The sun was going down in the distance, casting a warm orange light through the quiet halls of Equestria Academy. The all girls school covered grades 9 through 12, and was a well known school throughout the land, for two reasons. The first was for its reputation of being the largest, stretching over many acres. The other, however, was for a grimmer reason.
You were lucky to graduate in one piece.
This school was not so much a place of learning and experiencing fun with friends and class mates, but a wild jungle. At this school, the strong prey on the weak, the week kneel before the strong, and a privileged few sit atop it all, and wallow in their power.
~Club hall. After school~
Coco hummed with a smile as she slid her glue stick over the boarder of a piece of light purple construction paper, after which she lifted a white frilly paper boarder and laid it on the sheet,creating a nice frame for her scrapbook page. Coco loved scrapbooking. She found it very calming and fun, and in her school those were rare things.
"Coco? Its getting late, you should get home while its still light out."
Coco looked to her left, seeing Cross Cut, the president of the scrapbook club. The brown earth pony with the red frizzy mane looked with a worried smile and motherly eyes through her big red glasses. She had survived all the way up to senior year without being eaten alive by keeping her head down and never making waves. But the years of fear and worry were worn on her face. Only seventeen and she already had bags under her eyes and lines from frowning.
Coco flashed her a reassuring smile.
"Don't worry so much. I'll be ok," she answered in her signature sweet voice. The junior mare exuded an air of innocence and gentleness that Cross wished she still had.
"Just make sure you get home soon, ok?" Coco smiled to her president. She started gathering her stuff and placing them in her scrapbooking bag. She stood from her chair and used a hoof to straighten her white blouse and black skirt. She waved goodbye and stepped out into the hallway, basking in the warm glow of twilight. She hummed to herself as she exited the club wing and walked out into the school courtyard, where a sweet little breeze kissed her cheek and caused a happy shudder to resonate through her body and down to her tail.
"Well well well. Looks like somepony was having fun in her wittle club." Coco stopped in her tracks as an older bat pony mare swooped down on her wings from a gargoyle she had been perched on. Coco knew the bat pony, her name was Rain from class 4-1. Everypony knew she was bad news, and she looked it. Her mane was a short and spiky cut. Her nose, lip, and ears were studded with silver spikes, making her look very scarier as she grinned with a sinister glare.
"Uh, hello, Rain. I-it's nice to see you," Coco meeped, hoping that a friendly greeting would somehow help her situation. The bat pony slowly approached the scared little pony, stomping her hooves on the stone floor to further intimidate. Coco backed away from Rain, but froze once again when she backed up to another pony everyone in school feared.
She turned her head, but regretted it.
"B-Brass…" she stuttered at the sight of the bulky brown mare towering behind her. Brass was quiet, she preferred to let her hooves do the talking, her brass horse shooed hooves. Her reputation was for being a pony who got what she wanted by beating whoever it was that had what she wanted. Her body and limbs were bulging with muscles, and her short red mohawk only added to her fearsome appearance.
She had filed her teeth down to sharp points, which is how she got her nickname "the brass tooth shark". Surprisingly though, Brass was a year younger than Coco, they even shared the same class. Her white blouse was torn at the sleeves from her bulging muscles, her limbs seeming to pulse with power.
The huge mare bumped her chest out, pushing Coco forward toward Rain, who was licking her fangs menacingly.
"I-I don't want any trouble, girls. I was just going home," Coco whispered, hoping that this situation would just end already.
"Trouble? Ah ha ha ha! We don't want to make trouble, little girl."
Coco allowed an inward sigh at the notion that she wasn't going to be hurt.
"Indeed, little one. I only come to take what belongs to me."
The elegant sounding voice caused Coco to have a miniature heart attack. She had a fearful thought in the back of her head, but she never imagined that her luck would be so bad that she would run into her. She turned her head to a nearby bridge, and beheld her.
Diamond Dust, the princess of the school. President of the student council, daughter of the school's owner, and the only alicorn in all the world, and if that weren't bad enough, the only pony capable of using the lost art of magic.
Legends say that long ago, unicorns had the ability to use magic. But at some point, unicorns lost the knowledge of how to use this power. So it went without saying that Diamond was a force to be reckoned with. She was beautiful. Her coat was a shimmering white, which accentuated her school uniform, and her mane and tail were a two tone of cream and light pink that seemed to flow like smoke on the wind.
