• Published 22nd May 2019
  • 3,468 Views, 306 Comments

Sun Never Sets - CrownofDissonance



The gates of the underworld are opening for the first time in two thousand years. It's up to Sunset Shimmer, demon hunter extrordinaire, to slam 'em shut.

  • ...
5
 306
 3,468

01- The Guardian Angel

The sound of gunfire and police sirens several blocks away gave Sunset a sense of urgency. The police had a pretty quick response time in Canterlot City, they'd be there before she would. No cars were on the road today. Good thing, with the sky as cloudy as it was it was likely to rain soon. Sunset needed as little interruptions to her driving as possible.

Out of the corner of her eye, she caught movement on the rooftops to her right. It was big, the way it moved reminding her of a wild animal chasing something. Chasing her. She could've sworn she could hear a rhythmic thumping accompanying it's movement, but it was hard to make out over the rumble of her motorcycle. She quickly glanced over her shoulder, spending a small amount of her demonic power to slow time long enough for her to get a good look. Her Demon Reflex, as she called it, allowed her to slow the flow of time around her, and let her still act at a normal speed if she so wished.

When she looked, though, nothing was there. Whatever it was had seemingly disappeared.

She made a mental note that she was likely being followed.

She neared an intersection, and seeing that the light was about to change she sped up. As she crossed it, however, something suddenly cut across in front of her, missing her by mere inches. Time slowed for her again, but more as an involuntary reaction this time. Rather than resume time and let it pass at normal speed, her attention was fixed on the motorcycle she nearly collided with.

Unlike her own black and chrome chopper bike, this one was a streamlined sportbike, with a blue and white paint job. A single mark on the back indicated it belonged to Canterlot City's police department, and the navy blue, armored uniform its rider wore did seem to indicate they were an officer of some sort. The patch on their shoulder wasn't one of the CCPD though, instead it had imagery of a pair of gold and white wings wrapped around five letters: SRAPH. An acronym, but not one she knew. They wore a helmet, and no other features were easily identifiable on them. Something told her they were both headed to the same place.

She continued forward, not breaking momentum. She was certain this person, whoever they were, didn't seem to notice her as they continued without any disruption as well.

There were more gunshots and police sirens in the distance. Hopefully she'd make it in time.

-----

"This is Police Sergeant Colt broadcasting on all channels, we need backup near the intersection of Ivory and 5th, multiple monster threats are present!"

"This is Seraph Agent Flash Sentry," came the radio response, "I'm on my way to provide assistance, over."

A small scale monster threat had been reported in Downtown Canterlot. In most cases, the police alone would not be enough to take care of it, so a specialist was deployed to take action. That specialist's name was Flash Sentry, and he raced down the road on a police cycle given to him by the local department.

"Copy that, Agent Sentry," The police sergeant's voice seemed quite distressed. "What's your ETA?"

"I'm on Parsley Street at the moment, I'll be there in two minutes, tops. Over." Though Flash sounded calm, he was also quite tense. As a member of the Supernatural Response and Protection of Humanity unit, he was often expected to work alone. His three years as a police officer prior to joining had given time to become proficient in containing situations, and he scored perfectly in tests of strength, awareness, ability, and even driving in extreme conditions, but all of his training had been in the context of operating in a team.

He had attended Canterlot High, a school infamous for its interaction with the demon realm, though despite what his bosses at SRAPH believed, he didn't have a lot of experience dealing with them. He had seen a lot of them, yes, but others who were more magical than himself dealt with them. By joining SRAPH, he hoped to change that.

Though lonely, Flash figured it would be best if he worked on his own anyway. His first and last mission working with other SRAPH agents left them all killed by demons and him to barely escape with his life. Though his survival impressed the agency's higher-ups, he was only 23- far younger than he would've liked to experience something that traumatizing. Still, he pulled himself through, so that nobody else would ever have to suffer such losses so long as he was there.

Flash shifted his body to the side and slowed, bringing the bike into a turn on 5th Street. Up ahead he could see where the police were blocking the way and squeezed his bike's throttle a little more.

