• Published 3rd Oct 2019
  • 2,592 Views, 129 Comments

Hearsay - Nyhll

Sunset Shimmer just wanted to start over with her life after failing at the Fall Formal, but when new faces arrive at CHS as a result of the Fall Formal, Sunset Shimmer will end up dragged back to one of the last places she wanted to ever be again.

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Chapter 3: Conscription

Sunday, October 5th


Old Town District

It was a dull throbbing that awoke Sunset from her sleep, her head a mess of stars and cotton balls as she tried to sit up.

"Woah, hey now!" cried a voice, earning a grimacing of pain from Sunset. "Don't try getting up yet!"

Sunset slumped back down to wherever she currently laid, her eyelids fluttering as a dull grey light flooded them, blinding her as her vision swam. "Where am I…?" she asked softly, shutting her eyes with a groan as the pain from her body started to register.

"You're at my place!" the voice responded proudly as footsteps approached Sunset. "I dragged you her after you fought off those goons."

Sunset slowly started to open her eyes again, the light abiding just slightly enough that her retinas weren't instantly burned. Above her stood the smiling face of Vinyl Scratch, her spiky hair silhouetted by the lights above. "You're even heavier than you look, by the way."

"Oh? Is she awake?"

Sunset froze as another voice rang out from somewhere nearby, causing her to shoot up into a sitting position, shaking from a combination of pain and fear as she desperately searched for the owner of the new voice, her panic flooded mind bypassing, or rather hyper-focussing on the fact that it sounded familiar.

"Woah! Calm down there, Sunset!" Vinyl was shocked at the girl's terror filled expression as she spun to and fro. "It's alright!"

"Alright!?" Sunset nearly shouted in her panic, her pupils reduced to pinpricks as she locked eyes with the pale girl. "I thought you lived alone!?"

"Look, just take a deep breath and relax, alright?" Vinyl practically begged in exasperation. "It's alright, okay?"

"Hello again, Sunset." the gentle face of Octavia Melody wore a small yet warm smile as she addressed the Equestrian. "Thank you for protecting Vinyl for me."

Sunset finally started to relax, slumping even though her heart still beat with the furor of a hummingbird's wings. She took a deep breath before responding to the slate skinned girl. "Hello, Octavia. I'm glad that Vinyl's safe, but how did I get here?"

"Like I said, I carried you back." Vinyl puffed out her chest as she put her hands to her hips, a comically proud smile spreading across her features.

"But what about those men?"

"Oh, them." Vinyl's visage fell into a dark scowl. "After you wrecked the two henchmen- really baddass, by the way- you turned towards the leader and then passed out. So I did like I said I would and cracked his skull open with my backpack!"

"You what!?" Sunset was back to sitting up with rimrod straightness as she looked at the girl in shock. "What about your laptop? A-And didn't I tell you to run!?"

"Well it wasn't like I was gonna leave ya with those goons." Vinyl looked away sheepishly as she responded. She had known Sunset was making the right decision to send her to safety, but with Sunset as beat up as she was, combined with fight alone versus three thugs, there was no way Vinyl would be able to look at herself in the mirror if she left Sunset behind.

"I'm Sunset Shimmer, remember!?" Sunset cried out as she pointed to herself, before moving her arm towards Octavia. "No one would care at all if something were to happen to me! But what about if something had happened to you? What would your sister think!?"

"Sister?" Octavia spoke up, her faux shock only letting a hint of worry through as she looked at Sunset. "Why, whatever are you-"

Vinyl sighed as she interrupted Octavia. "She knows, 'Tavi."

"A-Ah… I see." a self knowing chuckle escaped the cellist's lips as she turned her gaze towards the ground. "I shouldn't be surprised that Sunset Shimmer of all people found out…"

"Knowledge aside, I guess I should thank you, Vinyl." Sunset said as she brought a hand up to cover half her face. An exasperated sigh escaped her lips before she continued. "I owe ya one, though I don't really have any way to pay you back right now. I picked up extra hours at the bar to see if I could save up enough to move to a real place come the new year. Speaking of, what time is it?"

"Probably like Nine, why?" Vinyl questioned as Sunset started to look around.

"'Cause I gotta get to work for Ten." Sunset started to shift slowly off the bed, freezing with a hiss as pain flared all over her body, causing tears to start flowing.

