Starlight in a Broken Vessel

by the-pieman

Chapter 56

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Chapter 56

As we waddle back to the building the party’s booked at, the Cloudburst Begins, and we’re soaked almost instantly.

“Nice try, but you pranksters will have to do better than that.” I enter my Heat form and evaporate all the water off of me.

Vinyl looks over at me, her ‘do already waterlogged and flat. “Dude, the rain’s scheduled for today, it must be three already. I guess we’d better hurry after all. Vinyl Scratch hasn’t been late to a gig yet, and I don’t plan on that changing!”

“Right, rain schedule. Forgot. I guess I’m just used to this prank war. Pinkie and Dash are going down someday.” I grin. “You uh, gonna need some help drying off when we get inside?”

She nods, her mane flopping in the rain.

We step inside, and the first thing she does is shake like a dog, her entire coat and mane poofing out. While this means her mane is back to being in those natural spikes I’m used to, the rest of her looks so... poofy!

“Ha! Oh man I wish I had a camera! This is gold!”

“Ah, just dry me already!” Vinyl sounds a touch disgruntled.

I begin generating heat again and wave my hands around her body, heating her up to dry her off. The heat drying leaves her entire body still poofy, no matter what she does to try smoothing it down. Honestly, it’s very cute, but I can understand it’d totally ruin her hard DJ persona forever.

“And that’s why you shouldn’t shake. You end up looking like a giant stuffed animal.”

“Argh! I’m so fluffy I could die!” Vinyl shouts, while trying to pat her fur down. Deciding to help, I try petting her fur back into place, keeping my hands warm, to act kind of like hair straighteners.

She smile and leans into my ministrations, and I realize she’s falling asleep when she sort of tips towards me, and I have to pat her on the face to make her wake up.

“Oh, sorry dude. those fingers are awesome. Hey, if I get my hoof chopped off, you think they could make a robot arm with fingers on it, like in comic books?”

“Probably not. Well, maybe, but it might not work exactly the way you expect.”

“Ooh, but think of the possibilities!” She starts heading towards the stage’s side entrance. “All the things I could do... all the ponies I could do them to...” She grins widely, obviously thinking of what she could do with a robo-hoof-hand.

“I can probably think of all the things you’re imagining.” I say, wiggling my fingers. “But trust me, if you chop off your hoof and find out that they can’t replace it, you might as well paint ‘idiot’ over your Cutie Mark.”

“And then, the hangover the next morning will be the least of my problems.” Vinyl quips back, and we step up onto the stage.

“Alright, I’ll let you do your thing, miss Master DJ. I’m thinking I’ll give a few sample songs of my own later.”

“Alright, fine. You go mingle, I’ll hold the fort. Thanks for the dry-off and brush down, man.”

“Aw, it’s the least I could do.” I then give her a grin. “Count yourself lucky I decided to not leave you with a poofy rear-end.” I walk off to hang around the other party guests, chuckling at the mental image.

I wade out into the sea of ponies who’ve showed up, and I get a big hello from Pinkie. She still makes me smile just by being herself, even if ‘we’ won’t go anywhere. Besides, friendship is all I really need. I just needed to get that kiss out of my system. I find a place to sit down and just relax. I figure it won’t be long before someone comes over and wants to chat with the ‘Hero of Ponyville’.

The first pony that comes up is accompanied by a parent, and the little filly comes over and puts a hoof on my leg. It looks like her parent is going to pull her back, but I just say. “You know, if ya wanna know something, you can just ask, little filly.”

The filly looks up at me with big, soft eyes. “Can I have a hug?”

The mother, apparently thinking I don’t like kids or something reaches out to pull her daughter back. Killjoy parents are annoying. I pick up the filly and give her a hug. Not very hard, but still firm enough to constitute an actual hug rather than just a light hold.

The filly snuggles into my embrace, eliciting a smile from me. I chuckle as I put her down gently. The mother looks disapprovingly at her child. If it weren’t for the fact that the two look almost identical, I’d have a hard time telling they’re related, actually, given how differently they act.

The mother pulls her daughter away, muttering angrily at the child. I can’t really do much more than make a scene, and decide not to push it. That said, if I see a way to give that filly a brighter day in the future, I’m taking it then and there. In fact, that gives me an idea. I’ll have to ask Rarity if she can make me a shirt that says “Free Hugs” on it...

“Anthony! It’s so good to see you here at the party!” I don’t get a chance to respond before Pinkie has glomped me, hugging me close for a moment, then letting me go.

“Well, it is for me, and even though the first one for me didn’t really last that long, I attended, didn’t I?” I boop her nose.

“Heehee! Yupperoonie, you sure did. Hey, you should play some games with me in a little bit! There’s all sort of party games available tonight!” Pinkie doesn’t wait for a response before pronking into the crowd. For being a neon-pink bouncing pony, she disappears in crowds eerily easily.

When she mentioned party games, the first thing in my head was ‘Twister’ but then I remembered that, being quadrupedal, it might be either really easy, or near-impossible for them. What else would they have?

As I try to think of possible pony party plans, another of the colorful equines comes up, a youngish looking mare with a cautious, hopeful look on her face, and at least four friends trying - and failing - to urge her on from the sidelines surreptitiously.

“I, ah, uhm...” Her pick-up lines need some help, I can tell. “Could, I, uh...”

With less than ten syllables spoken, she’s already made herself blush bright enough to call home lost ships through the fog.

