I owe her, tell Chrysalis that I-”

“You’re too late. You should’ve paid her when you had the chance.”

“Yes, but this time I have the money.”

“Chrysalis is through with you. She ain’t got no time for smugglers. Especially ones who drop everythin’ at the first sign of Twilight Imperials on board.”

“Those guys are everywhere now. Do you think I had a choice?”

“You left Trixie for dead, to be killed by those purple-belly imperials while you made your getaway in Trixie’s car.”

“MY car, and to be fair, it is a really shiny car.”

“You can tell your story to Chrysalis after Trixie takes her car back.”

“Over my dead body.”

“That would be ideal, but Chrysalis wants you back alive,” she paused, “but she didn’t say in what condition.” Trixie reeled back her rifle to hit Sunset with the stock, “Trixie has been lookin’ forward to this for quite some time.”

“I’ll bet you have.” Sunset then points her right hand at Trixie, and, in a flash, a magic circle, glowing red and yellow, appeared around her hand, at her wrist, and the tip of her finger then her Ruger manifested. It fully materialized in less than a second, and Sunset immediately pulled the trigger and fired at Trixie. She disappeared in a puff of pale blue smoke and reappeared behind Sunset. Trixie then put her rifle around Sunset's neck in a chokehold.

“I see you have improved on your magic,” said Sunset, her free hand on the rifle around her throat, straining to keep the gun at bay. “But so have I.”

Sunset lifted a foot, summoned a knife at her heel with the same magic that summoned her gun, and stomped on Trixie’s foot. Sunset dematerialized the blade after stabbing Trixie through the foot. Trixie had loosened her grip on the weapon around Sunset’s neck. This allowed Sunset to headbutt Trixie with the back of her head, jerk the rifle out of her hands, get some distance and shoot Trixie in the leg.

As Trixie was lying on the ground, writhing in pain, Sunset appraised the rifle. "Nice gun." She said, "I'm keeping it." She dematerialized it, putting it in her weapons stash. Sunset then walked up to Trixie and placed a foot on Trixie’s leg where she was shot, pressing down just enough for Trixie to feel more pain.

As Sunset was reveling in inflicting pain on the great and annoying Trixie, she saw Flim’s caravan driving off, engine roaring with a large cloud of dust trailing behind.

Sunset looked in the opposite direction and saw a massive cloud of dust on the horizon. Sunset’s eyes widened as her heart sank and her skin went cold.

“Reavers.” Sunset said aloud. She moved her foot off of Trixie's leg.

“Please take me with you!” Trixie pleaded as she grabbed hold of Sunset's foot, fear evident in her eyes, “I promise I won’t turn you over to Chrysalis!”

Without hesitation, Sunset responded, “I don’t have time for this.” She kicked Trixie’s face, releasing her grip on Sunset’s foot, jumped into the car, accidentally turning on her stereo, and drove off. “Highway to Hell” playing on her stereo system.

Having managed to not attract the reavers’ attention, Sunset arrived at her hideout. A plain-looking concrete shed that actually sprawled out considerably underground, enough to be considered a house if one wanted to call it such.

“Damn Trixie, trying to kill me.” Sunset said as she put the car in park, “Cost me a big payout too.” she got out of the vehicle, “AND Flim took that bag of goods with him without paying me!” She huffed as she slammed the car door and stormed towards the entrance to her hideout. She stopped when she saw that the door was considerably ajar. Sunset summoned her gun and entered her lair carefully.

Apparently, the intruders had turned on all of the lights while they were in here. Though it was hard to tell what they searched through if they even touched the place, the place was naturally a mess. Still, it was apparent to Sunset that some of her tools and scrap parts she collected were missing.

She walked deeper into the hideout, towards the vault. She was at the last corner before she reached it when she heard music starting to play, a guitar, then there was singing, “Hey (hey) What’s the matter with your head? yeah...”

“Sweetie Belle, will you turn that off!?” said a filly’s voice with a country accent. Sunset peered around the corner to see three fillies dressed up like they were part of a ridiculous 80’s rock band. One was wearing a black jumpsuit with pink flames at the cuffs and a black bandana with cartoony white skulls designed all over it, holding back her red hair. Another was also wearing a jumpsuit, but it was hot pink with neon lime green tiger stripes and flames at the cuffs, and her hair was a scruffy greyish purple mess. The third was wearing a dark purple jumpsuit with alternating tiger stripes of magenta and cyan with an opening in the back for her wings. Her purple hair was also a scruffy mess.

“Why?” Sweetie Belle said as she paused her music. “There’s no one else here. Right Scootaloo?” she turned to the one in the purple suit.

“Right, and if there were, we would hear my door alarm go off. So quit your worrying Apple Bloom.”