Coco had never heard of a pony crossing her and leaving the same as they were. Not hurt, but…different, as if they had lost some inner light.
Coco was trapped between a rock and a hard place. She looked into Ms. Dust's purple eyes hopelessly as she trembled and preyed for somepony to please help.
"Mmmmmm, such a lovely aura you have, little one. I quiver to think how delicious you will taste going down." Coco had tears in her eyes as Diamond Dust's horn lit up, and a pain unlike anything she had felt before coursed through her body, like her heart were being crushed to nothing. She tried to scream, but found her voice was taken, leaving her utterly hopeless.
Diamond Dust sighed in delight as she allowed a shiver to run down her back. She flipped her silken mane, releasing Coco from her spell and allowing her to fall to the ground with a cry of pain.
"Ahh! I feel so refreshed." Diamond Dust gestured with her head for her two lackeys to follow. Rain smirked at the assaulted little pony before kicking her scrap-booking bag across the ground, scattering it's contents.
Coco now sat in the empty courtyard, an overwhelming feeling of sorrow and hopelessness washing over her. She made a move to pick up her scrapbook supplies and pages, but stopped.
"Why bother? I can't even remember why I liked that in the first place…"
She then proceeded to leave school, not the same pony she was when she first came. Cross Cut felt a tear roll down her trembling cheek as she watched Coco leave, sad that her friend was no more, but also full of hate for herself…for doing nothing to save her.
~The next day~
Four sets of hooves clattered on the grey stone road that ran outside the school. The sky was grey, and thunder rolled in the distance. Two unicorn mares stood outside the grand gates of the school. The younger one brushed her dark blue mane from her face and scoffed at the imposing structure. Both mares wore matching black uniforms. Their long skirts were torn and tattered at the ends, speaking volumes of the conflict and scuffles they had seen.
"So, this is Canterlot Academy. Think this is the place, sister?"
The younger unicorn looked to her elder sister.
Her coat was alabaster white, and her mane was a light pink that contrasted the hard glint in her eyes. She looked up at the school, turned her head sideways, and spat out the stalk of wheat she had been chewing on, dawning an eager grin.
"Ya, my gut tells me we're gonna see some action here."
A bolt of lightning flashed behind the school as if in reply to her comment. The younger sister couldn't hold back her own grin, her eyes narrowing in anticipation of the 'action' her sister spoke of. The elder slammed a scuffed white hoof down on the first stone step and drew a deep breath.
"LISTEN UP, WHIMPS! RUN IF YOU CAN! HIDE IF YOU LIKE! WE ARE THE RUMBLE SISTERS! BORN TO RAISE CAIN!"
Diamond took a long and slow sip from her fine porcelain tea cup before setting it gently beck on its saucer, barely making a sound. In the shadows next to her large bay window rested Rain, who was busying herself with a hoof file. She liked to keep her hooves at a nice point, in case she needed to use them. On a couch in front of Diamond's large ebony desk sat Brass, who was doing all of nothing as she took up more than half of a long and quite elegant couch.
The first bell was due to ring in fifteen minutes. Young mares all dressed in the same school uniform entered the school from the front gate, while the two sisters walked together, everypony giving them a wide birth, unsure of what to make of the two. The younger sister glanced from side to side, noting that something was off.
Ever since she was a little filly, she always had the ability to see what couldn't be seen, feel what others did not, and something was off about this school. She turned to her elder sister, but saw the same look in her eyes.
"I know, Luna. I sense it too," she assured when she felt her sisters worried eyes fall on her.
"It is not just now, Tia. I have felt it ever since we entered this town…It is as if-"
"As if there is an air of fear soaked into the foundation of this whole land," the elder sister finished for her younger. Luna looked around and spotted a young mare around her age. Her mane was short, and her coat was a gentle cream color that reminded Luna of how a special someone would pour just the right amount of milk in her morning tea. But the nostalgic memory soon faded as the mare turned her head, and Luna saw something that both perplexed and worried her.
The mare's eyes were…different. As if lacking a little glimmer. The pony didn't so much walk as she did slump, almost like she was a spirit roaming a bone yard.