“Yeeeeeeees?” I ask with a grin, extending the word to urge her to finish her request.

She continues to stumble over her words, blush growing ever redder with every stuttered syllable, and she keep glancing back at her friends. It’s almost a full minute later that she finally says something coherent. “C- could I a-a-ask you t-t-to th- the uhm, dance?”

“Ah, a school dance huh? Well aren’t you the brave mare. I’m not sure if I’d be entirely welcome, but... maybe you’d have better luck asking a stallion. I appreciate the offer though. You’re nice.” I give her a sweet smile, letting her down as gently as I could. I didn’t want to do anything like that, I hated school dances, but I didn’t want to be a jerk.

“N-no, the d-d-dance here. A-at the party.” I see her friends begin looming eagerly behind their friend.

“Well, that’s a different story. I suppose one dance wouldn’t hurt. Sure, why not? Though it might be a bit odd dancing with someone with only two legs, fair warning.” She nods, then runs back to her friends, and the whole group squees and moves off, likely to get a dance for one of the others.

I shake my head and chuckle. I’m a freaking stud. Shame none of them are my type. Human that is.

A tall, well-muscled stallion, perfectly white coat and golden-yellow mane, strides towards me, the crowd parting almost instinctively for him. His advance is like watching a glacier on fast forward, and about as inevitable. He stops right in front of my chair, standing as stiff as a new recruit with a drill sergeant nearby. After several moments of him not moving or saying anything, I decide to speak up, instead of waiting any longer for him to do something.

“May I help you, sir?”

He salutes, and barks out, “No, I am here for observation only!”

Hmm, if that stick was any farther up, it’d be photosynthesizing out his ears.

“Well, what you see is what you get, just a guy who likes a bit of action.”

The pony doesn’t respond. For all he does anything, he could be a statue, and I don’t think I’d notice any difference.

“You waiting for a goodbye kiss?” I ask with a smirk.


“Well, I see no reason to keep you. Seriously though, if you want to be taking notes from heroes or something, I’m not the one you want.”

“No. I will be fine. I am waiting.”

“For what? Me to do something cool?”

“No.” My, isn’t this a stimulating conversation.

“Well, then what is it? As much as I enjoy this riveting chat, it’s becoming rather boring.”

“I am waiting.” He continues to stand, and I notice that he’s stood there long enough that the other ponies have started reacting as if he’s either a piece of furniture or a pillar in the middle of the room. He is really still.

I lean back in the chair and fold my legs. “Okay. Then wait. I don’t have much to do except play some music later. Oh, and dance for a bit I suppose.”

When the pony doesn’t respond, I sigh and decide to stop paying attention. I’ll see if he’s still here when I get back from playing the songs.

I walk up to the stage by Vinyl, Lyre in hand, and wait for her to finish her current set.

As she finishes, I step onto stage, and hold out the Lyre. Vinyl announces that I’ll be providing a song from my homelands, and I chuckle, realizing that these ponies have no idea how awesome what I’m about to do is going to be. I hesitate for only moment when I see that the Soldier Pony is front-row center in front of the stage, once more as still of a weeping angel and almost as scary.

“Alright everyone. I like your music and all, it’s great. But I wanna show you what us humans call ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’. This song is called Levitate.”

I Spark up and begin strumming the Lyre, and watch the ponies’ reactions, and only turn back when I realize that part of the song is coming from behind me this time. It seems that the Lyre’s magic is co-opting Vinyl for some of the music.

In moments, almost every pony in the club is hopping, bobbing their heads, just about anything their bodies can do to get the music vibes moving with them. For the entire duration of the song, I play and sing along, the sounds of an entire band pouring from me and Vinyl together.

I’m panting as the song ends, slightly out of breath, but it feels like an almighty rush. I grin out at the crowd, and get ready to blow their minds again as they grin back. I can see Pinkie weaving between ponies to pass out drinks and hors d'oeuvres

“I have another song planned, but it’s... a bit different. I’m not entirely sure how well you’ll like it, but I think I’m gonna give you something a bit... heavier. This one is a Hard Rock song called Divide.” As soon as I start, I know it’s a huge transition, but I really want to show these ponies what kind of music I like.

The ponies stand stunned for a few moments, but as the lyrics hit them, I see a few heads bob, and a few ponies are starting to smile as well. Almost halfway through, most of the ponies have at least started nodding along, and a few are bouncing in place a little.

I am, however, getting a few unhappy looks from what I’m guessing are the parents, judging by the fact that they have their hooves over a foal’s ears.

I’m not going to stop though, I like this, besides, seems others do as well.

I finish the song, and stand on stage, starting to understand why musicians love to perform so much; it’s a real rush. Although, once more, my star form has picked up the shadows-to-starry-sky effect, and I still my Spark to get rid of the effect.

“So, how was that?” I ask. “I suppose we like our music a bit rough...”

Many ponies, but not all, cheered. About a third seemed to be in favor, half are about neutral, and the rest don’t seem to like it.

“Well, I’m fine with a bit of criticism. Those that enjoyed it, thank you. Those that didn’t, I apologize for having a much different culture from yours, and I forgive you for your racism.” With that, I walk off the stage.

Right in front of me is the Soldier Pony again, startling me. It’s weird, because I never seem to see him move, after that first time. “Relinquish the artifact.”


Next Chapter: Chapter 57 Estimated time remaining: 27 Hours, 25 Minutes

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