• 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 4: To New Pegasus

“New Pegasus?!” Cutie Mark Crusaders exclaimed in unison.

“Yes,” said Sunset Shimmer, packing a few things into the trunk of her Pontiac hovercraft. “That’s where we’re heading.”

“But we’ve heard bad things about that place,” said Scootaloo.

“Like what?” asked Sunset, closing the trunk.

“Like, ‘You’ll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy,’” said Sweetie Belle.

“And who told you that?” Sunset asked as she leaned towards Sweetie Belle, expressing mock curiosity.

“Ah think his name was Ben or somethin’,” said Apple Bloom.

Sunset rolled her eyes at this and walked back inside the house.

“Why do you want to go there anyways?” Apple Bloom continued.

“There’s a bar called the ‘Mos Equuis Cantina,’” said Sunset as she and the Crusaders walked to the room where the Crusaders were locked in overnight.

“I have a… friend there who runs the place, and he may be able to give me a lead on where to find the next piece of the map,” she said rummaging through the wooden crates in the room.

“And if you three are going to even be seen with me, you are going to need to take off those stupid suits, wash off your makeup and wear something else. Got it?”

“Yes ma’am,” all three Crusaders responded.

Sunset picked up a small, magenta-red long-coat from inside one of the wooden crates.

“Here, Marshmallow, wear this. It looks just your size and is laced with lacrima, which should enhance your magic.” She tossed the coat to Sweetie Belle.

Sweetie Belle caught the coat and started to admire it, an open smile grew on her face. Her smile quickly faded as she noticed the lacrima crystals laced into the garment glimmer, shining off of the coat like brilliant jewels. She could feel her eyes begin to swell and a tear started to fall down her cheek.

“Are you OK Sweetie Belle?” said Scootaloo, putting a hand on Sweetie Belle’s shoulder. Apple Bloom approached closer, ready to comfort her crying friend.

Sweetie Belle quickly wiped the tear off her face and whispered in a raspy voice, “Yeah, I’m fine. It’s nothing.” She began to hold her new jacket close to her chest.

Sunset did not notice this and opened up another crate full of clothing and left the Crusaders to find a new set of clothing to wear.

When the Crusaders were finished picking out their clothes and washing off their make-up, they joined Sunset in her car. Scootaloo sat in the front passenger seat. Sunset only allowed Scootaloo in the front seat because she was the least annoying of the three and the most valuable to her. Scootaloo was wearing cargo pants, a sleeveless, black hooded jacket, and a pair of black shoes. Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle were in the back seats of the car. Apple Bloom was wearing a big red bow on the back of her head, a blue denim jacket with a light green shirt underneath, a pair of blue jeans with a hole on her left knee, and a pair of brown boots. She still had her black bandana with cartoon skulls on it but was wearing it around her neck. Sweetie Belle was wearing the magenta-red long-coat Sunset gave her with a pink and white horizontal striped shirt underneath, she had a small hair band that matched the color of her new jacket. She was also wearing blue jeans and a pair of magenta-red boots with yellow straps.

“OK, looks like we’ve got everything we need,” said Sunset Shimmer. “Now, off to New Pegasus.” She started the car and drove off towards the horizon.

Several hours had passed since Sunset and the Crusaders set off for New Pegasus. It was now midnight, and they were low on fuel. Sunset was using a spell to keep the car going, which massively increased the fuel efficiency of the vehicle, but caused a substantial drain on her energy. The car would go on only as long as she could keep herself conscious enough to cast the spell.

Sunset had been using this spell since about halfway on their journey. The Cutie Mark Crusaders all fell asleep pretty quickly when the trip began, much to Sunset’s relief. What she dreaded most was that she would have to hear the three little girls’ annoying voices constantly throughout the whole trip, asking “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” and she would have to kill one or more of them accidentally-on-purpose, if only, at least, to shut up just one of them.

She was getting exhausted from casting the spell and quietly stopped the car, so as to not incur her worst nightmare. She was planning to take only a quick breather but felt herself slowly drifting off to sleep and was struggling hard not to fall completely. She needed to put as much distance between her and her old safe house that night before reaching the next safe house she had in mind. No doubt Flash had already triggered the trap she laid out for him in the other house, and if he survived, he’d be looking for her with a vengeance. She wasn’t afraid of him so much as the army he can have stand behind him…

Sweetie Belle quietly woke up and noticed Sunset’s labored breathing in her efforts to keep herself awake and started to cast a spell, a spell that transferred her magic energy to Sunset to help her stay awake. At first Sweetie Belle merely hovered her hand over Sunset’s shoulder to transfer her magic energy. A trickle of a pale green mist of magical energy flowing from her hand onto Sunset’s shoulder, but she was getting impatient with the slow process and she lowered her hand to touch Sunset’s shoulder. As swift as a viper’s strike, Sunset’s hand shot up and grabbed hold of Sweetie Belle’s wrist as soon as Sweetie Belle made physical contact with her shoulder and was gripped tightly. Sweetie Belle covered her mouth to prevent herself from screaming and waking the others.

