• Published 16th Jun 2020
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The Power of Two - Locomotion

A young changeling runs away from home, only to be attacked by timberwolves in the Everfree Forest. Fortunately, Locomotion is on hoof to save her - but little do they know that she has a spy on her tail...

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Chapter 14: Soft-Hearted Hornette

The soft golden glow of the setting sun, reflected by the few wispy clouds still in the sky, provided a mellow, soothing backdrop as evening slowly descended over Ponyville. It had been a week since Twilight had delivered her probation report, and Hornette and Locomotion were on their way to attend Surfie's birthday party. Locomotion had already bought her a present earlier that day, and as they strolled through the almost empty streets, he explained to Hornette who else would be there and what their personalities were like.

“...then there's Zipporwhill – really energetic sort, she is, and really mad about animals. Lily Longsocks as well; bit timid, not unlike you, but she's a lot stronger than she looks!” he chuckled wryly. “And of course the Cutie Mark Crusaders will be there, so at least you'll have someone familiar to talk to.”

Hornette nodded thoughtfully. She was still nervous about meeting so many ponies all at once, but felt a little better knowing that Apple Bloom, Scootaloo and Sweetie-Belle would be present. “So who else is in their group?” she asked curiously. “And will they be coming too?”

“Oh, I should think so – some of them, anyway. I know Dinky's been invited,” observed Locomotion. “She's really smart for her age is Dinky – helped Surfie out with science-based homework and other stuff many times in the past, so as you can imagine...” He stopped mid-sentence, but Hornette understood what he was implying. “Same with Tootsie Flute, in some ways; she's only half a year older than me, but more than twice as mature. Mind you,” he added gravely, “she had to be, given all the flak she used to get just for having two mothers.”

“What's wrong with that?”

“Well...nothing really. As a matter of fact, most ponies are pretty accepting of same-sex couples like Lyra and Bonbon; heck, if I remember my Equestrian history correctly, I believe Princess Celestia was the first state leader to legalise that sort of thing...as far back as the 8th Century, I think. Even so, there's always the odd pony or other creature – particularly among the upper classes, so I'm told – who looks down their nose at that sort of thing, as if it's immoral or unhealthy or some such claptrap.”

Hornette frowned disapprovingly. “Well, I don't see anything 'immoral' or 'unhealthy' about those two,” she objected. She had only met Lyra and Bonbon once, and that was when Locomotion took her to their shop to buy a small sample of their sweets; but they had been so courteous in spite of her difference in species that she couldn't see them as anything other than friendly. “All I see is two ponies who care very deeply for each other and their daughter. In fact, I'm loathed to say this, but even our tyrant Queen Chrysalis wouldn't care if they were both mares – by the end of the day, love's love.”

“My thoughts precisely,” agreed Locomotion feelingly. “Heck, if Starlight were with us right now, she'd have had something to say about it.”

Hornette cocked her head, perplexed. “Starlight?”

“Yeah, Starlight Glimmer,” specified Locomotion. “She was the first student Twilight ever took on – although, to be brutally honest, it didn't start out that well.” His brow furrowed as he remembered what Starlight herself had told him about her past. “She had almost no friends whatsoever as a filly, and when her foalhood sweetheart Sunburst got his Cutie Mark before she did, she became even more isolated. It must have shaken something loose inside her, because she somehow got it into her head that Cutie Marks ruin friendships.”

This prompted another frown from his changeling companion, this time of sorrow and dismay. “Gosh,” she whispered, “that's terrible.”

Locomotion nodded solemnly. “And it got a lot worse before it got better,” he continued. “As soon as she was in her teens, she found a spell that enabled her to maul the Cutie Marks off a pony's flanks, and modified it to create this...this really creepy utopian cult. Dragged an entire village into it, she did, and made them go around with equals signs for Cutie Marks...and those broad, creepy grins on their faces...ugh!!!” He winced uncomfortably at the mental image, noting a similarly disturbed cringe on Hornette's face. “What she didn't know – and probably couldn't be bothered to learn at the time – was that Cutie Mark mutilation is a Class A criminal offence; should she be caught by the Royal Guard, she would have faced a life imprisonment without parole.”

“But why would Twilight take her on as a student if she had committed such an extreme crime?” wondered Hornette.

