• Published 18th Mar 2017
  • 3,323 Views, 185 Comments

Equestrian City - Malcontent



It's been almost a decade since the Battle of the Bands and Sunset Shimmer has been trying to clean up the mess she made. After series of unrelated crimes, Sunset, now known as The Phoenix, may need to finally ask for help.

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Episode 6 - "Transitions and Acquisitions"

Equestrian City - Episode 6 "Transitions and Acquisitions”
By DarkMalcontent
Co-author and Proofreading by AlisiaLanet

“Okay, that woman said to remember to breath and to focus my mind.” A young man with light blue skin, teal blue and white short hair, and blue eyes whispered as he looked down to a package in his hands. He looked up and down the hall towards another part of the normal prisoner’s wing of Purgatory. He made his way down to a wall leading outside and hid the bomb in a corner hiding place. “Hope this here works.” He muttered as he set the wireless detonator to active so he could activate it later when needed.

He made his way into a room where he closed the door and pulled out a small travel bag. He pulled out a wig and police outfit. He adjusted his clothing and got into his disguise as a female guard. Speedy hid the bag on his person by using it as extra padding around his chest under the uniform. He adjusted it with a small smirk. “Who says I can’t look good?” he commented to himself before remembering what he had to do. Quickly he left the room to begin blending in with the patrol. He glanced down and adjusted a false I.D. badge on his person that luckily was in the system.

He walked around while helping to monitor inmates, break up any fights and ensure no one was trying to break out. He had to stop himself from racing up to her when he spotted Trixie in her prison suit. He felt his heart jump in seeing the one he adored. She’s alive. I’m so glad that woman was right on that part. He silently thought with relief.

After all had finished eating, he looked over as a voice came over the speaker system. “Alright, time for you orange guys to get some exercise and interact with your fellow inmates in a nice way. That doesn’t mean anyone gets to pound anyone, and yes I’m talking to you Berry Punch.” The speaker cut off as a woman with two toned hair huffed and rolled her eyes, sporting a fading black eye as the inmates were taken out into the activity area.

Trixie grumbled while pacing around the activity center where exercising with hand weights, basketball and other interactive activities were available. “Ugh! None of these childish games are worthy of the great and powerful Trrrrrixie!” she exclaimed strongly with a fisted hand shooting up into the air.

One of the female guards looked over with a small sigh. “Trixie, just try and be semi-behaved and less egotistical? It won’t kill you and you might even be bearable.”

Trixie quickly turned to her, folding her arms with a huff before placing the back of one hand on her cocked hip. “You expect Trixie to interact with common lowlifes who are below her?” she began messing with her hair to fix it. “Trixie will not diminish her reputation.”

“What reputation, phony?” a female sharply asked from her checkerboard, her two colored hair pulled back into a rough ponytail.

Trixie wasted no time in turning to glare at the woman, her hands balled into fists with her eyes narrowed and one even twitching. “Phony?!” she repeated with her voice rising and cracking. “You must take that back!” she straightened her back and placed a hand on her chest. “I am the great and powerful Trixie, master criminal and has faced down the pitiful pink menace Splitsecond.”

The woman named BonBon began laughing and nearly fell off her chair as others began to also find this humorous. “You got caught by her, not escaped her.”

“Shut up BonBon!” Trixie ordered as she stormed over and up to her.

BonBon stood up and locked eyes with the failed magician. “Or you’ll what if I don’t?” she sternly questioned. Trixie didn’t answer but did push BonBon back. She stumbled back a step then returned to her spot while pulling back and throwing a punch. Trixie gave a short shriek as she ducked and scurried away just as two female guards came over.

“Cut it out you two.” One ordered that had purple hair.

“She started it!” Trixie snapped with an accusing finger pointing to BonBon.

BonBon gasped. “I did not!” she pointed her own finger at Trixie. “It was you and your boasting. You aren’t any better than us.”

“I beg your pardon!” Trixie snapped, taking a step towards BonBon but was pulled back by the arm by the second female guard with neon green hair.

“Com’on you, we don’t need any fights breaking out.” She grunted pulling Trixie with her out of the activity area.

In a hallway heading back to the cells, Trixie followed reluctantly. “Trixie doesn’t understand why you decided to pull Trixie away from something she could easily have won.”

The female guard continued silently then smirked as she slowed down and turned to look at Trixie. “Because you are needed by someone else.”

“What are you talking about?”

The guard pulled off her hat, also removing the wig and she took off thin lenses that had been resting on his nose. “I have orders to bust you out. You’ve been paroled.” Trixie blinked looking almost dumbfounded by this information as she couldn’t come up with any names for who could or would have sent another to come get her. He reached out and took hold of Trixie’s wrist. “Hold on tight. Stay close and try to be quiet as we go.”
“Why? Hey!” she protested as he pulled her with him down the hall, making his way towards a set of stairs.

Now to put this into motion. Speedy thought as he would later come to a stop and watch the doors leading out, spying the two guards on duty there. He moved to the side around a corner and put his fingers to his lips.

Trixie glared at him, not the least bit pleased. “Trixie does not enjoy being treated like this.” She hissed annoyedly at him. “And just who the heck are you?”

“I’m a friend who knows you and is very glad you’re alive.” Speedy replied softly and looked around the corner. They’re roughly ten feet away, give or take so I should be able to reach them. He took a breath and released it as he focused his mind before pulling a blunt knuckle band from his pocket. He readied himself, figuring out how he was going to do this before suddenly his body vanished.

Speedy reappeared behind the two guards. He moved and quickly punched one then the other in the head and neck. He stood tall as he watched them both collapse. Speedy looked up and waved Trixie over. She hesitated but did proceed to make her way quickly over. “How in the world did you just do that?!” she questioned with her voice rising and slightly cracking from her shock.

“It may sound not so weird, but magic.” Speedy answered and got on the computer to get the door opened.

“Where did you get magic?”

Speedy pulled out a small device after putting away the knuckle band. “A time ago and just recently learned how to use them...thanks to a new friend I just met also recently.”

