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About Literature / Hobbyist Premium Member William A. RendfeldMale/United States Groups :iconmy-little-role-play: My-Little-Role-Play
 
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Yeah, I wouldn't be impressed either.

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Potiential Back for U.T.P by Tammi-sempai

Well, now things are getting interesting! Once more, a very well laid-out page, with nice, clear text (save for your URL - a darker pin...

Potiential Cover for U.T.P by Tammi-sempai

I'll say this much, the piece definitely caught my attention with little trouble. Of course, my attention is easily caught by women, so...

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Hey out there. Just putting this up in an effort to keep everyone appraised about my current efforts in obtaining Transformers. Should anyone be kind enough to help cut down the number of guys on this list, I would not complain in the slightest.

Anyway, this summer I made a concerted effort towards getting a number of shelves put in place in my bedroom at home. Upon these shelves, grouped based on their appearances in current (and future) Cast Photos, are my Transformers toys (specifically those related to T:A-R). Upon getting the shelves put up, however, I put together a list of all the remaining guys I didn't have toys for but planned on including in the storyline. Here is that list as it currently stands.

Universe Special Edition (2 of 2)
Dragstrip (purchased, shelved)
Overkill (purchased, shelved)

Club Releases (22/25 of 29)
Astrotrain w/ Starcatcher, Astro-Hook, Astro-Line, Astro-Sinker (purchased, shelved)
Topspin (purchased, shelved)
Heatwave (purchased, shelved)
Nightbeat (purchased, shelved)
Dion w/ Cop-Tur (purchased, shelved)
Punch/Counterpunch (purchased, shelved)
Sideburn (purchased, shelved)
Runabout (purchased, shelved)
Runamuck (purchased, shelved)
Slipstream (purchased, shelved)
Circuit (purchased, shelved)
Ironfist (purchased, shelved)
Chromedome (purchased, shelved)
Treadshot (purchased, shelved)
Thrustinator (purchased, shelved)
Krok (preordered)
Serpent O.R. (preordered)
Nacelle (preordered)
Zap (purchased, shelved)
Nova Prime (purchased, shelved)
Marissa Faireborn w/ Afterburner
Old Snake w/ BAT
Packrat
Battletrap
Oilmaster

Convention Exclusives (52 of 52)
Sentinel Maximus (purchased, shelved)
Caliburn (purchased, shelved)
Ricochet (purchased, shelved)
Fallback (purchased, shelved)
Chromia (purchased, shelved)
Deathsaurus (purchased, shelved)
Flareup (purchased, shelved)
Flamewar (purchased, shelved)
Springer (purchased, shelved)
Huffer (purchased, shelved)
Beta Maxx (purchased, shelved)
Weirdwolf (purchased, awaiting arrival)
Whisper (purchased, shelved)
Kup (purchased, shelved)
Thunderclash (purchased, shelved)
Flak (purchased, shelved)
Landshark (purchased, shelved)
Razorclaw (purchased, shelved)
Leozack (purchased, shelved)
Skyquake (purchased, shelved)
Banzai-Tron (purchased, shelved)
Clench (purchased, shelved)
Pyro/Spark (purchased, shelved)
Streetwise/Streetstar (purchased, shelved)
Sky-Byte (purchased, shelved)
Scorch w/ SG Ravage/Glit (purchased, shelved)
Rapido (purchased, shelved)
Cindersaur (purchased, shelved)
Doublepunch (purchased, shelved)
Slicer (purchased, shelved)
Metalhawk (purchased, shelved)
Overlord (purchased, shelved)
SG Tracks/ Road Rage (purchased, shelved)
SG Octopunch (purchased, shelved)
Spinister (purchased, shelved)
Kick-Off (purchased, shelved)
Electro/Electrons (purchased, shelved)
Sunstorm (purchased, shelved)
Bitstream (purchased, shelved)
Hotlink (purchased, shelved)
Cannonball (purchased, shelved)
Ferak w/ Tornado (purchased, shelved)
Devcon (purchased, shelved)
Scorponok (purchased, shelved)
Ginrai (purchased, shelved)
Apelinq (purchased, shelved)
Alpha Trizer (purchased, shelved)
Shokaract (purchased, shelved)
Pounce (purchased, shelved)
Wingspan (purchased, shelved)

Japanese Exclusives (33 of 33)
Redline, Flat-Out, Servo (purchased, shelved)
Top Gear, Midship, Tailslide (purchased, shelved)
Falcia, Combusta, Twirl (purchased, shelved)
Bilge, Freeboot, Sunburn (purchased, shelved)
Kingbolt, Quench, Impulsor (purchased, shelved)
Shadowhawk Cosmo Type (purchased, shelved)
Dinobot Magma Type (purchased, shelved)
Chromehorn Forest Type (purchased, shelved)
Ramble Blue (purchased, shelved)
Ramble Coby (purchased, shelved)
Chromia Minerva-Type (purchased, shelved)
Rumble & Frenzy (purchased, shelved)
Wipe-Out (purchased, shelved)
Scrapheap (purchased, shelved)
Magnificus (purchased, shelved)
Artfire (purchased, shelved)
Breakdown Silas (purchased, shelved)
Dispensor (purchased, shelved)
Shouki w/ Daniel (purchased, shelved)
Stinger (purchased, shelved)
GoShooter w/ GoShuta (purchased, shelved)
Hellwarp (purchased, shelved)

So yeah, quite a ways to go. I'll keep everyone posted.

Original Version posted December 17, 2007.
Edit #1 on December 19, 2007. Updated status for Shadowhawk Cosmo Type, removed Elita-One.
Edit #2 on December 30, 2007. Updated status for Shadowhawk Cosmo Type, Top Gear, Midship, Tailslide, and Ramble Coby.
Edit #3 on January 12, 2008. Updated status for Topspin and Huffer.
Edit #4 on January 28, 2008. Updated status for Huffer.
Edit #5 on February 2, 2008. Updated status for Springer.
Edit #6 on March 2, 2008. Updated status for Huffer and Springer, added Nightbeat.
Edit #7 on March 12, 2008. Updated status for Astrotrain, Starcatcher, Astro-Hook, Astro-Line, and Astro-Sinker.
Edit #8 on April 11, 2008. Updated status for Astrotrain, Starcatcher, Astro-Hook, Astro-Line, Astro-Sinker, and Quench.
Edit #9 on April 26, 2008. Updated status for Tailslide and Quench, reset to reflect guys actually in collection.
Edit #10 on May 2, 2008. Updated status for Ramble Blue.
Edit #11 on May 7, 2008. Updated status for Chromia Minerva-Type.
Edit #12 on May 12, 2008. Updated status for Ramble Blue and Chromia Minerva-Type.
Edit #13 on May 16, 2008. Updated status for Chromia Minerva-Type.
Edit #14 on June 20, 2008. Updated status for Ramble Coby.
Edit #15 on June 24, 2008. Updated status for Topspin and Ramble Coby.
Edit #16 on June 30, 2008. Updated status for Topspin.
Edit #17 on July 10, 2008. Updated status for Ramble Coby.
Edit #18 on July 31, 2008. Updated status for Top Gear.
Edit #19 on August 18, 2008. Updated status for Top Gear.
Edit #20 on August 27, 2008. Renamed Journal, Updated status for Nightbeat.
Edit #21 on August 30, 2008. Updated status for Nightbeat.
Edit #22 on October 8, 2008. Updated status for Nightbeat.
Edit #23 on October 13, 2008. Added Dragstrip and Overkill.
Edit #24 on October 16, 2008. Updated status for Dragstrip.
Edit #25 on November 1, 2008. Updated status for Midship.
Edit #26 on November 19, 2008. Updated status for Midship.
Edit #27 on November 20, 2008. Updated status for Flamewar.
Edit #28 on December 2, 2008. Updated status for Heatwave, Flamewar.
Edit #29 on December 12, 2008. Updated status for Overkill.
Edit #30 on December 13, 2008. Updated status for Dragstrip.
Edit #31 on December 25, 2008. Updated status for Redline, Flat-Out, Servo, Combusta, Twirl.
Edit #32 on January 13, 2009. Updated status for Redline, Flat-Out, Servo, Combusta, Twirl.
Edit #33 on February 2, 2009. Updated status for Heatwave.
Edit #34 on April 23, 2009. Updated status for Sentinel Maximus.
Edit #35 on April 27, 2009. Updated status for Sentinel Maximus.
Edit #36 on May 15, 2009. Updated status for Heatwave. Added Caliburn, Beta Maxx, Whisper.
Edit #37 on May 29, 2009. Updated status for Heatwave.
Edit #38 on June 3, 2009. Updated status for Whisper. Added Kup, Thunderclash, Flak, Landshark.
Edit #39 on June 3, 2009. Updated status for Landshark.
Edit #40 on June 4, 2009. Updated status for Flak.
Edit #41 on June 8, 2009. Updated status for Whisper.
Edit #42 on June 21, 2009. Updated status for Thunderclash.
Edit #43 on July 5, 2009. Added Razorclaw.
Edit #44 on July 6, 2009. Updated status for Thunderclash.
Edit #45 on August 15, 2009. Updated status for Kup.
Edit #46 on September 13, 2009. Updated status for Kup, Razorclaw.
Edit #47 on September 18, 2009. Updated status for Razorclaw.
Edit #48 on November 6, 2009. Updated status for Caliburn.
Edit #49 on November 14, 2009. Updated status for Caliburn.
Edit #50 on November 15, 2009. Updated status for Falcia. Wow...fifty updates...
Edit #51 on December 1, 2009. Updated status for Falcia. eBay auctions coming soon...
Edit #52 on December 31, 2009. Added Dion, his unnamed partner, and Punch/Counterpunch.
Edit #53 on February 4, 2010. Updated status for Dion w/ Cop-Tur.
Edit #54 on March 28, 2010. Updated status for Punch/Counterpunch.
Edit #55 on May 22, 2010. Added Clench, Pyro/Spark, Streetwise, and Sky-Byte. With luck, I'll be able to get them nice and cheap immediately after BotCon off eBay.
Edit #56 on June 14, 2010. Updated status for Dion w/ Cop-Tur. One more to go on Club guys! 'Till next year, anyway.
Edit #57 on June 26, 2010. Added Leozack, Skyquake, Banzai-Tron, Scorch w/ SG Ravage/Glit, Rapido, Cindersaur, Doublepunch, and Slicer. I need an intervention.
Edit #58 on June 26, 2010. Added Sideburn. Wow, two edits in one day...
Edit #59 on June 29, 2010. Updated status for Streetwise/Streetstar. Hopefully, he'll be the first of the BotCon guys for this year to make it  to my collection in the near-future.
Edit #60 on July 6, 2010. Updated status for Streetwise/Streetstar and Punch/Counterpunch. Here's hoping I'll be updating on others soon.
Edit #61 on July 9, 2010. Updated status for Punch/Counterpunch and Pyro/Spark. Don't expect much more of these soon, as I'm saving up for a 'Con.
Edit #62 on July 22, 2010. Updates status for Pyro/Spark. Now I've got two photos to take this weekend! :-)
Edit #63 on October 9, 2010. Updated status for Scorch, SG Ravage/Glit, and Doublepunch. Yay for conventions!
Edit #64 on December 2, 2010. Updated status for Sky-Byte.
Edit #65 on December 6, 2010. Updated status for Sky-Byte.
Edit #66 on August 3, 2011. Updated status for Sideburn. I'm done with club releases for now!
Edit #67 on November 11, 2011. Updated status for Clench. Just got him off eBay (though I probably shouldn't have) and he'll be in my possession within a week. Hopefully.
Edit #68 on November 16, 2011. Updated status for Clench. He's here! With luck, he won't be my last BotCon purchase of the year.
Edit #69 on January 30, 2012. Was lucky enough to snag a preorder on Runabout on my fourth attempt with the Club store. Also bidding on a Slicer on eBay and I'm gonna renew my membership Thursday. How's that for timing?
Edit #70 on February 2, 2012. Renewed my membership with the club, thus paying for Runamuck. Unfortunately, I got bid out on Slicer. Gonna keep my fingers crossed for a future attempt, however.
Edit #71 on February 21, 2012. Updated status on Runabout. He's mine at last!
Edit #72 on April 24, 2012. Updated status on Runamuck. The Battlechargers are reunited! Fingers crossed for a BotCon purchase or two in the near-future!
Edit #73 on April 26, 2012. Added the toys I want from this year's BotCon set. Here's hoping next year is more like 2006, 2008 and 2011 than 2009 or 2010.
Edit #74 on April 30, 2012. Updated status on Kick-Off. Guess the three people who thought I'd get a toy from this year's convention first were right. Here's hoping I swing more before year's end.
Edit #75 on May 21, 2012. Updated status on Metalhawk. I might actually have all the 2012 toys before the end of this year. Freaky.
Edit #76 on May 27, 2012. Updated status on Slicer. Gonna break on these guys for a while until I get a little more funding available.
Edit #77 on May 28, 2012. Updated status on Kick-Off, Metalhawk, and Slicer.
Edit #78 on June 2, 2012. Updated status on Slicer. Setting my sights on Overlord after I gather some more funds.
Edit #79 on July 16, 2012. Won Overlord on an eBay auction. Fingers crossed that he arrives without incident.
Edit #80 on July 23, 2012. Updated status on Overlord. He arrived without incident!
Edit #81 on July 26, 2012. Updated status on SG Octopunch and Spinister. They're available through the Club store for a limited time, people, I couldn't resist.
Edit #82 on July 30, 2012. Updated status on the remaining Linkage Mini-Cons. Hoo I've spent way too much cash in the last few weeks...
Edit #83 on August 1, 2012. Updated status on SG Octopunch and Spinister. I've gotten all the exclusives I wanted from BotCon 2012! Yay! Now I can focus on 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2010...oh I hope next year they do more guys I have no interest in.
Edit #84 on August 3, 2012. Updated status on the remaining Linkage Mini-Cons. I have them all now! Along with an extra Quench who's going up on eBay!
Edit #85 on October 9, 2012. Updated status on Rapido and Cindersaur. Just bought 'em on eBay - with luck, they'll arrive by the weekend.
Edit #86 on October 12, 2012. Updated status on Rapido and Cindersaur. Taking a break from this for a while, as I've got more pressing monetary problems afoot.
Edit #87 on October 13, 2012. Got Rumble and Frenzy at Slag-A-Con. :-)
Edit #88 on December 16, 2012. Added SG Tracks, gonna repurpose him as Road Rage once he... well, she... gets here. One advantage of the new job, I have cash for toys. :D
Edit #89 on December 18, 2012. Updated status on SG Tracks. I now have a suitable Road Rage!
Edit #90 on December 30, 2012. Updated status on Leozack. Got him earlier this week via eBay; last one for this year, but not the last one for a while. :D
Edit #91 on January 14, 2013. Added Wipe-Out. Got him cheap on eBay, will hopefully have him before the end of the month.
Edit #92 on January 17, 2013. Updated status on Wipe-Out. He's here! :D
Edit #93 on February 19, 2013. Added Scrapheap. Won him on eBay, and he arrived today! :D
Edit #94 on March 10, 2013. Updated status on Skyquake and Banzai-Tron. Just won 'em for fairly cheap on eBay. :-)
Edit #95 on March 21, 2013. Updated status on Skyquake and Banzai-Tron. They arrived earlier this week. Two more to go!
Edit #96 on April 15, 2013. Added Magnificus; I've preordered him through the Club.
Edit #97 on May 25, 2013. Updated status on Flareup. Just bought her on eBay and she'll arrive before the end of next week. One left, at least until more come out next BotCon.
Edit #98 on May 29, 2013. Updated status on Flareup. She arrived yesterday, though a part was missing. Fortunately, I'd been made aware of it, and I was told the part was in the mail on Sunday, so now I wait.
Edit #99 on June 1, 2013. The last part arrived on Thursday. Huzzah for getting a holy grail!
Edit #100 on June 28, 2013. Added releases from this year's BotCon. Oh, this is gonna be fun...
Edit #101 on June 29, 2013. Updated status on Electro, added newly announced subscription figures.
Edit #102 on July 1, 2013. Updated status on the Rainmakers. So glad I have cash in my savings account.
Edit #103 on July 5, 2013. Updated status on Electro. Still waiting on the Rainmakers - hopefully, they hit tomorrow.
Edit #104 on September 1, 2013. Updated status on the Rainmakers and Slipstream. The former guys arrived safely a while ago. The latter purchase was made Friday. Circuit within a couple months!
Edit #105 on September 4, 2013. Updated status on Slipstream and Circuit. Slipstream arrived last night, and I bought Circuit today from someone who got him as part of the subscription! And now I park myself on eBay and hope for a reasonably priced Alpha Trion...
Edit #106 on September 18, 2013. Updated status on Circuit, added Thrustinator. Had some trouble with Circuit, but things worked out. Back to hunting Alpha Trion...
Edit #107 on October 11, 2013. Updated status on this year's Club guys. I've paid my fee - anyone want Rewind, Barricade and maybe Mystery Mech #7?
Edit #108 on October 18, 2013. Updated status on Magnificus. Arrived yesterday without so much as a shipping notification. Glad he's here, but a little warning would've been nice.
Edit #109 on November 12, 2013. Updated status on Beta Maxx. Bought him, Alpha Trion, and a Vector Sigma accessory on eBay! Last BotCon release until next year!
Edit #110 on November 17, 2013. Updated status on Beta Maxx. The whole batch arrived safely on Thursday.
Edit #111 on March 24, 2014. Added the recently-revealed BotCon figures. We'll see if more get added to the list.
Edit #112 on April 16, 2014. Added Artfire and Breakdown Silas. BBTS had 'em on sale and I couldn't resist.
Edit #113 on May 17, 2014. Added Cannonball, Scorponok and Ginrai. Went ahead and got a non-attending package for BotCon 2014.
Edit #114 on May 19, 2014. Added Dispensor.
Edit #115 on May 23, 2014. Updated status on Dispensor. He's mine!
Edit #116 on June 9, 2014. Updated status on Ironfist. He arrived in the mail today, and I'm working on selling off Barricade. Here's hoping I have no problems selling Rewind once he comes. Speaking of, anyone want Rampage?
Edit #117 on June 19, 2014. Added Apelinq, Alpha Trizer, Shokaract, Pounce, Wingspan. Gonna be an expensive BotCon year...again...
Edit #118 on June 20, 2014. Updated status on the guys listed above. Pounce and Wingspan were bought from BBTS, the rest from a seller on eBay - cheapest buy it now auctions up right now. Like I said, expensive year.
Edit #119 on June 21, 2014. Added, Krok, Serpent O.R., Nacelle and Zap. Fun Pub just earned another year for me with the subscription service.
Edit #120 on August 2 2014. Updated status on all the BotCon 2014 figures. Cannonball's got a bad knee - gonna try and resolve that issue.
Edit #121 on August 6, 2014. Added Weirdwolf.
Edit #122 on August 8, 2014. Added Nova Prime, updated Cannonball.
Edit #123 on August 16, 2014. Added Marissa Faireborn w/ Afterburner. Bought a (hopefully) proper Cannonball this morning on eBay.
Edit #124 on August 18, 2014. Updated status on Treadshot. He arrived today! And now, I await Chromedome.
Edit #125 on August 24, 2014. Updated status on Cannonball. Bought a second one off eBay, he had a proper left leg, I swapped legs. The world is right as rain again.
Edit #126 on September 5, 2014. Updated status on the guys I want from FSS 3.0. Sign ups went live today, and I paid, so these guys are preordered. Now to wait and find out who mystery figure number seven is...
Edit #127 on September 15, 2014. Updated status on Chromedome. Anyone want Rewind and Eject?
Edit #128 on February 18, 2015. Added Shouki and Stinger. Hey, this is my longest-lasting collection list!
Edit #129 on March 19, 2015. Added Deathsaurus and GoShooter. The former was an impulse buy, the latter someone I've been anticipating for months.
Edit #130 on March 24, 2015. Updated status on GoShooter. He arrived in the mail today, and with luck, I will free him from his plastic and cardboard prison before I call it a night tonight.
Edit #131 on March 27, 2015. Added Hellwarp. Had him preordered for a while, BBTS informed me he's processing now.
Edit #132 on April 17, 2015. Updated status on Hellwarp - finally got him out of his box! Added the first two BotCon exclusives for this year - Stepper doesn't appeal to me, and the last two are still up in the air.
Edit #133 on May 5, 2015. Updated status on Nova Prime, added more Club/BotCon releases. This is getting updated something fierce.
Edit #134 on May 6, 2015. Updated status on Nova Prime. Payment's cleared, though I don't have shipping info yet.
Edit #135 on May 11, 2015. Updated status on Nova Prime. He's arrived! Protectobots are due tomorrow.
Edit #136 on May 21, 2015. Updated status on Zap. He's here! More subscription guys over the next few months! Huzzah!
Well, April was different from the plan - less work on other projects, more writing than planned. Stuff did get done on both fronts, however, and I'm pleased to say that a lot of work was done. Hopefully, more will get done this month. :-)

