All eyes in Canterlot High's Auditorium were glued to the news report. Principal Celestia had managed to convince everyone to get back inside, and was using a projector to screen the news in hopes of seeing what happened.
“No...” Princess Twilight gasped as they watched the top of City Hall just explode.
“I.... are we still rolling?”
“Yea... I'm alright. You?”
“Yea... As... as you can see... the entire top floor of City Hall has just erupted into a fireball. Whatever happened, it appears that the energy that had been flowing up into the sky has stopped. Paramedics and Firefighters are moving in now to check for survivors.”
The top floor of City Hall was all but destroyed. The entire roof had been blown clean off, and everything was buried in wreckage.
A pile of debris shifted, before a blue hand shot up, followed by a very roughed up looking Rainbow Dash.
“Are we dead?” she asked, not expecting to get an answer.
“I'll... tell you in a minute...” came the voice of Rarity from somewhere nearby. Scrambling out of her pile, Rainbow Dash made her way over to where she heard her friend and started digging until she found a disheveled looking fashionista. Helping Rarity up, Rainbow Dash actually groaned in pain due to having a building fall on her earlier.
“You alright?” Rainbow Dash asked.
“Well... if I look anything like you... at least I'm alive,” Rarity replied. Rainbow Dash took one look at Rarity's hair and snickered. She had a feeling Rarity was going to freak at how messy her hair was. Soon after finding Rarity, Fluttershy managed to dig herself free and started shaking dust out of her pink hair. Applejack was next, actually pushing a desk over that had somehow gotten over her.
“Well... lets not do that again anytime soon,” the country girl drawled, eliciting a laugh from the girls who were up and about.
“Can someone get me out of this thing?” the muffled voice of Twilight Sparkle reached them. Soon enough, the four girls found Twilight inside a fridge of all things. The only real sign of damage was her glasses were cracked. Slimer was in the freezer, looking like a green ice cube, but the ghost was alright as he defrosted and actually hugged Rarity, much to Rarity's discomfort.
A short distance away, Pinkie Pie burst up through a pile of debris and shook herself off with a funny sound.
“What a rush...” she said before prying herself out entirely. “Anyone seen Sunset?”
Looking around, the girls didn't see any sign of their friend and started digging around. Twilight saw one pile of debris moving. Calling the girls over, Twilight started to dig through the busted ceiling tiles and wrecked cabinets before taking hold of something that felt like a hand. Working with the others, Twilight managed to clear enough of the debris to discover... a purple hand just like her own?
After a little more digging, the owner of the hand was revealed. A young woman who looked to be in her twenties with a wild hairstyle. Physically she looked a bit like an older version of Twilight, and she looked like she was wearing some kind of armor. The young woman looked dazed but after a moment she focused on Twilight with a look of confusion. Just as she opened her mouth to speak, a flying green spud slammed into her and pulled her up into a hug.
“KYLIE!” Slimer exclaimed in excitement.
“Gah! Slimer! No hugging!” Kylie Griffin protested. After freeing herself from the spud, and groaning about being slimed, Kylie looked around and blinked. She could see Twilight, and most of the other girls...
“Is it really you?” Twilight asked.
“Uh... I don't...” Kylie started to say before getting poked in the shoulder by Pinkie Pie. Kylie gave the pink party girl a deadpan look before poking her back.
“Yup. She's real!” Pinkie chirped before bouncing back a bit.
“Huh... I guess... GAH!” Kylie was cut off as Twilight pulled her into a hug. After a moment, Kylie actually returned the hug with a smile on her face.
While all this was going on, Sunset Shimmer dug herself out enough to get some fresh air, and gasped for breath. The movement attracted Applejack's attention, and the country girl actually went over to help Sunset up. It was then that she noticed something different. There was some kind of pendant hanging around Sunset's neck.
“Ya alright sugarcube?” Applejack asked.
“Yea... nothing like dropping a building on a deity to end the day huh?” Sunset replied with a tired smile.
“Well... top floor of one anyways,” Applejack replied with a smile. “What's that around yer neck?”
Sunset brought a hand to her neck and felt the gold chain that lead to a gem pendant... in the shape of her cutie mark from Equestria, and the symbol on one of her favorite shirts. A two tone red/yellow blazing sun.
“What... how...” Sunset trailed off before she remembered something. Just before they blasted Nightmare Moon to oblivion, some kind of stone orb rolled and shot a golden beam at them. Nightmare Moon had called it an... Element? But that was... it couldn't be! All six were accounted for back in Equestria! How could she have one?
Applejack put a hand on her friend's shoulder.
“We'll figure it out later,” she drawled. “Stop freakin' already.”
“Yea...” Sunset sighed as she released the amulet and let it drop back down against her chest.
