• Published 1st Sep 2021
  • 8,264 Views, 466 Comments

Equestria: A New Generation - Phantom-Dragon

What-IF: Sunset Shimmer returns to Equestria and joins Sunny Starscout and friends on their adventure.

  • ...

Canterlogic Annual Show

Inside the factory of Canterlogic, Sunset Shimmer continued to wear her disguise as she followed the rest of the visiting earth ponies, and Deputy Sprout, who was tasked with taking Sunny's cart of smoothies into the facility.

The deputy was just minding his business, when a little foal came galloping in front of him, startling him to a halt.

"Hey watch it!" The deputy barked to the foal.

"Take it easy, they're just kids," Sunset advised, still in her disguise.

"Welcome, everypony," A workpony greeted. "Got any questions about the Canterlogic factory? Happy to answer them."

Sunset was about to ask hers, when a stallion beat her, "Oh yeah! Where are the free smoothies?"

"Uh...I can't answer that one," The workpony sadly admitted.

In the meantime, Sunset Shimmer decided to have a look around at the interior complex of the factory. She was amazed at how much Equestrian technology has advanced since the last time she was here. Once upon a time, when magic was a norm, the pegasi were in charge of weather duties, the earth ponies would tend the land via farms as the backbones of society, and the unicorns would use their magics to do simple everyday tasks, while gifted unicorns, such as herself, would strive for betterment. However, it seems with the unicorns having lost their magics, the earth ponies are now in charge of advancing the lifestyles of ponies on a global level.

"Wow, how long have I been away?" Sunset asked herself, before she walked up to a whiteboard, with an array of mathematic equations and notes drawn, next to a diagram of some kind of technologic helmet, with a large antenna. "What kind of a helmet is this?" Sunset asked. "That thing on the top looks kinda like a...a horn? Could they be trying to replicate our telekinesis? Can they really do that?"

Turning to her left, Sunset was shocked to see a large robust computer, with a whole screen of data analysis, and a keyboard, next to conveyor belts, with robot arms.

"No way!" Sunset began to comment. "Computers? Robot arms? These things shouldn't be in Equestria! I've only seen these in the human world! Equestria's really catching up. What else could they come up with next?"

"You know what, Sprout?" A voice was heard, to which Sunset Shimmer turned to see it was none other than Sheriff Hitch, next to Sprout, and the critters following him. "I think I finally got through to Sunny."

Before another word could be said, the lights inside the building suddenly went dark. Then, several spotlights were turned on, drawing everypony's attentions in the room, to a large stage.

"It's the moment you've all been waiting for," A loud booming voice announced. "As the founder of Canterlogic, she's been keeping us safe and stylish for the last 20 moons," To further Sunset Shimmer's breathtaking awe, she was shocked to see a logo animated on a large black screen, on stage. "Please go wild for the one and only Phyllis Cloverleaf!"

With that, the said founder herself, Phyllis Cloverleaf, appeared on stage from the left, greeting the audience.

"Thank you!" Phyllis greeted. "Thank you! How are you? Thank you so much!"

In appearance, Phyllis is pale pink with a brighter yellow mane and tail and blue eyes. She wears bright pink glasses. Her cutie mark is a bar graph depicting rising stocks.

"We here at Canterlogic are so thrilled to create perfect products that protect ponies like you...from ponies like that!"

Phyllis pointed the audience's attention to a couple of posters, showing pegasus and unicorns as shadowy demons, antagonizing scared earth ponies, to which the audiences booed in disgust.

“Excuse me?” Sunset Shimmer exclaimed in outrage, taking her sunglasses off, while keeping her hat on.

"And like I always say," Phyllis began. "To be scared is..."

"To be prepared!" The audience followed after her.

"To be scared is to be prepared?" Sunset muttered in denial. "Of ponies like... I mean, really?"

"Oh, I love it," Phyllis giddied as she continued. "That's right. So let's start the show!"

With that, some upbeat pop music was heard playing in the background, as a spotlight shines on a mare, strutting down the stage, wearing what appeared to be a prototype of the helmet Sunset had seen, on the whiteboards from before.

