by Admiral Biscuit

Chapter 1: Occultation

An Equestria Girls Fic
Admiral Biscuit

Sunset Shimmer slammed her locker door shut and headed towards the double doors of freedom—the final bell had rung, and she was a free woman . . . at least until 7:45 the next morning.

She gave a friendly wave to a few students she passed in the hallway, although none of them did much more than return a frosty glance at her. I don't blame them for not wanting to forgive so quickly. She hunched her shoulders slightly, and pressed forward.

Around a corner, she almost plowed in to Applejack, who was struggling with the padlock on her locker. "Consarn no-good cheap flimsy thing!" She gave it a firm yank, and the hasp finally snapped open, knocking her off-balance and almost into Sunset.

"Oh, hey, AJ."

"Hey, Sunset. Ya ready ta go home?"

"You know it." Sunset ran her hand through her hair. "I'm gonna crash out on the couch, watch some TV until dinner time, and then go soak in the bath with a good book."

"Sounds like you've got your evening all planned out." Applejack leaned into her locker and wrested her biology book free from the stack of books on the top shelf. "After Ah get done slopping the hogs, Ah'll be workin' all evenin' long on the bio homework. Ya musta got it done durin' study break, huh?"

Sunset felt a sinking in her gut. "Biology homework?"

"Yeah . . . don'tcha remember?"

"Crap crap crap crap." Sunset looked back down the hall towards her locker. "I totally forgot. Thanks, AJ. I owe you one."

"No problem, sugarcube." AJ leaned back into her locker for her 'morning classes' binder, found it, and jammed it in her bag, before looking up again. "Don't forget to get a look at the solar—"

"No time!" Sunset charged recklessly down the hall, swerving around the exodus of students. She frantically spun the combo on her locker, grabbed her biology textbook, and charged through now-empty halls back to the front of the school.

Mercifully, her bus was still there, but the boarding door was shut. Sunset pounded a fist on the glass, and the driver turned his head. "Let me in!"

He held his hand on his chin for an indecently long period of time, before finally reaching out and grabbing the chrome lever for the door. Sunset pushed her anger back down inside and climbed the steps with her head held low.

Before she even reached the top stair, the bus driver yanked the door shut and mashed his foot down on the accelerator. Instinctively, Sunset grabbed at the handrail, dropping her biology textbook. Face burning, she bent to pick it up, ignoring the quiet chuckles from the other passengers on the bus.

Her favorite seat was taken—of course—and she had to settle for a midships seat, right next to the bland blonde girl whose name she could never remember. Sunset sat primly on the very edge of her seat, to avoid crowding her accidental seatmate.

"They're coming," the blonde said quietly.


"Sooner than you think."

"Oookay." Sunset turned to her travel companion, but the blonde had turned her attention outside, watching with interest as first a bakery and then a laundromat slid by the bus' windows. She endured the rest of the ride in silence, getting up as the bus turned down her street.

She braced herself on the seatbacks as the bus driver slowed down, reaching the handrail atop the modesty panel as the bus finally squealed to a stop at the end of her driveway.

The mailbox had two bills and a JC Pony catalog. She took the catalog, and left the bills. Her parents could deal with them.

She peeled off her boots in the mudroom, and went to the kitchen in stockinged feet, her biology textbook in her right hand and the JC Pony catalog in her right. She tossed both on the kitchen island, raided the fridge for a bottle of RC Cola and a bag of carrots, then looked back at the counter. The old Sunset would have just taken the catalog, skimmed through it until she got bored, and then futzed around the whole evening, relying on Flash or some other sucker to loan her the homework tomorrow. But she couldn't do that any more.

Sometimes, being good sucked.

The biology textbook hit the table like the closing of coffin lid, and she began writing an essay on Preformationism. We never had boring subjects like Biology back in Canterlot, she thought. We had fun stuff like Magical Theory and Alchemy and Physiognomy. She took a sip of her RC, and tapped her pen on the paper thoughtfully.

Three paragraphs in, she glanced up in annoyance. The kitchen was already too dim to write in. The clock on the microwave said it was only four. Must be a storm moving in, that's all.

She leaned back in her chair, her homework forgotten. The littlest things could trigger memories—how odd it was that in this world, the weather was a completely random thing, predicted in advance by meteorologists who probably didn't know half the stuff a second-year weather pegasus did. She'd been caught out by the weather more times than she cared to admit.

