• 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 One: Forgotten Dreams on the Ocean Breeze Part 8

Chapter One:

Forgotten Dreams On The Ocean Breeze

Post-Trial and Epilogue

Silence reigned for a few moments as we took in Timber’s admission of guilt. I was right. He did do it. But why? What was his reason? I have to know. We have to know, before… before…

“You rotten snake!” Applejack grunted, rolling up her sleeves and readying her fists. “Ah oughta beat you to within an inch of your life!”

Timber laughed mirthlessly. “Go ahead. I don’t care anymore.”

Applejack almost leapt from her podium, but Scootaloo reacted in time to grab her and stop her. “Woah, easy there, AJ!” Scootaloo said. “He’s not worth wasting your time on.”

“But, Ah… Ah hell, fine!” Applejack wrestled out of the younger woman’s grip, huffed, then stood back at her podium.

“I don’t understand, Timber,” Pinkie said quietly, in a low, sad tone quite unlike the happy-go-lucky woman. “Why did you do it? Why did you kill her?”

“Why?” Timber tried to look at her, but he could barely move his head. “Because… Gloriosa. That’s why.”

“Who the heck is Gloriosa?” Diamond Tiara asked.

Timber fell over onto his podium and gripped it like it was a lifeline. A few fresh tears fell from his eyes as he spoke. “Gloriosa’s my older sister. We run Camp Everfree together. It’s our life, you know?” He let out a low moan, his head falling right against the podium so we couldn’t even see his face. “It was founded by our great-grandparents. We’ve been running it ever since we were old enough to help our mom and dad. For the longest time, it was pretty great, until we started running out of money. Turned out we owed a lot, a whole heck of a lot, to some rich guy who wanted to tear the place down and turn it into some kinda spa resort, just so he could get even richer.”

He raised his head just a little as he continued. “We did our best, but we just couldn’t keep up with the payments.Then he gave us an ultimatum, told us we had til the end of the month before he’d shut us down for good. We had one last group of campers, and then… then…”

He raised his head and tried to slam a hand down on his podium once more, but it landed so softly I couldn’t even hear the impact. “Then something happened to her. Something real bad happened to my sister! But I don’t even remember what!” He fell face first into his hands, clutching his face tight enough I could see his skin folding. “I just know she was in real trouble! But I can’t remember anymore what happened! She matters more to me than anything! I gotta know what happened to her, how she’s doing! I don’t even know if she’s alive right now…”

Applejack’s harsh demeanor had defrosted throughout his entire story, and now her anger was more like the dying embers of a campfire than a roaring blaze. “Ah guess Ah can understand that. Yer family’s important.” She softly shook her head. “Ah don’t know what Ah’d do if I was in your shoes.”

“Indeed,” Rarity sniffled, and withdrew a tissue from her skirt pocket to dab at her eyes. “It’s bad enough to think my poor dear Sweetie Belle is trapped here with me, in this killing game. If I didn’t even know if she was alive, I…”

“Huh. Guess you’re not as self-absorbed as I thought you were,” Flash said, sighing. “Sorry, man. I’m sorry to hear about your sister.”

“Well I’m not!” Diamond Tiara blurted, throwing an ice cold bucket of water all over the somber mood we were in. “Are you kidding me? Are you all serious right now? He killed someone!” She raised an angry fist and shook it in Timber’s direction. “Who gives a crap about his sister? He still killed someone, just for the chance to find out if she was okay!”

“Come on, Tiara, stop it,” Rainbow Dash groused, glaring fiercely at the younger woman. “Maybe you don’t have anyone or anything important in your life, but some of us do.” She shuffled over to give Fluttershy, who was weeping quietly, a half hug. Fluttershy fell into her embrace and wept harder. “Fluttershy’s just like a sister to me. I totally get what Timber’s going through right now.”

“Trixie may not have a sister, like many of those here, but Trixie still understands the importance of family!” Trixie gestured dramatically like she was sweeping out a cloak, then pointed a finger directly at Tiara. “Timber Spruce’s actions are inexcusable, but don’t dare say that his sister doesn’t matter! She is still a person, like anyone else!”

“Yeah, sure, but so was Wallflower, and you saw what he did to her!” Sweetie Belle argued. “What if it turns out his sister’s been dead for years, huh? What then? Wallflower would’ve died for nothing!”