T:A-R Arc Four - "Dark Glass" - Break for now!
T:A-R Re-Edit - "Interrogations"
Editing on Novel - "Halcyon Days" - Done for now!
PW! Entries (1+) - No clue on this, waiting on others.
PW!R Entries (10) - Working on these. Started on two.
MLP:FiM Stories - Two done! Started work on another two! Will hopefully finish one in May!

Journal posted May 2, 2015.
May 2, 2015 - A little bit more work's been done on "Six Nights (and a Day) With Sunset" - gonna try and squeeze more out before I call it a night, and I'll definitely get more banged out tomorrow.
May 3, 2015 - Chapter Six is almost - ALMOST! - done! It should be finished later this week, hopefully by Saturday. So looking forward to typing out Chapter Seven.
May 7, 2015 - Chapter Six is done, and I've done a little more tweaking to the epilogue! Oh, and I've started on Chapter Seven too.
May 8, 2015 - Chapter Six is being posted tonight; I just can't wait until tomorrow. You got a problem with that?
May 9, 2015 - I'm splitting Chapter Six into two parts. That should help folks read it better. Oh, and more work's been done on Chapter Seven.
May 10, 2015 - Further work is done on Chapter Seven. The end is in sight, folks!
May 13, 2015 - More work is done on Chapter Seven - it's closing in on five thousand words. Fingers crossed this weekend's good to me and I get it well past the 5K mark.
May 17, 2015 - Further work was done today on Chapter Seven. I may actually get it done by this weekend, if I'm lucky.
May 20, 2015 - A little more work's done on Chapter Seven, and I did some tweaks on Chapters Four and Five. Just a little bit more left to go.
May 21, 2015 - Typed out the last little bits for Chapter Seven last night and added a small smidge to the Epilogue. The story is done! Expect postings this weekend!
  • Mood: Optimism
Chapter Five: A Night with Applejack


  “Well, sounds like y’all had a right pleasant evenin’.”

  “We did, yes.” Fluttershy hoped that the embarrassed blush on her face wasn’t too obvious, given she’d woken up cuddling Sunset that morning as if she were a giant, warm teddy bear. “I do feel bad that she couldn’t stay with us longer, but we have so little room.”

  “Good thing that won’t be a problem out at the farm.” Applejack followed her friend into the town’s animal shelter, taking a second as she entered the brightly-lit lobby to kneel down and greet a cat that looked up at her with a friendly scratch behind its ears. “Don’t quite get why she’s here though.”

  “Well, Sunset mentioned wanting to do something useful during the day, and Mom suggested that she help out here at the shelter. I just hope she didn’t have too much trouble. Some of the animals can be quite a handful, especially with strangers.”

  “Yeah, ‘bout that.” Applejack got back to her full height and followed Fluttershy towards the kennels. “Fluttershy, Ah think it was a good thing, you havin’ her help out ‘round here. If nothin’ else, gave the girl somethin’ to do, but ain’t’cha a little worried ‘bout how the critters would react to her? Ah ain’t sayin’ she ain’t on the up-and-up, but you and Ah both know animals don’t react good to the unusual.”

  “Well, I’ll admit, that was something I was worried about, but I called my mother to check on her, and everything seemed to be…” The two girls entered the kennels, and Fluttershy’s eyes lit up. “Oh my goodness!”

  The two were greeted to the sight of Sunset kneeling down on the ground, laughing heartily as a large black dog gleefully licked at her face. She turned away and laughed, “Hi girls! Give me a second, I’ve got an oversized puppy here who isn’t quite done with me!” She turned back to the dog and gently pushed the canine away. “Come on, Ellie, come on, play time’s done.”

  Her eyes shone with a little regret, but her smile was joyful as Fluttershy took up the dog’s leash and led her back into a kennel, latching it closed behind her. Laughing, Applejack approached Sunset and helped her back to her feet. “Look at you, makin’ a friend. Here Ah was worried you’d be havin’ trouble.”

  “I was too.” Sunset examined herself and noted, “Still, no bites or claw marks. That’s always a good sign, right?” She nervously gestured towards a nearby sink and added, “Give me a second to clean up and grab my stuff, okay?”

  As Sunset busied herself with the sink, Fluttershy approached with an impressed look in her eyes. “Sunset, did you clean all of the kennels?”

  “And put out fresh food and water for the dogs, and played with some of them.” She quickly dried her hands and added, “I wanted to do the same with the cats, but your mother said the dogs would be more than enough. She wasn’t wrong; Ellie especially’s a bundle of energy.”

  “Well, I don’t think they’d mind seeing you again.” Fluttershy quickly amended, “I mean, I’m not asking you to volunteer, and I wouldn’t dream of forcing you to come if you didn’t want to, I’m just suggesting…”

  “Can I think about it?”

  “Oh yes, of course you can.”

  Applejack chuckled. “Well, unless you’re plannin’ on adoptin’, we’d best skedaddle.” She led Sunset out, pausing as the girl made her way to an office to retrieve her backpack. “Look at you, bein’ a model citizen and lookin’ after little doggies. If the folks at school could see this, they’d really think you were turnin’ things ‘round.”

  “Maybe.” Sunset slung the bag over her shoulders as Applejack led her out, her expression turning somber. “But we both know that won’t be so easy. And staying with you won’t be a picnic either, considering…”

  “Don’t count your chickens ‘fore they hatch, sugarcube. Life’s got a way of surprisin’ folks.” The two finally exited the animal shelter to find an aged pickup truck waiting for them, painted deep red and with an apple on its grill in place of a manufacturer’s logo. Applejack waved to the truck’s driver and called, “Open ‘er up, Big Mac, we got us a passenger!”

  Sunset eyed Applejack’s siblings uneasily as the door was opened to the truck’s cab and she climbed into the back, Apple Bloom seated beside her and pointedly trying not to look at her. Big McIntosh’s expression was unreadable while Applejack climbed inside and took the front passenger seat. Once the two were buckled in and Sunset steadied her backpack in her lap, the truck started. Staying at Sweet Apple Acres was not going to be easy, given what had happened last week, but she’d expected that. Compared to what she thought was coming, any tests she had to deal with in Equestria were easy.

-

  She was back. That was the only thing Sunset could think about on her way from the train station to the campus of the School for Gifted Unicorns – she was back in Canterlot! Back where she belonged! The air smelled right, the buildings looked right, the world felt right again! And soon enough, she’d settle things so that she was back here for good!

  It took everything she had to not rush ahead of her aunt and charge into the building where the entrance exam was taking place. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to get away from her – she did, but unfortunately, she was stuck with her – it was that she knew full well that if she ran off, she’d get lost and probably miss something important. Still, she wished that she could get away. Every other filly and colt she saw was accompanied by at least one adult unicorn, and she couldn’t help but feel like she stuck out like a sore hoof. Some looks were surprised, such as the one from the blue filly slightly older than her with the white mane who’d passed by, though others were clearly of distain, such as the one from the pale white unicorn filly with the fancifully-curled deep red mane. Either way, they spoke volumes.

  “It’s alright if you’re nervous Sunset, or worried. I’ve had to deal with that so many times. Just do your best.” Sunset rolled her eyes at her aunt’s encouragement as they sat waiting, but kept her gaze firmly on the door to the hall where she was to be tested. “Just a practical test, and then a written exam. Nothing to worry about.”

  It felt like it was taking forever for her turn to come until the doors opened and a grey earth pony stallion with a nearly-white mane and blue eyes behind a pair of glasses looked out among those waiting. “Sunset Shimmer?”

  “That’s me!” Sunset hopped to her feet, her aunt following her from the bench into the examination hall. The stallion made his way to a door opposite him, while four more adult unicorns were seated above them and to their right. She looked up at them and quickly noticed their dour, unimpressed expressions were briefly broken by odd quirks of surprise. It took everything she had to not smile at that – she was the only applicant she’d seen with a cutie mark. “I’m ready! Test me!”