“Did you remember to close the door?” said Apple Bloom flatly.

“Of course. How forgetful do you think I am?” Scootaloo said, crossing her arms.

“You mean the one you left open?” All three of the intruders’ hearts sank immediately when they heard Sunset’s voice. Slowly, they all turned to face Sunset, who was currently pointing her gun at them.

“I don’t know who you are or why you are here, and I don’t care. I just want you to give back anything you have stolen from me and hand over your valuables.”

“Very.” deadpanned Apple Bloom.

“What?” said Sunset Shimmer.

“The answer to her question. I think you are very forgetful, Scootaloo.”

“Well, would a forgetful pony have remembered this? FLASH BOMB!” and Scootaloo quickly pulled out a small black sphere and threw it on the ground. A bright flash came forth, blinding Sunset, the others having averted their eyes just in time to not be affected.

Apple Bloom grabbed a canister that was in the already opened vault, tossed it in her bag.

“Let’s take this tin can and get the hay out of here, now!” She said as Sweetie Belle, with magic circles of pale green around her hands, cast a spell that transformed them into quadrupedal ponies, and they dashed off towards the exit. Sunset recovered from her blindness quickly enough to see the intruders turn the corner, and she chased after them.

Apple Bloom was about to jump over a table when the transformation spell wore off. She tripped, allowing Sunset to be able to catch up and grab hold of her, getting an arm around Apple Bloom’s neck and the gun pointed at her head.

When they reached the car, Sweetie Belle used a spell to unlock Sunset’s car. Scootaloo got in the driver’s seat to hotwire it. When Scootaloo got the car started, she and Sweetie Belle looked for Apple Bloom, only to see her with Sunset Shimmer on the inside of a chokehold with a gun pointed at her head.

“Get out of the car now, or your friend gets it.” Sunset demanded.

“Just get out of here, girls! Don’t worry about me.” Apple Bloom shouted to Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo.

“Quiet, you little...” said Sunset.

Sweetie Belle looked at Scootaloo with wide eyes. “You heard her! Put it in drive and hit the gas!”

“What!? No! I’m not abandoning Apple Bloom!”

“Apple Bloom said she’ll be fine, and that woman’s going to kill us if we get out of the car now!”

Scootaloo forcefully grabbed Sweetie Belle by the collar of her jumpsuit and stared her right in the eyes. “I’m not abandoning my friends.”

They held eye contact for several seconds before Sweetie Belle took in a deep breath and gently placed a hand on Scootaloo’s and gently pried her hand off, “OK. I’m with you.”

Scootaloo released her grip, turned off the car, and got out with Sweetie Belle.

“OK, we’re out now. Now let her go.” said Scootaloo.

“Let her go? I said, ‘Get out or she gets it.’ not, ‘Get out and she goes free.’”

Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle looked at each other hesitantly. “Well, what do you want us to do?” said Scootaloo.

“Get inside.” said Sunset, motioning to the entrance of her hideout. The two girls complied, they entered with Sunset close behind.

Sunset closed the door, released Apple Bloom, and hit her in the back of the head with the butt of her gun, knocking her out. Sunset then quickly knocked Scootaloo out in the same manner.

When she went for Sweetie Belle, her hands glowed a light emerald green. She had cast a levitation spell, throwing the gun out of Sunset’s hands. Sunset then quickly placed her hand over Sweetie Belle’s head and, her hand glowing yellow, cast a sleep spell. Sweetie Belle collapses onto the floor, and Sunset is left breathing a little heavy after casting that sleep spell.

“Well, that went easier than I could have hoped for.” Sunset said to herself as she dragged the unconscious bodies, one by one, into a separate room.


“Psst, Sweetie Belle, wake up.” Sweetie Belle heard fuzzily, but she didn’t do anything about it other than moan. She was elbowed hard in the side, startling her awake.

“I told you she’d kill us!” Sweetie Belle instinctively screamed as she awoke. Apple Bloom just rolled her eyes at this, and Scootaloo’s eyes were darting around the room.

“Where are we?” Sweetie Belle asked. They were all tied to chairs, sitting back to back, in a small circle. The room was small, dusty, and smelled of gun oil. The smell of gun oil made Sweetie Belle nauseous, while Scootaloo would be basically on a high if she weren’t afraid for her life and tied to a chair. There was a work table in front of Apple Bloom, which she concluded was where the odor was emanating from. Behind her and to her left was Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo was to her right with the door. The door opened, and Sunset Shimmer entered the room. She was holding a case in one hand.

Looking over at the now awake Sweetie Belle, Sunset Shimmer says, “Oh good, you’re awake. You’re lucky that nothing broke when you threw my gun out of my hand. Otherwise, you would have woken up with a bloody nose by now.” She set the case on the table, opened it up, and began to put the pieces of a disassembled gun together.

