• Published 24th Oct 2020
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Danganronpa: In Harmony's Wake - Dewdrops on the Grass



Trapped on a cruise ship with fifteen others, all with lost memories, Sunset Shimmer struggles to survive a killing game orchestrated by a mysterious being only known as Monoponi. Post Season Nine FIM. Now complete!

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Prologue: Awaken Unto Despair

DANGANRONPA: IN HARMONY’S WAKE

My name is Sunset Shimmer. I’m twenty-four years old, getting ready to start up my fifth year of college at Canterlot University. Already have one bachelor degree, in mechanical engineering, but I’m going back for a second.

I’m also not human. Or, well, I wasn’t born one, anyway. I was born a pony, a unicorn specifically, in Equestria, a nation in a world separated from this one by a magical portal. Yes, I am literally from a world of sunshine and rainbows where friendship is magic. Go figure. But I came to this one, after I… had a bad experience as a personal student to the leader of Equestria. Looking back, it was all so stupid, not even really worth discussing.

The point is, I left, forever. I came to this world, to a world of humans and fancy technology beyond my wildest dreams. I was a complete jerk, working to build power until I could return to Equestria and enact my revenge. I stole a magical artifact, was turned into a demon of all things, and then I was… saved. Saved by…

By…

Wait. Why can’t I remember?

Oh well. It’s not that important. (Yes it is!) What really matters is, I changed, I made friends. (Who?) I became a much better person. (How?!) Went on to college, explored my interests in math and mechanics, and that’s where I am today.

Or I should be, anyway.

The last thing I remember, I was stepping out of my brownstone apartment in downtown Canterlot, ready to hop onto my motorcycle to get to the first day of classes for the year. And then everything went… fuzzy. Dark. Like the air itself twisted in my brain, and all of a sudden, I was laying on a fancy four poster bed, the smell of sea salt spray in the air from an open porthole window filling my nose.

And my head was killing me! Great sheets of pain swept over my head like waves in a stormy ocean, bludgeoning through me and battering me against the proverbial shore. Waves of nausea fluttered through me, my stomach twisting in knots. I stumbled off the bed, fell against the open door of a full bathroom and collapsed to my knees in front of the toilet. My hands gripped the sides of the porcelain. I held my head over the bowl, staring into the water, waiting for the contents of my stomach to rise up and out. I don’t know how long I knelt there before the nausea subsided, thankfully without having actually vomited. The pain in my head receded to a dull ache, less a pounding surf and more a gentle tide.

“Okay, what the hell,” I managed to speak as I slowly got to my feet. “Where am I?”

I looked up at myself in the mirror, taking in my appearance. I was dressed like I usually would these days, with my beaten old leather jacket, a bit patched in places but still lovingly preserved, a low cut sky blue shirt with a matching skirt atop a decent pair of jeans. Nothing fancy, really. Just a callback to how I dressed my senior year of high school. Figured it made sense to break it out, since I was like a “super senior” at the University this year.

Now that I wasn’t about to vomit all over the place, I was able to take in some of the details of my surroundings. Everything was intricately wrought and well crafted. A fine silver filigree surrounded the mirror over the sink, with faucets equally lined in silver. The shower and bath unit, while a fairly typical combination you’d see in any apartment, were much larger than I expected, with a shower curtain made of fine silk lined with cotton, rather than cheap plastic. Even the towels hanging by the shower tub were neatly pressed, hanging like they were placed there by a well trained hotel staff. A large, white robe hung next to the towels, made from the same material as the shower curtain.

And for some bizarre reason, there was a security camera in the corner. “Okay, that’s a little weird…”

I stepped out of the bathroom back into the main room. Like the bathroom, everything from the dresser to the writing desk with chair to the walk-in closet to the four poster bed screamed of opulence, like a five-star hotel. The only things out of place were the porthole window, and a security camera up in the middle of the ceiling, one of the half-dome kinds. Also there was a screen with speakers over the desk I presumed was a television of some kind. So I poked my head out the window, and was met with a vision of the open ocean. Nothing else as far as the eye could see in either direction, save for more of what was presumably a cruise ship.

I wasn’t too surprised by that. I had been able to feel the gentlest of swells under my feet since I woke up. But I was confused. “How the hell did I get here?” I asked myself as I poked around further in the room. I discovered a set of keys on the desk, most probably the room keys. I pocketed those. Apart from that there was nothing, save basic pen and paper on the desk and a small k-cup style coffee machine stuffed in one of the drawers, with two disposable cups wrapped up in plastic. Nothing you wouldn’t expect to see in a hotel.

The only thing that stood out was the closet. It was full of identical copies of my current outfit. Like whatever brought me here expected to wear the same thing every day. It was more than a little unsettling, especially with the security camera in the room. Something was vaguely familiar about this situation too, as if I’d seen a similar setup somewhere. Maybe a movie?

With a shrug I decided to try the door to the outside. I wasn’t going to get any answers in here. Maybe I could find a member of the ship’s crew.

Upon leaving my room and locking it, I found myself in a long corridor stretching out along this side of the ship. Doorways presumably leading to similar rooms lined the hall. The floor was carpeted over steel deck plates, the walls lined with floral wallpaper. Paintings hung here and there, of landscapes, beaches, and one of a massive ship that might’ve been the ship I was on. Security cameras lined the hall, ensuring no blind spots. A couple more screens were placed here and there as well. But no one else in sight. Curiously though, I noticed that, right on my door was a gold plated sign, etched with my name. Sunset Shimmer.

“Okay, what?” I asked as I ran my hand over it. “What the hell--”

“Oh my! Excuse me, darling, but do you happen to work here?”

I whirled about at the sound of another woman’s voice, finding myself face to face with a gorgeous woman a few inches shorter than me, with purple hair coiffed to perfection, wearing a periwinkle shirt, golden bangles about her wrists, and a plum skirt lined with an image of three sapphire blue diamonds that perfectly complimented her hair and ivory skin tone. She smiled at me, all white teeth shining like a dentist’s dream as she casually flicked a hand through her hair. The sight brought a blush to my cheeks. “I’m sorry if I startled you,” she continued in some kind of fancy accent I couldn’t place. “It’s just that I’m lost and I don’t know how I got here.”

I let out a laugh and scratched the back of my head. “Sorry, I don’t. Work here, I mean.” Ugh, smooth, Sunset, I chastised myself. I coughed to clear my throat and stood up straighter. “I don’t know how I got here either. My name’s Sunset, by the way. Sunset Shimmer.”