“She did die for nothin’!” Apple Bloom roared, looking just as pissed as her older sister was a few minutes ago. “Ya think Monoponi’s gonna give him his memories back now? Ah don’t think so!”

“Apple Bloom’s right!” Scootaloo agreed, huffing and stomping a foot on the floor like she was about to clothesline Timber like a charging bull. “Timber’s just a dirty, stinking murderer! Why are we even still talking about this? We should vote! Now!”

“I agree,” Adagio grinned sadistically at the poor whimpering Timber. “I’m a little eager to see what Monoponi’s got in store for his execution.”

“E-e-e-execution?!” Timber shrieked, the fear breathing new life into his defeated soul. “No! Nonono! I don’t want to die! Please!”

“Oh, is it voting time? Already?” Monoponi spoke up, rising from his throne. “And here I thought you idiots would never shut up! Well then, if you’re ready to vote, please, use the podium screens in front of you! It’s time to see if you morons got the right person! Who will be chosen as the blackened, hmm? Will you make the right choice? Or the dreadfully wrong one?” His horn sparked, and the screens on our podiums switched from evidence display to a selection of faces, sixteen in all. “You have thirty seconds to vote! Don’t forget now! If you fail to vote, it will result in your death!” He rubbed his forehooves together with glee, grinning widely. “And I’d love a good excuse to put one of you sad sacks out of my misery! Your time begins… now!”

I stared down at my screen, at the sixteen pictures lined up in a four by four square. Wallflower’s was crossed out, of course. Not much point in voting for someone who’s already dead. For an instant, just an instant, I considered refusing to vote, letting the timer run down to nothing, just to see if Monoponi’d follow through. Then I immediately pushed on Timber’s face, selecting him as my vote target, because I wasn’t suicidal.

Thirty seconds later, right on cue, the holographic display in the middle lit up with a floating image of a vote tally. Fourteen votes, all for Timber Spruce.

“Well well, would you look at that?” Monoponi said. “Upupupu, Timber, what did you do? Or not do, rather! You didn’t vote! Eyahahaha!” He shook with laughter, holding his forehooves to his belly as he rolled back and forth in the air. “You must really want to die! Ahahaha!”

“No! No I don’t!” Timber cried, shaking his head so vigorously I thought it’d fall off altogether. “I don’t want to die! Please, please, please don’t kill me!”

“Too bad for you, that’s not an option anymore!” Monoponi replied as his horn lit up, replacing the tally screen with one of a spinning wheel labeled with a picture of each of us, the wheel slowing down slowly, slowly, till a pointer fell on Timber’s face. The word “GUILTY!” exploded into existence above the wheel in a cascade of fireworks.

“Congratulations! You got it right! The killer of Wallflower Blush was none other than Timber Spruce, the Ultimate Camp Counselor!” Monoponi struck a pose, spreading out his wings and hooves. “I’m so proud of you, my little passengers! I wasn’t sure if you could do it, but you did!”

“Proud? You’re proud of us?!” Diamond Tiara roared as she hauled herself atop her podium so she could get closer to the hovering Monoponi. “You put our lives on the line! You kidnapped us! You took our memories away!”

“Aaand?” Monoponi chortled, and buzzed over to float just out of Tiara’s reach.”I didn’t make you do a thing! All I did was provide comfort, peace, and tranquility to my lovely passengers, the luxuries which everyone craves. It was one of you who chose to disrupt this wonderful voyage because they were so selfish! So selfish that they thought their own life was more important than all of yours.”

“Oh screw you!” Flash retorted, holding up a middle finger to flip Monoponi off. “That’s a bunch of crap and you know it!”

“Buuuuut,” Monoponi said, ignoring Flash to look squarely at me, “Little Miss Sunset got just a few details wrong!”

What? “I did?”

Lighting his horn, he activated the holographic display. “Why don’t we see for ourselves, hmm?”

~*~
Wallflower traipsed towards the Lover’s Corner, the note she’d received gripped in her right hand. With her left, she tapped at her pocket, confirming the small knife she’d stolen from the bakery earlier that day was still safely secured. “Still can’t believe I’m doing this,” she grumbled to herself.