“Well, it's a complicated story, but the long and the short of it is that that was where the Friendship Council's first mission took place; Starlight tried to drag them into her cult too, but Fluttershy found out that she had just painted over her Cutie Mark instead of swapping it out. She exposed her treachery to the entire population the following morning, the villagers stormed the cave, reclaimed their old Cutie Marks, and the cult just...collapsed.”

“So what made Twilight and the others let her off the hook?”

“They didn't – not at first. She escaped the village and went into hiding while she plotted her revenge, and when she came back, I'm told she...literally tried to alter the timeline,” said Locomotion grimly. “You wouldn't believe the number of alternate histories Twilight had to correct; for example, there was one where Nightmare Moon had succeeded in bringing on Night Eternal, and another where Equestria was at war with King Sombra...and even one where our principals – even our entire personalities in some cases – were all muddled.”

“How muddled?” asked Hornette uneasily.

“Well, for starters, instead of hooking up with Fluttershy and taking it slow as you'd expect him to, Big Mac hits outrageously on some random mare named Sugar Belle, and somehow wins her over just by being a jerk and then building her something as meaningless as a shelf; and then there's the whole thing with Rumble having the same irrational hatred of Cutie Marks as Starlight – even starting up an entire rebellion, for crying out loud!” Locomotion paused for a moment, trying to calm himself down before he went off into an even bigger rant. Truth be told, he had already met Sugar Belle once, and she seemed nice enough – quite a bubbly sort, in fact – but the vision of her and Big Macintosh as an item (a sordid one at that) was too much for him to cope with.

Hornette only frowned gravely in reply. From what Locomotion had told her previously, she couldn't imagine this Rumble pony as a mean-spirited tearaway, let alone what Scootaloo would have seen in such a travesty of his true personality. Still, it could have been worse – a lot worse, she thought with a shudder. “Was Queen Chrysalis in one of those timelines?” she ventured.

“Yep – and it wasn't exactly a fairy tale ending. Luckily, Twilight managed to catch up with Starlight and show her the error of her ways,” finished Locomotion, hastily dodging the subject, “and in return, Starlight took them back to her past to explain why she had gone to such extremes in the first place. Twilight couldn't possibly let her spend the rest of her days behind bars after seeing that, so as soon as she had mended the timeline, she put in a good word for her with Princess Celestia, managed to get Starlight a royal pardon, took her on as a student, and the rest is...well, history!” He chortled lightly at his own wit. “She lives in the Crystal Empire now with Sunburst.”

Hornette remained silent for a while as she mulled over Locomotion's story. To hear him talk, this Starlight Glimmer almost sounded more like a wanted terrorist than a loyal student of Princess Twilight Sparkle, and she couldn't help wondering how the lavender alicorn could be so...blind to her misdeeds. But then she remembered what Locomotion had said about her lonesome foalhood, and how difficult her own life had been before she ran away; and she immediately felt ashamed of herself for thinking so harshly of Starlight in the first place. Maybe they had more in common than she realised... “...well,” she decided sincerely, “she sure was lucky to get a second chance. I just hope she made good of it.”

“Oh, she made good of it alright – a lot better than some of us had expected, in fact!” chuckled Locomotion. “See, not all of us were willing to let sleeping dogs lie, if you take my meaning...and I regret to say I was just one of those ponies; but we all warmed to her in the end, especially after she managed to fight off an angry full grown dragon single-hoofed. I think you and her would get along really well,” he added; “she's a great believer in racial equality just like you.”

“Is she really?” remarked Hornette, intrigued. Maybe she really had underestimated Starlight after all. “Gosh, I sure wouldn't mind meeting her someday if that's the case...” But her face fell again as she drifted back to reality. “...I just hope everypony else is okay with meeting me at this party.”

“Hmm...yeah...well, I'm sure they'll get used to you in time,” said Locomotion, trying not to look or sound as doubtful as he felt inside. “Heck, they'll have to once you pass your probation; and besides, at least we'll have Mum, Dad, Elli and Surfie to keep any insults at bay...hopefully.” He pointed towards a slate-roofed house not too far away; “That's the place, Hornette – No. 33 Mage Meadowbrook Road.”

