• Published 10th Nov 2019
  • 2,593 Views, 440 Comments

Equestria Girls: Love Is Magic - onekface



A new enemy threatens Sunset's new home. It craves magic and it craves all who has it. She and her friends must rise to face it. But they can't do it alone. Flash x Mane 7

  • ...
16
 440
 2,593

PreviousChapters Next
Chance Encounter

Chapter 4: A Chance Meeting

(Saturday) (Canterlot Mall)

The Canterlot Mall was buzzed with activity today. With the weekend rolling in, it wasn’t much of a surprise to find this place fully packed to the brim with people nearing shoulder to shoulder just trying to get from one point to another.

Twilight considered her friends to be the most unique bunch of all. They were pretty much the only people in the whole world who she could relate to. The list of those she knows who can actually use magic wasn’t exactly long which often made her feel like an outcast amongst the other students. It was a feeling she was very much familiar with even before she enrolled in CHS. Being the odd one’s out left a scar in her. No one understood what she went through. And thankfully her friends were the most understanding of them all.

“You were attacked!?” She only wished they’d be quiet about it.

“Shhh!” She hushed Sunset as her sudden outburst caused the crowd in the cafeteria to glance in their direction. “Keep it down, will you? Yes. I was attacked.”

“And you didn’t bother to call and tell us!?” Sunset gripped the edges of the table trying her best to control her voice. “What were you thinking?”

“I lost my phone when I ran.” She explained. “It didn’t exactly wait for me to call. But I’m fine now.”

Sunset pulled up the girl’s bandaged arm and pointed at it for all to see. “You call this fine!? You might as well get mauled by a dragon! Arghh! I knew I should’ve gone with you. Ugh… what was I thinking leaving you to explore on your own? You could’ve gotten lost and alone. And with no way of calling for help, it could’ve been much worse.”

“Yes. But it didn’t.”

“So what happened?” Applejack asked, sipping through her soda in anticipation. “Did you fight the monster off?”

“Did you use your powers and throw it across the alley like Daring Do in the Cavern of the Chupacabra?” Rainbow questioned, also looking intrigued, ignoring Fluttershy’s adorable glare. “Or lead it to one of your elaborate traps like in Crypt of the King!?”

“Uh… none?” She answered deflating the multicolor-haired girl’s excitement. “After I got patched up, I stayed with Pinkie for the night. I didn’t feel like being alone after I went through. I tried using my powers but I couldn’t even touch it. It was like it was there and… not there at the same time. So I ran instead.”

“Ah man. And here I was, thinking there’d be action in this story.”

“Rainbow!” Rarity scolded. “Life of a friend here? Remember?”

“Yeah yeah. But we already know she made it out with just a scratch. I was hoping for more danger and…” Their glares made it clear that they were not in the mood. “Uh… so… we’re all really glad that you’re ok?”

“Oh you poor thing.” Fluttershy interjected, reaching for Twilight’s wound. “I know some medicine that’ll make it feel all better.”

“Thanks but no thanks.” Twilight waved it off. “I had a nurse check it out this morning. She said I just need to keep it covered for a few weeks. I’m just glad I ran into Flash and Pinkie when I did.”

“Flash and Pinkie?” The gang turned to one of the suspects in question.

“I… was… getting cake!” Pinkie explained though somehow it sounded rather believable. “After my uh… outing, I met him along the way?”

“Oh right! Your date!” Rarity squealed. “I completely forgot about it. How was it? The restaurant I mean. Was it fabulous? Did the ceiling sparkle like the stars when you were inside?”

“Uh… Rarity.” Sunset thankfully intervened. “We’re kinda dealing with Twilight’s thing right now.” Pinkie brushed off the sweat from her forehead in relief. “But we’ll get back to her afterwards.”

Another betrayal!

“So any luck finding this source of magic?” Applejack questioned. “You were quite obsessed with it yesterday.”

Twilight’s face beamed. “As a matter of fact, I did. I managed to trace the source to the Natural History Museum. The signal was strongest there and that’s also where I first met the shadow monster. My hypothesis is that they brought in an artifact and didn’t know of its magical nature. Someone must’ve used it by accident.”

“Ok, that’s good.” Sunset nodded, finally calming down from her earlier outburst. “So what do we do?”

“Well I’m planning to visit the museum this afternoon and check out the new Yaztec exhibition. It shouldn’t take more than an hour to find…”

“Up tut tut.” Rarity waved her finger at her. “Sorry darling but if my memory serves, the museum is hosting an event to help fund the construction of a new wing this weekend. The place will be closed to the public until then. And unless you have money to put in the giant pot, you may as well not come at all.”

“But… then how am I supposed to find the thing if I can’t even get in?”

“Can’t you just wait till the exhibition is over?” Sunset suggested.

“No we can’t! Whatever this object is, is connected to the monster that attacked me. Who knows what kind of damage it can do if we leave it alone? Other people might get hurt. Like it or not girls, but we’re the only ones who can stop it. I need to find a way in as quickly as possible. I don’t suppose anyone got ideas?”

The gang looked at one another but fail to pop any plan.

Until Sunset recalled something. “Wait… I think I might know a way. Flash said that his dad was hosting this event. Maybe I can get in as his Plus-1.”

“You mean ‘I’ can get in.” Twilight corrected.

“Oh no you’re not. After what happened last night, you’re staying as far away as possible from that place.”

“But this could be the biggest discovery since our cruise at sea!”

“And just like those times, we were all in danger.”

“You do remember that was Rainbow’s fault, right?” Everyone quietly snuck a glance to the girl in question who returned with an awkward laugh, hiding her face behind her soda. “Anyway, this is ridiculous. I can totally handle myself. Besides, it won’t be that dangerous. I’ll be in a party.”

“All the more reason for you not to go.”

“I was the one who found the source of the magic. I deserve to go!”

“Twilight. You’re dealing with powers that we’ve never even seen before.”

“Which is why I’m the one who has to go. I’m the only one who knows how to handle the device capable of tracking it.” She barked back. “And if you’re so worried, why don’t you come along as well!?”

