• Published 15th Jul 2018
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Duel to Save Camp Everfree - Darthvalgaav



The Rainbooms are heading up to help raise funds for Camp Everfree (again!) when they notice that something has gone wrong.

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Trouble in Camp Everfree

Sunset Shimmer looked out the window of the bus as the passing countryside brought her a sensation of peace. Far removed from endless tall buildings, paved streets, crowded sidewalks, a Starbucks on every block, and so on was a nice change a pace. The endless grazing lands before her and corn fields that stretched out as far as the eye could see reminded the flame haired girl of the world that she had been born in. It was nice to have a friendly reminder of her homeland.


However, there was also a sense of worry that even the memory of Equestria couldn’t undo. Looking away from the window, she saw her fellow Rainbooms doing their best to keep themselves entertained before they made it to their destination. Rarity was looking over one of the many fashion magazines she had brought with her, flipping through them at a blazing page. Fluttershy was looking over her notebook at one of their latest songs to see if it needed any tweaking. Rainbow had her headphones on and was rocking out hard to a song that everyone else could also hear due to the volume being maxed out. Thankfully, everyone was able to tune it out by now. Twilight was typing away at her laptop, occasionally pausing to scratch Spike’s back. Applejack was munching on one of the snack she had brought with her, apples of course. And Pinkie Pie…


“Oooooh, I just can’t wait!” she cried out as she bounced around the bus like a pink rubber ball. “Going back to Camp Everfree for another fundraiser concert! Not only that, but we get to do all that fun camping stuff all over again for the rest of the weekend! This is just so exciting! Can anybody else think of anything more exciting than this? Because I know I sure can’t!” Pinkie appeared next to Twilight, causing the girl to bounce in her seat. “But I bet you’re just a teeny tiny more excited than the rest of us Twilight. Getting to see Timber again soooo soon, hmmm?” This statement got the nerdy girl to blush while also getting the attention of some of the other girls.


“Well, I guess I am,” said Twilight as she looked down, biting her lower lip as she did. “A little anyways.”


“And I bet I know what you’re doing on your laptop darling,” said Rarity as she set down her magazine and turning to face Twilight. A sly smile graced her face. “Another one of your checklists for a marvelous date with your strapping boyfriend perhaps?”


“Should I get more fireflies, just in case?” asked Fluttershy as she thought back to the last date Twilight and Timber shared.


“Actually no,” replied Twilight as she was eager to talk about anything else right now that wasn’t so personal or embarrassing. “Just writing down some ideas for new Genex cards to send to Industrial Illusions. You know, trying to get them some actual support cards that might help them out a bit.”


“But ah thought ya did that last weekend,” said Applejack with a raised eyebrow. “Ya showed be like thirteen different card ideas.”


“I think it was two weeks ago,” commented a thoughtful looking Pinkie Pie. “I’m super sure about it because I was babysitting for the Cakes while video chatting with Twilight.”


“You’re both right,” said Twilight in a dejected tone. “Ever since my duel with Princess Twilight, I’ve been trying to convince Industrial Illusions to update some of their older archetypes or just give support to the ones they never gave before. Especially Genex due to the fact that they have so many monsters but no real support cards to assist them. But they have been tossing out all my ideas because they have nothing to do with the lore of the cards.” Twilight then crossed her arms looking hurt. “At least, that’s what they’re saying. I think the real reason is that they won’t do it because I might be the only person in the world who seriously plays them.”


“Are you sure,” began Sunset, but caught herself. The last thing she really wanted was to dump the worries that had been inside her since the duel between the two Twilight’s. Especially not now when they were all looking forward to a fun weekend. She didn’t want them to spend it worrying silently like she was. However, now that she had spoken, everyone was looking at her right now. Even Rainbow Dash, who had been nudged into the conversation thanks to Applejack. So, with a sigh, she continued. “Are you sure you should be worrying about support cards when there are bigger issues?”


“What, like comics?” asked Rainbow Dash.


Sunset rolled her eyes. “No, like the fact that Twilight’s monsters don’t act like normal holograms!” she said. “Every time Twilight duels with them they seem to have a bit more, I don’t know, personality. It’s like they’re alive.”