She held out a dainty hand and gave mine a quick shake. Even in that brief instant of touch I could feel just how smooth her skin was. “A pleasure. I am Rarity Belle.” She dropped her hand to her side to lay it along her hip, and looked around the corridor. “A pity we’re both lost. Do you go to Canterlot University, by chance? Something about you seems familiar.”

I think I would remember seeing a vision of loveliness like yourself, I almost said, managing to get control over my stupid brain at the last second. Damn it, I’m not a teenager anymore. Stop acting like it. “I do, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen you there before.”

“Oh, naturally, you wouldn’t. I’m not a student. I simply visit there to occasionally request assistants and modelers for my shop. I run a boutique in downtown Canterlot, Rarity For You.” Her sapphire blue eyes fixed squarely on my jacket, the side of her lip curling as she let out a quiet scoff. “Perhaps you should… visit sometime.”

Okay, that was a splash of cold water. She was hot, fine, but no one disses the jacket. I stuffed my hands pointedly into my jacket pockets, pulling it tighter around me. “I dunno about that. I’m not big on spending lots of money on clothes.”

She gave an elegant shrug. “Ah well. Anyway, why don’t we try and see if we can find someone on the crew of this ship. Surely someone has to know how we got here.”

“Yeah, good idea,” I agreed. I glanced both ways down the hallway. One, I saw, dead ended in a large steel barricade, like some kind of fire door or watertight bulkhead. So I pointed down the other way and said, “Let’s go.”

We made our way swiftly down the hall, her heels and my boots clanking softly against the carpeted steel till we found ourselves emerging into open air on the main deck of the ship. The ocean breeze sent our hair flying up as it filled our noses with the smell of salt spray. We must’ve been right at the bow of the ship, because not too far away I could see the prow beating a path through the waves. The main deck had to have been a good couple hundred feet above the waterline, because I could barely make out the splashing of the waves against the hull. Nearby was a large outdoor lounge, laden with tables and chairs, all made from strong plastic but with comfortable looking cushions, and a full bar, with another screen hanging behind it, this one larger with equally larger speakers. And, of course, security cameras, all over the place. The designer of this ship sure cared about security.

There were a pair of people chatting by the bar. One was a short, slightly chubby pink skinned girl with a shock of curly pink hair wearing a white t-shirt stamped with a trio of balloons, two blue and one yellow, and a ruffled skirt in several shades of pink, yammering away a mile a minute. Jeez, someone likes pink. The other was a taller woman wearing a grey pantsuit and a mustard yellow business jacket over a black polo shirt, with a professionally cut short hairstyle of light grey violet streaked with white, doing her best not to look as snobbish and disgusted by the pink one as possible and failing miserably.

With a great big gasp of delight the pink one spotted the two of us and rushed over in a flash, grabbing and shaking our hands so fast I barely had a chance to react. “More new people! Hi! I’m Pinkie Pie! So nice to meet you! Ooh, do you work here? I don’t work here, I just woke up on one of these chairs and was like ‘wow why am I on a ship?’ but then I saw her over there and I just had to talk and now I’m talking to you!”

Of course her name is Pinkie Pie. What else would it be, I thought as I grimaced. “Um, hi. I’m Sunset Shimmer, this is Rarity Belle. We don’t work here either.”

“Oooh, shoot!” Pinkie pouted, snapping her fingers. “I was sure someone I’d spot would be working here. I mean why would a bunch of twenty somethings be waking up on a cruise ship out in the middle of nowhere, with no one else around? Oh no, do you think we were kidnapped?!”

“Maybe?” I shrugged. This girl was already giving me a headache. Or bringing back the one I had earlier. Same difference. “Probably not though. I don’t think kidnappers would let us just walk around the ship. Look, why don’t you talk to Rarity. Excuse me.”

“Hey!” Rarity whined as Pinkie immediately began gabbing away in her ear, leaving the poor woman overwhelmed. That’s for dissing the jacket.

I pointedly walked away over to the other woman standing at the bar. She favored me with a sneer and a raised eyebrow. “At least you’re not talking my ear off,” she said after a moment.

Oookay…. I stuck out a hand, giving her a friendly grin. “Hi, I’m Sunset Shimmer.”

She looked down at my hand and snorted, her lips twisting in a disgusted grimace. But she extended a hand and took mine, shaking just long enough then dropping it. “Charmed. Diamond Tiara. I’m guessing you’re not one of the help, either. So are you a deckhand? Perhaps you work in the engine room?”

My face scrunched in a mild sneer of my own. “Excuse me?” She was already reminding me of the nobility back in Equestria, all high and mighty rich folk with messed up ideals about their inherent superiority and no manners.

She let out a quiet little laugh. “Forgive me, I just assumed, what with your shabby appearance and that… jacket… that you couldn’t possibly be a passenger.” Her mouth twisted into a patently insincere simper. “My apologies.”

I shoved my hand back in my jacket, scowling and shaking my head. “Yeah. Fine. Whatever. Look, do you know anything about what’s going on here?”

“No, I don’t.” She crossed her arms and frowned. “This ship looks like one my father would rent for our family for a week, but he’d never do that without telling me. And he wouldn’t let people like you aboard.”

My hands clenched into fists in my pocket, gripping fistfuls of jacket. “No, of course not,” I growled. “There’d be too much room taken up by your ego.”

Her jaw just about unhinged as she glowered at me, absolutely furious in a heartbeat. “How dare you? Don’t you know who I am? Who my father is?”

One side of my mouth curled up in a satisfied smirk. “You can dish it out but you can’t take it, huh? Figures.” I decided to walk away. No need to waste time on her.

I found poor Rarity leaning on the railing, Pinkie nowhere to be found. “That was uncalled for, darling,” Rarity grumbled. “I don’t know where that girl gets her energy.”

“Sorry,” I said with a sheepish grin. I pointed down the deck, where there was a large opening leading into another corridor we hadn’t explored yet. “C’mon, let’s go this way. See who else is here.”

A brief walk had us come back out onto the deck of the ship, this time in a much wider area than the lounge. An open staircase barred off with a large steel bulkhead like the one in the cabin hallway led up to what was probably the bridge, a large tower overlooking the place decorated with large ocean blue banners and a few pieces of equipment such as radar dishes and radio beacons, and, naturally, more security cameras. I could see a window up there atop, but no people inside. Down closer to the main deck was a balcony that led to a single solitary door into the tower, probably for the ship’s captain to come out and give announcements. A large screen and speakers hung right above the door.

Apart from that, there was, far on the other side of the empty space, a massive Olympic sized pool, complete with several diving boards at various heights, and lounging benches. There was also the stereotypical oversized chair for a lifeguard, but a sign hung off of it pointedly reading “No lifeguard on duty.” A few sets of tables and chairs completed the arrangement. There was also another entryway leading into another area of the ship.

