• Published 5th Jan 2019
  • 3,464 Views, 30 Comments

Redemption - Zael



Sunset and the Rainbooms: not just a simple forgive and forget - Third part of the Free/Sadness series!

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Prologue, or how everyone faced reality

Rain fell softly, producing a one-note symphony on the window of the hotel in Manehattan.

And, with longing eyes of one who wished to return to their motherland after so much time almost stranded in a different place, an amber-coated unicorn with a fiery red and yellow mane was looking outside the window, seeing the Big Apple, a city she always wanted to visit at least one time, but she never had the occasion to do so.

From her cyan eyes, a single little tear fell, mostly due to nostalgia and a little happiness. She remembered the fertile plains of Equestria, leaving space to the city in an almost natural way: forgot how beautiful her world was, even if covered in rain.

Her hoof went to touch her bag, where she basically had everything she needed: a bag of bits, a map of Manehattan bought at the station, her human cellphone, which she kept charged with magic, and, of course, her most prized possession: her diary.

That diary saw her rise to power and her downfall, her rehabilitation and her condemnation: it was full of memories. Some of them were painful, others were not, but to Sunset it didn't matter much: it was part of who she was and it constantly reminded her of what she became due to arrogance first and to friendship later.

She took the book, and started reading all her entries, starting from the first, she sent to Twilight, right after the Dazzlings' incident. Time passed until she arrived to the most recent ones, the ones regarding Anon-A-Miss: she was still sore about this. Even after the discussion with Twilight and with those backstabbers, she didn't want to hate them, or, even better, she genuinely couldn't hate them, because hating them would've turn her bitter, as she were when she runned away from Equestria.

Sunset closed the diary, she didn't want to think about them for at least a couple of days. Looking out of the window, she saw that rain was not falling anymore, so she decided to pack up her things and explore the city a bit: she had the whole afternoon, after all. But just when she was about to exit, she heard a loud knock on the door of her room.

"Room service, miss!"

After looking in the peephole and seeing the room waiter, she opened the door saying:

"I didn't order any though."

"It's a service included in the hotel fee, you get a small gift for using our facilities. Let's see, room 218… Here it is!"

The waiter gave her a small sack with some chocolates and a sample bottle of red wine, then went to the next newly occupied room.
Pleased by this surprise, Sunset tried them both: the chocolate wasn't as much sweet as the one she usually ate on the other side, but it had a pleasant round flavour, well complemented by the wine, a luxury she couldn't afford on the other side for two reasons, them being her shown age on the documents and also the price of the really good bottles.
After this little taste, Sunset left the room and the hotel, and right after the hotel exit, she took out the map she bought and tried to figure out what to visit first: the Crystaller Building and the Mare Statue were out of question, she needed to go on a more uncrowed time of the day, like early morning or the evening; in the end she decided to take a stroll through Bronclyn historical districts: Haypacking and Garments Districts.

***

Unknown to Sunset, on the roof of a nearby building, a hooded figure was watching her through a binocular.

"The bird has left the nest, I repeat, the bird has left the nest, over."

The figure said in a handheld transceiver that had clearly seen better days. In another part of Equestria, receiving the communication, another figure said:

"Do thou have to use such a silly method, over?"

"Shush, this is the most secure method if we're dealing with her, and we are, over."

The other figure groaned: certainly her partner knew what was she doing, but to go all out and play spies was a little bit over the top. Anyways, she answered again.

"Okay, you don't have to remind me all the details, just good luck, over and out."

Both transceivers went silent, as the first figure observed Sunset again through the binocular.

"She's moving, I better follow her. I don't want to search again for her magical signature, ugh."

***

"Spike, can you please just cancel everything I have to do today? I still can't get over what the human counterparts of my friends did to Sunset."

The little dragon, while carrying something like ten scrolls, rebuked her:

"Twilight, I did that too yesterday, and now look at the complaints! I know you're mad, I am kinda too, but you need to get this requests done."

