• Published 28th Jun 2012
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A New Hero - Alex The Lone Wolf



What if there was another pony who joined the pony gang? (Look at longer description...)

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Just Another Star

Yawn.

Lift.

Drag.

Fix.

Stare.

Out the window.

What was I going to do today?

Seriously?

This town is fine and all, but things get boring pretty quick.

I searched for my tastes and cravings, and a Frappuccino sounded good at the moment. Do they serve those here?

Either way, I didn't want to stay at home any longer than I had to, so I began dressing myself up to go outside. Just as I had finished putting on a subtle amount of makeup, I heard a knock at the front door.

What does he want now?

I rolled my eyes, slid my bang over to the side of my head, and almost carelessly walked down the steps towards door.

"Yeah?" I answered as I stared at the condition of my hooves, paying no attention to who I had been expecting at the door.

"Starlight…?"

My right eyebrow lifted after hearing a different voice. To my invisible surprise, I caught sight of one of my co-workers, Shredder. His name matched his profession. He was the guitarist.

"Wow. I had to see it to believe it. You really are a unicorn."

"Hmph." I shrugged off. "Is that what you came here for? To see if I really did have a horn?"

"Well, after you confirmed the artwork cover for the next album, it was kind of hard not to. Besides, I didn't come here just for that. I wanted to see how you were doing. You weren't planning to stay from practice too long, were you? We gotta start playing sometime or we're out of a job."

"Cool your hooves. I'll be back soon. I'm going to go get my coffee now."

Just before I could move on, he stopped me by stepping in front of me.

"Wait. I've got something for you too…" He pulled out what looked like a letter. The first thing I noticed was that it was from Fillydelphia. "It's from your old man. Wanted me to pass it to you since I was heading over here."

"Huh." I observed the letter for a bit before throwing it inside. "I'll read it later. I could use a meal right now."

"That makes two of us. Mind if I tag along?" He asked.

My eyelids lowered from suspicion. Seriously? It was plain obvious he didn't want to join me because he happened to be hungry all of a sudden too. Whatever. I can't say that I've really talked to anypony else.

"Whatever." I returned, walking on forward without bothering to glance back to see if he followed behind.


We sat at a table at the café they had here in town. The food was pretty alright. However, when I asked about a Frappuccino, it seemed the closest they had was a French vanilla coffee with whipped cream on top. Might as well.

"So…everything been good?" He asked, glancing at me from his menu every now and then.

"Yeah, I guess." I merely scanned through the menu.

"Learned any…magic tricks?" He chuckled.

I only glanced up towards him to return an unamused expression.

He quickly wiped the smile off his face and focused back on his menu.

Ever since we were schoolponies, Shredder has had a thing for me. He still did, and I wasn't sure if he'd ever let it go. It's not like he doesn't know that I don't have any kind of interest for him. He asked me out when we were school, and I refused. But that still didn't stop him from trying to pretend his crush for me didn't exist. However, I didn't know if I could blame him. I can't say that I've really felt any kind of feelings for anypony else. I don't know why. Still, if he knows, or at least he should know, that I don't have any kind of plans or feelings for him, why does he keep trying with me? It just annoys me.

The waiter dropped off our drinks and took our orders.

"So…I'm surprised you don't have a crowd around you. Is it the new look?" He asked.

"Maybe." I took a sip from my cup. "Or maybe it's because the ponies here are as laidback as they look. I guess it doesn't surprise me. They have a prince and princess that live in this very town and you don't see them kissing their hooves twenty-four seven. The most kind of excitement you'll see from anypony here will be the schoolponies, but they'll get excited over anything."

"Uh-huh…"

The rest of the wait remained quiet as I just stared off into the distance, taking small sips from my cup of coffee every several seconds.

Since he brought back memories of our days as schoolponies, I thought back to when he confessed his so called feelings for me. If I remembered correctly, it happened during one of our last few years of being in school. Why did I deny him so quickly and maybe even harshly? It's not like I hated him or anything. It was just that I really had zero interest. I had zero interest in everypony, really. I remember not feeling well at the time. That was around the time when…Alex had already left.

