• Published 28th Apr 2018
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Light and Magic - Allenator05



Sunset Shimmer has made mistakes in her past that she's trying to move on and learn from. What happens when she meets an iron-willed Guardian with a similar past?

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Hard Knocks

The next morning, Sunset Shimmer woke to the sound of her alarm going off. She growled and slapped it several times before finally silencing the alarm. Sunset Shimmer slowly sat up and rubbed her eyes. "Maybe I shouldn't have stayed up so late," she muttered. She yawned and stretched before standing up. Sunset Shimmer made her way down the stairs to the bathroom and stopped. A strange woman with white hair was sitting cross-legged on her floor. Her eyes were closed like she was meditating.

"What the-" Sunset Shimmer muttered. Her brain finally broke through the fog of sleep and yesterday's events came rushing back. Her eyes went wide and she gasped. "That was real?"

"Of course it was," Hildr replied. She squinted her eyes and made a face, displeased that her quiet time was interrupted. She opened her eyes and stared up at Sunset Shimmer. "Sit. I have much to talk about with you."

"Uh, okay," Sunset Shimmer replied hesitantly and sat down across from Hildr. She couldn't believe Hildr could be so overbearing, especially in the morning! This made Sunset Shimmer hate mornings even more.

Hildr stared at Sunset Shimmer until the young girl was filled with trepidation. "Are we going to talk or are you just going to sit there and stare at me?" she asked.

"I don't know. I haven't decided yet," Hildr said. Sunset Shimmer groaned. "Well can I at least get dressed first?" she asked.

"What's wrong with what you are wearing?" Hildr asked.

"If I'm going to be interrogated, I want to be wearing something other than pajamas," Sunset Shimmer said with a frown. "At least give me that courtesy." After a moment, Hildr gave a curt nod of approval. Sighing to herself, Sunset Shimmer rose to her feet and set about getting ready for the day. She went to the bathroom and ran a brush through her hair, straightening out the tangles. Next she changed into clean clothes, shorts and a purple t-shirt with ¾ sleeves. Sunset Shimmer stared at her reflection in the mirror and sighed. "What could possibly go wrong?" she asked herself.

When she came out of the bathroom, Sunset Shimmer noticed Hildr was wearing different clothes, a long sleeve tunic that reached to mid-thigh with black and white leggings, and brown calf length boots. She had moved to the couch and was reading a book. Sunset Shimmer pulled out her chair and sat across from her. Hildr looked up and saw Sunset Shimmer. She closed the book and put it aside before leaning forward, resting her elbows on her knees. "Now. I am going to ask you some questions and I want you to answer honestly," she said.

"Okay?" Sunset Shimmer replied.

Hildr stared intently at Sunset Shimmer. "Is it true that there is another land, also known as Equestria, populated by talking animals, specifically ponies?"

Sunset Shimmer was taken aback. "Wh-where did you hear that from?" she asked.

Hildr nodded in the direction of the computer. "Your computer. Now answer the question."

Sunset Shimmer cleared her throat. "It is theorized that there is indeed a parallel world inhabited by talking animals."

"Now. Is it true that you were originally an inhabitant of this so-called parallel world?" Hildr asked.

Sunset Shimmer fidgeted nervously in her seat. "What difference does it make?" she asked.

"It matters because I want to know what kind of person I am dealing with," Hildr said. "Are you the bratty, arrogant fool who came here looking to build an army with the Element of Magic, or are you the repentant, thoughtful young woman trying to make up for her past mistakes?"

Sunset Shimmer sat up and glared at Hildr. "I admit I have made mistakes in the past. I was wrong to do what I did. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about it. I've done my best to put it behind me and move forward."

Hildr leaned back. "I am impressed. The little girl has some steel after all."

"What are you getting at? What is this even about?" Sunset Shimmer exasperated.

"Watch your tone," HIldr warned. "I still haven't decided if I can trust you or not."

"Who are you to talk to me that way?" Sunset Shimmer replied angrily. She jumped to her feet, knocking her chair back. "You are a stranger in this world and I let you stay in MY house as a courtesy! Show some thanks and have some respect!"

