• Published 8th Nov 2017
  • 2,444 Views, 144 Comments

My Little Planeswalker: Shattered Sunset - Zennistrad



When the portal to Equestria is destroyed, Sunset Shimmer's planeswalker spark awakens in a moment of despair. Upon arriving in a world where souls are transformed by nightfall, the very foundation of Sunset's identity is broken in two.

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Fractured Identity

Author's Note:

This is the point where Shattered Sunset will start to get quite a lot darker in tone. I won’t say that it will be hopelessly bleak from here on, but if dark imagery and high stakes aren’t your thing consider this an advance warning.

As a side note, one of the cards shown in this chapter makes reference to a different card that, as of publishing, has not yet been posted publicly. You’ll see it in a chapter of Sideboard Stories in the near future.

The room was quiet, save for the sound of the heart monitor steadily beeping. Fluttershy lay unconscious in the bed, the medical equipment closely reading all of her vital signs. Nurse Redheart stood closely by the monitor as she observed it, then turned to face us.

I was joined by Twilight, Spike, Starlight, and the four remaining bearers of the Elements as we stood some distance away from the hospital bed. I could see the heartbreak displayed plainly on everyone’s faces. Applejack had even removed her hat, and was clutching it tightly to her chest.

“Is she going to be okay?” said Rainbow. Her voice quivered slightly. If I knew Rainbow, she was almost certainly trying her hardest not to lose her air of confidence, and she was having a difficult time of that.

“Her condition is stable,” said Nurse Redheart. “She’ll need time to heal, but she should be out of here by the end of the week.”

Everyone else breathed a collective sigh of relief. I’d joined in, if only to keep up my act.

“It’s a good thing you called the emergency line when you did, Sunset,” said Applejack. “Ah’d hate to imagine what would’ve happened if you’d waited a moment longer.”

“But what about Discord?” Rarity added. “Darling, are you sure he just... disappeared? Just like that?”

“He was so overcome with grief at hurting his friend,” I said. I spoke in a way so that I barely choked the words out, as though my throat was dry from sobbing. “I guess he just couldn’t take it. I don’t think he’s gone forever, I just... think he wanted to take some time off to compose himself for a bit.”

As always, my statement was intended as a lie, but I did wonder if there was some truth to it. Tricking Discord into vanishing from existence almost felt too easy, and I actually didn’t know if he was gone for good. I’d have to watch my back in case he decided to return. By then, though, I’d have all the power I needed to deal with him. Hopefully.

“I think that’s all the time we have for visits today,” said Nurse Redheart. “You can come back soon, but for now you should let her rest.”

I followed the others as they left the room. We went our separate ways as we left the hospital, and I followed Twilight, Spike, and Starlight back to the castle.

They didn’t speak much on the way back. Their friend’s injury had no doubt left too much on their minds for conversation.

————————

Twilight had warmed up slightly by the time we had dinner that night, and we’d even managed to make some attempts conversation. She’d told me about some of her adventures while planeswalking, and some of the strange and bizarre things she’d seen. Starlight, meanwhile, seemed content to talk about the things she’d been doing with Trixie recently. I didn’t honestly take Trixie for anyone to make friends, but from the way Starlight described her it seemed like they’d really become close. So close, in fact, I was pretty certain at this point that they were more than just friends. Starlight had also mentioned becoming pen pals with a childhood friend named Sunburst, apparently another orange unicorn with extensive knowledge of magical theory. I guess that would explain why she’d so easily made friends with not-me.

After dinner, I excused myself to my guest room. I wasn’t intending on staying, however. As soon as the door was closed, I opened the window and took a look out at the street below. With the visual plain before me, my horn flared, and I teleported onto the street.

Walking back to the hospital was a simple task, though sneaking in would be somewhat harder, especially since there were still some ponies on the streets. Thankfully, I’d paid enough attention while I was in Fluttershy’s room to note where the window was in relation to the outside. I approached the building from the side, by the same window. After making sure no other ponies were looking, I telekinetically lifted the window open. With another flash, I teleported inside.