Did I…feel guilty about him leaving? How? I had hated his guts. I honestly even told myself constantly that I wouldn't give a flying hoof if anything had happened to him. But I couldn't deny the fact that something changed about me after he left.

Honestly, maybe even when I met him again at Canterlot, I denied that idea of him causing any kind of change in me that I continued to still purposely haunt him even then. I know we sort of…put the past behind us…but thinking about this now, I can't help but feel angry and disgusted at myself. I acted like such a tool.

"Tch." I unintentionally let slip out through my lips.

"What?" Shredder responded. "You don't like the food?"

I didn't know what he was talking about at first before I looked downwards and noticed that our orders had arrived.

"The food is fine." I ended the conversation before it could be explored any further than I wanted it to be.

Calmly but frustratingly chewing my food, I now felt myself plagued with thoughts of my own hauntings. Shredder has had to deal with this side of me for the longest time, so keeping to myself throughout the entire meal wasn't anything different for him. In fact, had I acted the opposite, he'd think I wasn't the real Starlight. But…wasn't the whole point of my new look supposed to mean that I was different? I guess things don't happen overnight after all.

"I guess I'll start heading back then…" Shredder mentioned, getting up from his seat and dusting himself off. "I'll see you soon?"

"Yeah…" I decided to remain at the table for a little longer.

I heard his hooves crunch the grass as he walked off, but then he stopped for some odd reason. "I like your new look. I really do."

I guess I was caught a little off my guard when I heard him say that, but it wasn't anything too surprising that made my reaction noticeable. "Thanks."

Afterwards, I assumed he finally left when the only noise I could hear was the light chatter of the other ponies at the café. I sighed and buried my head onto my forelegs for an unknown period of time. I felt tired, even though I had just eaten.

A conversation by a group of ponies that apparently sat near me, based on how close their voices were, seemed to separate itself from the other blended chatter among everyone at the café.

"I do wonder how he is doing… Have any of you seen him lately by any chance? I'd like to hear what he thinks of this new arrangement I'm working on. Oh…would he like it? I wouldn't want to let him hear it if it isn't any good yet." A sophisticated yet familiar voice sounded quite distraught.

"Chill out, Tavi!" A voice that contrasted the previous by a landslide, in my opinion, replied. "Why are you so worked up over him? You don't really seem you when you talk about him, you know? Usually, you're so…I don't know…cool? After all, you didn't give much a hoot when you first met him, remember?"

"I-is that so…?" Her voice lightly stuttered. "Well, maybe it's because he's a prince and princes are such a very significant authority figure that govern our land. I don't find it the slightest bit odd that I handle things in a different manner when it comes to him."

Prince? There's only one prince I know. It's gotta be him, isn't it?

I looked up and took notice of the ponies consisting of the conversation.

"Uh-huh…" The pony with the bright neon-colored mane responded with a hoof supporting the bottom of her chin. She looked like she was observing suspicious behavior.

"What?!" The pony she had been talking to abruptly turned her head to the side, away from her apparent friend. "Why are you looking at me like that?!"

"Oh…it's nothing…" She turned her head and faced a blonde mare that sat with them. "What do you think, D.D.?"

"Maybe she's just hungry." The mare responded with a ditsy voice that also hosted a bright grin.

"Oh, she's hungry alright." Neon pony said a bit strangely.

"What is that supposed to mean?!" Formal pony raised her voice as her face had clearly reddened now.

The other two began laughing giddily and fully at the reaction of this mare.

As I studied the mare who was the cause and target of this laughter, I was suddenly hit with a flashback. I had met her before. It was Canterlot, wasn't it?

With nothing better to do, I stood up and decided to approach the group.

"Excuse me." I stated casually, stopping the laughter from the two as well as the look of embarrassment from the other. "We were in Canterlot that one time at the wedding, weren't we?"

"I'm sorry…" The redness had drained from her face and she now returned a look of confusion. "Have we met before?"

I kicked my hoof at the ground once the exact scenario jogged my memory. "Yeah. I remember now. When the freaks were terrorizing the town. You and I were at that one café out there. We kicked some serious flank."

It took her some time to think and eventually widen her eyes in realization. "That was you?! You're Starlight?! Why, you look so…"

"Different?"

