Shadowed Bolts

by Shadowmane PX-41

Chapter 6: Chapter 6: Letting the Heat Die Down

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"You know, Starlight seemed pretty mad back there..." Rainbow Dash rubbed the back of her head as the twelve girls walked down the street towards the local mall. It had only been a day since she and her friends had been ratted out and exposed as Canterlot High girls at Crystal Prep and chased out by Starlight Glimmer, but they had quickly dressed themselves back in their usual clothing, with their hairstyles only slightly shorter than usual.

"Defectors get especially angry when someone lies to them," Sugarcoat said. "Especially when others disobey their wills and do things that go against their ways."

"Just two days ago, Fleur De Lis was kicked down the stairs and out of the Defectors when pictures got onto the internet with her attending this crazy party at Canterlot High." Indigo balled her right hand into a fist as she remembered when Fleur was barred off, shouted at, then stripped of her rank and escorted away on a stretcher. "The poor girl's still suffering from a few broken bones and some internal bleeding, and all because she had fun with your school."

"That's heartless!" Fluttershy exclaimed. "Hurting your companions when they have a little fun for themselves? Those Defectors sound even worse than any kind of bully I've ever heard of!"

"And the worst part? They ended up laughing at her suffering and saying that how they treated her was justice!" Sunny Flare cursed. "Those monsters have plagued CPA for long enough, and the aftermath of the Friendship Games has gone to their heads! We need to stop them now, before they can overtake us!"

"From what it sounds like, they seem to crave authority, but use cruel and unjust methods to try and seize it, and find humour in shooting down and laughing at anyone who steps out of line, or just doesn't follow them in the first place." Twilight looked skyward for a few seconds. "If anything, I'd say that Cinch rubbed off on them a little..."

"There must be some way we can break through to them," Sunset spoke up. "Let them know that there a better way than this. Chrysalis is a great principal with a lot of influence over the students, but they're just not seeing it yet."

"We just deafened all of the Defectors and stepped on their king and queen," Sour Sweet pointed out. "These people will retaliate, and they'll do it in a brutal fashion."

"How so?" Applejack asked.

"They'll strike Canterlot High, but not in the ways like before." Sugarcoat looked around and saw a little fight break out in the corner of her eye between a little boy and girl. "Forget about defacing property or declaring their victory. They could go so far as to threaten, stalk, or in the worst case scenario, attack the students at your school as well—just to set an example that they will not stop until they win."

"Shouldn't any of the staff at Crystal Prep aside from Chrysalis try to stop them?" Pinkie Pie asked. "I mean, sometimes, it just feels like they're letting the students fight like meanies. But why?"

"Actually, that is a good question..." Lemon Zest turned off her headphones and scratched her chin. "Why are they just taking a backseat whilst the Defectors take more and more territory?"

"Not even Dean Cadence is trying to stop the fighting," Sour Sweet said. "Considering that she's supposed to be the head of students, it's a little weird that she's not even lifting a finger to help Chrysalis out."

"She probably would be able to end this, if the Defectors didn't kept hurting students on a daily basis." Sugarcoat's words made everyone – herself included – stop walking. "They just keep hurting, and not even she can keep up with how many of our school end up in the nurse's ward or the local hospital," silence gripped the group for a few seconds before she broke it again. "Yes, they do go that far."

"I'm still curious about something, girls." Sunset looked out into the distance and could faintly see Crystal Prep's flag just nestled inbetween the gaps in the buildings. "As Red Letter said back there, you could have been giving the Defectors an advantage in fighting Chrysalis. You could have been hailed as champions instead of Blueblood and Starlight," she said. "Why did you turn them down?"

"What can we say?" Indigo took a deep breath. "Some things happened after the Friendship Games that changed who we were."

"At first, no one really felt different when Crystal Prep opened its doors the day after the Games," Sunny Flare said. "Everything seemed to return to how it was before magic got involved. Students were kept in line, the grades were flawless, and the Defectors hadn't even been established yet." In her mind, she imagined each of the hallways crowded with students who all wore the uniforms again, but not in malicious ways. "But on that day, we had no idea that Cinch had been fired on the spot, or that Chrysalis would take her place."

