• Published 11th Aug 2017
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Vanishing Act - redandready45

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Memorials And Confusion

Friday, 12:15 PM

Canterlot High School

Around the noon-afternoon transition, school cafeterias were usually the most energetic place in town. Students would pick at their lunches, while chatting with close friends about a gamut of personal subjects, from dating to sports.

Canterlot High School's cafeteria was normally the rule, not the exception. At this time, the room would echo the chatter of dozens of hungry students.

But today, the sad quiet hung over the students. Yesterday's Friendship Games were supposed to be about them finally triumphing against their hated foe, Crystal Prep Academy. They hoped on Friday, they would get to gloat about finally getting one over the spoiled elites of CPA, and enjoying a party hosted by Pinkie Pie.

Instead, they were spending the day mourning the death of a young girl. While following Sunset's lead and walking out of the Games out of sheer contempt for CPA's selfish blunder gave the students of measure of pride, it didn't little to change the fact that an innocent girl that they liked had died.

The room was quiet, as if Principal Celestia had forced the entire student body into detention. Almost no mirthful conversation occurred, and whatever dialogue occurred was small talk said almost in a daze.

Few ate, with most staring at their food with inconsolable expressions, and those that did eat consumed their sustenance like robots, done out of obligation to bodily needs, and not of enjoyment of food.

At this time, five students walked in, students that looked more miserable than any other students. The Rainbooms, sans Sunset Shimmer, calmly sat down at their usual table. Like the rest of the students, they barely picked at their lunches, and sat in silence, still reeling over the events of the previous night. After a few minutes, they finally attempted to make small talk.

"So," said Rainbow Dash quietly, "have you guys seen Sunset?"

Everyone shook their heads. Dash sighed in sorrow.

"Has she answered your calls," Rainbow Dash asked. Everybody again shook their heads. "I've tried reaching her 3 times, and she hasn't picked up. She also hasn't replied to my texts."

"She's really broken up by this," muttered Fluttershy, her normally sweet voice no less solemn then Rainbow's.

"What do you expect," Applejack drawled,"that school of lowlifes made Twilight use magic again, and look what happened." Applejack exhaled through her nose like an angry bull and narrowed her eyes, a desire to beat up those Shadowbolts flowing through her mind."

"After school, we'll all pay dear Sunset a visit," Rarity exclaimed,"to try and lift her spirits."

"Yeah, that's a good idea," Pinkie Pie muttered in an unusually taciturn tone. Normally, Pinkie would gush at the chance to live up someone's day, but she was not feeling very festive. She didn't even jump into her lunch like she normally did like she was in an eating contest. She just poked her food with a fork. Their stillness of the cafeteria was broken by the sound of the intercom.

"The following students was report to the Main Office immediately," said Vice Principal Luna in the intercom,"Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Fluttershy, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie." The sad stillness was broken as every student turned toward the Rainbooms in anxiety and fear. Every student knew that being called directly to the Main Office by intercom, rather than through a teacher, meant something serious had happened. But when all of the Rainbooms were being called in at once to the Main Office, it meant trouble, usually of a magical variety, was on the horizon. And it was probably tied to last night's events.

The Rainbooms knew this too, and they quickly pulled themselves out of their sorrowful stupor. They jumped from the metal benches they sat on, and hurried over to the Main Office, with everybody in the room nervously gawking at them.

******

The Main Office

Vice Principal Luna sat at her desk tiredly as she awaited the arrival of the Rainbooms, the bluff she and Cadence pulled still reeling on her mind and making her think back to recent events with frustration. When she chose to follow Celestia into education, she never imagined that part of the job description would involve babysitting a bunch of magical teenagers, and fighting demons and evil sirens.

She also never thought she'd be a party to perjury and conspiracy. She lowered her head in annoyance. And her mouth twisted into a disgusted frown. Yes she knew lying was necessary. Cinch clearly had no concern for the safety of her students and had to be removed. The horrible scream of Twilight as she was consumed by the magical sphere of death still echoed through her mind, and she would be darned sure she would never hear it again, as would Cadence.

But there was no way to get rid of Cinch legally without revealing the existence of a magical dimension to a world largely unprepared to deal it. It required getting two student bodies to testify to a more believable untruth, and burying evidence. Being forced to lie to authorities was never a fun thing to do. Only career criminals and the insane could get off on manipulating the law. Normal people would feel sick doing it.

Celestia herself also didn't feel good either, having to lie to the District Attorney. Maybe that's why she insisted on taking a day off.

Luna was broken from her introspection by the arrival of the Rainbooms, her mind returning to pressing matters. They all looked at her with worrying expressions.

"Principal Luna," said Rainbow Dash, her normally brash voice worried, "what's going on."

Luna sighed and pulled out a photograph, and shoved in front them. Fluttershy took the picture in her hands and held it up high enough for her friends to see. What they saw stunned them.

******

"Sugarcoat," Indigo Zap said forcefully, running to her companion as she was pulling some books out of her locker.

"What is it," Sugarcoat asked, her mood somewhat lifted by the news of Cinch's dismissal, but it meant she was back to her usual stoic self.

"Your not going to be believe this," Indigo Zap said with confusion.

"Cinch won a humanitarian prize," Sugarcoat replied in a deadpan expression. Indigo chuckled a merciless laugh. With Cinch being forced to sit in the detention room, shots at their soon-to-be-gone-witch-of-a-Principal were now twice as funny.

