• Published 5th Feb 2021
  • 1,662 Views, 79 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 32

The seven girls piled silently out of the limo, a general air of unease and disguiet hanging over them. Only Pinkie Pie seemed relatively unbothered by the recent brush with death, the young woman doing her best to cheer everyone up. An action which seemed to be bearing fruit as most werent quite so put off by the time they walked into the large foyer.

Applejack whistled. “Damn, I always forget just how fancy this place is.”

“If there was any more gold in here it would be rather gouache,” Rarity remarked.

“I like it. It's very bright,” Fluttershy whispered.

“Good to see you return Miss Shimmer,” greeted a middle aged man who held the door open for them.

“At least the people are nice,” Rainbow Dash added.

“Hey Regis! How's the family?” replied Pinkie Pie.

“Wow Pinkie, you know everyone,” Twilight remarked.

“No not everyone,” Pinkie Pie remarked, pointing at the man’s name tag.

“They are doing wonderfully Pinkie Pie. The cake you sent over for little Valentina’s birthday was to die for,” Regis exclaimed.

“Wait but you said…” Twilight sighed.

Sunset snickered as they made their way over to the elevator and waited for its arrival.

“So…” Applejack murmured. “Are we going to talk about the fact that we were almost murdered by a pack of heavily armed psychos like ten minutes ago?”

“I was rather hoping we’d avoid that discussion,” Rarity admitted.

“It's not healthy to pretend it never happened,” Fluttershy retorted.

“What's there to discuss?” interrupted Rainbow Dash. “They came, we saw, we kicked their butts.”

“I mean, we still got shot a bunch,” Pinkie Pie replied, rubbing a bruise on her bicep.

“Oh sorry about that,” Fluttershy quickly interjected, using her magic to heal the minor blemish.

The elevator dinged, several people exited it, and the small group of girls entered after them. After Sunset hit the correct floor, they all settled in and relaxed as best as they could under the circumstances.

“As much as I don't mind the concept of a group therapy session, I think this is something we need to deal with on our own,” Rarity offered.

Sunset nodded. “I agree. We all handle these things in our own way, and I for one don't really feel like talking about it. Besides, this time it wasn't all that bad.”

“We have been getting shot at quite a bit recently,” Twilight muttered.

“I don't think I’ll ever get used to that,” Applejack grumpily added.

Rainbow Dash blew a dismissive raspberry. “What's there to get used to? We have been dancing with death for years at this point.”

“This feels different though, right?” Applejack asked.

Everyone nodded, even Rainbow Dash, though she was a bit more reluctant to do so.

“It feels kinda like our lives were a kids show, then we got rebooted with a new writer who wanted to take our story in a darker direction,” Pinkie Pie remarked.

“That is… weirdly accurate,” Twilight admitted.

“Hopefully it's not HBO that financed the reboot. I wouldn't be able to stomach any senseless nudity,” Rarity added in a disgusted tone.

Fluttershy giggled. “Very true.”

“So long as we don't get the game of thrones treatment then we should be okay,” Rainbow Dash declared.

Applejack snorted and crossed her arms over her chest. “Augh don't even remind me about that show. I’m still mad about that last season.”

“Hey I didn't think it was that bad,” Sunset exclaimed.

“Bloody kneelers,” Applejack muttered.

The elevator all erupted with laughter, the general unease dissipating somewhat as the girls reveled in a bit of humour. Even Sunset, who felt a little put off by the remark, joined in their revelry. Together they shed the unpleasant emotions which shrouded their thoughts, until at long last the elevator dinged.

The chime alerted them to the fact that they had arrived at their destination and together the seven strode out of the metal box. Though silent, the group continued to wear their smiles with pride, even if they faded somewhat as they entered Sunset’s apartment. Where shoes were quickly kicked off, jackets and backpacks tossed aside or placed on racks.

“You guys know where everything is. Feel free to grab a shower, or a snack. I’m going to throw a movie on in the meantime,” Sunset exclaimed, waving off the group as she made a beeline for the living room.

Twilight lingered at the door, her phone held tight in her grip as she stared down at a message from Timber Spruce.

Fluttershy and Rarity chatted with one another while they made their way over to the master bedroom. The pair were already discussing which of the fancy soaps they were going to try out while also remarking how thankful they were to still have their swimwear on them from their last outing at the beach.

Rainbow Dash and Applejack walked towards the kitchen, both teasing the other for their lackluster performance in the fight. Applejack pointed out that Rainbow Dash got the easier of the two sets of foes while the speedster remarked that at least she got more then one knockout.

