Starlight in a Broken Vessel

by the-pieman

Chapter 190

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Chapter 190

Still deciding on what to do, I just sit in the rain. It’s not cold, just wet. Which is rather surprising for Winter, but I guess I’ll take what I can get. I know that I really shouldn’t feel so rotten. I took no pleasure in killing Pinkie, and there’s other Pinkies still, nobody’s mad at me... so why do I feel like this?

“Hey.” The soft voice catches my attention, even though it’s barely audible over the rain. The steady ‘plink plink plink’ of rain on metal tells me who it is.

“You’re here to tell me that there’s no reason to be upset and that I didn’t do anything wrong and since I feel bad I did it, that proves I’m not a psycho-killer.” I sigh, expecting mostly the same talk I got from Applejack. “Well, I still feel like total crap anyways against all reason.”

“Uhm... actually, I was just going to ask if you wanted company. You look like you need a hug.” I hear the sound of Anne settling onto the wet grass beside me.

I sigh and pull Anne over to me, her metallic bits somewhat uncomfortable, but her down is rather comforting. “I just don’t really get it. I killed a vampire and saved someone from turning, and counting what I did with Pinkie, I’ve saved this town from being vampire-thrall central three different times in the same night... but I feel like dirt because... well... I know that Pinkie would be really dangerous but... what if there was some obscure remedy that worked even after they’ve gone full blood-crazy?”

A sound like something dropped into pudding comes from behind us. “‘What ifs’ don’t get us anywhere, Anthony.” Myrna’s voice calls out.

“Now that is the dumbest thing I’ve heard ever. And I’ve heard a lot of dumb things. What ifs gave us things like electricity, wheels and ice cream. What ifs get us pretty damn far to be honest.”

Acting on ‘What If’ is what gets us places, but dwelling on them doesn’t.”

“So what do I do? Just move on from the fact that, despite that it was under strenuous circumstances, I murdered Pinkie Pie? I stood over her and sliced her head off and... and... and I’m supposed to believe I’m still a good guy here?”

I feel Myrna hug me as well, her body surprisingly warm. “Yes. Because you, sitting here and mourning? It means you’re not a monster. Monsters don’t regret. You did it to save yourself, your family, your friends... that makes it the right thing.”

“So killing for a ‘good’ cause is okay? As long as you regret that you hurt someone it wipes you clean of what you did? You can just apologize and cry a murder away? Everyone says that because I regret this and that I was doing it to protect others, it keeps my slate clean, but my insides tell me different. This was wrong.”

Neither Anne nor Myrna say anything, they just keep holding me.

The rain keeps falling.

I still don’t know how to feel about all this, and I know why everyone thinks I’m being too hard on myself, maybe I am, but I feel I deserve it! I do! I killed Pinkie Pie. I mean, no matter how many times I hammer it into my head it just seems like I still don’t get it... I killed Pinkie Pie! And just because my reasoning is ‘good’, that means it doesn’t matter how she died.

I saw the town. I saw the princesses. I saw her family! Nobody was happy, which is obvious but... I did that. Just because there are ‘backups’ and that I didn’t want to do it... Pinkie is still headless and buried and everyone there looked absolutely destroyed by this.

And I did that to them. No two ways about it. It was my sword, my arm, my intention. Not my desire, but everything else was intentional. I needed to kill her. Sure maybe I’m not evil but I certainly don’t feel heroic. Foals and grown ponies alike were crying if they weren’t silent. Pinkie knew everyone, and that means everyone knew her, every single person in this town lost a friend today. It wasn’t even a clean death...

And I’m expected to not feel like a monster... As if I should just brush this off as ‘life sucking’ and move on.

I look up as I hear footsteps on the wet soil and see Clark walking through the rain, alone. He doesn’t seem to notice the downpour.

Eh, might as well see what he’s up to. “So, uh... is Fluttershy still alright?”

He turns when he hears me, and gives a smile like any other he’s had since he got here. “Yeah, she’ll turn out fine.” He absently itches at the thick white cast over his demonic arm. The plating had looked like it was shattered from the dozen pairs of needle-thin puncture marks. “So, what’s got you down? I mean, I would’ve expected a wake or something similar, but everyone but the Pinkies are so dour right now.”

“Well, when you’re the one who caused the death there’s usually only a few ways for one to react. Frankly I’m shocked nobody around here wants my head cut off too.”

“Nah, ponies aren’t like that. Still, why are you so upset?”

Because I’m the fucking reason she’s headless and buried!”

Clark nods. “Ah. Hey, just as a question, am I a monster?” He looks at me, his question sounding oddly sincere.

“If you are, then it’s less so than me. So far my ‘kill’ count is two if we don’t count demons. So, what’s your count so far?”

“Idunno, lost count after eighty.” Clark answers without missing a beat. “Wait, do midgets count for half or full score?”

I chuckle a bit. At least he’s still funny.

