• Published 8th Oct 2022
  • 1,730 Views, 21 Comments

Rebirth in Starlight - Gusto Starstorm



Managing a town? Difficult. Managing a town while pretending to be their leader? Near impossible for Sora.

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I - Truth of the Village (Part 1)

The instant Sora opened his eyes, the plain wooden ceiling above him reminded him exactly where he was. Part of him had hoped that last night had been a bad dream, but as he raised a hoof up just to confirm the situation, it became clear that this was reality.

He was still a pony, and still a girl.

Certainly not an ideal situation to be in. But Sora had dealt with far worse, and far freakier. Sure, it was something to get used to, but nothing he couldn't achieve.

Without a single word, Sora trotted over to where his bag was, fumbling with his newfound hooves to open it. Eventually, he undid the latch, and its contents were revealed once again.

Now that his mind wasn’t distracted by the wave of newness, Sora could properly look over all the equipment once again.

Aside from the two remaining elixirs, his outfit, and his armor/accessories, the Keyblade wielder was delighted to find several of his Keychains. Very important ones—ones that he has went out of his way to maximize their potential via the forging process—at that. Though, interestingly, there was a pattern, being ones that leaned heavily on magic, or at the very least, had magic prowess comparable to their physical ability.

Among the Keychains, he recognized the ones for Shooting Star, Hunny Spout, Ultima Weapon, Grand Chef, Oblivion, and most importantly, Oathkeeper.

But upon seeing that last keychain, Kairi’s old lucky charm, Sora’s expression immediately went somber.

“That’s right… I forgot to give it back to her,” he whispered, all the joy having left his body. “And it’s been Nomura only knows how long since I last saw her.”

Having dreamt of home last night, that thought hit like a punch from Hercules. How long had it truly been since Sora had seen his friends? Weeks? Months? Years? Were they still searching, and if they were, would they ever find him here?

“Oh, come on,” he told himself, shaking his head vigorously. “That kind of attitude ain’t gonna help anything. I’m sure they’ll find me one day.”

A small smile graced Sora’s muzzle. “Our hearts are connected. We’ll meet again, for sure.”

Thus, with that issue placed on the proverbial backburner, the man-turned-mare focused his attention back to the house. It was a nice place, but much like before, he couldn’t help but wonder who it belonged to. The image of the soulless town was still fresh, and thus, it was easy to surmise that this was a part of it.

Maybe whoever owned the house could help him get his bearings.

And as if answering a prayer, a creaking sound could be heard. The door was opening, and someone was here.

“Oh, good! You’re awake!”

‘Relief’ didn’t even begin to describe Sora’s mood upon hearing that. Another pony, and he was happy to see him awake. Perhaps this was his savior, having brought him in from wherever he had been found, and protecting him from the elements. If that were the case, then he would certainly have answers about the strange town, or about the brand on his flanks.

But that relief would not last. As soon as Sora gazed upon his supposed savior, any plans forming came to a screeching halt.

He was pure white in coat and hair, reminding Sora of Maximus in a way. Blue eyes and a short mane were two defining features, though the manestyle seemed rather… plain. Honestly, it was hard coming up with adjectives for this pony, because nothing about him stood out. Some part of Sora felt bad for thinking that, but it was true. Not even his brand was unique, merely being the same equal sign on the Keyblade wielder’s own flanks.

But of course, the worst part was his smile. It was perhaps the fakest thing Sora had ever seen, about a thousand miles away from reaching his eyes. And forced, to boot, like he was trying to keep up appearances.

Were the denizens of this town as soulless as the village itself? If so, then this would not be easy to adjust to.

“We’re so happy to see you’re alive and well,” the stallion said, his voice sounding genuine, yet strained to Sora. “Are you okay? We’ve been worried about you ever since the rockslide. That blow to the head looked very serious.”

“Well, I can’t complain,” Sora answered hesitantly. “But… where am I?”

The white stallion said nothing, eyes widened over one simple question. Unease washed over Sora as he gazed upon the fearful pony’s visage.