Once she arrived, she took a seat, facing towards the promenade. When she caught sight of who was coming, her face twisted up in disgust. “Oh my god. Seriously? It’s you?” she muttered.

“Hey there!” Timber said as he walked into view, breathing heavily. “Sorry I couldn’t get here sooner.” He wiped sweat off his brow, dried the back of his hand on his shirt, then pulled out a water bottle from his backpack. “I brought drinks! Nothin’ hard, but I figured we’d take it slow.” He offered it up to Wallflower.

She scoffed and batted the bottle away. “No thanks. I only came out here because I was wondering who’d write this creepy note. I should’ve figured it was you.” She tossed the note backwards over the railing, and started to leave.

Timber immediately got in her way. “Woho, hey, you’re not leaving already, are you?” He said, his voice taking on a sinister tone.

Wallflower’s hand went to her pocket. “Move it, jerk! I’m not interested!”

“Oh come on, don’t you want something to drink at least? I mean I did bring it all this way to--”

With a quick flick of her wrist Wallflower drew the knife, holding it up to Timber’s face. “What part of move it did you not understand?!”

Timber dropped the bottle in his haste to raise his hands. The cap, already loosened, came off as it hit the floor, spilling the contents everywhere. “Woah, woah, sorry!!” he spluttered, taking a few steps back so he was no longer blocking her path. “You don’t need to pull a knife on me, jeez.”

Wallflower carefully kept facing him as she circled around him till she was close to the passage to the cabins, her knife at the ready. Only once she was a good ten feet away from him did she lower it, if only by a few inches. “Then don’t get in my way next time,” she said. Scoffing, she turned on her heels and started walking away, keeping her knife held at her side.

Timber reached into his backpack, withdrew one of his makeshift nylon ropes, then in one smooth motion closed the distance between him and Wallflower and wrapped it around her neck like a garrote. She gasped for air, one hand going for her throat while the other reversed her grip on the knife and jabbed it in his direction wildly. She missed, getting in a few more close jabs before Timber, while using one hand to hold the garrote, managed to grab the knife out of her hand and tossed it well over the railing and into the sea. Then he wrapped one leg around Wallflower’s to hold her closer as he brutally choked her. She thrashed and flailed, her eyes bugging out until slowly, they closed, and she slumped in his grip.

He immediately released his rope, and held a finger to her carotid artery. “Damn it, you were supposed to drink the water.” He set her down gently on the floor, and watched her for a moment till he saw her chest slowly rise then fall as she took a breath, still unconscious. Then he went back for his fallen bottle. “Ah shit!” he said when he spotted the empty bottle. He tossed it over the railing, then knelt down. “Crap, where’d the cap go?!”

A groan from Wallflower caused Timber to whirl, eyes full of panic. “Crap, crap, crap!” He muttered to himself as he dug into his backpack and pulled out the zolpidem. He dumped the last of the contents into his hand, a good three or four pills, then strode over to Wallflower and shoved them into her open mouth. He held her neck gently as he used two fingers to stroke her throat, making her dry swallow the pills. “Sorry about choking you, Wallflower,” he said quietly. “I was trying to make this painless.”

Then he slapped a hand to his head. “Aww crap, now how’m I gonna do this? I don’t have enough pills left!” He started snapping his fingers over and over. “Come on, think, think… augh, I don’t have time for this!” Kneeling down, he tied her wrists together, then took out his other rope to tie her ankles. Then, shifting around, he reached down and grabbed her by the torso from under her armpits and quickly dragged her backwards out of sight.

The camera view shifted to the Sushi King kitchen as Timber carried the bound Wallflower inside and behind the counters, then dropped her. He wiped more sweat off his brow and doubled over, shaking. “God… I dunno if I can do this now!” he whimpered.

Then he slapped his cheeks a few times and stood up straight. “No, come on Timber. Do it for Gloriosa. You got this.” He took several deep breaths, slowly breathing in then quickly breathing out. “Okay. Just gotta do something they won’t expect.” He started throwing open cabinets, the pantry, mulling his options. Then he opened the walk-in freezer. “Might as well get rid of something while I'm at it,” he murmured. He got down and looked inside the vent, then pulled out a familiar first aid kit from his backpack. He slid it in, having just enough reach to get his arm around the corner, and threw it as hard as he could, hearing it clatter against the far wall further down the vent. “There. Least that’s hidden. Now what do I…” He looked down at the open bag of ice at his feet, then snapped his fingers. “Of course! This way they’ll never figure it out!”