'Small scale incident' was what he'd been told, but as he pulled up to the intersection of Ivory and 5th where the police cruisers were blocking the way, he saw more than a dozen police officers shooting it out with twice as many creatures, appearing to be animated, faceless mannequins, with blades fixed to their hands. They were spread out in the street, backing the police force against their barricade as they came forward at a hurried walking pace. The standard police pistols didn't seem to affect them, but one of the officers firing a shotgun at the oncoming mob seemed to be getting more work done. By the way he was pointing and directing the other officers, Flash assumed him to be the sergeant.

Flash parked his bike, and removed his helmet, allowing his soft blue hair to retake its natural shape. Though he had to keep it cut short, it still held a natural upward spike to it. He left the helmet on the bike handle, and drew his weapon as he moved in past the police cars.

His handgun, dubbed the Spectre 50, was a bit larger than an average officer's, firing higher caliber rounds that proved to be more effective against monsters in SRAPH test scenarios. He kept the weapon pointed towards the ground as he approached, the standard safety carry he'd been trained.

"Sergeant Colt?" Flash addressed the police sergeant as he moved in behind him.

Colt fired his weapon, and looked back at Flash. Colt was much older than Flash, his balding head and greying hair showing signs of age, maybe premature aging, but the combo of sunglasses and mustache he kept made him looking both respectable and intimidating nonetheless.

"You the Seraph Agent?" He asked, his gruff voice matching the voice on the radio.

"Yes," Flash nodded. "Agent Sentry. What's the situation?"

"We've got a bunch of these mannequin monsters coming out of the street by Carousel Boutique down there."

"Carousel Boutique..." Flash recognized the name, realising that one of his friends from high school might be in trouble. "That's Rarity's shop!"

"Rarity?" Colt pumped his shotgun back, then forward, taking another shot.

"I went to school with her."

"Heh," Despite the danger, Colt seemed quite laid back. "Childhood sweetheart or something?"

"No, no, nothing like that," Flash shook his head, and kicked himself internally. This was an official mission, he needed to not get distracted. "What's your plan of action?"

"I thought you Seraph guys were the ones with the plan."

"Right," Flash looked at the oncoming monsters. SRAPH would categorize these as Minor Demons, as they acted in a group and none of them seemed to be calling any shots. They were made of some magical substance, resistant to bullets despite appearing as normal material. They weren't fast, but they didn't care at all about a few bullet holes. It seemed they needed a lot of bullet holes to be stopped, or big ones at the very least.

Flash gave them a name as he analyzed them: Blade Mannequin.

The police were holding them back, but they would eventually run out of bullets. Flash knew they'd have to be fast. "We'll have to push through to the boutique. I bet there's a bigger demon in charge somewhere inside."

"What?" Colt asked. "We can hardly handle these ones, how are we supposed to fight a big one?"

"Leave that to me, just back me up."

Flash brought his gun up, and lined up his sights with an oncoming monster. Pulling the trigger, he found his weapon was powerful enough to take a chunk off it, causing its chest to explode and crack like stone would. It stumbled back, and another one ran in front of it. Flash readjusted his sights, firing at the other one and stumbling it as well, and then finishing them both off, each taking one more shot before collapsing.

Around him, some of the other officers were starting to get overrun. Their weapons weren't as effective as Flash’s or Colt's. One officer was knocked to the ground, but as the demon brought both of its bladed hands back to finish him off it was blown to pieces by Colt's shotgun. He ran over and helped the other officer back up, calling for the others to fall back.

Flash wouldn't be able to join them; he had a Mannequin right in front of him. It took a shot from the Spectre, but was swinging its arm around before Flash could let another shot off. In his off hand, Flash drew a combat knife from a sheath on his chest and parried the blade arm as it came around. In the same movement, he dragged the knife across the Mannequin's upper arm, finding it to be wholly ineffective.

That was fine, Flash just wedged the knife into the demon's shoulder joint, raised its arm up and crossed under it, firing his gun off point blank into its back, then the back of its head, bringing it down in the two swift motions. His whole body shook, adrenaline surging through him as he performed the maneuver. He spun to the side just in time to dodge another one behind him, locking its arm with his knife again as he finished it with his gun.