"When the new principal came in and announced that she would take over, Blueblood and some others were outraged," Sour Sweet continued. "The whole cornerstone of our discipline came from Cinch, and without her, Crystal Prep seemed to feel a lot more different—almost like a bigger version Canterlot High in a way," she said. "Without the dress code, students came into CPA feeling much more friendly, as if they'd been freed from the chains of the past and could look forward to a brighter tomorrow. Individual students were finally commended for their good work, and the pride we'd established was no longer used to intimidate, demean, or make others jealous." As she spoke, a genuine smile grew on her face. "In a way, Chrysalis cared about all of us, and the changes she made benefited us all."

"And out of all of the students, we'd changed the most," Lemon Zest said. "Everything that we had been taught about Canterlot High had been a joke, and we felt guilty that our ways had made you feel a little uncomfortable at first." She gently took off her headphones and caressed them. "But then, something sparked inside of Indigo, Sugarcoat, and me. Together, we planned a little party to prove that we had become better people, and that we were willing to make friendships with the students of your school at the same time."

"That was a night that none of us could ever forget," Sugarcoat grinned. "Everyone was having fun, doing things together, and dancing until they got exhausted. And as we looked at our accomplishments, it became apparent that we ourselves could be the flag carriers for a better Crystal Prep; one that believes in friendship, harmony, and togetherness."

"But then things took a turn for the worse, didn't they?" Sunset reached out to the Shadowbolts, who all hung their heads.

"A few days after that, Blueblood's grudge outweighed his pride, and he had graffitied those horrible messages across the school, talking about how discipline and strictness should still be the cornerstone of CPA, even after everything had changed," Sunny Flare's tone was sombre. "Everything that we had made together was torn down in seconds as the Defectors were born; crafted from the ideals of a madman who wants authority to rule the school for as long as time will stand." She pulled out a picture of Blueblood and Starlight, who were having a good time with three other Crystal Prep students at the party that she and her friends had mentioned. "He went from a student who had accepted change, into one who had spat in the face of it, and convinced others to follow in his footsteps. And from his vile beliefs, the Defectors were created, and quickly became the new Principal Cinch of CPA. Cold-hearted, strict, and very brutal, the Defectors keep saying that they would finish what she could not."

"But how are they possibly gonna try and finish it?" Rainbow Dash shrugged. "I mean, the only reason that that witch got fired is because of us. So, how are they gonna try and solve their problems if their true hate lies with us instead of Crystal Prep?"

"I'm not sure, but I think I have a rough guess." Sour Sweet pulled out and opened another of CPA's maps. She then took out a purple pen and scribbled out more areas on it. "Just yesterday, the Archery Field was lost to the Defectors. They're probably getting a small army ready, and I don't really like the sound of where it's going."

"But I think I do." Twilight reached into her pocket and pulled out her old locket. It was turned off and had nothing inside. "As you all know, I was using this device to try and track the magic in your school, but I ended up absorbing it at the same time. It's been deactivated at the moment, but for all we know, the Defectors could eventually find out how to recreate this locket; complete with the ability to steal the Magic of Friendship."

"But how would they even get close to making just one?" Applejack raised a finger. "I mean, that's gonna be hard to make, considering the fancy-schmancy science stuff you put into it, Twilight. For all we know, they could be trying and failing to make it, and would probably try to capture and force you to make copies."

"Then there's only one thing we can do for the time being." Sugarcoat stepped forward and led the group down another street. "We need to hide and let the heat die down for a while, just until the Defectors realize that finding us will be harder than they expect."

"Wait, you're just gonna let us hide? After all of the horrible things those jerks are doing right now?!" Indigo slammed her foot forward.

"Indigo, I know it's not the best thing we can—"

"Yeah, right, it's not the best thing!" she raised her voice. "The Defectors are out there right now, tormenting and hurting other students, and you just want us to do nothing?!" She threw her arms all over the place.

"It's either hide, or be used as bargaining chips for Twilight, Indie!" Sour Sweet shouted. "And believe me, I do not look good after I get beaten up or tortured!"