“What do you want with us?” asked Apple Bloom.

Not slowing down movement in assembling the gun in front of her, Sunset responded. “I want to know why you broke into my house and tried to steal a stupid little container. What’s so special about it?” Having finished assembling the gun, Sunset loaded a magazine in it and slid the rack. Sweetie Belle felt a cold wave flow over herself when she heard the weapon become loaded and was beginning to sweat. Scootaloo winced and froze in place with the ‘clack’ of the sliding rack.

Apple Bloom, however, retained a calm exterior, “Ah’ve heard stories about what could be inside it: treasure, a treasure map, a cup that once held Celestia’s blood, a bunch of stuff, even Twilight’s heart, padded with dirt.”

“And what do you think is inside it?” Sunset said as she turned around to face Apple Bloom. A small click echoed in the room, signifying that the safety on the gun was turned off.

Apple Bloom didn’t say anything for a moment as she just glared smugly at Sunset Shimmer. “Wouldn’t you like to know?”

Sunset’s patience had run thin. She came up to Apple Bloom and punched her across the face. Sunset then grabbed Apple Bloom’s hair, pulling her head up to face her right in the eyes, and pointed her gun at Apple Bloom’s throat. “I’ll ask you again. What do you think is inside it?”

Sweetie Belle snapped and blurted out an answer, “We think it holds a map to find our sisters!”

Sunset stared at Sweetie Belle incredulously. Sunset lowered her head, let go of Apple Bloom, removed the gun from under her chin, and tried to stifle her laughter. She stood up and couldn’t contain it anymore. She burst out laughing, wiping a tear from her eye, “That is the dumbest and sappiest thing I have ever heard. What’d you do, get lost at the mall?”

Sunset continued to laugh before she spoke again, “Do you really think you’re so special that a random tin can will help you find your sisters?”

“Well, I hope so. Otherwise, we almost died here for nothing.” Scootaloo said with venom in her voice.

“We didn’t almost die, Scootaloo.” said Apple Bloom, clearly irritated.

“You’re right, and so is Sweetie Belle. She IS going to kill us, so we ARE gonna die!” said Scootaloo.

“Well, if you would have listened to me and kept driving away from here, we wouldn’t be in this situation. Now would we?” said Sweetie Belle.

“I couldn’t just leave Apple Bloom for dead like that. I’m not a heartless robot like you.”

“HEARTLESS ROBOT!?” squeaked Sweetie Belle.

Sunset snickered.

The three of them continued to bicker amongst each other before Sunset stopped to find this amusing.

“Will all of you just SHUT - UP!” Sunset yelled, and everypony fell silent. Sunset then took a deep breath as she pinched the bridge of her nose then chuckled a little bit. “Even if there is a map that will lead you to your sisters in that can, how are you three going to open it?”

“Twist the cap off?” said a nervous Scootaloo.

Sunset raised an eyebrow at Scootaloo. “Really? ‘Twist the cap off?’ That simple, huh? Why do you think there are so many stories surrounding that canister? Because so many ponies have had it in their possession, and not one has been able to open it.”

“Yet.” said Apple Bloom.

“And I suppose you’re special - how?” Said Sunset Shimmer gesturing to Apple Bloom with her free hand.

“We’re the Cutie Mark Crusaders.” Apple Bloom said proudly.

“And that means - what, exactly?”

“Well - Uh...”

Sunset shook her head, “Forget it. I’ll let you take a crack at opening it, just to entertain the off-chance that you can. But none of you are going to leave this room alive unless it is open. And if you do open it, I get the treasure inside, if it has treasure or leads to treasure.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Shouldn’t we split the money four ways since there are four of us and we are helping?” protested Sweetie Belle.

Sunset came face to face with Sweetie Belle and pointed her gun at her, the muzzle resting on Sweetie Belle’s nose. “I don’t think you’re in a position to be making demands here.” Sunset smiled; Sweetie Belle gulped.

“Don’t worry, scary lady. Ah promise that if there is treasure inside it, you can keep the treasure, or if it leads to treasure, we will help you find it and then let you keep it.” Apple Bloom said.

Sunset smirked at Apple Bloom’s comment, gave out a noncommittal “Hmph,” holstered her gun in her pocket dimension, and walked out of the room.

When Sunset came back into the room, she had the canister in hand.

“Here you go, squirt.” Sunset said as she tossed the canister into Scootaloo’s lap, Scootaloo giving out an “Omph” as it landed in her lap. Sunset went behind the Crusaders and untied Scootaloo.

“Alright now.” Sunset said, “No funny business, otherwise you’re all dead.”

Right after she untied Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom, Scootaloo said, “Done.”