Behind him, the police squad took aim, but most of the Mannequins were going for Flash. They wouldn't shoot into the melee in fear of hitting him.

More kept coming at him, and he took them down, though not with ease or grace, as their blades came much too close for his comfort. His blocks were getting sloppier and his gun was soon vacant of bullets. His specialized hand-to-hand techniques, all centered around disabling opponents via pressure points, were useless here as these Mannequins apparently didn't have soft spots to exploit. A side kick to the chest was enough to stumble the closest one long enough for Flash to slip away and rejoin the police squad.

Their numbers hadn't been thinned, and he couldn't sustain that kind of intense combat for long periods of time. Unless they changed their tactics they weren't going to get anywhere. The police formed their defensive line and began firing again, but Flash looked around for something else, something that might give them some kind of advantage. He attention turned to one of the police cruisers behind him, and an idea began to form.

It wouldn't come to be seen, unfortunately, as his thoughts were distracted by the sound of a roaring engine and something shooting down the street towards them. Ramping off the hood of the police cruisers was a black and chrome chopper, its rider one that Flash immediately recognized. It was his ex from high school. The one he had always watched fight demons.

"Sunset?"

Both her red hair and yellow leather coat flowed freely behind her as she passed over him, both hands off of the handlebars as she drew a pair of oversized handguns and pointed them in opposite directions, moving almost too fast for him to see as she began blowing the demons away in a whirlwind of bullets, bringing the bike to a stop near the Boutique's generously sized parking spaces.

Hopping off of the bike, she rolled, bringing both guns up towards the remaining demons in front of the officers.

"Everybody get down!" She shouted, and as she began firing, the squad of police officers all threw themselves to the floor without question. Flash, only bringing himself to a crouched position, looked up, and watched as more monsters began to pour out of the Boutique's entrance as she mopped up the last few demons near the police officers.

"Behind you!" Flash shouted, her expression changing to surprised for a split second before dodging out of the way of one of the monsters, narrowly avoiding its strike. He hadn't seen her hands move, but Sunset now was holding a sword, which she wielded masterfully against the monsters as they began to surround her.

She blocked attacks from all directions at once, while somehow still delivering attacks of her own.

"What the hell is she?" Flash heard Colt ask.

"Really good at killing demons," Flash replied. "I'm going in to help her, you stay back and make sure none slip by us."

"Alright..." Colt let out a sigh, then raised his voice as he addressed his squad. "You heard him, ladies and gentlemen, let's get this perimeter reformed!"

Flash ran to Sunset's mosh pit of blades, watching as she made quick work of most of the demons by the time he got there. He took shots at one as Sunset turned to slice through another, her sword shattering them in the same manner his gun did. The last one, she cut through the neck, holding it there at the tip of her blade as it struggled against it. Flash watched as she just held it there, keeping the demon from going anywhere, but not finishing it off. After a few moments, she looked over to Flash.

"Well? Do you want the last one or not?" she asked.

"What?"

She rolled her eyes, and drew one of her pistols, shooting the demon's head and turning it into a rubble-like rain on the ground next to it.

"Is that really you, Sunset?" Flash asked. He hadn't seen or heard from Sunset since they graduated. He could only guess as to what she had been up to.

"Do you know some other half-demon chick with a huge sword?" Sunset let a cool smile show through, one hand on her hip as she let her weapon rest over her shoulder.

"We can catch up later, right now we need to get this situation under control." Flash turned his attention to the boutique's entrance. Now that he was closer, he could see a strange white glow coming from beneath the doors.

Sunset's smile faded. "Do you even know what's going on here?"

"Something bad," Flash said, with much certainty.

"Mmh," She nodded. "You should probably let me handle this."

"What? I'm on official business here, I can't just leave!"

Sunset's eyebrows raised, as she noticed the patch on his shoulder. It was the same one she saw before at the intersection.

"Oh? I guess you are. Congrats, by the way. You're making it further than I am..." She walked towards the door, putting a hand on its handle. "At least let me go in first."

Flash tilted his head. "Why?"