After getting over the shock of discovering her new bling, and meeting Kylie in person for the first time, Sunset called for the girls to gather around and leave the building. On the way they actually found Principal Cinch and made sure to restrain her for the authorities to deal with.
“Right now... it seems unlikely anyone could have survived the... blast...” the news reporter trailed off as his cameraman shifted his focus to the front of the building. As soon as it was clear who had emerged, cheers erupted from the crowd that had gathered.
It was the Ghostbusters.
Both Police and Paramedics rushed over to check on them, and what appeared to be two survivors. Sunset Shimmer shoved Principal Cinch into the hands of the cops and told them to charge her with as many counts of public endangerment they could, along with enough counts of child endangerment to cover every student at Crystal Prep and even Ponyville Elementary. Principal Cinch didn't even resist. She knew she was beat, and even her reputation was now shattered. Nothing left to fight for. As news reporters swarmed the high school girls, Sunset Shimmer actually held up a hand to silence them.
“What we just experienced was an event of near apocalyptic levels. A...” Sunset trailed off and looked at her friends.
“Lets call it a Class 8 Transdimensional Deity,” Twilight supplied.
“A Class 8 Transdimensional Deity had been summoned into our world. Short version, a literal Goddess from another world was brought into ours. We managed to eliminate the threat through not only the courage of myself, but my friends. Regrettably... we kinda wrecked City Hall in the process. But the way I see it... property can be repaired and replaced. Lives can't.”
“You're only high school students,” one reporter said. “How could anyone, especially you girls, come up with any kind of means to fight the plague of paranormal activity?”
“That... is classified,” Sunset said with a smile. “But I will say that we did what we had to... to protect our home.”
“Also,” Rainbow Dash said as she popped in behind Sunset. “Saving the world is kinda becoming our thing. Long story. And I think Slimer took offense to being called a plague.”
Sure enough, said green spud was looking at the reporters from above with a look of disappointment, arms crossed in front of him.
As this was going on, Applejack's hat landed in front of her, and the country girl scooped it up and put it back on her head.
“Now... if you'll excuse us, we're tired and a little hungry,” Sunset said as she actually pushed one of the mics away from her. “And I get cranky when I haven't eaten.”
With that, the Ghostbusters loaded their gear into the Ecto-Van and started to climb in when the Mayor approached them. She said that they would be recognized for their bravery at a later date, and that for now, the city would pay for their meal. The girls all looked at each other, Kylie included, before inviting the Mayor to come along for the ride since they figured no one would believe them.
Its been a few days since the battle against Nightmare Moon, and... everything's settled down. No real serious paranormal activity. So far it seems like Canterlot's quieted down to where it was before. Just the occasional magical disturbance.
The package I sent back with you, that I told you not to open and to deliver to Princess Celestia, was something I felt that only she could properly dispose of. All three copies of this so called Codex of Night that was used by the Cult, boxed up and put in another box full of positively charged Slime. Kylie's idea.
Speaking of Kylie, she was impressed with us and said that we were worthy of taking the title of Ghostbusters. She was actually adopted by Twilight's parents, since we kinda can't send her back to her world, and is now running an occult book store. Guess she's leaving it to us to take up the reigns since it is our world. I heard Twilight's brother Shining Armor doesn't even know what to make of Kylie.
There is one thing that is bothering me though. This amulet I somehow acquired after the fight with Nightmare Moon. It... reminds me of your old crown. The one with the Element of Magic. But... all six Elements of Harmony are accounted for. Where'd this one come from? And why me?
Anyways... we're going to keep the gear and everything in case its needed again. The Mayor actually has a business license waiting for us for when we graduate. Not only that... we were honored by the city for our bravery, and awarded not only a ceremonial Key to the City, but we each got paychecks for services rendered. And the Mayor actually called any property damage incurred during our busts to be an “Occupational Hazard” and that we are not liable for any damage we cause. Already the insurance companies are scrambling to come up with something to take us into account.
I just hope things stay quiet for a while Twilight. Word is Principal Celestia's going to set up a trip to Camp Everfree at some point in the future. And don't worry. Its the Human World. I doubt there's any connection with the Everfree Forest other than name. I mean... Canterlot High? Crystal Prep?
Take care of yourself Twilight. And... maybe I can come back sometime to visit. And... maybe even visit my parents.
“She has buried herself in the Royal Library for three days sister.”
“She needs to get out.”
“Is that all you're going to say?”
Princess Celestia smiled and looked over at her sister. She had received the package that Sunset had sent, and was thrilled at having another sample of Ectoplasm to study. But Sunset had been right to send the books to her for disposal. That kind of magic in any hooves was dangerous. So she made the choice to send one copy to the moon, one to Tartarus, and the original was stored in the restricted section of the Royal Library, never to see the light of day again, under heavy wards.
