Above, in the battle-strewn streets of New Ring, a loud rumble drowned out the cannon fire and magical exchange of bullets. Unicorn guards skidded to a stop, sweating and looking all about with nervous jitters. Trembling civilians hugging their loved ones gazed out from where they hid underneath crumbled pieces of the city's wall. All of the violence and chaos settled just in time for the Darkstinians to drink in the new sense of panic and alarm overwhelming them.
Then, just as the anxiety reached a fever pitch, it was silenced by the sight of the city's central obelisk bursting up out of its pit. The black object stretched high above the skyscrapers and metal-laced towers of the metropolis. The shadow of its immensity covered the gaping faces of western and eastern New Ring citizens alike.
Once it stretched to its tallest height, it settled in place, rotated, and stopped with a loud metallic ring. Then, from top to bottom, rivulets of light formed, cascading a soft blue glow over the landscape. Then, in a flash, the entire urbanscape lit up as the sheer power of the obelisk returned once more to the Darkstinian capital. Skyscrapers lit up, their framework turning ablaze in hot blue luminescence. The rusted streets glazed over with cool blue electricity.
One by one, the Darkstinians emerged from their hiding places, dropping their weapons as the awe of their city's renewed power and industry came full circle. Unicorns who were blood enemies just minutes ago stood side by side, relishing the blue light that filled every crevice and chased the smoggy misery away. Mothers and foals clung to each other while distant siblings replaced their manarifles with firm embraces. Gradually, a murmur of shock morphed into a cheer of ecstasy, and the city came alive with celebration.
Governor Mintelle trotted out of her mansion, stumbling over chunks of battle-strewn debris as she gazed fixedly at the resurfaced obelisk. She managed a subtle, Darkstinian smile and began issuing orders to her advisers as the ponies of East New Ring crossed the demolished wall to assist their brethren in the west.
Somewhere along the rim of the towering obelisk, disheveled and trembling, Duke Zaap Nator sat on his haunches. He was discovered by several armed members of Mintelle's brigade. It took a lot of calm and careful persuasion to remove the foal's skull that the sobbing stallion had cradled in his grasp. While the rest of New Ring celebrated, the masked unicorn was quietly ushered towards a facility for questioning.
Steelteeth watched this from a plateau of metal high above the four bunkers that once housed so many displaced foals. Behind him, a massive reunion was taking place. Unicorn parents knelt and scooped their children up into their forelimbs, sharing laughter and tears after coming together for the first time in weeks, months, even years.
Steelteeth's nostrils flared as he turned from the happy sight to the cryptic haze of sapphire light cascading off the obelisk and filling the streets of New Ring with brightness and vigor. There was hardly a single puff of steam to be seen. It was almost dawn, but the Constable could barely tell from how brightly the city was now burning.
“It almost looks pretty in a way, doesn't it?”
Blinking, Steelteeth stood up and spun his metal body around.
Rainbow Dash hovered calmly above him, her forelimbs folded as she smiled with calm approval at the obelisk.
“Blue glow is best glow, don't you think?” she remarked with a wink.
Steelteeth blinked at her, gazed at the obelisk where the gaping pit had been, then back at Rainbow Dash. “You...” his voice rang metallically. “You... did this, somehow, didn't you?”
“Yeah, sure, why not?” She scratched a hoof across her chest and gave it a bored glance. “Not all of us can be full of badflankery like you, Steely. Some of us just gotta steal the home plate, ya feel me?”
“Since the day I stumbled into you, you've been nothing but impulsive and childish and unpredictable—”
“Hey...” She grinned wide, her teeth showing. “You're welcome.”
His aquamarine eyes blinked as the coils of his metal skull flickered. Slowly, he exhaled. “I almost wonder why Whitemane put me in charge of you and not the other way around.”
“Yeah, well...” Rainbow Dash hovered around him, shrugging. “That's the thing about awesomeness. It has a way of flipping stuff upside down. Heck, even I get dizzy over it. But I don't plan to stick around long enough to throw up.”
His eyes narrowed. He glanced at the glowing city, then at the horizon. In a surprisingly awkward voice, Steelteeth stammered, “You... You're leaving.” He stood up straight with his metal joints hissing. “Somehow, you've brought power and industry back to this city in a single blink, and you're not even sticking around to bask in the triumph...”
“Believe me. If I stayed here, I wouldn't be 'basking,' dude. Besides...” She turned and glanced towards the east. Between the glow of the city and the golden hint of dawn, she saw the barest hint of lavender, faint yet distinct. “Things are... starting to make a little bit of sense to me.”
Steelteeth gravely nodded.
“Hey! Don't be sad!” She winked and reached into her saddlebag. “Look what I found on my way up from obelisk-ville!” She produced a broad-rimmed hat and slapped it down onto Steelteeth's metal skull. “Better tilt that thing the other way next time you go visit Ridgeside and catch up on old times with Evergreen, am I right?”
Steelteeth adjusted the hat. When his face tilted back up, a bright blue glint reflected off his jaws, for the Constable was smiling. “You know, Miss Dash, I just might consider doing that...”
“Heck, that made this whole darn escapade worth it.” She fluttered towards Governor Mintelle's building to the south. “Well, almost...”
“I... I thought you were leaving.”
“Gotta check one thing first...”