• 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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Chapter Three: A Maelstrom of Murder Part 2

Chapter Three:

A Maelstrom of Murder

Daily Life Part 2

Finding myself with little to do after we finished exploring, I chose to join most of my fellow passengers in the fitness center, and spent a good couple of hours or so exercising through a combination of elliptical, weight lifting, and swimming. Adagio opted for swimming alone, taking to the water like she’d been born in it. Which she had. In a fit of curiosity I challenged her to a swimming race, and found myself thoroughly spanked as she lapped me again and again, laughing the whole time.

Afterwards, we broke for an early lunch, opting for soup and salad. People joined us in dribs and drabs, most keeping to themselves, but Fluttershy opted to join Adagio and me at our table. “Is it okay if I sit with you?” she asked, carefully adjusting her hold on her tray.

I glanced at Adagio, who rolled her eyes but then held up a hand to say Go ahead. “Sure,” I said, grabbing a nearby chair for her to sit on.

“Thank you,” she said as she sat down, tucking into her food. After a moment of quiet, contemplative chewing, she added, “I wanted to apologize to you, Sunset.”

“Apologize? For what?” I asked, eating a forkful of salad.

“For, um, for the trial,” Fluttershy answered. The poor girl, as usual, shook like a leaf even as she struggled through her words. Anxiety was her constant companion. “I was scared of you, when you admitted you were a pony. I was scared you’d hurt me.”

Giving her a sympathetic smile, I replied, “Oh, you don’t have to apologize for that. I’d be scared too, in your shoes. It’s just part of being trapped in this killing game.”

“Nevertheless.” Fluttershy took several more bites of her food, using the gap to steel her nerves. “I still want to. You’ve done nothing but help us, and I keep repaying that kindness with suspicion and fear, like when I tried to vote for you in the first trial. So, I’m sorry.”

Touched didn’t even begin to describe how I felt about her words. The amount of bravery, of courage, of determination it took for her to say this to me, to my face, without even having Rainbow Dash around for moral support was overwhelming. So rather than try to protest further, I simply nodded. “Apology accepted, then.”

But that wasn’t enough, I felt. So, poking Adagio’s foot with mine under the table to get her attention, I gave her a pointed look and nudged my head in Fluttershy’s direction. Raising her eyebrows in confusion, Adagio looked at Fluttershy, then back at me, holding out a hand with palm upward to say What? I nudged my head towards her a third time and mouthed Say sorry. Glaring at me, her expression full of exasperation and disbelief, Adagio turned to Fluttershy and said in a choked, forced voice, “I’m… I’m sorry too. For threatening you. That was wrong of me.”

Despite every word Adagio spoke emerging like they’d been fed through a wood chipper, Fluttershy smiled with all the warmth of the sun. “Thank you, Adagio,” she said, surprised gratitude echoing in her voice. “It makes me happy to hear that. I forgive you. Being with Sunset seems to be good for you.” She giggled, her laughter pleasant and cheerful. “You’ve been… nicer since you two got together.”

Adagio’s lips screwed up into a pout, wrinkling her nose in the process. “I, you… hmph.” She jutted her head out and away, refusing to meet Fluttershy’s eyes.

“She’s right, you know,” I said, snickering at Adagio’s reaction. “I’m a good influence on you.”

Even Adagio couldn’t resist laughing at that. “I guess you have been,” she admitted.

Fluttershy gripped her hands together, muttering an “Awww,” under her breath. Then, her face flushing, she said, “I need to be honest about something. I’ve known you two were together since just after the first trial.”

“Wait, you did? How?” I asked, nonplussed. “We never said anything or did anything--”

“I saw you buy her the sunglasses,” Fluttershy interrupted. Her smile turned smug, unusual to see from her. “I could tell what it meant.”

“So much for subtlety,” Adagio said, shaking her head and smiling. “I should’ve known.”

“You, uh, you didn’t tell anyone, did you?” I asked hesitantly, pressing my knuckles to my lips.

Fluttershy shook her head softly, then blew a few fallen locks of hair out of her face. “No, of course not. It wasn’t my secret to tell.”

I let out the breath I was holding. “Oh. Good. Thank you for that. You’re so nice, Fluttershy.”

She shrugged, and popped a forkful of mashed potatoes into her mouth. Swallowing, she said, “I try.”

A sudden beep from our Monopads froze us all on the spot, til I managed to dig mine out. “Did someone get another rule added or something?” Adagio asked, glaring at her own pad.

“No, it’s a text message,” I said, reading my screen. “It’s from Diamond Tiara, to all of us, asking us to meet up at the food court.”

“Yeah, seems like it,” said Flash Sentry, walking over from his own table, along with Trixie. The illusionist had a huge smile on her face, her movements more graceful and smooth than they’d ever been. Guess that massage did her some good. Maybe I should get one too.

They all sat down with us, and soon enough everyone else had arrived, even Twilight, although she sat as far away from myself and Flash as possible. Flash tried to smile at her, but she refused to even look at him, and I could see the hurt in his eyes as he sighed.

“Thank you all for coming,” Tiara said, rapping her pen on her notebook to call us to order. “I know we just met up a few hours ago, but I wanted to go over the new facilities that opened up.”

“Well, there weren’t that much that opened up this time,” Applejack said, adjusting her posture in her chair. She’d wrapped bandages around her knuckles, which from what little I could see of them were cracked and bleeding. “Mostly just a huge fitness center, with a whole heap of stuff to use.”

“Try awesome!” Rainbow Dash retorted, pumping her fist in excitement. She’d changed back into her regular clothes, her hair still wet from a shower. “The place has more variety in exercise equipment than most gyms I’ve been to! I’m totally gonna spend tons of time in there.”

Rarity, looking even worse for wear than Applejack, with bruises visible all over her exposed parts of her body save for her face, said, “It… helps.”

Scootaloo scooted closer to Rarity, smiling sympathetically. “Yeah, there’s something there for everyone. There’s even an indoor pool.”

“It’s good for racing in,” Adagio said, smirking in my direction. “That is, if you want to lose. Badly.”

“Oh you’re on, Adagio,” Rainbow Dash said with a menacing grin. “There’s no way you can beat me. I was the captain of my swim team in high school, you know.”

Adagio laughed, silky smooth with an undercurrent of danger. “We’ll see.”