Pushing her worries aside for the time being, Hornette looked up at the house in question. It was of roughly similar size to Steamer's, but its walls were of rich red brick instead of stone and timber, and its front door was set inside a small porch with a small flight of steps leading up to it. On either side of the porch was a bay window, with a further three windows above them on the upper storey – and judging by the throng of ponies in the front rooms, the party was clearly in full swing already. The young insectoid gazed at them uneasily, but her doubts were quickly swept aside when she saw Surfie waving to her and Locomotion through one of the bay windows.

Locomotion cheerfully waved back, his pace quickening as he approached the porch, and Hornette gave a friendly nod in response. They barely had to wait five seconds before Surfie opened the front door for them, beaming from ear to ear. “Hello, Loco!” she greeted her older brother.

“Hey, sis,” Locomotion smiled back, drawing her in for a hug. As he did so, he levitated her present out from behind him. “Happy birthday.”

“And from me as well.” Hornette was none too familiar with birthday etiquette, and neither did she know enough about Surfie to choose her a present of her own; but at least a friendly greeting would suffice, she told herself. After all, it was the thought that counted, wasn't it?

“Aw, thanks, Loco,” said Surfie warmly. “You two been okay since I last saw you?”

“So-so,” replied Locomotion with a grave shrug. “Still the usual hushed whispers whenever we're out and about, but other than that, we're okay.”

“Any more trouble with...you know who?”

“Well...not directly – but I wouldn't be surprised if he's been spreading a few rumours behind our backs,” grunted Locomotion through gritted teeth, casting a wary glance over his shoulder as if someone had been following him. He couldn't see anypony else around, so he promptly changed the subject; “So, uh...has everypony arrived?”

Surfie pondered for a few seconds. “Everyone who can make it, I think – except Uncle Steamer. How come?”

“No special reason. I just thought it'd be more convenient to announce Hornette to the whole party rather than one pony at a time...” He turned to Hornette. “...if you're both okay with it.”

“Oh, I don't mind,” conceded Surfie. “That alright with you, Hornette?”
The young changeling hesitated. She didn't feel any less shy with all the lively chatter and the sound of music from one of the rooms, but she didn't want to let Surfie or Locomotion down, so she put on a brave face and nodded her approval. Surfie promptly trotted off to gather the other guests, while Hornette and Locomotion waited patiently in the hallway.

Before long, Surfie's party guests had all convened in the dining room, quietly chattering amongst each other until she tapped a glass to attract their attention; “Right,” she began, “first of all, I'd like to thank everypony who could make it to my party – and for all your presents.”

A series of courteous murmurs greeted this.

“Just last week, I happened to bump into Loco and his new friend on the way to Sugarcube Corner, and...well, after getting to know her, I thought it only fair to invite her here as well,” Surfie continued. “But anyway, without further ado, I believe Loco has one or two words to say.”

Locomotion, who by now was standing just outside the doorway, stepped forward with a succinct nod. “Yes, er...about a month ago, as I'm sure you know,” he stammered, for he had always been a little shy about making speeches, “I found this, uh...this creature who had been attacked by a small pack of timberwolves...really badly hurt, she was, and I couldn't just stand by and let her suffer, so...well, it took a fair bit of persuasion, but...I-I-I managed to get Twilight to overlook her...er, species, and give her a fair trial.” His anxiety increased fourfold as he turned and gave another nod, seemingly into thin air. “So far, she's been doing really...I mean, really well; but I should warn that she's kinda sensitive, so...be careful what you say, please. But yeah,” he finished as the young insectoid stepped out from behind him, “everypony, this is Hornette.”

The awkward silence that followed was so thick that one could have sliced it with a knife. Several guests stared uneasily at the new arrival, unsure how to react; and Hornette, equally unsure what to say, shuffled timidly in place and tried to shift her mane over her face. A few hushed whispers could be heard briefly, but it wasn't until Firelli, Sweetie-Belle, Scootaloo and Apple Bloom stepped forward and greeted Hornette warmly that the ice was finally broken.

“Sure is nice to see you again,” said Sweetie-Belle kindly.

“Surfie told me you'd be coming to her party,” added Firelli heartily. “I sure am pleased you could make it.”

Hornette, forgetting to be nervous, beamed appreciatively. “Aw, thanks, Elli,” she whispered. “It's good to see you too.”

