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Principal Celestia Hunts the Undead
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Principal Celestia Hunts the Undead by Rune Soldier Dan is a My Little Pony: Equestria Girls fanfic, and the first in a series. Originally posted January 4, 2016, it was completed February 4, 2017. Its sequel, Sunset Shimmer Hunts The Undead, was subsequently published on August 25, 2018 and is currently ongoing.

The story begins as Sunset confronts Principal Celestia and Vice-Principal Luna sometime after the Friendship Games, pointing out how, despite all the weirdness that's happened, they don't react like normal people do — i.e., calling the cops or military in on things. That's when she finds out that the sisters and some of the other school staff have been hunting monsters around Canterlot for years, and they know how to handle them. Sunset promptly decides to join the group. Slice-of-life adventures with a band of monster hunters ensue.

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The sequel picks up two years later as Sunset heads off to her second year of college.


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    Principal Celestia Hunts the Undead 

Principal Celestia Hunts the Undead provides examples of:

  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas: Celestia, Luna, Sunset and a few of her friends vs. the human world's King Sombra while Christmas shopping in the mall.
  • Animorphism: Some werebeasts, such as Fluttershy, can change into their animal form at will.
  • Badass Teacher: Much of Canterlot High's staff hunt monsters after school hours.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Nurse Redheart is much more acerbic when away from the students and her boss Celestia. Encountering a pack of changelings gives her the perfect excuse to release her anger.
    Redheart: You girls...whatevers, should run while you have the chance. I'm a nurse.
    (The changelings laugh at her until three tossed grenades come bouncing to them, followed by Redheart suddenly wielding a combat knife and a fourth grenade.)
    Redheart: We have pent up anger.
  • BFG: The rocket launcher Sunset brings during the attack on CHS.
  • Big Bad: The lead vampire, who turns out to be none other than Abacus Cinch.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Donut Joe's once got attacked by 200-pound ants, which burrowed up from the earth. Celestia's group stopped them.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Essentially Celestia's explanation to Sunset when the latter asks why Celestia and Luna didn't get normal authorities involved after the magical mayhem caused by Sunset herself, the Dazzlings, or Twilight Sparkle.
    Celestia: I know that the Fall Formal was a terribly exciting day for you, but for us...it was Thursday.
    Luna: Friday.
    Celestia: No, definitely Thursday. It was a school night.
  • Cat Scare: Sunset suffers one in chapter 16.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Shortly after moving into Celestia and Luna's home, Sunset unwittingly discovers that Principal Celestia's bare legs somehow amplify light. She later uses this ability as an Improvised Weapon against a pack of ghasts.
    • Earth's Zecora and a non-Equestrian unicorn are introduced in chapter 8, helping Celestia and her group. They return in chapter 31 to save Luna and help in the battle for CHS.
  • City of Adventure: Canterlot is on a Ley Line, attracting monsters and magic of all kinds. Naturally, monster-hunters have a lot to work with.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Celestia and Luna both. Their introduction to the supernatural came when Luna fell for a vampire who tricked her, then killed their parents and bit Luna, nearly resulting in her death because Celestia thought she'd been turned and shot her.
  • Disappointed by the Motive: Cinch is out for revenge on Canterlot High due to Crystal Prep not winning the Friendship Games, having spent months trying to appeal the decision and failing. She eventually decides to take actions that will result in people at CHS dying or having their lives destroyed, all for the sake of having their win reversed and restoring Crystal Prep's own reputation and perfect record. Celestia thinks that doing all this over what she calls a "stupid set of random contests" is the dumbest thing she's ever heard. Iron Will later voices much the same thing.
  • Emergency Transformation: As a child, Fluttershy was turned into a were-manatee to save her from drowning.