“Fine then!” Sunset reached for her phone and immediately sent a text to Flash. Thankfully she never removed his number from her contact list. Hopefully he still has her number. “We’ll both go to the museum and search for this mystical item. TOGETHER!”

“Fine!”

Fluttershy leaned in on the fashionista. “You think it’s a good idea to leave them alone like this?”

Rarity chuckled with the others. “A single young boy going with two dates in an evening party for the rich and snooty? How scandalous~. What ever would they say?”

“It’s not a date!” They replied hastily just as Flash answered her text back.

“Nothing good, that’s for sure.” The cowgirl whispered. “Speaking of parties. You’re all still going to my family reunion tomorrow, right?” They all nodded, confirming their attendance. “Good. It’s gonna be the biggest one yet.”

“And the Rainbooms will be there to liven things up with our awesome gig!” Dash strummed her air guitar finely. “We all set for rehearsal this evening?”

“You all practice without me. I’m gonna be using a little strength magic to add the final touches in the barn with Big Mac.”

Fluttershy was about to add something to the conversation but was interrupted when her cellphone rang. A message popped up on the screen which was short was quick to the point. “Uh… Twilight. I have a text here for you.”

“For me?” The glassed girl raised a curious brow. “From who?”

“It’s from Timber. He’s apparently looking for you. I have no idea how he got my number though.”

“Timber!” Twilight slapped her forehead and groaned. “I totally forgot. We were supposed to be on a date today. It must’ve completely slipped my mind. And he can’t contact me either.”

Sunset gave a coy smirk. “Aha… I guess that means you won’t be going to that party after all. Too bad. I guess I’ll be doing the investigation tonight.”

Would it be petty to use her telekinetic powers to tilt that plastic cup on her shirt? Because right now that was a very tempting prospect.

“I’ll have to tell him to call it off.”

“You’re gonna blow him off, just like that!?”

“I have to. This is a really important matter. I’m sure he’ll understand.”

“Of course he will.” Sunset teased, imitating her sweet little voice. “Dear Timber. I’m so sorry. But I have to bail on our date tonight. I’m just going on another date in a big fundraiser party with Flash Sentry to investigate some magic disturbance. Oh did I also mention that I’m going with Flash Sentry? A boy from my school?” Her grin was so irritating that she just wanted to slap it off her face. “Yeah… try to spin that into something positive.”

“I’m afraid I have to agree with Sunset on this, darling.” The fashionista added. “Timber is your boyfriend and he’s taken time off from his busy schedule to visit you. You can’t just blow it off just because of a magical emergency.”

“But… the magic and…”

“Take it easy Twily.” The redhead rebel cooed. “It’s not every day you get to meet your boyfriend. Why not chill for a while? Get your mind off last night.”

With everyone seeming putting their bits on Sunset’s side, Twilight could do nothing but sigh in defeat and comply with their wishes.

“Ugh… fine. Here.” She handed over her magical tracking device. “I’ve already calibrated the sensor readout. It should point you in the direction of the source. Find out what it is and call me when you do. I uh… gotta go.”

“Relax. I know how to handle your toy. Now go have fun. I’m sure Timber is also getting worried about you.” They watched as the young brain of the group vanished from sight leaving the gang to finally relax. “I should probably head out too. I’ll see you guys later?”

“Ahem!” Rarity coughed to grab your attention. “And just where do you think you’re going darling?”

“Uh… home?” She shrugged. “Flash already agreed to pick me up at my place. I need to get change.”

“And what, pray tell, are you planning to wear to the event?”

“My… uh… usual attire?” Sunset answered back like it wasn’t a big deal for her, which… Rarity could understand.

“You do know that this is a black-tie event right?” The fashionista reminded scanning the girl from top to bottom. “This isn’t just some event dear. It’s a gathering of the rich and influential. No offense darling, your attire is very much you. But if you go to that party with that then you may as well be wearing rags. Everyone will be staring at you and I can imagine you don’t want to stand out now, do you?”

“Well no…”

“Perfect! Then we have just enough time to get you a new dress.” She practically teleported to Sunset’s side waving her arms around in an arc. “We need something bold, something wild, something volatile! Something that screams to the world and says… I am here! Look at me!”

“Uh… what happened to not standing out?”

“Everyone in that party will want to stand out dearie.” Rarity explained with an honest smile. “And by standing out, you will blend into the crowd like a grasshopper on a tree. No need to thank me, dear. What are friends for if not obnoxiously intruding in someone else’s love life? Now come on!” She grabbed the girl by the arm and disappeared in a puff of smoke leaving the rest of the gang behind.

“She was just looking for an excuse to shop, wasn’t she?” Applejack stated which everyone agreed almost immediately. “Yup… that’s what I thought.”

(Twilight’s House)

Twilight panted heavily when she hopped off the bus. She wished she had biked to the mall instead but unfortunately her wounded arm prevented her from doing so. Her home was just a few steps away. She still had time to clean up and get changed before Timber…

“Twilight?”

“Bwah!” She fumbled on her house keys, nearly dropping them. “Y… you’re here? Already?”

“Well I was here for a while now actually.” He replied, smiling weakly. Crud, that didn’t look good. What kind of a girlfriend was she to keep him waiting outside her house? “I tried calling you but your phone wasn’t working.” Because it was torn to pieces by a ginormous wolf monster!

“Ah… yeah. I uh… dropped it. Somewhere. Ahehehe…”

“Oh ok. So… are we still on for our date?”

“Absolutely! Totally! Yeah! Just uh… give me a minute to change. Ahehe…”

He nodded quietly before his eyes turned to her arm. “Did you hurt yourself?”

“What? Oh! This little thing? It’s nothing.” She hid the bandages away. “It was a cooking accident. I mean… science experiment gone wrong! Yeah… that sounds reasonable. Be back in a sec!” She then slammed the door shut and immediately got to changing.

(Afternoon) (Sunset’s house)

Flash couldn’t really remember the last time he drove to this place. Back when he was still going out with Sunset, he looked forward to coming here every time. Despite her cruel behavior back then, he always saw the beauty in her. She was like a diamond that needed a little smoothing around the edges. And thankfully Twilight came and made her shine even brighter than ever.

