• Published 22nd May 2019
  • 2,907 Views, 301 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.

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03- The Cyborg Vigilante

The sun was beginning its decent in the sky as Twilight glided along through the city on her hoverboard, heading towards its center. A bridge running over a wide highway separated the currently burning heart of the business district from the outlying housing sectors, and there was much traffic on the roads leading outward. The crisis was escalating, going from a single demon outbreak to many citywide. Twilight knew it would come to this. She alone couldn't have stopped it. If only Celestia had listened to her...

The bridge had no traffic going in, allowing Twilight no obstacle to cross it. As she did, she reached for the circular device hanging around her neck and pressed the button on it's center. A set of thirty six rectangular LED lights were arranged in a circular pattern around its circumference, one every ten degrees, and the three topmost ones were all lit up in a soft pink color.

Though there were a cluster of buildings before her, Twilight knew where her device was pointing her. A skyscraper with broken windows and fire visible on its upper levels stood out against the other ones, untouched. A hotel, from the looks of it. As far as she knew, one of her friends was in the convention hall connected to the hotel. The demon she was after was picking its targets carefully, Twilight knew the intention was not to cause mindless destruction. At the moment, it wanted the magic of her friends.

She came to the end of the bridge. The main street it led into was in complete ruin. Destroyed vehicles were scattered about, and the once smooth pavement was jagged and torn around three distinct marks, as if someone had pulled a huge rake down the center.

Twilight's board had no trouble traversing this, and she definitely wouldn't have to worry about any other drivers on the road now. As she passed by a nightclub with it's doors left open and its sign knocked out of place, she noticed herself crossing a shadow cast from the club's roof.

The device around her neck beeped softly. Twilight felt eyes on her.

"Twilight Sparkle..." Came a gentle, yet disappointed voice.

Twilight froze, slid into a stop, and spun all the way around. A tall, slender woman stood atop the nightclub, wearing a striking golden blazer jacket, with a pair of slacks in a soft magenta to match. The colors reminded Twilight of the setting sun. The woman jumped, landing on perfectly on the sidewalk below in a pair of wide-heeled knee high boots, with a series of clamps along the backs of them. Running in heels was hard enough, jumping in them? Impressive.

"Celestia," Twilight said, her eyes meeting her mentor's. She hadn't seen her since the day she lost her duel with Sunset. "It's been four years, three months, and thirteen days..."

Their eyes were the same color, a vibrant violet. Twilight's carried a look of surprise, anger, shock, and fear all at once. Celestia's carried only a stern solemness. Her mentor's hair flowed gracefully behind her as she walked to her former student, it's pastel pink color faded over the passing of time.

"Call me old fashioned," Celestia said, her lips straight and holding back a deep emotion that Twilight couldn't quite name, "but I would just say... 'it's been too long.'"

"Do you finally understand what I've been trying to tell you?" Twilight asked, her voice shaking slightly. Celestia's calm approach almost felt threatening to Twilight. She came to a stop just outside of Twilight's striking distance.

"What about it? That the Sister of Darkness is returning?" She replied, crossing her arms. "That you need to gather as much power as possible?"

Twilight blinked, then glared at her. "You're certainly not going to do anything about it."

"You've learned nothing from my teachings, Twilight," Celestia shook her head. "Where are your friends?"

"They're in danger, they won't be able to control their magic!" Twilight rose her voice, a controlled resentment building. "And without their magic, we can't do anything when the Sister of Darkness returns."

"What makes you think you can control it?" Celestia asked. "You could hardly handle your own magic when I first found you."

"I'm much stronger than when I left you..." Twilight's fist tightened as a surge of anger slowly crept over her. "Stronger than Sunset, too."

"Are you?" Celestia's brow raised. "Are you really?"

As much as she wanted to believe she was, she thought back to her encounter with Sunset earlier that day. They were still evenly matched. "That amulet should've been mine."

"Do you even know what that amulet contains? You speak of using its power without even understanding what its power is."

"It..." Twilight was certain she knew, but for some reason her words failed her. "It contains the essence of the Sister of Light..."

"Is that so?"

"That's what everything I could find on it in the Order's archives pointed to-"

"The Order? The Order of Light?" Celestia let out a short, annoyed laugh. "Oh, the Order knows very little about the Sister they claim to worship..."

