• Published 17th Nov 2018
  • 11,821 Views, 350 Comments

Last Light - Scampy

Sunset Shimmer has fallen into a self-destructive spiral since her friends left her, and she attempts to end her life. While unconscious, she is confronted by Princess Luna. They have much to discuss, whether Sunset likes it or not.

  • ...

II - Concrete

Sunset had no idea what time it was as she crossed into the industrial district. The cuts on her legs had scabbed over once again, though they still burned intensely with every uneven step. Her stomach roared and the chilling winds left her shivering, and in the end, she had nothing to show for it.

Rainbow Dash’s taunts played over and over in Sunset’s mind. Why couldn’t she understand? Why wouldn’t anybody hear her out? Why didn’t they trust her?

Sunset knew the answer. Years of tormenting her fellow students had left her with quite the awful reputation. There were so many crimes she had yet to answer for, and what little she had done to atone was clearly not enough in the eyes of her victims. Even following her attempts to reform, the majority of her peers wanted nothing to do with her.

Perhaps this was retribution, she thought. At first, her self-inflicted wounds had been punishment for her formerly hurtful ways. Now Sunset wondered if being framed as Anon-a-miss wasn’t so much a misfortune as an inevitability. She had gotten off too easy for the way she’d treated others, and now the world was punishing her for believing she was above consequences.

As she turned a corner, a rise of concrete caught her eye. It was a parking garage, six stories high with a staircase beside the entrance. From what she could tell, it was entirely empty. Sunset imagined herself falling from such a height. The thought had crossed her mind many times before. If this life of spite and solitude was all that was left to her, she would be doing herself and everyone else a favor by ending it. And yet, in all the countless times she had passed the parking garage before, Sunset had never actually entered it.

Her resolve hardened and she made her way inside. Every step up the stairs was punctuated by a protesting burst of pain from her legs, but she pressed on. Sunset had no idea what she would do once she got to the top. Maybe finding out was part of her reason for being there in the first place.

Upon reaching the top level, Sunset heard voices coming from somewhere below. She went to the end of the parking garage where a railing separated her from the ledge and peered down at the street she’d just come from, only to see the two girls whom had confronted her earlier that night.

“Do we have go through such a dreadful part of the city?” Rarity said, her eyes darting from alley to alley as she followed closely behind Rainbow Dash.

Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes. “Well she took off this way. You can turn around if you want.”

“I’m still not sure I understand what your goal is,” Rarity said.

“You saw the blood, right?”

“Yes, but–”

Rainbow Dash waved a hand. “Well there you go.”

“I’m not sure I follow,” Rarity said. “Do you think she’s hurting herself?”

“Maybe? Look, something’s clearly not right with her. I know she’s always been kinda screwed up, and maybe this whole Anon-a-miss thing is her lashing out as part of that. And yeah, I’m pissed about it, but...” Rainbow Dash trailed off.

“But what?”

Rainbow Dash didn’t answer at first. She stopped beneath a street light in front of the parking garage Sunset was up on.

“I just... I dunno, okay?” Rainbow Dash said, lightly kicking the sidewalk. “Seeing her earlier got me so worked up, and I didn’t think about how awful she looked until after she was gone.” She paused again, looking up at the sky. “I just want to make sure she doesn’t do anything stupid.”

Rainbow Dash was silent for a long time. Her eyes seemed to open more, and beside her, Rarity looked up as well and took on the same expression. It was then that Sunset realized they could see her. She hadn’t recognized their fearful expressions at first. It was so different from the one she’d seen in the eyes of her peers as she’d terrorized them for years. There was no time to think about such things now.

“Oh dear God, Sunset! Sunset!” Rarity shrieked, clasping her face between her hands. Sunset could see Rainbow Dash shouting and Rarity shaking. The wind whistled in her ears, muffling the voices of the girls below.

“Sunset, look at me!” Rainbow Dash yelled so loud that her voice cracked. “Just talk to me, okay? We can—!”

Rainbow Dash was cut off by Rarity’s piercing scream. The world seemed to slow down for Sunset as the gears began to turn in her mind, instructing her like an automaton to climb over the railing. The frigid wind coaxed her forward until the tips of her shoes hung over the ledge. Sunset said nothing, even as Rainbow Dash kept shouting and Rarity frantically waved her arms. There was nothing left to say.

“Oh, the hell with this,” Rainbow Dash said. “Keep talking to her, Rarity. I’m going up there.” With that, she bolted into the parking garage.

Rarity stammered as she spoke. “Sunset, listen! We’re s-sorry for what we said, okay? I’m sure you... you...”

Sunset stared, unmoving. She heard the words that Rarity was saying, and yet their meaning failed to register in her mind. Either way, Sunset was far too tired to hold a conversation. What were the two girls doing here anyway? Hadn’t they wanted Sunset to leave? Nothing made sense anymore. Soon it wouldn’t have to.

“Sunset, please!” Rarity wailed, trembling. “Come down from there! Let us help you!”

