Starlight in a Broken Vessel

by the-pieman

Chapter 66

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Chapter 66

The susurrus of fallen leaves being stirred by something sliding across them alerted me to movement. I turned around, the tiny clearing’s light driving away my ability to see into the gloom. What was worse, is that the sound seemed to come from everywhere at once, and I have no idea what powers to use. Sparking up is a good all-around, but if the creature is immune or resistant to my abilities, or is some sort of ghost...

Growing would also be good, but it might make me just a bigger target if it’s some kind of beam attack. Coal would be useful, but I forgot to bring some with me. Hopefully, whatever it is is flashy enough that I can stop it.

I see the faintest glint in the darkness around the clearing, and I find myself staring into two bright, jade-green eyes. Instantly, I feel a searing, blinding pain in my eyes, and I drop to the ground, Sparking up on reflex. The agony is unbelievable, and I can’t see anything at all. A blank, black void has replaced my vision, and my hands go to my face on their own.

Through the shock and pain, I can feel that my skin around my eyes has turned hard and smooth. I also can’t feel the skin around my eyes.

I’m not completely petrified like Rarity, but I’ve been blinded completely, and the burning sting in my... well, where I used to have eyes, is almost unbearable! I try and use my powers to reverse the effect, but as usual with magic that’s already taken effect, I can’t remove it. All I’ve managed to do was prevent the effect from spreading, but the pain and the blindness make it horrifying. I can’t see, and I’m stuck here, defenseless...

“Oh my goodness! Are you alright?” a feminine voice calls out to me, and I feel a pair of human-feeling arms circle my torso, hauling me up to my feet and patting my face. “Oh, what happened to you?”

“I... I don’t know! I... I’ve been blinded, and it stings. All I recall is these glowing eyes, and...  wait, who are you?”

“My name is Myrna. Also, how are you glowing?” I feel myself be steadied and held gently, maybe even gingerly, at what I’m guessing is arms reach.

“Long story short, I’m basically a baby star. I think if it weren’t for my powers, this would have happened to my whole body. I think that’s why I’m not like my friend here.” I gesture to where I think the Rarity statue is, I could be pointing in the opposite direction for all I know.

“Wait, your friend? I thought that was a statue! Someone’s been leaving them all over around here - and I’m not even sure where ‘here’ is.”

“Okay. Uh... hold on, gimme a sec.” I try and clear my head, focusing on accepting the darkness, rather than fighting it. “You are, well, we are in the Everfree forest on the outskirts of Ponyville. And If my theory is correct, some demon or something is going around turning everyone around here to stone.”

I hear a hiss, not unlike a dozen snakes being agitated at once. “What? But how c- wait, did you say ‘Ponyville’?”

“Yeah, the citizens are all ponies. They’re nice, but are scared of just about anything they haven’t seen before.”

“Really? That’s... awful. did you have to escape from them or something? Wait, ponies like your friend there? So are you friends?” Jeez, Myrna could probably at least give Pinkie a challenge.

“Not in any order, yes this is my friend. Her name is Rarity, she’s the local fashionista and owns a clothes shop. And no, these ponies will more than likely be the ones running. They’re nice, but  cowardly. Seems that being skittish is just in their nature, so don’t let it bother you.”

“Alright... uhm, ever since I got here, I, uh, changed... a lot. Do- do you think there’s anyone in ‘ponyville’ that can help me? Or at least help you?” Myrna asked.

“Well, my first suggestion would be Twilight Sparkle. She’s the librarian. She’s real smart, but kind of annoying in my opinion. If you can, I’d suggest you ask the princesses. Wait, what do you mean... changed? What are you supposed to be?”

“I’m human! Well, I used to be, I guess. Now I’m all... snakey.”

Another human!? And she’s not some crazy demon! Awesome... oh man I just wish I could see.

“Okay, let’s see... uh, we need a plan. I told Fluttershy to let Twilight know I’d be here looking for Rarity. Since I’m not coming back, she’s supposed to come in and find me with some backup.” I sigh. “It seems that for now, all we can do is wait for the rescue party and make ourselves noticeable.”

“I think... I think I can do that.” I feel her gentle grip on me vanish, leaving me alone in a void. “One of the things I found when I got here, was that I can move stone.” I hear a sound like a shoe being dropped into pudding.

Great. This chick just comes by and can manipulate stone, and I’m stuck with just coal. That’s just unfair! Oh well, I guess I have other powers.

“I can make myself seen pretty easily as well. Aside from the baby-star thing, I’m human as well, by the way.” I focus on powering down... though I’m not sure if it works since I can’t see anything. “So you say you’re snake-like... how about you describe a bit more?”

