• Published 5th Feb 2021
  • 1,820 Views, 87 Comments

Hostile History - Jest

Sunset Shimmer's is happy for the first time in a long time. She's accepted, has wonderful friends, and a life many would envy. Or is it all an illusion forced upon her by the very people she trusted? Only time will tell.

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Chapter 24

“Anyone else feelin a might bit awkward?” Applejack remarked.

Fluttershy nodded slowly.

As did Twilight.

Rarity’s brow remained furrowed as she held purse tightly, glancing up and down the street they were waiting on.

Rainbow Dash grunted. “Not me.”

“Me neither,” Pinkie Pie exclaimed, the girl bouncing excitedly on her heels. “I’ve never ridden in a limo before.”

“It's nothing to get excited about,” Twilight explained. “It's just a long car.”

“But it's so luxurious,” Rarity remarked.

“Regardless. I too am a little unsure of things,” Twilight murmured.

“Sunset certainly seemed a bit ticked at us,” Applejack added.

“We were just being good friends. Who wouldn't want to do some research into some creepy guy who claims to be older than jesus, and twice as powerful,” Pinkie Pie exclaimed.

“Though I may have agreed with you a week ago. Sunset was rather convincing,” Rarity muttered.

“She didn't even seem mad that we were looking into Perfect Tempo, rather that we didn't take her word that he was nice,” Fluttershy pointed out.

“Come on Flutters. Even you have to admit the guy is still a bit fishy,” Rainbow Dash exclaimed.

“He's a bit suspicious but maybe we should have trusted Sunset a little more,” Fluttershy replied.

“I for one think something is totally going down at this platinum place,” Pinkie Pie stated confidently. “Sunny has totally been a stick in the mud since she started going there every few days.”

“She has grown more… willful,” Twilight muttered.

“More like angry,” Rainbow Dash retorted. “Do you hear how she yelled at Pinkie Pie?”

“And all I did was call her a she demon!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed, throwing up her hands.

“Well that isn't exactly the nicest thing to call someone,” Fluttershy whispered.

“It's true though,” Rainbow Dash replied.

“Used to be true,” Applejack corrected.

“Yeah whatever. Same difference,” Rainbow Dash exclaimed.

“Here it comes!” Rarity declared.

All six girls turned towards where a long slick black limousine approached them at a leisurely pace, slowing gracefully when it neared the group. No driver or inhabitants could be seen from behind the tinted windows, and the girls only found out someone else was inside when the door opened. Revealing that Sunset Shimmer sat at the front end of the limo, her arm on the back of the rest while she held a glass of light orange liquid.

Sunset wore her leather jacket over a simple purple undershirt along with a pair of blue jeans and leather boots. Her expression was somewhat dark, though her eyes lit up when Twilight entered into the limo, taking a seat a few feet from the girl.

“Hey girls,” greeted Sunset.

“Hey Sunset, cool digs,” Rainbow Dash remarked, plopping herself down on the long bench which ran from the front to the back of the cabin.

“A little too soft for my tastes,” added Applejack who shifted uncomfortably on the leather surfaces.

“Well I think it's lovely,” Rarity offered, seating herself in the center.

“Where are the seat belts?” Fluttershy hesitantly inquired.

“Ooh is that a mini bar?” Pinkie Pie asked.

“Are you drinking alchol?” Twilight demanded.

Sunset scowled. “Do you really think I’d be drinking at only five P.M? Yes that's a mini bar, yes you can have some, and the seatbelts are between the seats you just have to dig a little.”

Twilight winced. “Sorry. I just assumed since it's a limo that it was champagne or something.”

“Nah it's apple juice,” Sunset exclaimed, taking a swig. “It's just fun to drink out of these fancy glasses.”

“It totally is!” Pinkie Pie agreed, swirling her juice like it was a martini before sipping it gently.

A second later and the girls had managed to locate their seatbelts, which once secured, prompted the vehicle to begin moving. Gliding down the city streets, no one even really felt the acceleration, with each girl too busy marveling at the interior. From the multiple long sunroofs, numerous small mood lights, hidden speakers and tiny bar that ran along one side there was a lot to look at.

Neither Twilight nor Sunset seemed interested in all that however, as the leather clad girl was busy staring out the window. While Twilight was curiously studying the other woman, her expression darkening somewhat when she noted Sunset’s appearance.