Trixie looked at the doors then around before looking at the cell phone like device. “What are you gonna do with that?” she now held a curious yet rude tone to her words.

Speedy smirked and pressed a button. “Just a little distraction.” Simultaneously he pressed a button on the keyboard and watched the doors open before retaking Trixie’s hand. He looked at her with a small blush and smile. “Come on, the outside world awaits!” he lead the way in a run with Trixie staying close.

She looked down at her prison garb and groaned. “Trixie looks horrid in this…”

“Don’t worry Trixie! I was prepared and you can change before we meet her.”

“Meet who?” she questioned curiously but he didn’t answer.

They stopped at a set of trees and bushes where a bag waited Trixie. Inside was a new set of clothes. She hid behind the foliage and got changed before coming out, leaving the suit behind. Once they were a short distance away from the jail, a couple explosions in another part went off, freeing a few other prisoners that were a higher level threat than Trixie. Speedy stopped and looked back, smirking and teleported them again while not giving Trixie time to question anything.

Aria looked to the envelope for some moments before looking to her gemstone. She gently touched it and winced. “...They’re wrong...I have more freedom now than then…” she softly whispered reassuringly to herself. She would take a breath, close her eyes and exhale slowly before her ears caught the sound of talking. Her eyes opened from her lurking spot and turned into the pair that had arrived.

They would stop later some miles outside the city. A panting Trixie glared at the panting man and jerked her arm free. “Just what are you wanting with Trixie?” she hissed hotly.

Speedy went to answer but another voice spoke up from the side. “Don’t worry your little head, Trixie. Our employer has seen you worthy for a gift.”

Trixie looked over and watched Aria step out, pulling something from a hidden pocket on her. “And what is this gift?” she folded her arms, an eyebrow cocked. “Wait I don’t have an employer.”

Aria held out the envelope. “Here, everything inside is for you.” She smoothly stated as she held the white paper creation. Trixie reached out and took the envelope, opening it and starred with a few blinks of confusion at what she found. She pulled out a necklace of black, with a dark metal shape with a pair of wings and a red gem in the center of it.

“It looks pretty, kinda gothic though, but what is it?”

“Let’s just say it’ll give you exactly what you deserve.” Aria calmly said and watched as Trixie put the necklace on. Once it was on, the latch faded, melting into one piece and the stone gave a brief glow which reflected in Trixie’s eyes. Aria gained a small smile as she watched and observed Trixie extend a hand, magic surrounding that hand and lifting a nearby bush out of the ground before dropping it as the magic aura faded.

“What did I just do?! Magic?!” Trixie shrieked with some fright at the sight of what she had just done with such ease.

Aria nodded gently. “Of course, consider it a gift from our..benefactor.” She cocked a hip and began to check out her nails on one hand. “Though I’ll never know why, he believes you deserve it.”

Trixie reached up and couldn’t find the clasp. “Where’d the clasp go? I can’t take it off!” she exclaimed in fright.

“Just relax.” Aria sighed with a roll of her eyes. “You are already set up to get lessons in the Eastern Empire where magic is embraced over being feared.”

The small time crook thought while watching the necklace. “So this can do anything?” she looked up to see the siren nod. “Did you set up transport for the great and powerful?” Aria gave another nod. “...When does Trixie leave?”

“In a few minutes. Speedy will see you there.” She waved as Trixie left with the athletic teleporter. “Have fun.” she softly sang with a smirk but soon that smirk fell and she gently wrapped her arms around herself, her sister's words echoing in her head. She took a breath and a step, taking her leave to look around as she thought about the prizes her and Malcontent would take part in sharing.

***

The Eastern Empire was a mighty city with many towering buildings. The atmosphere wasn’t the most cheerful and had an intimidating feeling lingering in it. The people all had a similar dressing style yet also had their own differences. Another interesting detail could be seen in the streetlamps. They were alight with a floating flame, a flame of magic which changed color based on the hour. At midnight the flames were set to turn purple, at three-o’clock in the morning it would turn red, at six-o’clock in the morning it would turn green, and during the times sunlight would touch the light would become more faded to almost a clear look.

When six-o’clock in the evening came, the light would turn orange, at nine-o’clock at night it would turn a rich almost golden yellow and it would repeat this cycle. Many products were powered by magic harnessed from that fateful day ten years ago. Some products, such as cars, were powered by a fuel and magic since to run them used too much magic when used alone. The strong Eastern Empire was ruled by a strong man with dark toned skin, black hair and favored the use of crystals in the fashioning of his city. His mansion was nothing to scoff at given its grandeur and care put into its design.

The master creator of all this was a young woman who resembled Twilight but had a difference, she needed glasses to see anything and she had an unhealthy desire to merge magic and machine. Emperor Sombra provided her what she needed so long as she furthered their knowledge of magic, its uses and its limits. Over the years of her time there, she’d come under the nickname of Professor Midnight.

Currently Midnight’s project was creating immortality by way of using both magic and machine. Her test subject? Her dog Spike. She had tried previously with birds such as a parrot and a parakeet with both resulting in horrible failures. She also tried with squirrels, chipmunks, mice, foxes and even a couple criminals. All resulted in failures with the need for her to call in the cleanup crew.

One could say Spike got lucky since his master had previous data to go off of. The metallic structure on four legs stood steady and still as a statue. “Just a little more I think...and…” the three tone of purple haired woman said to herself while she worked, observing through goggles snugly held by an elastic band around her head. Her tongue stuck out a little to one corner of her mouth as she adjusted a few things inside the mechanical mind that was to work alongside the magically preserved soul.

Once she had finished her adjustments she went over to a table which had a jar looking item on it that held a glowing orb inside. The glowing orb floated around, flickering white, purple and green colors. The jar was labeled ‘Spikes Soul’ so she wouldn’t forget. She continued to tinker and work away at the mechanical dog before it coming to the point of adding the soul. She took a breath and picked up the jar, approaching the lifeless husk of metal made for company but also defense.