The Order of Light was all Twilight could consider family, before she met her friends at Canterlot High. They kept careful record of demons and their interactions with the world since their founding. "What would you know about the Order?"

"Only that they banished you for digging too deep into their forbidden archive," Celestia said. "But I'm not here to lecture you on your past mistakes."

Twilight's banishment was a painful memory, one still felt three years later. She didn't appreciate it being brought up. She spoke slowly, now with complete resentment for her former mentor.

"What are you here for, then?"

Celestia frowned. "I want you to think about what you're about to do, Twilight. You're facing an enemy that can only be defeated through the power of harmony, and your actions are creating anything but that."

"My actions?!" Twilight shouted, slowly losing her grip on her temper. "If you would've given me that amulet-"

"Yes, your actions." Celestia's tone was calm, but powerful, and when she spoke Twilight fell silent. "Your actions are what caused these demons to appear, to torment your friends, and nothing you're doing is actually fixing the situation. Your actions, and nobody else's-"

"Shut up!" Twilight drew her sword with intent to attack, but before the sunlight even had a chance to shine off of the blade, Celestia had vanished.

A moment passed before her pride began to burn. She nearly choked on her own throat at the realization that she, in all of her conscious pursuit of power and control, lost control of herself. Shaking, Twilight resheathed her weapon and quietly turned her board back towards the burning hotel.

"Are you gonna be okay, Twilight?" Spike asked. "I really think-"

"I don't need to hear what you think right now, Spike." Twilight said, doing her best to get a grip on herself. "I just need a moment...."

As she moved herself forward through the ruined street, she spotted a group of huge, horned demons wielding axes cutting down a squad of police officers.

Lucky her, an easy fight was just what she needed to set her mind at peace.

-----

It was always a shame when a rock concert was interrupted by a demon attack.

As civilians fled the scene, fearing the skeletal, taloned monsters with the shriveled skin and burning red eyes, one person stood unperturbed. She wore a short sleeved, blue denim jacket, and a teal blue shirt beneath that. Hair of blue and purple streaks fell back down her neck, and was jaggedly cut off where it fell in front of her face. Slung over her back was a long, one handed sword, with serrated teeth running along its one bladed edge. There was some geared mechanism in its handle and back edge, and a short lever sticking out from its guard. Soft blue eyes looked on uninterestedly as she twirled a revolver in one hand, waiting for the crowd to clear out with an almost bored expression.

One of the fleeing audience member tripped, and a demon jumped atop them.

Bang!

It was blown back from the force the girl's revolver, and the trembling near-victim was helped to their feet so they could scurry along.

Bang! Bang!

This happened several more times, the flash from her gun illuminating the dimly lit room for brief moments. Eventually, the crowd was out of the front half of the hall, and all that was in front of her was an empty stage and a whole mess of demons that needed cleaning up.

With her right hand held behind her back, the girl flicked her revolver's chamber open. Having emptied its load saving people, she needed fresh bullets in it. The spent casings fell as she tilted the gun back, and she bumped a pouch on her waist, launching six fresh bullets into the air. She brought her left arm around, and in a single smooth motion, caught the rounds in her gun and closed it back up.

If they hadn't before, the demons definitely noticed her as she began firing again.

As they rushed at her, see seemed to move impossibly quick. She was a blur as she snapped between aiming positions, gunning six of them down and reloading within the breadth of a second. One jumped at her, and she sidestepped it, giving it a sharp kick and following with a single shot to the chest. She kept herself moving, kicking and firing and dodging with grace, taking on all that came at her while keeping her right arm concealed.

Before long, she was alone, except for one demon still up on the stage at the end of the hall. She took the form of a tall, strong woman, with a toned body, wearing a sleeveless leather jacket and a spiked collar. In one hand, she held a guitar in the shape of a jagged thunderbolt, with a sharp blade along its bottom edge. She wore dark mascara and eyeliner, and had the slitted red eyes of a demon. Long, messy hair flowed down her back in every color of the rainbow, and she made a challenging gesture to the newcomer.

"Rainbow Dash," The girl said to the demon. She walked slowly, making her way to the steps of the stage. "Big fan, think I could get your autograph after the show?"