"Girls! Calm down!" Sunset grabbed the shoulders of each of the Shadowbolts, silencing them in seconds. "You're all getting worked up over two outcomes that have negative consequences. Just calm down and think about which one has less of an impact."

Indigo knew from Sunset's tone of voice that there was no way that she would change the minds of her friends. Defeated, she punched the ground and immediately shook her head. "I'm sorry, girls. It's just that I've had to see nothing but fighting at Crystal Prep for weeks on end, and it's bugging me out."

"Hey." Sugarcoat put her right hand on Indigo's shoulder and gave her a warm smile. "We're all stressed about how bad things have been at CPA. But we need to keep calm and think rationally if we're going to end this senseless fighting and make the academy better."

"Sugarcoat's right." Sunny Flare joined them. "The odds aren't in our favour, I know, but infighting will only make the situation even worse."

"It's not something that I agree with either," said Sunset. "But we can't risk adding more fuel to the Defectors' fire. It's best to lay low and hope that they forget about us. And if that means hiding at someone's house for a while, then I don't have a problem with it."

"Now that they know Canterlot High students infiltrated their ranks, they'll hunt your territory if you don't return to Crystal Prep." Sugarcoat turned towards the Rainbooms. "It's better to stay with me and my family up on the outskirts of the city. It's the furthest place away from the Defectors and therefore, it's the safest."

"Well, I can't argue with that logic." Sunset smiled. She quickly looked back to her friends and said, "What about the rest of you? Are you in?"

Quiet murmurs came from the Rainbooms before they all nodded their heads and rejoined with Sunset and the Shadowbolts.

"Looks like we're all in, Sugarcoat," said Sunset. "Lead the way."

Without another word, the silver-haired girl walked towards her house with the rest of the girls in tow. She looked back at them occasionally and grinned each time they had a conversatoin. The more she listened in, the more she grew an affinity for Sunset Shimmer and the Rainbooms. Eventually, that small grin turned into a pleasant smile as she merely listened to them chat as they travelled through the city.

Sugarcoat and the group eventually arrived at a single three-storey house with white paint, clear windows, a blandly tiled roof, and windows that were devoid of grime and dust. A trail of stone slabs went from the end of the front yard right up to the polished oak door with a golden knocker welded onto it. The grass that ran alongside the path was well-tended; each and every blade being green, and covering every inch. The final touches were the flowerbeds that ran along the edges, gently brushing up against the white picket fence that surrounded the house.

"So, what does your family do in terms of jobs, Sugarcoat?" Applejack asked.

"My father is a retired politician," she said. "He stopped when he realized that his opponents were lying to their people and he just didn't think that it was much of a fair game for them. As for my mother, she recently took up a job in journalism and is still looking for news right now. She won't be back until tonight."

"You said you had a little sister as well." Pinkie Pie dashed forward and knocked on the door before turning back to her friends. "What's she like? Is she super-cute? Or is she a tough nut to crack like my sister, Limestone?"

"She's only five years old, so she can be quite childish at times. But that doesn't stop me from loving her."

"What was her name again? Fudgie Pants? Candycoat? Burn Books? I can't seem to remember, but all of those sound super-tasty! Well, except for burnt books. They sound yucky."

Sugarcoat let out a little chuckle. "Her name's Fudge Numbers, Pinkie. And you kind of remind me of her."

When the door opened, a small white girl with fuchsia hair in both pigtails and a ponytail stood on the other side. She was wearing a pink dress with poof around the waistline, had purple socks on her feet, and was tightly caressing a grey teddy bear in her right arm. She looked at the group with a lifted eyebrow for a few seconds before she found Sugarcoat. "Sugar!" She squealed before running over and giving her a big hug.

"Hi, Sis." Sugarcoat tussled Fudge's hair and gave her a small hug. "How was your day at kindergarten?"

"It was so much fun, Sugar! I met these really nice boys and pretty girls!" she spoke energetically. "They were all very friendly, happy to learn about counting, and even let me play with some of their toys!"

"Good to hear that, Sis." She let her skip back inside of the house before her eyes met with a man with a casual white shirt and black trousers. He had a blonde mullet and had shiny blue eyes, and he too acknowledged Sugarcoat's appearance. "Hi, Dad." She waved.