Just then, Sunset heard the sound of running behind her. She turned and saw Rainbow Dash sprinting across the rooftop at remarkable speed. Her hand was outstretched and her mouth was moving, but Sunset couldn’t understand her. She couldn’t understand anything. The world was too loud, too bright. She needed everything to stop.

Sunset didn’t smile. She didn’t cry. She didn’t close her eyes or whisper last words. She took a single step backwards, exhaling softly as gravity took her, and fell.

The twin screams that filled her ears were silenced by a dull crack, and everything was gone.

Sunset’s eyes fluttered open. At least, she thought they did. There was nothing to see but blackness everywhere.

It was warm, far warmer than it had been outside. Sunset could hear herself breathing, and felt the softness of whatever clothing was draped around her. As she slid her hands over what she assumed was some kind of long dress, she realized how smooth her arms were. The ridges and scars that had covered her body were gone.

Was she dead? That had been the expectation. What was this place? Wherever she was, it was strangely calming. In the last moments before her impact, a fleeting fear drifted through her last thoughts as to what came next.

“I had not hoped to see you here.” A voice echoed in the darkness. Sunset looked around, completely disoriented in the void. Then, faint sparks came alive all around her, as if she were surrounded by the night sky itself. From within the flares of light, an equine figure took shape, tall and regal. Its wings unfurled and its horn glinted in the dark.

For the first time in months, Sunset felt as if tears may overcome her. “C-Celestia?”


Sunset’s heart sank. Then, she asked, “Who are you?”

The outline of an alicorn princess settled into form. Before Sunset stood Princess Luna.

“Why have you come here, Sunset Shimmer?” the princess asked.

Sunset couldn’t think of what to say. “L-Luna? Princess Luna?”

“Yes,” Luna said. “We have not yet met. I wish it were under better circumstances.”

Sunset stared up at Luna. Sunset had heard all the old stories as a girl, of how Nightmare Moon tormented Equestria and was banished for her violent actions. The Princess of the Night was now before her, looking down with soft blue eyes. Her tone was neither angry nor concerned as she spoke again.

“Why have you come here?” Luna repeated.

“I don’t even know where here is,” Sunset said, looking around. Her swarming thoughts were beginning to settle like sand in a stream. “I was falling,” she said.

“And why were you falling?”

“Why not?” Sunset said. “There was nothing left for me.”

“So apathy is why you wish to die?” Luna said.

“I...” Sunset wasn’t sure what to say. “I didn’t want to die. And it’s not that I didn’t care. I just knew I could never escape what I’d become.” She hunched over, dejected, as she continued. “It’s what I deserved.”

“If you do not wish to die, then why did you fall?”

Sunset said nothing, and for a moment, the both of them were silent. Her eyes flitted up, catching a glimpse of Luna’s face. The princess’ eyes were soft as starlight as she stepped closer, her mane twinkling. “Imagine how joyous you could be, Sunset Shimmer, if your will to live was as strong as your will to die.”

“W-what? I told you already, I didn’t want to die!” Sunset said. “There was no other way out! I couldn’t go back to Equestria and I was probably going to starve sooner or later anyway, so why fight the inevitable?”

Luna only listened as Sunset kept speaking, her voice raising with every word.

“My whole life, I think, I’ve known that it would end like this. I always felt as though everyone around me had this intrinsic connection, but I didn’t have that!” Sunset’s chest heaved and she turned away from the princess. “I watched the world go by through a foggy window, able to see the life and love and friendship, but never able to be a part of it. No matter how much I screamed, nobody heard me. And that led me to do some really awful things.”

“What awful things have you done?” Luna asked.

“I treated people horribly!” Sunset shouted. “I was a bully, a monster, a literal demon! People were terrified of me! They’re all probably grateful that I’m dead. Now they don’t have to put up with me.”

“You are not dead, Sunset Shimmer,” the princess said.

At that, Sunset stopped. “What...?”

“You are not dead.”

“Yeah, I got that part,” Sunset said. “I don’t understand! Where am I? What’s going on? How are you even here?!”

The princess knelt down, and suddenly Sunset was face to face with her. In Luna’s wide eyes, Sunset could see a reflection of herself, covered by a sleeveless white gown. “I am responsible for the dreams of all of Equestria’s children,” Luna said. “Even here, in this strange world so far from home, I have been watching you.”

“T-then... Is this a dream?” Sunset asked.

“In a way,” the princess said. “Through your dreams, I have seen the events of which you spoke. I have seen what you did to others.” Sunset felt the unfamiliar tingle of magic run over her now-unscarred arms as Luna continued. “And I have seen what you did to yourself.”

Immediately, Sunset pulled herself away from Luna, holding her arms close to herself. “If you know all this, why are you asking me anything?” she said.

“It is precisely because I have seen all this that I am asking you,” Luna said. “Why have you come here? Do you truly believe this is the only path for you?”

“I-I...” Sunset had no answer. She looked around at the flickering starscape. Months of torment twisted her face into a sullen look. She turned to the princess, her head down, like a child expecting punishment. “I don’t know.”

Princess Luna gave her a gentle smile. “Then let us find out.”