"I suppose…" She scratched the back of her head. "I, um, had no idea you had a…"

"Horn?"

"If you don't mind me asking…how come you didn't just use magic with the changelings? Actually, why haven't you used magic at all?"

I sighed. "Same reason why I didn't want my horn to be visible at all."

There was an awkward pause before she turned to the friend she had been chatting to. "Um, right! This is Vinyl. The friend that I had told you I had been looking for during the invasion. She was the reason we went our separate ways midway the war that been taking place at the time."

The neon pony. So, she was such in a hurry for her then?

"Hey, yeah!" Vinyl pointed out at me as if she had known who I was already. "Yeah, that Starlight. Big singer. But I especially know you're Alex's sister. Well, foster sister or something."

"Sure…" I hesitantly replied, hoping that the conversation wouldn't lead to that dark route.

"What brings you here to Ponyville? I've never heard you come down here for your tour before." Octavia asked.

"I'm not on tour right now. I'm taking a break, I guess." I answered glancing at each one of them. "I'll be back to work soon though. Even though there's not a lot to do in Ponyville like there is in big cities, it's surprisingly not that bad. It's almost like I'm back to being a nobody here since I don't have fans knocking up my doors every minute or security tailing me everywhere I go."

"That's the life of a big star, huh?" Octavia said rather strangely. I couldn't tell whether it was in an unfriendly-like or sarcastic matter. Either way, it wasn't anything I'd bother worrying about.

"You always play in big cities, don't you?" Vinyl asked. "I guess it's no surprise. If Countess Coloratura was here though, she'd probably be getting swarmed right about now. She's been practically everywhere as far as I know. I guess that's why she's known all across Equestria."

Hmph. Countess Coloratura. Something didn't sit right with me anytime I thought about or saw her. Her look. Her attitude. It was all prissy like. And her manager. Such an annoying lowlife. I swear, the two of them probably thought that they were so above and beyond everypony, even the big stars like Sapphire Shores and well…me.

"Anyways, I suppose I should thank you for your help back in Canterlot." Octavia added in. "I can't deny that there were many of them, and I'm not sure I would have been able to cut through so easily if you weren't there. However," She took a sip of what looked like tea. "Be sure to behave better with your brother. He really doesn't need any more stress in his life."

I was certainly unamused at that last comment. Was she scolding me? I wasn't even sure what to say to that.

"C'mon, Tavi." Vinyl bumped her hoof on Octavia's shoulder, lightly disrupting her current tea intake. "You weren't all that innocent, remember?"

"That was different, alright?" She threw her head to the side, avoiding making eye contact with her friend. "It was a mistake I never should have made. I apologized a thousand times for that already. It's just…boys can be such…" She paused, realizing the group of ponies around her, including me. Afterwards, she disengaged from that topic with a heavy sigh.

"Yeah, well…" I began facing my body towards the opposite direction. "Catch you some other time."

As I walked away from the café, I could still hear their erratic voices faintly.

"So, you don't suppose he'd mind if we dropped in for a visit, do you?"

"I don't know. He might be busy right now."

"I think I heard he was helping Princess Twilight with some summit or something…"

After that, they were too far to hear any further.


I found myself sitting in the park the next few minutes. Once again, there was no sign of crowds bunched up together or screaming fans. There were just ponies tossing a ball around, feeding the nearby geese and ducks, talking amongst themselves, or just relaxing and enjoying the day.

"Is this seat taken?" Another asked nearby, almost startling me.

It was a mare that had been pushing around a baby carriage. Anyone with a brain could figure out that she was a mother.

"No, it isn't." I casually responded and moved over a bit to give her some space.

"Thank you very much." She expressed before sitting down and grabbing her foal carefully with both of her hooves, despite having a horn. While gently carrying and caressing her child with one hoof, she grabbed a bottle of milk with the other.

I guess the sight and presence of a mother and child sort of made me feel a little uncomfortable. I wasn't used to being around these types of ponies before, so I sort of felt the strange tug to make small talk.

"That's a cute foal you've got there…" I complimented even though I wasn't really sure if I meant what I said.