"Class is about to start. Gather what you can, and I'll meet you after class." Luna noded, she didn't like being separated from her sister for too long, but they were there for a reason, and they needed to gather intel on the school and if the answers they sought were to be found there.
Luna started walking toward the wing that held the ninth grade classes.
"Luna! Keep your head about you, and be safe," her elder sister implored with her motherly tone. Luna turned back and flashed her sister a confidant grin.
"Fear not for me, dear sister. Fear for the ones that cross me."
The elder sister smiled inwardly, despite her anxiety. Luna was strong and intelligent, but she still had trouble controlling her sisterly instincts. She steeled herself, now was not the time for worry. They were more than likely going to get into some heavy stuff, and she had to be ready.
"Rain, whatever are you looking at?" Diamond asked before taking another sip of her tea.
"Looks like we got two new students. Unicorns at that."
Diamond perked up at the mention of unicorns. The intrigue didn't last though, she had seen many unicorns, each one as powerless as the last. But if they were new, then they needed to be scoped out, just in case.
"Check them out, both of you. Inform them of who is in charge here." Rain grinned, flashing her pearly white fangs, while Brass rose from the couch that was on the verge of breaking under her weight. As they were about to leave, Rain turned her head back to Diamond.
"Anything special you want us to do?" She asked with mock respect.
Diamond took a dainty sip from her cup, and narrowed her eyes.
"Show them no mercy."
The door to class 1-2 slid open, a dead silence falling almost instantly on the room. Eyes drifted to and from the young blue mare as she walked gracefully to a seat in the back next to the window. Luna could hear hushed whispers echo. The young ponies in her class had mixed emotions about the new addition, mainly because they had never seen somepony like her before. She was at least a head taller than the other students, and her slender body was unique.
Luna sat quietly, pulling a notebook and a pencil box from her bag, setting them on her desk with a hoof and straightening them as per her OCD habit.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the school, her elder sister was taking her seat in classroom 4-1, garnering similar reactions from the seniors in the class. The teacher entered the class soon after the bell rang. She was an old mare, with a grey mane and a charcoal coat. Her eyes had crows feet, and her lines spoke of her age.
"Everyone please settle down. We have a new student joining us today. Would you please come up to the front dear?" She rose from her seat and strode to the front, where she turned to face the class.
"Please introduce yourself."
She cleared her throat and looked on at her classmates.
"My name is Celestia. My sister Luna and I come from a land to the east. Do not feel obligated to be friendly toward me, I and my sister shan't be here for very long." Lunchtime came after the first two classes, to Celestia's slight distaste. It was already noon and nothing of significance had happened. In the past it hadn't taken more than two hours for some group of no-goodnicks to approach her and Luna looking for a fight, which they never turned down.
Celestia reached into her bag and pulled out a roll of bread that was filled with tomato and swiss cheese. She reasoned to herself that a good lunch would help her think about her next move. She wrapped her hooves around the soft bread and lifted it to take a bite, when the door to the classroom slid open. Celestia looked up over her sandwich as a wave of silence fell over the room. A bat pony stepped in, her red eyes scanning over the students till she spotted her target.
She smirked, sauntering through the students as they parted for her.
The bat pony stood in front of Celestia's desk, looking down her muzzle at her as if she were a speck of dust.
"You're the new student, eh?" She asked demeaningly. Celestia lowered her lunch and sighed.
"Listen, I was just about to start eating. So if you want to "talk" then please wait till after I'm done."
Rain felt a vein pulse on the back of her neck. Never in her years of being Diamond's enforcer had she ever been so slighted.
She raised her wing and swatted the sandwich right out of Celestia's hooves and splattered it on a wall. Celestia felt her nose quiver with rage, her eyes narrowing, and her pupils turning to pin holes.
"My little sister made me that sandwich…friend." Rain began chuckling, only adding to Celestia's anger.
"Maybe you don't understand the pecking order here, friend. At this school, I make the rules, and you just-SLAM!"
In a flash of violence and a spray of blood onto Celestia's face, her desk flew up fast and hard, slamming into the underside of Rain's muzzle, sending a spray of blood from her mouth. Rain flipped backwards, crashing into a chair and making a loud clatter of wood and metal as she toppled. The stunned bat pony shook off the hit and looked up from the floor at Celestia, who was still sitting at her desk like nothing had happened.