“Really?” asked Pinkie. “I always thought that Twilight hacked into her duel disk to add those animations. Or that she somehow got the new patch before any of us. I really like that they added all sorts of new summoning animations, attack animations, dancing animations, and-”


“Pinkie!” shouted Sunset, causing the hyper pink girl to flinch. Sunset let out a sigh before speaking. “I’m sorry for shouting, but this is serious. I already checked for something like that and found nothing. This might be Equestrian magic at work.”


“Really?” deadpanned Rainbow. “Equestrian magic has somehow infected Twilight’s duel disk.”


“No, her cards,” said Sunset before she turned her attention to Twilight. “Remember when I asked you to duel using my duel disk?” Sunset paused to allow Twilight to confirm this with a nod. “Well they acted the exact same way they did when you play with yours. Meaning that the magic has to be in your cards somehow and its giving them life.”


“Sunset, sugarcube, they aint nothing more than holograms,” said Applejack firmly yet kindly. “Even if they are alive somehow, they can’t be doing nothing serious ta any of us. An aint ya the one telling all of us to embrace the magic?”


“But that’s magic controlled by us,” stated Sunset who couldn’t believe that she had to explain this to them. Couldn’t they understand the dangers involved? Apparently not since they all looked at her blankly. So after giving an exacerbated sigh she continued. “Magic that gives life to the lifeless is very difficult and considered a dark art. This is because no one knows how they will act or do. They could become violent and start attacking people-”


“Ah, Sunset,” interrupted Pinkie. “You do remember that they are holograms, right? They can’t really hurt us if we don’t want them to.”


“But what if that doesn’t work?” demanded Sunset while she slammed her hand onto the seat in frustration. “What if the magic that is slowly bringing them to life soon allows them to gain physical bodies? Who knows how they’ll react. They could become confused and violent, attacking people at random! Also, we have no idea where this magic came from or if Twilight’s the only one who has it! What if there are more people out there whose cards are acting like Twilight’s or something else? What if other people go looking for these enchanted cards? What if the Dazzlings find out about this new magic and decide to go hunting for it while we’re away?”


-x-


At that very moment the door opened up, revealing Adagio in all her terrifying glory. “Alright Rainbooms! It’s time for you to suffer for everything you’ve done…to…us?” As Aria walked into the room with her head down, focused on her smart phone, Adagio looked around the empty music room. “Where are they?!? I thought they had practice here every day!”


“I told you that school is closed on Saturdays,” grumbled Aria. “While we wasted time sneaking in here, they’re probably out doing their friendship crap. That or they have a music gig. Told you we should have stayed in bed. That or actually go to work.”


Adagio slapped herself on the forehead loudly before slowly lowering it across her face. As soon as her hand left her face she spun around to glare at the only other Siren in the room. “And I told you that we need to get our hands on those geodes that they have. You’ve heard the rumors about what happened at Camp Everfree and what those idiots can do now. I bet if we could get just one of them we might be able to restore our lost powers.”


Aria looked up from her smart phone with a deadpan expression. “Ok, so your big plan was to kick down the door and loudly announce yourself to anyone who happened to be in here at the time? Why didn’t we just find their homes and steal the geodes while their asleep or something like that?”


“Because I want them to know I’m coming so they’ll be in a state of constant fear and terror,” growled Adagio. “Besides, they’d never expect something like this.”


Aria sighed as she looked down at her smartphone. “I feel like ever since we kicked Sonata out of the house you’ve been acting dumber to make up for her. Like you miss that half wit or something.”


Adagio gritted her teeth as her eyes seemed to glow red with rage. “I do not miss that backstabbing blunderhead,” she fumed with rage. “Now, help me search this room. Maybe we’ll get lucky and those idiots left one of their geodes in here. Or maybe we’ll find out what their plans are for the weekend.” As she turned around to start looking, Adagio heard her phone ringing. Annoyed, she pulled it out and saw that the caller was none other than the blue skinned Siren she had just been talking about. Hoping that Sonata was calling to beg for forgiveness or something, Adagio accepted the call with the intent of yelling at her some more. “What do you want?”


“Hey Adagio,” came Sonata’s cheerful voice. “I was just wondering if you and Aria were coming in today. Your shifts started about an hour ago. If you two are just running late again then-”


“We have better things to do then wasting our time at that crappy taco dump,” yelled Adagio. “Like trying to restore our lost powers so that everyone here will love us!”