And then, he spoke.

“Did you… forget Our Town?”

“Our Town?” Sora asked. “Is that what this place is called?”

“Oh, say it ain’t so! Starlight, did you… did you forget us?”

The man-turned-mare intended to comment on that, but would never get a chance, as his mind fixated on one little word in that.

“Starlight…?”

“Yes, Starlight Glimmer! Do you… n-not even remember your own name?”

In an instant, the horror written on the white stallion’s face paled in comparison to Sora’s own. His pupils were pinpricks and his mouth agape, looking to his guest as his mind struggled to process that.

“S-... Starlight? Are you okay…?”

It took a few seconds before everything clicked again, and Sora shook his head free of the million and one thoughts pervading it. With a nervous chuckle, he looked back to the stallion, opting to try and play innocent.

“Oh, yeah, sorry,” he said with a forced smile of his own. “That must have been one heck of a blow to the head I took, huh? I’m sorry to say, but I can’t really remember… anything, really.”

Disappointment was the only answer to that, before the white stallion tried his best to shake it off. He put back on that same creepy smile, and approached Sora once again.

“Well, no matter,” he said. “We’re all here to help you, Starlight. I’m Double Diamond, and you’re our friend. We’ll help you regain your bearings.”

“Thank you so much,” Sora said, offering a genuine grin. “I suppose my name’s Starlight Glimmer, then? And we’re living in this place called ‘Our Town’?”

“That’s right! It’s our own little home, founded by you, as a place where ponies can be truly equal!”

“Truly equal, huh?”

Double Diamond began going on about something else, but the words were unfortunately drowned out by Sora’s own thoughts. Something about that sent Sora’s inner gears spinning.

What exactly did he mean by ‘truly equal’?

Were ponies treated differently in this world? And if they were, then based on what? As far as he could tell, the only difference here was that... Starlight Glimmer... had a horn while Double Diamond didn’t.

And if this Starlight pony was trying to go against that, then that made her a good guy. Suddenly, the appearance of the town seemed a little less creepy in Sora’s thoughts. Maybe this whole thing was a work in progress, and he’d been too quick to judge. Maybe the smiles were to keep up morale, and Double Diamond was among those doing his best for the townsfolk.

But the very thought made his stomach turn, as now the situation was infinitely worse. He wasn’t just turned into a pony, he’d possessed an already existing one.

Memories of Xehanort’s horrific control of Terra bubbled to the surface, and Sora had to fight back the urge to retch. Never in a million years would he want to possess another being without their consent, and he seriously doubted Starlight Glimmer agreed to this…

Yet here he was, stuck in an unfamiliar world, with an unfamiliar body. And to top it all off, he’d just deprived this world of a good mare.

‘No! Don’t talk like that, Sora!’ he mentally chided himself. ‘You’ll just have to do right by her and protect her ponies until Starlight’s returned. It’s the least you can do for her.’

The gears continued to spin, but this time for a very different reason. Sora knew that if he wanted to do right by Starlight, he’d have to learn more about her. And he certainly didn’t want to cause a panic by revealing that something was amiss. Double Diamond had given him an out, via a rock to the head and a bout of amnesia, but he still needed to be careful in front of the others.

This was a delicate process, and it would require Sora to do something he hated doing:

Lie.

“Starlight? Are you okay?”

“Um… fine, I think,” he chuckled. “I was just trying to see what I actually do remember. But, uh, I’m honestly drawing a blank.”

Once again, Double Diamond flinched at that.

“Look, you seem like a reliable pony, Double Diamond. I know if I’m as important as you said I am, then that must mean me not knowing is gonna throw a whole lot of things out of whack. Do you think you can help me?”

“Of course I wi-”

He never got to finish that sentence, as a loud crash interrupted their conversation, and their train of thought. The front door was blown off its hinges, and lying unconscious on the floor, a dark blue unicorn.

“Party Favor!?” Double Diamond exclaimed, fear obvious in his voice.