The soul was attached and sealed inside the machine. She pressed a switch and wiped her brow as things began to power up, the screen for the eyes lighting up and soon stabilized into showing two digital eyes. They blinked and the dog opened its mouth. “Yes! I’ve done it!” she cheered with excitement and joy. “Huh?” she looked and gave a screech as the dog let out a brief blast of fire from its flamethrower inside its mouth.

Midnight gasped as she snapped awake, her eyes shooting open as she stared at her dimly lit ceiling. She caught her breath and sat up, putting her glasses on before running a hand through her messy three toned purple hair. “At least it did work.” She whispered and looked down to see the mechanical dog walk up with a tray that held a pitcher of water and empty glass on it. “Thank you.”

“You are welcome.” The mechanical voice responded as she picked up the items, poured herself a glass and drank. “Today you have to present the data to King Sombra.” He informed.

She finished drinking and nodded, setting the items back on the tray. “Very good.” She smiled and stretched which caused her elbows and back to all crack. She sighed as her arms came down and she pushed up off the bed, giving one last stretch before stepping over to a chair to a workstation of computers and tools.

A knock came before the door opened without any order that it was fine to enter. A young woman entered with purple short hair styled back, almost punkish in its look. She came up with her coppery skin tone and violet eyes. “Hey, you’re awake. I was tweaking with the arm you made me and I think I got it to work better!” Scootaloo said excitedly as she flexed her mechanical right arm.

“Uh huh.” Midnight answered flatly as she focused on the data records from theory tests ran by machine during her rest.

Scootaloo took no offense to this as she was used to it after working with The Professor for a few short years after the devastation. She held her arm out and a light on the palm began to glow as it charged up. Scoots also had earplugs in her ears, a wrap going overtop and behind like a wireless headphone one would use for music. A wind began to form before exploding out from her palm and rushed past the back of her head.

Midnight didn’t flinch as the wind flew by and broke apart against the metal and crystal wall on the other side of the room. “What’cha think? I adjusted the settings and I think it moves and fires easier than before.”

“Progress is never bad.” Professor Midnight said proudly as she turned in her chair to face the young adult. “Have you seen about acquiring the metal and pieces I need for the chest plate shield generator?”

Scootaloo nodded as her palm was powering down. “Yes, they will arrive tomorrow.


“Thank you, so while we wait…” Sci Twi looked over a multi-page list of jobs left to do. “Why don’t you find out if we have any test subjects left.” she smiled for once in genuine anticipation. “The new munitions need testing.”

***

Rarity was at her desk and looking over some paperwork for materials needed as well as ideas to keep on top. She held her head in one hand, resulting in her neatly fixed hair to be bunched up some. Her eyes were half open as she stared at the papers scattered across her desk. Her head was throbbing and wouldn’t stop pounding from her hangover.

“Ugh,” she moaned as she lowered her head down with her arms that worked as a pillow. She mumbled before slowly turning her head to look at her alcohol cabinet as she stood up, her hand inadvertently clicked the remote on the television.

“--have been put on high alert since the intrusion was detected. In other news, City Hall released its monthly report from the Department of Research and Analytical Logistics on the Canterlot Disaster Site. Highlights include the output of so called “Magical Ripples” radiating from the center of Ground Zero have decreased by seven percent since last year. Additionally, since the beginning of the scientific outpost established on the edge of the No Man’s Land boundaries, advancement in understanding the fallout of the explosion has accelerated.” The television droned on as Rarity stumbled towards her minibar in the corner of the office. She rubbed her head again with her left hand and began pouring a glass with her other.

“Since the outpost was established, some resistance has been received from various sections of the city. Many citing what they believe to be excessive amounts of material and equipment being sent into the Canterlot Disaster site as a waste of taxpayer money. Money that could be better served in more needy programs, like the so-called Meals for the Needy and other such ones. Supporters of course reject such thoughts, saying the sooner we know everything we can about magic, the better.”

While listening, she finished pouring the beverage and went for the cubed ice compartment. It took her three tries due sharp throbs from her head causing her vision to blur some. She cured under her breath as one cube missed but the next two went in. “One report on the explosion has gave details of “magic”,” the reporter snickered briefly before clearing his throat. “Appear to suggest it was a mixing of multiple “Magical Ripples” happened at once, something like a wave as one scientist described. Another source says that the ripples came from two origin points, but if you ask this guy then I say it was a freak act of nature.”

Rarity stared sadly at her drink as he chuckled on camera. “Too bad it isn’t all a horrible nightmare…” she spoke flatly with tones of sadness in her voice before she took a sip, staying near her minibar. She let out a sigh as she stared at her drink once more before looking over as she heard a knock. “Come in.”

During this outside Rarity’s office. “Did you remember to make sure we got her a good spread?” Twilight asked with her digital tablet in hand.

Spike popped up on the screen to give a nod of his digital purple and green head. “Yup! It’s all ready and waiting on a tray.” He said proudly as he continued. “There should be scrambled eggs, toast with butter and jelly on the side, bacon and mixed fruit with a side onion and broccoli dip.”

“Mmm sounds delicious!” Twilight praised while they made their way into the kitchen. There she saw the silver metal tray as nothing could be less than elegant to fit in. “So this is what you wanted the arm extensions for.” The little digital dragon gave a chuckle with a blush coming onto his icon’s cheeks as he rubbed the back of head. Twilight smiled and giggled. “I’m sure Rarity is going to love having breakfast with some company.”

Twilight picked up the tray and put the tablet to the side with a napkin under it. She grabbed two glasses and a pitcher of water last before starting to head for the elevator to head up to Rarity’s office. “Do...you suppose she’s had a...uh...’eye opener’ yet?” Spike asked with some hesitation. .

Twilight shook her head. “I’m hoping she’s starting to get a handle on it, Spike. But she’s the only one who can help herself, remember.”

“Do you think it would help her if she had a digital Sweetie Belle to be her assistant?”

“Maybe but Rarity has to learn how to cope without her sister and move through the grieving process first.” She stated then continued. “That being said, I had a considerable amount of difficulty just making you...er...Spikey enough to remind me of you. I don’t think I can do that just yet with a more complex personality like Sweetie.”