"Nice to have you back home, Sugarcoat." He watched as she wiped her feet on the rug before she pulled her shoes off and put them to the side of the door. "How was your day at Crystal Prep?"

"It wasn't easy, especially given how the Defectors have been behaving," she said. "My new friends barely escaped a fight with those thugs just over half an hour ago."

"And who are these friends of yours?" he asked, peering over her shoulders to see Sugarcoat's entourage.

"Sunset Shimmer, Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Fluttershy, and Rarity from Canterlot High." She pointed towards the Rainbooms first before beginning on her friends from CPA. "And Sunny Flare, Indigo Zap, Sour Sweet, and Lemon Zest from Crystal Prep."

"Friends from both schools, I see," he said. "Well, if you brought them around for a sleepover, I have no objections to that. We have been waiting for some people to come around and try our new guest rooms."

"Guess that explains why the house is so big..." Applejack whispered to Rainbow Dash, who let out an inaudible chortle.

"Just as long as they're honest to themselves and to us." Sugarcoat's Dad stood firmly. "I don't think I need to remind you that lies are the worst thing this world has ever known."

"Yeah! Anyone who lies is a big, fat, meanie-pants!" Fudge Numbers hugged her bear tighter and blew a little raspberry.

"Aww... She's so cute!" Fluttershy stepped forward and gave Fudge a hug herself before the rest of the girls stepped inside.

"Anyway, welcome to our humble little home, girls," said the father. "My name is Beat Bush. It's nice to meet you all." He graciously shook each of their hands before walking off upstairs.

"Once you're all settled in, me and my little sister would like to give you a tour of the house," Sugarcoat said as each of the Rainbooms and the Shadowbolts took off their shoes.

"Sure thing, Sugarcoat." Sunset hung up her jacket on the hook above her and waited for her friends to do the same.

"Follow me!" Fudge Numbers ran up the stairs giddily, getting Sugarcoat to giggle once again as she and the rest of her friends followed after her sister.

"You're right, Fluttershy. She is adorable!" Sour Sweet beamed, but then lowered her brows and pouted. "Wish my little sister was like that..."

"This is my personal favourite room: My room!" Fudge Numbers arrived at a door that had been covered in stickers, pink paint, paper flowers, and girly stickers. There was also a plastic sign that said "Fudge Numbers' Room."

As Sugarcoat and Fudge opened the door, each of the Rainbooms and Shadowbolts peaked in and saw that the room was painted pink on both the ceiling and the walls. There was a large amount of toys scattered around the room, a couple of low tables with just as short chairs, and a bed that seemed small to the teenagers, but huge to the toddler. The last thing to notice was a large pile of stuffed animals of all kinds and sizes. Each of them was dressed up in little outfits and had smiles stitched onto their faces.

"Do you like it?" Fudge asked with pleading eyes.

"It's really nice and all, but how did you get all of this stuff?" Sunset looked at each and every one of the toys and wondered how much that it cost to get the room set up.

"Mommy and Daddy say that we get rewarded for telling the truth, and punished for when we lie," Fudge did her best impression of her sister. "When I'm a good little girl, I get more toys to play with and get to stay up longer. But when I'm bad, my things get taken away for the evening."

"It's the same for me. I get given stuff when I act in goodwill towards Mom and Dad, but just like Fudgie, I lose my privileges for disobeying them." Sugarcoat stood next to Fudge and wrapped one of her arms around her. "It's our parents' way of saying that honesty is not just a policy, but a way of life."

"Well, I guess that's a good way of going about it." Applejack tugged her hat downwards and leaned against the wall. "My little sister Applebloom gets the same treatment. She's gotta act like a good little sis, or she ends up getting grounded."

"Maybe after you're done with the tour, you could maybe play with me?" Fudge clasped her hands together and held them in front of her.

"Why not? We could use something to keep us going after our recent run-in with the Defectors." Rainbow Dash looked down at Fudge and gave her hair a quick rustle. "Sure thing, kid."

"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" She immediately pulled Rainbow into a big hug. "I love playing with new friends!"