Seeing the four young mares getting along so well with Hornette, many of the other guests began to feel more at ease with having her around, and tentatively began making acquaintance with her in turn. Surfie and Firelli introduced her to their parents, a silver-white Earth mare named Fair Isle, and a mottled red and yellow unicorn stallion named Optic Strand. Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon also had a few friendly words for the young changeling. Hornette was a little suspicious of them at first, knowing from Locomotion what terrors they had been in the past; but they reassured her that they were nowhere near as bad now.

“Any friend of the Crusaders is a friend of ours,” they added earnestly.

But as the party went on, Hornette found herself feeling more and more overwhelmed. She could never have expected to be received so warmly, and neither had she realised how quickly the feeling of comfort and relief that came with it could wear off. Far from being happier in herself, she began to feel a deep sense of unworthiness, as if she didn't belong with all these beings that populated Equestria – the “master race” that paled her into insignificance. But it was a throwaway remark by Shady Daze, who happened to be nearby, that dealt the crippling blow to her self-esteem.

“It's kinda funny that...Hornet or whatever her name is hasn't gone down the same path as Chrysalis,” he was saying to his coltfriend First Base. “The way she behaves, you'd think all changelings were as bad as she is!”

“I'll say,” agreed First Base with a grave smile. “Good thing for her Loco doesn't buy into that. I'm just surprised she didn't lash out in fear as soon as look at him.”

“What, a big black softie like her? Forget it!” laughed Shady Daze dismissively. “If what Loco says is anything to go by, she wouldn't even hurt a housefly – heck, she might as well be one!”

Of course, Shady Daze was only joking; but Hornette overheard his cheeky words and was deeply hurt. Firelli, who was keeping an eye on her while Locomotion went to mingle with some of his other friends, was quick to intervene; “Alright, that's enough, Shady,” she said sternly. “You heard what Loco said earlier.”

“Eh?! What did I do?” objected Shady Daze defensively.

“Perhaps you would care for me to remind you?” asked Firelli pointedly. “He specifically asked that we avoid saying anything to upset Hornette, even if we didn't mean to; and that includes labelling her as a 'softie'.”

“So? What's the harm in that?”

“Well, forgive my choice of words, Shady, but how would you feel if someone called you a 'coltcuddler' behind your back?”

Shady Daze opened his mouth to retort, but quickly shut it again as he realised how right Firelli was. With an awkward grin and a mumbled apology to Hornette, he turned and slunk meekly away with First Base close behind, trying hard to preserve the remains of his dented pride – but not before Apple Bloom had heard the tail end of the conversation.

“Sorry about Shady Daze, Hornette,” she smiled ruefully. “He's a good sort really, but he can get a bit...blunt sometimes without meanin' ta be.”

Hornette shrugged gloomily, but didn't even look at the yellow-furred mare. “He kinda has a point...I guess,” she murmured, gazing despondently into the glass she was holding. Part of her was glad he hadn't called her a savage or an outcast, but what he had said still seemed to sting her a lot more than any malicious label she would otherwise have expected.

Sensing her misery, Apple Bloom laid a gentle hoof between her shoulders. “Are you okay, Hornette?” she asked, her voice so soft that it lacked its usual country twang.

“I'm fine,” answered Hornette, setting her glass down; but the mild strain in her voice and her repeated blinks told Apple Bloom all she needed to know. “I just need some air; it's getting kinda stuffy in here.”

“Do you want some company?” offered Firelli.

Hornette shook her head no, “I'd rather be alone,” and plodded glumly towards the front door. Firelli and Apple Bloom were so perplexed that they couldn't think how to react, and simply stared in dismay as the young changeling closed the door.

“Am Ah the only one who thinks otherwise?” asked Apple Bloom at last.

“By no means, Apple Bloom,” conceded Firelli gravely. “I can't think what's bitten her, but Shady's remarks can't have helped. I'd better go tell Loco,” and she hurried away without waiting for a reply.

As chance would have it, Locomotion was hanging out with Pipsqueak, Rumble and Vinyl Scratch in the living room. Vinyl was telling the three colts a funny story about a griffin who had mistaken one of her records for a coaster; but she hadn't even finished when Locomotion caught sight of a flash of baby blue just outside the house.

“Something up, Loco?” quizzed Pipsqueak, perplexed.

Locomotion frowned anxiously. “I thought I saw Hornette wandering through the front garden.”

“What, that changeling you brought with you?” asked Vinyl.