Parking his car by the road, the boy fixed his coat and adjusted his hair. But then he realized there really wasn’t much of a point seeing as this wasn’t a real date either. Sunset made it clear in her text that she and her friends were going on a magical adventure and that it could also be dangerous so they shouldn’t stick around together. It was her polite way of saying that he was nothing more than a burden should things get heated.

Only magic can deal with magic. And right now only those girls had the power to deal with mystical monsters from another world.

Walking to the front of the house he breathed a sigh of confidence before ringing the bell button on the side. He wondered if he should’ve brought flowers. No… that would be too daring. It wasn’t a date. Just an outing with friend. Besides, the only flower he got on him was the rose in his breast pocket.

“Coming!” He heard her voice on the other side. There was a commotion that followed. Furniture being moved, things crashing and curses thrown around. “Ugh! Stupid lamp!”

“Sunset?” Flash spoke up. “You ok in there?”

“Yeah just a sec! Argh! How do you even put this…? Aha!” He quickly prompted himself ready as he heard the locks being undone. “Sorry. I’m not used to putting this on.”

“No problem. I was in the same situaaaaaa… tion…?” If he was in a cartoon, his jaw would be hitting the floor so hard that it’d sink to the planet’s crust. “Whoa…”

His heart skipped a beat.

Sunset was dropped dead gorgeous. He was used to punk rebel sense of fashion that showed her strength and independence to the world. But now she traded that skirt and jacket for a short sleeved dress. A long red dress with orange trims that went incoherent with her hair complimenting her arm length gloves. Her hair was still the same but the smell of perfume and the small tinge of makeup that was applied enhanced her natural beauty.

“Do I look weird?”

Perish the thought madam!

Flash shook his head violently that it was amazing that it didn’t come off. Was it getting hot in here? Why was everything going blurry all of a sudden? Oh right, he needed to breathe. When did that stop being an automatic thing? Darn body was betraying him just like his face. Oh no… was he red? He was red, wasn’t he? He could feel it. He was probably even redder than her hair.

Oh god, she’s looking at him. Probably expecting an answer. Quick you moron! Say something! Something clever! Anything!

“Mbuhwll…”

Sunset blinked. “What?”

You stupid idiot!

“I mean… no! Not at all!” He tucked one foot back rubbed the back of his neck. Only did he realize that his hands were empty. Damn it! If he knew she was gonna come like this she would’ve brought her flowers or a whole dang chocolate shop! Where’s Pinkie when you need her!? “You look… absolutely… beautiful.”

She returned the shy gesture, smiling back awkwardly. “Thanks. Rarity picked it out for me.” A thousand blessings go to fashionista! “I… don’t normally attend super formal events so I didn’t know what to wear.”

“Well she certainly made the right choice. That dress really suits you.”

“You think so?”

“I know so.” He smiled warmly which made the redhead blush in turn. “You’ll fit right in with the crowd. I think they might even be jealous.”

“Ha! Now you’re just exaggerating.”

“We’ll find out.” He paused when an idea came to mind. “Oh! One second.” With a quick motion he plucked the rose from his breast pocket and tucked it neatly atop her ear. “There… now you’re even more beautiful.” Sunset chuckled back at his sweet actions but didn’t decline it. “Shall we go, my lady?”

The boy skillfully offered his arm to which she graciously accepted.

Date or not… Flash was definitely gonna make the most out of it.

(Movie Theater)

The movie was mediocre to say the least.

The plotline was simply, almost a pale imitation to its prequel. An ordinary sleepy town out in the countryside is visited by a snow monster/ghost and is slowly wreaking havoc across its populace. The locals believe it to be a series of bad luck but several teens witness the monster. They try to tell the folks but like in most cliché movies, no one believes them. And like before these kids band together and try to stop the monster themselves. Everything going according to the tropes.

“Yarrow! No!” The main protagonist shouted as his love interest was taken by the monster into a dark hole. “How could you Bethany!? We trusted you!”

“Mwahahaha! Fools! This has all been a ruse! A ruse to get you all here!”

Twilight shoved a handful of popcorn in her mouth as the movie reaches its climax. The teens have cornered the monster in its lair preparing to slay it for good. But it was later discovered that one of the kids was the main villain this whole time as she was the one who summoned the monster here in the first place.

It was a nice plot twist but it wasn’t gonna save the movie from all the critics who are no doubt, ready to give it a half-baked score.

“Something wrong?” Timber whispered noting the girl’s bored expression. “You look… sad.”

“What? No! I’m having. Really. I’m just… really focused on the movie. It’s really interesting.” The answer seemed to satisfy her boyfriend. It wasn’t a total lie. But to be honest she stopped listening to the story about half-way through. The sudden exposition about magic in the plotline really got her thinking about the magic source in the museum. She tried not to think about it and focused on the date but the thought of discovering it first itched at the back of her mind.

“So you were the one who summoned it!?” The protagonist barked. “So you’re the one who’s behind all this chaos!”

“Of course I did! Do you really believe that monsters exist in this world!? I created the beast from magic. It serves me above all!”

Serve? Summoned?

“A summoned monster?” Twilight gave the idea a thought. “Huh… that does sound plausible.”

“You’ll never get away with this! We’ll stop you!”

“Oh please, David. Don’t be such a cliché hero. Because…” An inky shadow surrounded the villain changing her form. “… I’ve already won!” She then came out of the ink in the shape of a giant wolf.

Twilight’s body stiffened while a few others screamed internally in the theater. Memories from last night began to pour in. The fear and terror she felt back then slowly resurfaced making her body freeze. Her wound began to throb and every fiber of her being wanted to do run away. She closed her eyes as the monster leap.

Flash! Help!

xxxxxxxxxx

“Are you sure you’re ok?” Her green haired boyfriend asked as they left the theater, the movie ending in a cliffhanger baiting folks to an annoying sequel. “You looked pretty pale back there.”

Twilight took a deep breath before she answered. “I’m fine. Really. That… scene just took me by surprise, that’s all.” And frightened the soul out of her too. “I just need a minute to catch my breath.”

“Sorry. I didn’t think it would’ve been that scary. I would’ve taken you to a different movie.”