"Up first, we have Sugar Moonlight looking absolutely stunning in our high-tech Anti-Mind-Reading-Hat," Phyllis announced. "All those psychic unicorns out there are going to be out of luck when you wear this little number!"

“Mind reading?" Sunset exclaimed in outrage. "Okay. That’s not how our-Uh, I mean, their magic works…” But her words fell on deaf ears, “Wow, I feel so insulted…” Sunset grumbled.

"Now let's welcome Sparkle Chaser in his Pega-Periscope Goggles," Phyllis presented another pony, wearing a strange look eyewear. "The easy way to keep your eye on the sky."

“Yeah… Eyes on the sky," Sunset criticized. "But not what’s under your nose…” She said, just as the pony wearing the goggles stumbled and fell off the stage, much to everypony's shock.

"It's all part of the show!" Phyllis chuckled nervously, which Sunset wasn't buying as she helped the pony, Sparkle Chaser, up.

Wanting to get out of the awkward moment, Phyllis presented the next pony and their invention, "Next up, the Earth Pony Balloon Escape Pack."

With that, the pony presented the said pack, pulled a strap, releasing a colorful stock of balloons that lifted him up into the air.

“Hey! My friend Pinkie Pie called!" Sunset shouted. "She wants her balloons back!” Sunset and the audience all watched as the stallion was carried, helpless up into the air, and out of an open window, screaming, until he was out of sight. “Welp. He’s gone with the wind…” Sunset commented.

"Yikes," Sheriff Hitch commented. "That's going to be a lot of paperwork."

Meanwhile, outside of Maretime Bay, Izzy Moonbow was galloping after a butterfly, when unbeknownst to her, a pony with balloons was flying behind her, screaming for help, sounding, "Ca-CAAAAAAAAAWWWW!!!"

"Ooh! That's the signal!" Izzy perked up, turning to Maretime Bay with a smile. "I guess Sunset's giving me the green flag then!"

Back inside the factory, Phyllis continued with the presentation she was hosting.

"We take great care here at Canterlogic to ensure the safety of you, our loyal costumers."

“Aww!” The audience smiled.

“Give me a break…” Sunset rolled her eyes.

"Now, please, stand back," Everypony all did as they were told, "This product-testing demonstration is fully automated."

The CEO turned her attention to some of the staffs, who pressed a button, turning on a blinding light, to show everypony a test dummy of a pony. Or at least there was a test dummy, until a certain earth pony mare came and knocked it to the side, dressed in a fake horn and wings.

The ponies in the audience all gasped, “What the…” Sunset Shimmer exclaimed, with her hat nearly flying off.

Nearby, Hitch was aghast, with Deputy Sprout doing a spit take, with his smoothie.

"Earth ponies of Maretime Bay!" Sunny Starscout began, holding up a colorful sign, showing a unicorn's horn, pegasus wings, and a horseshoe. "Fear is not your friend! But the unicorns and pegasi can be," Sunset Shimmer smiled in agreement, listening Sunny with intent as she continued. "Let's extend the hoof of friendship."

Suddenly, the floors beneath Sunny gave way as her hooves were suddenly clasped inside what appeared to be robotic boots.

“Uh oh," Sunset Shimmer moaned, already seeing trouble.

"That is not what I meant," Sunny commented at the predicament she finds herself in.

"Turn it off," Phyllis whispered to some of the staffs. "Turn it off, turn it off!" The staffs frantically tried to turn off the machine, while Phyllis continued, "So now you can prevent an aerial abduction with a set of Anti-Pegalift Boots!"

With that, a large robotic version of a pegasus, with claws beneath it, came falling out of the ceiling, narrowly grabbing Sunny, who ducked her head to avoid being caught, as she continued, "Peace with pegasi! Unity with unicorns!" However, the only thing the robots managed to snatch away from Sunny are her fake wings, horns, and sign. "Whoa! Give me that back!" As of complying, one of the robots dropped the billboard on Sunny's head.

"Shouldn't someone get her out of there?" Sunset asked, worryingly.