A trio of people were talking by the tables, and waving to us as we approached. There was a tall, well muscled light orange-skinned woman, wearing a comfortable pair of jeans and a white button shirt patterned with green on the shoulders and collar, plus a stetson hat atop her head. Golden hair streamed down into a practical ponytail bouncing behind her. “Well howdy there!” she greeted with a friendly wave and an accent thick with the tune of the countryside. “Nice ta see new folks. Why don’tcha c’mere, sit a spell with us?”

She patted a pair of chairs next to her, between her and a smaller woman, this one with pale yellow skin and rich red locks of hair falling around her face in gentle curls. A red bow was tied atop her head, lending her an almost childlike sense of charm. She was clad similarly to the country woman, with a green button up shirt and a pair of jeans. She waved happily, and grinned. “Yeah, c’mon!” she agreed in an identical accent. Are they sisters? I wondered.

The third person sitting nearby was a gangly looking guy with darkish skin, wearing a beanie atop a head full of green hair. Unlike them he was sporting a short sleeved red t-shirt lined with white trimming and a symbol of a sun between two green mountains, a dock, and a puddle of blue water, alongside a pair of khaki cargo shorts and practical brown steel-toed boots. He flashed us a cocky grin and flicked both hands at us like they were a pair of revolvers. “Hey there,” he said, waggling his eyebrows.

Ugh, what a creep! I sat down between the two women, as did Rarity, and pointedly did not look in his direction. “Hi. I’m Sunset Shimmer, and this is Rarity.”

The country woman stuck her hand out and gave me a firm, enthusiastic shake. “Glad to meetcha! Ah’m Applejack, and this here’s mah little sister, Apple Bloom! We sure are glad to see someone else around here. We were startin’ to wonder if we were the only ones aboard.” Her smile dampened a bit as she turned to the guy sitting nearby. “And uh, this one’s name is Timber, Ah think? Timber Spruce?”

His smirk widened. “Yup, you got it AJ. Timber Spruce, counselor from Camp Everfree, at your service.” He stuck out a hand to Rarity. “Let me know if I can do anything to help.”

Rarity’s lips puckered up like she’d just bit into a lemon. “Of course, of course,” she said with the quickest handshake I’ve ever seen.

“Hey Ah think Ah’ve seen you before,” Apple Bloom said as she shook my hand with similar enthusiasm as her sister, if not the same strength. “Ah’m in mah second year at Canterlot University. Do you go there too?”

“I do,” I replied. “Just finished one bachelor’s, going back for a second.”

Apple Bloom’s eyes bulged to the size of dinner plates. “Wow!” she gasped. “You must be rich or somethin’. Ah’m only the second member of my family ever to go to college!”

My cheeks lit up with pink. “Aheh, no, not rich,” I said, scratching the back of my head. “Just good investments.” If you count selling all the Equestrian gold and gems I brought with me and throwing the funds into savings bonds and so on as investments…

“But still! Ah had to get a scholarship and have a college fund set up just to afford university.” Apple Bloom threw her hands up in the air in a cheer. “Anywho, congrats on yer first bachelor’s! Ah hope mine goes as well.”

“Eeyup, we sure are proud of you, Apple Bloom,” Applejack said with a wide smile as she tousled Apple Bloom’s hair. “Ah went to college mahself, but it was just a community college for a two year degree in business. It’s sure helped with managin’ the farm, cause we’re doing way better than we used to in profits, but it was pretty expensive even doin’ that.”

“The farm, you say? Do you perhaps mean Sweet Apple Acres, just outside Canterlot?” Rarity broke in, stars in her eyes. At Applejack’s nod, she continued, “I always buy your produce when I go to the supermarket. It tastes absolutely divine, so much better than the other local providers!”

Applejack beamed at the praise, her smile wider than the sea. “Why shucks, thank ya kindly, miss Rarity. Ah always appreciate hearin’ that. Makes my days workin’ on the farm that much sweeter.”

“Hey, uh, not to barge in on your conversation,” Timber said, leaning forward and giving us a shrewd look. “But do either of you two know how we got here? We just woke up sitting in these chairs and as much fun as a cruise ride is, it’s kinda weird, you know?”

I shook my head. “Sorry, but we don’t. We’ve been running into other people on the ship, but so far, no one knows either.”

“Speaking of which, darling,” Rarity said as she stood, “we should perhaps get back to that. Now that I see Miss Applejack here has her sister on board, I’m starting to wonder if my dear Sweetie Belle is too!” She gave Applejack and Apple Bloom a smile. “We’ll talk more later, I’m sure.”

Applejack stood as well, stretching her arms out wide with a grunt. “Ya know that sounds like a mighty fine idea. C’mon Bloom, why don’t we go explorin’ ourselves?”

“Sure!” Apple Bloom hopped out of her seat. Then she cast Timber a hesitant look. “Uh, you uh, want to come with, Timber?”

“Might as well,” he agreed. I caught Applejack throwing her sister a withering glare as they all left to wander off back in the direction we came from.

Meanwhile, Rarity and I crossed the deck to the other entryway into the ship, emerging onto a massive indoor promenade easily twice the size of the outer deck we were just on. A series of shops lined both sides of the walls nearby us--I spotted a sporting goods store, a “duty-free” store, whatever that meant, a pharmacy, an office/arts and crafts store store, a jeweler, a fabric store, and a convenience store. There was also a set of bathrooms right next to the door to the bridge deck. About halfway down the promenade was a large food court setting, with various tables and chairs. The rest of the area was full of restaurants, of all kinds of food. One in particular down near the end caught my eye, a Sushi King. I worked at one of those in my last year of high school, and I knew they had good food. Maybe someone was working there. Oh, and of course, there were the ubiquitous security cameras and screens, though by this point I was ignoring them as background scenery.

Rarity, however, became immediately distracted by the fabric store and all but yanked me by the arm into it straight away. “Oh my stars, darling, look at all these choices!” she stammered as she carted me down the various aisles. Bolts of fabric of all shades and colors, of varying materials from cotton to linen to nylon to fleece to silk and lots of other things I didn’t know what they were lined the shelves, all labeled for easy identification, but, strangely, no price tags. “Look at this silk! This is some of the most expensive Qilin silk in existence! I’ve never seen so much in one place. Can you imagine the dresses I could make with this? Oh, ideaaaaa!”

“Hey, can you keep it down please?” came a quiet, grumpy sounding voice from nearby, starling us both.