  The doors opposite opened, and the stallion produced a cart with a purple, spotted egg upon it. He approached her and asked, “Do you know what this is?”

  Sunset looked at the egg, scowled, and gently lifted it in her magic to get a better look at it. As the examiners scribbled notes, she reasoned, “It’s a dragon egg.”

  “Correct. Now…”

  “How’d a dragon egg get here?” The stallion looked at her as she set it back down in the cart and she asked further, “I mean, dragons aren’t common in Equestria. I know their migration paths go past Canterlot, but…”

  “Ahem.” He gently smiled, one hoof raised to quiet her. “That isn’t something for you to worry about, dear. This test isn’t about the egg’s past, but its future.” He gestured to the egg and explained, “We want you to hatch it.”

  “You have two minutes.” Sunset looked back to the examiners to find that one of them had produced a stopwatch. “Impress us, Miss Shimmer.”

  Sunset smiled confidently and turned her attention to the egg. They wanted to be impressed and have her hatch a dragon egg, huh? She knew just the trick. “Stand back. I’ve got this.” Her horn lit up, a ball of fire forming at its tip, slowly growing from the size of a small grape to the size of a tennis ball, until the ball became a stream of fire, not unlike a dragon’s own fire breath and pointed right at the egg.

  The earth pony watched with alarm, the same expressions no doubt on the faces of the examiners and her aunt, but the egg wasn’t hurt in the slightest, the fire wrapping and curling around it like a blanket as it was gently lifted out of the basket by the heat. Sunset kept her eyes on the egg, not taking them off for an instant as the seconds ticked by. “Come on, little guy, you can do this. Come on. Wake up. It’s almost…”

  “Time! End your spell, Miss Shimmer!”

  Sunset didn’t take her eyes off the egg as she protested, “What?! No, I can hatch it!”

  “Your time is up!” She felt something hit her, and her magic was nullified, the heat around the egg fading within seconds only to be replaced by a magic aura that gently lowered it back into the cart. “Thank you, Miss Shimmer! That will be all.”

  Sunset fumed, but followed the earth pony’s directions as she and her aunt made their way out of the exam room through the opposite door. So much for an entrance exam. What kind of test didn’t even give you time to finish?

-

  “Are we there yet?”

  Sunset was roused from her memories as Applejack chided, “Apple Bloom, don’t you start actin’ like that. We’ll get home soon enough.” The farmgirl’s head turned the other way as she asked, “You enjoyin’ the ride, Sunset?”

  “Yeah, just letting my mind wander.” She glanced out at the countryside beside her and took in the pastures stretched out towards the mountains that bordered the town. A smile crossed her face as she observed, “I’ve never been out this far before. It’s beautiful.”

  “We went a little out of our way to get’cha, but that ain’t a bad thing, considerin’.” The pastures gave way to farmland and apple orchards, white fences lining the road as they closed in on their destination. “Just a warnin’ for ya, life out on a farm’s a little different from the city. Not too different, mind, but don’t be too shocked if ya hear somethin’ durin’ the night.”

  “I think I’ll be okay.” She made a quick glance towards Apple Bloom and Big McIntosh and reflected that it wasn’t anything outside of a farmhouse that she was worried about. She noticed a wide gate in the distance, a mailbox mounted on one side, and asked, “Is this it?”

  Big McIntosh nodded with affirmation as they turned into the gate, and Sunset got her first good look at Applejack’s home proper. What she saw was more than she expected, the drive leading towards a large farmhouse with a barn, stables and several equipment sheds nearby. Arrayed behind the house were apple orchards stretching as far as the eye could see, with further fields and pastures in the distance. The truck slowed to a halt in front of the barn, and Sunset climbed out and took a deep breath of fresh air, almost distracted from Apple Bloom jumping out faster than she had. Despite the ill feelings she had lingering, with the clean air around her, she almost felt like she was home.

  Applejack seemed to catch her aura of wonder and grinned as she slapped a hand to her shoulder. “Welcome to Sweet Apple Acres, Sunset.” As Sunset returned the grin, her friend retrieved her sleeping bag and luggage from the truck bed. “Ah’ll get the guest room ready for ya.”

  “You don’t need to do that, Applejack. Just show me where it is and…”

  Big McIntosh loudly cleared his throat to catch her attention, and Applejack added, “Sorry darlin’, but Granny Smith wants a word with ya first. Don’t worry, though, I’ll take good care a’ yer stuff.”

  “Oh. Alright, but can I at least keep my backpack on me?”

  “Sure.” Applejack turned her attention to her younger sibling and called, “Apple Bloom! If’n you got homework to do, you’d best be doin’ it…!”

  “…Doin’ it ‘fore supper, ah know!” The youngest of the three siblings was already at the door to the house, holding the door open for the others as they entered. She gave Sunset an uneasy glance as she walked past, which the fiery-haired girl could only respond to with a nervous but thankful smile before being led to the living room, and then scampered up the stairs once everyone was inside and the door secured.

  Slight creaks greeted her as Sunset entered the living room. Under normal circumstances, it would probably look very inviting, with its high ceiling and impressive fireplace and cozy-looking furniture. Granny Smith’s presence in her rocking chair, however, led her to think otherwise. Applejack’s grandmother was someone she’d seen every day since she’d started attending Canterlot High, between that one home economics class she’d taken and every day in the cafeteria, but she’d barely paid her any mind. Now, however, the old woman before her seemed more intimidating than Princess Celestia did the first time they’d met. Well aware that she’d have to do this eventually, she took a deep breath and asked, “You wanted to…?”

  “Take a seat.”

  She immediately did as she was told and found a seat on the sofa, her eyes fixed upon the Apple family matriarch, her backpack at her feet and her hands folded in her lap. “Yes ma’am.”

  Granny Smith regarded her silently, her aged orange eyes betraying no emotion. “Never thought Ah’d see this day, you lookin’ more nervous than a cat at a dog show. Wasn’t there t’see what happened last Friday, but my grandkids done told me all the important stuff. Didn’t believe it ‘till I talked with Celestia and Luna come Monday mornin’.”

  Sunset would’ve wished to still have her magic right then, but she quickly reminded herself that if there was a shrinking spell, she’d never learned it.

  “Not sure how I feel ‘bout you stayin’ with us after all that. Somethin’ Ah’ve told my grandkids; if’n an apple’s gone bad, then it’s gonna stay bad, and there ain’t no goin’ good again. So imagine mah surprise when Applejack tells me you need yerself a place to stay a while, that you’ve done tried with the rest of her friends and left fer one reason or other.”

  Sunset opted against bringing up her cover story; something told her that someone who prided themselves on honesty as much as Applejack did had to have gotten it from somewhere.

  “Didn’t even compare to the surprise Ah got when Ah saw where you had been stayin’. Between that and the talkin’ horse with a horn and wings, Ah’m countin’ mah blessin’s my heart’s as healthy as it is.”

  Her eyes went wide in surprise, and Sunset couldn’t restrain herself. “You met Princess Celestia?”

  A solemn nod. “Got the whole story ‘tween her an Applejack. Got a reminder, too.” Her face broke out in a warm smile that seemed to take a decade off her face even as it lifted Sunset’s spirits. “People ain’t apples. Apples don’t get a choice ‘bout goin’ bad, after all. And if’n Applejack says you’ve done turned over a new leaf, then Ah’d best be believin’ her. You wouldn’t be sittin’ there if’n Ah didn’t.”

  Sunset felt a warm hand on her shoulder, and looked up to find Big McIntosh standing at her side, a welcoming smile on his face as well. She sighed in relief and laughed as she brought her hands up to her face, hoping that she wasn’t tearing up. “You have no idea how relieved I am to hear that.” She recovered herself and smiled gratefully. “Thanks, Granny Smith.”

  The older woman laughed. “Don’t be thankin’ me yet, missy. As long as you’re stayin’ here, you’re workin’. This ain’t some fancy hotel, after all.”

  “I didn’t think so, and I’m fine with that, really. Whatever you need, it’s done.” Realizing what she just said, she deadpanned, “And by saying that, I just volunteered to do something really nasty, didn’t I?”

  Both Apples laughed at that, with the youngest answering, “Nope. Not tonight.”

  “Course not; you’ve done yer work fer the day.” A few eager barks interrupted Granny Smith as she turned her gaze towards the stairs. “Speakin’ of, the dogs ain’t quite done with ya.”

  Sunset turned as a border collie charged in, barking excitedly as she sniffed and prodded at the newcomer. Rather than be alarmed, Sunset smiled and reached to pet the dog on her head. “She must smell all the other dogs I spent time with today.” The dog accepted her hand and sat down. “Hey girl. Glad you don’t mind the extra company.”

  “Winona’s never been one to complain ‘bout makin’ new friends, darlin’.” Her peace said, Granny Smith slowly got to her feet. “Well, Ah’d best be gettin’ supper ready. Big Mac’ll lead ya to the guest room.”

  “Um, before that.” Sunset got to her feet. “Do you need any help with the food?”

  Granny Smith laughed and shook her head. “Nah, but thanks fer the offer, darlin’. Go on now, git already.”

  Sunset nodded and retrieved her backpack, then turned to the eldest of the Apple siblings. “I guess you know everything too, huh?”

  “Eeyup. Got a hard time not believin’ it after last Friday, too.” Big McIntosh gave her a somber expression as he added, “Apple Bloom don’t know though. Figured she wasn’t ready for it all yet. It’ll be a while, but give her time. She’ll see you ain’t the same girl you was ‘fore that night.”

  “I hope so.” Sunset slung her bag over her shoulders. “Thanks, Big McIntosh.”

  “Big Mac. Call me ‘Big Mac’.”

  A small chuckle. “Okay, Big Mac.” She followed him up the stairs with relief and Winona following close behind, feeling like a weight had been lifted off her shoulders. “So, which room is your guest room?”

  “Right here!” She saw Applejack’s arm waving to her from one open door, and Sunset followed it to find the guest room waiting for her. While Rarity’s guest room gave off a feeling of simple elegance, this one presented more rustic charm, the furniture old but well cared for and the bed dressed with fresh sheets colored a warm orange, her luggage waiting at its foot. Standing at the foot of the bed was Applejack, a pleased look on her face. “Yer lookin’ better. Not worried ‘bout a lousy reception no more?”

  Sunset smiled as she set her backpack at the side of the bed and scratched Winona behind her ears. “Nope. I think I can do this.”

-

  The first words to come out of Sunset’s mouth came as she entered the reception area for prospective applicants. Few were present yet, for whatever reason, though food and drink was already laid out. “I could’ve done it.”

  Solar Flare led her niece to a snack table that was filled with assorted foods, from pies to cake to fruit to donuts, and gently assured her as she gathered some food for the two of them. “Sunset, no one’s saying you couldn’t…”

  “Then why didn’t they let me finish?” A plate was held out for her with one wing, some fruit and a donut upon it, and she took it with her magic before a few apple slices started hovering in front of her face. “What kind of test doesn’t give you enough time to finish? It’s like they made me fail on purpose!”

  “That would be a very cruel thing to do, wouldn’t it?”

  “It is!” Sunset turned to her new addressor and continued, “It’s cruel and mean and…!” It took her a second to take note of the fact that the mare who was speaking to her was the one she least expected to see, who towered over both her and her aunt. The very long horn emerging from her head and very large pair of wings only made her look more impressive. “And…”

  The mare looked upon her with a motherly twinkle in her pale magenta eyes, her multicolored mane flowing freely beside her like a twinkling aurora. She managed a regal giggle as she observed, “And it seems you’ve lost your train of thought, my little pony. Maybe your guardian and I can help you find it somewhere more private?” Her gaze turned to Sunset’s aunt as she asked, “Solar Flare, I assume? Could you and your niece please join me?”

  Sunset nodded as her aunt bowed gently and answered, “Of course, Princess Celestia, we’d be honored.”

  The princess smiled and, a plate with a piece of cake upon it held in her magic, she led the two to a smaller, private dining room and the three sat down at a table together, Sunset perched between her aunt and her sovereign. Realizing that her apple slice was still floating off her plate, she hastily ate it, which prompted a small laugh from the alicorn.

  “Sunset Shimmer. I’ve been hearing quite a bit about you, young lady.” She held her gaze upon the filly and asked, “Tell me, why do you think it’s wrong that you weren’t allowed to continue? And be honest please.”

  Sunset briefly looked down. Was this a test, or was the princess genuinely curious? She didn’t know, but it would’ve been wrong to not answer. She looked up and kept her eyes on the princess’ own. “Because I could’ve hatched the egg! And I would’ve if I had a little more time!”

  The princess made a small nod. “Perhaps you would have. A shame that you didn’t, given the entrance exam doesn’t allow retakes.”

  Sunset remembered that, and her determined face softened. “Princess, that egg. It was found in the path of a dragon migration, wasn’t it? Ponies leave dragons alone, and no pony would steal a dragon’s egg for something like this, so it had to have been lost, or left behind.”

  A soft nod. “That’s very likely, yes.”

  That’s when Sunset broke eye contact and turned away. “That poor dragon. He’s never gonna hatch. Even if he does, he’s never gonna know his mommy or his daddy. He lost them before he could ever know them. He’s never gonna be loved.”

  Sunset felt a wingtip under her chin, and she looked up to find the princess’ gaze still locked on her. “Sunset Shimmer, how would you react if I told you that the test wasn’t meant to be passed?” At the filly’s shocked expression, she explained, “The test’s purpose isn’t to hatch the egg, though I wouldn’t complain at all if that happened. Its purpose is to tell us something about those who make the attempt. If a student gives up immediately, or demands an easier challenge, it’s an automatic fail for the entire exam. If they at least try something, then they have the written test to fall back on. You not only made the attempt, but I can tell you were doing it for more than simply passing the test.” The princess smiled and added, “And it’s not every day I see a filly attempt something as advanced as the Dragonfire Spell. You have a great deal of potential, Sunset Shimmer.”

  “Does that mean I can try to hatch the dragon again?”

  A chuckle. “No, I don’t think that task is meant for you. I’ve something else in mind, something far more challenging. If you’re willing, I’d like to have you as my own personal student.”

  Sunset’s eyes went wide at this thought. “Me? Really?”

  “Really and truly. It will mean that you’ll have to live in the castle, of course, but…”

  “Yes! Yes, of course! Thank you so much!” She heard a small laugh to her side, and Sunset turned to find her aunt covering her eyes with one wing. “What?”

  “Nothing, Sunset.” Solar Flare smiled, but her eyes were shut tight and her speech was broken. She regained some composure and looked to her niece, barely making out, “I wish your mother was here to see this.”