Hildr slowly rose to her feet and stood over Sunset Shimmer. "Watch yourself little girl. I am indeed a stranger to you, and you would be wise not to push your luck."

"Or what?" Sunset Shimmer challenged.

"Okay, okay. Let's dial it back a little, yeah?" Raven appeared and pushed his way in between, separating Hildr and Sunset Shimmer. "She does have a point. We are guests after all."

"I haven't forgotten," Hildr muttered. She sat back down and let out a deep breath. "Please sit and we will continue." Warily, Sunset Shimmer retrieved her chair and sat back down.

"Now then. Is it true that true magic exists in this world?" Hildr asked.

Sunset Shimmer nodded. It was useless to cover up or lie at this point. "Yes. And it's likely my fault when I brought the Element of Magic here."

"I see," Hildr said and stroked her chin. "And why did you do this in the first place?"

Sunset Shimmer shrugged. "It's like you say. I was a bratty and arrogant fool."

Hildr frowned. "From what I was able to find out on your computer, it seems that there weren't any consequences for bringing magic to this world, destroying a school, or causing general mayhem."

"What do you mean?" Sunset Shimmer asked.

"What I mean is, why aren't you in jail? In my experience, people have been locked up for lesser offences," Hildr said.

"I…I don't really know," Sunset Shimmer replied with a frown. "The thought never occurred to me."

Hildr stared at Sunset Shimmer, her mouth slightly agape. "So what did you do? Apologize profusely and they let you go?"

"Pretty much," Sunset Shimmer replied sheepishly. "Although I DID have to fix all the damage I caused."

Hilder shook her head and leaned back. "The rules of this world make little sense to me."

Sunset Shimmer stared down at her hands. "I failed because I didn't truly understand what makes the magic powerful. It may sound corny, but in this world, friendship is the most powerful magic of all."

"The power of friendship?" Hildr asked evenly. Sunset Shimmer nodded. Hildr closed her eyes and rubbed her temples. "What have I gotten myself into?"

"I should ask myself the same question," Sunset Shimmer muttered. She stared at Hildr out of the corner of her eye. "So do I get to ask a question?" she asked. Hildr nodded. "What was that metal monster last night?" Sunset Shimmer asked.

"That was a Vex Minotaur," Hildr replied.

"Why was it after you?" Sunset Shimmer asked.

"The Vex are a race of mechanical beings with the ability to travel through time and space using a network known as the Nexus," Hildr said. "That Minotaur was chasing me because I was using the Nexus to travel back to a previous time."

Sunset Shimmer stared at Hildr. "Time traveling robots? Why?"

"The Vex are using the Nexus and super computers the size of planets to simulate infinite possibilities to reach the most favorable outcome," Hildr said. "The ultimate goal of the Vex is still unknown, but it seems to revolve around incorporating themselves into the fabric of the universe."

Sunset Shimmer sat back. This was all quite overwhelming. She didn't know what to think. "So that bright shiny light was a portal?" she asked.

"Correct," Hildr replied.

"Are there more of those portals?" Sunset Shimmer asked.

"I don't know. I'm not from here remember?" Hidr said. Sunset Shimmer frowned. "Are you always like this?"

"Like what?" Hildr asked.

"Like this?" Sunset Shimmer replied. She gestured at Hildr. "So…abrasive and unlikeable."

"Is that what you think?" Hildr asked. Sunset Shimmer hesitated, then nodded. "You are free to believe what you will. Frankly, I don't care if you like me or not," Hildr said.

This confused Sunset Shimmer. "But don't you have friends where you come from?"

"Not anymore. They are all dead," Hidr replied curtly.

Sunset Shimmer was taken aback. "I'm…I'm sorry. I didn't know."

"Of course you didn't know. You don't know anything about me," Hidr replied.

"GRRRRRRRR!" Sunset Shimmer's face twisted in frustration. "You are the most difficult person I have ever met!"

Hildr cocked her head to the side. "What do you know about the history of this place?"

Sunset Shimmer's anger was replaced with confusion. "Not much I'm afraid. Why?"