“Wait, what?” Sunset said as she turned to Scootaloo and saw the canister open. She was stunned; she rushed over to where she could keep all three girls in her line of sight and stared directly at Scootaloo and the opened canister.

“But - how - how did you- ?”

“I twisted the cap off.” Said Scootaloo nonchalantly.

“But - but - the number pad, the sliding mechanisms, the archaic symbols, were those all just for show?”

Scootaloo analyzed the canister’s exterior. “Apparently.”

Sunset frowned at this, eyelids drooping, and swiftly took the canister from Scootaloo’s hand, looked inside it, then poured out the contents into her own hand: a small, square, green, and silver stick. Sunset tossed away the now empty container to her side.

“What’s that supposed to be?” asked Sweetie Belle.

“It’s a flash drive. It probably has something on it.” said Scootaloo. “Let’s plug it into a computer to see what’s on it.” Scootaloo reached for the flash drive in Sunset’s hand, but Sunset pulled out her pistol and aimed it at Scootaloo. All three of the Crusaders recoiled back in surprise. “Whoa! What’s the big idea here? Why are you pointing that at me?”

Sunset paused, then she relaxed her arm a little bit, not moving her aim away from the nearest Cutie Mark Crusader. “Sorry. I’ve just become sensitive to personal space, especially with something of possible immense value.” She then outstretched her other arm, handing the flash drive over to Scootaloo. “Don’t cross me, or I will not hesitate to shoot you and your friends. Any one of you cross me and -” she motioned with her free hand, moving her index finger across her throat as if it were a knife. The Crusader’s eyes widened, and they swallowed in fear. Sunset, seeing that she has established fear in the three little girls, opened the door out of the room and motioned for them to go through first. “Go all the way down this hallway, and the computer will be to the left once you enter the room.” The Crusaders complied and walked out of the room, followed by Sunset Shimmer.

They entered the room with the computer adjacent to the room with the entrance to the entire building, plugged in the drive, and booted up the computer. Lines of light, vivid green text on a black background quickly flowed across the screen. The screen was promptly filled up with paragraphs that flew out of sight, too fast to be read, if you could even understand its system’s jargon. All four stared intently at the screen. Sunset Shimmer standing over the Cutie Mark Crusaders, with Apple Bloom to her left, resting her hand on Apple Bloom’s left shoulder. Sweetie Belle stood to her right, resting her other hand on her shoulder while holding her gun. Scootaloo sitting in a chair directly in front of her. Scootaloo directed the computer to open the files stored on the flash drive when the lines of seemingly random text stopped flowing through the computer screen. There was only one file to open, and when it opened, a program started running and started to generate a picture on the screen. The image was heavily fragmented, large pieces of what seemed to be a map spread throughout a blank background.

“Is this some sort of encryption?” asked Sunset.

“No, this is it unencrypted.” replied Scootaloo.

“Is the file corrupted?”

“No…” Scootaloo opens up the file again using a text editing program. “This is only one piece of a bigger picture. There’s still a consistent pattern throughout all the lines of code between the massive amounts of zeros separating them. See?”

Everyone but Scootaloo leans in and squints at the computer screen as Scootaloo scrolled down the pages. Sunset broke the silence that came from this intense focusing, “How the hell can you see a pattern in all of that?”

Scootaloo shrugged, then smiled and leaned back, putting her arms behind her head. “I guess I’m just that awesome.”

Sunset stood up straight, taking her hands off the other's shoulders and backing off a couple of feet. She took a deep breath. “Well, make yourselves at home. There is a room that you three can sleep in down that hall and to the right.” she said as she started to walk away, putting away her pistol.

“Wait, yer letting us stay?” said Apple Bloom as she turned to face Sunset Shimmer with wide eyes. Sweetie Belle was also taken aback by this, and Scootaloo fell over backward in her seat when she heard that Sunset was going to let them stay with her.

“Are you serious?” Sweetie Belle nearly screamed as she stared at Sunset in shock.

“Don’t get too excited. You’re only going to be staying here until we find out whatever that map may be pointing to. You three are going to have a strict curfew and are going to be locked in that room until I decide to come and get you.”

Scootaloo raised her hand, “What if you have to go to the bathroom.”

“I’ll leave a bucket that you are gonna have to clean up yourselves.”

Apple Bloom and Scootaloo looked at each other with cringed faces, showing disgust. This fact did not deter Sweetie Belle from looking at this in a positive light. “This is going to be the best - sleepover - ever!”

“That’s going to be a generous way of putting it.” Scootaloo said dryly.

“Especially if any of us hafta go to the bathroom.” Applebloom added.

“Well, it’s about that time.” said Sunset Shimmer, looking at a nonexistent watch on her wrist, “Let me introduce you to your new room... and get that bucket for ya.”