• Published 8th Jan 2020
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Golden Age of Apocalypse - Book III: Legacies - BlueBastard

Everything is finally ready for Sunset Shimmer to be crowned a ruling princess of Equestria, but not all is as it seems as the Covenant make their move and the history of Equestria itself is called into question as GAOA reaches its explosive end!

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Chapter 24 - Is This the Prize for Having Learned How Not to Cry?

Chapter 24

Is This the Prize for Having Learned How Not to Cry?

In his office in Guard HQ, Prince Divine Right, Captain of the Friendship Guard, read the missive repeatedly. The coffee cup by his right forehoof had long since gone cold, a victim of the untimely message. Next to it sat a half-eaten donut, likely to never be finished because of the events now unfolding.

There was a knock at the door. Div didn’t need to say come in; he knew those footsteps. Sure enough, a second later, the door opened, revealing Shining Armor. “Hey, I heard.”

“How many know?”

Shining pursed his lips. “The moment she found out, Twily went straight to Nobility House to lodge a formal protest. Cady will be doing the same later. While I can’t officially do anything in either case, Swifty immediately started writing up a formal letter of commendation to make sure that—"

“That’s not necessary, Shines.”

“It is. I can hardly afford to lose one of my best troops,” Shining reminded him. “And I refuse to allow the nobility to think they can dictate how I run the Guard. And there’s also the fact that if this succeeds….”


“Look, I went and talked to your lieutenants—take the day off. You need it.”

“No—what I need is to protect my princess and my people. From all threats.”

“True, but you can’t do that if you’re stressed, stallion. Take it from me: a day off will do wonders.” Nothing more to say, Shining just stood there, waiting for his friend and subordinate to get the hint.

“Fine, fine,” Div groaned. “Let me at least finish my breakfast and—"

“Nope, not even that,” the older unicorn commented. “You have a breakfast appointment in ten minutes at Eggs & Cheese.”

“Wait—isn’t that the newest breakfast-only restaurant in town?”

“Yup. And I’ve heard a certain princess is planning to have breakfast there, so you don’t want to mess things up, right?”
He didn’t even get an answer; Divine was out the door and running.

“Shining” waited a few more seconds before uttering a fillyish laugh, banishing the spell and revealing Cadance, who had been there in disguise. “Sooner or later, that colt’s just going to have to learn,” she said to herself. Unfortunately, her good deed now done, she was going to have to meet Shining at Nobility House, where they were both going to give a certain faction a piece of their minds.

They’ve gone too far this time, the alicorn mentally hissed. And I won’t let them ruin family or love!

The guardspony by the door looked at both. “Admiral, Lady Celestia, you’ll have thirty minutes with the prisoner. Unfortunately, given the high-risk situation, that is the most we can give you.”

“Understood,” Sable told him. “The prisoner has been secured?”

“Yes, sir, or my name isn’t Sgt. Pipemine,” the sergeant assured him. “She’s been fitted with a collar that constantly saps most of her magic as well as delivers a shock if she gets out of line.”

“And as for the extra security required?”

“Here,” Aria stated as she walked in. At the moment, she was fully kitted out in full combat attire, carrying two sidearms, one submachine gun and her P-90.

“Isn’t that overkill, Ms. Blaze?” Celestia asked the teen.

“Maybe, but your safety is paramount,” Aria told them. “The weapons are loaded with low-yield HEAP rounds, so if we have to take necessary measures, we have every advantage.”

“And if something goes wrong?” Sable asked, more in agreement with Celestia but doing his duty nonetheless.

“Capt. Dazzle has a fireteam on standby as well,” said Aria, “And if it really goes sideways, Sunset’s on standby, too. I don’t have to remind you about what she can do.”

“I don’t think it’s enough to deal with her, sir,” Pipemine told them.

“It should suffice, Sergeant; we’re not planning to fight a war in this confined space.” At his words, Celestia looked at Sable worriedly and Sable looked back at her. “Everything’s going to be okay,” he assured her. “These are just precautions that we need to take in the wake of the past twenty-four hours.” Nodding to Pipemine to let them pass, the heavy steel door slid open and the two humans walked in.

They found the girl sitting there, looking at her arm. She’d morphed it into a standard human arm, though it still retained the same black color and chitinous look as before, like a mismatched, hastily-made prosthetic. She saw them come in and then tucked her arm back out of view, as if she’d been embarrassed at being caught in such an action.