The light looked funny. Almost like a sunset, but not really. Curious, she went to the kitchen window, and looked up. The sky was a clear blue, only marred by a few streaks of contrail. Pinkie had told her that those were from jets that traveled miles up in the sky, but she wasn't sure she believed that.

Now thoroughly confused, Sunset went to the west side of the house. Maybe the clouds hadn't moved over yet, but were blocking the sun. But no—that side of the house was cloud-free as well. She could clearly see the sun glowing just below the treeline—although it didn't look as bright as it should.

Her heart pounding in her chest, she raced to the mudroom and put her boots back on, then ran into the garage and pulled out her bicycle. A push of a button, and the garage door rumbled up; she was out before it had made it halfway.

She swung up on her bicycle, briefly regretting that she was still wearing her school clothes—and then decided that haste beat comfort.

It had taken her a long time to learn to ride a bicycle. Every part of its design struck her as counterintuitive, from the too-tall seat to the unstable two-wheel configuration. Until she passed driver's ed, and got her own car, though, she was stuck with this death-machine.

Her mind was going through possible friends, trying to figure out where they might be. Sweet Apple Acres was the farthest destination, although at least there was the assurance that Applejack would be there. Fluttershy, if she was home, wouldn't be much help. Rarity was a little too much of a social butterfly to count on—she couldn't even begin to guess what the budding fashionista might be up to on any given night.

Flash was right out. He still hadn't forgiven her.

That left Rainbow and Pinkie Pie. The former was surely at the school, practicing soccer; the latter was anybody's guess.

Her destination firmly in her mind, she bounced across a curb and into the street, hardly paying attention to traffic as she stood on the pedals and pumped for all she was worth, occasionally glancing over her shoulder.

She hit the long downstretch near the school at a near-suicidal pace, finally letting the bike coast as the pedals overran her. She leaned into the handlebars, her coat whipping around behind her and her skirt jammed indecently high on her legs, but she didn't care. The soccer fields were in sight, and even here she could see Rainbow's distinctive mane.

Sunset ditched the bike in the parking lot, skidding it to a near-stop before jumping off and letting it crash to a stop behind her. Nobody on the team was doing warmups or drills, they were just staring up at the sky through dark glass lenses.

She ignored them as she shambled on the field, her hair windblown and sweat trickling down her face. Her frantic ride had given her an atomic wedgie, but she wasn't even worried about that—not in the least.

"Rainbow!" Sunset ran to her friend, briefly tearing her attention away from the sky. "What's happening?" She glanced back at the dusky soccer field, and at the mesmerized team. "How can we stop it?"

"Stop it?" Rainbow gave her a quizzical look. "Stop what?"

Sunset pointed in the sky, where the sun had been reduced to a thin sliver of light behind a dark disc. "That! What went wrong?"

"The eclipse?" Rainbow looked at her in confusion. "What's . . . is that what you're worried about?"

Sunset nodded. It hurt her eyes to look right at it, but she couldn't help it. It was so wrong—the lifegiving sun was disappearing and nobody cared. Didn't they know what a cold wasteland it would be if it were occluded? Had they never heard of the Windigos and the never-ending winter?

It was too late. The sun vanished, leaving only a ring of light behind. The streetlamps began flickering on one-by-one, in a futile gesture against the bleak future. This—this—was what the blonde girl had warned her about, and she hadn’t listened. She could have written a letter to Twilight; maybe it would have arrived in time.

Rainbow grabbed the trembling girl in a tight embrace. "You . . . you don't know." She leaned in, resting her head against Sunset's, and held up the smoked glass. "It's just a solar eclipse. It happens when the moon goes in front of the sun. It won't last—in another hour, it will be over. Here—look through this—you can see it moving. It's really cool."

Sunset wiped her eyes and held the glass up. Sure enough, she could see the arc of the sun getting slightly bigger as she watched, although it was hardly enough to lighten up the field.

"What a crazy girl," one of the soccer players muttered. "Sunset doesn't know a damn thing about anything."

"Excuse me." Rainbow let go of Sunset. "I'll be back in a second."

"If she wasn’t so hot, and—"

Sunset heard the wet smack and gasp of sharply-exhaled breath, but paid them no mind, nor did she say anything when a pair of cyan arms wrapped back around her and pulled her tight. She just watched through the lens as the sun slowly clawed her sky back from the moon, a vast feeling of relief coursing through her body.

Author's Notes:

A One-Shot-Ober fic

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