Another Side

by Albi

Chapter 1: Another Story

Another Story

The midnight rain over Equestria City was soft. It fell in a light drizzle, slicking the paved roads and giving the world a reflective surface. It was a beautiful curtain of sound; the kind mothers could us as a lullaby for their restless children. The kind an entire city could fall asleep under.

Only one hole broke the perfect layer of clouds hanging in the sky. A hole large enough to reveal the pale moon, shining in all of its beautiful luminosity, revealing the raindrops as they fell against the ground. A thin vapor had formed, clinging to the surface of the road, giving the sleeping city an ominous presence.

The hooded figure felt it. Something was following her.

She continued her lone march, taking a careful look at her surroundings, now on high alert. Her footsteps splashed in the puddles the rain had made, muffled only slightly by the falling water. She didn’t try to run. Running would only let them know she knew she was being followed. Though she supposed at this point she was just slowing the inevitable.

The lonely figure wore a black cloak with matching gloves and boots, giving her a rather sinister and mysterious appearance. She was an enigma, meant to blend in with the darkness.

She passed through a large circular plaza, a hub surrounded by other tall buildings, the tallest being a large clock tower. The clock’s face was brightly illuminated and its hands read just after midnight. The figure stopped in the center of the plaza and stared up at the silent guardian. The clock tower was one of Equestria City’s tallest and oldest buildings, standing watch over those who now slept within the darkness.

A light breeze blew through the plaza, making the girl shudder. “This is as good a place as any,” she whispered. From her pocket she produced a small, golden tiara. It was brightly polished, gleaming in the moonlight. In the center rested a purple six pointed star that seemed to glow. She quickly lowered her hood and placed the tiara on top of her head before pulling the hood back up, completely obscuring her face.

She didn’t have long to wait. The minute hand on the clock face twitched, and the breeze whipped up into a frenzy, ruffling the edges of her coat. Around her, she could see pools of darkness opening on the street surface, bright, bulbous eyes blinking from within.

In both of her hands, a sword appeared, sharpened and sparkling with a kind of magic. One was as bright as day, and polished in radiant silver with images of the sun adorning its hilt. The other was as dark as the blackest night, repelling the light around it, and engraved with pictures of the moon.

She ran them across each other, the sound of sharp metal echoing through the night. The noise seemed to enrage the black creatures around her, as the shuddered before crouching into attacking positions. They were almost humanoid-like in appearance. Slender bodies with sharpened claws and long antennas. On two legs, they were almost as tall as the girl.

The first one lunged at her, and she swung her light blade in a high horizontal arc, slicing it in half. The creature vanished in an inky cloud of smoke before it hit the ground. Another one charged straight for her, and she effortlessly stabbed it with the dark sword, bringing it upward and reducing the shadow to vapor, which blended into the dreary mist.

The rest fell on her, rushing all at once in their attempt to overwhelm her. She twirled her sword through the air, cutting another one in two, before jumping back and bringing her other sword forward, catching one across the face.

The creatures weren’t smart, nor were they tough to kill, but the swarmed in droves. As she looked around, the girl couldn’t see where the horde ended and the pavement began. She brought her sword up in a vertical motion, cleaving one before stabbing out at the other shadow that was lurking close behind. She spun around and struck another that was getting too close to her backside. She threw her other blade out to the side, connecting with another one, then bring her swords together, as two of the shadows lunged at her simultaneously. Their claws raked against her sword, pressing the blades back against her. She refused to yield however, and aimed a kick at their legs, tripping them before dealing a blow to their mouthless faces.

She gracefully spun on her toes and wiped several of the shadows off the face of the earth in a single spiral. Several of them jumped into the air, and she rose to meet them, her sword slashing across their chests before she spun it in her hand and thrusted backwards, piercing one through the heart.

She landed in the wide circle she had made for herself. Though the shadows couldn’t growl, she could feel the anger pouring off of them. She gasped. There was another presence watching.

Her eyes scanned the vicinity before they flew upwards to the top of the clock tower, where a lone figure was standing, grasping the point of the spire for support. The figure outstretched a hand, like they were asking for an invitation.

The girl didn’t need to be asked twice. She ran forward to the base of the tower, slashing at the monsters that jumped in her path, reducing them to nothing. She reached the steps of the tower, then leapt up to one of the lower ledges. The crown beneath her hood began to glow, emanating a purple light from within. She jumped onto the wall and began to run straight up, ignoring the laws of gravity.

Drawing closer, the features of the other figure became clearer. She was female, wearing the same black outfit the other girl had on, though her face was not hooded. Her hair fell at her shoulders in bright colors of red and yellow, the wind catching it in its gentle breeze, giving her a graceful appearance. A blindfold curiously sat around her eyes.

As the first girl drew near, she tossed the dark sword up, watching it spiral through the open air. The other girl let go of the spire and fell towards the world, gripping the saber when it drew near her. The two figures past each other in the light of the clock, time pausing as if to let each get a good luck at the other. The first girl continued her run up the tower, taking the other’s place at the top.