I watched Rainbow’s whole body shiver, though whether it was from anticipation or fear I couldn’t be sure. “Riiiight. Anyway,” Rainbow Dash continued with a wave of her hand, “there’s plenty of stuff in there for us to work out with. I’m thinking that’s where we should all do our daily workout from now on.”

“That’s a good idea,” Scootaloo said. She held herself and shook, grimacing. “That storm out there’s getting closer by the hour. Pretty soon it’s gonna be unsafe for anyone to go out onto the bridge deck.”

“Yes, it is,” Diamond Tiara said with a frown. “I’m going to have to ask that no one go out into the storm if they don’t have to, just to be safe. We don’t want anyone being washed overboard.”

Fluttershy shrank down in her chair. “You really think that could happen?”

“Probably,” Pinkie said with an unhappy shrug. “I doubt Monoponi’d care at all. Knowing him, he’d think it was funny.” Her face twisted up into an uncharacteristic sneer. “It’s not funny.”

“That’s gonna cut off a route back to the cabins, though,” Flash pointed out. “Actually, maybe that’s a good thing. Fewer chances for people to sneak around.”

Adagio, Trixie, Tiara and myself all shared a look, then simultaneously shook our heads. “Sorry, Flash, but no,” I said. “There’s a new way to get around.”

“There is?” Twilight leaned forward, steepling her hands, her expression all business. Combined with her recent hostility this left me feeling more than a little disturbed. “Please explain.”

“Okay, so, you remember the bulkhead near the cabins? The one we couldn’t open?” She nodded, so I continued, “Well, it opened up to a new section. Most of what’s there is locked, but there’s a crew access only stairwell. It goes down a whole bunch of flights before it gets to a super long corridor.”

“Trixie found a laundry room down there,” Trixie added, holding up her cloak. “Trixie only has the one cloak and hat, so Trixie was very happy to see she can wash them now.”

“Oh, thank goodness. Ah was wonderin’ if we’d ever get the chance to do some laundry,” Applejack muttered. “Ah could really do with some clean sheets.”

“You and Sunset both,” Trixie replied, opening her mouth so she could point at her tongue and gag.

Applejack’s eyes popped open wide like saucers. “Ah beg your pardon?”

Rainbow Dash held up a fist to her mouth and snickered. “Wow. You really do have a way with the girls, huh Sunset?”

Grinding her teeth together, Adagio let out a wordless groan of irritation. “Trixie and Sunset are not sleeping together.”

“But we slept together last ni--”

Adagio slapped a hand over Trixie’s mouth, flashed everyone a coquettish smile and then stomped on Trixie’s foot. “Shut. Up.”

“Oww!” Trixie cried out in a muffled voice.

My hand promptly smacked into my face. “Uuugh, you two, I swear…”

“Wait, so, uh, are you together with Trixie too? Ooor not?” Scootaloo asked, twiddling with her thumbs.

“No, I’m not, Scootaloo,” I moaned through my hand. “She just stayed in my cabin last night because she was scared after the trial. Nothing happened.”

Trixie broke free of Adagio’s grip, stood up, and moved her chair as far away from Adagio as she could. “Do not stomp on Trixie’s foot!” she railed, shaking a fist at the siren. “That hurts!”

“That’s the point, idiot,” Adagio snarled, blowing a raspberry.

Rainbow Dash leaned over, jerked a thumb Trixie’s direction, and whispered into mine and Fluttershy’s ear, “Those two are totally hate banging, aren’t they?”

Irritated, I cuffed her in the arm. “No. Stop it.”

“She’s right, Dashie,” Fluttershy added, glaring at Rainbow in disappointment. “Let it go.”

“Fine, fine…”

Twilight rapped a fist on the table several times, bringing out attention back to her. “If we’re finished with the sitcom routine? Sunset, you were talking about the access corridor.”

“Oh, right, sorry.” I took a quick drink of water, setting it down gently. “So the whole place is dimly lit. There’s a lot of little cubby holes and places where you could hide if you wanted. Almost every single door is locked, except for the one to the laundry room, and one all the way down past an intersection. That one leads into the fitness center. Comes out behind the front desk.”

“Interesting,” Twilight said, holding one hand to her chin. She brought out her notebook, flipping it to a section laden with illustrations. Finding an empty space, she started a new one, sketching out the new route. “So this is the first we’ve had access to the crew side of the ship. Seems like something we should keep an eye on.”

“Agreed,” Diamond Tiara said, scribbling down in her own notebook. “We might want to assign a guard to watch it.”

“A guard? You really think we need a guard?” Rainbow Dash asked, arching an eyebrow.

“It’s a sensible precaution,” Twilight said, nodding to Tiara. “We’ve already had two murders take place. At this rate it’s unlikely we’ll be able to prevent another unless we take things more seriously.” She shot off a glare my way. “Especially if Sunset’s right about a double murder.”

“Wait you don’t think someone would try to stash a body down there, do you?” Flash asked, his eyes widening as he bit his thumb.

“No, that wouldn’t be practical,” I objected. “Yes, it’s dark and drab, but there’s only two ways in, and one of them sees you going down several flights of narrow metal stairs. If you tried to drag a body down stairs like that you’d spill blood all over the place.”

Pinkie’s cheeks tinged with green, bulging. She held a hand to her mouth. “Ewww,” she groaned.

“They probably won’t be able to hide a body, but they could still use it to sneak around,” Twilight stated. “Without the Monopad map tracker, we’re sitting blind. We’ve got to start keeping our eyes open.”

“Sure, and we’ll all be more paranoid than a coop fulla chickens with a fox on the loose,” Applejack objected, slapping a hand to the table. “And Ah hope Ah don’t have to remind y’all that paranoia got both our sisters killed.” She emphasized her point by gesturing to Rarity.

“I um, I agree, I don’t want to be afraid of everyone around me,” Fluttershy said with a hesitant nod. “Can’t we just agree to be friendly?”

“I wish we could, Fluttershy, but Twilight has a point,” Flash said with an unhappy sigh. “She’s not saying we need to be paranoid. Just be cautious. Monoponi’s been able to manipulate two of us into murdering before. He could do it again.”

“And up until now, we haven’t been cautious at all,” Twilight added. She raised one finger. “We tried to throw a pool party, and Timber used it as cover to kill Wallflower.” She raised a second finger. “Then Trixie tried to throw a magic show, and Sweetie Belle used it as an opportunity to try and kill Sunset, and Apple Bloom died instead. We can’t be naive anymore about this. All of us have the potential to be killers, if we’re motivated the right way.”