I whirled and saw a shorter woman standing there in a tan and brown striped sweater and pair of jeans, long locks of forest green hair streaming down around her face. Where the hell was she when we came in?! I thought. “Uh, sorry?” I offered.

Rarity held a hand to her mouth and screwed her lips up into a duck-like pout. “Oh, terribly sorry, dear, I just became so excited when I saw what was on offer! Please, forgive me.”

She scowled, stuffed her hands in her pockets and shrugged. “Whatever. No problem. Not like I expect to be noticed anyway.”

Rarity and I exchanged a look. This is a little awkward. Better clear the air. “Sorry to hear that,” I said. “Anyway, I’m Sunset Shimmer and this is Rarity. What’s your name?”

The green haired woman looked away, focusing on a wall. After a moment or two, she huffed a sigh and said “Wallflower Blush. Excuse me.” She walked away, disappearing into the shelves.

“Well that was… odd,” Rarity commented. “I didn’t even get to ask if she knew anything. Oh well.”

“Yeah and we can probably look at the silk later, Rarity, c’mon,” I said, taking her hand and gently leading her out of the shop. Whatever your problem is, Wallflower, we’ll give you space.

As we emerged from the shop, we saw two others emerging from the sporting goods store. One was a tall, lithe figure, towering over the other with her yellow skin and soft pink hair cascading down her shoulders to partially hide her eyes. She wore a knee length dark teal dress decorated with butterflies and ribbons tied with bows on her legs. The other was a short, lean cyan-skinned girl with a messy tangle of short rainbow colored hair, wearing a blue sports jacket over a white shirt emblazoned with a rainbow lightning bolt and form-fitting black pants decorated with more bolts. Something about her was a bit familiar, too. Rainbow girl was laughing like crazy while the other was giggling softly in turn, but staying quiet.

“Oh hey look, more people!” the shorter one said, pointing at us. “Hey you over there, c’mere! We wanna ask you something!”

The taller one mumbled something into the shorter one’s ear as we approached. “Hi there,” I greeted with a small wave.

“Yeah, hi, listen, my name’s Rainbow Dash, this here is Fluttershy. Do either of you have a clue how we got here? I mean this place is awesome and all, but it’s kinda weird. I mean we woke up next to a shelf of basketballs and soccer balls. How weird is that?”

Rarity gave her a sympathetic smile. “Sorry darling, but we don’t know either. Oh, forgive my manners. I am Rarity, and this is Sunset Shimmer.” She cocked her head to the side. “Wait, haven’t I seen you before?”

“You’re the lead forward of the Canterlot Crusaders, aren’t you?” I said with a snap of my fingers, referring to CU’s soccer team. “That’s where I’ve seen you before.”

“Yup, that’s me!” Rainbow preened, standing proud. Fluttershy took the opportunity to carefully step behind her, almost ducking down as if to hide behind the shorter woman.

“Um, is she okay?” I asked.

Fluttershy, shaking like a leaf, stood back up. “S-ssorry,” she said, twiddling her fingers together. “I-I’m just really… s-shy. I-I’ve been working on it, b-but… strangers scare me.”

“Hey, don’t worry, Shy, they’re cool. They won’t hurt you,” Rainbow said soothingly, taking Fluttershy’s hand in hers and squeezing it gently.

“Right, thanks Dashie,” she said, squeezing back.

Poor Fluttershy. Anxiety’s a real bitch sometimes. “Sorry if we scared you,” I said, taking a couple steps back and keeping my hands down next to my waist so I was less intimidating. “We’re just exploring the ship, trying to figure out how we got here.”

“You d-don’t think we were kidnapped, do you?” Fluttershy asked.

“I wish we could tell you, darling, honestly, but we haven’t a clue,” Rarity said, matching my actions. “I’m hoping this is just some kind of surprise party or something of that nature. Though I can’t imagine who would be throwing it, since it seems almost none of us know each other.”

“Oh, okay…” Fluttershy whimpered, staring down at the floor with the saddest expression I’d ever seen on a woman before.

Ooof, that’s simultaneously adorable and hurts. “Sorry about that,” I said again.

“Hey don’t sweat it,” Rainbow said. She wrapped an arm around Fluttershy. “Hey Shy, why don’t we go check out that store over there, huh? Sunset, Rarity, we’ll uh, we’ll catch you later.”

“Okay,” Fluttershy said as the two walked off.

Rarity sighed gently as she watched them. “That poor dear… I hope for her sake this really is what I suggested, and not something more sinister.”

I’d been trying to fight off an increasing feeling of unease since waking up. No one we’d run into yet had a clue what was going on, and combined with that feeling I’d seen something like this before, somewhere, I was getting pretty nervous myself. “Yeah I know what you mean. C’mon.”

We walked down the promenade towards the food court area. Like the rest of the ship, the whole promenade had an aura of elegance and opulence far beyond anything I’d ever have been able to afford since I’d come to the human world. In some ways it was like being back at Canterlot Castle, with Princess Celestia, getting to eat the finest meals from the best chefs in the land, drink the finest wines… but that was all in the past, along with my old self. Nowadays I didn’t need any of that crap anymore.

As we approached the food court, we saw a quartet of people sitting at a table, three women, one man. One of the women, with purple and pink hair held up in a pony-tail with a bun wearing a blue polo shirt with a pink sweater vest over it, a pink bow tie, and a purple skirt emblazoned with a pink and white six-pointed star was thoroughly engaged in some kind of book, completely ignoring the others.

The other two women were arguing animatedly over something, gesturing wildly with their hands. One of them had the poofiest orange hair I’d ever seen in my life, tied back with a spiked hair tie, the rest streaming down over a purple camisole and matching skirt, plus long semi-transparent lavender hose patterned with triangles. A pair of leather boots with spiked heels completed her outfit. Obviously a pretty tough girl, but I rather liked her style. Maybe just because we were both wearing leather.

The other was dressed more plainly, just a dark blue hoodie over a lilac and cyan patterned skirt decorated with a symbol of a wand and crescent moon. Her hair was unusually white, with silver blue streaks.

The man meanwhile was trying to break up the argument. He had sapphire blue hair over burnt orange skin, and wore an outfit rather like mine, with blue jeans and a leather jacket over a white shirt emblazoned with a crest of a blue shield with a yellow lightning bolt. Something about the way he looked made me want to trust him. Unlike Timber, he struck me as a nice guy. Not, like, the creepy kind who are all nice to you then call you a bitch when you won’t have sex with them. A genuine nice guy, who looks out for friends. The kind you can rely on.

As we approached, the book reader slammed her book onto the table and cried out, “Ugh, would you two please be quiet? I am trying to read!”