“Yeah,” said Locomotion, “but I thought she and Elli were gonna come and join us after they were done with Apple Bloom.” No sooner had he finished his sentence than a fresh wave of concern seemed to smother him – what if someone had ignored his earlier request? Might they have hurt Hornette's feelings on purpose? And what if she ran into some stranger out on the street? “Excuse me a minute,” he muttered, and dashed out into the hallway just as Firelli came up to him.

“Oh, there you are,” she said thankfully. “I was just looking for you.”

“Yeah, so was I!” remarked Locomotion. “What's going on with Hornette?”

“I only wish I knew,” admitted Firelli. “Shady accidentally offended her only a moment ago, but she seemed kinda low even before then. I was hoping you would be able to find out why.”

Locomotion paused for a moment before nodding his consent. “Right, well, thanks for tipping me off, sis. I'll go see if I can find her.” But just as he was about to turn towards the front door, another, much more worrying thought occurred to him; “Oh, and if we're not back in half an hour – and I'm not joking,” he added seriously, “if we're still not back by then, you'd better send out a search party. If Hornette really is as distressed as you make her out to be, she could be anywhere – and I don't even want to think what could happen if someone else finds her before I do.”

Firelli nodded back in understanding. Sure, she and the rest of Ponyville knew Hornette was on probation, but all they needed was for her to run into some stranger who came from another town or was willing to take advantage of her, and then she would really be in trouble. “I'll go let Mum, Dad and Surfie know,” she answered tersely.

“Thanks, Elli,” and Locomotion cantered swiftly down the hallway, through the front door and down towards the street. What an evening, he thought unhappily; Hornette in a tizzy, Shady Daze talking out of turn, and now Surfie's party was in danger of being ruined. He could only hope things couldn't get any worse.

But they did. Just as he was opening the gate, he froze over in anguish at what stood across his path. “My, my, we're in a bit of a rush, aren't we?” said Diesel in his oily voice. “Seems a bit rude to be deserting a family function without notice.”

“What are you doing here?!” demanded Locomotion sharply.

Diesel shook his head in mock dismay, “Tut tut tut, I was only passing by.”

“Yeah right!” scowled Locomotion suspiciously. “You'd have loved to crash this party, wouldn't you? Well, you needn't bother; I've got enough trouble on my hooves as it is, so if you'll excuse me...” and he firmly gestured for Diesel to move aside; but the greasy black Pegasus continued to bar his way.

“Why waste your energy? That changeling you call your friend has grown bored of you and your flimsy principles of...'friendship is magic',” he smirked. “She will have flown away – far away, to another 'Promised Land' where she can steal another innocent pony's love – and another, and another. Soon enough, she'll return to her real home and pass all that love onto her beloved queen, and even if she does come back...”

But Diesel had gone too far this time. The further his exaggerations continued, the angrier Locomotion became as he recalled the fear and contempt Hornette held for Chrysalis, and her reluctance to take anyone else's love without their consent – until finally he snapped. “Oh, don't be a freak!!!” he snarled furiously, and forcefully pushed Diesel to one side before stepping around him onto the side-walk.

In that very same instant, Diesel forgot to be sly and conniving, and scrambled to his hooves with a poisonous look of resentment. “Well, of all the...is that the way to treat a friend?!” he blustered without thinking.

Locomotion spun around so sharply he thought his fetlocks would sprain. “SHUT UP!!” he thundered at the top of his lungs. “You're no friend of mine, Diesel,” practically spitting the name, “and neither do you have the right to call yourself one! Hornette does because she's earned that privilege, and she's done so by being kind, and courteous, and conscientious, and compassionate, and everything you refuse to see in her!” Already, he could see that Diesel was too shocked to interrupt; and even though his harsh rant was attracting the attention of other ponies in the street, he was too enraged to care. “But you have been an absolute thorn in my side from the very moment you first showed your ugly mug! You won't leave me alone, you play around with my head, and the way you've been treating poor Hornette is nothing short of despicable! If this is the way you're going to behave when you're in my presence,” he finished, raising his voice, “then you can take your feeble attempt at a friendship with me, and SHOVE IT DOWN YOUR SORRY THROAT UNTIL YOU CHOKE ON IT!!” and he stormed away.

Diesel growled contemptuously, rubbing away the soreness in his shoulder. “You impertinent youth!” he muttered. “Just you wait! I'll show you.”

“You'll show him what, exactly?”