“No way! I won’t believe it!” Pinkie retorted, smacking a fist down so hard she shook the table and knocked Twilight’s notebook to the ground. “I’d never kill anyone. Never!”

“Are you sure about that?” Twilight growled, glaring at Pinkie over her glasses. “What if someone attacked you, and you had to defend yourself? What if you accidentally shoved someone down a flight of stairs? What if you fed someone something they were allergic to? Any one of these cases could result in someone’s death, and according to the rules, you’d be a murderer in all three. And that’s just assuming it’s an accident. If Monoponi gives you the right motive, can you really tell me you wouldn’t kill someone, just so you could get out of here?”

“Are you saying you would?” Fluttershy interrupted, coming to Pinkie Pie’s defense. She reached out and gripped Pinkie’s hand, squeezing it gently. “Because it sure sounds like it. Don’t listen to her, Pinkie.”

“Aww, thanks, Shyshy,” Pinkie said with a sad little smile, the first smile I’d seen on the girl since the trial. It vanished as she whirled to face Twilight, shifting to an angry pout. “She’s right. I won’t listen to you. Not about this. I wouldn’t kill anyone. Ever!”

Twilight snorted. “Idiocy like that will get you killed sooner or later.”

Pinkie’s eyes narrowed into slits, her nose wrinkling as her upper lip twisted into a sneer. “Is that a threat, missy?”

With a roll of her eyes, Twilight shook her head. “No, of course not. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I learned what I needed to from the last trial. I learned I can’t trust any of you anymore. That’s all I’m saying. We have to be careful. That means guards. That means keeping your eyes peeled. That means not putting our faith in someone who’s kept major secrets from us.” That last one was directed right at me.

“Hey!” I fired back, rising to my feet. “Look, Twilight, I agree with you that we should be more careful, but if we give up on trusting each other, we’re sunk! At that point we might as well just hand Monoponi a gun and let him shoot us! I still want to escape, with all of us leaving unharmed. That hasn’t changed.”

Twilight sat back, crossing her arms. “I wish I could believe you when you say that, Sunset. I really do. But I don’t anymore. I don’t trust you. I won’t trust you. Not you. Not anyone.”

“Not even me?” Flash asked, raising a finger to point at his chest.

She closed her eyes, sighed, then stood. Snatching up her fallen notebook, Twilight shoved it into her backpack. “Tiara, text me when you figure out the guard schedule. I’m leaving.” She spun on her heel and made for her cabin.

Flash reached out a hand as if to claw her back. “Wait... “ he whispered, his eyes welling up with tears. He pulled back his hand, balling it into a fist as he squeezed his eyes shut. A single choked sob escaped his throat before he abruptly slammed his fist into the table so hard it left a dent. Then he too got up. With a bent over posture and hunched up shoulders, he trudged his way towards the bridge deck.

“Uuuh, I think I’m gonna go after him,” Rainbow Dash said after a couple of moments. “Just to make sure he doesn’t… do anything.” She scurried after him, trailing at a distance to give him space.

“Poor Flashie,” Pinkie Pie said, sinking into her chair like she was a piece of flattened cardboard. “He shouldn’t have to put up with Twilight treating him like that.”

“Mmhmm,” Fluttershy nodded, a scowling look of disappointment etched across her features. “I don’t know what came over her.”

“Trixie feels like she understands,” Trixie spoke up quietly. She placed an elbow on the table and leaned her face into her hand for support. “Twilight has trust issues. Trixie does too, but Trixie is willing to forgive mistakes.” She glanced my way as she spoke, and reached out her other hand to set it on mine for just a second.

Tiara knocked her pen against her notebook. “Okay, let’s get back to business here. We’re not done discussing what we’ve found.”

“Oh, right, we forgot to mention the sauna,” I said, snapping my fingers. “The fitness center has an infrared sauna. It seems pretty nice and spacious, but for some reason the only controls are on the outside.”

“So we should be very careful if we use it,” Adagio added. “We don’t want there to be any accidents.”

“Ooh, ooh!” Pinkie Pie’s hand shot up and waved, though not with the usual frenetic pace. “There’s also a spa.”

At that Rarity’s head shot up, looking right at Pinkie with an intense expression. “A spa? Did you say, a spa?”

“Mmhmm,” Pinkie replied, nodding, again at a slower pace. The poor girl just didn’t have the energy she once did, and every time she made it obvious it broke my heart. “It’s got massage tables, a mud bath, pedicure and manicure, foot massage chairs, table showers, etc etc. It’s all run by robots, and they’re really good at their job.”

A hint of her old sparkle and charm twinkled in Rarity’s eyes, if just for the slightest of instances. “That sounds heavenly. Perhaps I should pay it a visit after this meeting is over.”

“I think that’s it, Tiara. Nothing else that we didn’t see ourselves,” I said. “I’m still a little worried about the crew access hallway.”

“Me too,” Tiara said, jotting something down. “I’m going to figure that into my guard planning. I’m thinking we’ll need one person to watch the stairwell and another to patrol the ship, at all times.”

“Well, if you’re fixin’ to do this guard thing, Ah guess that plan makes some sense,” Applejack spoke up. “Ah’d be willing to be a guard.”

“We should all take a shift,” Scootaloo said. She rummaged through her pockets and withdrew her Monopad. “And maybe keep their Monopad ready to text for help or take pictures or something.”

I pulled out my own and switched it over to the camera app, then took a quick snapshot of Scootaloo holding hers. Spinning it around so everyone could see it, I said, “That’s a good idea. Between the camera, the audio recording functions, and the texting, both guards can stay in constant contact.”

“Can you text a picture on this thing?” Scootaloo wondered as she poked at hers.

Switching over to the text app on mine, it only took me a moment to locate the feature and use it to send Scootaloo the picture I took of her. “Yup.” I took a moment to test the audio feature, and tried texting that, but it didn’t work. “Just pictures it looks like. No audio.”

“Still useful, though!” Scootaloo said as she tucked her Monopad away.

“Um, if we’re going to do guard work, do we have anything we can use for self-defense?” Fluttershy asked, raising her hand.

Trixie shot her a doubtful look.“Trixie isn’t sure there’s anything you could use that wouldn’t risk killing someone. Unless there’s mace in one of the stores or something…”

Pinkie shook her head vigorously. “Uh-uh. There’s none. If we get into trouble we should just run.”