"I'm trying to figure out why my Light still works on your world," Hildr said.

"Light? You mean your magic?" Sunset Shimmer asked. Hildr glanced at Sunset Shimmer. "I suppose Light could be mistaken for magic," she said.

Sunset Shimmer thought for a moment. "You weren't able to find anything about the history of Equestria on the internet?"

"Actually, that's what I was doing when you first came down this morning," Raven said. "Since then, I haven't gotten very far since you two started bickering."

"Is there a library I could visit?" Hildr asked.

"Yes, but I don't think that's a good idea," Sunset Shimmer said.

"Why not?" Hildr asked.

Sunset Shimmer looked around. "I don't think that you should be out and about. What happens if we run into one of my friends and they start asking questions?"

"That's not my problem," Hidr replied.

Sunset Shimmer glared at Hildr. "So what then, you want me to just tell them the truth?"

"That's up to you," Hildr said. "Look at it this way. The quicker I find what I'm looking for, the faster I can leave and you can go back to your daily life. Isn't that the best solution for both of us?"

Sunset Shimmer scowled and rubbed her head vigorously. "Are you intentionally trying to make my life difficult?"

Hildr cocked her head to the side. "I fail to see how my actions will have such a negative impact on you. If this will be such a problem for you, perhaps I should find some other arrangement."

Sunset Shimmer looked up and stared at Hildr. "Really? Where will you go? What will you do?"

Hildr shrugged. "Apparently, anywhere away from you would be suitable. Like I said before, I've stayed in worse places than this."

Sunset Shimmer wanted to pull her hair out. What is with this woman? She took a few calming breaths and said, "I'm sure we can work something out. It's better than having you be homeless during the time you are here."

Hildr rose to her feet. "If you insist. Now, please show me the way to the library."

Sunset Shimmer rolled her eyes and led Hildr out the door after putting on her boots. During the walk to the library, Sunset Shimmer kept looking around, hoping she didn't run into any of her friends. Because that's exactly what I need right now, she thought sarcastically.

Hildr looked around and took note of her surroundings. Something about this place just felt…off…to her for some reason. She had a nagging feeling in the back of her mind that something was just different. The people she met on the way seemed nice enough and the streets and sidewalks were clean. There wasn't much vehicle traffic, but Hidr wasn't sure if that was just because of their current location in town. "How much farther?" she asked.

"Not far, just a few more blocks," Sunset Shimmer replied. So far so good. Everyone else must be working at their part time jobs. The only real worry was Twilight Sparkle. She would be the mostly likely person they would run into at the library and the absolute LAST person Sunset Shimmer wanted to encounter right now. She felt a twinge of guilt for actively wanting to avoid her friends, but the less they knew right now, the better.

Before long, they came across a large brick building that resembled a castle. "This is the Library," Sunset Shimmer said.

Hildr looked up at the building. "Hmm. I've seen buildings like this before, but never in this condition."

"Better?" Sunset Shimmer asked.

"Worse," Hildr replied. "Usually in ruins and scavenged for anything useful long ago."

Sunset Shimmer gasped. "What's it like where you come from?" she asked cautiously.

"Not anywhere near as nice as this," Hildr replied and walked up the stairs. Sunset Shimmer could only stare. What does that mean? Just what kinds of terrible things have happened to her?

Hildr walked inside and looked around. The outside made the library seem deceptively small. She was pleased to find the library housed a large collection. In the center near the help desk was computer stations. Still being morning, the library wasn't very busy. "This certainly puts the Tower library to shame doesn't it," she muttered to herself.

"Let's not spend too much time here," Raven said. "The longer we're here, the greater chance we'll be discovered by one of Sunset Shimmer's friends."

Hildr waved him off. "Not my concern. Shouldn't YOU be worried about attracting too much attention?" With a sigh, Raven disappeared.

Hildr found the Reference section and started looking for history books. Once she had accumulated a sizeable stack, she sat down and started reading.