"Why wait?" The demon grinned a malicious smile and spoke in a high, raspy voice. "I'll give it to you right now..."

"Oh?" The girl asked. She mocked flattery, crossing her gun over her chest. "You'd do that for me?" She was coming up the steps now, standing across from the demon on stage.

"Of course..." The demon let out a short laugh, spinning her guitar around and wielding it like an axe. It started to spark with electricity as her fingers brushed its strings. "Anything for a fan... Where do you want it?"

"Why don't you come here? I'll show you."

The demon dashed forward, lightning fast with her guitar-axe in outstretched arms. A light glimmered behind her eyes, and time slowed for the girl as she put her revolver away, and put her hand on the weapon on her back. Adjusting her own weapon, the demon struck the moment she made contact.

The girl drew her sword, parrying the strike and nearly landing a hit on the demon's shoulder. She squeezed the lever on the sword handle as she brought it in for another blow, the motor inside buzzing loudly and its bladed teeth spinning like a chainsaw. It clashed against the axe, biting into it repeatedly as they came together again.

Heated sparks flew off of the demon's weapon. She pushed against the chainsaber, feeling each inch rotation shift her grip just a little bit more, but a strong shove in between beats was enough to knock the weapon from the girl and leave her wide open.

Though, she didn't seem worried, in fact, she invited the demon to strike.

"Sign right here..." She said, finally bringing her right arm from behind her back. To the demon's surprise, it wasn't a fleshy human arm, it was made out of metal. Not just any metal, either. As her axe blade collided with it, some magic within it glowed brightly, absorbing the lightning from her weapon. It's construction was likely demonic in nature.

In the bright flash of magic following, the demon could see the girl's legs were made of the of the same material, and her torso likely was too. She wasn't a regular human. Good, she wanted a challenge.

"Who am I making this one out to?" The demon sneered, their faces inches apart.

"Starlight Glimmer."

-----

Crossing the bridge to Canterlot's more business centered areas took only a few minutes for Sunset and Flash, though the police blocking the bridge wanted more than a brief explanation. Sunset casually threatened to cut one of their cars in half to remove its obstruction, but a panicking yet smart-thinking Flash showed his SRAPH badge. The police let them through without the use of force being necessary.

"Did you really have to do that?" Flash asked, as they made their way across the bridge on their bikes.

"I didn't do anything," Sunset replied.

"Threatening the police? Are you crazy?"

"They were obstructing public safety," Sunset said, receiving an eye roll from Flash. "It's not like they're doing anything useful. I'm probably the only one that can stop them all."

"Hey, what about me?" Flash glanced over to Sunset.

"You and me, yeah."

On the other end of the bridge, they found the main street forward had been completely trashed. Even without the cars strung about, the street was too torn up for their bikes to cross. The two of them looked up at the burning hotel a few blocks away, and down in front of it Sunset could make out several large demon forms.

"What did this?" Flash was focused on the destruction on the street in front of them.

"I dunno," Sunset said, her focus aligning with his. "Something big."

"Don't you know all about demons and stuff? What are they doing here?"

Sunset shrugged. "You're the expert on them, aren't you?"

"Aren't you?"

"I'm just an expert on killing them."

"Hmm..." Flash looked closer at the damage, then down to the hotel building. "Another Boss demon, maybe?"

"Boss demon?"

"Yeah, it's what we call demons like the one we saw at Carousel Boutique- Rarity's demon." Flash said. "They're super powerful, and order around other demons."

"Maybe. Right now, there's one at the Convention Hall, we need to get there." Sunset spotted an intact side road accessible from an undamaged portion of the main road. That looked like a way forward, so she carefully guided her motorcycle around the cracked ground until she reached the smooth road again. The hotel was attached the Convention Hall, but this way, they could go around it, not through it, to save themselves any unnecessary fighting.

Flash and Sunset made a turn onto a street running parallel with the main one. With nothing in their way but a few abandoned vehicles, they were able to pick up the pace. They wouldn't be stopped until they passed by the hotel, when a strange featureless figure jumped down at them from a bridge connecting a parking garage to the Convention Hall.