Sunset brought her sword back down, and tapped its edge. "You don't want to be in front of me while I'm swinging this thing."

"After you, then."

-----

The doors leading into the shop had some kind of light screen, and walking through it led to a place that simply wasn't Carousel Boutique. At least, it wasn't the same Carousel Boutique that Sunset remembered. The first noticeable feature of their surroundings was the lack of color. Everything was a black void, their surroundings only identifiable through the outlines of the room around them. Strangely intricate formal wear was set up on clothing racks and shelves, with infinite fractal designs sewn into them, something that hurt Sunset's eyes if she looked for too long. Other tables were empty, but seemed like they should've held a display as well.

Overall, the room had the general shape of the boutique's main floor, but everything was positioned differently, including doors, walls, and...

In front of them, standing guard in front of a door behind a counter, were two Mannequins resembling the ones seen outside, but were twice as tall and wore flowing white dresses. Just like the others, their arms ended in long, straight blades, but they kept them crossed in front of their chests, not responding to them as they entered.

"What is this?" Flash looked around.

"A pocket dimension in the demon world." Sunset said. She approached the dressed mannequins with sword slung over her shoulder, inspecting them without getting too close. "I've seen this happen before, when Twilight's Inner Demon manifested for the first time."

Flash recalled the event, remembering portals to other, stranger worlds being opened around the school. He tried to not think about the strangeness of it all, instead pondering how it might've came to be.

"Do you think Rarity's demon manifested?" Flash asked. Having to fight one of their friends wasn't something he had prepared to do today, but he mentally braced himself for that possibility.

"I hope not," she said, sounding just as displeased with the thought.

Flash took a few steps towards the mannequins, taking a closer look at the small blue gems around the edge of their dresses. These weren't Boss Demons, but they'd certainly be more formidable than their smaller counterparts.

In his head, he gave them a name as well: Elite Blade Mannequin.

"These things seem like they'd come out of the mind of a dressmaker."

He was right, but why would her demon manifest now of all times? In both Sunset's and Twilight's cases they had been in such extreme mental pressure and desperation that their demons manifested almost out of necessity, needing relief in form of violent outburst. Though busy days running her shop may be hectic, they wouldn't create enough stress to push Rarity to that point, would they?

"You're not wrong."

The only way forward was through the door, and as Sunset neared the door, its two guardians came to life. Flash jumped back, but Sunset already had her sword up, blocking their initial swipes as they both took swings at her. Behind her she heard Flash's gun going off, and saw small, corresponding dents being made in the demons. She'd have to keep them away from him, she knew he wouldn't be able to sustain a direct hit.

Flash circled to the side, getting an angle on the demon to the left so that Sunset wouldn't be directly in his line of fire. As he landed shots on its head, it turned towards him momentarily, only to have Sunset put a cut on its shoulder, tearing the dress and recapturing its attention. Just in time, too, as Flash had just fired his last shot. In an almost mechanically precise movement, he let the empty magazine fall from his weapon, replacing it with a new one the moment it cleared the magazine well.

Sunset slashed against both of the demons furiously, but her weapon's edge did minimal damage. Its mass and weight did more than anything, as each swing chipped away at the Mannequin's stony exterior. One dragged its blades on the ground, circling in front of it and sweeping at Sunset's feet. It received a staggering blow to the head as Sunset jumped over it, and landed on one of the tables just behind her, but the other demon put its arm blades beneath the tabletop, and flipped it up and backwards, Sunset still on it.

She let out a uncontrolled shout as she spun, her back striking and cracking the wall behind her, and the table smashing against her front and breaking apart. Several splinters dug into her face and hands. They made her skin itch, but she was too busy pulling herself from the wall to remove them.

Both of the demons now turned their attentions to Flash, one running up on him quickly and raising an arm back to strike him. Fear shot through him, but his well trained reflexes took over, and he ran beneath the demon's arm, firing his weapon into the back of its head as he went. Over and over again, he pulled the trigger, until its head shattered and turned to dust, sending its body falling backwards onto the ground. As it fell, he saw Sunset, sitting up against the wall across from him with one of her guns outstretched, its barrel smoking.