“I see you located your jacket again,” Twilight pointed out.

Sunset nodded. “It was tough to find amidst all my stuff, but in the end it was totally worth it.”

“I don't see why you’d want to wear that thing considerin everything associated with it,” Applejack remarked.

“Considering what exactly?” Sunset Shimmer asked pointedly.

Applejack raised her hands defensively. “Now Sunset. I didn't mean nothin by it.”

“I’m more surprised you’re wearing those big boots. How do you even walk in those things?” Rainbow Dash asked, giving the girl’s leather footwear a kick in emphasis.

“Easily,” Sunset Shimmer retorted.

“It is a rather big change from our old Sunset,” Rarity exclaimed, rubbing her chin. “One I am not so happy to see. That sun dress was just so… you!”

Fluttershy nodded.

“Can't you all go five minutes without critiquing me in some way?” Sunset Shimmer demanded.

“Were just concerned is all,” Twilight implored.

“Yeah, we don't want you to return to the dark side!” Pinkie Pie blurted.

Sunset Shimmer scowled. “I can't believe you would even suggest such a thing. Do you really have so little faith in me?”

“It's not that,” Twilight began. “We are just worried.”

“Isn't that excuse for everything? That your just worried so you have to belittle me. So you have to doubt me, pick on me, and treat me like I’m not really your friend,” Sunset Shimmer continued.

“Woah there sugarcube that's not what she meant,” Applejack began.

Sunset scowled and looked away. “Well I don't want to hear about it anymore.”

“But-” Rarity interjected, only to be cowed when Sunset shot her a glare.

The care fell silent, with its inhabitants all glancing to their phones or simply looking out the window in order to pass the time. While they did their best to ignore the awkward atmosphere which had fallen over them, the city continued past them. Buildings both large and small passed by, the buildings eventually becoming rarer and rarer until they left city limits entirely.

The busy highway was replaced with long dusty roads, and finally by narrow winding one ways which made their way deep into the hills. Until at long last they entered the grounds of Platinum manor, which drew every pair of eyes save for Sunset’s. The girls looked on in wonder at the strange overgrown yard, and towering gothic structure which sat amidst it all.

Unlike before, this time there were no lights save for the ones attached to the front of the car and the gloom hung heavy. Despite the early hour it looked like it might have been maybe ten o'clock at night, yet the ride over had only taken forty five minutes or so. The effect of the many towering skeletal trees and ancient edifices was immediate, with the girl’s sinking into their seats.

Even the ever brave Rainbow Dash couldn't help but shirk away from the sights laying just beyond her window. Fluttershy was the most affected of the bunch, and held tight to Rarity’s arm, staring fearfully out of the car. The only one who seemed unbothered was Sunset Shimmer who merely set aside her cup and waited patiently for the car to come to a stop.

When it did she was the first to unbuckle her seat and was about to rise when she noticed no one else had moved. “Are you guys coming or what?” she asked.

“That's Platinum manor? I thought you said she was some rich noble,” Applejack fearfully remarked.

“Queen, but yes,” Sunset Shimmer replied.

“Then why does the place look like its groundskeeper died during the industrial revolution?” Rarity remarked.

“It is kinda spooky,” Rainbow Dash admitted.

“Kinda spooky? This looks like the place where they’d film a real life Scooby Doo episode!” PInkie Pie exclaimed.

Sunset Shimmer rolled her eyes. “It's really not that bad once you get used to it. The manor just doesn't like new people very much.”

“The house doesn't like us?” Fluttershy whispered.

“It doesn't like anyone,” Sunset Shimmer retorted. “Now come on, I got an appointment to keep and Platinum isn't exactly the patient type.”

“She doesn't seem like the type to have help either,” Applejack muttered.

“Oh she does, they just don't like new people either,” Sunset Shimmer exclaimed.

Twilight cleared her throat. “I’ll go first.”

“It was nice knowing ya,” Rainbow Dash murmured.

Twilight rolled her eyes and stepped outside, followed closely by Sunset Shimmer. “A little cold for this time of year but not altogether unpleasant,” Twilight murmured, holding her arms around her stomach.

“See? It's fine now let's get going before the car leaves with you in it,” Sunset Shimmer exclaimed.

“Is that an option?” Fluttershy whispered.

“Come along Fluttershy, we must be brave,” Rarity encouraged.