  “I do too.” Sunset turned back to the princess and asked, “When do I start?”

  “There will be plenty of time for that later. Right now, finish your food. And don’t forget the donut. They’re delicious.”

  Sunset eyed the confection on her plate as she took it up with her magic. She’d never had one before, but it did look good, and she bit down upon it and chewed. As soon as her taste buds made contact with it, however, she felt even better than she already did. She swallowed and declared before continuing, “It is delicious!”

-

  More than two years of attending Canterlot High had given Sunset a good idea of Granny Smith’s skills in the kitchen. Despite the popular reputation of school food being lousy in comparison to a proper home-cooked meal, what she’d served in the cafeteria was of good quality. The spread lay out before her and the Apple family, from a very large pork loin to assorted vegetables to dinner rolls to a noodle dish that she couldn’t easily identify, gave off an aura that outright said that it had been made with love. The smell alone, however, was delicious, and made Sunset feel at home as she took a place at the table.

  “Apple Bloom, Ah think it’s yer turn.”

  Sunset quietly followed along as the gathered Apples brought their hands together in prayer, closing her eyes and bowing her head. She’d never considered herself to be religious, but she was a guest, and there wasn’t any sense in not being respectful.

  “Dear Lord, we thank you for the food we’re about to eat, for the safety of our home and hearth, and for the friends and family that we hold dear. Please look after them where we cannot. Amen.”

  With prayers said, everyone turned their attention to the meal. Sunset happily accepted her portions and started with a small piece of pork, a smile curling on her lips with the taste. “This is delicious, Granny Smith. Thanks for cooking.”  

  “No need to be thankin’ me, darlin’. Yer a guest in mah home, after all, and Ah ain’t about to deny a guest a proper home-cooked meal. Besides, you could probably use one, considerin’ everythin’ that’s happened.”

  Sunset somberly looked down at her plate for a second before she smiled in response. “I still appreciate it.” With some hesitation, she looked up and asked, “So, how are things at the school?”

  “Ah’d say they’re pretty good, even if they’re a little louder’n normal.” Applejack managed a nervous grin and explained, “Work crews fixin’ up the front entrance an’ all. Should be all patched up by next week, though; you gave ‘em a good head start.”

  “That’s one point in my favor, I guess.” The two shared a nervous chuckle. “The good weather we’ve had since then probably hasn’t hurt either.”

  “Nope. Not one…”

  “Can Ah be excused for a second?”

  Granny Smith looked to her youngest grandchild with surprise. “Sure you can, Apple Bloom, but…”

  “Thanks.” The young girl pushed her chair back from the table and quickly made her way out of the kitchen, four pairs of eyes following her out.

  Sunset sighed and turned back to her meal. “Sorry, that’s my fault.”

  “No, it ain’t. Let me talk to her.” Applejack got to her feet and followed, the remainder turning back to their meal.

  The silence was broken as Sunset noted quietly, “So, it’s just the four of you out here? I thought you had more family in town.”

  “You mean Sunflower and Babs? Their family’s out on the other side ‘a town. We get on okay enough with ‘em, but we don’t need ‘em ‘round all the time.”

  “Not that we don’t try, though.” Big Mac took a second to refill his glass and added, “Had some trouble after Applejack started at CHS, mind.”

  “Yeah, I heard about that.” Sunset prodded at her food uneasily. “Sunflower was me before I was me. Only I was worse.”

  “Didn’t stop either of ya from figurin’ out where you’d done wrong, though. That’s the important thing, learnin’ from yer mistakes.”

-

  “Why’s she even here, Applejack?” Apple Bloom gave her sister a pleading look, even as she did all she could to keep from shouting her frustration. The living room wasn’t that far away from the farmhouse’s kitchen/dining room, after all. “What’s that demon…?!”

  “Apple Bloom! Now you shush with that language!” The elder sister gently guided the younger to the sofa and sat her down, taking a place beside her. “Ah remember that night as clear as you do, darlin’.”

  “But you didn’t get hexed like Ah did!” Apple Bloom hugged herself, as if trying to protect herself from the memories of the Fall Formal. “You an’ the girls went rushin’ out after Twilight, and me an’ Scootaloo an’ Sweetie Belle followed and we saw her change, and then she smashed up the entrance with magic and took us over an’…” She shuddered. “Ah couldn’t control mahself, Applejack! It was like mah body was movin’ on its own! Ah still don’t get how you an’ Twilight an’ the others stopped her, but what if she tries again an’…?!”

  Applejack gently wrapped her arms around her younger sister and held her close. “She won’t, sugarcube. Ah promise ya, she won’t. Sunset ain’t a monster no more. She knows what she did was wrong, an’ she’s sorry fer it. All of it, from breakin’ me and mah friends up to shortin’ Rarity outta her crown to everythin’ last week. Now she’s tryin’ to make up fer it all, and Ah wanna be there to help her.”

  “But how do we know she ain’t lyin’?”

  “You know your big sister can spot a liar from a mile away, right?” A nod. “Good. If’n she ever hurt anyone Ah cared about again, you especially, Ah wouldn’t need magic to make her regret it.”  

  Apple Bloom relaxed at that thought, fully aware her big sister would always be there for her if she was needed. She nonetheless looked up at Applejack and asked, “But how do we know she can do good after doin’ all that bad?”

  “Yer a little young to be rememberin’, but me and our cousins didn’t get on so good after Ah started at CHS. Sunflower wasn’t exactly accomodatin’ back then, and Babs was more interested in stickin’ to her big sister’s good graces and fittin’ in than doin’ the right thing.” At her sister’s shocked look, Applejack affirmed, “Yes, yer favorite cousin was mean to me. But both of ‘em realized what they were doin’ was wrong, an’ Ah believed ‘em and gave ‘em a chance to be better. Just like Ah’m doin’ for Sunset now.” She hugged her sibling close and offered, “Now, Ah ain’t askin’ ya to embrace her like a new sister. Just be polite, huh?”

  “An’ don’t try to melt her or nuthin’ like that?”

  “Durn right.” She nodded back towards the kitchen and offered, “Now come on, grub’s gettin’ cold.”

  Apple Bloom got back to her feet, and she and her sister returned to the dinner table as Sunset continued, “I can’t believe you guys are related to Pinkie. Heck, I’m still trying to wrap my head around her and Maud being sisters, come to think of it.” She noticed them, turned and asked, “Are you two okay?”

  “Should be. Apple Bloom just needed a second is all.”

  While Applejack turned her attention back to her meal, Sunset and Apple Bloom regarded one another uneasily, the former flashing a small, hopeful smile before turning back to her own meal. “Anyway, I can’t say it enough. Thanks for letting me stay with you, even if it’s only for a little while.”

  “Ain’t a problem, darlin’. We all need us a little love now an’ again.”  

-

  “Oh, I do love this!” Rarity clapped her hooves together gleefully as she and her friends found themselves enjoying their own dinner in the Crystal Castle. She paused as she realized her company, and turned sheepishly towards the royals. “My apologies for the outburst, your Highnesses.”

  Princess Celestia smiled. “No need to apologize, Rarity. You aren’t the only one enjoying themselves this evening, after all.”

  Indeed, Pinkie Pie had helped herself to a healthy helping of everything offered, and was eagerly enjoying her meal with her usual enthusiasm. “This is delicious, Cadence! You’ve got some really good chefs here! And really nice wait-staff and plumbers and guards and…!”

  Rarity rolled her eyes. “Oh come now, Pinkie, you’ve said that every night we’ve been here for the summit.”

  “Doesn’t make it any less true!”

  The gathered ponies (and dragon) laughed, and Applejack turned discussion elsewhere as she looked to Twilight. “Speakin’ a’ nice things, how’s things goin’ fer our newest friend, Twilight?”

  The youngest royal present smiled happily and reported, “Sunset’s doing fine, Applejack, but I’ll be sure to mention that you asked about her the next time I send her a message.”

  “Yeah, speaking of that journal, why didn’t Twilight ever get one?” Rainbow Dash turned to the Princess of the Sun and asked, “Both of ‘em were your students.”

  “Yes, but the spells required to create message journals are very complex and powerful. There’s a great deal of magic in those two books, strong enough to get a message across any distance as you well know by now. In comparison, enchanting dragon fire is far easier to do, and much less taxing, even for alicorns.”

  “And if she had given Twilight one of those books, then I’d be out of a job, wouldn’t I?”

  Twilight gently nuzzled the baby dragon beside her and assured him, “You’re a lot more than just a quick way to keep in touch with Princess Celestia, Spike.” He gave her a smile in return, and she turned her attention back to the others as she recounted, “I’m just glad she still has hers. Being able to talk with her like this is wonderful, even if we do have the bridge portals to fall back on. And it’s been a learning experience too, given what she’s come to learn about your counterparts.”

  “Oh? Such as?” Rarity gave her friend an eager look as she added, “Come now dear, you’ve put it out there, don’t leave us dangling.”

  Twilight rolled her eyes. “Well, apparently, the human world’s Pinkie Pie and Applejack worked together on a genealogy project and…” Noticing the expression of curiosity on Pinkie’s face, as well as the slightly annoyed look on Rainbow’s, she stopped and explained, “Genealogy is the study of family histories and ancestries.”

  The rainbow-maned pegasus gave her a disbelieving look. “They actually study stuff like that? For real?”

  “Ain’t nuthin’ wrong with knowin’ where you come from, sugarcube.” Applejack proudly smiled as she explained, “Us Apples got roots all across Equestria and beyond, even if the main branch is in Ponyville.”

  “And sometimes it can be very fascinating.” Fluttershy gave a small smile as she explained, “I once did some digging into my family tree, and it turns out a number of my ancestors are Earth ponies.” She then bowed her head with a little nervous embarrassment as she added, “I even have a couple thestrals in the family.”

  “That is nothing to be ashamed of, fair Fluttershy. They are ponies like any of us, simply adapted for the night rather than the day, and not to be frightened of.” The shy pegasus gave a comforted smile at Luna’s words before the Princess of the Night turned to Twilight. “But I suspect there is more to this story?”

  “Yes, I’m just waiting for Pinkie to finish her drink. Rather not risk a spit-take.” General nods of agreement as well as a loud murmur from Rarity showed approval for Twilight’s choice, and she waited for Pinkie to finish her drink and swallow before she dropped her bombshell. “They found out they were cousins!”

  And despite Twilight’s efforts, Pinkie’s drink was spat out, Shining Armor only barely managing a shield to prevent the spit from going too far. “Me and Applejack are family?!”

  “Fourth cousins twice removed by a fifth cousin. There’s no guarantee it’s the same in our world, though, so we’ll have to research it once we get back. Golden Oak Library has the family records for everypony in Ponyville from its founding in the archives.”

  “And if Twilight can’t find anythin’ there, then it won’t be too difficult to check on our end.” Applejack rubbed her chin thoughtfully with a hoof as she realized, “If’n Granny Smith can’t confirm it, then she’ll know somepony who can. Not everypony made it to the reunion, after all; don’t recall seein’ much a’ Babs’ family last time save her. And even if we ain’t blood, we’re still kin.”

  Luna managed a small giggle as she reasoned, “I suspect this is one of those details that won’t vary much between worlds. Despite the obvious differences, for example, I and my sister remain consistent.”

  “As did we.” Rarity smiled proudly as she added, “Even if I hadn’t seen it for myself, I’d believe it easily given how quickly they all rallied to Twilight’s side. It certainly offers hope for other areas, though I do hope there are some differences.”

  “I’m quite certain that my counterpart never attempted to bring about eternal night, if that gives you any comfort.” She looked to the married couple among them and noted, “No concern about your own counterparts, niece and nephew?”

  “I’m not gonna say that I’m not curious about it. I’m just hoping all the similarities didn’t stop with everyone else here.”

  Cadence leaned over and gave a teasing grin. “Worried that the other you missed out on something amazing?”

  “A little.” He grinned right back and amended, “But who’d want to miss out on the greatest mare ever?”

  “And if’n that ain’t happenin’, that means Rarity’s counterpart’s got herself a chance at yours.”

  Rarity gave a scandalized gasp at her smirking friend’s remark. “Applejack! Please! Neither of us would ever stand in the way of true love!”

  “Wouldn’t stop you from swooning though.”

  Some rolling laughter came up among them at Rainbow Dash’s remark, Rarity herself joining in with an embarrassed blush on her face. She recovered herself as she added, “In any case, I am glad that my counterpart opened her home to Sunset so readily. If her parents are anything like mine, I doubt they’d turn her out, and she’s most likely had a wonderful stay.” She noticed Twilight’s uneasy expression and realized, “Oh dear, what happened?”

  “It’s a long story.” Twilight quickly recounted what she knew of Sunset’s tribulations since the previous Saturday, her stay at each girl’s home and how things had gone, from the incident with Sweetie Belle (“Trying to melt her with a gigantic squirt gun?! Well, I never…!”) to the fears of retribution from Maud Pie (“Aww! Maud wouldn’t hurt her!”) to the all-too-brief stays with Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy and finally her anxiety at staying with Applejack. “I think we all know how hard it is to overcome a bad mistake here and there, given we’ve all made a few of our own, but I think she’s having a harder time than any of us did.”

  “Indeed, and even my issues on Nightmare Night were as much my misinterpretations as they were those from the citizenry.” A smile formed on Luna’s muzzle as she assured Twilight, “But her awareness that you are there for her can only be a benefit, Twilight. Do not forget that.”

  “I haven’t. I’m just hoping I don’t mess things up. I’m not perfect either.”

  Rainbow Dash waved a hoof dismissively. “You’re not still hung up on that mess with our cutie marks, are you? Seriously, Twilight, you goofed. It worked out okay.”

  “Actually, I was thinking more about another time I made a mistake when I was trying to help a friend see something important. I didn’t think I did anything wrong at the time, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I’d hurt someone I cared about.”

  “Twilight, you were right about the wedding…”

  “I think she’s talking about the Mare-Do-Well incident, Shining Armor.” At Twilight’s nod, Celestia gently added, “As proud of you all as I am, I can’t call that a good moment for any of you six.”

  “Got the message across about me getting a big head, though.” A playful push went the youngest princess’ way, and Rainbow Dash offered, “Next time, though, just tell me straight, okay?”

  “Well in our defense, darling, it is sometimes hard to get through to you when you’re basking in your own glory.” Rarity sheepishly amended, “Of course, difficulty communicating is a rather common sin, isn’t it?”