"Work? What are you talking about?" If it wasn't for all the pain she was fighting trying to stand, Sunset would have smiled at the concerned tone Octavia's voice held.

"Yeah! Your ankle is messed up! You need to see a doctor!" Vinyl tried her best to stop Sunset, but the extra foot of height the Equestrian had was more than the DJ could handle.

"I'm an illegal alien, remember?" Sunset hissed as she steadied herself on two feet, her eyes locked on the massively swollen ankle of her left foot; so red it matched her hair. "No way I can see a doctor of any sort. Now where's Sasha?"

Octavia turned towards Vinyl with an odd look. "Sasha?"

"Little miss badass here names her belongings." Vinyl chuckled in response, causing Octavia to bring a hand up to hide her mouth as she obviously tried not to do the same.

"Yeah, yeah, yuck it up- you tend to value the small things when you have nothing." Sunset grimaced heavily as she slowly started to try and walk. "Immensely more so when you no longer have the ability to go home."

"Sunset, please just stay here and relax." Octavia said as Sunset stumbled, only just catching herself against the wall. "You really need to recover- I'm afraid of the damage you may be causing yourself in your stubbornness."

Sunset couldn't help but crack a grin as she finally took the time to look around Vinyl's place. It was very similar to her apartment, minus the loft. Countless electronics- speakers, cables, lights- all dangled around the room. The window had been covered by what looked like wooden slats covered in… tinfoil? "I appreciate the honest and genuine concern, but seriously, I gotta get to work. If I don't, well… Vinyl can tell you all about my boss. Now, where are we?"

"In the old Buffalo Hotel." Vinyl said with a quick shake of her head, cocking a hip as she rested a hand on it. "A few blocks from where you work. Where do you live? Me and The 'Tavster will drive you there so you can freshen up before work."

"You've already done more than enough for me." Sunset said as slowly as she pushed herself off of the wall, noticing Sasha hanging near the door. "Besides, it would be for the best if neither of you are seen with me. Don't need the vindictive study body going after you."

Sunset paused as Vinyl started to speak, her attention going to straighten up and trying to descuff her work clothes. "Come on, Sunset, this is Old Town- nobody's gonna see us! Besides, we promise not to tell anyone where you live, or that you work at the scummiest bar in the city."

"What about if my boss sees you?" Sunset didn't look back to the two former classmates, instead gritting her teeth as she started to head once more towards the door, frowning internally as she looked down at her heels.

"Who says he has to?" Sunset heard footsteps as Vinyl rushed past, blocking the taller girl's way. "We just want to help, Sunset."

"..." Sunset stood still, her face stone as raging emotions tried to break through. "...Why?" she finally asked softly, her eyes starten to moisten. "Why would anyone want to help me after what I've done since I've arrived?"

"Not everyone ignored Princess Twilight's plea the other night." Octavia said, coming to a stop behind Sunset and resting a delicate hand on the now slightly shaking shoulder of the Equestrian. "And I apologize deeply for not speaking up then- I'm no better than the rest of them."

Sunset clenched her eyes and grit her teeth as she felt tears start to run down her cheeks, dripping down onto the floor. She felt Octavia's grip tighten ever so slightly, and-

"Let go of me!" Sunset screamed, adrenaline pounding in her ears as she tore free of Octavia, earning shocked gasps from the pair of Wondercolts. "Forget about me! Forget about all of this!"

"Sunset, wait!" Sunset heard the floor creak behind her as Vinyl tried to reach towards the panicking girl, only for Sunset to fluidly dance away, grabbing Sasha and her heels before shoving Vinyl out of the way and racing to the door. Her Flight Or Flight panic completely hid away the pain from Sunset's ankle as she bolted towards the stairs, vaulting down them three at a time as Octavia and Vinyl both cried out for her to stop.


Monday, October 5th


The Mare in the Moon

Sunset winced and fought back tears as she leaned on the bar. Needless to say, her flight from Vinyl and Octavia only caused further damage to her ankle- she was in agony even as she held her leg up to prevent putting any pressure on the injured foot. She was tempted to steal some of the bar's booze to try and dull the pain, but she knew the instant she tried that her boss would find out. The ringing of the bell above the door drew Sunset's attention as a fresh breeze blew in from outside.

"Sup, Sunny-Side-Up." Treehugger flashed a peace sign towards the girl leaning on the bar, freezing when she saw Sunset's pained expression. "Woah, what happened? You, like, look like you've been stabbed."