“…so you’re not coming into work,” said Sonata, her voice sounding dejected.


“Very good Sonata,” mocked Adagio with a grin. “You managed to figure that out all by yourself. I’ll be sure to give you a gold star.”


“I’m sorry Adagio, but it looks like now I’ll have to fire you and Aria,” replied Sonata bluntly, causing Adagio’s eyes to widen. The words seemed to echo in Adagio’s head while reality seemed to break all around her. Had the Siren heard right? That the idiot on the other line had the power to fire her? No, it had to be some sort of mistake. A bluff or…or something! There was no way that moron was in any way above her!


“Y-You idiot, you can’t fire ME!” screamed Adagio into the phone.


There was a pause for a minute, making Adagio think that Sonata was going to cry or apologize for this lame joke. However, neither of those things happened. “Geez Adagio, there no need to yell into the phone and hurt my ear,” complained Sonata. “Also, I actually can fire you. I just got the promotion to day manager this morning and my training just started! Isn’t this great!”


“But…But,” stammered Adagio as her brain tried to process this information.


“Oh, right,” she heard Sonata say, probably talking to someone else on the other side. “Look, I’ll need you and Aria to turn in your uniforms by the end of the week if you want your last paycheck. I’ll also be sending a questionnaire to your place to ask about your experience working at Taco Loco. You don’t have to do it, but any feedback we can get to help improve is, ah, welcome. Well, gotta go!” And with that, Sonata hung up the phone as Adagio stood there with her mouth hanging open.


-x-


Back on the bus, Applejack moved over to Sunset and sat next to her. “Sugarcube, there ain't no use in worrying about a bucket load of what-if’s,” she said while placing a hand on Sunset’s shoulder. “The Sirens try anything an we’ll make’em sorry. As for Twi’s deck, maybe ya might wanna give it a tad more time before ya start assuming something bad might happen. Twi sure doesn’t think something’s wrong, right sugarcube?”


“Of course not,” replied Twilight as Sunset turned to face her. “Ever since I dueled against Princess Twilight, I’ve felt closer to my deck. Sometimes it even feels like their supporting me, encouraging me to continue.” She then looked around the bus. “I just wish all of you could experience this as well. Then maybe Sunset would be less worried.”


“That would be so amazing,” exclaimed Pinkie as her eye lit up with joy. At lightning speeds she pulled out her deck, grinning at it. “Just imagine all the adventures we could have! Me and my deck, solving the greatest mysteries of the City of Canterlot. Then when we’re done we can be chilling out in the school yard and never working too hard.”


“Ah, I don’t know about that,” said Fluttershy as she gave Pinkie a weary look before pulling out her own deck. “But I do like the idea of having more people supporting me. It would be like having friends that you never had to say goodbye to because it’s time to come home or that a place doesn’t allow you to bring in your cute little friends.”


“I think I get enough support from my folks,” said Rainbow as she too pulled out her deck. “But if Sunset is right and other people have magically infused decks then maybe we’ll have to duel them like in those animes and manga! Another awesome adventure for the Rainbooms!”


“But aren’t any of you worried about this?” demanded Sunset as she looked around.


“Darling, it’s not like we’ve never had to deal with this sort of situation,” replied Rarity as she gave Sunset a look that said ‘please calm down’. “It’s not like we don’t share some of your concerns because, frankly, they’re not unfounded fears given everything we’ve been through. But we have managed to deal with all of our past threats by working together and supporting each other. So that’s just what we’re going to keep doing.”


Sunset scratched the back of her head. While this was in no way ideal for her, she had to concede that Rarity had a point. All they could do right now is watch the situation and then try to handle things if it got out of control. Plus, as Sunset looked over at Twilight, her purple haired friend was handling this very well. It wasn’t like it was back in Camp Everfree with Twilight freaking out and becoming paranoid about the magic over taking her. Perhaps she was just worried over nothing.


So, with that out of the way for now, Sunset turned the rest of her body to face Twilight. “So then, what kind of cards are you working on?” she asked hoping to move the conversation in a more pleasant direction. For a moment, Twilight blinked at her before grinning wildly.