Together the pair left the safety of the vehicle behind, followed closely by the others who all shivered slightly when stepping out into the cool air. All except for Pinkie Pie who donned a jacket she had retreived from her bag, a victorious expression on her face.

“And you all said I was crazy for bringing this,” Pinkie Pie exclaimed.

“I said you were crazy for bringing that stun baton,” Rainbow Dash retorted.

Pinkie Pie scoffed. “That's not a stun baton, it's a cattle prod.”

“Either way darling it seems like a bit much especially given that we aren't exactly expecting a fight,” Rarity pointed out.

Pinkie Pie shrugged. “It's when you least expect it that you’ll need it the most.”

“Come on. We can get straight to the basement from here,” Sunset Shimmer offered, leading the way around the right side of the towering home.

“You mean straight into the dungeon,” Rainbow Dash whispered.

“Nah, that's further down,” Sunset Shimmer replied.

Rainbow Dash stopped. “Was she kidding?”

“Don't think so bucko,” Applejack remarked.

“I’m scared,” whispered Fluttershy. “This place looks like something straight out of one of my nightmares.”

“D-d-don't worry d-darling. We’ll protect you,” Rarity murmured, shaking in every limb.

Sunset Shimmer rolled her eyes, and was about to dismiss her friend’s fears before remembering the first she had entered these premises. She also knew that due to her slowly growing well of magical power, that she was also less affected by the house. Much like Twilight, who remained close behind Sunset, visibly uncomfortable but still standing tall and impassive.

Of course you can see through this. Sunset Shimmer thought to herself. “Were here. Hop down.”

The six girls looked from the partially rotten cellar door and then to Sunset Shimmer who stood over it, holding it open.

“What?” Sunset asked.

“We ain't going down there,” Applejack declared.

Sunset rolled her eyes. “Fine. I’ll go first but you have to close the exit behind me. Platinum hates it when animals find their way into her home.”

“I don't think there's a living animal within a mile of here,” Fluttershy quietly remarked.

Sunset tossed open the entrance, and quickly walked down the cold stone stairs, making her way into a long dark hallway. Lit only by the occasional magical blue torch, the shadows were deep, and cobwebs filled every corner. Seeing as how no one made a move to follow the fiery haired girl, Twilight stepped up and walked forward only to be grabbed at the last second.

“Are you sure it's safe?” Applejack hesitantly asked.

“Of course it's safe. Do you think Sunset would lead us down there if it wasn't?” Twilight replied.

Noticing the uncertain looks on the other girl’s faces, Twilight shook her head and turned back, walking down into the darkness. Realizing that they were now separated, the others were quick to fall in behind Twilight, pressing into a tight group. They didn't even notice the draft creeping up behind them until it stopped suddenly after the cellar door slammed shut all on its own.

“Eep!” Fluttershy cried.

“Holy crap,” Rainbow Dash muttered, stumbling back from the entrance.

“It was probably just the wind,” Applejack murmured.

“The wind did that?” Rarity asked.

Applejack shrugged. “I’m going to choose to believe it so.”

“Can we just go please?” Fluttershy whispered.

“Are you guys coming?” Twilight called from around a corner up ahead.

“Yeah just a sec!” Rainbow Dash shouted, sprinting down the hallway.

“Hurry Rarity,” Fluttershy encouraged while remaining half behind the other girl.

“I’m going darling but you keep stepping on my heels!” Rarity replied.

“Oh, sorry,” Fluttershy murmured.

Around them the long blank stone hallway turned, opening into a much wider room, from which several heavy doors blocked their way. All save for one which stood open, inviting the group within and to where Twilight and Sunset were waiting patiently.

“Don't wander off please. You wouldn't want to get lost in here. Trust me,” Sunset remarked.

Pinkie Pie gasped. “Would we end up as part of the help like that movie?”

“No,” Sunset Shimmer quickly stated. “Platinum would likely chew you out and trust me she may not be violent but that doesn't mean she can't hurt you in other ways.”

“Could she stab my soul?” Applejack asked.

Sunset Shimmer laughed, only to stop when she realized she didn't know the answer to that question. “I meant she has a very sharp tongue and little regard for people who irate her,” Sunset Shimmer stated.

“You hesitated for a moment,” Twilight pointed out.

“Look we can talk about this more later right now I really need to get there in time unless I want another earful so let's go already,” Sunset Shimmer stressed.