“Well perhaps if she could stop insulting Trixie’s manner of speaking Trixie might be able to quiet down a notch!” cried out hoodie girl, or Trixie, apparently.

“Oh please, I’ll stop ‘insulting’ you as soon as you learn how to talk like a normal person!” shouted the orange-haired woman. Despite her harsh words, her voice instantly struck me as gorgeous beyond belief, oozing charm like a fine latte with just enough milk and cream to balance out the bitterness. Okay, I’m bi, I get it, down girl, I thought to myself as I pushed that thought away.

“There is nothing wrong with the way Trixie speaks! It is very common in Neighpon to speak in third person and Trixie will do so if Trixie wishes to!”

“Well we’re not in Neighpon, are we?”

“Listen, you two,” said the man, interjecting again, “Try to calm down, please? This isn’t helping anything.”

Oh for goodness’s sake. “Sorry Rarity,” I said as I put my fingers to my lips and let out a loud whistle. “Hey, you two, listen to him why don’t you?”

Trixie turned to face us, crossing her arms over her chest and huffing dramatically. “And why should Trixie listen? No one seems to be respecting Trixie’s feelings!”

“Please, darling, it’s alright,” Rarity said. “It’s perfectly fine to speak in third person if you want. It’s unusual, certainly, but I, for one think it sounds absolutely darling.”

Is everything darling to you? I thought as I added aloud, “Yeah, you do you, girl.”

Trixie gave the other woman a smirk of triumph. “Once again, the Great and Powerful Trixie prevails!” she cackled with glee.

“Whatever,” said the other woman, pointedly looking away. “Hey, you two. What’s going on around here anyway? Why are we here?”

Dang it. “Sorry, we don’t know a thing. We were hoping you did,” I answered. “Anyway, I didn’t catch your name. I’m Sunset Shimmer, this is Rarity.”

“Adagio Dazzle.” Adagio sauntered back to her table and sat down, crossing one leg over the other. “You already heard this idiot’s name. Loser guy over here is Flash Sentry, and I don’t know or care what her name is.”

Book girl glared fierce daggers at Adagio as she looked up at us. “Twilight Sparkle, if you don’t mind,” she said as she adjusted her wire-rimmed glasses. “And it’s a shame you don’t know anything. I was hoping a member of the ship’s crew would come by.” She held up her book. “I woke up with this book on cruise ships and was reading through it. I thought I’d do some research, try to figure out why we might be here.”

“And Trixie apologizes if Trixie made a bad impression,” said Trixie, with a contrite expression on her face.

“Apology accepted,” Rarity said.

“Anyway,” Flash interjected, “it’s nice to meet you two. Guess we’re all gonna have fun on this cruise ship, huh?”

“If by fun,” Rarity replied, “you mean confusion in luxury? Well I do admit, our situation could be far worse. At least there’s food, water, places to sleep.”

“So that’s what, thirteen people on board now who’ve no idea what’s going on?” I said, throwing up my arms in frustration.

“Fourteen, darling, don’t forget yourself.”

“Right, yeah, okay. Listen, we’re gonna go see if there’s anyone else around, and if not we’ll come back. There’s others around the ship too. We should all meet up here.”

“That sounds like a good idea,” Flash replied with a nod. He hopped out of his chair. “I could go gather people up if you want.”

“Please do,” I replied with a smile.

“Alright. Hey Trixie, wanna come with?”

Trixie unfolded her arms and nodded. “Trixie agrees.”

“And if you find anyone on the crew, let us know immediately,” Twilight added. “Information matters.”

Rarity and I departed for the other end of the promenade, past the Sushi King. It dead ended in a little alcove with a railing out to see, with a pair of chairs, labeled “Lover’s Corner” in gaudy lettering. There was also a doorway which, when we entered, ended up dumping us right back into the section with the cabins. This exit was against the far wall which, thanks to the slight curve in the corridor, I hadn’t noticed from my room.

There were two more people waiting in the cabin hallway though, both women a bit younger than us. One sported mauve colored hair, wearing a black hoodie over khaki cargo shorts and black boots. The other had long two-toned pink and purple hair all done in thick curls wearing a pink striped shirt with a dark pink suit jacket overtop and a poofy yellow skirt that reached her ankles.

“Sweetie Belle!” Rarity squealed as soon as she saw the second woman, running forward in her heels flawlessly as she catapulted herself to give Sweetie Belle a massive hug.

“Rarity?!” Sweetie yelped in surprise.

“Woah, who’re you?” asked the other one.

I cleared my throat to get their attention. “Sorry about that. I’m Sunset Shimmer, that’s Rarity, Sweetie’s sister.”

“Okay, that’s enough sis, I’m twenty-one, not ten anymore,” Sweetie said, gently pushing her sister away.

Rarity withdrew, wiping a few tears from her eyes. “Sorry Sweetie, it’s just so good to see you. I feel like I haven’t seen you for an age. You never call! You never write!”

“I do text you! I’m just at the University, Rarity. Jeez. You’re worse than mom sometimes, you know?” Sweetie said with a laugh. “But yeah it’s good to see you too sis.”

“And I’m Scootaloo, by the way,” said the other woman. “I go to CU too. I think I’m in one of Sweetie’s classes with her.”

“And lemme guess, neither of you know why we’re here?” I asked.

“Nope,” Scootaloo said. “I just woke up in my room a couple minutes ago. Had a headache but it’s all gone now. So we’re on a ship?”

“Sorry,” Sweetie shrugged. “I’m in the same boat as Scootaloo.” She let out a snrk of laughter. “Heh, same boat.”

“Yeah, we’re on a cruise ship.” I answered. Groaning in frustration I put my hands on my hips. “This is so annoying. We’ve walked around in a big circle now. There’s sixteen people on this ship we’ve found, no one knows what’s going on, and I’m really getting annoyed with the lack of answers!”

DING-DONG BING-BONG

A loud artificial ringing, almost like a school bell, belted out from every speaker in the hallway at once. All of the screens lit up with static, where a dark silhouette of a figure was barely visible and almost indistinguishable. “Ahem! Attention! Attention, if you please!” came a voice, all high pitched and squeaky, but clearly masculine. “This is your ship’s captain speaking! Please assemble before the bridge tower at once! All passengers must comply!”

“Oh, finally, thank goodness,” I grumbled. “‘Bout time we got some answers as to what’s going on.”

We stomped on over as a group towards the bridge tower via the lounge route, gathering up Pinkie Pie (who’d reappeared from wherever she went) and Diamond Tiara along the way. “Oooh, I wonder what this is about?” Pinkie said as we walked. “Maybe the captain’s throwing us a big party?”