"Y-you…little…bitch!" She growled as she used a desk to pick herself back up.
"I'm gonna suck every drop of blood from your pretty little face!" Rain charged toward the unicorn, only to have her face stopped by the spine of a hard back book across her nose. The book seemed to float in mid air as she watched it move swiftly to belt her face three more times, till all she could taste or smell was blood.
Rain fell to her knees and started couching, blood flying from her mouth along with a small white chip that taped on the floor. Her eyes adjusted, and she could see that it was the very tip from one of her fangs.
The other girls in the class watched the whole violent scene like they were watching a train crash into a wall. Rain looked up at Celestia once again through her foggy, blood clouded eyes, but she didn't believe what she was seeing. Celestia was still sitting at her desk, holding the book open…with magic, her hoof using a tissue to clean the blood from her muzzle.
Celestia flipped a page of the book.
"I really do love a good poem in the afternoon, don't you?"
Rain reeled backwards on the floor, knocking over chairs and desks as she retreated toward the door.
"Y-y-you can use magic!?" Celestia sighed.
"Nothing gets past you, does it?" She asked sarcastically. Rain used the frame of the door to pick herself back up. Celestia closed her book loudly before shooting a death glare at the injured bat pony. "Cross me again, and I'll be wearing your fangs as my new earrings," she growled.
Rain spat out a mouthful of blood.
"We'll see if your still making threats after you see what happens to your precious little sister." To this Celestia perked her ears up, laughing heartily.
"Obviously you do not know my sister," she retorted.
Luna sat quietly as she jotted down notes that were written on the black board. She glanced to her right at the pony who she had seen at the entrance of the school. She put her pen down and turned to the pony who seemed to have a dark cloud over her head. "Hello, my name is Luna. May I ask what your name is?" The cream colored mare perked up a bit, but didn't turn to look at her.
"I'm Coco," she said in a low whisper. Luna thought of something to say to break the ice.
"Your mane is lovely. What sort of treatment do you use for it?"
The girl still didn't turn.
"I stopped using treatments. Whats the point, right?" Luna could see that something was amiss with her, but decided to turn back and continue her note taking.
A loud stomping sound like thunder rumbled down the hall outside the classroom, which caused the girls in the class to fall silent. Luna's ears perked up at the sound of the stomping, but she continued to jot her notes. The ponies close to the door scattered like mice in anticipation of a great beast.
The door to the classroom slid open loud and fast, revealing an immense brown pony. She was so large that her head was blocked by the top of the door. Girls who were too stricken with fear fled from the other door and out into the hallway.
The giant pony crouched and entered the room, her red mohawk brushing on the top of the door frame. Her eyes fell square on Luna, who didn't even look up from her notebook. The giant's steps echoed like earthquakes, desks and chairs parting around her as she moved toward the young unicorn.
Luna looked up from her notes, but her view was obstructed by the wall of a pony. She calmly set her pencil down and put her hooves together.
"Excuse me, I'm trying to take notes. Would you mind moving, please?" The other girls turned pale. Nopony in their right mind ever talked to Brass like that, or at all. Luna and Brass only stared at each other as if one were trying to burn a hole in the other. Finally, Luna leaned over to Coco, who seemed unfazed by Brass's presence.
"Is she deaf? I know some hoof signals if she is." Brass picked up Luna's notebook and brought it to her mouth. She opened up, revealing her shark like teeth and bit the note book right in half, chewing before spiting the half in her mouth out the window.
Thunder clapped outside. Luna sneered at the mass of pony who was grinning like what she had just done was funny.
"That notebook….was a gift…..from my sister…..on my last birthday," Luna growled. Brass only continued to chuckle in her throat.
"I demand that you apologize this instant," Luna demanded as calmly as she could. Brass responded by raising her brass shooed hoof and bringing it down with a grunt toward the little pony.
The sound of metal snapping in half rang out loud like a bell, two pieces of a horse shoo falling to the ground. Brass looked with confusion from her hoof to Luna, and slowly it dawned on her that her strike had been stopped by an invisible bubble that also broke her shoe. Brass snarled in anger, opening her mouth wide and bring it down with the intention of biting the blue unicorn's head off. She stopped though when she felt something wide and dusty fill her mouth.