The interior of the hospital room was deserted, thankfully. Fluttershy lay on the hospital bed, her chest rising and falling with every breath. The wound where the knife had impaled her had been cleaned and stitched shut, and now all that was left was for her to rest until she was ready to leave. I walked over to her bed and gently poked her in the side with a hoof.

“Wakey, wakey, Fluttershy,” I cooed.

“Uuggghhh...” Fluttershy’s eyelids slowly pried themselves open. She slowly turned her head to me, just barely coherent. “Sunset? What are you doing here?”

“Oh, nothing.” My muzzle cracked open into a grin. Judging by the the ‘eep’ that came from Fluttershy, it certainly wasn’t a nice one. “I just wanted to see the look on your face one last time.”

“W-what?”

I didn’t answer. At least, not with words. My mind turned towards a memory of a time long past, when I had broken into the Restricted Section of the Royal Canterlot Library. Despite Princess Celestia’s strict instructions that I was never to go in there, I’d gone in regardless, seeking out the most powerful forbidden magics that I could find. There, in a dark, forgotten tome, was the spell I needed.

A shadow blacker than the darkest of midnights enveloped my horn, and I poured my power into the spell, its arcane might sending shudders of icy cold down my spine. Fluttershy’s mouth opened to scream, but no noise came out. Instead, she convulsed and spasmed, her heart monitor going wild beeping as her body reflexively struggled. Finally, her eyes glazed over, and a transluscent white wisp escaped from her mouth. The wisp spiraled around my horn, and then entered through the tip, embedding itself deep within my own psyche.

Fluttershy’s body lay motionless. The heart monitor remained steady, as though nothing had happened. The spell had the additional effect of preserving the body, so she would live indefinitely in this state, but she certainly would never be the same again.

Then, suddenly, a splitting headache struck me. I clutched my forehead and tried not to scream. Before I knew it, I was doubling over in pain as images pulled themselves to the forefront of my mind.

————————

”Like this, right?”

Sunset watched eagerly as she dropped the tiny crickets one-by-one into the glass enclosure. From a tiny piece of plastic shaped like a log, an even tinier body emerged. Four little legs pattered against the ground, and the gecko’s yellow spotted body seemed to glow beneath the lamplight. Ray flicked his tongue, and each of the crickets disappeared into his hungry maw.

”Aww!” Sunset’s heart practically melted at the sight. She’d never given much thought to the idea of a pet, but something about Ray had her practically doting on him.

”Looks like you’ve got the hang of things. I’m glad you’re enjoying your new animal friend.”

Sunset turned around to see Fluttershy smiling contentedly. “Thanks for coming over to show me how to feed him,” said Sunset. “I’m, uh, pretty new at this animal care stuff.”

”It’s no problem at all,” Fluttershy replied. “I’m always happy to help out a friend.”

————————

Gah! What the hell just happened!?

Ugh, okay, first things first. I have to make sure I’m alright. My head still hurt like crazy, but otherwise I was unharmed. I stood up and found myself in the same hospital room as I was before.

That was so strange. For a moment I really thought I was back on Anthropia, speaking with Fluttershy’s counterpart. But that wasn’t my memory, that was the other me. The one that’s not me. Agh, why am I referring to her as ‘other me’ when she’s not even me at all? She’s nothing but a stupid parasite!

A strange feeling began making its way through my chest. A hollow feeling, something that ate away at me from the inside. I... I felt terrible. Terrible about what I just did. Terrible about what I was going to do. Am I doing something wrong?

No, that’s a stupid question. Of course I’m doing something wrong. What I’m doing is absolutely, irrefutably evil. And you know what? I think I can live with that. If that’s what it takes to get back at Twilight, then so be it.

All of a sudden, I felt a wriggling sensation inside of me. Not within my body, but deeper. It felt good, even soothing in an odd sort of way. I grinned, knowing immediately what it was. Fluttershy’s soul was now held within me, just as I intended. I closed my eyes, relishing in the pleasurable sensations of her struggle, only to be immediately brought out of it by the sound of my own voice.

Fluttershy! What did you do to her!? I... I can hear her voice! She’s crying for help! What did you DO to her!?