He took the bag out with him, dropping back down by Wallflower’s side. He took a moment to stare at her breathing, unconscious form.“I really am sorry, Wallflower,” he said as he carefully opened the plastic bag. “I wouldn’t do this if I had a choice, I swear. I’ll try to be quick, okay?”

He pulled out a long, narrow piece of ice from the bag, opened up her mouth, and raised it over her head.
~*~

The image on the display abruptly winked off. “There, see what I mean?” Monoponi said in a teasing tone.

I shuddered and wrapped my arms around myself. “I really didn’t need to watch that.”

“None of us did,” Apple Bloom moaned, tears running down her face. “Poor Wallflower.”

“Looks like you gave him a bit too much credit, Sunset,” Adagio said, sneering at Timber, whose only reaction to the footage was to quietly sob. “He was just an idiot after all.”

“Indeed he was!” Monoponi said as he returned to his throne. “And now you’re about to see what happens to idiots who fail to get away with murder.”

“Wait! Wait!” Timber shouted, his eyes red and puffy from all the crying he’d been doing, his face a mess of snot. Even his clothes were all askew, sweat-drenched and filthy from how much he must’ve been stewing during the trial. “Please! Just tell me! What happened to my sister?!”

“Gloriosa? Who cares!” Monoponi burst out laughing. “You know what’s rich, Timber? What’s really, truly rich? You didn’t even pick the right target! You should’ve killed someone else!”

“W-what?” Timber held out his hands in shock. “What the hell are you talking about?! I don’t care about that anymore! I just want to know if Gloriosa’s okay!”

“Seriously, tell the man for goodness’s sake!” Rarity added in a furious shout as she stomped away from her podium to stand before the throne.

“Tell me Timber, in that meek, pathetic, vulgar little mind of yours,” Monoponi continued as his horn lit up to shove Rarity back over to her podium so fast the poor woman was knocked ass over teakettle. “Do you remember who that man was, the one you owed so much money to?”

Diamond Tiara’s eyes bulged and she let out a wordless gasp. “No,” I heard her whisper. “No way.”

Timber shook his head. “No! I don’t! And I don’t give a crap either!” He fell to his knees, holding up his hands as if praying to Monoponi like he was a god. “Please! Just please, man, tell me if Gloriosa’s okay! I just want to know if she’s okay!”

“Why, that man, that sneaky, low down filthy scoundrel, was none other than Filthy Rich! Diamond Tiara’s precious daddy!” Monoponi pointed a hoof squarely at Tiara as he spoke. “And to think, you actually had a chance for revenge! And you wasted it, killing some pointless nobody no one ever gave a damn about! Ahahahaha! Oh it’s so rich it hurts! Ahahahaha!”

Timber whirled on Tiara, a flurry of emotions dancing on his face so thick all I could make out was sorrow. He stomped over to the poor girl and grabbed her wrists, causing her to shriek as she tried desperately to wrench herself away from his grip. But he was holding on far too tight. “Did you know about this?” he said, his voice hesitant and shaky. “Did… did your father hurt my sister? Please, answer me!”

“No!” Diamond Tiara finally tore herself away and fled, surging past the rest of us to try and hide in a corner of the room, panic etched all over her features. Any trace of composure she usually had was gone, replaced by naked fear. “No, please! I didn’t know anything! I didn’t know Daddy owned your land! And I don’t know what happened to your sister!”

Timber raced after Tiara and trapped her in that corner, looming over like he was prepared to end her life there and then, and screw the rules. But he wasn’t trying to hurt her. He was just holding on to her, asking her over and over, “Where’s my sister? Tell me! Tell me!”

“Diamond Tiara!” Flash cried as he ran forward and yanked Timber away from Tiara, wrapping him up in a full nelson to try and keep him pinned. “Run!”

That pissed Timber off. “Let go of me! Damn it, I said, let go of me!” Timber grunted and screamed as he managed to elbow Flash in the stomach, sending poor Flash reeling to the floor, clutching his stomach in agony.