“We should also have regular check-ins,” I proposed. “If we’re going to do this, we do this right. Four hour shifts, check in every fifteen minutes. With twelve of us, we’d each have one shift a day, and we can switch off every other day between the stationary and patrolling positions.”

“Should we come up with a set patrol route for the patrolling one?” Scootaloo suggested, holding her chin in her forefinger and thumb.

“No,” Adagio hissed through her teeth, startling the younger woman. “Everyone should come up with their own route, and vary it every time. Otherwise it’s predictable.”

Scootaloo drew back, puffing up her lower lip in a frustrated pout. “I guess that makes sense.”

Pinkie Pie’s hand shot up. “What about the meetings?”

“I think the guards should be exempt from them,” I said after a moment of consideration. “They can check in with all of us via text.”

“Okay, so we’ve decided the rules then,” Diamond Tiara said with a nod. She ripped out a sheet of paper, drew two columns on it, labeled S and P, and added six time slots: 2:00 PM, 6:00 PM, 10:00 PM, 2:00 AM, 6:00 AM, 10:00 AM. “We should each pick a time, and that’s when we guard every day.” She scribbled her own name down for the 10:00 PM stationary slot, and set the pen down. “First come first served.”

Rarity took up the pen straight away and wrote her name down in the 6:00 AM stationary slot. I opted for the 10:00 AM patrolling spot, and so on. Soon everyone had filled in spots except for the three who weren’t present, so Diamond Tiara assigned them what was left. “So that settles that,” she said. “Fluttershy, Trixie, you’re up first. For the rest of us? We’re done here. Thank you.”

Without another word Trixie hopped to her feet, withdrew her Monopad from her cloak pocket, and meandered in the general direction of the spa.

Fluttershy took a few deep breaths as she slowly got to her feet, while everyone save myself and Adagio quickly dispersed. “Hey, you doing okay there?” I asked gently, offering a hand to help her steady herself with.

“Oh, thank you,” she said, smiling gratefully as she took my hand. “I’m just so nervous. I’ve never been a guard before.”

“It’s not the worst job in the world,” Adagio said with a shrug. “Hardest part is staying awake. You might want to take some coffee with you.”

Fluttershy’s smile grew at that. “That’s really good advice, thank you, Adagio.”

A light pink flush came over Adagio’s cheeks as she scratched at the back of her head. “You’re welcome,” she muttered, looking away from the other woman.

Fluttershy made her way over to the bakery, to order up a large frappe with her Monopad. While waiting on her I nudged Adagio with my elbow and whispered, “Hey, look at you. Getting nicer all the time.”

Adagio hissed at that, raising a hand curled up into a claw. “Don’t push it, Sunset,” she groused.

I snickered, letting the matter drop.

Fluttershy, now carrying a large mocha frappe balanced in one hand and her Monopad in the other, strode back over to us. Blushing profusely, she brushed aside some hair from her eyes and looked up at me. “Um, Sunset, would you and Adagio mind accompanying me to the stairwell? I’d like some company, at least for a bit.”

“Sure, I’m okay with that,” I said with a shrug. “What about you, Adagio?”

Adagio faced away so we couldn’t see her grimace. “If it’s all the same to you, I think I need some time to myself.” With a wave to me, she sauntered off, sashaying towards the shops.

Fluttershy shrank back. “Was it something I said?”

“No, that’s just Adagio being Adagio,” I said kindly.

We made our way towards the crew access stairwell. As we neared it, Fluttershy’s eyes darted about, searching her new surroundings. “What do you think’s behind these doors?”

“Probably just more cabins,” I answered. “This is a massive cruise ship after all. It’s probably designed to house a couple thousand passengers.”

“Oh.” Fluttershy flushed, twirling a strand of hair with her finger. “I should’ve figured.”

Reaching the stairwell proper, Fluttershy set her drink and Monopad down on the balcony, and turned so she was facing outwards, able to see both the corridor and anyone coming up the stairs. “It’s a good thing it’s arranged this way,” she commented as she took up a leaning position against the wall. “I’d be even more worried if I had to keep turning around every two minutes.”

“Might be nice if you had a chair, though,” I mused, taking up a position right next to her. “Should I go get you one?”

“Oh, no, that’s fine, I don’t need one. I’d rather stay on my feet.”

We stood in silence for a bit, till I decided to strike up a conversation, to soothe the poor girl’s nerves. “Hey, Fluttershy, I’ve been meaning to ask you something.” At her questioning look, I added, “Your ultimate title, the one Monoponi gave you, Ultimate Veterinarian? I was wondering why he chose that.”

“Oh!” Fluttershy lit up, joy sparking in her eyes. “I love animals, you see. I’ve always loved animals. They’re such adorable, cute little creatures. Well, most of them. Some of them are big and huge and they are just as nice as the little ones. I volunteered a lot at a local animal shelter when I was in high school, so it was a natural choice for college. I’ve already finished half of my education for it.”

“Oh yeah, I heard Canterlot University has one of the best veterinary programs this side of the continental AU,” I replied. A smile spread on my face, courtesy of her infectious cheer. “So you’re going for the full DVM, huh?”

Fluttershy nodded. “I am! Doctor Fluttershy, at your service. Anything I can do to help any sick or hurt animals feel better, I will.”

“I believe it.” I chuckled. “You’re such a nice person, you know. I’m glad this place hasn’t dampened your spirits much.”

Fluttershy’s smile dimmed a tad. “I guess it hasn’t. I’ve always been nervous. Scared. To be honest, this killing game doesn’t feel that different from my usual life. I’ve always been so scared of other people hurting me that this feels like more of the same.” She lowered her gaze to the floor, sighing. “Even the death we’ve seen doesn’t bother me that much, besides being sad. Death is a part of life. We all die, sooner or later.”

I nodded. That makes a lot of sense. If she’s cared for animals most of her life, she’s seen plenty of death. Funny how out of all of us she’s the one most able to cope. Other than Adagio, that is. “I guess we do. I don’t want to die here though.”

“Oh, me neither!” Fluttershy shook her head vigorously. “Don’t get me wrong. I want to live as much as the rest of us. I just don’t think death is as scary as some people think it is.” She gripped her arms around herself and shivered. “I uh, I definitely don’t want to die the way Sweetie and Timber did though.”

“Same,” I agreed, shivering right along with her. “These executions are downright excruciating. I dunno what kind of sick stuff goes on in Monoponi’s head to make him come up with them.”