I hear another shoe-in-pudding sound, and the rumbling of stone grinding on stone. Then, Myrna speaks up once more. “Well, I’m still me from the waist up, and I’m really glad I still have my hoodie and what’s left of my jeans. I just wish they weren’t ripped to shreds, but they cover enough. The big change, though is, uhm... Idunno how to say it, but I’m kinda a snake from a little past my hips, and my some of my hips, too. I’m really big now, I think, like, fifty feet long or more.”

“Human torso ending in a snake tail. Tell me, has your skin become a bit tougher, or has your tongue changed at all? How are your cuspids?”

“Uh, I’ve got scales on my arms and some other places, and my tongue is pretty normal, I guess. Haven’t really looked. It’s a lot longer now. What’s that got to do with anything? And what are cuspids?” At least she sounds genuinely interested, not just confused.

“I’m basing your physical appearance on another creature to determine what you might have become. Your cuspids are your sharp teeth, your fangs, eyeteeth, canines, whatever you wanna call them.”

“Oh... no, all my teeth are sharp. I cut my tongue a bunch when I first found out.”

“Well miss, it seems to me you are a Naga. To clarify, you are a creature that is part human and part snake. Or rather, serpent to be more exact. You have the sharp teeth, the tail for a lower body is a dead giveaway, and some Naga have snake-like tongues.”

“Oh! Like in DnD! Wait, I thought naga only have human heads?”

“Well, also, naga aren’t supposed to exist. I think we can agree that the universe is allowed a little leeway in creating a physical creature based on pure fiction. But yes, like Dungeons and Dragons. Dragons, by the way, exist here.”

“Oh my gosh! I love DnD. This is going to be so cool, isn’t it?” I can feel her wrap her arms around me again, and this time I feel myself get pulled against her chest. It’s a very nicely cushioned chest, too.

“Yeah, it’d be even cooler if I could see and my friend wasn’t literally stoned. Let’s draw some attention, shall we?” I Spark up, and think of how I could make a spectacle of myself without knowing my surroundings.

“Here, lemme get you onto the rock spire. Oooh, you’re all warm...” I feel thick, strong coils, likely of Myrna’s, wrap around me, and I can feel myself rise steadily. The coils shift a little tighter as we stop moving, and she wraps her arms around me again. “You’re so waaaaarm...”

“More facts then. You seem to have cold-blooded traits. You might not be entirely dependant on outside temperatures, but you seem to definitely be affected by them.” I pause. “As such, I’d suggest standing far back if you can, because I’m about to get a lot warmer.”

“Oh... alright then. Be careful, it’s a pretty steep drop.” I can feel her reluctantly slide off of me, one last gentle squeeze from her coils before she lets go. Again, I hear the shoe-in-pudding noise. I really wish I knew what that was. Musings aside, I prepare to light up as best I can.

I enter my Heat form, summoning the fire around my body. I can hear it crackling lightly, but still I see nothing. That doesn’t matter though, as I don’t need to see to concentrate anyway. In fact, it seems to help. I focus on doing what I did with Twilight’s little electricity test, but with fire. I try to generate as much heat as I can, to become a walking inferno. Surely it would get some attention. I keep going, burning, I’m probably giving off a ton of heat, but what I need right now is light.

A stifled scream from below catches my attention, and I realize something: The heat has to go somewhere.

“Oh, shit! Did I burn something!?” I wish I could see, but if something is burning, my Heat form would at least protect me... but not Myrna...

from below, Myrna calls out. “Uhm, you kinda, uh... melted the top off the chunk of stone you’re standing on. It almost hit me, and I had to move Rarity, too.”

“Yeah, sorry. Being a living star is a bit... risky.”

“Well, as long as you’re okay...” she calls up. I decide I like her voice, it’s kinda similar to Fluttershy’s, with a touch of Twilight’s ‘I actually know stuff!’ tone.

“Oh trust me, you’ll know if I’m not fine. It’s everyone else I’m worried about.”

Several minutes of standing on what was presumably a giant pillar of glowing-hot rock, I hear wingbeats. Rainbow’s voice cuts through the void. “Hey! Twilight sent me and a few others, did you find Ra- woah! What happened to your face?”

“Stuff can be explained later. Yes I found Rarity. She’s a statue, and I’m blind. The naga down there is a friend.”

“What’s a naga?”

“Half human, half snake.”

“huh, weird. Didn’t know humans could swing like that, but whatever. I’ll go and make sure they’re okay, I’ve flagged down the others. Also, why is this rock glowing and hot?”

“Because I’m too hot to handle.”

“Ha ha, whatever.” I hear her wingbeats recede, then stop entirely. Then, a loud thunk.

“W- what the? Is that a pegasus? Why is it stone?” Myrna calls out.

“Stone!? Shit, this is bad! We need to find out what’s causing this.” I’m starting to panic now. Where could that evil, heartless demon be?

Next Chapter: Chapter 67 Estimated time remaining: 26 Hours, 3 Minutes

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