Pinkie Pie was tempted to join the last group, though she lingered at the door, her gaze settling on Twilight.

“Hey are you okay?” Pinkie Pie whispered.

“Yeah I’m fine. Just… got a lot on my mind right now,” Twilight muttered.

“Are you sure? You seem… off,” Pinkie Pie replied.

“I’m fine,” Twilight stated firmly.

Pinkie Pie raised her hands defensively. “Alright. I was just asking.”

Twilight sighed.

“That was wonderful darling, absolutely wonderful,” Rarity gushed as she strode out from around a corner, her hair wrapped in a towel while her body was hidden by a bathrobe.

“I’m so glad you found the button for the jets,” Fluttershy whispered.

“You two werent getting freaky in there were ya?” Rainbow Dash asked, the girl smirking as she leaned against the entrance to the kitchen.

“We were doing no such thing!” Rarity shrieked, her face quickly turning red.

“Yeah. Everyone knows Rarity doesn't have the balls to instigate something like that,” Applejack added, sharing a snicker and a high five with Rainbow Dash.

“Well at least I don't challenge the person I have a crush on to constant races just so I can see them get sweaty,” Fluttershy shot back.

“Woah,” Rainbow Dash muttered.

Applejack blushed hard. “I didn't- I don't- I never-”

“Come along Rarity,” Fluttershy interrupted. “Our clothes are probably done in the wash and we must get dressed.”

Pinkie Pie popped out from around the corner. “Oh hey I ordered pizza by the way.”

“That sounds wonderful Pinkie Pie. Thank you,” Fluttershy exclaimed before walking away with a blushing Rarity locked arm in arm.

“Who would have thought Fluttershy was the one who wore the pants in that relationship,” Rainbow Dash exclaimed.

Only to receive an elbow in the gut from Applejack. “They ain't datin ya goober. They are just close.”

“How can you see that and not think they are dating?” Rainbow Dash declared, gesturing wildly to the door Fluttershy and Rarity had just disappeared through.

“I mean they did spend time in solitary together,” Pinkie Pie offered.

Applejack sighed. “Let's just go get those snacks before the pizza gets here.”

“Sorry for bringing that up,” Pinkie Pie whispered.

Rainbow Dash wrapped an arm around the despondent pink girl and pulled her towards the exit. “Don't worry about it, Pinkie Pie. Now why don't you help us pick out some candy?”

“That sounds great!” Pinkie Pie stated with a smile.

Sunset Shimmer reclined in a chair that probably cost as much as five months rent at her old place. The plush, faux leather seat parted around her, wrapping the girl in its comfortable, yet still slightly cool embrace. As she sat there, relaxing in silence, she looked out over the room, her gaze settling on her view of the city.

Hilly, and broken up by deep valleys, Canterlot was an odd mirror of its Equestrian counterpart. Unlike there, here there was no great mountain, only a few slightly taller hills that were now crowned with towering structures. It was also a much more chaotic place, having not been built by a carefully controlled committee that ensured its skyline was orderly.

The city outside was also beautiful in its own way, with each block allowed to grow and thrive with fairly little intervention by the local government. Not that there werent a few blemishes however, such as a series of rundown warehouses that had yet to be demolished. There were also a few rather garish highrises that were for whatever reason built in a brutalist style, but even those werent so bad.

As Sunset’s mind wandered, she glanced around the large, luxurious living room she had grown so fond of. One of its most striking features was the enormous single pane window that stretched for nearly twenty feet across. Allowing any to gaze out over the complete breadth of the city without anything to abstract their view.

This great pane of glass made the already enormous living room feel even bigger, and inadvertently made it unpleasant to sit in. At least when alone anyway, here with her friends all around her, Sunset Shimmer felt perfectly at peace. It also helped that the usual quiet of the large space had been broken by the sound of laughter, and excited conversation.

On the far side of the room, past the enormous eighty inch Tv, surround sound system, and a half dozen gaming consoles was a pool table. Illuminated by a chandelier that hung over its center, the table was covered in various colored orbs arranged in a chaotic manner. Leaning heavily against one side and wielding a pool cue was Rainbow Dash, the girl’s tongue sticking out of her mouth as she lined up her shot.

Next to her, laughing and making a joke at how far behind the speedster was Applejack. It was clear to Sunset from the other girl’s smirking expression that she was currently in the lead. With a firm clack audible across the room, Rainbow Dash sunk what appeared to be a difficult shot, wiping the smirk from Applejack’s face.

Between them rested four couches, which together were large enough to seat about half of their class. Currently it had only three occupants, Fluttershy, Rarity, and Twilight, though Twilight herself sat apart from the others. Who were giggling as they painted their fingers, their phones open to some funny video that Sunset couldn't see.