  • Everyone Can See It: Non-romantic example with Celestia's motherly behavior towards Sunset after she takes takes her into her home. Her internal monologue was oddly insistent that giving her a home with a real bed and shower did not mean she wanted to adopt Sunset. From the fifth chapter (out of thirty-five total):
    Harshwhinny: Is (Celestia) adopting (Sunset)?
    Luna: Yes.
    Celestia: (while consoling Sunset after the latter got bit by a zombie) Sister.
    Luna: (throws hands up) Fine, drag it out another twenty chapters, see if I care.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Flash is mentioned as having gotten detention from Ms. Harshwinny for using the wrong word — saying "pacifically" instead of "specifically".
  • Fighting from the Inside: The brain worms set their puppets overarching orders while retaining their personalities. This allows a loophole for a controlled Nurse Redheart to help Celestia out when the latter is cornered by throwing her an intact bomb that Celestia could catch - under the pretense of attacking Celestia, she instead managed to give her an extra weapon.
  • Groin Attack: Attempted on Iron Will. It fails because his entire body is rock-hard from constant exercise, and the girl who does it ends up with a sprained foot.
  • Happily Adopted: Sunset by Principal Celestia, eventually.
  • Hot Teacher: Double Subverted example with Cheerilee. While during school hours she dresses normally, during hunts her fashion sense goes wild - on the strike against Chrysalis' tobacco factory, Luna describes her outfit as a "cheerleader-themed swimsuit" and suggests that on a previous trip Cheerlie cosplayed as a Sailor Senshi.
    Luna: God, I'm embarrassed just to be sitting next to you.
  • Hunter of Monsters: Celestia, Luna and their friends, with Nagatha Harshwhinny having been part of an older group before teaching the sisters the business. The Pie family (sans Pinkie and Marble) also qualify, though they specialize in werewolves.
  • Improvised Weapon: All over the place during the "zombie" invasion of Canterlot High.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Applejack crushes on Sunset at the beginning. Sunset, who is straight, gently turns her down.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifter: Fluttershy's were-creature transformation kicks in automatically when in a certain environment under the full moon.
  • It's All My Fault: Celestia still blames herself for their first encounter with a vampire where their parents were killed and Luna was shot by Celestia, the latter having believed Luna had turned. Luna is tired of Celestia continuing to beat herself up over it eighteen years on.
    Luna: (slams the dining room door open) Damn it, Tia, I knew you would do this! When I said you should tell her, I did not mean the "Everything is Celestia's Fault Forever" edition.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: When Sunset needs to take down the brainwashed students of Crystal Prep, she enjoys being able to attack the students who bullied Sci-Twi.
  • Monster of the Week: In between major plot progression points, Celestia and her team still fight various kinds of supernatural threats chapter to chapter.
  • Mook–Face Turn: When Sunset is imprisoned by Chrysalis the shapeshifter, one of her underlings takes her place in the principals' home; the replacement Sunset realizes her cover is blown once she no longer senses her queen's psychic link and flees, leaving a note explaining that she never wanted to do it and pleads for her own life. They don't pursue her. It pays off during the Crystal Prep zombie attack, when that changeling pretended to be among the brain-controlled teachers cornering Celestia and helps her out of a jam.
  • Naked First Impression: Princesses Celestia and Luna come visit their human counterparts' home after they learn Sunset was adopted by the latter. They show up at their front door in the buff, not knowing anything about humanity's nudity taboo. Principal Celestia and Sunset are scandalized; Vice Principal Luna just collapses in laughter.
  • No Body Left Behind: Vampires and ghasts turn to dust when they die.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Brain worms need a source of black magic to survive on Earth. When the source they were using is gone, they die quickly and are purged from the victims' body within twenty-four hours.
  • No-Sell: Ms. Harshwhinny and Cranky were both unaffected by the Dazzlings' magic. The reason, according to the author, is that "The sirens worked by spreading suspicion and anger, and the two of them were already dour-faced assassins of joy."
