• Published 5th Feb 2021
  • 849 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 4

The next day, Sunset arrived at school to find half a dozen unmarked black vans sitting in the back of the school parking lot. Instead of a single traffic cop waving to her as she came in, there were men and women in dark suits mixed in with the crowd. The teenage population avoided many of them, but it didn’t seem like the DSA people cared one way or the other.

Sunset Shimmer could feel their eyes on her as she passed through the front door. When the PA buzzed overhead, she wasn’t even a little bit surprised to hear what it had to say.

“Attention students of Canterlot High,” announced Principal Celestia, who sounded a little exasperated. “While all of you are making your way to your classes, you’ll find our campus has a number of… guests this morning. Expect them to be coming and going between our classes today. Know that anyone who misses an assignment will be given late credit. You will not be punished for assisting in their interviews in any way you feel is right.”

Sunset’s phone went off. She didn’t even have to pull it out of her pocket to know it would be a stream of frightened and disgusted emojis as well as messages from her friends.

She made it as far as her locker before Sunset discovered a familiar face waiting for her—Foxtrot, smiling politely with his arms folded.

“Good morning, Sunset Shimmer. If you could come with me, I’d like to ask you a few questions,” Foxtrot exclaimed.

“That doesn’t sound like an invitation,” Sunset Shimmer retorted as politely as she could manage. “I can’t say no, can I?”

“No,” Foxtrot answered, his smile unbroken. “But you can cooperate, and none of your friends here will know our interview is different from any of the others.”

“Alright,” Sunset acquiesced. “Lead the way.”

There was clearly no point arguing, and on top of that there was no covert way for her to send a text. So the girl merely stuffed down the urge to panic and consigned herself to her fate.


Agent Foxtrot led Sunset into an empty classroom, nodding to the men in suits standing on either side of the door. People stared as they walked in, watching up until the moment the agent closed the door behind them.

The room had been mostly emptied, except for the teacher’s desk in the center and an uncomfortable looking stool on the other side. The desk had an audio recorder, a closed manila folder and nothing else. Foxtrot took the padded teacher’s chair, gesturing for Sunset to sit.

She didn’t and merely leaned sideways on the nearby wall and folded her arms. “I’m not sure what you want from me. I haven’t committed any crimes, nor have I done anything wrong,” Sunset Shimmer began.

“That’s an interesting perspective,” Foxtrot began. “There are some who might say those like you are some of the greatest dangers this country has ever encountered. We have a responsibility to protect ourselves and to protect the rest of our planet. We’re the watchmen on the wall, Sunset Shimmer. If we don’t stop them here, they will overwhelm us.”

Sunset shivered.

All this time she’d imagined her history in Canterlot had been a secret. But that belief seemed more insane the more she thought about it. She’d attacked a high school, then defended it. Hundreds of students with cell phones had seen it. Hundreds of parents would probably have heard second hand stories about what she’d done.

Sunset winced, then sat down on the stool. “I’m not a threat to you or anyone else,” she claimed.

“I’m not sure about that.” Foxtrot retorted, pressing “record” on the machine in front of him.

“Aren’t you supposed to read me my rights or something? Or… do I get a lawyer?” Sunset Shimmer questioned.

“You aren’t being charged with anything at this time,” Foxtrot stated before clearing his throat. “Agent Foxtrot here interviewing a student of Canterlot High School, one Sunset Shimmer. Senior. Anything you say can and will be used in the ongoing investigation into the safety of Canterlot.”

Then he leaned forward, flipping open the folder and tossing a photograph across the table towards her. “Maybe you’ll have something to say about this,” he offered.

It was taken from the school’s security cameras, right outside the front gates. It showed her, towering over the other students, fully transformed by the stolen magic. She was demonic, overflowing with power, and standing on a pile of shattered bricks. The appearance of such an image was a shock as Sunset didn’t think they kept the tape of that event.

The official story of that night was a gas leak during the dance, which had caused many of the students to hallucinate, followed by an explosion that miraculously took place near the front of the school, leaving the students unharmed.