"She's pretty energetic, isn't she?" Indigo helped Rainbow Dash out of the hug.

"Yeah. Pinkie Pie and her are gonna get together like a house on fire." Rainbow shrugged.

"I'm not so sure if that's the right term for friendship, but I agree with Dashie." Pinkie bounced forward. "Fudge, you and I are gonna be the bestest of best friends ever!"

"Yay!" Fudge threw her hands in the air and gave a third hug. This time, it was for Pinkie, who immediately returned the favour.

"Anyway, my room's next door to Fudge's." Sugarcoat walked over to the door. "If you want to continue the tour, just follow me. I think that my sister's busy with Pinkie Pie right now."

"Don't worry about me, girls," said Pinkie as she got down onto her knees and placed her posterior gently on the heels of her feet. "Fudgie here would be glad to show me around by herself. Just go off with Sugarcoat for now."

Rarity put her hand to her mouth and chuckled. "Once Pinkie Pie starts, it's almost impossible to get her to stop." Rarity looked back to see the two of them playing Pattycake. "Not even we know how she's so energetic all the time."

"Tell me about it." Sunny Flare joked as the rest of the girls walked out of the room. "Lemon Zest usually takes a week or so to get over things, and right now, she's obsessed with this guy on the internet who makes videos of himself playing games. Yesterday morning, she was talking about how the Lemonators would eventually rule the world."

"Laminators?" Pinkie Pie blurted out before the whole group erupted with laughter.

Later on, Sunset was leaning against a single tree at the end of the back garden. Underneath the leaves and the apples that grew on the branches, she had time to reflect on what had happened throughout the time she had spent in the Human World. From when she had first stolen Twilight's crown and brought magic into the world, to the time when it was used to defeat the Dazzlings, and when it eventually spiralled out of control at the Friendship Games. As each memory ran through her mind, she couldn't help but feel like she was to blame for each and every accident. She had brought the magic into the world, and she was now completely responsible for any new threats that arose in it.

Eventually, a woman with a silver bowl cut and green high heels stepped out into the garden. She had yellow skin and a golden ring around a finger on her right hand. Wearing a purple dress and carrying a clipboard and pen, she noticed that Sunset had been silently sitting by the tree and was very deep in thought.

"Sunset? Are you okay?" she asked. "Your dinner's getting cold."

"I'll be fine, Make Easy." Sunset looked up at her for a brief second before tilting her gaze up towards the apple trees. She returned to her train of thought, and the concept of Starlight and Blueblood recreating the device that Twilight had taken with her to the Games. "I'm just thinking about something very important."

"I know what's going through your mind." Make stepped forward and put her free hand on Sunset's shoulder. "You're worried that the power you and your friends have will bring danger to this world, right?"

"H-how did you know?" Sunset stumbled backwards and almost fell over.

"Sugarcoat has never lied, remember? Both she and Fudge Numbers have told the truth, even if it hurts more. We know about your magic, and that you've been trying so hard to keep it a secret. But eventually, you and your friends will need to come out of the closet and explain to the world about how you got this power, and how it can be used to make the world better."

"But it's magic! It's something from another world!" Sunset's hands began to tremble. "If people find out about the Magic of Friendship, they could very well call the authorities to have us locked up and studied. Brief occurrences like the Fall Formal, Battle of the Bands, and Friendship Games are fine as long as no-one knows the truth, but if this gets out, then we might never be able to live normal lives ever again!"

"Then maybe it's time that this secret is shared." Make looked Sunset in the eyes and gently cuddled her. "Keeping all of the magic to yourself does make you special, but at the same time, don't you think that others get jealous that they can't use it themselves?"

"You might have a point. I mean, I did overhear a song at the games where the Shadowbolts were gonna try and use our power against us, but it ultimately backfired and caused that disaster. But are you sure that the people of this world would like magic to mix in with their regular lives?"

"Sunset. I'm going to tell you the utmost truth here." Make Easy sat down with Sunset on the grass. "When you pioneer something, it must be shared. Keeping it to yourself will spark jealousy in the hearts of others and provoke more and more people to try and use your magic for themselves," she said. "After all, the man who invented the television shared it with the world, the man who made computers shared them with the world, so why can't you share the magic you and your friends possess with other humans as well?"