Her eyes shot open, and she saw that a large book had been shoved in her maw, followed by another, and another, and finally one more for good measure.
"You must have missed lunch. And since you're so hungry, I shall help you slate your hunger with what I surmise must be your favorite food." Luna used her magic to drive the books further down into her big mouth. Brass was being pushed down toward the floor, her eyes filled with confusion and fear. She looked to Luna who was propped over her desk. Brass waved her hoof towards the pony who had turned the tables on her, pleading as best she could.
"Whats that? You are beseeching me for mercy? Tell me, how many of your victims pleaded you for mercy? Did you show them mercy?" Brass started choking as the books were shoved deeper into her throat, stretching her jaw to the breaking point.
"You think just because you are bigger than others means you have the right to step on those that are weaker than you, but you are wrong. If anything you have an obligation to use your strength to protect those that cannot protect themselves. Perhaps some time in the hospital will give you a chance to think on your actions."
Luna twitched her head, causing a loud snap to come from Brass's jaw, a wail of pain erupting from the normally silent pony. She fell to the floor, the books falling from her mouth. Her jaw was slack on one side where it had been dislocated. Her eyes shot from left to right at the girls who had heard the commotion and came to have a look. Her big tongue lolled out of her mouth, and she scrambled to push it back inside only to have it fall out again.
Brass felt a fear she hadn't felt in ages. Everypony was staring at her, but this time, it wasn't with fear in their eyes. The blue one had taken away her power like it was nothing. She could hear them whispering to one another. Brass shot a death glare at the blue one as drool fell from her displaced jaw. She would get her revenge. If it was the last thing she did she would make her suffer, make her fear her like the others should. She got up and hurried out the door, leaving a shocked classroom.
Luna hummed to herself as she pulled a notebook out of her bag that was identical to the previous one.
"H-how did you do that?" The shocked voice drew Luna's attention back to Coco, who surprisingly had regained some of the light in her eyes. Luna smiled and shrugged.
"I used magic is all." Coco shook her head. "No no. I mean, what you did. Nopony has ever stood up to the brass tooth shark and left without a body full of broken bones. How is it you were so…brave?"
Again, Luna shrugged.
"She was being rude and unreasonable. What else was I to do? Although, I may have gone too far." Coco started fidgeting with her hooves, a deep red cresting her little cheeks.
"Um…Luna? I don't suppose that you would like to…hang out…sometime?" Luna felt her own cheeks get warm. She had seen a little bit of it in the courtyard, but now that Coco had regained her inner color, she saw it more clearly. Coco was very cute, and luna couldn't wait to spend more time getting to know her more.
"I would like that very much, Coco."
Diamond was admiring herself in a hoof mirror when a sharp twinge of pain hit square between her eyes, causing her to cry out in pain. "No…That just can't be." She picked up her mirror and looked at herself intently. She gasped in horror at what she saw. Her eyes had subtle dark rings under them. The same rings she had done away with yesterday with that little worm she caught in the courtyard. But something else was wrong in her kingdom. She couldn't put her hoof on it, but something was charged in the air.
As if on cue, the doors to the student body president's office flew open, and she reeled at the sight of the two that walked in. Rain's face was a purple and red mash of blood and pulp, while Brass's jaw hung dislocated to one side, something that Diamond thought only a train could accomplish.
"Ugh! What in the world happened to you two?" She asked, not even trying to hide her disgust.
"Those two new girls. They-"
"Don't tell me you two were so mangled by those little girls." Diamond stated, not even letting Rain finish.
"You need to hear me. Those two….They can use magic!"
The sound of that word caused Diamond's eyebrow to twitch. "Really?" Diamond turned in her chair to look out her window. She put her hooves together in contemplation.
"Tell the AV to call an assembly, then get yourselves to the infirmary, before you get blood on my carpet."
Celestia stood in the courtyard, looking over the throng of girls in their matching school uniforms for her little sister.
"Tia! Tia!" Celestia let out a sigh of relief as she spotted the young blue pony galloping up to her, and to her delight, with a wide smile on her face. Celestia wanted to smile, but remembered that she was supposed to be cross.
"Luna! What have I told you about keeping me waiting?" Celestia scolded. She didn't like being separated from Luna, let alone to be kept waiting when they were in a school that was likely swarming with enemies.