“I wanted to know what it was like being human one last time,” the girl said quietly.

“One last time?” Celestia asked.

“To remember what I was, once, before I either lose my mind again or die. I wanted to remember that I was once Crisalide della Lucca, a noblewoman and a wife with a life and a future. I wanted to remember I was human before I was thrown into this color-drenched hell. And once I do that, I can die in peace.”

Celestia and Sable looked at each other in surprise—neither had expected that admission. “Is that all you want?” Celestia asked, unable to hide her shock.

“Are you offering help?” Chrysalis asked, before leaning back in her chair and uttering a skeptical laugh. “The only help I want is to end this miserable existence I have while I still have the chance to end it.” She then gave them both a piercing stare as she added, “But I can tell that neither of you would, because Princess Celestia won’t let you.” She scoffed and slumped in her chair and muttered, “That bitch won’t even let me have a tiny modicum of peace.”

Sable looked at her and saw, in his mind, the miserable looks of the triplets, back when their sœurs had died in the time that never was. They were much the same as the girl before him now: a life not only ended, but gone long before it even started and only moving through the motions because of determination and spite. Chrysalis, or Crisalide, or whoever she was, was already dead to herself and everything afterwards had just been an epitaph on her grave.

“But is that what you truly want? To die? You haven’t lived—"

“You’re right: I haven’t lived,” she said with quiet fury. “That chance was taken out of my life long ago. It was pulled away from me on the day I was born and became a chance for my parents to gain an advantageous marriage. It was pulled from me when I was married off to a man nearly ten years older than me and who didn’t give a damn about me except what I could serve for his purpose. And it was definitely pulled from me when Sombra got his hooves on me and stripped me of everything I was.”

She looked at them again, and this time, she looked like the lost little girl she was. “No,” she admitted in a barely audible voice. “No, I don’t want to die. But you have to live to die and I don’t even know if I can claim that any longer. From being used as a pawn in social climbing to being used as a proxy by the changeling hivemind, I’ve never known what life is. There are whole parts of my life I can’t remember anymore: my favorite color, my favorite flower, what I did the day I was told I was going to be married.

“The only time I’ve had my own thoughts in centuries, was when you were captured. Every instinct in me, placed there by the hivemind, told me to run, to do the changeling thing. But I didn’t...I couldn’t. Because I wanted, just once, to be human again.” Tears filled her eyes. “At least now I can say that I did one thing on my own, and was in control of myself one last time before another innocent life was lost.”

The look on the faces of the adults were bleak. Celestia tried to fight off tears, not entirely successfully. Sable watched on, his face a better visage of composure, but unsure of what to say. The girl seated there, timelost and centuries older than them, but in the end, still just a girl. A child who had been thrown into the trash for everyone’s convenience...but still a person and still worthy of being treated as such.

“It’s not right,” Celestia said softly. “You never had a chance. Never had a chance to go to school, fall in love, enjoy friendships and the normal things a girl does. Sleepovers and birthday parties. Videogames and gushing over boy bands. All of that was denied you. And yet the only peace you want is the last one. It’s not right at all—it’s obscene.”

Sable was going to say something as well, but then the door opened and the guard poked his head in. “Time’s up, folks.”

“That was only ten minutes, Sergeant,” Sable stated. “Not thirty.”

“I don’t make the rules, sir,” the guard replied sheepishly. “I was just ordered by the shift coronet to get her back to her cell.”

“Then let me speak to the coronet. We were given thirty minutes, and if I have to make it an order, I will.”

“I’m afraid that’s out of the question, sir. Cnt. Ruleminder stepped out for lunch and I have to follow her orders. You can bring it up with Lt. Oversight at her office.”

“Then belay that order, Sergeant.”

“Sir, with all due respect, I’m in charge of the prison section. We have strict orders from Capts. Arrowswift and Shining Armor to follow the direct chain of command and only the direct chain of command. Countermanding has been set aside until the investigation with Lt. Ironkey, the warden, has been completed. Until then, sir, I’m sorry, but your orders are invalid.”

Crisalide, however, didn’t like that. “I have rights!” she told him.

“No you don’t, prisoner. You are a prisoner of conflict and as such you do not have the standard legal rights of Equestrian suspects.” He reached over and grabbed her control harness. “Now, let’s go.”

