Starlight in a Broken Vessel

by the-pieman

Chapter 34

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Chapter 34

Once I was out of the mall, my mind seemed to remember that I was no longer five years old, so I decided to just head back to the castle. Getting inside was a lot easier now that Celestia decided to tell the guards that I could come and go as I please, unless told otherwise, that is.

Anyway, I make my way through the huge castle and get to my room. I flop onto the bed, not even bothering to get under the covers. I’m worn out. But my mind is still running, thinking about what other things in Canterlot there was for me to enjoy. Well, actually, there was plenty I could do, but most of those ideas might end up with me being kicked out of Canterlot. And since Ponyville is out of the question, I honestly didn’t have anywhere else to go. I recall my first train ride to Canterlot, and the tickets that said ‘Appleoosa’. I wonder what kind of place that is. Eh, I can find out sometime later...

I’m back in Ponyville, specifically Sugarcube Corner. It’s sort of become my usual hangout aside from the library since I can get food and hang out with Pinkie. Speaking of, we had just won the prank war. Technically I won, but Pinkie decided to concede, because by this point, my pranks were getting a little crazy.

Rather than taking the victory all to myself, I figured I would share it with Pinkie. I think right now, Dash is still trying to scrub itching powder out of her coat. Pinkie raises a toast to us and our success, and we just hang out and chat, talking about the little adventures we’ve had that the other wasn’t aware of. Obviously, I stayed away from anything involving the Changelings, as I didn’t want to dampen the mood. And boy what a mood, it felt great just to sit and talk and enjoy Pinkie’s company. She’s the only person I’ve met aside from Discord who finds my kind of crazy entertaining rather than worrisome.

We’re finishing off another round of root beer floats when Luna walks in. It’s kinda strange, but I guess when you’re a princess, you don’t have to explain a lot of your actions. She’s looking around, like she’s studying the place. I guess she’s never been to Sugarcube Corner before. I decide to just say hi.

“Whassup, Luna? Grab a seat, have a soda!”

Luna looks a bit confused. “I’m... not sure I’m in the right place...”

Pinkie jumps up. “Well you are now! This is Sugarcube Corner, it doesn’t matter if you’re a princess or a party-pooper, we’ll make sure you have a great time!”

Luna was still looking around, now even more confused. “I’m sorry, I expected something... rather different, I suppose.”

I get up and wrap an arm around Luna. “Uh, the place looks like a giant gingerbread house. What in the world were you expecting?”

Pinkie thinks for a moment before brightening up. “Balloons? Music? Cake? Wait, we have cake already... uh...”

Luna interrupts. “Pardon me, but I would like to borrow Anthony for a while.” She leads me outside and I sit on the steps by the door.

“So Luna, what do you want with me?” I grin. “Aside from the obvious?”

“I assure you Anthony, that even in your dreams I do not harbor any attraction to you.”

I chuckle. “Fine, fine, I’ll drop it. So really, what do you want?”

“I wanted to see how your mind works. As I said... I’m not sure I’m in the right place. I assumed it would be a bit... darker here.”

“Nah, the weather ponies don’t have a storm planned until Wednesday.”

“That’s not what I meant.”

“Huh? I don’t get it.”

Luna thinks for a moment. “Anthony, how did you get to Ponyville?”

“On a train, duh!”

“And do you remember the train ride? Do you even remember leaving Canterlot?” That got me, because I didn’t.

“That’s odd... why wouldn’t I remember...”

“Because it didn’t happen, Anthony. You just brought yourself here to Ponyville. You’re asleep.”

“So... I’m dreaming?”

“That’s correct.”

“Well, this is the first time I’ve had a dream tell me I’m dreaming. Usually I figure that out on my own.”

“I am not part of your dream, Anthony. As princess of the night, I am also princess of dreams. I wanted to see what you were like under all of your humor and... rage.”

“So let me get this straight. You’re walking around in my mind, while I’m asleep?”