“Well, the play style for Genex Allies in general is that they like to stay on the offensive while manipulating attributes in order to give them various advantages,” she said as she looked at her laptop. “So, for starters, I thought a field spell might be a good start. The idea I came up with is fairly simple: whenever you change the attribute of a monster on your side of the field draw one card. If you change the attribute of one of your opponent’s monsters then you can draw two cards. It’s a fairly decent effect that will help give me a plus whenever I use Chemistrer or Changer. Then there’s a continuous spell card that will allow me to change the attribute of one card on the field per turn. A card like this will help with my synchro summons because many of them need a specific attribute and without them they might as well be normal monsters. I also thought up this quick play spell card that allows me to tribute one Genex monster on the field in order to summon tokens equal to half of that monsters level. These Genex Tokens will machines and will count as all attributes. Finally, there is a trap card I thought of that will protect all Genex monsters on the field from my opponent's card effects for the remainder of the turn.”


Sunset smiled. “Well, maybe someday Industrial Illusions will go back to Genex. Actually I wish they’d go back and update a bunch of their older archetypes.” Her eyes then narrowed as she spun around to sit back down, arms folding as they did. “Or, at the very least, take Lavalval Chain off the banlist or bring Rekindling back to semi-limited. Stupid jerks.”


“Hey now,” said Applejack with a brief chuckle. “Ya just need ta-”


“Ah, girls,” said Pinkie, with a strange hint of fear in her voice that got everyone’s attention. Very slowly, Pinkie stood up in her seat and pointed ahead in the direction the bus was heading. As she did this there was an unmistakable look of shock and horror that was rarely ever seen in her. All of the Rainbooms looked ahead to see what had shaken up their pink friend…only to let out a collective gasp.


Ahead, they could see the sign for Camp Everfree getting closer by the moment. But they could also see the construction equipment as well. Tall wrecking balls were raised above the tree canopy hung motionless. Bulldozers, cement mixers, and all sorts of machinery began to line the road as well as some machinery that none of the girls recognized. There were a few people there as well, putting up a large sign next to the Camp Everfree entrance. It read: Future home to Fun-Fun Land and the World’s Largest Parking Lot!


“What the,” began Rainbow Dash.


“How is this possible?” demanded Twilight as she closed her laptop and began to check her smartphone. “I was texting with Timber just last night. He would have told me if there was anything wrong with the camp!” Her eyes then widened. “No signal?” One by one, the rest of the Rainbooms pulled out their own smartphones only to find that they too were without any signal.


“Something is really wrong here,” commented Sunset as she stared at the zero signal sign. Last time they were all at camp, the signal strength wasn’t the greatest but it was still there. Add in the fact that a bunch of people looked like they were preparing to tear down everything only made things worse.


Things only got worse as they entered the camp ground. All of the tents that they had stayed in had already been demolished with a mobile office put up in its place. The sundial that Principal Celestia’s class had made as the camp gift now lay in ruins as was the gazebo. Even the dock had been destroyed (again) with its wreckage floating in the water. The other buildings were, thankfully, still standing. Yet somebody had decided to put a large target on them as if it were a game. But, worst of all, was what they all saw laying in the middle of the campground. Or rather who. Timber and his sister, Gloriosa Daisy, were just laid there as the few workers within the camp seemed to ignore them. Even from where they were, all of the girls could see the massive bruises and blood they were both sporting as well as the duel disks they both wore.


Before the bus fully stopped, Twilight ran out followed by the rest. As they ran towards the fallen camp counselors Sunset noticed something odd. None of the construction crew tried to stop them nor told them that this place was off limits. Instead, they took one look at the girls before grumbling and heading off in different directions as if to clear the area.


“Timber!” shouted Twilight as she got on her knees next to her fallen boyfriend. Now that they were all closer, Sunset could see slash marks on the boy’s chest and arms. Almost as if he had been attacked by a rather large animal. Gloriosa had similar marks across her stomach as well as scorch marks.


As Twilight lifted Timber’s head, the boy managed to open his eyes before looking at the nerdy girl weakly. “Hey, Twilight,” he whispered in a strained voice.


“What happened here?” asked Sunset quickly.


“They just…showed up,” whispered Timber. “Tried calling…the police but the…phone lines were done. No signal. Guys in charge…challenged us to a duel. Don’t…remember finishing.”