“No no… it’s not your fault. Just some bad memories. I just… need a moment.”

Timber gave her a hand and smiled cutely. “Hey, you know I got ya. We still got time. If you want, we can probably grab a bite before we head off to the botanical garden. I know a diner close by that serves the best clam chowder ever. We can forget all about that lame movie over a good meal.”

Food does sound good right about now. It would certainly take her mind off that monster.

“Yeah… that does sound like a good idea.” She nodded, her color returning to her face.

But the sound of a crowd roaring in the distance caught their attention. They turned to the source finding a line of people arrayed outside a building. Twilight then recalled that the Museum of Natural History wasn’t far from the movie theater. The thought of it must’ve slipped her mind.

“Whoa…” Timber gawked at the people all dressed in their fancy outfits. “Looks like there’s some big party at the museum. Look at all them suits. Ever wondered what it’d feel like to actually attend one of those?”

No. But she was sure Sunset would. Judging by how packed the place was, her best friend was probably there right now with Flash, no doubt looking for the source of the magic.

But she already agreed to leave it all to Sunset. She can handle herself, right? There shouldn’t be any reason for her to go over there and meddle. She should just stay here and enjoy her date.

…!

“What the?” Twilight felt a tingle in her body. It was that same tingle that she felt in school. A wave of that mysterious magic. It acted like some kind of shockwave, reacting her body’s unique geode.

There was no doubt about it. Someone had used the same magic again and in a short burst. Just enough to be felt on the skin of her hair. Something must be up.

“Hey… Timber. Sorry about this but do you mind if we cut our date short?”

“What?”

“I know I know. I’m sorry. I feel terrible after you went over everything for me. And I really want to spend time with you. It’s just that… well…” She gritted back sharply. “It’s kind of a magical emergency.”

“But…”

She was already bolting off before he could ask. “I’ll make it up to you! I promise!”

(Museum of Natural History)

Sunset felt that wave of energy too. It was softer, more controlled, unlike the first time she felt it half way across the city. Twilight was definitely right about the source. Whatever it was, it was definitely coming from the museum. The hair on her head practically vibrated from it. Still, she kept her game face on. She couldn’t possibly do anything to ruin the night for everyone, especially for this kid who was grinning from ear to ear like he was the luckiest man alive.

He was kind of adorable looking like he had just won the lottery. It actually kind of reminded her of when they first started dating. He would smile sweetly at her even though she was cruel to others. The light in his eyes always sparkled whenever they were together.

Ugh…

She slapped her cheeks when the old memories surfaced. Why did she have to remember that now of all time?

Thankfully the car came to a stop, breaking her train of thoughts and a valet came by and opened the door for her.

“Master Flash. Welcome.” An older gentleman greeted by the door. He had that butler attire with the goatee to match it. “Your father has been expecting you. Please enter. I shall have the valet handle your car with care.”

“Thanks Edmund.” The boy nodded to him like he was an old friend and quickly rushed to her side. “Ready to go?”

“As I’ll ever be.” Sunset replied grabbing his arm and slowly walked in. “So… Master Flash?”

“Eh… don’t think about it.” He waved it off gently. “Come on. I’ll show you around the exhibition.”

xxxxxxxxxx

Much to Sunset’s surprise, the whole museum looked as if it was reconfigured for this whole event. The banners were changed to match the theme of the event along with all the environment. The main hall where all the rocks and dinosaur display used to be were removed to make space for all the guests to mingle in. Tables were put on the sides with treats and refreshments. And at the far end, the main attraction. The Yaztec collection exhibit.

And much to her relief there were actually a few kids her age hanging around here too. Though most of them looked like they came from Crystal Prep Academy. You can recognize that high and mighty demeanor anywhere. But at the very least she and Flash wouldn’t be the only teens around here meaning they wouldn’t stick out like a sore thumb.

“Wow… they really went all out with this place.”

Flash nodded proudly in agreement. “Yeah. My dad can be a perfectionist. He rented out the whole place for the weekend.”

“How much is that costing him? It can’t be cheap to rent a whole venue like this… or the catering for that matter.”

“No clue. But like Filthy Rich says: You gotta spend money to make money. Or… was it throw money at a problem and it’ll go away?”

“I think you’re right on both marks.” She chuckled. “And… speaking of your dad. Of all the time we were dating back then – I don’t think I’ve ever met your parents.”

“It’s a good thing too. Dad would’ve hated the old you.” Ouch that was uncalled for. “Oh… wait. That came out wrong. I didn’t mean it like that.”

“It’s fine.” She reassured him patting his shoulder. “I’m used to it. The old me is gone now. I’m the new Sunset Shimmer, remember?”

“Yeah… new.” He tried to laugh it off but failed. His eye fell upon her chest. “Uh… just to clarify. Is that thing supposed to do that?”

Sunset looked down to her chest and immediately noted Twilight’s tracking device acting up. That was pretty quick too. Barely ten steps in and they were already in business.

“Huh. That was quick.” That was plainly obvious. “Guess that means we get to work early.” She turned to the boy and gave a mischievous grin. “So… Flash. Weren’t you gonna give me the tour of the exhibit?” The boy flashed a smile and was more than happy to lead the way.

They acted like a pair, slowly following the tick of the tracker. From there they came across many relics from an ancient civilization, all looking quite intriguing if not a little stone-age. From bow to whip, to slings and spears. Heck they even got a mannequin wearing a fully restored armor of one of their warriors. Rarity would totally want that feather hat for her collection. It’ll greatly inspire her for a bird costume. But whoever these people were, it was clear that they were pretty warmongering. Hardly anything remained that wasn’t associated with battle.

“Anything?”

Sunset grunted in reply. “No. This thing is pointing all over the place. Maybe it’s broken.” She tapped on the device a few times which then prompted it to focus on an object close by. “There! Found it! It’s… wait… now there’s two?”

“Two?” Flash raised a quizzical look. “Is that possible?”

“Maybe.” She shrugged. “There could be more than one item here that possesses magic. That would explain why this thing is pointing us in circles.” Another blip appeared. “And now there’s three.”

“Can everything here be magic?”

