Starlight in a Broken Vessel

by the-pieman

Chapter 125

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Chapter 125

A few days after the interview, I’m deciding on how to bring the Sword and Lyre. There’s no doubt in my mind that I am bringing them, but I’m not sure if I want to pack the Sword away and hope it doesn’t just follow me anyways. I’d rather not be armed if I can’t use it... so maybe I should give a try? If it’s like the Lyre, my having star powers should make it work for me automatically, right? Or maybe it just does other things? I have no idea what it actually does, come to think of it, beyond the vague description of ‘destroy stuff’. I wonder if I can use it metaphorically and destroy someone’s reputation, or if it only works physically...

Well, what better way to learn things than with some testing? If it can perfect portal guns, it can learn me some sword information, I’m sure.

I head out to the little field behind the library and take out the sword. I have no idea how it is activated, though... well, there’s only about a hundred ways to find out.

As if by magnetism, me stepping out behind the library seems to draw a crowd, the ponies all trying to get a look at the Sword. Hmm, maybe it just draws ponies to it... that’d be a lame power.

I raise the blade high above my head and try some magic words. “Thundercats, Thundercats, hooooo!” this only results in very odd looks.

“Okay then...” I raise my sword again. “By the power of Blockfort!” Nothing... I just lower the sword and shrug. I swish it weakly “Bibbidy-bobbidy-boo?” Still nothing. And the weird looks have become rather... strange.

Twilight, likely trying to figure out why I’m yelling my head off in her backyard, steps outside. “Anthony what are y- Are you trying to activate the Sword again!?”

“Operative word being: ‘trying’!” I yell back and start swinging the sword around randomly to no effect. This gets a few onlookers to facehoof or chuckle. A thought flashes into my mind, a quote from a game my friends played back on earth. Oh, if this works...

“Twilight, I need your help. Come here, I can only do this with your assistance!” Twilight gives me an incredulous look, but steps out. She’s apparently no more impressed with my performance so far than my audience. Suddenly, I straddle her back, getting an awkward yelp out of her. “Now quickly, run me forward! I want to hit the dummy with my Swo~ord!!!” she gives me a look that promises death and/or ponification. I give her my best pouty eyes in return, and she huffs.

“Fine.” She turns towards the dummy and prepares to run by it. Wow, ponies are actually really comfortable to sit on. I need to see if I can get a Fluttershy cushion some time... Anyways, the post that is my target closes in, and I give a yell and aim to swing at the dummy. However, I miss, not even the slightest bit of resistance meeting my blade as we pass, and Twilight trips. I tumble off, standing up by pure fluke. Totally meant to do that. Absolutely.

I turn back to the ‘dummy’ and get ready to try just hacking at it, but I see that I didn’t miss. I went clear through the foot-thick pole, and slashed a foot-wide divot out of the turf beyond it, the cobbles and underlying sediment opened like a wound at least four feet deep. There’s a thin line of molten earth at the bottom, and the edges of the scar are glassed smooth.




I am a badass! Now how can I use this without destroying surrounding buildings... Eh, they’re fast at rebuilding stuff, not my problem, right? Well, there might be some ponies in them... Oh, wait, the Everfree Forest! I’m suddenly the most dangerous thing there, because I have a firetrucking plasma sword!

I turn to the crowd and point my sword towards the thickest part of the audience. “Fear my power!” Like fish parting before a shark, the crowd of ponies scream and break, running in any direction but towards me. Heh, I think I finally have a way to avoid waiting in lines forever more. I can see why the Constellations don’t want this falling into the wrong hands. My hands must be fine, because using this feels so right!

Happily sauntering off to the Everfree forest -because I’ve earned the right to saunter- I prepare to test my new toy on anything that looks threatening and quite a few trees. By the time I reach the forest edge, I realize I left Twilight behind after she tripped. Ah well, she’ll be fine.

One devastated swath of greenery later, I’m hauling nearly two full cords of wood over to Fluttershy’s house, if only to keep them from going to waste. In the process of acting as a lumberjack, I learned that I can use my Stellar powers such as speed while using the Sword, but as far as I can tell, I can’t use any other powers like growing while I have it unsheathed. That said, the sword-strikes carry either lightning blasts or a whole ton of heat if I put even the slightest amount of will towards either. I blew a few trees to splinters with the lightning trick. Also, as long as it’s out, my arms are in the deep-stellar effect almost to my shoulders, even when I let it go. I accidentally threw it at the end of a swing, and it just teleported back into my hands.

