Starlight in a Broken Vessel

by the-pieman

Chapter 10: The chapter that comes after nine

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The chapter that comes after nine

It’s the next morning, and I wake up. I slept in the same place as before, the grassy area by the schoolhouse. When I wake up, I realise Cheerilee actually doesn’t mind, as there’s a note on my chest that says “Do not touch or wake. Miss Cheerilee.”

Suddenly, a flash of light. I turn towards it, and a very skinny beige pegasus kid is flying away. I don’t know what he did, but I’m sure I don’t like it.

He’s actually a good flier, pretty fast. I’m not gonna lose to a kid. I pour on the speed, and leap up, grabbing him by the leg and drag him down. I’m now kneeling over him. He gets one look at me and absolutely loses it. He squirms away and beats it as fast as he can.

I look down and see a camera. So that’s the flash... wait. I look at my reflection in the lens. It’s a bit curvy, but I’m all glowy and blue again. Cool.

I head back to the schoolhouse and knock on the door. Cheerilee answers. “Oh, hello Anthony, did you sleep we-” She stops when she sees the stern look on my face. “You need to get leashes for these punks.” I hand her the camera. the strap is broken, but the camera itself isn’t damaged. “Oh my... I expect Featherweight will be coming back for this...”

I turn to leave. “You tell the shutterbug that he can keep the negatives, but if he tries this again, he’s going to need a new camera.”


“And if I end up in a newspaper, I’m gonna find his darkroom and wreck it.”

“O- okay...”

I’m back at the library. This time, Twilight is actually fully awake. “Hey, nerd, get your notebook, I got something to show you.”

What did you call me?”


“That’s what I thought. Now what is it?”

“Well, let’s just say I was running, and then I started glowing again.”

“Really!?” This got her excited.

“Yeah. I just wanted to go faster and... I spark up.”

“You what?”

“Hey, it’s gotta have a cool name.”

“Whatever. I need to see this. Oh, wait, let me get something else.” She comes back with a sort of tiny windmill with a gauge on it. Weird. “So, we’re going to see just how fast you can go.”

“With that device?”



“Shut up.”

Soon, we come to a lake. Twilight sets up her anemometer, and a stopwatch around her neck. “I’m going to need you to run a few laps, okay?”

“Fine with me, I guess. I don’t have anything better to do.”

“I know.”

“I’m a bad influence on you.”

“Just run.”

I get myself ready. I haven’t run laps since PE in high school. Let’s do this. “Ready... Go!”

I take off. I’m going really fast. Not much faster than I usually am though. I focus on when I was chasing that kid. The need to go fast. To outpace the wind under his wings... to spark.

Suddenly, I feel it. I feel the wind pushing back, denying me. I don’t listen. Then, another sensation. As if something lights up inside me. Then, like my body just made a complete speed transition, I slingshot forward. I’m probably glowing. I’m not going to check. Gotta focus. Keep going. Faster. Faster. Faster. I feel lighter than air. As if the world has stopped resisting. No constraints, I’ve broken out. I feel free. I see Twilight. I can’t believe I’ve already made a lap, it couldn’t have been even two seconds. Or was it? I don’t know. The speed feels good.


I’m startled, I lose focus. No. I can’t. Keep control, just, no. It’s slipping. The wind gets its revenge, I’m slingshotted backwards, thrown head over heels, flipping backwards. Once... twice... before I complete the third I slow down and just start tumbling across the ground backwards.

“Woah... that was... incredible...”

“I know... wow, out of breath... But. Felt so good, like... I was unmatched...”

“You might be, actually. You broke the anemometer!”


“This is supposed to gauge how fast you were going based on the wind speed you generate as you pass. You passed it once and it just... broke.”

“Dang. What’s that mean?”

“You can run faster than anything ever recorded.”

“Woah, this is heavy.”


I grin “We’re gonna have to call Rainbow Dash Green Dash when she sees me. She’s gonna be so jealous it might change her mane.”

“I’m not so sure. I’ve never been able to test her upper limit, so she might still be faster.”

“All I know is that speed is good... so good.”