“Flash!” Twilight cried, running over to his side, kneeling down to examine him. “Oh my god, are you okay?”

“Yeah…” Flash groaned. “Just hurts.”

“Now then, I’ve prepared a very special punishment for Timber Spruce, the Ultimate Camp Counselor!”

Diamond Tiara ran screaming all the way to the opposite side of the room as Applejack and Rainbow Dash fled their podiums, chasing after Timber who charged like a man possessed, barreling for Tiara with his hands outstretched. “Stop running, Tiara, and just tell me!” he roared.

“Don’t you dare lay a finger on her!” Rainbow Dash shouted.

“Watch out, Tiara, Ah’m comin’ ta save ya!” Applejack added.

“Let’s give it everything we’ve got! Iiiiiiiit’s punishment time!”

Monoponi, with a flash of his horn, summoned up a big red button, and slapped down upon it with his forehoof.

I spotted the chains in the air long before anyone else could as they flew straight for Timber. “Applejack! Rainbow Dash! LOOK OUT!” I cried.

The chains shot right through Applejack and Rainbow Dash, knocking them to the floor as they descended upon Timber, snatching a hold of his neck like a pair of snapping jaws.

GLORIOSAAAAAAAAAAAAA!” Timber cried as he was dragged back by the chains at incredible speeds, disappearing through a pair of doors we hadn’t even noticed on the other side of the courtroom chamber. Then, not just the hologram in the middle, but all the walls lit up like television screens, showcasing a sickening display:

GAME OVER

Timber has been found guilty.

Time for the punishment!

We watched in horror as Timber was dragged down a long corridor, bumping his body against random protrusions from the walls over and over until he was hauled into a large, rectangular box chamber, about eighty feet wide, full of pine trees. Each pine tree sat firmly up on a display, like a Hearth’s Warming tree that hadn’t been decorated yet.. One stood larger and taller than the others, right at the very end on the furthest right side. Timber was thrown messily into it and several new metal straps reached out to secure him to the tree in a spread eagle fashion across his arms, upper torso, legs, and ankles.

EVERFREE DEFORESTATION

Ultimate Camp Counselor

Timber Spruce

Execution: Executed

At first, I couldn’t figure out what was supposed to kill him. He was just stuck there, stuck to the tree, eyes darting back and forth in panic. And then I saw it.

Monoponi, standing all the way at the left end of the line of trees, holding a massive chainsaw in his magic. With a swift wave of his horn, he yanked on the chain, starting up the chainsaw as he grinned maliciously. The chainsaw whirled to life, spitting and hissing like a whole herd of angry cats before buzzing like mad as Monoponi took to slicing through the first tree.

I watched Timber’s eyes widen so large I thought they’d pop out of his skull as he started screaming, begging, pleading for his life as he pointlessly pulled on his bonds. The straps squeezed on him tighter, etching into his arms and scoring vicious lines of pink. The harder he fought, the firmer their grip became.

Tree after tree fell to Monoponi’s chainsaw in a horribly drawn out process as Timber screamed, the pain of his bonds getting to him to the point that all he could do was thrash, what little movement he had left wasted in a futile attempt to escape.


Then the tree just before him crumpled to the deck. Timber cried out once more, begging for someone, anyone to come and help. To come save him from his fate.

But nobody came.

Monoponi’s chainsaw descended upon Timber’s arm, and his shrieks of pure unadulterated pain filled our ears. Tearing his arm up until it resembled a pile of ground beef, the chainsaw got stuck, for just a moment, on his humerus. Monoponi tugged, grunting as he tried to wrestle it free, even as Timber screeched ever louder. Then it popped loose with a sickening squelch, severing what was left of his arm. Monoponi pivoted on one hoof and sank the chainsaw into the other arm, mulching it up into bits and pieces of torn muscle, sinew, and fat. Timber's shrieks of excruciating agony ripped from his throat in an unearthly wail. With both arms severed, Monoponi held the bloody chainsaw up like a trophy, cackling like mad.