“No. That’d be too obvious. I’d know if there was that much magic in one place.” Her eyes then turned to the largest light on the scanner which in turn darted towards an object at the sideline of the corridor. “And it looks like we found our first winner.”

Flash eyed the object in the glass display and tilted his head to see it in a different perspective.

It was a dagger of sorts. The short handle was already too worn for it to be of any use but the blade itself was still in mint condition. There were runic marks carved onto it which looked like words… maybe even a quote.

“This broken thing?” Flash inquired. “Are you sure? It doesn’t look magical.”

“Definitely sure.” Sunset confirmed it with a nod. “I can feel the magic within it now that I’m close enough. It’s giving out the same feeling as the one I felt from school. Do you know what it is?”

“You’re gonna have to ask my dad.” He laughed awkwardly. “He’s the one who found it and not to mention a history professor too. In fact, all the items you see in this exhibit came from his collection. We normally store it in the house but they probably just gather dust.”

“Wow… your dad is quite the collector. Cleaning all that must be a pain. Does your mom allow it?”

“I wouldn’t really know. My mom passed away when I was very young.”

“Oh!” Sunset flinched. “Uh… sorry.”

But the boy waved it off without a problem. “Don’t be. I hardly remember her, if at all. But I am curious about this thing. I wonder how it feels to be able to see magic. As far as I can see, it’s just an old knife.”

“It’s actually a dagger.”

“GAH!” They startled when a familiar stoic voice interrupted them.

“M… Maud!?” The redhead nearly choked on her spit recognizing Pinkie’s sister. “Wh… what are you doing here?”

“I work here.” She said deadpanned, sporting a maid outfit with a tray of drinks in hand. “The museum curator had all staff come here as extra workforce. It’s extra pay so I volunteered.”

Flash whispered. “Do volunteers get paid?”

“They do in my book.” Fair point. “Anyway, if you’re curious about the object. It’s called the Yaztec Sacrificial Dagger. Like its name suggest, it is a dagger used for ritual sacrifices. The Yaztec was an ancient tribe of people with the sole focus on warfare and conquering everyone that didn’t agreed with their views.” Sounds about right with everything they’ve seen so far. “Their Shamans would sacrifice animals onto altars believing that it would grant them unique powers of that animal.” Ah… ok then. Rule #1: Don’t ever show this to Fluttershy. Ever.

“Wow… that’s kind of descriptive.” Sunset noted. “I didn’t think you’d be interested in anything here other than rocks and gemstones.”

“I don’t. But the curator told us that we should memorize these things. And… I am the museum’s tour guide after all.” Ah right. She forgot about that.

“Then… you know every item here?”

“Most that are on display. I memorized each of them as part of my extra pay. The centerpiece however, will be explained by the curator and the owner of the collection.”

“Great! Then… I don’t suppose you’d mind explaining a few other items for us now, would you?”

Maud blinked. “Actually I do. I’m still on the clock. And doing extra work doesn’t get me a bonus.”

“Please Maud?” Flash pleaded. “We could really use some help. And you’re better with any of this stuff than we ever could.”

The elder Pie looked at him, then up and down, blinked twice and then shrugged. “I suppose I can’t say no to you.”

She can’t?

“Really?”

“But you’ll have to help me.” She added quickly enough offering them a drink from her tray. “I get a 3 minute break for every eight glasses I return. So…” The two looked to each other with a small smile and quickly drank all the glasses in the tray. “Wonderful. What would you like to see next?”

“Wait.” Sunset stopped. “I need to record this. Otherwise Twilight will never let me hear the end of it. Do you think they’ll mind if I take pictures?”

“It’s an exhibition.” Flash reminded. “I think they’ll insist.”

(Applejack home)

Applejack let out a good hollering as she put in the last of the tables into the barn. It was hard work but it certainly paid off. By tomorrow evening, this whole place will be packed with her entire family and a few selected friends from school. The barn would be packed so full that it would be bursting at the seams. Thankfully the outside was still open for everyone.

“Phew. I’m glad that’s done.” The cowgirl declared rolling her arm after a full day’s use of her super strength. “I’d say that this place is ready for the Apple Family Reunion. We got the ciders stored up to the ceiling, Granny’s making her pie, the tables and chairs are all set and the Rainbooms will be playing on stage for the whole world to hear.”

“Eeyup.” Big Mac agreed with his usual one word-liner. He pulled a rope by the door raising the large banner with a big large apple plastered in the middle.

“Nice job. Now all that’s left is getting the animals in. Don’t want the cows and horses messing all our hard work.”

“Nope.”

“Oh oh!” Apple Bloom waved her hand, jumping up and down. “Can I help? I’ve always wanted to wrangle the animals.”

“Hehe. Not today Sugar Cube. Big Mac and I are plenty already. But you can still help Granny in the house. We’re gonna need a big meal for everyone tomorrow and she’s running solo.”

“Aww… fine.”

Yup everything was going to be perfect tomorrow. She just hopes that this whole magic business that Twilight got into wasn’t gonna bite them in the rear. They could all use a break from this magic nonsense and enjoy school life like ordinary kids. Not going out on dangerous adventures that would risk the lives of every citizens in Canterlot City… or at least not those in school. Seriously though. If they can go one semester without encountering another magical she-demons or ancient magical monsters, she wouldn’t complain.

“Come on big brother. You handle the horses in the stable, I got the cows. And make sure you put those lamps away. A single drop from those and we can kiss this place goodbye.”

The field of her family’s farm was a majestic sight no matter what time or day they were in. With its open land for grazing, the apple orchard nearby and the cornfield next door, you can pretty much find a whole big bounty every season. It was practically her version of paradise.

The stars had already conquered the sky when got to the cow pens. With their bright queen ruling over them with her soft warm glow. Now normally she’d just let these big eaters just laze around the field and turn in for the night. But with winter slowly approaching she’d rather have them inside the stables than to get sick.

“Alright you lazy lubs. It’s bed time. That means getting in. And I’m talking to you too Mooriella. Don’t think I’ve forgotten what you did to me last week. I’ll remind you again that my hair is not a snack to chew on. And that goes double for you Clarice. Now giddiyup.” The cows let out a yawning moo but complied nonetheless. They slowly slumped their way to the stables, their bells chiming in rhythm to their march. “Atta girls. Goodnight to you all. Don’t you be dreaming of sheep now. Ahehehe. Eh?” She paused when she noted the numbers weren’t right. “Wait a second. One two three four… hey where’s Maible?”