“What do you think you’re doing?” whispered Sunset, her voice seeping with venom.

Removing her hand from her mouth Sweetie Belle whispered back, “You looked tired, and I can tell that you’re using your magic to run the car, so I thought that I would give you some of mine. You know- so you could keep driving.”

Sunset pinched the bridge of her nose with her other hand, squeezed her eyes, and took in a deep breath. She opened her eyes and shook her head to keep herself awake, but her eyelids were getting really heavy and she blinked several times, the time her eyes spent closed getting longer and longer with each blink. She gave a heavy sigh and released Sweetie Belle’s arm. “OK,” she said. “Go ahead.” and she relaxed in her seat, closing her eyes.

Sweetie Belle’s hand then softly glowed a bright pale green, brighter than when she was trying to do it discreetly, and laid itself on Sunset’s shoulder and a thick magical mist of the same pale green color flowed from Sweetie Belle’s hand and over Sunset’s body. Sunset could feel herself becoming lighter and straining less to stay awake, while Sweetie Belle could feel her body getting heavier and heavier with every passing second.

Sweetie Belle’s hand slid off of Sunset’s shoulder and she let out a really big yawn as she laid back into her seat. “Well,” she said, restraining a second yawn. “Good luck.” and, like a rock, her head fell onto the seat and she was out.

Sunset looked back at the now sleeping Sweetie Belle, fully awake herself, and she reached into the pocket behind the sleeping Scootaloo’s chair and pulled out a blanket, levitated it over Sweetie Belle and covered her with it. Sweetie Belle nuzzled into her new blanket and got comfortable again. Sunset smiled and felt compelled to give the other two blankets, but seeing as she only had one, the feeling was thrown out the proverbial window quickly. Sunset then quietly got the car moving again and she resumed their journey to New Pegasus.

Sweetie Belle woke up and saw daylight coming in through the car’s windshield. She rubbed her eyes, sat up, and stretched, the blanket that covered her rolling off. She took note of the blanket that covered her, remembering that she didn’t have one when she fell asleep. She also noticed that the car wasn’t moving and that no one else was in the car with her. She folded up the blanket as neatly as she could, set it down, and got out of the car. She stepped out to the inside of a garage that looked old and mostly abandoned, the ground was weathered and cracked, as were the windows. The garage door was closed but some light was coming through the windows on top. There was another door leading into the house.

Sweetie Belle walked through the door that leads into a kitchen/dining room and saw Sunset Shimmer, Apple Bloom, and Scootaloo sitting around a table, looking at a map.

“New Pegasus is really far away,” said Apple Bloom, “Are you sure ya don’t have anyone else closer who may know where another piece of the map is?”

“No, he’s the only one I trust to be a reliable source of information on this matter,” said Sunset Shimmer. “Besides, he probably doesn’t know that there are more than one of them, or that they’re pieces of a map, so it may be tricky to get this information from him without divulging what it really is. But I can worry about that when we get there. For now, we need to worry about having the supplies to get us there. If we were to head there in a straight line we would run out of supplies in the middle of nowhere,” she said pointing towards the center of a vast open desert marked on the map, separating their current location and New Pegasus. “We’re going to have to visit several independent outposts in-between here and there to fill up on food and gas, and, if we are lucky, run into some trading caravans with sufficient goods, hopefully, while also avoiding any Alliance or raider gangs along the way.”

“Good morning,” said Sweetie Belle as she took a seat at the table.

“Good morning.” they all responded, Apple Bloom and Scootaloo giving back welcoming smiles, while Sunset just looked up from the map for a brief moment before she immediately looked back down to it.

“So,” Sweetie Belle continued, “Have you all had breakfast yet?”

“Now that you’ve mentioned it, no, we haven’t, and Ah’m getting pretty hungry right now,” said Apple Bloom, putting her hand on her stomach.

“Me too,” replied Scootaloo.

Sunset rolled her eyes at this. “All right, I’ll go see if I can find something downstairs.” and she rolled up the map, put it inside her jacket and walked out of the room, leaving the Crusaders alone at the table to talk amongst themselves.

Sunset went downstairs, searched around for a few minutes, found a small box full of cans of Spam and brought it back upstairs. When she entered the kitchen, she saw only Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle sitting at the table.

“Where’s Squirt?” she asked.

“Scootaloo?” said Sweetie Belle, “Last I saw her, she went out that way.” Sweetie Belle pointed towards the door to the garage behind her. “Said something about hearing sort of rattling in the car last night.”

Sunset gave out a sigh and placed the box of cans onto the table. “Don’t eat all of it.” she said before exiting through the door.

Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom looked at the cans of Spam with looks of suspicion. Apple Bloom picked up a can, opened it, and smelled it.

“Hand me a spoon, would ya?” she said.

Sweetie Belle said nothing as she turned her head slowly to face her friend to give her a look that was a mix of disgust and concern while maintaining an air of suspicion.

Sunset entered the garage where her car was parked and spotted a pair of feet sticking out from underneath the vehicle. She grabbed an ankle and aggressively pulled Scootaloo out from underneath the car, dragging her body against the concrete floor.