Timber, doubled over as far as his bonds would allow, choked and spat up blood, half unconscious but still very much alive. Monoponi, the chainsaw roaring, reached up with a bit of his magic and slapped Timber across both cheeks, stirring him into looking up. Timber's eyes bugged out of his sockets as Monoponi, with one final cackle, plunged the chainsaw into his groin and with one deft tug sent it slicing through the rest of his body and the tree, splitting him in half at the hip. Pink blood filled the screens, drowning out the rest of Timber’s awful, horrible death and sparing us the gory view of his dismembered corpse.

As the final shrieks of Timber’s death throes faded, the screens disappeared, replaced by walls once more. Monoponi flashed back into existence on his podium and sat back, patting himself. “Aaah! An execution sure is a wonderful way to relax, don’t you think?”

“AAAAAAAAAAH!” Scootaloo screamed, diving behind her podium away from the mad pony.

“Oh my god oh my god what the heck is this what the heck--” Sweetie babbled as she fell back onto her rear end.

Applejack and Rainbow Dash, with matching bruises on their backs, stumbled to their feet and trudged back over. Rainbow Dash made for Fluttershy and held the poor dear tight as Fluttershy wept into her shoulder. Applejack, meanwhile, embraced her younger sister. “Ah’m so sorry you had to see that, Apple Bloom. That weren’t right. That weren’t right at all.”

Pinkie Pie collapsed to her knees, her cheeks bulged, then she ducked her head behind her podium to spare us the sight, if not the sound, of her heaving up sick.

Trixie wordlessly squealed and leapt for the nearest person, who ended up being Rarity, nearly throttling the poor woman to death as she squeezed hard begging and pleading in an indistinguishable stream of noise.

“You are one sick bastard!” Flash groaned, still holding his stomach and trying to take deep breaths.

“That was… more brutal than I expected,” Adagio commented. Even she looked a little green under the gills.

“You monster,” I growled, pointing an accusatory finger at Monoponi. “You sick monster! What kind of pony does that to someone?! You’re not a pony at all, are you?!”

“Oh come now, Sunset, you knew what was going to happen!” Monoponi replied, staring right back at me with cold, unfeeling eyes. “Why should this execution be any different?”

“Because I was hoping that somewhere inside you, you might actually have a proper shred of equine decency!” I fired back. In the process I found myself raising my right leg and kicking it backwards into my podium. Like a pony would.

“Oh? Ohohohoho?” Monoponi rose from his throne, his eyes flashing crimson. “Equine decency, you say? What are you talking about, Sunset? Don’t you mean human decency?”

Diamond Tiara, who’d managed to make her way back to her podium, tears running down her face from her encounter with Timber, stared wide eyed at me. “Yeah, what, what are you talking about, Sunset?”

“Don’t change the subject!” I countered. “Nevermind the term I used! You’re ignoring my point! What kind of monster are you?!”

Monoponi rolled his red eyes and put on a mocking tone. “‘Oh, what kind of monster are you Monoponi? Oh don’t kill us Monoponi! Oh have some decency Monoponi!’ SHUT IT!” he roared at the end, his horn lighting up to summon a massive kraka-thoom! of thunder. “I’m tired of listening to your incessant whining! You’ve ruined the good mood I got from putting an end to that little piece of trash that called himself a human being. All of you, get the hell out of my courtroom! Now!”

As a group we all shuffled back towards the elevator, our spirits deflated. Despair. To me, it had just been a word to use in writing, or a term I’d read. I’d never understood what despair truly was. Not until that moment. Not until I watched as all fourteen of us who were left filled the elevator, each of us sobbing or crying or otherwise overwhelmed with sadness and fear at what we’d seen.

But now I did. Despair was cold, dark, empty. It gnawed at you like a wild animal, eating away from inside until you were hollowed out, left as just an empty shell. It ate away until nothing was left but the emptiness itself.

We were all empty. Lost. Scared. Alone. I watched everyone’s eyes dart about between each other in suspicion as we rode the elevator back up to the promenade. No one trusted anyone else anymore, save for those they already knew. How could we trust in each other now? Now that Timber spilt the first blood?

I was regretting my actions there in the courtroom, at the last moment. I shouldn’t have been demanding to know what kind of monster Monoponi was. I should’ve been asking why. Why was this happening to us?