Sunset also didn't know where they got the nail polish, but she chose not to think about that at the moment. Rarity probably knew, but if Sunset asked she’d likely get roped into getting her digits done as well and she didn't like that. Or at least that was what she told herself anyway.

As Sunset’s gaze fell on Twilight, a bright pink blur appeared out of nowhere and leapt over the lip of the couch. Landing on the plush fake leather with a dull thump, Pinkie Pie grinned from ear to ear as she deposited her load of food on the coffee table. Including several bowls of popcorn, three bags of chips, a half dozen open containers of candy, and five two litres.

How Pinkie Pie had balanced all that was beyond Sunset, and she once again chose not to think too hard on the subject. For there lay only madness.

Diverting her attention from Pinkie, Sunset glanced at Twilight who had yet to look away from her phone for several minutes. Her shoulders were slumped, her gaze downcast, and her eyes were slightly misty, as if she were on the verge of tears. Twilight had also been the only one to not change into some extra clothes, or put what she came in wearing through the wash. Meaning she was still covered in dirt, and smelled a bit due to the sweat which clung to her body.

“Hey Twi, are you okay?” Sunset whispered, shifting from her chair to the empty spot to Twilight’s left.

“Huh, what? Oh uh yeah. I’m fine,” Twilight muttered.

“Really, cus you sure don't look like it,” Sunset deadpanned.

“Yeah Twi. You look like you’re ready to cry, or punch someone in the nose,” Pinkie Pie pointed out.

“I’m not angry!” Twilight retorted, only to immediately wince. “Okay so maybe I’m slightly annoyed.”

“What's bothering you darling?” inquired Rarity, who along with Fluttershy had shuffled closer to the bespectacled girl.

“It ain't that boyfriend of yours, is it?” Applejack asked.

“He didn't pee himself did he?” Rainbow Dash added.

Twilight sighed. “No he did not pee himself… as far as I’m aware.”

“Coulda fooled me with how tight he was hanging onto Fluttershy’s pant leg,” Rainbow Dash remarked.

Applejack elbowed Rainbow in the gut. “Ya ain't helpin.”

“Sure he wasn't helpful, but he also wasn't a hindrance, at least,” Sunset offered somewhat weakly.

“I mean he doesn't have any powers or abilities so hiding was probably the right thing to do,” Fluttershy reasoned.

“He could have at least thrown some of my sticky grenade thingies,” Pinkie Pie remarked. “I offered him the chance but he didn't even seem to know I was talking to him.”

“He was stressed out, Pinkie Pie. Ordinary people aren't used to getting shot at or even being in life and death situations in the first place,” Twilight retorted.

“So…” Applejack muttered, plunking down on the floor across from Twilight, joining Rainbow Dash. “If that ain't what’s got ya worried then what's buggin ya?”

“Don't tell me he dumped you,” Rarity whispered in an aghast tone.

“No, nothing like that. Or at least I don't think so,” Twilight replied.

“You don't have to tell us if you don't want to,” Fluttershy cautioned.

“I don't mind, it's just…” Twilight sighed and pulled up her phone. “Here let me read it to you.”

Twilight cleared her throat. “Hey Twilight, not sure when this message is going to send because of the poor reception at the precinct but I’ve been thinking. This whole recent disaster felt different from the others, like there was real danger and not the kind you used to deal with. I know I said I’d help you with your hero stuff, but I don't know if I can. Let's meet up tomorrow sometime to talk. This whole texting thing sucks.”

“Well he's right on one thing. Texting sucks balls,” Rainbow Dash declared.

“It isn't exactly the best method for conversation,” Fluttershy reasoned.

“Plus it's really hard to tell if someone is being sarcastic,” Pinkie Pie added.

“I don't know what to say,” Twilight admitted. “I want to tell him to hold on, and wait for us to deal with Foxtrot so things can go back to normal but I’m not sure if things can go back to the way they were...”

“Foxtrot is a little too well organized to be something we can take care of ourselves,” Sunset pointed out.

“That also assumes that Celestia chick doesn't keep dumping villains and magical creatures through that portal doohickey,” Applejack declared.

“We could spend the rest of our lives fighting monsters, and thousand year old aliens from another dimension,” Rainbow Dash proclaimed.

“How dreadful,” remarked Rarity.

“Hopefully it doesn't come to that,” Applejack added.

“Yeah I don't think I could keep fighting bad guys at ninety years old. Eighty maybe, but ninety? That's way too old,” Pinkie Pie declared before stuffing her face with popcorn.