You’d better get used to the company, parasite. You’re going to be having a lot more of it.

————————

Fluttershy’s Defeat 2GW

Sorcery

Destroy target artifact, enchantment, or creature with flying. If that permanent is a creature named Fluttershy, Fauna Keeper, prevent all damage that would be dealt to you and creatures you control until your next turn.

“No need to be frightened. Your friends will be joining you soon.”
— Sunset the Exiled

————————

Sunset had quickly come to learn that her own mindscape was not a pleasant place. She perceived it as a dull, grey, featureless chamber, a prison with no apparent entrance or exit, and walls that seemed at once to be both infinitely far away and too cramped to even breathe. At the same time, while she perceived herself as existing within her chamber, all of her senses were linked to those of her body. Everything her other self saw, she saw. Everything her other self experienced, she experienced. And she had no control over any of it. She could only watch helplessly as she was completely isolated from her own body and the outside world.

Most horrifying of all, however, was the knowledge that she’d forced her counterpart to experience exactly the same thing that she was experiencing now. Her other self had proven to be utterly monstrous, but no matter how cruel her actions, Sunset couldn’t help but feel bad for her. Nobody deserved to go through what she was going through, no matter how terrible.

But then there was a new feeling. After her other self cast the terrible spell, Sunset was immediately struck with the sensation that she was no longer alone. A voice called out from beyond the walls, wailing and sobbing uncontrollably.

“S-somepony help! I... I don’t know what’s going on! I... I don’t know where I am... P-Please, I... I’m so scared...”

Sunset’s mental eyes went wide,. “Fluttershy!” she called out, hoping to get her counterpart’s attention. “What did you do to her!? I... I can hear her voice! She’s crying for help! What did you do to her!?”

You’d better get used to the company, parasite. You’re going to be having a lot more of it.

As the sound of her own voice echoed off the grey walls, Sunset went silent. Then, all of a sudden, Fluttershy’s voice called back.

“Sunset? Is... Is that you?”

Though Sunset didn’t strictly have a body within the mental world, she felt a lump forming in her throat. “I-I... I...”

“It’s okay Sunset,” Fluttershy reassured. “I know you weren’t the one who did this. Did that monster trap you here, too?”

“I... Yeah,” said Sunset. “Fluttershy, I’m so sorry. I don’t know what I can do...”

A small, muted sniffling sound came from the beyond the walls. “It’s okay if you don’t know. I... I feel better now, knowing that you’re here with me.”

It was a small comfort, but somehow Sunset found Fluttershy’s presence reassuring. “Yeah. Me too. Don’t worry, I’ll find a way to get us out of here. That’s a promise.”

“Really? Y-you mean it?” said Fluttershy.

“Cross my heart and hope to fly.” A Pinkie Promise was not to be made lightly, and Sunset had set her sights keeping it the very moment she spoke it.

The only thing left to do was figure out how.

————————

I managed to sneak back to my own bedroom without incident, but it was becoming increasingly clear that my task would only become more difficult. It wouldn’t be long before Fluttershy’s friends noticed that her soul was missing, and they’d be put on extra-high alert. I could end up being found out very soon. Thankfully, without Fluttershy they had less chance of pulling some magic rainbow nonsense on me at the last minute and blasting me with some kind of friendship-powered laser.

Of course, there was also the matter of Princess Celestia. She didn’t know I was here yet, but she definitely would know as soon as word of Fluttershy’s condition gets out. I’d have to be prepared to deal with her. The problem was, I had no idea how to take care of someone with her power. I definitely wasn’t as strong as she was, as much as I hated to admit it.

...At least, I wasn’t as strong as she was currently. An idea formed in my mind. It was a massive risk, but then again, so was everything else I was doing. And in the end, it would be oh so worth it.

I brought myself to my bed, an lay myself down to sleep. This time, I didn’t bother to try suppressing my dreams.

————————

The last time her double went to sleep, Sunset found the experience supremely disorienting. Though the prison-like mindscape didn’t change, her connection to her body’s perceptions was severed, leaving her awareness entirely within the boundaries of the grey chamber. It was then that she truly came to understand just how trapped she really was.

