Also:>a very quick thinker and equally swift to act>makes you adaptable, perhaps more than any pony or zebra I have ever known.>allows you to improvise where others would be paralyzed
What story has Xenith been reading? Because I've been reading the one where Littlepoop pulls completely ridiculous plans out of her ass one after another, that have absolutely no right to work but somehow manage to work anyway, simply because the author wants them to.
Anyway, continuing to fish for compliments, LP now asks:>“Do you think I’m evil?”
To which Xenith replies:>“No, little one. You are one of the most caring souls I have ever met, pony or otherwise.”
I'm trying to think of anything LP has done in the time since they met that would lead Xenith to form this conclusion about her, and am coming up dry. Although it sounds like Xenith has spent most of her life getting the crap kicked out of her by slavers, so we might have different ideas about what "caring" means.
From here, the conversation abruptly changes gears. It gets weird, then bawdy, then very weird, in that order:>“Do you think I’m cursed then?” At her odd expression, I clarified, “I have been touched by Homage.”
This is one of the weirdest topic jumps I've run into yet. What does being touched by Homage have to do with being cursed? I see no connection here, literal or figurative.
Anyway, Xenith interprets the "touched by Homage" comment in the most low-brow way possible. The conversation makes a 90 degree turn and devolves into sex banter. Then, it abruptly shifts back to the strange track it was on:>I took a moment and composed myself as best I could. “So… am I cursed? Because I love Homage?”
Where is this business about curses coming from? Did I miss something here? When has it ever been suggested that LP's relationship with Homage has somehow cursed her? Whatever the author is trying to do here, I'm not seeing it.
Xenith's answer somehow manages to be even more confusing than the question:>“The zebras may have been wrong about Nightmare Moon,” she admitted. “You ponies may have been right. The wielders of the Elements of Harmony may have broken whatever hold the stars had over Nightmare Moon. Luna may have been… different.”>“But that does not mean that the touch of the stars was still not upon her. That it did not influence her in more subtle ways.” She looked to me. “I am open to your beliefs, but I ask that you be open to mine. Perhaps there is truth in both.”
What the fuck does any of this have to do with Homage or Littlepoop? How is Nightmare Moon connected? Nobody even brought her up.>“But Homage is not evil, she is not twisted, she is no Nightmare Moon,” I insisted. “In fact, she saved our lives. She saved yours.”>Xenith nodded with a sad smile. “And would you not say it was quite an amazing shot?”>“Absolutely. It was an… what?”>“The weapon from the stars wants to kill,” Xenith said. “It yearns to kill.”>Okay, now that was just creepy.
At this point I have literally no idea what either of them are even talking about.>“I will accept that Homage is a good, kind pony. And that she is not cursed. Because you ask me to,” Xenith conceded. “Even though I do not trust your judgment, I believe you speak truthfully in this. And I suspect you are better experienced at matters of the heart than I am”
Okay, I've read through this conversation a couple of times, and I think I'm beginning to get a handle on what the fuck they're talking about. They are referencing something they talked about earlier, in Chapter 29. There was a scene in which Xenith admitted to Littlepoop that she didn't trust Homage. She offered us this by way of explanation:>“Did you not see the weapon she used? Your lover had been touched by the stars. She is cursed. No good can come of her.”
This is in regards to an incident where Homage shot down an alicorn that attacked them as they were landing at Tenpony Tower.
So, as I understand it, this is basically what's going on here:
When Homage shot down the alicorn, she used a weapon that, for some reason or other, Xenith associates with Nightmare Moon. As a result of this single incident, she believes that Homage is cursed, and therefore does not trust her. So, when Littlepoop asked Xenith if she trusts her just now, and Xenith said that no, she does not, LP became concerned that it might have something to do with her relationship to Homage. Her concern is that Xenith believes that she might be cursed, on account of how she has been lezzing out with Homage, who is also cursed. However, it seems that Xenith distrusts for for an entirely different reason altogether.
Anyway, though she seems willing to accept that Homage is probably not evil herself, Xenith still seems to believe that this gun Homage used to kill the alicorn is cursed or something, and as such is still wary of her. She closes with this remark:>“But I ask in return that you keep an open mind to the things I believe, and a watchful eye for warning signs. The stars take the greatest delight in giving us the means to destroy ourselves and each other. Do you truly think that your relationship has not changed now that she has taken a life for you?”
I guess the significance here is that Homage might actually be cursed, or...something. Honestly, this story was always convoluted and bizarre, but this is turning into some pure weapons-grade autism right here, and I'm really having a difficult time following all of this. If someone who has read this before, and understands whatever the deal with Homage's gun is, wants to fill in whatever gaps I've left open, they may feel free to do so.
Anyway, I guess this completely bizarre and random conversation has led Littlepoop to conclude...uh...well...I'm not actually sure. Here's how the scene ends:>Regardless of whether Xenith’s superstitious fears were justified, she had led me to re-examine what had happened in a less self-centered way.>I looked up into the zebra’s eyes. “Thank you.”
Your guess is as good as mine.