"Thank you." The mare returned with a soft smile. "My husband and I had this little one a few months ago. He's been the light of our life ever since." Light of your life, huh? "A walk in the park always seems to soothe and calm him and eventually even put him to sleep. It's no big surprise. It really is beautiful here in this town."

"Uh-huh…" I simply answered. Small talk wasn't really my thing after all.

Either way, I guess it was okay. Kind of already see why Alex wouldn't mind living in a place like this. Especially when he has so many friends to keep him busy… It seems like having a bunch of friends can make a plain old boring place fun and entertaining…

"Watch out!" I heard a warning up ahead and a big red bouncy ball headed straight towards us.

Immediately the next second, I found the ball floating right in front of the flinching mother. I stared at this ball, questioning how it'd been levitating on its own. When I realized that I had been unexpectedly using magic to keep it in midair, the aura around the ball dissipated and began to drop. Nevertheless, I immediately grabbed a hold of it with my hooves and tossed it over to the ponies that had been playing with it.

"Sorry!" They apologized before they continued on.

"Oh…" The mare appeared to still be in shock as she still lightly gripped the blanket wrapped around her baby tightly. "Thank you for doing that."

"Y-you're welcome…" I expressed before I relaxed my body back on the bench.

How did I do that? I knew no magic after all… Well…then again…I did kind of lose control of it when Alex got so far deep under my skin.

I sighed and felt myself unable to remove the thoughts of what just happened.

I lived the majority of my life with a horn, but not once did I ever attempt or learn one spell. The best and shortest way to put it was that I was sort of raised in an Earth Pony kind of a way. The thing was…I wasn't the only pony in my family born a unicorn. My mother was an Earth Pony, but the truth of the matter was that my dad had actually been hiding a horn of his very own too.

Of course, we all knew this, but my father made us swore we'd never speak about it outside of the house. He wouldn't even allow us to acknowledge it inside the house. In short, he just wanted everyone, including himself, to pretend that it never existed. That's why it was always hidden under that fedora he wore every single day.

If the reason wasn't already obvious to why he wanted his horn to be considered nonexistent, the truth was that it didn't work. At all. Apparently, I guess he had broken it even before I was born. I never knew how as he's had an extremely thick coat for as long as I've ever remembered. He definitely wasn't the type of pony you could talk sensitive things about. As I grew up in that household, I came to the conclusion that the reason why he was so angry was because of this horn. Having to life with a busted horn that you'd have to go out of your way to hide. And when my mother took in Alex, it definitely didn't help at all. I guess he took out his anger on Alex, just like I did for my own personal reasons.

My mother couldn't cope with it, so I guess she just joined in whether she wanted it to or not. As much as we probably needed to, we never saw a psychologist or anything for these issues. We sort of just swept it under the rug after Alex left.

Either way, it's plainly obvious to why I'd consider my own horn unusable. The only other unicorn in my family was my father, and he pretty much banned anything to do with magic or horns in the household. Even if I could learn magic outside of home, there was no way I could keep up with practice. Maybe I could have tried it in secrecy, but after seeing what that psycho did to Alex, there was no way I'd even dare try it.

Despite that, I know that Alex must had been scarred by mostly my father. Even to this day, I'm not entirely sure if he could confidently face him. While I sort of steered away from punishment from my father, especially since I was the "only child" and I had to sort of make something of myself for the family, I never found myself fearing him. Even now, I sort of didn't take his threats seriously. And they were mostly just words after all. Some ponies might fear for their lives should they hear the kind of words he carelessly shouts, but honestly…they're just empty threats due to his anger.

It was a different case for Alex though…

Sigh.

I suddenly felt a craving for something sweet. Ice cream maybe.

I turned to the mare enjoying the weather with her child and decided to say goodbye so I wouldn't look like a jerk just leaving without a word.

"It was nice meeting you."

"You too. Thank you for earlier."

"Mm-hm." I nodded before I left in search of something to satisfy my cravings.


I decided to visit the only sweet shop I really knew about in town. I'm sure there were other smaller businesses, but I was a tourist, so whatever. There was already a line as I entered through the doorway. I believe one of the owners, the cupcake mom with the strange kids, was the one standing at the counter instead of that hyper and maybe even loony pink pony.