  • Our Liches Are Different: The human world's Sombra is a massive armored lich, armed with shadow magic (a form of illusion magic — regular illusion magic creates images and sounds, but shadow magic specializes in concealment, deception, and mental manipulation and mimics the effects of illusion magic by tricking the target's mind). Also, he desires souls.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: Fluttershy turns out to be a were-manatee, who was turned as a child in order to save her from drowning. She can transform of her own free will most of the time, but if she's in water during the full moon, the transformation automatically kicks in and her manatee side takes over. Meaning that she's suddenly an enormous sea creature that can only think about gorging itself on sea-grass. Sunset is rather dumbfounded by the whole thing, but accepting of her friend's secret.
  • The Reveal:
    • Twilight is revealed not to be a virgin in Chapter 5, to the surprise of pretty much all present.
    • Sunset discovers that Fluttershy is a were-manatee in Chapter 17. The rest of her friends find out in Chapter 30.
  • Self-Deprecation: For all that Luna gets on Celestia's case about the latter blaming herself for what happened eighteen years ago, Luna herself harbors some self-loathing about her own slow maturation and it causing Celestia to have to take care of her like an adult child instead of being able to go out and start her own family. Some of the arguments the two sisters have with each other boil down to which of them feel more responsible for their unusual life circumstances.
  • Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing: Fluttershy's outfit doesn't change when she does, so she has to strip naked so as to avoid ruining her clothes. This results in some embarrassment on Sunset's part when said stripping happens right in front of her.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: discussed by Limestone, who believes that shotguns are a poor choice because of this. Applejack proves her wrong, and can hit at long distance with one, provided she has solid shot.
  • Shout-Out: The epilogue lifts a brief conversation between Sunset and Celestia regarding where the swords are kept from Hiimdaisy's comics on Persona 4.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: When Sunset calls out for using Applejack to get her money, Adagio throws back Sunset using Flash for popularity. Unusually, this doesn't really shake Sunset, having developed real friendship for Flash.
  • Sinister Scythe: Luna is given one by Zecora and wields it during the final battle with Cinch, and uses it to finish her.
  • Soul Jar: Sombra has a literal one, and as long as it remains safe, he always gets better no matter how many times his body's been destroyed. After he refuses to serve Abacus Cinch, she smashes the jar, killing him for good.
  • Talking Animal: Werebeasts can speak like normal humans in their animal forms.
  • Technically Living Zombie: There are creatures called brain worms that take over the victim's body and force them to do the bidding of the worms' controller (though they leave the victims' personalities intact), turning the victims into this.
  • Undying Loyalty: Sunset doesn't hesitate to volunteer for dangerous situations like fighting the undead if it means she can protect her friends. She uses this along with her potential knowledge about magic from Equestria to get Celestia to accept her into their undead-fighting group.
  • Unexpected Virgin:
    • Inverted with Twilight Sparkle, to the surprise of both Luna and the vampire who sought to drink her blood in order to get a massive power boost. The latter especially, once Sunset shot him twenty times.
    • Given how much virgin blood is sought after in this world, when Celestia's counter-horror group rescue victims their identities can be surprising sometimes. Take Chapter 8, for example, where among those rescued from the horse-eating spiders are Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, and Ms. Harshwhinny (Luna and Sunset got some mileage of laughs from learning that).
  • Viral Transformation: Werebeasts can transmit their condition via biting, as can those infected by brain worms. Averted with true undead zombies, which have to be deliberately raised via black magic.
  • Virgin Power: Not for the virgin themselves, but drinking the blood of one grants a temporary but massive power boost to vampires.
  • Weakened by the Light: Ghasts are a form of undead that are particularly vulnerable to light - full exposure is almost always fatal in a very short time, unless they can get out of it quickly enough.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Cinch uses the brain worms to turn the Crystal Prep students into a zombie-like mob and has them attack Canterlot High.