Without the slightest jolt or change of expression, Diesel slowly turned round. Standing just behind him was a buff-coated Earth stallion with a brown mane, a look of distrust apparent in his eyes as he glared at him. “I take it you're a relative of that insolent young buck who just insulted me?”

“And you, I take it,” put in Steamer coldly, “are the very pony to whom I allegedly spoke of every little detail of his life, no matter how confidential. You wouldn't happen to know that pony, would you – Electro Diesel?”

The black Pegasus stallion's scowl hardened. “So he's a liar as well as a hooligan, eh? Well then, Steamer, perhaps you would care...”

“Don't play dumb with me, Diesel,” interrupted Steamer. “I've forgotten more about Loco since his family moved here than you could even hope to learn by rifling through his fact file – and I can tell you right here and now that he would never snitch on anyone without a good reason, such as being...oh, I don't know, stalked by someone he knew little about!” His eyes narrowed as he pressed his face firmly against Diesel's; “Now you listen here,” he went on ominously, “I'm only gonna play it nice this once – if I ever hear of you going anywhere near Loco ever again...”

“Oh, so that's what I get for trying to protect him from a bug-eyed monster, is it?!”

“I don't care if you're trying to protect him from the ends of Equestria!” growled Steamer darkly. “You had no business creeping after those two day in and day out – that job was for Twilight Sparkle and the Friendship Council, and no-one else. You'll kindly stay away from Hornette and my nephew, or I won't show any mercy towards you whatsoever. Do I make myself quite clear?”

“Oh, yes, Steamer, of course you do, Steamer,” replied Diesel mockingly; but he quickly changed his tune when the buff stallion glared harder at him. In a much more convincing tone, he added, “You have my word of honour that I'll leave them be.”

“Good!” snorted Steamer, and marched sternly up to the front door as Diesel continued to walk down the street.

But once he was out of earshot, Diesel glowered scornfully back in Steamer's general direction. Locomotion's furious words still echoed in his mind, making him grind his teeth in his own anger. “Except that you don't!” he muttered, his voice dripping with venom. “I don't care what you threaten to do to me; that disgusting nephew of yours has insulted me, and I'm not letting it slide. Mark my words, Locomotion – you'll pay...!”

Author's Note:

This chapter pretty much sums up my feelings about the show after Seasons 5 and/or 6; and not just my feelings towards a certain Big Mac pairing. While I enjoyed watching the first three or four seasons of the show, I found that the quality was beginning to waver a bit from Season 4 onwards, what with the Mane 6 having to relearn the principles of the elements they represented, and the whole story arc with Starlight Glimmer. I mean, yeah, I've grown pretty sympathetic towards her as time goes on; but for her to rip Cutie Marks off of other ponies' flanks, mess around with the timeline and just be let off the hook without any kind of punishment?! That's like pardoning someone found guilty of multiple murders without trial! Granted, she makes up for it over the remainder of the show, but it could've done with a little more work to make it believable.

Mind you, Starlight Glimmer was just the tip of the iceberg. I'm not going to repeat my feelings about the pairing I mentioned because I don't want to get into a shipping war, but I will say I'm absolutely appalled at what they did with poor little Cozy Glow! I can understand a child being written in as a villain, but they wrote her in as a power-mad megalomaniac intent on conquering the entire world! They didn't even give her a backstory, let alone a plausible explanation as to how she became so evil in the first place - and on top of that, they had Celestia mercilessly petrify her despite her showing fear and remorse! Tirek and Chrysalis I can understand (and you'll see how I handle her later), but this just feels like the ultimate character victimisation! They could have done so much better with Cozy! They could have had those other two betray her like Tirek did with Discord, and then she could atone for her past crimes by joining everypony else in taking them both down - heck, they could've even made her apply the lessons learned from those mistakes as a Friendship Ambassador - but no! They just had to trap her in stone for eternity! That alone takes the biscuit as far as I'm concerned!

(takes a deep breath)

Okay, rant over. I can only apologise for offending or upsetting anyone, but that's the way I feel, and I just had to get it off my chest. I do aim to correct all the wrongs with Cozy's characterisation in another story, and try to make her more sympathetic than she is in canon; but I'd just like to make it clear that I still appreciate the first half of the show at least, and have no intentions of turning my back on it out of hand. In the meantime, all I have to say is...up yours, Diesel!!

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