Meanwhile, Sunset Shimmer poked her head inside and nervously looked around. Seeing no one she recognized, she relaxed a bit and entered. She sat down at a computer and put her head in her hand. "Why is she so interested in the history of this place?" Sunset Shimmer started idly searching the library database. While she clicked through the pages, her mind started to wander. "Wouldn't it make more sense to just go back through the portal she came in?" She tapped her chin. "But that little floating box did say they lost access, whatever that means."

To Sunset Shimmer's surprise, she started to wonder about Hildr. Who was she really? What had happened to cause her to undertake such a dangerous journey? What was her world like? Did she come from the future, or some kind of alternate past? What was the deal with her armor? What weapons did she use to defeat that Vex monster? And more importantly, what was the secret behind Hildr's magic? She called it "Light," but Sunset Shimmer had never heard of such a thing. It certainly seemed powerful, with the way she fought that, what was it again? Vex Minotaur? Speaking of which, what other kinds of enemies did Hildr have? Were they all just as menacing as the Vex?

Sunset Shimmer sighed. She actually enjoyed studying and learning, but history was her least favorite subject. Sure there was that saying about repeating history if you failed to learn from it, but Sunset Shimmer was more the type to accept the past and keep looking forward. What happened, happened and there was no going back to change it. One of the things she learned was to stand up, dust yourself off, take your licks and continue forward. Sunset Shimmer had an odd feeling that Hildr might be similar to herself in that respect. But if that were so, what was she trying to achieve by hijacking the Vex network?

After some half-hearted searching, Sunset Shimmer came across an article discussing the founding of the city of Canterlot. It seemed the city was founded more than one hundred years ago by three families that agreed to work together during an incredibly hard year, a summer drought followed by an equally harsh winter. Due to the trees in the surrounding hills, Canterlot quickly grew into a lumber town. As the town expanded, the economy became more diverse. Lumber was still a big part of Canterlot, but was followed closely by a movie studio and several research and development firms. It was all quite interesting, but nothing to suggest that Hildr might find what she was looking for.

"Well that's it for Canterlot itself, but where did those three families come from?" Sunset Shimmer wondered. Before she could answer that question, a reflection in the computer screen caught her eye. She turned around and saw Hildr walking through the bookshelves. Curious, Sunset Shimmer got up to follow.

Hildr walked back to her little corner and found Raven scanning a new book. "Find anything yet?"

"Oh all kinds of things, just not necessarily anything you want to know," Raven replied.

Hildr sighed and sat back down. "This isn't getting us anywhere."

Sunset Shimmer poked her head around the book stack. "Need a study partner?"

Hildr looked up and stared. "It can't hurt I guess," she said.

Feeling slightly miffed, Sunset Shimmer sat across from Hildr and pulled out a book. "What exactly are you looking for?" she asked, flipping pages.

"Ideally something that says 'Vex conflux here!'" Raven said. Startled, Sunset Shimmer stared at Raven. "Just what are you anyway?"

"I am a Ghost," Raven said.

Sunset Shimmer suppressed a shiver. "Like, a dead person?"

Raven chuckled. "No, nothing like that. The actual story would take too long to tell, and quite frankly doesn't really matter. Just know that I won't hurt you in any way and will be quite helpful."

"If you say so," Sunset Shimmer said. "So what exactly is a Vex conflux?"

"Think of it as an access point for the Vex network," Raven said. "I can use that to trick the network into activating a portal and letting us inside."

"And this Vex network thing, that's what you are using to travel through time? How does that work? Why are you even doing it?" Sunset Shimmer asked.

Raven was about to reply when Hildr cut him off. "What's with all the questions? You wanted to help, so help."

Sunset Shimmer glared at Hildr. "I would help if I knew what I was looking for."

Hildr glared back. "Like Raven said, look for any mention of strange portals or white glowing trees. Confluxes manifest themselves in the form of data lines that resemble glowing trees. And portals are like the one you saw the other night."

"See? Was that so hard?" Sunset Shimmer retorted.

"I didn't think I would have to explain everything to a smart girl such as yourself," Hildr replied.

Sunset Shimmer slammed her fists on the table. "If you didn't say anything, how would I know what to look for?"