“What do you think you’re doing?” Sunset said with her eyes narrowed, piercing into Scootaloo’s eyes.

Scootaloo recoiled in fear a little, eyes wide, her heart already in her throat from being pulled out from underneath the car so violently. “J-just fixing the car a little bit. Th-that’s all.”

“Fixing it how?” she held her stare.

“It was making a lot of noise last night, I thought I would take a look and see if there was anything wrong.”

Sunset raised an eyebrow, “I didn’t hear anything unusual.”

“Well I did,” Scootaloo sat up, “and I found a couple screws loose which I just barely finished tightening before you pulled me out. I was also planning on taking a look at the engine to see if there’s anything else I can do there.”

Sunset’s stare stood firm, “Like what?”

“Increase fuel efficiency when powered by magic. Sweetie Belle told me what happened last night.”

Sunset stood up and crossed her arms, “What did she say?”

“She told Apple Bloom and me how she helped you stay awake until you got us here, and that you’re the one who gave her the blanket she woke up with. And you told me she found it herself,” she pointed accusingly at Sunset.

Sunset broke eye contact and gave a light, nervous chuckle. “So,” she returned to Scootaloo, “You think you can do it?” she shifted her weight onto one foot.

“Improve the mileage? Pfft. I’ve made cars in much worse condition than this able to run on fumes for a couple hundred miles, which got increasingly difficult as Sweetie Belle’s cooking got better. So this should NOT be a problem.” Scootaloo stood up proudly, then her eyes widened after she realized the last thing she said, and her stance lost its proud look, “Please don’t tell Sweetie Belle anything I said to you about her cooking.” she smiled nervously.

Sunset laughed softly, “Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me, sister.”

“Sister…” She lowered her head, “That’s what Rainbow Dash used to call me. Before she… disappeared.”

“Rainbow Dash?” Sunset thought to herself, “Why does that name sound somewhat familiar?”

“We weren’t really sisters but she always treated me like one. She was the best sister I could ever ask for. The other kids would always make fun of me for being a Pegasus that couldn’t fly. She always believed in me, even when no one else would. She was the best flier I have ever seen. Even before we met, I looked up to her as someone I need to become. She would keep encouraging me to keep trying, and then, one day, I would be as awesome as her. I wanted to be just like her.”

Sunset opened her mouth to say something, but was interrupted by the distinct smell of something being burned, she tensed up and looked towards the kitchen. Scootaloo lifted her head when she smelled it too, but when she saw that the smell came from the kitchen, she shrugged it off.

Sunset burst into the kitchen, followed by a calm Scootaloo and saw Apple Bloom eating out of a can of Spam with a spoon in her mouth and five empty cans in front of her. She froze and looked at Sunset as if she’d been caught with her hand in the cookie jar. Sweetie Belle was at the stove and a large pillar of smoke was rising up in front of her.

“What is going on?” said Sunset, “Is something burning?”

“I’m cooking us a meal.” replied Sweetie Belle in a sing-song voice.

“Cooking what?”

“The Spam.”

Sunset pressed her temples with her right hand. “You don’t cook Spam.”

“Don’ try ta stahp her,” Apple Bloom said, mouth full, she swallowed, “she’s burnt orange juice before.”

Sunset looked up at Apple Bloom, mouth agape, “How-?”

“That happened ONE time!” retorted Sweetie Belle as she held up an index finger, glaring at Apple Bloom.

Apple Bloom rolled her eyes and held up two fingers. Sunset turned to Scootaloo with a look that said, “You weren’t kidding. Were you?”

Scootaloo gave an “I told you so.” look in response.

“Here, want a bite?” Sweetie Belle said, giving Sunset a can filled with a lump of a black mess.

Sunset held the can and stared at it in confusion, trying to figure out if there was still Spam in there or if it was a condensed cloud of ash that Sweetie made while trying to cook the Spam. No, not even a cloud of that size, condensed, would be enough to fill this can, maybe it has a piece of squirrel in it. But where would she even get a squirrel? And would Sunset even want to eat such a squirrel? And why a squirrel?

Sweetie Belle handed Sunset a fork. She grabbed it hesitantly, and took a bite of the black mass. Once she pulled the mass off the fork and into her mouth, she immediately opened it back up, stuck out her tongue and let the wet pile of ash roll off her tongue back into the container before going into a fit of spitting the charcoal flavor out of her mouth.

“Ugh,” Sunset moaned and looked back at Scootaloo, “I thought you said she got better at cooking.”

“This is better,” said Scootaloo, arms crossed, eyes half closed.

“Yeah, before, you would have probably been convulsing on the floor an' spilling out last week’s lunch with that bite,” said Apple Bloom, waving the spoon around as she explained.

“Hey~!” Sweetie Belle put her hands on her hips, sticking her lower lip out.

Sunset was now using her fork to scrape the flakes of ash clinging to her tongue, groaning loudly through the entire process.

“Never… do that… again!” she exclaimed afterward.

After Sunset successfully cleansed her tongue of burnt Spam by gargling vinegar, she and the Crusaders packed up some supplies and continued on their way to New Pegasus.