Twilight sighed. “I never really thought of that before.”

“So long as that portal remains open she could dump any matter of horrible abomination into our world,” Fluttershy whispered fearfully.

“Things may never be able to go back to normal,” murmured Twilight.

“Now hold on a second,” Sunset interrupted. “I wouldn't go that far. Sure Foxtrot may be a little difficult to deal with by ourselves but I’m sure with Perfect Tempo’s help we could take him.”

“But what about Celestia?” Twilight asked.

Sunset sighed. “That is a bit more complicated, though it isn't impossible to imagine some kind of countermeasure to her shenanigans.”

“Heh, shenanigans,” Rainbow Dash muttered.

“Oh I love that place! I always make sure to get a litre of farva!” Pinkie Pie excitedly proclaimed.

“What the heck is a farva?” Applejack asked, scratching her head.

“It's a drink, but I think we are getting a little off topic,” Rarity answered.

“Right. I guess we should get back to discussing how our lives will never return to normal and that I should dump Timber Spruce,” Twilight muttered bitterly.

Though Sunset desperately wanted to agree with Twilight, the former pony put on a wide smile and squeezed the other girl’s shoulder. “Just hold on a bit alright? I’m sure things will get better soon,” Sunset whispered.

“I sure hope so,” Twilight remarked.

“In the meantime we must remember that we can only really count on each other,” Fluttershy softly exclaimed, sharing a glance with Rarity.

Who smiled back, batting her eyelashes at the other girl. “Quite right darling.”

“I’m not worried. We make for a great team,” Rainbow Dash declared, wrapping an arm around Applejack’s shoulder and pulling her in close.

“You betcha,” Applejack agreed.

“It's going to be tough, but I just know we’ll make it through!” Pinkie Pie excitedly proclaimed, somehow managing to pull everyone into a group hug.

“So just have a little faith,” Sunset whispered, squeezing Twilight’s hand.

“Y-yeah,” Twilight stuttered, unable to look Sunset in the eye. “Maybe if I teach him magic, or train him to fight, or…”

Break up with him. Sunset thought to herself, but did not utter.

“Something,” Twilight concluded.

“So what's the plan?” Rainbow Dash asked. “Other than hug each other well past the point of it being not awkward.”

“You just had to ruin it,” Pinkie Pie muttered, releasing her friends.

“What do you mean exactly R.D?” Applejack inquired.

Rainbow Dash shrugged. “You know, with Foxtrot and stuff. Sunset said we can't handle it alone and as much as I hate to admit it, she's right.”

“We would need an intelligence network, contacts,” Rarity began.

“Watches with lasers in them, expensive cars, and a license to kill,” Pinkie Pie finished, miming the act of shooting an invisible pistol at Sunset.

Who rolled her eyes. “We need some of those things, yes, but Perfect Tempo can help us with that.”

“I don't want to belabor the point or anything, but are you sure we can trust him with something so important?” Applejack inquired.

“He is a bit of a stranger, despite all the help he's given us,” Fluttershy reasoned.

“I’m sure he will help. If for no other reason then to help himself,” Sunset replied. “After all, Foxtrot threatens his operations and friends as much as that jerk that threatens us.”

“Well when you put it like that…” Twilight muttered.

“Awesome!” Rainbow Dash declared, pumping a fist into the air. “Once he does all the boring work like finding the jerk face, then we can go in there and kick his butt.”

“I wouldn't be too gung ho there Rainbow Dash. We don't know who or what is helping him create those stone creatures,” Twilight pointed out.

“You don't think it's some kind of evil rock pony or something, do you?” Pinkie Pie fearfully asked.

“I don't rightfully know who is helping him, but whoever they are, they need to get their tail kicked,” Sunset declared.

“I mean we’ll still need Perfect’s help even after they find him,” Fluttershy reasoned. “Foxtrot has a whole army.”

“Could you call our benefactor by chance?” Rarity asked, turning to Sunset. “I feel with him here we could have a much more fruitful discussion.”

“True,” Sunset agreed.

Sunset reached into her pocket and swiftly produced her slim black phone, sliding it open. A second later and she had fired off a text, one that she marked as urgent in order to speak to the male as soon as possible. With that done she informed her friends of what she had done, and they all spread out across the couches.

A movie was selected, and though Pinkie Pie was worried that the pizza was late, the seven females all settled in. Before the film could begin the distant buzz of a doorbell alerted them to the fact that someone had arrived.

“Is it Perfect Tempo?” asked Rarity.

“He hasn't texted back,” Sunset replied.

Sunset flipped over to the app which connected to the camera bolted to the front of her door, revealing a familiar face.