Eyes darting toward the new arrival, Sora quickly got an answer as to who or what had done such a thing. An answer that shook him to his core…

“Heartless!”

Sure enough, the beasts that had assailed Sora and his friends since the beginning of their first journey together were just outside Starlight's door. His eyes caught sight of a few different breeds, from the typical Shadows, to Fire Cores, to Satyrs. The sheer amount was hard to glean, but that wasn’t much of a factor in Sora’s eyes.

Because no sooner than seeing them, was Sora out the door. Summoning the Kingdom Key into his new muzzle and running as fast as his new legs would take him, Sora rushed toward the enemies. It was still a bit awkward getting used to his new pony body, but thankfully, his time in the Pride Lands helped fill in any gaps.

And good thing, too. There was no way Sora would let the Heartless hurt these ponies.

He wasted no time at all, slicing through a Shadow like a hot knife through butter, and following through into an upward spiral against another. Once in the air, he aimed a Waterga at the nearby Fire Core, obliterating it in an instant.

From his peripheral vision, he saw another Fire Core aiming a Firaga Spell at him. Instinct kicked in, and Sora spun around to block the blast. While he had succeeded in doing this, he felt Starlight’s body get pushed back.

He’d have to keep that in mind. Usually, his midair block did no such thing…

Multiple flaming Heartless zeroed in on the boy-turned-mare, and tried to catch him with their various attacks. Sora did his best to block them, but from his left, one Flame Core just barely managed to get through and attack. He let out a cry of shock as the attack sent him into a spiral, falling to the ground.

Searing pain surged through the area that had been hit, gritting his teeth only barely helping to take his mind off it. Already, he was starting to miss his armor, this new body’s weaknesses becoming apparent.

‘Can’t take a hit at all…’ he thought, struggling to stand back up. ‘I’ve gotta be careful about this.’

Seven Shadows surrounded Sora on the ground, and he responded with a spinning slash, ending their attempted assault before it could begin. It took a bit longer than he would have liked to return to his stance, but at the very least, the Heartless were falling.

Yet something about how easily these Heartless fell seemed off. It took a moment of thought, and as Sora saw the sheen of his weapon’s blade, it clicked.

‘It’s still got all the upgrades!’ he thought, smiling at that fact. ‘Sweet! My spells’ll be even stronger with that!’

With this knowledge in hand, Sora landed with a bit more confidence. A Large Body slid at him from the left side, only for Sora to dodge and pelt it in the back with a Firaga spell.

But upon doing this, a second detail became apparent. His fireball was FAR larger and moved faster than usual. This seemed odd, given he knew what his usual Firaga looked like. But this wasn’t necessarily his usual Firaga. This was a Firaga fired from Starlight Glimmer’s body…

‘She seems to have a lot of magic,’ Sora mused while jumping up and casting another Waterga at the nearby Flame Cores. ‘I’ll have to use that.’

And use that, he would. Charging up electrical energy, Sora felt a bit of that power, like it was pooling into Starlight’s horn. It was a curious feeling, one he could not explain, but one he ran with.

“THUNDER!”

With a mighty cry, he felt the Keyblade leave his mouth, and heard the familiar crackle of a powerful Thundaga spell. Surrounding him in a torrent of electricity, the resulting magic obliterated any foes that got near, with the same perfect precision he’d developed for years. A flurry of hearts rushed out, freely fading away now that they were released from their prison.

Scanning the battlefield, it quickly became apparent just how strong the spell was. Only one Heartless remained, a lone Satyr, staring down an unconscious unicorn like a predator eyeing prey.

“Leave her alone!”

The Satyr looked up to Sora, their two glares meeting each other.

And before anypony could so much as blink, the Heartless made the first move, lowering its helmet and charging at Sora with everything it had. Hoofprints embedded an inch deep in the ground as its feet slammed down, each step taken with purpose.