“No! It’s not fair!”

“Again, I don’t make the rules here, prisoner,” the guardspony told her, but with a greater edge in his tone. “I just have to enforce them. Now, are you going to come quietly, or do I need to activate the shock collar?”

“Guardsman, that’s not necessary,” Sable began.

Crisalide suddenly panicked and reached out to Celestia, the ebon, chitinous hand clearly grasping for a lifeline. “Aiuto! Per favore non lasciare che mi prendano! Voglio essere ancora me! Non posso tornare a quello che ero! Voglio essere ancora umano!” she pled.

The sergeant’s horn lit and the shock spell in the collar around Crisalide’s neck. A blast of lightning roiled through the girl, making her scream and shudder and then finally fall to the ground, twitching involuntarily.

“NO!” Celestia screamed.


The guardspony looked at the senior officer. “With all due respect, Admiral? This ‘filly’ you two seem to be convinced is harmless...is a mass murderer. My wife was slaughtered by her forces when they invaded Canterlot. My father was seriously injured in the recent Oatmaha attack by the Changeling Forces. You might look at her favorably because she looks like a human child right now,” the guardspony said with a hint of umbrage, “but you haven’t truly dealt with a monster of her nature. And if you think I’m being unprofessional by saying the truth, let me assure you: The only reason she’s still alive right now is because of the professionalism of the Guard. Believe me, there are thousands of ponies right now that would lock her in stone, toss the rock in Tartarus and forget the key ever existed. That is what you’re calling a ‘sweet little filly’.” His anger spent, the guard picked up the unconscious former changeling queen and departed the room.

Celestia immediately moved to give chase, but Sable grabbed her arm. She glared at him, but he gave her a soft shake of his head. Knowing he was right even as she hated it, she forced herself to calm down.

“What did she say?” he asked her.

The look on Celestia’s face broke his heart. “She begged for help,” Celestia said with a catch in her throat. “She said she wanted to still be human and she was afraid if they took her, she’d go back to what she was.”

“I don’t think that’s the case.” The two turned to look at Aria, who was standing there, removing her helmet. “I was watching the whole time through the magical feed. I remember that insane...thing that we faced off at Covenant HQ. That girl...she wasn’t the same person. I’d like to think I’m a good judge of character, and the girl in front of you wasn’t the same as that other one. Maybe—and I really hesitate to mention this—she has the same problem Tavi does? Did? I….” Aria seemed to deflate at her remark. “I hate to bring her up in light of this, but hopefully you understand what I mean.”

“I think we do, Commander. Thanks for the backup,” Sable told her. “Dismissed.”

“Aria, thank you,” Celestia said, unsure of what else to say.

“If she truly meant what she said, then she’s a victim,” Aria commented. “SIREN exists to protect the innocent, not persecute them. Just saying, sir.”

“Heard you loud and clear, Commander. Again, thanks for the help.”

Sable and Celestia walked off. “That girl’s never had anyone in her life before,” she said to no one in particular. “She’s been alone her entire life and had no one to turn to.”

“I don’t know what to say about that,” Sable said. “I know what I saw, but at the same time, all the facts—not just evidence, but centuries of facts, Tia—paint her as a monster.”

“Yes, but I know what I saw. I saw a girl crying out for help when she’s never received it before. And having been an educator, I know crocodile tears when I see them. And those weren’t them. She genuinely thought she had no one in her corner.”

“You saw the guard. She doesn’t.”

“Wrong. She has me.”

The chime of Tierfenbucker’s doorbell rang out cheerily, which caught Quick Note’s attention. Days like this were typically slow days for the store, and with the excitement of the past couple of days done, things were likely going to be dead for a while, so a customer would be a welcome sight.

“Hello, Valued Customer and welcome to Tierfen—" he began before he noticed the actual identity of the individuals in the building. “Hello, Miss Fluttershy! I was expecting you today, but not so early. And Miss Dazzle, it’s good to see you up and around, given everything that’s been going on as of late.”

“The Princess thought it would be for the best,” Adagio Dazzle said, laying a hoof on a nearby counter. “Security’s tight right now and any Hoof that can be spared for that has been seconded to that duty instead of our normal ones.”

“I guess that’s why you’re in your armor instead of your normal attire, then,” the stallion stated. “My wife’s on the detail as well.” He then turned to Fluttershy. “And while I’m glad to see you, Miss Fluttershy, I thought Miss Melody would join you as well—I was hoping that I’d get you two to play your music one last time.”