The shy pony greets me kindly when I show up, a full twenty feet tall and bringing the entire load of cut wood to her. She seems a bit flabbergasted as to what she’d use all the wood for, until I point out it’s high-quality wood, and can be hollowed out to make nests and stuff. It’s a nice two or three hours just putting large round log chunks an inch or two into the dirt and burning out the insides to clear them safely. Shy seems delighted and amused after I take the time to use a coal blade to carve some funny faces into a ‘totem pole’ of bird houses. That said, her little shit of a bunny disdains every single thing I do, of course, and I have to resist threatening him with my knife in front of ‘Shy.

“So I’m gonna be leaving for Chickago in a few days, and I was thinking of bringing Anne with me. What do you think ‘Shy? Think she’ll like it, being kinda a bird and all?”

“Oh, uhm... I don’t know, griffons seem really mean.” she whispers the last part and sort of hides under her mane while she rubs a natural sealant into the top of the log she was working with, making sure it doesn’t decay too soon.

“Really? All of them? That seems a bit racist. I met one and sure he didn’t conform to the typical mannerisms of ponies but he seemed pretty nice to me.”

“W-well, they’re always so rude and loud and so violent.” She shakes and shudders under her mane, shivering. Hmm... maybe she just had a bad run-in with a griffon?

“Well, you like cats and birds, right? Griffons are just giant cat-birds who can talk, so what’s the big problem? I figured you’d want to come with me...”

Fluttershy just whimpers and squeaks, shaking like a leaf. Angel bunny, for once not being a dick, hops over to her and pats her head gently.

“Eh, oh well. Enjoy your nest-logs. If you ever need another I can just cut down more of the Everfree. Not like there’s a lack of trees or anything.”

Fluttershy just continues to have her little breakdown. While I’d like to be upset at her overreaction, I can’t help but feel a little bad. She’s certainly been less timid and ‘freak-out’-ish about more dangerous things, so maybe it was a particularly bad run-in with a griffon. I guess I’ll just go in and chat with Anne, then.

I’m not sure if Anne was doing anything when I came in... she was kinda just spacing out. “So I’m going to be heading to Chickago in a few days. Can’t remember if I asked you already, but d’ya wanna come with me?”

“Hmm?” she shakes herself, her feathers clinking musically as she startles. “Oh, sorry, I was kind of dozing there... there’s a bunch of mice living in that wall over there, and I can’t help but be fascinated with them... peeking out, all plump and slow...” she licks her lips, and I don’t think it’s a conscious action.

“You feeling a bit hungry then, I take it? Well, we’d be together in a griffon eyrie for about... two months? I think it’d be interesting to see how another species lives, what about you?”

“Yeah, I’d love to! Most of the ponies around here have a dim view of them though. Apparently, a griffon came through a few years ago, and attacked Fluttershy after insulting everyone and everything in sight for two days straight, and then proposed to Dash. I don’t get it, but apparently it happened.”

“Weird, I know a local Griffon who’s a pretty cool dude. Maybe they just got a bad apple. They can’t all be jerks, and if they are, well, I have ways of dealing with jerks.”

Anne nods. “I think it may have just been a bad apple, but Fluttershy is really torn up about it, from what I hear.”

“I chatted with her about it, and she seems kinda racist against them from what I can tell. Didn’t think Fluttershy could actually hate anyone to be honest... well, you learn something new every day, right?”

Anne just shrugs. “Yeah, I suppose. Oh, I found that I can lift a lot while flying, the other day.”

“Can you carry an entire tree?”

“I think so... it was a really big timberwolf. ‘Shy said it was a timberwolf Alpha.” For some reason, that term brings to mind a fleeting image of something super-big with glowing eyes standing over me. Idunno why, but that does sound impressive.

“Well, I doubt we’d have much trouble fitting in. I’m super-tough, and you’re already a carnivorous bird. Maybe they just have a problem with ponies and we’ll be treated nice... or whatever their version of nice is.”

Anne shrugs, and goes back to staring at the mousehole. Giving the room a quick look-over, I see that the wood under her perch has a number of pits and craters, along with a small hole. All of it looks... melted. Like a piece of metal that had lava dropped on it.

She mentioned having poisonous talons... jeez, guess it’s corrosive too... I feel like I should go. “So, I guess I’ll pick you up when we’re ready to leave. Just make sure you don’t forget anything important.” With that, I leave the harpy to her mousewatching and I leave the cottage.

I see that Fluttershy is working on coating more of the little home-logs, and her eyes look like she’s been crying hard. Anne’s comment comes back to me, ‘...griffon came through a few years ago, and attacked Fluttershy...’ How bad was this ‘attack’, really? I can’t help but wonder, but I don’t think she’ll want to talk about it.

I just leave the place and think of what I want to do next. I don’t really have that much to pack. Heck, most of it I carry around with me anyways. Hmm... I wonder if the Lyre can do anything other play music... Next Chapter: Chapter 126 Estimated time remaining: 16 Hours, 53 Minutes

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