"Sunny..." Hitch scowled, the first to leap in, while his deputy stayed behind to watch the show.

"Peace...with Pegasi!" Sunny continued, when she was suddenly lifted up by a claw, with the boots taken off of her, and the platform beneath her, flipping over to reveal a large red X.

"Uh...everypony take a look at our Unicorn Entrapment Device," Phyllis presented.

“Unicorn entrap–WHAT?!” Sunset Shimmer exclaimed in shock, watching as Sunny was fitted with a fake unicorn horn, dropped onto the red X, and in the blink of an eye, was entrapped in a metal box, with a red flashing alarm. "Mother of Faust!!" Sunset screamed, with a twitching eye.

In the meantime, Sheriff Hitch came to the rescue, as he barked at the frantic staffs of Canterlogic, "Toots, Sweets, shut her down. Sheriff's orders!"

"We're trying!" One of the staffs explained, as he frantically pressed several buttons.

"Fully automated means it has to go through the whole cycle," The other staff explained.

Having heard what they said, Sunset Shimmer climbed up on the platform, joining Hitch, “But you gotta get her outta—Now what’s happening?” Sunset asked, watching as Sunny was fitted with a pair of robotic wings, facing another machine, developed by the Canterlogic engineers.

In appearance, it appeared to be a large electric fan, built with catapults for blades, with a tank of strange green liquid mounted on the other side.

"Oh no!" Sunny whimpered.

“What is that?” Sunset Shimmer pointed at the machine.

Before anypony could answer, Sunny was lifted off the floor and was spinning around in the air, as if she was a toy airplane, with several strange green liquids lobbed at her, as she continued, "Peace with Pegasi! Unity with unicorns!"

In the meantime, the audience were all protected from the green sticky projectiles, behind a see-through wall.

"And this is the Splat-a-pult!" Phyllis stammered, presenting the said machine, while Sunny was having a wild flight of her life.

"Cease fire!" Sunny screamed, only to be hit, in the face, by one of the globs.

Unable to watch the horrible scene any longer, Sunset Shimmer turned to the sheriff of Maretime Bay, and screamed, “DO SOMETHING!”

Scared by Sunset's fury, Sheriff Hitch looked down with determination to see an electric cable and pulled the plug from its socket, shutting down the entire system, and freeing Sunny, who came flying out and landed before the shocked audience.

"Hey, kid!" Sunset Shimmer galloped to the earth pony mare. "You okay?"

"I'm fine," Sunny replied, before she turned to the audience. "Aren't you tired of being scared all the time? The truth is, we're not in danger. It's all a lie," She stamped her hoof. "We don't need any of this Canterlogic junk."

"Oh, we don't, do we?" Phyllis asked, feeling insulted, and proceeded to challenge, "How do you suggest that we defend ourselves? With hugs and cupcakes?"

With that, the audience all broke out laughing at that remark, which Sunset responded with giving them a stink eye.

"Hey! One of my friends makes a living, laughing in the face of danger!" Sunset shouted.

"I'll bet she does, laughing in the face of a unicorn and pegasus!" One of the earth ponies mocked.

"I mean REAL DANGER!" Sunset Shimmer growled. "Like manticores! Or an Ursa Major! Or even a...a draconequus! C'mon! Whatever happened to the days when all we had to worry about are...are...a CENTAUR?!"

"A cent what?" One of the ponies asked.

"I think she said keytar."

"You've got to be kidding me..." Sunset shook her head.

"Just imagine..." Sunny continued to the audience. "If you had a friend who could fly..." She encouraged to some little foals.

"Yeah...fly!" Sunset added. "I once knew a...a pegasus, who can fly and punch clouds in ten seconds flat! And she's a loose cannon at soccer! She's awesome!"

Sunny smiled in admiration at Sunset, "See what I mean? If a pony like her can have a pegasus friend? Then, the unicorns can be our friends as well! A friend who could..."

"Fry your brains with a single horn zap?" Phyllis interrupted. "Or swoop down and snatch you away?" The ponies in the audience all gasped in horror, with parents holding their children close.