We arrived with the rest of the group, everyone together standing before the bridge tower. “Oh wow, wait, there’s sixteen of us huh?” Pinkie said.

“Yeah, what about it?” Adagio grumbled, glaring with her arms crossed.

“Do you know something?” Twilight asked, intrigued.

“If she knows something she should tell us. Now.” Diamond Tiara stated.

Pinkie Pie shrugged. “Nope, I dunno anything! But this does feel like something! I mean there’s sixteen of us, right? And there’s security cameras everywhere. And the ship’s captain is a squeaky guy. It feels like some kind of setup, but I dunno what!”

A deep freezing chill ran down my spine at Pinkie’s statement. All of a sudden every bit of unease I’d felt this whole time became crystal clear, a single name appearing in my mind. “Danganronpa,” I said, my voice shaking. “This feels like Danganronpa.”

“Got it in one!” cried a squeaky voice from above us.

Out from the door to the bridge tower emerged not the teddy bear robot I was expecting, but an Equestrian pony. Half white coated and maned on one side, the other all black, with a wide stretched sharp toothed grin on the black side of its mouth, it struck a pose, opening up one black bat wing and one white feathered wing, its mane bouncing in the sea breeze, revealing the long pointed horn atop its head. An alicorn. It’s a fucking alicorn? What the hell?

“Woah, what is that?!” Timber Spruce cried.

“It’s so weird looking!” Scootaloo said, cringing.

“Aww but it’s kind of cute!” Sweetie cooed.

Trixie cocked her head. “Trixie thinks it’s a pony of some kind.”

“That don’t look like no pony Ah’ve ever seen,” Applejack disagreed. “The proportions are all wrong.”

“No, it’s a pony,” I said loudly, hushing the group. “Not the kind you’re familiar with, AJ, but it’s a pony. I’d know.

“What do you mean, you’d know?” Twilight asked, glaring at me curiously.

“Oho, but she’s right!” the pony squealed, bouncing in place. “I, your ship’s captain, am a pony. An alicorn, to be precise. You may call me Monoponi.” He pronounced it Mono-pony.

Pinkie gasped in horror, recoiling backwards and wriggling her limbs about. “Oh noo! I was right! This is a setup! Everybody panic!”

Everyone just glared at her, some in derision, others in confusion. “Why?” Flash asked.

“Now now, Pinkie, let your captain speak,” Monoponi said with a creepy giggle, holding a hoof to his mouth. “You’ll spoil the surprise!”

“What surprise?” Rainbow Dash growled, glaring up at him. “What the hell is going on here? Why are we all on a cruise ship in the middle of nowhere?”

“And where’s the crew?” Diamond Tiara demanded. “Who’s piloting the ship? Who’s running the place?”

“Oh, they’re around,” Monoponi said with a wink.”They’re feeling a bit shy.”

“Look will you just give us a straight answer already?!” I shouted, slamming my foot onto the deck with a loud clang. “Stop beating around the bush and get to it.”

“Hmph! Such rudeness! Goodness me, what are they teaching you nowadays?” Monoponi tutted, shaking his head. “You could at least try saying please.”

My eyes narrowed into slits, my hands clenched into fists. “Please. Tell Us. Now.”

“Better! Very well. You’ve all been brought here for a very special trip on the ocean! A getaway from your usual boring, pathetic, waste of time lives! A fantastic journey with all the luxuries you could ask for!” Monoponi said, gesturing grandly with his wings and hooves as he spoke.

“Well that doesn’t sound so bad,” Apple Bloom commented, grinning. “Ah mean, Ah could always use a break from school.”

“Hold your horses there, honey, Ah don’t think it’s that simple,” Applejack said. She took a few steps forward and joined me in glaring at Monoponi. “Ah don’t know what kind of trick yer pullin’ but you’re soundin’ less trustworthy than a snake oil salesman right now. What’s the catch to this trip?”

“Oh, nothing too terrible, really…. Just that it will last till the end of your lives! Ahahahaha!” Monoponi cackled, his horn igniting just long enough to cast a loud crackoom of thunder.

I heard a lot of voices squealing variations on “What?!” or “Oh no!” or “No way!” all at once, everyone suddenly shouting together.

Shit. And he can cast magic too. How’s that even possible on this side of the portal? “Everyone cool it!” I shouted, smacking my foot against the deck twice to get their attention. The rest managed to quiet down to a low murmur, but I could see a lot of scared faces. Especially poor Fluttershy, doing her best to hide behind Rainbow Dash. “What do you mean by the end of our lives?”

Monoponi held up a hoof to his mouth. “Upupupupu, you know exactly what I mean, Sunset Shimmer. Didn’t you say Danganronpa before? You’ve played the games. You know exactly what this is! Don’t even try to lie!” He let out a loud cackle of glee. “But I’ll explain for the rest of these idiots. It’s just like I said. Till the end of your lives. You’re living on this boat forever!”

“That’s not happening!” Rainbow Dash screamed, throwing her hand out. “I’ve got school! I’m the star player on the Crusaders for goodness sake! I can’t be stuck here!”

“Mah family depends upon mah farm!” Applejack cried. “If ya think ya can hold me here against mah will for even just a minute ye’re gonna be in a whole heap of trouble, mister!”

Diamond Tiara snarled, “You have no idea who I am. You can’t keep me here! My father will see to that! If you think he’ll accept me being missing for more than twenty-four hours you’ve got a lot to learn!”

“Besides, you don’t look so tough,” Timber interjected. “And there’s sixteen of us and one of you! We can stop you right here!” He held out a hand and punched his other fist into it.

“Damn right!” Scootaloo agreed, balling her fists. “I might be small but I pack a mean punch! I went to karate school you know!”

Rarity, of all people, hopped into a martial arts stance. “I have a black belt in three different disciplines. Mister Monoponi, if you think you can stop me from breaking out of here, just come over here and try it!”

“Timber is correct,” Twilight added, adjusting her glasses. “While some of us may not be good at hand to hand combat, the odds are strictly against you. I believe we have a good chance of success.”

Wallflower Blush, who’d all but blended into the background at this point, spoke up just to say, “Whatever, like I care,” and left it at that.

Monoponi let out a loud growl. “Excuse me? Are you threatening mutiny?! Aboard my ship?! Never!”

Adagio let out a sadistic sounding laugh of her own. “And you think you can stop us?”

“Guys, this isn’t going to work,” I mumbled under my breath.

Pinkie Pie stopped wiggling in panic long enough to bounce into some vague movie-version of a kung fu stance. “Mutiny? Count on it! We’re not gonna let you get away with this!”