The elevator dinged as it reached the desired floor and the doors opened. She stepped off the transport and entered the reception area where Silver Spoon was speaking with Coco at her desk, going through the system to help ensure nothing was going off schedule. “Hello Twilight,” Spoons greeted without looking away from her screen. Twilight began to open her mouth but held her question as Coco began to speak. “Yes, Rarity is in her office so go on in.”

Twilight nodded, “Thank you.” She went up to the door and knocked. She waited until she heard Rarity respond before opening the door and stepping through with it closing behind her. “Morning Rarity! How are you?” she noticed the glass in Rarity’s hand but didn’t say a word about it, not yet anyways.

Rarity looked over. “Oh, good morning Twilight. How are you?”

“I’m good, a little sore, but that’s to be expected.” Twilight answered carefully, making sure the door was locked behind her. “...and I brought you a wholesome breakfast!”

“Wonderful darling.” Rarity said when behind her desk as Twilight joined her, setting the tray down and sitting on the edge of the wooden structure. Her overall attention seemed somewhat scattered as she looked over files and various emails, all the while taking the occasional drink from her glass.

Twilight wandered over and set the tray down, pulling out her own data tablet and setting it down next to the tray. “I have some good news to go with it.” She smiled, glad Rarity’s attention was diverted to her when she said that.

“Oh? I love good news. Tell me, darling.” She smiled, picking up a fork and poking at the food items casually.

“I’ll do better, I’ll show you.” Twilight pressed a button on her screen and the night’s entire data, in a more readable and understandable format, begin to splash across her screen. “Here let me get you some juice.” She added, taking the liquor from Rarity in the same moment the purple haired seamstress began to be completely amazed.

“Goodness. This is quite impressive!” she said, her eyes wide for once as the details began to stream across the screen, a small digital avatar of Spike popping up. “Oh, hello Spikey!”

“Hi there! What can I do to help you understand all these numbers, Rarity?” Spike said, his little dog avatar his current guise. “Here’s some internal camera footage of the tests we ran out in the field.”

Twilight was happy Spike distracted her as she took the half finished scotch and poured it down the sink of the wet bar. She washed the glass and kept her motions somewhat small and silent. She had found that trying to be forceful on the matter triggered Rarity’s stubborn side. However, when properly distracted, she quickly forgot about her vices when given something she had a passion for.

“You really did go out and about…” Rarity began to say, half engrossed in the footage and numbers that scrolled past her on the data pad. Several explosions fired on screen and some of Twilight’s audio with Spike played softly. “Oh my! “

Twilight in the meanwhile returned with a glass of sparkling water, setting it next to Rarity. “Yes, we did have a few...discoveries...setbacks...but that happens in the field.”

“Ha! A few? Try more like 324 different improvements needed. She almost bought it landing on the roof, in fact if she hadn’t used the metals she did to make the outer--”

“Spike, let's not focus on the bad.” Twilight interrupted before clearing her throat, noticing the worry on Rarity’s face as Spike rattled off his recount of the night.

Rarity watched silently as the footage of Twilight losing power high in the air and appearing to be coming crashing down, before recovering just in time and landing safely. She leaned back and took a sip of her sparkling water, grimacing at the lack of an alcoholic bite, but not complaining. Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath and opened them, staring back at Twilight.

“Dear Twilight, I….” she swallowed. “I am thrilled you got this much data this fast, but you can’t forget to be careful out there. I can’t have you getting hurt all on account of this project. Don’t get me wrong, we need this contract...” she took another drink and leaned back in her chair. “I--”

“I know you’re worried, Rarity. I don’t blame you, I was worried half way into this entire test, but...” Twilight fidgeted a moment with her hair. “But...I now know what I’m capable of...what the armor is capable of...and with the data we’ve already begun to crunch…” she tried to make her feel better, stumbling on each sentence.

“What she means is that all those improvements...” Spike interrupted, the screen in front of Rarity swapping with a new wireframe of the armor, which slowly morphed as each improvement was implemented in design. “She’s going to be 189% safer than she originally was! New helmet, more armor plating, less bulky boots and arms.” He rifled off the improvements as the blueprints adjusted.

“Right! Absolutely. You see with everything in place...the next time...” Twilight inhaled. “And there will be a next time…” she turned and looked at Rarity. “I’ll know both what to look out for and be more prepared than ever!” she smiled assuredly.

Rarity nodded slowly as both of them assured her several times. She set her water down before rubbing her temples slowly, a headache coming on which was half from stress and half from drinking. She began to show the faintest of tears as she started to speak. “I just don’t want either of you...in harms way. If I lost you to...these problems...that we’re trying to stop...I...” she stopped, choking a bit on her words and turning in her chair to look away from them, silence filling the room.

Twilight looked down for a moment then walked around the desk and stopped by Rarity’s chair. She put a hand on her shoulder for comfort. “I know, Rarity. I know.” She simply said.

“...I close my eyes...and see her...all the time...and I can’t lose someone like that again.” Rarity whispered with tears flowing down her cheeks, running her mascara.

“You won’t.” Twilight said confidently. “I promise.”

Rarity didn’t reply but her breathing kept getting more shallow and she heaved a bit, the sadness overtaking her a bit more.

Twilight took a silent inhale and closed her own eyes, taking a moment to gather her own courage and finally broke the silence. “Rarity...Sweetie Belle...wouldn’t want you to feel like this. She’d want you to be happy…”

“She wouldn’t have to want anything if I hadn’t let her die!” Rarity suddenly shouted, tossing her hand off her shoulder haphazardly. Her sudden change in emotional state shocked Twilight. Her eyes widened as Rarity stood up and hugged her shoulders a minute, staring out her window. A split second later she was holding her head again, wincing in pain. “I need a drink...”

Twilight shook her head. “I think that's the last thing you need at this point, Rarity.” She said confidently. “You’ll never learn to grieve properly unless you stop trying to hide in a bottle of alcohol.” She added, crossing her arms in front of her.

