• Published 5th Feb 2021
  • 837 Views, 22 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 25

Sunset floated aimlessly in the salty water, her mind awhirl with too many emotions to focus on anything in specific. The calm she had felt initially upon entering the tank had faded, and now she was left with little to do but ruminate on her fate. Logically she knew that she should avoid thinking of her friends, and should focus on clearing her thoughts, but she couldn't seem to do that.

Every time she felt like she had beaten them, another cloying memory popped into her mind. Moments like when Rarity had redesigned her wardrobe against Sunset’s wishes. Or like the time when Rainbow Dash had kicked Sunset out of the soccer club, quoting fears that she might ‘go demon again’. There were more annoying moments, but they had become so numerous that Sunset could barely even focus on any single instance.

She was just so angry at them, yet there was a part of her that wanted to forgive them for they had done. That part of her wanted to excuse their behavior, and to blame their actions on something, but she couldn't think of an excuse.

Are they even really my friends? Sunset thought bitterly to herself. Maybe that too was a part of the element’s conditioning.

I better hurry up. I wouldn't want to waste Platinum’s time, and besides. I’m still a few sessions away from being free of these invisible chains. Sunset closed her eyes, and focused herself, willing away the enraged thoughts.

Her anger faded, and with its departure, Sunset fell deep into another repressed memory.


Sunset peered nervously through the keyhole to her room, peering intently at the scene playing out in front of her. All while behind her the shower continued to run, the steam fogging up the bathroom mirror, but not impeding Sunset’s view into the room beyond. Where a haggard, and cowering maid prostrated herself before a tall, and imposing alicorn.

“Is it true then?” Celestia demanded.

The maid gulped, shivering in fear. “N-no your majesty.”

“Then you didn't tell my student that she was pretty?” Celestia retorted.

“I did but I wasn't flirting with her I promise,” begged the maid, whose nose was pressed against the ground.

Celestia’s eyes narrowed. “Is this true?”

“I swear it on my mother’s grave,” stated the maid.

Celestia remained quiet for several long seconds before releasing a sigh. “Good. I can't have you corrupting the young filly’s mind. Such perverse sexual desires go against harmony. Isn't that right Feather Fall?”

The maid trembled, and Sunset was fairly certain she could see tears building at the edges of the other mare’s eyes. “It is, your majesty,” she hastily replied.

Celestia lowered her head until she was nearly at eye level with the maid. “You aren't going to forget that again, are you?”

“N-no, your majesty,” Feather Fall declared.

Celestia stood tall and nodded slowly. “An excellent response. I would hate to have to re educate you a second time.”

A shiver ran down the maid’s spine and for a moment Sunset was sure the poor mare was going to collapse out of sheer terror.

So that's why she suddenly started acting so cold towards me. Sunset Shimmer thought to herself.

“She is the hope of Equestria, dear Feather Fall, and I will not allow her to be anything less than a perfect representation of its values,” Celestia continued striding towards the door. “Finish your duties here and then report to your therapist.”

“But I didn't-” The maid began, only to close her mouth and resume kneeling.

Celestia hummed thoughtfully. “Don't worry dear Feather Fall. I merely wished for your loyalty to be checked. I will not send you away for something so small.”

“Thank you, your majesty,” murmured the maid.

“Good, now then I have something I must…” Celestia’s voice trailed off as her gaze wandered about the room.

What is she looking- Sunset thought before Celestia’s gaze fixed on the keyhole.

Rolling to the side, the unicorn held a hoof over her chest in a desperate bid to slow her pounding heart. Sunset’s mind reeled, and for a moment she considered teleporting away, only for the delicate voice of her personal maid to interrupt her train of thought.

“Y-your majesty?” murmured Feather Fall.

“It's nothing,” Celestia replied. “Merely my own imagination.”

Sunset remained with her back against the cold bathroom wall until the sounds of Celestia’s hoofsteps had vanished completely. Only then did Sunset release the breath she hadn't known she had been holding.

“That was close,” Sunset Shimmer muttered to herself.

As her breathing slowly returned to normal, the unicorn felt her world melt away, the cruel memory being replaced by another, newer one.


Rainbow Dash’s tapping foot was the only sound save for the occasional clack of an ancient computer key. Little had happened since Sunset had vanished, and her friends had only grown more anxious as the minutes passed. Platinum however, was completely unbothered by Sunset’s continued silence, and merely monitored the machines impassively.

“We gotta do something,” Rainbow Dash whispered.

“Why?” Twilight asked.

“Because Sunset is in danger,” Rainbow Dash hissed.

“I know this situation is strange, but she hasn't shown any signs that she is in pain or requires our help,” Twilight whispered back.

“This does seem a might bit strange. Ya gotta admit,” Applejack pointed out.