"Heh, I wish." Sunset forced out a smirk as she shook her head. "No, it's my ankle. It's even more messed up than last night. It hurts no matter what I do."

"Ouch. Like, why haven't ya gone to see a doctor?" the drugged up cook asked as she returned to heading to the kitchen behind Sunset.

"I can't. I pretty much don't exist." a truth hidden under a laugh, one that spread from Sunset to Treehugger.

"Well I can hook ya- fucking hell, Sunset!" Treehugger almost fell over as she stumbled back, terrified at what Sunset's ankle looked like. "That things the size of-"

"Yeah, I know." Sunset hissed as she shifted around her position. "But there is literally nothing I can do."

"Well why are you even here? I thought you worked nights?" Treehugger asked, obviously trying to keep her eyes off of Sunset's ankle.

"Well I need more hours, and apparently the former morning girl quit out of the blue."

"Oh yeah, what's her name… She kept trying to get tacos put on the menu for some reason." the pair chuckled at the comment. “She swore they were the greatest things to ever exist.”

“Heh, well I’ll take her word on it. I don’t touch anything with meat.” Sunset started to smirk before a fresh grimace took over her expression. She was starting to get worried that her ankle was ruined, and the knowledge that she wasn’t going to get access to any sort of medical attention combined with everything that had happened in the last few days was starting to get too much to bear.

“Okay, I’m calling my doc.” Sunset quickly looked up at Treehugger as she pulled out a ratty looking flip phone, thumbs tapping away at the buttons.

“Please don’t.” Sunset grunted as she tried desperately to shuffle towards the girl. “I don’t have any money for such a thing.”

“Don’t worry. We don’t charge.” Treehugger said with a weird smile as she shut her phone and pocketed it before raising her wrist and jangling what looked like a charm bracelet, a few strange shapes jangling around. “Quid pro quo.”

“What?” concern instantly blossomed at the girl’s comment. “No. No-No-No-No-No. That won’t work either. You text that doctor or whatever back and tell them not to come."

"Sorry, Condiment Queen. Can't tell Chrissy 'No'." Treehugger smirked as she made her way finally into the kitchen, leaving Sunset once again alone out front.

"...Just my luck…" Sunset swore under her breath as she slowly adjusted her stance again. As if things weren't bad enough as it was, now she may have just been conscripted into one of the local gangs. She knew she shouldn't have trusted that girl! She held back tears as she tried to think of something to do.

Thankfully, at least as far as her concern when, Sunset didn't have to serve anyone for the first half an hour that the bar was open. Octavia and Vinyl hadn't shown up either, an extremely miniscule bonus, but at least one thing was partially going her way this morning.

Suddenly an alarm started ringing through the bar, ebbing as if the sound was trying to pierce through water before slowly dying entirely just as her boss stormed out from the back. "What the fuck is going on in here!?" he bellowed as he tore the cigar from his mouth, scowling furiously at Sunset. "What did you do!?"

"I didn't do anything!" Sunset responded as she tried to shift her ankle ever so slightly. "I didn't even know you had an alarm system!"

The portly man opened his wretched maw to blast Sunset again, and would have if the bar's front door didn't suddenly open, drawing both sets of eyes. If Sunset had remained watching her boss, she would have seen an ever so brief flash of panic dance across his features before being replaced with a cold scowl as he returned his cigar to his mouth and slowly rolled it around a few times.

Instead her eyes were on the woman walking into the bar with a slow, methodical confidence and swagger. She looked to be around the age of Principal Celestia and Vice Principal Luna, her obsidian skin seeming to devour all the light in the room as she sashayed her way across the floor. Her bluish-turquoise mane danced behind the small of her back not unlike a wedding dress' train, and while a grin barely hiding it's sadisticness split her face, it was her eyes that caught Sunset's attention most of all.

Twin orb of the most vibrant and iridescent green seemed to drown Sunset in their gaze- like twin opals blazing with celestial power in the cold vacuum of space. It was in their depths that Sunset realized just what kind of woman this was, a cold sweat starting to form on the back of her neck as her mind screamed at her of the approaching threat. The Equestrian stood as still as a stone wall, watching as the woman slid fluidly into one of the bar stools.

Nobody said anything...


Nothing moved...