“Looks like photoshop to me,” Sunset Shimmer replied in a dismissive . “I’ve seen better in a Halloween store.”

Foxtrot laughed, then tossed several more photos from that same night towards her. All from different angles, with realistic light and shadow and no sign of being doctored.

“Do you really think that a high school hired Industrial Light and Magic to do these, huh? That's an expensive devotion to… what, a practical joke?” Foxtrot offered.

Sunset Shimmer shrugged. “I can’t explain those.”

“I’m sure you can’t explain the physical similarities either.” Foxtrot pointed out before holding up one last picture.

This one was divided in half, with her yearbook photo on one side and a closeup of her demonic self on the other. Little boxes had been drawn on the facial features, showing the perfect match between them.

“That looks an awful lot like your face to our statistical analysis,” Foxtrot stated.

Sunset could lie with the best, but even she could feel her pulse rising, sense the sweat dripping down her forehead. What was she going to do, admit she’d been a magical monster that attacked the school? They’ll already have other students talking about that. Noone else would lie for her, she thought. Maybe her friends would, but the rest of the school… lots of them still hated her for her underclassman years.

“I can’t,” Sunset Shimmer admitted. “I don’t know why it would look like that.”

Foxtrot turned off the recorder.

“I do. Because Canterlot has experienced half a dozen anomalies like this over the last four years. At first it didn’t do more than raise a few eyebrows at the department. But it turns out there are stories going back centuries. Visit your historical society, ask for a tour of local mythology. I haven’t visited a small town anywhere in America with stories like yours. And some of the evidence is shockingly convincing,” Foxtrot continued.

“Our tax dollars are paying people to investigate folktales,” Sunset muttered, summoning every drop of sarcasm she could. “That sounds useful.”

Foxtrot leaned back in his chair, removing his sunglasses and settling them on the desk in front of her. Behind them, his blue eyes were as sharp as Celestia’s had ever been and the man seemed to be staring straight through her.

“Don’t insult me, Miss Shimmer. We both know you haven’t paid a single dollar of taxes in your entire life. Yes, I’ve seen your employment history,” Foxtrot stated, the man raising a hand to cut off Sunset’s response before it could leave her mouth. “No, I have no desire to get the IRS involved. Or Immigration. How about we talk to each other about this like adults, off the record.”

He reached down, opening the recorder and removing the battery in a deliberate manner.

“Okay,” Sunset Shimmer remarked, folding her arms across her chest. “Shoot.”

“My department believes foreign entities from… elsewhere. Have been appearing in Canterlot for at least four centuries. Possibly before western settlement as well, though there are no written records from before that and I think that you might be one of them,” Foxtrot exclaimed.

“If I was…” Sunset Shimmer muttered, the girl doing her best to keep her voice even.

Sweet Celestia they’re so close to the truth already. They figured all that out without anyone telling them! Unless someone did tell them. Sunset Shimmer thought to herself.

“I’m not dangerous to you or anyone else. I’m here to live my life, like anyone else. I want to make friends, go to college, maybe get married one day… the same aspirations as anyone else,” Sunset Shimmer continued.

Foxtrot’s eyebrows went up skeptically and he tapped two fingers on the nearest demon photo. “You don’t call this dangerous?” He asked.

“I call that… a person that I am not. A person who didn’t know how lucky she was to be here, and who wants to be a better person with every fibre of her being. I notice you don’t have any pictures of yesterday in this pile. Maybe you should be looking at those cameras instead. You won’t find someone attacking people, you’ll find someone putting themselves at risk to keep innocents safe,” Sunset Shimmer stated, becoming more confident with each passing second. “I’ve made my mistakes. Now I want to be better.”

Agent Foxtrot’s expression was impossible to read. Sunset longed to reach across the table and try to touch his hand in order to see what he might be thinking. But at this point she couldn’t shake the thought that he would know what she was doing, and use it as an excuse that she really was dangerous. So she resisted, instead merely shifting uncomfortably in her chair.