“I think Rainbow would finally agree with you on something, then.”

I’m still at the track. Twilight’s left. Her stopwatch was useless. Once I really start Sparking, I can finish two laps in half a second. The speed is incredible. I love it. Nothing can stop me... I decide to leave the track. Nothing can keep me from moving. This freedom, it’s like a drug. My mind is clear. I just need to move. I stick my arms out behind me, and I feel like I’m flying. I don’t even feel my feet touch the ground, like I’m lighter than air. I rule the wind...

Wait. I’m stopped. I’m not moving forward. Pain. There is pain. I shake my head and I see that I’ve crashed into none other than Rainbow Dash.

“Ooowowowowowow... Jeez, watch where you’re going!”


“What’s your dama- Anthony?”

“You stopped me.”

“Excuse me? You were in my way!”

“Why’d you crash anyway?”

“I dunno, I was flying, and then I saw something bright and I couldn’t see. Now I’m crashed into you!”


“Huh? No, what?”

“No arguing. We settle this. We determine who stopped who.”

“I don’t get it.”

“Whoever is the slower one was the obstruction.” I turn to look her in the eyes. “Don’t you agree?”

I see the fire in her eyes. “Of course.”

“What’s the challenge?”

“...we take off, and after five minutes, we start judging who spends more time ahead of the other. When we finish three laps, the winner is the one who spent the most time ahead. Finishing the third lap first doesn’t matter.”


“You ready?”

“Of course. Loser has to admit their inferiority in front of all of Ponyville... while they paint themselves yellow.”

“That’s harsh, dude.”

“If you can’t handle the stakes-”

“You’re on!”

She spits onto her hoof and I do the same with my palm, and we shake on it. The shake turns into an arm wrestle. I try as hard as I can, and I can tell she’s doing the same. I grin. “You didn’t mention any penalties for head starts.”


I pull away from her hoof and she tumbles forward while I rush onto the track. She’s chasing after me now. But there’s still some distance between us, though she’s closing it quickly. “No fair!” She yells at me.

“All’s fair in love and war, sexy.”


That confused her, I take the chance to work on my Spark. “You cheating bastard!”

“Takes one to know one!”

“I’m not cheating!”

“Wasn’t what I was referring to!”

“You got a death wish!?”

“Of course, but so far nobody’s gonna fulfill it!” I charge forward. She’s still moving faster though. We’ve mostly been neck-and-neck. I need to do this, beat her. I feel the spark. We’re coming up on the end of the first lap. Perfect.

“Wh- what? The glow... that was you!?”

By the time I hear it I’m too far away to respond. I’m going to do this. I’m going to become the champion!

After about a minute of not seeing Rainbow Dash come up to my side, I feel assured. No way she could make it up now. She might as well- What?

Behind me I hear a sound. It doesn’t register, I have to keep moving. Suddenly I can’t see! My vision is blocked by a brilliant, multi-hued light. It continues forward and I can see again. Rainbow Dash? She’s not even visible, obscured by a shimmering stretch of rainbow. I try and move faster, but I can’t even seem to get closer. Her speed is still increasing, like what I’m seeing is just a blur, a remnant of where she used to be. This is incredible... I can’t win.

I slow down and eventually come to a stop. I head back to the finish line, and once Rainbow Dash realizes what I’ve done, she slows down as well, but she keeps going. She crosses the line, now at a more believable, but still incredible speed.

“Looks like I need to buy some paint.”

“Heh. That was pretty cool what you did back there with the glowing.”

“Yeah, sure, what was that thing you did? It was like you were moving faster than I could see.”

“It’s called a Sonic Rainboom.”


“Yeah, I’m the only one who can do it.”


“So, when do I get my prize?”

“Tomorrow. I’ll get Pinkie to gather everyone at the town hall. Once I’m onstage, I’ll do it.”

“This is gonna be so awesome.”

“You cheeky bastard.”

We share a hoof/fist bump and we go our separate ways. Now where do I get paint? Next Chapter: Chapter 11 Estimated time remaining: 33 Hours, 11 Minutes

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