It wasn’t because the mastermind or ringleader or whoever it was running the show cared about hope versus despair. I hadn’t even heard Monoponi echo the word despair once in the past few days. So whoever they were, they weren’t just aping the philosophy of the games for their own ends. We didn’t have a Junko Enoshima on our hands. I wasn’t sure if I should be grateful for that, or all the more terrified.

So why? What was the point? My mind whirled as I thought endlessly about this problem. I didn’t pay attention to anything else when the elevator arrived on the promenade. I simply stumbled to my room, shut the door and locked it. Maybe someone had been talking to me, or talking to the others, but if they were I didn’t hear them.

I thought back to what Monoponi had said earlier, during the trial.

~*~
“Well, let me put it this way then. There’s one very special individual out there who’s getting to see everything you’re up to. And they might be closer to you than you might think.” He pointed his hoof squarely at Twilight.

“Me? What?” Twilight held a hand to her breast. “I don’t understand. Who is it?”
~*~

That made no sense to me at all. Twilight was just another human being. Nothing she’d said indicated she was from Equestria. Hell, she’d been denying the existence of magic from the moment she’d set foot on the ship, at least until Monoponi transformed the wall into a set of gates. I don’t think she was denying it anymore after that, or at least I’d hoped she wouldn’t.

So what could he be talking about? It’s not like there was anyone she’d know in Equestria either. So why?

Wait...

Was it possible that there was another Twi--

My whole head pounded as if a freight train had suddenly derailed and rolled over me. I couldn’t focus or concentrate. I fell over on my bed, grabbing my head in agony as I fell onto the floor. My stomach churned until I had to once again make for the bathroom, just like I had the first time I woke up.

“God,” I choked once I was done retching. I flushed away the sick and stood up at the sink to wash out my mouth. “Why won’t you let me remember, Monoponi?” I wondered aloud after spitting out water into the sink. “What is your game?”

A loud knock knock knock came at the door, eliciting another pained groan. “What now?” I grumbled as I trudged over to throw it open.

“Hey there,” Adagio greeted, her demeanor lacking her usual combination of seduction and grace. She fidgeted with her hands as she spoke. “Mind if I come in?”

Adagio, huh? I guess I could use the distraction.

“Sure,” I said with a shrug, and moved to let her inside. Adagio plopped down onto the end of the bed. I locked the door again then joined her. “What’s up?”

Adagio didn’t answer straight away. She stared at the floor, her hands twiddling, until she finally looked up and said, “I’m scared.”

Wow. Never thought I’d hear her say that. “Scared? You?” I said, trying to smile to make it seem like a joke, though inside I was brimming with confusion. So much for thinking she’d never admit it. How many more things will I be wrong about today?

But she didn’t smile back. “Yeah. I’m scared, Sunset.” She wrapped her arms around herself, her face briefly twisting into a familiar look of predatory rage before she relaxed. “I’ve never admitted that to someone else before. Never. But, well, here I am.” She shook her head slowly, her hands twisting into that familiar claw-like motion. “That Monoponi is messed up in the head. Insane. I thought he’d do something simple to Timber, like shoot him, or-or stab him or something. Instead, he… that chainsaw…” She shuddered so hard I almost thought for a second she might fall off the bed before she stilled again. “I’ve never seen someone experience so much pain in their life. And it wasn’t like… well…”

I cocked my head to the side, curious, but I didn’t say a word. I just waved a hand, urging her to continue. “You asked me before, Sunset, what I am. You suggested I was a dragon. Well, I’m not.” She looked up, her eyes met mine, and right before me they seemed to shift into eyes more like a cat’s as the ghostly image of scaly wings appeared on her shoulders. For just the briefest of instants, this struck me as horrifyingly familiar. Then that feeling vanished, along with the changes to her appearance, as if they had just been a mirage.

“I’m a siren. That means that, in Equestria, I fed on negative emotions. Not pain, but anger, hatred, fear. They fed me, sustained me. My sisters and I, we feasted upon village after village. But then we were exiled here, on Earth, by Starswirl the Bearded.”

“A siren?” I gasped, backing away slightly without even meaning to. And suddenly, everything she’s done makes perfect sense. No wonder she’s been so seductive! It’s just an aspect of her species!