This time, however, something was different. As her body slipped further and further into sleep, the mindscape shifted. The grey walls spasmed and shuddered, then began expanding outwards. Soon, they’d expanded so far that they seemed to have disappeared altogether. The ground and ceiling both began shifting and changing shape, and before Sunset knew it her surroundings were unrecognizable from the featureless room she once knew.

Sunset had now found herself standing in a meadow in the middle of the night. It was the same meadow she’d found when she first arrived on Lorwyn. Then a voice called out, her counterpart’s voice.

Congratulations, parasite. You’re finally going to make yourself useful.

Sunset blinked. “What? What are you talking about?”

An unearthly roar cut through the air. The ground quaked, and before Sunset could even think to move, an enormous miasma of tentacles, each one made of pure shadow, burst out of the soil. The tentacles seized at Sunset’s body, grabbing her and hoisting her into the air. Each of her legs was wrapped by the shadowed monster, as was her horn. Neither her body nor her magic could resist. With no other option left, she could do nothing but scream.

As fear began overtaking every part of her body, Sunset looked up towards the sky, seeing the bright image of the full moon. It was then that understood what her counterpart was trying to do. From the moon came a pulse of powerful magic, and a graceful alicorn’s figure coalesced into being. Princess Luna descended from the sky, her eyes hardened with determination, as she came down on the nightmarish monster holding Sunset. A glow of Luna’s horn, and the monster vanished into nothing.

Sunset collapsed onto the ground. Despite lacking a body of her own, she felt thoroughly exhausted. A gentle touch of a wing soothed her shuddering form, and she crawled to her hooves to see Luna’s face gazing down sympathetically.

“Are you alright?” said the Princess of the Night.

“You...” Sunset’s words briefly caught on the lump in her mental form’s throat. “...You shouldn’t have come here, Princess.”

Luna smiled back gently. “Nonsense,” she teased. “As the Princess of the Night, it is my duty to protect you from nightmares.”

“N-no, you don’t understand!” Sunset shot back. “This isn’t a nightmare! It’s a trap!”

“Wha—”

Luna didn’t even get a chance to respond. A second set of shadowed tentacles burst from the ground, immediately seizing her body and binding all of her limbs. Luna thrashed violently against their influence, but with her horn also enveloped by the dark appendages, her magic was cut off before she could even shape it.

Then there was a flash of light, and another Sunset appeared just before Luna, right by Sunset’s side. Sunset nearly jumped back at the sight of her double, and Luna’s eyes went wide.

The other Sunset’s face opened into a grin wide enough that it nearly split her muzzle open. Her teeth looked poised to kill, despite their herbivorous nature. “I want to thank you both for your cooperation. I’d also like to thank Princess Celestia for teaching me about lucid dreaming. I never thought it would be useful for anything, but... well, here we are.”

Sunset’s counterpart lowered her head, and her horn pulsed with the darkest of dark magic.

“No, stop!” Sunset cried out.

By then, however, it was too late. Princess Luna’s form began to shrink and warp, twisting into a stream of color before disappearing straight into the horn of Sunset’s counterpart. Without any more need for them, the counterpart dismissed the tentacles, dissolving into nothing. Already, Sunset could hear Luna’s muffled cries in the distance, and she know that the Princess of the Night had been imprisoned in the mindscape as well.

Sunset’s body trembled. She met her counterpart’s eyes, her legs quivering. “Why?” she uttered. “Why are you doing this?”

“I think you know exactly why, parasite,” the counterpart shot back. “I’m the one you’ve spent so much time and effort denying, after all.”

A flash of light, and Sunset’s counterpart was gone. The realm shifted and twisted as the grey walls closed back in once again, and Sunset could feel her perceptions reconnecting with those of her own body. Luna’s voice grew louder, loud enough for Sunset to make out.

“Let me out of here at once! You won’t get away with this!”

“Princess Luna?” said Sunset.

You! How dare you speak to me after what you’ve done! You’ll pay for this once I escape!”