    Sunset Shimmer Hunts the Undead 

Sunset Shimmer Hunts the Undead provides examples of:

  • Acting Your Intellectual Age: Zigzagged in Chapter 23 when Sunset goes through all of human childhood in the span of a week. On one hand, Sunset retains her previous intelligence and memories throughout so Celestia and Luna don't have to re-teach her 20 years' worth of stuff; on the other hand, the fact that Sunset's body doesn't match what she already knows causes a lot of distress on her part. For example, when she was a toddler on the second night she asks for broccoli and cheese (one of her favorite dishes as a grown-up) for dinner, but her body finds it disgusting and Sunset has to push it away, even as her mind knows intellectually it is one of her favorites.
  • Baby Morph Episode: Chapter 23, for Sunset. Well, at least to start — she goes through the entirety of human development from infancy to grown-up in a week thanks to drinking Zecora's potion.
  • Back-Alley Doctor: Nurse Redheart for the monster-hunting community — the Canterlot High staff, Sunset's college team, and the Pies. A necessity as their activities don't have official government sanction. She drinks a lot too, though in her case it helps steady her nerves when she's patching Sunset up after the college team took down a werewolf.
  • Badass Gay: Applejack and Adagio killing undead with a shotgun and knife, respectively. Enough said.
  • Being Evil Sucks: Even in the early chapters there are hints that Adagio's can-only-look-out-for-yourself philosophy which had previously united her with the other sirens Sonata and Aria had become stale with Adagio, especially after the latter two just upped and ditched her when they got a ticket to stardom. Adagio doesn't give up those scheming instincts when she lies to Sunset to try to drive off the competition for Applejack, but the several times she resorts to alcohol have shown that she resents what that outlook has gotten her.
  • Big Bad: Someone only known as "D" seems to be behind the big monster encounters Sunset's team have had to deal with so far. There's insinuation that "D" is the human world's Discord, who is a lecturer at the college, but the college team's investigation in Chapter 8 proves inconclusive and though he almost certainly knows something about all the going-ons so far in the story it isn't clear what his deal or goal is. Chapter 19 all but confirms "Mr. D" is the one behind most of the college group's troubles, apparently just because It Amused Me — his Equestrian counterpart isn't all that amused about it.
  • Brainy Baby: Sunset goes through the entirety of human development from infant to grown-up in Chapter 23, but retains her intelligence throughout the process. This results in a human baby Sunset who, while being unable to articulate words at all, is still capable of understanding and responding to Celestia and Luna, like knowing right away it was Luna who added sugar to her baby bottle behind Celestia's back.
  • Call-Back: Maud references Limestone's complaints about shotguns when Applejack suggests using one against a werewolf.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Wallflower's apparent overuse of the Memory Stone making her difficult to remember for others is a bit of a hindrance for normal socializing, but it's usually played for laughs when her friends are involved. When it comes to actual monster hunting, it's come in handy many times when she's had to sneak into enemies' strongholds for scouting or sabotage as well as help heal allies since monsters can't Shoot the Medic First if they don't notice her.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Principal Celestia doesn't like accepting help from outside sources even though it certainly isn't easy trying to secure the funds needed to both run a counter-monster team and raise Sunset. Doubly so when the help is coming from her pony princess counterpart, which the principal can't help but compare herself negatively to.
  • Fallen Princess: Adagio had dropped to this by the time she ends up as roommates of Sunset, Applejack, and Wallflower — on top of having her siren powers stripped by Sunset and company and having been run out by Sunset and Rainbow Dash for using AJ as an ATM, her hitherto partners in crime Aria and Sonata ditched her the very day they learned they were back-up dancers to Sapphire Shores, leaving Adagio with all the rent. She admits this to Applejack as the two of them were tied up and awaiting being eaten for dinner by ghouls.
  • Forgettable Character: Wallflower Blush, whom characters continually don't notice or remember is there unless she speaks up — Applejack turned off their common room TV while she was watching it thinking it was left on, Sunset forgot they shared classes the previous semester, Celestia shuts the lights off and leaves with the group without ever noticing her, etc. The fic takes place after the Memory Stone incident; Twilight postulated that her forgettable condition came from overuse of the stone. Thankfully, Wallflower is on friendly terms with Sunset and Applejack and she tries to see the silver lining in it - monsters seem affected by it as well (it was how she managed to get to safety during the Crystal Prep zombie attack on Canterlot High two years back even though the entrances were already blocked by zombified hordes). Dan the author clarified this in a blog post that her power does have limits: it won't work if she's carrying weapons or intends to cause harm.
  • Gale-Force Sound: All it takes is Sunset letting slip to Rarity that she might be in love with someone for the latter to snap right out of her hangover and insist to hear the details. Over the phone. Loud enough to blow back Sunset's hair.
    Rarity: The party didn’t quite wind down until a few hours ago, so if this can please wait...
    Sunset: It can definitely wait. I’ll hang up, I just think I’m in love and–
    Rarity: I ALWAYS HAVE TIME FOR MY FRIENDS SO DON’T HANG UP!
  • Granola Girl: Wallflower's offering when the girls attempt to rotate weekend cooking duties was a bland and tasteless porridge goop made of grape nuts and non-GMO oats, plus flax seed extract, tofu, and beet shavings; even the package was environmentally friendly. She also showers less than once a week because of water usage, at least until Adagio dragged her to the shower by the ear.