"Because it's unorthodox. It would make us all abominations of what we once were."

"It's not strange in the slightest. It's evolution," Make still kept a smile, even with everything that Sunset had said. "Over many years, the human race has had to evolve and adapt to many changes in the world around them and to their current lifestyles. So if everyone on the planet gets wings, pony ears, longer hair, and tails, then who's gonna be jealous of that?"

"I think you're right, but—"

"I know I'm right, Sunset Shimmer." Make Easy looked up at the stars, watching as constellations were formed. "The more and more you and your friends keep the secret to yourselves, the harder it'll be to keep," she said sweetly. "So far, only the students at Canterlot High and Crystal Prep know about the magic you and your friends possess. So what's the difference if everyone else in the world knows about this power, and are all able to use it for themselves?"

"If the magic is decoded and used right, then everyone else would be able to Pony-Up when they show off their true talents. Singers and dancers will be able to use their magic to wow the crowd before it becomes common, as Rarity would put it. Builders would get their jobs done quicker, scientists would be able to implement magic into certain machines to make life easier, and most of all, kids would be able to feel a little happier." She curled up into a ball. Oh, who am I kidding? You make it sound like a utopian world, but I just don't really think that it's time yet."

"Yet, Sunset." Make stood back up and helped her get back on her feet as well. "It might not be the right time now, but eventually, it will. Secrets don't stay secret forever, and it's only a matter of time before everyone in the world inherits the magic of you and your friends," she crossed her arms. " And when that day comes, we just have to brace ourselves for what'll happen next."

"No matter what's happened, we've all been moving forward, desperately trying to keep our magic to ourselves," Sunset was now thinking about the future—to a world where everyone could Pony-Up. "But what good could come from a world where reality and fantasy interlock?"

"We just have to wait and see..." Make Easy had once last glance at the starry sky before she walked back to the house. "Now come on. You and your friends must be starving after all of the stuff you've had to go through today."

Sunset eventually took Make Easy's hand and walked back inside the house. But at the same time, the thoughts of a world where everyone used magic never left her head. As she dwelled on both the positives and negatives, she had trouble deciding whether or not it would be a good or bad thing.

Maybe it's wrong, maybe it's against everything these people stand for, but I think that what she said is right, Sunset thought as she walked back inside and sat down to her meal of roast chicken with the Rainbooms, Shadowbolts, and Sugarcoat's family. After all this time, maybe we should share our magic with everyone else. She shuddered for a second. But definitely not now. Not with the Defectors still running around and causing misery for everyone else at Crystal Prep...

As Sunset Shimmer looked at each of her friends, she began to think about all of the good that the Magic of Friendship had done for her school, her world, and for them all. A small smile began to creep back onto her face, but it was lost when she thought about the possibility of it being used by people for evil.

She then thought about what would happen if Starlight Glimmer and Blueblood used the magic that she and her friends had. Images flashed into her head of all of the Defectors getting Pony-Ups, overwhelming her friends and the Changelings, and ultimately succeeding in their rebellion for a new principal at CPA. Before it could overtake her mind, she returned to reality and ate her food, knowing that the future wasn't set in stone, and that it could be changed. The question that was now on her mind was how she and her friends would be able to do it.

Author's Notes:

If you liked this chapter, be sure to share the story with your friends and comment down below your thoughts about it. And if you want to stay up to date with any other stories or Blog Posts that I make, be sure to give me a follow. I sure would appreciate it.

And also, if you want to try and make Fudge Numbers for yourself, remember that she's got fuchsia hair in both pigtails and a ponytail. She wears a pink dress with lots of poof around the waist, wears purple socks, has a grey teddy bear, and is kindergarten sized. (Not sure how big that is in the Equestria Girls world yet, considering that all we see are teenagers and grown-ups in that world...)

Anyways, have a nice day, and I'll see you guys soon for another chapter!

Next Chapter: Chapter 7: Order from Delinquency Estimated time remaining: 4 Hours, 6 Minutes
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