“How dare you!” she turned suddenly to Twilight, barely registering the shocked look on Spike’s screen. She took a step towards her friend, hands balled up in fists. “I run a multi-million dollar corporation! I’m in charge of thousands of people, dozens of divisions and hundreds of projects. I think I’m entitled to a little sip now and again!”
“A little wouldn’t be a problem. What you drink is not ‘a little’. If you had a ‘little sip’ now and again you wouldn’t have a full wet bar in your office.” Twilight responded with a similar tone.

“I am a successful woman, Twilight. Every executive has a wet bar!” she replied quickly, waving her hand in dismissal.

“You are the only one in this entire complex that has one.” Twilight snapped her finger in the wet bar’s direction.

“I’m...” Rarity paused, her face going blank for a moment before returning to it’s almost snobbish appearance. “I’m the most successful!”

A silence came over the room as Twilight gave Rarity a frown, her hands on her hips. The mogal returned the look, turning her head towards her but the rest of her body was defiant with arms crossed. A half moment later, she noticed she was looking at the bottle behind Twilight and in a moment of clarity, she turned completely away.

“I think you should leave, Twilight. I look forward to hearing from you on the next rounds of testing.” Rarity turned and her gaze fell to the floor, staring at her shoes. She noticed that they were different colors, though only a fashion lover like herself would notice onyx versus black.

Twilight gathered up her tablet and turned towards the door slowly, walking silently as an expression of sadness and frustration wore on her face.

“Twilight…” Rarity said with her head raising up but her gaze still fell away. Her friend stopped, turning towards the multi-million dollar CEO. “Be careful...when you’re out and about on your testing. Just...” she stifled a few tears. “Spike, I’m trusting you to make sure she does so.” She tilted her head down before walking over to her glass desk and sat down in the chair, looking at her nails.

“I will, Rarity. I promise.” Spike popped up on Rarity’ desktop computer screen. “Annnd...I can keep you company here too! If...if you want that is.” He added, his avatar turning into a sheep version of his regular self and hiding behind a box on her screen.

Twilight gave a small laugh as did Rarity, breaking the tension finally. “I’ll talk to you later, Rarity.” She finally said while leaving her friend with Spike, hoping his distraction would be a good deterrent to her vices. She suspected Spike may have had the same idea.

***

The slamming of a set of reinforced metal doors echoed down a similarly metal walled hallway as overhead lights flickered in their caged recesses. The noise startled a shaky camerawoman, her blonde hair and grey skin peeking from behind the eyepiece of her equipment. Refocusing her shot, she turned the lens to finetune the image of a light blue reporter who was still being done up in her makeup. The girl applying the dusting of blush was a brunette with slightly yellow toned skin, a pair of glasses resting on her nose and a baseball cap on her head pointed backwards. Fussing over the last bits, she didn’t say much as the reporter read over her note cards.

Finally, the audio girl gave a thumbs up and the makeup girl backed up and out of the shot, then the camera girl counted her down from three and gave her a go signal. The reporter’s blue eyes and short loose brown hair radiated under the lighting as she began her report.

“Purgatory. A place or state of suffering inhabited by the souls of sinners,” she began with her stare at the camera locked in a serious tone. “The namesake of Equestrian City’s Meta Prison is not the only intimidating element it holds. Here we are on location, just outside the maximum security section of Purgatory. Where the penal systems final stage begins: the sentences served by the meta human criminals in this wing are never short, and seldom are they let outside save for a brief yard time before being locked back up behind the safety of these cells.” She knocked on the door of the nearest cell behind her with a hollow echo sounding. “This one is still waiting for it’s occupant, no doubt a dangerous criminal, to arrive. Later this evening we’ll see the actual processing of a convicted meta human, as part of the on going series to help the city understand just what goes on behind Equestrian City’s first and most secure Meta Human Prison. I’m Alisia Lusine, ECN.” She smiled and the light shining on her went out.

“We’re clear.” The camera woman said. “We need to pack up and re-setup over in processing for the next shot.” She began to let the heavy camera down and packed it into an equally large suitcase. “Take us maybe an hour or more, the warden wants a quick talk with you too when you get a second.”

“Sounds good, Bubbles. I’ll go talk with her now.” Alisia handed her mic to the derpy looking camera girl and walked down the hallway, past the security checkpoints and held her visitor pass up as they asked for it.

“Ok, I’ll get this taken care of...say...where’d the makeup girl go? Whats her name? Tara?” Bubbles asked the sound girl, looking around curiously.

“She said she wasn’t feeling well. Went to find a restroom.” The audio girl answered, waving her hand in a direction indicating the restrooms. “Don’t know her name, she’s a temp.”

Shrugging, Bubbles turned and resumed her packing, rolling up cable and packing away large amounts of equipment.

***

Pulling off her heels, Sunset’s bare feet slapped the tiled floor of the last stall of the restroom with the last of her clothing coming off. As quickly as she had disrobed, she pulled off her wig and stored it in her bag in a small zippered pocket. Sitting down, she pulled on her outfit more commonly worn as her persona The Phoenix, assembling it with haste and skill that came with her half decade of quick changes in tight situations. Black form fitting fabric was easy to hide her in the shadows but more importantly it hid the traces of the kevlar she had woven into the padding on it. As pleasing to the eye as her outfit was, nothing about it went without purpose. The kevlar material itself had been hard to come by but it was well worth it in the times she had been less than graceful in dodging incoming small arms fire.

Snapping her belt around her waist, she stood up and pulled her boots on that had the grip and tread specially designed to her night time activities. They had a near airtight seal around the mid calf to keep them on sturdy, protecting her pedicure under steel toe inserts as the clear coating was notwithstanding of much abuse so they did their job well. Her gloves had a similar hold around her wrists, keeping her fingerprints to herself and coated with a fire resistant material to keep her flight powers from burning them off. Zipping up her bag and stashing it behind a sink, she pulled out her goggles from a side pocket and secured them on. They nicely kept her eye colors hidden, her overall features obscured and her vision unobscured.