Whoever or whatever is was, its arm held the shape of a scythe blade as it came at them, but then reshaped back into a normal arm as it landed. Sunset and Flash leaned to either side, driving around the sudden attack. The figure reached out with its other arm, and it stretched out, taking the form of a straight blade that sliced through the bridge's supports. Sunset made it past the figure, but Flash caught its elbow into his chest as it spun around.

Flash fell back off his bike, and did his best to roll on the ground despite his uniform sleeves tearing in the process. Sunset had little time to react to the bridge above crumbling and dropping on her, but just barely managed to jump her bike through the collapsing rubble with her Demon Reflex.

"Flash!" She spun to a stop, jumping off her bike and landing back on the other side of the bridge to go back for him.

There he was, on his back with his handgun drawn, pointed straight at the strange, shapeshifting creature. It seemed ethereal in nature, not formed of shadows like the other demons, but like a vaguely human shaped mass of lightless energy, too dark to even be considered black. Glistening white dots were present within the creature's body, like faint stars in a spacey void.

Flash was firing at an upwards angle, and the creature had it's back to the still jumping Sunset. As Flash pulled the trigger, the creature shifted, and a hole appeared in its middle where Flash was aiming. The bullet passed right through it, and Sunset was lined up in his sights on the other side.

She was already deflecting the shot, but Flash still recoiled in shock, not meaning to have fired at her. He backed himself up as quickly as possible, his arms burning from having scraped against the street, and nearly was speared through by the creature's arm as it shot towards him. Before it made contact, Sunset came crashing to the ground and severed the creature's arm with her blade.

It spun, phased only for a moment, its arm quickly reforming itself and whipping around at her. Now loose and free flowing, the whip-arm slapped Sunset across the face before it wrapped around her, constricting her arms before she could swing her sword again. It brought her close, and Flash saw a pair of menacing green eyes opening on its face. They seemed to paralyze Sunset as she looked into them.

Flash made the connection instantly. This was the monster that Rarity described to him. He pulled out the shotgun slung around his back and took aim.

The weapon howled as it spat out a wide spread of pellets, taking the creature off guard and stumbling it as it failed to shift around them all. Another shot went off, and Sunset wriggled free, slicing through the creature as it attempted to avoid Flash's shotgun.

The creature didn't bleed, it simply split apart when cut. Bullets stumbled it, but didn't pierce through. Whatever this thing was made of, it was definitely tough. Despite that, it knew it lost its advantage, as Sunset relentlessly hacked away at it. It attempted to flee, stepping back and shifting apart, but Sunset kicked it against the wall of the Convention Hall and pinned it there with her sword.

Stepping back, she drew her pistols, firing a rapid flurry of shots into the creature as it failed to morph and shift away again. Pulling her sword out of it, she kicked up and off of the wall before summoning the Party Cannon, and fired it off as she fell back down. The blast put a hole in the wall and reduced the creature into an inky pool of sludge.

The cannon's energy merged back into her as she landed.

"What was that?" Flash asked.

"You're just full of questions today, aren't you?" Sunset replied. "Some kind of shadow monster? I don't know."

"Rarity said she saw it before transforming." Flash said.

"Did she?" Sunset listened, but was more focused on what remained of the creature. Its liquified remains quickly flowed across the ground, making its way for a sewer grate in the street. It was retreating. "Looks like it's gonna be back for more soon, so let's go."

"Wait, what about my bike?" Flash pointed to his motorcycle, which crashed into the rubble of the bridge as it fell. Half of it was crushed, the other half bent into an unrecognizable mess.

"We've gotta leave it, Flash." Sunset said, not looking back as she stepped through the hole she made in the Convention Hall. "I'm just glad that you're not under that bridge with it."

"It almost was..." Flash muttered. "How am I supposed to keep up with you after this?"

"Don't worry about that, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it."

----

Starlight grabbed Rainbow's demon by the blade of her guitar-axe, and tossed her in the other direction. Her metal arm sparked against the infernal weapon, but its magic didn't hinder her. The demon caught herself quickly as she flew towards the ceiling, and spun the axe around, holding it like a guitar, and fired a rapid series of lightning bolts from it by picking at its strings. Starlight ran to recover her chainsaber, and revved it up again, dodging around lightning bolts as she did. The demon came at her, transforming into a lightning bolt and streaking into Starlight, bashing her against the stage's back wall before she could react.