For just a moment, I saw a flash of cruelty and malice sparkle in Fluttershy’s eyes, before it quickly faded. “You’d be surprised at what a well-developed imagination can do.”

Uuuuh… okay… I took just a single step back, trying not to show any anxiety towards her. “Riiight, sure.” I coughed to clear my throat, using my hand to hide the grimace that briefly crossed my face. “Anyway, my point was, I’m glad you’re not feeling as down as Pinkie Pie, or Rarity.”

Fluttershy’s lower lip curled up into a sad frown. “Poor Pinkie Pie. Rarity’s getting support from Applejack, but she hasn’t had anyone to turn to.” Biting her lip, she gave me a firm nod. “Maybe I should do something about that. I can try to get her a gift or something. It won’t be much, but maybe if I give it to her, she’ll open up to me, and we can talk.”

“There’s always the jewelry store,” I said, holding a hand to my chin. “Pinkie doesn’t wear a lot of jewelry, but something tells me she might appreciate some fancy gems. Maybe a studded bracelet?”

“That’s a good idea,” Fluttershy said with a nod. “I think I’ll go find her after my shift. We can pick it out for her together. I think she’d like that.”

“She definitely would, knowing Pinkie,” I said, smiling. “You’ve got a good heart, Fluttershy.”

She tittered, blushing bashfully.

We spent a good deal more time talking about this and that till we suddenly heard the sound of boots clanging on the staircase before us. Fluttershy immediately grabbed for her Monopad, shaking like a palm tree caught in a hurricane as she held it up, ready to snap a picture of her impending doom.

But it turned out it was just Trixie. We saw the tip of her hat poke up well before she saw us. “Oh, hello Fluttershy, Sunset,” she said, a bit nonplussed by Fluttershy’s sigh of relief. “Trixie is sorry if she startled you?”

Fluttershy let out a nervous laugh, pulling her hair in front of her face. “It’s fine,” she murmured.

Shrugging, Trixie turned her attention to me. “Sunset, would you be willing to accompany Trixie? If she recalls, you had something to talk to her about.”

“Oh, right,” I said, snapping my fingers. “We never finished our conversation from this morning. Sorry, Fluttershy, I gotta go. Catch you later?”

“Mmhmm!” Fluttershy hummed, smiling. “I’ll see you at dinner.”

With a wave, I joined Trixie in striding up the cabin corridor, making our way towards the bridge deck. As we passed into the outdoor lounge, I took a moment to smell the salty sea air. A rumble of thunder echoed on the horizon, the clouds much closer than they had been this morning. There was a hint of ozone to the air as well, though thankfully there wasn’t any rain. Yet. “Oof, this storm looks like it’s going to be rough,” I muttered.

Trixie’s eyes twinkled like twin amethysts. “Trixie hopes it rains. Trixie likes rain.” She shook her head as if to clear out the distracting thoughts. “Anyway, Sunset, you had something to tell me.”

“Right, right.” This might not be so easy. I took a deep breath, let it out, then began. “So, Trixie, you know how I said earlier, during the meeting, that you weren’t sleeping with me?”

“But we did sleep together last night,” Trixie objected, cocking her head in confusion.

Sighing in frustration, I resisted the urge to slap a hand to my face. “I know we did, Trixie, but usually when someone says that, they’re implying that the people who slept together had sex.”

“Oh,” Trixie said. Her eyes bugged out. “Oh! No no no, that’s not what Trixie meant at all!”

“Calm down, calm down, I know that,” I said. We were briefly cut off from the sound of the sea by the passageway between the lounge and the bridge deck before emerging out into open air again. “But the others didn’t. I don’t want to give people the wrong impression. I’m happy to let you stay in my cabin if you need to, but I don’t want people thinking I’m trying to build a harem or something.”

“A, a harem?!” Trixie squealed, jumping in fright. “Trixie is too special to be a harem girl!”

Now I did have to facepalm. “I’m not... wait a minute." I looked back up at her and narrowed my eyes into an irritated glare. "You knew exactly what I was talking about and you're messing with me, aren't you?"

Trixie snickered, then broke into a full-throated laugh. "Yes. Trixie knows what sleeping with someone means. She's not a child."

"Well, you got me," I said with a dry chuckle. As we passed right below the bridge tower balcony, I reached out my hand and grabbed Trixie by the shoulder, stopping her in place. “But seriously, Trixie, I want to be clear about something. I’m your friend, and I care about you. But I’m worried you’re reading more into it than that.”

It was Trixie’s turn to facepalm. “Ugh, why do you and Adagio keep saying things like this? Hasn’t Trixie made her intentions clear? She is not romantically interested in you. She’s not interested in anybody.”

“I know you say that, Trixie, but…” I sighed, leaning against the bridge tower and sinking down to sit, motioning for Trixie to join me. I ignored the brief whirring to life of the guns as they aimed my way before dying down. I’d grown used to ignoring them by now. They hadn’t fired on us yet. Probably never would. “It just feels like you are, you know? And I don’t want to mislead you into thinking I’m interested in you that way, because I’m not.”

Trixie let out an irritated grunt, crossing her arms. “Trixie knows that, Sunset. She’s not stupid. Trixie isn’t going to fall in love with you just because you’re her first real friend. It’s not possible.”

I held out a hand, palm upward, and waited for her to take it. She did, albeit reluctantly. “I’ve seen it happen, though. It’s a cliche for a reason. But I’m in a relationship with Adagio. She already thought I was cheating on her with you once. She’s probably worried it’ll happen for real if you keep hanging around my cabin.”

Trixie squeezed my hand reassuringly even as she glared at me. “No, it won’t. Like Trixie told you, it’s not possible.”

“Okay, that’s twice now you’ve used that exact phrase,” I pointed out. “Why do you keep saying it’s not possible? You know it is.”

“No, it’s not,” Trixie insisted. She closed her eyes and let out her own sigh of frustration. “Why won’t you listen to Trixie?” She opened her eyes. “Why won’t you listen to me? I’m telling you the truth, Sunset.”

Welp, she’s broken out the first person pronouns. She must be serious. “I’m listening, Trixie, but I’m no longer sure I understand what you mean.”

“It’s hard to explain.” Trixie let go of my hand so she could tuck her cloak around her as a cool wind blew over the deck. “Remember when I said you weren’t my type? That wasn’t just a joke. I’ve… I’ve never been interested in someone romantically before. Ever. I don’t even really get what romance is. Isn’t it just closer friendship?”