  “More common than any of us would like, yes, for a multitude of reasons.” Celestia smiled reassuringly as she added, “All the more reason why it’s important to learn from our mistakes.” General murmurs of agreement went out among the group, and she turned discussion back to the original topic. “As for Sunset and her mistakes, you and she both know that it will take time for her to move past her mistakes. Knowing that she’s been forgiven, even if only by a few, is a good first step for her, and one that I’m glad she’s taken.”

  Twilight smiled. “It certainly hasn’t hurt.”

-

  Twilight,

  Please thank Princess Celestia for me. I have a feeling I owe her, and Principal Celestia, for my warm reception here at Sweet Apple Acres. It’s beautiful out here. I’m no country mare, but I think I’ll enjoy it, even if I will be working as a guest until I can find a place of my own. Still, putting in an honest day’s work never hurt anyone, and it might actually help to smooth things over with Apple Bloom and her friends. No trouble like I had with Sweetie Belle so far, thankfully, but she’s still looking at me anxiously. Can’t say I blame her, but at least I’m not getting the same from Big Mac and Granny Smith. They know the facts, Twilight; it makes a world of difference.

  All my best to everyone back in Equestria. Your friend, Sunset Shimmer.


  The sun had long since set and the moon risen over Sweet Apple Acres as Sunset closed her message journal, a contented smile on her face. A knock sounded, and she looked up with surprise to find Applejack at the door. “Just sent Twilight a message, right?”

  “I didn’t say anything bad, I promise.” As her host entered, she raised an eyebrow at her nightwear and brought a hand up to her mouth to try and contain herself.

  Applejack rolled her eyes and sat down beside her. “It’s mah PJs, ain’t it?” The country girl was decked out in deep blue button-up footie pajamas with light blue apple markings. “Ah’ll have you know, mah feet get cold.”

  “I didn’t say a word.” She put her message journal aside and turned talk elsewhere. “But I am glad to be here, and that your grandmother and brother know the facts. It feels nice not having to hide things behind half-truths.”

  “It always does. Ah wish Apple Bloom knew, but Ah don’t think she’s quite ready for the important details yet.”

  “Or that she’d believe them.” The mirth she’d felt at Applejack’s nighttime attire faded as she realized aloud, “She’s scared of me, isn’t she?”

  “‘Fraid so, darlin’. Doubt she’ll ever forget what happened that night.”

  “At least she has a chance at it. I couldn’t forget that night if I tried.” A sad sigh escaped her lips. “I’m never going to live the Fall Formal down, am I?”

  “Too soon to tell, Sunset, but so far as Ah’m concerned, the important thing is you movin’ on from it. Got all’a us here t’help, though, and yer showin’ there’s more to ya then the bully you were.” A smile crept upon her lips as Applejack added, “Doubt the old you’d join anyone in prayer like that.”

  “Hey, your house, your rules. Just because I don’t follow your faith doesn’t mean I shouldn’t respect it.”

  “If you don’t mind mah askin’, do y’follow a faith? Ah mean, Ah got nuthin’ against ya if’n ya don’t…”

  “You’re just curious.” At Applejack’s nod, Sunset smiled and explained, “I think it’s required for sapient life to have some sort of religion, some belief in a higher power. We’ve got quite a few in my world, just like yours. I wasn’t reared in any of them, but I’m at least aware of the main one in Equestria. We’ve got a God, even if we don’t call Them that; They tend to just be the Maker of All Things. I’m the last to ask about all the details of our church or doctrines, but we do have a Heaven, same as you.” She closed her eyes, remembering the depictions she’d seen as a filly in one way or another. “The Eternal Fields. Rolling, gently-sloping hills of green as far as the eye can see, the skies above the bluest blue you could imagine with the odd cloud floating lazily overhead. Mountains, rivers and cities in the distance, and the ones we’ve lost waiting for us.”

  “Sounds beautiful.”

  “It is.” The smile broke as she opened her eyes. “There’s a tiny little part of me that likes to think my parents are waiting for me there. Trouble is, I don’t think I’ll get there. It’s not faith that guarantees getting there, but being good and doing good. I haven’t exactly done a lot of good since I lost them.”

  “Ya feel horrible over the bad that you did, though. That says plenty right there.”

  “Doesn’t change what I did in the slightest. Doesn’t change the fact that doing things like what I did can get you sent elsewhere.”

  “Plenty of bad ya didn’t do though. Never said anythin’ ‘bout my mom and dad, didn’t hurt Spike, never physically hurt someone. Those are mighty important lines ya didn’t cross, and that makes a difference. Fer one thing, if’n ya had physically hurt someone, say Apple Bloom?”

  “You would’ve put me in the hospital.”

  “Without one shred ‘a remorse. Glad Ah never did, though, an’ glad Ah’ll never havta.” Applejack gently laid a hand on Sunset’s shoulder and added, “Anyway, ownin’ up ta yer mistakes makes a world ‘a difference. You and Rainbow Dash were talkin’ Milton a couple days back?” At Sunset’s nod, she continued, “Well, the Almighty ain’t afraid ta forgive Old Scratch himself if’n he repented. The fella downstairs is just too proud ta do it. That’s somethin’ Ah’ve tried to keep in mind.” She grew nervous as she admitted, “Not always done a good job of it, though. You ain’t the only one who’s made mistakes, Sunset. Yours’ll just take a little longer’n most ta forgive and forget by an’ large, is all. Don’t mean ya shouldn’t try. Like mah daddy always said, ‘Fall…’”

  Sunset recognized the uncomfortable pause, and finished the old proverb for her. “‘Fall off the horse, get right back on again.’” She smiled and admitted, “I don’t mind.”

  “Good.” Applejack leaned in conspiratorially and added, “Just to warn ya, we raise horses out here. Don’t know how uncomfortable that’d make ya, but ya might end up cleanin’ up after ‘em.”

  “I can live with that. I might end up talking with them, though.”

  Applejack laughed. “Nuthin’ wrong with that, just so long as they don’t talk back, or get too frisky.”

  “Oof. That’s a scary thought. They’d have been a bit much for me even as a pony.”

  “Ah can believe that.” Applejack got to her feet and started on her way out. “Anyway, we’d best get some shut-eye. Big day ahead tomorrow.”

  Just as she reached the door, Sunset stopped her. “Applejack?” She turned back as her friend asked, “If the chance ever comes up, I’d like to hear more about your parents. If that’s alright. They sound like great people.”

  A smile. “Wouldn’t mind tellin’ ya ‘bout ‘em at all, darlin’. And when yer ready, Ah wouldn’t mind hearin’ ‘bout your parents neither. Ah know they was good folks, the way you miss ‘em.” She winked and added, “Pinkie ain’t the only one with a sense fer stuff.”

  Applejack waved off and went on to bed, and Sunset turned off her bedside light and pulled herself underneath her sheets, the sleeping bag Pinkie Pie had given her used as a makeshift comforter, and smiled. “They were, AJ.” The smile turned sad, and she crossed her arms behind her head and looked up at the ceiling, moonlight streaming in through the windows. She took a breath, readied herself, and said a few words she hadn’t said in a very long time. “Hi Mommy. Hi Daddy. It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?”

  “I don’t know if you can hear me. I’m not sure I want to know if you’re watching over me, if you can see me from the other side. I’ve done a lot of things you wouldn’t be happy about, hurt a lot of people, ponies and otherwise. I don’t have a good reason for it, just a bunch of lousy excuses. I can’t change what I did, can’t undo the past, no matter how much I wish I could. But that’d just be running away, wouldn’t it?” Her smile turned a little happier as she added, “I’ve made friends. Good friends. You’d be happy about that. They’ve seen the worst of me, still giving me a chance. Maybe they can see what you saw someday. Maybe I can too.” She uncrossed her arms from beneath her head, pulled up the sheets and closed her eyes. “Love you so much. Miss you so much. You two and Aunt Flare and Uncle Streak and… and Runnie too. The sister I could’ve had, if I just let her in.”

  It was a mistake she wouldn’t make again.


to be continued...
Six Nights (and a Day) With Sunset - Part Five
This chapter was a lot of fun to write, mostly because I'd been looking forward to showing my version of Sunset's attempt at getting into Princess Celestia's school for a long time. For those curious, yes, that [i]was[/i] a young Trixie Lulamoon making a cameo! The other mare isn't anyone in canon; her identity will come with time, hopefully. And for another deviation from canon, well, suffice it to say that the events of "Pinkie Apple Pie" are going to happen a little earlier in this 'verse than they did in the official stuff.

Some of Granny Smith's dialogue in this story is a reference to [url=www.fimfiction.net/user/Pen+St… Stroke[/url]'s [url=www.fimfiction.net/story/53090…"Nightmare or Nyx?"[/url] - I asked about making the nod and no objections were raised. The religious elements were a mix of influence from both ConningOfficer and Reality Check; I'm not religious myself, but I've got nothing against the characters I write taking part in prayers or hoping their loved ones are in heaven. The general elements of Sweet Apple Acres are adapted from what we've seen in canon; I glanced over both Equestria Girls annuals while working on this chapter as reference material.

And yes, the bookend effect was intentional. I like the idea of going full circle, and I feel like Sunset needed to do so in order to move forward. There's still a little ways left to go for her, mind, but the foundation's almost finished. It's downhill from here, folks.

EDIT 5/19/2015 - [url=www.fimfiction.net/user/Impera… Knoedel[/url] prompted a brief edit to this chapter in regards to religious stuff. If the next chapter gets delayed as a result of this and other edits, they're (partially) to blame.
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Chapter Four: A Night with Fluttershy


  It had been a few days since Sunset Shimmer had earned her cutie mark, and she’d spent the time since then researching and practicing at any magic spell she could find, squirreled away in the bedroom she shared with Sunrunner. What time she wasn’t doing so was spent taking care of daily needs like food and drink, and of course the trips back and forth to the library. Having one only a few blocks away from her aunt’s house was a help, especially with her spells to help clear the way. She’d be studying as she went about other things, but alas, no reading at the table while they were eating.

  “Flare, please, how am I supposed to…?”

  Solar Flare regarded her husband’s pouting protest with a stern face as she portioned out their meal. “Streaks, I told you, you can read the paper before or after breakfast, but not during.”

  “That’s the rule, Daddy.” Sunrunner chimed in. “You can’t have the paper, Shims can’t have her magic books, and I can’t have my comics.”  

  Sunset allowed herself a small smirk. At least the rules were being applied equally.

  “Besides dear, we don’t want to distract ourselves from anything important. We aren’t going to have too much longer with the girls after all.”

  “Oh yeah! We’re starting school together soon!” Sunrunner squealed gleefully and clapped her hooves together. “Oh, this is gonna be so much fun!”

  “Yeah, fun.” Sunset rolled her eyes; she was hardly looking forward to having to go into some local public school day in and day out. Some tiny part of her doubted that some school that mixed in a bunch of different kinds of ponies and whatevers would be able to really help her with her magic. And worse, she’d be joined at the hip with her cousin whether she wanted to be or not. She’d been sensible enough to figure out her boundaries, but still, she could just see them getting stuck together in class.

  “Yes, about that,” The two looked to Flare as she gave them an anxious look. “Girls, promise me that you won’t get your hopes up about this.”

  Sunrunner gave her mother a curious look. “About what, Mom?”

  “Well Runnie, your father and I were talking about what your cousin did a couple days ago.” Already anticipating her daughter’s reaction, she quickly amended, “Sunset isn’t in trouble, I promise! I’m not about to punish my niece for getting her cutie mark. But since then, it’s become obvious that she might be a little ahead of the curve.”

  Sunset grinned.

  “And I shouldn’t be surprised. Mom, Dad and Sunrise were all great with magic, same with your father. You earning your cutie mark so early, doing magic at that level, means that you’re either a very early bloomer, or you’re a prodigy.” She reached over with one wing and produced some of yesterday’s mail. “So them applying you for Princess Celestia’s school isn’t a shocker.”

  The grin turned to surprise. “They what?”

  “I was asked if I wanted to withdraw it, but I decided not to. It was one of the last things they did for you, and I know they’d be happy to see you there.” She shook the bit of paper with one wing. “They aren’t around to see you attend. Now I can do it for them. The rule’s being bent this once, Sunset. Take a look.”

  Amazement clear on her face, Sunset took up the paper in her magic and brought it close. She read over it enough to see what was most important. “I’ve been accepted!”

  Sunrunner looked to her mother with anxious surprise. “Does this mean Runnie’s going back to Canterlot?”

  A nod. “And I have to go with her, at least for a while. She’ll still need to take the entrance exam, but…”

  “I’m going back.” Any concerns about tests were out of her mind as Sunset realized the implications of what she was being told. She was going back to Canterlot, back where she belonged. Best bit of mail ever!  

-

  Twilight,

  Here I am, Day Two of the suspension. Not too worried about missing out on classwork – the girls made sure I had everything I needed to keep up. Just one more surprise, I guess, them doing what they can to make me feel like one of the group. It turns out this world’s Rainbow Dash knows how to play the guitar. It suits her, but I never saw her and me having something in common. Wish I could’ve gotten some practice in, seen if I could remember a few chords, but her guitar’s a bit past it’s prime. And that’s putting it politely. Now that part wasn’t a surprise. No offense to her, but playing hard can be a problem if you don’t maintain things, right?

  What else isn’t surprising me is that I’m running out of places to stay; after tonight, I’m going to have to take my chances and hope Sweet Apple Acres doesn’t turn out to be a repeat of Rarity’s home. I’m not going to complain, though. I’m grateful for what little I’m getting.

  Hey, can you do me a favor? I don’t know if she’ll know anything about it, but can you ask Princess Celestia about what happened to my parents? If you find the time, I mean.

  Your friend, Sunset Shimmer.


  Sunset closed her message journal with a contented smile. She’d had a decent enough day for herself, thanks mostly to Rainbow Dash’s father. He’d seen to it that she was left in relative peace in the library at the college he worked at, and she’d taken the opportunity to deal with her schoolwork and catch up on missed assignments. One thing she hadn’t done during her tenure as Canterlot High’s resident alpha was have others do her homework for her, something that she took greater pride in now than she did before, and she wasn’t about to change that. She was almost tempted to offer the girls her help as a tutor, but she got the feeling the others wouldn’t go for it, for one reason or another. One thing at a time, it seemed.