And in response, Sora swung around, bringing his Keyblade out of his mouth and using both hooves in an attempt to block the strike. Key met helm, as the armored monster kept pushing, and the little pony tried to keep himself standing.

Unfortunately, one side was far more acclimated to hooves than the other, and eventually, Sora’s footing faltered. He stumbled back, and the Satyr followed through, trampling him in the process.

Deep, shooting pain was all Sora felt, as the thunderous hooves slammed down on Starlight’s chest. He could barely breathe as the beast moved past him, and it took all the effort he could muster to pull himself off the ground.

As the Satyr turned around to begin charging again, Sora got up to his hooves. Breathing heavy, legs shaking, and pretty sure he had at least one fractured rib, but he would not back down. As he stared at the fast-approaching Heartless, the fact that he wouldn’t be avoiding this one was apparent.

‘Okay, fine,’ he mused. ‘Defense is off the table… offense it is!’

Digging deep inside himself, Sora felt a great warmth envelop Starlight’s body, centering once again in her horn. It felt like magic, but not the type for combat; more all-purpose, but specifically like an ethereal grip. Memories of Master Form flooded his mind, as he recalled the feeling of magic coursing through his hand so strongly that he commanded his Keyblade without even touching it.

This felt similar. And so, he would run with it.

Following the feeling in his heart, Sora felt the Keyblade leave his mouth again. When he opened his eyes, it was clear what had happened, as a deep blue aura enveloped the handle. Pointing the Keyblade directly at the Satyr, he felt Starlight’s hooves go cold, as he unleashed a mighty spell…

“FREEZE!”

From the tip of the Kingdom Key, a burst of Ice magic shot toward the Heartless, who charged into it with reckless abandon. The instant the cold met its body, it branched outward, multiple spikes shooting off and into the sky above. The townsfolk watched on, audible gasps at the display in front of them.

And at the site of the carnage, Sora could only watch on as well, searching for any last trace of the beast.

Sure enough, his eyes caught sight of it. A single heart, floating up to the sky before fading away.

Finally, despite the internal damage, Sora could breathe easy again, if only for a second.

Using the rest of his remaining magic for a quick Curaga, he dismissed his Keyblade, taking in the surrounding area once again. Other than a bit of smoking wood and some terrified townsfolk, it looked like no one had gotten hurt. That was certainly a relief for Sora, after all of the bad news this morning had dropped on his head.

“Is everyone alright?” he called out, bringing the ponies to attention as the ice spire dissipated. “Nothing broken?”

The townsfolk remained stunned silent, and looked on with horror in their eyes.

Was this their first time dealing with the Heartless? He’d seen that look of shell shock before, and it would certainly explain a lot.

Evidently, someone decided to make a move, as Sora heard hoofsteps behind him, and fast approaching. When he turned around, he saw Double Diamond, looking at her with the same shocked expression. Only, beneath the look of horror, the boy-turned-mare saw something more.

Was it… betrayal?

“Starlight…” Double Diamond asked. “What was THAT!? How did you DO all that!?”

The only thing that ‘Starlight’ could do in response was flinch.

‘Uh oh…’

Author's Note:

It should not have taken me four months to write 3,000 words, but here we are. :twilightblush:

In reality, I was just sort of stifled at the time. In addition to life being... well, life, I've been not really sure how I wanted this first chapter to end. Then, I thought I'll make it a two parter, and do the same with Moonlit Sky.

Regardless, I'm glad to be back, and I'm going to do my damnedest to make sure that this doesn't take me another 4 months to get Part 2 out. Of course, I do plan on continuing Perceptions before I even start working on the next chapter, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Thank you so much for tuning in. The reception to the prologue was absolutely incredible, and I hope you guys like what I did here.

Until next time, my friends!

Comments ( 7 )

nice work

That's true. Starlight is now very unique. Oh well, the situation demanded him to take action.

Great work! This was fun to read

there goes the plan

Good story so far, hope this continues!

Uh-Oh in deed I bet Some of the water washed off the cosmetic cutiemark

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