Clark looks at me funny. “No, I mean it. The clan said they weren’t worth full, but we never got around to actually giving them a set ‘value’. And I’m assuming you mean in some form of combat, of course, or it’s higher.” Clark thinks for a moment. “Do those that died during torture count, too, or just ones I actually killed directly?” He asks me, his face and tone serious.

“I...” I blank for a bit. “Alright, I get it. Everyone’s right about everything and I’m wrong about everything. I’m a hero who can do no wrong no matter what, and you’re just some psychopathic killing machine and I should just-”

“Woah, woah, stop right there. While the ‘psychopathic’ part’s probably true at this point, I’m pretty sure nobody could mistake you for a flawless white knight anymore. You didn’t torture that Pinkie to death right?” he pauses for a moment, and I shake my head. “Well, you’re better off than, like, ninety-percent of the things I’ve known while I was part of the clan. The reason you’re not a monster is because you’re beating yourself up about this. And y’know what? That’s good. You ever stop feeling bad about just killing people close to you, or that you’ve learned so much about? Cut your throat, ‘cuz you’re a monster. Or, don’t. Monsters are useful, after all.” Clark reaches over, and pats me on the shoulder. “After all, I’ll heal from what Fluttershy did to me, and I’ll do everything in my power to help her feel better for injuring me, because I want to be the one handing out forgiveness. It gives me power. There, my mindset in a nutshell. You? You’re doing this because you haven’t broken and died inside yet. The longer you can avoid that, the better. Anyways, sleep well, Imma go and eat something tasty and sweet.” He licked his lips on the last word, and then spins on his heels and leaves.

...he does know that the cheapest and best sweets in this town are at Sugarcube Corner, right? Why’s he heading the opposite direction? Eh, he’ll figure it out later.

I start walking around town and something furry pushes itself into my hand like a cat that wants pettings. Looking down, I see one of the Pinkie clones. “We got everypony else feeling better. Yours is the last sad face we need to fix.”

“I may not be so easy.” I sit down on the damp ground and start petting the Pinkie, who seems to enjoy ear-scritchings as much as Twilight does.

“Well, we’re gonna have to try extra hard then. Come on girls!” I’m suddenly half-tackled by the other two Pinkies out of nowhere and they start tickling me.

“S- stop, that’s not... not fair! Lemme go!”

“Not until we see a smi~ile!”

“Augh, th- this is ch-cheating! No fair, I don’t know where- where your tickle spots a- are!”

“I could show you.”


“Nothing.” The tickling resumes and it doesn’t take long before I start laughing.

“I give! I give, you win- hahahahahahahahaa- st- stop, please!” The Pinkies get off of me and I get a chance to catch my breath. “You’re a bunch of cheaters...”

“We just like to see you happy! It’s no fun if someone’s all frowny. Sure not everything’s okay, but it will get better, but only if you keep a positive attitude. We’re making sure everypony around is going to be okay. It’s kinda weird attending my own funeral in a way, but no weirder than there being fo- three of me. But that means we can spend three times as much time with everyone and still keep them all happy!” She gasps and grabs me. “I could throw a party in Cloudsdale, Manehattan, and Canterlot at the same time!”

“Cloudsdale? You can’t fly or walk on clouds, Pinkie. None of you can.”

A Pinkie gives me a playful glare. “Never underestimate the lengths Pinkie Pie won’t go to to throw a party.”

“Fine, fine, but one thing kinda bugs me. If Pinkie only has one room at Sugarcube Corner but there are three of you... who sleeps at the bakery and where do the others sleep?”

“Well, we take turns, but two of us sleep in the bed, and the third gets to sleep in the closet with the fluffy towels! I’m always so jealous when it’s not me.” The other two solemnly nod. “But we all sleep at the bakery!”

“I’ve actually tried sleeping in a closet before. Either the towels weren’t fluffy enough or it was the fact that I had to sleep curled in an uncomfortable ball in order to fit... but I prefer a bed.”

“Well, beds aren’t all bad I guess. They have plenty of uses...”

One Pinkie looks a bit confused and the other one says “Trampoline! But the last time we tried that, Mrs. Cake made us stop because we were making too much noise... So we do it when they’re out.”

“I kinda grew out of jumping on the bed when I was tall enough that when I tried, I hit my head on the ceiling.” I shrug and the Pinkies wince collectively, one of them muttering a sympathetic ‘owch’.

“Well... the ceiling’s pretty high in our room! You can jump there until the Cakes get back!”

I think about that. “Maybe another time. Maybe tomorrow?”

“Yeah! We’ll all be there, and don’t you be late!” One of the Pinkies immediately produces an invitation, listing the time, and the exact address of her bedroom. After handing it off, the Pinkies then high-fi- er, hoof each other and get going, giggling and looking just so happy.

Did I agree to something I didn’t intend to agree to? Next Chapter: Chapter 191 Estimated time remaining: 4 Hours, 56 Minutes

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