“Perhaps we should give her the benefit of the doubt?” Rarity offered in a clearly unconvinced tone.

“I mean if we are worried about her drowning then it's a bit late for that. Not even I can hold my breath for fifteen whole minutes,” Pinkie Pie proclaimed.

“Why don't we all be a little quieter?” Fluttershy asked.

“Don't bother. I can hear you either way,” Platinum remarked.

Rainbow Dash all but jumped from her chair. “Right. Let's go kick her butt and get back our friend.”

Twilight’s firm hand returned Rainbow Dash to her seat. “We don't know if she even needs rescuing in the first place.”

“I don't know about yall but something keeps tellin me to go in there and get her out,” Applejack exclaimed.

“Me too,” admitted Fluttershy. “It almost feels like the time where mister Robin wedged his little beak in the bars of his cage.”

“It does kind of feel like something is urging me to get her out,” Twilight reluctantly admitted.

Rainbow Dash jumped back up. “Well then what are we waiting for?”

“I’m not sure if that's a good idea darling,” Rarity remarked.

“We should at least come up with a plan,” Applejack added, turning to Twilight.

Who blinked. “Why are you looking at me? I’m not the one who thinks we need to rescue Sunset.”

“Don't bother. She's already waking up,” interrupted Platinum. “Hold on, something strange is happening.”

“I knew this was a bad idea!” Rainbow Dash shouted. “Don't worry Sunset, I’m coming for-”

Rainbow Dash made it all of eight feet before she tumbled forward, her legs tangling together and leaving her sprawled out across the ground. A second later and the young athlete’s eyes rolled into the back of her head and her entire body quickly became limp.

“Rainbow!” Fluttershy shouted, leaping after her friend only to collapse before she could reach the other girl.

Like Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy fell forwards as if tripping on some invisible object placed in her path. Unlike Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy’s entire body relaxed before she even hit the ground, leaving the pair in an undignified tangle of limbs.

“What did you do, you ruffian?” Rarity demanded, rising from her seat.

She too didn't make it more than a single step, as Rarity’s legs simply couldn't support her weight.

Twilight watched in horror as Rarity’s unconscious body tumbled to the ground.

“This is most intriguing,” Platinum murmured.

“What did you do to them?” Applejack demanded as she stumbled forward.

The farm girl desperately resisted whatever force that was sapping her strength, stomping toward the concerned looking undead standing before her. Despite all of Applejack’s strength, and innate magic, the farm girl didn't make it any further then her friends did, and fell forwards. She at least managed to catch herself, and started to rise before falling completely still.

“I’ll save you guys!” Pinkie Pie proclaimed as she hoisted a wooden chair above her head.

Her arms gave out almost immediately, allowing gravity to assert itself on her seat once more. With the chair now in freefall, Pinkie Pie could only let out a startled yelp of surprise before ending up trapped under her own would be projectile. A second later and she was let out a gasp before falling completely limp.

“What is going on?” Twilight demanded.

Platinum frowned, and waved a glowing hand at the woman. “It seems as though your vitals are dropping.”

“Can you make it stop?” Twilight asked through grit teeth.

“No,” Platinum replied. “Some greater force is at work here.”

“What do I do?” Twilight demanded as she began to slide from her chair.

“Let the magic flow through you,” Platinum exclaimed. “It is best not to fight it.”

Twilight grunted bitterly, trying and failing to hold onto her chair for just a moment longer. The choice to resist was quickly taken from her however, and soon Twilight joined her friends in unconsciousness.

“Truly fascinating,” Platinum murmured while tapping her chin. “It's like they have been drawn into Sunset’s trance somehow. I wonder what it all means.”


Sunset awoke with a start, only to find that she was somehow already awake. Not only that but she was seated on the risers inside the music room back in school. She tried to move, or speak, but found herself a prisoner of her body, and was left with little to do but watch.

“No this won't do either,” Rarity muttered, tossing another of Sunset’s shirts into a garbage bin.

Sunset felt herself wince as the band shirt disappeared from sight, discarded as if it were the mere trash Rarity deemed it to be.

“What about this one?” asked Rainbow Dash who lifted up a pair of black jeans Sunset had bought only a few days earlier.

“Too dark,” dismissed Rarity, who waved a hand towards the bin.

Rainbow Dash shrugged and dropped them into the garbage that now contained the majority of Sunset’s wardrobe. The girl hoped the rest of her friends would be more forgiving, but every one of them had thrown out a few items of clothing. Sunset was glad that Twilight was off on another date, though just thinking about the other girl made a pang of jealousy shoot through Sunset’s heart.

“Why would you even buy something like this?” Applejack inquired in a disgusted tone.

Sunset looked to where the farm girl was holding a hat with only two fingers, as if the simple peice of clothing could bite her. It was clearly not Applejack’s style, though Sunset liked the bold metal lettering set against the flat black cap.