That’s actually a good question. “Well,” I said, choosing my words carefully,”It is and isn’t. A good relationship is built on a foundation of trust, of communication, whether it’s family, friend, or lover. You can have mind-blowing sex, but if you and your partner don’t get along, or don’t share enough interests, or can’t be good friends? Your relationship won’t go anywhere. You can’t just meet someone and get together with them and expect it to go well. You’ve got to know each other first.”

“Um, isn’t that exactly what you and Adagio di--”

“Not the point, Trixie,” I interrupted, holding out my hand like a stop sign. “This is a killing game. It’s a bit more hectic than normal life. More dangerous. I’d never do what I did with Adagio if I weren’t afraid I could die at any moment.”

She nodded, frowning. “I guess that makes sense. So what you mean is, romance is like a different kind of friendship.”

“Yeah, that’s a good way to put it,” I said, nodding back. “It’s close, intimate. With a lover, you can hold hands, hug each other, kiss casually, all kinds of things. You can lay together watching movies for hours, or snuggle in bed. Feed each other tasty food.” A lecherous grin spread across my face briefly before I mentally slapped it away. “Sex is pretty nice too.”

“But, apart from sex, and kissing, can’t you do all of that with your friends anyway?” Trixie blinked in bemusement. “I just don’t get the point.”

“Well, maybe you just haven’t found the right person yet,” I said, shrugging.

Trixie snorted, rolling her eyes. “I don’t think I ever will, Sunset. I’ve never been attracted to anyone. Not even once. I know that makes me weird, and different, but I just haven’t. I don’t want to be.”

“Really?” I arched an eyebrow. “You’ve never seen a hot guy or girl and been like, ‘Wow, I wouldn’t mind a piece of that!’?”

Trixie’s upper lip rose into a disgusted grimace as she leaned away from me. “Uh, no. I can’t say that I have. It sounds gross.”

Now both my eyebrows shot up. “Wait, seriously? What, don’t tell me you’ve never even touched yourse--”

“Sunset!” Trixie’s face broke out into a furious blush as she smacked my arm over and over. “That’s none of your business! I can’t believe you’d ask me that!”

Way to go, Sunset. Really crossed a line you shouldn’t have, dumbass. I flinched back, holding up my arms to defend myself. “Sorry! I shouldn’t have said that! That was rude of me.”

“Hmph!” Trixie retracted her arms and firmly crossed them over her chest. “Yes. It was. Very rude. And gross. Very gross.”

I hung my head, ashamed. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to go there.”

Narrowing her eyes as she glared at me, she then nodded. “Fine. I’ll forgive you. This time. But don’t ever ask me that again.”

I nodded in assent several times. “I won’t, I promise.”

“Good,” Trixie huffed.

I let silence take hold for a moment as I gathered my thoughts. “So I guess I’m the one who’s been misunderstanding, then. I really was worried I was leading you on.” I flashed her a grin that I hope she’d take as humor. “I might be into girls, but I’m not into breaking girl’s hearts, you know?”

“I think I understand, yes. But do you see now what I mean when I say it’s impossible?” Trixie relaxed a skosh, adjusting her posture to lean against the bridge tower more. “You don’t have to worry about me trying to steal you away from Adagio. It’ll never happen.”

“I get that, now that I know you’re ace/aro,” I replied.

Trixie blinked owlishly. “I’m what?”

I likewise blinked, nonplussed. “Uh, you know? Ace/aro? Asexual, aromantic?”

Trixie shook her head, utterly baffled. “I’ve never heard those terms before. What do they mean?”

“Y-you… you’re ace and you’ve never heard the term before?” I cocked my head to one side, my face so twisted up in confusion I’d gone cross-eyed. “It’s literally describing what you are. Asexual, as in, no interest or desire for sex. Aromantic, as in, no interest or desire in romantic partners. How have you not heard these terms before? They’re all over the internet. Have you never been on MyStable or Flitter?”

Trixie held a hand to her breast, gasping in shock. “Yes, I have, but I never knew there were words for it!” Then her face twisted up in rage. “Unless Monoponi stole my memories of figuring out myself too.”

That probably explains it. “Yeah, he would do that,” I agreed with my own nasty glare up at the balcony above us. “He’s that kind of asshole.”

“Hey! What’re you doing sitting there?” shouted Diamond Tiara as she walked up to us, hands on her hips. “Aren’t you supposed to be patrolling, Trixie?”

Trixie blanched and shot to her feet, almost losing her hat in the process. “Oh no, Trixie forgot! Sorry! She’ll get back to it right away!” She scurried off before I could say another word.

I stood up, using the bridge tower for support. “Sorry, Tiara, it was my fault. I needed to talk to her.”

She shrugged, and waved a hand dismissively. “It’s fine. Don’t worry about it.”

Her nonchalance left me feeling more uneasy than ever. “Tiara, what are you doing?” I blurted without meaning to. Oh crap. Here we go. Me and my big mouth.

“Huh?” Tiara faced me, frowning. “What do you mean?”

Screw it, let’s just do this. “This,” I said, gesturing with my hands. “Being nice, being polite, shaking my hand earlier, asking to be friends, admitting you’re wrong! It’s like your whole personality just did a complete one-eighty when you woke up this morning.”

For a moment, as Tiara’s eyes twitched, her mouth twisting up into the sneer I’d come to loathe, she looked like her old self. Then she let it go, her face going neutral. “It’s like I said before, Sunset. After the trial? I was up most of the night. I couldn’t sleep. I kept going over the way I’ve been acting. Making fun of Applejack, suspecting you, treating everyone like dirt.” She worked her jaw like she’d just bit into a tough steak. “It didn’t feel good. It felt wrong. Like I was wrong.”

“So, what, you just slept on it and decided, ‘Hey, I’m going to be a good guy now!’” I crossed my arms and put all my weight on one leg, pivoting my hip. “Because I don’t buy it, and neither does anyone else.”

“You…!” She held up a finger, ready to wave it at my face, then grabbed it with her other hand and forced it back down. “I don’t blame you for doubting me. I would doubt me too if I was you. But I’m going to try and be a better person, okay?” A cold wind blasted us both, sending our hair flying. She reached out and patted hers back into place. “The only thing being mean in this killing game has gotten me is punched, threatened, and mocked. I’m sick of it. I’m sick of me. I don’t want to be a jerk anymore.”