Sunset Shimmer meanwhile, hit the ground in a crouch, landing with a splash. She stood up, raising her head and allowing the raindrops to fall on her face. She noticed the sudden hesitation in the shadows around her. She raised a hand and gestured.

“Come on, then.”

Just as before, they rushed her, claws flexing, ready to dig into human flesh. Sunset twirled her blade and stabbed it forward, gouging one in the chest, then bringing it around and slamming it into one of its companions before they both vanished. Another one fell on her, trying to assault her form above. Sunset jumped back and brought her sword down as soon as the monster touched the pavement. She then brought her empty hand forward; a pulse of teal magic erupted from it, vaporizing a waiting group.

The girl on the clock tower gasped at the display of magic before smiling to herself. Raising her sword, she jumped off the building, the ground rushing to meet her. Another purple glow came from beneath her hood and slowed her fall at the last moment, allowing her to touch down as silent as a phantom. She immediately fell into her battle stance, as more shadows crawled out of the darkness.

Sunset swept her blade around, turning two more shadows to dust before jumping backwards again. Both girls stood back-to-back at the base of the clock tower, a new wave of enemies drawing near.

“I hope you’re not tired,” Sunset said, a smirk on her face.

“Just try and keep up,” the girl said.

Both of them lunged forward, their swords dancing in the night to the tempo of their owner’s hearts. Both fighters weaved in and out of the crowd of the monsters, running through and sending them back to the darkness they had crawled out of.

The girls jumped toward each other, their free arms locking together, as they spun in a wide circle, obliterating several shadows in their swing. They broke apart, using their momentum to rush forward and deliver a quick succession of strikes to the creatures on both sides of the plaza.

On and on, they fought. The clock tower watching over them while they vanquished the darkness. It was a silent, merciless battle with the only noise coming from the falling rain. The water served as the warrior’s stains of blood, for the creatures of the dark had none.

Then, as quick as they had come, the shadows had vanished. The last of them fading back into the darkness that had initially claimed them, leaving the two girls standing alone in the center, their backs toward one another.

There was a tense moment. Both of them felt the other’s attitude shift. In one swift movement, they both turned and flew at each other, swords locking together. After struggling for a few seconds, they broke apart, landing a square distance away, and point a sword at the others breast.

Sunset gave the other girl a coy smile, raising her free hand into the air. A blue glow enveloped it, followed by a bolt of magic. The other girl jumped back in time to avoid it, but was almost caught off guard when Sunset quickly rushed her in a follow-up attack. Sunset swung, nearly catching the girl across the chest.

The girl thrusted her sword up, knocking Sunset off balance and jabbing forward. But Sunset was quick with her magic as well as her sword. An ethereal shield deflected the oncoming saber, allowing Sunset to jump back to safety.

The two rushed at each other again, their swords clashing together in a flurry of sparks. The sound of screeching metal broke the din of silence suffocating the city. Sunset struck high, but the other girl blocked, bringing Sunset’s sword down before raising her own in retaliation, but Sunset deftly batted it away. There was a flash of magenta, and Sunset’s eyes widened as the girl’s palm let up, a jet of light lunging forth and striking Sunset in the chest, sending her sprawling across the ground.

Sunset leaned on an elbow, her free hand grasping the sore spot where she had been hit. It felt like she had been socked with a fiery hot fist. She looked up and saw the other girl approaching her, sword raised, ready to deal the final blow.

“I saw it,” Sunset growled, her voice rising. “Why, why do have the Element of Magic?”

The girl paused, as if thinking over the question. She then raised her blade higher. “Shut up!” Was all she said before bringing the blade down.

But Sunset was quicker.

Faster than the human eye could comprehend, she delivered a preemptive strike that sent the girl flying across the plaza. She landed with a splash, sliding some distance before she came to a stop near one of the buildings.

Sunset got up and walked over, still rubbing where she had been struck. When she reached the girl, Sunset’s breath caught in her chest at the sight before her.

Twilight Sparkle laid in front of her, eyes closed and mouth slightly open in a way that made her look like she was sleeping. Her purple hair was spread across her face, the violet bangs covering one of her eyes. The Element of Magic still sat on her head.

“So it’s true,” Sunset whispered. “You do look just like her.” She raised her own sword, its point aimed at Twilight’s heart. She narrowed her eyes that hid behind the blindfold, and brought the sword down, stabbing the ground next to Twilight’s head.

Sunset looked up at the pale moon, still visible through the gap in the relentless sea of clouds, and sighed. “I’m sorry it had to be this way, kid.”

Twilight stirred, reaching out and grabbing the blade Sunset had impaled into the ground. Sunset’s expression changed to one of amazement, she hadn’t expected Twilight to recover so soon; yet Twilight stood, pointing the black sword at Sunset, the other rested tightly in her other hand.

“Just give up,” she commanded.

“Sorry, can’t do that,” Sunset said plainly. She held her arms out at her sides, balls of light appearing in her palms. She took a defense position, giving Twilight a sad smile.