Eternity continued to stretch on…

"What are you doing here." it was the bar owner that broke the silence, rending the pall of stillness that was choking the room.

A malevolent chuckle echoed from the woman's lips as she shook her head. "Why, whatever do you mean?" she asked, the sly grin she wore went well with her sarcastic tone. "Are you not a bar, and I a patron?"

Sunset glanced between the woman and her boss as they tried to stare the other down. She found it hard to swallow as she looked back at the supposed customer. "What would you like, ma'am?"

"See? Now that's service." Sunset beat off the urge to shudder as the cold laughter died off, the woman turning to look at her. "I'll have an Old Fashion, neat."

Sunset groaned internally at the request, though the facsimile of a smile adorned her outward expression. The Old Fashion was an art form, simple beyond explanation, but true mastery took a special touch, and determined patience. She took a deep breath as she pulled a lowball glass out from under the counter, causing the burning in her ankle to start to intensify. She shifted around to look at the wall behind her, noticing the silence from the two people now behind her, studying her every move. She grabbed the nearest muddler before looking over the various sugars available. Nothing was what she would call decent quality, but it would have to do. She grabbed one of the bags and a bottle of bitters before turning back to the bar, a cheshire grin and fierce scowl beaming back at her as she started to add the bitters and sugar to the lowball, working the muddler to dissolve the sugar fully.

"Do you prefer bourbon or rye?" Sunset asked, mainly to know what to grab, but also to break the silence.

"Which do you recommend?" the woman purred, obviously knowing.

"Well bourbon is a bit sweeter, while rye adds more of a spicy kick." Sunset replied as she glanced down at the lowball; the sugar almost fully dissolved.

"I'll go with bourbon then." Sunset nodded as she wobbled slightly. Normally she'd use her foot to open the fridge, but right now that would be an impossibility. Instead she had to wait for the sugar to be fully dissolve, then she set took out the muddler and set it in the sink before shifting painfully to the fridge, pulling out the quarter filled bottle of bourbon and filling the glass up to just over half before swirling it for flourish.

"Here you are, ma'am." Sunset smiled through the pain as she slid the glass towards the woman. She looked at the glass, an extremely comical expression of incredulousness on her features as she glanced back up at Sunset.

"What? No garnish?"

"Unfortunately our shipment of citrus haven't shown up yet." an apologetic look flashed over Sunset's face as she lied openly. Her boss never ordered citrus.

The woman scoffed as she picked up the glass, swishing its contents and studying it, before slowly bringing it up to her lips and taking a slow sip, obviously taking her time to taste the cool cocktail.

"Meh." the woman said as she smashed the glass on the ground. "I've had better."

Sunset's eyes were wide as she shifted concerned glances between her boss and the woman, utterly baffled by what was happening.

"Damnit, Chrysalis! Those things are expensive!" her boss swore loudly, his face going a beet red in his anger.

"Oh, relax you old bigot." the woman sighed dramatically with a roll of her eyes. "This matter doesn't involve you."

"You walk into MY bar-" the man started to shout again, only to instantly freeze when the woman's head spun to the side almost unnatural. Her hair flowing in the air hid her face from Sunset's view, but her boss' expression was suddenly replaced with the most terrified look Sunset had ever seen before the woman turned back to the Equestrian.

"You're who I'm here for." she said with a click of her tongue. "I heard that you are in need of some medical attention?"

"So she twisted her ankle, so what?" That was the last thing her boss stuttered before running to the back in fear as Chrysalis slowly started to turn towards him.

"I don't know what you're talking about, ma'am." Sunset chuckled uneasily as fear built in her stomach. "I just need to keep off my ankle for a little bit."

The woman pulled out one of the most expensive looking smartphones and faced it to Sunset, a picture of Sunset and her unnaturally red and massively swollen left ankle on display as she tilted her head and raised an eyebrow.

Sunset gave a tired sigh as she hung her head and shook it. "Look, I don't care what Treehugger said, but I'm not going to join some street gang just for medical care."

A loud, boisterous bout of laughter filled the room as the woman shook her head at Sunset. "Some street gang? You've lived in the old Buffalo Hotel building for how many years now and you don't know who I am?"

Sunset's blood ran cold at the woman's declaration. How did she know where Sunset lived? Just who was she actually?

"My name is Chrysalis, my dear, and I own Oldtown."