Starlight in a Broken Vessel

by the-pieman

Chapter 188

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Chapter 188

We get to town, wondering where Applejack is. She has the other ingredients. Except for- “Twilight, where’s the syringe of Fluttershy’s blood? Where does she have any family buried?”

“Oh! Right, I have those in my case.” She pulls out a small... lunchbox. Well, if it works, it works. I take it, and pull it open, still moving along as I do. Sure enough, inside is a few cotton balls, a little blue cloth bag that’s probably for the dirt once we get it, a syringe with a cap on it. There’s another cap in here, probably for the one I’m carrying.

I put the cap on mine, not feeling comfortable with a bare needle filled with vampire blood in my pocket. Placing it in the lunchbox, I hand it back to Twilight.

“Back to my other question. Where does she have family buried? The fact that I just killed an ancient vampire not making much difference if we can’t cure Fluttershy.”

“Oh, yes. Fluttershy was born and raised in Cloudsdale, as we all know, but what she hadn’t told anypony but Rainbow Dash before tonight is that her father was an Earth Pony. The only reason she wasn’t raised right here in Ponyville is that he passed away before she was born, and her mother-”

“Exposition later, find dead dad now! Where’s he buried?”

“Ponyville Cemetery! I can teleport us there and exhume some dirt, but I won’t be able to run after that, I’m exhausted.”

Well, as long as she doesn’t say she feels drained we might make this work. “Fine. I’ll take the syringes. Teleport me there and you go get Myrna to help with the digging.”

“We just need some dirt, I can rip a patch of grass up, and you can take the dirt itself.” Twilight says, shoving the lunchbox at me, then shuts her eyes and concentrating when I take it.

Wait... Applejack has the other ingredients. How would she know where to find us? Damnit, this is not going well.

With a ~poof~, we teleport. Ponyville cemetery is rather small to be honest, but not devoid of gravestones, just less of a cemetery and more like a bunch of holes dug in the ground, filled and a pre-engraved slab of stone shoved in the ground for a marker. There aren’t rows and there’s no real pattern, mounds in the grass wherever. That’s pretty disrespectful if you ask me.

Twilight, panting, reaches out with her magic when she nears a certain headstone, and simply pulls up a four-foot-long section of turf, revealing soft dirt and loam beneath.

“Hope that’s deep enough to be considered ‘grave’ soil.” Just to be sure I dig a few clumps of dirt out and get some from about half a foot further down. Shoving the dirt into the sack and shutting the lunchbox, I tell Twilight I’m going to find Applejack. “Hopefully she’s got everything else we need.”

“J-just go. I c- can put up... a ward. Just... justin case.” Twilight says, panting. After a moment, a pale dome forms over her, barely visible and thinner than a razor’s edge.

Running for the orchard in the dark, the moon offering just enough visibility to not run into every tree in my path, I run into Rainbow Dash first. “Where’s AJ, she got the stuff?”

“Yeah, she said she had to grab something first, though.”

As I wonder what she could be grabbing, I look around. I’m not even sure where she’s grabbing the whatever from, or I’d go there and hurry this up.

When I see AJ, I start running to her, and skid to a stop when I see what she’s got. A saddlebag on one side that looks beaten, and possibly made of leather. The other side has what I can only describe as a mounted crossbow.

“Hope it won’t come to it, but I hope you got practice with that thing. We may only have time for one shot.”

“‘Cordin’ ta family tales, it only take one. But as y’ said... let’s hope it ain’t needed, sugarcube.” She tucks her head into her saddlebag, and pulls out a bag and tosses it to me. “Already ground it. We c’n mix it at Shy’s. Y’all got the other stuff right?”

“Shy’s blood, her dad’s graveyard dirt, and the blood of a full-fledged ancient vampire. Getting the last one wasn’t pretty. Or easy.”

AJ pauses. “Wait, that’s the same one that got ‘Shy in the first place? Ah... Ah think Ah may need another bolt fer-”

“No need, dealt with him already, explain later, run now!”

“Right!” AJ says, and she, RD, and I get a move on. I don’t Spark up, if only because I don’t want to be exhausted if it comes down to it.

“So...” I pant as I run. “We... how do we... give it to her?”

“She’s gotta drink it. All of it.” Dash says, sounding grossed out. Honestly, given what I’ve collected... I’d be grossed out too at virtually any other time hearing that.

“Wait,” Rainbow says, “where’s everypony else?”

“Haven’t seen Rarity at all. Twilight’s in the cemetery resting, I bandaged her neck up after she got bit. Pinkie-” The name flashes the image of her dead body into my mind and I fall, tumbling to the ground far behind the others. They turn, worried. “Just fucking run!”

“You have all the ingredients, Anthony!” Rainbow Dash says, zipping back and getting me back on my feet.

I get up. “I... I’ll tell you about Pinkie later... Let’s just go.”

Rainbow looks a mix of extremely depressed and scared. “Come on man, let’s just get this to Fluttershy... we can deal with... other stuff after.”