“I’d be honored to,” Fluttershy told him, “but unfortunately, she caught something here and so the doctors decided to quarantine her so that she doesn’t bring anything bad back to our world.”

“That’s a pity,” he said. “But let me go get your instruments so that you can get started.”

As he went into the backroom of the store, Adagio looked at the human girl and said, “That was some quick thinking. I was considering telling him it was a classified matter, but you managed to defuse it without an issue.”

“I didn’t want him to think any differently of Tavi,” Fluttershy insisted. “She doesn’t deserve it.”

A few minutes later, Note returned with two masterfully crafted acoustic guitars, both of which came with their own cases. “Billed to the Crown, as requested,” he stated.

“Thanks.” Fluttershy took a good look at the two guitars sitting on the counter in their cases—one was festooned with ornate butterflies while the other had a magnificent line of musical notes etched along the side. It didn’t take a genius to figure out which guitar was for whom. The teen zipped up the cases and gave Octavia’s to Adagio, while she walked out over to the stage. As before, the ponies passing by took instant notice, and having been entertained over the course of the week, immediately stopped or filed into the store so they could hear the guitar and singing of the young human chanteuse.

Seeing the number of ponies milling into his aisles, Note said to Adagio, “Y’know, even if the Crown hadn’t paid for the instruments, I would’ve done it gratis. Both of them have brought me a small fortune in business, and I hope when their band takes off on their world, they’ll come back here and wow the crowds here, too! Think about it: Tierfenbucker’s will be known for not only being the best instrument store in Canterlot, but for also being important in the career of superstars of two worlds!”

From her perch on the seat, with the crowd growing, Fluttershy focused on her music and stuck to the old adage: the show must go on. However, inside, she was roiling: ever since her revelation as a musician, she and Tavi had gone on a musical journey that had pointed towards a band. But now, thanks to dark magic and madmen, Tavi had been worse than maimed, and the chance of a musical future for her—or possibly any future—was now in ruins.

And even as Fluttershy segued into a sad ballad, most ponies thought it was about a love gone wrong...and not about a friend’s love for her art, soon to be forever lost.

In a villa overlooking the town of Megan’s Shoreline, Fancy Pants looked over the documents at his disposal. The plan was to come to this quiet town, with a villa loaned by a noble known to be on Celestia’s side, but with everything snowballing in the past few days, there wasn’t any time to come up with a full plan.

“Your Majesty,” Fancy told her, “with enough time, we could defeat and rebuke each and every one of these accusations...but time is not something we have. The impeachment is in less than a week, and barring a miracle, we are nearly out of time.”

Across from him, Celestia looked at the growing list of charges that were being thrown at her. “And now they’ve conveniently put aside all the corruption we’re finding out that Adm. Tumblehome did in order for them to proclaim her a hero and accuse me of abandoning the military,” she said. “Worse, we cannot even bring up these charges without putting undue stress on her family and risking another avenue of attack from the nobility.”

“I knew many of them should have been corralled much earlier,” Kibbitz, who was also present, commented. “It is entirely my fault for that. You have my deepest apologies, Your Majesty.”

She looked at them both. “There will be no more talk about that. Kibbitz, you have done everything you could, when you have been asked and even more. None of this is placed on your withers. And Fancy, you have been here to cover me when I have needed it.” She gave them a smile. “It may very well be that it is time for new blood on the throne, but I will not give them the pleasure of driving me out. If I go, my ponies will be next, and there will be no easy way to halt the predations of those who care not for anything save power and prestige.”

“But still,” Fancy stated, “what we have given is nothing compared to what you have, Princess. We have our duties and our provinces to rule. You have given up thousands of years of your life, so much of your personal freedom and wealth and in return, countless generations of nobles have spurned you. It is not just!”

“No,” she sighed. “But my mother went through the same, because somepony must look out for the weak and downtrodden. Somepony must counter the evil and make sure that the world knows that the Harmony of Friendship is for one and all. It is the lot in life of an alicorn, and until the day there are no more of us, we must stand for that.”

A door opened, revealing Fleur as she walked in; she had a look on her face that was one of open anger. “And they are Tartarus-bent on destroying even the minor royalty now, the fools!” When all heads turned to her, she held up a report in her magic. “We just got confirmation from Nobility House that they intend to institute a court-martial for Capt. Right for the debacle at the Coronation Ball. Furthermore, due to his position as a member of the royal family, he will also be impeached.”