"Like you are so fond of pointing out, you're from here. You should know what seems out of place," Hildr replied.

Sunset Shimmer snarled and angrily grabbed her book.

Raven suddenly looked up. "Hildr, we need to go!"

Hildr jumped to her feet. "What's wrong?"

Raven quickly turned to Hildr. "The Vex portal is active!"

Hildr quickly ran through the library and out the door, Raven following close behind. Sunset Shimmer stared with her mouth open. She quickly snapped out of it and decided to follow. I don't know if I can be any help.

Hildr raced through town, retracing her steps to Sunset Shimmer's house and on to the woods. As she entered the tree line, Raven manifested her armor and weapons. By the time she reached the portal, Hildr was in full combat gear and ready to go. "What indications do you have?" she asked.

"All I'm getting right now is the portal is active and something is starting to come through," Raven said. Sure enough, Vex Goblins started to appear. They seemed so out of place in this world, cold mechanical beings in a place that had nothing else like them. The Goblins took note of Hildr and opened fire. Hildr ducked behind a tree for cover. "Our first priority is to disable the portal so no more Vex show up," Raven said.

"But we need that portal!" Hildr shouted. She peeked out and sent a couple of controlled bursts into the glowing center of a Goblin. It exploded and fell apart with a gush of milky white fluid.

"We can always fix it later," Raven said. "Right now we need to stop the Vex from coming through!"

Hildr growled and tossed a flaming orb into the group of Goblins. They immediately started to burn and melt apart. The portal flashed again and more Goblins and a Minotaur appeared. Hildr readied her pulse rifle and started shooting.

Sunset Shimmer was breathing heavily by the time she reached the top of the hill. She couldn't believe how quickly Hildr could move. She leaned on a tree and tried to catch her breath. An errant bolt of energy whizzed past Sunset Shimmer's head and she ducked. She peeked around the tree and saw Hildr fighting more Vex robots. Despite being outnumbered, she didn't appear to need any help.

What are you doing? Sunset Shimmer asked herself. What made you think you could help? What makes you think she NEEDS any help? At best you'll just get in the way. As she was starting to feel down, Sunset Shimmer slapped her cheeks. Let's go girl! You're not completely helpless. She looked around and saw a large rock, just out of reach. If she did nothing, none of the Vex would notice her and she would stay relatively safe. But if she stuck her neck out, the Vex would surely find her and try and kill her. That thought sent a chill down her spine. Despite everything she and her friends had been through, never once did Sunset Shimmer feel they were in any real danger. But this was different. One misstep and she really might die. Her mouth went dry and her heart started to race. Was this what she wanted? Just then, Hildr let out a shout and Sunset Shimmer made up her mind. She reached out to the rock and closed her eyes to focus.

Equestrian magic worked differently in this world, but with the way her magic had evolved since camp, Sunset Shimmer was certain that some of her old abilities could work. She touched the magic potential deep inside her and focused its energy in her hands. Opening her eyes, Sunset Shimmer stared at the rock and willed it to move. Sweat beaded on her brow as she concentrated. A red aura appeared around her hands as she thought about moving the rock. She imagined the magic as an extension of her hand and reached out to grab the rock. The red aura appeared around the rock and the rock lifted into the air. Sunset Shimmer grinned at her success and imagined throwing the rock as hard as she could. The rock flew forward and clanged against the Minotaur. Now alerted, it turned in Sunset Shimmer's direction.

Hildr saw a large rock fly out of nowhere and hit the Minotaur. She wanted scream in frustration. How could that girl be so stupid? Hildr swapped her pulse rifle for her shotgun and ran in close to the Vex Goblins and swiftly killed them all.

The Minotaur stalked toward Sunset Shimmer's position. It focused on her tree and stopped. Sunset Shimmer snuck around behind the Minotaur and blasted it with as much energy as she could muster. As the Minotaur quickly turned around, Sunset Shimmer ducked under its arm and hid behind another tree. Gasping for breath, Sunset Shimmer tried to remember what Hildr had told her about the Vex and what she had done to kill them. The glowing white spot on its chest seemed like a good place to start.