The answer came in the form of a moo coming from the cornfield.

“Oh for the love of…” She held back the curse and quickly made her way to the source of the sound finding the not-so-lost cow hidden amongst the corn. “Maible. What do you think you’re doing? Come on outta there. It’s way passed your bedtime and you need to go in with the others.” She leaned in to grab the bovine but found it suddenly whimpering back. “Eh? Maible! Come on girl. I’m tired and I still got a few errands to run. I don’t have time to play hide and seek with you. Maible! Heeeee! Gotcha!”

“Mooo!”

“Whoa there!” Applejack hastily activated her super strength making sure that the cow wouldn’t just bolt off. “What’s gotten into you girl? You look like you just got the color sucked out of ya.”

“Mooo~” Again it whimpered, slinking back to the ground, eyes furrowed in fear.

“Maible?” But just as Applejack was about to hoist it up, a rustling in the cornfield caught her attention. “H… hello? Is someone there?”

All she got was silence and the cold breeze blowing from the north.

No… there was someone… or something there. She can feel it.

Another rustling. It was moving faster and a lot closer.

“Apple Bloom? Big Mac? That you?” There was no reply. “If this is some kind of joke, it ain’t funny. You’re scarin the heebie-jeebies out of Maible.” Then there was a growl. “Fellas?” Two brightly sharpened pupil-less eyes appeared and slowly began to approach her followed by a snarl. “Uh oh…”

The large creature pounced, its mighty jaw opening to swallow up its meal.

“Gang way!” But thankfully Applejack had quicker reflexes and bolted off while her cow ran the other way.

She ran. She ran fast and didn’t bother to look back. Because whatever that creature was it was definitely not your ordinary predator. The darn thing was huge! About half the size of her barn but still huge either way.

Was that the thing that Twilight encountered in the city? The big bad wolf that can blow your house down like it was made out of wood and straw?

Why was it here? And why was it after her?

“Gah!” She flinched back when its claws took a swipe at her cutting a row of harvest down with barely an effort. “Hey! Watch it! They’re not yet ripe! Do you know how long it took for us to grow these?” If it had any care whatsoever, it didn’t show it. It just snarled back, preparing for another attack. “I guess you ain’t interested?”

It pounced again and Applejack ducked under it. She made some distance between her and the creature finally reaching the end of the field. An ordinary gal would’ve run home immediately but Applejack wasn’t an ordinary gal.

She quickly bolted to the barn. And with a burst of magic, she reached out for one of the tables and ripped a portion of it off using it like a club. Granny was gonna be ticked off later but she’ll fix it when she got the time. Right now she was gonna make her stand. Nobody threatens her animals and gets away with it.

Like a lion answering the challenge, the beast burst out of the cornfield, huffing. The monster clearly matched Twilight’s description word for word. It was huge, four legged and it definitely looked like a giant wolf.

Suddenly the creature snorted as if it was provoking her to attack. It wanted to play a game of chicken. Well fine. She knew the rules. She can play.

They locked eyes with one another for a brief moment trying to discern a hint of weakness. And for a moment they would’ve stayed there. Until the beast decided to go first.

It ran at her at full speed, fangs at the ready. Just as she planned.

The cowgirl dodged, and then in a moment of fumbling she swung the wooden plank at it with enough strength to make a crater. It’ll take a while to redo all of the remodeling. But it was worth it. At least that monster was down for the count.

Or at least that’s what she thought.

When the smoke finally cleared she realized something was wrong. The monster was still standing and it looked unscathed. There was no way in heck she could’ve missed something that huge at this close range.

Upon closer inspection she realized that her makeshift club had somehow gone through it like it was made out of smoke and shadow. She gasped and groaned when it swiped at her knocking her down like she was made out of sack of flour.

Panicking, the little girl quickly crawled through the barn hiding under tables and chairs. But she only delayed the inevitable. The beast let out a roar and began crushing through all in its path. Its large size and mighty jaw tore the furniture and walls destroying all the work she and her siblings did in the past week.

Eventually it found her, cornered by the wall, terrified out of her mind.

“YAHHH!” A fearsome roar suddenly echoed from the barn, a pitchfork in hand.

“Big Mac!?”

Her brother yelled out another mighty battle cry and began tossing hay bales at the creature trying his best to distract it. But they only seemed to ghost through the creature.

“Stop Big Mac! That don’t work on it!” But her brother wouldn’t listen and charged in with his pitchfork. He swiped at the beast getting at least four good swing. But like before, his attacks simply fizzed through it.

Annoyed by his feeble attempts, the creature swiped its tail at him sending the boy to the wall right opposite his sister. The sound of wood cracking only showed signs of how powerful it was. She cried out his name but to no avail. The monster then turned its attention back to her, preparing to swallow her whole.

Still, Big Mac wasn’t out of the fight just yet. With what little strength he could muster, the boy reached out for one of the old oil lamps he tucked away and lit it up. And then with one swift motion he threw the lantern on the floor. The effects were nearly instant as the fire and oil spread around the ground. The straws of hay scattered around the area then spread the fire to different areas, illuminating the barn.

And from there she saw it clear. Or… at least that’s what Applejack believed. When the barn lit up the monster no longer had any shadows to hide.

It was a shadow. A literal shadow of a beast. It had no physical form other than the eyes and teeth and the silhouette that gave away its shape.

Applejack feared that this creature would be the last thing she ever saw. She expected it to finish her with one big bite. She closed her eyes and braced for the inevitable, thinking of her friends and family. Her body shook. And she waited…

… and waited.

But the bite never came.

Was this it? Is this how death felt like? Was it supposed to be hot and painless?

She waited a while longer, but again nothing happened.

Her fear gripped much of her heart. But eventually curiosity kicked in and she cracked one eye open, expecting the creature to be there, snarling evilly at her. However… to her amazement… it was gone.