“U-um, she’s not the one that imprisoned you here, Princess Luna,” Fluttershy’s voice chimed in. “T-there’s somepony else out there that looks and sounds just like her, but I don’t think it’s really her. Sunset’s just as trapped in here as we are.”

There was a pause before Luna’s voice spoke again. “...Ah. I think I understand. I’m sorry, Sunset, I should have known better. I was once trapped within my own mind as well, until Twilight and her friends had freed me.”

Sunset blinked. “Wait, you don’t mean Nightmare Moon, do you?”

“That I do,” said Luna. “I would assume that your double is born from similar dark magic. Tell me, would you happen to be the Sunset Shimmer that was once my sister’s student?”

“It’s complicated, but... yeah,” Sunset replied. “I think... I think my other self wants revenge. I think she blames Princess Celestia for abandoning her, and Twilight for replacing her. Now that she has your soul under her control, there’s no telling what she’ll try to do... I’ll admit, I’m terrified.”

“It is understandable that you would be frightened,” said Luna. “But you are far from alone. We are here for you, and we will support you no matter what happens.”

“But it’s not me that I’m afraid for,” said Sunset. “And besides, I... I made a promise. I promised I’d help Fluttershy, and I’m going to find a way to help you, too.”

“Thank you, Sunset Shimmer,” Luna replied. “But do not pressure yourself too greatly. Your own well-being should be just as much a concern for you as ours.”

“I... I guess I’ll keep that in mind,” said Sunset. “Thanks, Princess Luna.”

————————

Luna’s Defeat UB

Instant

Counter target creature or enchantment spell. If a spell named Luna of the Night is countered this way, its controller puts the top ten cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.

“Don’t worry, this is all just a dream. You’ll disappear when I wake up.”
— Sunset the Exiled

————————

As I woke up, I felt the pleasant sensation of another soul inside of me. Luna was far more difficult to restrain, for obvious reasons, but she’d gone down easily thanks to the fact that I’d caught her completely off-guard. She’d definitely put up more of a fight if I didn’t set up a trap, that’s for certain.

Of course, this also meant that I was on an even stricter clock than before. Time Turner was already arriving tomorrow and could likely ruin everything just by himself, but now I’d gone and stolen the soul of one of the highest authorities in Equestria. Princess Celestia would no doubt wake up to find her sister’s soulless body lying somewhere in the castle, and you’d better believe she’d be upset about it.

That left me with a strong chance of getting caught in the act today. If that happened, I’d have to be prepared to fight off not just Twilight and her remaining friends, but Princess Celestia as well. Thankfully, I now had Luna’s magic to draw from if I needed it, so a direct confrontation was much more of an option than it was before. Still, I wanted to avoid that for as long as I could. We’ll just see if I can keep up the facade for the rest of the day.

I slowly climbed out of bed and crawled to my hooves. Then, suddenly, my head was once again struck with unbearable pain. Memories flooded forth into my awareness, engulfing every part of my being.

————————

Sunset Shimmer inhaled deeply as she stepped into Vice Principal Luna’s office. She wasn’t yet aware of the reason she was there, but she had a feeling that she wasn’t there to be congratulated. As she stepped inside, the stern image of a middle-aged woman gazed back, her fingers steepled on her desk.

”Please, have a seat.”

At Luna’s word, Sunset pulled out the chair and sat down on the seat before the Vice Principal’s desk. For many agonizing seconds, slow ticking of the clock was the only sound that could be heard in the room.

”Sunset Shimmer,” said Luna, “do you understand why I have called you here today?”

”No, ma’am,” Sunset responded.

”Then allow me to help you,” said Luna. She reached into a drawer into her desk and pulled out a stack of papers. Most of them were forms of various sorts, but among them Sunset recognized a photocopy of a government-issued birth certificate, and a photocopy of a passport. A shiver ran down Sunset’s spine at the sight. Already she had an idea of where this was going.

”Do you recognize these documents, Sunset?” said Luna.

Sunset’s eyes drew towards the ground. ”...Yes,” she admitted. “They’re the papers I sent to apply for Canterlot High.”