"That's not what we do!" Sunset Shimmer shook her head, while keeping her hat on. "That's not what any unicorns or pegasi do! Pegasi...they move clouds! They control the weather! And unicorns, l-li-like Twilight was... they don't fry brains! Or any creature's brains!"

But like Sunny, Sunset's words fell on deaf ears, to which Phyllis turned to Hitch, "Sheriff, do your job."

With a reluctance compliance, Hitch marched towards Sunny and Sunset, "All right, Sunny, let's go."

"No!" Sunny continued. "Everypony needs to hear this," She continued to persist, "Everything you believe about unicorns and pegasi is wrong. They used to be our friends and can be again."

"Hey, we don't need any of them round here!" A random pony shouted.

"Wh-Who-Who said that?" Sunset asked.

"Get off the stage!" Another audience member added.

Hitch turned Sunny away as he beckoned, "Come on, let's go. Show's over, Sunny."

Defeated, Sunny turned and followed Sheriff Hitch, with Sunset flanking her.

"Sunny, you're just embarrassing yourself!" One of the audience member shouted.

Sunset Shimmer picked up her sunglasses and put them back on her face, turning to look at the audience with a mix of disgust and anger. To think that these ponies were once part of a kingdom that was ruled by her friend and mentor, Twilight Sparkle. Perhaps it's as the old same goes, how the might has fallen.

"It's quite sad, really," Phyllis commented at Sunny's expense, before she changed the subject. "Now, where were we?"

Walking besides Sunny, Sunset Shimmer whispered to the downhearted earth pony, "I believe you."

"Really?" Sunny asked.

Sunset simply nodded before she introduced herself, "Sunset. Sunset Shimmer. Pleased to meet you."

"Sunny," Sunny smiled sadly, extending a hoof out. "Sunny Starscout."

"Nice name."

"Back at ya."

Once outside of the Canterlogic Factory, Sunny was closing up shop, with Sunset Shimmer drinking a smoothie, while Sheriff Hitch gave the mare a stern talk.

"Do you have any idea how many bylaws you broke in there?" Sheriff Hitch asked.

"I'm sure you're about to tell me," Sunny frowned.

"Actually, for once I can't," Hitch scowled. "Because there's so many!"

"Wow, must be a world record," Sunset commented sarcastically.

"You stay out of this!" Hitch pointed at Sunset, who shrugged and resumed sipping her smoothie. "I tried to warn you," Hitch continued to rant towards Sunny. "I can't keep associating with somepony who breaks every rule and causes chaos wherever she goes. I'm the sheriff!"

"And I was once a power hungry demon sorceress bent on taking over the world," Sunset muttered, to herself, with a straw still in her mouth.

"Exactly," Sunny Starscout continued with her argument with Hitch. "Other ponies look up to you. You can help."

But Sheriff Hitch wouldn't have any of it, "The law is the law, Sunny," He sighed. "And I'm here to uphold it and keep everypony safe."

"Aha, you just said everypony," Sunny pointed. "That includes pegasi and unicorns."

"Come on, Sunny, what do you think was gonna happen?" Hitch frowned. "You give a little speech and what? Everypony just magically welcomes unicorns and pegasi into Maretime Bay? You keep saying there's nothing to be afraid of. Well, then, prove it."

Unable to come up with a counter argument for that statement, Sunny fell silent.

"All of that pony unity stuff was just a foal's bedtime story made up by your dad," Hitch shook his head. "Like it or not, this is the way it is, and always will be," Sunset Shimmer shook her head in denial, while watching Hitch look more saddened, "I'm the last real friend you got in this town. You really want to lose me too?"

Sunny was even more silent, sadly watching as Sheriff Hitch took his leave to resume his duty as sheriff of the town, leaving Sunny alone, while Sunset watched from the sideline.

"What has become of Equestria?" Sunset asked. "How did it ever get to this? Where did it all go wrong?"

Just then, a couple of foals came galloping down the streets, laughing and passing both Sunny and Sunset, until they stopped to look at a poster, depicting an evil pegasus. With that, one of the foal pretended to be the evil pegasus, chasing after his friend, as they laughed and trotted away.