The demon held her guitar as an axe once again, and quickly found herself in another bind with Starlight. This time, Starlight put her right hand on the back of the weapon, and held much stronger. She wouldn't let the bind last either, throwing an uppercut that launched the demon into the ceiling. Rainbow's demon smashed against the stage lights, and the beam supporting them from the ceiling, and the entire assembly fell. The entire stage darkened as the demon was crushed behind a pile of metal.

Starlight wasn't sure if the fight was over, but her question was soon answered. She saw the fallen metal beam become electrified, and it suddenly shot up into the air, the demon holding it over her head as she hovered in the air over the stage.

"Hey! This equipment is expensive!" Starlight smirked. "Hope you've got a big bank account."

"Oh, please, I'm worth more than you'll make in your life!" The demon hurled the huge, electrified length of steel, giving it a spin as it left her hands. With her Bullet Reflex active, Starlight jumped, and ran along the length of the beam, revving her sword and slicing through it in front of her. The lightning moved up through her weapon and was absorbed by her metal hand, and by the time she reached the end of the beam, she tossed her weapon to her left hand, and threw a punch straight down on the demon's head with her right.

"Hope you've got a will, too!"

The absorbed lightning discharged on impact, amplifying the force of the punch. The demon hit the floor so hard she bounced back up right before Starlight could even start falling. A glimmer in her eye, Starlight's Bullet Reflex activated again.

"No, stop! I won't.... lose..." The demon howled, helpless as time slowed to a crawl. Starlight ran her chainsaber through the demon in twenty different directions, splitting her into dozens of pieces in the blink of an eye and landing on the ground in a kneel.

The blade went across her back, and she turned to the mess of a demon she'd made. There was little blood, surprisingly, yet the demon still writhed in pain in many pieces on the ground. A piece of her head with a slice taken off just below the eye looked up at her.

"Such power..." The head's jaw formed words raspily, no neck or throat beneath it to give a proper voice. "Are you some kind of demon?"

"Nope," Starlight shook her head, and brushed her hands off. "Just a girl that's been to hell and back a few times."

"Ugh...." The demon let out an agonized sigh. Starlight drew her revolver, and leveled it with what remained of her head.

"And by the way," Starlight continued, "I get paid pretty well taking down big shots like you."

The demon's head fell silent to the final gunshot heard. The remaining pieces of her body faded into a swirling cloud of shadow, leaving behind a normal rainbow haired rocker girl. Rainbow Dash. Starlight's jests before their battle were true, she would've liked to get her autograph, but now wasn't the time. Rainbow was alive and intact, but not conscious. What would she do with her, Starlight wondered, just leave her here? Her orders were to deal with the demon problem, but she had to do something about the knocked out civilian she just created.

Her thoughts were interrupted by an orb of blue and black energy rising from Rainbow's limp body, the demon's energy was separating from her.

Starlight reached out to grab it, her mechanical arm designed to hold its magic, but a voice from a balcony overlooking the stage stopped her. Someone was... applauding her?

"Hey! Nice job." She said. Turning, Starlight saw a redhead wearing a yellow coat, with a huge sword across her back. Indeed, she was clapping, apparently having watched the fight go down. "I'm gonna have to take that magic off your hands, though."

"What? Like hell!" Starlight shouted up at her. "I beat her, I earned it."

The other girl jumped down from the balcony and landed a meter in front of her. "Yeah, well, it's pretty important. She's my friend, I need her magic so I can stop more demons from popping up, so if you don't mind..."

"You're friends with the Rainbow Dash?" Starlight shook her head. "Who even are you?"

Both eyebrows rising, the girl reached into her pocket, and pulled out a lollipop. "Just a fellow demon hunter. Maybe we can trade for it?"

"Trade? Quit wasting my time." Starlight glared, and raised her revolver. "Stand aside, or I'll blow you away."

"Ah, so you want to duel for it! Okay."

Bang!

The revolver fired off, but Sunset had already vanished, tossing the lollipop into the air. It arced over Starlight's head, and she spun around, now barrel to barrel with Sunset, holding a gun of her own. Catching the lollipop, Sunset unwrapped it with her mouth, and after spitting the paper out, she gave it a lick.

"You're gonna have to keep up."