  “Um, excuse me?” She looked up from where she sat to find a familiar pink-haired girl standing at the information desk, and quickly made to pack up her things in her backpack. Her voice was still more quiet than a mouse, but years of practice had given her all she needed to find it, particularly in a quiet place like this. “I’m sorry to bother you, miss, but I was told I could find my friend here? Her name is Sunset Shimmer? She’s about my height, with red and yellow hair?” Her belongings packed, Sunset slung her bag over her shoulders and cleared her throat just loud enough to be heard, Fluttershy spinning about to see her. “Oh! I’m sorry, I didn’t notice you.”

  “It’s okay, Fluttershy.” She approached with a smile. “I didn’t want to draw too much attention to myself.”

  “Oh. I understand.” A nervous laugh, and Fluttershy led her out of the library and into the nearby parking lot towards an old van. “My house isn’t too far away, and my parents are okay with you staying the night. I’m just sorry we can’t keep you much longer than that.”

  “It’s alright, I don’t mind.” If anything, this was going to be a respite before the inevitable trouble at Applejack’s family farm. “After everything that’s happened, I’m just glad to have a roof over my head tonight.” She climbed into the van and caught a quick glimpse of her luggage and sleeping bag, no doubt having been relayed by Rainbow Dash that morning. Seatbelt in place, she asked, “I’m actually curious to see what your place is like.”

  “Well, I like it, but the other girls do have nicer places.” A modest smile crossed her face as Fluttershy turned the key and started her van up. “And I expect you’re used to nicer.”

  Sunset smiled reassuringly. “Let me worry about that.”

-

  Fluttershy’s home, as it turned out, was a very small house, practically a cottage. “My parents won’t be home for a little bit yet, but don’t worry, they know you’ll be here.” Fluttershy paused near the door, a birdhouse hanging beside it, and whistled, a familiar rose-colored bird emerging and singing back before landing on an offered finger. “Hello Wesley. I’m glad to be home too.”

  Sunset had expected the house to be packed to the brim with animals and assorted strays that Fluttershy had brought home, but she was surprised to find no animals rushing to get out the door as she closed it behind her and slipped off her boots. Even more surprising was part of Fluttershy’s menagerie had been with them the entire time, as her friend opened her backpack and released the white rabbit inside. “Here we are, Angel, home sweet home. Now, you be nice to Sunset and don’t give her any trouble.”

  The rabbit glared at Sunset with his beady little black eyes, instantly making her nervous. She steadied her nerves and asked, “So, am I bunking with you, or do you have a guest room?”

  “Oh, you’ll be with me. I just hope that isn’t a problem.”

  “Of course not. I slept in the same room as Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash without any trouble. All I need is a place to set my sleeping bag and I’ll be fine.”

  “Oh, um, about that.” Fluttershy gestured to follow, and she led her guest to her bedroom door, opening it to reveal the contents. “My bedroom isn’t all that big.”

  Indeed it wasn’t, as furniture was packed in as close as it could get and there was still barely enough room to maneuver around. Sunset suspected that Fluttershy’s bed ended up doubling for a chair fairly often. There certainly wasn’t enough room on the floor for Sunset to lay out in her sleeping bag. “Wow. I guess I’m sleeping on your couch.”

  “Oh no, I can’t let you do that. You’re my guest. I’ll take the couch.”

  “Fluttershy, I…” She stopped and took a breath; arguing like this wasn’t going to get them anywhere. “Tell you what, we’ll settle this the old fashioned way. Got any loose change?” Fluttershy wordlessly pulled a quarter from a nearby bowl. “Okay, coin toss. Heads, you take the bed. Tails, I take it.”

  “But what if it lands on the floor, on its side?”

  “Then I’ll stomp on the floor and knock it flat.”

  “And if it still stays on its side?”

  “Then we both take the bed and Pinkie Promise not to say a word of it to anyone. Fair?”

  “I suppose so.” Resigned, Fluttershy performed the coin flip, the quarter spinning in the air but utterly missing her hand, landing on the floor and spinning about on its rim until it stopped, stuck on its side. A light stomp from Sunset, and then a heavy one, and it refused to budge, and the two girls looked to one another with the same expression, host starting off the gestures. “Cross my heart and hope to fly…”

  “Stick a cupcake in my eye.” Resigned, Sunset knelt down, retrieved the coin, and gave it back to Fluttershy. She then set her luggage into a free corner with a nervous smile. “Well, tonight’s going to be awkward, isn’t it?”

  “A little, I guess. Um, would you like to sit down and talk for a while? Or just sit down?”

  “I’m fine with talking. And sitting.” Both perched themselves on the bed, now growing nervous for their own individual reasons, and Sunset opted to break the silence. She looked about for something to start talking about, launching into talk with the first thing she found that looked interesting, assorted yarn and craft supplies on the dresser. “You knit?”

  Fluttershy smiled. “Yes, a little here and there. It’s nothing special, though.”

  “Special enough.” Now she knew how Fluttershy and Rarity could bond so well. “Listen, Fluttershy, about everything that’s happened? I’m sorry, for treating you so horribly and mocking you all the time.”

  “It’s alright, Sunset.”

  “No, it isn’t alright. No one deserves to be treated like that, you especially. You’re not pathetic.” Shame clear in her voice, Sunset admitted, “If any of us is pathetic, it’s me.”

  Both her arms were wrapped around her friend, and Fluttershy soothingly countered, “Sunset, you’re not pathetic. You were just doing what was natural in your situation is all. You were the alpha predator and I was one of the weaker prey animals. It’s how nature works.”

  “That doesn’t exactly help things.” Sunset laid her hand upon both of her friend’s. “Still, you’re not the weak one here. It’s easy to be cruel, especially when you think that you’re better than everyone else. Being good to others, being nice? That’s hard. You do it a lot better than I ever could.”

  “You were better than everyone, though.”

  “No, I was different. I still am when you get right down to it, and the only ones who know how different are you, me, the rest of the girls and this world’s Celestia and Luna. Everyone else just has a part of the picture, and it isn’t a really good part. And it didn’t give me the right to treat you like I did. That you can let me into your home after all that is a miracle as far as I’m concerned.”

  “It’s not a miracle when you do something for a friend, Sunset. At least, not a big miracle. It’s just a small one, and life’s filled with small miracles. And besides, now you know better.”

  Sunset smiled, and wrapped her arm around Fluttershy, who giggled happily. “What’s that about?”

  “Oh, nothing, it’s just, well, I’ve never been hugged by a unicorn before.” Both girls laughed, Sunset more loudly than her host, and Fluttershy offered, “I’m still a little amazed that you’re so willing to eat meat, though. I mean, I know equines can eat some meat if they really need to, but I’m surprised at how specific you are.”

  “Well, I’ve got reasons. The thought of eating any cooked flesh freaked me out at first, until I broke down and had a chicken sandwich that first fall. Not going to bring that up very often back in Equestria, of course, but still, you do what you need to do, right? Anyway, eating chicken and pork was an easy justification; we raise them back in Equestria, even if we don’t eat them.” She leaned in and explained, “We harvest the eggs from the chickens we raise, and pigs are either garbage disposals or truffle hunters. We love truffles.”  

  “Still, Rarity mentioned you not eating specific meats. I’m not questioning you abstaining from seafood, but the rest?”

  Sunset shrugged, already knowing what the response to this would be. “Well, how many people do you know who would eat a cow if it could talk?”

  “Oh, not many would…” Wonder dawned upon Fluttershy’s face as she realized exactly what Sunset had said. She looked up at the girl beside her and asked, “Cows talk in Equestria?”

  “And sheep.”

  Fluttershy pulled out of her hug, only for her to pull her arms in gleefully, her blue eyes lit up like a Christmas tree as she squealed at the thought. “Oh my goodness! Spike was enough of a surprise, but cows and sheep?!” She gasped and asked, “Do all animals talk in Equestria?”

  “No, but all animals do have some degree of sapience. A few are considered equal members of society to ponies like me, though, and that includes cattle and sheep. I think them being able to talk is the big point in their favor, not to mention being able to negotiate as economic equals. We buy milk and wool from them.”

  “Really? What about goats?”

  “No, goats can’t talk. Last I checked, the list of races equal to ponies included cattle, sheep, buffalo, donkeys, zebras, and some orders of deer. Most of them are considered Equestrian citizens, though there are exceptions. Zebras are mostly native to Zebrica; it and the various deer kingdoms have diplomatic relations with Equestria, but it’s the rare individual of either race who interacts with the greater citizenry.” A disgusted look crossed her face as she amended, “Well, except caribou. The stories I’ve heard about the border skirmishes with their territories aren’t nice ones.” Anticipating another question, she added, “And yes, there are mules, and they’re equal under the law to ponies like me.”

  “Oh good. I was wondering about that. But what about Spike? He’s a dragon. I’d think that dragons would prey on ponies.”

  “It depends on the dragon. They come in all shapes and sizes, but most are wild and migratory. I never met one until Spike came along; most ponies haven’t, given how dangerous they can be. They tend to leave ponies alone, for whatever reason. In fact…” A thought occurred to her, and she quickly retrieved her journal and jotted down a quick question. “Let’s get back to the dragons in a minute; they aren’t the only creatures your world has in its mythologies that are real in mine.”

  “Really? Are there any that are part of Equestrian society?”

  “Some. I’ve met griffons, both native to Equestria and from the Griffon Kingdom proper, hippogriffs and minotaurs. They’re all definitely a part of society, but there are other races capable of speech that aren’t among Equestria’s citizenry. Princess Celestia’s spoken of lands for gremlins, centaurs, gargoyles, and so many others. I’ve also read about chimera, Diamond Dogs and changelings, but I’ve never met them.” At Fluttershy’s curious expression, she elaborated, “Large dog-like creatures native to Dimandia and pony-like shapeshifters with insectoid traits, exoskeletons and such.”

  “Oh, that part wasn’t what got me curious. You’ve heard of the Diamond Dog boys, right?”

  “I’ve seen those three once or twice, but they gave me a wide…” The realization struck her, and she slapped her forehead. “Okay, now I really feel like an idiot. Should’ve made the connection before now.”

  “Well, I don’t want to sound like an idiot too, but why did the portal turn Spike into a dog? I mean, it’s fine if you don’t know, but…” Sunset’s journal buzzed. “Oh, did that have something to do with what you asked Twilight?”

  “Actually, yeah.” Sunset quickly found the anticipated response and skimmed through it. “Thought so.” She turned to Fluttershy and explained, “Part of the entrance exam to Princess Celestia’s school was a test; every prospective student is told to try and hatch a dragon egg. I don’t know how long the test was there for, just that I wasn’t able to manage it. According to Twilight, she actually did the impossible and hatched the egg.”

  “And the little baby dragon who came out of it was Spike?” A nod, and Fluttershy reasoned, “So Spike became a dog because, as far as the portal was concerned, he wasn’t equal to other Equestrian citizens?”

  “Or just because he was a dragon. No way of telling.” She jotted down a quick reply. “I never found out who made the Crystal Mirror, only what I told you and the girls. We may never know exactly why it’s set up the way it is.” She closed the journal and set it aside. “Still, I’d hate to see them try to get a full-grown dragon through the portal. How would it fit? And that’s ignoring the really uncomfortable questions.”

  “Like if Spike’s counterpart was to remain a dog or turn into a dragon after going through the portal?”

  “Exactly.” She noticed an embarrassed expression on Fluttershy’s face and asked, “What’s wrong?”

  “It’s…well, when Twilight and Spike told us the truth, I didn’t even think of Spike as a dragon. I saw him talking, and I was so caught up in having a cute talking dog in front of me that…well, I’ve dreamed of having an animal talk back to me for so long…”

  Sunset smiled. “I don’t think he took too much offense to it.”

  “Still, I treated him like a pet. I don’t think Twilight treats him like a pet. I mean, if she hatched him, then wouldn’t that make him an adopted son?”

  Sunset shrugged. “Maybe. Twilight may see him as a baby brother instead. She is a little young to be a mother.” She offered a hopeful smile and asked, “Does that help any?”

  The smile was returned. “A little, yes. Still, Rarity’s right. He’s adorable as a dog or a dragon.” Fluttershy gave a small squeal. “Though that does make me wonder if ponies do have really exotic pets.”

  “Some of us do. Princess Celestia’s got a pet phoenix.” At her friend’s awestruck expression, she added, “That said, Philomena’s got a strange sense of humor. Lots of fun, though, trust me.”

  A joyful squeal, and Fluttershy took hold of Sunset with both arms. “Oh, thank you for telling me all that! It’s all so amazing!” Her hold loosened as she added, “And what you were saying about how hard it is to be good? It’s not easy, but the more you do it, the easier it gets. Like being a friend. And you’re doing really good so far.”

  Sunset smiled and leaned in. “Thanks, Fluttershy.” The smile faded slightly as her thoughts went back, a memory flashing into her mind from far too long ago of a mistake she’d only recently started to regret. One mistake, out of so many.

  “Mrrow?”

  Sunset looked down at her feet to find a white kitten adorned by a blue bow, purring contentedly as she rubbed herself against her amber legs. She gently scooped the kitten up as Fluttershy cooed, “Aww. Cordelia likes you.”

  “And here I was worried your pets would hate me.” Sunset gently petted the kitten on her head with a smile. Some mistakes could be forgiven, she supposed.

-

  Sunset could barely contain her excitement as she packed her saddlebags and got ready for the trip. Today was the day – she was going back to Canterlot! Yes, she had to take some silly test, but she wasn’t worried about that in the slightest. She was going to ace it, and when that happened…!

  A knock sounded at the bedroom door before it slid open. “Shims?”

  Sunset rolled her eyes. “Yes, Sunrunner?”

  Her cousin entered and gently offered. “I just wanted to tell you, before you and Mommy left for Canterlot, how happy I am for you. I’d wish you luck, but I know you don’t need it. You’re amazing, Shims. There’s no way they won’t let you attend.”

  A smile crossed Sunset’s face. Her cousin wasn’t wrong; she would get in.

  “After all, you’re my awesome big sister.”

  The smile faded instantly, and Sunset turned to face her cousin with a glare strong enough that the filly backed off a step. She wasn’t sure what she was angrier about, her claims of them being siblings or the fact that the filly before her had stolen her manestyle. “Sunrunner, there’s something you need to get through that thick, bird-brained skull of yours. I don’t have a sister. I never had a sister. It was just me and my mommy and my daddy – I didn’t want a sister and I didn’t need one. We’re not sisters, and we’ll never be sisters.”

  “But…”

  “But nothing. My mommy isn’t your mommy. You never knew her, just like I never knew your mommy. And I wish I hadn’t. I’m going back to Canterlot, back where I belong, and I’m staying there, and everypony will know my name.” She stepped past her and added, “Sunset Shimmer. Not some stupid nickname like ‘Shims’. If I ever hear it again, it’ll be too soon.”