Sunny sadly sat down on a bench, feeling beside herself, "I wish you were here, Dad."

Sympathizing with the young mare, Sunset Shimmer walked over, "Hey..." She called, getting Sunny's attention. "Mind if I sit here?"

"No, go ahead," Sunny scooted over, letting Sunset take a seat.

"Mmmm, what did you put in this?" Sunset asked. "Is it apples? Oh please, let there be apples! I've once taken a bite out of an apple pie, hoof baked by my friend's grandmother. She can make a mean apple pie..." Seeing how her talk wasn't cheering Sunny up, Sunset decided to cut to the chase. "If it makes you feel better. I don't believe all those talks about...unicorns 'frying our brains,' or pegasi 'swooping down and snatch you away.' I mean, that's just nonsense."

"I know, that's what I've been telling everypony!" Sunny frowned. "But they wouldn't listen! They're just scared."

"Telling the truth can be a lonely business," Sunset replied. "Especially when nopony wants to listen to you. Believe me. I know."

Sunny covered her face with her hooves as she continued to feel even more distraught, "I wish dad was here. I could really listen to one of his stories right now..."

Looking at Sunny, Sunset Shimmer began, "So, your dad. He told you all the stories about how earth ponies, pegasi, and unicorns were all friends, right?"

"He sure did," Sunny confirmed with a nostalgic smile. "Every night, he would tell me the stories of Twilight Sparkle, of how she was a unicorn, who became an alicorn, after she made friends with..."

"Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and Rarity," Sunset smiled in nostalgia, while Sunny looked shock. "I remember."

"You know the story too?" Sunny exclaimed.

"Oh, I don't just know it," Sunset winked. "I lived it."

Feeling her hope relit, Sunny smiled in admiration of the senior unicorn in disguise, "You mean...you actually made friends with some unicorns and pegasi?"

"Uh... In a way, yeah," Sunset nodded.

"That's so cool!" Sunny exclaimed. "Then it's not just a fantasy at all! I was right! We can be friends with pegasi and unicorns again!"

"Yeah, yeah, sure, maybe kid. But first, how did you all started being divided to begin with?"

"What?" Sunny asked. "You mean, you don't know?"

"I...I've been..." Searching for the right words in her head, Sunset replied, "Let's just say I've been outta town for a really long time, and I haven't exactly been...up to date."

"Oh," Sunny nodded. "Ok."

"But enough about me," Sunset said, wanting to change the subject. "Tell me about your dad," The unicorn in disguise encouraged. "What was he like? How did he know the real history of Equestria?"

But before Sunny could answer, the sound of galloping pierced their ears, to which Sunset and Sunny looked up to see frightened ponies screaming for their lives.

"What the hay?" Sunset exclaimed, as both she and Sunny got up and look.

"What's going on?" Sunny asked. "What's happening?" But instead of answering, the ponies continue to scream in fear, as they bumped into Sunny and Sunset, knocking them both down to the ground.

"Hey!" Sunset got up, when a foal rammed into her head, knocking her hat off. "Watch it!"

In the meantime, the source of all the ponies' fearful hysteria came walking down the street, shocking every ponies and critter that saw her, before she came across Sunset and Sunny, with the latter gasping in shock.

"Hi, new friend!" The newcomer greeted. "My name's Izzy!" Izzy Moonbow smiled at Sunny, before she was confronted by Sunset Shimmer.

"Izzy!" Sunset shouted. "What are you doing here? I thought I told you to wait until I gave you the signal!"

"But you did!" Izzy replied.

"No I didn't!"

"Yes you did! You said, ca-caw! And here I am!"

"When did I say–"

"Uhh..." Sunny interrupted, as she slowly got up, staring at both unicorns. "U...U...Unicorns!"

"What?" Sunset asked, before realizing her hat was gone. "Oh!" With her horn exposed, Sunset darted her eyes at all the earth ponies of Maretime Bay and awkwardly greeted, "Hi!"