“Well don’t worry Timber,” said Rainbow loudly as she pounded a fist in her palm. “We’re going to get the jerks you did this to you.”


“HAHA,” came a loud voice behind them. “I’d love to see you try. My lawyers will toss you to the curb before you knew what happened.” Everyone turned to see a short, blue skinned man with a black receding hairline standing there looking smug in his pinstripe suit. Behind him was a thug that looked more like a 1920’s gangster than anything else.


“I’m guessing you’re the ruffian behind all this?” asked Rarity with a scowl.


The short man grinned. “Indeed I am little lady,” he said while puffing out his chest. “Name’s Well-To-Do and I’m here to help this land achieve its full potential. To help progress move along while providing jobs to so many people in need.”


“By turning it into a theme park?” asked Applejack as she raised an eyebrow.


“Don’t forget largest parking lot on the planet,” laughed Well-To-Do. “I really have to thank my new partner for showing me this here land. Never would have come across it. Only problem I’ve had were those two hillbillies standing in the way of putting food on the tables of my workers. Well that just wouldn’t do. Said a whole lot about this being family property and getting mad at me for some reason.”


“Ah, that’s because this is their land,” said Pinkie Pie as she looked at the short man in confusion. “You can’t just take whatever you want.”


This caused Well-To-Do to throw his head back laughing. “Oh honey, that’s a good one,” he chuckled before pointing at the fallen siblings. “See, those two said something along those lines. So me and my partner challenged them to a duel promising to leave if they won.” He then gave a wicked grin. “A shame that they passed out before we got to finish, would have loved to see them cowering a bit more to the power of progress. But I guess it doesn’t matter in the end. We won so the land is mine. Now we can clear out all these dump trees and get rid of all the stupid animals.”


“YOU TAKE THAT BACK!” screamed a red faced, demon eyed Fluttershy.


“Oh, don’t worry sugarcube,” said Applejack as she cracked her chuckles. “Because we’ll be kicking these here no good varmints out of dodge before they have the chance ta destroy one little birds nest. Rainbow, ya mind super speeding Timber and Gloriosa ta the hospital before getting the police here all slicked split?”


“Sure thing!” replied Rainbow as both hers and Applejack’s geodes began to glow. However, the glowing light they gave began to float away from the geodes causing Rainbow to trip as she tried to use her super speed. As for Applejack, she didn’t feel so much as a drop of the power she felt when she used her geodes power. All of the girls watched in horror, following the trail left by their magic as a woman walked towards them while holding a very familiar device.


“We’ll will have none of that ladies,” said Cinch as the magic flew into a perfect replica of the device Twilight had made back at the Friendship Games. The same device that had stolen everyone’s magic and had turned her into Midnight Sparkle.


“Ms. Cinch, what are you doing here?” demanded Twilight. “And how did you get your hands on that? I thought it was destroyed!”


“I happen to be Well-To-Do’s new partner,” replied Cinch as she walked over to man, standing beside him with her arms behind her back. “After all, I needed a new line of work after I was forced out of Crystal Prep. No thanks to you Ms. Sparkle and the rest of your magical friends. As for the device, I managed to copy its blueprints before I left. It seemed a shame to let something with so much potential go to waste like its creator has.”


As Twilight gritted her teeth, Sunset moved behind her friend while placing a hand on the nerdy girl’s shoulder. Sunset eyed the pair, thinking that this had to be some overly large revenge scheme like you’d see on TV or in the movies set up by Cinch. Well-To-Do had said it himself, that he was only here because Cinch pointed it out to him. A place that Cinch was sure to hate. It was a place that the student of CHS had done a lot to keep open. It was the place where Twilight’s boyfriend called home. It was also a place that might have more Equestrian magic. If that last part was true, it would make everything all the sweeter for Cinch. While they were tearing this place up, Cinch could look for more magic while Well-To-Do made a profit…somehow. Honestly, Sunset was a little confused on that part since a person shouldn’t legally be able to pull off something like this without some form of penalty. Also, wouldn’t there be a whole lot of people who would be up in arms over destroying an entire forest like this, blasting it on social medias to raise support?


Was his Equestrian counterpart like this as well?