Eventually he stood up.

“That will be enough for now, Miss Shimmer. It’s possible we will have further questions for you in the next few days. And a word of advice. Next time you and your friends see something dangerous, let the authorities handle it. I don’t know where you come from, or what abilities you really have but we humans have done well enough without your help for thousands of years. We don’t need it now. If you really want to live here, then act like one of us,” Foxtrot stated firmly.

He held open the door for her, his intentions clear. Sunset didn’t argue with him, merely slipping out of the room and down the hall to class as quickly as she could. She wanted to turn around and scream at him as she left, to tell him that it had been humans who showed her the example of friendship. Humans, as well as one pony, that had stood up to her when she had magic, and then stood up to the sirens. They didn’t cower and let dangerous creatures attack whoever they wanted!

But she resisted doing that.

He knows everything. Knows I’m from Equestria, knows that Equestrian creatures had been dumped in Canterlot for years now. What would Earth do, if it realized that ponies had been using it for a trash-dump of monsters for hundreds of years? Would they break the portal? Or worse, decide to return the favor? Sunset Shimmer thought to herself.

He doesn’t seem to know where the portal is yet. I’ll have to make sure I warn the girls to stay away. Sunset Shimmer considered.

But she would have to find a safe place to tell them that. At least the true nature of the portal wasn’t generally known around Canterlot High. They hadn’t lost yet.

Hopefully.

Time passed by, and Sunset didn’t get a chance to talk to her friends until lunch that day. Sunset could sense the nervous frustration just by walking into the room, without even using her powers. The looks of suspicion from huddled students as men and women in suits moved through the room asking questions only made that thought even more poignant.

And all of them are telling the truth about what I did to save their own skin. Sunset Shimmer thought hopefully to herself.

Sunset had only a single reassuring fact to keep her spirits up, which was the fact that Agent Foxtrot hadn’t actually arrested her. Does that mean there’s a chance he believes me? Maybe he thinks I’ll lead him to the real danger if he just watches long enough. Sunset Shimmer considered.

Sunset sat down at her friends’ table, at the spot Twilight suggested for her.
Can’t fight me for it in here, Timber.
“Sunset!” Twilight happily exclaimed, grinning at the other girl. “Some mail came for you! It was so late they sent it to the office, but…”

She set down a few thick envelopes next to Sunset’s meal tray. Thick yellow envelopes, with college return addresses. She didn’t even have to open them to know they would be acceptance letters.

After all, it only took one page to say no.

“I got in,” Sunset muttered, disbelief evident on her feature. “Someone actually accepted me.”

“Three someones!” Twilight exclaimed, wrapping one arm around her shoulder in a quick embrace. “None of the schools I applied to however.”

Then I don't care. Sunset Shimmer thought but didn't say.

“But it hasn’t been long enough to worry about that!” Twilight exclaimed with faux excitement. “Even with special dispensation, it could be another few weeks. So don’t give up.”

I actually have a future here, Sunset thought, amazed. She sat back in her chair, not even feeling hungry anymore. They’ll take me. Of course, none of these schools were the ones she really cared about, but they had still gone out of their way in an attempt to snap her up.

“You’re getting distracted,” Rainbow whispered, the girl having already finished her lunch, and was now leaned in close to Sunset. “What the heck are we supposed to do about…”

She fell silent as Agent Foxtrot strode right past their table, pretending not to be listening. “This meat mountain here?” Rainbow Dash continued.

“He wants us to stop saving people,” Sunset muttered. “And not to use our powers.”

Several of her friends actually laughed. A few just looked horrified. But it was Applejack who finally spoke first.

“Well that ain’t happenin’. Granny always said a person was responsible for the good they didn’t do. I ain’t sittin’ on my hands while somethin’ terrible steamrolls over my town,” exclaimed the farm girl.

“Me neither,” Sunset agreed.

Even if we have to deal with Foxtrot after it will have been worth it. Lets see if he can find a way to be upset that we saved lives. Sunset Shimmer smugly thought to herself.

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