While there were no actual friendship emergencies, all her friends were away from town, some for work, some for vacations, so Twilight and Spike were basically left alone at Ponyville, with nothing but chores to do. Spike put the scrolls on a table, handed the first one to Twilight, which started reading: it was a request made by Filthy Rich to buy a public terrain from Ponyville, to enlarge his house garden, and it came with a smaller scroll, signed by Mayor Mare, which explained that, due to lack of money, either Ponyville sold that terrain or had to request for further funds from the crown.

"Spike, get me a pen and some paper"

The dragon immediately provided them, and Twilight started to dictate:

"To the attention of Mayor Mare, I, Princess Twilight Sparkle, will personally apply a request for additional funds to the Crown. Please refrain to accept Mr. Rich's request, with the motivation about the public must remain public. I advise also, for the next budget review, to pay more attention about spending. Signed, Princess Twilight Sparkle."

Spike finished writing and waited for Twilight to write her signature before preparing the answer to be delivered via mail afterwards. Then he handed another scroll to Twilight, who picked it up and started to read:

"The Grrrrrrreat and Powerful, and also Humble and Penitent, Trrrrrixie demands an open space near Ponyville for her magic show!"

Spike questioned Twilight with a doubtful expression, and Twilight said:

"I mean, she literally put tons of r, I wasn't making it up. Anyway, just mail her a yes as an answer and forget about it."

Spike wrote that and waited for another signature from Twilight.

"This is going to take all the day, right? Just brew some strong coffee, Spike, please."

***

On the other side of the mirror, things were looking pretty bad. The entire school was about to become a battlefield after Sunset's revelation about Anon-A-Miss: no-one could trust anyone anymore, because while Apple Bloom, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle were the actual culprits, most of the secrets they spread were given to them by other people. Luckily, winter holidays had just started, so things calmed down just that little bit to avoid a giant brawl.

Apple Bloom, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle got the rough end of the stick: grounded, no telephone or internet unless supervised and tons of detention hours when the holidays ended. Needless to say that their big sisters and/or role models didn't even want to talk to them, and almost didn't talk to themselves.

The Rainbooms were unofficially disbanded: they were too deep in shame and self commiseration to even try to get together and play some music.

Applejack was apatethic at least. She avoided her little sister most of time, unless during meals. Big mac and Granny Smith tried to talk with her, but AJ basically closed herself to the world outside. She, the embodiment of honesty, fell for the lies woven by her own sister about one of her dearest and most helpful friends: her entire will crumbled when she realized in full what happened.

Pinkie Pie never had her hair more deflated than during this time. Her own sisters tried to understand and help her, but most of the time Pinkie was beyond help, reducing herself to a pink mass of dried tears: she cried so much she wasn't able to cry anymore.

Rarity cried too, but not in her usual dramatic way: her tears were bitter and painful, like the actions carried out by her sister. Her fashion sense was gone, and she started wearing only simple grey tracksuits, murmuring something like she wasn't worthy of creating dresses anymore.

Rainbow Dash was destroyed: her usual bravado? Gone. Her desire to compete? Gone too. Knowing that the girl who posed her as a role model did something so awful to one of her friends made her world crumble: she was probably the most loyal person alive, and yet she couldn't be loyal enough to listen to her friend.

Fluttershy was the most devastated, because she realized that Sunset was innocent, yet she didn't have the courage to speak. If she did, maybe she would've been lumped in with Sunset, but at least her equestrian friend wouldn't had gone through hell alone. She felt fear, not even the same that Sunset made her feel before the Fall Formal, but a primordial one: people were literally at eachother necks, ready to turn around and betray yet another one. And she felt a deep terror when she realized she was right, that Sunset was innocent, because by staying silent, she was an accomplice of whatever Sunset would've done as self-defense, and she thanked whatever higher being she believed in that Sunset chose to return to Equestria instead of going out for blood.

But one thought was on all their minds: would Sunset ever forgive them? Or would she remain forever back in her world?

Author's Note:

AND IT'S FINALLY DONE.
THE FIRST CHAPTER.
By the way, I rewrote this thing like three times and I'm still not entirely happy with the result. While the chapter for my OC will wait a bit (next week maybe), I fully intend to keep a bi-weekly update, so to have a chapter every two weeks.
As usual, leave comments, questions or anything else and I'll try to answer them all!