That frightening monster vanished like it bolted off the moment the fire spread. Applejack looked around, confused on how she was still standing – unlike the barn that was about to drop on her head.

“Big Mac!” She noted her brother lying on the ground, motionless. Applejack knelt down beside him, a sign of relief spread across her face when she realized that he was still breathing. “Oh thank the stars. I thought I lost you for a second there.” But there was little time to debate when the wood that held the barn up began to creak and crack as fire gripped them. “Hang on. I’ll get us out of here!”

“Arghh!”

“I know it hurts. Just… just hang onto me!” Using her super strength once more, Applejack hastily pulled her brother out right before the whole place came toppling down on them.

The whole barn lost its foundation and crumbled in an instant, becoming the city’s biggest bonfire in a manner of minutes.

The cowgirl quickly laid her brother to the floor, trying to keep his head up. “Breathe Big Mac. Breathe for me. This ain’t no time for quitting, partner. The great big orchard in the sky ain’t open for business yet!”

“E… e…yup.” He grunted painfully.

“Applejack!” Her little sister came over with Granny following not far behind.

“What in tarnation happened? My barn!”

“Forget the barn!” Applejack shouted at them, tears forming in her eye. “Call an ambulance!”

(Museum of Natural History)

“This is the ceremonial bowl of the Yaztec people.” Maud explained gesturing to the third object in question. “It was used by their alchemists to brew potions using a variety of herbs to strengthen their bodies and senses to its peaks condition. The recipes for these potions are said to have been written on tapestries to pass the knowledge on from master to apprentice. However the text and translation have proven difficult and are yet to be announced. It is said that the revelation would be the big thing in the archeological business.”

“Great story, Maud.” Sunset smiled as she snapped a close up photo of the object. “A lot better than the last one. I wouldn’t be able to tell one thing from another without your help. The magic on this item is stronger too.”

“You’re welcome.” She offered the two another tray of drinks which they graciously accepted. Thankfully nothing here was served with alcohol. A bunch of drunken rich folks in a building full of priceless artifacts didn’t fit very well. “Though honestly, I liked the statue.” Of course she’d like it seeing how it was made of rocks.

“I still don’t see anything.” Flash gave out his point of view. “It just looks like a bowl to me. I wish I knew how magic feels like.”

Sunset shrugged. “Well… I can’t really explain it. Magic is just something I’ve had my whole life. When I was in Equestria, I could feel magic when I was just a foal. That uh… a baby horse by the way.” Her ex just waved it off, taking it for what it was. “Think of like… an extra organ in your body… or maybe an extra limb. It’s what gives us these unique powers like… having the ability to fly, being super strong or…”

“Having the power to read minds?”

Ah… right. “That one is different. But like I said, it’s hard to explain.”

“I’ll bet.” He shrugged. “It’s hard to believe that some of the artifacts my dad brought from his exploration actually has magic in them. What does it all mean?”

“That’s what we’re trying to figure out.” Sunset poked his nose teasingly. “Now come on. There’s just one more signal on this tracker and it’s pointing at those curtains. Any idea what’s in there?”

Flash eyed the mysteriously covered object, thinking deeply but then shook his head in reply.

“That would be the centerpiece of the collection.” Maud answered for him in the same stoic tone as ever. “A priceless artifact that depicts the center of the Yaztec culture. The curator will be presenting it in about… 15 minutes. It’s supposed to be… grand. No one is allowed to view it until then.”

“Well that’s a bummer.”

“Not entirely.” Flash flashed a smile. “You already got all the photos you need. I’m sure you can spend another 15 minutes going around. Why don’t we just enjoy the rest of the evening?”

Sunset gave it a thought. She was supposed to just identify the objects containing these mysterious magic, and honestly she already had pictures of 3 of them. Besides, the party here was not as dull as she thought it’d be. The music was adequate and so far the food and drinks were up to her standard. What was the rush?

“I suppose I can give this museum the benefit of the doubt.” She grabbed the boy’s arm clutching it tightly. “And besides. It is a party after all. Might as well make the most out of it.”

“YES!”

The boy’s thoughts surged into her. She could feel his elation and joy spread. It was kind of adorable.

But right before they could take one step together, they were quickly interrupted by that same butler again. “Pardon me Master Flash. But your presence is required at the entrance.”

Flash blinked. “Me? Why?”

“Oh come on! Why now!?”

“I’m afraid we have a… security incident.” Security incident? That sounded serious.

The blue haired boy sighed. A cacophony of curses sprang from his thoughts. With a quick motion he freed his arm from Sunset’s grip and smile softly at her. “Sorry Sunset. I should probably look into this. Why don’t you have a look around and see if anything else here has magic. I’ll meet you here when the centerpiece presentation starts.”

“Oh… sure.” She wasn’t sure why but she felt something pinch her heart when she let the boy go. Flash joined up with the butler and headed off for the entrance.

Sunset almost thought that she’d have to go through the rest of the museum alone until Maud spoke up. “Nice dress by the way.”

“Huh? Oh… right. I wasn’t sure what to wear for a black-tie event. This is actually my first time attending something this…”

“Gaudy?”

“Yeah… gaudy.”

“I’m actually surprised.” Maud added earning a confused look from the fiery dressed girl.

“Surprised about what?”

“I thought someone like you would be used to things like this.”

“Me?” Sunset chuckled. “Have you met me? Do I look like someone who’d attend something like this? I can barely make my rent with my job at the sushi store.”

“Yeah… but didn’t you used to date Flash?”

She flinched back, mouth agape. “I… I don’t see how that has anything to do with any of this.”

“Flash’s family is one of the most influential people in the whole city.” Maud explained which somewhat surprised Sunset. Flash never really spoke much about his folks or his family. “In fact… his dad owns more than half of the items here.”

“Half!?” The girl nearly spurt out her drink. “I thought he only owned the Yaztec stuff.”

“That’s also true. He donated all the pieces here from his expeditions so they’re technically not his anymore. His lifetime discoveries netted him a lot. He’s actually quite famous.” She paused, letting the words sink in. “And when your parents are famous… the kids tend to be as well. I’ve seen Flash attend some high society gatherings before. It’s kind of a thing for him.”