”Indeed they are,” said Luna. Her gaze narrowed, seeming to bore directly into Sunset’s soul. “And from what I can tell, all of this information is forged, including your fake birth certificate and fake passport.”

Sunset gulped. “A-and that means I’m in trouble?”

”Not exactly,” Luna responded. “You see, Miss Shimmer, yours is a very interesting case. I’ve found no records of anyone with your name, or even anyone matching your appearance. Your forged information lists you as a legally emancipated minor, yet the people you named as your parents have never even heard of you. This leaves me with no way of knowing who your real parents are. You understand, this is all very concerning.”

Sunset shrank back in her seat. She didn’t think ‘my parents are magical ponies from another dimension and abandoned me when I was a foal’ would be a convincing explanation. A sigh escaped her throat.

“Alright, you got me. The truth is, I... I don’t have any parents. I haven’t had a real family for almost as long as I can remember.”

Luna’s eyes went wide. “I... I see. And you have no legal guardians to speak of?”

”No,” said Sunset. “Just me.” She looked up at Luna, the corners of her eyes already becoming damp. She suddenly lunged forward out of her chair, kneeling down before the desk and looking up at Luna with tear-soaked eyes. “Please don’t call Child Services!” she begged. “I... I can’t go to them! I just can’t! I have a job, I have a home I’ve built for myself, everything! I can’t lose it all! Please...”

Luna stared back at Sunset, her expression remaining unreadable. Finally, she reached out, resting her palm against Sunset’s outstretched hand. “Calm down,” she said. Sunset’s body relaxed almost immediately. Luna inhaled, then let out a sharp breath. “Before I begin, you must understand that what I’m about to say to you is wildly irresponsible for someone of my position. If you tell anyone else of this, there will be dire consequences for both of us.”

Sunset’s jaw very nearly dropped. ”You’re letting me off the hook?”

”Not entirely,” Luna firmly replied. “My sister does not yet know of any of this. If she finds out, I can guarantee that she’ll not be so lenient. But for now, I won’t call Child Services. You can keep your home, your job, and whatever else you have for the time being.”

Sunset sniffled slightly, wiping the tear from her eyes. ”I...”

Luna raised a finger, immediately seizing Sunset’s attention. “However,” she said, “I can’t in good conscience allow you to live without any support.” She reached into her desk and pulled out a business card, handing it to Sunset. “Here is my number. If there’s ever an emergency, call me right away. If you ever need food, clothing, or a roof over your head, I’ll provide it for you without hesitation.”

Sunset held the card in her hand. Tears once again began to fill her eyes, but they weren’t tears of sorrow or desperation. They were tears of something else, a warm feeling she hadn’t once experienced since she’d passed through the Mirror.

”Thank you, Luna”, she whispered. “Thank you so much.”

————————

I let out a gasp as the memory finally finished playing. I... I don’t understand. Where are these things coming from? They’re not just ordinary memories, it feels like I’m actually reliving them. Every single one so far has been connected to the counterpart of someone who’s soul I’d absorbed. But why? Why would—

A scowl crossed my face. I know what’s going on here. It’s that parasite. I don’t know how she’s doing it, but somehow she’s bringing up these memories in an attempt to guilt me out of what I was doing. And the worst part? It was almost working. I felt genuinely disgusted with myself for what I did to Princess Luna, so much that it actually made my stomach churn.

I had to get rid of that parasite, somehow. But I didn’t know how to do it. I closed my eyes and concentrated, hoping to recall any spell I might have memorized during my time as Celestia’s student that could help me. After some effort, I found one. It wasn’t exactly what I would need by itself, but with some creativity I could modify it to suit my own purposes. But to get it to work, I needed a simulacrum.

My eyes darted about the bedroom. Nothing here that would work, so I decided to look elsewhere. I quietly left the room, being sure not to make too much noise. It was still very early in the morning; Twilight and the others were probably not awake yet. I briefly through the many other guestrooms in the hallway, scanning each and every one of them for something that might work. Finally, after more than a dozen attempts, I’d found it.