I waiting calmly behind a few ponies, taking advantage of the wait by scanning my eyes through the menu. However, I felt a tap on me, causing me to look back. Immediately after, I was bumped a few steps backward by some pony I knew I hadn't seen before me in the first place.

"Hey. Back of the line, toots." I sternly suggested.

"You snooze, you lose." She merely said, not having the sufficient amount of decency to look back at me when she was talking.

I felt my glare at her grow fiercely. Before I knew it, I heard some noise come from the kitchen and saw a cake flying out from nowhere. It somehow found its perfect target and splattered all over the delinquent's face. Some of the frosting and pieces of bread scattered over to me. Taking the opportunity to give it a taste and clean myself as well, I placed the extra pieces to my lips and licked. "Mm. Looks like you were just served a big piece of karma."

"IT'S IN MY EYES!" She cried as she removed herself from my spot in line and galloped out of the building.

"Oh, dear!" The mare holding the counter worried almost frantically. "Where in Equestria did that cake come from all of a sudden?"

Nevertheless, it was sort of a minor and quick incident, so no pony really worried about it too much. I suppose they've had stranger or worse events happen to them in the past.

Once it was my time to order, I got the sweetest large-scooped ice cream I could find on their menu. As I walked out the shop with said ice cream by my hoof, I licked enthusiastically, feeling it fitting as justice had just been served.


I returned back home once I ran out of things to do in Ponyville. I had already gone to the spa a few days back, so there was really no point in going again unless I really wanted to overdo it. The lack of things to keep me entertained honestly made me feel the need to go back to work. Everyone would prefer relaxing than working of course, but I don't know. I guess I just didn't really fit in too much here.

Before I walked up the stairs, I remembered Shredder had given me a letter from my old man. I took it with me as I ascended the second floor where the sweet sweet bed was. I placed the letter on a nearby desk and took a look outside the window for a moment.

I tried thinking about what made Ponyville so unique. There was not much to do here as there was in bigger cities, so what makes the ponies that live here like it so much? I already brought up the idea of friendship earlier…but it can't just be that, right? I mean, you can have friends in a bunch of other places too. Maybe I'm just different, and ponies here prefer a quieter peaceful life. If friendship really is a big deal, then I guess I can assume that it is enough to keep everyone content here.

Hm…

I wondered how I would be if I had my very own group of friends like Alex did?

Maybe I wouldn't be such a star like I am now…

I sighed and walked over to the bathroom.

I filled the tub with water, sat in, and soaked myself while resting my eyes.

I remember meeting Twilight back at the Ponyville Spa.

She had been getting her hair done and she just so happened to take the spot next to me. We talked for a while despite our past conflicts. Honestly, it was a little weird at first that she forgave me so easily. But even then, being the "Princess of Friendship", one of the very few Alicorns we have living among us, her personality didn't seem to change at all back from the times I've interacted with her when she didn't have her wings. She acted just like any other friendly pony would, even going the extra mile to offer me some help on magic when learning about my useless horn.

Even though I denied but appreciated her offer, it was a bit hard to believe she'd be willing to go through that work for me. I guess I could see why Alex was so fond of her as a real "little sister".

I sighed and crossed my hooves behind my head as I looked up towards the ceiling.

I don't like losing, but there's no way I can deny losing my status as "big sister" to him. After everything I did, who would dare want to be related to me? Heh heh. Oh well.

Stuff happens. And no matter how much we consider going back in time to change it, it's already done.

After I exited the tub with a towel wrapped around my head, I stared at the mirror, looking over myself before I went to bed.

You're just a pony, Star. Even though you're popular, and have so many "adoring fans", that doesn't change the fact that you're still just another pony to begin with.

You might be special, but you're really no more special than any other pony to consider yourself above them.

You make mistakes, just like everypony else does.

But taking responsibility for them is what counts.

No matter how bright you shine or stand out from the others…

…you're really just another star in the sky.


...


I made sure to grab the letter addressed to me before I went ahead and jumped in bed. I tore it open and began reading the contents within. My eyebrows perked up once I saw mention of him from my old man. I never thought I'd hear that name again from him.

Once I finished the letter, I tossed it aside and squeezed the area between my eyes.

"Alex isn't going to be happy about this…"

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