Starlight in a Broken Vessel

by the-pieman

Chapter 162

Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Chapter 162

The next day, it’s obvious that everypony has heard of how the Crusaders were acting, given that the four of them are getting glares and concerned looks in equal measures from the adults, and the other foals are avoiding them completely, even going so far as to hide behind adults when the Crusaders approach. Strangely, Babs doesn’t seem to be with them.

Well, they brought the ostracization on themselves. Can’t say I feel bad for them, given what they were doing. I still don’t get how they just jumped from ‘we have freedom’ to ‘we’re better than everyone else’.

Oh well, they did the deed, and now they pay the price. Wonder how long this would have gone on if I didn’t leave and tell their folks? That said, Scootaloo and Applebloom seem the most resentful. Noi had to deal with ‘upset mom’ and I know for a fact that Rarity isn’t exactly very light on Sweetie, I guess all in all, they’re getting what they deserve.

No idea what the plan with Babs was, but she’s still around, so AJ didn’t ship her back home or anything. The little parade went off without a hitch, though the Crusaders were unofficially banned from entering their giant pumpkin float.

I still have no idea what the parade was for, there wasn’t any banner stating the event or reason, and all the ponies seemed too distracted to say anything. Oh well, it’s not that big a deal as long as nothing interrupts it with a catastrophe.

And it doesn’t. Guess the weirdness magnet had to recharge after the Crusader fiasco the other day. The parade over, everyone goes back to their daily lives, which means I’m bored with nothing to do. I grab a newspaper from a stand and flip through it. Nothing really in the first few pages. I get ready to put the paper back, but I notice one thing on the last page.

‘New music style developed in Canterlot, causes controversy.’

New music style? Like what? Reading further, it’s a while before I get a name of the genre. They’re calling it... ‘Music with Rocks In’. And I’m not the one credited for introduction to Rock. Oh that’s just unfair.

Guess I’m taking a trip to Canterlot today. Grabbing the letter Clark gave me to take, I hop on the back of the train. Sitting in the caboose is a lot easier on me, since I don’t have to spend the whole trip in an enclosed space with ponies who aren’t that familiar with me.

I get to Canterlot and find a guard. I tell him I have something for Celestia, tell him it’s from Clark, and give him the letter. I’m not gonna bother seeing her in person, I have more important things to do.

After a while, I hear music being played and it... is not Rock ‘n’ Roll of any variety. Granted it’s kinda like it, but not really. Following the sound, I get to a few random ponies playing on some instruments. It’s not bad music, but they don’t really grasp what ‘Rock’ is at it’s core.

Nevertheless, I see some ponies who don’t like it, most of the crowd protesting the music and asking guards to charge them with noise pollution.

I was gonna give the musicians a piece of my mind, but now... I think another group needs it more. Since I got into the habit of attaching the Lyre to my Sword, which follows me everywhere anyways, I have my own instrument.

I listening to the protests about how it’s ‘too loud’ and the shaming of the musicians for wanting to play ‘such garbage’ makes me instantly know the song to play. I step up to the players and I ask if they have room for one more.

“Uh... I guess so, we’re just doing this for fun, we don’t really care who’s involved.”

“That’s exactly what I’m here to prove to the naysayers.” I grin. “Try to keep up if you can.” I hold out my Lyre, Spark Up, and begin playing.

The song is more directed at the audience, but that’s the purpose of the song. The lyrics covering all the arguments the protesters had brought up, and a few even seem to be getting into it. But my temporary bandmates were playing along and were having a blast.

After a while, the song ends and the crowd seems to have made up their minds. Some angrily huffed away, saying things that slightly insulted us, and a few others had actually grabbed whatever was around them that could count as a musical instrument and join the band.

I decide to take my leave and wander around a bit. I half expect to see Cadence in one of her crazy disguise getups, but she’s not around. Haven’t seen her since we left Wunderland. That’s quite a while... oh well, I’m sure she’s fine, doing... whatever princesses do.

As I wander through the streets, all lined with shops and cafés of various types, I start getting a bit bored. After some time, I’m approached by one of the ponies who I played with earlier. “Hey, what you did back there was pretty neat, I was wondering if you’d like to meet somepony.”

I shrug, not having anything else to do. “Sure, why not?”

A little bit later, I find myself in a small-time business-person’s office. The mare who brought me here hits a desk bell and calls out. “Ms. Advice. I have somepony you should meet.”

Another pony steps out of a side room, and looks at me. “Well if it isn’t the big hero... not as impressive, seeing you for myself.”

I narrow my eyes. “I get that a lot. Now what would you want with me?”

“That’s a good question.” She turns to the mare who brought me in.

“Oh, we were playing out in the street to attract attention. It wasn’t going well and he showed up and started playing, he was fantastic! He did... something and then we were fantastic, like really really good! I’ve never played like that in my life!”

The other pony looks at me suprisedly. “Huh, guess you are something after all. I could use you.”

“As... a musician?”

“Of course! I’m trying to push this new style of music, get it popularized. I think what I’ve come up with is revolutionary, and if you’re as good as Melody here says, you’d get us selling records like crazy!”

Hmmmmm. “This style wouldn’t happen to be called ‘Music with Rocks in’ or something, would it?”

“Hah, guess our influence is spreading faster than I thought, this should be easy! We’ll be rich in no time!”