"No," Indigo Zap said, her voice became somewhat hesitant. "Some of friends drove to that cafe near Canterlot High. They texted me this picture." She pulled out her smartphone. The image that Sugarcoat almost made her jaw drop.

Someone erected a memorial statue to Twilight at Canterlot on the Southern wall. Even though it was made from cheap clay and was unpainted, it captured the dimensions of their teammate perfectly. For some reason, the statue didn't dress her up Crystal Prep uniform. And her trademark glasses and bun were missing. Her hair instead fell down naturally behind her back.

Sugarcoat stared at the photo, and soon her eyes began to narrow as her mind filled with sadness and confusion.

"Why is Canterlot mourning Twilight harder than us," Sugarcoat asked, her voice a little guilty and aggravated. "She didn't even go there."

"I have no clue," Sunny Flare said, her voice anxious.

"Those CHS punks are always known for being goody toe-shows," Sugarcoat quipped. Indigo Zap looked annoyed, but quickly shoved it down. "But seriously, why are they doing more then we're doing. She was our-," she paused, trying to avoid breaking down.

"Maybe we should get the art department to make something too," Sunny Flare said, her voice filled with guilt and a newfound sense of duty.

"Yeah sure," said Sugarcoat, her deadpan tone replaced the same sense of duty. She walked away to her next class, her heightened mood weakened by the fact that a rival school was honoring Crystal Prep's former student more than they did.

'They definitely were nicer to her then we were', Indigo Zap thought angrily, 'but building a statue for someone they barely knew? Those people were too good for this world'.

******

"I thought you girls said that the Twilight we saw yesterday was not the Princess, but her human counterpart," said Luna civilly, but with a hint of annoyance.

"She wasn't," protested Rainbow Dash,"Princess Twilight is still in Equestria."

"Well most students didn't get that message apparently," replied Luna, the chagrin in her voice becoming stronger. "In the music room, I heard the Flash playing the guitar and singing a song about a dead Princess."

"Oh boy," muttered Applejack, face-palming.

"If Sunset were here, she would be able to deal with this rumor," muttered Rarity. Nowadays when it came to magic in this school, Sunset's word was final. She could stop any magic rumor in its tracks.

"That's the second thing I wanted to talk to you guys about," said Luna, her voice becoming more grave. "I need you guys to go visit Sunset."

"We were already planning on doing that after school," said Pinkie Pie.

"I need you guys to go now," Luna said in a firm tone.

"Why?" asked Fluttershy.

"Sunset didn't call in sick, like she was supposed to if she couldn't come in. I tried calling and texting her and she didn't respond." Luna paused. "I'm worried about her. But I also need to talk to her."

"To deal with the rumors about Princess Twilight," asked Rarity.

"Partly that," Luna replied. "But also, Cadence wants answers about what happened to...Human Twilight. Sunset is the only one who can really give her answers. Cadence wants to meet her personally."

"But Luna," Fluttershy said," Sunset was really upset about what happened. I don't know if you remember, but she was clearly crying. She's not in any shape to...

"Well maybe she should stop whining, and remember how Celestia and I have bent over backwards to help her," Luna spat unkindly. The Rainbooms were shocked by their Principal losing her patience. Luna noticed this and sighed dejectedly.

"Look girls," Luna said sadly,"I'm upset too about what happened, and feel horrible for Sunset. If it were my choice, I'd let Sunset mope. But understand what Cadence is going through. Human Twilight wasn't just her favorite student, she was her sister-in-law." The Rainbooms looked horrified by that. Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie looked ready to cry. "The woman just saw her surrogate sister vanish before her eyes. She deserves to understand why, if not how." Luna paused for a minute, trying to fight tears. "She was able to get Cinch out the door without telling anyone about magic, but in return she wants the truth." She paused again to rub her temples, the stress of it all weighing down on her. The Rainbooms understood the sorrow of that poor women and nodded respectfully.

"I want two of you girls to go to her house," Luna saw them object, and raised her hand. "Don't worry about classes. I'll clear everything up with your teachers. If Sunset can't answer the phone, then she is a mess. So cheer her up, and when she is calm, I'll give Sunset the time, place, and date of when Cadence wants to speak to her. And get her on the CHA group chat, and tell her to clear everything about Princess Twilight."

"I'll go help Sunset cheer her up", Pinkie Pie declared her voice becoming unusually serious. Pinkie Pie's face was like that of a brave soldier about to embark on a serious military objective. Pinkie reached into her hair, and pulled out a yellow balloon, blew air into it, and made a balloon giraffe, and yet somehow remaining dignified and stern.

"I'll go too," Fluttershy said, her soft voice becoming somewhat quiet. "I'll help Sunset get back on her feet."

"Thank you," Luna said, a bit of relief. She turned to Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Applejack. "And can you guys try and deal with these rumors as well."

"Of course," the three said in unison.

Luna looked at these girls with a proud smile as they walked out. Despite all the trouble they brought with them because of their magic, she wouldn't trade them for the world. They had their quirks, they were truly the best people to have watching your back. Maybe Princess Twilight was right. Friendship is magic.

******

Canterlot Statue


The portal to Equestria glowed bright, as someone flew out in a purple blur. Most people who came through the portal collapsed in a heap. But the individual had already made previous trips and landed on the green near the horse statue with grace. Her eyes, however, showed both concern and anger.

"Oh Celestia," Princess Twilight said to herself as her vision cleared from the transdimensional voyage. "I hope you guys are OK!"

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