“Yeah...” Wasting no further time, we continue our dash to Fluttershy’s, and only slow down once we’re just a few paces from the front door.

Without warning, a piercing shriek fills the night, and I’m moving before I can think.

The door is slammed off its hinges, and I’ve got my Sword drawn and ready by the time my foot has finished falling for the next step. Inside, I see a pale white body off to one side, blood on the floor. In the middle of the room, I see that Clark is unconscious or... no, there’s no blood on him. Atop him, though, is Fluttershy, tears in her eyes and mouth open wide. The only thing stopping me from swinging right now is that her fangs are still spotless, and she’s visibly resisting the urge to strike Clark while he’s down.

She shrieks again, shaking her head violently, tumbling from Clark and clutching her head with both her forehooves.

As much as she’s resisting, I can’t take any chances, so I rush over and, sliding underneath her, hold her down against me, forelegs forced out to the sides by my hold. “Someone make her drink it before she really snaps!”

“Wait, we need one more thing!” Dash yells. “But what’s her heart’s desire?” I look over, and see she and AJ are already mixing the brew in a bowl, AJ keeping herself turned towards Fluttershy and I, the crossbow on her side cocked and ready to fire.

“How should I know? Angel Bunny?” Speaking of, he and every other animal around seems to have completely disappeared, no sign of them being around since... Idunno, yesterday? This morning? “Well if it is him, then we’re shit outta luck. What do we need from her heart’s desire?”

“Blood. It’s the last ingredient we don’t have, but I doubt this’ll work without it.”

I look around and my eyes fall on Clark’s sleeping body. Oh fuck it, better than trying nothing. I reach for a window curtain and, tearing it from the window, wrap it around Fluttershy, essentially bagging her. “Get me a knife and a bowl or something over here.” wait... better idea. “Actually, give me one of those empty needles.”

AJ brings over one of the mostly-empty needles and drops it into my palm. “Careful there, pardner. That one’s Fluttershy’s, but Ah wouldn’t want Clark gettin’ anythin’ nasty from her Vamp blood.”

“Like we have a choice? I doubt that I could get enough blood otherwise fast enough without cutting of something that won’t repair itself.” I jab the needle into his human arm and fill the syringe back up to full, noticing that there’s really no consistency or color difference between human and pony blood at all. It’s really kinda interesting. Aside from the fact that I’m holding a needle full of it, it’s-

“Hey, you done there? I think ‘Shy’s getting restless.” Snapping back to reality, I pass the needle to Rainbow and move back to the bag where Fluttershy is crawling out. Need to get her to keep her mouth open... Now how do I do this... Uh... Oh fuck it.

The pegasus, disheveled and tear-streaked looks up, her eyes watering. “A-Anthony... I’m sc-”

“Sorry about this, but I can’t take chances.” I grab a small stick and, whacking the pegasus in the back, she yelps and I put the stick in her mouth, wedging it open. “Now, give it to her!”

Rainbow takes the gross, chunky-red concoction and, with me tilting ‘Shy’s head back, pours the disgusting stuff down her throat. I pull the stick out of her mouth and use some curtain fabric to tie a crude muzzle, forcing her mouth shut and I cover her nose. Need to make sure she swallows it.

After a moment, she gulps, and I uncover her nose. Fluttershy gasps for air as the muzzle slips off, her red-ringed eyes slowly focusing. “Anthony, I- I’m so-” suddenly, she cries out, then falls to floor, and begins vomiting, a thick, black tar-like substance pouring past her lips and out her nose as she whimpers pitifully.

As she makes choking noises, I can hear something like bones breaking rapid-fire, and her open mouth reveals her fangs flattening, like erosion in sped-up stopmotion.

She squeaks in pain, shuddering violently, and heaves up blood next, the sticky red fluid coating the floor and beginning to dribble from her eyes.

Finally, it stops, and Fluttershy simply lays on the floor, unmoving, a puddle of red and black spilled from her mouth and nose, her eyes shut.

I lean closer. “Still got a heartbeat, and she’s fangless. Success.” The yellow pegasus shudders again, but doesn’t open her eyes.

We all look at the mess Flutters puked up and Rainbow makes a gagging noise. “Relatively speaking...”

“Anyway, now that the first part’s over, we need to clean up a bit.” The mares look at the floor.

“Sorry man, all yours, I’m uh... allergic to cleaning.”

“I meant getting Clark and Rarity cleaned up and taken to the hospital. I... I gotta go take care of something.” I grab the curtain and plan to use it as a bag again. “I’ll... I’ll be back.”

“Hey, you can’t just leave us to carry Clark! He’s heavy!”

I turn and scream at Rainbow. “If you want to clear up Pinkie’s headless body, be my guest!” My breath heaving, I head into the night before she can respond.

Next Chapter: Chapter 189 Estimated time remaining: 5 Hours, 11 Minutes

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