"Good job," she said, getting back to her feet. "You got her!"

His expression shifted to confusion. Did she fire the killing shot? He couldn't tell if she was patronizing him or supporting him.

"Hey! Stay focused!" To his side, the other demon was bearing down on him. Still focused, Flash raised his weapon to fire again, it only gave the clack of an empty magazine. He had miscounted his shots.

Fear overtook his training. The monster was two steps away from taking his head, and he needed to move. All he could manage was a weak dive to the side, but that put him on his stomach and facing away from the threat. Rolling onto his back, he saw the Mannequin slicing a long rack of clothes in half, a rack that could've just as easily been him. As his eyes widened and his breathing quickened, he found his trembling hands inadequate to reload his weapon. Luckily, Sunset was there with him.

A shorter, wheeled rack of dresses abruptly crashed into the demon, pushing it back a few feet, but failed to knock it over. Sunset followed the rack, jumping on it and swinging her sword in an upward arc, launching the huge demon into the air as she made impact. She jumped again to follow it, appearing above it before it even began to fall back down, and matched her upward cut with a downward one. With the demon already flying up, the force of Sunset's opposite cut was amplified, and with a perfect 90 degree cut she sliced right through what gave her trouble before. She landed just as the dismembered demon pieces faded into a shadow cloud, dresses and all.

Flash felt his fear subsiding, but as he let his head meet the floor at his back it was replaced with a mixture of disappointment and embarrassment. Said embarrassment was doubled as Sunset held her hand out, offering to help him up.

"I had that first one, you know." He took her hand, and she nodded as she helped him to his feet.

"Yeah, those were good shots." Her tone was genuine, but it didn't make the feeling go away. "I'm surprised that gun did anything to them, honestly."

"Seraph Command knows what works and what doesn't."

"Do they have any magical stuff to give you guys?"

"Uh, well..." Flash stuttered. The SRAPH higher-ups frowned on the use of magic, due to its unstable nature, but more importantly they didn't understand it well enough to use it practically. It didn't help that they rejected help from groups of magic users that offered it to them. "We don't need magical stuff."

"Uh-huh." Sunset didn't seem convinced, but didn't question further. "If you ever want to use one of mine, all you gotta do is ask."

"No, this one works for me." Flash took a calming breath, and finally managed to put a new magazine in his weapon.

"Neither of mine need to be reloaded."

He held up his hand, shaking his head. "It's fine, really."

Sunset shrugged. "Suit yourself. Let's go, then."

Beyond the door the Mannequins guarded was what Sunset assumed to be the alternate version of Rarity's work room. A table with fabric and needles was up against one wall, and across from that was a regular, non-demonic mannequin. In front of them, on an area elevated by a few short steps, a woman in an elegant, dark blue dress stood away, facing a mirror. The dress had dozens of tiny diamonds across its flowing length, reminding Sunset of the night sky. The woman's hair was long, curled, and impossibly vibrant, glistening in a deep purple color.

She said nothing, seemingly lost in her own reflection.

"Rarity?" Flash took a step towards her, but Sunset held her arm out, stopping him. He glanced to her, and saw her shaking her head discouragingly.

The woman turned her head, a set of piercing blue eyes with vertically slit pupils glaring back at them. The skin on her face was deathly pale, blackened veins showing through it, and she bared a set of sharp, fanged teeth. A power radiated from her, one that Flash recognized immediately. She was the source of this, she was indeed a Boss demon.

"Not Rarity," Sunset said. "Her Inner Demon- A demon of Vanity."

"How rude!" The demon's eyes became angered, and her tone was stained with an odd echo. It was Rarity's voice, mixed with a scraping demonic voice, and it sounded quite different speaking in such a sinister tone. "This area is off limits to customers!"

The demon turned, her dress flowing around her as she did. Sunset took steps to the side of the room, moving towards its center.

"Yeah, well, there was no service out there!" Sunset said. She was smiling, to Flash's confusion. "Who owns this place, anyway? Looks like a trash dump, haven't seen a single good dress in here."