“I got it at a concert,” Sunset Shimmer explained. “A friend said it looked good on me.”

“Wait, you have other friends?” Pinkie Pie asked incredulously.

“Err yeah. I used to hang out with him a lot before I met you guys,” Sunset Shimmer replied.

Fluttershy shook her head as she dropped a pair of platform boots into the garbage. “Then you had better not talk to them again. They might be a bad influence on you.”

“You don't want to turn back into a demon right?” Pinkie Pie added pointedly.

Sunset wilted, and stared down at the ground. “No.”

Despite how her body was acting, and the words coming out of her mouth Sunset Shimmer raged silently within her fleshy prison. This wasn't right, she was supposed to be undoing the programming left on her from the elements. Yet here she was, forced to live through one of the most traumatic moments of the last year for seemingly no other reason than the universe hated her.

“I thought you said you threw this out?” Rarity asked.

Sunset blinked away the tears which had built on the edges of her eyes and looked up to find Rarity holding her favorite jacket. Panic shot up Sunset’s spine, and she very nearly leapt from her seat in a desperate attempt to grab the clothing. Yet something stopped her before she could, and Sunset merely watched as her friends all turned towards her with accusatory looks on their faces.

She wanted to scream, to tell Rarity to drop it, yet her lips only quivered as her body refused to do as she commanded it to do. Then, just as things seemingly couldn't get worse, she noticed a bit of movement out of the corner of her eye. Glancing in that direction revealed a sight Sunset Shimmer hadn't noticed at the time, one which sent a cold shard of ice into her heart.

Twilight.

The girl stood with a concerned expression on her face, looking in on the scene playing out before her. For a moment Sunset thought that she might intervene, only for Twilight to look down on her with pity. Then she turned, hoisting the backpack she had likely just retreived from her locker before departing.

Leaving Sunset more shocked than angry.

“I couldn't do it,” Sunset Shimmer murmured.

“And why not?” Rarity demanded.

“Yeah it's just some ugly jacket,” Applejack added.

“It's not just a jacket to me,” Sunset replied. “It was a gift from my first friend in this world.”

“We’re your friends now,” Fluttershy whispered.

“Yeah and were like, so awesome that you don't need any other ones,” Rainbow Dash declared.

“Besides, that jacket is from the old evil you,” Pinkie Pie pressed. “You don't want everyone to think you’re still a she demon, right?”

“N-no,” Sunset muttered.

“So who was this friend?” Rarity demanded.

“They were…” Sunset hesitated, as if telling her friends this bit of information was akin to giving them something they didn't deserve to have. “When I first arrived here I had nothing, and-”

Sunset felt the words spill from her mouth, yet the world shifted once more.

This time she was even further back in time, and the girl stood several feet in front of her shaking, naked body. Sunset’s body stumbled forward, struggling visibly to merely remain on two legs and not fall into another snow bank. Perspiration covered her nearly frozen body, and she awkwardly tumbled towards the curb, desperate to find so much as a single kind face.

Yet the street she found herself on was empty, and behind her was the now closed portal, as well as some large building that resembled a school. Without any magic, or anyone in sight Sunset silently wondered if this had all been one big mistake. In her desperate bid to escape Celestia she had entered a world she barely understood, taking with her a bag of bits that were now likely worthless.

Snow crunched beneath her bare feet, and Sunset watched as her body searched for any sign of another person. Yet unbeknownst to her, most of the population had gathered on the other side of town for a festival that came only once a year. Leaving her with little options save to stumble blindly towards one of the dark, seemingly empty houses across the street.

Her feat slipped out from under her, and Sunset watched as her body tumbled to the ground, fresh waves of pain coursing through her. She tried to rise, but fell almost immediately, new tears running down her semi frozen face. Then it got even worse, as a pair of powerful lights fell across her nude form, causing a primal bolt of fear to shoot up her spine.

Sunset watched with tired resignation as her body scrambled to escape the oncoming machine which hurtled towards her. In the process, a jagged hunk of ice sliced into her foot, and an uncomfortable meeting with the ground bruised her chin. Yet in the end she had managed to throw herself onto the opposite sidewalk before the hurtling car had a chance to hit her.

Tires screeched, and Sunset watched with a smile on her face as an old red plymouth shuddered to a stop several meters away. Her body was too terrified though, and tried to run away, convinced that this was some form of metal monster. Only for a quiet, soft spoken voice to break her out of her fear induced panic.

“Woah there, relax. I ain't gonna hurt you,” exclaimed a masculine voice.

Sunset stopped, and turned towards where the metal monster had stopped, a door having opened to reveal a face her current self recognized. His blue hair was as messy as always, and his wide sparkling blue eyes contained an unfathomably deep well of empathy.

“Can you tell me your name or what happened to you?” He asked.