“Alright, enough talk!” Rainbow Dash shouted, dropping into a sprinter’s stance. “Let’s get him!”

Immediately Monoponi’s horn lit up, and several massive-barrelled machine guns burst out from the tower, pointing our way. More sprung up from the railing, from the deck, from all around us, all ready to spin up and spit fire. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” he said in a quiet, sinister tone. “Mutiny aboard this ship is punishable by death!”

“Woah, crap!” Rainbow squealed, falling back onto her butt, eyes saucering with panic.

“D-d-d-death?! Did he say death?!” Fluttershy screamed.

“N-no, no way, you can’t be serious!” Timber cried out, grasping his head with hands, all bravado gone.

“Rarity? I… I want to go home now!” Sweetie blubbered, tears in her eyes, clinging to Rarity’s arm.

“Me too darling, me too…”

The games. This is just like the games. But I don’t understand. How is a Neighponese visual novel happening in real life? Who the hell is this guy? “Guys, calm down,” I said, trying to get a grip on everyone’s panic. “Listen to me. He won’t hurt us if we don’t break the rules.” I glared up at him. “Right? Is that how it works?”

Most of the guns withdrew into the deck, but the ones on the bridge tower stayed out, tracking everyone’s movements. “Exactamundo!” Monoponi answered. “So long as you follow the rules, you’ll be able to enjoy this trip to your heart’s content! So you can relax! Enjoy the pool! Have some food at the restaurants! Buy each other presents! Oh, right. You’ll need these.

His horn lit again and a section of the deck before us opened up, revealing a small elevator rising up to deposit a large cardboard box, open at the top. Inside were a number of small computer tablets. “Now remember, you each get one and one only! Be sure to get the one with your name on it! I’ll give you a few minutes to get them, but after that, anyone without their Monopad on their person will be punished!”

Everyone scrambled to get a tablet. I was closest, and got mine first. It was small, about the size of three smartphones laid side by side. My name was engraved in golden letters on the back, the rest of the pad decorated in black and white. It was just the right size to fit in one of my larger jacket pockets, but I decided I’d have to get some kind of small backpack from one of the stores. The other side bore a stretch of solar paneling, and there was a simple USB charge port on one side, along with a power button and headphones jack. I turned it on.

It showed my name at first as it booted up, then a home screen, like any smartphone app page. Several apps were in place, including a map, a texting app, passenger profiles, evidence--I cringed at that--a camera, a voice recorder, and most importantly, rules. I decided to glance at the profiles first, just in case. And like I expected, it showed our names, our birth dates, blood type, height, weight, chest size (ugh) and, oddly, an Ultimate Talent. In my case, it simply showed “???”

“Wait, why does this list us as having a talent?” I asked.

Everyone else started looking at their profiles while Monoponi explained, “Oh, I thought that would add to the experience. You know, spice things up! Everyone knows you gotta have Ultimates for something like this, right? Even if you’re not really Ultimates.”

Adagio’s face curled into a quiet sneer as she whispered, “Songstress. Please.”

“Trixie appreciates that you chose Illusionist rather than simply Magician,” Trixie commented, grinning.

“Rich Kid? Rich Kid?!” Diamond Tiara shouted, stamping her foot. “What is that supposed to mean?! I’m not a kid. I’m twenty-one years old!”

Flash’s cheeks bloomed a brilliant pink. “Why is mine… Boytoy?” he groaned. “I mean, really? I play music, man. I drive a cool car. I do other things. Why?”

“Hey look, mine’s just spinning like a slot machine!” Apple Bloom said, holding up her pad.

“Mine too!” Sweetie Belle said.

“And mine! Wonder what it means,” Scootaloo added.

Monoponi held up a hoof to his mouth. “Upupu, you have to have a sense of humor about these things! Because really, it’s just flavor anyway. Who cares? No, what really matters, as far as you dumb idiots are concerned, is living by the rules! So read them.” He glared down at us, his eyes flashing briefly with a red flare. “Now!”

We all jumped to it, reading carefully:

Note: All rules must be followed. Violation of any rule will result in punishment by death.

Rule #1: All passengers must live the rest of their lives aboard this ship, unless they wish to attempt to Rescue themselves.

Rule #2: Mutiny against Captain Monoponi is strictly forbidden.

Rule #3: Any attempt to harm Monoponi or cause damage to the security cameras, monitors, or other ship property that is not strictly for the purposes of assisting a Rescue attempt will be considered mutiny. This rule is up to Monoponi’s discretion.

Rule #4: Your Monopad must be on your person or nearby you at all times. Failure to keep your Monopad near you for more than a few minutes will be punished. Your Monopads are waterproof, heatproof, and crushproof so you are unable to damage them.

Rule #5: Theft of another person’s Monopad is strictly prohibited.

Rule #6: A Rescue Attempt is defined as a murder of another passenger. Anyone who murders another passenger will be considered a blackened.

Rule #7: When a Rescue Attempt is discovered, an investigation period will occur with its length as defined by Monoponi. All passengers may spend this time as they choose, but investigation is strongly encouraged.

Rule #8: After the investigation, a Captain’s Mast, or ship’s trial, will occur. All surviving passengers must attend.

Rule #9: During a Captain’s Mast, the passengers must debate to determine who is the blackened. When the passengers are certain, a vote will occur. All attendees of the Captain’s Mast must vote.

Rule #10: If the blackened is successfully identified, they alone will be executed. If, however, a majority of the passengers vote incorrectly, the blackened will be Rescued, and the remaining passengers will be executed.

Rule #11: Monoponi will never directly participate in a Rescue Attempt.

Rule #12: A body discovery announcement occurs when three surviving passengers discover a body. This signals the beginning of investigation.

Rule #13: The journey will continue until there are only two remaining passengers.

Rule #14: A murder is defined as the causing of death of another passenger, regardless of intent. If you kill, it’s murder, no matter what.

Rule #15: Any attempt to admit wrongdoing prior to the conclusion of the Captain’s Mast will be met with immediate punishment. No tattletails aboard this ship!

Rule #16: The shops will only be available from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM. After that, they will be closed. The restaurants, however, are available at any time and are automated. No food or items may be removed from shops or restaurants without first being logged via Monopad. Stealing will not be tolerated!

Rule #17: Except for attempting to open locked doors, passengers may freely explore to their desire. However the bridge and engine room are strictly prohibited.

Further rules may be added at any time by Captain Monoponi. Please pay attention to any text messages Captain Monoponi may send.

“M-m-m-murder?” Fluttershy gasped, hiding her face in her hair.

“We… we can’t leave unless we kill someone?! What the hell?!” Timber cried out, gripping his head.