“What?!” both Fancy and Kibbitz said at the same time.

“No—I will not let this happen,” Celestia stated firmly. “Divine is not to blame for what happened, and he is being used as a pawn. This is their final shot—either I give up, or they’ll ruin my nephew.”

“I’m afraid I don’t understand,” Fancy stated.

“It’s high level politics, my friend,” Kibbitz clarified. “While court-martials are typically handled by the military, Parliament may call one for senior-ranking officers, such as the Captain of the Friendship Guard. Unfortunately, the nobles in question likely do not know military protocol or standards and likely don’t care. They likely have a mountain of evidence, real or imaginary about the good Captain, and they will use it.

“Additionally, with an impeachment of minor royalty, not as much is required as they do not rule so much as serve as senior bureaucrats. It is far easier to remove them and thus far easier to remove their titles. Normally this would reduce our good prince to the rank of duke, but as his sister Highfalutin’ holds the ducal throne, it essentially removes him from any source of power. Furthermore, as Highfalutin’ herself is in the leadership of the opposing faction, and is reported to have no lost love for her brother, she would claim that for the sake of their cadet branch of House Platinum that he will be expelled as a result.”

“But didn’t she state that she renounced it in front of Celestia?” Fleur asked.

“Not legal—she would need to sign a writ of warrant. All the verbal renouncement does is signify intent. Without that document, all it was, was mere theatre. Until that document is signed and on file at Nobility House, she is still the duchess and thus leader of the house—and that would spell doom for Prince Divine, insofar as his title and combined with a successful court-martial, would leave him as nothing more than a wealthy commoner, and that’s assuming he has his own independent funds and not just that of the House trust.” Fancy rubbed between his eyes; he always got a headache when dealing with the intrigues and vagaries of court stupidity. “But I fail to see how that would ruin him. Hurt him, certainly, but he is a stallion of honor and would get past this.”

“It’s not meant to hurt him.” Fleur slapped down a copy of the newest issue of Eyes on Canterlot; the cover showed Divine and Twilight dancing at the ball. “They finally found a way to hit Princess Twilight. Look at them! That is a couple in the making, or I don’t know my stock in trade.”

“But I still don’t see—"

“Stallions,” she mock-huffed, with a wink to Princess Celestia. “Look, let me spell it out for you in plain Equish: Princess Twilight, whose court is made up of commonfolk with the exception of Archmagus Beryl, really isn’t going to care about it, but they will force her to. A disgraced, cashiered and disinvested Divine isn’t really going to be of personal bother to her, especially if she’s got feelings for him. But the scandal of the number four princess of Equestria, dealing with a known traitor, one big enough to be court-martialed and removed from his royal state? The press will eat her alive. The nobles will spurn working with her due to ‘concern’ that his status with her will impair her judgement. They will use him as a bludgeon against her until she has no choice but to either resign her position herself—something she cannot do since she is also a Bearer—or, more realistically, to cut him out of her life, and as a result, cut her own heart out. They don’t care about ruining him. This is all to hurt her.” Fleur then turned to Celestia. “And more importantly, to hurt you.”

“Then we need to fight this!” Fancy stated. “This is obscene behavior by Highfalutin’’s faction and we should not tolerate this any further—"

“Except we cannot fight this and the brunt of the charges against Her Majesty,” Kibbitz stated sadly. “If we take on this extra burden, we will sink as sure as the sunset. If we fight this, we leave Her Majesty open. If we protect Her Majesty, then His Highness and Her Highness will suffer—"

“Then we don’t fight it.” The others turned to look at Celestia, who had a sad smile on her face.

“Are you suggesting we give up, Princess?” Fleur asked her, not even remotely trying to hide the shock she felt.

“No. This is not giving up. I have learned much about parenthood in the past week, and I have watched parents do miracles when it comes to their offspring. I regret that I was never able to be the mother I should have been for Sunset. But I am a mother figure for Twilight and I love her dearly, as I do my nephew—even my niece, as much of a disappointment as Highfalutin’ has turned out to be.”

Her voice became a rock hard line as she said, “I refuse to let them turn my loved ones into pawns so they can scrape and scratch one more iota of power to use as weapons against each other and the subjects of Equestria.” She paused. “Were I of a mind, I would activate the Daybreaker protocols.”