Sunset Shimmer peeked again and levitated another large rock. When the Minotaur turned back her direction, she launched the rock at its midsection. Her plan was good, but she didn't count on the purple energy field deflecting the blow. The Minotaur lowered its weapon and launched a series of energy projectiles in Sunset Shimmer's direction.

Sunset Shimmer's eyes went wide. The Minotaur was too close and there was nothing she could do. She threw up her arms to protect her face and ducked behind the tree. The energy projectiles exploded the tree, turning it into deadly splinters. Sunset Shimmer cried out as chunks of wood imbedded themselves in her arms and legs. The blast knocked her back and she hid her head against a bolder.

Hildr let out a roar as the Minotaur stomped toward Sunset Shimmer. She cocked her arm and threw a ball of fiery energy at the Minotaur. The grenade exploded and became a small sun, burning and eating away at the Minotaur's shields. Hildr discarded her current weapon and reached for her sword. She slid the remaining distance and brought her sword up just in time to block the Minotaur from crushing Sunset Shimmer.

Grunting with effort, Hildr rose to her feet and pushed the Minotaur back. Hildr held the sword in a guard position and activated her Radiance. Her body was bathed in light and wings of fire sprouted from her back and she began throwing orbs of fire at the Minotaur as fast as she could. Hildr's sword became sheathed in fire and she started swinging at the Minotaur with powerful strikes.

Groggily, Sunset Shimmer opened her eyes. Everything ached, but there was a constant throbbing pain. Her eyes focused on a bright and shining figure, fighting the Minotaur. So powerful, so amazing, she thought. She looked down at herself and saw her magical aura surrounding her body. A sharp pain stabbed her in the side as she tried to sit up.

The Minotaur tripped and fell back and Hildr instantly jumped on it. She raised her sword high and plunged it right in the Minotaur's midsection, piercing the container of white fluid. The Minotaur twitched and became still. Hildr pulled her sword free and sighed. She looked back to Sunset Shimmer and saw she had sprouted pony ears on top of her head and her hair had grown longer. A weak red aura surrounded her body.

Hildr sheathed her sword and ran to Sunset Shimmer's side. "Raven! Get my med kit!" she shouted.

"Done," Raven replied and a cloth satchel appeared at Hildr's side. Hildr tore the bag open and quickly asked, "How much longer will my Radiance last?"

"Only for a few more moments," Raven replied. Hildr put her face next to Sunset Shimmer's. "This is going to hurt very badly very soon," she warned. Sunset Shimmer weakly nodded her head. Hildr gave Sunset Shimmer a quick look over. She was bleeding profusely, but most of the wounds were shallow. "Raven, give me a body scan," Hildr said as she started pulling out some of the bigger splinters. Sunset Shimmer winced with each one.

The flames surrounding Hildr's body finally extinguished and Sunset Shimmer cried out as the pain quickly increased. Without Hildr's aura to bolster her own magic, Sunset Shimmer's aura sputtered out and she felt the full extent of her injuries. "Scans are complete. Multiple puncture wounds and contusions, none are life threatening. Also suffering from moderate head trauma."

Hildr put her hands on Sunset Shimmer's head and gently felt around. Her fingers came away bloody from the back of her head. "I think I found the source of the head trauma," she said and pulled out a cap-looking device and fitted it to Sunset Shimmer's head. Hildr then pulled out cloth and disinfectant and began cleaning Sunset Shimmer's wounds. "Raven, keep scanning her head. I'm worried about bleeding or swelling," she said.

After she had bandaged the worst of Sunset Shimmer's injuries, Hildr put her finger in front of Sunset Shimmer's face. "Can you hear me? Do you understand what I am saying?" she asked.

"Y-yeah," Sunset Shimmer replied shakily.

"Good. Tell me your name and where you are from," Hildr said.

"My name?" Sunset Shimmer asked with a frown. "You know what it is,"

"I need you to tell me," Hildr insisted.

"Sunset Shimmer," she replied.

"Where are you from?" Hildr repeated.