"I know, and I am sorry. I just got caught up talking with my new friend."
Celestia now couldn't help but show a smile.
"A new friend eh? And what is the name of this friend?" Luna couldn't hide anything from her big sister. All Celestia had to do was look into Luna's eyes and she knew everything.
"Her name is Coco. She sits next to me in class, and she has such a wonderful talent for something called scrapbooking." Celestia listened as Luna regaled her about her new friend.
"Sounds to me like you are quite smitten with this girl," Celestia teased. Luna rewarded her tease with a flush in her cheeks.
"W-well, there is no doubt that she is very…cute." Celestia giggled. Sometimes Luna could be too cute.
"My little sister the filly lover." Luna shot Celestia a glare.
Celestia put a hoof to her sisters shoulder.
"Kidding-kidding. You know that I support your choices. Just don't go breaking this girl's heart. If you care for her, then let her know." Luna rolled her eyes.
"Must you always be so…big sisterly?" Celestia giggled to herself.
"Well I am your big sister. How else am I to act?"
The two sisters laughed together, unaware that everypony around them were avoiding them like they were lions.
"So, am I going to meet this Coco sometime soon?" Celestia asked as the two started walking together.
"I was going to bring her to meet you right now, but she got called off. Something about her medical records." Celestia nodded, wondering to herself what Luna's new friend was like.
"Attention students-attention students. Please report to the auditorium for a mandatory assembly. That is all."
The sound of the announcement drew a cautious look from both sisters. A mandatory assembly on their first day? Something didn't smell right.
Celestia and Luna found themselves in the midst of the entire school as they all looked up at the stage waiting for whatever this assembly was about.
"What is the plan, sister?" Luna asked in a hushed whisper. Celestia looked around the large auditorium, seeing that every doorway was being blocked by large, black suited stallions. Celestia knew that her and Luna could get through them easy enough, but all the innocent ponies present in the room would prevent them from using force.
"Remain calm, Luna. We'll see what this is, then make our move from there." Right when Celestia finished speaking, all the lights in the auditorium went out, and a spot light shined on the front stage. A chorus of trumpets bellowed as an all white mare ascended from under the floor and into the light. Celestia didn't like the look of her from the second she came into sight. The unicorn smiled demeaningly at the assembled students, clearing her throat.
"Hello and welcome to you all. As most of you know, I am your student body president, Diamond Dust. I have called you all here today for one very good reason. Someponies among you have slighted me and the integrity of my office. How, you may ask? Well, these ponies have assaulted, with no provocation, members of the student council. And I intend to root them out."
Another light flicked on, revealing a pony tied with rope and hanging from the rafters. Celestia could feel a palpable anger radiating from Luna. She turned her head and saw Luna with a look of pure horror and rage on her face. "Luna," she whispered. "Luna, what is it?"
Luna's mouth moved but no words came out. She nudged her little sister in the side. "I-i-it's Coco," she finally managed to say. Celestia's mouth twisted into a sneer which she turned to the bitch on stage that was provoking her by threatening her sisters friend.
"If you do not show yourselves now, then I will suck the life from this little fly till she is nothing but a dry husk." Luna's mind became a wash of blood and carnage for what she was going to do to this sow. She clenched her teeth and readied a spell that would blast the slut's guts across five territories.
"IT WAS ME!"
All fell silent as a third light shined right on Celestia. Diamond smiled. Now she had them where she wanted them. "You have steel, to defy a princess…What did you say your name was?" Celestia glared through the eye that wasn't covered by her pink mane.
"My name is Celestia, and you are incorrect." Diamond cocked an eyebrow.
"Oh, and how is that?" Suddenly, the rope holding Coco turned to butterflies which fluttered away, allowing Coco to flee off the right of the stage and to Luna, who teleported to meet her. All the girls gasped in shock and aww at the beautiful butterflies that seemed to glow orange in the dim light.
"You are no princess. You're a bully and a thug! No different from the other low slobbering beasts me and my sister have defeated, and I will defeat you."
"Ha!….Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha!" Diamond laughed, to Celestia's confusion.
"I quite like you, Celestia. So I will give you a golden chance. Surender to me, and all will be forgiven." A deafening silence fell once again on the auditorium.
Celestia began her own maniacal laughter.
"You are the one who will surrender, after I break your pretty face."