After a quick check in the mirror and ensuring the door was locked, Sunset looked up and scaled the side of the wall near the air vent while making a mental note to find out why they always made them the right size to crawl through. She secured the hatch behind her and crawled along through the metal with haste. The sooner she could get done with her objective, the better. Sneaking in with the television crew was easy, but the time it would take to get away and back without arousing suspicion was the ticking clock she had working against her. With her memorized map of the duct system flipping through her head, she took a left at an intersection and looked down through various security grates. None had seemed to notice her as she moved through with grace, her goggles holding a set of pen lights to illuminate the way.

Approaching the end of a duct, she peered down into it with her lights going off simultaneously and looked around inside. Sunset took notice of the sole occupant that was asleep in his cot, his brown messy hair short and unkempt. A soft snoring came from the pillow he was using as the name ‘Mitchelson’ on the chest of his jumpsuit, in consistent and steady motion was rising and lowering. Reaching to her belt Sunset pulled out a small tool kit and began to work on the security frame around the vent, quickly unscrewing the security system around the fixture. She detached the casing and put it aside in the duct before swinging herself into the cell and down to the floor silently. She stood up from her crouched landing and moved to shake the cell’s sole occupant awake.

“...eh?” he snorted awake with his freckled face jiggling a moment as he came to his senses. He quickly noticed who was staring beside him with her emotionless eyes locked to his. A hand quickly clasped over his mouth before he could make another sound.

“Hello, Mitch. Let's have a chat.” She said in a lower octave compared to her usual voice, the crime fighting persona fully taking hold. “Your friends rolled over on you and the fact you’re in solitary tells me you aren’t exactly up for good behavior.”

“What's your point?” Mitch finally got out as she moved her hand away. He sat up only to be pushed back down. “Hey!”

“Point is, you could use all the help you can get and I might be able to arrange for the Warden to know how cooperative you were in helping with a case I’m on. Interested?” she asked while looking down at him, crossing her arms in front of her.

“Depends on if I know anything.”

“Someone contracted you to move goods through a warehouse system that were not what they seemed.” Sunset began to explain, keeping an ear out for the guards.

“Not surprising, I’m good at what I do.”

“But this shipment of goods didn’t even make it to your supposed drop point. Someone out smuggled you.” She finished before leaning back into the shadows, her eyes highlighted through her glasses by thin strips of light coming from the single door eye slit. “Now a lot of work went into doing that and I don’t expect you to know who did it. But I do know you can point me in the right direction. So tell me, the shipment heading for the docks this evening, who set it up?”

Mitch thought for a moment then smiled as he remembered what he knew, crossing his own arms in bed. “Maybe I want more than a hero’s good word.”

“I’m not interested in debating what you may or may not get. I’ve made my offer, one that’s gone after I leave this room.” She stood beneath the grate she came in through and opened her hands, palms down and small flames began to erupt from them.

“Alright, don’t get all bent out of shape, Bird Girl.” He sighed and leaned back on his small cot. “Beats being in here alone anyway, suppose there’s a place in the yard I haven’t been jumped yet. The girl you’re looking for goes by the name of Cotton Candy. She works out of Eastern EC, runs with a decent sized gang and recently started working with my...trade.” He chuckled. “She set up the job.”

“What else can you tell me about her?”

“That's it. Never met her, ran into one of her boys though. Gang’s called Purists, some sorta anti meta group, they’ll love you.” He laughed while leaning back and turning his head to the sound of the hallway doors unlocking for bed check. “Now why don’t you--”

Before Mitch could finish, the sound of the grate resealing was all he heard. She was gone without another word.

“That's kinda rude.” He said to himself before his cell door rattled as a nightstick banged on it. “Yeah, yeah, I’m in here.”

***

Evening gave way into night in Equestrian City and one of the tallest structures in the middle of it lit up as it’s exterior light sensors fired off, illuminating the logo on the skyscraper. The logo was that of Tiara Technologies, reading clear and bright in the skyline. Nearby, the Rare Innovations’ logo did the same as did the rest of the major business skyscrapers.

The top floors of the skyscraper named Tiara Tower, were covered in one way glass panels and off limits to all except to a select few. Those few were the most elite of the executive world. The security systems, which were all automated, kept unwanted eyes from the elevators from seeing into the head office, much like the glass did from the outside.

Inside this secured office was a long obsidian desk which sat in a overly empty room with a lone, small figure sitting behind it. The room itself was decorated with dark tones of brown and yellow, with splashes of red here and there. The lone figure sat on what appeared to be an elevated leather chair with the back higher than the occupant by a foot. The office lighting caught a pair of cornflower blue eyes. Their size denoted youth but their gaze reflected a much older age, with a very ragged filled tone behind such innocent appearances.

Diamond Tiara, the only daughter of business tycoon Filthy Rich, peered over progress reports from the many ventures her company was undertaking. Charged with maintaining business and profit in Equestrian City, her father had, partially due to sympathy for her condition, given her free reign over her own conglomerate called Tiara Technologies. Filthy Rich was, for the most part, out of the day-to-day operations of his companies for years now. He retired with her mother to the northern Canterlot Cmonwealth and only visited on holidays, if that.

Tiara liked it just fine this way. Her youth was anything but normal and the reclusive nature she had adopted was partially due to a falling out she had with her only real friend, Silver Spoon. Coupled with the side effects of the magic wave on her, she was completely content to never see the light of day.

Tiara had been affected differently than those that were atomized or given super powers. Where others got super speed or teleportation, she was given quite a different condition. She had stopped growing.

Some would say that it was her immaturity that caused her condition. That it was some sort of cruel joke given to her by fate. None of it was ever said to her face however, but in whispers behind her back.

The condition came with complications as most other meta powers did. In her case she had continue to age but her body would always be that of a thirteen year old girl, the same age she was when she had been at the Battle of the Bands.