“This revelation of an Element in the Human World is... interesting. Twilight won't find anything in the archives. Tell me Luna... do you remember the old legends about the Elements of Harmony?”
“A little... why?”
“Because I believe that one of them... may have actually been a prophecy.”
Luna looked at her sister in confusion before asking what she meant. Celestia down the hall as she ruffled her wing feathers a bit.
“When the Darkness of Eternal Night threatens a world of exile,
The shadow of the Elements will rise,
And a lost child of Equestria will awaken the Courage within.”
Luna blinked as her sister related the old legend. She did in fact remember this one. It never made sense to her, but then again... most don't. She was more practical that way. More a mare of action at times than one for bookwork.
“The Darkness of Eternal Night may very well refer to your dark side Luna. Nightmare Moon. And the world of exile may be the human world.”
“Starswirl the Bearded sure enjoyed sending dangerous beings through the portal. And into a world without magic... it was essentially the ultimate exile. They would be powerless to affect anyone,” Luna said.
“Yes. Now... the shadow of the Elements may refer to the human counterparts of the Element Bearers. According to Twilight, they do have some inherent magic but it is nowhere near as powerful as here. And... the lost child of Equestria could be Sunset Shimmer.”
Luna stopped and facehoofed.
“That is a lot of speculation sister,” she said as she focused on the taller Alicorn. “We don't even know anything about this supposed Element.”
“That... I believe is where you are wrong. 'Awaken the Courage within'. While it is true all six Elements are accounted for, there is one that underlies them all. One that each Bearer had displayed on their own over time. It never manifested because... it wasn't truly needed. Until now,” Celestia said as she turned to face her sister.
“Courage, Luna. It takes Courage to be honest even when a simple lie could comfort a loved one. It takes Courage to stay true to your friends in the face of everything you could have wanted. It takes Courage to be kind to others, even those you once considered a foe. Courage to laugh, Courage to be Generous...”
“Courage to face the unknowns within Magic itself...” Luna finished.
“Exactly. It wasn't needed here because... they all had it within them. But in the human world... a world full of conflict... Courage found a Bearer, and perhaps... even helped stop the Sirens in a way.”
Luna considered her sister's words before looking back at her.
“Does she know?” she asked.
“No. But perhaps she suspects,” Celestia replied before continuing down the corridor. “But that is for her to discover on her own. We cannot interfere. Just as the Bearers found themselves, Sunset Shimmer has to learn for herself.”
“You know... I hate it when you get cryptic...”
The bell rang, and the students started to gather their things.
“Alright class. Remember that you have a report due on my desk on Monday morning! Enjoy your weekend and be safe,” Ms. Sage said before focusing on one particular student. “Sunset, would you stay for a moment?”
After packing her backpack, Sunset Shimmer approached Ms. Sage's desk.
“What's up?” she asked.
“I'm sure you're wondering why I never assigned you any particular legend to write your report on,” Ms. Sage replied.
Sunset nodded. How was she going to do the assignment when she didn't even know what to work on? Ms. Sage smiled before pulling out a book and setting it on the desk between them. Sunset picked it up and looked at the cover.
“Arthurian Legend?” Sunset asked.
“After recent events... kinda feels right to give you this subject for your report,” Ms. Sage said. “After all... in some ways you and King Arthur have a lot in common. Reluctant leaders who never asked for their lot in life, but made the most of it. You and your friends are a bit like the Knights of the Round Table. Without all the negative stuff of course. Anyways... same deadline. On my desk Monday morning.”
“Of course Ms. Sage,” Sunset said before slipping the book into her backpack.
“Will the Ghostbusters please report to the Principal's office.”
“Duty calls,” Ms. Sage said with a smile.
With a shrug, Sunset left the classroom and made her way to Principal Celestia's office. There, she found the other girls already waiting for her, along with both Principal Celestia and Vice Principal Luna. Celestia was holding a manila folder, and Sunset could actually make out the Ghostbusters symbol on the front.
“We just got a long distance call asking for you girls,” Celestia said as she placed the folder on her desk. “Sounds serious.”
Sunset picked up the folder and looked through the contents. Sure enough... it looked like something was up.
“I'll see to it that any assignments you have over the weekend are delivered as long as you e-mail them to me or Luna,” Celestia said. “But... how would you girls like to take a trip up to Manhattan? Sounds like they could use your help.”
Closing the folder, Sunset looked at her friends.
“Are we there yet?” Rainbow Dash asked.
“ROAD TRIP!” Pinkie Pie cheered.
The rest of the team all gave similar responses.
With a smile, Sunset Shimmer looked back at Principal Celestia.
“We'll take the job.”