"Canterlot in Equestria," Sunset Shimer replied.

"This Equestria or the other one?" Hildr asked.

"Other Equestria?" Sunset Shimmer asked.

"The one with ponies," Hildr replied forcefully.

"Yes. I am from Equestria with ponies. I used to be a pony but I came here," Sunset Shimmer said.

"Good. Now follow my finger with your eyes, do not turn your head," Hildr instructed and Sunset Shimmer's eyes followed Hildr's finger up, down, left right, around in a circle, back and forth.

"I'm seeing no sign of significant head injury," Raven said. "A moderate concussion at most."

Hildr sat back on her heels. "The wound on her head might require stitches. Let's keep an eye on her for the rest of the day to make sure the symptoms don't worsen." She reached into her bag again and pulled out a bottle of water and pills. She handed both to Sunset Shimmer. "Take two pills and drink the water," she instructed.

Sunset Shimmer did so and made a face as she swallowed the pills. "What were those for?"

"Reducing the pain and swelling," Hildr said. She blew out a breath and put her supplies back in her satchel. Raven put the bag back in storage as Hildr rose to her feet. "Now is not the time to say the things I want to say. For now, I will take you back to your house and keep you under observation."

Sunset Shimmer nodded and sighed dejectedly. She winced in pain as Hildr helped her to her feet. Sudden dizziness came over her and she felt the urge to vomit. "I think I'm going to be sick."

"Definitely concussed," Hildr said.

The wave of nausea passed and Sunset Shimmer let out a shaky breath. "How are we going to get to my house? I don't think I can make it down the hill in one piece."

"First things first though," Hildr said. She left Sunset Shimmer's side and approached the portal. "Raven, give me something big."

"Coming right up," Raven said and a rocket launcher appeared in Hildr's arms. She took aim and blasted the portal with rockets until it was a smoking mess.

"Um, didn't you need that?" Sunset Shimmer asked.

"Yes, but this is the only way to make sure the Vex don't come back using this portal," Hildr replied. The rocket launcher disappeared back into her storage and she picked up all her weapons. "And to answer your other question, we're going to have to use my Sparrow."

"Your what now?" Sunset Shimmer asked. Rather than answer, Hildr nodded to Raven and her Sparrow materialized.

Sunset Shimmer didn't know what to think. It looked like a motorcycle, but it had no wheels and looked to be floating in the air. Two control vanes extended out of the front. "How is it floating?" she asked.

"Questions later. Home and rest now," Hildr said and mounted her Sparrow. She looked to Sunset Shimmer and patted the seat behind her. "Get on and hold tight."

Sunset Shimmer sat gingerly behind Hildr and held on to her belt. Hildr sighed and pulled Sunset Shimmer's arms around her waist. "Don't be shy. Wouldn't want you to fall off and bump your head, now."

Sunset Simmer was too tired and too hurt to laugh or make a comment at the joke. Hildr maneuvered the Sparrow through the trees and set off down the hill. The journey passed quickly and Hildr took great pains to make sure they weren't seen on the way to Sunset Shimmer's house. Hildr helped Sunset Shimmer inside and put her on the couch. Hildr pulled off her helmet and replaced her armor with the tunic she was wearing earlier. Sunset Shimmer could only stare. "Why did you help me?" she asked.

Hildr glared at Sunset Shimmer. "I could ask you the same question."

"You first," Sunset Shimmer said. Hildr frowned and snorted. "Fine. I am a Medic and you are a little girl who has no idea what she's dealing with. Based on that, how would it look if you died under mysterious circumstances?"

Sunset Shimmer was too tired to argue. "Fine." She thought back to the battle and remembered how Hildr fought the Minotaur, bathed in light and wielding a flaming sword. She also remembered being in awe of such a spectacle. "How are you so cool and so unlikeable at the same time?" she muttered.

Hildr shook Sunset Shimmer on the shoulder. "Hey. Try and stay awake a little while longer."

"Why?" Sunset Shimmer yawned.