It took a while before she even realized there was a problem. Eventually as time passed, and the growth spurt doctors had promised never came, her father poured resources into trying to fix the condition but to no avail. Every specialists, new treatments, studies and serums all failed to make her grow, but she had showed signs of aging internally. Mentally she developed as a young women would with interests in parties, boys and make up. Interest that, despite her eager and vigorous attempts, could not be fulfilled no matter how much she tried. She was trapped in a body of a child with the needs and thoughts of a near middle aged woman, and there wasn't a thing she could do for herself about it.

Second only to the humiliation of being what she was in her eyes, was how others treated her. Her inner circle of servants and assistants treated her well to her face, but the nagging insecurity that never went away always ate at the heiress of Money Corp. After long years of self loathing, she began to turn her anger and hatred of herself into a driving force that was Tiara Technologies. Weapons, Bioscience, counter-metahuman research and experimentation landed her government contracts her R&D filled eagerly.

She was a success. She was feared and respected. She was rich. The only opposition ever to bring her trouble was Rarity and her businesses, all of which tended to compete with her consumer products.

Tiara closed the folder in front of her and hopped down to the floor while her tiny hands moved, clasping behind her back as she turned to stare out at the magnificent view of Equestrian City. Her eyes narrowed as thoughts and problems filled her head. She stared and the more her thoughts continued, her shoulders began to tighten before she turned to her desk sharply. She pressed a few call buttons and a video communication system erupted to life. The screen rose from her desk and the words “M.Dancer” blinked as it rang on the other end.

A very groggy looking woman answered the call with her hair a mess and her glasses crooked. Behind her was a mess of wires and half assembled armored suits. Her dark purple eyes widened as she saw who it was. Her light gray skin tone flush for a moment as she woke up more. While pushing her amaranth hair out of her eyes, she cleared her throat. “Yes, ma’am?”

Diamond Tiara smiled at the fear she saw and replaced the one hand with its mate out of sight. This caused her small tailored suit to part slightly. “Moondancer. Hope it’s not too late?”

“...No not at all, ma’am. Never too busy to help you.” Moondancer’s tone was full of hesitation and uncertainty.

“Good.” Tiara said in the voice of a woman to reflect her true age, not the visible age of a thirteen year old girl. The smile she was maintaining brought Moondancer to shift uncomfortably in her seat. “Then perhaps you can tell me...” her smile fell immediately as she brought one hand forwards, pressing a button on one of the control panels in front of her. Moondancer saw an image from the news coverage pop up on her own screen. It was Twilight’s armored fight with the Maniac which played silently, showing the explosions and weaponry she displayed. “...what that is. Because it looks to me like it’s a similar design to the plans we had smuggled out of Rarity’s Tech lab!” Tiara snapped as her voice rose in frustration.

“Remarkable.” Moondancer began while adjusting her glasses. “We’re not even in the prototype stage. I don’t see how hers can be field testing already…” she said out loud, mainly trying to convince herself that she was just as good as Twilight. She paused and stammered a bit as she realized the anger in Tiara’s voice at the end. “We-uh I-I mean my staff and I are working as hard as we can, but the specifications the E.C.P.D. demand are somewhat...taxing. We’re used to making lethal armaments like the contracts for the military, ma’am. We-we simply can’t--”

“I pay you a considerable sum to get things done!” Tiara snapped, cutting her off while slamming both hands on the desk. “For the most part, you’re adequate.” Tiara stood straight, took a breath and once more folded her hands behind her back while regaining her composure. “However, the contract with E.C.P.D. will cement my hold on all civil activities. As such, it will also ensure a higher percentile when the time for a new mayor comes...a percentile I’ll need if I’m going to unseat our current mayor.” She finished before turning her back to Moondancer and began staring out the windows.

“Yes, ma’am.” Moondancer replied with a tone that held a degree of uninterest on the plans laid out.

Tiara inhaled slowly and turned back around. “I want a working model in three days and field tests performed in a week. Anything else may result in you having to write up your resume for someone else.” Tiara leaned forward and rested her hands on her desk while her eyes lock on Moondancer’s image, a cold glare burning back at the engineer.

There was a long pause before Moondancer mustered up the ability to answer. “I understand, ma’am. I’ll wake everyone else up and we’ll start again.”

“See that you do.” She switched off the screen and turned back to stare out across the
city. Silence filled the room and she closed her eyes with a hand lifted, rubbing the bridge of her nose with her thumb and first two fingers. Some frustration still reflected on her crinkled brow as she began to calculate the next moves she needed. Her focus was broken by the buzz from the intercom on her desk. “Yes?” she questioned after turning and pressing the button to speak.

“Mr. Higgins and Cody are on the line as you requested, m’kay?” a voice on the other end responded.

“Patch it through, Suri, and get me lunch.” Tiara said firmly while sitting back at her desk and picking up the phone. Her chair wobbled gently as she turned to face her window again.

***

“Doctor Eggleston!” a young intern running across a room shouted, the entire place snickering at the words. The girl shouted again and waved a clipboard in the air, leaping down a set of three steps from a platform. Her lab coat fluttered behind her as she took a corner around a few countertops.

The room she traversed was filled with like-dressed peers. The experiments they were working on all seemed based on their respective countertops, but all were seemingly surrounding a huge holding tank in the center of the room. It was a huge containment wall of glass around another layer of metal casing with a single window letting a green dull glow through to observers, one observer near it was inside an ABC suit.

The young blonde haired girl caught up to a taller looking researcher who sat at a far large table. Her purple skin tone turning flush from her jaunt across the room. “Doctor Eggleston!”

“It’s Eccleston!” the researcher barked while he turned, causing his lab coat, which held a badge indicating his rank, to rustle. “What is it, Jane?”

“It’s Sara, doctor...” she corrected him.“I just ran a second round of tests on…” she looked around and hushed her tone. “On project Meltaway.” She cleared her throat. “The results speak for themselves, sir!” she thrust the clipboard in her supervisor’s face.

“The results didn’t seem too worrisome, we increased the shielding around it to prevent --” he looked at the clipboard, cutting his words short as several lines got his attention. “Wait…” he started frantically scanning them now, flipping pages back and forth. He pulled a pair of glasses from his chest pocket and put them on, sitting down under a desk lamp and looking again. “This...can’t be right. If we left the mixture like this--”

“I know sir, and unless we correct the mixture, the device would be--” she started replying before jumping, startled as an alarm sounded and several red lights began flashing.