Sunset Shimmer blinked, too amazed that this strangely clothed male was riding inside of the metal creature to speak. Not only that but he was apparently so warm that heat spilled out from the interior of the machine, tickling Sunset’s cheek.

“S-s-s-sunet,” she saw herself mutter.

“Sunset, now that's a beautiful name. Why don't you hop in so you can warm up?” offered the kind young man.

“I-” Sunset saw herself briefly wonder if this was some kind of trap before giving up and awkwardly throwing herself into the passenger seat.

“Woah you are like, naked naked,” the man murmured in shock. “I couldn't tell from all that snow.”

Sunset awkwardly pulled the door shut behind her, the girl’s numb fingers catching on the handle by pure chance. Now inside, she quickly got to work brushing off all the snow that had collected on her body.

“Here. Take this,” offered the man, who held his jacket to the woman while covering his eyes with the other hand. “It will help warm you up.”

“I- thank you,” Sunset quickly replied, draping the peice of cloth across her trembling body as best as she could.

“Sorry I don't have more to offer you but if you let me take you to the police I’m sure they can help you,” he offered.

“N-no!” Sunset quickly shouted, her mind conjuring images of Celestia’s enforcers. “No police. No guards.”

“Err sure,” he muttered. “What about my place then? I’m pretty sure my sister is about your age and wouldn't be too pissed if I stole some clothes from her.”

Sunset Shimmer watched from outside the car as her body hesitated once more, her past self weighing the pros and cons.

Go on. You know you want to. Sunset thought to herself.

Her body nodded. “Yeah. That sounds okay.”

The man smiled. “Great. Maybe after you warm up and have a shower you can tell me what happened to you. If not that's fine too.”

Sunset sighed. “Thank you mister,” she whispered.

Her savior grinned, and shifted the car back into gear. “Don't worry about it, and call me Flash.”

Sunset Shimmer smiled as she watched herself pull away in the car of the human, her mind conjuring all the pleasant memories she would share with him. Yet reality asserted itself once more, with the cold winter’s day replacing itself with a summer afternoon she hoped she wouldn't return to.

“-and that's why I couldn't get rid of it,” Sunset Shimmer felt herself exclaim. “It means too much to me.”

She watched as her friends seemed to have a silent conversation, exchanging a few strained looks. Then just as her body looked down, Sunset noticed a rainbow light begin to emanate from behind her friend’s eyes. Instantly their strained expressions vanished, replaced by grim determination.

“Well darling. You know what they say. It's best to let the past lie,” Rarity exclaimed.

“Everyone associates this jacket with evil you anyway,” added Rainbow Dash.

“Yeah. It doesn't make much sense to keep something like that just cus of yer ex,” Applejack stated.

“This will be good for you,” Fluttershy urged.

“To new beginnings!” Pinkie Pie proclaimed.

“W-wait stop!” Sunset pleaded.

“This is for your own good Sunset,” Rarity replied.

Sunset watched as her jacket fell into the garbage can, a silent scream building on her lips. Yet she knew she wouldn't release the cry of indignation, for in the end she had already convinced herself that it had been for the best.

“There we are. Now don't you feel better already?” Rarity offered.

Sunset Shimmer nodded meekly, unable to speak due to the tears streaking down her face.

“Right. Well that looks like everything,” Applejack proclaimed.

“And don't worry darling. I made you more than enough clothes to replace what you lost,” Rarity remarked.

“So make sure to say thank you,” Fluttershy encouraged.

Sunset choked down a sob. “T-thank you.”

“Your welcome dear. Now come on everyone. We should toss this garbage out before we get back to band practice,” Rarity declared.

“Good thinking Rares,” Rainbow Dash agreed.

Sunset simmered in her old body, remembering well the frantic dumpster dive she had been forced to do later that day. She remembered the shame she felt when she could only bring herself to save the jacket and nothing else. She remembered the tears that she shed, and the long, sad night she spent sobbing over what she had nearly lost.

She also remembered how quickly that memory had faded, and how her friends had reacted to her jacket’s eventual return. Hate and rage swirled within her heart as she watched her friends carry away the garbage can and begin to set up their instruments. Those bitter feelings were stifled only slightly when Sunset recalled the strange rainbow light her past self hadn't initially noticed.

Was that the elements at work? Or perhaps it was something else entirely? Sunset Shimmer ruminated on the small bit of information before pointedly forgetting about it. It doesn't matter. The memory is over now, and soon I’ll be back in that room with my so called friends.

Sure enough, the world began to fade, with every color being replaced by a mix of greys and whites before that too was gone. But it was not replaced by the dark confines of the tank she had entered not long ago, but rather a strange white void. One that had no walls, or roof, only an infinitely empty plane that stretched on forever in all directions.

“What the heck?” Sunset Shimmer muttered.

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