"I- Wha-" The demon's anger was interrupted by a moment of surprise before returning in full. "You dare mock my skill? My dresswork is the finest in all of creation!"

"Hate to break it to you, but regular Rarity could make a dress ten times prettier than you could." Sunset was enjoying this exchange, complete contrast with Flash's growing concern over the demon's anger.

"And what would you know of fashion?!" The demon moved closer to her, challengingly, nodding towards Sunset's clothes. "Look at that ragged old coat, and in such a garish color- bright yellow, ugh, that looks terrible on you!"

"Hey, it compliments my hair!"

The demon opened her hands up, and in a flash of white light, materialized a set of eight oversized sewing pins in them. Their tips were razor sharp, and each had a white diamond on the end.

"I think you'd look better in a bloody red!" The demon tossed the pins straight at her in a tight spread, but they only came close enough to brush her as she jumped, twirling in the air and perfectly dodging each of them. Behind her, they embedded themselves in the wall and exploded. Landing on her feet and readying her sword, she shot the demon a challenging grin.

"You missed," Sunset said, "Think you might want to take my measurements first?"

Another flash of light, and Rarity's demon was now holding a huge sewing needle, at least 4 feet long, with a thick length of thread tied around its end. She held it by its eye, pointing it towards Sunset the same way one would a sword.

"Not necessary, darling. I'll cut it down after I'm finished!"

Flash raised his weapon, but saw the demon's open hand point towards him, and a set of pins were suddenly being cast his way. Sunset was in front of him faster than he could process, deflecting the pins with her sword, and he fired off two shots as he moved out from behind her. The demon raised her hand, summoning a small shield of a diamond-like substance to appear before her to block the bullets. Right after it disappeared Sunset dashed forward, thrusting her sword out as far as she could reach, but the demon seemed to float backwards, just out of Sunset's attack, responding with a needle thrust of her own.

Sidestepping with less breathing room than she hoped, Sunset tried to swipe across, stepping into the strike more, but the demon swiftly and smoothly floated away again. Flash adjusted his position, nearing the work tables and lining up shots with where he thought Rarity's demon might move to next. He found that no matter how accurate he was, the demon was always ready with her shield.

More pins materialized, and he kicked the nearest work table over and dove behind it, the pins piercing through it and coming to rest inches from digging into his face. They glowed white, and a soft ringing became audible. Flash frantically rolled away moments before the pins exploded, sending bits of the table in all directions. Coming back up he saw Sunset still chasing the demon around the room with her sword, not making any progress on her.

"Sunset!" He called to her, kneeling behind his cover and taking another shot. "Use your guns!"

Sunset jumped back, evading another thrust and drawing her pistols. The demon projected her shield to defend against Sunset's shots, but Flash firing from a different direction forced her to take immediate evasive movements. Sunset found herself facing down another volley of sewing pins, and dodging them required her full attention.

With Sunset occupied, the demon whipped around and threw her needle at Flash, who only barely sidestepped the sudden strike. Her shield went up in Sunset's direction as she recovered from her dodge, and Flash realised he had an opening. The demon's hand curled around the length of thread in her hand, still tied around the needle, and pulled her weapon back to her. If he was going to get a hit in, now was the time, but his gun was empty- he had been counting his shots this time.

Without thinking twice, he pulled his knife out from its sheath and tossed it with a well practiced flick of his arm. The next moment, to Flash's amazement, his knife was sticking through the demon's hand. He actually did it! She recoiled, letting out a high pitched shriek as she failed to catch her returning weapon and it dropped to the floor beneath her.

It wasn't enough to bring her down, but it stunned her long enough for Sunset to dash forward and impale the demon on her blade. All action stopped, and Sunset just stared at the demon as she pulled her weapon back. The demon stared back for a long moment before letting out a short, pained gasp.

"For the record..." Sunset began, drawing one her pistols and putting it right against the demon's face. "I think my coat is pretty stylish."