  • I Was Never Here: Knowing that Celestia would disapprove if she ever found out, Sunset and her old high school teachers Iron Will and Dr. Hooves mutually agree on this when the former is found working at, and the latter two found patronizing, the restaurant Shooters.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Unintentional example for Sunset in Chapter 23, when she comes across some old fashion magazines that Rarity had. Reading over the models' names for that particular lingerie issue reveals one of them was a young Nagatha Harshwhinny. On a centerfold pullout. Particularly since Sunset was in the body of an eight-year-old at that point, she nopes out of there very quickly.
  • If It's You, It's OK: Something apparently changed from when Applejack told Sunset about her crush on the latter in Principal Celestia to when they got to college in Sunset Shimmer, as in Chapter 15 Sunset tells Rarity and Rainbow Dash that she has developed a crush on Applejack.
  • In-Universe Nickname: Applejack has taken to shortening Adagio to "Daj", apparently as part of the detente Adagio and the rest of the college team made.
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: Discussed between Sunset and Nurse Redheart when the former noted the biggest difficulty she's had so far is finding a time for her and her college friends (and Adagio) to help fight:
    Sunset: How does my mom get you all to put your social lives on hold long enough to hunt monsters?
    Redheart: Hm? Oh, easy. We're losers with no social lives.
  • The Medic: Wallflower, due to not being able to disappear and fight, has been studying first aid to stay relevant even when conflict occurs.
  • Monster of the Week: Like her adoptive mother, Sunset's college team tends to fight different kinds of monsters from one chapter to another.
  • Other Me Annoys Me:
    • Principal Celestia harbors something of an inferiority complex in regards to her pony princess counterpart. They do at least talk it out and try to understand each other when the human world's Celestia and Luna take a vacation to Equestria.
    • The feeling is mutual between the Discord from Earth, aka Mr. D, and the reformed Discord from Equestria when they meet in Chapter 19 over their philosophies regarding the use of their chaos-inducing abilities.
  • Properly Paranoid: Sunset initially tries to dismiss her concerns about the oddly-decorated flyer for a dinner party by one of the fraternities on campus as her own brain, 2+ years running on fighting all manner of monsters and cults, seeing false positives — she took her silver bullets with her, though. Good thing, too: turns out it wasn't mere randomly-thrown together Sumerian that happened to spell out "flesh" and "endless life", as Adagio had thought.
  • Riddling Sphinx: Whom the college team (well, Twilight mainly) need to take on in Chapter 20. Never mind that there's an ancient Egyptian tomb somehow in Oregon, answer three questions to free her friends or else become trapped forever.
  • Stacy's Mom: The sight of Principal Celestia running around on a full moon in just a golden-colored bikini (letting the moonlight reflect off her skin to shimmer that ethreal glow) gets both Adagio and Applejack so gobsmacked about wanting to date her Sunset has to get them to refocus about the demon space Nazis.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Wallflower's forgettable nature means she'll end up pulling this on her friends unintentionally. Even if she didn't actually leave.
    Applejack: Land's sake, girl, we should put a bell on you.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: Chapter 17, the principal sisters return from vacation...right in the middle of an invasion of demon Nazis with thick German accents from the moon a la Iron Sky. Luckily Sunset and the rest of the Canterlot High staff had a plan in place.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Adagio the siren is much less scrupulous than the other members of Sunset's college team. She joins the team half-heartedly mainly because of circumstance (ending up in the same dorm suite as Sunset, Applejack, and Wallflower; both her and AJ being the ones captured for snacking by the Hailgrogar frat) and her expert knowledge in different types of monsters.
  • Triang Relations: A classic Type 3 love rivalry develops with Sunset and Adagio both going after Applejack. By Chapter 22 both of them make their confessions to AJ at their Canterlot High class reunion, which brings them into conflict even after AJ turns them both down for the time being.
  • Unexpected Virgin: Along with the Inverted example from Principal Celestia, Adagio is revealed to be a straight (as in the trope) example in Chapter 4 despite being over a thousand years old — it was why she was captured along with Applejack.
  • Working with the Ex: Living, really — Chapter 2 reveals the fourth roommate after Sunset, Applejack, and Wallflower to be Adagio Dazzle, whom Applejack is still resentful of years after their acrimonious breakup; Adagio finds the feeling mutual. They do end up actually working together in breaking out of the "Hailgrogar" frat house in Chapter 4.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: In Chapter 22, Sunset and Adagio take it outside at Canterlot High when the former figures out the latter lied to her about already being an item with Applejack in an attempt to preemptively drive off the competition, and it's clear Sunset is angry about the backstab attempt as well as Adagio badmouthing AJ when she turned her down too. Yet Sunset chooses to forgive Adagio and hugs her when the latter attempts to punch Sunset (helps that Adagio is drunk and so doesn't have her usual fighting prowess), telling Adagio that despite what she did she's still a good person. Adagio expresses disbelief at the notion, leading to Sunset and later AJ, Wallflower, and Twilight to offer counterexamples of her better nature coming through from past events, like her helping out against the space Nazis even though she was personally ambivalent about them and her making a self-conscious AJ feel good about her looks.

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