Huh. She actually seems sincere about this. Well, alright then. I guess I can give her the benefit of the doubt. For now. I relaxed my posture. “Okay. That’s understandable. Just don’t expect us to all start liking you at once.”

“I won’t. I’m going to earn your trust.” She smiled, and thrust out her hand for me to shake. “Speaking of which, can we meet up after the dinner meeting? I’ve got something I want to share with you.”

With a shrug, I took her hand and shook it. “Sure. Just text me to let me know where and when.” So I can tell everyone else in case this is some kind of trap.

She flashed me a thumbs up, then walked off without another word.

Shrugging to myself, I checked my Monopad, noting it was about 3:30. Deciding I needed a change of pace, I wandered down to the game center, and buried myself into games for a couple of hours. Nothing fancy, no expansive story-filled RPGs or triple A titles. Just some good old fashioned platforming, racing, and so on. Mindless fun, really. While playing, my Monopad bleeped every fifteen minutes, on cue, as Fluttershy and Trixie checked in, just like they were supposed to.

By about 6:00, when I decided I was done, I’d completely forgotten that Monoponi had dispatched us to explore without ever calling us back. He’d spoken not a peep since his brief appearance in the indoor pool, so I figured he’d probably just wait till tomorrow before he threw another motive at us.

I left the game corner and went up to the promenade, deciding to grab dinner early. Opting for a burger, fries, and shake, because I hadn’t had one in days and I was craving comfort food, I took a seat at a table closest to the shops. I wanted to keep an eye out for when Fluttershy took Pinkie jewelry hunting.

And sure enough, there they went, into the jewelry shop, right on cue. Pinkie Pie perked up considerably over what I’d seen a few hours before. She even had a few curls back in her hair. Keep it up, Fluttershy. You’ve got this.

A tray clattering on my table stole my attention. I looked up to see Flash Sentry sitting down across from me, with a plate of steak and baked potato. “Hey,” he said in an unhappy tone. “Mind if I join you?”

“Please,” I said. “I could use a bit of company.”

He sat down and tucked into his steak, tearing it apart like it had insulted his family’s honor. “Sorry if I’m in a bad mood,” he muttered as he swallowed a bite.

“Don’t worry about it,” I said, shrugging. “I’m sorry Twilight treated you the way she did earlier.”

“Yeah, me too,” Flash groaned. He let out a sigh and took a swig from his glass of milk. “I mean, I can’t blame her for feeling betrayed over your secret, but… I didn’t do anything wrong.” He blinked, and looked up at me. “Did I?”

“No way!” I objected. “Understandable or not, Twi’s still being a complete jerk right now. It’s not fair to you to treat you the way she did.”

Flash sighed, falling over onto the table and dropping his fork. “No. It’s not. But I’m not gonna go yell at her about it either. I don’t want to do that, man. I’m not that kind of guy. I don’t want to be like other dudes who start treating their girlfriends like shit the moment they do something upsetting.” He pulled himself up, grabbed his fork, and stabbed his potato until it burst open in a flash of steam. “What should I do?”

“Hmm…” I took a bite of my burger, chewing thoughtfully. “I think the best thing is to just give her some space. She’ll calm down eventually. Might take a couple of days, but she will. Just be nice, say hello, don’t chase after her if she says nothing back, and leave it alone.”

“Yeah, Rainbow Dash said that too,” Flash said, grinning mirthlessly. “Guess that means you must be right.”

“Aren’t I always?” I said with a laugh.

Like I hoped, he laughed back. It was a small laugh, but it was still a laugh. It helped.

I looked up from our table over at the jewelry shop, spotting Fluttershy and Pinkie at the register, in the middle of scanning a pair of twin cuffs. “Oh hey, look. Seems like Fluttershy found a way to cheer Pinkie up.”

“Nice!” Flash said, nodding their way, watching as they left the shop. “I’m glad they--”

BONG BONG BONG BONG

Alarms rang and klaxons wailed all over the ship the instant Fluttershy stepped over the boundary between the shop and the promenade. She froze in panic, eyes looking all over the place.

“What on earth is going on?!” Rarity bellowed from her table with Applejack.

“Ah don’t know but it sure is loud!”

BONG BONG BONG BONG

Adagio sped over to us from the restaurant quarter. “What is it? What’s happening?”

I dropped my burger to my plate, watching as Pinkie, screeching in panic, fled towards the bridge deck even as Fluttershy stood there, shaking in fright. “I don’t know!” I shouted over the alarms.

Scootaloo ran over to our table. “Trouble, guys! Big trouble!”

BONG BONG BONG BONG

“No shit there’s trouble!” Flash spoke up as the flashing red lights and haunting sirens continued to blare, so loud I could barely hear myself think.

Rainbow Dash skidded up from the promenade offshoot at top speed till she reached us, with Diamond Tiara hot on her heels. “What the hell is making that noise?!” she cried, holding her hands to her ears. “It’s so goddamn loud!”

“Did someone do something?” Tiara demanded, her hands on her hips.

BONG BONG BONG BONG

Even Twilight deigned to show her face, walking up in a calm, cool, collected manner, notebook grasped in one arm. Where she’d come from, I hadn’t seen. She walked right up to me, pointed at me, and said “Did you do this? Did you do something else to make Monoponi mad?”

“What?!” I threw up my arms in disgust. “I didn’t do anything!”

“But it’s coming from right over here!” she retorted, pointing up at the loudest of the alarms overhead.

BONG BONG BONG BONG

“No, it’s coming from over there!” I said, pointing right at Fluttershy, who was still frozen in place, glancing around like something was holding her there.

Trixie, the last to join us, ran up just in time to double over, huffing and puffing. “What--”

DING-DONG BING-BONG

The alarms abruptly ceased, replaced by the usual noise that signaled Monoponi appearing on the screens. And sure enough, they lit up, with Monoponi’s face. However, there was no smug grin, no laid back charm, no snifter of brandy in his magic. Instead he was furious, steaming mad, smashing his forehooves on his table and snapping it in half. “Emergency! Emergency! All passengers, report to the promenade! Now!”

“We’re already all here!” I cried out even as his face winked off the screens.

Monoponi flashed into existence in a violent flare of light, slamming all four hooves onto the floor so hard I heard the metal under the carpet creak like he’d dented it. In his magic grip he held Pinkie Pie, hurling her still screaming over towards us. She crashed into Trixie, bowling her over and leaving them both stunned and bruised. “Outrageous!” he roared, almost as loud as the alarms had been, his voice echoing throughout the promenade. “Unbelievable! Unacceptable! I won’t tolerate this for a single instant!”