  Sunset trotted out of the bedroom, her cousin left in her wake. Her hoofsteps were just loud enough that they muffled out the sounds of the odd sniffle from a pegasus filly trying to hold back tears.

-

  “Come in.” The door to her temporary office opened, and Princess Celestia looked up with a smile. “Hello Twilight.”

  The younger alicorn smiled in greeting, closed the door behind her and quickly glanced about the ornate office. “Wow. I almost thought this was a guest suite.”

  “The royals of the Crystal Empire made it a rule to have offices for their peers done up as well as their own. I think it was a way to avoid complaints from some of their more obstinate guests. I think it’s a little much, but I don’t mind.” As her former student approached, she gestured to a waiting seat and asked, “I assume what brings you here wasn’t to do with today’s discussions?”

  “No, I thought this was something best kept between the two of us.” Twilight shifted her wings to reveal her saddlebags and then gently lifted out the message journal with her magic. “It’s something to do with Sunset Shimmer.” At her fellow princess’ concerned expression, she quickly clarified, “She’s perfectly fine, not hurt at all, but the last few days haven’t been perfect for her. She hasn’t really had a chance to settle in with any of the girls. They’re getting along fine, but things just keep on happening.”

  Celestia relaxed, an enigmatic smile crossing her face. “Well, I think things will work out for her well enough. But I doubt you came here just to let me know how your new student is doing.”

  “No. Sunset asked me to ask you if you knew anything about what happened to her parents.”

  “Ah.” Her expression was now laced with guilt, and the Princess of the Sun stepped out from behind her desk and approached her former student. “I wondered when this would come. Has she told you anything about her parents?”

  “Not much, beyond their names and occupations and what little she surmised about how they died. She thought it was a workplace accident.”

  “Calling it that would be a gross understatement.” The elder princess took a breath, collected her thoughts, and asked, “Would it surprise you to know that I have a number of research projects going on? Nothing truly absurd, of course, just things that I think could have genuine, practical benefits, among them efforts at alternative energy sources, cleaner and more efficient than what we already have.” She paused and recognized the sound of a pencil striking parchment, then looked to her former student to notice she was taking notes. “Twilight?”

  “I don’t have Sunset’s eidetic memory.” Twilight looked up and asked, “I’m guessing that programs like that led to things like Ponyville’s hydroelectric dam?”

  “Among other similar facilities, like wind and solar farms. But there are those who said we still had the means to improve. After all, we still use steam engines to drive our trains and power construction equipment. Sunset’s parents were part of a project that would have allowed us an alternative power source to coal; small artificial suns.”

  Twilight’s eyes widened. “Small-scale solar fusion? Is such a thing possible?”

  “When the project was suggested, it came with very compelling math and some strong supporting evidence. I gave it my approval, but nonetheless, I monitored it closely. As someone who controls the sun itself, I know full well how dangerous it can be. Careful precautions were put in place, but nonetheless, they weren’t enough.” A sad sigh, and Celestia explained, “Work progressed far enough to create an artificial sun, but the containment field wasn’t strong enough, and the sun itself was horribly unstable. It burned itself out within a few minutes, but in the process of doing so, it put out small-scale coronal ejections.”

  “Solar flares,” Twilight translated. “That’s something even you would have difficulty controlling.”

  “And I take great comfort in the fact that I’ve yet to deal with one, and that if one did occur, I’d be able to deflect most of the damage. In that case, however, I would have several minutes warning. In the case of Sunset’s parents, I had none.” A mournful expression crossed her face as she explained, “Two flares struck them both. Their bodies were recognizable enough, but what was left was horribly burned. My only comfort is that their deaths were quick.”

  Twilight looked up from her notes, a horrified, pained expression on her face. “And you never told her?”

  “She never asked me, and I never asked her what she knew about their passing. I later found out that her family never talked with her about it, for one reason or another.” Remorse was clear as she added, “We all have regrets over one thing or another, Twilight. They aren’t simply limited to those of us who wear crowns.”

  “But that doesn’t make dealing with them any easier.”

  Celestia gently nuzzled her protégé. “You act as though you have something you regret.”

  “Nothing really terrible.” Twilight made a small smile and explained, “I was just thinking about how I treated some of my peers back in school. I don’t know if Sunset and I had any classmates in common, but…”

  “You had several, some of whom may surprise you. But the two of you treated your peers very differently, as I’ve told you. Her dismissal of them was always very brusque, while yours tended to be polite, even if it was standoffish. Thankfully, you get along far better with them now than you did before.”

  The younger alicorn flashed an embarrassed smile. “Well, saving Equestria from Nightmare Moon probably helped my apologies along. Still, I could’ve treated them better, couldn’t I?”

  Celestia laughed gently. “I wouldn’t worry too much. In comparison to my past sins, yours are minor, and were far more easily rectified. So don’t think too much of them, hmm?” She gently nudged her and offered, “Now go on. You’ve a question to answer, and I think other issues to address?” At her former student’s shocked expression, she smiled and explained, “I’ve made a point of paying attention, Twilight. I don’t like repeating mistakes.”

  An embarrassed blush crossed her face as she asked, “How much do you know?”

  “Enough to know that you and I are in very different boats, though probably from similar manufacturers.” She gently smiled and suggested, “All I can offer in terms of advice is that you do what you think is right. And that’s something you’re very good at.”

  “But?”

  “But I know from experience that love isn’t something that comes by every day. Which doesn’t help, I know, but…”

  “But I’ll take what I can get.” She turned discussion away from her love life and back to what she came for as she asked, “The project that Sunset’s parents were working on. Was it cancelled?”

  “No, but it’s been put on hold until we can improve our containment methods. As I said, I don’t like repeating mistakes. Give her all my best, hmm?” Twilight nodded and departed, and Celestia smiled, thinking back on her own love life. She wasn’t immune to it any more than anypony else, but it had been a long time since she’d had a special somepony.

  Perhaps it was approaching time that she reconnected. The risks were great, of course, but nothing was without risk. And she’d been around long enough to know that hope should never be abandoned.

-

  Perhaps not surprisingly, Sunset’s stay with Fluttershy had been the smoothest so far. Her friend’s parents had been nothing but gracious, though apologetic that they could only keep her for the night. When the evening came, and the two girls found themselves sharing a bed as agreed, Sunset found herself unable to sleep, her arms crossed behind her head and her mind on what she had learned from Twilight earlier in the evening. Now she had some closure, at least, though other thoughts weighed on her.

  “Sunset?” She looked to her side to find Fluttershy looking at her with bleary eyes. “What’s wrong?”

  “Nothing. I’m just thinking to myself.”

  “You’re not still feeling guilty, are you?”

  “Some, but it’s other things too.”

  “Would you like to talk about it?”

  “Yes, but not right now. You have school in the morning, and I’m still sorting things out. So get some sleep, okay?”

  A smile crossed her friend’s lips. “Okay, but you need to get some sleep too. You’ve got a big day ahead tomorrow.” Fluttershy closed her eyes, settled beneath the blankets, and softly started singing.

  “Hush now, quiet now,
  It’s time to lay your sleepy head.
  Hush now, quiet now,
  It’s time to go to bed.”

  Sunset smiled, softly laughed, and found herself thinking back to an old memory from a happier time. As if they had a will of their own, the next few words of the song escaped her lips.  

  “Drifting off to sleep,
  Exciting day behind you.
  Drifting off to sleep,
  Let the joy of dream land find you.”

  At Fluttershy’s surprised expression, she explained, “My mother sang that same lullaby to me when I was little.”

  “Oh. I’m sorry.”

  “No, don’t be. You sang it beautifully.”

  “…So did you.”

  Sunset closed her eyes, putting her concerns aside. A tiny part of her was still thinking she’d face nightmares, despite Rainbow Dash’s theory against it, but she found herself less worried about them, given her company. Fluttershy might not believe it, but she was stronger than she knew. After all, she was the first to really forgive her, despite how horrible she’d been. “Thank you, Fluttershy. For being so strong. For being my friend.” She felt an arm draped over her, Fluttershy hugging her gently, and smiled as she wrapped her arms around her friend and drifted off to sleep. “For forgiving me…”


to be continued...
Six Nights (and a Day) With Sunset - Part Four
This was a shorter chapter than the others to write, mostly because of poor Fluttershy. I love her dearly, but alas, she has no canon relatives, so it was mostly her and Sunset for this chapter. A tiny bit of Angel  Bunny, but still, mostly the two of them. I don't ship them, mind, but if you're into that kind of thing, feel free to check out the feel-inducing [url=www.fimfiction.net/story/22919…"Goodnight Sunset, Good Morning Sunrise"[/url] by [url=www.fimfiction.net/user/Twilig… Nightmare[/url].

Fluttershy driving a van is something I've seen in two other stories - [url=www.fimfiction.net/story/22338…"Taking Another Career Option"[/url] by [url=www.fimfiction.net/user/DJLowr… and, again, ConningOfficer's "Sunset Shimmer: Element of Redemption". I like it, I like the explanation, so I rolled with it. The various races discussed between Fluttershy and Sunset that have sapience status all come from canon materials, save the caribou, but they're related to deer so that gives them a smidge of authenticity. Aquatic races go unmentioned mostly because Sunset hasn't met them or heard much about them, but suffice it to say, seaponies, mermares and (of course) Sirens exist.

The Hush Now Lullaby is, of course, credited to Chris Savino and Daniel Ingram. Amusingly, Rebecca Shoichet provided backing vocals to Sweetie Belle's rendition.

EDIT 5/20/2015 - A few more small tweaks as prompted by [url=www.fimfiction.net/user/Impera… Knoedel[/url], mostly to include Fluttershy's other pets from the first film. I also snuck in a nod to Fluttershy's Micro Series comic that I failed to include originally. Also, please forgive the theme naming; I think Fluttershy's a Whedon fan.
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Wow, it's been a while since I've done one of these, isn't it? Anyway, folks who've been following the news out of SDCC know there's new Transformers figures on the horizon. This is just my little way of keeping track. Not so much with this list as past ones, mind, but hey, that's not a bad thing.

Transformers Generations 2012 Legends Class (11/12 of 12)
Rewind and Sundor (purchased, shelved)
Eject and Ramhorn (purchased, shelved)
Swerve w/ Flanker (purchased, shelved)
Cosmos w/ Payload (purchased, shelved)
Tailgate w/ Groundpounder (purchased, shelved)
Skrapnel w/ Reflector (purchased, shelved)
Bombshell (purchased, shelved)
Powerglide (purchased, shelved)
Blackjack (purchased, shelved)
Groove (purchased, awaiting arrival)
Viper (purchased, awaiting arrival)
Rodimus (preordered)

Transformers Generations 2012 Deluxe Class (39 of 43)
Vortex (purchased, shelved)
Blast Off (purchased, shelved)
Kickback (purchased, shelved)
Impactor (purchased, shelved)
Roadbuster (purchased, shelved)
Whirl x2 (purchased, shelved - set aside for kitbash)
Topspin x2 (purchased, shelved - set aside for kitbash)
Twintwist (purchased, shelved)
Trailcutter/Trailbreaker (purchased, shelved)
Goldfire/Goldbug (purchased, shelved)
Dreadwing (purchased, shelved)
Skids (purchased, shelved)
Waspinator (purchased, shelved)
Scoop w/ Tracer & Holepunch (purchased, shelved)
Armada Starscream (purchased, shelved)
Mini-Con Assault Team (purchased, shelved)
Crosscut (purchased, shelved)
Rattrap (purchased, shelved)
Tankor (purchased, shelved)
Windblade (purchased, shelved)
Jhiaxus (purchased, shelved)
Arcee (purchased, shelved)
Chromia (purchased, shelved)
Skydive (purchased, shelved)
Alpha Bravo (purchased, shelved)
Firefly x2 (purchased, shelved - set aside for kitbash)
Drag Strip (purchased, shelved)
Air Raid (purchased, shelved)
Dead End x2 (purchased, shelved - set aside for kitbash)
Breakdown (purchased, shelved)
Offroad (purchased, shelved)
Rook (purchased, shelved)
Blades (purchased, shelved)
First Aid (purchased, shelved)
Streetwise (purchased, shelved)
Slingshot/Quickslinger x2
Wildrider/Brake-Neck x2

Transformers Generations 2012 Voyager Class (13/15 of 15)
Blaster w/ Steeljaw (purchased, shelved)
Springer (purchased, shelved)
Blitzwing (purchased, shelved)
Sandstorm (purchased, shelved)
Doubledealer (purchased, shelved)
Rhinox (purchased, shelved)
Whirl (purchased, shelved)
Roadbuster (purchased, shelved)
Sky-Byte (purchased, shelved)
Brainstorm (purchased, shelved)
Optimus Prime (purchased, shevled)
Silverbolt (purchased, shelved)
Motormaster (purchased, shelved)
Hot Spot (purchased, awaiting arrival)
Cyclonus (purchased, awaiting arrival)

Transformers Generations 2012 Leader Class (5 of 5)
Jetfire (purchased, shelved)
Megatron (purchased, shelved)
Armada Megatron (purchased, shelved)
Thundercracker (purchased, shelved)
Ultra Magnus (purchased, shelved)

Transformers Generations 2012 Titan Class
Metroplex (purchased, shelved)

Transformers Generations Platinum Edition
Omega Supreme (purchased, shelved)

Transformers Generations Protectobots Emergency Response Set


Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Legends Class (5 of 5)
Twinstrike (purchased, shelved)
Hun-Gurrr (purchased, shelved)
Blight (purchased, shelved)
Rippersnapper (purchased, shelved)
Windrazor (purchased, shelved)

Transformers Prime Deluxe Class
Airachnid (purchased, shelved)

Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Class (5 of 5)
Lazerback (purchased, shelved)
Ripclaw (purchased, shelved)
Skystalker (purchased, shelved)
Vertebreak (purchased, shelved)
Skylynx (purchased, shelved)

Transformers Prime Voyager Class
Thundertron (purchased, shelved)

Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Voyager Class (3 of 3)
Predaking (purchased, shelved)
Grimwing w/ Blackbeak (purchased, shelved)
Darksteel (purchased, shelved)

Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Ultimate Class
Beast Fire Predaking (purchased, shelved)

Transformers Robots in Disguise Warrior Class (2 of 2)
Strongarm (purchased, shelved)
Steeljaw (purchased, shelved)