“Yes. A natural enemy of ponies, I know,” Adagio answered. Her hands curled open and closed repeatedly, as if she was trying to sharpen the claws she once had. “A few years ago, my sisters and I found out Equestrian magic had come to this world. It was our chance to return to our former glory. But I don’t remember what happened next.” She hissed under her breath. “Someone stopped us, shattering our necklaces, gemstones that held what little was left of our siren magic. I don’t know who, though if I ever find out..” She made a wringing motion with her hands. “Ever since, I’ve been unable to sing, which makes Monoponi’s little title of Songstress for me ironic, to say the least.”

She sighed, blowing it out through her teeth to make a whistling noise. “I don’t know where my sisters are, or why I ended up here by myself. But you’re the only one I feel I can trust. You proved that today, in the courtroom. Even if you’re a pony, you’re still… Equestrian. Like me.”

Her eyes met mine once again, naked fear shimmering like oil on a pool of amethyst colored water. “I don’t want to be alone right now, Sunset. I’m too afraid someone’s going to try and kill me. I’ve lived for a very, very long time, and I really, really, really don’t want to stop now. Not here. Not like this. Not as some victim of some twisted little mind game.”

At first, I didn’t say a word. Now that I knew she was a siren, my pony instincts were blaring like mad, screaming every word she spoke was a lie, she couldn’t be trusted, she was just trying to use me for her own ends. She’d use me up and then discard me, like an empty juice box. She was going to kill me, and I should throw her out on her ass and lock the door. At least, that’s what my instincts were saying.

I shoved that all down back into the hole it came from. I wasn’t about to let some instinctual racism stop me from doing what was right. Adagio came to me. She needed me. As a person. And if I was honest to myself, I didn’t want to be alone either. Not if I didn’t have to be.

So I opened up my arms and wrapped them around her shoulders, pulling her against me. I felt her resist, just for the briefest of seconds, before she let out a sigh and nuzzled her face into my shoulder. Her full head of bushy bright orange hair obscured my vision, rubbing up against my face till I could hardly see anything else. “It’ll be okay,” I said gently, running a hand up and down her back in a soothing motion. “I’ll help protect you.”

She laughed, but instead of sounding sadistic, cruel, or harsh, it was honest. Sincere. Full of relief and, to my surprise, just a hint of joy. “Can’t believe I’m doing this. If my sisters saw me, I’d never live it down.” She shifted in place to get more comfortable. “Thank you, Sunset.”

“Hey, we’re friends. It’s what friends do,” I said, laughing right along with her.

“Friends. Never thought I’d actually like that word.”

She held me close for quite a long time before suddenly, without warning, she bent her head up and kissed me, hard. It was furious, full of passion, and took me completely by surprise.

I loved it.

When she released the kiss, leaving me utterly flummoxed, she pulled back, her whole face aflame with a blush of embarrassment. “I just...it seemed like…” She hissed, drawing back entirely from me and got to her feet. “That was stupid of me. Maybe I should go after all.”

“No, wait!” I said, reaching out to take her hand. “You just surprised me. It’s okay.”

Her eyes glanced down at my hand, then at the door, then back to my hand. Then, slowly, she sat back on the bed, still keeping some distance. “Sorry,” she repeated, the word spoken reluctantly, like she’d had to reach in and drag it out by hand.

I snickered, shifting over on the bed so I could wrap my arms around her. “Nothing to be sorry about,” I said teasingly. “I liked it.”

Her head shot up to look at me, stunned. “You did?”

“Yeah,” I answered, snuggling up even closer. “I did.”

A half grin tugged at her mouth. “...good.” She stayed silent for several long minutes, just letting me hold her. “...want to do it again?

God yes.”

Our lips met once more. We fell back on to the bed, and found comfort there together, in our passions. We might be trapped in a killing game, but we weren’t going to let that stop us from living our lives.

Author's Note:

So, now you know what happened and why. Timber had a completely different plan in mind at first, and some of what happened was the result of desperation. Just like any first crime in Danganronpa, there are obvious, easy mistakes, and Timber made tons of them. I go into a lot more on my blog about my feelings regarding Timber here.

This chapter also introduces the second whirlwind romance: Sunsagio! How will this turn out? Well, you'll have to keep reading to see.

On Wednesday, we will not be starting Chapter Two. Instead, you'll be getting something a little bit... different. What might it be? You'll see~ :twilightsmile:

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