“What? What happened?” I demanded. “Nobody did anything!”

“Oh yes they did!” Monoponi shot back, raising a back leg so he could buck a nearby table with it so hard it went flying all the way across the food court and smashed into pieces against the closest wall. “I have given you all so much leeway! I have let you bend rule after rule after rule, all in the hopes of maintaining a peaceful, harmonious ocean voyage! But this! This. Shall! Not! Stand!”

“W-w-w-w-what do you mean?!” Rainbow Dash shouted, her face paling as she grabbed for her hair. “Did someone break a rule?!”

“Yes! But not just anyone! Of all the people, of all the passengers, of all the dirty little mouthy shits on this ship…” Monoponi whirled and pointed a hoof directly at Fluttershy. “You! I never expected you of all people to be the one who’d be so stupid, so thoughtless, so brainless as to actually break one of my rules!”

“What?!”

“No way!”

“What the hell?!”

“What rule did she break?!”

Fluttershy’s mouth opened up as wide as it possibly could and she screamed for all she was worth. She finally managed to figure out how to move herself again, but didn’t get very far before panels burst open on the walls and out shot four chains, grabbing hold of all four limbs and spinning her back around to face us. “No! Please!” she begged, pleading for her life, tears streaming down her face in droves, like an entire ocean had opened up beneath her feet. “I didn’t do anything!”

Monoponi pointedly strode up to her and used his magic to rummage through her pockets, withdrawing a small black box with a piece of red tape stuck to the top. “Oh? Ooooh? Then what do you call this?!” He popped open the box, revealing a beautiful gold ring encrusted with a large yellow tourmaline. “Because I call this thievery! Rule number sixteen clearly states that no items are to be removed from the shops without being logged via your Monopad! And yet here you are, with this ring on your person, without having scanned it first!

I heard someone gasp in sheer horror, but I didn’t waste time looking their way. “Wait, wait!” I cried out, standing up and approaching them. “You can’t be serious! There’s no way Fluttershy’s a thief! Come on, let her go already! I’m sure she just forgot to scan it!”

“B-b-but I’ve never seen that ring before!” Fluttershy blubbered, shaking her head repeatedly. “I don’t know how it got in my pocket!”

“Liar!” Monoponi roared, hurling the ring back into the jewelry shop. “You are a thief! You are a rule breaker! And I will not tolerate rule breakers aboard my ship!”

“No! Don’t you fucking hurt her you bastard!Rainbow Dash screamed, hurtling herself forward to tug at the chains.

A single flare of Monoponi’s horn was all he needed to toss Rainbow Dash back into us like a bowling ball. “Do not interfere, or you’ll be next! I have had it up to here with you people! You obviously need an example to keep you all in line.” His horn lit up again, and a transparent, barely visible crimson barrier stretched from floor to ceiling, blocking us off.

It didn’t stop Rainbow Dash from trying as she hopped to her feet and beat on the shield as hard as she could, screaming in pure unadulterated rage. I had half a mind to join her, but unlike her, I knew it was pointless. Only magic would shatter this barrier, and none of us had any magic worth a damn.

Monoponi backed away from Fluttershy so we’d all have a clear view. I was scared for a moment that he’d do something utterly horrific, like use the four chains to rip her apart, or light her on fire. Instead, his horn sparked. More panels opened up in the floor and ceiling, revealing six minigun turrets all aimed directly at her, complete with laser beam aiming sights lining up right between her eyes.

“No! No, please! I don’t want to die!” Fluttershy begged at the top of her lungs, tears still gushing from her like an endless fountain. “Not like this! Please, not like this!”

“No one does, sweetheart!” Monoponi mocked. “Ready!”

Rainbow Dash uttered another wordless screech as she slipped onto her knees, her hands bleeding from the effort of trying to beat down the shield. “No! Stop!” she cried.

“Damn it, Monoponi, you can’t do this!” I shouted.

“Aiiiim!”

“Fluttershy!” Rainbow Dash shouted. “Fluttershy! No!”

Fluttershy squeezed her eyes shut, slumping in the grip of the chains, accepting her fate.

“Fiiiiire!”

All six miniguns opened up at once, a cascade of bullets streaming forth, riddling poor Fluttershy with holes and turning her into a pile of mushed up steaming meat.

The barrier collapsed as a hole opened up in the promenade floor, dropping the remnants of Fluttershy’s mutilated corpse out of sight. The miniguns retracted into the panels. They’d left plenty of mess behind. Between shards of bone, bits of goopy grey matter, the pink blood scattered everywhere, plus the bullet holes…

Rainbow Dash collapsed, utterly catatonic and unresponsive. No tears came forth, no words. Nothing but a quiet whimper.

Monoponi stomped his way towards us and took flight, looming over us like an angel of death. “Let that be a lesson to you all! I will not accept any rule breakers. None whatsoever!” His horn lit up once more, and every part of the shop quarter that had been damaged or stained by the sudden execution had a new crimson shield wrapped around it. “I’d make you idiots clean this up and fix the damage, but I’m not about to hand over the necessary tools.”

The barriers that usually only closed at night slammed down in front of every shop, save for the pharmacy. “Until this is fixed, everything except the pharmacy is closed. I’ll let you morons have access to it all night tonight, just this once. I’m sure you could use a pick-me-up after what you just watched. In the meantime, watch yourselves! Don’t break any more rules. Upupu eyahahah ahahahahaha!”

Monoponi disappeared, leaving us all with only one feeling in our hearts.

Complete. Utter. Despair.

Author's Note:

Happy new year, I got you a dead Fluttershy! Ouch.:fluttershyouch:

Poor Fluttershy didn't get as much attention in this story as she deserved. But as with any character that is too good for this impure earth, she was doomed from the moment she stepped foot into this killing game.

So, Trixie is ace/aro because my version of her is a bit different from the usual Trixie. I thought it fit the character pretty well, it's always good to have some representation in a story, and ace/aro people tend not to get a lot of good representation. Is it an unusual choice? Perhaps, but it's what I'm going with. A big reason for why I did this is I wanted Sunset to have one very strongly attached friend, which is what Trixie is. Trixie basically sees Sunset as a sort of big sister/super best friend kind of figure.

Next time: we continue with Daily Life. Yes, really.

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