Transformers Generations Toys'R'Us Exclusive Scout Class (2 of 2)
Sandstorm (purchased, shelved)
Brawl/Roughstuff (purchased, shelved)

Transformers Generations Toys'R'Us Exclusive Voyager Class
Powerdive (purchased, shelved)

List Started on July 13, 2012
Edit #1 on October 9, 2012 - Added Kickback and Brawl.
Edit #2 on October 18, 2012 - Updated status on Sandstorm and Brawl.
Edit #3 on October 31, 2012 - Updated status on Blast Off and Vortex.
Edit #4 on November 8, 2012 - Updated status on Powerdive, albeit a day late.
Edit #5 on November 21, 2012 - Added Airachnid. Impulse buy, cheaper than retail, couldn't help myself.
Edit #6 on December 1, 2012 - Updated status on Thundertron. Lucked out and found him at Target. :D
Edit #7 on December 30, 2012 - Added several entries. Lots more guys to come in the new year.
Edit #8 on January 6, 2013 - Updated status on Kickback.
Edit #9 on February 16, 2013 - Updated status on Predaking. Legends are on their way in the mail.
Edit #10 on February 22, 2013 - Updated status on the Legends. They're here! :D
Edit #11 on February 24, 2013 - Updated status on Blaster w/ Steeljaw, added Springer, Blitzwing, Metroplex, and Platinum Omega Supreme.
Edit #12 on March 15, 2013 - Updated status on Omega Supreme. He arrived today!
Edit #13 on March 23, 2013 - Updated status on Ripclaw, added Skystalker and Vertebreak.
Edit #14 on May 8, 2013 - Updated status on Springer and Blitzwing. Yay BBTS!
Edit #15 on May 11, 2013 - Added Sandstorm.
Edit #16 on May 19, 2013 - Added a whole bunch of guys, many of whom I have on preorder.
Edit #17 on May 25, 2013 - Updated status on the remaining Prime Cyberverse figures.
Edit #18 on June 1, 2013 - Added Sky Lynx, updated status on the Prime Cyberverse figures. Egads I'm glad this list is so sparse.
Edit #19 on June 7, 2013 - Updated status on a few guys, put in more preorders. Now I just need to work up the nerve to get Skystalker off HTS.
Edit #20 on June 16, 2013 - Updated status on Skystalker. Went ahead and ordered him and some GIJoe stuff off HTS.
Edit #21 on June 22, 2013 - Updated status on Skystalker and the FoC Wreckers.
Edit #22 on June 26, 2013 - Updated status on the FoC Wreckers. Now to wait for the rest of my preorders...
Edit #23 on June 29, 2013 - Added a mess of newly announced figures.
Edit #24 on June 30, 2013 - Updated status on Grimwing. Gonna work on cancelling my preorders.
Edit #25 on July 12, 2013 - Updated status on Sandstorm. Not going to cancel the preorders - going to wait for them to arrive.
Edit #26 on August 3, 2013 - Updated status on Trailbreaker/Trailcutter, Darksteel. Skylynx and the preorders continue to elude me.
Edit #27 on August 5, 2013 - Updated status on Metroplex. No way in hell I'm getting the SDCC version, and I had a discount code, so I went ahead and got the retail version from HTS.
Edit #28 on August 8, 2013 - Updated status on Metroplex. He's arrived, but not yet out of his box.
Edit #29 on August 10, 2013 - Updated status on Whirl, Trailcutter, Grimwing, Skylynx. Three of the preorders arrived in the mail - I took Trailcutter and Grimwing for refunds, and found Skylynx during the trip.
Edit #30 on August 14, 2013 - Updated status on Topspin. Got another preorder, and now have everything I need (aside from maybe paint and brushes) for my kitbash!
Edit #31 on September 10, 2013 - Updated status on Vertebreak. Bought him on HTS last week; he arrived in the mail today! :D
Edit #32 on September 25, 2013 - Updated status on Goldfire, Skids, Waspinator, Doubledealer, Rhinox. More preorders placed today; hopefully, they won't pop up in stores before December.
Edit #33 on December 13, 2013 - Updated status on Doubledealer, Rhinox, Scoop, Armada Starscream, and Sandstorm, added Mini-Con Team. Got a refund on Sandstorm, placed more preorders.
Edit #34 on December 14, 2013 - Added Beast Fire Predaking. Got him on impulse a while ago, apologies for not adding him.
Edit #35 on December 17, 2013 - Updated status on Goldfire, Skids and Waspinator. They're shipping along with a Dreadwing, and I'm debating whether or not to keep him.
Edit #36 on December 21, 2013 - Updated status on Goldfire, Skids and Waspinator. They arrived a couple days ago.
Edit #37 on January 21, 2014 - Decided to keep Dreadwing. Should have the next batch of Deluxes in a couple weeks - anyone want FoC Skywarp?
Edit #38 on January 24, 2014 - Next wave of Deluxes arrived from BBTS. Again, anyone want FoC Skywarp?
Edit #39 on February 6, 2014 - Updated status on Whirl, added Crosscut, Rattrap, Tankor. Yay for BBTS and HTS!
Edit #40 on February 9, 2014 - Added Jetfire. Saw the leaked photos, fell in love, he shall be mine.
Edit #41 on February 14, 2014 - Added Windblade, updated status on Whirl. She's got official toy photos, he's arrived at my house! Together, THEY FIGHT CRIME! :D
Edit #42 on February 15, 2014 - Added Roadbuster and Sky-Byte, changed Sharpshot to Skrapnel. Seeing some interesting guys to come for Age of Extinction, but they'll be a separate journal.
Edit #43 on March 24, 2014 - Added Jhiaxus, updated status on the rest of the Legends. Had 'em preordered for a while.
Edit #44 on May 17, 2014 - Updated status on Crosscut, Roadbuster and Sky-Byte.
Edit #45 on May 19, 2014 - Added Swerve, updated status on Cosmos. Got impatient with BBTS, bought 'em both on eBay.
Edit #46 on May 23, 2014 - Updated status on Tailgate and Skrapnel. They're on their way from BBTS!
Edit #47 on May 27, 2014 - Updated status on Tailgate and Skrapnel. Still waiting on Swerve and Cosmos...lousy lack of updates...
Edit #48 on June 5, 2014 - Updated status on Rattrap and Tankor. Still no joy about Swerve and Cosmos, but hopefully, I'll have word soon. Worst case scenario, I hit eBay again.
Edit #49 on June 12, 2014 - Updated status on Swerve, Cosmos, Crosscut, Windblade and Jhiaxus. The latter two have arrived - got a refund for the first purchase, bought a second set off eBay that made it today - and the remaining three are preordered off BBTS.
Edit #50 on June 21, 2014 - Added Arcee, Chromia, Brainstorm, Leader Megatron and Armada Megatron. Gotta love BotCon news, but I'm looking forward to pictures.
Edit #51 on June 21, 2014 - Added Bombshell, removed Armada Megatron. I don't want to get two guys with the same mold, and the G1 Leader Megatron is enough for me.
Edit #52 on July 11, 2014 - Updated status on Jetfire. He's preordered!
Edit #53 on August 9, 2014 - Updated status on Roadbuster and Sky-Byte. Found 'em at a Target, cancelled the preorders.
Edit #54 on August 16, 2014 - Updated status on Arcee, Chromia, and Brainstorm. BBTS has preorders up.
Edit #55 on September 3, 2014 - Cancelled the BBTS preorders on the next wave of Deluxes, preordered at HTS instead. No offense, but I've no interest in getting Nightbeat.
Edit #56 on September 13, 2014 - Updated status on Crosscut and Jhiaxus.
Edit #57 on September 15, 2014 - Updated status on Windblade.
Edit #58 on September 24, 2014 - Added the Protectobot Emergency Response Team. You want 'em? Go to Amazon.com!
Edit #59 on October 3, 2014 - Updated status on Jetfire. Amazon shipped him plus some Doctor Who DVDs out earlier this week.
Edit #60 on November 25, 2014 - Cancelled the BBTS preorder on Brainstorm, preordered at HTS instead. He's cheaper there.
Edit #61 on December 3, 2014 - Updated status on Brainstorm. He's here!
Edit #62 on December 19, 2014 - Updated status on Bombshell, Arcee, Chromia. Bombshell's preordered at BBTS and on his way, while the latter two are here! Expect more updates soon!
Edit #63 on December 25, 2014 - Updated status on Bombshell, added a bunch of Combiner Wars guys! And RiD2 Strongarm.
Edit #64 on February 18, 2015 - Updated status on Megatron, added a bunch of Combiner Wars guys and RiD2 Steeljaw!
Edit #65 on March 25, 2015 - Added Quickslinger and Brake-Neck. I'm gonna do some quicky customs!
Edit #66 on March 27, 2015 - Updated status on G1 and Armada Megatron. Got shipping notification for them from HTS! Now I wait for the Wave 2 Deluxes.
Edit #67 on March 31, 2015 - Added a bunch of guys, updated status of the two Megatrons. They're here!
Edit #68 on March 31, 2015 - Minor problem with the Megatrons - I got two Armada Megs instead of one of each. HTS is due an angry phone call tomorrow morning.
Edit #69 on April 2, 2015 - Updates status on a bunch of CW Deluxes! They arrived today without incident! Now I just wait for Brake-Neck and Quickslinger to be released and for me to snap up two of each. Got some customs to do.
Edit #70 on April 3, 2015 - Getting refunded on one of the Armada Megatrons - it's already on its way back to HTS. Ordered the G1 Megs off Amazon. Egads I'm not happy about this.
Edit #71 on April 17, 2015 - G1 Megatron arrived safely last week. Gonna try and open both Megatrons up this weekend.
Edit #72 on May 7, 2015 - Updated status on a bunch of guys. BBTS has charged me for a mess of guys; they'll be in next week.
Edit #73 on May 12, 2015 - Updated status on a bunch of guys. They're here!
Edit #74 on May 20, 2015 - Added Rodimus and Ultra Magnus, updated status on Hot Spot and Cyclonus. Rodimus is preordered, Magnus arrived in the mail, and the last two are on their way.
  • Mood: Optimism
I've booked a hotel room. I've been cleared for vacation time at work. I've bought a new laptop to aid in Internet browsing at the hotel.

Now if only the folks at BotCon would hurry up with getting registration up.
  • Mood: Tired

deviantID

EchoWing
William A. Rendfeld
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
I'm a twenty-something college grad, and one of those few male fanfiction writers with delusions of grandeur. Glance around my gallery, and you'll get a good look at me somewhere.

Current Residence: Indianapolis, Indiana
Favourite genre of music: Rock 'n Roll
Operating System: Windows XP
MP3 player of choice: Musicmatch
Favourite cartoon character: Yuki Saiko of 'Silent Möbius'
Personal Quote: "All hail Scott McNeil, for he is glorious and the voice of Waspinator."
Interests

Are you enjoying "Six Nights (and a Day) With Sunset" thus far? 

47%
9 deviants said Yes! Go Sunset Shimmer!
26%
5 deviants said I'm reserving judgment until the whole thing's done.
16%
3 deviants said Wait, you're posting new pony stuff?
11%
2 deviants said No! Seriously, dude, you've got other things to write and you're wasting time with this?

Visitors

:icongreymaulkin:
Greymaulkin
May 22, 2015
4:42 pm
:iconlacedra:
Lacedra
May 22, 2015
4:37 pm
:iconrainicornmagic:
Rainicornmagic
May 22, 2015
4:12 pm
:iconmerynaito:
MeryNaito
May 22, 2015
4:09 pm
:icondariiy:
dariiy
May 22, 2015
2:46 pm

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:icongreymaulkin:
Greymaulkin Featured By Owner 1 hour ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thx for the fav!
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:iconichicora-uzumaki:
Ichicora-Uzumaki Featured By Owner 4 hours ago  Hobbyist Artist
thanks for the favs
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:iconechowing:
EchoWing Featured By Owner 1 hour ago  Hobbyist Writer
My pleasure as always.
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:iconlife-takers-crayons:
Life-takers-crayons Featured By Owner 5 hours ago
Thanks for faving :)
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:iconechowing:
EchoWing Featured By Owner 1 hour ago  Hobbyist Writer
Glad to do so. :-)
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:iconalarious:
Alarious Featured By Owner 8 hours ago  Professional General Artist
Thank you mate
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:iconechowing:
EchoWing Featured By Owner 1 hour ago  Hobbyist Writer
Welcome.
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:iconrenegade-157:
Renegade-157 Featured By Owner 9 hours ago  Hobbyist Artist
Thanks you for the fave :)
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:iconechowing:
EchoWing Featured By Owner 1 hour ago  Hobbyist Writer
My pleasure. :D
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:iconkimpossiblelove:
kimpossiblelove Featured By Owner 9 hours ago   Writer
thanks for the faves
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:iconechowing:
EchoWing Featured By Owner 1 hour ago  Hobbyist Writer
Always a pleasure.
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:icondracoria18:
Dracoria18 Featured By Owner 11 hours ago  Hobbyist
thanks for the fav X>
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:iconpixalysparkelz:
Pixalysparkelz Featured By Owner 11 hours ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Commission for greenafire - Plz account Commission for greenafire - Plz account Commission for greenafire - Plz account 
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:iconlordtrigonstar:
lordtrigonstar Featured By Owner 13 hours ago
Thank you for :+fav: my art,my friend. =D
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:iconechowing:
EchoWing Featured By Owner 50 minutes ago  Hobbyist Writer
My pleasure. :-)
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:iconlordtrigonstar:
lordtrigonstar Featured By Owner 47 minutes ago
You are welcome. :)
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:iconcl-em:
cl-em Featured By Owner 13 hours ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the fav ♥
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:iconsonicpossible00:
SonicPossible00 Featured By Owner 13 hours ago  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the fav!
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:iconechowing:
EchoWing Featured By Owner 50 minutes ago  Hobbyist Writer
Always a pleasure!
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:iconnuumia:
Nuumia Featured By Owner 18 hours ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the fav Heart La 
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:icondatkaro:
DatKaro Featured By Owner 18 hours ago  Student Digital Artist
Ty for fave :3
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:iconarts82:
Arts82 Featured By Owner 20 hours ago  Hobbyist
Thanks for the fav
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:iconlaerciomessias:
LaercioMessias Featured By Owner 21 hours ago  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for the favs
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:iconechowing:
EchoWing Featured By Owner 49 minutes ago  Hobbyist Writer
Always a pleasure.
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:iconvelvetlovesky:
VelvetLoveSky Featured By Owner 22 hours ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the fave on Lily :la:
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