Starlight in a Broken Vessel

by the-pieman

Chapter 83

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Chapter 83

Instead of a stress-relieving tilt-a-whirl ride, all I hear is a faint ‘pop’ and I’m standing on the icey-cold floor of a cave, faint light illuminating everything.

I sigh and Spark up. The others will either follow or stay. I’m giving them five minutes before I go off without them.

Almost immediately, Anne steps through, and she hugs me as she comes through. Honestly, though, I’m only barely able to care after all that. Twilight, Cadence, and Pinkie each step out after that.

“Where are we?” Cadence asks, looking around the cave in wonder. Twilight has no answer.

The light from my Spark catches something in the dark, making it shine brightly for a moment.I walk towards where the shine came from holding my now-flaming hand up to it.

A glistening pool of faintly purple stuff lays in a shallow depression of the ground, rippling slightly. The dancing light of my flames occasionally cause it to shine in reflection, and I shake my head. It doesn’t smell very pleasant, and I’ve heard enough about DnD not to stick my hand into any unknown liquids in a dungeon or cave.

“It’s mysterious purple not-water. Moving on.” I hold up my hand to cast light around the room, looking for a tunnel out of the cave. As if in response, the small glowing patches around the room light up brighter which causes the entire cavern to brighten, and the shape of crystals make themselves known on the ceiling. The glowing crystals reveal an unremarkable tunnel to one side, more little puddles of the purpley goo dotted here and there. There’s some kind of rubble where some form of obstruction had closed off this chamber in the past.

I just head for the tunnel, and make sure the others are still following me. I sigh. “Well, that ‘vacation’ was sure a waste of time...” The ponies don’t say a word, and I see Anne looks hurt.

“Yeah, okay, saving Anne is a big deal and all, but really. Wunderland wasn’t at all what I expected. Don’t tell me any of you think differently.”

“Well, I liked getting to say hi to my Granny Pie...” Pinkie says hesitantly.

“Yep, and now Twilight can’t use magic. I suppose that might be decent trade.” I say sarcastically. “Maybe we left too early. We could go back and see if we could lose a limb to something too.”

I see, out of the corner of my eye, Cadence and Pinkie wince, but Twilight’s too far back for me to see without turning my head.

“I know that the place can be fun, but face it, there’s too much stuff over there that wants to screw with you or kill you. Wonderland is a wonder.” I pause for a moment, then spit out a caustic finisher. “A wonder you can get out intact.”

That pretty much kills the conversation, and we walk out of the cave in silence, reaching the exit from the tunnel with ease. Outside, it’s late evening, and we’re right near a small path down a hundred feet or so to the outskirts of Canterlot.

Which is in flame.

“Of fucking course...” I sigh before running off to save the day... in my underwear. I am not up for this, but I’ve gotta.

All of us make our way down the path, except Cadence, who flies down. Just as the four of us get to the bottom, we see the problem. A massive, no colossal wave of purpley sludge pours down a street, and I see ponies get flattened by it. Faces, each no more complex than a mouth and two eyes, form all across its body, making ‘mm-bah!’ noises in an eerie chorus.

“Okay guys.” I begin. “What is it, and how do we kill it?”

Twilight just stares, aghast, at the tide of purple muck, and even Pinkie doesn’t seem to know what to do. Anne is clearly no more in the know than I am.

As I try to figure out what exactly to do, a team of royal guards, in their silly-looking armor, run towards the gelatinous mass. I expect them to be overwhelmed, but instead they glow with some kind of energy barrier when pseudopods of goo lash out at them, deflecting the blows.

The five ponies begin making a magic barrier to redirect the flow away from the houses civilians are fleeing from.

“Welp, looks like they got this handled. I’ll be back in Ponyville, getting some clothes. If you need anything, please, hesitate to ask.” I say, just making my way to the train station. I may not be able to get a ride but I can at least follow the tracks back. Quick-stepping rapidly down the tracks, I make it back to Ponyville in time to see a cascade of the purple ooze begin to pour off the sides of Canterlot.

“Yep, problem taken care of.” I lazily make my way to Carousel Boutique to get another set of clothes. I figure I’ll get a dresser in my room later. Meandering through the town, I realize it’s been evacuated already. Whatever, just means I can get my clothes without Rarity whining about the last set. I step inside and go over to where I’ve seen her put her ‘finished projects’ that aren’t shipped immediately.

Digging around, I finally pull out the clothes I need, and put on yet another set of nearly identical clothes.

‘At least there’s variety’ I think sarcastically. Jeez, you’d think a fashionista would have a bit more imagination. I put on the clothes and begin to head back to the library. Seems Ponyville has been evacuated. Due to a purple ball of goop in a mountain city literally miles away from them. Pansies...

I lay back on my bed, thankful for the rest. I wonder how long I’ve been gone... It was only three days on that side of the Gates, but I have no idea what that means for here. I’m about to fall asleep when I hear a gurgling sound from some ways away. It starts out pretty faint, but it’s getting louder, and sounds kinda like a bunch of ponies singing while gargling marbles.

I get up and look out my window and see a tidal wave of purple heading towards the town, hundreds of the faces on it.

Right, ponies can’t protect themselves worth crap. Or from crap by the looks of things. I head down the stairs and outside. If it’s goo, it should conduct electricity like a wet sponge. I discard my apathetic demeanor. It’s hero time.

“Come on, snot-ball, you want this? Come and get it!”

I see dozens of ponies near the base of the flood of goo, and stop for a moment when the chorus, and what its source is, hits me. The flood of gel rears back for a moment as the unicorns form a shield, and the disturbing tide’s roar of gross voices rise to a crescendo. Forming a spike of goo, covered in mouths and eyes, the slime-monster pierces the shield through sheer mass and impales one of the ponies.

The pony looks down at his chest as the spike retracts, pulling him with it. From the inside, he dissolves, turning into more purplish goo. Well, an electrical charge should keep that from happening. That is the basis of an energy shield, after all, and it should work with a huge enough power source, like a living star. I run up to the monster.

“I’ve fought meaner things than you. So just go home and spit those ponies out, or I get mad.”

“M-bah doo-aaah!” Man, whatever it is, it’s no conversationalist.

“Fine then, I’m gonna save this place one way or another. If it’s a whoopin’ you want, then bring it on!” I leap towards it, going into my Dynamo form and leaping at it to fry this thing just like the bookwurm. Only I can do it from the surface.

“Get ready to fry, you-” My fist strikes the creature.


Instantly, a numbness begins to spread up my arm, and my charge fizzles, dissipated. I can see it beginning to engulf my arm, and I phase through it on instinct, crying out and jumping back.

Gah, why did I even bother fighting it? I step back, cradling my arm as I see Myrna, covered in stony plates, race around the blob and begin dragging stone walls up around it to close it off.

All the ponies are cheering her.

None are even looking at me.

Yeah, I get it now. I just turn away and walk off to the edge of town, not that I really care about where I’m going. There’s no anger, even at the ponies that have so obviously discarded me after my fame ran out. Why bother with anger? Not like I want to waste any on them anyway. They’re not worth it.

Screw it, maybe I can climb a tree. With any luck, they’ll just piss off and leave me alone...

Next Chapter: Chapter 84 Estimated time remaining: 23 Hours, 15 Minutes

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