There, sitting on a desk by the bed, was a simple wooden music box. On top of that music box was a white porcelain figure, shaped into a unicorn wearing a tutu. As the device was winding down, it would likely have spun around in tune with the music. I grasped the item in my magical grip and placed it in front of me.

My horn lit up with energy, and I recited the modified spell in my mind. Then, in a flash, everything changed.

————————

Sunset wasn’t sure what had happened. One moment, she was still trapped within the mindscape. Princess Luna had decided to tell her and Fluttershy a story to keep them both occupied, and for a while she’d managed to hold their attention. At the very least, it was nice to have some company.

Then, right in the middle of one of Luna’s tales, everything was suddenly gone. The grey room disappeared in a blur of light and color, and Sunset felt herself being literally pulled outside of the mindscape. Her perceptions twisted and writhed as she was suddenly and forcefully extracted, and then stuffed into... something. She couldn’t rightly tell what. Her head spun, and she found herself suddenly feeling very, very fragile.

When Sunset opened her eyes, she found herself precariously balancing on one hoof in a ballerina pose. There, looming above her, was herself. Her counterpart was absolutely gargantuan in comparison to her, enough so that even a single one of her eyes was almost larger than her entire body. And worst of all, the other Sunset was glaring at her with what could only have been murderous intent.

Sunset jumped out of the way just in time for a bolt of teal magic to strike the music box she was sitting on, reducing it to ash. She didn’t even think as she ran away as fast as her tiny form could carry her, bolting straight through her counterpart’s gargantuan legs and into the hallway. Her body, no longer made of flesh, didn’t show any signs of tiring as she sprinted. Zaps of magic narrowly passed by her, leaving scorch marks on the floor in several places that she had occupied just moments before impact.

As she neared reached the end of the hallway, Sunset was faced with no exit, save for an open window. Relative to her new size, it was so high up that reaching it may as well have been jumping onto the roof of a building from the ground. And yet, she didn’t even hesitate. Driven purely by her own flight response, she jumped up into the air. Her form soared far, far higher than her legs should have been able to propel her, straight through the open window and past the wall of the building.

It was then that she realized just what a mistake she’d made. The guest room her counterpart had stayed in was on the third floor of the castle, high enough that a fall would seriously injure even a normal-sized unicorn. But she wasn’t a normal unicorn anymore, she was something much more delicate. With her body of porcelain, the impact would shatter her into pieces.

Thinking quickly, Sunset called upon her magic. It was a tiny pool of mana, so much so that she almost didn’t notice it was there, yet it was still something she could use. Her mind strained with exertion as she called upon every last drop of magic she could harness, channeling it into a feather fall spell.

The spell had come not a moment too soon, as only a few seconds after her descent slowed, her hooves touched lightly against the ground. Despite her lack of lungs, muscles, or a working circulatory system, Sunset felt absolutely exhausted. Feather fall was one of the absolute simplest spells a unicorn could learn, and it had drained her almost completely.

She then took the time to observe her surroundings. Sunset stood on the cobblestone pavement before the castle, her form so tiny that her entire leg would fall into one of the cracks if she wasn’t careful. The sun had only barely risen above the horizon, and there were scarcely any ponies yet on the streets. That itself was a relief, as if she’d been on the streets later in the day there would be a significant risk of getting trampled to death. She turned back at her own body, getting a close look at it for the first time. She looked just like herself, only wearing a cream-colored tutu, yet the impossible smoothness of her entire body made it clear that this wasn’t what she was meant to be.

Sunset instinctively mimicked a motion similar to a sigh. When no air passed her lips, a shudder ran down her back. Everything about her felt alien, more alien than any transformation into another species could have possibly made her feel. She was a figurine. A toy. Not even alive, but a thing.

Yet, somehow, none of it was discouraging. She had a body now. She had control. She could put a stop to her counterpart, and free her friends’ souls.

And one way or another, that was exactly what she would do.

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Sunset, Severed Conscience W

Legendary Artifact Creature — Unicorn

1W, sacrifice Sunset, Severed Conscience: Search your library for a white Sunset planeswalker card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Shuffle your library afterwards.

“No matter what it takes, I’ll find a way to stop myself.”

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