"You have a concussion and I need to monitor your symptoms to make sure they don't get worse," Hildr said. She refilled the water bottle and handed it to Sunset Shimmer. "Now then, why did you come after me?"

Sunset Shimmer took a long pull on the water. "To be honest, I wasn't sure if you would even need my help."

"I didn't," Hidlr replied curtly.

Sunset Shimmer sighed and tried to tamp down her rising anger. "Even so, better to have help and not need it than need help and not have it."

"That is a rather weak argument," Hildr said. She leaned over and took Sunset Shimmer's face in her hands and inspected her eyes. "If you had stayed at the library, you wouldn't have gotten hurt."

"I'm tougher than you think," Sunset Shimmer replied.

"Clearly," Hildr replied. She stood up and looked Sunset Shimmer over. "I suppose you have your magic to thank that you injuries aren't worse."

"I still feel like I was run over by a bus," Sunset Shimmer groaned.

"If it makes you feel better, you look like you were," Hildr replied.

"It doesn't," Sunset Shimmer said with a glare. She watched as Hildr moved about her house. "So what is your Light exactly?" she asked.

"Not now. You need to rest," Hildr said. Sunset Shimmer rolled her eyes. "Well if I can't sleep and you don't want to talk, can you hand me a book to read?" Hildr looked at the bookshelf. "Anything in particular?" she asked.

Sunset Shimmer shrugged. "Whatever strikes your fancy." Hildr looked at the titles and pulled one off the shelf. She handed it to Sunset Shimmer and sat across from her. "If you start to have any new or worsening pain, let me know immediately."

"Why?" Sunset Shimmer asked.

"That could be a sign there is something else wrong with you or your injuries are getting worse," Hildr said.

Sunset Shimmer looked down at her bandages. "You did a very good job fixing me up."

"I've had lots of practice," Hildr replied indifferently. Sunset Shimmer sighed and read her book. Several hours later, Hildr looked her over again and Raven performed another full body scan. Convinced she wasn't going to get worse, Hildr gave Sunset Shimmer more pills and allowed her to lie down. Sunset Shimmer gratefully collapsed into her bed and fell asleep.


Dear Princess Twilight,

Forget everything I said about being bored. Right now I WISH I could go back that. So much has happened in such a short time. I apologize if my handwriting is difficult to read, but I suffered some injuries yesterday. Nothing too threatening, but it made me realize all the same that Canterlot can act like a bubble that insulates us from the outside world. Until I came here, not much happened. I guess you could say that I'm to blame for all the excitement.

But enough about that. My guest Hildr continues to confuse and infuriate me. Sometimes I wonder if she does it on purpose. I know I'm still working on this friendship thing, and I'm doing my best, but sometimes she makes me want to pull my hair out!

We had an incident yesterday, and it's the reason I'm a bit banged up. I suppose it is my own fault for getting hurt. More of those Vex machines showed up and Hildr put a stop to them. I thought I could use my magic to help, but I found out I have a lot to learn about using magic offensively.

Hildr saved my life. That's the easiest way to put it. The big Vex called a Minotaur knocked me down and hurt me real bad. It was going to kill me. No doubt about it. There is no reasoning with these machines. They have no emotion and follow one logic. Instead, I am able to sit here and write in this journal.

I wish you could have seen it. Hildr swooped in, wielding a sword and stopped the Minotaur from hurting me further. Then she used her strange magic and her body became enveloped in golden light and great wings of fire sprouted from her back. I have seen this twice and I am in awe every time. She literally flew through the air and pushed the Minotaur back. The humans here have legends of winged female warriors with wings called Valkyries and that's what she reminded me of, a Valkyrie flying over the battlefield.

Not only did Hildr defeat the Vex, she patched me up. It seems she's a medic of sorts where she came from. She certainly knows her stuff. I'm a bit sore, but I'll live. Might have a scar or two and an interesting story.

Other than the excitement, there's not much else to tell. I admit I've been avoiding my friends for obvious reasons. I don't know what I've been drug into, but I don't want to see them get hurt. I get the feeling that won't matter though. If anything else happens, I'll let you know.

Your Friend,

Sunset Shimmer