“Except there’s a few problems. For one, you didn’t invent this new style, you stole it.”

“What- but... no I didn’t! Nopony’s heard anything like this before!”

“Yes they have. It’s called Rock ‘n’ Roll, and it’s existed since before I was born. Granted, you guys never had it, but I still started it here in Equestria. And you better credit me.”

I get a somewhat unhappy look in return. “Why? Can you prove you started it?”

“Yes, actually. There are some ponies who had never heard it before that I showed, and ever since I played publicly, there’s never been any music types like it, until now. You took the style, watered it down, and changed the name a bit. That doesn’t make it new.”

“It’s new enough. You may claim to have started it, but we’re gonna be the ones getting famous for it. Besides, if it was yours first, why didn’t you try to market it? That’s the way you make something yours.”

“Uh... because... I didn’t really get that many good reviews on the music at first. And from the newspaper I got, neither are you.”

“Well, Canterlot is the hub of the region. We’ve actually got quite a bit of traction in Manehattan, Chickago, even some of the frontier towns. I hear they’re making stabs at trying their own version as well. Calling it ‘countryside’ music.”

I sigh. “Well, still. This wouldn’t even exist here if it weren’t for me. By extension of that, your success is a direct result of mine. I want some credit here, got it? That’s it.”

“Well... I suppose I could provide services as compensation. My firm is rather well-situated. We run much of the licensing and registration services for Canterlot, though there isn’t as much profit from that as I’d like.”

Profit? Wait... she’s offering me money for this? Awesome! “Hey, I wasn’t even expecting to get paid, just notoriety, but If I get some cash from this that’s even better. Say... five percent of whatever you have after you pay your monthly dues? I could even offer some ‘new’ music for you to tweak a bit.”

“Hmmm... Three percent and a favor, to be named at a later date by yourself.”

“Deal!” I hold out my hand and we shake on it. After some mutual well-wishing, I leave feeling great! I mean, I came here expecting an argument or something, not money! This is so cool, nothing could ruin this day!

I get on the train and, deciding to ride in an actual car this time, am in the public eye. I get the usual responses of fear, worship, awe, disbelief, all the stuff. The kids are a different story. Apparently there’s some huge event going on somewhere and a bunch of younger ponies are on the train ride with me, and they are totally fascinated with me.

“Hey, mister Anthony, are you a super-hero?” a little foal asks, giving me a gap-toothed grin.

That’s a good question, actually. Usually the first requirement of a super-hero or villain is some sort of extraordinary skill, which I most definitely have. Am I a super-hero? I shrug. “I guess so. Not really much evidence to prove otherwise that I can think of.”

I hear a chorus of ‘woooow’ from the pint-sized audience, and I see one reaching out to touch my jeans. “Sooooo cooool... Do you fight bad guys, then, like bullies and monsters?” the touchy foal asks, eyes full of wonder.

“Yes I do. Though one thing you need to know. Fighting monsters is not the same as stopping bullies.” Figure I need to get this out to as many kids as possible so that I don’t get an epidemic of bully-vengeance across the globe or something.

“But... you do fight monsters, right?” the kid gives me giant pouty eyes, and the childish hive-mind calls them all to do the same. It’s like drowning in a sea of anime eyes.

“Well yeah. What do you think this is? An oversized letter opener?” I reply, thumbing the Sword at my side.

“Ooooh!” a bunch of the foals say, looking at the smooth, potentially-leather-wrapped handle. Actually, I have no idea what the handle is wrapped in, but it’s brown and tan.

“Yeah, this is a real sword. And a lot better than those spears they give the guards.” To be fair, from the few glances I’ve gotten, those spears look solid, but somewhat basic.

“Wow! Have you ever used it to take offa bad guy’s head!?” one of the foals asks, bouncing on his hooves. I see a concerned adult look over.

I pause at the question. Decapitation? Mentioned by a young pony? “No, but I’m pretty sure I could... in theory.”

“Er, are you sure you should be talking about things like that, young mister?” the concerned adult asks of the foal.

“It’s in mah comuks!” the foal replies.

Ah the bronze age of comics, when the bad guys were allowed to kill, and so were the heroes. Shame that got them taken down until the ‘parent safe’ Silver Age... Time to keep history from repeating and being a buzzkill. “Yeah, but comics aren’t like real life you know. Think about some of the stuff in there, you know how much trouble you’d get in for mimicking that? You could get hurt. Just remember they’re nothing but books... no matter how awesome they are.”

“Do you ever get hurt?” a little filly asks, her eyes wide. “Or are you invun- ivul- unhurt-able?”

“Invulnerable? Are you crazy kid? Of course I get hurt! They aren’t called ‘monsters’ for nothing after all.”

“Oh... does your mommy make it better?”

“No, I go to the hospital. Doctors can fix things even mommies can’t... even if that’s hard to believe.” Damn, now I miss my mom...

“Oh... do you wanna hug?”

“Who doesn’t want hugs?” I pick up the little filly, and the next thing I know, I’m covered head to toe in tiny, snuggly furry bodies. I feel like I’m swimming in a sea of adorable softness! It’s amazing. Next Chapter: Chapter 163 Estimated time remaining: 9 Hours, 42 Minutes

Return to Story Description


Login with