Kibbitz and Fancy both paled at that. The Daybreaker protocols were written centuries ago, but were still active in case of an emergency. If Celestia were to activate them, she could disestablish Parliament and disinvest nobles at a whim—and there would be nothing they could do about it, except for….

“Yes,” she said sadly. “I do not want to see warlords tear the nation apart like they did when my mother ascended and before I took the throne. Too many ponies’ lives were ruined and lost, and even though the wounds have been mostly healed, between that and the Moonfall war, we cannot afford a third.

“But I am not giving up. I will do as they ask, but I will not give up,” Celestia insisted. “I love and care about my subjects and I will not leave them to tyrants in the making. Even if it means I am no longer the ruling princess, I will not abandon them to the whims of the unworthy.”

“Then what will you do, Your Majesty?”

Celestia gave a wolfish smile. “My daughter is fond of mentioning the Minoan War of 957 and the Saddleback Ridge Incursion and how I, in her words, ‘pubstomped noobz like a gibfest’, whatever that means. Perhaps I should introduce Parliament to real politics.”

As Tavi sat on her bed, practicing the chords on her guitar, she couldn’t really do anything else except try to get lost in her craft. Now that everyone knew about her...condition...and said affliction of her literal physical being had been given time to set, as it were, the actual effect of having the legs and tail of a pony really weren’t that bad. The pain from her disfigured anatomy had (mostly) subsided, plus the fact she now had proper fitting horseshoes (attached by magic, thankfully!) meant her hooves no longer were in pain when she walked—the fact she had hooves at all still being a bit of a sore point.

Additionally, Rarity and Rarity had worked tirelessly and produced several articles of lower body garments so Tavi at least felt like she could dress like a human...even if the skirts all had an extra opening to fit her tail through.

But even though Tavi was finding it possible to still live normally surprisingly easily, there was still the problem of looking like a freak, something even Sunset couldn’t help with. Sure, her cousin and sister figure was an alien who took human form most of the time as well as having magic on hand whenever she needed it, but that didn’t quite work out for Tavi herself. Allegedly, given her bloodline included a unicorn, Tavi should have magical abilities herself, just as some of her friends apparently did (though why they did brought up far more questions than answers). Regardless, even if she did have magic, it was all but nonexistent: she couldn’t readily summon it and it probably would have taken years of practice to even manage anything worthwhile.
However, that meant Tavi had no way to hide her legs and tail. Furthermore, even if somehow she managed to learn some kind of glamory spell from Sunset, she’d been advised that it was just an illusion. She might look normal that way, but all it would take would be someone accidentally stepping on her tail and the spell would be immediately shattered. Worse, due to the particular way those kinds of spells worked, a glamory never worked again on someone who had broken one, thus making it useless for her.

What could she do? The natural thing would be to drop out of Zacherle—after all, one of the Divas of the school showing up appearing like something out of a Greco-Roman horror show? Suri Polomare and her clique would have a field day framing her as the inhuman thing she seemed to be, to say nothing of all the other well-to-do families who would freak out if their daughters were anywhere near an abomination matching Tavi’s current description. But at the same time, she couldn’t drop out—she and Twily had made a promise to the previous Divas to keep the Diva position away from Suri’s clutches. If Tavi dropped out, Suri would then use that against Twily and break her. But more importantly, both Twily and Tavi had the next generation of Divas to look after: there was something about both the human equivalents of Coco (yet another of Sunset’s “cousins”) and Raspberry Beryl that said they might someday take over the spot when Tavi and Twily graduated.

Tavi froze at that, suddenly hitting a discordant note. Graduation: even if she somehow managed to survive everything else, the chances of going up in front of hundreds of students, faculty, families and VIPs and somehow having the glamory not break was impossible. It would humiliate her and her family and possibly even put Sunset at risk. She couldn’t bear that.

She thought about talking with Sunset about everything, but...she was broken by the potential hell of it all.

Just then, there was a knock at the door.

“Just a second,” said the teen, moving the guitar off of her lap onto the bed before getting up to the door. She was surprised to find Sunset in her pony form waiting there. Even stranger, so was Blueblood—the one individual she was afraid of seeing her like this, a mishmash of a human being.

“Is this a bad time?” asked Blu, who looked slightly nervous.

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