Sunset averted her eyes for a moment to look at the camp siblings still on the ground. As she eyed their injuries, Sunset began to wonder if Cinch was the one who had really done this. She had Twilight’s device and there was no way of knowing if she had gathered together more magic from other locations before this encounter. Maybe some stray magic here or there had given her the power to do this.


“I won’t let you get away with this,” growled Twilight.


“Neither will I,” said Sunset as she stood up. She then pointed a finger at the pair. “Since Timber and Gloriosa were unable to finish their duel with you, I’ll challenge you in their place. Loser leaves Camp Everfree for good!”


Well-To-Do through his head back to laugh. “Oh that’s rich dolly,” he chuckled. “The land is already mine at this point. Why would I or my partner do-”


“Very well,” interrupted Cinch as she smirked. “But only on the condition that this be made a tag team duel. Also, your partner in this little duel to save your beloved camp will be Twilight Sparkle. Those are our terms.”


At this, Sunset bit her lower lip while glancing over at Twilight. She had expected them to make this a tag team duel, however she had hoped that Twilight wouldn’t be a part of this. It wasn’t that she didn’t trust her friend or the upgrades she had done to her deck. It was just that Sunset didn’t know if they were enough to make a difference when the stakes were so high.


“I accept,” said Twilight as she stood up, shocking everybody. Calmly she adjusted her glasses while narrowing her eyes which were focused on a smirking Cinch. Twilight opened her mouth to say more, but was interrupted as all of her friends gathered around her looking shocked.


“Twilight, darling, please take a moment and think,” said Rarity. “That horrible woman is trying to bait you, rile you up so you will feel worse if you lose. Don’t give her that satisfaction!”


“I’ll take your place,” growled Fluttershy. “Nobody hurts my animal friends and gets away with it!”


“I just want to deck that magic stealing creep,” said Rainbow Dash before realizing she was standing in the presence of two girls who also stole magic at one point in their lives. “Ah, present company excluded.”


“Girls,” said Twilight. “I have to do this. You all heard what Cinch said, she wants me in this duel whether I want to or not. If I don’t, then there is no way we can save Camp Everfree.”


“But she’s up to something,” argued Sunset. “She’s probably planned all this out so there’s no way we can win.”


“Also I don’t think that they’ll keep their word,” added Pinkie as she looked over at Well-To-Do. “A guy who thinks he can take land just because doesn’t seem like the most trustworthy person to me.”


“I know,” agreed Twilight. “That’s why I think that Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy should make a break for it into town while everyone here is distracted by the duel.” Rainbow opened her mouth to say something, but Twilight cut her off. “I know that your super speed is gone Rainbow and it’s a long way to town. So we’ll stretch out the duel as long as we can. Also, there’s a chance that Fluttershy’s magic will come in handy. Maybe she can talk to the animals to find a quicker route.”


“I guess that does sound like a good plan,” said Fluttershy before glaring at Well-To-Do. “But I’d like it a lot better if I was the one dueling.”


Meanwhile, as the girls were talking with each other, Well-To-Do had lost much of his humor as he glared at Cinch. “Hey now,” he growled. “We’ve already gotten the camp. Don’t go flying off on your own over some stupid grudge.”


“In case you have forgotten, this was part of the agreement we had,” replied Cinch as she adjusted her glasses. “I not only showed you this place but am also sharing with you the magic I have collected. The only thing I want in return is to see Twilight Sparkle crushed in every conceivable way. Besides, there’s no real risk in this duel. I was the Principal at Crystal Prep and I knew all of my student’s decks. Twilight Sparkle’s was easily the worst there. No matter how good Sunset Shimmer is her partner will be the weak link we can exploit.”


“And what if she’s improved or gotten a new deck?” demanded Well-To-Do. “What if they manage to win?”


“As unlikely as any of those possibilities are, I’m sure your men will be able to handle a bunch of girls,” said Cinch as she pulled out the device to look at it longingly. “After all, as long as I have this I can steal their magic whenever they try to use it. Even if they try to fight back, they’ll just make me stronger.”


“Alright,” said Sunset loudly, gaining the villains attention. “We’ll duel.”

Author's Note:

For those wonder who Well-To-Do is, just watch this

Next chapter will be the duel

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