The demon didn't have a chance to respond as she was blasted onto her back. Arms and legs spread, she closed her eyes, a defeated groan escaping her lips as her head tilted to one side. She slowly reverted back to her normal form as an average girl in a beige dress, completely unharmed and unconscious. The knife that once pierced her hand fell, and was now several feet away from her. Around them both, the room started to flicker, the reality distortion fading as everything returned to normal, and they were left standing in a non-destroyed version of Rarity's work room.

They were in the normal world again.

Sunset gave a tired sigh. "Well, I'd say that was fun, but actually I just shot my friend in the face and I don't know how to feel about that."

Flash looked down at Rarity. Indeed, there was not a scratch on her. "She's okay, though."

"Damage to a pure demon form is superficial," Sunset said. "If you're overshadowed, your body gets released as it was. Still, it was her face, and I did shoot it."

"It wasn't her, though."

"Eh." Sunset tried not to think about it too hard. Wanting a change of subject, she looked down at Flash's knife, kicking it up to her hand and offering it to him. "That was a good throw, by the way."

The compliment took him off guard. Was that sarcasm, or was she actually complimenting him?

"I- uh..." He resheathed the knife, breaking eye contact with Sunset as he searched for a response that sounded cool. "Thanks."

Behind her, a sphere of white and black energy rose from Rarity's body. Flash's hand rose, a single finger extended in its direction, prompting Sunset to look over her shoulder. She saw the orb, but her attention was stolen by something moving quickly behind it.

A creature was standing in the corner, presumably it had been waiting there the whole time for reality to restore itself. It was a light purple color, made of a smooth metal with scratches here and there across its body. Its head was angled, tapering into a pointed nose with a long jaw running beneath it. Two glassy black spots on its face were in the place of any eyes. The mouth formed here wasn't filled with teeth, but instead had the same smoothness as the rest of its head. All of this was at the front of a long body with four clawed feet beneath it, on powerful legs, and a jointed tail running from its back. Along its spine were several sections where its plating angled upward, creating a row of sharp spikes all accented in faded green, matching its shoulders and underside.

It was a huge, robotic canine, and its sights were focused on Rarity.

Before Flash or Sunset could really register what it was, it jumped forward. With a circular device that opened up like a hand mirror held in its tail, it began to extract the shadowy energy from Rarity's body.

"Hey, what are you doing?" Sunset asked, an aggressive tone in her voice as she approached the mechanical hound.

It spoke, but not in reply to her. Its voice had a high, synthesized scratchiness to it, but its tone was deeper, and it seemed well articulated despite speaking in terms of commands.

"Magic extraction: Completed." Noticing Sunset was now pointing her sword at it, the dog backed away, exchanging the magic-capturing device for a short, single-edged blade that it kept concealed in its body. It held the weapon high over its head with its tail, carefully backing away.

"You took her magic?" Flash asked, moving towards the room's entrance while keeping his gun level with the new threat. "How?"

"I don't answer to you..." The dog said, its head tilting, watching both Flash and Sunset, who prepared for it to make a move.

Behind Sunset, not present in the room in the demon world, was a window leading outside to the alley behind the Boutique. The mechanical dog threw itself towards it, its blade crackling with energy as it swung around at Sunset. She parried the strike, landing a clean counterattack as the dog ran past her, cutting into its side, but not stopping its momentum. The dog crashed through the window, shattering it, and made a run down the alleyway.

Sunset followed, jumping through the window and drawing one of her pistols, firing as the dog dug its claws into the side of a taller building and climbed up it at a running pace.

Flash made it out the window just in time to watch Sunset turning the corner at the end of the alley and running down the street.

"Sunset, wait up!" Flash chased after her. Soon enough, they were both outside the front of the boutique again, watching the dog run off across the rooftops.

"Sunset!" Flash called again as she hopped back on her motorcycle. She gave him only a momentary glance.

"I can't let that thing get away, Flash."

Flash let out a frustrated sigh. "I want to know what's going on here. I want to help."

"You're just gonna get in my way. Let me do my thing."

Sunset took off down the street in the same direction the hound went, leaving Flash feeling confused, but not discouraged. After all, he had a job to do.

Author's Note:

Flash is here too, to kind of fight demons with Sunset, but not as well as her, and he doesn't look nearly as cool as her when he does it.