The six girls followed their mutual friend a few paces back, watching as she maneuvered through the seemingly endless stone hallways. Unlike them, Sunset seemed unbothered by the cobwebs, creepiness and general gloom which hung over the entire area. She also knew her way around, and swiftly turned corners, or opened doors, ending their search outside of a much larger entrance then the ones they had seen so far.

“Alright now remember to be polite, and please do not pepper her with questions. She is a several thousand year old former queen who has little patience, especially for humans,” Sunset Shimmer stated.

“But you are so- oh wait yeah,” Rainbow Dash muttered.

Sunset Shimmer nodded. “She especially won't like you because of your counterpart’s status as the elements of harmony so please I am begging you to just stay quiet.”

“We aren't children you know,” Applejack remarked.

“Yeah! I’ll have you know I am very mature for my age,” Pinkie Pie proclaimed.

Twilight stepped forward and put a hand on Sunset’s shoulder. “Don't worry about us. We won't get in the way at all. We promise.”

“Thank you Twilight,” Sunset Shimmer replied with a smile. At least you, I can trust to have some tact.

“Are you quite done whispering out there? I have things to do you know,” shouted a shrill feminine voice from within the room

“Remember what I said,” Sunset repeated before pushing open the doors and stepping inside, a wide fake smile pressed on her face. “Sorry about that. Just had to make sure my friends didn't freak out.”

The other girls followed their braver friend inside, looking around the room with wide, sometimes terrified eyes. From the ancient computer to the large cement cylinder which smelled faintly of the sea, they carefully took everything in. Most attention capturing of all was the woman standing inside, her sunken eyes, pale complexion and otherworldly aura leaving most of her observers unnerved.

“Ahh and here is the peanut gallery now. I wish I could say I was glad to meet you, though that would be a lie,” deadpanned the older woman.

“Well ain't that a fine howdy do,” Applejack muttered.

“What was that?” Platinum demanded.

“Nothing,” Twilight quickly interrupted. “Applejack was just impressed by your house.”

“She is quite something isn't she,” Platinum murmured before shaking her head. “Now then. Let us proceed with the treatment. I have much to do this evening.”

“Of course,” Sunset replied, tugging off her jacket and tossing it aside.

“Woah is it about to get hot in here?” Rainbow Dash asked, only to frown. “Hotter anyway?”

Sunset Shimmer answered that question by removing her undershirt and revealing a one peice bathing suit she wore under her clothes. Her friends quickly realized what was happening, though Rainbow Dash seemed quite disappointed by the turn of events. Either way they all stood in silence as Sunset Shimmer removed her clothing, and climbed the metal ladder leading to the top of the cylinder.

Once standing astride the cement tube, she pushed aside the great metallic covering and glanced over to her friends. “This may take a while but don't panic. I’ll be fine. I’ve done this before.”

“We’ll be patient,” Twilight stated.

“Are you sure Twilight? I mean look at that thing. Its like a medival torture chamber!” Applejack exclaimed.

“Yeah I’m pretty sure if Sunset went in there she’d come out like some sort of demon zombie,” Pinkie Pie exclaimed, miming the actions of a mindless undead.

“It will not,” Sunset hissed. “Like I’ve said I’ve done this before.”

“I do not have all day Sunset,” Platinum added, drumming her fingers against the mahogany desk upon which the old computer sat.

“I’m not so certain. Do you even know everything about this particular bit of technology?” Rarity asked.

“Well no but-” Sunset Shimmer admitted.

“Then it might totally turn you into a zombie!” Pinkie Pie shouted.

“It will not!” Sunset Shimmer yelled back.

“Come on Sunset. Let's just go back to the car and go have something to eat. I’m pretty sure I saw a taco tuesday on the way here,” Rainbow Dash encouraged.

Sunset Shimmer pounded her fist against the lid. “You can't tell me what to do anymore. This is my choice and this is what I want.”

“Darling were just looking out for you,” Rarity exclaimed.

“You can keep your malicious kindness to yourself. Platinum, I’m ready,” Sunset Shimmer stated before hopping into the water and pulling the lid shut behind her.

The girl briefly heard some muffled sounds of conversation before it ceased, replaced by a dull, reverberating hum. Calming her mind was a difficult process but in the end Sunset Shimmer managed to push down the anger roiling inside of her. With that emotion suppressed she was able to free herself of the thoughts that plagued her, allowing the calming warmth to seep deep into her soul.

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