“Hey, would you look at that,” Applejack muttered.

“Perfect Tempo, more like Perfect Timing,” Pinkie Pie remarked, the girl already snickering over her own attempt at humour.

“That was awful,” Rarity deadpanned.

Fluttershy giggled.

“Unlocking the door,” Sunset announced before swiping her finger over the correct button.

A second later and the distant door opened, followed closely by the sound of footsteps making their way over to the living room.

“Ahh, there you are,” Perfect Tempo exclaimed. “Just where I assumed you would be.”

“Good timing Perfect, we were just…” Sunset blinked. “Are you… carrying our pizzas?”

Perfect Tempo deposited the half dozen rectangle boxes at the table before taking a step back and standing next to the television.

“I was,” he admitted. “It seems as though one of my subordinates chose to interrogate the poor kid delivering pizzas under the assumption that they were poisoned.”

“I sure hope you tipped him well,” Fluttershy remarked.

“I bought him a new car,” Perfect Tempo replied.

“That was generous,” Fluttershy exclaimed.

“Yes, well. I admit this entire debacle has me feeling rather inadequate and embarrassed,” Perfect Tempo declared.

“Why do you say that?” Applejack questioned.

“Like I mentioned before. The only reason he was able to attack you like this was due to my unfortunate oversight in vetting my men,” Perfect Tempo began, adjusting his tie. “I’ve made sure to reevaluate the protocol in such a way as to make certain that does not happen again.”

“What about our families?” Twilight inquired.

“Taken care of,” Perfect Tempo replied. “Their protection detail has been doubled, and I’ve personally examined every one of them assigned to the task.”

“That's a relief,” Applejack muttered.

“No kidding,” Rainbow Dash agreed.

“Thank you mister Tempo,” Fluttershy offered.

“Please just call me Perfect,” replied the man. “Tempo was my father’s name.”

“Oh, okay,” Fluttershy all but whispered.

Perfect Tempo cleared his throat. “Furthermore I was hoping to convince you girls to remain in one central location for the time being. It is clear that Foxtrot is targeting you and I’m not certain if I can keep you all safe if you are moving about in public all the time.”

“What about school?” Twilight asked.

“We have less than a week left, and most of us are done with all our classes,” Applejack replied.

“I can arrange for a tutor, or simply pull the necessary strings to have you graduate early,” Perfect Tempo offered.

“I think we should sleep on such a decision, don't you think girls?” Applejack asked.

“What's there to discuss?” Pinkie Pie announced, leaping from her seat. “This means we can have a sleepover everyday! I’m in!”

“That could be fun, though I wouldn't wish to make Sunset feel like she was a guest in her own house,” Rarity replied, glancing at the former pony curiously.

Sunset shrugged. “It doesn't quite feel like home unless you guys are here anyway. Plus I have a feeling like someone had just such a possibility in mind when they gave me this apartment.”

Perfect Tempo chuckled. “I look out for our own. You are a member of our dysfunctional little family after all.”

“So getting back to Foxtrot,” Rainbow Dash interrupted. “We want to help take him down, isn't that right girls?”

Nearly everyone offered their hearty affirmation to Rainbow Dash’s declaration, though Fluttershy remained quiet.

“Are you sure about this? You guys could be hurt,” Perfect Tempo warned.

“Whether we go out there and fight or not we still might get hurt,” Fluttershy reasoned.

“Well put darling,” Rarity commended.

“Exactly!” Pinkie Pie proclaimed, the girl bouncing excitedly on the balls of her feat and shadow boxing a specter. “Don't worry mister Perfect. We can totally take those jerks. Just point us at ‘em!”

Perfect Tempo chuckled at the girl’s enthusiasm and nodded. “Well if I can't talk you out of it then how about a compromise? I’ll let you join the fight, but we’ll have to have this conversation again in a few days.”

“Why, if you don't mind me askin,” Applejack inquired.

“I got a few irons in the fire I need to tend to first,” Perfect Tempo replied.

“Sounds fair,” Sunset exclaimed, sharing a nod with the rest of her friends.

“In that case I will leave you all to your night of revelry and relaxation,” Perfect Tempo declared, bowing slightly before turning and walking away, only to stop at the entrance of the living room. “Oh and Pinkie Pie. Those pajamas are adorable.”

Pinkie Pie looked down at her white and black onesie which when the hood was pulled over her head, made her look like a panda.

“Ha, eat that Rarity! I told you boys liked pandas!” Pinkie Pie proclaimed, blowing raspberries at the fashionista.

“Augh,” groaned Rarity.

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