“What in the name of --” a loud thumping came from the entrance to the room, being two silver doors that appeared to be reinforced by several locking cylinders, causing them to vibrate. Cutting off the professor’s question was a second and more powerful knocking. His glasses were knocked off his face by the third hit, the doors buckled ever so slightly as he picked up a red telephone on his desk. “Security, this is Eccleston, what's going on up there?! Hello?” he hit the receiver reset several times but no one answered.

The entire room full of researchers backed away from the only exit as a fourth knock hit the door and they parted ever so slightly. A bright orange tendril slid into the crack and formed into two hooks quickly. The tendril began to push the doors apart. Slowly but surely, every few millimeters, another shot in and added to the prying motion.

“Good lord...” Eccleston began shuffling through his pockets for a set of keys, which he unceremoniously dropped. Picking them up he opened a drawer on his desk and pulled out a small snub nose pistol and loaded it.

“Run!” someone yelled in the crowd as more tendrils broke through until the door finally gave way off it’s final locking cylinder in the center, causing the doors to swing open with a terrifying throom-like sound. This gave way to the darkness of the hallway behind the invader. A single dark figure stood there and was illuminated by several malfunctioning ceiling lights behind her.

“...and they say science is boring!” Mayhem laughed as she lifted herself up on her tendrils, walking in and grabbing hold of several of the scientists with her living appendages, and started choking them ever so slightly as she lifted them up. “This place has been laughs all over! Those security guards especially!” she threw the four employees she had towards another group, taking them out of the picture. “Now...I’m looking for a Doctor...” her pupils dilated even more for a moment as she brought a finger to her lips, thinking. She then pulled a card from her pocket and read it. “Eccleston?” she tore the card in half and threw it. “Who’s in charge!?”

Several gunshots rang out towards her from her left, making her eyes dart over towards the source as her tendrils shot up to block the bullets with metal chairs in their grip. The sound of empty chambers being struck by a hammer sounded seconds later, and the chairs went flying towards the lead researcher with the snub nose. “Ah, ah ah. That's not very civilized is it?” she chuckled and grabbed the remaining researcher, Sara, and lifted the terrified woman up by the waist to her eye level. “Shall I finish off the rest of your staff, or are you going to cooperate? It’ll save us so much Time!”

Eccleston threw his pistol aside and put his hands spread to his sides, surrendering half heartedly. “Alright. Stupid of me.”

“It’s a wise man who admits his faults freely, Doctor.” Mayhem threw the female to the ground gently, grabbing at him now and lifting him up in a similar fashion but lower to allow her to peer down at him with her insane eyes. “Now...a little birdy...well more of a skank...told me there’s a wonderful device down here. But I need you to open the containment doors for me.” She smiled wide, her grin as unsettling as any other expression she gave.

“You don't want the bomb. You can’t have it! We just found out our calculations were off. If you set that off, it’ll send out a shockwave of such massive proportions--” he responded swiftly, panic in his eyes with his heartbeat accelerating.

“--that it will cause mayhem the likes that the city has never seen!” Sassy finished his sentence excited, her eyes widening at the concept presented. “You’re mistaken, Doctor. I do want the device, more than anything. I understand the project has been underway for a while, with some eight other researchers before you took over? “ the tendrils squeezed around his chest, cutting air off. “Now I could pry my way in but if you could save me the time it takes, I’d be beholding it in a way, and I’d be happy to release both you and your little assistant. Doesn't that sound like a wonderful deal?”

He inhaled and flailed a bit in her grip, the tendrils wrapping around more of him and ruffling his hair, her psychotic grip making the world grow dim around him rapidly. He agreed by nodding his head, gasping for air as she dropped him.

“A sensible man, I like that.” She crossed her arms and her tentacles picked up the female scientist, holding her in it’s curled grasp. “Hurry up now.”

The doctor walked over towards the super enforced containment and pecked at the
keypad. His hands shaking from his near death experience. Soon the sirens silenced and the doors on the interior of the unit began opening with slow precision. Inside was a capsule about the size of a football, held in place with three control arms. He slid a pass card on the keypad and the exterior doors started hissing and opening wide, giving access as the green glow dimmed with the device field spinning down. “There. Now go.”

Mayhem laughed and walked over in front of the unit, tentacles sliding in, grabbing hold of the device, pulling it free and cradling it carefully. “Thank you, dear Doctor, you are a most cooperative hostage. Now, as promised, I shall release you both--” she grinned, a deliberate move by squeezing the life out of Sara like the snuffing of a candle. “..from this life!”

“You treacherous--” was all Eccleston got out before her tendrils wrapped around him and brought him level to her eyes, despite all his struggling in anger and loss.

“Betrayed? So was I. You get over it.” Mayhem responded to his struggles with several spiky tentacles snapping taunt and preparing to strike like a scorpion’s tail. “What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Just look at me!” she laughed as she saw his eyes widen, then nearly bulge as she sent her lethal weapons into his chest.

He went limp as she threw his seemingly lifeless body into the reactor that held the device he had been working on with a dull impact. She laughed again as she turned and walked out the doors she had broken through. “So much for a doctor being a problem.” She said to herself with her head leaning back, laughing as he appendages did the walking for her.

As the sirens and lights still flashed in her absence, the reactor doors closed on an automated timer, locking the exterior doors as well. The inside began to glow brighter and intensely with a yellow celestial like color as if an explosion just went off inside it’s walls.


END OF EPISODE!

Author's Note:

This is the first chapter with my new co-author, Alisia Lanet! Welcome her aboard!

I'd like to thank Drewdini, Discourt, Hannah, Alisia Lanet, Zap and Rivet Rose for all the help and input they gave me during this. I welcome all input, as long as you can be objective / constructive, as I love to talk to my readers! :)

If you spot an easter egg, post about it and I'll confirm or deny ;) I love homages as well so I throw them in everywhere.

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