Twilight let out a noise of irritation. She sprang into action, swinging her first sword vertically and following up with a horizontal slash. Both attacks were avoided by Sunset, who took a large leap back, almost flying out of harm’s way. She raised her hands and threw the spheres of magic at Twilight. She slashed at them with her sword, deflecting the orbs of magic and whisking them out of existence.

Letting out a frustrated sigh, Sunset reached a palm out again. This time, instead of glowing blue, her hand glowed red, unleashing a torrent of fire, hot enough to evaporate the rain around it.

Twilight broke into a run, moving clockwise around the plaza, trying to avoid the inferno. Sunset kept the pressure on, the stream of fire right behind Twilight. The Element of Magic lit up once more, and Sunset watched as Twilight seemed to blink out of existence.

The fire ended, Sunset ceasing her magic to keep alert for Twilight. Sparks of teal energy danced around her finger, her magic at the ready. She jerked her head up when she heard something whistle through the air. Above her, Twilight came speeding down, sword ready to cut Sunset straight in half. Sunset threw herself backwards, but wasn’t prepared when Twilight hit the ground and lunged forward, all in one quick motion. The second attack caught Sunset in her midsection, and sent her staggering.

Twilight didn’t give her any time to recover. She flew at Sunset, prepared to end the fight, but Sunset protected herself with another force field. Twilight bashed against it, drumming her two swords into the sphere of magic, watching as it started to splinter and crack.

Sunset gritted her teeth and pooled the rest of her magic into a teleportation spell. Just as the shield cracked, there was a flash of magic, and Sunset reappeared in the shadow of the department store that stood across from the clock tower. She fell to her knees, gasping for breath. Using magic here wasn’t like using magic in Equestria. It took a lot more out you.

She lifted her head and Twilight stalking towards her. “How many times do I have to beat you before you take a hint?” she asked, a slight smugness in her voice.

She’s right, Sunset thought. I can’t win, not like this.

Twilight stopped a few paces from her. “So? Are you going to let me leave, or do I have to end you?”

Sunset took a deep breath and forced herself up to her feet. It hadn’t taken long for her to reach a decision. “If it’s to help her, then…” She reached behind her head, grabbing the knot that held the blindfold together and untying it. “Then I’ll throw myself back into darkness. I’ll become darkness itself!”

The second the blindfold had left her face, a column of wailing shadows engulfed Sunset. Twilight stepped back, shielding herself from the black mass. It towered up to the heavens, ribbons of darkness swirling in and around it.

The wailing grew louder and louder, reaching a mighty crescendo that shook the earth. Twilight was surprised no one else had come outside yet. Then again, they’d be crazy if they did.

The dark column finally broke, sending a powerful gust of wind across the plaza. Where Sunset had once stood, a demon now floated. Its red wings protruding from the back of the black cloak it still wore. Its hair looked like a pillar of fire, complementing its blood red skin. The eyes were dark and soulless, seemingly absorbing all the life around it, and killing it with an icy glare.

Twilight gaped at her, holding her swords up in defense. “What are you?”

“A reflection,” Sunset said in a voice that sounded like it belonged to an abomination in Tartarus. In a flash of red light she vanished.

Twilight didn’t even have time to register what had happen, when Sunset reappeared and struck her with a blast of energy from behind. Twilight flew forward, rolling across the ground and landing in a crumpled heap, her swords lying at her side. A pair of claws grabbed her by the neck and threw her again, her body impacting against the wall of the clock tower. She slid down and came to rest at its base, her vision quickly going hazy. She felt something slide off her head and land on the ground in a clatter. She tried reaching for the Element of Magic that lay on its side, but couldn’t find the strength.

Sunset walked over, watching as Twilight faded into unconsciousness. She stopped at Twilight’s feet, and reached down to grab the Element, hesitating when she saw her hand. Her new claws didn’t fit into her gloves anymore, so they had been cast off when the transformation had finished. Sunset examined her sharp appendages, flexing them slowly. Her tongue ran across the jagged teeth in her mouth. This was who she was now.

She picked up the Element of Magic, feeling it grow warm in her claws, but not to where it tried to burn her… not like last time. “I’m sorry, Twilight,” she said softly, placing the crown inside her pocket. She then reached down and picked up the unconscious girl, slinging her over a shoulder. Sunset turned and took one last look at the empty plaza, amazed that they hadn’t done any permanent damage.

She jumped into the air, her new wings pumping hard to sustain her flight. Over her shoulder, Sunset felt her cargo stir feebly.

“What… are you going to do… with me?”

Sunset kept her eyes forward, ignoring the rain that splashed against her face, rising higher into the dark sky. Below her, the city was splayed out, a jumbled mass of flickering lights arranged haphazardly in different colors. A small smile flickered across her face.

“I’m going to help a friend,” she said, becoming a black dot against the moon.

Author's Notes:

This is what happens when I get stuck in my writing and listen to Kingdom Hearts music.

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