“It is? That’s strange. I wonder why he never told me about them.” She wondered. “Is that what you meant when you said you couldn’t say no him? Because his dad is the boss?”

“That… and that he’s going to be my future in-law.”

“What?” Sunset felt like she misheard but was suddenly confused when a rock smacked Maud’s face. “Wait… did that rock just…”

Maud covered her mouth as her eyes widened simulating what seemed like the beginning of a startling gasp. “Oh. Sorry. Boulder just scolded me.” Her… pet rock scolded her? “I shouldn’t say anymore. She’ll be angry if I break my promise.” Oh come on! Now you’re just teasing my curiosity.

xxxxxxxxxx

Flash grumbled lowly to himself as he followed Edmund to the entrance. The crowd around him has already passed, no doubt gathering for the presentation the centerpiece of this collection. Curse it all. He could’ve been spending this time with Sunset but nope. Instead he was here… for some reason.

“What’s this all about, Edmund?” He asked finally, keeping his voice to a whisper. “If this is a security thing, shouldn’t you call security about it?”

The butler lowered his head apology as he responded in a very professional manner. “I’m sorry sir. But a lady of questionable attire tried to get pass the front door. The guards managed to stop her before she could enter but she claims to know you and that she wwas invited. She called you out by name.”

“She knows me?”

“Yes. She claims her name to be Twilight Sparkle.”

Twilight!? The name lit up his brain like a bolt of lightning. He would’ve ran off immediately if they weren’t already there. With a quick glance, he recognized the girl in question standing by the door with two rather intimidating guards flanking both her arms.

“Twilight!” He ran up to her, as she waved back weakly.

“Ahehe… hey there.” She looked like a girl who got caught with her hand in the cookie jar, trying to laugh off the awkward situation. The next thing you know she’ll say that this wasn’t what it looks like. A bit on the cliché side but he wouldn’t blame her if she did. “Sorry to barge in but could you uh…” Twilight gestured to the big burly men that were eyeing her suspiciously.

“It’s alright guys. She’s with me.” And thankfully much to the girl’s delight and confusion, they released her and stepped back. “What are you doing here Twilight? Sunset said you couldn’t make it.”

The girl dusted herself off, glad to know that she wasn’t gonna get thrown out. “Yeah. I know. It’s just that… I felt the magic pulse early and was afraid that shadow monster would show up again.” That sounded logical. Though anyone else would probably say that she was crazy. “Plus I’m… also a bit curious about the magic artifact. I know it’s kind of a last-minute thing but I don’t suppose you can change your Plus-1 offer to 2?”

On a normal occasion, he’d probably say no. But for a magical disaster emergency and an adorable girl? Not a chance. Besides, it’s not like he could just bounce her off back into the streets. That big bad wolf could attack her again.

“For you, anything.” The blue haired boy answered, quickly removing the outer layer of his suit to cover her. “But just for safety, you should probably wear this. This is kind of a… black-tie event.”

“So I’ve heard.” She glanced around noting the many patrons all dressed like they were attending a ball in a palace. “Thanks again. I didn’t mean to drop in like this unannounced. It’s just that I can’t stop thinking about that strange magic.”

“I know.” He chuckled. “Who would’ve thought that these old junk actually had magic in them?”

“It’s more than old junk Flash. This is an unprecedented discovery.”

“It is?” Flash inquired, waving his hand over to the butler, gesturing him that everything was fine.

“Absolutely!” Twilight’s face beamed. “If I can somehow pinpoint the true source of this energy, hone it together and present it to the world. It would prove that magic does exist in this world. Think of the limitless possibilities we can do if we actually had magic. Natural magic here! We’d have a pool of untapped resource just waiting to be exploited. It can be turned into a renewable source of electricity, we’d have cars that can fly, the undisruptive power of communication! We’d be able to do what the ponies in Equestria could do.”

“Then… even ordinary people could use magic.” Flash cast a gaze to the palm of his hand fantasizing about the power he could hold. His greatest wish. His dream of being a part of that world. The world that Sunset and her friends see. “Are you saying that even a guy like me can do what you seven do every day?”

Twilight shrugged with an uncertain expression. “Well… I wouldn’t rule that out. It is a possibility. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I’d like to see these artifacts myself.”

“Oh. Right.” He let out a weak laugh. “Sorry. Got too excited there. Sunset already got pictures of the other three. We’re just waiting for the last one to be announced.” And just as he mentioned the last artifact, the lights suddenly dimmed signaling the start of the event. “And just in time. It’s about to start.” With one quick motion he reached for Twilight and pulled her up to the front of the large gathering at the main hall.

A single beam of light shined at the raised platform at the center of the hall illuminating the small display covered by a black sheet.

“Ladies and gentlemen.” The museum curator, a rather large and tubby looking man with a few extra chins, began opening up with a loud and obnoxiously bombastic voice that could practically echo throughout the museum. “I thank you all for coming to this important event. The Natural History Museum is always delighted to entertain such refined guests in our establishment. It is thanks to all of you here, and of course our most beloved and respected benefactor, that we have been able to raise awareness for this humble place.” A slow applause greeted him though mostly out of respect. “With your generous patronage, The Natural History Museum will at long last expand itself housing more of our world’s greatest relics.”

A few approving mumbles came forth though much of the audience remained silent.

“But enough about this place. It is all time I present to our hero who graciously donated all that you see here.” He suddenly gestured his free hand forward to the crowd picking out a face hidden within. “Ladies and gentlemen. Honored guests. Please put your hands together and welcome Professor Sombra!”

The next round of applause was louder this time with the richer looking guests contributing the most with each joining the band with a thunderous roar. It drowned all manner of sounds, silencing and frightening even the night creatures away.

The singular light that shined on the curator quickly darted to the crowd picking him out like he was some kind of chosen one.

He was a tall gray skinned man with long hair as black as raven feathers, sideburns that went down to his chin, bright green eyes and held a presence that commanded respect. Every step he took was heavy and weighted. A malicious smile curled up on his lips as he approached the platform.

The applause grew louder and many others joined in to welcome the man.

All of them applauded. Except for a single former unicorn who stood there… stunned.

PreviousChapters Next