“This is some serious bullshit,” Flash growled, shaking his head. “Why would we ever kill someone else anyway? Are you for real? No one here would do that!”

Applejack snorted. “Ah might be willin’ to defend mahself and mah kin, but Ah ain’t gonna kill anyone! No way.”

Pinkie Pie whimpered softly, her hair seeming to deflate until the bouncy curls laid flat against her skull. “I won’t hurt anyone. I won’t. I won’t!”

“Are you sure about that?” Wallflower Blush spoke up, halting everyone in their tracks. We all turned to face her. “None of us really know each other. Most of us have never met before today. For all we know, one of us is already planning something.”

Adagio favored her with an approving glance. “I see at least one of you has a decent head on her shoulders. She’s right you know. Given the right motivation, the desire to leave? Any of us might give in. Even me.” She let out a deep laugh full of malice. “And if I were to do it, well, I’d target someone weak. Someone who won’t put up much of a fight.” She locked her eyes on Fluttershy, who yelped in fright. “Maybe you?”

Rainbow Dash whirled on her, pointedly stepping between her and Fluttershy and holding out a clenched fist in Adagio’s direction. “You lay a single finger on her and I’ll rip you to pieces!” she snarled.

“Oh my, a death threat already?” Adagio laughed again. “See what I mean? But don’t worry. If I choose to strike,” she let out a growl like a predator as she said that word, “I won’t be so obvious. Maybe keep that in mind?”

“She’s right you know,” Monoponi interjected gleefully. “If you’re going to attempt a Rescue, make it interesting! Give it some mystery, some jazz! Liven it up! Don’t just bash somepony in the head and leave the body where it fell! I won’t tolerate boring mysteries! In fact, here!”

Everyone’s Monopads let out a shrill beep. I looked down at mine to see a new rule already added:

Rule #18: All Rescue Attempts must be difficult to solve. Creativity is required. Failure to create an interesting mystery will result in immediate punishment.

“Did that really need to be a rule?” Trixie scoffed. “Trixie would think this would be obvious.”

“You’d think that, but I’ve seen stupider things before,” Monoponi said.

“But wait, wait, hold on,” Timber interjected in a panicky huff. “W-what’s this a-about an execution?”

Monoponi slapped a hoof to his face. “You see? Stupid questions! What do you think it means, you idiot?! It means execution! As in, you die! If you’re too stupid to fool the rest of the passengers, then you deserve to be punished for disrupting our wonderful ocean trip!”

Fluttershy burst into tears, falling onto her butt on the deck. Rainbow Dash knelt down to embrace her. “I… I want to go home,” she sobbed. “I don’t want to be here anymore.”

“Hold on, I have another question,” Diamond Tiara said, ignoring the crying woman nearby. “What makes you think you’ll be able to get away with this, huh? I told you, my father won’t stand for me being missing. He’ll have his people combing the place in no time! You think you can hide a cruise ship like this for long? Do you understand the paper trail involved here? The money you spent, the manufacturing, the construction? The launch? What about fuel? How stupid are you?”

Monoponi fixed his cold gaze upon her, eyes flashing. He bared his sharp, predatory teeth, until she faltered, her expression shifting from anger to fear as she took a few steps back. Then he held a hoof to his mouth. “Upupupu, you simpleton! No one will find you. Not the government. Not your daddy. No one! You are at my mercy! And if you keep persisting on this topic, maybe I’ll just decide that constitutes mutiny and kill you as an example!”

Diamond Tiara fell on her knees, tears gushing forth as she held up her hands in a prayer gesture. “No, please, please don’t! Please don’t kill me! I’ll stop, I promise!”

“Ahahahaha!” Monoponi cackled. “Fine. I won’t. For now.

I didn’t bother sparing her any pity as I stepped forward to look Monoponi closer in the eye. “Who are you? I know you’re not the thing before us. Someone’s controlling you. But who? And why?”

“Oh Sunset, Sunset, Sunset,” Monoponi tut-tutted, shaking his head. “You don’t get the answers to that now. But maybe, if you can survive, I’ll let you discover the answers. Eventually.”

My fists balled up so hard I could just about feel my knuckles burst open. “Fine. I will. One way or another, I’ll find a way to stop you.”

“You can try!” Monoponi giggled. “But, well… you know.”

“This is so messed up,” Timber said, clutching his head once more. “This is so wrong.”

“But why us?” Rarity wondered as she held Sweetie close to her breast, tears dripping down her cheeks. “What did we ever do to deserve this?”

Twilight adjusted her glasses, frowning. “Whoever’s behind this is sick.”

“That I am, Sparkle. That I am. And I love it!” Monoponi cackled. “By the way, just one more little fact for you before I go: one among you is partially responsible for your current predicament! That’s right, one of you is a traitor!”

My blood ran colder than Mount Everhoof at the thought. One of us, responsible? I didn’t want to believe it, of course, but besides that… the way he said it. Partially responsible. What did that even mean?

“Anyway, tata for now, my passengers. If you need me, you can simply call out my name and I shall appear. Please, enjoy your wonderful ocean vacation! Bye bye!”

And with that, Monoponi disappeared into the bridge tower, leaving us, as a group to flounder in panic and misery. To suffer, for, supposedly, the rest of our lives on this miserable cruise ship. As my fellow passengers sobbed, cried, moaned, and withdrew into shells, all I could do was shake my head in disbelief. Whoever was behind this, whoever was doing this and why, I knew they had a purpose. They had a reason for choosing us, for picking this group of people.

And whoever they are, I strongly suspected they weren’t human. They were probably from Equestria.

Which meant whoever they were, I’d be the central focus. As far as I knew, I was the only former pony amongst this group. So whatever it is, it probably has something to do with me.

From here on out, my purpose was clear. I’d find out why. And I will stop them.

No matter what.

Author's Note:

Welcome, to my Danganronpa/MLPEQG crossover story! I'm sure you have many questions, but as it is a mystery story, that's the idea. A few things I do want to mention, however: all character choices were 100% deliberate, for story specific reasons. The same with all decisions in the story, yes, including the fact that Danganronpa as a video game series is canon within the story's context. This ties into the plot, and isn't just for a joke. If it's in there, it's in there for a reason. :twilightsmile:

In any case, I hope you've enjoyed so far! As I stated in the story description, I intend to maintain a twice-a-week update schedule, on Saturdays and Wednesdays. There are nine more parts to the story already fully written and edited, so I have a substantial buffer. Unless something drastically changes, I don't expect to have any issues whatsoever with maintaining this update schedule. So please, look forward to it, and thank you. Even if just one person reads this story, I'll deeply appreciate it. :raritywink:

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