The Order

by Jay David

Chapter 1: The Order

The Order

Now, Sunset Shimmer did not consider herself to be an easily-irritated mare, but there were moments that pushed even her patience to its limits. Such was the case today, as she tapped her hoof against the stone floor beneath her, staring angrily at the wooden door in front. She let out a few calming breaths, but even this did little to help her mood as she waited for longer and longer periods of time. As she stood there, in that long and ornate hallway, her only company, save for the few guards who would patrol up and down the place, was Trixie, who stood by her side with that same look of impatience. The two mares waited for as long as they were willing, until, finally, Trixie herself broke the silence.

"So...do we just go in?"

Sunset shook her head.

"No...I'm not giving her the satisfaction."

So, the two continued to wait. And wait, and wait, and wait, until finally, it looked as though Sunset's patience was well and truly spent. She raised her hoof, ready to knock hard on the door, when, to her surprise, it finally opened. After the loud creak of it, the occupant of the room was revealed. Like them, it was a unicorn mare, and one possessed of perhaps the largest mane of curly hair anypony had ever seen. Her look was one of both mild annoyance and playfulness at the same time, and when she spoke it was with a tint of amusement.

"Sunset, dear. What brings you here at this hour?"

Frowning, her companion answered.

"You know damn well why I'm here, Adagio."

The other unicorn let out a fake gasp.

"Oh my! Is it that time already! Oh, you must forgive me, Sunset, I was just...finishing off."

Looking past her fellow mare, Sunset looked into the rather comfortable-looking room behind her. A massive four-poster bed could be seen from here, and upon it, there was an utterly exhausted-looking stallion, still panting as though he'd just run the longest marathon of his life. Looking back to Adagio, Sunset raised an eyebrow.

"So...guard or servant this time?"

Stepping outside her chambers, Adagio used her magic to close the door behind her before answering.

"One of the new cooks. I tell you, his hay soup is to die for!"

Trixie chuckled.

"From the looks of things, you may have killed him already!"

But Adagio merely flipped some of her mane aside before starting to walk down the hallway.

"Don't be so dramatic, Trix. You know I always like to leave them for seconds later on."

Sunset watched with a sigh as her two colleagues began to walk off with out her, leaving her to shake her head at that display before finally starting to follow. The three moved in silence for some time, although Adagio was sure to give a playful wink to a few passing guards, mare and stallion alike, much to Sunset's irritation and Trixie's amusement, but, eventually, they found themselves at their destination. They'd had to go down a few flights of stairs to get there, but they were here all the same. It was an old wooden door, one heavily barred, and the two guards stationed on either side saluted as the mares approached. They opened it with great effort, allowing the members of the Order entry within. And there, inside that sealed-off room, Adagio gained a look of intrigue.

"Well now...what do we have here?"

It was a simple chamber, but in the middle of it were three pedestals, upon which lay three plain-looking gemstones, a pale white in colour. On the far side of the chamber, however, were three large boulders, just sitting there. Approaching one of the pedestals, Adagio regarded the gem there.

"And these are...?"

Standing beside her, Sunset answered.

"A few...special gems, brought in from the mines in the Griffonstone territory."

Adagio looked back to her, raising an eyebrow.

"I thought those mines ran dry years ago?"

Taking a place beside the third pedestal, it was Trixie who spoke next.

"They have. At least, the gems the Griffons actually want."

Sunset gestured to one of the gems.

"These ones were always considered useless to them. Too tough to be made into jewellery, or anything else for that matter, and nobody wanted to buy them. So when we asked to have some, there were no objections."

Adagio looked back to the stone, seeming understandably unimpressed.

"And our purpose here?"

Sunset gestured to the two of them, and after a moment, each mare now stood in front of a pedestal of their own, with Sunset herself narrowing her eyes at her specific gem.

"Both of you, shoot of bolt of magic into your gem."

Though taken aback at the command, both mares gave a silent, nod, then returned to looking at their respective gems. They focused their magic, their horns glowing brightly, and, as intrusted, they gave off single bolts of strong-looking force. Each bolt found its mark, striking the targeted gems. With Trixie's there appeared to be no effect whatsoever, leading to some understandable disappointment on her part. For Sunset, things went a lot smoother, with her bolt actually coming out the other side, striking the bounder on the far side of the chamber, and hitting it with such force that the thing actually split in two. Naturally, this lead to a degree of satisfaction for her, to the point where she smiled with a sense of victory. Finally, there was Adagio. She kept firing and firing, but alas, there didn't seem to be any impact. Instead, the gem just kept glowing brighter and brighter.

"I take it...it's not supposed to do that?" she asked.

Sunset faced the gem herself, seeing the glow intensify, and her eyes widened.

"Behind me! NOW!!!"

The other two didn't need to be told twice, and leapt behind their leader. Quickly, Sunset levitated her gem towards her, before then erecting a strong magical barrier around the three of them. And a good thing too, since Adagio's gem, rather than doing what was expected, seemed to have absorbed so much of her magic that it began to frizzle in an uncontrollable manner. Eventually, it exploded, creating a burst of magic all around them. Thankfully, Sunset's barrier was strong enough to hold that power back, and as the fallout faded away, she let her shield down.

"Well...no use out of that one, it would seem."

Adagio and Trixie looked to one another, then back to Sunset, as the latter regarded the gem she now held in front of her. Before she said anything, the door burst open, and the two guards entered. They saw the damage around the chamber, looking to Sunset for clarification. But she stayed calm, levitating her gem over to one of them.

"Inform the Queen that this cut of gem is what's required. The others can be ignored."

Again, the guards saluted, before leaving the mares to their business. After a long while of saying nothing, Adagio cleared her throat.


Looking to her, Sunset nodded.

"As you saw, these gems have an unusual property. They can amplify the magic poured into them. The Queen wants this researched and applied as swiftly as we can."

Trixie, upon hearing that, smirked.

"I imagine the Equestrians won't know what hit them if we ever put this on the front lines against them."

But Sunset shook her head.

"The gems won't be heading towards Equestria."

At first, the other mares seemed surprised and confused by this. But Adagio, after pondering that, started to gain a knowing smile.

"Ah...the Queen's secret project, I take it?"

Sunset herself did not smile, but nevertheless gave a nod of confirmation, leading to greater interest for Adagio.

"Ooh! How delightful!"

Trixie, for her part, merely snorted.

"Big secret projects are all well and good, but things between us and Equestria are still pretty shaky right now. We may be stronger, but even so, our troops could do with as many advantages as possible."

Dwelling on that sentiment, Sunset looked to her friend.

"Well...you may get your wish."

For a time, both Trixie and Adagio looked to her, perhaps expecting her to speak further on that. But, silence was their only answer, and the way Sunset looked seemed to give Trixie all the information she needed, as the blue mare's eyes widened.

"Oh...you mean...she’s coming back?"

Sunset nodded in response, leading to Adagio being the one to speak next.

"Ah, that's right. The manticores in the West have been dealt with, yes? So she'll be returning to the capital. My sisters will be pretty pleased to hear that. Sonata especially has missed having her around."

Trixie chuckled.

"I doubt she'll stay there long, Dagi. You know the General. Always looking for the next mission."

Sunset said nothing, her expression one of deep thought as she took in her colleagues' words. Slowly, she started to move off, no doubt to involve herself in some further study or practice of her magic, as was common for her. But, as Trixie and Adagio remained, the latter looked over to the stones on the other side of the room. Particularly, her eyes drifted to the boulder that Sunset's gemstone had split in half, and smirked.

"Well then, the Equestrians had best behave themselves. Because otherwise..."

She chuckled.

"...they may end up facing the storm."

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