“Yes, that is correct. Though as I said earlier, I expected something... different.”

“Like what? A giant monster or something?”

“Well, that would make a bit more sense to me, given where I am. You aren’t the most stable or calm pony I’ve met. I expected your dreams to be... similar.”

“What, so just because my head is messed up, my subconscious should be as well?”

“Not necessarily, but that’s usually the case. Either way... why’d you dream about Ponyville. Why not your home?”

I sigh, leaning back. “Luna, if there was any way for me to be sent back, I’m pretty sure you, your sister, or Twilight would have discovered it by now. As far as I’m concerned, this is my home now.”

“But, none of us have even tried looking for a way to send you back. Perhaps Twilight has, but neither I nor my sister has done any research into such a matter.”

“Really? Huh. Well, I guess it doesn’t matter. I like this place better anyway. Sure I’m a freak of nature in Equestria, but at least it’s because I’m not a pony. When you’re an outcast by your own species... it’s different.”

“I understand. For a while, I was an outcast as well. But that’s a story for another time.”

“It wouldn’t happen to have anything to do with Nightmare Moon, would it?”

What!? How do you know...”

“Twilight told me the story of how she met her friends, and she couldn’t exactly do that without mentioning Nightmare.”

“D- do you think that I...”

“No way. Come on, look at yourself. You’re not evil. If anyone around here was to become evil, I think my chances are a lot higher.” Suddenly my mind flashes back to the vision I had, specifically the part where I stabbed Luna through her throat. I shudder.

I should get Luna out of here before things start to get dark. “Well, I appreciate your company, princess, but I think I’d like it if you left.”


“If you want to talk, you don’t have to be in my dream, just... just ask me.”

“But why can’t we talk here? After all, we’ve been doing so thus far.”

“I... I just don’t want you here. Now that I realize this is a dream, I’d rather you left. My mind isn’t a nice place.”

Luna takes a cursory glance around. The sun is shining, not a single cloud in the sky, there’s birds chirping... all that happy-feely garbage.

“This doesn’t seem so bad to me.”

“Luna, please. I’m afraid I have to say that tonight it was just luck. You are right to think that, at times, my mind is a scary place.”

She pouts. “Don’t try to make yourself seem what you are not. I know I expected more danger here at first, but your mind is no darker than that of any other foal I’ve met while Dreamwalking.”

I sigh. I need to prove it. I don’t want to, but... “Alright Luna. You didn’t quite ask for this, but I warned you. You want to see every aspect of my subconscious?”

“It can’t possibly be that bad. Your bravado suggests otherwise, but I feel you are merely putting up a front.”

“Would you like to see another dream I’ve had?”

I close my eyes. If this is a dream, I can change our surroundings. I choose Canterlot. The way I remember it in the vision. The city burning. Changelings destroying everything in sight. Then... myself. Luna and I look down upon the me from the vision. Glowing green with power, preparing for the fight with the princesses. I turn my head. I can’t watch as the dream-me impales Luna with his sword before cutting off her head. I hear the Luna beside me gasp.

I have to look. I can’t turn away. The both of us watch as the dream-me steps on Celestia’s throat, destroys the Elements, laughs as he kills Twilight and her friends with his scythe... I end it there. We’re back in Ponyville. I’m shuddering. I never want to do that ever again. “Luna... just... leave my dreams alone, okay? If you just want to talk, I’d much rather we do it while I’m awake.”

Luna nods somberly. “Yes, I... suppose that is for the best. I will let you rest now.”

“Thanks.” I go back inside Sugarcube Corner. The sight of Pinkie at the table waiting for me, smiling... I feel better. I’m not going to be that person, I can’t be now that I’ve stopped Chrysalis. I sit down with Pinkie and enjoy the rest of my dream.

Next Chapter: Chapter 35 Estimated time remaining: 30 Hours, 37 Minutes

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